[Congressional Record Volume 168, Number 46 (Tuesday, March 15, 2022)]
[House]
[Pages H3729-H3731]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   DESIGNATION OF EL PASO COMMUNITY HEALING GARDEN NATIONAL MEMORIAL

  Mr. GRIJALVA. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 4380) to designate the El Paso Community Healing Garden 
National Memorial, and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 4380

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. DESIGNATION OF EL PASO COMMUNITY HEALING GARDEN 
                   NATIONAL MEMORIAL.

       (a) Designation.--The Healing Garden located at 6900 Delta 
     Drive, El Paso, Texas, is designated as the ``El Paso 
     Community Healing Garden National Memorial''.
       (b) Effect of Designation.--The national memorial 
     designated by this section is not a unit of the National Park 
     System and the designation of the El Paso Community Healing 
     Garden National Memorial shall not require or authorize 
     Federal funds to be expended for any purpose related to that 
     national memorial.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Grijalva) and the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Westerman) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Arizona.


                             General Leave

  Mr. GRIJALVA. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on the measure under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Arizona?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4380, a bill to designate 
the El Paso Community Healing Garden National Memorial, introduced by 
my colleague, Representative Veronica Escobar.
  On August 3, 2019, El Paso, Texas, was the target of a horrific 
domestic terrorist attack that took 23 lives, injured another 23 
people, and devastated communities across the Nation.
  The mass shooting occurred at a Walmart Supercenter on the east side 
of El Paso and is arguably the deadliest targeted attack against 
Latinos in modern American history.
  Following the attack, the county of El Paso approved the construction 
of the El Paso Community Healing Garden to provide the community with a 
space to honor victims and survivors and to heal.
  My heart goes out to all the victims of this horrific attack. While I 
know there is nothing we can do to turn back the clock, I hope that our 
efforts to recognize this site as a national memorial will help bring 
some solace and healing to the community.
  Madam Speaker, I thank Representative Escobar for championing this 
bill, and I urge my colleagues to support it.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Madam Speaker, along with Chairman Grijalva, I rise in support of 
H.R. 4380, which would designate the El Paso Healing Garden in El Paso, 
Texas, as a national memorial.
  On August 3, 2019, 23 people tragically lost their lives and more 
than 20 were injured when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso. 
In 2020, the county of El Paso approved the construction of the El Paso 
Community Healing Garden to provide a space to honor victims and 
survivors and aid in the healing process.
  I hope that the El Paso Healing Garden will continue to bring peace 
and comfort to the families who lost loved ones in this senseless and 
horrific attack.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this measure, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Madam Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to 
the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Escobar), the sponsor of the 
legislation.
  Ms. ESCOBAR. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong and enthusiastic 
support of my bill, H.R. 4380, the El Paso Community Healing Garden 
National Memorial Act.
  My bill will designate the El Paso Healing Garden at Ascarate Park in 
El Paso, Texas, as a national memorial, and help ensure that our entire 
country honors the 23 innocent lives we lost in

[[Page H3730]]

the attack on El Paso on August 3, 2019.
  I rise today for my legislation, but I also rise in memory of the 23 
souls who were killed by a domestic terrorist. I rise for the 22 other 
victims who were injured in the attack. I rise for their loved ones--
their families, friends, and for an entire community rocked by white 
supremacy.
  On the morning of August 3, 2019, a 21-year-old gunman drove more 
than 11 hours and hundreds of miles to get to El Paso. He used an AK-47 
and opened fire at a busy Walmart while families were shopping for 
groceries, getting their prescriptions filled, and buying school 
supplies for their children. He killed couples, grandparents, siblings, 
brand new parents. His youngest victim was just 15 years old. It was 
the deadliest targeted attack on Latinos in modern American history.
  The weapon he used wasn't just intended to kill--an AK-47 rips flesh, 
bones, and arteries to shreds. Most of the survivors from the attack 
don't just live with the scars that we can't see in front of us, but 
they live with unbelievable physical agony, and they also have to 
shoulder the financial consequences of ongoing surgeries and medical 
care, even years later.
  When he turned himself in, the domestic terrorist confessed to police 
that he drove to El Paso to slaughter Mexicans and immigrants. He 
published a screed online just before the massacre, and in it he cited 
the anti-immigrant Great Replacement theory and xenophobic hate speech, 
claiming that he was combating what he called the ``Hispanic invasion 
of Texas.''

  This is the same language, these are the same theories, the same hate 
and racism that we still hear today from rightwing public figures and 
the former President, whose favorite scapegoats are still vulnerable 
immigrants.
  These people should have seen that their words have power. 
Unfortunately, however, instead of learning from this tragedy, racists 
and supremacists have grown more emboldened. And why wouldn't they? 
They are radicalized nightly by a national media outlet disguised as 
``news'' that runs unchecked, their talking points openly parroted by 
leaders here, in the Halls of Congress.
  Our safe, loving, welcoming community, a community of good will, is 
seen as a threat by people with hate in their heart. The language of 
hate draws a target on the backs of the most vulnerable. On August 3, 
El Paso paid the price.
  El Pasoans, however, came together in the immediate aftermath of this 
shooting and we did what we do best: take care of each other, stand 
united, stand in love. We represent the best of America, and El Pasoans 
continue to be a source of great hope for me.
  El Paso is strong. We are resilient. But we deserve justice and 
recognition. I am honored to help ensure that what happened in El Paso 
is not forgotten, not anywhere, not in any corner of this country. That 
we remember every victim and we work to prevent more tragedy.
  Madam Speaker, I will close by sharing the names of the victims:
  Andre Pablo Anchondo, Jordan Kae Anchondo, Arturo Benavides, Jorge 
Calvillo Garcia, Leonardo Campos, Jr., Maribel Hernandez-Loya, Adolfo 
Cerros Hernandez, Sara Esther Regalado Monreal, Guillermo ``Coach 
Memo'' Garcia, Angelina Silva Englisbee, Maria Munoz Flores, Raul 
Estrada Flores, Gerhard Alexander Hoffmann, David Alvah Johnson, Luis 
Alfonso Juarez, Maria Eugenia Legarreta Rothe, Ivan Manzano, Gloria 
Irma Marquez, Elsa L. Mendoza, Margie Reckard, Javier Amir Rodriguez, 
Teresa Trinidad Sanchez Guerra, and Juan De Dios Velazquez.
  May they rest in peace, may their families find comfort, and may our 
country learn from this tragedy.

                              {time}  1530

  Mr. WESTERMAN. Madam Speaker, again, I support this bipartisan bill. 
It is unfortunate that with regard to something that had so much 
agreement on it that people would point fingers at political figures or 
political movements and try to assign the actions of a disturbed, 
radical individual to a political party or to a political figure.
  Madam Speaker, I do support this, I wish that the debate hadn't gone 
in this direction, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Castro).
  Mr. CASTRO of Texas. Madam Speaker, the gun violence epidemic has 
horribly impacted American communities across the Nation. Texas is no 
exception, and neither was El Paso.
  In 2019 the El Paso community was shaken to its core when a crazed 
gunman drove more than 11 hours to stop what he called the ``Hispanic 
invasion of Texas.''
  All of us know that his hatred and bigotry was encouraged from the 
highest levels of our government and played upon stereotypes developed 
in American media from hard news to Hollywood for generations.
  This appalling event led to 23 innocent lives being cut short and 
dozens injured in the deadliest targeted attack on Latinos in modern 
American history.
  But El Paso did not collapse in the face of tragedy. Instead, they 
banded together to mourn their loved ones and rebuild their community, 
and we, as Americans, stood with them. That summer we were all ``El 
Paso strong.''
  By designating the El Paso Community Healing Garden as a federally 
recognized national memorial site, we will continue to honor the 
victims and provide solace to survivors who have shown their remarkable 
strength and resiliency on their path to healing.
  Madam Speaker, I strongly support my friend, Representative 
Escobar's, bill, H.R. 4380, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding me 
the time.
  I rise in strong commitment and recognition of this healing garden 
legislation, H.R. 4380, and I thank my colleagues, Congresswoman 
Escobar, whose legislation it is, Congressmen Castro and Grijalva, and 
the gentleman from Arkansas for recognizing, first of all, that we 
stand united in the acknowledgment of the pain and violence that these 
families experienced and the tragedy of someone coming to target 
innocent families and children and bestowing upon innocent persons that 
they were invading this country, this country who has the Statute of 
Liberty that says bring us your tired and your weary.
  I want to congratulate Congresswoman Escobar for the leadership that 
she gave and the strength that she showed. I saw her as I traveled to 
El Paso. She truly exhibited ``El Paso strong'' as so many of us came 
to mourn with her. We were broken, but we were resolved that we would 
never stand for this again. It was a terrorist act, and it was against 
people simply because of their race and their ethnic background.
  I visited those in the hospital who were wounded, some of whom died 
later. I attended funerals where families lost mothers and fathers. I 
will never forget this enormous and devastating tragedy and the 
viciousness of this act.
  So I rise to support this legislation, to say never again, and to 
thank Congresswoman Escobar for reminding us that we are Americans and 
this violence and this hatefulness will not stand. We ask those in 
leadership positions to not call names of people who are of backgrounds 
they don't understand.
  Let us stand in prayer and unity for the families in El Paso.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, again, I urge adoption of this bill, and 
I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time to 
close.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member for helping bring this to the 
floor.
  Representative Escobar's particular piece of legislation is not 
merely a reminder or a political statement. It is a memorial, an 
acknowledgment of a tragedy, and an acknowledgment of the need for 
reconciliation, the need for healing, the need for understanding, and 
the need to have the conversations as communities that we need to have 
so that if we do nothing else to prevent this kind of deranged 
violence, we can at least begin to heal and talk about the issue in a 
way that maybe reaches

[[Page H3731]]

part of that end to reduce this kind of violence and violence in 
general.
  I speak from limited experience but vital experience. Our former 
colleague, Representative Giffords, was in an attempted assassination. 
Six people died at the Congress on Your Corner where she would hold 
events for people to come and talk to her about the issues facing our 
Nation and facing the district, that unique ability of this democracy 
of ours for their elected officials to be accessible to the public that 
they represent.
  She was shot, almost died, and survived, and we have a memorial to 
that event in Tucson. It has proven to be a rallying point, it has 
proven to be a great instrument for nonviolence, and it is a forum for 
discussion and growth, the growth of tolerance and understanding in 
Tucson, Arizona.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge support for this legislation, I thank the ranking 
member for his leadership, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Jackson Lee). The question is on the 
motion offered by the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Grijalva) that the 
House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 4380.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  March 15, 2022, on page H3731, in the first column, the 
following appeared: The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. JACKSON LEE). The 
question is on the motion offered by the gentlewoman from Texas 
(Ms ESCOBAR) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, 
H.R. 4380.
  
  The online version has been corrected to read: The SPEAKER pro 
tempore (Ms. JACKSON LEE). The question is on the motion offered 
by the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. GRIJALVA) that the House 
suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 4380.


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 


  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 
8, the yeas and nays are ordered.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further proceedings on this motion 
are postponed.

                          ____________________