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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 24, 2009 1:30pm-1:51pm EDT

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appropriations for this department, there were 178 amendments. offered. we didn't shut down the process and deny those people the chance to offer the amendments and say their piece about what constituents thought about the bill. we simply went through them. two days. after a certain period of time, we were able to work out unanimous consent agreements amongst the members of the body to reduce the time allotted to each amendment. or we substituted a colloquy with the other offerer of the amendment, instead of offering the amendment, and that satisfied them.
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they had their day in court, so to speak. other amendments were not offered. this is nothing new. this is the practice of this honored institution to allow members to offer their thoughts and opinions and amendments. if it takes time, that's what democracy is all about. it may not be pretty. the making of sausage is not pretty. that's what we're in the process and business of doing. you're shutting down the members of this body who have legitimate, no order amendments -- in order amendments, almost in toto, and i resent that. the ranking member of the subcommittee was denied the opportunity to offer his own amendment. a legitimate, in order
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amendment. that has never happened to my knowledge before. you're making history. but in a sad, sad way. give us the chance to speak for our constituents. the people that want to know why you're shutting off their voice in this great deliberative body. give us an open rule, as we've always had it. we've never had a restrictive rule like this on appropriations bills. give us a chance to be heard. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from colorado. mr. perlmutter: i continue to reserve the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: madam speaker, at this time, i'm happy to yield a minute to the son of a 20-year
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veteran of the house rules committee, the gentleman from bowling green, ohio, mr. latta. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. latta: i appreciate the gentleman for yielding and madam speaker, last night we brought in my opinion an important amendment before the committee dealing with with what i call the homeland security administration run amok with their bureaucrats. this would prevent the homeland security from being able to utilize the dollars under the bill to say that over 36 million americans that have a certain type of pocket knife, i don't care if it's from a hunter or fisherman or a person who works in a factory, make these illegal. it's sad we have to do it this way, that instead of bringing it here to the floor, we have to go through the rules committee. i think that the amendment we offered last night, and my
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colleague from idaho, mr. minnick, it's an important thing to save jobs in this country. he said it would be over 200-something jobs in his district, over 4,000 jobs could be affected. ancillary jobs by over 20,000 jobs. i really stress this is an important amendment and i appreciate the gentleman for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from time has expired. the gentleman from colorado continues to reserve? mr. perlmutter: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: i'm happenity pi to yield to my friend from athens, georgia, who would have had an amendment if we'd been allowed to debate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. brun: i rise in strong opposition to this rule. i submitted six amendments to this bill and i'm outraged the democrats have denied my right
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to debate and receive a vote on any of them today. they not only denied my right but they are denying americans the ability for us to present -- to present amendments that will stop this outrageous spending. one of my amendments would have added funding to the 287g program which provides state and law enforcement with training and suns quent authorization to identify a sess and when appropriate detain offenders they encounter in their regular job as law enforcement. i had many amendments. but the democrats denied my constituents, denied the american people the ability to have my voice and others heard. they're stealing our grandchildren's future with this outrageous spending. we've got to stop it. the american people need to stand up and say no to this steam roller of socialism that's being brought by the democratic majority and their leadership. i yield back the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado continues to reserve his time. mr. perlmutter: i ask my friend how many speakers he has. mr. dreier: let me say, there were a number of members expected to be joining us, i would say to my friend, and the fact is that they were anticipating a debate taking place on the rule and very, very courageously, my friend has been the only member on the democratic side to stand up, and i'm the one standing here defending the rights of democrats, i'm happy to say, so if the gentleman might want to talk for a couple of minutes while i wait for my colleagues who are -- who thought the debate would be taking place later. mr. perlmutter: i can say my friend on california can speak on his own behalf, take a few of his own minutes, but i'm going trow serve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: i guess i'll close the debate. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman has 5 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman is recognized for 5 1/2 minutes. mr. dreier: madam speaker, this debate is all about spending. the american people are hurting. jobs are being lost, businesses are being lost, homes are being lost and they're expecting us to put into place policies to get the economy back on track. we were promised if we passed the $787 billion, really $1 trillion stimulus bill by president obecause mark the unemployment rate would not exceed 8%. today unemployment is at 9.4% and tragically, it appears to be getting worse. and what is our answer? it's to continue a pattern that's been going on for two years now. in nondefense spending, we have had an 85% increase in federal spending. 85% increase. what is it we've said? we believe, madam speaker that we can responsibly put into plates spending cuts.
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-- put into place spending cuts. we've made attempts. my friend mr. broun wanted to offer a one half of one percent spending cut in the 16.2% increase that was put into place for our spending for the legislative branch last week and he was denied his changs to bring about that modest cut. as we look at the appropriations process now, bringing about reductions in spending is not an option. they are simply increases in spending time and time again. what is being utilized to make sure we can continue to increase spending? well, unfortunately, madam speaker, what is being done is, we are shutting out the opportunity for both democrats and republicans to have a right to offer amendments. i will say, having been here for more than a couple of years, one of the most exhilarating experiences one can have as a member of congress is to stand up under
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an open rule, especially during the appropriations process, ask that they strike the last word and be recognized for five minutes to engage in what can really be a free-flowing debate. we have two members of the rules committee who have never served in this institution before and they have never experienced the opportunity for that free-flowing debate on any legislation. and an open rule has not been an option so far. mammings, i never thought i would -- madam speaker, i never thought i would see the day when we would on the sacrosanct article 1, section 9 power dealing with spending prevent democrats and republicans from having an opportunity to engage in that. i think about my colleagues who want to regularly engage in debate. democrats like dennis kucinich and marcy kaptur, i may not agree with them often, but i believe they should be able to
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participate in the process. we have republicans like david nunes and others, mr. broun who just spoke, mr. rogers, mr. calvert, others who want to have a chance to stand up and guess what, madam speaker, they unfortunately are denied that in this process. justice felix frankfurter in 1943 made the following statement. he said the history of liberty is largely due to the history of procedural safeguards. now, madam speaker, i believe that the federal government is too big and spends too much as our leader boehner regularly says. i believe we should have a right to bring about those reductions so we can get our economy back on track to ensure that americans aren't going to lose their jobs, their businesses, and their homes. and we are denied that chance today. but, i want to say to my democratic colleagues and my
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republican colleagues, madam speaker, we have an opportunity , and it is before us right now. all we need to do is vote no on the previous question and what will happen? we'll be continuing the 220-year tradition of appropriations under an open amendment process. if we can defeat the previous question, i, madam speaker, will offer an amendment that will allow us to do exactly what chairman obey in the year 2000 said needed to be done. we need to allow for a free-flowing, open debate so that deliberative democracy can in fact once again flourish. so i urge my colleagues to vote against the previous question and allow us to have the opportunity to offer an open rule and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. mr. perlmutter: thank you, madam speaker.
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i do want to compliment my friend from california on his debate and his comments and his remarks. and his complaints. some of them are legitimate. but what we're here today to deal with is the security of the united states of america. he's complaining about an 85% increase in spending when my friend knows full well that spending came about because of tax cut the prosecution of two wars and the collapse of a banking system and an emergency in the united states of america to get us back on track and to change the direction of this nation. now what we're dealing with in this bill and the reason we need to bring it to the floor and act, not delay, not delay like we saw last week, with members circling the well, changing their votes, time and time again, or presenting amendments where they add a million, subtract a million to have an amendment. mr. dreier: will the gentleman yield? mr. perlmutter: i will not.
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i will close. we are here because this is one of our most important responsibilities and that is to protect this country from terrorist attacks, foreign and domestic and to ensure our borders are secure. that's the purpose of the homeland security appropriations bill. the bill, at $42.6 billion is slightly above last year's level, but it helps with coast guard work border violence work maritime safety, environmental protection, assistance for the t.s.a. as people come and go through our airports, as well as cybersecurity. there are funds in the bill for fema, for flood map modernization and for rebuilding of the gulf coast. this is a sensible investment. this is a sensible rule. and i would ask, madam speaker, that because this bill invests in a stronger domestic security both at our borders, throughout our transportations, -- our transportation systems and our communities, i'd urge a yes
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vote on the previous question and on the -- and on the rule. i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the question -- mr. dreier: may i ask the unanimous consent that the text of my amendment be included in the record immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the question is on ordering the previous question.
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