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Providing for Consideration of H.R. Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years and Relating to the Consideration of House Report and An Accompanying Resolution; Relating to the Consideration of Measures Disapproving of Sales, Exports, or Approvals Pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act; and Providing for Consideration of H.Res. Condemning President Trump's Racist Comments Directed At Members of Congress

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 491 and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the resolution, as follows: H. Res. 491

Resolved, That at any time after adoption of this resolution the Speaker may, pursuant 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. 3494) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2020 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, 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 Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. 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 Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence now printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 116-22, 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. 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. Each such further amendment may be offered 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, 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. All points of order against such further amendments are waived. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill, as amended, to the House with such further amendments as may have been adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any further amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

Sec. 2. If House Report 116-125 is called up by direction of the Committee on Oversight and Reform: (a) all points of order against the report are waived and the report shall be considered as read; and (b)(1) an accompanying resolution offered by direction of the Committee on Oversight and Reform shall be considered as read and shall not be subject to a point of order; and (2) the previous question shall be considered as ordered on such resolution to adoption without intervening motion or demand for division of the question except one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Sec. 3. (a) A joint resolution described in section 4 shall be privileged if called up by the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs or a designee on the day after the calendar day on which the Majority Leader or a designee announces an intention that the House consider the joint resolution. The joint resolution shall be considered as read. All points of order against the joint resolution and against its consideration are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint resolution to its passage without intervening motion except: (1) 20 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs or their respective designees; and (2) one motion to recommit (or commit, as the case may be). A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of the joint resolution shall not be in order. (b) On demand of the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs or a designee, debate pursuant to subsection (a)(1) shall be one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs or their respective designees.

Sec. 4. A joint resolution referred to in section 3 is a Senate joint resolution, or a House joint resolution reported by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, prohibiting any of the following under section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2776):

(1) a proposed sale pursuant to subsection (b);

(2) a proposed export pursuant to subsection (c); or

(3) an approval pursuant to subsection (d).

Sec. 5. Sections 36(b)(3), 36(c)(3)(B), and 36(d)(5)(B) of the Arms Export Control Act shall not apply in the House during the remainder of the One Hundred Sixteenth Congress.

Sec. 6. Upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order without intervention of any point of order to consider in the House the resolution (H. Res. 489) condemning President Trump's racist comments directed at Members of Congress. The resolution shall be considered as read. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the resolution and preamble to adoption without intervening motion or demand for division of the question except one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary.

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Woodall), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. General Leave
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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the Rules Committee met and reported a rule, House Resolution 491, providing for consideration of H.R. 3494, authorizing intelligence community programs for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 and retroactively authorizing fiscal year 2018 appropriations under a structured rule.

The rule provides for 1 hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The rule self-executes a manager's amendment from Chairman Schiff that makes technical and conforming changes and adds additional language that authorizes the CIA to expand death benefits to cover officers killed abroad. The rule makes in order 31 amendments and provides one motion to recommit.

Additionally, the rule provides for consideration of House Report 116-125 and its accompanying resolution recommending that the House find Attorney General Barr and Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas under a closed rule.

The rule provides for 1 hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The rule also provides for consideration of H.R. 489 under a closed rule.

The rule provides for 1 hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary.

Finally, included in this rule is a process for consideration of committee-reported or Senate-passed joint resolutions disapproving of certain transactions under section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act. This process allows for the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee to call up such a joint resolution 1 day after it is noticed by the majority leader and provides 20 minutes or an hour of debate and a motion to recommit.

Mr. Speaker, the Intelligence Authorization Act, H.R. 3494, authorizes programs at 16 intelligence community agencies and offices, including the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the Department of Defense, the DIA, the National Security Agency, and the FBI.

This authorization prioritizes the intelligence community's collection and analytic capabilities against hard-target countries such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

This bill will help us better understand and counter Russian interference in our elections. It requires reports to Congress on the intentions and the designs of Russian political leadership with respect to potential military action against NATO members and on the most significant Russian influence campaigns taking place around the world.

This bill also creates a Climate Security Advisory Council to ensure that the intelligence community prioritizes the threat of climate change. Specifically, the bill requires analysts to incorporate climate change into intelligence analysis and encourages collaboration with executive branch departments focused on climate policy.

Finally, this legislation takes care of our intelligence community workers by providing 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all employees, in addition to the 12 weeks of unpaid leave Federal employees are allowed to take under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Mr. Speaker, on contempt, the Constitution of the United States requires us to conduct a Census every 10 years, an actual enumeration of the American people, everyone who is present in the country.

Secretary Wilbur Ross engaged in a process in order to add a citizenship question to the Census for the first time in 70 years.

This was struck down by multiple Federal courts because of the blatant violation of essentially every principle of the Administrative Procedure Act. They did not conduct notice and comment; they did not assemble substantial evidence; and they did not provide a reasoned justification for why they wanted to do this completely outside of the process that had been set up under the Census Act that had been running for several years.

On June 27, the Supreme Court found that the Commerce Department's argument for including the citizenship question in the 2020 Census was ``contrived,'' according to Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote: ``Several points, taken together, reveal a significant mismatch between the Secretary's decision and the rationale he provided.''

Democrats on the Oversight and Reform Committee have been raising questions about Secretary Ross' proffered justification for several years now. We started asking questions back in 2017. Secretary Ross had testified that the Department of Justice letter that he received was the basis for changing the policy and imposing a citizenship question on the Census. He said that this change was solely motivated by the Department of Justice's request.

In fact, overwhelming evidence has surfaced completely contradicting this account. We know from multiple different sources now that this was a political effort designed to promote the electoral plans of the GOP.

The gerrymandering mastermind of the Republican Party, Thomas Hofeller, was the one who first raised this question several years ago. It was talked about during the Trump campaign. It was talked about within days of the inauguration. We have substantial evidence suggesting that Wilbur Ross, as Secretary of Commerce, was shopping around for a justification for doing this when the motivations were nakedly political.

The Oversight and Reform Committee began its investigation into the administration's decision to add the citizenship question on March 27, 2018. Yet, the majority of the committee has been stonewalled at every turn by the Departments of Justice and Commerce, which have refused to turn over key documents requested by the Oversight and Reform Committee, even after the committee, its members and staff, have worked diligently to resolve the impasse by narrowing the scope of the request to a very small subset of documents.

We know exactly the documents we need. Yet, still, we get nothing but defiance, obstruction, and stonewalling from this administration.

Democrats requested documents from the Department of Commerce on April 4, 2018. None of the requested documents were submitted.

On January 8, 2019, Chairman Cummings renewed the request, and the Commerce Department responded by providing thousands of pages of documents, most of which were already publicly available or completely irrelevant, nonresponsive, or heavily redacted.

On February 12, 2019, Chairman Cummings renewed the request for documents again, this time identifying a specific memo and note from the Department of Commerce to the DOJ. The DOJ did not provide the requested documents but, rather, produced several other documents that were heavily redacted and off point, and so on and so forth.

Mr. Speaker, this is intolerable. The Congress of the United States has a constitutional duty to conduct a fair Census.

Six former Census Bureau Directors wrote a letter denouncing the imposition of this citizenship question and telling Wilbur Ross that this would lead to a far less accurate account. The chief scientist of the Census Bureau testified that this was going to overlook and undercount as many as 6 million Hispanic Americans. We know that potentially millions of other Americans too would not be counted.

The purpose of adding the citizenship question was not to get a more accurate count. It was to get a far more inaccurate account. All the Census experts agree with that.

We have an act, the Census Act, which was violated and ignored. We have the Administrative Procedure Act, which was violated and ignored. Now we have issued a series of subpoena requests to the Departments of Commerce and Justice in order to get the information about what really took place, and again, we are being defied, ignored, and essentially belittled by the executive branch of government.

Mr. Speaker, I want to close my remarks on this with this point. The Constitution begins with the beautiful phrase: ``We, the people . . . in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility,'' and so on, do create this Constitution in this country.

The very next sentence says that all the legislative powers are vested in us. In other words, the powers of the people flow right through the preamble of the Constitution into Article I.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly said, along with other Federal courts, that integral and essential to the lawmaking function is the factfinding function of Congress.

James Madison said, ``Those who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.''

The people armed us with that power by creating the legislative function in Congress. But we can't legislate and we can't govern if we can't get the information that we need, which is why the Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized our power is broad and it is expansive.

Our friends across the aisle, they know that. They know that from their Benghazi hearings that went on for years and cost tens of millions of dollars. They know that from the inquiry into Hillary Clinton's emails, and so on.

Congress has the power to get the information that it wants.

Mr. Speaker, the Census is serious business. It goes right to the heart of who we are as ``we, the people.''

Every 10 years, the Founders told us we have to go back and count everybody up in order to conduct the reapportionment process and decide how many Members of Congress are granted to each State, and, then, hundreds of billions of dollars follow in the wake of the Census. So, we have to make sure that every person is counted.

What we had was this rearguard, sneak ambush attack on the Census. They got caught doing it. The courts blew the whistle. The Supreme Court blew the whistle. But we want to know precisely what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again, to make sure that there has been no damage, and to make sure we can go forward with a real Census.

If you act with contempt of the Congress, if you act with contempt for the Congress, if you act with contempt for the American people, we will find you in contempt of Congress and the American people. We are given no choice.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, on the resolution condemning the President's recent remarks, the President of the United States told four Americans who are Members of Congress to ``go back'' to the countries they came from. Three of them, Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are native-born Americans, and one of them, Representative Ilhan Omar, was born abroad.

Mr. Speaker, this is an affront, not just of four American citizens who are Members of Congress. It is an affront to 22 million naturalized American citizens who were born in another country and made the journey to America and made the journey to becoming full-blown, equal, and free American citizens, 22 million American citizens.

Indeed, if you think about it, it is an affront to the hundreds of millions of Americans who understand and love how American democracy and citizenship work. We are not a nation defined by race and blood as the neo-Nazis and Klansman chanted in Charlottesville as they marched down the street terrorizing the people of Charlottesville. We are defined by our Constitution, which belongs to all of us, and we are defined by the patriotism and by the service of our people.

Is there something wrong with being a naturalized citizen under our Constitution, Mr. Speaker? No, there is not. This is something to be honored and celebrated.

All Americans are equal in the eyes of the law. This is the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. We have no kings here. We have no queens here. We have no titles of nobility. We have no monarchy. We have no taints of blood. We have no hereditary offenses. We have no racial caste system. We have no slaves, and we have no slave masters.

It is true that there are those in our history who have wanted America to be defined as a White man's compact, and that is, indeed, precisely what the Supreme Court found it was in the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857.

President Lincoln, a great and glorious Republican President, rejected the Dred Scott decision from the beginning as the product of a racist ideology and a racist political conspiracy, and it took a Civil War, the blood and the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of Americans, to defend the Union and to guarantee the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to overthrow and destroy the Dred Scott decision and the poisonous idea that America is a White man's compact. It is not.

All persons born in the United States are citizens of the United States, we said, in the 14th Amendment, which guaranteed equal protection of the law to all persons who are here. All of us are equal, whether you are a naturalized citizen who was born in Ireland, as our colleague Congressman Sean Casten was; or in Ecuador, as our colleague Debbie Mucarsel-Powell was; or in Mexico, as our colleague Chuy Garcia was; or in France, as our good friend and colleague Mark Meadows was; or Thailand, as our colleague Tammy Duckworth was; or in Guatemala, as our colleague Norma Torres was; or in Taiwan, as our colleague Ted Lieu was; or in Canada, as our colleague Ted Cruz was; or in Poland, as our colleague and author of this resolution, Tom Malinowski, was.

If these Americans and many more like them--we have 29 foreign-born Members of Congress. If these Americans and many more like them don't belong in Congress, tell it to the millions of people who elected them, and tell it to the Founders of our country who specifically said that you can run for the House of Representatives if you are a naturalized citizen if you have been naturalized for 7 years, or you can run for the Senate of the United States if you are a naturalized citizen if you have been naturalized for 9 years.

Mr. Speaker, to tell naturalized American citizens to go back to the countries they came from is nativist and antithetical to everything that America stands for. It is the opposite of what we believe about the values of the country.

To tell native-born American citizens who are people of color to go back to the country they came from is antithetical to everything we stand for, and it will be up to the House of Representatives today to determine whether or not that is a racist statement.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Woodall) for his very thoughtful and moving remarks, which are very appealing to me, especially since I am a law professor first and only a politician thereafter.

And, you know, we all have to deal with the political party system as it exists in the America of today, but I like to think of the Presidents who kept a kind of dual mind about it. They knew that they had to be part of it in order to operate, as all of us do, but also to try to think about the broader whole.

You know, Jefferson in his first inaugural address in 1800 said that we are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. And he also said:

If I could only go to heaven with a political party, I would prefer not to go.

George Washington said to us:

We have to keep in mind that the word party comes from the French word partie, a part, and when we govern, we should try to keep in mind the whole.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for at least the one cheer of a potential three hip hip hoorays you might have given us on the Intelligence Authorization Act.

We do think that the contempt citation is necessary precisely for the reason you suggest: to uphold the institutional integrity of Congress.

We have gotten together in the past across party lines to demand that the executive branch gives us the information we need, and we believe that we are completely on that course.

Finally, as to the resolution about the remarks telling U.S. citizens to go back to the country they came from; it is hard for me not to see something that could be more unifying than that; that it is an essential value that I know every Member of this body holds, that we do not make a distinction in the legal or political rights or entitlements or responsibilities of natural-born citizens and naturalized citizens, and that it is utterly offensive to our system of government to tell people to go back to where they came from just because you have a political disagreement with them. It is wrong.

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker,

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, before I go into my time, may I make a parliamentary inquiry?

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, do we take it to be against the rules of the House to describe statements made by the President as racist as a violation of House rules?

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, launching into my time, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, on the question of holding the Attorney General and Secretary of Commerce in contempt for refusing to turn over repeatedly requested documents and witnesses, our good friends now confuse two legal questions with a policy question.

The legal question is: Did they violate the law in imposing the citizenship question on the Census? Yes, they did violate the law. They violated the Census Act. They violated the Administrative Procedure Act. They violated pretty much every administrative principle we have in this country. Chief Justice John Roberts said it, someone who is beloved to my colleagues over there.

But the other legal question is: Can the executive branch decide willy-nilly that they are going to stop cooperating with congressional subpoenas and requests for documents? No, they can't, and I hope that that would be a unifying dictum for everybody in this body that we stand up for the right of the people's Representatives to obtain the information that we need.

Now, my dear friend from Georgia made the point that he wished that we could proceed in a more bipartisan fashion. I have actually been very cheered by the number of our GOP colleagues who have denounced the President's remarks over the weekend and this week.

For example, we get a statement from--I am not making it up. I know that they are out there. Here we go. Mr. Fred Upton: ``Frankly, I'm appalled by the President's tweets. There's no excuse. The President's tweets were flat-out wrong and uncalled for.''

Pete Olson: ``The tweet President Trump posted over the weekend about fellow Members of Congress are not reflective of the values'' of my district. ``I urge our President immediately disavow his comments.''

Senator Murkowski: ``There's no excuse for the President's spiteful comments--they were absolutely unacceptable and this needs to stop.''

John Kasich: ``What @realDonaldTrump said about Democrat women in Congress is deplorable and beneath the dignity of the office. We all, including Republicans, need to speak out against these kind of comments that do nothing more than divide us and create deep animosity. . . .''

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I am sorry. Does the gentleman mind repeating?

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I am sure the gentleman was not, unfortunately, just because of the press of time.

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Mr. RASKIN. The vast majority of Members on both sides were not consulted in the manner----

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Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote on the rule and the previous question.

I will just take a second to say to my friend that there have been hundreds of conversations that have been taking place here, but, of course, the gentleman knows that the committee system works in such a way that legislation is put in and not everybody is consulted. The legislation he has praised so effusively today in the Intelligence Committee, none of us outside of the Intelligence Committee were consulted about it.

So I think we have got a consensus here rejecting and repudiating the tenor and the meaning of the President's remarks, and I hope that this process of dialogue which has been so wonderful today with the gentleman from Georgia leads to an outcome where all of us will vote for the previous question

The text of the material previously referred to by Mr. Woodall is as follows: Amendment to House Resolution 491

At the end of the resolution, add the following:

Sec. 7. That immediately upon adoption of this resolution, the House shall resolve into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3765) to amend title 13, United States Code, to require that any questionnaire used for a decennial census of population contains a question regarding citizenship, 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 shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform. After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five minute rule. All points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. When the committee rises and reports the bill back to the House with a recommendation that the bill do pass, 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 instructions. If the Committee of the Whole rises and reports that it has come to no resolution on the bill, then on the next legislative day the House shall, immediately after the third daily order of business under clause 1 of rule XIV, resolve into the Committee of the Whole for further consideration of the bill.

Sec. 8. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the consideration of H.R. 3765.
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