Governors are sent by Him to punish the evildoers and praise the virtuous (1 Peter 2:14).

Congressional Record2017/4/28Senate | House | Extensions

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[Pages H2958-H2959]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO

                          LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM

  (Mr. HOYER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. McCarthy), the majority leader, for the purpose of inquiring of the schedule for the week to come. (Mr. McCARTHY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. McCARTHY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the House will meet at noon for morning hour and 2 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will meet at 10 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business.

On Thursday, the House will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business.

Mr. Speaker, the House will consider a number of suspensions next week, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business today.

One suspension worth highlighting is H.R. 1644, the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act, sponsored by Chairman Ed Royce. Mr. Speaker, last year, North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests and 26 ballistic missile flight tests.

Congress has long led the charge to impose strict sanctions against the Kim Jong-un regime. This bill would continue that effort by specifically sanctioning North Korea's shipping industry, as well as targeting those who employ North Korean slave labor abroad. It is critical we send a clear and bipartisan message that North Korea's reckless provocations cannot continue.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, the House will consider H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act, sponsored by Representative Martha Roby. This bill would give employees the option to convert the overtime hours worked into paid time off. Mr. Speaker, hardworking Americans in the private sector deserve the same flexibility that public sector workers have enjoyed for decades. By passing this bill, we will give American families greater choice in how they spend their most important resource, their time.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, the House will consider legislation providing further appropriations for the 2017 fiscal year. I am encouraged by the reports I have received from our Appropriations Committee regarding these negotiations, and I look forward to a strong vote on this agreement next week.

Mr. Speaker, additional legislative items are possible. If any items are added, I will relay scheduling information to Members as soon as possible.

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the majority leader for the information on the schedule for next week.

I would ask him, with respect to Korea, that being on the floor-- also, as I understand it, the committee has been working on a Syria sanctions bill. Obviously both of those areas are critically important.

Does the gentleman have any information when we might anticipate the Syria resolution coming forward as well?

I yield to the gentleman.

Mr. McCARTHY. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman is correct. This is a critical area and one that we do want to make sure we speak with one voice and a bipartisan voice.

I have spoken to the committee chairman. He is continuing to work on this. And I anticipate, not next week but in the future, that coming to the floor.

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his focus on that issue because we agree, of course, that that is a serious and volatile matter with which we need to deal in a hopefully effective way.

Two items, one that the gentleman mentioned. We just passed a continuing resolution, as the gentleman noted. And pursuant to our discussions, Democrats and Republicans both overwhelmingly voted for that, and it passed handily.

I don't know whether the gentleman heard my remarks on the floor, but what I had indicated is--and I have indicated to him privately--that we Democrats are in a position of not supporting an additional continuing resolution.

In my discussions with Mrs. Lowey, our ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, she believes that there is a possibility to get an agreement between the two parties, but it appears that the committees themselves have reached a point where they think they will need additional assistance from leadership, I presume, on [[Page H2959]] both sides of the aisle to resolve some of the thorniest issues that are still outstanding.

I want to thank the majority leader and the Speaker. In our discussions yesterday on the floor in private--they weren't, I don't think, private discussions because there were other people around. Both the Speaker and yourself are desirous of getting this done before the end of the weekend, posting something either as early perhaps as Sunday night or as late as Monday night on an omnibus, which would fund government between next week and the end of the fiscal year September 30.

So the first question would be: We share that objective in common, I presume; is that accurate?

I yield to the gentleman.

Mr. McCARTHY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Maryland for yielding.

That is true. I want to thank the gentleman even for his comments earlier in the week. I know they might not have been the same comments as the rest on the other side of the aisle. It was our anticipation that we would not have to do a continuing resolution.

I do believe that the committee is very close. It is the intention of the committee to get to an agreement. I hoped to get to an agreement as early as today, knowing that we do want to provide to the Members the 3 days so they can read through the entire bill and that we can vote on this before the end of this short-term CR.

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for that, and I would urge the Speaker and the majority leader to engage with others because I think that would be useful in facilitating the reaching of an agreement. I know that Leader Pelosi and I will also be available to the extent that we could facilitate that.

I know there are some thorny, tough issues still outstanding, but I know the majority leader agrees with me that the funding of government on a sporadic basis on a continuing resolution is very bad for morale of the Federal service, very bad for anybody who wants to plan on how to execute their obligations and responsibilities, and frankly very disconcerting not only to the American people but to people around the world who contemplate the shutdown of the Government of the United States of America on which so much of the world relies for some degree of stability. It is simply not a thing that we ought to be doing. So I would urge the leader and myself to be as engaged as we need to be to get us to that objective next week.

Secondly, Mr. Majority Leader, I know we had some discussion about a healthcare bill. The Affordable Care Act, as you know, we think is working. We think, working together, we can make it better. I know the majority leader and his party disagree with that and want to see it repealed and that there is legislation to do that.

The majority leader did not mention it in his comments, but does he anticipate the American Health Care Act, with or without amendments, being considered next week?

I yield to the gentleman.

Mr. McCARTHY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. I know we have had many discussions in regards to this, and we have a very strong difference of opinion.

I would believe those individuals that have lost their doctors and that have lost their health care entirely, that they do not have someone providing it. If you look within Tennessee and one-third of the entire country, they only have one provider. There are challenges. We cannot continue to sit back and just watch ObamaCare fail. We have to do something about it.

We had committees work through a bill. We have made great progress over the Easter break. Members have been talking to one another. Members have seen a new amendment to add to the bill. They have been looking at it this week, and I anticipate as soon as Members have looked through that that we will bring that bill to the floor.

I don't have anything scheduled for next week. But as soon as a bill is scheduled, we will notify you. I anticipate the Members reading through it this weekend, and, as soon as possible, we will bring that bill to the floor.

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for that comment. The gentleman is certainly correct, we have very substantial disagreements. We believe the Affordable Care Act is working.

I was pleased to see the administration, at least in the short-term, indicate that they will not take actions to undermine it or sabotage it without passing a replacement, without having the ability to give to the American people an option. I think the administration did the right thing. I hope they will continue to do the right thing in making payments consistent with the law.

We will have a very significant debate on that bill. Therefore, I would urge the majority leader if, in fact, the majority leader is going to bring that bill to the floor at some point in time, that significant notice be given so that not only Members of Congress, but that the American people can have the opportunity to assess the ramifications--in our perspective, the very serious adverse ramifications--that the passage of the American Health Care Act would have on the health care and the cost to every American of health insurance.

The President, as you know, has indicated that he wants to make sure--and he said he would support a program where every American has insurance, not access to insurance. He has made comments numerous times during the course of the campaign and since he has been President of the United States that his program would provide for every American to have health insurance at a lower cost with better quality.

I have told the people that, if he sends such a bill down, I would be inclined to support such a bill. He has not, of course, sent such a bill down.

So, Mr. Leader, the bottom line is I am simply saying that this will be a very controversial item and deserving of very significant debate, discussion. Hopefully, we will get significant notice as to when the majority leader expects to bring it to the floor so that we could be prepared for that debate.

I yield to the gentleman. {time} 1145

Mr. McCARTHY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

And yes, we have had a lot, ample debate already, through committee and part of the floor, but it is our anticipation that we will give you plenty of notification.

We have already posted the amendment to make sure everybody has the ability to read it, and it has already been there 3 days. It is just 8 pages long, and we have provided the 3 days already. But we will give you, as soon as it is scheduled for the floor, notice of it coming.

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman, and I yield back the balance of my time. ____________________

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