tv [untitled] CSPAN June 25, 2009 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
e.p.a. projects in this bill and working out a new policy to do so in the future. i hope the chairman will take into consideration manhattan's need and as the process moves forward, working with ms. jenkins and myself to correct the issue, the delegation's working with the e.p.a. regional office in kansas city that in order to proceed with the project in public law 111-8, it should read, quote, the city of manhattan for water line extension project, end of quote. i thank the chairman for consideration on this important issue. mr. dicks: i understand my colleague's problem and with our -- we are going to work with him and try to work this out. with the other body. but i realize how serious this is and we'll work with him until we get a satisfy -- satisfactory solution. mr. tiahrt: i thank the chairman. . mr. dicks: i would like to yield -- if i could be recognized again. i want to welcome -- yield two
minutes to congressman connolly of virginia for the purposes of a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. connolly: i thank the chair and i thank my distinguished friend, chairman of the subcommittee. heritage programs have been proven to be effective vehicles in improving tourism and conservation. many citizens have worked with members of congress to designate new heritage areas. one of the areas is the journey through hallowed ground. i appreciate the chairman including funding and other heritage areas in his markup. i ask if he perceives an opportunity to see that in financial cycles and i yield? mr. dicks: i thank the gentleman for acknowledging this important program. would the gentleman agree that a critical component for freing additional dollars would be to have our existing heritage areas move towards self-sufficiency
mr. connolly: i gee with the chairman in order to expand upon the existing program we mu ensure that existing heritage areas establish independent funding sources. my district is a prime example of the importance of federal funding. the historic village of buckland is home of jefferson-era northern virginia congressman, and a civil war battleground. it is one of the best examples of the village plan on the layout. many of the local residents have worked together to require and protect structures but they can't do it alone in the national capitol region threatening to degrade this historic site. this is a prime example where additional funding could be used to augustment substantial private funds to preserve an entire village and surrounding landscape representing history from native american history to
the civil war and beyond. i thank the chairman for his commitment and look forward to working with him in the future. mr. dicks: i look forward to working with the gentleman from virginia on this important issue. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: i yield two minutes to my good friend from oklahoma, mr. cole. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. cole: i must begin by expressing two reservations about the legislation in front of us. the first is the manner in which it arrived on the floor. like my colleagues on my side, we're used to and treasure the idea that appropriations bills should come to this floor under an open rule so every member can come forward and offer good suggestions and the product could be improved. we didn't do that in this case and it is regrettable. the bill would have been better and i think the process a little
less rankerous. i express my sentments and agreement with mr. simpson about the spending levels. there are a lot of good projects in this bill but whether or not we can sustain them is a very legitimate question and we will have to wrestle with them again and again in bill after bill. i would like the balance of my comments with three positive observations about this product. the first is the process under which we arrived at a bill. i have to echo mr. simpson's appreciation for chairman dicks' wonderful cooperation and open process. certainly the chairman and the ranking member worked together well. they included all of us and i'm very grateful for that. i agree with the chairman and ranking member's emphasis on the importance of water projects. i represent many small communities that struggle to have sufficient revenue to build the water systems they need. that's an appropriate focus and i'm grateful for that.
and all too often in this body, the first americans have been the last americans. that is certainly not the case in this bill. the chairman in particular deserves extraordinary credit for the effort and resources he has put behind native american concerns in law enforcement, education and health care. it is one of the best efforts we have seen in over a decade. in conclusion, madam chairwoman, i hope we can work on the spending and the prioritization, but i appreciate the process and i'm confident we can improve this bill as we work it through. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. dicks: i would like to yield myself two minutes for the purpose of having a colloquy with the gentleman from oklahoma. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized. >> i seek the chairman's assistance with an important matter involving the choctaw nation of oklahoma which he has been helpful in understanding and i'm proud that my friend from oklahoma, mr. cole, a great friend of the choctaw people is helping me as well. the effect of the moratorium on school participation and the academic funding system and the effect of preventing the choctaw nation of oklahoma from carrying out its plan to carry out a first through sixth grade problem. it was to be temporary to afford them a control on its construction cost but precluded the choctaw's from reconstituting its program which was cut by the termination policy of the 1950's. in spite of the fact that the tribe built a new school and thus saved the government considerable expense.
i appreciate your pledge to work with me and the choctaw nation of oklahoma to address this problem and i deeply appreciate the committee including language in your report accompanying h.r. 2996, now under consideration, directing the bureau of indian affairs to study and report to the committee within 180 days after the enactment of this act on the impacts of allowing reinstatement of termination era academic programs or schools that were removed from the bureau's school system between 1951 and 1972. this includes the re-establishment of jones academy of oklahoma. mr. chairman, the choctaw nation has paid all construction and maintenance costs and jones academy has received positive recognition from multiple sources, yet the tribe is prohibited from operating as a federal grants school or re-establishing the pre-existing program.
and i submit for the record with unanimous consent a description of the current jones academy program. and it is to meet this concern that i ask for a clarification, mr. chairman. is it the chairman's understanding that the study and report should be done in consultation with the tribes involved as required by public law 95-561 and that the cost to be provided are to be those associated with the current tribal programs and practices and the current state of the school programs involved as opposed to the rule-farm-based program of the 1950's? understanding that t mem' statement of our intis correct. mr. boren: reclaiming my time if i may ask one more qstion. is it the committee's intention this time, absent a timely report by b.i.a. directly responsive to the committee report language to work to
include jones academy as part of the bureau -- mr. dicks: one additional minute, please. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. boren: is this absent the report by b.i.a. directly responsive to the committee report language to include jones academy as part of the bureau school system? mr. dicks: the gentleman from oklahoma has contacted me and i have assured him the choctaw nation of oklahoma that the ranking member and i share with the entire subcommittee to support these efforts to provide quality educational opportunities to the students from many tribes nationwide to attend jones academy. i will work towards inclusion of the jones academy should the b.i.a. be untimely or unresponsive to the committee's directive, but i doubt that they will be. mr. boren: thank you, mr. chairman. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from
oklahoma earlier request for submission to the record is -- will be covered by general leave. the gentleman from idaho. mr. simpson: i now yield two minutes to my good friend from indiana, the former chairman and now ranking member of the veterans affairs committee, mr. buyer. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. simpson: for three minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. buyer: i thank both gentlemen for their leadership. in spring of 2007, the condition in the 14 national cemeteries under the jurisdiction of the national park service are not maintained at the same high level as the national cemeteries administered by the department of veterans affairs of the of these 14 cemeteries, two of them, one in georgia and one in tennessee are still open and interveterans. while on active duty as a colonel, i visited andersonville with officers. and i discovered the conditions of the cemetery to be
unacceptable and not to the standard that these heroes have earned. the grave markers had not been washed in some time, as you can see in this photo. the markers are completely out of line. the weeds have grown up around the markers. shrubbery had not been cared for in the manner that it should. and it appears that the attention had not been given to these graves that i believe it should have been. i had an amendment that should have been ruled in order, but it was not under the rule. it would have required the secretary of interior to contract with the -- with an independent organization to conduct a study of all national park service cemeteries and identify the improvements that are necessary for these cemeteries to meet the same high standards of the v.a. national shrine program in the cemetery system. i moddled this amendment in public law 116-117. because of this study, the v.a.
has raised the standards to make them national cemeteries of which we can all be proud. while i'm encouraged that the response in addressing this problem since i brought it to the nation's attention in 2007, we still have a little ways to go. you can see what andersonville looked like then. here is normandy. normandy comes under the battle monument commission. and arlington under the oversight of the army. then we have a v.a. cemetery in san diego under the national shrine program. excellent. but what happened when i complained about let's get rid of the weeds around the stones. they took a weed whacker and now we have dirt all around the stones. that is not the shrine program that we're talking about. mr. dicks: would the gentleman yield? i would like to thank you for
bringing this issue to light and i would be happy to work with you to improve the standards of these cemeteries. i agree we must improve these cemeteries to ensure that our appreciation for our veterans' sacrifices is appropriately expressed by maintaining their final resting place to the highest standards. the national park service is taking steps towards better maintenance of the cemeteries. the national office of the park service is assembling a team with expertise in cultural resource preservation and maintainance. this team will conduct a review of these two active cemeteries and make recommendations to the national office regarding approprie corrective actions where deficiencies are found. i will follow this effort -- follow up this effort to ensure that the servis provide a level of care befitting a national shrine. i look forward to work with you to address this issue. >> i thank the gentleman from
indiana for bringing this to our attention, the importance of improving the standards of these cemeteries. mr. buyer's amendment was not made in order. i will continue to work with chairman dicks, mr. buyer to ensure that these veterans' cemeteries are brought up to the standards consistent with other veterans' cemeteries. mr. buyer: i would ask this team shouldn't go to these two cemeteries but 14 cemeteries, not the two just presently intering. the department of interior has made progress. we can take care of this right now. you and i sat there along with the ranking member in discussion in the rules committee as to why this should be an open rule and three of us should work in the interest of the country right now. and i would appeal to you, mr. chairman. you can move that the committee do rise and i could offer this amendment. we can voice vote it.
you can accept it and go back to the committee of the whole. and i would yield to the gentleman for consideration. mr. dicks: i cannot do that under -- the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to address the chair. mr. dicks: i appreciate the gentleman yielding. i can't do that. but i will do everything i can not only to address the two that you have mentioned, but all 14. and we will work together on this. and if this isn't to the gentleman's satisfaction, we will address it with legislation next year. mr. buyer: what i sought to do, madam chairman -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. buyer: 30 seconds. the chair: gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. buyer: what i had hoped to do instead of saying let's spend money and do this type of requirement, what i hoped to do is make it clean and clear. and maybe there is an arrangement where the three of us can work with secretary salazar and we can ask him that
he do the initiative, do the study, move to the national shrine program and bring in next year's budget. mr. dicks: i'm prepared to have a meeting with the officials from the interior department, with mr. simpson and yourself to address this issue. that's the best i can do today. but we will follow through and make sure it happens. mr. buyer: your word is solid with me. . mr. simpson: i guarantee the national park service is aware also. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. dicks: i want to -- i welcome a colloquy with my distinguished colleague, mr. latourette, and yield him two minutes. mr. latourette: i thank the gentleman. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. latourette: i thank the distinguished chairman. first i'd like to express my appreciation to the chairman for his work on this bill, especially his commitment to investing in the new great lakes restoration initiative which i believe will accelerate the pace of the great lakes
cleanup and protection efforts. i would like to clarify one important aspect of this effort regarding the committee's intent for a portion of the funding included in this vital initiative. mr. dicks: would the gentleman yield? i appreciate the gentleman's remarks. we were pleased to include funding for this important program in the bill. based on the administration's budget request and the broad bipartisan support of my colleagues including my colleague from ohio, mr. latourette. mr. latourette: reclaiming my time. thank you, mr. chairman. to accomplish the ambitious goals of the great lakes restoration initiative, a variety of approaches and strategies will be required. among these is the targeted conservation of key coastal natural resource lands. along the shores of the great lakes and elsewhere across the nation, a number of these coastal landscapes are being protected through the national yoshe anic and atmospheric administration's coastal and land conservation program or celcp. with the program 50% matching requirement and engagement of coastal communities and states, the program leverages federal
investment in remarkable ways. in my home state of ohio it has been instrumental in securing key properties and conserving ecological resources at the marsh and along east andusky day -- sandusky bay. under the great lakes initiative 15% would be available to noaa. half would be expended through celcp on land conservation priorities that contribute to the goals of the initiative and these funds would supplement rather than replace celcp funds provided in other legislation for priorities in the great lakes region. is this correct? i yield. mr. dicks: would the gentleman yield? the gentleman from ohio is indeed correct. in my district i have seen the importance of the partnership between the celcp to our fragile coastal resources. the committee expects noaa to invest in great lakes conservation through celcp as
the gentleman has outlined. and i would be happy to work with him to ensure that the funds will be used for this purpose. mr. latourette: i thank the chair. mr. dicks: i yield back. reserves. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: i now yield three minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. broun. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for three minutes. mr. broun: madam speaker, the house is now considering the department of interior, environmental, and related agencies appropriations act of 2010. appropriations bills have traditionally been brought to the floor under an open rule. where all relevant amendments are allowed to be offered to the bill. sadly the majority has decided to reject precedent. where once again operating under a structured rule on an
appropriations bill. what is the reasoniven for silencing the representatives of millions of americans? time. in their push to get through massive spending bills, the leadership in this house have decided that doing so quickly is more important than having a quality debate on how the taxpayers' money is being spent. not allowing votes on relevant amendments is a historic blow against the rights of all members of this great institution. more importantly, this democratic stunt muzzles the voices of the american people. only 13 amendments out of 105 that were offered in the rules committee were made in order. i personally offered 12. without a single one made in order. to think that we republicans are the ones being called childish. come on. at a time when our nation faces
an economic crisis, record debt, rising unemployment, this year's interior appropriations bill spends a whopping 17% more than last year. one of my amendments that was not allowed would have simply reduced the amount appropriated under this act by a mere half of of a%. 0.5%. that's half a penny for every dollar the federal government spends. another amendment of mine would have reduced the amount of appropriations in this bill by the amount unobligated by the stimulus funds that was given earlier this year. the founding fathers gave congress the sole power of the purse. in article 1, section 9, clause 7 of the constitution specifies that, quote, no money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law. unquote. many of the founding fathers believe that the power of the purse is the most important
power of congress. in federalist number 58, james madison wrote, quote, this power over the purse may in fact be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people for obtaining a redress of every grievance for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure, unquote. whether you believe the federal government is spending too much money as i do or not enough, the american people deserve an open process that allows votes on how we spend their money. regardless of how much time it takes. 15 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. broun: the appropriations process is one of the primary ways that congress exercises that power given to us by the constitution. i ask that the majority
leadership reconsider this dangerous path we are headed down. all members of congress must be allowed to offer all relevant amendments on all appropriations bills and let the people's voices be heard. please, let their voices be heard on the floor of this house. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. dicks: i yield five minutes to the distinguished gentleman from ktucky who is a member -- distinguished member of our subcommittee, mr. chandler. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for five minutes. mr. chandler: thank you, madam chairman. i would first like to express my gratitude to our chairman, mr. dicks, who has provided tremendous leadership on this bill, tremendous leadership throughout the year on the interior appropriations bill. a bill that i believe is extremely important to the future of our country.
i'd also like to thank our ranking member, mr. simpson, for the way that he has -- very bipartisan way conducted himself and the business of the committee. it's been a committee that has worked tremendously well together throughout the year. i want to rise to express my strong support for this bill. this bill is an extremely important one as i mentioned a moment ago. and i believe that we have had the opportunity this year as a result of our chairman's efforts to hear hundreds of witnesses in extensive hearings. i believe this is one of the most hardworking committees, subcommittees of the appropriations committee. we have discovered some very real needs across this country. we discovered of course the fact that many of the needs in our country have languished over quite a number of years. and this subcommittee has made a great effort, i believe, in
this bill to address some of those needs. we are all struggling in this country today with the troubled economy. therefore the investments made in this bill are all the more important to people -- to the people and to the communities that we all serve. and i'd like to mention a few of the things in this bill that i believe are particularly important. deteriorating water infrastructure across the country endangers the health of our citizens and of our environment. at the same time our state and local governments are faced as we all know with enormous budget shortfalls, preventing them from adequately addressing the problem. federal support for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure is necessary. this bill provides nearly $4 billion in grants and loans for this purpose. a small down payment on the need. estimated at some $300 billion over the next 20 years.
in the area of conservation this bill does great things for public lands and wildlife conservation. funding for the national park service, our wildlife refuges, and our national forests will help maintain these national treasures for the enjoyment of all americans. our public lands are key to preserving habitats and biodiversity, which have positive impacts on the quality of life and health of our ecosystems of in the area of environmental protection, madam chairman, in this legislation we make strong investments in programs that protect our environment. the superfund program cleans up our nation's most contaminated sites and readies them for new economic development. the energy star program conserves energy and saves the consumer money. this bill provides increases to both the superfund and energy star. and this bill also helps
preserve our cultural heritage and educates our citizens about our history. state historic preservation officials -- offices are funded at $46.5 million. the projects these organizations undertake in all 50 states not only protect our cultural identity but they create jobs in so many of our small towns and communities. this legislation is responsible, madam chairman, for investment in our future. it protects our environment, it protects our health, and it celebrates our heritage among many other things. chairman dicks ought to be commended for the job that he's done in putting together a bill that is very difficult to put together in many ways. he's worked diligently on it and i also want to take this opportunity to thank our chairman for making a special effort this year to fly to my
home state of kentucky to look at some very significant issues in our mountains of kentucky. the practice of mountaintop removal, a controversial practice which is of great concern to many of our citizens. mr. chairman, i thank you for your efforts in that regard and i thank you for the work you have done. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: thank you, madam chairwoman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. for the purposes of entering into a colloquy with chairman dicks on behalf of mr. calvert of california. mr. dicks, i rise today in support of the diesel emission reduction act grants programs
which provided needed funding to state and local pollution control agencies to retrofit and replace higher emission diesel engines with more efficient technologies. e.p.a. studies indicate that black carbon like that emitted from diesel engines is the second most significant contributor to global warming. retrofits and replacement of old diesel engines like thos supported by deera reduce emissions by up to 90%. recently a broad and diverse coalition of over 250 environmental, science, public health, industry, and state and local governments wrote members of the interior and environment appropriations subcommittee encouraging the committee to fully fund deera program at its $200 million authorized level for f.y. 2010. over 40 bipartisan members of the house sent a similar letter of support to the subcommittee. funds invested by the federal government in this program will leverage two state and local dollars for every one federal dollar appropriated and provide