Skip to main content

tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  July 8, 2009 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

8:00 pm
north of orlando to just south of jacksonville. the western part of central and center part of the northern part of the state. . it's a great area. people work hard. they are some of the most dedicated hard-working americans that i know. unfortunately, several months ago, we had a disastrous series of rains. we had up to 30 inches of rain in some of the areas. some of those areas -- i have pictures of potato fields -- and my district is one of the largest potato growth and farm areas in the nation. these fields behind me here were all covered with water and covered for multiple days with rain. the potatoes rotted and $50 million worth of damage, which
8:01 pm
really isn't a huge amount of money when we deal with billions here, but it means the difference between life and death, between staying in business, between keeping people employed in my district. i had asked the rules committee for a small change in a program that's called supplemental review assistance program. and those are federal programs that farmers in my district paid premiums for and participated in and were eligible for. in fact, 85% of the potato farmers were eligible for participation in those programs. but the problem that we have -- we had in spite of their having insurances, the timing of the disaster was such and the rules by which they assess eligibility, disaster payments
8:02 pm
would arrive after the crop losses because some of the data has to be computed for payment rates a year after the harvest. now that doesn't help people who are trying to do plantings and we have different seasons in other parts of the united states. it doesn't help people who are trying to keep folks employed in the farm business and doesn't help farmers who are trying to keep their door open. i asked for a small change. and if you look at the rule, they actually put in some changes. and they were legislating on appropriations to help folks. and we normally do, helping each other in the house of representatives when our areas have a disaster. i wasn't asking for any more money. i wasn't asking for another bigger program. there's plenty of money there, it's the timing of the disaster and this particular requirement to get funds and make my farmers
8:03 pm
eligible and farmers that through this devastated area eligible. i'm very disappointed. mr. kingston, i have the highest respect for him, ms. delauro. they do a wonderful job. my argument is not with you. my argument again is with the rules committee that did not extend the courtesy to a member to assist his district in a time of natural disaster. i intend to pursue this no matter what it takes, however i have to get the attention of the house. we are going to find a way to bring aid to people in my district who just want to keep in business, who want to continue farming, who want to create jobs in a very difficult economy and not be shut down. they've paid their dues. they've paid their fees.
8:04 pm
we aren't asking for any more money, but for a slight change in some of the language on the funds that are available and there are plenty of funds available. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: mr. chairman, i want to say to my colleague, i sympathesize with the difficulties and the disaster that has befallen your district and i urge you to speak to the authorizing committee, mr. peterson and the agriculture committee for this effort. with that, let me just yield two minutes to the the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney, for the purposes of a colloquy. chairman chirm the gentleman is recognized -- charmede the gentleman is recognized.
8:05 pm
mr. courtney: i rise to talk about the desperate state of our nation's dairy industry which has experienced collapse in prices. i had the honor of accompanying chairwoman delauro to the greenbacker in connecticut and we heard firsthand from dairy farmers across connecticut about the difficulties that they're facing, particularly regarding the cost of production and the rapid decline of dairy prices over the past year. could the chair woman speak to this issue and what relief might be available to these farmers. ms. delauro: i thank the chair woman. on behalf of the dairy industry, dairy farmers have been challenged like never before. i support efforts to provide increased relief to these farmers. i thank you, courtney and other members for their efforts. i'm committed to helping dairy farmers in connecticut and across the country. mr. courtney: i thank the chair
8:06 pm
woman for her response. and i yield to mr. welch. well well as you know -- mr. welch: dairy farmers are paying $18 to produce. the upside pay scale is unsustainable and already forced dozens of vermont farmers out of business. we offered an amendment to the bill to raise the payment rates on the milk while milk program isn't program it is a way to put money back in the pocket of farmers and we appreciate your support and we believe you grow that congress must take action to help our struggling dairy farmers and we can't sit and wait. i thank the chair woman and look forward to continuing to work with her and my colleague from connecticut. and i yield back. ms. delauro: i thank my friend from vermont and my friend from connecticut and i applaud the continued efforts to help the
8:07 pm
dairy industry. and i look forward to working with you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: i yield one minute to the the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt, for the purposes of a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. mr. holt: i commend the gentlelady for her work on the bill and thank her for supporting my amendment to protect the u.s.d.a. organic standards and labels. we must ensure that the department of agriculture's inspector general has the resources to complete an investigation under way into whether current inspectors are upholding the standards of organic certification. they need resources to determine whether organic substances remain in the certified products. the number of nonorganic
8:08 pm
substances has ballooned from 77 in 2002 to 245 today. if we want organic labels to mean something, then there must be strong standards for organic certification and we must uphold them. and i yield back to the gentlelady. ms. delauro: i agree to the gentleman about the importance and strengthening the organic standards. i was pleased to incorporate it into the chairman's amendment, to increase funding. i yield mysf five seconds. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. delauro: indicate our strong support for a thorough review of the program. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from georgia? the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from connecticut. ms. delauro: i yield to the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: let me thank the
8:09 pm
gentlelady for her hard work to move forward in the area of agriculture, nutrition and health safety and all the issues she tackles. this bill will help millions of americans. i rise today to enter into a colloquy to talk about the lifetime ban on food stamp eligibility for formerly incarcerated persons who were convicted of drug offenses. this is a moral and ethical concern to myself and many members of the congressional black caucus. our constitution provides the appropriate groundwork for this issue and article 1 and section 10 of the 5th amendment by declaring that individuals are not to be subject to double jeopardy or expost facto laws. the formerly incorporated re-enter society looking to improve themselves. as a society, this is what we want to support, to reduce
8:10 pm
crime. however, the current policy prevents them access to food stamps. food stamps and cash support are essential to the health and stability of families. individuals with criminal convictions face crrble barriers and needing support to improve their ability to get gainful employment and transition after incarceration. the personal responsibility and work opportunity reconciliation act prohibits anyone convicted of a drug-related felony from receiving both federally funded -- the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. delauro: i yield 30 seconds. ms. lee: the welfare reform act prevents anyone and only those who were formerly convicted of drug felonies from ever receiving cash assistance and food stamps even after completing their sentence and overcoming an addiction. i have interviewsed 5802 and i
8:11 pm
wanted to talk to the gentlelady tonight about this very important issue. i hope that sooner or later we can repeal this ban, because it is a barrier for those who have re-entered society and they deserve to be eligible for food stamps. ms. delauro: i yield myself 15 seconds. i assure the gentlewoman that we will correct the inequity that has been in place since the reform bill. time has come to address this issue in a meaningful way. we are talking about individuals who have paid their debt to society and should be given a new opportunity to make a new life and provide food assistance for themselves and families. right thing to do. the chair: the gentleman from georgia continues to reserve. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: let me yield a minute to the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich.
8:12 pm
the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: i rise to engage in a col "with the chair woman of the subcommittee. reliable economic data is vital. the u.s.d.a. has seeing degree depated organic data. it is one of the fastest growing seeingments of the u.s. agriculture. the need for this information will continue to increase. the language has been included in past agricultural bills that dead indicates funding for the organic production and marketing data initiative, is not included this year. the budget of the economic research service would help meet the needs of the initiative. is it the gentlelady's opinion that the funding for the initiative should remain strong? i yield back. ms. delauro: the importance of the program is clear and the gentleman and you have raised a
8:13 pm
valid point. i agree with you that the organic production and marketing data initiative should be funded in order to compete with the rest of agricultural commodities. mr. kucinich: i thank the gentlelady. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from georgia continues to reserve. the gentlewoman from connecticut. ms. delauro: i yield 90 seconds to the gentlelady from wisconsin, ms. moore. ms. moore: mr. chairman, i rise today to engage in a col "with the chair woman of the subcommittee and i commend her efforts to extend the food program by increasing the total number of states authorized to serve supper through the at-risk after-school care program. according to the food research action center, the average daily participation of children in wisconsin in the child and adult care program is over 65,000
8:14 pm
kids. there is a great deal of need in my state and across the nation to ensure that young people have the opportunity to have three nutritious meals a day. i would love to work with the gentlewoman and my colleagues to authorize wisconsin to serve suppers in wisconsin through the child and adult care food program. and i yield. ms. delauro: i thank the gentlelady for her support of the child and adult care food program and i would like to work with you very much in the future to expand access to meals in the at-risk after-school program. children and adults revenue trishous meals and snacks each day as part of their day care. it expands the after-school programs to additional areas. and i will work together to expand the essential program and i yield back to the gentlelady. ms. moore: reclaiming my time.
8:15 pm
with the increasing price of food and overall food insecurity among families and communities in today's economy, i welcome the opportunity to work with you. ms. delauro: i yield the gentlelady -- ms. moore: i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from georgia continue to reserve? the gentlewoman from connecticut. ms. delauro: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. . mr. jackson: i rise today to support the underlying bill and to particularly focus on the question of hunger in america. this past weekend i joined one of the more well known constituents of mine, beyonce, who is engaged in an online opportunity to ensure that food banks of america are taken care
8:16 pm
of. we realize that in this economic recession, although we are working very hard with stimulus funds, that many people are in need. families who work are in need of an extra assistance -- are in need of extra assistance. so i'm concerned that this legislation, the appropriations, will be supportive of the works of the nation's food banks and help the various food pranks -- banks through a number of provisions that may ensure that food banks are a viable part of our economic food line. we know that there are about 900 million, 923 million people plus that are hungry around the world or lacking in what we call food security. the inability to secure the right kind of food. we know that development concerns occur in children who are not in essence able to participate or to have the kind of food security they need to have. and so i'm very pleased that
8:17 pm
again the legislation has been supported as an international food aid providing some $1.69 billion as requested and $464 million above the 2009. i'm also very glad that this is able to meet the emergency and nonemergency humanitarian food needs in countries stick within natural disasters and political strife. $199.5 million for the international food for education and child nutrition program, the same as requested in -- and $99.5 million above 2009 to support education, child development and food security to some of the world's poorest children. can i have an additional 30 seconds? ms. delauro: i yield the gentlewoman an additional 30 seconds. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentlelady. might i also say that i'm also glad that this legislation continues to support the congressional hunger center which many of us have been supportive of over the years in terms of its funding and likewise, i'd like to emphasize
8:18 pm
the importance in conclusion that hunger has not been overcome. this bill deals with many issues, nutrition for women, infant and children, the program that is so very important. the commodities, supplemental food program, again, all focusing on the large need of hunger not only internationally but domestically. i want to thank the chairwoman again and would like to continue to work with her as this bill makes its way through the congress. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. delaurclaur additional 10 seconds -- ms. delauro: additional 10 seconds. jackson scraction jackson i think you're well aware of the work my -- ms. jackson lee: i think you're fully aware of the work my colleague has done on hunger and i want to work to ensure these program are there for the continued hungry that we will be able to ex ting wish it. ms. delauro: i want to assure the gentlewoman from texas that it is of a high for me to make thure shah -- sure that we address the very serious issue of hunger in this country and
8:19 pm
internationally. and will spend a lot of time in that effort. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> i wanted to make a statement on behalf of myself and mr. frank of massachusetts and ms. brown of florida regarding the best of catfish industry and if the chair wants to respond, fine, but we've discussed this. it actually came a little bit late in the hearing process to do anything about. but i wanted to give some background and in 2008 the farm bill created a new usda catfish inspection program that requires the usda to define what is considered a catfish. now, the reason this is important is because the f.d.a. traditionally does the inspection on fish, not the usda. but now we put in this farm bill the usda in the catfish business.
8:20 pm
this was pushed by the domestic catfish industry asserting that chinese catfish processors would not be able to meet the usda equivalentsy requirements of continuous inspection and then could not export competing products to the united states and as somebody who comes from farm country, i know that dealing with foreign competition is very tough because sometimes they subsidize their producers and maybe they have different regulatory requirements or they have some unfair advantage over the domestic producers and yet at the same time the ability to buy food internationally often brings down the price, increases the quality sometimes and increases the number of choices for our consumers. so it is a desirable thing for the united states government to want to have people import food.
8:21 pm
but the f.d.a. uses a hazard analysis critical control point risk-based system that has worked very, very well. but now under this we're having the usda get into the catfish inspection program which probably is not -- well, it's not just -- just not going to be as effective as the f.d.a. program. the chinese began to grow and export a catfish to the united states call -- to the united states and meanwhile the vietnamese started growing something and these species are very different, just like a human being is different from a baboon, so are these two different types of fish. but what is happening now, the domestic catfish industry is pushing the usda to adopt a broad definition of catfish beyond the chinese include the
8:22 pm
vietnamese and i know you got all of that because i did too, the first time. and the concern that i have is that the usda really does not have the expertise to broaden their mission, to start making definitions on a different type fish than what the farm bill asks them to look into. so i'm very concerned about that as is mr. frank, as is ms. brown from florida. and i know other members are as well and we really do not want to see the usda go beyond the mission and include these catfish in their definition of catfish. and if the chairwoman wants to respond, i'd be glad to yield. ms. delauro: if the gentleman would be yield i'd be happy to
8:23 pm
address the issue. i'd just say to the gentleman that there is a need to improve inspections of seafood imports. as you know, less than 1% gets inspected each year. and there was a lot of discussion about this provision during the farm bill last year. i frankly had some concerns that it would further complicate the organizational structure of food safety instead of simplifying matters and moving that jurisdiction from f.d.a. to the usda. also, if usda diverted resources to inspecting catfish, would it take away resources from meat and poultry inspection? and i would just say that we did plus up funding to the usda to be able to accommodate this new responsibility. another concern i had about this provision is that moving seafood inspection or even catfish inspection is more complicated than it seems. there is a substantial difference between preventing
8:24 pm
outbreaks in meat and poultry and preventing outbreaks in seafood and the fsis, the food safety inspection service, has no experience with identifying seafood pathogens. so i look forward to discussing this issue further with the gentleman and answering some of the questions that you have with regard to this. mr. kingston: i thank the gentlewoman. as we both know we've spent a lot of time talking also about the usda and chinese chicken and that issue and one of the concerns that -- the f.d.a. domain, really they have the expertise and track record on fish whereas the usda has a track record on chicken, poultry and beef domestically and i know that you do have concerns in terms of their expertise to look
8:25 pm
at the reimportation of poultry products from china and i wasn't going to really discuss that, but certainly if the gentlewoman would like to, we've had a -- but -- ms. delauro: we have had a discussion about it over time and i think the gentleman knows my position on this issue and my position has not changed in a number of years. and it's my view that the decisions about the importation of food products from china are a public health issue that must not be entangled in trade discussions. and i understand that chinese officials are suggesting a quid pro quo, if you will, and they're trying to link the exportation of poultry products with reopening u.s. beef exports to the people's republic of china. those talks in my view should be
8:26 pm
separate and distinct. it is clear, my reason for -- my position in this area has to do with the public health of this nation. it is clear that the 2006 fsis declaration that china's safety and inspection system was, quote, equivalent to the u.s. system for processed poultry products was based on trade goals from a public health and safety perspective -- goals. from a public health and safety perspective, equivalentsy was granted in the face of overwhelming evidence of contamination in chinese processing plants and in chinese slaughter houses. therefore, in my view, the ban on poultry products from china must be maintained and while
8:27 pm
usda does have a process as you pointed out in place, that process in making a determination of equivalentsy for the processing u.s. chicken in china was flawed and was broken and has not worked. the committee, by the way, and you understand this, intends to undertake a thorough review of convened hearings on the equivalentsy process in general and what we will examine are audits of inspection, onsight review -- onsite reviews of facilities, other control operations, increased level of portland entry inspection and information sharing programs -- port entry inspection and information sharing programs with other countries. i look forward to continuing this discussion and work with you as the committee moves forward with its examination but in the meantime the limitation
8:28 pm
in carrying out this rule needs to be maintained. mr. kingston: i thank the gentlewoman for those remarks and i think that your uncertainty with the reliability of the usda on chinese chicken i share with the usda on catfish. so we are -- there's a lot to continue discussing. it's interesting, mr. chairman, as we talk about our trade relations and i think that the gentlewoman does make a very good point that we have to be sure that, you know, our desire to trade with countries doesn't blur the food safety mission that we also have. i was reminded, though, on the fourth of july of the $211 million worth of fireworks that we exploded all around the nation, most of it came from china and of the flags that we displayed on the fourth of july, $340 million worth, most of that came from china as well.
8:29 pm
so, we do have a great deal of -- we have a big challenge in front of us as we look at our second largest trade partner in china to figure out well, you know, what are some of these lines and boundaries? ms. delauro: i would just say to the gentleman that we have a responsibility that whatever the food product is coming and that food product from anywhere, this -- that the country that is producing this product or processing this product must have the same set of equivalent standards that we have domestically to ensure the public health of people in the united states. we have witnessed over and over again in the last several months that we will the -- put the public health at risk when children die, when people are ill from either a product that's
8:30 pm
domestically produced or internationally produced. we as a nation and those of us who serve in this body, i believe, have a moral responsibility to do something about it. . mr. kingston: i have no more speakers and i'm ready to yield back on general debate. ms. delauro: i have no more speakers. the chair: does the gentleman yield back? mr. kingston: yes. the chair: all time has expired for general debate. no amendment shall be in order except in amendments in part a and b not to exceed one of the amendments in part c offered by mr. campbell. not to exceed two of the amendments offered by mr. flake
8:31 pm
or his designee and one of the amendments printed in part e if offered by mr. hensarling. each amendment shall be considered as read, shall be dateable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the opponent and proponent and not be subject to demand of the question. amendment print nd print b, c, d and e. the clerk: the following sums are appropriated for fiscal years 2010, namely -- the chair: for what purpose does gentlelady from connecticut rise? ms. delauro: i have an amendment. the clerk: part a amendment number one printed in house report offered by ms. delauro of connecticut. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 609, the gentlelady from connecticut and a member op owe owesed each will control five minutes. ms. delauro: this is a good amendment and contains several
8:32 pm
provisions. first it properties the tobacco fees authorizein the recent tobacco bill to start up the new tobacco control program as authorized under the family smoking prevention and tobacco control act. the amendment also provides increases of $2 million for the agricultural research service and $3 million for the national institutes of food and agriculture. increases funding for the office of inspector general and raises the funding level for the higher education multicultural scholars program to $1.5 million, $2 million for methamphetamine inhibitor grant authorized in the farm bill and first class travel by employees funded in the bill if it violates existing rules. the increases are fully offset by small reductions through administrative programs. it is a noncontroversial amendment and i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and i reserve. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. kingston: i rise in
8:33 pm
opposition of the amendment and yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. kingston: and my opposition of this amendment has nothing to do with the agriculture committee as much as it does the rules committee because there are so many amendments that the rules committee did not allow by the minority that -- and the reason that the rules committee said they did not allow them is because they were authorizing on an appropriation bill, well this is authorizing on an appropriations bill. while there is a good reason for it, it still is inconsistent with what the rules committee has been telling us the last 24 hours. so we'll ask for a recorded vote on this. and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: i would just indicate that the rules committee did make the amendment in order. and as i say, it's a
8:34 pm
noncontroversial amendment and there is no further comment. the chair: the gentlelady yield back? the gentlelady yields back. all time has expired on the amendment by the gentlelady from connecticut. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the nos -- mr. kingston: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from connecticut will be postponed. the clerk: agricultural programs, production, processing and marketing, office of the secretary. $5,285,000. office of tribal relations, $1 million, office of the chief economist $13 million. mr. brady: i call up my amendment made in order under the rule. the clerk: part b, amendment
8:35 pm
number two printed in house report 111-191 offered by mr. brady of texas. the chair: the gentleman from texas, mr. brady and member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. brady: this amendment seeks to shift $50,000 from the office of the chief economist at the u.s. department of agriculture to the economic research service. the goal of this amendment is to have the office of the chief economist work jointly with the economic research service and foreign ag service to conduct a study on the potential growth in u.s. ag exports that would result from implementation of the pending trade promotion agreements with colombia, panama and south korea within 90 days of this bill becoming law. it would report on the potential impact of u.s. ag exports if these agreements are not implemented. in each case, the you usda would
8:36 pm
analyze impacts or sector jobs, farm income and commodity prices. each of these countries have signed or are negotiating trade agreements with several countries that are major competitors for america's farmers and ranchers. we are all concerned about the potential loss of competitiveness to families and workers in our agriculture sector would face if the pending trade agreements are not implemented. while there has been some analysis of the impact of the pending trade agreements on american farmers and ranchers, much of this analysis is outdated. for example, the study by the u.s. international trade commission on the u.s.-colombia trade agreement was published in december of 2006 and relied on trade data from 2005, obviously conditions have changed since then. in these difficult economic times, congress now more than ever must pursue policies to enhance the competitiveness of america's farmers and ranchers. and since 95% of all consumers
8:37 pm
live outside the united states, increasing exports, finding new customers for american farmers and ranchers are a vital component of that effort. and as a result of this amendment, it will help members of congress understand fully the importance of leveling the playing field for america's farmers and ranchers by considering and implementing the pending trade agreement. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: mr. chairman, though i plan to support the though i plan to support the amendment, i ask unanimous consent to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. delauro: i want to say to the the gentleman from texas that to be clear -- and to have real clarity about this amendment, this would transfer $50,000 from the chief economist to the economic research service.
8:38 pm
the gentleman's amendment does not address trade or trade agreements. it is a simple transfer of funds from the office of the chief economist to the e.r.s. without any designation of what the disposition of those funds are. i want to be absolutely clear about that. mr. brady: yes, madam chairwoman, we were respectful of the house rules. clearly the discussion is to have the study conducted. we were respectful of the house rules. ms. delauro: as i said, i plan to support the amendment, but the amendment, as i say, makes that transfer. i did not choose the offset that is included and we may need to revisit that in conference, but
8:39 pm
i would be happy to accept the amendment. the chair: the gentlelady yield back? ms. delauro: yes. the chair: all time has expired. debate has expired on this amendment. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the amendment is agreed to. mr. brady: i would ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas, mr. brady, will be postponed. clerk will read. the clerk: national appeals division, $15 million. office of budget and program analysis $9,436,000. office of homeland security $2 ,43434,000.
8:40 pm
office of the chief information officer $61,579,000 the chair: for what purpose does gentlelady from west virginia rise? the clerk: house report 111-191 offered by mrs. capito of west virginia. the chair: the gentlelady from west virginia, ms. capito and member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from west virginia. mrs. capito: funding for rural water projects is vital to the quality of life. small communities have difficulty in providing safe and drinkable water and this is designed to help this challenge. helping small communities to manage water resources is absolutely critical. 90% of the community water systems serves a population of less than 10,000 people and eligible to receive support from
8:41 pm
the usda water programs. grants allow communities to build and extend water systems and repay the loans at reasonable rates and terms. these important programs provide small communities to possess limited technical and financial resources the tools they need to protect their drink ig water quality. small communities rely on technical assistance and training for their water associations to overcome their lack of economist of scale, provide critical onsite technical ex fer teas and comply with rules and regulations. many could not construct systems or comply with mandates. my amendment would restore funding for -- of the rural water and waste water disposal programs and ensure that communities have access to the technical access they need. at the president's request the committee reduced funding to the rural water and waste water program by $10.038 million.
8:42 pm
the senate appropriations committee recommended the rural water and waste water received $22.5 million. we must continue to protect rural water systems which are critical to the economic viability of any small community by maintaining funding for the rural water and waste water disposal program. i encourage my colleagues to support this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: i rise to claim time in opposition although i'm not opposed to the amendment. i support more funding for water and waste programs. i did not choose the offsets that is included and we may need to revisit that in the conference. i urge the adoption of the amendment. and i ask for a yes vote on the
8:43 pm
amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from west virginia. mrs. capito: i would like to mention that i did circulate a letter in support of this program and we had great bipartisan support in that letter and i appreciate the support across the aisle. and i yield back. i thank the ranking member as well. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from west virginia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. capito: i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from west virginia will be postponed. clerk will read. the clerk: page three, line 20, office of the chief financial officer $6 million,666,000. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska rise? mr. fortenberry: amendment on
8:44 pm
the floor. the clerk: part b printed in house report 111-191 offered by mr. fortenberry of nebraska. the chair: the gentleman from nebraska, mr. fortenberry and member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from nebraska. mr. fortenberry: i appreciate the opportunity to offer this amendment to promote renewable energy in rural america. america needs a bottled new energy vision and i believe this amendment can help our sustainable future must include the integration of conservation as well as new technologies powered by clean renewable sources such as wind and solar, biomass and biofuels. specifically, mr. chairman, my amendment would transfer $2 million from the united states department of agriculture office of the chief information officer to the rural energy of america program. while i do recognize the importance of funding for the office of the chief information officer and its role in providing enhanced technology at the department of agriculture, this appropriations bill does
8:45 pm
provide a $44 million increase for the office compared to last year. i believe it is appropriate to transfer a small amount of that increase to our nation's renewable energy efforts. specifically, again, my amendment shifts this funding to the rural energy for america program. the program funds a wide range of renewable energy projects that stimulate rural economies to help create jobs and address environmental concerns. this funding promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy production and it's directed to farming communities and rural small businesses. i would also like to emphasize, mr. chairman, that in last year -- last year's farm bill there is a new program that has parallel goals and is designed to create energy independence on a rural community level. this new program, the rural energy self-sufficiency initiative authorizes the secretary of agriculture to make grants to five rural
8:46 pm
communities. it would be used to develop an integrated renewable energy system in order to increase energy self-sufficiency through technologies as well as other renewable sources up such as biofuels, wind and solar sources resulting in model systems and best practices that could be replicated elsewhere in the nation. because of the importance of this new program, it is my hope that the $2 million provided in this amendment should it pass, would be directed to this rural energy self-sufficiency initiative as the appropriations process moves forward. mr. chairman, i do believe that renewable energy is changing today's agriculture and rural communities. it is clearly in our national interest to help rural communities integrate a wide variety of renewable resources and technologies as we move toward energy independence and environmental security. . new development and signs of
8:47 pm
interest are bombing and i'm proud that my own state -- booming and i'm proud that my own state is a leader in green jobs. this amendment does strengthen congress' resolve to creatively appropriate monies for the best practices in regards to renewable resources and develop new energy options throughout our country and i would urge its adoption and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: mr. chairman, though i plan to support the amendment, i ask unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition. the chair: without objection. ms. delauro: this amendment as it's been stated increases funding for rural energy, for the rural energy for america program, by $2 million. and taking that funding from the office of chief information officer. the 2008 farm bill provided significant amounts of mandatory funding for this program and this bill before us today increases that investment toward energy independence. i did not choose the offset
8:48 pm
that's included, we may need to revisit that in conference but i'm a strong supporter of the -- these efforts and i urge the i doppings of the amendment and -- the adoption of the amendment and i -- i would ask for a yes vote on the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time? ms. delauro: yes. the chair: the gentleman from nebraska. mr. fortenberry: i'd like to thank the chairwoman of the committee for her support of this amendment. it's important. clearly we have a similar vision and i think this is important and will help very much. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from nebraska. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 4, line 4. the chair: for what purpose does
8:49 pm
the gentlelady -- sorry. ms. delauro: i ask that the remainder of the bill be considered as read. the chair: without objection. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 22, line 18, office of the undersecretary for farm and farm agriculture services, $662,000. farm services agency, salaries and expenses, including transfers of funds, $1,253,777,000. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? mr. garrett: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part b, amendment number 6 printed in 111-191 offered by mr. garrett of new jersey. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 609, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. garrett, and a member opposed each are will control five minutes. the chair recognizes -- recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. garrett: thank you. my amendment would add $5 million to the natural resources conservation service, conservation operations account
8:50 pm
and subtract $5 million for the farm agency salaries. more than 80% of the funds under the n.r.c.s. operations account provide technical support to help land owners conserve and protect their land and resources. currently there is a significant back log for conservation assistance and many farmers are turned away about by the usda had they apply to participate in conservation programs due to insufficient funding. new jersey, my home state, is one of the most densely populated states in the country and more and more scarce land disappears every day. our farmers are eager to share in the costs -- cause of protecting our environment. we must ensure that they have the knowledge and ability to do so in the appropriate manner. so i would like to commend the chairwoman and the ranking member for their work in attempting to address this important issue and while do i support very strongly the farm service agency, their salaries and expense account, you understand this bill, it's slated for a $92 million increase and with so many of our nation's farmers struggling to conserve their land with the development rapidly eating up
8:51 pm
our cherished resources, i believe this is a priority. more than 19 years ago i first ran for public office in my state and i believe we were not doing enough to preserve our open space and our farm lands and i believe this amendment continues to move us now in the right way toward that goal. and i ask all of my colleagues to ask for their support. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: though i plan to support the amendment, i ask unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition. this amendment increases the funding for the natural resources conservation service, the account by $5 million. by decreasing the farm service agency salaries and expenses. while i am very supportive of the efforts of this amendment with regard to technical support and of easing of backlog, i must say that i do not think the a good offset but we did not write
8:52 pm
the language and we will fix the offset in conference and with that i urge the adoption of the amendment and i ask for a yes on the vote on this amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey. mr. garrett: i appreciate that. just a question while we're on the floor, just for my advocation, are there other areas you would suggest now were the offset should come from? ms. delauro: we'd like to try to look, see what the best opportunities are, but i have indicated my support for the amendment. mr. garrett: i understand. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 23, line 12, state mediation grants. ms. delauro: i ask unanimous consent that the remainder of the bill through page 56, line 14, be considered as read. the chair: without objection.
8:53 pm
the gentleman from georgia. mr. kingston: i'd like to object to that. we have one person on his way here to offer an amendment and i think he's in transit as we speak. hopefully even in the building. the chair: the objection is heard. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 23, line 12. mr. kingston: and he has just walked on the floor. we can now remove our objection and let -- ms. delauro: we can move to reading through considering as read through page 56, line 14? the chair: without objection. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 56, line 15, title 6, related agency and food and drug administration, department of health and human services, food and drug administration salaries and expenses including transfers of -- transfer of funds, $2,995,218,000.
8:54 pm
the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part b, amendment number 3, printed in house report 111-191 offered by mr. broun of georgia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 609, the gentleman from georgia, mr. broun, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. broun: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to speak on behalf of my amendment to the fiscal year 2010 agriculture appropriations bill. this amendment would simply maintain funding for the food and drug administration at the same level as last year. it would save taxpayers $373 million. as american families struggle to tighten their fiscal belts and spend less, i believe congress should stop spending so much. tragically many of my colleagues were not allowed the opportunity to bring their amendments up for
8:55 pm
debate today. because democratic leaders have changed the traditional process. american families have missed over 70 opportunities to reduce wasteful programs and to fix what's broken here in washington. the outrageous spending that we're doing. you would think in these difficult times that congress would be willing to restore the people's faith in the way that we spend their money. i think most people would like for us to be more frugal. for my part, i also tried to offer an amendment to reduce the bill's funding level by half a percent, .5%, a reduction of just half a penny out of every dollar spent. but that amendment was not allowed to be offered on the floor today. as well as were many others that i offered. other amendments i offered would have safed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars by eliminating double dipping, maintaining other programs at the 2009 levels and preventing
8:56 pm
the purchase of new federal lands. but these amendments were not allowed either. mr. speaker, as the house conducts one of its most important tasks, the appropriation of funds, we owe it to the american families and people to have an open debate, to allow all ideas to be heard and to work towards real fiscal constraint here in washington. we can do that in a bipartisan manner. but we're not allowed to do so by the leadership. in fact, the democrats should be as outraged as i am that their voice is not heard either. debate's being stifled and it's not right, it's not fair not only to us but it's not fair to the american people. we have to stop this outrageous spending that we're doing. i urge my colleagues to support my modest and simple amendment and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: i claim time in
8:57 pm
opposition, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. delauro: i strongly oppose this amendment. this amendment would take away the entire increase over 2009 that is provided in this bill for the food and drug administration. that increase will allow the agency to increase staffing, including staffing devoted to inspections and other field activities, make real improvements in f.d.a.'s work to ensure the safety of foods and medical products. for example, in the foods area, f.d.a. will be able to conduct 1,150 more foreign and domestic food inspections and do 20,000 more examinations of imported food products. in the medical products area, f.d.a. will conduct 3,300 more examinations of imported drug products and 4,400 more examinations of imported medical device products. the f.d.a. will also be able to update its labs with new equipment, will allow it to do a faster analysis of samples. this is especially important during food-borne illness
8:58 pm
outbreaks and we have watched what's happened in food-borne illness outbreaks, not only in terms of the public health but we have left industry out there to be exposed and to be able to lose their share whether it is leafy greens, whether it's tomatoes, whatever it is. if -- we cannot allow these lab i.r.s. to to function and find out what's -- laboratories to function and find out hass going object. the investments -- what's going on. the investments reap benefits. inspectors are fully trained, bringing significantly more domestic and foreign inspections and import field exams. other activities, by increases in the bill. we can do research on salmonella and e. coli biomarkers, new detection of contamination improve the ability to collect and analyze data on food-borne illnesses and if you can't understand when you listen to a
8:59 pm
mother who said my child of 2 years old died of e. coli contamination, but then how does -- mr. broun: will the gentlelady yield? ms. delauro: i'm happy to have you speak again, you've reserved time. you know, we have just seen an e. coli outbreak in cookie dough. it highlights the importance of what these additional funds can help us to do. the e. coli bacteria lives inside animals and that's why e. coli outbreaks are often associated with meat products. how then does e. coli get into cookie dough? additional research on e. coli can help determine how it happened and the results of that research could prevent future outbreaks. in addition to the work on food safety, the increased funds will help the f.d.a. work on new screening tests for blood-borne disease to better understand the adverse events related to medical devices that are used in pediatric hospitals. another important tool that the
9:00 pm
additional funds will do is allow the f.d.a. to make substantial investments in information technology for both foods and medical products. this allowed the agency to receive and to better analyze adverse events electronically, support electronic surmission of applications and access old data for safety analyses. i strongly urge a no vote on this amendment. . mr. broun: would the gentlelady yield? ms. delauro: i reserve the balance of my time. mr. broun: maybe the gentlelady doesn't know that i'm a physician. i'm concerned about people's health and my amendment wouldn't do a thing to cut all those programs you are accusing me of trying to cut. i resent the fact you are accusing me of trying to cut that. because i'm not trying to hurt people. i'm not trying to harm folks. i'm not trying to stop research. my amendment wouldn't do that. my amendment would simply put the funding at the current
9:01 pm
level. we are stealing our grandchildren's future by spending so much money, by creating a huge debt. i'm note picking on f.d.a. -- i'm not picking on f.d.a. what aim trying to do is trying to save my grandchildren's future. what we have right now is with this bill a 14% increase in funding over last year. that's outrageous. and i resent the fact you're saying i'm going to cut all these programs because it will not. frankly i don't understand this kind of emotional debate because it's not debate. and it's not correct. the thing that i want to do is i want to save my grandchildren's future by stopping this outrageous, egregious spending we are doing here. we don't have the money. let's keep all these programs. i'd love to see us have a continuing resolution for all these appropriations bills across the board, freeze the spending for at least a year. the people in my district are suffering. most counties have 13% to 14%
9:02 pm
unemployment rate. and what we are doing is we are increasing the budget for this bill, for this appropriations bill, by 14%. that's outrageous. and i tell you, the american people should be outraged. they should be calling every single congressional office and saying no to these spending bills. that's just basically stealing our children and grandchildren's future. we've got to stop this spending. it's absolutely ridiculous. it's going to bankrupt this country if we are not already bankrupt. i'm just trying to save spending by the taxpayers' dollars. it's absolutely critical we do that. the budget that was presented by our president increases debt over the next five years more than every single president created debt since george washington. i hear youride keep talking about the debt that president bush created. i wasn't here during that time. i voted against all the bills that we had since i have been up here.
9:03 pm
and i think george bush was wrong in creating as much debt. but you-all's president and my president is creating more debt than george bush and every other president in history. we need to stop the spending. the chair: the gentlelady from account k ms. delauro: can the chair advise me how much time i have remaining? the chair: 90 seconds. ms. delauro: i'm trying to save your grandchildren's lives and other grandchildren's lives and my own as well. we have watched over the last several months and the last couple of years and the ranking member of this committee understands this and knows this. we inspect 1% of the food that comes into this country from overseas. 1%. and the cry has been that there has been not enough inspectors to be able to do that. we are unable to trace back what happened with regard to lettuce, tomato, and others all of which are putting our families at
9:04 pm
risk. your cut in fact would put this agency back in jeopardy where it has been for the last several years. i'm sorry, i have 90 seconds. you had your say. i resent the fact that you as a physician do not understand the value of what the food and drug administration does and that is responsible for lives, these are not roads or bridges or parks. this is an agency that has authority over people's lives and the public health. i urge a no vote on this amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: members are advised to direct their comments to the chair. all time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia, mr. broun. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. broun: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia, mr. broun, will be postponed. the clerk will read.
9:05 pm
the clerk: page 59, line 14, in addition, ma'am no moggra if i -- the chair: the gentlelady from account k ms. delauro: i ask unanimous consent that the remainder of the bill through page 74, line 15 be considered as read. the chair: the clerk will read. the clerk: page 74, line 16, section 733, of the unobligated balances pursuant to the food and nutrition act of 2008, $11 million is hereby rescinded. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from tennessee rise? mrs. blackburn: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: -- the clerk will read. the clerk: page 74, line 19, section 734, of the prior year unobligated balances for the proposed -- purpose of section 306-d of the consolidated farm and rural development act, $25,8,000,000 is rescinded. the chair: for what purpose does
9:06 pm
the gentlelady from tennessee rise? mrs. blackburn: i have a meving. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk:er part b, amendment number 1, printsed in house report number 111-191 , offered by mrs. blackburn of tennessee. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 609, the gentlelady from tennessee, mrs. blackburn, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. tonight i rise in support of the american taxpayer. like a lot of my colleagues, i was home last week. i spent a lot of my time talking with constituents and listening to them and to their concerns. it seems like wherever i went and whoever i spoke with one concern overroad all the others. they talk to us a lot about how astounded they were with cap and trade and talked about their fears of what the liberal proposals were going to do to health care. but the one thing that overroad
9:07 pm
among all the commonality of concern was with spending the deficit and the national debt. many times they used the term, i am dumbfounded by what we are spending. where is this money coming from? is it come interesting china? is it coming from india? are we just continuing to roll up the debt? and over and over they said, tell me what we can do to stop this excessive spending? mr. chairman, my amendment is a good first step. it is a way that we can begin to slow the federal spending. the approps bill before us represents nearly a 12% spending increase over last year. and if you add all the stimulus spending which was $26.5 billion, and the emergency spending which was $7.9 billion, these programs have benefited from about a 125% increase over
9:08 pm
the past three years. so can any of us say that spending 125% more than we did on these programs last year in this economic climate is responsible? look at what that growth has been over ahree-year period of time. so, mr. chairman, i am asking my colleagues to agree with me to give back just one nickel out of every dollar that is being appropriated and given to the bureaucracy. one nickel out of every single dollar. as my colleagues all know, i am probably the proudest grandmother here on capitol hill. i have two adorable grandsons. my oldest grandson is barely a year old, and he and his brother, his three-week old brother are each already in debt to the tune of about $70,000 to the federal government.
9:09 pm
i know that there are thousands of grandparents that are out there just like me. they are incredibly concerned about what they see happening. they fear that the exploding debt and the deficit will compromise and will cap the opportunity of those precious children and that we will trade their right future for one that is limited by a national debt that is so sluggish that makes this nation so sluggish that the best and the brightest opportunities are going to end up going elsewhere. where are we getting the money? we are getting the money from our grandchildren. so i urge support of my amendment. 5%, cut 5% across the board. cut a nickel from every dollar. and require today's bureaucracy to find a way to do what the
9:10 pm
american taxpayer is doing to tighten the belt and save that nickel out of a dollar for our future. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: i am opposed to this amendment and i claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. delauro: i rise in strong opposition to the gentlelady's amendment which would cut a of the agencies and programs in the bill by 5%. i understand, i have three beautiful grandchildren and they are the light of my life. and for that reason i am opposed to this amendment. this would represent a cut of $1.1 billion from the bill. now, this is exactly the wrong time to cut funding for critical programs under the bill that protect the public health, bolster food nutrition assistance programs, invest in rural communities, and agricultural research, strengthen animal health and marketing programs, and conserve
9:11 pm
our natural resources. and while the bill received a relatively large increase over 2009, it is important to understand that the large majority goes to fund just three priorities. $681 million for higher w.i.c. participation and for food costs. $560 million for international food aid programs. and $299 million for the food and drug administration to better protect our public health. at the same time the bill made cuts in a number of programs below 2009 totaling $274 million. we also rejected $735 million in increases in the budget request. so rather than using targeted precision cuts as we have done with this bill an congressional record -- across-the-board cut would hurt core 3r578s programs, would increase investment deficits our communities across the country have had to overcome in the past years. regardless of the value of the program.
9:12 pm
these increases are needed to support vital services and priorities. vital and effective programs which quite frankly have broad bipartisan support. the increases in these areas are needed to ensure adequate funding to support food nutrition safety net for families, that serve an estimated 10.1 million women and children in 2010. strengthen even more america's commitment to meet humanitarian food aid needs to enhance the f.d.a.'s capabilities to ensure the safety of our food and medical products. the bill also uses a portion of the increase to make up for cuts to farm bill conservation programs. we did not accept the cuts to priority farm bill conservation programs that the 2010 budget proposed. that budget made significant cuts to wetlands research programs, farmland protection, wildlife habitat programs all effective programs with backlogs
9:13 pm
of applications from farmers and from ranchers. all told the committee bill provides hundreds of millions of funding above the 2010 budget for farm bill conservation programs. thus the bill use as significant portion of the increase to make up for the cuts. in conclusion, i want to note that the increases in this bill are not based on the belief that we should just throw money at the challenges that we face. the increases are about meeting the federal government's obligation. again, i think we need to take a look at core programs whether it's usda or f.d.a., the gentlelady's amendment would force all these agencies that cover rural development, food and drug safety, w.i.c., food stamps to see drastic cuts at a time of acute need. i think this amendment is fiscally irresponsible. it will further harm our rural communities and public health. i urge my colleagues to oppose it. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. how much time do i have
9:14 pm
remaining? the chair: one minute and a quarter. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman, for yielding. the gentlelady mentioned fiscal irresponsibility. i think that growing programs by 12% when they have already seen enormous, enormous increases is irresponsible. and we are asking to curtail the growth, 5%, curtail that growth 5%. the states have been a great lab of experimentation in this and many states, including mine of tennessee v. had across-the-board cuts and they have used that to rein in the bureaucracy and say tighten your belts. times are tough, tighten your belts. mr. chairman, that is what we should do. priorities, she talks about priorities. how about the priority of the american taxpayer? how about the priority of the american farmer who writes that check to uncle sam every year and turns to his child and says, guess what? you're not going to go to the university, you're going to go
9:15 pm
get another job and work a year before you can go. that is priorities that are setaside while they meet our obligation to us. it is our responsibility to be good stewards of that dollar and giving egregious raises -- listen to this, mcgovern-dole international food for education and child nutrition program grants increase of $99.5%. f.d.a. salaries and expenses, trust me, energy and commerce, we have been after them for a long time, 14.6%. the list goes on and on. ms. delauro: i would like to say that this bill addresses the plight of the american farmers. . rural america. and i don't come from rural america. i come from the northeast. but i have farms, i'm watching dairy farmers go out of
9:16 pm
business. that's happening all over the country. and watching the technical assistance programs with backlogs that are not addressing the needs of the american farmer, this bill addresses those issues. i just have a minute and a half left and less than that now. this is looking at -- this bill is looking at how we can in fact meet the obligations that we have in a time of fiscal and economic crisis and economic insecurity all over this country. under the jurisdiction of this bill is rural development. in addition to that it has -- it protects the public health which we are obligated to do and when you see nine people die from peanut-based products because he can cannot trace back, we cannot analyze, we do not have the tools that are necessary in order to be able to understand
9:17 pm
what happened, this bill addresses these issues. the chair: will the gentleman will suspend. ms. delauro: your across the board cuts do not -- they apply a meat axe and don't have a persition cut and make a difference. i urge my colleagues -- the chair: all time has expired. the question is on the motion offered by the gentlelady from tennessee. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mrs. blackburn: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from tennessee will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment.
9:18 pm
the clerk: part e, amendment number 6, printed in house report 111-191 offered by mr. hensarling of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 609, the gentleman from texas, mr. hensarling, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: thank you, mr. chairman. this is an amendment that would strike an earmark better known as pork barrel spending, specifically $200,000 requested by the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. murtha, for the natural biodiversity of johnstown, pennsylvania, for conservation strategy at the kiss key basin. if one goes to the website of natural biodiversity they will learn that, quote, they control invasive, nonnative plants, unquote. quote, holistic management techniques are being used to
9:19 pm
restore bufferers on sites throughout the drainages. mr. chairman, permit me to put this amendment into a broader context. clearly the national priority has got to be job growth, economic growth and by any standard, the economic policies of this democratic congress, the economic policies of this administration have been an abject failure. 2.6 million jobs lost since february. 467,000 jobs lost last month alone. 9.5% unemployment throughout the land. the highest unemployment in a quarter of a century. and, mr. chairman, what do we have to show for it? nothing but debt. mountains and mountains of debt in spending for our children and grandchildren. already, 9 -- $9,810 per
9:20 pm
household to fund a government stimulus plan. more to fund the omnibus. $31,000 per household to fund the $3.6 trillion 2010 budget. tripling, tripling the federal debt in 10 years, more debt in the next 10 years than in the previous 200 -- 220. billions for chrysler, billions for g.m., billions for a.i.g. barring 46 cents on the dollar, borrowing from the chinese, sending the bill to our children and grandchildren. that's the context, mr. chairman. so i ask one and only one thing. here's an opportunity. here's an opportunity for the taxpayers to maybe save $300,000, not to borrow that money from the chinese. now i have no idea, i have no doubt, i have no doubt, that the gentleman from pennsylvania is
9:21 pm
sincere. i'm sure good things can be done with this money by the natural biodiversity and their holistic habitat management program. i have no doubt that good things could be done with that money. but let me tell you other good things that can be done with the money. that money could be used to go against the deficit so we don't borrow money from the chinese, so we don't send the bill to our children and grandchildren and if we're going to spend is it, mr. chairman, maybe we ought to spend it on small businesses, small businesses that are capitalized with $25,000 on average according to the s.b. a. we could save eight small businesses in america. but most importantly right now we could tell america that we know what the priorities are and it's not weed management by natural biodiversity in the river basin. i have no idea how this became a
9:22 pm
national priority. i'm sure again that important things can be done with the money, but is it worth borrowing the money from the chinese and sending the bill to our children and our grandchildren? i think not and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: mr. chairman, i claim the time in opposition to this amendment. though the gentleman who sponsored this project could not be here tonight he has provided me with the following information. this is a conservation project as for a not for profit volunteer program. natural biodiversity was initiated in response to citizens concerned for invasive plant problems in the 1,887 square mile range portion of the algainy river and ohio river basin. subsequent work has been expanded. the geographic area to include
9:23 pm
the watershed of the chesapeake bay, the state of pennsylvania and a much larger midatlantic region. invasive plant management work has led to innovative approaches including native plant restoration and comprehensive land stewardship practices. some of their early achievements have been the early detection and rapid response to noxious weeds and 32 invasive plant locations, outreach to 10,000 people annually with a potential audience of 500,000 each year, development of a -- development of a management plant for a 1,000-square-mile branch of the river. so, again, it is a not for profit volunteer program that is dealing with a concern in a large area about invasive plant problems. and i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment. the chair: does the gentlelady reserve her time? ms. delauro: i reserve the balance of my time.
9:24 pm
the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: well, it was an interesting discussion, mr. chairman. i'm not sure it's worthy of borrowing $200,000 from the chinese and sending the bill to our children and grandchildren. i'm sorry that the gentleman from pennsylvania couldn't make it here tonight. i know he he's busy with many, many earmarks, according to the april 19 edition of the "the washington post," murtha, dubbed the king of pork by critics, consistently directs more federal money to his district than any other congressman. $192 million in the 2008 budget. i don't know what the unemployment rate is in johnstown, pennsylvania, but around the rest of the nation it's averaging 9.5% and if he would choose not to spend $200,000 for weed whacking along this river basin, maybe we could have more jobs in the rest of america. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: mr. chairman, i'm
9:25 pm
just going to make one comment and that's about fiscal responsibility. i am delighted that the gentleman has gotten religion on fiscal responsibility. as i recall, he spent the last eight years here witnessing the kinds of attacks -- tax cuts that have provided the tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this nation and now has brought this nation to its fiscal -- to the fiscal crisis that we have and the indebtedness that we have and i think i must have been missing in action for these eight years where we experienced all this. this indebtedness did not occur overnight and i once again urge my colleagues to vote in opposition to this amendment and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. ms. delauro: i'd be happy to yield. mr. hensarling: --
9:26 pm
mr. kingston: i just want to say on behalf of the minority members, we are in or i planned to oppose this amendment and do believe that this research cannot very helpful and know that many of the earmarks that had been in this bill have increased food safety and increased food supply and created jobs along the way and reduced food cost. so there's a lot of things that do kind of catch the eye that sometimes there's more to it than you can get out and put debate on it but do i plan to oppose this and wanted the chairwoman to know that. ms. delauro: i thank the gentleman and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, may i inquire how much time i have remaining? the chair: 15 seconds. 13 seconds. mr. hensarling: i better start speaking. mr. chairman, i think it's very interesting to get a lecture from the gentlelady on fiscal responsibility since she just
9:27 pm
voted for a budget that will triple the national debt over the next 10 years. when the national debt, when the deficit, was $300 billion, the majority leader called it fiscal child abuse. here's an earmark to add $200,000 to fiscal child abuse. we ought to cut it out and i urge adoption of my amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. would the gentleman specify which amendment? mr. campbell: amendment number 2 at the desk. the chair: amendment number 2, the gentleman from california, mr. campbell.
9:28 pm
the chair: part c, amendment number 2, printed in house report 111-191 offered by mr. campbell of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 609, the gentleman from california, mr. campbell, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. campbell: thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, this amendment would eliminate a $235,000 earmark for specialty crops in indiana and reduces funding in the overall bill by that amount. according to the statement from the sponsor of the earmark, the gentleman from indiana, this earmark of the, quote, specialty crops research extension and training center at the southwest purdue agricultural center would go to and i quote again increase their staff and upgrade equipment for the center. mr. chairman, i'm sure i expect we'll hear from the gentleman from indiana and i'm sure that he will talk about what he
9:29 pm
believes the benefits of this program or this center or the additional equipment that this earmark would buy is going to be at that center but, mr. chairman, as has been mentioned by the previous several speakers and i'm sure it will be mentioned by others, we are in a period of great fiscal strain where we have a $2 trillion deficit running this year and another $1 trillion deficit every year for as far as the eye can see. and 46 cents of every dollar we spend on the floor of this house, 46 cents of every dollar this year will be borrowed. it would seem to me -- and even the congressional budget office just recently, just two weeks ago, said that the current budget and the current budget trajectory is, quote, unsustainable, unquote. mr. chairman, gibbon the situation that we're in, given the deficits we're running,
9:30 pm
given the debt we're building up, given the amount of money we're borrowing, given the spending that we're going through, shouldn't we be limiting what we're spending now to true national priorities, true things that are really those things that we must do and can only do right now? rather than things that are designed for a specific district, a specific area or a specific industry? mr. chairman, i would suggest that this particular earmark is one of those things and does not rise to that level of national and critical importance that we should borrow another $108,000 from, as was said before, the chinese, the indians, whomever, in order to fund this particular earmark and i would reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves who claims time in opposition? the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: i claim time in opposition and yield to the gentleman from indiana. .
9:31 pm
>> i had'd like to thank the distinguished chairwoman of the subcommittee for yielding. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. a identified' like to thank her and colleagues on the agriculture compropings appropriations committee for not only approving this year but also last year. i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. mr. speaker, i got home from afghanistan two days ago and while i was there i was fortunate enough to visit with the indiana national guard. besides their soldering duties, some of the other things they were doing was helpingp the afghanistan agriculture farmers to better their practices of farming in afghanistan. i would guess that if i asked the 14,000 farmers in indiana, in my district, and if mr. campbell asked the 132 farmers in his district according to the 2007 arkansas census, and i have -- agriculture census, and i have 9,000 farms in my district,
9:32 pm
if we asked those farmers in our two respective districts should we spend money in afghanistan on their agriculture or spend it right here in the united states, i'm just going to take a guess that they might say let's spend some of it here. and that's what this amendment would try to preclude. i'd like to take this opportunity as mr. campbell said to defend this program because it was fully funded last year and i'd ask that it would be funded this year again. this is a special crop research extension and training center at southwest perdue university. it's a collaboration between purdue university and v vincennes university. this farmland is particularly well suited for growing fresh suits and vegetables. and the center provides important research for farmers and improve crop quality and yields. the request i submitted would direct funds as mr. campbell said to the center for upgrades
9:33 pm
in their equipment and in personnel. they do a lot of great things, mr. speaker, there. this is critical for conducting research on crops in our area. and i also remind you that where i live in midwest indiana is within a day's drive of 40% of the american population. indiana is proud, we are proud of our farmers. and we are proud to supply food to the midwest and across our country. and because approximately 40% of the nation's population live within a day's drive of that area, we think it's extremely important to explore all the possibilities of that area. and no one does it better than this extension and this agriculture center. we all know the value of adding fresh fruits and vegetables to our diets and americans are struggling right now with obesity and the related health issues. proper diet and nutrition habits are critical components of making this country healthier. food production is extremely
9:34 pm
critical. i think it's important to note, then i'll yield back, this is not new funding. this is in the usda's appropriated funds. so who is better to say where this money might be spent? the congressman who drives the streets and the roads and highways and on the farms and talks to the farmers and ranchers in southern indiana? or a bureaucrat sitting in a booth somewhere in washington, d.c., that says these people get this and these people get that? i think it's the congressman and the farmers from indiana. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves her time. ms. delauro: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. campbell: thank you, mr. chairman. as i said i appreciate the gentleman from indiana's eloquent defense of this. i understand his point. but there are 400 earmarks roughly in this bill. and at some point, mr. chairman, we got to stop. one of the things the gentleman mentioned was that we are helping farmers in afghanistan
9:35 pm
farm and should we do this or do that? but the fact is we are doing both. the fact is that many times in this chamber we decide to spend money on everything. let's spend money on this farm here and this farm there and this drop here and this crop there and this country here and this country there. and it's that kind of spending where we aren't making the choices to spend on some things and not on others. where we aren't making the decision to spend within our means. where we aren't deciding that we are not going to borrow any money, we are not going to tax any more monny, we are going to take what we have and allocate that as efficiently as we can to the places we think are the most important and not just do it to everything has got to stop. mr. chairman, i would suggest to my friends on the other side of the aisle, i understand that perhaps you think this is important. but what's more important is $2 trillion in additional debt this year. $13 trillion in debt overall.
9:36 pm
46 cents on every dollar being borrowed and most of it being borrowed from foreign nations. and that it doesn't ever stop. that according to the president's budget it goes on and on and on. we have got to stop that. and i would just suggest that maybe we start with things like this. and it isn't about where -- whether the bureaucracy spends this or not. this bill would save that $235,000 and not borrow any more money. whether it's here or somewhere else. at some point, mr. chairman, we have to begin to control the spending and not borrow and deficit spend so much. i just hope if we can't start tonight let's start tomorrow. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: how much time -- the chair: a minute and a half. ms. delauro: i would like to say
9:37 pm
considering the first of all my colleague, mr. ellsworth, talked about this project and has defended it more than adequately. but considering the openness and scrutiny that has gone into the process this year, i would urge my colleagues to defeat this amendment and continue the good efforts of the proposal that mr. ellsworth has made and the whole issue of specialty crops. i share that interest in specialty crops coming from the state of connecticut where in fact that is what we do. and the importance of the research in that area is critical and support his effort and oppose the gentleman from's -- from california's amendment. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have t the amendment is not agreed to.
9:38 pm
mr. campbell: mr. chairman, on that i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will be postponed. who seeks time? for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: will the gentleman specify the amendment. mr. flake: amendment number 9. the chair: amendment number 9. the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part d amendment number 9, printsed in house report number 11-191, offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 609, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chair. mr. chairman, i know that it's custom to address the chair, i see the speaker of the house is in the chamber, if i could address her directly, what i would implore her to do is to when we have the defense bill on the floor later this month, please make an open rule.
9:39 pm
allow us the opportunity to challenge earmarks in the defense bill. and not limit us to just one or two or three. that defense bill will include literally hundreds and hundreds of earmarks that are no-bid contracts to private companies. and unless we have the ability to challenge them, they will go virtually unvetted because we know from sad experience they have not been vetted by the appropriations committee in the past. i just draw your attention to a headline in today's "roll call" justice department this week filed criminal charges against a defense contractor who has received millions of dollars worth of earmarks. there will be another headline tomorrow and likely again the following day. we have investigations swirling outside. we have to be able to challenge these earmarks and to point out why it's wrong for this body to allow members to earmark to
9:40 pm
their campaign contributors. while the speaker's in the chamber i would just implore her if i could speak to her directly to allow an open rule, allow more debate on this subject. but to the merits of this challenge to this earmark, this amendment would remove $638,000 in funding for the beltsville, maryland agricultural research center and reduce the overall cost of the bill by a commensurate amendment. -- amount. this earmark is described as the foundry sands byproduct utilization in beltsville, maryland. if you look at the table that is in the report for this bill, it says that that research project that is going to the foundry nds byproduct utilization, that project is actually completed. it's a bit confusing as to what this earmark is actually for. there's a little different language in the certification letter and in the table that accompanies this bill. so i would ask the sponsor of
9:41 pm
this earmark to explain why we are earmarking funds seemingly for a project that has already been completed. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. who claims time in opposition? the gentlelady from connecticut. miss delawo: i claim type -- ms. delauro: i claim time in opposition. this amendment seeks to eliminate funding for a research project at the environmental management and byproduct utilization laboratory at the beltsville agricultural research center. this amendment would deprive taxpayers of the expertise acquired by federal researchers and scientists. i just want to reiterate here. these are federal employees at a federally-owned research center. and the effort is to study the potential reuses of one industrial byproduct, sand use and metal casting. the experts have enabled us to
9:42 pm
research currently being reviewed by their peers to discover ways to deal with the over seven millionons of foundry sands that are estimated to be disposed of in our land phils -- landfills annually. i think we need to continue to use their expertise. there is considerable need for ongoing funding to study the beneficial uses of other industrial byproducts in agriculture. this includes discovering ways to prevent phosphorous from reaching our waterways, to improve soil characteristics, and in see questionsering carbon. -- see questering -- see questionsering -- sequestering carbon. scientists for example as i understand this have found a way to take careton from chicken feathers. an example of a poultry byproduct to make high quality
9:43 pm
biodegreedable plastics. finding these new uses would not only benefit american agricultural producers, it assists the american public and environment by avoiding increasingly expensive options of sending these materials to a landfill. we need to allow these funds to be flexible as opposed to being directed at one specific material. for example foundry sands since we cannot always be be aware in advance of potential new beneficial uses of various industrial and agriculturally derived materials. i ask my colleagues to join me in opposing this amount. i reserve the balance of my time. -- this amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i the gentlelady mentioned these are federal employees and a federal institution, a federal facility that will be receiving these earmarks. great trust they will do the right thing in executing this earmark.
9:44 pm
i just find that curious the main reason that we have earmarks supposedly we continually are told is because we are not going to let these faceless bureaucrats at federal agencies decide where to spend our money. yet we are saying that they can't make those decisions but they can carry out the earmark. i can tell you why it's done and why you'll have both the minority and majority in this house today on the appropriations committee oppose this amendment. because if you look in the ag amendments this year, 64% of the money, the share of earmarks, 67% of the dollar value are going to either appropriators or powerful members, either chairmen or ranking minority member of committees. this is fairly consistent across all the appropriations bills we'll do this year. it's a spoil system. i don't know -- that may be a pejorative way to say it but i don't know how else to say it.
9:45 pm
when 64% of the earmarks in this legislation will go to about 24% of the members in this body. . we are continually saying, like i said, this these faceless bureaucrats shouldn'ting deciding where our money goes. if you're a rank and file member in this house, i'd take my chances with a faceless bureaucrat because you'd probably fare better than you would before the appropriations committee. and this is how it is year after year after year. greatfully we know it now because we have enough transparency where we know who's requesting the earmarks but this isn't right and there are other prortey projects that might deserve this funding, but because a powerful member is able to request it, then it goes there. and this is, i think, the fourth time that money has been appropriated for this project which according to the website of the requesting member, the project has been completed.
9:46 pm
so i'm not sure exactly where the money is going if the project has been already completed. i guess it's starting again. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from connecticut. the gentlelady from connecticut. ms. delauro: how much time? the chair: 2 1/2 minutes. ms. delauro: the funding just to address that enables those who have worked on the project to continue the successes. look, i do not pretend to be a scientist and i would not pretend to tell the scientists how to pursue their research. quite frankly, coming from the subcommittee on which i serve on labor, health, education, human services, where we do provide funding for the national institutes of health, we do not, again, i'm not a scientist, we do not tell them how and where and what to focus their resources on, a particular illness.
9:47 pm
and often cases in those times, as research will uncover, you're looking for -- and, look, i will give you a very good example. there's research that's been done with tax all which is at the n.i.h. which was presumed to be effective in helping women who were suffering a fourth stage ovarian cancer at a time when it's very, it's almost irreversible. but as one began to develop research on tax all they began to find that its properties were also useful for breast cancer and other types of cancers. so what research does is opens up a whole variety of avenues and that's where discoveries are made. i think we should leave these kinds of efforts to the scientists. this project is producing, it will continue to produce with the aid of this funding,
9:48 pm
peer-reviewed research that i believe and that -- with my colleague, will be of great benefit. once again, as i say, we have been very open, there's been a great deal of scrutiny that's gone into this process, this year. there has been new requirements that chairman obey put into practice to continue our efforts to ensure that the appropriations process is open, that it's transparent and that it is worthy of the public's trust. in terms of vetting each request for the agency under whose jurisdiction the earmark would fall there's been the public disclosure on members' with websites and the committee made earmark lists available after the subcommittee consideration on the bill on june 11, nearly four weeks ago, and as indicated in our report, the funding earmarks from the agriculture
9:49 pm
appropriations bill in 2008, 2009, well below 2006. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from arizona has 30 seconds. mr. flake: i thank the chairman. i agree with the gentlelady when she says there's more transparency in the system now. that is true. that's a good things -- thick the -- thing. but we haven't dramed the swamp. we simply know how deep the mud we're now in is. that's the problem. and the problem is, when we trust the federal agencies to carry out an earmark like this but we don't trust them to direct it. we should set parameter, we should tell the federal agencies, here's how you should distribute the money instead of saying, all right, i'm a powerful member of the appropriations committee or of leadership and i'm going to direct that money to my district. and with that i urge support of the amendment and yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the
9:50 pm
noes have it. it the amendment is not agreed to. mr. flake: mr. chairman, i would request a recorded vote. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. does the gentleman from arizona seek time for an additional amendment? the clerk will designate -- which amendment, mr. flake? mr. flake: amendment number 4. the chair: number 4, mr. flake. the clerk: part d, amendment number 4, printed in house report 111-191, offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 609, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment would remove $1 million for the university of georgia's agricultural energy innovation center located in georgia and reduce the overall cost of legislation by a commence rat amount. according to the sponsor's website, this would advance farm efficiency business coupling advanced information, communication and control technologies with improved plant materials, bioproducts used in energy capture and conversion
9:51 pm
techniques. that sounds pretty impressive. i'm sure a lot of that is going on. the sponsor states this earmark is a good use of taxpayer dollars because the research and the demonstration project will facilitate the rapid advancement of new tools to increase the net production of energy from agriculture. there's a lot of this going on around the country. we appropriate a lot of money and a lot of bills to do this kind of thing and it just strikes me as folly to, in a bill like this, just to be able to direct money for a member to say, all right, the university in my district is going to get this research money, they won't have to compete for it on merit, they won't have to compete for it because i'm going earmark it and they're going to get it when maybe a university elsewhere, a university of nebraska, university of minnesota, university of arizona, might want to compete for that project, but they can't because the money is earmarked. and it goes specifically to this university.
9:52 pm
with that i reserve the balance of my time. >> i claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kingston: and would yield any if you want to. i thank the gentleman for bringing this amendment to the floor and as one who's very involved in this earmark i now have the opportunity to discuss it in detail. this is a program that works on future food production and technology by decreasing the cost of production and looking at ways to have some fuel independence. but what i wanted to emphasize to the gentleman as he doesn't seem to have a problem with the merit of the project as much as the process of directing it to the university of georgia, and i want to point out that the university of georgia is a land grant university with one of the oldest agricultural colleges in
9:53 pm
the country and they do compete for a competitive -- for competitive grants on a regular basis and they do get competitive grants and when they have put skid in the game, congress has in fact, not just for the university of georgia but for a lot of universities, put some matching money in it. now in this case the money is really not matching as the colonel itself has already put in about $5 million. and they've been working on this over the years, but they have gotten $500,000 from private foundations in 2010 and 2011. they'll get $800,000 from private foundations and they then they have state money and then they have university money. so the not something where the million dollars is a new startup for a program that's not out there. it's something that they have been going after. here's something from the state
9:54 pm
of georgia, the energy innovation center, which we call gifa, it is a lenter in support of it. of course we do have something from the university itself supporting the goal is in line with what college of agriculture's doing, land grant universities, but that's why the money wept to the university of georgia and the campus is where they do much of their agriculture research. i would invite the gentleman to come down and visit some time and let me explain why the good people of arizona should fund something like that in the state of georgia because often it's, well, why should everybody in the country support something that's going to a particular state? but when the end product is something that will help the whole nation, that's what happens. it is precision agriculture and one of the problems we have right now, down on the farm, is that you've got a lot of groups that are saying, you're causing too much pollution, you're
9:55 pm
overfertilizing, you're using too much energy and so what we have here is a land grant university addressing those very issues which will not be proprietary in their results, it will be something that is shared throughout the nation for other farmers to say, look, here's how you can do it, using high-tech noling, using prevision agriculture, saving lots of money and utilize those techniques all over the country. and with that i'll reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman. according to the georgia department of economic development, georgia currently has over $2 billion worth of active renewable energy-related projects and is a leader in the bioenergy revolution. i've no doubt that that is true. and because that is true and because if this agricultural energy innovation center truly has merit, then they should be able to compete for these grants with other land grant colonels, with other universities, with other organizations that are
9:56 pm
doing the same research. my question is, why, if you have such a deserving, respectable program like this, why do we need to earmark these dollars at all? surely they can compete for it and do well. but why do we circumvent the process of competition simply because we're on the committee or we're powerful chairmen or ranking minority member or somebody who can get this funding and earmark it so that nobody else can compete for it? that simply doesn't make sense. and if we don't like the way that the agencies are dispersing this money, then, by golly, we ought to address it. that's our job as members of congress. we have the power of the purse. but instead, to say we don't like how that faceless bureaucrat is going to spend this money so we're going to create a parallel process in congress where we can just circumvent the process and earmark that money for our own university, that's simply not right.
9:57 pm
and it's gotten out of hand in this congress and some people would point out that this year earmarks are down in this bill. that's a great thing. but they're not down far enough. and we need a process that's competitive, that's based on merit and not based on the spoil system. again, i repeat, in this bill, 24% of the members of this body will control more than 2/3 of the money that is directed through earmarks. now, that's not because there's merit more in those programs. it's because we have powerful members in those positions and you can't make the argument that this is a land grant college or this is a deserving institution. if they were, they could compete for those dollars. but instead we're circumventing that process of competition and awarding by earmark through the political process. particularly, particularly when we have the kind of deficit that we have today, this legislation
9:58 pm
would strike this funding and redeuce the cost of the bill by a commence rath amount. how can any fiscal conservative say we don't want to do that in this year when we're returning a deficit that could reach $2 trillion? i would say it's time and if we can't do it here, where will we do it? with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. >> will the gentleman georgia yield? the chair: the gentleman from georgia has 90 seconds. >> very quickly i just wanted to tell the gentleman from georgia that i will join him in urging a no vote on this amendment. mr. kingston: i thank the gentlewoman and i want to say to my friend, number one, i am working on a number of amendments as we have offered in the subcommittee and in the full committee, some were accepted, some were not. i have one that we will be discussing in a few minutes, a $400 million reduction in the spending on this, and i got to say, it kills me to say this just about but i have to hand it to the democrats.
9:59 pm
in 2006 this bill had $865 million worth of earmarks. today's bill has $219 million and i know the gentleman will say that's still too many, but one of the things that's real important is that there have been -- there has been a reduction in earmarks. 2008, this bill had $6 -- 623 earmarks, now it's 321 and still too much, but one of the things we hear about often is the proverbial defense department, $500 hammer. well, that's because there's so many problems in defense procurement, but it is the same in all branches of government. so i don't think that congress should just blindly turn everything over to bureaucracies who are going to come up with competitive grant programs. i do think it is proper for congress to have a role in congressional directed spending and in this case again i wanted to emphasize, of a $5 million project, the university of georgia has come up with $4 million of the dollars. so they have put their skin in the game and with that i yield
10:00 pm
back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. a minute and a half. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman and i'm glad to hear that the gentleman is introducing an amendment later that will save $400 million? mr. kingston: yes. mr. flake: i will gladly vote and plan to vote for the gentleman's amendment. i hope he'll vote for mine. we need to not only save $400 million, we need to save another $1 million here. why not? if it will reduce the cost of the bill by a commence rat amount, why wouldn't we take every opportunity to lower the deficit that we have and to pay down the debt? we're in an awful fix here and we're digging deeper and deeper with a bill like this that increases overall spending by i think 12% from last year to this. why not take every opportunity to cut the spending? this is an opportunity, i plan to vote for every amendment that will cut any funding from this bill. but, please, if we have an opportunity here to cut $1 million, i would hope that we would do so.
10:01 pm
and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. flake: on that i ask a recorded vote. the chair: further proceedings will be postponed. . mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk designated at number 12. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part d amendment number 12, printed in house report number 111-191 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chairman. this amendment would remove slightly more than $1 million for potato research in idaho, oregon, washington, and it would reduce the overall cost of the bill by a consistent amendment. if you like earmarks, then this
10:02 pm
spud's four. if you don't, and you think we need to save money somewhere, then i would urge support for this amendment. according to one of the sponsors of the earmark, the potato industry generates about $3.4 billion throughout the state of washington. in idaho the potato industry contributes nearly half a billion dollars in wages. potato sales equal about $7 billion annually. according to the usda, last year potato farmers received nearly $3.9 billion for their crop. now, how is it that this industry that receives billions of dollars every year isn't expected to invest in its own research? i know that it does some, but why are the taxpayers year after year ponying up more money to a $7 billion industry? this is a drop in the bucket to the industry, but $1 million is a lot of money to the average american family. according to one of the sponsor's website, every dollar
10:03 pm
invested in potato research yields a $39 return. i would submit that for those of us who believe in the free market that any dollar invested that yields a $39 return, then private industry will do well investing in its own research. we don't have to ask the taxpayer to pile on. potatoes were first introduced into the united states in the 1600's, now the fourth largest food crop in the world. they sustained nations in time of famine due to their ability to survive in many climates and they are inexpensive to harvest. 79% of u.s. household consume potatoes at least 1.8 times a week. i'm included in that time. i just don't know why we are asking again the taxpayer to fund research over and over and over again for an industry that can clearly support itself here. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman claim time in opposition?
10:04 pm
the gentleman from georgia. mr. kingston: claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. kingston: with that i yield two minutes to the gentleman from washington. the chair: the gentleman from washington is recogned for two minutes. mr. hastings: i appreciate the gentleman yielding. i do admire my friend from arizona, his persistence on this absolutely incredible. i share a lot of the goals that he is trying to accomplish. i really think that the gentleman's problem is not so much with individual programs, maybe his problem is with the ag research service. and maybe the gentleman ought to introduce a bill to get rid of the ag research service and that would probably take care of all the underlying problems. but the point is the ag research service has been involved in research of a number of crops, including potatoes, for a number of years. this does go to the northwest. 50% of the potatoes that are
10:05 pm
growing in the united states are grown in idaho, washington, and oregon. there are three state universities that are involved -- university of idaho, washington state university, and oregon state university submit funds for this research with these matching dollars. in addition, the potato commissions in each of those respective states match those dollars. as a result we have developed varieties of potatoes now that are more disease resistant, i think the tonnage for example in the last 50 years has increased greatly in washington state because of the new varieties. potatoes brought on to the market. in fact 100,000 new acres -- 100,000 acres are these new varieties that people may or may not like. again, the issue is, ok, maybe we shouldn't have any research at all government funded. that's another debate. and the gentleman had mentioned that only powerful members of congress. get these earmarks. will i mention to the gentleman before i came to congress 15
10:06 pm
years ago, this program was in existence. and the funding this year is precisely level with last year. this is not new funding. so i would suggest to the gentleman that in this case, with potatoes, they are not a program crop. they don't -- when you're -- another 15 seconds. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. kingston: another minute. mr. hastings: i thank the gentleman for yielding. when potato farmers go out and plant their crops, they are probably the biggest gamblers in the world. yet they don't mind putting some of their hard-earned cash when they make a profit into this research because that may make them an even bigger gambler next year. so i respect the gentleman with what he's trying to do, but his issue may not be with individual crops. this amendment goes to an individual crop in my area. maybe his issue is with ag research service in general. that's a matter for another
10:07 pm
debate. with that i thank the gentleman for yielding. i yield back. mr. kingston: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chairman. my issue is with overall spending, one. two, is with the need to earmark. if this funding is receiving earmarks of basically about $1 million a year, when clearly you have an industry that is capable of funding its own research. i agree with the gentleman's point about this isn't one of the program crops, it's not wheat, corn, it's not a crop that gets massive subsidies under the farm bill. we shouldn't be doing those subsidies. two wrongs don't make a ry. we shouldn't say, hey, we are subsidizing those so we ought to bring some subsidy over here as well. the truth is we can't afford either of them now. we have a deficit of nearly $2 trillion this year. when i came to this institution just over eight years ago, our entire federal budget was just around $2 trillion. now we are going to have a
10:08 pm
deficit that equals that amount. can't we in this year at least say, you know, maybe we ought to cut back on potato research just a little. maybe we ought to cut back on other earmarks in this bill because we are simply adding to the debt, adding to the deficit more than we can take. so it's not just i have an issue with agricultural research spending, i do have an issue with the way it's allocated because as i have already demonstrated, this is awarded based on a spoil system. when just 14% of the members in this body, those who are represented on the appropriations committee direct more than half of the earmark spending in this bill, you've got a spoil system. i don't know what else to call it. and that's one issue with this bill. and with this -- why i'm offering these amendments. two, if we don't like the way the federal agencies are doing
10:09 pm
it, then we should direct them to do it differently. we should set parameters, but we shouldn't set up a parallel system and say you award it that way, we are going tdirect ours this way. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from georgia. mr. kingston: i yield one minute to the gentleman from washington -- oregon. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for one minute. mr. wu: i thank the gentleman. the reason why the gentleman from arizona's amendment makes no sense at all is because the free market underinvests in public goods. public goods like education, like roads and research. the market will not put enough money into research and the potato research program that mr. neighboring's amendment intends to cut has been highly successful in a multistate effort to develop new commercial potato varieties. the potatoes released from this program account for about 16% of
10:10 pm
current production. and the program not only creates new potato varieties for consumers, it also improves the nutritional value of potatoes and increases crop yields. in addition, this project provides significant environmental benefits, including a reduction in the need for pesticides, water, and fertilizer, and it fits into our overall goal of reducing energy consumption and increasing our production of the goods and service that is we need. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman. i find it curious assumption that the free market will not invest in research. when one of the sponsor's website as i mentioned states that every dollar invested in potato research results in a $39 return. now, any hedge fund, any investor of any type does return -- sure. mr. wu: the reason why the free
10:11 pm
market will underinvest even though given the rate of return is whoever pays for the research doesn't reap the benefits. it's a public good. it's a basic of capitalist economic theory which the gentleman should understand. mr. flake: i don't understand. i'm sorry if -- mr. wu: if the gentleman would yield. mr. flake: if the potato industry gets a return on an investment of $39 for every dollar returned, then it does reap some of the benefits. yes, that potato is a public good but also a private profit unless we socialize potato farming here, and i don't think we have. mr. wu: would the gentleman yield? the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from georgia. mr. kingston: i yield a minute and a half to the gentlewoman from washington. the chair: the gentlelady from washington is recognized. miss madam speaker -- mrs. mcmorris rodgers: i do want to speak in opposition to this amendment although i do support
10:12 pm
the gentleman from arizona's effort to shine the light of day on spending and i think these debates are very important as we are making these decisions. as has been mentioned, the funding in this bill does go for ongoing agriculture research. potatoes specifically in this amendment and it does have a significant impact on the economy for the state of of washington and the pacific northwest. the ability of farmers to keep potato crops healthy and disease free, especially given the constant change in weather conditions and the arrival of new pest and disease is an ongoing battle. yet through breeding research and variety development, potato growers have access to critical research that enables them to identify the strongest varieties for growth, production, storage, and processing. like most of us here, aim concerned about out-of-control spending, but i'm also concerned about these tough economic times. we should support measures that are going to grow the economy. this research does exactly that and i urge my colleagues to vote no. i yield back the balance of my time.
10:13 pm
the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from georgia. mr. kingston: mr. speaker, if there's anybody -- i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. flake: i would ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. who seeks time? for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. kingston: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part b, amendment number 7, printed in house report number 111-191, offered by mr. kingston of georgia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 609, the gentleman from georgia, mr. kingston, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. kingston: thank you, mr.
10:14 pm
chairman. for many years the funding level for brond band program or rural loan program was handled by the rural utility surface in the department of agriculture. that funding level was about $400 million. with the stimulus package that we passed in february, $790 billion package, there was about $7 billion for broadband grants and loan programs. $2.5 billion of that money went to the department of agriculture, and the rest went to a brand new program which really did the same thing and duplicated what is done in the department of agriculture. it all should have gone there, but if you think about a program going from $400 million to about $7 billion, that's not a plusup. that's winning the lottery. i can only focus on $2.5 trillion and can't even do that because that's in the stimulus bill already passed and into
10:15 pm
law, but we can focus on the $400 million. and what this amendment does and frankly if i could have offered a cleaner amendment, i would have just had a straight cut of the $400 million, but what this amendment does is similar. it says you can't use the $400 million that's in this until we have used the $2.5 billion that has already been passed into law. . the reason why it's important, the reason why the stimulus bill was passed, they said we are going to use this money immediately, shovel-ready projects and jobs are going to be created and the unemployment rate was 8% and it's nearly 10% and has not stopped the bleed. but that is still sitting there. and yet, we're coming along now
10:16 pm
and giving another $400 million. what this amendment says, that we can't use the $400 million until the $2.5 billion is paid down. and i urge support of the amendment. the chair: who claims time in opposition? ms. delauro: i claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. delauro: rural broadband kebts people in communities and gifts them information on health, housing, education, economic development and gives people access to opportunity. and as the internet continues to grow and develop and plays a larger and larger role in driving our economy we can't afford rural areas to languish behind. earlier generation of leaders used wire to give citizens they need tools to compete and ex sell.
10:17 pm
by prohibiting funds to administer or pay the salary of personnel who administer the broadband loans, the gentleman's amendment would gut this critical program at a time we need to redouble our efforts. in proposing to stop the administration of loans, the gentleman is also asking congress to stop critical oversight and monitoring of existing borrowers, functions that the government cannot afford to lose, especially if we are to ensure that taxpayers' dollars are well spent. no one can deny the need to expand access. the united states is currently 15th in the world in providing broadband service. only 38% of those living in rural america now have broadband at home compared with 55% of all adult americans. rural communities, 24% of dial-up users said broadband wasn't available where they live, more than seven times than
10:18 pm
those in cities. this is not a partisan issue. there unanimous support for increased broadband. few people disagree. expanding broadband that can not only connect rural areas but generate great growth in rural america and pay big dividends for our nation. the bill makes important investments in rural broadband. provides $418 million in grants. it includes appropriation of $81.6 million, increase above $18 million of the amount available for 2009. it includes, just let you know what it includes for distance learning, the funding is there for distance learning and medicine grants. for communications loan subsidy. this is an investment that requires national leadership, which is why we included a
10:19 pm
significant amount in the recovery of programs. it was $2.5 billion to rural utility services a more than $7 billion in total. there is a substantial demand for the funding. the funding increases this this legislation helps to build on the investment that was made in the recovery act and will help us to realize a strong economic return. forever dollar invested in broadband, the economy sees a ten-fold return on that investment. regarding new investments in broadband, and i quote, $7.2 billion allocated will help rural communities participate in our recovering economy while modernizing rural education and health care. it will create an economic opportunity and allow rafferers and farmers to help them remain profitable and competitive. i do not think this is the time to be gutting this program,
10:20 pm
particularly given the delicate state of our economic recovery. we need to do everything we can right now to promote rather than stifle economic innovation in small towns. i urge my colleagues to oppose the kingston amendment. and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. kingston: i thank the chair woman of the committee, but thr very eloquent argument for the use of a broadband loan program, but it has nothing to do with this amendment because the broadband loan program is not under trial here. but let me explain it this way to the members who are not on the committee. ryan's is one of those all-you-can-eat buffets. there is fried chicken and fish,
10:21 pm
all kinds of vegetables and all kinds of desserts. you fill your plate up and allowed for the $8 price to go back and get some more food. well, just think about going through the line with the stimulus program, mr. chairman. we filled up our plate. and you often found myself as a father of four saying, you can't get more food until you finish what's on your plate. it makes sense. go ahead and eat the pieces of fried chicken that you got before you grab another one that you don't have and you don't need it. that's all this amendment is. it's not a trial of broadpped band. broadband is funded under the r.u.s. and usda under existing law, period. $2.5 million. and all i'm saying to the government in washington d.c.,
10:22 pm
don't go back through the buffet line for more money until you consume what you've got. once you empty that plate, you can go back and get that piece of fried chicken in the price of $4 million in loans. i don't know who we will be loaning the money to. there is another $3.5 billion in another program and another department. but that is a matter of law and that is not under scrutiny either. the only thing i'm saying is what i said to my four children over the years when we go to the ryan buffet, don't get more food on your plate until you finish what you've got. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from connecticut. two minutes. ms. delauro: i yield two minutes to the the gentleman from wisconsin. wisconsin wisconsin this -- mr. obey: this would be very much against the interest of
10:23 pm
rural america. there is no community in this country that will have a decent economic future if they cannot be competitive by being attached to modern technology, and that certainly includes broadband. the gentleman has mentioned the economic recovery package and the funds that have been appropriated there and he has made much of the fact that that money hasn't gone out. we are only four months into a program that is supposed to last 30 months. so i would urge the gentleman to wait a few months to see what happens on that project. i think you will see money moving out. the other point i would make is this. if you think there's too much money for broadband in the budget, the worst place to take it out of is the usda. when this program was first proposed in the stimulus package, the obama administration proposed putting all the money in the commerce department.
10:24 pm
people like me obted because we know the history -- objected because we know the history of rural america, because the big power companies wouldn't bother because they wouldn't make enough money going into rural areas. same score now. they don't want to go into rural areas without subsidy on broadband. you can trust the agriculture department to focus much more on the needs of rural america than you can the commerce department. that's why we put the additional money in. and to take $400 million out of the ag department now would be a major mistake if you take care of the future health of rural economic america. i yield the remainder of my time. ms. delauro: i thank the gentleman. and you know, i think that this is truly about the economic revitalization of the part of the country that has been so
10:25 pm
sorely lacking and the application -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. h the gentlewoman's time has expired. mr. kingston: i yield 10 seconds to my friend. ms. delauro: the process on the economic recovery package, the application process is under way. it began at the beginning of this month. that money is going out. the demand is up for broadband. let's give rural america a fighting chance. mr. kingston: let me say this, representing a very rural district in a district where you can't get cell phone coverage and a lot of the wireless technologies, i support what's going on. and i agree with the chairman. it would have been nice for all the money to go into r.u.s. and not the department of commerce because it was for infrastructure. the only thing i'm saying is don't get the new money until you spend the existing money. the chair: the question on the
10:26 pm
amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the nos have it and the amendment is not agreed to. mr. kingston: i ask for a vote. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia will be postponed. ms. delauro: i move that the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the committee risings. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. and the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: madam speaker the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 2997 is reporting that it has come to no resolution thereon. the chair: the chairman of the
10:27 pm
committee of the whole house of the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 2997 and has come to no resolution delon. -- thereon. pursuant to 2 u.s.c. 88 b-3 and order of the house january 6, 2009, the chair announces the speaker's appointment of the house to the house of representatives page board. mr. kildee of michigan and ms. degette of colorado. the speaker pro tempore: before the house, the following communication. the clerk: the honorable, speaker, house of representatives, madam, pursuant to 2 u.s.c. 88b 3 amended by
10:28 pm
section 2 of the house page board, i am pleased to re-appoint the honorable rob bishop of utah and honorable virginia fox of north carolina to the page board. both have expressed interest in serving in this capacity and i am pleased to fulfill their requests. signed ser -- sincerely john a. boehner. the speaker pro tempore: and the order of the house of january 6, 2009, the chair announces the speaker's and minority leaders joint reappointment to the house of representatives page board for a term of one year effective july 8, 2009. the clerk: ms. silver smith kline of maryland and mr. adam jones of michigan. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests
10:29 pm
for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to address the house, revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous material, mr. poe, july 15, five minutes. mr. gingrey, today, july 10 -- 9 and 10, five minutes. mr. jones, july 15, five minutes. mr. gohmert, today, july 9, five minutes. ms. fox, today, july 9, five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009 and under a previous order of the house, the following
10:30 pm
members are recognized for five minutes each. mr. poe of texas. for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from north carose d gentlewoman from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: permission to address the house for five minutes the speaker pro tempore: without objection.. ms. foxx: i rise today to acknowledge the heroism ofp captain garner of north carolina. an officer in the 82nd airborne division fell in the line of duty in afghanistan monday when a roadside bomb exploded under the vehicle in which he and three others were riding. captain garner was assigned to b company, first battalion, fourth infantry regiment, germany. dedicated to unyielding service to others, he was among seven u.s. troops killed in what was described as one of the deadliest days for u.s. troops
10:31 pm
in afghanistan since 2001. captain garner was an outstanding leader throughout high school, college, and in the united states military. he graduated from elkin high school in 1997 where he excelled in sports and won several football, basketball, and baseball awards. in 2002, captain garner graduated from the united states military academy at west point as a secretary lieutenant. he was then assigned to an infantry unit at fort bragg, north carolina. captain garner leaves behind his loving parents and his wife. his absence leaves a hole in the hearts of the garner and myers families, the tight n.i.t. -- tight knit community of elkin, north carolina. he's described by his friends and family as having lived to serve and sacrifice for others. from a young age he aspired to
10:32 pm
be a soldier. he will long be remembered as a man who knew the meaning of service, sacrifice, and the call of duty to his family and his country. madam speaker, my thoughts and prayers are with captain garner's wife, parents, and extended family. may they feel god's comforting presence during this difficult time. we pause to honor his memory and express our gratitude to his great bravery and profound sacrifice. our nation is a better place for his having been among us and he is -- and is blessed to call him an honored son. we mourn his passing and we pledge our dedication to the family he left behind. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. mr. fleming of louisiana. mr. jones, north carolina.
10:33 pm
mr. burton, indiana. mr. moran, kansas. mr. gohmert, texas. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from california, mr. rohrabacher, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. rohrabacher: thank you very much. madam speaker, i rise tonight on the return of president obama from his perhaps groundbreaking visit to russia. i as well have recently returned to russia, was there just prior to president obama's visit and i rise tonight to discuss america's relationship with russia, as well as our continued involvement in nato, as well as today's threats of radical islam and tomorrow's looming threat of
10:34 pm
a powerful communist china. first, and foremost i think it's important for us to take a look at history and take a look at the present and take a look at the future concerning america's exact positioning overseas. first and foremost that would mean today we need to look at nato. the north atlantic treaty organization. this organization of course if we are honest with ourselves should be looked at as not an institution we should be be relying on today but instead a relic of the cold war. not only is it strategicically -- strategically irrelevant today but it may be making the world less stable and our country less secure.
10:35 pm
of course the united states needs to cooperate with other countries. and as such we need to reach out to potential friends in every part of the world. but when a relationship with another country or a group of country no longer serves the goals of freedom, security, and prosperity, when we no longer share those interests that bind us together as a people, we need to dissolve those relationships and seek different ones. we now have reached a point with nato where we should take a second look at nato and perhaps think about what type of relationships we can have and the future that would better serve our country and the cause of peace. nato was a vital component to american security and world peace efforts in the late 1940's. in fact in 1949 .
10:36 pm
it was an international relations theorist might call a tenet of realistic theory that we should form a powerful alliance to counteract the hostility of the soviet union and the threat of the expanding realm of communist tyranny and militarism. that was in the late 1940's. it made sense to strengthen our nato alliance during the 1950's. while the ussr was forming it's warsaw pact and the fall of china to communist tyrants and the korean wars halted the vision of a peaceful world we had hoped for in the aftermath of world war ii. but it is no longer the 1950's. the cold war is over. this is the 21st century, and nato no longer serves its purposes.
10:37 pm
and is in many ways counterproductive. ronald reagan's visionary leadership and the unrelenting courage of the american people brought an end to the ussr and the warsaw pact and also to the berlin wall. eastern europe was freed at this time. and in the 1990's, the russian federation free from its soviet shackles had a real opportunity to partner with the west, to embrace classical liberalism and free market economics. and we let this -- and we of course created this realic. nato had a major impact in defending the peace and deterring a war with russia up until this point. and let this cold warrior who was very deeply involved in the cold war and supported cold war
10:38 pm
policies to the hilt, let me shock you by suggesting that russia after the fall of communism attempted to embrace classical liberalism and free market economics. they -- the russian people and russian government wanted to be part of the western community of nations. the door was open and the russians were not only willing but anxious to leave the cold war hostilities behind. well, we squandered this historic opportunity. worse than that, we let rotten elements in the west ally themselves with looters there in russia who were there taking advantage of russia's weakened and vulnerable conditions. the russian people rejected and isolated when they expected to be partners in build agnew world
10:39 pm
sunk into deep despair. now, it's easy in hindsight to look at the end of the cold war and point out the mistakes that have been made since the end of the cold war. and it's easy to do that now because it has become clear that many, many mistakes were made by us and by our european allies and friends. now, however, is not the time to lay blame. now is the time to admit what has been wrong and to try to set things right. and to push as president obama has said and secretary of state clinton has said, to push a reset button with russia -- with the runans and i would add probably rush the reset button with russia and pull the plug on nato. so let's look to the future. actions today that will overcome past mistakes and leave the world to a bright and prosperous
10:40 pm
future. ronald reagan used to say that the oval office was not his office. he was just a caretaker, a temporary occupant. well, americans today, all of us, who are fortunate enough to live in this great country of ours are merely caretakers of this place for a relatively short period of time. we have inherited this country from those brave freedom loving souls who came before us and we will pass it on to our children and our grandchildren just as it was passed on to us because that was the right thing to do and those who came before us took those stands that were right and courageous. the stands today mean for me that i am make agnew world for my children. my three small children who are now 5 years old, and will live in a country that will ensure
10:41 pm
liberty, justice, security, and hopefully prosperity to its entire people. the decisions we make now will have long-term effects and be affecting my children and all the children of america today. reagan gave us two decades of peace and prosperity. because he did the right thing. the consequences of our actions since reagan, however, are becoming more evident and more alarming with each passing day. we must have the wisdom and courage to confront the enormous foreign policy challenges facing us and prevail over those forces which would, if they could, destroy america and would destroy our way of life. the national security threats before us are real and did not materialize out of thin air. but contrary to the dominant paradigm of our era, our ongoing relationship with nato since the end of the cold war has not worked to our benefit.
10:42 pm
nor does it make peace, stability, nor our nation's security more likely. nato has recently engaged in a number of operations, for example, around the world. from fighting the taliban to combating pirates. but whether one views these missions as relatively successful or failure, one can hardly look at them and not realize that the cost of our continued involvement in nato certainly outweighs the benefits. in afghanistan and the other 27 -- in afghanistan, the other 27 nato countries sent a combined force of less than 5,000 troops. many in noncombatant positions. these,000 troops were there as part of a coalition force. while these fighters from our nato partners are hero erik and are helpful, they are dwarfed in comparison to the number of
10:43 pm
american boots on the ground. the original members of nato were the americans, the french, the u.k., canadians, turks, and other european countries. well, now add to that list albania and croatia and others and there's also talking about expanding nato membership to other countries, smaller countries, with little military relevance to the modern world. one of the primary tenets of nato membership is that any member will come to the defense of any other member if attacked. but realistically is the united states going to come to the aid of these other countries at any time? and is the reverse of that proposition worth the cost to us? do we need albania or croatia to come to our aid if we are attacked? the answer is obviously no. let us note that nato's
10:44 pm
existence is unnecessary and there's no strategic reason for us to stay in the alliance. sometimes let us also admit that nato can be counterproductive to e peace. by for example convincing people with territorial disputes like the government of georgia the united states i think that an impartial analysis of what happened in georgia is that the united states through our discussions of nato with that government emboldened that government, the government of georgia, not to make compromises that were necessary for peace and stability in that region. but not only did they not make the compromises, they perhaps were emboldened to conduct a military operation. while the people of the united states were told over and over again that russia had done something horrible in that part of the world in confronting georgia, and it was all the
10:45 pm
russian's fault, and all kinds ever -- of language that was used to make it look like russia was doing something evil and villainous, but the fact is that once you took a second look at what happened in georgia, georgian troops broke a truce that had been carried on for seven years and when it broke the truce and invaded, two parts of what had been part of georgia, let me note the two areas who did not want to be part of georgia, they had never been part of georgia historically until joseph stalin made them part of of georgia, and georgian government of course emboldened by our talks with them about nato's support, broke a treaty -- excuse me, broke and agreement, truce agreement, and conducted a military invasion of those two break away regions. .
10:46 pm
which ended up in a major loss of life and a counterattack by russia on georgia. now, do we as americans believe that we should have been involved in that? does anyone believe that the united states should actually have georgia as part of nato or any of these other smaller countries in that part of the world, as part of nato, so if there is a ter torial dispute, that we will send american droops into this far off area and fight a battle perhaps with a country like russia, considering this is in russia's neighborhood and on the other side of the world from our country. it doesn't make sense at all for the united states to be in an alliance that might drag us into such conflicts that we have nothing to do with.
10:47 pm
so if georgia wants to become part of nato or other countries like that,ful alban yeah and crow asia -- crow asia yeah and i'm shetssh sympathetic with georgia and they were part of russia and broke away just as the country of kosovo had a right not to be part of serbia. but are we going into geements with georgia or other countries saying we ll use u.s. troops as part of a nato agreement to guarantee the borders that they claim? that's ridiculous, if two countries i like and support, if they want to become part of nato, that's ok with me. but in this case, perhaps if they're getting into nato, we
10:48 pm
should be getting out of nato. because americans are an open-minded people, we are more than willing to enter into relationships with other countries and i'm not suggesting isolationism nor should we have bilateral agreements or defense agreements with other countries. we are by our very nature networkers. even at young ages people are puse oning facebook and internet and talking to friends all over the world and it is that sense of building alliances and relationships, that is natural to americans. we do this sort of thing at the government level, too. and at the outset of the cold war, we saw a clear and present soviet threat and we went to work strengthening our existing relationships with friendly countries and building new relationships with other countries. well, we should create alliances
10:49 pm
as i said, but we need to be relateic and honest in our assessment of the factors that are in play. for whatever reason, perhaps just the lingering of cold war attitudes and predispositions, russia, which should have been a natural friend, russia faces the same adversaries that the united states faces, but russia has been positioned as our adversary . as i say, maybe that's a lingering of the cold war mentality on our side or maybe it's cold war mentality on both sides that have brought us to this point. or maybe we do not understand the russian people and are wary about becoming their friends but that would be contrary to america's permit. we are proud and sometimes ar gantly so. but we are a friendly people.
10:50 pm
let this cold warrior proclaim that the russian people are a good-hearted people and have the potential to be gait friends to and allies of the united states of america and that's us. there is no more fierce opponent of the soviet government and marksinnist leninist tyranny than i was. i went there afghanistan and fought briefly along the side of afghan warriors, who are engaged in battle against a soviet army occupying their country. i personally was engaged in combat operations against soviet troops during the cold war. very few people can say that. my chest swelled with pride every time ronald reagan spoke about the freedom for all peoples, including the russian people.
10:51 pm
and i helped prepare some of those speeches that he gave as president. i was ronald reagan's speech writer for seven years. when the president of the united states, ronald reagan, pleaded with gore ba chef to tear down the berlin wall i was part of the team to have newtered this historic freedom statement even before ronald reagan gave it. and i cried with joy in retrospect when that wall finally came crashing down, hammered down by freedom-loving people on both sides of that grotesquely evil barrier. i despised the soviet union because i loved freedom, freedom for all people, including the russian people. and you know, i was just in russia and i met ar russian who had been active in his
10:52 pm
government and active in fighting for his government during the cold war and i told him i had been your worst enemy during the cold war. and he stopped me and he said no. no. you weren't the russian peoples' worst enemy, you were the enemy of communist tyranny and thank god for that. there are many russians that fully understand that they have left communist tyranny behind and it is a wonderful opportunity for them now. but the cold war was not a war between -- this war was not a war between our people. we didn't have a fight with the russian people but a conflict of ideologies. they were victimized by communism just as the people of the west were threatened by communism. but the russians are a wonderful and creative people. they share many personal values with us, their sense of humor, love of children, of fun, drink
10:53 pm
and dance and yes, sir their renchance for faith and god that was never beaten out of communism which held them in their grip for five decades. there was openness and vulnerability of these people as the soviet communist system collapsed. yet, they were vulnerable and yet we did not do what was right by them. the russians and the americans share more than cultural traits. we share real common threats to our countries and those are radical islam, which is upon us and a totalitarian china, which is rapidly becoming an enormously negative power in the world. the government of china is the world's worst human rights abuser. it is a natural enemy of the united states.
10:54 pm
it is also an enemy and a threat to russia. and yet, we embrace that government, the world's worst human rights abuser, communist china, and we build their economy. we build their manufacturing base and their technological capabilities even while we find at the same time to find ways hostilities and noncooperation with russia. with open trade policies, credits, investment and technology transfers, we run up massive trade deficits with china and we haven't been able to bring ourselves to officially end jackson-vanek economic restrictions on russia. these are hold overs from the cold war days. it is an insult and a sign of our own incompetence that we have not been able to lift the
10:55 pm
restrictions on russia. it's a joke, a cruel joke when we even mention it to the russians now, after two decades of promising that these restrictions would be eliminated. all this, all this, while we give china every benefit. well, this relationship with russia as well as our relationship with china has been wrongheaded and gravely so. china, in stark contrast to the great changes in russia, where there has been political reform, where you have opposition parties and yes, there are imper if he cans, but you go there and there is talk radio shows complaining about the leadership in russia, in russia. you do have opposition parties, but of course the current party that's in power by its very nature is more popular because it won the election. and there were people on the ballot, but they were not
10:56 pm
elected. well, there has been reform in russia, although it's not perfect, it's far from perfect. but there has been no liablization in china. china is not a worthy trading partner. china is not a worthy trading partner in any respect of the word, not an economic partner and it's not a partner for peace, nor is it a partner for world stability. china has had no reform of its political power structure. and it is, unfortunately, our most likely future enemy. those words are very hard for me to say. they are not our enemy now, but it is clear that unless we have political reform in china with liberalization there and china continues to grow stronger, the dictatorship continues to grow stronger, it will be and it is
10:57 pm
today america's most likely future enemy. it is already a deadly economic competitor of our people and it is also openly hostile to those basic values which make us americans, a respect for human rights, religious freedom, the environmental stewardship that we have taken upon ourselves in recent years, treating each person with common decency. these things are not part of the chinese government's agenda. they see these things as contrary to their basic concepts of what government should be all about and what their society should be all about, while we see these things as positive elements that should be fostered and nurtured in our society, human rights, religious freedom, environmental stewardship, prosperity, openness, opportunity.
10:58 pm
because of the differences between the united states and the communist party apparatus in china, our current relationship with china has resulted in an economic and security disaster for america. it is time to have the courage to admit this fact and it is time to reverse the poor decisions and bad policies that have made -- that have made the world we live in and led us to this point. if these are not reversed, the policies that have led us to this point are not reversed, the result will be national, and yes, global catastrophe. again, we are talking about government, a specific government, not its people. the chinese people are hard working, family-oriented people and i have the sympathy and respect for them in the world. they are freedom's greatest
10:59 pm
ally, our greatest hope. the chinese people, america's greatest hope, america's potentially greatest friends. the chinese government is a loathesome tyranny, a dictate torl clique and it is a government as i speak is shutting down uighurs in that region in the western provinces of china. a government that arrest religious practitioners. the chinese government arrest and murder these people and who are they? pay attention, america? they want nothing more than the religious freedom that we hold so door. and what do they believe in? they believe in yoga and

173 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on