3:37 PM EDT
Randy Kuhl Jr., R-NY 29th

Mr. KUHL of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 5563 and to thank Chairman Miller and Chairwoman McCarthy for their efforts, including a motion to recommit that I offered to H.R. 2857, the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act.

Last week on March 6, I offered the motion to recommit to strengthen H.R. 2857 and the national service laws. Recently, the corporation for national community service completed a rule-making process to institute background checks for any individual seeking Federal-funded national service positions within the Senior Companion and Foster Grandparents program and within AmeriCorps programs in which individuals have recurring access to children, the elderly or, individuals with disabilities. That

rule-making process also prohibited individuals from serving in those positions if they were and are registered sex offenders.

While the motion to recommit will codify the corporation's regulations, it will also expand on the corporation's effort by requiring criminal history checks for any individual seeking a federally funded national service position and not just those within the foster grandparents and senior companion programs or just those AmeriCorps programs dealing with specific populations.

Further, in addition to prohibiting registered sex offenders from serving in federally funded national service positions, the motion to recommit includes those individuals convicted of murder as well.

Again, I applaud Chairman Miller and appreciate his courtesies last week on the floor and Chairwoman McCarthy for including the motion to recommit which expresses a loud and clear message, that this House of Representatives believes that those in need who are served by programs supported with assistance under these laws should be assured that they will not be placed in harm's way when approaching these programs for help.

Although I am pleased that the motion to recommit was included in the bill, I'm disappointed that the House majority has chosen not to take up the FISA amendments. The FISA amendments, which we've been hearing about all day, act to provide our intelligence community with the critical tools it needs to conduct surveillance on foreign terrorists without getting tied up in court.

The Senate, as we all know, passed this bipartisan legislation almost a month ago. So I urge the majority to bring this crucial bill up for a vote; and, again, I urge my colleagues to support this bill today before this House.