BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman, my dear friend from Georgia (Mr. Woodall), not only for managing his rule, but for the time that he has invested not into just this issue, but the issues that come before the Rules Committee, and I want to thank him for his service.
I also want to thank, if I can, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings)--welcome back to the committee after a couple of days of being out with surgery--and for the vigorous hearing that we had yesterday at the Rules Committee.
Mr. Speaker, we had an opportunity to have Mr. Ruppersberger, the leader for the Democrats from the Intelligence Committee, as well as Mike Rogers from Michigan, the chairman of the committee. Both came and vigorously talked about the things which are aimed at our country--cyber threats, nation-states, nations such as China, North Korea, and others who are trying to invade our Internet here in the United States and to steal not only information and data, but also thoughts, ideas, and money. So it gave us an opportunity yesterday to have a great hearing, one which was full of detail, one which really offered intrigue by our Members and a lot of thought process by all those who came before the committee.
However, I would like to advise, if I can, that following the closing statements on the rule before us, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Woodall) will be offering an amendment to the rule that seeks to address concerns with the role of civilian Federal agencies in receiving the cyber information that would be transmitted from the private sector that is included in the underlying bill. This amendment was in negotiation yesterday and submitted for consideration to the Rules Committee, but the final compromise was not ready at the time that the committee finished its work product yesterday evening, so negotiations continued all last night and through this morning until today.
On a bipartisan basis, these negotiations have given us what I consider to be a good amendment with good merits and should be considered under this rule. The amendment has been vetted thoroughly by the five committees which share jurisdiction in this matter, including Ranking Members Thompson and Ruppersberger, and, by the way, my colleague, the ranking member of the Rules Committee, Ms. Slaughter.
If the rule is amended, the language would be offered by Mr. McCaul, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. I'm confident that this work product and the work which we are bringing to this floor will continue to support not just the rule, but the legislation that would be before this House tomorrow by the Rules Committee.
So I believe that this helps not just the underlying bill, but really is a testament to the work on a bipartisan basis among our committees, among a lot of people who had a chance to look at not just jurisdictional issues, but the actual substance of trying to make protecting this country, its assets, and its people a reality now in law that the United States House of Representatives will fully debate tomorrow, vote on, and support.
Part of the role of the Rules Committee about this process has been to make sure that the final product that came to the floor of the House of Representatives was well vetted, received the attention that was necessary, and, perhaps more importantly, was leading-edge.
And, lastly, the most important thing is that we know what we've agreed to; that we know what we've agreed to where we're very clear about what the law is and the expectations of that performance.
I thank the gentleman for yielding.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT