tv [untitled] CSPAN June 25, 2009 10:30pm-11:00pm EDT
district. in nevada, approximately 85% of the land is controlled by the federal government. 67% of this land base is controlled by the bureau of land management. in other words, they own about 48 million acres of property within the state of nevada. the bureau of land management is currently in the comment phase for a proposed interagency fire center on approximately 15 acres of land in carson city, nevada, near a large neighborhood. while i along with my constituents support the construction of the interagency fire center and believe the facility will help with combating catastrophic wildfires, the proposed location for this particular facility is problematic. the proposed location is in a community of nearly 300 homes. local residents are opposed to the location and the carson city board of supervisors recently passed a resolution voicing its opposition to the proposed
location of the fire center. the b.l.m. has under consideration multiple sites for this particular facility, all of which are better suited than the chosen location. . my amendment prohibits funds for the building of this facility in carson city and allows the facility to be built at alternative sites. i support the facility but doesn't make sense to build it in a residential neighborhood. i urge my colleagues to support the will of the people and will of the governments and support this amendment. the burro of land management and federal government owns 84 million acres and choose to put this facility next to a neighborhood. there are a lot of other alternative sites that i support
and support moving forward, but not this particular area. thank you, madam chairwoman. and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. dicks: i rise to claim the time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dicks: i understand that citizens and the carson city board of supervisors are concerned about the interior department plan to build an urgently needed new wildfire facility, but it is premature to cut off funding for this proposal. the environmental analysis is still out for public review. we should not halt this important project before the analysis and the public input can be analyzed and considered. carson city is a fire-prone area. it is important for the federal agencies to move ahead with an inter-agency center so they can be more efficient and effective firefighters. this joint new facility will support the silver hot shot crew, a key part of the firefighting force.
the interior department has already spent funds for the planning and design of this particular project, so we should not stop or undualy delay its implementation. both the interior department and the forest service have budgeted some of their limited infrastructure funding for this badly needed project. i understand the gentleman from nevada has concerns. i pledge to work with him as this bill moves forward to be sure that his constituents' concerns are heard and fully considered. we all want to improve the firefighting capacity and protect neighborhoods and wildlands. and this amendment was not brought to our attention -- the subcommittee's attention until very late in the process. and had we known, we could have taken an opportunity to talk to the department to hear the gentleman's views. he did not come to the committee and testify. there was an opportunity for members to testify. he chose not to do that. so i think this is an amendment
that comes late, is not favored by the administration, is going -- is going to weaken our firefighting capability. and this is something that is serious, because people's lives are at stakes, so i urge a no vote on this misguided amendment. the chair: does the gentleman reserve? mr. dicks: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from nevada is recognized. mr. heller: i yield a minute to my colleague from idaho. mr. simpson: i thank the gentleman for yielding. this doesn't cut off funding for the fire center. what it does is cut off funding for the fire center in that location. it doesn't matter what the environmental review is done or not. if that location is not acceptable to the local residents. one of the things in dealing with federal agencies that own a majority of the land surrounding you is that sometimes they are good neighbors and sometimes they aren't, but local people
ought to have some say in these federal agencies' decisions of whether they are going to locate facilities and so forth. just saying this area, this location that you're looking at is inappropriate as the board of county commissioners has said, seems appropriate and congress ought to look at their wishes and i guarantee you in nevada, there are a lot of places they could build this fire center that wouldn't cause the controversy when the representative from thear comes to me and says this is a problem, then i have to believe the people that sent him here. and i yield back the balance of my time. i support the amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. dicks: does the gentleman have any further speakers? i yield back the balance of my time. and i urge a no vote on this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields the balance of his time. the gentleman from nevada is recognized. mr. heller: madam chairwoman, just to reiterate what was said.
there is a good understanding of what it means to have public lands and the federal government owns tremendous amount of property. and it was very clear, i think at times we think here in washington we know what's better for the local communities. and i think it's important to understand you could have a small community in the state of nevada and have all federal lands surrounding it and there should be a voice in this process and voice from the people should come from the local government and not being pushed down to them through washington. i think this is a great amendment. i would continue to your knowledge my colleagues to please support this particular amendment. it's very right. it just happened recently. this isn't something i believe could have been brought before the committee, because it just happened within the last couple of days of the vote by the board of supervisors. i want to thank the chairman. i want to thank the ranking member for the time and effort of being able to bring this particular amendment to the floor and would urge my
colleagues for positive support. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields the balance of his time. all time having expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from nevada. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. and the amendment is not agreed to. mr. heller: i ask for the yeas and nays. a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from nevada will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? mr. jordan: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: part b, amendment number four printed in house report 111-184 offered by mr. jordan of ohio. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 578, the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan, and a member opposed, each will
control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. mr. jordan: thank you, madam chair. let me first thank ranking member from idaho for his work on this legislation and the chairman. the chairman and i spoke earlier about this amendment. and i joked around. i thought he might be for it but i doubt it. earlier this week, tuesday and wednesday and thursday of this week, the treasury auctioned off $104 billion of treasury bills, $104 billion of debt we sold this week, the largest amount ever sold by this country. and the ron we had to sell that much debt is because we're spending too much money. in fact, we are spending so much that over the next decade, think about this, over the next decade, we're going to take the national debt and take it to $23 trillion. think about what it takes to pay that off and our kids and grandkids have to do to pay that
off. you have to balance the budget and run $1 trillion surplus for 23 years in a row and doesn't count the interest. spending is certainly out of control. this amendment's real simple. this amendment says, you know what? let's do what families are doing and taxpayers are doing, what small business owners are doing, let's live on exactly what we were functioning on just one year ago. in fact, it wasn't even one year ago. nine months ago we were still going on a continuing resolution on 2008, living on the 2008 appropriated levels. let's do that. instead of increasing spending in this bill by 21% over what we were functioning on just nine months ago, let's do what all kinds of families and taxpayers and small business owners are doing. in fact, unemployment in our district runs anywhere from 10% to 16% in the 11 counties that i
have the privilege of representing. there are families, taxpayers and small business owners who are living less on what they were living nine months ago. but the federal government can never get bio less but only the families and taxpayers that have to do it. our amendment says let's go back to where we were nine months ago. government should be able to function on that amount of money and reduces the appropriation amount by $5 billion. that amount is a 21% increase over what we were functioning on just nine months ago. with that, i would reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. dicks: madam chair, i rise to claim the time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dicks: this amendment would
harm this bill dramatically and would shortchange america's environmentally needed conservation and native american programs. as our former colleague would say, this is a mindless meat-axe approach. it takes no choices based on need or merits of the programs. this reduction is a 17.8% cut. this is completely irresponsible. this is not just an accounting change on a spreadsheet. cutting $5.75 billion from the bill would have serious consequences on health, jobs, energy programs, young people and wild places. environmental protection agency would be reduced by $1.8 billion. this would seriously impair environmental protection, science programs and hazardous area reimmediateation consideration. water and waste water
infrastructure would be reduced by $700 million. this would mean that approximately 400 communities would not receive the financial assistance they need to repair and improve water and sewer infrastructure. despite the fact that 76 million americans live within four miles of a toxic waste site, it cuts from programs to clean up the nation's most toxic and hazardous waste sites. reduces the landmark effort to clean up the great lakes by $85 million, jeopardizing the cleanup of toxic sediments and harming plants and animals. in our national parks would be cut by $485 million. includes $403 million reduction from the president's request of the 395 units of the national park system. as an example, yosemite, $3.6 million, reduction is the
equivalent of closing 75 national park units. many visitors would find closed national parks when they vacation or on educational trips, reducing the entire tourism industry and harming the economy of many communities and cities. rejects $1.2 billion for programs that received bipartisan support by cutting $721 million out of indian health care programs. this proposal would deny critically needed services to thousands of native americans. more than two million native americans would be denied inpatient and outpatient services and 4,000 cancer screenings would be eliminated. takes $90 million out of the indian education program leaving indian children without education programs. reduces overall funding for firefighting at a time when we are facing another dangerous wildfire season.
many small fires would escape initial attack leaving more large wildfires that harm watersheds and cost far more money in recovery costs. cuts 1,700 firefighters, shuts down 50 firefighter stations and significantly reduces air tanker support. december eminates preparedness efforts by failing to provide critical support for initial attacks and will allow 600 more wildfires to escalate. this would lead to larger, more damaging and much more expensive fires, the kind that costs in excess of $100 million to extinguish. i think this is a very bad amendment. it hurts the fish and wildlife service and forest service and i urge a no vote. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from ohio. mr. jordan: there they go. the chairman's words was
irresponsible, meat-axe approach. this is holding the line. this is taking a modest first step towards trying to rein in spending so we don't future generations with enormous debt. if you don't say let's freeze where we are at, you never have to prioritize, it's just the band plays on. we will keep increasing and spending. we never have to decide which programs make sense, which programs are eliminated. you just keep spending, which is the easiest thing in the world for politicians to do, spend and spend and spend and borrow and borrow and borrow and tax and tax and tax. that's pretty easy. the tough thing is the right thing. i had a coach that talked about discipline every stinking day and he said discipline is doing what you don't want to do when you don't want to do it.
it's doing his way. the tough way, the difficult way. the easy and convenient way is to continue to spend and spend and spend. the tough thing to do is to say let's hold the line and figure out which programs actually make sense and i trust the gentleman on the committee to do that. but if you never hold the line, you never get to the tiers step. this is the modest first step. we know we have trillions of dollars of debt we have to deal with. we can't take the first step. that is frustrating and so ridiculous about this place, we can never even say, let's stop. let's do what americans are doing, we can never do that. the democrats read off a list. that's baloney. we want to hold the line and everyone across this country understands that. let's hold the line and pass the amendment and take the first step towards becoming fiscally responsible and exercise discipline in this congress and with that, i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. . mr. dicks: we made cuts, $300 million in cuts. and i would also say that this part of the budget under the previous administration was reduced, interior department, by 16%, the e.p.a. by 29%, the forest service by 35%. so this is a -- bring back these important programs. we're denying people health care. in the end yeas and nays are ordered -- indian health service. so this is -- mr. obey made a decision, president obama made a decision, it went through o.m.b. , many of the people on the other side of the aisle have no trust in the congress, but this budget came from the administration. the administration looked at all these programs. and every earmark we had had had in this bill was vetted by the administration.
so this has been carefully put together. i've spent 33 years on this committee and i'll tell you this, we know what we're doing, we support the park service, the fish and wild jen life service. these are great -- wildlife service. these are great institutions that deserve our support and to have somebody come in here and accuse us of not doing our work is an insult to myself and to mr. simpson. because we have done our work. we know what's in this bill. and it's a good bill. i yield back the balance of my time. and urge a no vote on this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from ohio. 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. jordan: madam chair, i ask for a recorded vote, please. the chair: the gentleman asks for a recorded vote. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from ohio will be postponed. for what purpose does the
gentleman from florida rise? the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part b, amendment number 6 printed in house report 111-184 offered by mr. stearns of florida. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 578, the gentleman from florida, mr. stearns, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. stearns: thank you, madam chair, and i ask unanimous consent my entire statement be part of the record. the chair: without objection. mr. stearns: i'm not going to take all my time. i think my amendment has -- is going to have a very difficult time passing. i've heard the gentleman's arguments on many occasions and i have gone toe to toe on 1% cuts, 2% cuts, the national endowment for the arts, week of been through this. i would say simply that my amendment freezes the total amount of spending in the bill for the environmental protection agency at the current level. now, i know you're going to scream and holler on that but
with the economy contracting and unemployment rising, it would be irresponsible to increase the e.p.a. by almost 40% and that's what you're doing here, you're increasing the e.p.a. by 40% during a fiscal crisis in fact when combined with funding approved early this year in fiscal year 2009 omnibus budget bill and the stimulus bill, the e.p.a. will receive more than $25 billion in a single calendar year, which is equal to more than 3/4 of the entire interior appropriations budget. so that's my say for tonight. so i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. dicks: i rise in -- madam chair, to seek the time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dicks: i urge members to oppose this amendment. i want to note the gentleman from florida would not have been -- would not have believed it if i had accepted his amendment and of course i can't accept it
because this amendment is not a good amendment. the gentleman says that this amendment would reduce e.p.a. to the fiscal year 2009 funding level. but let's take -- let's talk about what it will really do. a reduction of 38% to the funds provided in this bill for e.p.a. would equal a $3.975 billion cut. that would, 27,000 fewer construction jobs would be created through construction of water and wastewater infrastructure. that means almost 1,500, 1,500 communities across this country would not receive assistance to repair and build drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. it was the previous administration that reported a $662 billion gap between what our communities will need to spend and the funds they have to do it with. this reduction would mean that the great water bodies of this
country will not receive the funding to help restore and project these special natural resources. the great water bodies are not just the great lakes, the chesapeake bay and the gulf of mexico. if you represent a district that borders of any these water bodies, this amendment will cut the funding your community depends on to help protect them. mobile bay, alabama, san francisco bay, moreau bay, california, santa monica bay, long island sound, delaware estuary, tampa bay, sarasota bay, charlotte harbor, florida, indian river lagoon, florida, bartista tarabon, louisiana, maryland coastle bays, massachusetts bays, new hampshire estuaries, new york new jersey harbor, paconic estuary, pimlico's sound, lower
columbia river, tilimuk bay, oregon, coastal bays, texas, and galveston bay, texas. i would warn members that 151 members of this body whose districts border these bodies that i mentioned will see that tear funds will be cut for these important programs. a reduction of this size would mean the e.p.a. would stop construction and demobilize eight to 10 large high-cost, ongoing superfund projects such as the site in new jersey, the tar greek site in oklahoma and the new bedford site in massachusetts. e.p.a. would not be able to start any new superfund sites in 2010. after years of reduction under the previous administration. e.p.a. estimates that a reduction of this size would prohibit them from completing construction at as many as nine superfund sites in 2010 and 2011. this reduction would mean e.p.a. would not properly certify new vehicles, fuels and engines sold
in the united states, to ensure they conform to e.p.a.'s emission standards. 217 tribes would lose funding for their environmental programs, a 38% reduction to the a.p. would reduce every program they administer. but this reduction would affect every american who wants to drink clean water and breathe clean air. let me remind the members, we all have the environment in our districts, so i urge a strong, strong no vote on the stearns amendment. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. stearns: i would say to the gentleman, did he know that they found a water bay on saturn, the planet saturn, and using your line of reasoning we should also consider funding for the new water bay on saturn? this is not a reduction, this is not a cut, this is simply a freeze and i would ask the gentleman, how many people in
your congressional district are getting a 38% increase this year in their salary? and how you can justify a 35 -- 38% increase on e.p.a.? with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from washington. mr. dicks: i will answer the gentleman's question. i want you to know, again, i have to say this again, and it pains me every time i say it, but over the last eight years, the interior department was cut by 16%, e.p.a., this part of this budget was cut by 29%. so this is a little bit of help to get back on an approach that can deal effectively with some of the most important and sensitive programs we have in this country. the superfund sites. our wastewater treatment, our clean water, people in this country, when you ask the american people, do you want clean water, do you want safe drinking water? it's a 99% issue. so to stand up here and say we're going to have draconian cuts of the money for the revolving funds that are going to provide that clean water is
unthinkable. and i know the gentleman wants me to stop, it must be painful, the truth is always painful. i yield back the balance of my time and ask for a no vote. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is -- the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from florida. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the gentleman requests a recorded vote. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from florida will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i rise as a designee of the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, with amendment number 22. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part c, amendment
number 1,er printed in house report 111-184 offered by mr. campbell of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 578, the gentleman from california, mr. campbell and a, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. thchair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. campbell: thank you, madam chair. you know, this amendment would strike $2 million that is currently in the bill in funding to install a municipal water line to the good fellow lodge at the indiana dunes national lake shore in porter, indiana. the good fellow youth camp was operated by u.s. steel from 1941 to 1976. the only one of its kind ever operated by u.s. steel and the facility offered summer camp opportunities for children of u.s. steel employees who worked in the nearby gary work steel plant.
the national park service purchased this camp in 1976 for inclusion within the national lake shore. and given this historic background involvement with the community, i can understand why the gentleman from indiana has a desire to preserve the good fellow lodge. in fact, madam chair, you know, in the various -- in the world of earmarks out there, this is not one that's being given to a private company without bidding, this is one that actually does have a federal nexus because it's a national park. that is not what is at issue here. according to the government accountability office, in 2008 the department of interior had a back log of deferred maintenance projects totaling between $13.2 billion and $19.4 billion. in other words, somewhere from $13 billion to $19 billion is how much money the department of interior or the government accounting -- accountability office believes the department of interior needs to bring all
of the various park projects up to snuff. and we hear about crumbling infrastructure and federal funds are not immune from that. to put that amount in perspective, the $13 billion to $19 billion, the entire budget of the department of interior in this bill is $11 billion. so it's more than an entire year's budget of the department of interior. so the question before us, madam chair, is with all these needs, billions of dollars of needs in parks all around the country, is this the right way to allocate $2 million? that we take $2 million from the park service's budget, which clearly they believe is inadequate to take care of the needs of parks around, and allocate it on the basis of a member's request? or would it be better to be allocating these funds on the basis of need or on the basis of use or on the basis of someone