tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN July 8, 2009 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
oregon has 4 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. wu: i recognize the chair of the investigations oversight subcommittee, mr. miller, the gentleman from north carolina, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. miller: thank you. i also rise to support this legislation. otrs have spoken generally of the ajilt and the energy that small business innovation gives our economy and how sbir and sttr contribute to that. but i want to talk about two companies in my district that have gotten sbir and sttr grants. the first is geoeffects. it developed a senser to detect electromagnetic changes beneath the service within 30 feet. nasa wants that technology so they can tell whether there is water beneath the surface of mars and that's reason enough to develop the technology. but they have found many commercial applications. they're using that technology now to determine if there's
water beneath the surface of earth. they're using that technology or the department of defense is using that technology to detect land mines and mines in water. construction companies are using the technology to detect buried cables and sewer lines and water lines. the second company is three phoenix which i visited recently. they're also developing a sensor technology, almost all of which initially is for military applications. they are, for instance, developing a sensor that can detect -- can tell, can detect a per scope peeking up above the surface of the water from 30 miles away. the navy really wants that technology. and three phoenix has gotten a little more than $800,000 in several grants under sbir so far. but they already have billings, contracts that add up to almost $9 million in billings and they have just begun to scratch the
surface of the commercial applications. if you've got a sensor that can spot a par scope 30 miles away, it is a snap to develop a sensor using the same technology to tell if there's a car in a parking space and they're now working to develop a technology that will tell drivers in a downtown where the closest empty parking space is. the potential that holds for relieving traffic congestion is enormous. it will save energy, it will save emissions, it will save frustration. support this bill. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from nebraska. >> i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i yield to the gentlelady from illinois, mrs. halvorson, for four minutes.
the chair: the gentlewoman from illinois is recognized for four minutes. mrs. halvorson: thank you, mr. chair. i rise today in support of h.r. 2965, the enhancing small business research and innovation act. i want to thank chairwoman velazquez, ranking member graves, and mr. altmire, for their leadership on this important piece of legislation. i'm proud to be an original co-sponsor of this bill which includes language from legislation i introduced in h.r. 2747, the rural technology development and outreach act. for nearly three decades, the small business innovation research program has sought to increase federal funding for innovative small businesses that seek to develop new technology with commercial potential. without funding assistance from sbir, many small businesses would never have the opportunity to develop their research into products that can be brought to market. over the years, sbir has helped build thousands of small startups into successful
companies. unfortunately, sbir awards are often concentrated in a small number of statings or regions -- states or regions. there are promising small firms that don't apply for sbir because they are unaware of the programs and its benefits. many of these firms are located in rural communities in underserved areas. today families living in rural communities throughout the country are struggling. too many of these rural communities face a tremendous shortage of economic opportunities. as a result, unemployment has skyrocketed and in many communities in my district the unemployment rate has reached 13%. the lack of economic development forces many talented individuals to leave their communities to seek out opportunities elsewhere. title 3 of h.r. 2965 includes language from my bill, the rural technology development and outreach act, that will seek to increase sbir participation by
small firms in rural areas as well as by firms owned by women, minorities and veterans. h.r. 2965 will provide grant funding to organizations that conduct outreach regarding sbir to these types of small businesses. while small business growth is important to any community, it is especially critical in rural and underserved areas. the measure in this bill will encourage entrepreneurship in places where it is currently lagging. by promoting innovation within these communities, h.r. 2965 will set them on a path to economic recovery. when most people hear the word innovation they probably don't think of rural regions. but the truth is that these are the areas with the most room for growth. if we're going to rebuild our economy then we will have to unlock new markets everywhere from silicon valley to the midwest heartland. h.r. 2965 will do just that.
i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting its passage and, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. graves: mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. or i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from oregon. mr. wu: mr. chairman, reserve our time. the chair: the gentleman from nebraska. >> i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from nebraska yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i would like to inquire of the chair how much time we have left? the chair: the gentlewoman from new york has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. ms. velazquez: i yield to the gentlelady from new york, ms. clarke, three minutes. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized for three minutes. ms. clarke: thank you, mr. chairman. i request permission to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. ms. clarke: i rise today to take a strong stand for small business by supporting h.r.
2965, the enhancing small business research and innovation act of 2009. which re-authorizes small business innovation research and the small business technology transfer grants program. this very important piece of legislation will strengthen and solidify the found dation for the growth and -- foundation for the growth and ultimate success of our nation's small businesses and determine the subsequent success of our country's economy. the sbir program is one of the most successful federal programs for research and technology innovations. it has been central in the process of maintaining the u.s. as a leader in technological innovation, delivering over 60,000 patents, several hundred valuable innovations in all commercial areas, including defense and homeland security. this congress, i have the honor of sitting on the committee of homeland security and chairing the subcommittee on eamericaing threats, cyber security and science technology. as a representative of the
district located in central brooklyn and a native new yorker, i have witnessed first-hand the need for advanced technology to keep america and its citizens safe. the events of 9/11 and subsequent war in afghanistan and iraq have catalyzed the need to develop both anti-terrorism technology and defense systems that will defend our nation and save precious american life from terrorist action. moreover, this funding is integral in providing funding for women and minority-owned firm research that have been historically marginalized and have more difficulty navigating through the technology innovation research arena. there's no better time than now to encourage technological innovation, to meet the federal research and development needs of our country and to increase the quality and quantity of products in our market. and there's no other group better equipped to handle such a task than the small business committee. currently small businesses are responsible for creating roughly
70% of new jobs and employ half of the private sector work force. they are truly the backbone of our economy and the conduit through which we will emerge from this recession. i've had a very long standing commitment to the support of the technological entrepreneurship and the jobs it creates. in my district in brooklyn, our state university medical center is host to brooklyn's first biotechnology incubator where small emerging entrepreneurs are developing the cures for our nation's illnesses and diseases. this legislation enables the vital support of these entrepreneurs, -- that these entrepreneurs are desperately seeking. this is why i strongly support the enhancing small business research innovation act of 2009. i thank chairwoman velazquez, ranking member graves, subcommittee chairman, and mr. altmire, for taking charge on this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from
missouri. mr. graves: i reserve the balance of my time, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from oregon. mr. wu: reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i yield to the gentlelady from pennsylvania, ms. schwartz, two minutes. the chair: the gentlewoman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mrs. schwartz: thank you very much. i rise today in support of enhancing small business research and innovation act. ingenuity and innovation are key to the u.s. economy. in pennsylvania the bioscience industry employs more than 77,000 people in good paying jobs. the industry develops life saving pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and devices that are important here at home and around the world. in order to develop these important technologies, these companies need access to early capital. to move their products from the research phase into commercial development. small business programs,
particularly sbir and sttr programs, are important tools for our country's entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to market. however, underrules established by the previous administration, companies with large investments from venture capital, were ineligible to participate in the sbir program. this ruling created an unfortunate situation where companies had to choose between utilizing these federal business ipping baiter resourcer or raid -- incubator resources or raising venture capital investment. both important to growing their business. the bill before us today overturns this prior policy, enables pennsylvania and bioscience companies and companies around the country, to utilize these important federal resources and seek the private investment capital. former congressman from pennsylvania, jim greenwood, and now president to the biotech industry organization, has said that this bill will help to ensure that small u.s. biotech companies have increased access
to capital for cutting edge early stage research. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation that will create jobs and keep american technology competitive in this global economy. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. graves: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from missouri auto yields back. mr. graves: can i close real quick? do i close first? mr. chairman, i just simply want to urge my colleagues to support the bill. i'd yield back. we don't have anymore. the chair: the gentleman from oregon. mr. wu: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. chairman, i want to recognize the staff who put many hard years of work into this legislation. on the science committee staff, i always say that you don't have to be a rocket scientist to serve on the science committee, but do you have to be a rocket scientist to staff a science committee.
i'd like to recognize the good work of mike and my staff. with the bill they have crafted is fundamentally about jobs. it is about turning research into new products, new services, but most importantly, good, high-wage jobs that tend not to go away. this is a 25-year-old-plus program that has worked and we are here today making improvements. we're making the program more flexible by permitting cross-agency awards, we're permitting awardees to skip phase one and go straight to a phase two award if they have done that development work with private money. we're collecting data because there's a dearth of data currently, data that will help us target this program even better in future reauthorizations and for the first time in five years we're going back to the prior rule, the preexisting rule that was there for 20 years, of permitting venture capitalists to participate more broadly in the program, but with carefully
crafted restrictions. this program remains the exclusive domain of small businesses, those businesses with 500 or fewer employees. it is the kind of bill that has brought together a bipartisan consensus because we need it now more than ever under our economic circumstances. but this is the kind of legislation that we should be working on all the time, that turns research into new products, new services and new jobs. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i yield myself the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, today we have an opportunity to invest in the two greatest sources of economic growth. entrepreneurship and innovation. we know that small firms create roughly 70% of all new jobs. and we recognize that new markets are the surest path to prosperity. so it only makes sense to
strengthen small business innovation. h.r. 2965 does exactly that. this is a bipartisan bill, one that could not have been drafted without contributions from my colleagues, mr. ay, mr. schock, mrs. hafflerson, and most importantly, the bill's sponsor, mr. altmire. also, the science and technology , both chairman and ranking member and the subcommittee chairman, and the ranking member and especially i want to say thank you to the staff from both committees who have worked so diligently in working in a bipartisan manner. this legislation has the support of 60 different organizations, including the u.s. women's chamber of commerce , the biotechnology industry organization. the sbir and sttr programs are
critical small business resources. they help 1,500 firms get off the ground every year. and in the past we have sparked break throughs in everything from software to defense technology. clearly, this program holds enormous value. even so, they haven't been modernized in eight years and are in sore need of enhancement. in improving sbir and sttr, we are going to increase efficiency, expand the talent pool and boost commercialization. meanwhile, we are also going to give entrepreneurs more options for funding their ventures. taken together, these measures will do more than spark invention. they will help small firms market new products, open new industries and put more americans back to work. i will urge my colleagues to support this bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. all time for general debate has
expired. in lieu of the amendment recommended by the committee on science and technology, the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on small business printed in the bill shall be considered as the original bill for purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule and shall be considered as read. no amendment to the committee amendment is in order except those printed in house report 111-192. each amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to demand for a division of the question. the proponent of such amendment may modify its amendator instructions before the amendment is put thereon. it's now in order to consider
amendment number 1 printed in house report 111-192. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, pursuant to the rule, i send to the desk a modification of amendment number 1. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. will the gentlewoman first offer the amendment? ms. velazquez: i have an amendment at the desk, mr. chairman. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in house report 111-192 offered by ms. velazquez of new york. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 610, the gentlewoman from new york, ms. velazquez, and a member opposed, each will control 15 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: pursuant to the rule, i send to the desk a modification of amendment number 1. the chair: the clerk will report the modification. the clerk: modification to amendment number 1 printed in house report 111-192 offered by
ms. velazquez of new york. the fourth amendtory instruction on page 4 is amended by striking line 16 and inserting line 15. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent to suspend the reading. the chair: without objection, the amendment is modified. the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, the manager's amendment makes technical and conforming changes to the underlying legislation. it also incorporates several important amendments offered by members. i would like to thank these members for their contributions, mr. broun, mr. boren, mr. boswell, ms. sutton, mr. cardoza, mr. childers, mrs. dahlkemper, ms. kilpatrick, ms. markey, mr. perlmutter. because of their contributions, we have a stronger bill before us today. the provisions that are
included in the manager's amendment will bolster what we are doing to help small businesses. as a new generation of veterans return home from the current conflicts in iraq and afghanistan, many of them will be seeking opportunities in entrepreneurship. veterans are often well suited to the small business owners. the manager's amendment will also enhance our outreach to women and minority-owned businesses. diversity has always been our nation's greatest strength. by expanding the die versity of the firms that compete for sbir grants, we will strengthen the overall sbir program. the same can be said by the provisions in the manager's amendment that will encourage greater participation by rural businesses. throwing these companies into the program will mean more ideas and better ideas. in addition to encouraging greater diversity, the
manager's amendment throws sbir and sttr grants where innovation and research is badly needed. language in the amendment clarifies that the programs shall make renewable energy a priority. small businesses are already leading the way in constructing a green economy, and this provision will build on that success. lastly, the manager's amendment improves oversight. the 111th congress has made oversight one of our top priorities to ensure that taxpayers' dollars are spent wisely and well. this amendment continues that effort. sbir and sttr are two of our nation's most successful programs. it is our goal to ensure they continue smoothly and effectively. mr. chairman, i ask my colleagues to support this amendment, and i reserve the balance of my time.
the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? mr. graves: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition to the gentlelady's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 15 minutes. mr. graves: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise to claim time in opposition to the amendment even though i do not oppose the amendment. the gentlelady's amendment makes some needed technical changes to the bill. in addition to the amendment, it incorporates some suggestions from other house members that will enhance the operations of the sbir and sttr programs. i think the chairwoman -- i thank the chairwoman for her thoughtful consideration and development of this amendment, and i'd yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i yield to the gentlelady from pennsylvania, mrs. dahlkemper, three minutes. the chair: the gentlewoman from pennsylvania is recognized for three minutes. mrs. dahlkemper: mr. chairman, i would like to -- mr. speaker, i'd like to thank chairwoman velazquez and the ranking member graves for their
leadership in bringing this legislation forward. and i rise today in strong support of the manager's amendment to h.r. 2965. the manager's amendment makes a number of very good changes to the base bill, including my amendment on water, conservation technology. my amendment would improve the efficiency of water delivery systems and usage patterns in the united states by including this as a topic for one of the small business innovation research solicitations. water scarcity is a growing concern throughout the united states. multiyear droughts continue to plague regions and states around the country including the southeast, texas and california. for many municipalities and intense competition for water and diminished supplies will force local water agencies to make difficult decisions on water allocations to protect essential ecosystem services. this includes implementing tough restrictions that could harm our agricultu industry while diminishing economic growth and job creation. mr. speaker, in order for our country to achieve a more
sustainable future for our children, we must act now to conserve one of our most precious resources, our way supply. by improving the technology of our water delivery systems, we can maximize our limited water resources and reduce our energy use. again, i thank the chairwoman for including this in her amendment, and i urge my colleagues to join me in support of this amendment's adoption. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i yield to the gentleman from iowa, mr. boswell, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from iowa is recognized for two minutes. mr. boswell: well, thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, madam chair woman, for allowing me to share this moment. i do ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the chair: without objection. mr. boswell: i rise in support of the manager's amendment because the enhancing small business research innovation act holds great promise for our most innovative minds and creative entrepreneurs. in particular, i'd like to
thank the chairwoman for including in the manager's amendment language that will be a priority for sbir and sttr grants. having worked with the congress to pass, the 2008 re-authorization was passed by the full house. almost two years ago, may tag corporation in iowa, a town of 15 1/2,000 people managed its largest machine, losing more than 2,000 good-paying family jobs. since then, this town has worked hard to rebuild itself, create jobs for the people of newton and the surrounding communities. unfortunately, though, similar stories still devastate towns in my community, my state and your towns as well. local shops are closing their doors, factories are being put out and too many hardworking americans have lost their jobs. this bill will bring new jobs to towns. it will provide employment for
those individuals who worked on the assembly line 50 miles down the road welding the frames. the ongoing effects of bankrupt companies and lost equity is placing damaging effects on all districts, on people who found pride in their jobs and now just want to provide for the family. by re-authorizing the sbir and sttr, it will put moms and dads back to work and put food on the table and pay the bills. it will increase opportunities for the communities and we will tap into some of the most indust russ and ambitious minds of america. passing this legislation today will empower our districts and provide our constituents with resources they need to rebuild our communities. and i urge my colleagues to support this underlying bill and the manager's amendment. i yield back my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i yield to the gentleman from california, mr. mcnerney, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcnerney: thank you, mr.
speaker. the sbir program and the small business technology transfer program have helped countless small businesses find funding opportunities in the science and technology sectors. that's why i'm proud to rise in support of h.r. 2965, the enhancing small business research and innovation act of 2009, and the manager's amendment, offered by chairwoman velazquez. i'm also pleased that the chairwoman's language includes my amendment to make sure that the sbir program is accessible to businesses located in the areas that have been most hard hit by the economic downturn. the state of california suffers from unemployment exceeding the national rate and the san joaquin valley, a portion which i am honored to represent, has been particularly hard hit. the language i wrote ensures that organizations receiving funding to help small
businesses access sbir opportunities are able to direct their efforts toward companies located in the areas with the highest unemployment. i've worked closely on this issue with my colleagues, mr. cardoza and mr. childers, and i would also like to thank them for their hard work and support. i'm fortunate to travel home to california every single weekend, and i've met with innovative small business owners whose products promise to change our country for the better. the manager's amendment will help small businesses in the san joaquin valley and elsewhere enjoy the full benefits of the sbir program. and i'm proud to support its passage. thank you, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: i reserve my time, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman from missouri has already yielded back. ms. velazquez: oh, he did. the chair: the remainder of his
time. ms. velazquez: i urge adoption of the manager's amendment, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from new york, as modified. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. it's now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in house report 111-192. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? ms. brown-waite: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report 111-192 offered by ms. ginny brown-waite of florida. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 610, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown-waite, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. brown-waite: thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to aplaud the
house. it is the most important thing that congress can do for the economy, and i thank the chairwoman and the ranking member for their hard work on this issue. i also rise today to bring one provision in the bill that will surely influence the effectiveness of the sbir and sttr programs either for good or ill. section 102 mandates that no single venture capital firm may own more than 49% of a small business for that small business to be eligible to participate in these programs. multiple veptir -- venture capital companies, however, in the aggregate, may own a majority of the shares but no single firm may have a controlling interest. in essence, section 102 attempts to strike a balance between the two concerns. on one hand congress does not want large venture capital firms scaveaging and acquiring a large number of small businesses
simply to take advantage of federal tax dollars. on the other hand, congress has an interest in making sure that any otherwise eligible small business is not unnecessarily excluded from participating simply because it has received all or a majority of its funding from the single angel of sorts investor. preventing large firms from gaming the system is the correct goal in my view and i appreciate the committee's work to address this problem. yet, congress must do everything possible to ensure that we're not letting our pursuit of the perfect affect our ability to achieve the goals of this legislation. simply put, my amendment directs g.a.o. to conduct a study on the effect that this ownership restriction has on participation. this will help congress to determine if the right balance has been struck. the bottom line, mr. chairman, is that in far too many cases,
thoughtful and well intended programs to assist small businesses have been unnecessarily hampered by arbitrary rules and restrictions that made sense at first glance. the s.b.a.'s arc loan program, for instance, which provides 100% guarantees for small business loans, had been hampered because despite the gearpt, many banks are refusing -- most banks are actually refusing to participate. banks are being forced to hoard capital to satisfy stress test requirements while those requirements make sense -- requirements. while those requirements make sense for regulators, they hamper the small business programs. as my colleagues know, small businesses accounted for over 70% of new job growth over the last 10 years. it's critical that congress get these small business programs right and that they are implemented quickly. over the long-term, congress must continue to do everything
to support entrepreneurs through thoughtful policy and resist the temptation to replace them with bureaucrats. this, mr. chairman, is a program that supports entrepreneurs and i think that we owe it to them to make sure that the program is as effective as possible and if it's not, to fix it until we get it right. i believe this legislation has a chance to do what congress should have done from the start in this economic crisis and that is to help small businesses. however, if in a month from now congress turns around and institutes employer mandates and taxes the health care benefits provided by small business owners, the house will again have taken a step back in supporting the recovery and growth of small businesses. i urge the house's adoption of this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, while not opposed to the
amdment, i ask unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition. the chair: without objection, the gentlewoman from new york is recognized for five minutes. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, in the 111th congress, this body has made oversight a top priority. accountability is critical to the legislative process and it is the principle that the small business committee has consistently worked to promote. so i thank the gentlelady from florida for this amendment. as i mentioned, my colleagues and i on the small business committee have conducted a great deal of oversight. we have collaborated with g.a.o. in the past and i know that they do good work. so i will be particularly interested that see them do a study -- to see them do a study on venture capital investment in the program. i think it would be useful for all of congress to understand how both this legislation as well as the 2003 ruling blocking venture capital participation
has affected the sbir program. these questions are critical to our continued oversight of these initiatives and i thank the gentlelady for her efforts in this area. i think a study will shed light on the role that venture capital place in -- plays in the high-tech arena. for many small firms, access to capital is critical and it is often equity investment that allows a small business to advance the research to the marketplace. a recent study by the national research council which this g.a.o. investigation will compliment found that restricting venture capital investment adversely affected the most promising firms. g.a.o. has the broad capabilities to investigate the impact of this legislation and the s.b.a.'s regulation in this area. across all sbir agencies. this comprehensive review will shed light on both the
historical patterns of venture capital financing throughout the program and whether certain agencies are embracing such investment. like ms. brown-waite, i am committed to keeping sbir and sttr a small business program. i believe that this study will help ensure this. with the economy facing so many challenges, expanding access to capital for small businesses have never been more important. with that i yield to the gentleman from missouri for any thoughts that he may have. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. graves: thank you, madam chair. i rise today in support of the amendment from the gentlelady from florida. i believe that an independent review of the sbir and sttr programs by a trusted arm of congress, the g.a.o., will be beneficial when we re-authorize this program in a few years. i expect the g.a.o. will take its normal unbiased view without
any preconceived notions. mr. chairman, with that i yield back to the gentlelady and i appreciate it. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, if the gentlelady's prepared to yield back, we are prepared to accept the amendment. ms. brown-waite: mr. chairman, i appreciate the gentlelady from new york's working with me on this amendment as a former new yorker and as somebody who wants to make sure this bill works, i really appreciate it. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i urge adoption of this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from florida. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. it the amendment is adopted. it's now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in house report 111-192. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise?
ms. kosmas: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in house report 111-192 offered by ms. kosmas of florida. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 610 -- ms. kosmas: pursuant to the rule i send to the desk a modification -- the chair: the gentlewoman from florida, ms. kosmas, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. kosmas: thank you. pursuant to the rule, i send to the desk a modification of amendment number 3. the chair: the clerk will report the modification. the clerk: modification to amendment number 3 printed in house report 111-192 offered by ms. kosmas of florida. the third amendtory instruction is amended by striking line 24 and inserting line 23, the fourth amendtory instruction is amended by striking page 15, line 1, and inserting page 14, line 25. the chair: the amendment is modified.
the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. kosmas: i ask unanimous consent to suspend the reading. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. kosmas: i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the rise in support of my amendment, h.r. 2965, the enhancing small business research and innovation act of 2009. i would like to thank the chairwoman for her support of this important amendment which will assist small businesses in my district and across the nation that support nasa's space shuttle program. with suppliers in nearly every state, the retirement of the space shuttle program will have a significant economic impact. in my district alone, over 300 businesses work with nasa and these small businesses had over $200 million in contracts last year. this amendment will provide that these businesses have the opportunity to commercialize and that they get assistance in doing so so that they can continue to thrive and contribute to our economy
following the expiration of the shuttle program. the contributions the shuttle program has made to our economy and the improvement of our everyday lives are countless and we must continue to utilize the knowledge, innovation and unique work force that has supported nasa throughout the years. helping small businesses by increasing their potential to produce products for the marketplace will ensure that this exceptional workforce and this small business sector will not be dispersed and -- dispersed and lost but will continue to grow our economy. nasa's innovative partnerships programs have a strong history in developing technology for nasa needs and transferring that technology to the public benefit. in 2008, nasa's sbir award sent to 205 firms. nasa also identified 1,110 newly developed technologies last year that could lead to patenting and transfer.
technologies developed by and for nasa lead to new products deployed to the fields of health and medicine, transportation, public safety, agriculture, industrial productivity and, of course, computer technology. helping small businesses affected by the retirement of the shuttle program transition to work in related or unrelated industries will encourage cutting edge research and development and preserve the unique workforce which has made us a world leader in innovation. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. who seeks recognition in opposition to the bill? for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? ms. velazquez: while not opposed to the amendment, i ask unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition. the chair: without objection, the gentlewoman from new york is recognized for five minutes. ms. velazquez: space exploration has long been a symbol of american innovation. today we are in the process of
unwinding one of our most high profile efforts in that arena. in the next year, nasa space shuttle project will retire for good. as the program comes to an end, so will an estimated 8,000 contracting jobs. but while the projects are shutting down, its contractors and the innovation behind it shouldn't have to. in the past, this firm -- these firms contributed a great deal to nasa space shuttle program. i believe they can do the same for other federal agencies and for other space initiatives such as the mars lander program. that is why ms. kosmas' amendment is so important. by retooling their operations and seeking new markets, space shuttle contractors can continue to offer high wage jobs to countless americans, all while maintaining their commitment to science and technology. this amendment offers transitional assistance to firms helping them identify and vie
for other r&d projects. in doing so, it will ensure that even with the loss of the program, we don't lose our most innovative businesses. i urge the adoption of this change and yield to the gentleman from missouri, mr. graves, for any comments he wishes to make. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. graves: thank you, madam chair. and i rise today in support of the amendment from the gentlelady from florida. the space program has and continues to create new and exciting technologies often by small businesses. the amendment will ensure that the creative ideas associated with the development of the space shuttle will not be lost. i thank you for the amendment and i yield back. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, if the gentlelady is prepared to yield back, we're prepared to accept the amendment. ms. kosmas: thank you, i urge adoption and i yield back the balance of my time. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i urge adoption of the amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on
the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from florida as modified. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. ms. kosmas: i ask nor the yeas and nays -- for the yeas and nays. the chair: does the gentlewoman ask for a recorded vote? ms. kosmas: yes, thank you, mr. chairman. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from florida will be postponed. it's now in order to consider amendment number 4 printed in house report 111-192. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. smith: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in 111-192 offered by mr. reichert of washington. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 610, the gentleman from washington state, mr. reichert, and a member opposed
each will control five minutes. the chair rozz oz -- recognizes the gentleman from washington state. mr. reichert: thank you, mr. chairman. pursuant to the rule, i send to the desk a modification of amendment number 4. the chair: the clerk will report the modification. the clerk: modification to amendment number 4 printed in house report 111-192 offered by mr. reichert of washington. the amendtory instruction is amended to read as follows, page 20, line 1, insert the following new subparagraph and redesignate subparagraphs b through d on lines 1 through 12 as c through e respectively. the chair: the amendment is modified. the gentleman from washington state. mr. reichert: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to submit this bipartisan amendment with mr. smith from washington state. this amendment will prioritize grants to disadvantaged small businesses to be given to similar organizations that can
empathize and understand them. outreach to underserved areas and disadvantaged small businesses is essential. i found that in my district and in my state many small businesses are completely unaware of the resources available to them, and often incur unnecessary costs trying to navigate a complex government system just to apply for assistance. outreach and assistance can mean so much more when someone who overcame that same difficulty has an understanding of the needs these disadvantaged small businesses and reaches out to them with a helping hand. for example, a wounded warrior may come home and start up a new business and go through all the processes. and i've heard many frustrating stories from those men and women who return home trying to get their lives back on track as they've come back from serving our country. they really have a grasp as to what's been happening and how they achieved their goals.
and so the intent of this legislation is for those people , wounded warriors, women and those who represent minority owned businesses can reach out to those people and help them build their own business, create job opportunities for their families and also create job opportunities for families across this country. we all know that small businesses really generate the jobs in this country. 94% of the jobs in washington state are provided by small businesses. so this piece of legislation, mr. chairman, is absolutely essential. i have a young wounded warrior working in my office who did two tours in iraq and one in afghanistan who fully understands what it's like to come back home and go through the process of receiving health care and finding a job here when he returned to his home. zack is there to help those wounded warriors as they call
them to the office and he can help them because he understands, because he's been there, done that. i would encourage my colleagues to support this amendment, commonsense amendment, bipartisan amendment to help those people that we all respect and admire so greatly to find jobs and create businesses in their own communities. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, while not opposed to the amendment, i ask unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition. the chair: without objection, the gentlewoman from new york's recognized for five minutes. ms. velazquez: thank you, mr. chairman. the legislation that we're debating today is designed to expand the pool of businesses that participate in the sbir program. that is why this bill provides grants to economic development organizations so that they can educate rural entrepreneurs as well as businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans
about sbir. by expanding the set of businesses that compete for grants and contribute creative ideas, we can further spur innovation and encourage the development of new better products. the amendment offered by the gentleman from washington strengthens this part of the bill. by utilizing organizations that have experience with the communities, we are trying to reach that makes the portion of the bill -- it will expand the reach of the sbir and sttr program making this bill more effective. it only makes sense to have the small business administration leverage the knowledge of groups that already work closely with these populations. these organizations are already familiar with the small businesses in their communities and know which entrepreneurs will make strong sbir candidates. with this amendment, we will be able to broaden the pool of talent that competes for sbir
grants. that means more ideas, better ideas and an improved return on investments for the taxpayer. i, therefore, urge the atoppings of this amendment and yield to the co-sponsor of the bill, the gentleman from washington, mr. smith. the chair: the gentleman from washington state's recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this amendment. i thank congressman reichert for offering it. these are two critical programs, and i thank the committee, as well, for their excellent work in re authorizing these programs, the sbir and the sttr programs, which are designed to help small businesses with innovative products get access to help from the small business administration to promote those products. and in particular, to emphasize help for veteran-owned small businesses, small businesses, minority and underrechted areas. i applaud mr. reichert for offering this amendment as we reach out to those people and make them aware of these programs.
people being aware of the opportunities that are there, it makes a great deal of sense to use those same veterans, minorities, underrepresented areas to do that outreach. and i think this is a well thought out amendment that will help enormously in making sure those people get access to those critical programs. as mr. reichert mentioned, there are a large number of veterans, large number of veterans coming back from fighting in iraq and afghanistan looking for opportunities. this amendment will let them find the opportunities that are there and it will be a huge boom to our economy. there are great ideas from those people. we all benefit it from it while at the same time helping those veterans who so richly deserve our help. with that i yield back the balance of my time. actually, if i may, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the chair: without objection. the gentlewoman from new york reserves the balance of her time. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i
reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington state. mr. reichert: mr. chairman, i'd like to yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman, mr. graves. the chair: the gentleman from missouri's recognized. mr. graves: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise in support of the amendment offered by the gentleman from washington, representing a state that has a significant rural base. the outreach program in h.r. 2965 should not overlook the creativity of any rural americans. the amendment of the gentleman from washington will help ensure that no rural americans will be overlooked in the sbir and sttr programs. mr. chairman, i'd yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. mr. reichert: mr. chairman, i'd close by saying i very much appreciate the support on this amendment from the other side of the aisle and my colleagues, especially the chairwoman and mr. smith for their support and also for their support of mr. graves. i thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york.
ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, we are prepared to accept the amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question's on the amendment offered by the gentleman from washington state as modified. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in house report 111-192. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in house report 111-192 offered by mr. paulsen of minnesota. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 610, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. paulsen, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, my amendment would add medical technology to the list of commercialization research
topics that deserve special consideration for sbir funding. according to a recent census study, 71% of medical device companies have less than 10 employees, small businesses. despite the small size of these companies, they have a tremendous impact on our economy. each medical technology job has been shown to create an additional two jobs by creating the need for secondary positions of technicians and repairmen, by purchasing other inputs of production. each payroll dollar generates an additional $1.12 in payroll to account for the increased number of positions and skills required to fill these jobs. and each dollar of medical technology sales generates an additional 90 cents in sales in that state by providing more citizens with disposable income. while startup costs are high for many of these new technologies, they do pay dividends down the road once the products get to market. we should help these companies by getting the funds into the hands they need so they can bring new lifesaving technologies to market. the current challenge right now is that these are high-risk,
high-reward investments. this amendment will go a long way to providing these firms with needed capital to continue innovating. in the last 10 years alone, there's been an 80% increase in patents for break through medical technologies and we must help these products get to market. one such company recently testified just before the small business committee on the sbir program. it was micro transponder. and their testimony at the committee, they outlined how they used sbir funds to help neurological disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder, autism and others. taken together, these conditions affect over 50 million people in the u.s. and represent a cost of over $100 billion annually. mr. speaker, as congress moves towards health reform legislation, we should consider ideas that are cost efficient and cost-effective. not only does medical technology create jobs, increase life expectancy but it shows to reduce costs in
countless cases. so as medical technology industry continues to grow and expand, we need to make sure that patients will see these benefits on an increasingly efficient basis. that's why this amendment makes sense to target these resources, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, while not opposed to the amendment, i ask unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition. the chair: without objection, the gentlewoman from new york's recognized for five minutes. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman, i thank the gentleman from minnesota for his good amendment. we all know that one area where sbir has been most successful is medical research. to heart pacers, advances in the medical technology field brings good things to ordinary americans every day. in order to improving our quality of life, the medical technology industry san
important driver in the american economy. in 2006, this industry employed more than 350,000 people and paid $21.5 billion in salaries. clearly this field which is dominated by smaller firms play a vital role in providing jobs and fostering economic growth. many of these firms got their start thanks to sbir funding. the kind of high-risk, high-reward research that medical technology companies engage in made them strong candidates for sbir gas. so already there is an important re-- grants. so already there is an important relationship between sbir and advances in the medical technology field. mr. paulsen's amendment will clarify this relationship by putting a direct reference to medical technology in the act. while a similarly small change, this will have the support for medical technology research. in that way, the amendment will
support future research and may very well lead to the development of the medicines of tomorrow. i believe this is a good amendment, and i yield to the ranking member, mr. graves, for any comments that he might have. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. graves: thank you, madam chair. mr. chairman, i rise today in support of the amendment from the gentleman from minnesota. medical technology represents a key component of the economy and also an important contributor to the quality of life in this country. the amendment makes a sensible recognition that medical technology should be a special focus of the sbir and sttr programs. mr. chairman, i'd yield back the balance of my time. thanks, madam chair. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: mr. chair, we are prepared to accept the amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. paulsen: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank the leadership on the bipartisan basis for the support of this amendment. i'd just like to yield two
minutes to an avid guitar player and staunch supporter of maintaining the u.s. a competitor in medical technology, the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. roe: i rise in support of the paulsen amendment. the underlying legislation prioritizes projects that are related to infectious diseases. this is no question these are important areas. but i believe this amendment -- medical technology. the fact is because of our health care system we lead the world in medical technology advances. it's a huge competitive edge we hold and one i do not want to lose as a physician, i was able to take advantage of this technology over the course of my career and i can give numerous examples of how care was improved for my patients. prioritizing sbir funding for medical technology projects is one step to help us maintain our edge. while this amendment will take steps toward creating a fertile
environment for medical technology advances, it is important not to take two steps back by creating a government-run health care system. a major problem with care that is managed by washington bureaucrats instead of patients and doctors is that bureaucrats are focused on costs rather than advancing care. and they require the use of older, less expensive technology because of its comparative effectiveness. if the health care system refuses to use new technology into older technology is proven ineffective, we eliminate much if not all of the incentive for new medical technology developments and rob future generations of the chance to find cures for cancer, alzheimer's, parkinson's, diabetes, just to name a few. so i urge adoption of the paulsen minnesota. it's to me just common sense and hope this congress does all it can to keep the health care system that rewards medical research and development. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from
minnesota. mr. graves: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it, the amendment is adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number three, printed in house report 111-192 by the gentlewoman from florida, ms. kosmas, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the ayes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number three, printed in house report 111-192, offered by ms. kosmas of florida as modified. the chair: those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having
risen a recorded vote is ordered. those in favor of the amendment will vote aye, those opposed will vote no. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be 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.]
democrat of maryland, is a member of the judiciary committee, and will be questioning sonia sotomayor when they begin the confirmation hearings. you wrote about your meeting with the judge. tell us about the meeting, and what did you ask her specifically? guest: i was impressed with her frankness, telling me about her
background, how she reaches decisions. she is an impressive nominee with a strong background as a prosecutor, trial court, appellate court judge. i asked her about her passions about the constitution, her impression of the constitution as it relates to women's issues, consumer issues, and then i asked her about pro bono issues. making sure that we have access for everyone. she said that that was one of her passions, so it was a good meeting ho. host: you said that you want the next supreme court justice to have a clear stand for civil rights. do you believe she does? guest: yes, i do. i am looking for the constitution to protect us against the abuses of
government, and the supreme court is the last resort to make sure that those protections are a living document to protect each one of us from the abuses of the legislator, president, and to protect us on fundamental issues. host: we will be talking with you for the next half hour about the sonia sotomayor nomination. if you want to get involved, democrats, 202-737-0002. republicans, 202-737-0001. independents, 202-628-0205. if you want to send us an e- mail, the email@example.com. here is what senator mcconnell had to say about the nomination of judge sonia sotomayor. >> dismissing the firefighter
claims, she did not even set a precedent. moreover, she joined the opinion of the second circuit issued in a case, saying it was difficult. the way that judge sotomayor handled the important legal issues in the case was peculiar, to say the least. it makes one wonder why her treatment of these weighty issues difference so markedly from the way that every other court has treated them and whether her legal judgment was unduly affected by her personal or political beliefs. host: your response? guest: i could not disagree more. what she was doing was following the precedent, the law, and doing what was expected in terms of falling legal precedent. that is what we expect judges to
do. -- following legal precedent. it was a close decision. the supreme court reversed 5-4. these are close issues. the intermediate court was following legal precedent, and that is what she should have done. host: "the new york times" - one of the themes of the process -- write one of the themes of the process could be racial and ethnic preferences. guest: we will certainly find out how she makes her decisions. the constitution is a living document. we have seen the evolution of protections to protect us against the abuses of government. the original constitution did not envision our life today.
i attended baltimore public schools when they were segregated. i was denied the opportunity to be educated in a diverse environment. brown vs. board of education changed our lives forever. so the supreme court does change our life. we want them to understand that those people are there to carry out the law, not make them. host: our first phone call comes from pasadena, md.. caller: good morning, senator. good to speak with you. could i ask you a question? i was wondering if you would support the equal rights amendment, if someone were to bring it up again, perhaps like senator mikulski? guest: in the past i have co-
sponsored those amendments. there are different strategies in terms of advancing rights, and that was an issue that was popular, still an issue that has merit, but i think we need to talk about advancing the rights of women as effectively as possible. right now in the confirmation process, that is one of the questions i will be asking. host: next phone call also from maryland, baltimore. john on the republican line. caller: i wanted to talk about some of the organizations that miss sotomayor may be involved in. la rasa, potentially a racist organization. i know a sticking point with the judge judge alito's confirmatios
his participation in a man's organization. it is unfortunate that you are being partisan, senator pardon. his legislation, i believe, bankrolled newspapers in the area. -- senator cardin. i would just hope that you look at her background and be fair. if she is part of organizations with a racist agenda, what is going to stop her from having that in her heart? guest: first of all, i need to respond to your personal attack. i protected newspapers from getting federal funds. i wanted them to be independent. churches are nonprofits. i hope no one is accusing churches -- the government of funding our churches.
as far as her background, it is a background that brings diversity to the court. that is a positive. i remember when burger marshall was under consideration. -- thurgood marshall was under consideration. look at her record, what she has been able to do as a trial court judge, appellate judge, prosecutor, and you will find someone who has the passion to protect everyone's rights. she renders her decisions based on the facts of the case. that is the kind of justice we want. host: park hill, oklahoma. caller: good morning. i am one of those disabled veterans. on memorial day, i visited my
father and son's grave. i was urging people not to serve in the military because right now the government is not worth the sacrifice. one of the reasons i did that was because of that one remark you just made. the constitution is a living document. the constitution is not a living document. humans have not changed in the history of mankind. technically, we have gotten more advanced, but everything else -- we are power corrupts, selfish -- everything else is the same. trying to make it into a living document is not correct. here is an example. sonia sotomayor really belongs
to a left-wing organization. all of a sudden, she is ok. i am put off by this idea of public health, public safety. there are terrorists in the country. the government has imprisoned the citizens with regulation, finds, fees. where does it end? guest: first, i think our country is different than 233 years ago. we need to reflect the current condition of our country. i want to take exception with the premise of your call. during the fourth of july recess, i was in belarus, a repressed country where people do not have the right to free press. i brought back an american who was imprisoned for reasons we do
not know. we were able to make a plea for his release. i think we all should be thankful that we live in the country that promotes freedom, welcomes us to express our views, and has the protection to protect individual rights. host: we have this article from google yesterday talking about the nra, talking about its influence with republicans and conservative democrats in the senate. the right in the letter to senators, christopher cox, and the group's director, said tonus it -- sonia sotomayor had been dismissive of the second amendment. your thoughts? guest: again, she was following the court decision. that is what an appellate judge
section, section, sense of congress on regular order on appropriations bills. whereas it is a sense of the house that the statements regarding the appropriations process dated october 6, 2000, by the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. obey, should be followed when he stated, we have gotten so far from the regular order that i fear that if this continues the house will not have the capacity to return to the precedence and procedures of the house that is given true meaning to the term
representative democracy. the reason that we have struck -- stuck to regular order as long as we have in this institution is to protect the rights of every member to participate. and when we lose those rights we lose the right to be called the greatest deliberative body left in the world. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. simpson: mr. speaker, we offer this motion to recommit because i think everyone in this body realizes that we have gone far astray from regular order, and we know that the damage that does to this institution. we've done it in the name of expediency as we have to be done by some specific date to some arbitrary schedule that's been scratched out on some piece of paper. we all know that we have work to do. we weren't here monday. we could have worked. we could have done appropriation bills. but what we have cut members out not being able to offer amendments on the floor. not just minority members but majority members as well. >> mr. speaker, the house is
not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house will be in order. the gentleman deserves to be heard. the gentleman will continue to suspend. members are encouraged to take their seats and end their conversations or move them to the cloakroom. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: as i was saying, we all know that we've gotten far away from regular order, that we need to return to regular order where members have the right and the ability to represent their constituents that elected them here. that means offering amendments to appropriation bills. our history has been that appropriation bills come to the floor under an open rule so that members have the right to offer amendments. is it frustrating? yeah. does it take a lot of time? yeah. are there some amendments we wish shouldn't be offered? sure. but you know what, it's our job, is to come here and debate issues, not expediency, trying to get them done at a specific time and by doing that what we do is cut off members' ability to offer amendments and
represent their constituencies. i believe the chairman, mr. obey, was absolutely correct, absolutely correct in 2006 or 2000, october 6, when he said we've gotten so far from regular order that i fear in this continues the house will not have the capacity to return to the precedence of the procedures of the house that has given the true meaning to representative democracy. the reason we have stuck to regular order as long as we have in this institution is to protect the rights of every member to participate. minority members and majority members. and when we lose those rights we lose the right to call this the greatest deliberative body left in the world. he's absolutely right, and we need to adopt this as a sense of congress that we need to return to regular order so that members can represent their constituents, they can offer amendments. it will take long, yes, but people will have the opportunity to represent their constituents. and everyone here on both sides
of the aisle knows in their heart this is what we need to do. if we're going to be called a representative democracy. instead of trying to get it done because we have an august recess coming up. i'm willing to stay and work. i'm willing to stay on the weekends to work if that's necessary to get our work done. and you should be too. that's what we're getting paid for. not to cut members off. so i would urge you to adopt this motion to recommit so that we can return to regular order, so that members have the right and the ability to represent their constituents on this floor. i fear, as i said the other day, i truly fear that you know not the damage that you do to this institution with the rules that are closing off debate on the appropriations process. we need to return to regular order, open debate and let members offer their amendments and represent their constituents in the manner from
which they were elected, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? ms. velazquez: mr. speaker, i insist that my point of order putting aside the gentleman's comments. let me just say that we spent almost two hours or three hours here debating the spir -- sbir and the sttr. and what we heard was the economic downturn and how we can grow this economy. this bill deals with title 9 of the small business act, and as such, mr. speaker, under clause 7 of the house rules, the amendment is not in order and is not germane to the underlying bill. mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: does any member wish to be heard on the point of order? velazquez i seek a ruling of the chair on the point of order, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: if not
the chair is prepared to rule. the motion expressing a sense of congress on a wholly unrelated topic. that amendment is not germane. the point of order is sustained. the motion is not in order. the gentleman from idaho. mr. simpson: i appeal the ruling of the chair. ms. velazquez: i appeal the ruling of the chair, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the question is -- for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? velazquez mr. speaker, i move to table. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to table. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. ms. velazquez: mr. chairman -- mr. speaker, i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation
of the second amendment. your thoughts? guest: again, she was following the court decision. that is what an appellate judge should do. following the decision of the court. there was recently in decisions affecting the people of the district in which the supreme court said that it did not apply to people in the state. there have been thereviews written -- there have been other views written by barry conservative judges that -- by a very conservative judges that come to the same conclusion. host: next phone call.
caller: i would like to know if the senator does not feel this latino lady is coming into this totally opposite plans and what she should be. she should be coming in with an open heart and open mind to all americans. i live in a heavy latino area. this gets down to something that we really care about. do you think she can overcome her background and really judged fairly on the public? host: do you believe that anything she believes rep -- that she brings from her background will keeper from rendering a fair judgment? caller: yes, i see many things. even her statement about latina
women compared to white men, etc. as i said, this is a constant source of antagonism in my area. guest: that is a fair question. this is what the confirmation hearings will go into. these are the question that we will ask. i can tell you, looking at judge sotomayor's background, looking at her decisions as a trial court judge, appellate court judge, you see a judge who has responded to protecting the rights of all citizens. she has been very mainstream in her opinions. she has been able to bring a consensus on the second circuit. she has shown a passion to respect the rights of all. i must tell you, having diversity on the supreme court is a positive. it gives more confidence to the american people that the decisions of the supreme court will reflect on a country.
-- on our country. i think her background can help her reach that level of credibility with the american people. host: next phone call from new york. democratic line. caller: i wanted to take exception to you saying about our country promoting democracy. for $500 i can get a high definition camcorder. in order to get basic c-span, i have to have a premium box. theoretically, some of those channels should be free. what i really called about,
judge sotomayor, we know that with this ritchie case she was just following precedent. the reality is, right-wing justices came up with the wrong decision, in that perspective. if they continue to listen to rush limbaugh, sean hannity, mark levin, they will guarantee that the black and latino votes will go democratic. i would like to hear your thoughts. guest: in regards to your comments about cable, we allow the free market to operate, but we did not say it is perfect. i appreciate your comments. there is a balanced in terms of what is appropriate for the government to.
i agree with you. you take a look at this person's record, look at her decisions as a judge. you find a person that has reflected mainstream now used in america that have followed legal precedent. to believe the role of a judge is to interpret the law, not make law. that is what we are looking for. host: this morning in "usa today" -- senators will make speeches and then try their darndest to coax an unguarded comment from her. sotomayor knows better and will decline. nevertheless, it may be worth watching. it may be your last chance to see this historic nomination. after your statements, what do you think we will learn about judge to understand it -- judge sonia sotomayor that the
american people do not already know? guest: she will be talking to the american public. there will be all lot of unfair comments made about her background. -- there was a lot of unfair comments made about her background. this is her chance to respond. i think she but take that opportunity to talk about her background, to discuss how she used her experiences to arrive at the right decision. how she has done that as a prosecutor, circuit court judge, appellate court judge, and i think we will get to know her as a person. host: next phone call from massachusetts. go ahead, chuck. caller: as an independent i do
not go for either party, but i tend to notice the republican criticism has a tone of nastiness to a iit, even with sa sotomayor. even with michael jackson, the way they trashed jesse jackson. as much as you disagree, you seem to do it in a classier weight. for that reason, i intend to be more democratic than republican. guest: i appreciate you calling in. there are different views about how the confirmation process moves forward, but we know that this will be an open process where good question will be asked. i hope members of the senate understand our responsibility here. we are talking about the supreme
court. we are talking about a lifetime appointment. we should take a look at this from an objective point of view, allow judge sonia sotomayor to have her day. we need to look at her record and judge her on that. she has a very impressive record. host: next phone call from missouri. as we do this, here is a look at some of the people on the senate judiciary committee. go ahead. caller: the president said he wanted he wanted had a great nomination. i think democrats will be able to push her through, no matter what happens. watching all these committees, i
see a side of politics where they have no mind of their own the. they marched to the same drumbeat. someone needs to be free thinking. they are all scared of their own position. they do not care about the country they represent. guest: i disagree with that. me and my colleagues care very much about the nation. that is why we went into public service. i do not question the motives of any senator or congressman her. i think they are trying to do the right thing. -- congress member. this is a very important responsibility and we want to do what is right for the american people. this is how the process works. we have separation of powers. at times, they have held us
accountable, the president accountable. this is part of checks and balances. host: has patrick leahy called the democrats together to come up with a strategy for the questioning? is it more up to the individual? guest: you are going to be disappointed to know that we have not had such meetings. there were a lot of opinions and articles that needed to be read. i have a summary book a couple hundred pages long, and then i will come up with questions. i have taken an interest on civil rights issues. i intend to question her on civil rights. i have an interest in pro bono. i tend -- i intend to ask her about that. i think members have expressed a desire to talk with sonia
sotomayor, but there was no coordinated effort. host: next phone call, md., on the democratic one. caller: -- line. caller: it seems like there are an onslaught of phone calls against the supreme court nominee. i would just like to contrast that with this call. i am a maryland constituent. i support you. i favor obama's choice of supreme court nominee. it is his only chance -- so far, and perhaps his only chance -- to nominate someone for the court.
guest: thank you. i must point out, and judge sotomayor has an impressive background. look at her recent history. it is hard to find someone with more experience as a prosecutor, as a trial court judge, which means she has handled cases of first impression, as an appellate judge has written many opinions that we have the chance to look at. she brings a wealth of experience into the position. i compliment president obama for the manner in which he made his first nomination to the supreme court. host: this will be the first time that you are on the judiciary committee when they have a supreme court nominee. have you spoken to other members who have been through this process before to anticipate what will be happening? guest: i have, and it is truly a
unique opportunity. it already has been very time consuming in terms of a lot of reading material. next week will be very busy for us on the committee. we look forward to it. host: next phone call from fort washington, maryland. caller: unfortunately, i am opposite to the last caller. i am opposed to her being involved with la raza, which advocates for illegal immigration. it makes no sense. they break the law and come to our country illegally, regardless of the reason. by the way, latinos and blacks had different struggles in america. we are here, and they invaded.
clarence thomas has never been considered, by the black community, to be a black man. sonia sotomayor advocate that immigrants bring the law. how can you be a judge and interpret the law when you are advocating a relationship with an organization that is breaking the law? it makes no sense. i have tried to speak with you several times on behalf of the blacks here in prince george's county. we are not getting very much representation. you are a liberal democrat. i am an independent because of
answering present. the bill is passed. without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker: the house will come to order. the house will come to order. the chair would ask all present to rise for the purpose of a moment of silence. the chair asks that the house now observe a moment of silence in remembrance of our brave men
and women in uniform who have given their lives in the service of our nation in iraq and afghanistan and their families and of all who serve in our armed forces and their families. the speaker: without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the
journal which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the journal -- >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? mr. kaufman: on that i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-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
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 237, the nays are 184 with one voting present. the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. westmoreland: mr. speaker, i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. mr. westmoreland: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia.
mr. westmoreland: i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their vote by electronic device. 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.]
office my intention to offer a resolution as a question of privileges of the house. the form of my resolution -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will read the form of the resolution. mr. price: it is as follows -- whereas on january 20, 2009, barack obama was inaugurated as president of the united states and the outstanding public debt of the united states stood at $10.627 trillion. whereas on january 20, 2009, in the president's inaugural address, he stated, quote, those of us who managed the public's dollars will be held to account to spend wisely,
reform bad habits and do our business in the light of day because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government. whereas on february 17, 2009, the president signed into public law h.r. 1, the american recovery and reinvestment act of 2009. whereas the american recovery and reinvestment act of 2009 included $575 billion of new spending and $212 billion of revenue reductions for a total deficit impact of $787 billion. whereas the borrowing necessary to finance the american recovery and reinvestment act of 2009 will cost an additional
$300 billion. whereas on february 26, 2009, the president unveiled his budget blueprint for fiscal year 2010. whereas the president's budget for fiscal year 2010 proposes the 11 highest annual deficits in united states history. whereas the president's budget for fiscal year 2010 proposes to increase the national debt to $23.1 trillion by fiscal year 2019, more than doubling it from its current levels. whereas on march 11, 2009, the president signed into public law h.r. 1105, the omnibus
appropriations act of 2009. whereas the omnibus appropriations act of 2009 constitutes nine of the 12 appropriations bills for fiscal year 2009 which had not been enacted before the start of the fiscal year. whereas the omnibus appropriations act of 2009 spends $19.1 billion more than the request of president bush. whereas the omnibus appropriations act of 2009 spends $19 billion more than simply extending the continuing resolution for fiscal year 2009. whereas on april 1, 2009, the house considered h.con.res 85, congressional democrats' budget
proposal for fiscal year 2010. whereas the congressional democrats' budget proposal for fiscal year 2010, h.con.res 85, proposes the sixth highest annual deficits in united states history. whereas the democrats' budget proposal for fiscal year 2010, h.con.res 85, proposes to increase the national debt to $17.1 trillion over five years, $5.3 trillion more than compared to the level on january 20, 2009. whereas congressional republicans produced an alternative budget proposal for fiscal year 2010 which spends $4.8 trillion less than the
congressional democrats' budget over 10 years. whereas the republican study committee produced a budget proposal for fiscal year 2010 which improves the budget outlook in every single year, balances the budget by fiscal year 2019, and cuts the national debt by nearly $6 trillion compared to the president's budget. whereas on april 20, 2009, attempting to respond to public criticism, the president convened the first cabinet meeting of his administration and challenged his cabinet to cut a collective $100 million in the next 90 days. whereas the challenge to cut a collective $100 million represents just one -- 1/40,000
of the federal budget. whereas on june 16, 2009, total outstanding troubled asset relief program, or tarp funds, to banks stood at $197.6 billion. whereas on june 16, 2009, total outstanding tarp funds to a.i.g. stood at $69.8 billion. whereas on june 16, 2009, total outstanding tarp funds to domestic automobile manufacturers and their finance units stood at $80 billion. whereas on june 19, 2009, the outstanding public debt of the united states was $11.409 trillion.
whereas on june 19, 2009, each citizen's share of the outstanding public debt of the united states came to $37,236 .88. whereas according to a "new york times "/cbs news survey, 60% thinks the president does not have a current plan for dealing with the current budget deficit. that was cited in the poll conducted june 12 through the 16, 2009, survey of 890 adults nationwide. whereas the best means to develop a clear plan for dealing with runaway federal spending is a real commitment to fiscal restraint and an open and transparent appropriations process in the united states
house of representatives. whereas before assuming control of the house of representatives in january, 2007, congressional democrats were committed to an open and transparent appropriations process. whereas according to a document by congressional democrats entitled "democratic declaration: honest leadership and open government," page 2 states, "our goal is to restore accountability, honesty and openness at all levels of government." whereas according to a document by congressional democrats entitled "a new direction for america," page 29 states, "bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that follows open, full and fair debate consisting of a
full amendment process that grants the minority the right to offer its alternatives including a substitute." whereas on november 21, 2006, "the san francisco chronicle" reported, "speaker pelosi pledged to restore minority rights, including the right of republicans to offer amendments to bills on the floor. the principal of civility and respect for minority participation in this house is something we promised the american people," she said, "it's the right thing to do." from pelosi's all smiles through a rough transition article, "the san francisco chronicle," november 21, 2006. whereas on december 6, 2006, speaker pelosi stated, quote, we promised the american people that we would have the most open and honest government and
we will, unquote. whereas on december 17, 2006, "the washington post" reported, quote, after a decade of bitter partisanship that has all but crippled efforts to deal with major national problems, pelosi is determined to try to return the house to what it was in an earlier era, quote, where you debated ideas and listened to each other's arguments, unquote. pelosi's house diplomacy, "the washington post," december 17, 2006. whereas on december 5, 2006, majority leader steny hoyer stated, quote, we intend to have a rules committee that gives opposition voices and alternative proposals the ability to be heard and considered on the floor of the house, unquote.
hoyer says dems' plans unruffled by logjam, congress daily p.m., december 6, 2006. whereas during debate on january 8, 2005, in the congressional record on page h-44-10, chairwoman louise m. slaret of the house rules committee stated, quote, if we want to foster democracy in this body we should take the time and thoughtfulness to debate all major legislation under an open rule, not just appropriations bills which are already restricted. an open process should be the norm, not the exception. whereas since january, 2007, there has been a failure to commit to an open and transparent process in the house of representatives. whereas more bills were
considered under closed rules, 6 total, in the 1 -- 64 total in the 110th congress under democratic control than in the previous congress, 49, under republican control. and whereas fewer bills were considered under open rules, 10 total, in the 110th congress under democratic control than in the previous congress, 22, under republican control. whereas fewer amendments were allowed per bill, 7.68, in the 110th congress under democratic control than in the previous congress, 9.22, under republican control. whereas the failure to commit to an open and transparent process in ordero develop a clear plan for dealing with runaway federal spending reached its pinnacle in the house's handling of h.r.
2847, the commerce, justice, science and related agencies appropriations act of 2010. whereas h.r. 2847, the commerce, justice, science and related agencies appropriations act of 2010 contained -- 2010, contained discretionary spending, 11.6% more than enacted in fiscal year 2009. whereas on june 11, 2009, the house rules committee issued an announcement stating that amendments for h.r. 2847, the commerce, justice, science and related agencies appropriations act of 2010, must be preprinted in the congressional record by the close of business on june 15, 2009.
whereas both republicans and democrats filed 127 amendments in the congressional record for consideration on the house floor. whereas on june 15, 2009, the house rules committee reported h.res. 544, a rule with a preprinting requirement in unlimited pro forma amendments for the purposes of debate. whereas on june 16, 2009, the house proceeded with one hour of general debate or one minute to vet each 1.07 -- $1.07 billion in h.r. 2847 in the committee of the whole. whereas after one hour of general debate the house proceeded with amendment debate. whereas after just 22 minutes of
amendment debate or one minute to vet each $3.02 billion in h.r. 2847 a motion that the committee rise was offered by congressional democrats. whereas the house agreed on a motion that the committee rise by a recorded vote of 179 yeas to 124 nays with all votes in the affirmative being cast by democrats. whereas afterwards the house rules committee convened a special, untelevised meeting to dispense with further proceedings on h.r. 2847, the commerce, justice, science and related agencies appropriations act of 2010. whereas on june 17, 2009, the house rules committee reported h.res. 552, a new and
restrictive structured rule for h.r. 2847, the commerce, justice, science and related agencies appropriations act of 2010. whereas every house republican and 27 house democrats voted against agreeing on h.res. 552. whereas h.res. 552 made in order just 23 amendmented -- amendments with a possibility for 10 more amendments out of the 127 amendments originally filed. whereas h.res. 552 severely curtailed pro forma amendments for the purposes of debate. whereas the actions of congressional democrats to curtail debate and the number of amendments offered to h.r. 2847, the commerce, justice, science and related agencies appropriations act of 2010,
effectively ended the process to deal with runaway federal spending in a positive and responsible manner. whereas congressional democrats continued to curtail debate and the number of amendments offered to appropriations bills. whereas on june 18, 2009, the house rules committee reported h.res. 559, a restrictive structured rule for h.r. 2918, the legislative branch appropriations act of 2010. whereas h.res. 559 made in order just one amendment out of the 20 amendments originally filed. whereas on june 23, 2009, the house rules committee reported h.res. 573, a restrictive structured rule for h.r. 2892,
the department of homeland security appropriations act of 2010. whereas h.res. 573 made in order just nine amendments with a possibility of five more amendments out of the 91 amendments originally filed. whereas on june 24, 2009, the house rules committee reported h.res. 578, a restrictive structured rule for h.r. 2996, the department of interior environment and related agencies appropriations act of 2010. whereas h.res. 578 made in order just eight amendments with a possibility of five more amendments out of the 105 amendments originally filed. and whereas the actions taken have resulted in indignity being
visited upon the house of representatives. now, therefore be it resolved that the house of representatives recommit itself to fiscal restraint and develop a clear plan for dealing with runaway federal spending and, two, that the house of representatives return to its best traditions of an open and transparent appropriations process without a preprinting requirement. and, three, that the house rules committee shall report out open rules for all general appropriations bills throughout the remainder of the 111th congress. the speaker pro tempore: under rule 9, a resolution offered from the floor by a member other than the majority leader or the minority leader as a question of the privileges of the house has immediate precedence only at a time designated by the chair within two legislative days after thresolution is properly
noticed. pending that designation, the form of the resolution noticed by the gentleman from georgia will appear in the record at this point. the chair will not at this point determine whether the resolution constitutes a question of privilege. that determination will be made at the time designated for consideration of the resolution. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 609 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 84, house resolution 609, resolved that in the time after the adoption of this resolution, the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill, h.r. 2997. making appropriations for agriculture, rural development,
food and drug administration and related agencies programs for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2010, and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule 21. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not compete one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations. after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. points of order against provisions in the bill for failure to comply with clause 2 of rule 21 are waived. notwithstanding clause 11 of rule 18, except as provided in section 2, no amendment shall be in order except, one, the amendment printed in part a of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. two, the amendments printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules. three, not to exceed one of the
amendments printed in part c over the report of the committee on rules. if offered by representative campbell of california or his designee. four, not to exceed three of the amendments printed in part d of the report of the committee on rules if offered by representative flake of arizona or his designee. and, five, not to exceed one of the amendments printed in part e of the report of the committee on rules if offered by representative hensarling of texas or his designee. each such amendment may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule 21 and except an amendment printed in
part b through e of the report of the committee on rules may be offered only at the appropriate point in the reading. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. in the case of amendments reported from the committee, the question of their adoption shall be put to the house engross and without division of the question. the previous question shall be considered as recorded -- ordered on the bill and amendments thereto final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section two, after -- section 2, after consideration of the bill for amendment, the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriation or their designee each may offer one pro forma amendment to the bill for the purpose of debate, which shall be controlled by the proponent. section 3, the chair may entertain a motion that the committee rise only if offered by the chair of the committee on
appropriations or his designee. the chair may not entertain a motion to strike out the enacting works of the bill as described in clause 9 of rule 18. section 4, during consideration of h.r. 2997, the chair may reduce to two minutes the minimum time for electronic voting under clause 6 of rule 18 and clauses 8 and 9 of rule 20. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: mr. speaker, i raise a point of order against h.res. 609 because the resolution violates section 426-a of the congressional budget act. it contains a waiver of all points of order against consideration of the bill which includes a waiver of section 425, the congressional budget act, which causes a violation of section 426-a. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona makes a point of order that the resolution violates section 426-a of the congressional budget act of 1974.
the gentleman has met the threshold burden to identify the specific language in the resolution on which the point of order is predicated. such a point of order shall be disposed of by the question of consideration. the gentleman from arizona and a member opposed, the gentleman from massachusetts, each will control 10 minutes of debate on the question of consideration. after the debate -- the chair will put the question of consideration to wit, will the house now consider the resolution? the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chair. i raise this point of order not necessarily out of concern for unfunded mandates, although there are likely some in here. i raise the point of order because it's the only vehicle we've got to actually talk about this rule and this bill and how we are being denied the ability to actually offer the amendments that we would like to, to illuminate what's actualfully this bill and how this is -- actually in this bill and how this is a break in the hallmark
and tradition of this house which is to i -- is to allow open debate on appropriation bills. we've heard a lot about the sweeping reforms, particularly on earmarks, since 2007. some of these reforms are good, some of them, like requiring members to put their names next to earmarks, requiring them to sign a certification letter that they have no financial interest in the earmark, these are good reforms, they're reforms that many of us in this body have wanted for a long time. . but we haven't drained the swam am and all we know is the depth of the mud we senior wading in and we are not able to hold those accountable. we have the transparency that we need, some of it, most of it, but with that transparency should come accountability. and when you are denied the ability to offer amendments on
the floor or restrict it in the number you can offer, then you aren't able to use that transparency to any good effect. and in fiscal year 2007 during the appropriations process, i was able to offer 40 earmark limitation amendments. these were bipartisan, including eight to the agricultural appropriations bill. in fiscal year 2008, i offered nearly 50 bipartisan amendments, including five to the ag appropriations bill. now last year, only one appropriation bill even moved through the house under regular order, the military construction-v.a. appropriation bill. this bill was jammed together with a so-called minibus with the homeland security bill and defense bill. this came to the house under a closed rule. there were no amendments allowed at all. the remaining bills were jammed into a must-passed omnibus bill.
only a handful were reported out of the committee. there were over 7,000 earmarks worth more than $8 billionaire-dropped into this bill and not one limitation amendment, not one striking amendment, really not any amendments of any kind were even allowed on that bill. so we went through a whole year basically with virty no amendments offered at all where these appropriation bills weren't even vetted. now we come to this year and we're told, we're going to get back to regular order and move appropriation bills one at a time and give members the opportunity to offer limitation amendments. and what do we do? we close them down. the rules committee says ok you have offered 12 amendments, maybe you can offer three amendments. you choose on the floor. that's not real accountability. that's not the tradition of this
house. that's not an open rule. and when you see things like this, this is in "roll call" today, the justice department this week filed criminal charges against the defense contractor who has received millions of dollars of earmarks. today's "roll call." today's "hill." defense cutbacks putting people in a hard position on whether to return contributions to the contractor who is charged with accepting cutback dollars. and yet we are considering the defense appropriation bill later this month that will contain probably more than 1,000 earmarks in this body, most of them, earmarks to for-profit companies, most of which will have executives who turn around
and make campaign contributions to the members who secured the earmarks for them. and yet, i would submit that the purpose of what we're going through now through these appropriation bills is to basically ready this body for the defense appropriation bill where people will be used to not offering amendments. and then, where we would be able to illuminate a little bit on the floor at least where these earmarks are going, is it appropriate for these earmarks to go to a for-profit company where the executives make contributions to the member who secured that earmark for them, members getting earmarks for their campaign contributors instead of being able to stand up and illuminate that, we will be likely restricted to one or two amendments or maybe none. that's what we're going through right now and that's what it's
going to lead to. people say that nobody pays attention to process outside of this body or outside of this town, and that's largely true. it's tough to score political points saying the majority party simply won't allow amendments offered on the floor. people typically don't pay attention to that process. but that process also begets bad results or bad policy. we learned it on this side. when you hold a vote open for three hours like we did the prescription drug bill vote and twist arms, you get a bad result. we added about $11 trillion in unfunded liabilities for future generations. we had several of those, which several on this side were not proud of. we always held appropriations bills up and allowed open rules and allowed members to offer amendments even though it might have been uncomfortable for members to hear what was being brought to the floor.
and a departure from that means that we're going to have bad results. we've seen that in the last year or so when we've restricted the ability of members to actually offer amendments. then we have justice department investigations because the proper vetting was not done. now, i would wish -- i think all of us would wish that some vetting would be done in the appropriations committee, but sadly, it hasn't been done. the chairman of the committee has said many times that they don't have the time nor the resources to vet all of these earmark requests, and i believe them. but if that is the case, the answer isn't to shut the process down. the answer is, don't bring the bill to the floor with so many earmarks in it. but here, instead of doing that, we're saying, all right, we can't vet these earmarks, so we're going to close our eyes and pretend that these earmarks aren't there and not allow anybody to tell anybody that they're there.
let's not allow anybody to come to the floor and offer them. that is a bad process, which leads to bad results. make no mistake, as i mentioned, what we're going through now, i don't think the majority party or minority party is so much concerned about how many amendments are offered to the agricultural bill as they are about setting a precedent for what might come later with the defense appropriation bill. remember, that is the important one with regard to earmarks for campaign contributors. and if we allow a process to develop here where we shield members and shield earmarks by not allowing members to challenge them on the floor, then we will get more headlines like this one in the paper today, headlines that we see over and over and over again, which have led to investigations by the justice department, which have led finally to our own
ethics committee tinally, hopefully having launched its own investigation. it is unbelievable to me that we have this going on on the outside and yet we will still go through a process where we allow members of congress here to earmark for their campaign contributors. and instead of allowing members to come to the floor and challenge some of those, we shut down the process so they can't. we close the rule. so very few earmark limitation amendmentsre even allowed. with that, i reserve the balance of my time the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: just so there is no confusion, i want to remind my colleagues we are dealing with the agriculture appropriations bill and not the defense appropriations bill or any other appropriations bill. this is the agricultural appropriations bill. technically this point of order
is about whether or not to consider this rule and ultimately the underlying bill. in reality, it's about trying to block this bill. any opportunity for debate and without any opportunity for up and down vote on the legislation itself. mr. speaker, the bill -- the underlying bill we want to consider here is a bill that provides food and nutrition to some of the most desperate people in this country. it's a bill that will provide much needed help to farmers in rural areas all across this country. this is an important bill for a number of reasons. and i think it's wrong to try to delay this bill or block this legislation from coming to the floor. and i hope my colleagues will vote yes so we can consider this important legislation on its merits and not stop it on a procedural obstructionist motion. those who oppose this bill can vote against it on final passage. we must consider this rule and we must pass this legislation day. mr. speaker, i have the right to close, but in the end, i will
urge my colleagues to vote yes to consider the rule. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: mr. speaker, how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has one minute remaining. mr. flake: i will talk specifically about the ag appropriations bill. this bill has hundreds and hundreds of earmarks in it. i think there are half a dozen maybe total earmark limitation amendments that are allowed under this rule. that's simply not sufficient, mr. chairman. that's not sufficient. we should be allowing more. i understand the other side wants to hide the fact that 64% of the earmarks in this legislation are going to just 25% of the body. that the appropriations committee, which makes up just under 14% of this body actually comes away with 50 -- 56% of the earmarks.
and i understand that those who are in charge of this legislation don't want that to be known. but it's still not right to limit the number of amendments that can be offered and to limit the time. so i would plead to not go forward on consideration of this bill under this rule. the speaker pro tempore: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i can appreciate the tactics that my friends on the other side of the aisle are employing right now to try to delay and obstruct this legislation from moving forward. as i said, this legislation is important. it's important to a lot of people. the food stamp program is funded in this bill. w.i.c. a lot of important nutrition programs and important aid to farmers who are struggling in this tough economy. this is an important piece of legislation. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this motion to consider so we can debate and pass this
important piece of legislation today. and i would urge my colleagues to vote yes and enough of these obstructionist tactics. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. all time for debate has expired. the question is, shall the house now consider the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. question of consideration -- the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote on the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is
nays are 185. the question of the is decided in the affirmative. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the gentleman from massachusetts will be recognized for one hour. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, for the purposes of debate only, i yield 30 minutes to the gentlelady from north carolina, dr. fox. all time yielded during consideration of this rule is for debate only. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and to insert extraneous materials into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: i yield myself such time as i may consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: house resolution 609 will allow this body to consider h.r. 2297 the fiscal year 2010 agturel, rural development, food and drug administration and related agencies appropriations act. mr. speaker, this is a good bill that deserves the support of every single member in this body. chairwoman delauro and ranking member rings ton and their staffs worked to provide a bill that provides critical funding for the needs of rural america, conservation programs and two areas that are very important to me, domestic and international food nutrition. mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: this bill is not perfect. there are programs that i think should be funded at higher levels and other programs that should be reduced. colleagues have different priorities.
but i believe this bill is a solid, thoughtful, good compromise. the fy 2010 agricultural appropriations act makes three investments, it protects americans with increases in food safety and funding for the food and drug administration it delivers critical funding and support for domestic and international food and nutrition programs and provides important assistance for rural america by providing funds for rural development, animal and plant health, broadband service and conservation programs. mr. speaker, this bill provides $22.9 billion for these critical programs, less than president obama's budget request. with the economic crisis facing families across this nation, the funding for rural america is more important today than ever. the rural development programs will create real opportunities for economic growth and development in small communities throughout our country.
there is funding for rural housing, investments in rural businesses and support for new community facility infrastructure. the funding for the farm service agency and agriculture research is of vital importance as our farmers and ranchers continue to adapt their businesses into the 21st century economy. i want to thank chairwoman delauro for funding eradication of the long horn beetle. this has infiltrated my district and surrounding towns. the only way to eradicate the insect is to eliminate the trees where they live. if this infestation is not stopped, it could devastate the hardwood forests of new england. this is an expensive, but important endeavor and this bill provides significant funding for that effort. mr. speaker, as we have seen over the past few years,
americao food supply is not as safe as it should be. we have seen salmonella and e coal eye outbreaks and -- e coli outbreaks and importation means we have to have a dedicated effort to protect our food supply from contamination. this bill provides funding for the inspection of meat, powell try and egg products. there is funding to improve the safety of imported food and medical products. these programs alone make this bill worth supporting and i commend chairwoman delauro for her support for this work. finally and of great importance, the programs that provide food and nutrition to millions of people here at home and around the world. this bill provides significant funding for food stamps, for
w.i.c. and international food aid, pl 480 and the child nutrition program. i have long believed, mr. speaker, that hunger, here at home and around the world is a political condition. that we have the resources to end hunger, but we simply haven't mustered the political will to do so. this bill is a major step forward in that fight to end hunger. domestically, this bill fully funds the women, infants and children program, or w.i.w. program. this provides healthy and nutritious food to pregnant and mothers. the bill will help 700,000 women and infants. 10 million people will now be able to participate in this important program. the bill provides funding for the commodity food supplemental program, something that the bush administration never saw fit to
fund but provides nutritious food to over 500,000 low-income women, infants and children and elderly people who struggle with high food costs. this bill also expands the participation into six states, arkansas, oklahoma, delaware, utah, new jersey and georgia. and the snap program authorized in the farm bill is funded through the fy 2010 agricultural appropriations bill. this is one of the most important safety programs in the country. low and middle-income families who struggle to put food on their tables are able to turn to this program for help. there are over 36 million people in this country who go without food during the year. too often, families are forced to choose between rent, utilities and food. snap allows families to receive funding so they could buy the food they normally wouldn't be
able to afford. healthy and nutritious food is a right, not a privilege. the notion we should turn our backs on people who cannot afford it is unfathomable. millions of americans need this help even before the economic downturn. the number of americans will be higher and without snap, millions of americans would go to bed hungry every day. i'm proud of the program and i congratulate the speaker of the house and chairwoman delauro for their support in this and other anti-hunger efforts. there is a significant investment in the international food aid provisions funded in this bill. many of my colleagues may not know that international food aid is funded in the agricultural appropriations bill. this bill, thanks to the leadership of chairwoman delauro increases funding by $464 increases funding by $464 million for a total of $9.6