[Congressional Record Volume 165, Number 115 (Wednesday, July 10, 2019)]
[Pages H5314-H5323]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                              {time}  1230

  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, 
I call up House Resolution 476 and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 476

       Resolved, That at any time after adoption of this 
     resolution the Speaker may, pursuant

[[Page H5315]]

     to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare the House resolved into 
     the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union 
     for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2500) to authorize 
     appropriations for fiscal year 2020 for military activities 
     of the Department of Defense and for military construction, 
     to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal 
     year, and for other purposes. The first reading of the bill 
     shall be dispensed with. All points of order against 
     consideration of the bill are waived. General debate shall be 
     confined to the bill and amendments specified in this section 
     and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled 
     by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on 
     Armed Services. After general debate the bill shall be 
     considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. In lieu 
     of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by 
     the Committee on Armed Services now printed in the bill, an 
     amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the 
     text of Rules Committee Print 116-19, modified by the 
     amendment printed in part A of the report of the Committee on 
     Rules accompanying this resolution, shall be considered as 
     adopted in the House and in the Committee of the Whole. The 
     bill, as amended, shall be considered as the original bill 
     for the purpose of further amendment under the five-minute 
     rule and shall be considered as read. All points of order 
     against provisions in the bill, as amended, are waived.
       Sec. 2. (a) No further amendment to the bill, as amended, 
     shall be in order except those printed in part B of the 
     report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution 
     and amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this 
       (b) Each further amendment printed in part B of the report 
     of the Committee on Rules shall be considered only in the 
     order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member 
     designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall 
     be debatable for the time specified in the report equally 
     divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, may 
     be withdrawn by the proponent at any time before action 
     thereon, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be 
     subject to a demand for division of the question in the House 
     or in the Committee of the Whole.
       (c) All points of order against the further amendments 
     printed in part B of the report of the Committee on Rules or 
     amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution 
     are waived.
       Sec. 3.  It shall be in order at any time for the chair of 
     the Committee on Armed Services or his designee to offer 
     amendments en bloc consisting of amendments printed in part B 
     of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this 
     resolution not earlier disposed of. Amendments en bloc 
     offered pursuant to this section shall be considered as read, 
     shall be debatable for 20 minutes equally divided and 
     controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the 
     Committee on Armed Services or their designees, shall not be 
     subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand 
     for division of the question in the House or in the Committee 
     of the Whole.
       Sec. 4.  At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for 
     amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the 
     House with such further amendments as may have been adopted. 
     In the case of sundry further amendments reported from the 
     Committee, the question of their adoption shall be put to the 
     House en gros and without division of the question. The 
     previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill 
     and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening 
     motion except one motion to recommit with or without 
       Sec. 5.  Clause 7(a)(1) of rule XV shall not apply with 
     respect to H.R. 553.
       Sec. 6.  It shall be in order at any time on the 
     legislative day of July 11, 2019, or July 12, 2019, for the 
     Speaker to entertain motions that the House suspend the 
     rules, as though under clause 1 of rule XV, relating to the 
     bill (H.R. 1327) to extend authorization for the September 
     11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 through fiscal year 
     2090, and for other purposes.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Massachusetts is 
recognized for 1 hour.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam 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

  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Massachusetts?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, on Tuesday, last night, the Rules 
Committee met and reported a rule, House Resolution 476, providing for 
consideration of H.R. 2500 under a structured rule. One hour of general 
debate has been provided, controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
member of the Committee on Armed Services.
  Madam Speaker, this rule makes more than 430 amendments in order. I 
think we broke a record. This bill has the most amendments, I think, 
ever made in order, and I think it is something that we should be proud 
  These amendments include ideas from both sides. I think that is 
important. But I have got to tell you that I am especially proud that 
this rule allows a debate on many truly progressive ideas.
  One of these amendments would allow transgender troops their rightful 
chance to serve in our military without roadblocks from this 
administration. That shouldn't be a radical idea. Gender shouldn't 
matter on the battlefield.
  Transgender troops have been serving in our military for a very long 
time. They have willingly put their lives on the line to deploy in 
combat zones just like all other troops. They have worn the same 
uniform and have been held to the same standard as everybody else.
  But, instead of thanking them, instead of thanking them for their 
service to our country, this administration wants to prevent them from 
serving at all.
  Out of nowhere, President Trump logged onto Twitter one day and 
decided to ban transgender people from military service.
  This rule will give us a chance to debate an amendment to change 
that, to reject the President's bigotry.
  There is another amendment here that would prevent the President from 
using the 2001 AUMF to launch an attack on Iran or engage in military 
hostilities without explicit congressional authorization.
  Now, think about this. We were, apparently, moments away from the 
President launching an attack against Iran--no consultation with 
Congress at all, no debate on this floor, no thoughtful discussion, not 
even a vote.
  Democrats don't want war with Iran. Most Republicans don't want war 
with Iran. The American people certainly don't want a war with Iran.
  But this President was, apparently, about to use an AUMF passed more 
than a decade ago to fumble us into another conflict in the Middle 
East. I am glad the President backed off from bombing Iran, but I am 
terrified about the lack of thoughtful leadership coming from this Oval 
  I don't know what kind of mood he will be in when he wakes up 
tomorrow, whether he will want to go to war with a country or not, but 
I think we have a constitutional obligation here in Congress to make 
sure that we play a role as to whether or not we enter into another war 
as well as preventing another war.
  We need to make it clear to this administration that the President 
cannot use an old AUMF to initiate hostilities against Iran, period. 
This rule is our chance. There are dozens and dozens of ideas here that 
many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have tried to get 
debated for a long time and many on our side of the aisle have tried to 
get debated for a long time. This rule will finally allow us to do 
  As important as they are, the importance of this rule goes beyond 
just the amendments. There is suspension authority included in here 
that would allow us to move quickly this week and pass the 
reauthorization of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
  How could anybody oppose that, Madam Speaker? Recently, we saw 9/11 
first responders coming to the Senate and literally begging for 
Majority Leader McConnell to move the bill.
  These people are heroes. They should never have to plead with hat in 
hand for the resources to help them survive.
  The Senate is finally showing a willingness to move on this. So, if 
we pass this rule, this program could be reauthorized within a matter 
of days.
  Passing this rule would also allow us to quickly take action on the 
first measure placed on the Consensus Calendar, H.R. 553, as part of 
the underlying bill.
  This calendar was created as part of our bipartisan rules package, 
passed at the start of the Congress. It is a new procedure designed to 
expedite consideration of measures with broad bipartisan support.
  Congressman   Joe Wilson and Congressman   John Yarmuth's bill to 
update the Department of Defense's Survivor Benefit Plan has well over 
350 cosponsors.

[[Page H5316]]

  Clearly, there is a lot of bipartisan support here for this 
legislation. Let's pass this rule and make sure it gets taken up as 
quickly as possible this week as part of a must-pass vehicle.
  That is what this rule is all about, Madam Speaker: debating ideas 
and countless progressive amendments--and some amendments, quite 
frankly, that are very conservative that I am going to fight as hard as 
I can to defeat.
  Moving quickly to reauthorize a program that our 9/11 first 
responders depend on, I think, is an absolute priority of this 
majority, and I hope my Republican friends will join with us in 
supporting this effort.
  Allowing an overwhelmingly bipartisan bill to be considered on the 
floor without delay that benefits widows, I think, is something that 
hopefully will get broad bipartisan support.

  So, if we pass this, we can make sure all of this happens this week.
  Madam Speaker, I also want to take a moment and recognize that this 
underlying NDAA bill would finally confer a service medal honoring the 
sacrifice of atomic veterans.
  It has been a long road getting to this point. The prior three House 
NDAA bills included similar amendment language, sometimes by near 
unanimous votes, but it was stripped out of conference every single 
time. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why.
  Radiation-exposed servicemembers risked their lives for our Nation, 
in secret and at great personal cost. More than three-quarters of 
atomic veterans have already passed away, many prematurely from health 
problems directly related to their service.
  It is past time to finally recognize their courage and sacrifice, not 
just with a certificate of recognition but with what they truly 
deserve: a service medal.
  So I hope, by including this language in the base bill, it won't be 
stripped out as the process continues, and let's give these veterans 
the recognition that they have earned.
  Finally, Madam Speaker, let me just say this: The underlying bill is 
a good bill, and Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Thornberry, and their 
staff deserve a lot of credit for this product.
  It was a bipartisan process in committee, as we heard last night in 
the Rules Committee. Many Republican amendments were adopted in the 
committee process, and I think Chairman Smith, again, and his staff 
deserve enormous credit for getting us to the point we are at here 
  I will say that I regret very much that the marching orders coming 
from the leaders of the Republican Conference are that all Republicans 
should vote against the NDAA bill, a bill that contains a pay increase 
for our troops, a bill that includes items that will protect and 
enhance our national security, a bill that will provide all the other 
things I have just mentioned.
  I am sorry that the Republican leaders have decided to turn this into 
a partisan exercise, but they can do whatever they want.
  Our job is to make sure this gets done and it gets moved forward in a 
timely fashion, and that is what we intend to do.
  Madam Speaker, with that, I reserve the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Madam Speaker, I appreciate that admonition. I promise you, you won't 
have to repeat that again on my time.
  I appreciate my friend from Massachusetts yielding the time.
  I had a whole wonderful opening statement planned, Madam Speaker. It 
was going to be our first time down here on the floor together during a 
  Janet Rossi, on my team, put together all the great stats and 
statistics, many of which you heard my friend from Massachusetts 
  And then, as happens to me so often on the Rules Committee, I show up 
in a good mood, I show up in a great place, and then folks just poke me 
in that way that gets me going.
  For my friend from Massachusetts to close with the Republicans have 
turned this into a partisan exercise frustrates me to no end.
  If there is one thing I have learned in my 9 years in Congress, Madam 
Speaker, it is that when it comes to American national security, it 
never gets turned into a partisan exercise.
  I don't know how your election went, Madam Speaker, or what it was 
that your constituents said to you. Mine talked to me a lot about 
congressional dysfunction.
  ``Why can't they get anything done, Rob?''
  ``Why in the world can't you all get together and cooperate?''
  And I always respond with the bill that we are looking at today, the 
National Defense Authorization Act. I say: In six decades of working, 
depending on who was in the White House, who was leading the House, who 
was leading the Senate, six decades of working on National Defense 
Authorization Acts that need to be passed every single year, how many 
times do you think we have actually successfully gotten that done 
  You know how that conversation goes, Madam Speaker.
  ``Rob, I think you guys have gotten it done once in 60 years.''
  ``Rob, I think it has happened 4 times, maybe 12 times.''
  Madam Speaker, you know what I know, which is that, over these 
decades, every single year, without fail--it does not matter who is in 
the White House; it does not matter who leads the U.S. House; it does 
not matter who leads the United States Senate--we come together as a 
Nation to support our men and women who are standing on the frontlines 
for us.
  So, no, this is not a partisan exercise today, nor should it be from 
the Republican side of the aisle.
  But I am mystified, Madam Speaker, as to why we have taken what 
should have been this continuation of decade upon decade upon decade of 
bipartisanship and seemingly gone out of our way, as a new Democratic 
majority, to make it partisan.
  I know the policy isn't. I know the policy isn't. I can go right down 
the line, man after woman, woman after man, on the Democratic side of 
the aisle and find patriots who love this country and who will do 
whatever it takes to defend it. That is the conversation we had in the 
Rules Committee last night.
  But I will take you back to my freshman year in Congress, Madam 
Speaker. I came in with that rabid class of freshman Republicans, that 
largest freshman class in American history. You would think, if we were 
going to find partisanship, we would find it in that class.

  We all came in on that big Tea Party wave, folks wanting to shake 
things up, change things. Do you know what the National Defense 
Authorization Act looked like coming out of committee that year?
  It passed 60-1, Republicans and Democrats standing together. The year 
after that, 56-5. That is what my freshman year looked like: 60-1, 56-
5, Republicans and Democrats standing together on behalf of national 
  I don't know if you have looked at the vote from the Armed Services 
Committee, Madam Speaker. I know you are familiar. It was 33-24, 
straight party-line vote, coming out of committee this year.
  In the Rules Committee last night up on the third floor, Madam 
Speaker, we finished up about midnight. I had the chairman and the 
ranking member of the Armed Services Committee there talking about all 
the things that they agree on as it comes to national security, yet, to 
my friend from Massachusetts' point, the marching orders came down from 
somewhere that prevented them from doing what we have always done, and 
that is report a bill in a bipartisan fashion.
  It has nothing to do with who leads this Congress, Madam Speaker.
  About 12 years ago now, when the very first woman to ever hold the 
Speaker's chair took over--that would be 2007, Madam Speaker--we didn't 
bring the bill to the floor under a rule in a partisan fashion. We 
brought the bill to the floor under suspension.

                              {time}  1245

  Madam Speaker, that very first bill that was passed in the Pelosi 
Speakership passed 369-46 on the floor of the House; 369-46. Most of 
the no votes were Democrats voting against the new

[[Page H5317]]

Democratic Speaker of the House and the national security bill; 369-46.
  The year after that, the last year of the new Speakership, the year 
right before I came, it passed 341-48.
  Madam Speaker, I go through these big numbers to make the point that 
it didn't have to be this way. We went out of our way, it seems, as an 
institution, to divide on national security. I will just give you a few 
of those examples.
  There are 439 amendments made in order, as my friend from 
Massachusetts pointed out, and I think we should celebrate that. But 
again, there were 683 amendments offered, so 250 Members were shut out.
  Madam Speaker, we had an opportunity, under the new Consensus 
Calendar that my friend from Massachusetts referenced, to bring 
bipartisan legislation to the floor.
  For folks who haven't been following that, the only way to get to the 
House floor is to have a committee report your bill. If committees 
don't report your bill, you can't get to the House floor unless you end 
up on the suspension calendar.
  This new majority, this new Democratic majority, changed the rules in 
what I think is an amazingly positive and productive way. What they 
said is, if you bring together enough Democrats and Republicans to 
support your bill, we are going to have to give you a special pathway 
to the House floor for those consensus ideas that we want to celebrate 
together as an institution.
  Madam Speaker, my friend,   Joe Wilson from South Carolina has such a 
bill. It is a bill to support the widows and widowers of our fallen 
servicemen and women. He has worked this bill with my friend from 
Kentucky, Mr. Yarmuth, and this is the very first bill to have 
achieved, again, this new level of excellence that the new majority 
laid out. If you can bring people together we will give you a special 
pathway to the House floor. You get a vote on your bill.
  I might point out that my friend from California, Ms. Lofgren, did 
this very same thing. She did it on a piece of immigration legislation 
that I am a cosponsor of. She put together the requisite number of 
Republicans and Democrats, and her bill is coming to the floor, too.
  Now, her bill is coming to the floor today on suspension, stand-
alone, up-or-down vote to allow Republicans and Democrats to come 
together and support that idea.
  My friend, Mr. Wilson's bill, without his knowledge, without his 
consultation, without his input, has been tucked into this rule, this 
partisan rule, this passed-by-party-line-vote rule, to be self-enacted 
into the underlying legislation.
  I expressed my frustration to the chairman last night; that so often 
we fail in ways that meet the very low expectations of our 
constituents. This was a wonderful, positive change that Speaker Pelosi 
and the new Democratic majority brought to this institution. Madam 
Speaker, it is a change that I hope will be a lasting change. It is a 
change that I hope will persist no matter who sits in the Speaker's 
chair over the next decade upon decade.
  But our very first opportunity to use it, we moved it from its 
design, which was to be an opportunity to celebrate those things that 
bring us together, those hard nuts that we figured out a way to crack 
together, and we have turned it into yet another exercise in ``gotcha'' 
partisan politics.
  The men and women who will be served by this legislation deserve 
better than that. The men and women who serve in this institution 
deserve better than that. And when the new Democratic majority was 
sworn in on the first day of this Congress, they promised the American 
people better than that.
  Madam Speaker, today won't be the last word on this issue; but it is 
the first word, and it is an unfortunate one.
  I hope that my colleagues will be cognizant of this mistake that they 
have made, and I hope that they will correct it before it is too late.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Let me just take issue with the gentleman from Georgia when he talks 
about this as being a partisan process. From what I understand, in the 
Armed Services Committee, 142 Republican amendments were accepted, 142.
  And the gentleman's facts are a little bit wrong when he says it was 
a straight party-line vote reporting the bill to the floor, unless Ms. 
Stefanik and Mr. Bacon have changed parties--I hope they did--because 
they voted to advance it. Everybody in that committee should have voted 
to advance it, but they did, and they deserve credit for that.
  Notwithstanding the fact that the Republican leadership is telling 
all their Members, vote ``no'' on the final passage of the bill, and 
vote ``no'' on the rule, unlike my colleagues on the Republican side 
when they were in charge, who would routinely ask Democrats who came 
before the Rules Committee and offered amendments and they would say, 
if we make your amendment in order, will you vote for the bill?
  Well, we didn't ask a single Republican that question last night. And 
we made 62 Republican amendments in order. There are 94 bipartisan 
amendments in order, and so we didn't do that.
  If this ends up being a partisan vote on the rule, that is the choice 
of my colleagues on the Republican side. I think there is lots and lots 
of stuff in here that everybody should support.
  Let me just say one other thing about the Consensus Calendar. My 
friend from Georgia is just beside himself that we are moving forward a 
bipartisan idea that has over 300 cosponsors, overwhelmingly 
bipartisan. Oh, it is terrible that you are putting it in the rule. It 
is terrible, terrible, terrible.
  Well, let me say, what happened when they were in charge in the last 
Congress. Mr. Wilson and Mr. Yarmuth introduced a bill. I think there 
were 290-plus cosponsors on the bill. My Republican friends couldn't 
even be bothered last session with giving the bill a hearing. They 
didn't bring it to the floor for a vote. They could have brought it 
under suspension. They could have had it as an amendment to something. 
They could have put it in a rule if they wanted to. They didn't do 
  And now that we are moving forward an idea that has broad bipartisan 
support, they can't handle it. They are having a meltdown on the other 
side of the aisle.
  Well, you are obsessed with the process when you should be obsessed 
with the widows who would benefit from the enactment of this bill. But 
that is fine. That is fine.
  The whole point of the Consensus Calendar was to be able to bring 
bipartisan ideas that had overwhelming support to move those ideas 
forward, and we praise Mr. Wilson and praise Mr. Yarmuth for their 
leadership on this.
  But to carry on about that it is on a rule, and not at all be 
concerned about it becoming law really kind of shows the difference in 
our priorities.
  Let me tell you that one of the reasons why we think it is important 
to put it on the NDAA bill is because we think is a must-pass piece of 
legislation. This will go to the Senate. I mean, obviously, there will 
be a conference report, and there will be back and forth and there will 
be changes and additions and it will come back. But we know that this 
bill, if it passes the House is going over to the Senate, whether you 
like it or not. It is going to the Senate.
  If we brought it up here under a suspension, it would die in Mitch 
McConnell's graveyard, like everything else dies over in the Senate. He 
doesn't give a damn about this; if he did, he would have done something 
about it.
  So I appreciate the gentleman's concerns, but, quite frankly, I think 
that they are unfounded; and I think that, quite frankly, this is a 
rule that deserves the support of not just Democrats but Republicans as 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Trahan). Members are reminded to 
refrain from engaging in personalities toward Members of the Senate.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Yarmuth), the distinguished chairman of the Committee on 
the Budget.
  Mr. YARMUTH. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 476, the 
rule allowing for consideration of the National Defense Authorization 
Act, including my amendment to, once and

[[Page H5318]]

for all, repeal the SBP-DIC offset, commonly known as the widow's tax.
  I would like to thank Chairman Smith and Chairman McGovern for their 
work to include my amendment in this bill. I also want to thank the 
gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Wilson) for his continued stalwart 
leadership on the issue.
  I got involved in this issue several years ago when I was contacted 
by a constituent of mine named Ellen. She emailed me to tell me about 
the unfair burden being placed on an estimated 64,000 surviving spouses 
and families of the men and women of our military, forcing them to 
forfeit all or part of an annuity purchased by their beloved fallen 
  In the final paragraph of Ellen's email, she mentioned a First 
Sergeant in the U.S. Army who suffered a heart attack during his 
required physical training in 2002. That First Sergeant was her 
  It became clear to me that Congress' mistake more than 4 decades ago 
was now negatively impacting one of my constituents, a constituent who 
was already grieving the loss of her husband. And while I am 
heartbroken by the reason Ellen was forced to become an advocate on 
this issue, to this day I am very thankful she contacted me.
  Including this provision to ax the widow's tax in must-pass NDAA 
legislation is likely our only shot in this Congress to end the unfair 
offset once and for all. I want to urge my colleagues to support this 
rule and final passage of this bill. We have tried for years to get 
this right and now we finally can.
  Stand up for Gold Star families and support this rule and the 
underlying legislation. The spouses and children of our fallen heroes 
have sacrificed enough.
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I thank you for that second admonition. I 
did say you wouldn't have to use it again on my side of the aisle. I 
can commit to you that you still will not have to issue one on our side 
of the aisle.
  I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole), the 
ranking member of the Rules Committee.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose the rule and the underlying 
legislation. This is actually a very sad occasion, I think, for the 
House; it certainly is for me personally. I have never voted against a 
national defense authorization in my 17 years in Congress. As a matter 
of fact, most of our Members have never done that for the last 58 
years, so it is pretty unusual for us to be here and we, personally, 
regret that a great deal.
  My concerns with the substance of the bill are many, although there 
are, as my good friend from Massachusetts said, lots of good things in 
there, and there was lots of bipartisanship in writing it.
  But the top line number is $15 billion less than the President 
requests and the Senate has already enacted in their NDAA bill. We 
think that hurts readiness. We have concerns with the reversal of some 
decisions, both slowing down the modernization of our nuclear forces, 
and moving us away from low-yield nuclear weapons, which we think we 
need to counter Russia and its current aggressive posture.
  We are disappointed the bill doesn't include longstanding prohibition 
against transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United 
States. Those provisions were put in by a Democratic Congress in 2010. 
We are sorry our friends seem to reverse a decision that they believed 
in a decade ago.
  And it includes a lot of restrictive policies and prohibitions on 
securing the southern border, including prohibitions on funding a 
border wall, fence, physical barriers. I understand there are 
differences there, but I would hope we could give the executive 
flexibility in that area.

  Mr. Speaker, as concerned as I am about the substance of the bill, I 
am very concerned about the process. I grant my friend's point that a 
lot of amendments have been made in order. We could have made more. We 
actually offered an open rule last night that would have made 
everybody's amendments in order. It wouldn't have taken away any of the 
amendments my friends wanted to put out there, but it would have 
allowed everybody's amendments to come to the floor for full and robust 
  Now, the amendments that were made in order, 67 percent of them, are 
Democratic amendments; 14 percent are Republican. We don't think that 
is a fair, remotely fair ratio.
  And frankly, the en bloc arrangements in which we are going to bring 
many of these to the floor are even more imbalanced; basically 63 
percent of those will be on Democratic initiatives; I think two are on 
Republican initiatives. So we are very concerned about that. I think if 
we don't stop this process, we are about to make the mistake that we 
made 2 weeks ago.
  Now, the Senate has given us, as it did 2 weeks ago, a different 
example. They have passed a national defense authorization by a vote of 
86-8, so overwhelmingly bipartisan. The President has said he would 
sign their bill. The President sent us a message that the partisan bill 
that we are embarking on and about to pass he will not sign; so we are 
headed for a confrontation. It is a confrontation where we will produce 
a partisan bill that the President won't sign. The Senate will produce 
a bipartisan bill that the President will sign, and I think we know how 
that story ends.

                              {time}  1300

  So we are dangerously close to repeating the mistake we made only 2 
weeks ago, and I would hope that we stop, because if we proceed down 
this path, we will find ourselves in precisely the same situation we 
found ourselves in with the border wall.
  Now, I also want to take issue with my friend a little bit about the 
9/11 issue and our friend Mr. Wilson's bill and my good friend in the 
chair's bill, as well. I just want to say, putting a bill, those things 
that are bipartisan, in a rule, it just literally means that our side 
is not going to vote for it. It would be the same if it were your side. 
You can say all you want. It was going to pass no matter what. So we 
don't think this was necessary.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Yarmuth). The time of the gentleman has 
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole).
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for the additional time, and 
I will be brief.
  So it is with a great deal of sorrow--not sorrow that I oppose the 
rule, because I think the rule needs to be much more open, much more 
inclusive, but I hope that we can get back, Mr. Speaker--and by 
rejecting this rule and rejecting the underlying legislation, we can--
to a bipartisan process where we produce a bipartisan National Defense 
Authorization Act.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge rejection of the rule and rejection of the 
underlying legislation.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I understand the frustration on the Republican side. They lost an 
election, and so they are not getting everything they want in terms of 
policy. Well, elections have consequences, and I will give you an 
  I oppose low-yield nuclear weapons, and I hope that that remains the 
policy, but we made an amendment in order that would allow them to 
reverse what was in the bill. I am going to fight to defeat it, but 
there will be a vote on that, and we will have to live with whatever 
the outcome is.
  The bottom line is that, if it doesn't turn out your way, it doesn't 
mean the process is somehow partisan. That is what happens when you win 
elections. You don't win on every policy debate that you decide to 
engage in.
  And let me just say one thing about the process and the procedure, 
because I think it is important for my colleagues on both sides of the 
aisle to have a little bit of a fact check here.
  Our friends like to point out the ratio of amendments, but that is a 
cherry-picked statistic that doesn't tell the whole story. To date, we 
have made in order more amendments, overall, than my Republican friends 
did when they were in charge. We have even made in order more minority 
amendments, to date, than the Republicans did last Congress.
  By this time in the 115th Congress, a total of only 140 amendments 
were made in order. Of those, 89 were minority amendments. This year, 
we have made a total of 1,280 amendments in

[[Page H5319]]

order. That is nine times as many amendments as my Republican friends 
made in order at the same point in the last Congress. And we have made 
in order 256 minority amendments this year, which is more than double 
the number of minority amendments the Republicans made in order at this 
point in the 115th Congress.
  You want to look at the statistics, there they are. And the bill that 
we are about to debate, we are making in order the most amendments, 
ever, of any bill brought to the floor.
  Now, I guess we could do better than that, but the bottom line is the 
most amendments, ever, are being made in order on this NDAA bill--and, 
by the way, on any bill; not just NDAA, on any bill.
  So I know it is frustrating to be in the minority. I was there not 
too long ago. I know it is frustrating not to win on every vote and to 
be able to rig every vote as my friends did when they were in charge, 
but the bottom line is, in this place, the majority, whoever has the 
most votes, wins. So in terms of the process, I think my friends 
protest too much.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Massachusetts 
(Mrs. Trahan), a member of the Armed Services Committee.
  Mrs. TRAHAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this year's 
National Defense Authorization Act. This bill addresses many critical 
components of our national defense, including the urgent need to tackle 
sexual assault across the United States military.
  Recent years have seen significant progress towards reforming how 
sexual assault claims are handled. Now it is time for Congress to 
confront the conditions that allow sexual assault to happen in the 
first place.
  We have an obligation to protect and safeguard those who answer the 
call to service and wear the uniform of the United States. It is not 
good enough merely to have the best training and equipment on the 
battlefield; we must also protect our soldiers on base or wherever they 
  This NDAA includes an amendment I coauthored that does just that by 
directing the Secretary of Defense to create a civilian advisory 
committee on sexual assault prevention in the military. This committee 
would be comprised of civilians with expertise in campus sexual assault 
prevention, suicide prevention, public health, and perhaps, most 
importantly, culture change of large organizations.
  We absolutely can make more meaningful progress to make military 
sexual assault a thing of the past. I am glad that opportunity is 
reflected in the NDAA before us now. I urge support of this bill.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I have become accustomed to your gentle 
gavel in the Budget Committee, and I appreciate its gentleness here on 
the floor, as well.
  I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Wilson), 
whose bill you have been so instrumental in, as well.
  Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from 
Georgia for yielding this time. I appreciate his leadership.

  H.R. 553, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, is a bipartisan 
bill with over 365 cosponsors. In fact, it is rare that a bill garners 
this many cosponsors and was amongst the first to reach the new 
threshold for mandatory consideration under the Consensus Calendar. I 
am grateful that colleagues on both sides of the aisle support this 
legislation to repeal the ``widow's tax.''
  Thank you to all of the surviving spouses and advocates who have 
worked diligently and tirelessly on this legislation. The bill would 
have been eligible for a vote this Friday.
  Instead, Democratic leadership has decided to specifically bar this 
bill from independent consideration and include it in the flawed, 
partisan NDAA. In fact, the rule for the NDAA specifically states:

       Rule XV of the Consensus Calendar shall not apply with 
     respect to H.R. 553.

  Democratic leadership has essentially said, if the NDAA does not 
pass, the widow's tax doesn't pass.
  Further, leadership has put this bill at risk of the conference with 
the Senate. Democratic leadership knows that it is not included in the 
Senate's version of the NDAA, and I am disappointed with the other 
  I even offered a bipartisan amendment with Chairman John Yarmuth to 
have this legislation be included in the NDAA, but they did not make 
that amendment in order. Instead, Democrats placed their own amendment 
in a partisan rule and are forcing the stand-alone bill to be barred 
from the Consensus Calendar.
  This is partisan politics at its worst. This is heartbreaking for the 
65,000 military widows who have worked tirelessly and very effectively 
to mobilize support behind the bill.
  At the peak of their hopes that this bill would pass the United 
States House of Representatives this week, leadership now has put the 
bill in jeopardy. Instead of supporting our military and the military 
families, including those who have died and sacrificed for this 
country, the majority has chosen to violate their own rules and put the 
bill in jeopardy. This tactic cheapens the efforts of these military 
widows by turning their real-world plight into a partisan tactic.
  A stand-alone bill in the Senate with over 365 House cosponsors would 
have had a better chance of passing and sent a clear and overwhelming 
message of support to these widows. Instead, we will be sending this 
over in a partisan bill, almost ensuring its demise in the Senate. This 
is a disservice to the widows who deserve better.
  I am grateful for Ranking Member Tom Cole, who argued against making 
H.R. 553 as part of this self-executing rule. He is right that this 
shortcuts the process and is politics at its worse.
  Our team followed the rules the Democrats set forth to have this 
overwhelmingly bipartisan piece of legislation set for a vote, and they 
decided to play partisan politics and remove it. Further, the Rules 
Committee failed to notify my staff and even failed to notify the 
community that would be most directly impacted by their actions: the 
widows who have worked tirelessly to generate support for H.R. 553.
  The community, inspired by veterans service organizations, gave all, 
and this Congress can't even follow its own rules. It is sad how the 
majority has undermined this important bill in the manner they have 
  Barring this bill from independent consideration is outright wrong, 
and I ask that each of my Democratic and Republican colleagues think 
long and hard about the implications of this parliamentary gimmick.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  I regret very much that the gentleman is going to vote against a 
measure to repeal the widow's tax, and I will just remind him again 
that, when his party was in control of the Congress, they did nothing 
on this--nothing--no hearing last session, not a thing.
  We had, in our rules package, this item called the Consensus Calendar 
that said that, when there are measures that have 290 cosponsors or 
more, where there is broad bipartisan support, that the Speaker will 
move the bill forward, and in this case, any way she wants to with 
moving it forward.
  The gentleman should be really happy, quite frankly, that it is 
attached to the NDAA bill because this is a must-pass piece of 
legislation. It will go to the Senate, and there will be a conference.
  I hope my Republican friends have some sway with the Republican 
leader over there, Mitch McConnell, and would urge him not to try to 
gut this provision from the final version of the bill. But it will go 
to conference, and the Senate will have to deal with it.
  The reason why I know this is a must-pass bill is because one of the 
amendments that is in order here is an amendment that was a request to 
the Rules Committee from Minority Leader McCarthy, an amendment to 
authorize funding to assist military installations recovering from 
earthquakes and other natural disasters. I don't think he would be 
wasting his time trying to put that in a bill that he thinks is going 
  This bill is going to the Senate, and then it is going to be up to my 
friends on the other side of the aisle to try to help join with us in 
convincing the Republican leadership in the Senate to stand with the 
House position on this.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania 
(Ms. Scanlon), a distinguished member of the Rules Committee.
  Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts 
for yielding, and I rise today in

[[Page H5320]]

strong support of the rule and underlying bill. I also want to thank 
Chairman Smith for his leadership on the bill and all the members of 
the Armed Services Committee for the work they put in to ensure that we 
have an NDAA that fully addresses the modern challenges facing our 
  This bill takes steps to address the threat of climate change, long 
identified by the DOD as a threat to national security, by requiring 
the Department to plan around climate vulnerabilities in future 
  This bill also protects military families. In addition to the widow's 
tax issue, it protects low-income servicemembers by bridging the gap 
for those who need SNAP assistance. It upgrades military housing and 
provides support for childcare and education for military families.
  It also promotes diversity in our Armed Forces by requiring DOD to 
issue a new diversity and inclusion strategy and address existing 
  This NDAA goes further to ensure that our Armed Forces are fully 
ready for the threats we face today and prepared for the threats we 
will face in the future.
  Of particular concern to my district is the CH-47 aircraft, better 
known as the Chinook. Like the residents of my district who proudly 
build these machines, the Chinook is a workhorse that can always be 
relied upon to get the job done, even in the toughest and most 
unforgiving of conditions. This bill makes it clear that Congress has 
no intention of abandoning this vital program.
  On top of being one of the most versatile and crucial aircraft in our 
Armed Forces, the Chinook program supports more than 20,000 jobs and 
200 suppliers in 38 States. I am pleased that this program is in the 
bill, and I look forward to supporting its passage.
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  You see the challenges that we are confronted with here. My friend 
from Massachusetts is telling my friend from South Carolina how my 
friend from South Carolina should get his bill to the United States 
Senate. There is no one who has worked harder on this issue than Mr. 
Wilson has. There is no one whose heart is in this issue more than Mr. 
Wilson's is.

                              {time}  1315

  I hope you listened carefully to his heartfelt words, because the key 
point that he made is that this really wonderful, bipartisan creation 
of the new Democratic majority, this Consensus Calendar, if we pass the 
rule today will be specifically turned off specifically for Mr. 
Wilson's bill.
  The new majority can play whatever partisan games they want to, I 
wish they wouldn't, but they can, with the underlying bill by stuffing 
in self-enacting amendments, by adding amendments after the fact, all 
the games that majorities sometimes play, but the new rules that you 
voted for, Madam Speaker, that my friend from Massachusetts brags about 
on his website, rightfully so, because there were important changes in 
those rules, the very first time we have an opportunity to utilize 
those rules, Mr. Wilson's bill was ripened for consideration before the 
House this week, it is not simply that folks have stolen his language 
and tucked it into this partisan underlying piece of legislation, they 
have specifically in the rule today prohibited him from availing 
himself, and by himself, I mean hundreds of our colleagues and 
thousands of widows that they represent, from availing themselves of 
the new tool created by the new House majority this year.
  I do not value the new majority's use of partisan tools in the NDAA, 
but I understand that is the right of a new majority.
  My friend from Massachusetts is exactly right. When you lose 
elections, losing elections has consequences, but when you pass rules, 
passing rules has consequences, too.
  I am going to be fascinated by what happens here in about an hour and 
a half when the members of the new majority are confronted with an 
opportunity to turn off the new bipartisan reforms they just codified 
in the House rules 6 months ago.
  This should have been a day of celebrating a positive new change from 
a new administration, and instead, it is a day of playing politics with 
families that have already given much too much to the United States of 
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, let me say for the Record, the widows 
were deprived in the last Congress when my Republican friends were in 
control. They did nothing.
  Madam Speaker, I commend Mr. Wilson and Mr. Yarmuth for their efforts 
on this and getting broad bipartisan support, but quite frankly, the 
Republican leadership failed in the last Congress. They didn't do 
anything, period.
  We are going to do something, and we are going to make the widows 
proud and we are going to move this legislation forward. I hope when we 
do, that we can all come together and join in a bipartisan moment where 
we can actually point to something concrete that will help these 
  Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. 
  Mr. WELCH. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, this rule makes in order an amendment that is of great 
consequence and urgency, and that amendment would require that before 
the President initiated any military action against Iran, he has to 
come to Congress and get approval through an Authorization for Use of 
Military Force.
  And make no mistake about it. That amendment is essential for our 
  What the President did on May 8 was that he tore up the Iran nuclear 
agreement, with no alternative in place. He says now his objective is a 
nonnuclear Iran.
  That is what we had. Our intelligence agencies confirmed that Iran 
was in compliance with that agreement.
  Instead, he has embarked on a policy that is bellicose in rhetoric 
and ineffective in outcome.
  He has torn up the agreement that was supported, not just by this 
Congress, but it was supported by our allies, including our frenemies 
Russia and China, and our good friends Britain, Germany, and France. 
Instead, he substituted it with the maximum pressure that has met 
maximum resistance, and what we see now is an enormous escalation in 
danger and in rhetoric.
  Madam Speaker, the most important decision that a President can make 
is to recommend whether we use the awesome force of our military, and 
the most important decision that Congress can make is whether to 
authorize the use of military force.
  Regrettably, we are operating on a stale authorization from 2001 that 
has nothing to do with present circumstances.
  It is on Congress if we, as Republicans and Democrats, given that 
awesome power, fail to be accountable by having that vote ``yes'' or 
``no'' on the authorization.
  The President's policy right now is escalating the likelihood of 
military confrontation with Iran. We must make certain that that cannot 
be done without a vote of this Congress and every Member in it.
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Madam Speaker, my friend from Massachusetts is right. We have made a 
lot of amendments in order in this bill today, but in the absence of an 
open rule, we are never able to consider all of the ideas.
  One of the ideas we have not had a chance to consider is whether or 
not we should be doing business through the Department of Defense with 
companies that have a direct or indirect subsidiary company that is 
under the control of the Chinese Government or the Communist Party.
  The ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, Mr. Thornberry, 
has such an amendment. If we defeat the previous question, Madam 
Speaker, I will offer that amendment, which does exactly that. It 
prohibits the Department of Defense from contracting with any company 
that is a direct or indirect subsidiary of a company in which the 
Chinese Government or the Chinese Communist Party has a controlling 

  Now, on the list of things I would put on the common bipartisan list 
of ideas,

[[Page H5321]]

not doing business with communist China would be one. We have seen that 
over and over again. We are in the midst right now of ripping out 
security cameras all across this country manufactured by the Chinese as 
a result of a prohibition in last year's National Defense Authorization 
  Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that my amendment be included 
immediately prior to the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Trahan). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Georgia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney).
  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Madam Speaker, I thank the 
gentleman for yielding and for his extraordinary leadership.
  Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this rule, which when 
passed will include my bill, the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act, into 
the NDAA.
  We are long overdue to guarantee Federal workers, 2 million working 
people, 12 weeks of annual paid leave to care for themselves and their 
families in time of need. This builds on the Family Medical Leave Act 
that had 12 weeks of unpaid leave. This provides 12 weeks of paid 
leave; which families desperately need.
  I painfully remember the birth of my first child and inquiring about 
family leave, I was told, ``There is no leave. Women just leave.''
  I said, ``I don't intend to leave. I have to work.''
  They said, ``We have no leave policy. You will be the first one to 
ever come back. Women are supposed to leave.''
  Well, this realizes that it takes two workers usually in a family 
just to make ends meet.
  It is well past time that our Nation truly honors families by 
offering this basic benefit for Federal workers.
  Additionally, this rule brings us one step closer to honoring our 
heroic first responders who risked their lives on
9/11 by allowing this Chamber to move forward with the passage of the 
Never Forget the Heroes Act, which fully funds and permanently 
reauthorizes the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.
  Madam Speaker, I include in the Record a listing of well over 54 
organizations, women's groups, and unions that are strongly in support 
of the Family Medical Leave Act.

                                                     July 9, 2019.
       Dear Member of Congress: We, the undersigned organizations, 
     urge you to co-sponsor the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act 
     (H.R. 1534), and cosponsor and vote for the Federal Employee 
     Paid Leave Act amendment to the National Defense 
     Authorization Act (Amendment 363 to H.R. 2500). The Federal 
     Employee Paid Leave Act would: provide 12 weeks of paid leave 
     for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a new child; 
     to care for a spouse, child or parent; for particular 
     military caregiving and leave purposes; and for personal 
     health reasons to federal workers who are eligible for job 
     protected, unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave 
     Act (FMLA).
       With more than 2 million employees, the federal government 
     is the nation's largest employer, yet provides no paid family 
     and medical leave. This leaves federal workers forced to 
     choose between a paycheck and caring for a loved one, a 
     newborn or themselves. The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act 
     would not provide employees with additional leave time; it 
     would simply ensure that federal employees can receive full 
     pay during their 12 weeks of FMLA leave.
       Paid leave would help not just federal employees, but the 
     entire federal government. With access to paid leave, many 
     individuals can remain in the workforce when they face 
     caregiving responsibilities. Women who take paid leave are 
     more likely to be working within a year after giving birth 
     than those who take no leave. Paid leave helps reduce 
     turnover, which is estimated to cost between 16 and 200 
     percent of a worker's annual salary.
       Providing paid leave to federal workers will help the 
     federal government retain key employees and attract the best 
     workers. The federal workforce is aging, creating a retention 
     and recruiting crisis. In 2017, the number of full-time 
     federal employees older than 50 years old was nearly eight 
     times the number under 30. An increase in satisfaction with 
     family-friendly policies has been shown to reduce turnover 
     intention by 37.5 percent in federal agencies. Further, paid 
     family and medical leave is key to the federal government's 
     competitiveness as more top companies introduce new or 
     expanded paid leave policies.
       Paid leave supports the health and well-being of employees 
     and their families. New mothers who take paid leave are more 
     likely to take the amount of time away from work recommended 
     by doctors, and their children are more likely to be 
     breastfed, receive medical check-ups and get critical 
     immunizations. When children are seriously ill, the presence 
     of a parent shortens a child's hospital stay by 31 percent; 
     active parental involvement in a child's hospital care may 
     head off future health problems, especially for children with 
     chronic health conditions, and thus reduce costs. Paid leave 
     also lets people help older family members recover from 
     serious illnesses, fulfill treatment plans, and avoid 
     complications and hospital readmissions. Paid leave is not 
     just good human resource management; it sends a message about 
     the value we place on family.
       There is a growing consensus across the country that paid 
     leave is a necessity. Seven states and the District of 
     Columbia have passed comprehensive paid family and medical 
     leave programs and dozens of municipalities across the 
     country guarantee paid leave to their employees. Millions of 
     workers have filed claims in the four states that have 
     implemented paid leave programs, and evidence shows that paid 
     leave benefits both employees and employers and has high 
     levels of public support--84 percent of voters support a 
     comprehensive paid family and medical leave policy that 
     covers all people who work.
       The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act would provide critical 
     support to federal employees when they need time to care--
     whether for themselves, their families, or a new child. We 
     urge you to stand with the more than two million federal 
     workers and their families by cosponsoring the Federal 
     Employee Paid Leave Act, and cosponsoring and voting for the 
     Federal Employee Paid Leave Act amendment in the National 
     Defense Authorization Act.
       1,000 Days, All-Options, American Association of University 
     Women (AAUW), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American 
     Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), American 
     Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), 
     American Foreign Service Association, American Psychiatric 
     Association Women's Caucus, The Arc of the United States, 
     Baby Cafe USA, Chicago Foundation for Women, Coalition of 
     Labor Union Women, Early Childhood Alliance, EMC Strategies, 
     FAA Managers Association, Family Voices, Federal Managers 
     Association (FMA).
       First Focus Campaign for Children, Food Chain Workers 
     Alliance, FreeFrom, Indiana Chapter of the American Academy 
     of Pediatrics, Indiana Institute for Working Families, 
     International Association of Fire Fighters, Justice in Aging, 
     Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Laundry Workers Center, Main 
     Street Alliance, Marion County Commission on Youth, Inc., 
     NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Active and Retired Federal 
     Employees Association (NARFE), National Council of Jewish 
     Women, National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), 
     National Health Law Program, National Institute for 
     Reproductive Health (NIRH).
       National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Military 
     Family Association, National Network of Abortion Funds, 
     National Partnership for Women & Families, National Treasury 
     Employees Union (NTEU), National Women's Health Network, 
     National Women's Law Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of 
     America, Senior Executives Association (SEA), Sexuality 
     Information and Education Council of the United States 
     (SIECUS), Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, 
     Street Vendors Association of Chicago, Union for Reform 
     Judaism, Voices for Progress, Women of Reform Judaism, 
     Women's Fund of Rhode Island, Women's Law Project, YWCA USA, 

  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Madam Speaker, we have a chance 
today not just to ensure a vital and talented Federal workforce going 
into the future, to make public service economically viable to a new 
generation, but also to ensure that we can set the standards for all 
workers across America.
  Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues to please vote today for this rule 
and the underlying bill.
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Pennsylvania (Ms. Houlahan).
  Ms. HOULAHAN. Madam Speaker, I rise to support the NDAA and the rule 
and the bipartisan work that went into it.
  Part of the reason I separated from the Air Force was from a lack of 
sufficient childcare options.
  People across our country are often forced to decide between building 
their careers and building their families, and, frankly, this is bad 
for our economy and for our country.
  We need to be working to ensure that we attract and retain the best 
possible talent for any and every job. Eighty-two percent of Americans 
believe our country should be providing this, and only 16 percent of us 
have it. And this should start at the top, at the Federal level.
  I cannot fathom a world where any person, regardless of party, would 
hesitate to understand the importance of

[[Page H5322]]

having the best and brightest people working in our government.
  Our legislation addresses this core issue. No one should have to 
choose between their family and career. The government should be 
leading by example, and today, this legislation allows us to 
effectively send a successful message to all workers: paid family leave 
is an investment in all of our families.
  For me, it is inspiring, and it is an inspiring moment when we see 
legislation being born from unlikely bedfellows: a concern for securing 
our supply chain of rare earths help fund the need for us to provide 
paid family leave to all Federal workers. This is the type of 
legislation my community in Pennsylvania expects from Congress, and I 
am very proud to introduce it today.
  Madam Speaker, I urge the support of the NDAA. I am very, very 
grateful for the support and work of Congresswoman Maloney in leading 
me to this and leading us to this.

                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, parliamentary inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Georgia will state his 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I am holding the Rules of the House here 
that say in rule XV, clause 7, paragraph (c), ``After a measure has 
maintained at least 290 cosponsors for a cumulative period of 25 
legislative days after the presentation of a motion under paragraph 
(b)(1), the measure shall be placed on the Consensus Calendar. Such 
measure shall remain on the Consensus Calendar until it is'' either 
``considered in the House; or'' . . . ``reported by the committee of 
primary jurisdiction.''
  Does tucking a measure into the underlying bill, as the self-enacting 
amendment does today, satisfy the (c)(1) requirement that it be 
considered in the House?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair will not respond to a hypothetical 
question or interpret the pending resolution.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, if the gentleman would yield to me, I am 
happy to respond to him.
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, the gentleman has only yielded me 30 
minutes, but I would be happy to reserve so that the gentleman can 
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself 20 seconds.
  Madam Speaker, I wrote the rule on this, and we intentionally left 
open how the process would proceed.
  We are considering this bill and, therefore, we don't need to 
consider it twice or three times or four times, and that is why we are 
shutting the process off.
  So we are complying with our rule. That was the intention when we 
wrote it, and we are keeping our word. We are breaking nothing. We are 
doing what we promised.
  So we are bringing this bipartisan bill to the floor, and, hopefully, 
it will go to the Senate and become law.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I would say to my friend from 
Massachusetts, I don't believe I have any further speakers remaining.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I have no additional speakers.
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Madam Speaker, I have enjoyed serving on the gentleman from 
Massachusetts' Rules Committee; I confess, not as much as I enjoyed 
serving on the gentleman from Texas' Rules Committee, but it is because 
when you are on the Rules Committee, there are nine members in the 
majority and four members in the minority.
  Now, we have talked a lot of math, a lot of votes, a lot of numbers 
today, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what 
happens when you serve on a committee where there are nine majority 
members and four minority members, and the answer is, what happens is 
you lose, and you lose a lot.
  That is the privilege of being in the majority. When the American 
people send a new Speaker and a new majority here, that new majority 
gets to craft the process however they want to.
  When we crafted the process when I was in the majority, we gave the 
minority more amendments than we gave the majority, and we did that 
because majorities have powers as committee chairmen. They don't have 
to put everything on the amendment calendar. They can tuck it into a 

                              {time}  1330

  As the roles have been reversed, again my friend from Massachusetts 
is making in order a record number of amendments today. He is making in 
order five times more Democratic amendments, folks who already have all 
the tools of power, than he is minority Republican amendments.
  Again, it is the power of the majority. They get to do that if they 
want to do that. Is it fair? Well, we didn't think so. That is why we 
did it differently. But if that is what the gentleman wants to do, he 
can do it.
  But to tuck a bipartisan measure--and I don't mean ``bipartisan'' 
because one Member signed onto it or two Members signed onto it; I mean 
``bipartisan'' because hundreds of Members signed onto it--into a 
measure that intentionally lifts one party up while putting its foot on 
the throat of amendments of the other party does not constitute 
bipartisanship by any stretch of the imagination.
  When my friend from Massachusetts was talking about the rules 
package--and he is the author of the rules package. I stipulate, no one 
knows more about the rules package than he does.
  His heart was in the right place when he added this new Consensus 
Calendar. He said this: ``It unrigs the rules so the people's House 
actually works for the people again. Americans demanded a new 
direction, and this rules package will immediately usher in a new era 
for this Congress.''
  We are 6 months later, Madam Speaker, and we heard from the author of 
the bill that is the subject of contention today. We heard from the 
author, the one who has gone out to do all the heavy lifting, do all 
the work to build all the bipartisanship--again, not one Member or two 
Members, but hundreds of Members. He said he wanted to avail himself of 
the Consensus Calendar to get a vote on the floor of the House, an 
unbiased, unrigged vote because, as my friend from Massachusetts said, 
the new rules package ``unrigs the rules.''
  Yet, before we have considered anything else on the Consensus 
Calendar this entire year--Mr. Wilson's bill is number one on that 
Consensus Calendar--we are confronted with a rule today that turns off 
the very provision that my friend from Massachusetts inserted in the 
House rules package to unrig the process.
  I don't question the motives of any Member of this institution, Madam 
Speaker, and partisan motives are fair game around here. We all wish 
that they weren't, but occasionally, they are.
  When my friend from Massachusetts says that he has done this, this 
unprecedented use of the Consensus Calendar and turning it off, he says 
he is doing it so that the bill has the best chance of passage in the 
Senate and becoming law by being signed on the President's desk. I take 
him at his word that he means exactly that.
  But I ask you, Madam Speaker, when the author of the bill, the one 
who has done all the work, not just for a week, not for a month, but 
for years to get this bill to a place where it can be considered by the 
Senate, why in the world would we not honor his request, his wish, his 
desire? Even if they are going to tuck it into this provision, why not 
allow the Consensus Calendar to take its course and get him the vote 
that he has worked so hard in a bipartisan way to achieve? If this 
isn't about partisan politics, why not give us two bites at making this 
the law of the land instead of just one?
  If my friend from Massachusetts is right, and when we take a separate 
vote on this bill on Friday, it just disappears into the ethos, then no 
harm, no foul. But if my friend is wrong and the partisan game that is 
being played today exacts a toll--and it is not a toll on us as Members 
of Congress, but it is a toll on the widows of the members of our Armed 
Forces--then we all know that is a game that has gone too far.
  I urge rejection of this rule. Defeat the previous question, allow 
our amendment, reject this rule, and allow the bipartisanship that this 
new majority offered and then enacted to come to fruition for the very 
first time.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

[[Page H5323]]


  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, how much time do I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Massachusetts has 3\1/2\ 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Madam Speaker, we are bringing forward legislation to repeal the 
widow's tax precisely because we have this rules change, this Consensus 
Calendar. We are bringing it forward, and it is going to be voted on.
  The Republicans, who have been in charge for 8 years previously, had 
done nothing in the last Congress to even hold a hearing, and we are 
being scolded that we are bringing forward this bill? Give me a break.
  In terms of amendments, we have made nine times as many amendments as 
my Republican friends made in order at the same point last Congress. We 
have made more minority amendments in order than they did in the same 
period in the last Congress. In fact, we have more than doubled the 
number of minority amendments.
  So, please, spare me the crocodile tears on the process.
  They ran this place in the most closed way possible. We are doing 
things differently, and we are proud of that.
  Madam Speaker, we have already made 439 amendments in order. That is 
the most for any bill ever. But Christmas is coming early this year, 
and we have two more. In a moment, I will be offering an amendment to 
the rule to make in order two additional amendments, one by 
Representative Dingell and one by Representative Jayapal.
  They will bring our total amendments to the bill to 441. That is a 
new record. We believe this is the most amendments ever made in order 
to a single bill.
  While this isn't technically an open rule, it is a pretty open rule.

                   Amendment Offered by Mr. McGovern

  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the resolution, add the following:
       Sec. 7. The amendments specified in Rules Committee Print 
     116-23 shall be considered as though printed in part B of 
     House Report 116-143.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Massachusetts is 
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, despite the fact that the gentleman 
refused to yield to me earlier, I am happy to yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Woodall) to respond to this.

                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I have a parliamentary inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his parliamentary 
  Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding. I am 
a little confused about what has happened, Madam Speaker. Are we about 
to begin a new hour of debate on a new amendment after we just finished 
the hour of debate on the underlying rule?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Massachusetts has been 
recognized under the hour rule.
  Mr. WOODALL. Under the new hour, Madam Speaker?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has been recognized under the 
hour rule on his amendment.
  Mr. WOODALL. Well, then I would ask my friend from Massachusetts--I 
only had 6 minutes to yield before, and I confess I did not yield any 
of them to my friend. The gentleman now has 60 minutes--could I ask for 
more than a minute of his time, the customary 30 minutes?
  Mr. McGOVERN. I reclaim my time, Madam Speaker. Enough.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this amendment. We are 
making the most amendments ever in order for any bill that has been 
brought to this House floor. This is a good process. The underlying 
bill--the National Defense Authorization Bill--increases pay for our 
troops, and, as I mentioned earlier, will help repeal the widow's tax. 
The 9/11 bill is also a part of this package. There is no reason, other 
than just pure partisanship, to want to oppose this, and if my friends 
want to oppose it, they can.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Woodall is as follows:

       At the end of the resolution, add the following:
       Sec. 7. Notwithstanding any other provision of this 
     resolution, the amendment printed in section 8 shall be in 
     order as though printed as the last amendment in part B of 
     the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this 
     resolution if offered by Representative Thornberry of Texas 
     or a designee. That amendment shall be debatable for 10 
     minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and 
     an opponent.
       Sec. 8. The amendment referred to in section 7 is as 
       At the end of subtitle G of title VIII, add the following 
     new section:

                   THE GOVERNMENT OF CHINA.

       (a) In General.--The Secretary of Defense may not enter 
     into a contract with a company that is a direct or indirect 
     subsidiary of a company in which the Government of China or 
     the Chinese Communist Party has a controlling interest to 
     acquire critical United States technologies.
       (b) Existing Contracts.--If the Secretary of Defense has 
     been notified that a contractor for an existing contract of 
     the Department of Defense is a direct or indirect subsidiary 
     of a company in which the Government of China or the Chinese 
     Communist Party has a controlling interest to acquire 
     critical United States technologies, the Secretary shall seek 
     to take action, as practicable, to terminate the contract.

  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and 
I move the previous question on the amendment and 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. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.