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tv   U.S. House Meets for Legislative Business  CSPAN  March 29, 2017 12:00pm-2:54pm EDT

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reporting, especially by organizations like amnesty inlnasht, air wars, the center for civilians in conflict, and the syrian observatory for human rights. and we have developed relations with a number of these organizations and we look forward to working with them as we complete this investigation. thank you, mr. chairman. a live now to the floor of the u.s. house. will be offered by reverend robert dillingham, arina united methodist church, farina, illinois. reverend dillingham: creator of yesterday, today and tomorrow, we come to you as broken vessels, called to your holy task of governance, be with the families of these gathered, buildup, equip, protect and empower all to the task before them this day. bring together through your
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spirit those who are divided and those who divide. bring healing, bring unity as you continually offer healing and hope to all of creation. creator, you have guided creation through the most difficult times. you have called us to this time and to this place, to this activity, to this body. we have followed that calling, now guide us. empower us and embolden us to this holy work of service and representation of your creation. jehovah, amen.at the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1, rule 1,
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the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by ms. stefanik. ms stefanik: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible with berty and justice for all. ms stefanik: mr. shimkus is recognized for one minute. mr. shimkus: i rise today to rom who lid us in the opening prayer. he is a pastor in the illinois great rivers conference of the united methodist church where he serves if a rhinea, illinois. -- farina, illinois. he's chaplain with the mutual aid box alarm system division 54. he serves as a hospice chaplain with the hospital sisters hent
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systems through st. anthony's hospital where he serves patients from over 20 counties in the central part of my congressional district n addition to his service as chaplain, he's also on the board of the farina food pantry and clergy care guide where he is a pastoral presence in the lives of over 70 pastors. it is my honor to welcome reverend dillingham and his wife who is in the gallery today and personally thank him for offering this morning's prayer. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman from is recognized for one minute. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. i rise today to congratulate dr. steven anaheimer on his success phil five years as the director of the sylvester comprehensive cancer center at my alma mater, the university of miami. go canes.
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throughout his distinguished career, as a noted leukemia and stem cell transplant researcher and clinician, he's dedicated himself to caring for cancer patients in their greatest hour of need. he has propelled the sylvester comprehensive cancer center into prominence by bringing together superb team of leading medical experts who have transformed the center into one of the worldwide leaders in cancer treatment and innovation. because of his efforts, people from south florida and from all over the world have come to view him as the ultimate destination for cutting-edge cancer programs as well as the refuge and helping hand as they deal with this difficult disease. congratulations to dr. anaheimer on a successful five -- dr. nimer on a successful five year tenure. and our south florida community is blessed to have you had he at
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the helm, thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition. >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you. mr. davis: mr. speaker, it looks like my colleagues have wasted no time moving back to familiar territory after their health care disaster last week. instead of fighting how many people should lose health coverage, they decided that it's easier to unite around the shared costs of climate denial. this week president trump announced plans to cut president obama's landmark clean power plan and the house will vote on legislation to block the e.p.a. from reviewing period reviewed scientific research. when forming regulations. so think about that for a second. a majority couldn't agree on how many people should lose health care coverage so they are uniting around the shared cause of climate denial. the president likes to claim that climate change is a hoax created by the chinese. i know that the president and his party have developed a disdain for fact cherks, by silencing the scientific
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community takes things to a whole new level. so, mr. speaker, i have to ask, can my colleagues handle the truth? the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? ms. stefanik: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. stefanik: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of our resilience military families. these families endure countless relocations and employments every couple years transitioning to new schools, new jobs, and fitting into new communities. military spouses wear their own patches of service and share a true sense of duty to our country. they sacrifice a great deal of themselves amid strain and the unknown, while providing unyielding support to their sprouse in uniform. military spouses are often employed in professions which require new licensing that vary from state to state with fees and wait times. to alleviate this burden and provide predictibilities in the lives of military spouses and
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their families, i have reintroducing the lift relocation burden for military spouses act. military spouses serve, too, and my bill will help alleviate unnecessary stress and expenses, help make job changes easier, and will give these spouses and their families some deserved predictibility as they serve their nation. i urge my colleagues to support this important bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. green: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. green: mr. speaker and members, i want to thank my constituents and the mfls americans who contact their represent yafse last week and -- representatives last week and voiced their opposition to the republican bill to repeal the affordable care act. although trumpcare failed the debate on health care is far from over. i hope that speaker ryan will reach across the aisle so we can improve the law that works and more popular than ever. thanks to the a.c.a. more than 20 million more americans are insured.
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people with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied. consumers are protected from the worse abuses of the insurancetry. industry. there are parts of the law that can be improved and that's what we should work on. the republican bill never tried. not one public hearing was held on that bill. their complete of lack of transparency in the republican leadership tried to ram it through without public comment. we worked on the a.c.a. for more than a year before there was a final vote. trumpcare was voted on in only 18 days after it was introduced. 18 days. a bill that would cut 24 million americans from health care. as ranking member of the energy and commerce health subcommittee, i hope to work with my colleagues on a bipartisan solution to improve the a.c.a. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to
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recognize and congratulate the outstanding achievements of four young men in my distrifpkt the hermitage arkansas f.f.a. team not only placed first in arkansas but also won the 37th annual national forestry invitational and national f.f.a. career development event. the team was comprised of ethan boy kin, hunter sanders, cade wilkerson, and connor wilkerson, all of hermitage, arkansas. during the invitational, teams veet competed for overall team in individual awards in event such as true identification, insect and disease identification, forest evaluation, and written forestry example. the c.d.e. tests students' skills and knowledge in forest management. as a forester serving in the house of representatives, i recognize the many hours that these young men dedicated to competing on a national level and i admire them for their hard work. additionally, special recognition is due to mr. taylor
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gwinn, who coached the team and the extension service. they played a crucial role in making this victory possible. mr. speaker, acking a and forestry are the main economic engines in arkansas. there is little doubt in my mind one day soon talented and passionate young people such as these will be called upon to lead our state into foot ture. once again i offer them my most sincere congratulations and wish them the best as they continue to pursue their passion forestry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, in 2009 when gas prices were very high, and our dependence on foreign oil was at its peak, the environmental protection agency set standards to increase fuel efficiency of trucks and cars. this helped achieve three main goals. it lessened the burden on consumers faced with high gas prices. and addressed the urgent national security priority
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relating to our addiction to middle east oil and sought to limit the emitance of harmful fumes into our atmosphere. at the same time, we made an unprecedented commitment to our auto industry and end their most uncertainty and darkest moment facing collapse and bankruptcy, america bailed them out. we did this and it came with political consequences, but we believed that their centrality to the future of the american economy and we still do. that is why it's so disappointing to see eagerness of the auto industry has with its administration's choice to cave and cowardly on fuel efficiency standards. gas prices may be low now, but they won't be forever. and it would be a misguided decision to shell everybody these fuel efficiency rules now. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i made a promise
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to my constituents when they sent me back to office this year. they entrusted me to represent them and the issues that affect them the most. they sent me here to repeal obamacare, our health system, our health insurance system is crushing those that it's supposed to help. they sent me here to remove washington bureaucrats from the health care business and to restore the doctor-patient relationship that has broken down f obamacare has shown us anything, it is that coverage and affordable care are two very different things. mr. marchant: they sent me here for sweeping tax reform that benefits every american to create a tax structure that rewards american workers and american businesses. lastly, they sent me here to make sure we secure our borders and enforce our border laws because border security is national security.
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these are the issues this house should be tackling. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: yesterday we learned that the trump administration tried to limit former deputy attorney general sally yates testimony on russian interference in the 2016 election. as reported in "the washington post," sally made threer their testimony would contradict statements made by officials at the white house. the hearing which they were to testify has now been canceled and all of us have a responsibility to ask why. if there is nothing to hide about his ties to putin's russia, then why doesn't president trump want sally yates to testify? if there is nothing to hide why does president trump continue to withhold his tks returns? if there is nothing to hide why won't president trump make public the visitors logs at mar-a-lago. we're now in day 68 of the trump administration. each day more and more information emerges about ties between putin's regime and
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trump's inner circle and campaign officials. each day the white house scrambles to contain the damage. it's time for the president to come clean with the american people. mr. president, let sally yates testify. mr. president, release your taxes. mr. president, let's see the guest logs at mar-a-lago, and support an independent bipartisan commission to get to the bottom of this. the american people deserve answers. the speaker pro tempore: the chair reminds members to address the chair. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to speak on tax reform. many of my colleagues know this is a matter that i am the most passionate about. mr. speaker, i'm second generation small business own and my daughters are third generation. i understand firsthand the impact that unfair job-killing taxes and regulations have on main street. i know what it is like to nearly
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lose a family business that was built from the ground up just because the federal government believes in a death tax. this, my friends, is a tax of the families of the american dream they work hard to acheefrpblt mr. williams: the inheritance takes takes mon frye from -- money from folks who use it and puts it in the hands of those responsible for a $20 trillion national debt. mr. speaker, i came up here to speak on behalf of job creators that employ more than half of america's work force. these are the men and women who suffer directly from politics' knee-jerk reactions, politician who is never met a payroll and never worked in the private sector. congress has talked about tax reform for decades, but we haven't seen major reforms in 30 years. again i'm asking this congress and this president to act now. in god we trust. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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the gentlewoman is recognized. >> i rise today in honor of women's history month and show respect to a real detroiter and michigan legend, aretha frankling. aretha has taught us to be a proud natural woman and forced us to think about it but also to act. mrs. lawrence: once called the voice of black america, ms. franklin has been a champion in the community for decades and at home in her hometown of detroit. with a hollywood start, 20 r and b, 18 grammies, a medal of freedom from president bush, she represents the best of detroit and our country. this month and every month, we must lift women up across this country, ensuring that our laws and policies empower and protect all women. i'm proud to call aretha
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franklin my friend and wish her a happy birthday, which was march 25 and stand along side this great champion for women every day. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> i rise today to honor the ife of captain john joseph kearney who passed away on pearl harbor day at the age of 62. mr. hill: john received the presidential appointment to the united states naval academy. upon graduation and commission, he followed in his father's footsteps and pursued a career in the navy retiring at the rank of captain. he dedicated his life to his distinguished military career
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and received numerous medals for his service which included work here in washington and on the seventh fleet staff in japan. he leaves behind legacy of warmth and passion and people can admire. i extend my respect, affection and prayers to his fine family and loved ones. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise to recognize theresa lopez. . she was chosen by my office to be march heroine of the month. he has served at veterans' service representative. theresa understands that our
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valley veterans and their families deserve the best care and service they can have because the men and women who have served our nation's military, members of your family and members of my family have made sacrifices that we should never ever forget. theresa knows she has been working with my office since 2008 and i know she works hard every day to ensure local veterans are receiving the v.a. benefits they've earned. theresa does outreach to the men's prison and the v.a. clinic in oakhurst. and also serves as the secretary of the california association of county veteran service officers since 2012. i ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing the service of theresa lopez and her strong commitment to serving valley veterans for we can never ever say thank you enough not only
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for our veterans but for the good work theresa has done. good bless her and the united states of america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> address the house the -- for one minute. >> i rise to honor capitol police special agget angel morales. he is retiring after 21 years on the force. mr. scalise: from 1986 to 1991, he put on the uniform of our country worked his way up to sergeant. from there he traded his army uniform and served with the d.c. metro police. then he joined the capitol police force where he has protected all who come through our nation's capital. since 1998, he has been assigned to the united states capitol
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police dignitary division working with dick armiey, roy blunt and eric cantor and the leader of my detail team. i thank his wife susan and his two kids for selflessly allowing angel to serve our nation in these roles. angel, on behalf of my family and the entire capitol family, thanks for your service. we'll miss you, young man. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the american people are demanding a real investigation into president trump's ties to russia and vladimir putin. i was a journalist for two decades and an investigative reporter, where there is smoke, there is usually fire.
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and right now smoke it billowing out of the white house. no matter how many times president trump tries to distract us with a tweet, no matter how many times president trump's advisers have held secret meetings with the russians, no matter how many times the chairman of the house intelligence committee changes his story to protect president trump, sooner or later, the truth will come out. vladimir putin has a driving mission and that is to weaken america from within. so to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, i ask one simple question. what would on president reagan do? i can tell you, he would put our national security ahead of part san politics. he would follow the facts and he would leave no stone unturned. our democracy demands a complete, thorough and independent investigation into president trump's ties with the putin regime. with that, mr. speaker, i yield
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back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> permission to address the address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, before my time in congress, i was a trial lawyer. as a trial lawyer, i learned that where there is smoke, there is fire, and mr. speaker, i'm here to tell you there is a fire threatening our republic. mr. speaker, make no mistake about it, russia attacked our country when it tried to medical in our elections but we have a commander in chief who barely acknowledges that act much less condemn it. we hear tough talk from the president when it comes to china and north korea, when a russia patrol ship in our waters, we hear contradicts. we hear it is interfering with
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democracies of europe. indeed this president sees no moral difference between our democracy and the putin regime. mr. speaker, there is smoke and there is fire, our republic is being threatened. we can only put this fire out with the truth. we need to establish an independent commission to establish the trump-russia ties and find our way to the truth. mr. speaker, i thank you and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to commemorate 20 years of the glick fellows program at the university of california riverside. since 1996, the foundation has supported undergraduates and
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graduate students as they bring innovative arts programming to schools, libraries and community centers in my district. mr. takano: it has provided students and families with the experience art, theater through work shops and performances. over the past 20 years, more than 300,000 inland empire residents have benefited. . congratulate the dean glock fellows program director and the foundation and its chair, dr. john kazwick. i wish continued success to the glock fellows program of the arts at u.c. riverside. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication.
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the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on march 29, appointments, advisory committee on the records of congress. with best wishes, i am signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 233 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 233. resolved, that upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill, h.r. 1431, to amend the environmental research, development, and demonstration authorization act of 1978 to provide for scientific advisory board member qualifications,
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public participation, and for other purposes. 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: one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on science, space, and technology; and two, one motion to ecommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for one hour. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman and good friend from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, pending which i yield myself such time i may consume. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise
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and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, on tuesday, the house rules committee met and reported a rule house resolution 233, providing for consideration of h.r. 1431, the e.p.a. science advisory board reform act of 2017. this legislation will reform the environmental protection agency or the e.p.a.'s science advisory board to ensure that it is unbiased and transparent in performing its duties. the s.a.b. was first established by congress in 1978 and plays a vital role in reviewing the scientific foundation of e.p.a.'s regulatory decisions while also providing critical advice to us here in congress as well as the agency. the information it reviews is
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used to justify important policy decisions at the e.p.a. and should be held to the highest standards, because it is imperative that the regulated community and the public can have confidence that e.p.a. decisions are grounded, that science should be both reproduce i believe and transparent. however, shortcomings with the process have arisen in recent years, including limited public participation, e.p.a. interference with expert advice, potential conflicts of interests and serious deficiencies with the process to select the board members. far too often the s.a.b.'s authority has been used by the e.p.a. to silence dissenting scientific views and opinions rather than promoting the imparget and fairness that is
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the cornerstone of unbiased advice. at its inception, the s.a.b. was intended to function independently in order to provide candid advice and guidance to the e.p.a. yet the agency undermines this autonomy then the value to e.p.a. and congress is severely diminished. mr. speaker, to address these reform .r. 1431 would the s.a.b. and reaffirm its independence so the public and regulated entities can have that confidence that sound science that is driving policy decisions at the e.p.a. the bill makes several important reforms to the s.a.b. such as requiring board members to be qualified experts, disclosing conflicts of interests and sources of bias. and ensuring that the views of members, including the
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dissenting members are available to the public. . it provides the public an opportunity to participate with the board and gives people the ability to view the agency's responses to issues raised boy the s.a.b. additionally, the bill requires that at least 10% of the board is comprised of state, local, and tribal experts. the board members do not participate in advisory activities that involve reviews or evaluations of their own work. and that e.p.a. publicly disclosed all board member recusals and that comments are published in the federal register. so these reforms will improve the existing regulatory process while also reinvigorating the scientific judgments that are often directly linked to regulatory decisions.
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the e.p.a. relies on s.a.b. reviews and studies to support new regulations, new standards, assessments, and other agency acks. -- actions. so a transparent and accountable science advisory board is critically important and can assure the public that the data that federal agencies rely on is scientifically sound and unbiased. this legislation would reinforce that the s.a.b. process is a tool to help policymakers with complex issues while also preventing the e.p.a. from taking actions that impede the free flow of impartial scientific advice. mr. speaker, this rule provides for consideration of an important measure that will improve the peer review process and ensure sound science is used in the federal rule making process. it's a simple, relatively
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straightforward bill that will make the s.a.b. more consistent, transparent, and accountable to our bosses, the american people. transparency in regulations based on the highest quality science should not be partisan issues. in the 114th congress, a near identical version of this bill was passed by the house. i'm glad to say with bipartisan support. i hope we can join together again to pass this important bill with support from members of both sides of the aisle from both parties. so i urge my colleagues to support this rule as well as the underlying legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i want to thank the gentleman from washington, my good friend, mr. newhouse, for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without
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objection. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to this rule and the underlying legislation. this is the 23rd closed rule of this short new congress. both democrats and republicans have been denied the opportunity to amend nearly 60% of the legislation that has ban brought to the floor through the house rules committee. this effort by speaker ryan and the republican leadership to halt a fair and open debate in the people's house is outrageous. we're supposed to be a deliberative body. where both parties get to deliberate. these putin-esque rules that shut down all debate need to stop. this isn't the kremlin. i think representative rooney, a republican, said it best last week and i quote. i have been in this job eight years and i'm wracking my brain to think of one thing our party has done that has been something positive, that's been something other than stopping something else from happening, end quote.
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well, mr. speaker, today we are considering a piece of legislation that seeks to prevent the e.p.a. from protecting public health and the environment. not exactly positive. this bill was brought to the rules committee in an emergency meeting last night, and let me emphasize that, and emergency meeting. mr. speaker, i think the american people have a pretty good idea of what is and what isn't an emergency. a tree falls on your house, that's an messagecy. your rose bush needs bruining, not an emergency. timmy fell down an well, that's an emergency. timmy might stub his toe, not an emergency. on april 28, the government will run out of money. that's an emergency. even if it is a self-inflicted -- even if it is self-inflicted by the republicans. and we have no shortage of other actual emergencies that we should be dealing with. a devastating opioid epidemic.
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crumbling roads and bridges. mounting evidence of russian meddling in our election. and people being killed every day due to gun violence, not to mention flint, michigan, is still dealing with the residual health effects of toxically polluted water. these are not just a few examples of actual emergencies that congress is doing nothing to address. nstead, the underlying bill, the e.p.a. science advisory board reform act, is brought to the rules committee and to the house floor as an emergency piece of legislation. as we learned last week, the american people are paying attention to what we do here. they are smart enough to know what an emergency is and this bill isn't addressing an emergency. mr. speaker, it is creating one. the science advisory board at the e.p.a. provides a way for the agency to use sound, independent, and objective scientific data to help make
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their decisions. science, mr. speaker, you may have heard of it, it's kind of a big deal. but this bill won't help the e.p.a. to include more scientists in their decisions. it will force them to include people with potential financial conflicts of interest on the science advisory board so long as they disclose them. do we really want people on our advisory boards if they could profit from decision that they are about to make? there's nothing scientific about corruption and that's exactly what this bill will open the door to. this bill also limits the participation of scientific experts at the e.p.a., leading to a disproportionate representation of big business and corporate special interests. are these really the people we want making decisions about the health of our kids and the policies that should be protecting our environment? is that what we want? what is this bill really about? well, it's about allowing the republicans' big corporate cronies a direct route to deet significance makers at the
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e.p.a. it's about disrupting the e.p.a.'s ability to fairly enforce the rules, hold corporate polluters accountable, and protect our health. it's about undermining scientific fact with political cronyism. maybe things have changed lately. it's been a chile since my last science class, but i'm sure there is no step in the scientific method that says, consult corporate cronies. the truth is that this republican majority wants the e.p.a. to base their decisions on fiction not fact. americans can't afford to have the e.p.a. run by people who live in a fantasy land where facts and science don't matter. our environment and the health of our families is too important. this law is going to have real life consequences. it undermines science. hurts the environment. and it helps polluters. we need to allow the ep taupe make decisions based on fact. we need to ensure that e.p.a. is always free from financial
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conflicts. not making decisions based on panels filled with industry insiders like the ones that this bill would create. mr. speaker, this bill defies logic. it defies reason. it defies sanity. it will hurt the people who sent us here and it will help polluters. republicans are putting corporate greed ahead of public health and the american people will be the ones who will suffer. americans deserve better. we should be fighting on behalf of the american people. mr. speaker, let me tell my republican friends what i tell first graders that i talk to back in my district in massachusetts when gi to visit their schools. i usually begin by telling them that science is important. it's a big deal. it's such a big deal that all our schools teach it. and if you do your homework and if you study hard and pay attention, you might grow up someday to become a scientist. and scientists are people who
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dedicate their lives to protect the health and well-being of people all over the world. and they are -- they dedicate their lives to protect our planet. scientists tell us things that are really important. they tell us things like climate change is caused by greenhouse gases. something my republican friends continually deny. they tell us that polluted air can give children asthma. they tell us that lead in children's drinking water causes learning problems. they tell us pesticide exposure can cause cancer. these are important things. and we all learned in school thanks to science that the earth sun.ts-orr bits around the gravity call this is pen to fall when i drop t that plants turn sunshine into energy. hat dinosaurs roamed the earth mfls years ago. you know, mr. speaker, the first graders i talk to, they get it.
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they understand the importance of science. uncoral many of my colleagues in this chamber do not. and i would bet that those first graders are going to understand the importance of making sure it is scientists who sit on scientific advisory boards and not corporate cronies. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. newhouse: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the gentleman's comments. some of those comments he was making i thought he was quoting me, at least quoting parts of my own speech. certainly i agree that the decisions made by the environmental protection agency should be based on fact not by industry insiders. that's exactly what this legislation would do. i can't think of any instance where asking for more full public participation as well as transparency is not a positive step.
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that's exactly what we're trying to do here. in reference to the numbers being put out that the number of closed rules that we have had this year. let me just remind the good gentleman that 15 out of the 234 closed -- 23 closed rules were actually the congressional review act, the c.r.a.'s we have been working on, and they are proscribed to be a closed rule. that is the nature of a c.r.a. i would think that in the good gentleman's estimation of this bill and all the negative things that could potentially come of it, that we should be able to come to some bipartisan agreement on this, especially considering the political climate that we're in today, the occupant of the white house today, certainly in republican hands, that i would think our friends on the democratic side of the aisle would be very interested in ensuring an unbiased source of information
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that comes from the s.a.b. to give to the e.p.a. in making their important decisions. this i would think would be a good idea for both sides of the aisle. no matter who is in the white house. i would agree that it is. with those comments at this point i would like to yield three minutes to my good friend, the gentleman from texas, mr. weber. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. weber: i thank gentleman from mr. speaker, i do rise today in support of h.r. 1430, and i appreciate the primer we were given from the other side what an emergency is. i would remind my good friend on the other side that on november 8, 2016, the americans stood up and anne said we have an emergency. we need to change directions and they elected donald trump the president to do just that. so that's a good reminder. mr. speaker, our constituents have a right to know whether or not e.p.a. regulations are based on sound science, and if they benefit the american people. keeping in vain when with what i
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just said, we have a better way, speaker paul ryan has put out his plan for a better way. donald trump has been leekted for that better way. the american people deserve a better way. and so this is called the honest act, which i'm proud to be a co-sponsor of. it is a better way. it is simple and straightforward. it's a message to government bureaucrats. they cannot propose costly new regulations without providing sufficient transparency. as my good friend from washington said, why would anybody be opposed to transparency and a right for the american public to know? opponents of this bill apparently think americans do not deserve to know the truth, not to mention the science, quote-unquote, behind e.p.a. burdensome regulations. trust me when i say americans deserve the truth from the very start. mr. speaker, the e.p.a.'s regulatory agenda should not require secret science or much
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less 30-year-old data in order to sell it to the american people. the other side likes to claim that there is a lot of scientists behind this climate change theory, but they won't release that data, so what are they hiding behind? by the way i remember mark twain said sometimes the majority simply means all the foolts are on one side. is long past time. this honest act will do exactly that by prohibiting the e.p.a. from proposing or finalizing regulations based upon the data that is outdated, that is not transparent nor is it publicly available for review. i thank chairman smith for bringing this important legislation to the floor today. i want to thank fine the gentleman from washington state, mr. new house, and with that, i
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yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington reserves. mr. mcgovern: i thank the gentleman from texas for his speech but it's on a different bill than what we are talking about now. that was on the rule we debated yesterday. the rule passed, but we will be talking about it today. i was a little confused trying to follow the gentleman. and i remind the gentleman, he mentioned donald trump's election. i will remind him less than half of the people in the united states actually voted for him. hillary won by the popular vote close to three million and the gentleman keeps talking about a better way, a better way. display last t on week when we spent 15 hours in e rules committee debating
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repeal and replace the obamacare. and i would say to the gentleman my colleague, mr. newhouse, trying to justify the closed process and saying some of these bills were c.r.a.'s and repealing regulations. my friends chose to bring up these repeal regulation bills under a very closed process. interestingly enough, these rules were made under a very open process, where agencies sole is ted input from stakeholders and from the public and all out in the open, but the republicans chose to bring measures to the floor to repeal regulations in such a way that that agency can't even go back and revisit the same subject of that particular regulation. so this is -- and i think people need to understand this. i don't think -- i can ever
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recall a more closed authoritarian process than the one we have experienced under this leadership. and this is not only something that democrats have a problem with, i know a lot of republicans do, too, because what this closed process means that anybody with a good idea can't bring it to the floor, can't have an opportunity to debate the issue. funny, last night in the rules committee, mr. burgess was kind of crowing about the fact that no amendments were brought before the rules committee. and i reminded him, the reason no amendments were brought before the rules committee because this bill was noticed as an emergency and there was no call for amendments. members weren't asked to bring their ideas or their amendments to the rules committee. i mean, this would be laughable if it weren't so tragic and i would say to my colleagues, it's
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the same closed process that brought us this disastrous health repeal bill that my friends had to pull last week that's on display today. when you have a lousy process, you have lousy lemmings. this is the people's house. we are supposed to deliberate. open it up. open it up a little bit. let there be some amendments on both sides of the aisle. mr. speaker, i'm going to ask my colleagues to vote no on the previous question. and if we defeat the previous question, i will bring to the floor an amendment which i'm going to talk about right now, because, mr. speaker, we are deeply concerned by reports from our intelligence community regarding russian interference last year's election and by f.b.i. director's sworn testimony that the f.b.i. is now investigating the possibility of collusion between members of
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trump's campaign team and russia. mr. speaker, the legitimacy of our electoral system is at stake and it is time this republican-controlled congress does its job. recent actions by the intelligence committee chairman have left many members from both sides of the aisle convinced that the committee will not conduct an impartial investigation of this crucial matter. if we defeat the previous question, i will offer an amendment to bring up representative swalwell and representative cummings' bill to create a bipartisan commission to investigate russian interference in our election. i don't know why this is controversial. my colleagues on the republican side should be just as interested in getting to the truth and getting to the truth in a way that has credibility with the american people as we on the democratic side do. i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my amendment in the record along with
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extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: i yield four minutes to the distinguished the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. mr. connolly: i thank the gentleman and his able staff. i want to talk about the bill before us, the e.p.a. science advisory board, but i want to talk about mr. mcgovern's amendment on russia and they are linked. the last time a great power decided to deny science-based policy and actually dictate politically what was science and what wasn't, was stalin's soviet russia. famous scientist who turned out to be a fraud and a con artist, but for 30 years his thinking dominated soviet science to the detriment of the soviet people.
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it led to a famine in the ukraine killing millions of people because he insisted on his brand, his political brand science, agricultural science, which wasn't science at all. my friend from massachusetts i think is wrong when he says what's the emergency? i don't think he understands that from the republican point of view, science mixed with public policy is an emergency. we have to do something about it. 4,273 ld was created years ago and carbon data is a fraud. and climate change as your coastal areas are under water, think about the comfort of republican philosophy, it is just a theory and disputeable on that. let's back out of our commitments and be the only
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major nation in the world that climate change is real and is going to affect us in every aspect of our lives going forward, including our children and their children. we owe them better. that's the emergency. god forbid the environmental protection agency has policies and regulations that are science-based. god forbid we look at empirical research to protect the public. god forbid we look at the science of lead and other toxins in water supplies, let's save $7 million in flint, michigan. just today they announced $100 million settlement, that political decision put the people of flint, michigan at risk and now going to cost $100 million to fix. that's the consequences of an anti-empirical fill osy and that
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will be the problem with polluting this board of people who are guilty of polluting in the first place. they won't welcome regulation of their respective industries and the republicans are their enablers. that's what's going to happen if this bill passes. with respect to russia, each day there are more troubling revelations that make clear senior-level trump officials had undisclosed contact with russian officials about the campaign perhaps and the transition and about sanctions. national security adviser michael flynn was fired after only three weeks on the job for lying about this very thing to the vice president of the united states. attorney general jeff sessions had to recuse himself from any russian probe because of compromised testimony at his nomination hearing. f.b.i. director comey confirmed
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an investigation into the trump's campaign possible collusion with russian officials, and what is the most visible reaction from my friends on the other side of the aisle, the behavior of the intelligence chairman has compromised. this ought to be about restoring integrity, one of our most cherished democratic institutions, one of the most cherished, free and fair election. i support mr. mcgovern's amendment and i yield back to my good friend from massachusetts. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, as we get back to the bill at hand, i think it is important there are a lot of important topics out there that people want to touch on and that's well and good, just like my friend from texas
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bringing up other bills that are important that relate to what we are talking here today i think is important as well. but i think see an underlying theme here, we all agree on one thing, we want the e.p.a. to use sound science and we want public participation, we want, we need transparency, and this is certainly a positive step in a bill, mr. speaker, that went through regular order, was introduced with bipartisan support, went through the markup process, was reported out without amendments, something that this body in the last congress passed. and i believe in bipartisan fashion. just to underscore the importance of taking this important step and let me underscore again, no matter which side of the aisle you're on, it's important that we do this because of who you may think is the right person or wrong person occupying the white house, it's important that the
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e.p.a. has an unbiased source of information in order for it to make its decisions. if i could submit for the record just two letters, the first from the american chemical council and the second from the american farm bureau. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. newhouse: i would like to read an excerpt from each one. from the american chemistry council and i quote, the science advisory board reform act would improve the peer review process, the process used by e.p.a. in their regulatory decisions about potential risks to human health or the environment. the act would make peer reviewers accountable to public comments, strengthen policies to address conflicts of interests, ensure engagement of a wide range of perspectives of qualified scientific experts in
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e.p.a.'s scientific peer review panels and increase tpc in peer review reports, a strong statement. the american farm bureau federation, this legislation seeks to reinforce the science advisory board process as a tool that can help policy makers with complex issues while preventing e.p.a. from muzz willing impartial scientific advice. this legislation deserves strong bipartisan support and we applaud your leadership in this effort and will work with you to ensure passage. two bipartisan groups looking out for the best interests of the citizens of our great country. so i think they make strong statements in support of the legislation. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: can i inquire of the gentleman how many more speakers he has.
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mr. newhouse: we have come to the end of our speakers. mr. mcgovern: i yield myself the remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: so, mr. speaker, let me first remind people that we are asking for a no vote on the previous question and if the previous question is defeated, we will bring up an amendment that will allow the bill that representative swalwell and representative cummings has introduced which would create a bipartisan commission to investigate russian interference in our 2016 election. and this is the appropriate place to do it, because we are blocked in every other way in terms of trying to bring this to the floor and the rules committee is a committee that prioritizes legislation and helps set the agenda. so this ought to be part of it. this anti-science bill can be debated and voted on and won't derail that but will allow the house to be able to deliberate on this bill that would create a bipartisan commission to investigate russian interference
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in the 2016 election. this is a big deal. the american people deserve the truth. my republican colleagues ought to get out of the way and allow this commission to be created so the american people can have some trust in a process that determines the extent to which the russians interfered in our elections. i urge a no vote on the previous question. . with regard to the rule we're debating today, i would remind everybody that this is a closed rule. there are some member -- members of this house who have never seen an open rule. ever. and you know, i hope that changes. because i do think that, again, there ought to be more deliberation here. there ought to be more back and forth. and even ideas they strongly disagree with on the republican side ought to have the opportunity to come here and be able to present them and we can vote up or down on them.
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and i think we need to break this pattern of shutting the process down. it is what resulted in the debacle last week with your horrible health care bill. the one that only 16% of the american people supported. it's pretty hard to get that low , but my friends managed to be able to set a new record on unpopular legislation. so bad that it had to be withdrawn from the floor and from consideration. but i would argue, it is the closed authoritarian like process that produced a lousy bill. and if my friends continue to adhere to this closed process, you're going to get more lousy pieces of legislation that are going to do great harm to the american people brought to this floor this bill before us today, again, has been brought to the floor thunder expedited procedure called an emergency provision.
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just being rushed to the floor. as an emergency. this is not an emergency, you know. the opiate crisis is an emergency. the crisis in flint, michigan, is an emergency. our crumbling infrastructure is an emergency. there are deficient bridges and roads in every one of our congressional districts, that's an emergency, we need to address that. keeping the government open is an emergency. but to say this is an emergency? that's kind of ridiculous. this is not an emergency. you know, it's kind of like our house is on fire and you're saying, i'll get out the hose later but i need to wash the dishes first. that's how this fits into what we're doing here today. this doesn't qualify for that. on the substance of the bill, we have this radical idea that scientists ought to sit on scientific advisory committees, not corporate cronies. not people who are interested in
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covering up for polluters or doing their bidding. we think experts and scientist ought to sit on advisory -- scientific advisory boards. that's the radical idea that we have. and this bill unfortunately undermines that. what this bill does is threatens public health by stacking advisory -- by stacking advisory boards with industry representatives and it weakens scientific review. it is that simple. i don't care what your political ideology is. i don't think you want that. let me just say for the record, let me just mention some of the groups that are opposed to this. alliance of nurses for healthy environments this eamerican geophysical union. the american lung association strongly opposes this bill. the american public health association. the american thoracic society. the asthma and allergy
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foundation of america oppose this bill. clean water action oppose this is bill. earth justice. the environmental defense action fund. health care without harm. the league of conservation voters. the national medical association opposes this bill. the natural resources defense council. physicians for social responsibility. union of concerned scientists. all oppose this bill. the food policy action opposes this bill. i can go on and on and on. every organization that is an advocate for the health and well being of the american people opposes this bill. and are bringing it up for an up or down vote new york amendments, closed rule, and here we are. i would just say, mr. speaker, again, this is a bad idea.
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i guess if you're an ally of big corporations or of corporations that engage in pollution, this is a good idea. but if you're interested in protecting the health and well being of the american people and the globe, for that matter, this is a bad idea. as i began, i mentioned, when i speak to first graders, they understand the importance of science. they get it. they want us to be good stewards of the environment, they want us to protect this planet. they understand the importance of science. but i'm always amazed how many people in this chamber just don't get it. and i find that really sad. i want to give my kids and someday my grandkids and great grandkids, you know, a future where we respect the environment. when we pass bills like this, it makes that less certain. so i would urge my colleagues
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again, vote no on the previous question and please, in a bipartisan way, reject this lousy piece of legislation. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. newhouse: this bill is a good idea. i think the debate we have had here today underscores the importance of this as we consider this under the rule. h.r. 1431 addresses problems that have arisen over the years with the science advisory board and actually would return the board to its intended purpose, something maybe the gentleman does not agree with, to provide independent expert advice on scientific and technical information. so by modernizing the policies and procedures of the governing of the s.a.b., congress, with this bill, can take critical steps to make sure that the s.a.b. is best equipped to
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provide that independent that transparent, that balanced review, and theage cease of the science used that guides e.p.a.'s -- and the analysis of the science used that guides e.p.a.'s regulations. the importance of this is having regulations that are supported by science, reproducible, and accessible for peer review. not anti-science like some people have said. we want science. we want good science. the scientific method demands that the result of scientific studies be cape obviously replication. and this is all the more critical when the information is used to develop and set public policy which is why the methods and the data used by e.p.a. and the s.a.b. must be publicly available for purposes of replication and verification. so if you don't want public
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transparency, i guess you should vote no on this bill. mr. speaker, opponents of the legislation have argued it makes it unnecessary. and makes proproduct -- unproductive changes to the s.a.b. and it would restrict the ability of scientists to engage on the issues they specialize in. it creates new burdens through the public comment and transparency provisions. weakens the ability of the e.p.a. to use the best available science and data to support its rules and regulations. i believe that these arguments fail to recognize what this bill actually does accomplish, and they seem to ignore the importance of reforming the federal rule making process in a way that ensures sound science is the bedrock on which federal rules and regulations are built. sound science. is that a radical idea? and that these are not
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predetermined political agendas. unfortunately, the e.p.a. has diluted the board's credibility by systematically silencing dissenting opinions, ignoring calls for balanced participation and preventing the board from responding to congressional reports. fully 10% of the seats on the board will be filled by state, by local, and by tribal representatives. improving the balance of that participation. .r. 1431 simply encourages greater transparency, debate, and public participation at the board. which will result in better decision making at the e.p.a. i think that's something everyone should be able to agree on. i don't think public participation is a burden. but rather a benefit that improves the relationship and the interaction between federal regulators and the public.
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so by strengthening public participation, improving the process for selecting expert advisors, and expanding transparency requirements, this legislation takes critical steps that will improve our regulatory system while also ensuring that the most qualifies and the most capable scientists are free to undertake a balanced and open review of regulatory science. mr. speaker, it's time to update the law. it's time to restore independence to the advisory board. and it's time to strengthen scientific integrity. science is an invaluable tool that helps policymakers navigate complex issues. yet this resource has been severely diminished if the e.p.a. interferes with expert advice, if it limits public participation, and if it fails
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to disclose potential conflicts of interest. as president reagan said in guidance to the e.p.a., and i quote, the purpose of the science advisory board is to apply the universally accepted principles o-- principles of scientific peer review to the research conclusions that will form the basis for e.p.a. regulations a function that must remain above interest group politics. mr. speaker, i believe h.r. 1431 gets to the heart of president reagan's point. the greater debate, unbiased scientific advice, and independent peer reviews and public participation will only result in better decision making at the federal level. i believe that this is the goal we all share. i urge all of my colleagues to support this rule as well as the underlying bill.
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with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring the yeas and nays will rise and be downed. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of adoption of the resolution. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote --
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vet, the yeas are 230 --
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 232, the nays are 191. the previous question is ordered. the question is on the adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion poff the chair, the ayes have it. >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vet will rise. a sufficient -- a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote.
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[captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 232, the nays 188. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. he house will come to order. members are advised to please clear the well and aisles and
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take your conversations outside. he house will come to order. the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members are advised to remove their conversations from the house floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. smith: pursuant to house resolution 229, i call up the
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ll h.r. 1430 to prohibit the environmental protection agency from proposing, finalizing or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproduceable and ask for its imimmediate consideration. the clerk: h.r. 1430, a bill to prohibit the environmental protection agency from proposing, finalizing or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproduceable. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. smith, nd the gentlewoman from texas, ms. eddie bernice johnson each will control 30 minutes. the house will come to order, please. the gentleman from texas is
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recognized. mr. smith: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. smith: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: h.r. 1430, the honest and open new e.p.a. science treatment act of 20817 or honest act requires the environmental protection agency to base its regulations on science that is publicly available. why would anyone want to hide this information from the american people? i thank former science committee member and former environment subcommittee chairman david schweikert for sponsoring the secret science reform act in the last congress. the bill passed the house with bipartisan support. our goal is to help advance not
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just any science but the best science. the honest act is a nonpartisan bill. a change in administration does not affect the public's right to know and see the science behind the e.p.a.'s regulations. this legislation ensures that sound science is the basis for e.p.a. decisions and regulatory actions. the days of trust me science are over. in our modern information age, federal regulations should be based only upon data that is available for every american to see and can be subjected to independent review. that's called the scientific method. we can all agree that the government should rely on the best available science. unfortunately, the government does not always hold to this standard. looking at the e.p.a.'s past record, it is clear that the agency has not followed an open and honest process. for example, many major air
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quality regulations from the previous administration were justified by data that the e.p.a. said they had not seen even though they proposed the regulation. this means that the e.p.a.'s claims about the cost and benefits of its regulations and the real risk they are meant to address cannot be independently verified by unbiased experts. if e.p.a.'s mandates really are based on sound science, then the american people should be allowed to see the data. e.p.a.'s past refusal to cooperate leads to the question, what have they been hiding. americans have a right to be suspicious. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. he house will be in order. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: we all care about the enenvironment, but if policies are not based on legitimate science, regulations will result in economic hardship with little
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or no environmental benefit. in other words, the regulations would be all pain and no gain. this bill strengthens the previous house-passed legislation in the last congress, the secret science reform act. that bill required the e.p.a. to base its decisions on information fully available to scientists and the american people. you may hear from opponents of this legislation that it costs too much money. that is based on a c.b.o. estimate from two years ago that misinterprets the implementation requirements of the bill. c.b.o. has not re-issued that this year after consulting with the e.p.a. all the honest act requires that e.p.a. uses science that is publicly available. so the cost is neck liable. some critics claim that it puts personal data at risk. this is false. the act requires redactions of
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personally identifiable information and confidential business information. it is also misleading to assert that the bill tells scientists how to conduct science. that is not true. they need to test and challenging the resulting theories. it allows independent researchers to evaluate the studies that the e.p.a. uses to justify its regulations. the honest act promotes sound science and restores confidence in the e.p.a. decision making process. the honest act ensures that the e.p.a. is not promoting a one-sided ideological agenda. it provides for the open and accountable government that the american people want and deserve. you are either for an open and honest government or you're not. if your then support this legislation. i reserve the balance of my
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time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. johnson: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. johnson: i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 1430, the so-called honest act. this is the third time the majority has tried to move this misguided legislation which was formerly as the secret science reform act. unfortunately in this case, the third time is not the charm. the secret science bill, the republicans tried to enact over the previous two congresses were designed from the outset to prevent e.p.a. using the best available science to meet its obligations under the law. those bills were constructed to hamstring the ability of e.p.a. to go about anything to protect
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the american public. as the american lung association said at the time, the legislation will not improve e.p.a.'s actions, rather, it will stifle public health protections. the honest act, if anything is even worse than those two previous bills. there are several reasons for this. like the secret bills that requires e.p.a. to release the underlying data from any science that is relied upon when taking action. this would cause a whose of cascading problems for the agency, which is, of course, is the real reason they are pushing this bill. first, the e.p.a. relies upon science drawn from many sources. since e.p.a. does not own or control the data for most of these scientific sources, the e.p.a. would have no authority to order the public release of
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such data. this would preclude the e.p.a. from using the vast majority of peer-reviewed science in existence today. second, scientific studies relied upon by the e.p.a. must be reproduceable from the data that is publicly released. however, the e.p.a. frequently investigates and relies upon scientific studies that are not reproduceable. for instance, the e.p.a. might study natural or manmade disasters such as the deepwater hors and oil spill. under this bill, the e.p.a. couldn't use this type of information at all. these problems with the apparently not enough for my republican colleagues, they have worked to
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make the bill worse. the newest addition would permit the e.p.a. to redact from public disclosure confidential information such as trade secrets and public health information. however, the bill then sets up an unrestricted process whereby anyone who signs a confidentiality agreement can access any restricted information in e.p.a.'s possession. this provision is a pan dora's box, which could have untold consequences for the e.p.a. industry and the general public. first e.p.a. will find it much more difficult to collect scientific data in the first instance. if people think it will be disclosed at will. this will cripple their ability to conduct their own science, which is important, since the honest act essentially places all non-e.p.a. science off
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limits. this is ng direct conflict with other federal laws like the freedom of information act and hipaa. the bill provides no guidance how to navigate the mainfield it creates which would lead to lawsuits and legal bills for the e.p.a. finally, this bill places restrictions on who can access restricted information. for instance, for the chemical manufacturer obtains access to the trade secrets of a competitor simply by signing a confidentiality agreement? could insurance companies seek the health information of potential customers? are in l for abuses this. personal information and trade secrets, it is unconscionable we are providing an access to criminals around the world.
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the honest act forces upon the e.p.a. a massive unfunded mandate. while we have no c.b.o. cost estimate for this bill, five versions were estimated to cost the e.p.a. $550 million. however, the bill restriggets the e.p.a. to spend only $1 pill million to implement its provisions. this hits e.p.a. $249 million unfunded man dailt every year. this bill comes in the face of . ssive proposed budget cuts mr. speaker republicans claim that this bill is just implementing scientific best practices. deas odd that a host of scientific communities and stakeholder groups have
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expressed their opposition to this legislation. this includes the american association for the advancement of science, the association of public and land grant universities, the association of american universities and the american chemical society. if republicans don't know -- don't want to be labeled as science haters, i think they would want to listen to what scientists say instead of lecturing about things they don't understand. in reality, this bill isn't about science, it's about undermining public health and the environment. that is why a host of public health groups are actively opposing the bill, this includes the american lung association, the american thoracic society, the american public health association, the union of concerned scientists and the environmental fund. i will be placing some of the
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letters we received in opposition in the record. mr. speaker, for the many reasons i have spoken about today, i strongly oppose this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i yield myself 30 seconds. mr. speaker, i would like to alleviate the ranking member's unfounded concerns and remind her that the national academy of sciences itself has explained the transparency in science is possible without any risk to confidentiality or privacy. this is the national academy of sciences quote. nothing in the past cuts that increasing access to research data without damage to privacy and confidentiality rights is beyond scientific reach, end quote. i hope that will alleviate her concerns. it comes down to whether you are for open and honest government. i yield two minutes to the
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gentleman from texas, mr. babin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. babin: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of the honest act. as a co-sponsor of this legislation and the member of the science committee, i'm pleased to see this bill come to the house floor. i represent the congressional district with the highest consentrags of chemical manufacturing and refining companies. this means that thousands of my constituents have been are currently employed by these industries. in fact years ago, i spent sometime as a worker in these very factories. you can understand why pushing for reform, transparency and accountability within the e.p.a. would be very important to me because so many of my constituents' livelihoods are affected by burdensome egulations from the
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the e.p.a. time and again the e.p.a. has issued extensive regulations without ever showing the science to back up their claims. just to justify these regulations. it's like they have a little black box over there. they don't let anyone else look into it. they just say, trust us. well, we've got good science backing up our claims. i say if your science is so good then don't hide it in your little black box. show us your day tafment the honest act simply requires the e.p.a. to open their little black box to public scrutiny. after we pass the honest act, any regulations coming from the e.p.a. must be based on data that is publicly available. what is so offensive about a little transparency? most companies and businesses would be happy to comply with the e.p.a. when data shows that
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their regulations are backed up by clear evidence. but many times, if not most of the time, this is not the case. instead, the regulations are based on secret science that no one but the regulators themselves have access to. when the federal government issues regulations based on secret science, this is yet another example of a federal agency getting away with something the rest of america cannot do. american workers are fed up with an overzealous regulator pushing our jobs overseas. can i have just a few more seconds? mr. smith: i yield the gentleman two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. babin: american workers are fed up with overso louse regulators pushing our jobs overseas. this bill is about protecting american jobs and the american economy. in math class we were taught to show our work. when we didn't, we got the problem counted wrong. this bill is about transparency.
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accountability, and holding the government to the same standard that everyone else is. according to a poll by the institute of energy research, 90% of americans believe that scientific data used to make government decisions should be available to the public, to the rest of us. that's nearly 100%. not many issues in our current political environment enjoy that level of support. but when it does, congress should very well listen. the honest act is a common sense legislation that i am proud to support. in conclusion, i ask unanimous consent to add this letter of support from the american chemistry council into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. babin: i applaud the tireless work that chairman lamar smith has done to bring this legislation forward so that we can bring accountability and transparency to the e.p.a. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from texas.
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ms. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from minnesota, ms. mccollumful the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized -- ms. mccollum. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. mccollum: i rise in opposition to this bill which makes it harder for the environmental protection agency to do its job. this would bring e.p.a.'s work to a halt. this legislation interferes we this use of sound science and creates obstacles that stops the e.p.a. from enforcing the law. this bill is just one mart of president trump's and congressional republicans' attack on science and our environment. shortly after the inauguration, the trump administration removed, removed taxpayer funded scientific data from public websites. now that's not open. that's not honest. and that's not fair to the taxpayers. this month, president trump proposed traumatic budget cuts that would make it impossible for the e.p.a. to enforce clean
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air and clean water laws. yesterday, president trump rescinded the clean power plan, paving the way for more pollution. i i reject this bill. we must put public hell and scientific integrity were polluters' profits. mr. speaker, i yield back. sproy the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from indiana, mr. banks, the vice chairman of the environment subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. anks: thank you, chairman, thank you, mr. smith. i think this bill will take an important step toward improving the quality of science at the e.p.a. this is incredibly important because this agency ensures that our air and water are clean, something that all americans want and deserve. however, in recent years, the e.p.a. has not been as
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transparent and forth coming with the scientific data that the agency has used as the basis for costly regulations. that's exactly where the honest act comes in. by requiring the agency to base its regulations on publicly available science, scientists tand the american people will be able to to examine the data and pursue their own scientific inquiry if they wish. improving the scientific integrity of the e.p.a. transparency throughout all levels of the federal government is an important tenet of american democracy. i strongly support all efforts to provide the american people with more information on how our government works. this is most important when regulations that impact american jobs and the economy are involved. critics of the honest act claim that requiring scientific tai ta to be public would compromise personal information. this is a false narrative. this legislation specifically protects that information by way of redaxes.
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it is not the interest of congress or the e.p.a. to compromise anyone's personal data. passage of the honest act comes at a critical time for the e.p.a. executive orders issued by president trump require that the agency review and potentially revise a number of regulations from the past administration that were only partly based on science and that were never made public to the american people. we want to avoid similar situations moving forward regardless of the administration. i urge my colleagues to vote for this legislation to promote a more honest and open e.p.a. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from texas. ms. johnson: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, the vice ranking member of the full committee and ranking member of the subcommittee of oversight. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from virginia is ecognized for two minutes. >> i have several problems with the -- mr. beyer: i have several problems with the bill being considered today. this bill would prohibit the e.p.a. from using scientific findings when the e.p.a. didn't have total access to underlying data, this would eliminate some of the best data available to the e.p.a. there is nothing secret or dishonest about relying on peer-reviewed studies to make public health decisions. equally problematic, the bill would force the e.p.a. to grant full access to any scientific data it does possess, including highly sensitive materials like trade secrets and personal health histories. much has been made about the bill -- the ability of the e.p.a. to redact the information but there's a piece of the legislation that says by signing a nondisclosure agreement you
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can have access to all the nonredacted information. we talk about the accountability of the e.p.a., what's the accountability of violating a simple nondisclosure agreement? it becomes so easy for private health information services to be sold on the black market and it doesn't make sense such an easy avenue to potential bad actors. mr. speaker, i'd also like to object to the title of the legislation and the implication that e.p.a. employees the scientists -- e.p.a. employees or scientists are not honest. many of those folks live in virginia and i'm tired of members of congress bad mouthing my constituents. these are hardworking public servants who dedicated their lives to clean air, clean water, and our good heth our good health. i want to reassure the members of the e. -- the employees of the e.p.a. that we do appreciate your good work on behalf of the american people. lastly we also talk about, much like the trumpcare bill we almost considered last week, there's no c.b.o. cost estimate.
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the chairman mentioned he asked the c.b.o. to use a different methodology, the last one they said would cost us hundreds of millions of dollars. it's hard to imagine anything where the e.p.a. is going to be required to fund required data that's not going to be unreasonably ex-tense i -- expensive compared to anything before. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i yield myself 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i don't see how we can make it more clear to those who bring up privacy arguments, they go to line 17 through 21 of page 2 of the bill if i -- any personally identifiable information btained from a person in privileged or confidential shall be redacted prior to public availability. any misconstruing of that is unfortunate and it is not an accurate description of that provision. mr. speaker, i yield two minute to the gentleman from illinois, mr. lahood, also the chairman of the eversight subcommittee.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. lahood: i want to thank chairman smith for yielding time and for his leadership on this important issue. mr. speaker, my district in central and west central illinois is home to some of the most fertile farmland in the entire world my district is the ninth largest congressional district in terms of corn and soybean production. with that said, farming families across my 19 counties i represent are faced every day with burdensome rules and regulations created by the e.p.a. with little or no transparency into the data that influence those regulations in the first place. these rules and regulations have and continue to cause real world consequences to the agriculture community. moreover, these e.p.a. directives have far greater reach outside the rem of just farmers. manufacturing and trade industries in my district have also seen a direct negative impact from these agency
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actions. they have continued to hurt the ability of these industries to create jobs and economic opportunities in central and west central illinois. as such, i am here today to support the honest act. which encourages a more open and transparent federal government. it requires data and studies used by federal agencies in rule making process to be made publicly available to the american people and independent scientists. he goal is to promote more accountability for washington, d.c., bureaucracies, such as the e.p.a. the bottom line is costly federal relations should only be based upon data that is comprised of sound science and that can withstand scruti and review. simply put, the honest act is a step in the right direction to restore trust in the e.p.a. and in federal bureaucracies. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from illinois yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from texas. ms. johnson: i would like to ask -- yield ms. esty of connecticut four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. esty: i rise in strong opposition to the so-called honest act. whether in its incarnation last congress as the secret science act or this year's incarn ration ation, let's be clear. this orwellin named bill is clearly designed to suppress certain scientific research that has been central for environmental health and regulations. in addition to hinderi scientific advancement this bill risks violating people's privacy by exposing sensitive patient data and it's harmful to public health the clear aim of the honest act is to undermine e.p.a.'s efforts to take aion in a variety of areas, such as climate and air
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pollution. let me also be clear , in my state of connecticut, we rely on those regulations to deal with the asthma crisis we have based on power plants in other parts of the country blowing polluted air into my state. the so-called honest act accomplishes this objective by excluding legitimate peer-reviewed research from the policy process. if this bill were to become law, e.p.a. would have no choice but to lean increasingly on industry funded studies instead. at my recent town hall meeting in waterberry connecticut, one american after another stood up and expressed fear and outrage at the attempts made in this house and by the new administration to take science out of public policy. my constituents want genuine scientific research guiding our efforts to protect our environment and safeguard public health. they don't want agenda-driven studies funded by fossil fuel companies determining the
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e.p.a.'s actions on climate policy. while the majority attempted to alleviate some of our privacy concerns with this bill, the reality is that any person whom e.p.a. administrator scot pruitt deems worthy will have access to sensitive patient information. why is this a problem? because fewer people will be willing to participate in the studies that are necessary to understand air and water quality issues. who can blame them? no one wants their medical records shared with strangers or worse, made public. the result is that the e.p.a. will have to rely on incomplete science to issue life-saving regulations. sadly, this is th bill is yet another example of the political crusade against science we're seeing coming from both congress and the new administration. we should be confronting the economic and environmental realities of our changing climate, but just yesterday, president trump issued an executive order that would have us pretend that climate change does not exist. .
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overwhelm weeks yerl the e.p.a. administrator himself said without evidence he disagreed with the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary contributor to global climate change n my home state of connecticut, woor downwind from these power plants that are burning dirty coal. we see elevated rates of asthma, higher rates of cardiopulmonary issues. and if this bill is passed, many longitudinal scientific studies like the ones that established the link between air pollution and asthma, would be excluded from playing a role in the e.p.a.'s actions. mr. speaker, let's allow the e.p.a. to do its job. i urge my colleagues to oppose this misguided bill. and before i yield back my time i have two letters in opposition to place in the record from the union of concerned scientists and from the environmental defense fund. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. esty -- ms. esty: thank you.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves, the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: it's hard to keep up with all the misstatements about this bill but i'm going to try. the immediate past speaker on the other side talked about the cost of the bill and i'm sure he didn't do it intentionally but he because oosing a two year out of date cost. we have an email from the c.b.o. as of this past monday that says c.b.o. estimates this legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues. so there is no cost despite what members might hear otherwise. also, it is just hard for me to understand how any member of congress could oppose open and honest government. all this bill does is to say that the data has to be transparent. the data has to be publicly available f they want more government control, more environmental regulations, that can't be justified, that's one thing. but don't oppose the bill because of -- for the wrong reasons. the bill does nothing more than
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require open and transparent and honest government. with that, mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from arizona, mr. gosar, who is a member of the natural resources committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for two minutes. mr. gosar: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 1430, the honest act, sponsored by chairman of the science committee, chairman lamar smith. let's all go back to the fifth grade where we learned about the steps of the scientific method and do a quick review. after we formulated our question and came up with our hypothesis, what did we do? we tested that hypothesis by performing an experiment and collecting the data in a reproduceable manner. data isn't reproduceable if it isn't even made available. mr. chairman, transparency and reproducibility are basic tenets of science at every elementary school student learns and values. and yet our very own environmental protection agency has issued regulation after regulation using studies and data that are not available for public review.
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despite the very serious ramifications of that very data. in 2012, president obama's own chair of the science advisory board, testified and i quote, that literature and data used by the e.p.a. be pier reviewed and made available to the public, end of quote. this is common sense, mr. speaker. let's make public policy using public data and use public data for public policy. i thank the chairman for leading this initiative and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from miss johnson: i yield three minutes to -- the gentleman from texas. miss johnson: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. tonko: i rise today in sop significance to h.r. 1430, the honest and open new e.p.a. science treatment act. i have serious concerns with this bill the majority has offered. this bill pretends to improve scientific integrity and
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transparency while in reality it would stop e.p.a. from doing its critical job, its critical mission of protecting the american people. many credible organizations have opposed the honest act. including the american association for the advancement of science. union of concerned scientists. american institute of by logical sciences. american lung association. american public health association. the league of conservation voters. natural resource defense council. and the environmental defense action fund. two others that i will place record -- into the record the copies that i hold in my hand in opposition have been received from the consortium for ocean leadership and the other from the environmental data and governance initiative. the union of concerned citizens -- concerned scientists has recently said that, and i quote, the bill effectively prevents
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the e.p.a. from using the weight of scientific evidence to protect public health and the environment. they go on to say this doesn't make sense. i agree. this doesn't make any sense. instead, i hope that as a congress we can turn our protecting truly scientific integrity. we must protect the scientific process from political interference which is why prote recently introduced the scientific integrity act which will require our united states federal agencies to adopt or strengthen policies to insill late government directed research from the influence -- insulate government directed research from the influence. federal agencies that conduct our fund scientific research would be required to develop clear, written scientific integrity policies that can guarantee research is being done
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and published without undo influence, censorship, or distortion. scientific and technological information would be able to flow more easily while protect privacy, confidentiality and our national security. 24 separate federal agencies have developed scientific integrity policies to date. this legislation would also codify and strengthen these policies within a common framework. every democrat on the science commit has supported the scientific integrity act, and i invite all of my colleagues across the aisle to join us in working to truly protect scientific integrity. with that i urge a no vote on the so-called honest act and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from texas reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: we heard a couple times today that the bill prevents the e.p.a. there using
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the best available science. i hope that members who are listening to this debate and others will take the time to actually look at the language of the bill. here's the exact language, page 2, line 13, the first requirement of the bill is that the e.p.a., quote, use the best available science. i don't know what more we can do and how better we can spell it out. the bill is only three pages long. i do recommend that the folks who oppose it read the bill itself. and actually look at the language and the usual understanding and definition of the words and i hope they'll be satisfied. we have also heard that the scientific community opposes the bill, but let me quote from a couple of obama administration officials. the president's science advisors said absolute lith data op which regulatory decisions are based should be made available to the committee and public. the same was said about the chair of the e.p.a. science advisory board, this is the e.p.a.'s science advisory board,
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they testified before the committee that literature and data used by e.p.a. be made available to the public. mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from kansas, mr. marshall, the vice chairman of the oversight subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from kansas is recognized for two minutes. mr. hash shall: i rise today as a member of the committee on science, space, and technology to voice my support of the honest act. this legislation gives independent scientist as fair chance to validate the studies e.p.a. uses to make regulations. as someone who has made a clear in science, i know determining anything less is unwise and unscientific. whether you are setting a new oncology drug or e.p.a. regulations, transparency and the ability to reproduce and share these findings are some of the basic tenets of science. costly regulations that impact american citizens and kansas farmers should be based upon data that is available to indmeant scientists --
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independent scientists and public. let's be the voice of the people . thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from texas. ms. johnson: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. perlmutter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for three minutes. mr. perlmutter: thanks to the ranking member and to my friend, the chairman of the committee. we often agree on things in the science committee, but there are times when our disagreements are huge. and this is one of those times. so, mr. speaker, i rise today to oppose h.r. 1430e. we have seen this bill in the last congress when it was called the secret science reform act. it was a lousy bill then. and it's still a lousy bill today. let's start with the name of this bill, mr. speaker. the honest act. but it really should be called the dishonest act. that's because this bill
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improperly describes what's going on at the e.p.a., which is looking to protect our environment, from extreme weather events that we have in colorado, throughout the country, and around the world. the e.p.a. is working to protect our clean air and our clean water, and has come straably improved our communities and the health of american -- demonstrably approved our communities and the health of america since 1970. i wish these attacks today and tomorrow on the e.p.a. and scientific research are isolated, but unfortunately they are not. earlier today the science committee held a hearing on climate science. i was astonished at what i heard from the majority republican party calling into question whether climate change is happening and whether it is caused by humans. all this serves is to attack scientific research and jeopardize the progress we have
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made to combat climate change and protect our communities. just yesterday president trump issued an executive order to further roll back progress that we have made over the last eight years. the executive order tries to dismantle the clean power plan and many other important protections from the obama administration which were worked on based on the best available science and through an open and deliberate process. gathering millions of comments along the way. the fact is investing in clean energy and reducing admissions is good for our national security, good for our environment, and good for jobs. i believe we can do both -- improve our energy independence and create good-paying jobs at the same time. colorado has been a leader in reducing harmful emissions, improving energy efficiency, and investing in clean energy, and we have realized substantial economic benefits for colorado
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through innovation, research and development, and the creation of good-paying jobs. mr. speaker, we need to do better. this house and the science committee need to take their heads out of the sand and stop ignoring what's going on across the country and across the world. i urge all my colleagues to oppose this bill and i yield back -- i'd like to enter into the record, mr. speaker, a letter dated march 8, 2017, from the american geophysical union as part of the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from colorado yields back. the gentlewoman from texases reserves. the gentleman from flfpblgts smith: i yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i know the gentleman from colorado attended the hearing we had this morning on the scientific method and climate change but i'm not sure he was listening because not a single witness on either side denied the facts around climate change. i also want to reassure him he's worried about colorado and i
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understand that. that the intergovernmental panel on climate change found that there was low confidence in any connection between climate change and extreme weather events. so i hope there will not be any unusual extreme weather events in colorado. mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. lamalfa, and he is a member of the natural resources committee and agriculture committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. lamalfa, is recognized for three minutes. mr. lamalfa: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank you the chairman, chairman smith, for yielding me time here today. as these issues affect my constituents in northern california as well. being here to support h.r. 1430 pleases me, the honest act. we haven't had a loft honesty the way the e.p.a. has applied new interpretations to new rules to some of the folks in my district that farm and ranch and other activities that use our resources and land in the way they see fit.
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we need to ensure e.p.a. rules and regulations are made using verifiable public available data and science. a fundamental tenet of our nation is that citizens have the right to know how and why the government makes decisions and just as importantly have the ability to challenge those decisions. e have seen the department refusing to share the data the decisions are based on claiming it is too sensitive. for example, the waters of the u.s. rule which would have inserted the federal government nto local land use rules contradicts the data prepared by the army corps of engineers, but the e.p.a. refused to release data. farmers in some cases cannot even use their land under threat of litigation, fines, or arrests. even the army corps of engineers
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disputes the e.p.a.'s refusal, noting in 2015 that e.p.a. provide nod scientific basis for its jurisdictional power grab. watts of the united states, we have heard interpretations that people plowing their fields could be interpreted now as a regulateable land because that could be seen as a watershed because you have furrows that are new watersheds. this is the kind of thing that needs to be heard publicly in review of congress and the people, not made in the back room of the e.p.a. somewhere. shast not an honest way of doing business. that's why 143 is -- 1430 is an honest way. we need people to have their day have a right to odispute non-science-led decisions made by the e.p.a. the obama administration did not depend on peer-reviewed science despite the e.p.a.'s claims its efforts was backed by science.
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the tendency for agecies to make regulations based on secret data is more insidious when you note that these are not elected officials, these are career bureaucrats that cannot be removed or sometime even met up with by voters. when americans face regulations imposed by unelected bureaucrats and based on secret science that cannot be verified or viewed, how can they employ the first amendment right to petition their government? the answer, colleagues, is simple. they can't. mr. speaker, i urge support for this bill to protect every american's right to know how and why their government makes digs to protect their first amendment right, protect their property, and their ability to thrive. i thank the gentleman for the time and thank you for bringing this effort and for your battle. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from texas. ms. johnson: mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas reserves.
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the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i'll yield two minutes to the gentleman from arizona, mr. diggs who is the chairman of the -- mr. biggs who is the chairman of the environmental subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. biggs: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the chairman of the science, space and technology committee and sponsoring this honest act. i fully support this bill. that will require effort p.a. regulations be based -- require e.p.a. regulations be based on science that's publicly available. the honest act pushes forward the basic principles of the scientific method which is clearly important in areas where laws fic principles and interact. this is important to people in my district. so it is imperative that the
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citizens of the country be able to see the data that underpin these rules. what is even more important is that the scientific community be able to scrutinize e.p.a. data to ensure that the agency is using the best available science regardless of the administration. critics of the honest act clim that scientific data underpinning e.p.a.'s a regulations are already subject to the standards of peer review. while this may be true, peer review of scientific studies is not adequate because this a cess rarely involves review. it rarely checks the analysis and rarely does it attempt to replicate the results of the study. right now we can only hope that those conducting the science can be trusted with the results. the e.p.a. should promote the use of rigorous science. those who say peer review is adequate are misguided. the american people deserve better and the honest act ensure theirs expecting as are met.
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i urge my colleagues who are interested in an open and honest e.p.a. to pass this legislation. again, i thank chairman smith for bringing this legislation forward and giving me the opportunity to speak. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: how much time remains on each side? and i'd like to know if the other side, the minority have any more speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas has 8 3/4 minutes. the gentlelady from texas has 10 1/2. does the gentlelady have any more speakers? ms. johnson: we have no further requests for time. mr. smith: ok, mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i've been standing here listening to this debate.
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let's go back and think about this for just a minute. right now in the united states the cost of regulation in our nation is approximately $2 trillion. $2 trillion is the cost that our nation spends every year just complying with regulations. in fact, that distilled down to the average household spending around $15,000 just to comply with regulations. let me be clear. regulations are important. we've got to have regulations to make sure we protect our environment, protect the health and safety of our citizens. that's critical. what this bill does is it simply provides for transparency so we can understand the basis of regulations. that's all this does. to make sure we can understand the science that regulations were based upon. and during a public comment process, we should have the ability to scrutinize that science and understand the basis. because mr. speaker, if you begin hiding the basis for decisions, then you have
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government in many cases acting without providing for transparency. without being able to be held accountable. that is dangerous to have people making decisions based upon secret information. that's dangerous for our economy and it is going to further challenge the ability of americans to keep their budgets balanced. it is already $15,000 per household. how many thousands does it have to be before we say stop, this is unreasonable? mr. speaker, you look right now at the trade deaf soist this country you look at the cost of goods and products in other nations, and many others we're losing the trade war because our regulatory environment here, our tax environment here, is simply not competitive. what happens in a scenario where you release the science you provide for transparency and allow for better solutions, you allow for more efficient regulations, for better ways to achieve those objectives to improve our environment and protect our environment. to improve and protect the safety of workers and american
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citizens. this bill is in america's interests, in the public's interest to listen to people stand here and talk about people hiding and shielding science and making up red herrings about privacy and other things that's ablute -- absolutely contrary to this country's interest, contrary to the public's interest. this bill should be passed. i'm shocked there's opposition to it. we should pass this with unanimous support. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. mr. smith: i'm prepared to yield to another speaker and then close after that. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady from texas reserve in ms. johnson: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i'm happy to yield to the gentleman from arizona a former member of the science committee who is still missed, a former chairman of the environment subcommittee, and the author of a very similar bill to this in a previous congress, mr. schweikert. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. schweikert: thank you, mr. speaker, mr. chairman, madam ranking member. look, i missed the science committee -- i miss the science committee, but i know i've been banned. i've had a lot of coffee today so i was going to come up to the microphone and sort of do the blast away, but let me back away. a number of things i have heard in this debate from the left and even a couple of the things from my side, ok, you're conflating all sorts of things that this bill doesn't do. this bill is three pages. so can i ask a question? if i came to you right now and said, tell me that the e.p.a. is actually -- has the right rule sets for hydrocarbons, if it has the right rule sets for pm-10, it as the right rule sets for ozone, you'd say, well, i have a
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peer-reviewed study that says this. i want to make you the argument in today's technology, why shouldn't your university, why shouldn't the really smart person who has the computer system and -- in their basement, why shouldn't the new statistical packages on these be allowed to take the data that taxpayers have paid for and work it. and model it. and bounce it off other types of data sets and understand, is the way we model and regulate rational? this bill doesn't reduce regulations. in many ways it allows us all to participate in the citizen science to understand whether we're doing it the right way. why is the left so scared of citizen scientists? of university scientists? of people who are just darn
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interested of the matching of different types of data sets? you and i might find out we're doing things the wrong way. you and i might find out we're not doing enough. you and i may find out we're doing far too much. but stop being afraid of people aving access to information. if society is going to live under a regulatory environment, then society deserves access to the information that creates those regulations. public information for public policy. why is that so fearful? why is there so much trust in the bureaucracy? instead of science and information. i want to argue with you that in today's world, when we're on the cusp, where sensors are going to be attached to this taking thousands of readings in our communities, that that information is just as noble as
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something that's locked up in the cabinet where none of us can actually see the base data set. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from texas. ms. johnson: mr. speaker, since the time that president nixon signed into law authorizing e.p.a., it appears to me that there's been no evidence that they've done anything other than attempt to protect the lives of american people. and i don't believe that this legislation is going to do anything to further that. it will give them a lot of unfunded mandates, far more than what they'd ever be funded to carry out. i would ask everyone to respect the agency and vote no on this bill. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: costly environmental regulations should only be based upon data that is available to independent scientists and the public and that can be verified. h.r. 4030, the honest act, gives independent scientists an opportunity to validate the studies the e.p.a. uses to make new regulations. what this bill does not do is roll back the laws that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. it simply requires the e.p.a. to base regulations on science that is publicly available. this is a nonpartisan bill. a change in administration does not change the need or justification for it. this is the same bill virtually introduced in the last administration. and that is evidenced by my introduction of this good government legislation with my democratic colleague henry
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cuellar. that shows it's a good, bipartisan bill. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and promote a more open and honest federal government. we should not be afraid of letting the american people see the data that the e.p.a. or other agencies say justifies their regulation. so let's vote for an open and honest government and support this legislation and i'll yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 229 the previous question is ordered on the bill. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill, those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to prohibit the environmental protection agency from proposing, finalizing or disseminating regulations or assessments based on science that is not transparent or reproducible. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have a motion
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to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? >> i am opposed. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: mr. mcginn ta of virginia moves to recommit the bill with instructions to report the same back to the house forthwith with the following amendment. at the end of the bill, add the following. section 3, exception, not withstanding the amendment made by section 2, the administrator of the environmental protection agency shall, in carrying out the activities described in that amendment, make use of the best available science whether or not it is publicly available in any form when responding to threats to public health including black lung disease and asthma caused by or exacerbated by exposure to pollution or toxic chemicals. . the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia is recognized for five minutes in support of his motion. mr. mceachin: this is the final amendment to the bill which will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. if adopted the bill would
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immediately proceed to final passage as amended. mr. speaker, my amendment is simple. it assures that the e.p.a. continues to use the best available science to respond to threats to public health, including black lung and asthma, caused by or exaser bitted by exposure to pollution or toxic chemicals. this motion to recommit reverses harmful restrictions imposed by this bill that make it almost impossible to base public protections on the best available science -- scientific information, much of which is private or proprietary, and cannot always be published. in its current form, mr. speaker, this bill, the so-called honest and open e.p.a. science treatment act, seriously impedes the e.p.a.'s ability to protect the american public from pollutants, toxins, and other dangerous threats to their well-being. the true intention of this bill is not to increase transparency and policymaking, but rather to bar scientists and civil
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servants from enforcing the intent of bedrock protections in the clean air act and the clean water act. and other important laws. if this secret science bill passes in its current form, the e.p.a.'s work will grind to a halt. and countless americans will suffer or even die as a result. hardworking miners whose work and contribution has been overly politicized in the debate to keep access to science are the greatest at risk. generations of miners toil dutifully to support their families, all the while exposing themselves to toxicity and pollution that can leave them with lifelong debilitating diseases such as black lung and asthma. families who will struggle from the cost of treating these expensive diseases and for the loss of income due to days missed from work do not need more obstruction or political football. they need access to the best care available which relies upon evidence-based science. they deserve far better than what the majority is offering.
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mr. speaker, i came to congress with a mission, to uphold the values and principles of the great constituents living in virginia's fourth congressional district. i believe that mission includes advocating for the health of all americans. that means advocating for sound science and reasonable policies. it means rejecting dangerous shortsighted and astonishingly hardhearted piece of legislation that is currently before you. mr. speaker, science is the bedrock of sound, medical and public health decisionmaking. e.p.a.'s science-based decisionmaking process has saved lives and led to the dramatic improvements in the quality of drink, reathe, water we and earth we share. all americans have benefited from the research-based scientific advance -- advice that scientist vs. provided the e.p.a. and that -- scientists have provided the e.p.a. and that's why i urge my colleagues to support my motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back? mr. mceachin: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> i rise in opposition to the motion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i don't really know the gentleman from virginia. you you can hear in the tone of his voice he is truly well-meaning and cares about his state and his population. but if you actually read this motion to recommit, things in here such as best available science, well, that's obvious. that's actually, if you read the three pages of the legislation, that's obvious. mr. schweikert: being the original previous generation author of the bill, that was our goal. but you can't actually -- does anyone see the intellectual duplicity when on the one hand you say proprietary science, and then the best available science, but other science can't test
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stress, analyze, bounce, conflate, model the proprietary science because it's proprietary with the best available and other data sets. you can't have both. if you're going to try to make ublic policy in a world with something secret, proprietary, science data that's provided -- let's be brutally honest here for a moment. this stuff is sold to the e.p.a. one of the reasons some of the groups that have been listed off oppose this legislation is very make money selling the data and then make it so you can't actually look at the data sets underneath and test it. it how does that lead us to knowing that we're taking care of our brothers and sisters out there? how does that lead us to actually knowing we're doing it the best possible, most rational
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way that our rules, our mechanics are correct? look, on your motion to recommit, i'm a severe asthmatic. i have had it since i was n -- an infant. i'm one of those people that wakes up every day and takes haste his ventilator to make sure -- and takes a hit of his ventilator to make sure his lungs are ok. i have an emergency inhaler. i know what it's like to live with asthma. i care tremendously about the science. but i also want there to be vigorous debate. i want there to be all sorts of research. i want there to be this sort of crowd source world where science and the data is competing with each other and being modeled together. and living in a world where we trust the bureaucracy, where we trust proprietary secret information to make our rule sets. i don't know how anyone intellectually can get to the
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point that thinking that's making our society healthier. and that we're actually doing it in the most efficient manner possible. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. it the noes have t the motion is not agreed to. mr. mceachin: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12-a to rule
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sending a letter to the e.u. invoking article 50, the mechanism for countries to leave the e.u. prime minister may's announcement came this morning. >> questions to the prime minister.

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