tv [untitled] CSPAN June 17, 2009 11:30pm-12:00am EDT
youth in early education and drew does this. i also add that this project -- this science initiative, like all others proposed for funding, has been thoroughly vetted and completely transparent. and may i add, unlike the gentleman's home state of arizona, which ranks 21st in the nation in tax dollars returned from washington, my home state of new jersey, ranks 50 out of 50, dead last. quite honestly, i don't apologize for looking after my state, my public and private universities, because we want the best of america to be well educated. and i think the investments we're making in science, math and technology and engineering in new jersey and colleges and universities across the country is money well spent. and i retain the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman
reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: mr. chairman, again, i would say if we're not going to cut spending here, where are we going to do it? if we can't say that we're not go to go give $1 million grant to a private university that just received $1 million grant or close to from the mullen foundation for an almost eyed call purpose, a private university that has an endowment of $268 million while we have a public debt of $11 trillion and a deficit this year of $2 trillion. if we can't decide that we're not going to give $1 million earmark in this manner, where are we going to cut? when are we going to say enough is enough? we're spending too much. so i commend those who are looking for ways to save, but i have to remain a little skeptical if we can't do away
with earmarks like this. with that, i urge support of the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona yields back. mr. frelinghuysen: i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i ask for a recorded mr. flake: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18 further proceedings will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona arise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 91 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: the gentleman from arizona and member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. .
mr. flake: this would strike a $4 million amendment for the jason project and lower the bill by a commensurate about. it was started in 1989, it's been around 18 years. the purpose is to design science curriculum for fifth to eighth grade classrooms. we all know science is important for any child's education and if local schools wish to supplement their science curriculum with service prossvided by the jason project, i believe they should have that choice. however this earmark is going to the jason project organization, not to the schools who wish too purchase its product. this $4 million earmark is one of the largest in this year's c.j.s. bill and i remain unconvinced that jason is so desperately in need of federal funding. in 1985, jason became a subsidiary of "national
geographic," one of the nation's largest organizations. it's also partners of with nasa and the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. the motor oil foundation, shell oil company and others provide funding why with so many resources does the jason project still receive earmarks year after year after year? this is just the latest year we've challenged this earmark on the floor and we're always told it's vital, we've got to have it. the next year, it's vital, got to have it. when does the $4 million a year stop? according to the jason project, support from all these groups enables the organization to offer educational resources online for free. however, all jason's curriculum materials must be purchased, costing schools $788 for a classroom back and $1,100 for a school pack.
last year they received $5.6 million from the federal government. the jason project has been so effective in securing money its website offers trips for teachers -- offers tips for teachers in securing funds from local entities in order to buy jason products. so here's what they offer. they offer tips to teachers to go out and secure funds from local entities to buy jason products. if the jason project can't continue its operations without federal funds after 18 years, i think you have to question its effectiveness. we have to stop funding projects like this year after year after year. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia rise? mr. mollohan: i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
mr. mollohan: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. langevin. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. langevin: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i want to thank chairman mollohan for his outstanding leadership as chairman of the subcommittee on commerce, justice, science. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the flake amendment to strike funding from the commerce, justice, and state appropriations bill for the jason project and i again do want to thank chairman mollohan in particular for his unwavering support of this important program. which ultimately results in being a public-private partnership, which i think is a great example of haw howe to invest in education. -- of how to invest in education. the jason project was first created by dr. bob ballard. many of you may remember, dr.
ballard was the famed underwater explorer who found the die titanic. dr. ballard has a real passion for children and educating the next generation. i've had the opportunity to work with dr. ballard who is now at the university of rhode island, on science education issues, and i'm grateful for his work to establish the jason project and his dedication to training and inspiring future scientists. as congress addresses today's economic challenge we must be vigilant in giving our future generations the tools they need to succeed. the gentleman from arizona noted the deficit that our country faces. well, how are we going to get out of our deficit and ensure that we are creating wealth for the future, that we are creating prosperity for our country if we don't invest in our young people if we don't
investigation in our future. that's what stem -- that's what the science technology education mathematic programs do they make sure we're educating young people who are going to be the job creators, the problem solvers, the innovators of tomorrow. we're investing in our young people. stem education has become a common theme in this debate tonight and the jason project focuses on just that. since 1989, the jason curriculum which is a free curriculum, has been distributed to over seven million students and teachers, jason fosters critical thinking and problem solving while engaging students in real, hands on science, helping them understand complex scientific concepts. i urge members to vote no on this amendment and support funding to encourage and inspire our next generation of critical thinkers by supporting the jason project. again i want to thank chairman mollohan for his unwavering
support of this vitally important program and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. mollohan: i thank the gentleman from rhode island. i thank the -- i think -- i thank the gentleman from arizona with the opportunity to speak in favor of the jason project. for those who may not know, the jason project is a powerful education program, as mr. langevin just described, promoting hands on learning, science learning that connects primarily fifth grade and eighth grade students and their teachers with great explorers, scientists role models and cutting edge research. this subcommittee, mr. chairman, held a number of hearings on science education. it's a topic of great concern for the subcommittee as we fund the national science foundation and nasa and noaa. all agencies that have
wonderful science programs and they also have an education mission. we sponsored these hearings to try to determine what is the best educational experience? how do we effectively promote science education among our youth? a challenge that is not difficult -- that is difficult to meet. testimony on the subcommittee heard from dr. harold pratt, former president of the national science teacher association and bill nye, the science guy, that if members on the floor don't know who is their children certainly do. underscores the critcrith call need for science education programs such as the jason project to attract america's youth to science disciplines and to better equip our teachers through professional go both witnesses agreed that the struggle to attract and retain students to science
begins early, begins in elementary school, and that the preparation and education of science teachers is one of the most important elements in that recruitment. the jason program, which was founded in 1989 by dr. robert ballard who discovered the die titanic, mr. chairman, has helped inspire and motivate more than seven million students and teachers to become more proficient in science. i can't think of a program that has a better return on investment, one that has reach sod many and could have such a profound impact on america's innovation and competitiveness in the long run and it does one other thing, mr. chairman, upon closing, it promotes the private-public partnerships that the gentleman who is the author of the amendment frequently alludes to. it's a wonderful program, serbs the nation, and i -- serves the nation and i urge a no vote on the amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time
has expired. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chairman. we talk a lot about investment here. it seems we want to spend money we don't have. we call it an investment and assume everybody will be ok with it. we have invested so much we have a $2 trillion deficit now. i would submit we have got to stop. got to stop investing, spending whatever you want to call it, if we want to get out of the deficit. this seems a perfect place to start. the member mentioned this is money well spent, that it's a great return on investment. i'll tell you what was a great return on invest. the jason foundation has over the past decade spent about $1 million lobbying the federal government. in most cases, i think, lobbying for earmarks like this. $1 million over the past decades. for that $1 million they've invested in lobbying this body, they've received tens of millions of dollars in earmarks.
that's pretty good investment, if you ask me. but it's nothing that we ought to just be proud of, taking part in. at some point we've got to say, hey, there are a lot of private organizations helping this organization. at some point they need to be weaned off federal dollars. i would submit that $4 million in an earmark this year when eaf a deficit of $2 trillion, is too much. if we're not going to stand up on this now, when are we going to stand up and start pearing down the deficit? -- and start pearing down the deaf -- pareing down the deficit. it's unfortunate we're not seeing control on this earmark from the sounds of it. i'd like to urge support of it. maybe now is the time we stand up and say enough is enough.
i urge support of the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: 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 arizona will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk designated as number 84 in the congressional record. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 84 printed in the congressional record, offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 552, the gentleman from arizona and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment would remove $325,000 in funding for the institute for seafood studies at this the nichols state
university in tib doe, -- in thibodeaux, louisiana. it's my understanding it would be used to fund the creation of an institute for seafood studies, related to sustainable fisheries. it would seem we're developing a trend in the house of funding seafood earmarks. it seems fishy to me. there's lobster things, shrimp things, seafood things a lot of them in this bill we and we never seem to be offsetting this bill anywhere else. it's just another earmark for this or that or this or that. every year we approve earmarks for issues relating to lobsters, shrimp, horseshoe crabs, and on and on.
now we're going to have an earmark that creates an institute to study seafood. it's not enough to fund all these other things, now we have to create an institute to study sew sea food. i would venture a guess we'll be back here next year with another earmark for that same program. because now that we have an institute created, created by the federal government, by an earmark, then who is going to sustain it but the federal government with another earmark and earmarks in perpetuity. . this earmark is only one of 1,000 earmarks in this bill that my colleagues are aware, as i mentioned, this is another example of what we always hear that members know their districts best, but when you look at the earmarks funded in this legislation, you see the same spoil system that we see elsewhere. again, i have to ask, does an
prapetor or leadership or ranking member just happen to know his district that much better than a rank and file member that they should receive almost double in dollar amount of the earmarks that are proffered by this institution? that sounds fishy to me as well. so we often get high-minded that we have to stand up for the per og gatives of the house and we keep our ability to mark because we know better than the faceless bureaucrats, but why do only some of the members know better and it seems to be the same members again and again. with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia rise? mr. mollohan: i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
mr. mollohan: i yield five minutes to the distinguished member from louisiana, mr. mel and son. the chair: -- melancon. mr. melancon: i thank mr. flake and i appreciate the importance of fiscal responsibility in getting our fiscal house in order is the best way to come out of this recession quickly, recession caused by eight years of irresponsible spending. and i'm aware that my friend was one of the few people that continued to hawk his side of the aisle. part of fiscal responsibility is for legislators to prioritize spending, projects that improve our constituents' safety, health and livelihood. this institute would be working towards developing standards and guidelines for seafood safety and establish sufficient sustainable practices. this project dovetails with the
work being done in energy and commerce as we speak regarding food safety bill and the issues that confront us. the rash of food-related illnesses and deaths highlights the vulnerability of our country and what we face from unsafe food and imports. louisiana is the number one producer in the continental united states of the most valuable commercial shellfish species. our working coasts sends seafood around the country including states in the west like arizona. and i remember spending one mardi gras week in meetings in phoenix and was enjoying fresh crawfish from louisiana in arizona restaurants. and that was because of the fact that our people in louisiana try and bring the freshest and the
best to the rest of the country. and so it's imperative that we have the ability to ensure that this valuable resource be kept safe and sustainable. why should we be using taxpayer funds? the seafood industry in louisiana and many parts of the country, not just louisiana, is a conglomerate of many single-owner businesses. sometimes a member of the industry owns a single boat. and that is part of the industry that we know in south louisiana along the entire gulf coast. and if you go throughout the fishing industry in this united states, you'll find that does not differ a lot. many domestic policies have strong positive impacts on all of our constituents. in the case of food safety and sustainability, all of our constituents, regardless of where they're from the north, south, west, east, middle
america, share in the peace of mind they can feed their families with clean, healthy safe food. while those benefits are shared by all, it makes sense that the cost be shared as well. this project we are discussing today focuses funding on food safety and sustainability in a location that produces a large portion of the nation's seafood. by prioritizing the funding of the institute for seafood studies at nicholls state university, we are investing in a food supply we enjoy. this is about safe seafood, whether it's sthrimp or fin fish. it's about the study and making sure that the products that are delivered to america are safe for the people to consume. with that, i urge a no vote on this amendment and hope that the
congress of the united states will recognize the importance of the working coast. we're not the sun coast. we're not the sand coast, we are not the condo coast. we are the coast of the united states that produces over 30% of the seafood and good quality, safe seafood that we hope to preserve. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia reserves his time. and the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. flake: how much time is remaining? the chair: the gentleman has two minutes remaining. mr. flake: this is the last amendment tonight. i want to thank the members for staying around this long. i know their time is more valuable than mine and i appreciate your indulgence here in this important process and i apologize for keeping people this long, particularly those who came to defend their projects. the member mentioned that it's
the member mentioned that it's important that we think of the little guys here. the last time i checked, we have $11 trillion deficit -- $11 trillion debt, $36,000 per american, per person, for a family of four, it's bigger than that. it's time we start looking out for them. if we look at this bill itself, it's 12% bigger than it was last year. the year that we are running record deficits, we are expanding this bill by 12%. i appreciate what the member said about the last eight years. we missed historic opportunity as republicans to rein in spending. we didn't do it to our eternal shame and that's part of the reason we are smack dab in the minority today. we put ourselves on a course toward a fiscal clip. but now, we're still headed toward that fiscal cliff and
with bills like this, it costs 12% more than last year. we have stepped on the accelerator. where why are we doing that? if we stop creating to stop studying seafood, then where and when are we going to cut? i just can't see it here. like i said, we're creating a new institute here, a new institute that will now be reliant, i'm sure, i'll get just about anything that we will be back next year with another earmark for that same seafood institute that we just created, because we just got to keep it going now and that will add more to the deficit. remember we have to spend more every year. with that, i yield back the balance of my time and i urge support of the amendment. the chair: the time of the the gentleman from arizona has
expired. the gentleman from west virginia has one minute remaining. mr. mollohan: i just wanted to mention to the the gentleman from arizona that i don't know if it will make him feel better about the 12% increase in the bill which he accurately knows, but approximately 7% of that, little more than 7% of that is the increase in census, about $4 billion to prepare for the 2010 census. it's an unusual increase and directly related to the census and it is a short-time funding increase. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. all time having expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: 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 arizona will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from from -- >> strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. obey: i want to appreciate to the gentleman my sympathy. he was the victim in the 15-10 drubbing of the republicans in the congressional baseball game by the democrats. and i understand that despite the fact that the gentleman hit a triple, alas, it was a losing cause. we have lost many times in the last decade. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman, not at all, for bringing that up. i had hoped to improve my batting average by coming to the floor tonight and it doesn't seem that i have. i will have to settle for the one triple. >> will the gentleman yield? mr. mollohan: i want to tell the
gentleman from arizona, it makes us all feel on this side of the aisle better for waiting for him tonight. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. mollohan: mr. chairman, i am pleased to move that the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion to rise. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the committee will rise. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: the committee of the whole house on the state union having had under consideration h.r. 2847 directs me to report
there is no resolution thro. the speaker pro tempore: the committee has had under consideration h.r. 2847 and has come to no resolution thro. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mrs. bachmann of minnesota today and the balance of the week, mr. bonner for tuesday, june 16 until 4:00 p.m. and mr. young for today until 4:00 p.m. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request is ganted. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: 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 and include extraneous material.