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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 24, 2009 4:30pm-5:00pm EDT

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i do indeed pledge to work with her as we move toward conference to see what kind of resources we can identify. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chairman and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio. mr. latta: i thank the gentleman for yielding, madam speaker. and last night we were in rules, i believe a very important amendment that we offered, it was really to save jobs and it is also to really put a hold on what's happening with homeland security and also what was going on with the folks as customs always trying to put forward a regulation, a rule that's going to put americans out of work and it's also at the same time not only put americans out of work but we're looking at 35 million americans having a certain type of knife. i don't believe that the rules should be done that congress in 1958 defines what a certain type
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of knife was. last night, of course, we were there and we shouldn't have been there, we should have been here with an amendment on the floor and on the rules committee. because this is important because, again, as i said, this is going to cost jobs. jobs at the buck knife company up in the northwest part of the united states, hundreds of jobs. it's estimated that over 4,000 individuals in this country can be affected just in the knife industry alone. those individuals that not only the 4,000 there but about 20,000 other ancillary jobs out there and that's why it's so important we should be talking about this. but unfortunately again where we were last night, we weren't doing what we should have been doing. we should have had this amendment on the floor. i believe it's absolutely important that we make sure that the house has the right way that it should be going and that's by the process that we should be in, in the normal process, not in the process we're in today. but i thank the gentleman for
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yielding because i think the debate we're in is very, very vital to this country and i appreciate him for yielding. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. price: madam speaker, i inquire how much time we have remaining. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina has 8 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from kentucky has 3 1/2 minutesemaining. mr. price: we have no further speakers on the floor at this point. there may be one on the way so i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: madam speaker, i have no further speakers. i intend to close our time you down but i'd be happy to do that now or whenever the chairman would like for to us proceed. mr. price: if the gentleman has
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-- if the gentleman has no further speakers, we'll be happy to move on to the amendments. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky to close. mr. rogers: i yield myself the balance of our time. you know, since 9/11 we've come a long way in securing the country, i think. it's been eight long years, la borious tasks have been undertaken. first the formation of the department of homeland security, attempting to merge some 22 different agencies of the government into a single agency under the umbrella of the department of homeland securit and, yes, week of made progress, i think substantial progress in aviation security and the protection of goods coming into the country by box, container box. we've made substantial gains across the board in securing our
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american homeland. but we're still a long way from being where we need to be. it seems like it's been terribly slow he in many of the areas that we need to work on. but, you know, it's amazing to me, i was just reading a book about world war ii and just how quickly the nation responded to the attack on pearl harbor in 1941. in four years, madam chairman, in just four years, half the time since 9/11, the nation geared up and produced 6,500 ships, it produced some 300,000 airplanes, 300,000. hundreds of thousands of tanks
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and rifles and ammunition and warships, liberal ships, transport ships, thousands upon thousands of weapons of war. in just four short years and we've had double that time since 9/11 to gear up for the protection of the country from the newest threat in the globe and yes i'm disappointed at times about the progress that we lack, but i've got to say that we've got some very brave people in all these agencies that now make up the department of homeland security that take their responsibilities deadly serious, they work hard, they don't get much thanks from anyone for the good work that they do and we should take a moment the next time we go through an airport and thank
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that t.s.a. worker or that coast guard worker or that fema helper in our home districts and i recently had the great opportunity to thank the fema response to a terrible flood in my district over the mother's day weekend. but we need to thank these people because they don't get much of that. and they are doing a great service in defending us on our home turf. with that, madam chairman, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. price: i thank the chairman and i want to thank our distinguished former chairman and ranking member for those remarks. he is a student of history as he's just demonstrated and came to the chairmanship of this subcommittee, asity founding chairman, with a greal -- as its founding chairmanworks a great deal of understanding of how big this challenge was after 9/11, bringing these 22 agencies
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together, but also of that instinct of how to put this together and how to make this department work and we've made great strides. i agree with him. also on the work yet to be done, of course. but i feel now over these seven years we can look back to -- on considerable progress. he talked about the career of civil servants and others, the border patrol agents, the coast guard's men and women, the people who staff these agencies every day and i would say that one of the benefits of the process we had this year and holding more broad-gauged hearings, before we had a budget and before we had the agency heads in place, while we were awaiting appointment and confirmation, i'd say one of the advantages of that was for us to get a closer look at these people and the good work they've done and take a swla broader
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look at agency operations and to gain some preparation, both for what is being achieved and also a better fix on some of the things that we need to improve. i hope and believe that our bill does reflect that. it has been put together in a cooperative fashion and we look forward to taking it on from this house today and hopefully by the start of the new fiscal year, being ready to put this program in place. we're delighted to work with the new secretary and her appointees, or the president's appointees, in the agencies who are now taking on their roles and this bill today, i'm confident is a very positive step in that progress -- in that process of putting this department's program together for this new administration. with that, madam chairman, we have no further speakers and i would yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. all time for general debate has expired.
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pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule no amendment shall be in order except for the amendments printed in part a and b of house report 111-183, not to exceed four of the amendments printed in part c of the report if offered by the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, or his designee, and not to exceed one of the amendments printed in part d of the report if offered by the gentleman from california, mr. campbell, or his designee. each amendment shall be considered read, shall be debatable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and opponent, shall not be subject for demand of the division of the question. an amendment printed in part b, c or d of the report may be offered only at the appropriate point in the reading. after consideration of the bill for amendment, the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations or their designees each may offer one pro forma amendment to the bill for purpose of debate, which shall be controlled by the proponent. the clerk will read.
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the clerk: the following sums are appropriated for the fiscal year 2010, namely, title 1, departmental management and operations, office of the secretary and executive management, $147,427,000. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rise? the gentleman is recognized. the gentleman will suspend. the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part a, amendment number 1 printed in house report 111-183 offered by mr. price of north carolina. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 573, the gentleman from north carolina, mr. price, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. price: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. my amendment, i believe, is noncontroversial. it includes a number of amendments put forth by other members that we believe would be good additions to the bill. including first additional
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funding for the firefighter grant program, that draws on proposals from representatives ult mire, pascrell, austria, peter king and biggert. additional funding for nonprofit security grants, representatives cohen and weiner. additional funding for the metropolitan medical response system, representative kosmas. additional funding to implement the western hemisphere travel, representive mitchell. d.h.s. employees can use personal protection equipment without negative personnel action. a prohibition on funds in this bill being used for first class travel with certain exceptions from representative cuellar. and a prohibition of funds in this bill for closing or transfer from fema recovery office. all increases are appropriately offset elsewhere in the bill. while the bill includes earmarks in it, which have been properly disclosed according to house procedures this amendment does
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not contain any congressional earmarks and i ask members to support this amendment. reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? mr. rogers: to claim the time in opposition, madam speaker. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. rogers: madam chairman, it saddens me that the long standing, cherished that digs of debate within this chamber -- traditions of debate within this chamber have come to this. the so-called manager's amendment that is more about limiting the time on today's debate and placating the interests of democrats than truly improving this bill. so i rise in opposition to this amendment. not on the substance of the amendment itself, mind you, but on the flawed and misguided procedure under which it's being offered. we seldom do manager's amendments on appropriations bills on the floor. and when on the rare occasion that we have it's been a true
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manager's amendment, one that is noncontroversial and bipartisan. this amendment meets the interests of nine democrats and the minority was never consulted on the substance and construction of this amendment. never. furthermore, this amendment includes a provision that would be subject to a point of order during a normal debate. to make this provision in order, then included in this flawed amendment, and finally denying other members the right to offer their amendments that were clearly germane and in order, including one of this ranking member is beyond the pail. majority also denies the ability of a hardworking member of our subcommittee and myself as well
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an opportunity to offer an amendment on e-verify. the way that employers in this country can be sure that an applicant for work is not an illegal alien. both amendments were clearly in order. both amendments pertain to a critical issue that's germane to this bill. to deny us the ability to offer such legitimate amendments is a complete travesty, especially in light of this amendment before us. so it is clearly not a manager's amendment in my view. instead it's a vehicle for the majority to further ramrod this bill off the floor through what is perhaps the most closed and arbitrarily constrained debate i've seen in my 28 years or so in congress. i'm very troubled by the road the majority is heading down, with actions such as this, actions that muddle what should be an open debate on one of the
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most critical bills that this body will consider this year. today should be about our homeland security, not partisan politics. i urge members to reject this flawed procedure. and oppose this misnamed manager's amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina. mr. price: i would like to yield one minute to one of the sponsors of one of these amendments that's been included in this chairman's amendment, representative altmire, who's been working hard on the firefighter grant program. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. altmire: i want to highlight the one provision i worked hard to put into this manager's eafment i can think of few more deserving and in need of support under this homeland security bill than our
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nation's first responders. in particular, volunteer firefighters represent all walks of life and are part of the fabric of nearly every community in this country. the most important source of federal assistance for firefighters is the grants that have provided for so many firefighters. volunteer firefighters make every sacrifice for our community and are always on call. it's the least we can do to make sure they're as safe and well protected as possible. that's why i added language to the bill to shift $10 million over to the firefighter grants program. this funding will help hundreds of fire companies across the nation make the necessary equipment and vehicle upgrades that are so critically needed. i thank the chairman for included in the bill my language toin crease fund for our nation's volunteer firefighters and i ask my colleagues to support. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky.
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mr. rogers: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina. mr. price: i would like to yield one minute to mr. cohen of tennessee who likewise is the initiator of one of our amendments. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cohen: thank you, madam speaker. this amendment would include language increasing funding to the urban area initiative for nonprofit security grant program. it's an important program that helps fund support for the not for profits that could be subject to attack. nonprofit organizations like hospitals, which are vital to our community's ongoing health and safety and if you have research facilities attacked
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there other concerns of the community. the nonprofit entities could include other historic landmarks. there's st. jude and other great hospitals. new york has many too. that's why, i think, mr. weiner was introinterest -- interested in this, the terror caused by the attack of a museum or library could be disastrous to the people and the nation. hopefully this will help secure their funds and their facilities. i'd like to thank the chairman for including the funding and support the $3 million and i thank the speaker. the chair: the gentleman yields back who seeks time. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. price: i'm prepared to yield back. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky.
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mr. rogers: i object to this amendment on procedural grounds. it's not a bipartisan amendment as manager's amendments are supposed to be. i urge a no vote and yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question son the amendment offered by the gentleman from -- the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from north carolina. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. mr. rogers: i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: does the gentleman ask for a recorded vote? mr. rogers: recorded vote. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. lewis: madam chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 offered by mr. lewis of
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california. the chair: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: thank you, madam chairman. as i proceed with this amendment, i want to one more time associate myself first with the remarks of think ranking member regarding the manager's amendment but in turn express my deep respect and appreciation for the two gentlemen handling this bill, chairman price, my colleague from kentucky have worked professionally together and the way i think this house would be served well if we extended to all our subcommittees. the amendment which i have at the desk offers a relatively simple amendment. i rise to restore -- restore some balance to what orse is a thoughtful and very constructive bill. my amendment takes a small fraction of funding, increases recommended for administrative
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expenses and adds 200 now border patrol agents out of that transfer of funding. agents that will serve on the front lines of the bloody drug war raging in mexico and produce -- and produce increased security across our borders from entry by way of smugglers and people who are coming here for other sorts of contraband activities. my amendment seeks to increase the resources for these -- those -- for those who are charged to keep our nation safe and secure, for some reason i can't read my own writing. as well as ensnare money and illegal weapons flowing southbound. resources that will fulfill the promises repeatedly -- repeatedly made by president obama to the american people and the courageous mexican
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government in their fight against the cartels. in fact, it was just two weeks ago the president unveiled a new gentleman ji on securing the southwest border and fighting the cartels a strategy that calls for sustained enhancements to border security and countermarkets. the president's budget request calls for only 44 new agents. that's right. only 44 new agents. contrast that with the 2,500 additional agents this congress funded last year. 44 new agents in this bill, 2,500 additional agents last year. how can we support such a flattening of this crucial security asset? how can we risk a reduction in the size of the border patrol when our border security needs our -- needs are so great and the agent attrition rate is creeping up to about 11%. the decision to fund what is essentially a current services
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budget for border patrol comes in conjunction with a request for more than 30% increase in administrative policy and bureaucratic functions at d.h.s. talk about getting your priorities all wrong. think about that. 11% versus 30%. clearly a higher priority being given to border security by way of more personnel. at a time of such obvious need in the face of a bloody and all too real drug war, now is the time to follow through on border security, not plateau and rest on our laurels. as ranking member rogers has often pointed out, chairman price has done a laudable job scaling back the president's request for more bureaucrats and made prudent enhancements to operations in this bill. however the border patrol agents are not increase boved the request and i think it's something this chamber should
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weigh heavily. so asking them to get by on no more than a 14.8% increase, an increase that's more than sufficient and one many of us think is too high given the current fiscal climate. my amendment simply asks what's more important, resources to support our operators and watch guards in the field or added bureaucracy? we have all read the terrible stories the brutal murders in north mexico. let's follow through on our commitment to secure our borders, stop the advance of the cartels' influence and help our homeland security. i urge members to support this. mr. price: -- mr. rogers: i want to commend this -- comment on this amendment, we can use the
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personnel, the meager increases in the number of agents the gentleman referred to in the bill needs to be increased and the gentleman's amendment does just that. i congratulate him and support it fully. mr. lewis: i appreciate very much my colleague yielding -- or speaking to my amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina rise? mr. price: i rise in opposition to the amendment. madam chairman, this is an amendment the department of homeland security did not request and does not support. i do, however, want to salute the distinguished ranking member for his support of the border patrol. it's a support i think is widely shared in this body on both sides of the aisle. but as the honorable ranking member knows this committee has been fully a part of that effort to build up the border patrol. we're second to none in supporting on a bipartisan basis, robust increases in border patrol numbers in recent
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years. we've dramatically enhanced border enforcement measures. since the start of the 110th congress, we've funded 5,100 agents, a 53% increase over the number in 2007 by october of this year, c.b.p. will have 20,019 border patrol agents, more than double the workforce in 2003. now 20,000, a level of 20,000 agents has been a bipartisan goal. both the current and prior administrations used it as a target. indeed the republican majority nits report on the 2007 d.h.s. authorization bill affirmed this when they wrote, and i'm quoting, it's estimated that a force of 18,000 to 20,000 agents will be necessary along with implementation of border technologies to secure the nation's borders. so this amendment does somewhat move the goal post in the middle of the game you might say. the amendment ignores the fact that c.b.p. can't absorb this
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unplanned increase. they are right this minute pulling out all the stops to hire before october another 760 border patrol agents, as well as 200 mission -- 250 mission support staff to ensure that agents are out patrol, not sitting behind desks. this is not the time to burden the recruitment system with unrequested new agents, not to mention to impose unfunded costs for their vehicles, facilities and i.d. support. just a word about the justify sets. the amendment uses as an offset several management accounts, about 5% cuts in most of these areas. doesn't seem so bad until you realize that when this bill came to the floor, we were 10% below the administration's request in this account. the chief information officer takes the largest cut. we're already $39 million below the request for this office. cut here's would undermeineke efforts to improve information security and reduce risk at the
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department's data centers. cutting more funds now means less core support for operations, less oversight, more waste and a longer road to getting the d.h.s. and the -- the american taxpayers deserve. for all these reasons, i urge my colleagues to defeat the amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question now occurs on the amendment baferede the gentleman from california. 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. lewis: ma cham chairman. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i ask for a recorded vote. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> i have an amendment at the desk made in order under the rule. the chair: the clerk will
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designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. king of new york. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 573, the gentleman from new york, mr. king, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. king: i ask for unanimous consent that representative clark be listed as co-sponsor of this amendment. madam chair, ski unanimous consent to insert into the record a letter dated june 4, 2009 to chairman price and ranking member rogers from virtually every law enforcement and first responder head in new york, connecticut, and new jersey. the chair: the gentleman's request to submit the letter will be covered by general leave. mr. king: i yield myself one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. king: madam chairwoman, the


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