tv [untitled] CSPAN June 17, 2009 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT
attention to this amendment. i hope to secure their support today for adoption of this amendment and i look forward to working with them to ensure that this issue is addressed appropriately in conference. and finally, i want to state that the issue of protecting indigenous culture as this amendment does with respect to traditional fishing practices is important not only to myself but to our colleagues from american samoa and hawaii. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> claiming the time but i'm not in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wolf: i have no objection and yield back the balance of the time. the chair: the gentlelady from guam. >> will the gentlelady yield for purposes of accepting the amendment? the chair: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. >> we have no objection to the
amendment and accept the amendment. the chair: does the gentlelady yield back? ms. bordallo: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the motion by the gentlelady from guam. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. mr. wolf: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from virginia. mr. wolf: a recorded vote. the chair: further proceed option the amendment offered by the gentleman from -- gentlewoman -- the gentleman from virginia will be postponed. the clerk will -- mr. wolf: mr. chairman, striking the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. wolf: i feel the obligation to make a comment to put things in perspective, particularly as the american people are watching, because i think what we're doing today is setting a very bad and dangerous precedent.
i've been around the house for a while and i've been involved in debates on scores of appropriations bills. traditionally, whether it's been democrats or republicans in the majority, we've had open rules on spending bills and a respectful working relationship across the aisle. that's the way it should be and that's what the american people expect, the cooperative attitude and the opportunity for full scrutiny of how their tax dollars are being spent. i didn't like the preprinng requirements for amendments the majority instituted to start the appropriations process on the floor this session with the commerce, justice, science bill. i supported an open rule so every member could have the opportunity to review the entire bill and if there were programs members believed could be cut, we could debate that amendment and the house could work its will. so we start at the -- we started the process late last night and to debait the preprinted amendments, 21 minute into the amendment
debate, the chairman of the committee pulled the plug on that process and on members who really in good faith followed instructions in preprinting. they did everything asked of them. the rules, mr. chairman, were then changed in the middle of the night and now we have even a more controlled process. members on my side and i think if you kind of do unto others as you would have them do town you, could think if you were in that situation and had gone through the same thing members on our side, how you would feel. members on my side have the right to have their voice heard and offer amendments to control spending. members on both sides have substantive, thoughtful amendments, mr. chairman, the place is not in order. i can't even hear myself speak. the chair: the gentleman's point is well taken. may we respectfully request that conversations be removed away from the speaker so they
can at least hear themselves. i appreciate the gentleman from virginia's point. mr. wolf: thank you, mr. chairman. members on my side have the right to have their voice heard and offer amendments, whatever they may be, to control spend or whatever. members on both sides also had substantive and thoughtful amendments that were germane and in order and now those members have lost the opportunity to offer them. for example, mr. rogers from michigan, an f.b.i. agent who went to afghanistan, god bless him for taking the time for the oversight who serves on the intelligence committee, had a very important amendment regarding an apparent policy initiative by this administration to expand the practice of reading miranda rights to detainees in the custody of u.s. armed forces in afghanistan. it's called global justice. mr. rogers wanted to talk about that and offer an amendment whether we would pass it or not he had every right to do so.
now mr. rogers and other members have legitimate concerns about such policies. he simply wanted the opportunity to offer his amendment and let the house vote. he complied with the printing requirement he testified late last night, sat up there late into the night, until 12:30 or 1:00 in the morning, testified at the rules committee and yet now he is unable to even offer this amendment that deals with the whole fundamental issue of the war on terror, what's taking place in afghanistan and all these issues. closing, this is a departure from the tradition of open rule theansd comity that has characterized the appropriations process over the years. if we can't even come up with a fair process to debate annual spending bills on this floor, how can we ever hope to ever, ever find solutions to the big problems that this country has? with that, i yield back the balance of my time.
the chair: the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: i move to claim the -- to speak out of order. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. obey: i would like to put in perspective why we are here under these circumstances. as everyone in this chamber understands, we have for the last four months been dealing with the national economic emergency and an absolute crisis in terms of the war in the middle east, especially in pakistan and afghanistan. so this chamber has been hugely occupied for four months and now finally after finishing our major economic leftovers from the previous year, we're now turning to the appropriations bills. the hard fact is that everyone says they want appropriations bills to be finished
individually, not collectively in an omnibus, yet we only have six weeks to accomplish that. we have to pass 12 major appropriations bills in six weeks and still leave enough time on the calendar to deal with health care, deal with climate change to deal with the military authorization bill and several other crucial issues. so we -- so mr. hoyer, the majority leader, and i went to the -- to our friends on the republican side of the aisle, went to both the minority leader and the ranking member of the committee, and asked whether or not we could reach agreement that would enable us to meet that schedule and we pointed out that the schedule that we have set requires we set aside no more than about eight or nine hours to debate each of the bills with all the amendments thereto. we were told that they did not believe that they could
participate in that kind of tight schedule. so then we tried to proceed anyway. we asked members to prefile amendments so that every member of this house would know what they were expected to vote on. we -- we confronted the fact that 127 amendments were filed. that will take at least 23 or 24 hours just to debate those amendments, and that blows the entire schedule for the entire six weeks. one member today said, well, what's wrong if it takes 40 hours to pass this bill? the fact is that that would be 1/3 of the time remaining on the schedule for all 12 appropriations bills. we've got an obligation to get our work done. so what mr. hoyer and i did was en offer the minority leader the opportunity in a compressed number of amendments to select their own amendments, any amendments they wanted.
but they did not want to be limited in number or time. i don't fault them for it, i'm simply stating facts. we have one misunderstanding around here. we have the impression that somehow appropriation bills have always been considered in open rules. the fact is i have a sheet here which shows on 25 previous occasions where appropriations have been continued under structured or modified or even closed rules. and this does not -- this is only when republicans are in control. this does not count the more than a dozen times under democratic control when we had significantly limited rules for appropriations bills, including the foreign operations bill, the defense bill, interior and the legislative appropriations bill. so i simply state this not to get into a perennial argument, but to make clear we have tried every way we can to involve the
minority, we've asked them several times if they could participate in a compressed ski jile. i don't think it's necessary to debate all of these bills for 40 hours. but we are giving -- there are going to be 33 amendments offered to this bill under the rule. and only nine of them are democratic amendments. the rest are republican amendments. i think that's treating the minority especially fairly. mr. wolf: would the gentleman yield? mr. obey: surely. mr. lewis: we had a discussion on the floor yesterday where you essentially were asking the this question, how could we get a handle on reason r.n.ably controlling the time, etc. i've had back and forth regarding that discussion. i appreciate your concern about the schedule here. but my goodness, when you have the number of amendments we had filed on this bill and we knew many of them would fall off we discussed that clearly between each other but then the first
amendment, to have that take us back to the rules committee is incredible. i can't believe you'd d that. mr. obey: let me simply say that -- this is the third year that we've been in this situation where we've been fill bustered by amendment. we recognize the filibuster by amendment when we see it. the chair: the clerk will read. the clerk: page 15, line 1, in addition for necessary retired pay expenses under the retired servicemen's benefit plan, such sums as may be necessary. procurement acquisition and construction, $4,149,480,000 to remain available until september 30, 20 12. postal zone management fund, not to exceed $3 billion. fisheries finance account, not to exceed $59 million for
traditional direct loans as authorized by the merchant marine act of 1936. department management, salaries and expenses, $60 million. >> mr. chairman. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number three, printed in the congressional record offered by ms. moore of wisconsin. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 552, the gentlewoman from wisconsin, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from wisconsin. ms. moore: my amendment increases funding for critical program, the violence against women act legal assistance program by $4 million. i would like to thank representative poe for his diligent work on this amendment and i also want to thank representative mollohan for his commitment on this issue as well. we all make lawyer jokes, but to the women who face domestic
violence and need legal representation to successfully flee their abusers, obtain orders of protection, and retain custody of their children, the lack of legal representation is definitely not a laughing matter. nearly 70% of women who bravely take their abusers to court do so without legal representation. and too often, having an attorney present is the deciding factor in obtaining that life-saving personal protection order or getting custody of your kids or receiving transitional housing. it's a sad day when a family is forced to stay with their abuser because they don't know how to navigate through the court system. earlier this week, mr. chairman, i heard from chris in wisconsin whose husband sent her to the emergency room a dozen times, broke her foot, held a gun to her head, and threatened to poison her four children before she was able to
escape with the help of legal assistance after five long years of torture. i also heard from danielle of madison, wisconsin who obtained a divorce from her wealthy attorney husband, who repeatedly beat and stabbed her. but was left battling her husband's expensive attorney for custody two years after the divorce. her effort to study the wisconsin statutes and defend herself in court drew ridicule and rebuke from the judge. these are just a couple of examples. i sure would like to yield time to mr. mollohan and reserve the balance of my time. mr. mollohan: thank you, gentlelady, and thank the amendment. we are prepared to accept the amendment. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. wolf: i claim the time in opposition, i'm not in opposition, i yield to the gentleman from texas, judge poe. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five
minutes. mr. poe 13k i thank the gentleman for yielding and i appreciate the gentlelady from wisconsin and her representation and hard work on this amendment. this amendment is a strong amendment and puts forth the proposition that victims' issues aren't partisan issues, they're people issues. i strongly support this amendment to increase legal assistance for victims by $4 million that doesn't sound like much but it's a lot of money for a victim -- for victims of crime. it will bring the total legal assistance for victims' assistance grants to $41 million this funding is offset by $4 million reduction if the department of commerce, department of management salaries and expenses account. i think that money would be better served rather than giving salaries and raises to the department, that we give it to legal assistance for victims. these legal assistance grants provide much-neded funding for domestic violence victims to seek protective orders, child custody, child support and
housing and public benefits assistance. as i found in 30 years as a prosecutor and judge, too often domestic violence and sexual assault victims have to appear in court by themselves and aloeb. they don't have high-dollar lawyers pleading their cases or guiding them through the complex and burdensome legal system we have in our states and courts. instead, even though someone who supposedly loved them chose to beat them up, they have toe pay the price to fight their way through the legal system to request civil protection. this shouldn't be. we need to match civil justice with our criminal justice system. the program provides funding to meet legal needs of domestic violence and sexual assault victims. it is, mr. speaker, the only federally funded program designed to meet all the civil leal assistance needs of victims. it's one of the most crucial and life-saving programs in the violence against women act and remains critically underfunded. the demand for legal services is so high the office of
violence against women receive almost 300 applications per year, but that office is only able to fund 1/3 of the total requests. we have a duty to protect the innocents. we must ensure that victims are not further victimized by their you a buicers through a legal -- abusers. i support this amendment. i strongly urge its passage and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from wisconsin. ms. moore: well, thank you so much. i want to say what an amazing partner mr. poe has been in this initiative. and indeed this is not a partisan issue. mr. poe mentioned that these funds will be drawn from the department of commerce salaries and expenses which is -- they are provided $60 million. that's $7 million over last year's funding.
and, of course, legal assistance programs have steadily declined since 2003. and only about a third of women who appear in court of the advocates who actually apply for this legal funding actually received funding. so this is really critical funding and support to help these women leave their abusers. for every danielle and chris who's able to free themselves of their abusers, there are four other women out there who are still being silenced because they don't have access to adequate legal representation. this $4 million is very appreciated. it's not enough but it's a great start. the legal assistance program is one of the most effective tools to ensure that battered women and children have a voice in our justice system. i urge support for this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady
yields back. all time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from wisconsin. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the amendment is agreed to. the gentleman from iowa. mr. king: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amount offered by the gentlewoman from wisconsin will be postponed. the clerk will read. the clerk: herbert c. hoover building for the nation and modernization, $5 million. office of inspector general, $27 million. general provisions, department of commerce, including transfer of funds, section 101, appropriations and funds made available by this act shall be available for the activities specified in the act of october 26, 1949. section 102, appropriations made available to the department by this act for salaries and expenses shall be available for hire of passenger
motor vehicles as authorized. section 103, not to exceed 5% of any appropriation for the department, may be transferred between such appropriations but no such appropriations shall be increased by more than 10%. section 104, any costs incurred by a department resulting from personnel actions taken shall be absorbed within the budgetary resources available to such department. section 10 5, the requirements set forth by section 112 of division b of public law 110-161 are hereby adopted. section 106, the secretary may furnish services in order to support the operations that persons are authorized pursuant to public buildings, cooperative use act of 1976. section 107, the administration of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration is authorized to use with their consent subject to the limits of available appropriations the land of any department
instrumentality of the united states or any state, for purposes related to carrying utt the responsibilities. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa rise? -- the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa rise? mr. boswell: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: administered by the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. this title may be cited as the department of commerce appropriations act 2010. title 3, department of justice, general administrations, salaries and expensed, $118, 488,000. mr. boswell: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. boswell of iowa. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 552, the gentleman from iowa and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa for five minutes.
mr. boswell: thank you. i'd like to thank chairman mollohan and ranking member wolf for their hard work on h.r. 2847, the commerce, justice, science, and related agencies appropriations act of 2010. this amendment would provide an increase of $2.5 million for the national criminal history improvement program. i have brought this issue to the floor for several years now and it consistently receives bipartisan support. i thank my colleagues for their continued support and their commitment to law enforcement officers and public safety. i believe that this increase is incredibly important for law enforcement. we must ensure that the intelligence officers are up to date and accurate. the national criminal history improvement program ensures that states improve their infrastructure to connect to the national record system. it helps protect our most vulnerable populations by improving law enforcement's ability to identify persons ineligible to hold positions
involving children or the disabled or elderly. it helps law enforcement officers protect our communities from individuals with histories of stalking and committing acts of domestic violence. i think my colleagues will agree. this is an important investment. i'd like to yield to the distinguished gentleman from wisconsin, mr. obey. mr. obey: i thank the gentleman for yielding. let me simply say on this side of the aisle the committee serning agrees with the gentleman's assertions and will be happy to accept the amendment. mr. boswell: thank you. with that i urge adoption of the amendment and reserve for any comments made for opposition. mr. wolf: we have no objection to the amendment, support the amendment and yield back the balance. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from iowa. mr. boswell: with that i urge adoption of the amendment and yield back my time. thank you. the chair: all time has expired. the question son the amendment
offered by the gentleman from iowa. those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from georgia. mr. broun: i request the yeas and nays. the chair: does the gentleman ask for a recorded vote? mr. broun: yeah. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings offered by the gentleman from iowa will be postponed. the clerk will continue reading. the clerk: title 2, page 23, line 1. national drug intelligence center, $44,023,000. justice information sharing technology, $109,417,000. tactical law enforcement wireless communications, $205,143,000. administrative review and appeals, $3,685,000. detention trustee, $1,438, 663 ,000. office of inspector general,
$84,368,000. united states parole commission, salaries and expenses, $12,859,000. legal activities, salaries and expenses, general legal activities, $875,900,000. in addition for reimbursement associated with processing cases under the national childhood vacksine injury act of 19 -- vaccine injury act of 1986, $783,000. salaries and expenses, antitrust division, $163,170,000. salaries and expenses, united states attorneys, $1,934,3,000. united states trustees system fund. salaries and expenses, foreign claims settlement commission, $2,117,000. fees and expenses of witnesses, $168,300,000.
salaries and expenses, commune relations service, $11,479,000. assets forfeiture fund $29,900,000. united states marshal services, salaries and expenses, $1,038, 388,000. construction, $14 million. national security division, salaries and expenses, $87,938,000. intraagency law enforcement -- interagency crime and drug enforcement, $528,569,000. federal bureau of investigations, salaries and expenses, $7,718,741. construction, $132,796,000. drug enforcement administration, salaries and
expenses, $2,019,682. bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives, salaries and expenses, $1,105,772. -- $1,105,772,000. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? mr. roe: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 25 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. roe of tennessee. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 552, the gentleman from tennessee and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself 2 1/2 minutes. >> mr. chairman, i raise time in time for opposition.
the chair: the gentleman will be recognized for an appropriate point. mr. roe: i believe the level of spending in this bill is irresponsible in light of our deficits but i also know my view is in the minority. this is about priorities and it's about morals. this year we're going to pass $1,8 trillion in new debt onto our children's generation. i would argue that passing this level of date on to our next generation is immoral. so far there's been not one iota of interest in setting priorities from the majority. they've decided to fund everything and call that good. they won the election and they are entitled to run our credit cards well past its limit to never before seen levels. when it comes to spending in budgets it's clear from debates there's no interest in adopting republican ideas and my friends on the -- from my friends on the other side of the aisle. so i went to a source president obama's budget. the president has requested nearly $6 billion for the federal prison system. the democratic congress has increased that by $97.4
million. we're trying to support the president and show a little bit of fiscal restraint by adopting the president's budgeted level. in percentage terms this means we're growing the program at 6.8% -- growing at 6.8% instead of 8.6%. if it passes, it will not be huge but it sends a message however small that this congress is not completely tone deaf to the concerns about the deficit and runaway spending. it's important to note this is not a vote on whether to cut the program. it's a vote on whether to provide the program the president's proposed increase or to provide the democratic leadership's proposed increase. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. mollohan: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. mollohan: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise in strong opposition to this amendment. mr. chairman, i rise in strong opposition to this amendment.
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