[Congressional Record Volume 165, Number 156 (Thursday, September 26, 2019)]
[Pages H7999-H8005]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. MORELLE. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I 
call up House Resolution 591 and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 591

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order to consider in the House the joint resolution (S.J. 
     Res. 54) relating to a national emergency declared by the 
     President on February 15, 2019. All points of order against 
     consideration of the joint resolution are waived. The joint 
     resolution shall be considered as read. All points of order 
     against provisions in the joint resolution are waived. The 
     previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint 
     resolution and on any amendment thereto to final passage 
     without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate 
     equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking 
     minority member of the Committee on Transportation and 
     Infrastructure; and (2) one motion to commit.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from New York is recognized 
for 1 hour.
  Mr. MORELLE. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the 
customary 30 minutes to the gentleman

[[Page H8000]]

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. MORELLE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members be 
given 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. MORELLE. Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, the Rules Committee met and 
reported a rule, House Resolution 591, providing for consideration of 
S.J. Res. 54, relating to a national emergency declared by the 
President on February 15, 2019, under a closed rule.
  The rule provides 1 hour of debate equally divided and controlled by 
the chair and ranking member of the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure and provides one motion to commit.
  Mr. Speaker, this joint resolution, pursuant to the National 
Emergencies Act, would terminate the national emergency declared by the 
President issued in July of this year. The same day that President 
Trump declared a state of emergency at our southern border, he, 
himself, said, ``I didn't need to do this.'' It is now clear that 
statement is true.
  The President used an authority commonly used for construction at 
military bases in foreign countries during a time of emergency. That 
authority is now being used to divert $3.6 billion away from needed 
military construction projects to build a wall that does not have the 
needed political support in the House and Senate to be funded through 
normal appropriations.
  This emergency declaration was a politically motivated power grab 
seeking to undermine congressional authority to oversee Federal 
  The executive cannot run roughshod over this constitutional principle 
when the President fails to gain enough support for his policies. And 
exaggerating the threat posed by asylum seekers at our border has not 
been a convincing argument.
  The American people have spoken. Over 60 percent of the public 
opposed this emergency declaration.
  What has been the result of the Presidential proclamation? Life 
safety violations and fire risks at dilapidated military facilities are 
going unaddressed. The Pentagon has been forced to defund billions of 
dollars from 127 different military construction projects around the 
Nation and the globe.
  In Portsmouth, Virginia, a warehouse has life-threatening conditions, 
but 330 servicemembers and civilian workers will continue to work in a 
building without enough fire exits and without a working fire alarm or 
sprinkler system. That doesn't seem to matter to President Trump, 
though. Fencing and barriers along the border are more important to our 
Commander in Chief.
  In Maryland, money is being diverted from a planned childcare 
facility to help soldiers balance their family commitments with their 
service to our country.
  In Kentucky, a middle school has lost out on $66 million in 
construction funding.
  In South Carolina, they won't be getting the fire station approved 
and funded by Congress.
  Our Armed Forces are also being denied a drone pilot training 
facility, a ballistic missile field, a submarine maintenance building, 
multiple training facilities, access improvements, and safety upgrades.
  In my home State of New York, a $160 million appropriation is being 
taken away from projects at the United States Military Academy at West 
Point, including a state-of-the-art engineering facility to support the 
Center for Innovation and Engineering.
  After being promised that Mexico would be paying for this wall, we 
are, instead, harming military readiness, safety, and innovation in 
response to a politically exaggerated threat.
  We, in Congress, have already done our job to put military 
construction dollars where they are needed most. Now it is time for 
Congress to do our duty again and prevent this overreach by the 
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote for this rule and for the 
underlying resolution, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from New York for yielding me the 
customary 30 minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, I am usually pretty excited to be down here on the House 
floor talking about the rule. It is always an opportunity to set the 
stage for what the House is getting ready to do, and this is a body 
that is filled with men and women who want to get something done. The 
honor that Mr. Morelle and I have to come down and always begin that 
conversation is a special one.
  Today, unfortunately, we are not coming down here to get new business 
done. We are coming down here on the exact same language that we have 
already considered this year, the exact same language that the House 
has already passed this year, the exact same language that the 
President has already vetoed this year, and absolutely no expectation 
that anything different is going to happen this time.
  Mr. Speaker, when we talk about emergencies, the irony is not lost on 
me that I do consider it to be an emergency when thousands upon 
thousands of unaccompanied children are crossing the southern border in 
need of housing, in need of healthcare, and in need of food, clothing, 
and care.
  I do consider it an emergency when we have a southern border that is 
porous, that is the transit point for drugs, for human trafficking, and 
for weapons trafficking. I do consider that an emergency.
  My friends on the other side of the aisle take issue with the 
President and his declaration of that emergency. Again, the irony is 
that we had an emergency meeting in the Rules Committee last night so 
that we could come down here and declare this a nonemergency.

  It is a bipartisan, bicameral goal to provide safety and security on 
every border of the United States of America. I would encourage my 
colleagues to take a look at what happened in this body yesterday.
  Again, I thank my friend from New York for his role in it on the 
Rules Committee. We brought a resolution to the floor with the rule 
that was going to demand the production of documents from the White 
House. When we considered that resolution in the Rules Committee, it 
was full of partisan accusation after partisan accusation after 
partisan accusation before it got down to a request for a document.
  That was going to come to the floor, and it was going to pass, but it 
was going to pass in a strictly partisan vote. I would argue that 
diminishes the institution and diminishes the cause that the majority 
was seeking.
  To the majority's credit, during consideration of the rule, they 
rescinded all of those whereases, took all the partisan material out of 
that resolution, brought the very same document request to the floor, 
and it passed unanimously.
  There is so much that we have in common, Mr. Speaker, that gets 
overshadowed by the partisan nonsense that occurs here day in and day 
  I want to ask my friends--and I regret that I didn't do it last night 
in the Rules Committee; I should have--to take a look at H.R. 1410.

                              {time}  1230

  H.R. 1410 is a bipartisan bill that does what I know we both want to 
do as Article I Members, and that has changed the language of the 
National Emergencies Act so that Congress does reclaim the power from 
the administration.
  Today, as you know, Mr. Speaker, the President gets to decide what is 
an emergency. We delegated that authority to him. Right or wrong, the 
Congress--not this Congress, but a previous Congress--delegated that 
  Mr. Reed from New York, again, in a bipartisan way, introduced 
language in February of this year, as this was unfolding the first 
time, to say let's fix this language once and for all. Let's not have 
ourselves in a partisan debate on the House floor about whether we like 
what one President or another did. Let's reclaim Article I's power and 
decide that no President is going to be able to disburse funds as he or 
she seats fit, that Congress is going to reclaim that responsibility.

[[Page H8001]]

  To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1410 has not moved 
through committee. It certainly has not been considered by the Rules 
Committee, and it certainly is not headed to this floor.
  We have a choice, Mr. Speaker. We can continue to find things to 
argue about, or we can unite around those things that we all know to be 
  I don't disagree with my friends on the other side of the aisle who 
want to reclaim Article I's authority. I share that goal, support that 
goal, and would gladly apply my vote to that goal.
  What I do disagree with is a Congress that has failed to create a 
functioning budget process--that is functioning by continuing 
resolution now through November--and, instead of responding to what I 
think are very legitimate requests from this White House for additional 
resources on the southern border, has chosen again to bring a bill that 
may well pass this House but will not be signed by the President and 
will not impact the future goings on in this government, as I know we 
all want to do.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MORELLE. I yield myself such time as I may consume, and thank my 
colleague. Let me just point out, I will admit, when I arrived here in 
November, having been elected in a special election, I was somewhat 
curious that--I think the last emergency meeting of the Rules Committee 
in the 115th Congress, the last one dealt with cheese curds. So I am 
not exactly sure how my friend and colleague defines emergencies.
  What I do know is that this section of the National Emergencies Act, 
really, was constructed to help the President and the country deal with 
emergencies that arise before the Congress can act, but it is not 
intended to overrule congressional action. The Congress did act on this 
issue--there can be no question about that--during the last 
appropriations process.
  The other thing that the gentleman mentions, which I do want to make 
clear, is the reason that we are doing this now, it is different. 
Perhaps the resolution is not different, but we now have a complete 
list of all of the projects that are now being defunded in order to 
move dollars over to the wall.
  I would also just point out that, not only was the original 
resolution bipartisan in the Senate, but the resolution which passed 
within the last few days had 11 Republican Senators support it. I think 
one was unavailable who had supported it in the past and indicated that 
he would continue to support the resolution. So it is bipartisan.
  This is truly the act of Congress. I know that my friend and 
colleague is well-associated with Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the 
United States Constitution: ``No money shall be drawn from the 
Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law. . . .''
  So we are bound, and the Congress has acted. The Congress made the 
decision not to fund this. The President is using powers in a way that 
were not intended and diverting dollars away from much-needed, 
necessary projects that enhance our military readiness.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am not certain that I disagree with my friend from New 
York about the language being used as it was intended; what I am 
certain about is the language is being used as it is written. It is 
incumbent upon this Congress, if we don't like the way the laws were 
drafted--that we drafted--that we go back and we change those laws.
  As the Speaker well knows, yesterday, we dealt with marijuana on the 
floor of the House. We didn't decide we were going to repeal the 
schedule I classification of marijuana. We just decided that, for those 
States that were ignoring Federal law, we were going to let them ignore 
more Federal law, too, and go ahead and get involved in the banking 
system as well.
  It is lost upon me why it is that this body has concluded that, 
rather than changing things we don't like, we should just ignore those 
things or complain about those things. It is the United States 
Congress, and we have an opportunity to do things. We weren't elected 
to talk about it. We were elected to get it done, and I know my friend 
from New York shares that same passion.
  Mr. Speaker, if we defeat the previous question today, we will have 
an opportunity to get something done together. If we defeat the 
previous question, I will bring up an amendment to the rule to make in 
order debate on S. 820, the Debbie Smith Act of 2019.
  Mr. Speaker, as you know, this authorization language is set to 
expire at the end of this month, and it provides Federal grants to 
States to reduce the DNA backlog in criminal investigations.
  You don't have to turn on two news stations in your district, Mr. 
Speaker, just turn on one. You will see the impact of what going back 
and testing that DNA using technologies that are available today that 
were not available years ago has meant, particularly in rape and sexual 
assault cases.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my 
amendment in the Record, along with extraneous materials, immediately 
prior to the vote on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Georgia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, we have subject matter experts and almost 
everything in this institution, Mr. Speaker, and I would like to yield 
to one of our passionate advocates and experts on this issue. I yield 5 
minutes to the gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. Wagner).
  Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend, the gentleman 
from Georgia (Mr. Woodall), for his tremendous service and for yielding 
to me this time to talk about this very pressing and important issue.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to defeat the 
previous question so that the House of Representatives can finally 
debate and vote on the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act.
  While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle play partisan 
games on border security and impeachment, critical programs authorizing 
the testing of DNA evidence across the country are set to expire in 
just 4 days, on September 30.
  Along with my colleague Carolyn Maloney, I introduced and am the lead 
Republican sponsor on the Debbie Smith Act, with the support of the 
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.
  Debbie Smith programs provide funding to crime labs to process DNA 
evidence and strengthen the national DNA database that provides justice 
to victims.
  The legislation requires that States like mine, Missouri, create 
plans for the reduction of backlogs and the testing of rape kits and 
other DNA evidence.
  Since this program was created on a bipartisan basis, nearly 200,000 
DNA matches have been made in criminal cases, since 2005, providing 
justice to the victims in cases that may otherwise have gone unsolved. 
The number of DNA samples collected is skyrocketing, sadly, and we need 
the Debbie Smith programs now more than ever.
  The Senate has already unanimously sent their version of the 
legislation over to the House, but House leadership continues to refuse 
to bring it to the floor. This, Mr. Speaker, is unconscionable.
  Every Member of the House Republican Conference is demanding that we 
bring the Debbie Smith Act to the floor, but our pleas for justice for 
victims of sexual violence are being ignored.
  Mr. Speaker, I beg of my colleagues to please join me in defeating 
the previous question and urge House leadership to put politics aside 
and reauthorize these critical programs to convict dangerous predators 
and help end sexual violence in our country.
  Mr. MORELLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, this is nothing more than smoke 
and mirrors. The bipartisan Debbie Smith Act was included in the 
Violence Against Women Act that was supported by this House and was 
funded in the CR which we just enacted, which I was proud to support. I 
am not sure all Members voted for the CR, but I did, and the funding 
for the Debbie Smith Act is included in that.
  Obviously, to suggest that this majority in this House is not 
interested in supporting women and women who are victims of violence, 
is, frankly, reprehensible.

[[Page H8002]]

  But let me move back to the rule of law, which is what we are 
actually debating here, and it relates to our authority under the 
Emergency Powers Act.
  I do want to note, to Mr. Woodall's point, we are not adding new law. 
This is a resolution, which is clearly a provision in the National 
Emergencies Act that allows the Congress to make the point that the 
emergency, if it ever existed, no longer exists and this funding is 
inappropriate, this shift of funding.
  This is, again, a simple resolution passed by the Senate, and it 
indicates that, in our view, the congressional authority is where the 
appropriations process lies. It is articulated well in the 
Constitution, and the Congress has acted, has acted before and will act 
  The projects that are necessary for military construction around the 
globe and throughout the United States are vital, and support of this 
resolution and the rule would be something that I would think Mr. 
Woodall and Members of the House would agree to.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, again, I enjoy working with the gentleman from New York. 
When I think about folks who are able to work across the aisle to get 
things done around here, the gentleman from New York is up at the top 
of that list.
  If you have not tuned into the Rules Committee, Mr. Speaker, number 
one, shame on you. It is a vibrant discussion. It happens every Monday 
at 5 o'clock, at least once, if not twice, at least for an hour, if not 
for 5 or 6. It is rare that Mr. Morelle is questioning witnesses up 
there that I don't learn something new, that I don't gain from his 
  He is absolutely right when he talks about the resolution that the 
Rules Committee is trying to send to the floor being a bipartisan 
resolution. When it passed the United States Senate, there were 11 
Republicans who supported it along with all of the Democrats.
  What Mrs. Wagner is proposing that we replace it with isn't something 
that was passed by just 11 bipartisan votes; it is something that was 
passed unanimously, Mr. Speaker.
  It is true what my friend from New York says; we included this 
language in the VAWA bill that passed the House earlier. That was a 
partisan exercise, too. That bill hasn't moved through the United 
States Senate.
  In contrast to decades of reauthorizations here, Mr. Speaker, where 
this DNA testing authorization passes as a standalone bill with broad, 
bipartisan support, this Congress, this year, for reasons unbeknownst 
to me, decided to play a political game with it.
  What Mrs. Wagner is offering us the opportunity to do is to bring a 
bill that passed unanimously in the United States Senate to the House 
floor, where it can pass unanimously here, too.
  Again, my friend from New York is right. What this Congress has done 
is provide funding for this bill all the way through the month of 
November--not the entire month of November, but 3 weeks in November. 
That is absolutely true that Congress has done this important work for 
at least a month and a half.
  What Mrs. Wagner is offering us the opportunity to do is do this 
important work for another 5 years, which I know my friends on the 
other side want to do.
  To speak on this issue, I told my friend from New York that I didn't 
have any speakers on the underlying bill. It is true. I expect that to 
be another partisan exercise. But on this language, Mr. Speaker, I do 
have another speaker.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from North Dakota 
(Mr. Armstrong), one of our new Members, if he is willing.
  Mr. ARMSTRONG. Mr. Speaker, I understand how CRs work, but also the 
set-asides go away. We have a standalone bill from the Senate right 
now. We could put it on the Consent Calendar.
  Just to give a little history, the Debbie Smith Act originally passed 
in 2004, and in 2008, under Democrat control, the House passed the 
reauthorization under a suspension of the rules by voice vote. The 
Senate, which was under Republican control, passed the bill with an 
amendment by unanimous consent. The House subsequently passed the 
Senate amendment version, and it was signed into law by George W. Bush.

                              {time}  1245

  In 2014 under Republican control, the House passed the bill under 
suspension by voice vote. The Democratic-controlled Senate passed it 
under unanimous consent. It was signed by President Barack Obama.
  So the question is: Why can't we take a standalone bill?
  Why, all of a sudden, in this Congress did it need to be part of a 
larger bill that turns into partisan gamesmanship and a fight between 
the two Chambers and the two parties?
  In 2017 there were approximately 136,000 rapes. Only four in ten 
rapes even go reported. That is actually an improvement. Not so many 
years ago it was only two in ten. Mr. Speaker, 90,671 of those rapes 
are unsolved. Many of them are never charged. Out of every 1,000 sexual 
assaults, 995 perpetrators will go unpunished.
  Just earlier this week I sat in the Rules Committee, and we argued on 
the repeal of forced arbitration. By the way, I agree with my 
Democratic colleagues. Sexual assault should never be forced into 
arbitration. But if we are going to make the argument of forced 
arbitration and deal with that in a civil proceeding or an employment 
proceeding or those types of issues, clearly, we can all agree that the 
single best way to put violent sexual predators behind bars in jail and 
in prison is with DNA testing.
  Mr. Speaker, I said it yesterday, and I will say it again: You have 
the best ability to convict criminals--the worst kind of criminals--and 
you have the ability to do it without revictimizing the victim through 
a criminal process, through a deposition, through a jury trial. Many of 
the reasons these crimes go unreported or unconvicted, particularly 
child victims of sexual abuse, are because of the trauma associated 
with a criminal proceeding.
  Do you know what happens in a criminal proceeding with DNA evidence?
  You get guilty pleas, because you can't beat the evidence.
  So conservative estimates say that the number of rape kits is around 
170,000 which are untested. Every single one of those kits represents a 
human being, and it is somebody's mother, sister, daughter, or 
granddaughter. That person has gone through a horrible, terrible, and 
grotesque trauma, and they deserve justice.
  This is easy. This is easy to do. We could do it today. We could do 
it tomorrow before we go home. But here's the deal: it expires in 14 
days, and while we are gone for 2 weeks in recess, 5,000 more rapes 
will be committed.
  Mr. MORELLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge I am a bit of a football fan--not much of 
an expert, but a fan--and I know that from time to time a play will be 
called and a quarterback will follow all the offensive line moving to 
the right of the field and follow behind them and appear to be handing 
the ball off to a running back behind the offensive line, but actually 
the quarterback has the ball, turns around, and goes the other way. It 
is called misdirection. And that is what is happening on the floor, as 
we speak.
  I understand why my colleagues don't want to talk about the 
President's actions. I understand why the Members on the other side 
don't want to talk about actions that we consider to be considerably 
outside what was intended by the national emergency powers given to the 
President. So I would like to get back, if I may, though, to the issue 
at hand.
  I want to just read something.
  ``We will vote on a resolution to reverse the President's ill-advised 
national emergency declaration that funds the construction of a border 
wall using money that Congress has appropriated and the President has 
signed into law for other purposes, such as military construction. . . 
  ``By declaring a national emergency, the President's action comes 
into direct conflict with Congress' authority to determine the 
appropriation of funds--a power vested in Congress by the Framers of 
our Constitution in Article I, Section IX. That is why this

[[Page H8003]]

issue is not about strengthening our border security, a goal that I 
support and have voted to advance. Rather, Mr. President, it is a 
solemn occasion involving whether or not this body will stand up for 
its institutional prerogatives and will support the separation of 
powers enshrined in our Constitution.
  ``Throughout our history, the courts have consistently held that, 
`Only Congress is empowered by the Constitution to adopt laws directing 
moneys to be spent from the U.S. Treasury.'
  ``For the past 65 years, the courts have determined the boundaries of 
Presidential authority, vis-a-vis Congress, under the doctrine of 
Youngstown Steel Sheet & Tubing, the 1952 Supreme Court case which 
reversed President Truman's seizure of U.S. steel companies during the 
Korean war. As Justice Robert Jackson explained in his profoundly 
influential concurrence in that case, the question of whether a 
President's actions are constitutionally valid should be determined by 
examining the source of the President's authority, and in this 
concurrence, the Justice goes through three scenarios in which he 
assesses the President's power.
  ``According to Justice Jackson, when acts taken by the President are 
against the express or implied will of Congress, the President's power 
is at its lowest ebb. Mr. President, President Trump's declaration 
clearly falls in that category.
  ``Now, the President rests his declaration on the National 
Emergencies Act, and that act fails to define precisely what 
constitutes an emergency, but there is a commonsense rule that we can 
apply. It is a five-part test that was used by the Office of Management 
and Budget under former President George Herbert Walker Bush to 
determine whether or not requested funding merited an emergency 
designation under our budget rules. Under that test, a spending request 
was designated as an emergency only if the need for spending met a 
five-part test. It had to be necessary, sudden, urgent, unforeseen, and 
not permanent. Now, whether or not one agrees with President Trump that 
more should be done to secure our southern border--and I do agree with 
him on that goal--his decision to fund a border wall through a national 
emergency declaration would never pass all of this five-part test.

  ``Another concern that I have with the President's declaration is 
that it shifts funding away from critical military construction 
projects. We don't know which ones. We have not been able to get a 
list, but this could have very real national security implications. 
And, again, I would note that the military construction appropriations 
bill incorporated projects recommended by the President and his 
Department of Defense, was passed by both bodies and signed into law by 
the President.
  ``Let me emphasize once again that the question presented by this 
resolution is not whether you are for a border wall or against a border 
wall. It is not whether you believe that border security should be 
strengthened or whether it is sufficient. It is not whether or not we 
support or oppose President Trump. Rather, the question is a far more 
fundamental and significant one. The question is this: Do we want the 
executive branch now or in the future to hold the power of the purse--a 
power that the Framers deliberately entrusted to Congress?
  ``We must stand up and defend Congress' institutional powers as the 
Framers intended that we would, even when doing so is inconvenient or 
goes against the outcome that we might prefer.
  ``I urge my colleagues to support the resolution of disapproval and 
our Constitution.''
  Now, some might think that was authored by a Democrat, but it was 
not. Senator Susan Collins of Maine issued that back in March of 2019 
when we considered the resolution for the first time, and, frankly, she 
is far more eloquent than I.
  I think I will let it stand at that, Mr. Speaker, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I know my friend from Maine to be an eloquent speaker. I thought that 
was classic Morelle there. It sounded exactly like what I would have 
expected my friend to say.
  As you would imagine, Mr. Speaker, I don't disagree with Senator 
Collins, and I don't disagree with Mr. Morelle. That is just not what 
this resolution does.
  Whenever anybody starts talking about constitutional law--that is why 
I thought it was classic Morelle, Mr. Speaker, because he knows how 
much the law gets me going. He is not a lawyer and makes that point 
regularly in the Rules Committee, but I am, and when we start talking 
about the foundation of self-governance in this country I get excited.
  But this isn't a resolution about a constitutional question, Mr. 
Speaker. Read this resolution: Pursuant to section 202 of the National 
Emergencies Act--that is the act that this Congress passed in a 
previous Congress and a previous President signed--the national 
emergency declared by the finding of the President on February 15 is 
hereby terminated.
  That is exactly one of the procedures that can be used--one of 
three--to end a Presidential declaration of emergency. What we are 
doing here today has nothing to do with reclaiming powers of Article I. 
We are just following the law that folks already wrote. We are just 
following the law that folks already have said is insufficient.
  If you believe this law is insufficient, as I do, Mr. Speaker, and as 
I know the majority does, H.R. 1410 is the bill to bring to the floor 
to reclaim our power that we delegated away.
  If you believe it is unconstitutional, the Court is the place to go 
and reclaim that power.
  This resolution simply says we disagree. It is the same one we passed 
earlier this year. It is the same one the President vetoed earlier this 
year. And we are going to have that same conversation again.
  I pledge to my friend on the other side of the aisle, when we get 
ready to reclaim constitutional power, count me in. I told my friend 
that in the Rules Committee 2 days ago that I wanted to support Article 
1 over Article 2. I cast that vote yesterday. I will cast that vote 
again tomorrow.
  But, Mr. Speaker, what my amendment will do if we defeat the previous 
question is in no way a partisan exercise. It is in no way a divisive 
exercise. It is not even the subject of disagreement passing 
unanimously out of the United States Senate and historically passing 
unanimously out of this House. As my good friend from North Dakota 
described, it has been passed by Republican Congresses and signed by 
Democratic Presidents; it has been passed by Democratic Congresses and 
signed by Republican Presidents.
  We do not disagree on the need to provide these dollars to those 
communities to reduce that DNA backlog. I don't understand why since 
May of this year when the Senate passed it unanimously this House has 
failed to take it up at all.
  Instead of spending our time taking up a bill that was unanimously 
passed by the Senate and never considered here in the House, we are 
using our time to take up a bill that has already been passed by the 
House once and vetoed by the President once, so that we can pass it by 
the House again and have it vetoed by the President again.
  I get the headlines. I understand what the press releases look like. 
I watch the Twitter feeds. I see the Facebook posts. I get the 
communications narrative of ``look at us and look what we are doing.'' 
I just grow weary of it, as I know my friends on other side of the 
aisle do, too.
  I am ready to be out of the business of ``look at what I am saying.'' 
I am ready to get out of the business of ``look at what I am passing.'' 
I am ready to get into the business of ``look at what we are doing 
together that is getting signed into law and actually making a 
  S.J. Res. 54 won't fall into that category. It didn't in the spring, 
and it doesn't today.

  But DNA testing does, Mr. Speaker. I urge my colleagues to think 
about what our choices are today: go down the same road we have been 
down already and do nothing. Or go down a road that we have traveled in 
a bipartisan way in every single authorization going back decades, and 
let's repeat that success together today.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MORELLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

[[Page H8004]]

  Mr. Speaker, I don't disagree with my colleague that we all grow 
weary. I never do of spending time with him on the floor. I just want 
to acknowledge that.
  I would say a couple of things, because there is a lot to unpack 
here. But fundamentally this resolution should--I think he read it--say 
that, Pursuant to the National Emergencies Act, the emergency 
declaration finding is hereby terminated. That is actually in the law.
  What we are doing in this resolution that was already passed by the 
Senate and it, hopefully, will pass--not only the rule, but the 
underlying resolution as well--and do exactly what the law does. There 
is no need to change the law.
  We may disagree, and obviously we do, about whether or not the 
President's use of the provisions violates the Constitution. I say, 
yes, my learned colleague differs, but what is clear is we are using 
this within the context of the existing law, and so that is why we are 
  I think the one difference, however--and I apologize, I have to put 
my eyeglasses on to see this fine print--but one of the differences 
that I note is--and I may have noted this earlier, I apologize if I am 
repeating myself--but we now have a specific list of projects. So when 
I look at, for instance, in Virginia the Joint Base Langley-Eustis in 
January of 2020 is expected to have dollars for the construction of a 
cyber-ops facility. That is money that is being redirected.
  If you look at in Oregon, Klamath Falls, replacing fuel facilities at 
the base there. If you look at--I mentioned the child development 
center, I believe. In Florida the Fire/Crash Rescue Station at Tyndale 
Air Force Base. The list goes on and on.
  We now have more evidence of the fact that these projects are vitally 
needed by the military and by members of our Armed Forces and advance 
the security interests of the people of the United States and around 
the world.
  So we have details now of, in my view, what amounts to an 
unconstitutional move of dollars without congressional approval. We 
have that. We are acting, once again, in conjunction with our 
colleagues in the Senate to end the national emergency declaration by 
the President. While we might agree or disagree as to whether or not 
that is really an emergency, and we might disagree or agree on whether 
or not the use by the President of the act in the way he did is 
  What is incontrovertible is that the current law allows us to do what 
we are doing today to end the emergency, and that is really the 
question before us.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1300

  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to close, and I yield myself 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, it pleases me to see you in the chair. It has been a 
Northwestern day so far, but the State of Washington has a proud 
tradition on the Rules Committee.
  A lot of folks don't understand what the Rules Committee does up 
there. If you look over here on this side of the aisle, Mr. Speaker, it 
looks like a representative sample of most of the Congress, but, 
really, it is a lot of folks with some Rules Committee passion. You 
can't get to the House floor without going through the Rules Committee.
  As I think back on folks who have served, I certainly think about Doc 
Hastings as being in that category that labored on the Rules Committee 
year after year.
  Mr. Newhouse labored on the Rules Committee, and I appreciate him 
being down here to bring us to a close.
  It is important what we do on the Rules Committee. We bring two kinds 
of bills to this floor, Mr. Speaker.
  We bring things that are worked through the process. They are 
collaborative; they are agreeable. We get everybody on board, and we 
bring those under the suspension calendar. That is that calendar for 
things that we have already sorted out.
  Then there are those bills that we hadn't quite sorted out, those 
things that might be a little controversial. In fact, when we bring a 
rule to the floor, almost every rule vote is an entirely partisan vote 
because of disagreements about the way the underlying process was 
  I have an amendment and a motion in a defeating of the previous 
question and amending the rule that has passed this House through that 
suspension process, through that collaborative process, that is 
undisputed in the way that it is going to help families and communities 
across this community--again, passed the Senate unanimously in May of 
this year.
  In the alternative, we are going to bring a resolution that has 
already passed this institution, only to be vetoed. It will pass this 
institution again, only to be vetoed.
  We often talk about how many legislative days we have left on the 
calendar. We often talk about what it is that we can get done together. 
In fact, I just came from a hearing on civility in the Select Committee 
on the Modernization of Congress with folks bemoaning how partisanship 
gets in the way of productivity.
  Candidly, I don't see that in most of my day. The men and women on 
both sides of the aisle that I have the honor of working with day in 
and day out, Mr. Speaker, prioritize productivity over partisanship 
across the board.
  But as the gentleman from New York (Mr. Morelle), my friend, observed 
in his football analogy, there is a quarterback who calls the plays in 
this institution. That quarterback calls the plays, and one team runs 
with the quarterback, and the other team runs against them.
  This happened for decade upon decade upon decade. Occasionally, Mr. 
Speaker, we have an opportunity to get outside of that ``who is going 
to score, who is going to win, who is going to lose.'' We have an 
opportunity for us all to win, for us all to win.
  Support the previous question today, and we are going to have another 
opportunity for one side to claim victory, one side to claim defeat, 
and nothing to get done for the American people. But defeat the 
previous question, have my amendment added to the rule, and then pass 
that rule, and we have an opportunity to do something that I say with 
no doubt every single Member of this institution believes needs to be 
  The choice is with the Members as they vote here in just a few 
minutes. Defeat this previous question, and then let's pass the rule.
  In the absence of that, Mr. Speaker, if the previous question is not 
defeated, then we are going to have to defeat this rule, lest we go 
through the same partisan exercise that this House has already gone 
through time and time again this year.
  Mr. Speaker, I again thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Morelle), 
my friend, both for his friendship and for his mentorship. He says he 
never gets tired of visiting with me on the House floor, Mr. Speaker, 
but inevitably, he only yields me 30 minutes and keeps the rest of the 
time for himself. I don't fault him for that. I am actually grateful 
for that.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MORELLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  First of all, I should note that I probably shouldn't get into a 
football argument with the distinguished gentleman from Georgia, with 
its long history of that sport. I also shouldn't do it because if my 
wife is watching, she will be very unhappy that I used a sports 
analogy, which she decidedly does not like.
  But just to torture the analogy a little more, because Mr. Woodall 
raised it, misdirection does have a quarterback, but the whole point is 
to fool the opposition.
  I think that is what, frankly, some of my colleagues here today were 
trying to do, is to fool the American public about what this resolution 
before us is all about. I think that is unfortunate because the 
resolution on the floor is critically important.
  Before I close, I want to compliment my friend. I do enjoy this. I 
know this is a serious topic--and no one should see it as anything 
else--but I always appreciate his passion, his intellect, his 
eloquence. It is always a joy to be with him in the Rules Committee and 
here on the floor, and I so appreciate that.
  Mr. Speaker, I do want to thank all of my colleagues in the Rules 
Committee for their support of S.J. Res. 54, relating to a national 
emergency declared by the President on February 15,

[[Page H8005]]

2019, and I urge a ``yes'' vote on the rule and a ``yes'' vote on the 
previous question.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Woodall is as follows:
       At the end of the resolution, add the following:
       Sec. 2. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution, the 
     House shall proceed to the consideration in the House of the 
     bill (S. 820) to strengthen programs authorized under the 
     Debbie Smith Act of 2004. All points of order against 
     consideration of the bill are waived. The bill shall be 
     considered as read. All points of order against provisions in 
     the bill are waived. The previous question shall be 
     considered as ordered on the bill and on any amendment 
     thereto to final passage without intervening motion except: 
     (1) one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the 
     chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on the 
     Judiciary; and (2) one motion to recommit.
       Sec. 3. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of S. 820.

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