tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN December 16, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm EST
and second, i really wonder if the committee knows how quickly wage increases or labor market tightness transfers into higher prices. and that, too, is also a forecast. so, my question, what will you be willing to do if you don't see progress toward 2% inflation? we missed the target for three years. and, you know, what would you be willing to do? and, second, would you allow inflation to bounce around between 2% and 3% the way you've allowed it to move under 2% for the past several years? thanks. >> first let me say with respect to oil prices, i have been surprised by the further downward movement in oil prices. but we do not need to see oil prices rebound to higher levels in order for the impact on inflation to wash out. so, all they need to do is
stabilize. i believe there is some limit below which oil prices are unlikely to rise. if we look -- to fall. if we look at market expectations, market expectations are for stabilization and then some gradual upward movement. so, i certainly grant that we've had a series of shocks pushing them down, but we're not looking for them to revert back to the -- to higher levels that they were at, merely to stabilize. i would point out, you asked me would we tolerate overshoots for a number of years between 2004 and 2008. we had a series of increases in oil prices that for a series of years raised inflation above, again, we didn't have a 2% objective then but raised it above 2% and we judged those
increases to be transitory as well and look through them. we do monitor inflation expectations very carefully. if we saw in a meaningful way that inflation expectations were either moving up in a way that made them seem unanchored or down, that would be of concern. and we have called attention to some slight downward movements in survey measures. we are watching that. but i still judge that inflation expectations are reasonably well anchored, so, yes, we have tolerated inflation shortfalls that we thought would disappear over the medium term. just as we did overshoots of inflation that we also judged to be transitory. but we do need to monitor inflation very carefully, because if energy prices and the dollar would have stabilize
import prices, our expectation is both headline and core inflation would move up. and if we failed to see that occurring in the manner that we expect, of course, we would need to take further action to reconsider the outlook and to put in place appropriate policy. >> what would that action look like? >> well, you know, if the economy were disappointing, you know, our actions wouldn't purely be based on inflation. we would also take employment into account. so, i can't give you a simple -- a simple answer. but we would pursue a more ac m accommodative policy because we certainly are committed to achieving 2% over the medium term. >> "the new york times." bill dudley has talked about the need for the fed to adjust policy based on the responsiveness of financial markets as you begin to increase rates. you didn't talk about that today. is it a point you agree with?
and if so, what is it you are looking for? how would you judge if financial markets are accepting and transmitting these changes? >> well, there are a number of different channels through which monetary policy is transmitted to spending decisions. the behavior of longer-term interest rates, short-term interest rates matter. the value of asset prices, and the exchange rate also, trees are transmission channels. we wouldn't be focused on short-term financial volatility. but were there unanticipated changes in financial conditions that were persistent and we judged to affect the outlook, we would, of course, have to take those into account so -- >> fed chair janet yellen's news conference continues live on cspan.org. we leave you to take you live to
the house rules committee. it's the floor action on the tax extenders and omnibus spending bill. pete sessions gaveling in this meeting at this time. >> -- they spent a lot of time with their staffs not only trying to work together but to find compromise and ideas that would be good for this country, the taxpayer, and i believe ultimately to make this place a better place to this united states congress. it provides for responsible funding for the federal government. it increases transparency and accountability at federal agency and it puts a stop to executive overreach that stunts our economic growth. the bill contains important measures that continue to chip away at the most harmful aspects of obamacare and also lifts the ban on crude oil exports in
order to boost our economy and to create jobs. perhaps most importantly the bill ensures that our troops are well funded to the tune of $132.4 billion, more than a million active duty troops, $111 billion for new equipment, procurement that will ensure that they are capable of taking on the fight against isis jihadists and other enemies who threaten our homeland. the men and women of the united states military needed hall rogers to come to their aid and members of this body need to know that both of you stepped up to make that happen to ensure that we do not argue, fuss, or fight about supporting the members of the united states military and their families and i want to personally thank you. with us today to testify on these measures is the great
youhal rogers and nita loewy from new york and also on the second panel will be the new chairman of the ways and means committee kevin brady and sandy levin of michigan from ways and means committee. i also believe the gentleman dr. bustani will be joining us as an expert witness on many of the intricate provisions that may be necessary to be available to discuss this committee on the tax provisions. so, before we go any further, i want to yield to the gentleman the ranking member of the committee the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. >> i just want to welcome you both here. i want to thank you for coming before us. obviously what is being described as a deal. in a perfect world i think we would like this process to be very different. i think you both agree with that, where every individual appropriations bill would be considered on its own merits
because, you know, i'm sure there are things in here that we won't -- won't know are in here for some time. but nevertheless, we need to keep this government running, and we need to do the people's business. and so i welcome you here and look forward to your testimony, so thank you. >> thank you very much. the gentleman and all the members of this panel, know and understand the work didn't start last night. the work started a long time ago. the approp yags committee has for a long period of time produced not only bills but been to this committee to talk about and vet their ideas to get feedback from members of congress and our side and i believe that that's much of what you took to the table to cut the deal on, so much of this has been vetted. much of this has been understood. but i will completely agree with the gentleman from massachusetts. i've had numerous conversations with mr. morgan griffith, a
member who is from virginia, about his desire and really insistence to want to see this body including not only us but the united states senate engage in regular order where we take these appropriations bills on, where they come through committee, where we debate them. where we measure and scratch and claw to get whatever we get here, and then have you go and engage the united states senate. that's not always available to us that outside answer. but many people including mr. griffiths certainly my friends on the democrat side have been pushing that, so that's a goal that we always want to subscribe to. but we also end up somewhere where we can work together as opposed to yelling and screaming at each other and coming to no product therein, so we're delighted that you're here, mr. chairman, as always. both of you know that anything you have in writing will help our awesome stenographer, so feel free to leave it behind.
the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your service and those members of your committee who work long and hard. i'm pleased to be here to speak on behalf of the fiscal year 2016 omnibus appropriations bill. the legislation that will fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2016. we're here with an omnibus against all of our desires because the senate simply refused to take up any of these appropriations bills that we sent to them. consequently we were propelled in an omnibus year-end package bill. it's not the way to do business. it is not the way the founding fathers wanted us to do business. and yet we're here. if the other body, if the senate, would allow these app p
appropriations bills, all 12 of them, to come before the senate body and be debated, we can do separate 12 bills the way it should be. nevertheless, we're stuck here with this huge omnibus bill. this measure will be attached as an amendment to the military construction and veterans affairs appropriations bill. it abides by the terms of the bipartisan budget agreement of 2015. it provides a total of $1.149 trillion in base and emergency spending for the operations of the entire federal government. this funding meets the $548 billion defense and $418 billion nondefense base budget caps. this package you have before you today includes full-year appropriations legislation for each of the 12 appropriations
bills. i've also submitted, mr. chairman, a technical correction for consideration. the amendment would fix technical and drafting errors at division 0 of the omnimubus bil. it's meant to ensure the scoring of the provisions and the authorizing and tax provisions are kept separate as intended. mr. chairman, national security is a top priority in this legislation. the measure provides $573 billion for the department of billion for the department of defense for global war on terror and overseas contingency operations funding to support our troops in the field. to combat isis and our enemies around the globe, to train and equip our allies and to counter russian aggression. it also protects -- protects
against harmful cuts that would gut our military readiness and provide support for our veterans and military personnel. the bill strengthens homeland security, targeting funds toward border security and law enforcement and the bill supports other important priorities like funding for the national institutes of health and centers for disease control, agricultural research and infrastructure. the bill also finds ways to save taxpayer dollars. cutting wasteful and inefficient or unnecessary programs and stops harmful white house overreach. for instance, we've held epa to its lowest funding level since 2008 and saved $1.7 billion that the president proposed to spend on the irs. within the labor health and human services bill alone, we
eliminate 17 wasteful and duplicative programs. 17. the legislation provides no new funding for obamacare, prevents a taxpayer bailout of the risk corridor program. it also includes several policy provisions that will help rein in executive overreach, stop onerous regulations and help grow the economy. there's no funding for new or expanded epa regulatory programs. the bill blocks the administration from foisting new fees on the ranching, aviation, and oil and gas industries. and the bill stops osha's anti-business end run around the rule making process making this system more transparent to the public. to increase accountability the bill will help halt improper behavior at federal agencies such as prohibiting the irs from
targeting groups for scrutiny based on their political beliefs from determining the tax exempt status of an organization and from holding inappropriate conferences. the bill also preserves the sanctity of life. maintaining all existing pro-life policy and funding provisions from previous appropriations bills adding a new provision prohibiting genetic editing and reducing spending for unfpa, first time ever, by 7%. as you know there are also a number of other provisions in the bill. this is a huge bill. it extends the james zadroga 9/11 health and compensation act, the 9/11 act if you will. includes the visa waiver improvement and terrorist prevention act, the intelligence authorization act, and lastly it includes legislation to finally
lift the 40-year ban on crude oil exports which will have a dramatic effect on our energy industry. an end of the year omnibus is not the preferred way to do business as i said. it's always better to complete individual bills in a timely fashion. this bill will allow congress to fulfill its constitutional duty to responsibly fund the federal government and avoid a shutdown. the ranking member of the committee, my work mate, shares my desire to return to regular order next year. so we can hopefully avoid another omnibus like this. so, i want to thank mrs. loewy for her hard work bringing this bill before you today. i hope we can pass it in short order, send it on to the president and the senate for their quick approval as well. this legislation will help move
our country in the right fiscal direction as we embark on a new year under regular order. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. i think you should take solace in knowing that at least your conference expected you to come up with a deal, taking the things that had been done during the year and i think you should be patted on the back yourself also. so, a thank you to you, not just mrs. loewy, nor job well done. mrs. loewy, you're now recognized. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and it's always a pleasure for me to be here with my chairman, mr. rogers, to finally be concluding this year's appropriations process. and it hasn't been an easy year. i am disappointed that the majority chose to attach a repeal of the oil export ban to this omnibus spending bill.
for many of us, it leaves a sour taste about this package and i regret the decision to make such a major policy change at the last minute on a must-pass bill. we have been proceeding under the notion that the omnibus will would need democratic votes to pass the house, the inclusion of this provision makes supporting this bill for some members on my side of the aisle very difficult. i'm pleased, however, that the final agreement drops more than 150 riders, many of which would have caused a white house veto, gone are dozens of riders related to women's health, labor protections, consumer financial protection, the clean air act, and the clean water act. none of these provisions belonged on our bills. and i am very relieved that they are gone. i was disappointed, however, that we were unable to reverse a 19-year-old prohibition on
federal funding for the research of gun violence. it is a rider that i believe should be removed from the labor hhs apro promppropriations bill ago. and our former colleague, mr. dick dickey, also announced that he regretted it was still on the bill even though he was the author of that bill 20 years ago. the budget agreement, excuse me, enacted in november provided additional funding, allowing us to make critical investments reflecting democratic values. the agreement allowed for some notable increases to the national institutes of health, the head start program, energy research, infrastructure investments through the army corps of engineers, cops hiring, nutrition funding and many more important priorities. we also were able to prevent steep cuts to the environmental protection agency and other agencies frequently targeted by
some in the house majority. the omnibus also carries some tax matters including the cadillac tax provision, solar and wind credits. also of great importance to me the omnibus package carries the 9/11 health and compensation fund. i appreciate the efforts of all those involved to make sure this legislation was included. not all priorities, however, were addressed. i regret that we were unable to reach bipartisan agreement on the legislation to address the bankruptcy crisis facing puerto rico. it remains a priority to me, and i hope that we can continue all efforts to reach an agreement as soon as possible. in closing, i would have to call this package a mixed bag. it represents some good, bipartisan compromises, drops the most controversial
provisions, and most importantly funds the government. my colleagues will have a few days to review the details and make their own judgments. and i also want to thank the chairman. it has been always a pleasure with me to work with you. and i do hope that in the next session we will have some regular order and have our 12 appropriations bills considered independently. thank you, mr. chairman. it's a pleasure to appear before you. >> ms. loewy, thank you very much. i'm going to go out of order today and defer -- move my time to that of the gentleman from texas, louisville, texas, to speak about an issue that's very important to him and i want to defer my time to him and we'll switch off places. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i appreciate letting me move out of order on this. and thank both of you for being here and for your work on this
bill. mr. chairman, i noted with some interest this morning, early morning hours, the politico pro report that said the builder of the country's locks, dams and levees got a nearly 10% boost to his budget this year. the army corps of engineers whose budget is an annual tug-of-war between congress and the administration got a $535 million increase bringing its budget to nearly $6 billion for fiscal year 2016, 1.3 billion more than the administration requested. so, i know it could not have been part of this exercise that we have in front of us but i wanted to make you aware of a situation that has occurred in north texas over the past several days, and that is the concern about the largest earth and dam west of the mississippi river which is on the elm fork of the trinity river and
impounds a body of water called lake louisville, it takes up a good portion of the land area in the 26th district that i represent. downstream from this dam are about half a million residents who would be significantly, immediately adversely affected if there were indeed a problem with this dam that was catastrophic in nature. now, sunday morning front page of the "dallas morning news" printed an article, a dam called trouble. i have a copy of that article and i will make it available to your staff, and i will provide a copy for the record, mr. chairman, if that is okay. >> without objection. >> i want to stress that i am not in complete agreement with the tone of the article, but as you well know it's difficult to unring a bell. and if you yell emergency and you get people's attention, it's
hard for them not to focus on that. i have been in contact with the corps of engineers. i stay in regular contact with the corps of engineers in the district because i have three rather large corps of engineer flood control lakes that comprise a big part of what the corps of engineers does in north texas. they assure me that their ongoing assessments and engineering studies show no immediate danger, but, mr. chairman, we just had a pool of record in louisville lake at the end of may, beginning of june of this year. we had so much rain and a tropical storm came through the area. and the spillway was overtopped at louisville lake. and the highest level ever recorded in the 60 years of the lake's existence was, in fact, recorded last may. there are two areas of concern. one is an area of seepage that occurs below the dam.
that is being monitored by wells. that is being monitored when we had the extreme wet weather in may and june and then again right around thanksgiving the corps of engineers is out there on a 24-hour basis monitoring what is happening in this area of seepage. there apartly was concern for a phenomenon known as a sand boil in late may of this year. the sand boil was controlled by placing concentric circles of sandbags around it until it rose to a level where the pressure equalized and it was no longer flowing. the concern apparently as i understand it is that a sand boil can lead to piping and if you get piping from inside the lake to the other side of the dam you've got big trouble. that did not occur. i want to stress that did not occur, but that was a concern during this very heavy rain event that we had in may and june of this year. there is another area, and i understand that i'm not allowed to tell show you a very colorful
poster that i prepared to show you a large escarpment on the lakeside of the dam, where there's a road across the surface of the dam where the road has actually been undermined and you can no longer drive to the end of the dam because this thing has been undermined. this happened -- i drove out to the spillway with the corps of engineers in june when the water was flowing over. sometime between then and the august recess that escarpment opened. it has widened. it's not affecting the actual empoundment of water in the lake but it is very dramatic in its appearance and it obviously needed to be fixed. it can't just sit there. it's been there for six months. i'm told by the corps they have a contract and they'll get to work on it right after the first of the year weather permitting, but, again, mr. chairman, i go through all this just to underscore the corps of engineers got 10% more money than they asked for. we got a real problem in north texas. yeah, i could -- i could lose a lake in my district and that
would be -- that would be a great loss. but the half a million people that live downstream they would be immediately and significantly and adversely affected, so i would just ask that before these additional moneys are obligated or spent if we could perhaps pay some attention to what is going on in the largest earthen dam west of the mississippi that this year is 60 years of age. i have the detail on the appropriations for the last 15 years. it's not like we haven't put money into this project. we have. 3 to $4 million every year that i've been in congress going back to 2003. this year in this bill that we have before us is a little over $4 million down a little bit from last year. i don't know why it would be down when we've got these new problems but, again, all i would ask whatever flexibility we have within the appropriation process -- and i know that these things seem like they're written in stone by the time they get to
us at the rules committee, but we've all seen things change between here and the floor and if there is any opportunity for change or reprogramming as this fiscal year moves forward, i would just urge that some attention be paid to this because it is -- i don't think the immediacy of the newspaper article was fair, but at the same time this is a problem that needs to be fixed. this is one of those things that people look at us and say why don't you fix that. that is one of those things that should be taken care of. i do want to 11 a copy of the newspaper article with you. i also have a detail on the appropriations that have been done over the last 15 years and i ask for your consideration as we go through this fiscal year if there are funds available that they be made available to the corps of engineers specifically for the lake louisville dam project to remediate the dam process. we're in an el nino year so who knows what may happen in the future. and i'd certainly be interested in your response to that.
>> well, thank you. i had a similar problem in my district a dozen years ago. very dangerous dam problem. that finally the corps has been able to fix. this omnibus places a high priority on dam safety funding. it includes all funding in the budget that was requested of us $24.2 million to continue necessary studies at dams across the country including louisville. additionally the bill includes $310 million for flood control construction. the corps gets to make those specific allocations. we don't tell them how to do their job. we did include report language, though, telling them to give priority to various factors such as the severity of risk of flooding or catastrophic collapse.
if there's work that needs to be done at louisville dam that can be done in fiscal year 2016, the omnibus gives the corps with sufficient funding with which to do that. additionally, the administration could potentially ask for a reprogramming transfer as it can do with virtually any federal program, it would have to go through the relevant reprogramming process. if there's anything we can do to help the gentleman in making his concerns to the attention of the cor corps, set up a meeting, give recommendations and the like, any other way we can assist, we would be pleased to try to help. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do want to stress the corps has their dam safety modification study ongoing and it has been going on for a few years. they are to have the result of that in 2017 and they look
forward to having the work done in 2020. i would just ask is there any way -- if there is any way to condense that timeline. this is something that's got a lot of people's attention now because it was on the front page of the paper. paper may have overplayed the subject a little bit, but i don't think you can be dismissive when you've got this much at stake and it's a 60-year-old earthen dam. it is going to require maintenance literally for the remainder of the lifespan whatever it may be. and my understanding is for every dollar that's invested there it has returned $9.62 in economic value over the years it's participated in flood control so it's been a significant project in north texas. >> i'm sure the corps perhaps may be watching this, and if so, i'm sure they recognize the importance of what you're saying and what we have said in response. >> thank you, mr. chairman. another thing that i do feel obligated to bring up and i know
that there was some discussion about including in the omnibus bill the language or language similar to a bill that was passed by the house of representatives right at the end of november, first of december in response to the concern about replacement or resettlement of syrian refugees. i regret that it has been left out of the omnibus. i'll just tell you, plenty of people where i live and i'm sure i'm not unique, other parts of the country saw all of these young men streaming across western europe wondering what in the world is going on, and then the next thing you know we have a shootout in paris. as a consequence congress passed that bill, again, latter part of november, first part of december. passed with a big vote in the house. my understanding was a veto-proof majority and, again, i would have very much liked to
have seen language -- that language or similar language in our appropriations bill. because people see this happening and they are asking themselves why the congress is not understanding what they understand to be a very clear danger to the country. >> the gentleman makes a very important point. that provision was in the original house-passed bill. we have to -- with an omnibus bill to keep a shutdown from occurring, we have to have a bill that passes the senate and signed by the president. and there were very, very strong objection by a number of members on that point. so, it didn't make the final cut. the bill, though, does include the text verbatim of the
recently passed house bill, the visa waiver bill. which would close gaps in that program and add additional layers of protections against people we don't want here. for example, the bill denies that visa waiver travel to travelers who are nationals or even visited in the past five years iraq, syria, and other countries with significant terrorist activity in the judgment of the executive branch. >> mr. chairman, i would just point out that on the -- i also serve on the helsinski commission. we had a hearing in the middle of october and richard, who is a deputy assistant secretary of state for refugee resettlement told me in that hearing in the middle of october that there were 1,700 syrians that were already in this country that were in the process of being
resettled. i asked her that day what -- i asked her about the vetting process and i was told it went through five different agencies. that worries me because the more agencies you involve the less accountability you have to any particular agency. i'm very troubled by the fact that i asked her for the number of people that had been rejected by the program. and she could not provide me a number, and here we sit two months later and i still do not have that information from the administration. so, anything that you can do to help me get that information from the state department. we don't know at this point, okay, 1,700. maybe that's a manageable number. maybe that's reasonable. i don't know. but we're twire twice that many evaluated and rejected, were none rejected. and it would be very, very helpful to have that information as we ask ourselves about the vetting process and the adequacy of the vetting process as the state department tells us that they are doing this work prior
to bringing people into this country. the other aspect of this -- and i note that secretary burrwell from the department of health and human services, has requested additional dollars for a little agency in the health and human services department called the office of refugee resettlement. this is a small little office that most people don't even know about, but we have talked about it in this committee before last year when the unaccompanied minors were grabbing all the headlines as the number of people that came across the texas border increased to levels that had not previously been seen. and just a note from secretary burwell's letter on the request for additional information -- additional appropriations says referrals this fiscal year are more than double those for the same period last year and exceed by more than 60% those for the
same year -- same period in fiscal year 2014, the year with the largest referrals in the history of the program. in other words, we had a huge problem two years ago, but we're 60% higher today. 60%. now, they're requesting additional money, not for border enforcement, but it is money to locate unaccompanied minors with faith-based groups or governmental agencies inside the country. this is significant because one of our -- one of our texas delegation members, mr. barton, was met with the information that he had a large resettlement going on last weekend. he was not notified beforehand or just barely notified beforehand. governor kasich last night in the debate referenced the same phenomenon occurring in his state of ohio. orr gives no indication as to what they're going to be doing and then shows up with a large number of people, puts strain on the hospital, strain on the
school systems, and local folks are left to deal with essentially what is our failing for not enforcing things at the border. so, as we consider this request from secretary burwell, i think it's important to take note of the fact that according to her the numbers are 60% above what they were during the worst year of this program two years ago. >> well, customs and border protection and i.c.e. have sufficient funds in their base budget to absorb the costs of, one, taking in the kids and the children, transporting them to the office of refugee resettlement for temporary care, and thirdly, eventually transporting them to their family or sponsor in the u.s. until the final disposition of their case. and fourth, transporting them
back to their country of origin with a final order of deportation. the unaccompanied allied alien children program within hhs is level funded. $948 million. but it also has $278 million in carryover funds still available from last year. plus additional $150 million that can be transferred from other programs within hhs if needed. so, i think they have sufficient funds. >> mr. chairman, i would just offer as an offset if they need one, i have a bill hr-530, that would put an assessment for each of those children that we are taking care of against the appropriations made in the state department appropriations bill for foreign aid to those countries of guatemala, el salvador and nicaragua if we're taking care of their children, perhaps they should help us bear the cost of that care. otherwise this revolving door or this conveyor belt, whatever you
want to call it, just concerns inexorably and we're continuing to fund the very thing that, again, our constituents are asking us why, why they're having to -- why they're having to bear this burden, why they are having to fund this burden. so, i just offer that for your -- for your consideration. i'll just finish up with the department of labor rule, the fiduciary rule, not including that. i mean, that is one of the thing i get more phone calls than almost anything else in the district. i wish there had been a way to include it. i hope we will not stop trying to fix that problem because many people at homeje6z recognize ths one of the greatest impediments for middle-class people being able to provide for their retirement if their fiduciary advisers are prohibited from giving them information. >> amen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you've been very indulgent. i will yield back. >> thank you very much. the gentle woman from new york,
mrs. slaughter. >> thank you, all. read all the press. you brought about the phenomenon of the ages. i understand. but we think we left a few things out. and, first, would you tell me, again, please how what you said about the choice issue that some -- a new rule or something that prohibits something on choice. what was that? it was that -- as far as we know all the riders were gone, but something to do with genetics. >> genetics. >> the bill maintains all pro-life provisions including a brand new one against what's called gene editing.
>> what the heck is that? >> well, i'm not the expert. >> i -- >> and also -- >> i'm sort of one. i worked on genetic nondiscrimination for 14 years and i've never in my life heard genetic editing. what is it? [ inaudible ] for health reasons? what other reason would you have to do that? [ inaudible ] well, you know, something if that's going to be a rule of the united states of america and the only reason i would think that anybody would do something with a dna would be to improve whatever it is -- this would be on a fetus, right? [ inaudible ] on anybody? that wouldn't be with part of the pro-life bills i don't
think. >> presume it to be on an agricultural product. >> agriculture. well, no wonder we can't find out about it. i'd like to know if some physicians or some scientists had something to do with that. it isn't anything against democrats, is it, hal? >> no. no. >> you're not going to give them republican gene or something like that? what are you up to, rogers? >> that's an idea. >> i gather it's in the agricultural bill. >> it's in the fda bill -- or the fda -- >> well, you know something, that reminds me -- that makes --
so agriculture can't do anything with gene editing, that's right, they're prohibited from doing it for cattle i guess? >> it's a -- >> i thought they'd been doing that for years. i'd like them not to change the gmo in the food and i really was disappointed to do away with the country of origin labeling. >> it's in the fda part of agriculture. >> why would it come in? wasn't that the part you talked about? >> fda regulates human tissue. >> uh-huh. >> and as i understand it -- >> hal, that doesn't make a bit of sense? >> i'm sorry? >> it doesn't make any sense. if this doesn't have anything to do with pro-life and pro-choice, why would you put it in that section as you read it? and more than that, why is it such a big deal? i don't understand it. what is it? >> well, as i understand it -- >> yeah. >> -- from several people who
were trying to explain it to me -- >> all of whom are scientists. >> -- it has to do with research -- >> yeah. >> -- that is really based on the future science fiction but does not pertain to the reality now. >> good grief, it's a "star wars" thing that somebody read, is that what we're doing here? >> well, i'm going to look further in to it. >> i have to know what this is. because let me give you another example here. when i first came to the house, congress -- >> yes. >> -- i had a number of women in my district that were affected by a hormone, des, and des was given to pregnant women -- >> oh, i remember. >> -- for the select purpose of stopping miscarriage. the offspring of many of these women were seriously affected, testicular cancers, vaginal cancers, awful things that happened to them. and i learned after i got here
and we were trying to find out why the fda -- i have whole new thoughts about them anyway, why in the world would they have allowed that. and then i found out -- and i'm sure you remember this. >> i do remember. >> that usda had used it with cattle but they stopped using it on cattle for 20 years before the fda decided that maybe women shouldn't have it either because it didn't have any effect on miscarriage. i hope we're not going down this path again. surely we bought into "star wars" here, haven't we? they're going to create the perfect robot or something over there at usda. well, anyway, one of the things i do concern myself with is i know that there's the great benefit there for all the oil producers. but not much for the alternative fuel producers. and we very much would like to see if we can make the amendment available here so because they want to add on fuel cells,
geothermal, other things that we're doing for fuel, to not stop that research going on. and in proper time he will present that i'd like to have that be in order so it could be on the floor and we can discuss it, because i think that's something that an awful lot of people are very interested in. we've been swamped with talk about that. with that, i don't have any further questions, and i'm going to have to go up to see what i can find out about gene editing, right? all right. >> we're glad to hear you ask those important questions and i know we will be delighted to hear your views and discuss this issue further. >> yeah. well, when we get so good in here, we're going to predict the future like that, that by itself is a little bit -- >> yeah. >> i wish we could predict the conditions, i know hal does, too, the infrastructure of the united states. that's pretty predictable, isn't it?
and easily ignored. and, hal, i really -- i appreciate who you are. i've known you all my life. >> i know. >> i know you want to do better. >> the gentle lady -- if the gentle lady with yield. >> yes. >> the gentle lady at one time her family lived where i lived. >> exactly, yeah. >> somerset, kentucky. and i knew her family and her parents and her brother. >> yeah. >> phil. >> brother phillip david, right. and i got -- i was a microbiologist coming out of the university of kentucky. always been proud of that. >> how about them cats? >> oh, how about them cats? thank you all so much. >> the gentle woman yields back her time, thank you so much. the gentle woman from north carolina is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the recognition, and i want to thank our colleagues for being here and particularly thank the staff for all the hard work that was done.
the chairman did that in our conference last night and this morning, and i think it's really important that we show our keen appreciation to the staff on both sides of the aisle for the great work that's been done here. i want to say that i associate myself with the comments that the chairman has made and some of the comments that the ranking member has made, too. i think it's important that we point out to our colleagues as well as to the public that we all want to get back to regular order and that the house in effect has gone through regular order. we did last year, passed six of our appropriations bills, and the senate wouldn't take any of them up. it was clear that the senate wouldn't take any of them up and so we find ourselves in this position to pass this omnibus if we don't want to see the government shut down. i think it's also important to
note that this bill has been negotiated among the white house, the senate, and the houe and the different groups within there. and i want to point out -- i know for us on the rules committee, we know this very well, but i keep getting asked this question about the power of the purse, or i keep having that thrown at me at home and even here in the house. where people say well, we have the power of the purse. therefore, we should be able to do what we want to do in our appropriations bills. and i keep pointing out to people that section 7 of article i says "all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other
bills." unfortunately, too many people who talk about the issue of the power of turs -- the purse leave out that second clause in there that says "but the senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills." and i believe many americans have come to believe that the house has unilateral authority to pass our appropriations bills. and i honestly believe that in every case that we possibly can, we have to remind people that that is not the case. and that when you have a piece of legislation like this, there are true negotiations that go on. and i really appreciated speaker ryan being very forthright in our conference about how these negotiations did occur and how
we could not get everything we wanted. this bill doesn't represent any one person's desires in terms of how we would fund the federal government. i would have done it differently. the chairman would have done it differently. chairman sessions would have done it differently. dr. burgess would have done it differently, but we live in a society where compromise is necessary. and i think that yen, while it's not everything that i'd like it to be, i've been reminding a lth of my leagues this morning is that -- what we have to vote on. not what we wanted to have, not what is left out of the bill, but what is there. while it is not everything i'd like it to be, the good lord hasn't chosen to put me in charge. therefore, i have to deal with -- not yet -- deal with
what my colleagues have put together. i just want to say thank you again for all the effort that's gone into this. i think we all fervently pray that we will be able to go to regular order next year, have the house pass its bills and hopefully have the senate pass some bills and send them to the president for better or for worse, and then let the american people see and the process play out in that way so -- >> the gentle lady -- >> i'd be happy to yield. >> i really appreciate your remarks about regular order. we will have regular order only when the senate passes these bills. if they don't was the bills, we've got to go to an omnibus like we've done this year. they've got a rule over there,
apparently, that says you can't bring up any bill unless you've got 60 votes dealing -- an appropriations bill to keep the government operating. you've got to have 60 votes. whatever happened to majority rule? if the senate would abide by a majority rule on appropriations bills, let them be brought up and considered at least, we could break this log jam and no longer have these huge bills that a lot of people don't know what's in them. >> well, again i agree very much with the chairman, and i think -- i mean, when people talk to me about it -- i spoke to a group on monday. i did my best to explain to them that the senate requires 60 votes to bring up a bill. and so when the house is criticized for what we do or not do -- i mean, we're given all that responsibility, which is one of the reasons i bring up
article i, section 7 is that it's important for the public to understand these bills have to be passed by the senate and go to the president and i believe it was the ranking member, mrs. loye, who pointed out that this was done what's been done here will avoid a threat by the white house. and so the white house has a consideration. because we don't have the votes to override a vito and neither does the senate. and so i would ask my colleagues who are not happy with this legislation because it's not perfect that they not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. and that we do everything we can to accept positive things. i think the increased funding for nih is wonderful. not putting in this bill legislation that would bail
puerto rico out and set a new precedent for what is done in terms of bankruptcy is a good thing. so i think a lot of the times, we have to accept what's not in the legislation as a good thing and not grievant -- about what didn't get in that we'd like to have in. so thank you very much and thank the staff for their hard work. and i yield back. >> mr. chairman -- >> you've drawn some comments. does the gentle woman wish to engage? >> it was -- if mrs. loye would like to speak, i hon every her request. >> i just would like to thank you for your eloquence. >> we do represent any kinds of communities. i just couldn't resist to tell you i am still hope thafl within the democratic process, whether
it's through this process or whether speaker ryan can come up with another way to help puerto rico, i think it's so essential. there are so many, many people who are in desperate need of a solution, so we can differ on that issue, but i just for the record wanted to say that i think it's very important and i was pleased that we were able to get a solution for the 9/11 funneleding, and i want to thank both sides of the aisle for your support of that, and i do hope perhaps we can talk further, my good friend, ms. fox, and perhaps we can find a solution
that i know the speaker is working on and i would be very supportive. so maybe we can talk further on that issue. >> as you know, mrs. lowey, i'm either to be found here on the floor or in my office, so -- well, here a lot of time. >> well, thank you. let's talk further about it. and i hope within the following weeks after this bill is passed, we'll be able to find some constructive solution to dealing with the desperate situation that puerto rico faces. thank you. >> gentlemen woman yields back her time. thank you very much. gentleman from massachusetts. >> i want to thank you both for being here. i concur with everybody who's lamenting the process. i think we've said it enough. i don't have to recent it. but we have with us a bill that's over 2,000 pages long. we got it last night. i don't think any of us will know what's in it by the time it
comes up for vote on friday. i think that's unfortunate. i think it's based on our trust of you guys, if we vote for or against, and that we agree with most of what's being said or disagree. and as evidenced by the question of genetic editing, i think there are things here that nobody even knows what we're talking about and we'll have to figure that out, but it will be after this bill becomes law. so this is frozen. there's really no point in asking questions, because there will be no amendments, and it will be board on -- up or down on the floor. i know you didn't want to it to come to us like this. but it is what it is. people go through this as best they can and throw the dice and we should move on. thank you. >> gentleman yields back his time. thank you very much. chairman cole. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman.
i want to once again welcome two of my very favorite members, obviously, my chairman, my ranking member to the committee. sometime every time you two show up, something happens around here. legislations gets passed, things get done. i know how hard both of you have worked on this and i want the express my personal appreciation for what each of you have done in a very divided congress where there's a lot of differences to bring us together and make sure that the government actually functions. i wants to share the rarkts about the staff. i see my own very tired chief clerk back there, susan ross. and up must say i will miss this process in some ways, because every morning for the last several weeks, i could get up at 5:00 and there would be an e-mail from susan ross written at about 3: 15 asking guidance or informing me of this or that or putting a question to me. it just tells you how hard the staff has worked. they've worked