Providing for Consideration of H. Res. Condemning Unwanted, Unnecessary Medical Procedures on Individuals Without Their Full, Informed Consent, and Providing for Consideration of H. Res. Condemning Qanon and Rejecting the Conspiracy Theories It Promotes
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 1164 and ask for its immediate consideration.
The Clerk read the resolution, as follows: H. Res. 1164
Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order without intervention of any point of order to consider in the House the resolution (H. Res. 1153) condemning unwanted, unnecessary medical procedures on individuals without their full, informed consent. The amendment to the resolution printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution shall be considered as adopted. The resolution, as amended, shall be considered as read. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the resolution and preamble, as amended, to adoption without intervening motion or demand for division of the question except one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
Sec. 2. Upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order without intervention of any point of order to consider in the House the resolution (H. Res. 1154) condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes. The resolution shall be considered as read. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the resolution and preamble to adoption without intervening motion or demand for division of the question except one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentlewoman from Arizona (Mrs. Lesko), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. General Leave
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, the Rules Committee met and reported a rule, House Resolution 1164, providing for consideration of H. Res. 1153, condemning unwanted, unnecessary medical procedures on individuals without their full, informed consent, under a closed rule.
The rule self-executes a manager's amendment offered by Chairman Nadler, which clarifies the last statement in the resolved clause. The rule provides 1 hour of debate, equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee.
The rule also provides for consideration of H. Res. 1154, condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes, under a closed rule. The rule provides 1 hour of debate, equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee.
Madam Speaker, I am proud to offer the rule for two timely and necessary resolutions, one that addresses allegations of gross human rights violations conducted under the watch of the United States Government and the other a long-overdue resolution that forcefully condemns QAnon, an anti-Semitic, racist, and, frankly, unhinged conspiracy theory that has infiltrated the internet and infected the rightwing of our Nation's politics.
Let's start with H. Res. 1153, offered by my colleague, Congresswoman Jayapal of the House Judiciary Committee, in response to some of most repulsive and inhumane allegations ever directed at a U.S. Federal agency.
In mid-September, just a couple of weeks ago, a whistleblower came forward to disclose that women who have been detained for immigration offenses at Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, operated by a private prison company, LaSalle Corrections, have been subjected to a pattern of nonconsensual and inappropriate medical treatment, including forced partial and full sterilization.
This complaint was submitted to the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security and outlined concerns raised by a nurse at the facility and numerous immigrant detainees at the facility.
While the IG's investigation is just beginning, many of the central allegations in the complaint have already been confirmed in reporting by The New York Times and by a delegation of a dozen of my colleagues who visited the detention center last weekend, interviewed women who had suffered through these procedures, and consulted with medical professionals who have reviewed the women's medical records relating to those incidents.
Madam Speaker, I include in the Record The New York Times article from yesterday entitled ``Immigrants Say They Were Pressured Into Unneeded Surgeries.'' [From the New York Times, Sept. 29, 2020]
Immigrants Say They Were Pressured Into Unneeded Surgeries (By Caitlin Dickerson, Seth Freed Wessler, and Miriam Jordan) Immigrants detained at an ICE-contracted center in Georgia said they had invasive gynecology procedures that they later learned might have been unnecessary
Wendy Dowe was startled awake early one morning in January 2019, when guards called her out of her cellblock in the Irwin County immigration detention center in rural Georgia, where she had been held for four months. She would be having surgery that day, they said.
Still groggy, the 48-year-old immigrant from Jamaica, who had been living without legal status in the United States for two decades before she was picked up by immigration authorities, felt a swell of dread come over her. An outside gynecologist who saw patients in immigration custody told her that the menstrual cramping she had was caused by large cysts and masses that needed to be removed, but she was skeptical. The doctor insisted, she said, and as a detainee--brought to the hospital in handcuffs and shackles--she felt pressured to consent.
It was only after she was deported to Jamaica and had her medical files reviewed by several other doctors that she knew she had been right to raise questions.
A radiologist's report, based on images of her internal organs from her time at Irwin, described her uterus as being a healthy size, not swollen with enlarged masses and cysts, as the doctor had written in his notes. The cysts she had were small, and the kind that occur naturally and do not usually require surgical intervention.
``I didn't have to do any of it,'' Ms. Dowe said.
The Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga., drew national attention this month after a nurse, Dawn Wooten, filed a whistle-blower complaint claiming that detainees had told her they had had their uteruses removed without their full understanding or consent.
Since then, both ICE and the hospital in Irwin County have released data that show that two full hysterectomies have been performed on women detained at Irwin in the past three years. But firsthand accounts are now emerging from detainees, including Ms. Dowe, who underwent other invasive gynecological procedures that they did not fully understand and, in some cases, may not have been medically necessary.
At least one lawyer brought the complaints about gynecological care to the attention of the center's top officials in 2018, according to emails obtained by The New York Times, but the outside referrals continued.
The Times interviewed 16 women who were concerned about the gynecological care they received while at the center, and conducted a detailed review of the medical files of seven women who were able to obtain their records. All 16 were treated by Dr. Mahendra Amin, who practices gynecology in the nearby town of Douglas and has been described by ICE officials as the detention center's ``primary gynecologist.''
The cases were reviewed by five gynecologists--four of them board-certified and all with medical school affiliations--who found that Dr. Amin consistently overstated the size or risks associated with cysts or masses attached to his patients' reproductive organs. Small or benign cysts do not typically call for surgical intervention, where large or otherwise troubling ones sometimes do, the experts said.
The doctors stressed that in some cases the medical files might not have been complete and that additional information could potentially shift their analyses. But they noted that Dr. Amin seemed to consistently recommend surgical intervention, even when it did not seem medically necessary at the time and nonsurgical treatment options were available.
In almost every woman's chart, Dr. Amin listed symptoms such as heavy bleeding with clots and chronic pelvic pain, which could justify surgery. But some of the women said they never experienced or reported those symptoms to him.
Both the reviewing doctors and all of the women interviewed by The Times raised concerns about whether Dr. Amin had adequately explained the procedures he performed or provided his patients with less invasive alternatives. Spanish- speaking women said a nurse who spoke Spanish was only sporadically present during their exams.
The diagnoses and procedures are ``poorly supported'' and ``not well documented,'' said Dr. Sara Imershein, a clinical professor at George Washington University and the Washington, D.C., chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Even if the patients had reported the symptoms recorded by Dr. Amin, ``there would have been many avenues to pursue before rushing to surgery,'' she said. ``Advil for one.''
``He is overly aggressive in his treatment and does not explore appropriate medical management before turning to procedures or surgical intervention,'' said Dr. Deborah Ottenheimer, a forensic evaluator and instructor at the Weill Cornell Medical School Human Rights Clinic.
But the doctors who reviewed the cases noted that aggressive overtreatment is all too common among doctors-- especially with patients who do not have the resources to seek a second opinion. Dr. Ada Rivera, medical director of the ICE Health Service Corps, said in a statement that the whistle-blower's allegations ``raise some very serious concerns that deserve to be investigated quickly and thoroughly.'' She added, ``If there is any truth to these allegations, it is my commitment to make the corrections necessary to ensure we continue to prioritize the health, welfare and safety of ICE detainees.''
Dr. Amin's lawyer, Scott Grubman, said in a statement that the physician ``strongly disputes any allegations that he treated any patient with anything other than the utmost care and respect.''
``Dr. Amin also strongly disputes that any patient was treated without full informed consent,'' the statement continued. Mr. Grubman said that patient privacy laws prevented him from discussing any specific patient's treatment, but in each case it ``was medically necessary, performed within the standard of care, and done only after obtaining full informed consent.''
The statement added that Dr. Amin always uses an interpreter when treating patients who do not speak English and ``always attempts to treat his patients with more conservative treatment, including medicine and less invasive procedures, before even recommending surgery,'' which he views as a last resort.
Independent doctors that provide treatment for ICE detainees are paid for the procedures they perform with Department of Homeland Security funds. Procedures like the ones that Dr. Amin performed are normally billed at thousands of dollars each.
Dr. Amin's billings had previously come to the attention of federal authorities. In 2013, the Justice Department named him in a civil case alleging that he and several other doctors had overbilled Medicare and Medicaid by, among other things, performing unnecessary procedures on terminal patients and leaving the emergency room staffed by nurses while billing for diagnoses and treatments as if they had been performed by doctors. The case was settled for $520,000 with no admission of fault on the part of the defendants. I could not ask any questions
In many cases, Dr. Amin's patients said they were confused about why they ended up being sent to his office in the first place--some after raising medical issues that had nothing to do with gynecology.
Yuridia, a 36-year-old immigrant from Mexico, sought out a nurse at the center soon after she arrived because she was having pain in her rib after a fight with her abusive ex- partner just before she was picked up by ICE. She asked to be identified by her first name because she feared for her safety.
She was sent for a medical exam at Dr. Amin's office, where she said he began to prepare an ultrasound machine. ``I was assuming they were going to check my rib,'' she said. ``The next thing I know, he's doing a vaginal exam.''
Dr. Amin recorded in his notes that Yuridia had cysts in her ovaries and scheduled a surgery to remove them. He also wrote that she had complained of heavy menstruation and pelvic pain. She said that she never experienced or reported those conditions and that she had not asked to see a gynecologist.
Weeks later, she underwent surgery. Pathology reports show that she did not have dangerous cysts, but small ones of the kind that occur naturally in most women and do not call for surgical intervention.
Yuridia said she had expected only a minor procedure that would be performed vaginally, but she was surprised when she woke up to find three incisions on her abdomen and a piece of skin missing from her genital area.
``I woke up and I was alone, and I was in pain and everyone spoke English so I could not ask any questions,'' Yuridia said. Three days later, still sore and recovering, she was deported.
Yuridia's case bears striking similarities to others that the panel of doctors reviewed. Many of them led to two surgical procedures performed simultaneously: ``dilation and curettage,'' often referred to as a ``D & C,'' which involves inserting tools into a woman's vagina and scraping tissue from the uterus, and laparoscopy, in which three incisions are made to insert a camera into the abdominal cavity to examine or perform procedures on the reproductive organs.
The cases suggest a pattern of ``excessively aggressive surgical intervention without adequate trial of medical remedies,'' Dr. Ottenheimer said. A report reveals longstanding complaints
It was the Irwin County center's handling of the coronavirus pandemic that inspired Ms. Wooten, the nurse whose whistle-blower complaint was first reported by The Intercept, to come forward about another issue that troubled her: Dr. Amin's surgeries. She said in an interview that she had for years noticed that an inordinate number of women were being referred to Dr. Amin. She said she would hear reports that they had undergone surgeries but that they had no idea why the surgeries were performed.
``After they get up from general anesthesia,'' Ms. Wooten said, the women would ask, ``Why'd I have this surgery?''
``And I don't have an answer for why,'' she said. ``I am just as shocked as they are. Nobody explained it to them.''
Data from ICE inspection reports show that the center, which is operated by a private prison company, Lasalle Corrections, refers more than 1,000 detainees a year for outside medical care, far more than most other immigration detention centers of the same size. It is not clear how many of these referrals are for gynecological care. Lasalle Corrections did not respond to requests for comment.
Concerns from women detained at Irwin emerged long before Ms. Wooten came forward.
Ms. Dowe, after being told by Dr. Amin that she had a mass the size of a ``cantaloupe'' on her uterus, had reached out in early 2019 to Donald Anthonyson, an immigrant advocate she had met through a fellow detainee. She was asking for help, Mr. Anthonyson said.
``She expressed real concerns about going to that doctor,'' he said. ``She was concerned about what was happening to her and what she was hearing from other women.''
Unlike some of the women who had no gynecological complaints, Ms. Dowe was experiencing intense menstrual cramping, which the doctors who reviewed her case said could sometimes justify the procedure she underwent--but only if the patient understands the options and elects to move forward. Even then, the doctors raised questions about several seemingly healthy and naturally occurring cysts that Dr. Amin might have removed unnecessarily while he was operating on her.
After the procedure, Dr. Amin wrote in his notes that Ms. Dowe requested a second surgery--a full abdominal hysterectomy and removal of her ovaries.
But Ms. Dowe insists she never made any such request. A note in her medical records from the detention center appears to corroborate her denial. ``Detainee is requesting a second opinion to have a hysterectomy,'' it reads, ``OB/GYN scheduled hysterectomy and patient refused.''
Complaints about Dr. Amin had also been raised with senior officials long before Ms. Dowe's case.
In November 2018, a woman named Nancy Gonzalez Hidalgo was left shaken after several visits with the physician, during which she said he performed rough vaginal ultrasounds and ignored her when she cried out in pain. Ms. Gonzalez Hidalgo's lawyers sent an email to the warden of the center, David Paulk.
In the email, Erin Argueta, a lawyer at the Southern Poverty Law Center, explained that Ms. Gonzalez Hidalgo's health was worsening because of complications she was experiencing from an earlier miscarriage.
``Nancy hesitated to seek medical attention because her last experience with Dr. Amin was so painful and traumatic that she did not want to be sent back to him,'' Ms. Argueta wrote.
She referred in her email to several previous verbal complaints about Dr. Amin that lawyers had taken to the center's inmates services director, Marteka George. ``Ms. George stated that this was not the first time someone complained about Dr. Amin, and she said that she would look into whether Nancy could see a different provider,'' the lawyer wrote.
The warden responded twice, stating on Nov. 30 that Ms. Gonzalez Hidalgo had been scheduled for an appointment with an outside provider ``that is unassociated with Dr. Amin.'' The other doctor, Warden Paulk said, was ``reportedly well thought of by his patients.''
Warden Paulk did not respond to requests for comment.
Other women who questioned Dr. Amin's care in the past said they had also faced challenges when they tried to seek answers.
On the morning of Aug. 14, Mileidy Cardentey Fernandez said, there was no interpreter present at the Irwin County Hospital when she was presented with consent forms in English to sign for a procedure she was undergoing that day.
She asked the technician, ``Spanish, please? Little English.'' The woman urged her to sign the forms--and so she did.
Afterward, she said, she filled out a form on numerous occasions at the detention center requesting her medical records but got no response.
``I wanted to know everything they had done,'' she said. ``I made requests for the biopsy, analyses, and they don't want to give them to me. They said they don't have the results. How can they not have the results?''
When she was released from detention on Sept. 21, she called her daughter in Virginia and then headed straight to Dr. Amin's clinic with her lawyer to demand her records, which she received.
Some women said they had managed to avoid surgeries by Dr. Amin but not without facing resistance.
Enna Perez Santos said she objected when Dr. Amin suggested that she undergo a procedure similar to the ones that other women had complained about. Dr. Amin, she said, counseled her that it was a mistake to forgo the treatment and he wrote in his notes that she had asked to speak to a mental health care provider.
Back at the detention center on the same day, Ms. Perez Santos was given a psychiatric evaluation. ``I am nervous about my upcoming procedure,'' Ms. Perez Santos told the examiner, according to the practitioner's notes. ``I am worried because I saw someone else after they had surgery, and what I saw scared me.''
Ms. Perez Santos was brought three more times to Dr. Amin's office over the next several months, she recalled. Each time, she said, Dr. Amin raised the prospect of a surgery. She felt ``pressured'' to agree, she said, but each time she told him she did not consent.
Three board certified gynecologists who reviewed Ms. Perez Santos's medical files say that her instincts appear to have been correct. ``Based on what I see here, Amin was inappropriately suggesting a D & C scope,'' Dr. Ottenheimer said. ``There is nothing at all there to support the procedure.''
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, the whistleblower complaint raises multiple serious questions which should concern every Member of this body and the administration.
First, these women were apparently subjected to unnecessary and inappropriate medical care without their consent, which, in many cases, has rendered them unable to have children, one of the most precious decisions a family can make.
Second, think about the circumstances. Many of these women did not speak English and had no access to interpreters to explain the procedures to which they were subjected. They were being held in detention, awaiting adjudication of their legal applications to stay in this country, not for any crime. But they had no access to family members, their family doctors, or legal counsel.
Many report that they went to the doctor for unrelated medical conditions and only learned that they had been subjected to surgery after the fact.
Finally, we must determine how such outrageous and inhumane treatment of human beings in the custody of a U.S. agency could be allowed to occur, and we must hold that agency, as well as the detention center, the facility, the private prison operator, and the medical personnel, accountable.
I cannot even begin to express how appalling these allegations are and the stain that, if found to be accurate in their entirety, they will leave on this country.
I am sure there is not a single Member of this body who doesn't want to see a full independent investigation into these claims, and that is exactly why we are offering this resolution today.
This resolution expresses the sense of Congress that this investigation must begin immediately. Any delay is simply unacceptable.
Members of this body have already been forced to intervene in ICE's attempts to deport witnesses central to the investigation since the complaint was filed. This further affirms the necessity for the investigation and that the very nature of how Federal agencies like ICE and DHS are operating under this administration, in violation of the rule of law and without accountability, that this is unacceptable.
Our current administration is aware of the structural flaws in our immigration system and exploits them to great political effect. What we are left with is a leader and a party that vilify immigrants as a tool for political gain. Then they systematically round up and detain immigrants in some of the most horrific ways possible, using private detention centers, separating children from their parents, denying basic medical treatment such as flu shots or COVID prevention, and inflicting lifelong trauma on our fellow humans, creatures of God.
The allegations from the Irwin County detention facility are repugnant, but they are consistent with a pattern of inhumane and similar injustices that have been perpetrated by this administration. ICE and DHS operate with impunity under a President who is using them as a secret police force.
I hope all of my colleagues will join me in passing this necessary resolution, but more than that, I hope that we can come together to reform our broken immigration system.
Our current system harms significantly more than it helps, inflicting physical and emotional pain without protecting our borders. We are long overdue for serious changes that will better reflect our values and interests as a country.
Next, Madam Speaker, we have H. Res. 1154, a resolution condemning the rightwing conspiracy theory QAnon.
I am not entirely sure where to start with QAnon, but basic research tells us it is a rightwing conspiracy theory concocted in some of the darkest corners of the internet that purports to hail President Trump as a savior of the country by combating shadowy members of a deep state who kidnap children in order to drink their blood.
This is a theory so ludicrous that it could be considered absurd if not for the thousands of Americans who have fully bought into these premises and the rash of violence, hatred, and criminal activity that these wild theories have encouraged.
In August 2020, a woman in Colorado was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping of her daughter, who had been placed in foster care as her mother was deemed unfit to care for her. The woman is a fervent QAnon follower and was even found to have consulted other QAnon believers in a plot to kidnap her son, also in the foster care system.
Then there is the case of an Arizona man who was a QAnon follower. He was charged with aggravated assault and making terroristic threats after he was inspired by QAnon theories to use an armored van to block a bridge over the Hoover Dam and demand release of a report he believed existed that would expose the deep state, whatever that is.
The court ultimately blocked his guilty plea as the judge determined that the sentencing would have been too lenient for the crimes he had committed.
One of the most high-profile QAnon incidents came after an alleged leader of the Gambino crime family in New York was murdered by a QAnon supporter who, according to his testimony, believed that the murder would assist President Trump.
While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to flirt with these fringe conspiracy theories, including riling up their base with allegations of invasions by antifa, which have been debunked by the administration's own FBI, QAnon and those who have bought into it are genuine threats to our democracy.
We are talking about a coordinated, sophisticated cult that is poisoning the brains of more and more Americans each day.
In our Rules Committee meeting last night, many of my colleagues claim to have never even heard of this deadly cult. I cannot possibly believe that these skilled political operatives are so clueless, but that is beside the point.
President Trump is certainly aware, and his tacit support and encouragement of these dangerous narratives are a threat to the law and order he so noisily embraces.
I hope that every single one of my Republican colleagues joins us in condemning QAnon today for the sanity of this country. It is particularly important that we do so now because the Republican Caucus may not be united on this front in the next Congress.
Madam Speaker, with more than 15 QAnon believers on the ballot this November across the country, it appears likely that at least one or two of them may be taking seats in Congress next term.
In the meantime, every single Member on both sides of the aisle must take their share of blame if these Hallowed Halls are going to be contaminated by Representatives of a deranged conspiracy theory.
In any case, I look forward to seeing how Minority Leader McCarthy will find a spot for this kind of expertise next Congress.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Madam Speaker, I am so pleased to hear that we should all be working together to get to the bottom of this, because that is exactly what the resolution puts forward. It says that these are allegations. It doesn't say that they are conclusively proved. But the resolution asks for an investigation, and it asks our government to pull out all the stops to do that.
The reason we need a resolution and a sense of Congress about this is because we see ICE and the Department of Homeland Security undermining this investigation already. When the news broke 2 weeks ago, they promptly moved to deport one of the central witnesses. One of our colleagues, Sheila Jackson Lee, had to get that witness removed from a plane. She was on the tarmac ready to be sent overseas, where she then would not be available to testify.
That same person was given humanitarian relief. She is allowed to stay in the country. Today, this morning, as we speak here, she reported to check in to ICE, as she was required to and as most immigrants do in our system, and when she reported, they tried to arrest her and deport her again.
As we speak, Members of this body are having to work to keep ICE from undermining this investigation. So, yes, we need this resolution to move forward.
Madam Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern), who is the distinguished chairman of the Committee on Rules.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Correa).
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the gentleman from California.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Wow, that was hard to follow. Just to take a couple pieces there.
There is no allegation here of mass hysterectomies. What there are allegations of, which have been strengthened over the intervening 2 weeks, are allegations that numerous women were subjected to inappropriate medical care. And their medical records, as we begin to receive them, are starting to confirm that there were a variety of procedures that were committed upon these people without their consent, including total and partial sterilization, but a range of procedures.
You know, Madam Speaker and I both come from Pennsylvania. We have seen this kind of corruption before in our prison systems, where you have a private prison system that gets involved in providing care--in Pennsylvania, it was called the ``kids for cash'' scandal, where public officials were being given kickbacks for interning children.
Now, is that what is going on here? The investigation may substantiate that or it may not, but there is a lot that needs to be dug into: the appropriateness of the medical care, whether someone was profiting off what happened there, the humanity of what happened to these women. All of that needs to be looked into.
That is what the resolution is asking for, that this be investigated, because the allegations are so serious, and everything we have seen so far has supported them.
Now, the IG is moving to investigate, and Congress has started to investigate. While there was a general invitation to folks to attend the codel that went down there last week, nearly a dozen of our colleagues did go. They met with people down there.
This is just a first step. There will be hearings. We will get to talk to the professionals from the community.
No one is saying that the investigation is complete, and no one is saying that it is completely proven, but it is absolutely something this body must do: to act, to make sure that our government agencies are not participating in a scheme that deprives people of their basic human rights.
Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from New Hampshire (Ms. Kuster).
Ms. KUSTER of New Hampshire. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania for the time to speak as colead on this important resolution, to establish a thorough investigation. I know that we have colleagues across the aisle who want this investigation, and I ask them to join us today.
Before having the privilege to serve in Congress, I was an adoption attorney for 25 years. I sat with 300 birth mothers as they make the most profound, private, and consequential decision of their lifetime.
In America, the government should not interfere in this most personal and intimate decision. Any type of sterilization, without consent, is a shocking and wrong interference.
I ask my colleagues: How many hysterectomies would be sufficient for a resolution? Would a partial hysterectomy without consent, for those who hold themselves out to be pro-life? These are women who want to have children. We can find common ground.
In America, the government should not interfere, and that is why I and so many Members of this Congress were shocked and horrified, first, to read about the whistleblower complaint; then the expose in The New York Times, with even more detail; and, finally, to speak with our colleagues, the codel that took the time to go to Irwin, Georgia, over the weekend and to sit and speak with the women who have had unspeakable surgery on them without their consent or understanding.
This chilling report outlines invasive gynecological procedures, ranging from full abdominal hysterectomy to the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes.
We will acknowledge, not every surgery was a full hysterectomy, but that should not keep us from helping these women who have come forward detailing the pain and the trauma that these procedures have inflicted with life-changing consequences.
These procedures, performed without consent, in some cases result in the woman's inability to ever have a child, to ever bear a life. We have removed that life choice without her consent. And women who want to bear a child should have that right.
In America, the decision of whether to have a child rests squarely with women and is protected by the United States Constitution and 50 years of precedent under the law; yet we find ourselves amidst a renewed national conversation about whether women can make healthcare decisions about their own bodies and whether they can have the choice to bear a child.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the gentlewoman from New Hampshire (Ms. Kuster).
Ms. KUSTER of New Hampshire. Madam Speaker, these are the most difficult and private decisions that women will make, and the government should never have a role in that decision.
So make no mistake about it: Women's reproductive health and well- being is under attack in America, and whether that battleground may be a detention facility in Georgia or the highest court in the land, we must speak out, in unequivocal terms, to condemn efforts that take away a woman's ability to make her own healthcare decisions, including when and whether to bear a child.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, of course, I look forward to joining my colleagues in passing another round of coronavirus relief, as we did unanimously or near unanimously the first four times, because we know our communities, our colleges, our schools, our State and local governments, our law enforcement officers, our healthcare systems all need that relief that has been held up by the Senate and the White House since May.
Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Cohen).
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Ms. SCANLON. No, Madam Speaker. I do not yield for that purpose, and I have no intention of doing so during this debate.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, let me thank the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania and thank my colleagues for this vigorous discussion and the unanimous consent.
I want to give them comfort. Tomorrow, we will be able to vote on the Heroes bill that we ask each and every one of them to support to provide moneys not only for small businesses but nonprofits and faith institutions because we believe in the American people, and we are going to keep them working.
I look forward to them joining this bipartisan effort, supporting the Heroes bill that we have offered under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi.
I rise today to support both H. Res. 1153 and H. Res. 1154.
I traveled to Irwin County this past weekend, but my exposure to this tragedy was not just that day; just last week, with butterflies in my stomach, if you will, and concern for a young woman, 29 years old, about to enter onto a plane that she obviously was directed to go to a place that she had never been, or had not been since she was 2 years old, a young woman from Cameroon who did have, who admits that her fallopian tube was removed without her consent.
So people of color are not unused to having medical procedures without our consent. Women are not unused to and unfamiliar with having medical procedures without their consent.
Think about these women, speaking mostly a different language, detained for civil matters, and that is, not being statused. Young women, women intimidated in the midst of COVID-19 in a facility where there is one physician who is supposed to be an OB/GYN, and you are carted off like cattle in a bus with one diagnosis: Oh, you need a fallopian tube removed.
Let my friends on the other side of the aisle be reminded that they have been throwing the word ``uterus'' and other words around the floor of the House.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I yield the gentlewoman from Texas an additional 30 seconds.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, this is not a condemnation of ICE. Read the language. It just says that they should engage in more vigorous oversight, and they are doing that with an inspector general's investigation.
Look at this. This is from one of the women:
Liberty, we are daughters and we are mothers, but you are stopping us from doing that.
And H. Res. 1154 that I join in supporting, as well, condemning QAnon, talks about a better America, that we are not the way it is described in this resolution.
I ask my colleagues to support this rule and the underlying bills because we are daughters and we are mothers, and what is going on there is an atrocious condition that should not exist.
I ask my colleagues to join me, and I thank my good friend from Pennsylvania for yielding.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I do not yield.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
We are in trying times. We have an erratic administration that operates with the primary, if not exclusive, goal of winning reelection at any cost and a Republican Party willing to do anything necessary to aid in that goal.
We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has already upended virtually every facet of our lives. Millions of people are unemployed or facing unemployment, and over 207,000 of our friends and neighbors have died.
Many of my constituents are facing eviction or are struggling to find food for their families.
The fact that much of this suffering could be alleviated if not for the apathy of Senate Republicans is tough to reckon with, but the American people know who is on their side.
This Congress has passed more than 600 bills, and a quarter of them have become law. Over 350 bipartisan bills lie untouched on Mitch McConnell's desk while he focuses all of his energy on confirming as many rightwing judges as he can.
We stand ready to negotiate, and we will pass a COVID relief bill every day and twice on Sundays if that is what we have to do to get Mitch McConnell's attention. And we will do it while passing other legislation that is for the benefit of all the American people--not just a select few, not just for those who dodge taxes--because that is what governing is, and that is what we will continue to do.
We have a duty to provide an equal opportunity for all Americans to live, work, and thrive in this country, and that is a responsibility the administration and Senate majority leader have abdicated.
So for all of the criticism lobbed from the other side of the aisle for taking up important resolutions like the ones we do today while a COVID package still hasn't been signed into law, your words are misplaced and you know exactly who to blame.
We were elected to govern, and that is exactly what we are going to do. You are more than welcome to join us, but we are not going to let you stand in our way while we move to protect human rights and advance the best interests of the American people.
Madam Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support the rule and underlying legislation.
The text of the material previously referred to by Mrs. Lesko is as follows: Amendment to House Resolution 1164
At the end of the resolution, add the following:
Sec. 3. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution, the House shall proceed to the consideration in the House of the bill (H.R. 8265) to amend the Small Business Act and the CARES Act to establish a program for second draw loans and make other modifications to the paycheck protection program, 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: (1) one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Small Business; and (2) one motion to recommit.
Sec. 4. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the consideration of H.R. 8265.
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Ms. SCANLON. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the previous question on the resolution.
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