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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  June 2, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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critical information and today's broken system leaves millions of americans in the dark. they don't know who is paying for what, they don't know what is being paid to say what, because there is not disclosure at the federal level. so this levels this out. it very simply says that we're on the side of taxpayers. that we are going to make sure that whether it's procurement or contracts, or appropriations , that we want to be on the side of the taxpayer, on the side of the taxpayer, having full disclosure so they not only know who is doing business with the federal government but where these tax collars -- dollars are going. there's a requirement that the -- at the s.e.c., mr. chairman, where boards of directors who essentially are the congress of
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a corporation must disclose their financial interests. why? so the shareholders know. well, guess who the shareholders are in the country? the taxpayers, the citizens. this is in many ways a back door earmark, and we need to get rid of it. so i hope that this will be made in order and i also think that this is a very important effort for full disclosure at the federal level. whoever does business with the federal government, they disclose. it's fair, it's a fair requirement, it's a simple requirement, and i think it's something we should all agree on. disclosure, disclosure, disclosure. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. does the gentleman from texas insist on his point of order? mr. carter: i will, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman will state his point of order. mr. carter: i make a point of
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order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law in an openings bill and, therefore, violates cause 2, rule 21. the rule states in part, an amendment to a general appropriations bill shall not be in order if changing existing law and it requires a new determination. i ask for a ruling of the chair. the chair: does any member seek to speak in opposition of the point of order? if not the chair is prepared to rule. the chair finds that this amendment includes language requiring a new definition of whether a corporation discloses certain contributions. the amendment, therefore, constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule 21. the point of order is sustained and the amendment is not in order. excuse me. i didn't see the gentleman from new jersey in the well. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise?
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the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. andrews: an amendment is similar so what ms. eshoo offered. as one said, sunlight is the great anti-septemberant of democracy. mr. chairman, you and me and every other member on this floor must disclose every dollar we raise and every dollar we spend in the pursuit of our politics. so must the democratic campaign committee. so must the republican campaign committee. so must for the people running for united states senate and office of presidency. i think our democracy is strengthened by this. now, we have a disagreement over whether there should be
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limitations on what people may spend. i frankly believe that limitations is appropriate, but i know that some of our colleagues who follow libertarian principle believe that limitations on what someone may spend is a violation of someone's right of free speech. i respectfully disagree but i understand it. there should be no disagreement, though, over a universal requirement to disclose who has spent what. if you're proud of what you say, then you ought to let people know who said it. but instead we have what my friend from california said a dark corner of american politics where people who wish to manipulate the outcome of elections and influence legislation have a special privilege that republicans and democrats in this house do not have, that members of the senate do not have, that the presidential candidates do not
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have. they can say what they want to say but not say who they are. they can hide behind corporate veils and within corporate shadows to fail to disclose who they are. now, i find this to be puzzling. i think the members of this house are proud of what we say. i think the members of this house want the public to know who we support and who we oppose because we believe in what we say. who are these people who want to spend hundreds of millions, maybe billions of dollars, to influence elections but are afraid the public will find out who they are? and why should they enjoy this special privilege? so i think we do need an amendment like that that ms. eshoo put forward that says that if you want the privilege of doing business with the united states government, then one of the conditions is to participate in a healthy democracy that runs that united
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states government, and that healthy democracy would include a requirement that people doing business with our government meet the same level of disclosure that every single one of us does. i'm proud of the things that my party and my friends say on the floor, and i'm frankly proud that our adversaries, i'm proud of what they say on the floor because they believe in good faith that what they say is good for the country. and they don't hide a thing. maybe the public thinks we should hide some things we say and do. why should there be a special class of americans who have the prerogative of free speech but not the obligation to identify themselves when they speak? this is an insipid, insidious threat to the free exchange of ideas. we should use every tool within our constitutional purview to stop this threat. i think ms. eshoo has a great
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idea. i think under an open rule we can consider her idea. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order -- an amendment by mr. scalise of louisiana, an amendment by mr. king of iowa, an amendment by mr. cravaack of minnesota, amendment number 1 by mr. amash of minnesota, amendment number 2 by mr. amash of michigan, amendment number 3 by mr. amash of michigan, amendment number 1 by mr. rokita of indiana, amendment number 2 by mr. rokita of indiana, amendment number 42 by mr. cole of oklahoma, amendment by mr. gohmert of texas, amendment by mr. micah of florida, -- mica of florida, amendment number 23 by mr. polis of colorado. the unfinished business is the -- the chair will reduce -- as
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everyone knows the chair will reduce to two minutes the time of any electronic vote after the first in this series. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment offered by the gentleman from louisiana, mr. scalise, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the ayes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. screes of louisiana. -- scalise of louisiana. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 207, the nays 213. the amendment is not agreed to. the committee will be in order.
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committee will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop, rise? mr. bishop: i ask unanimous consent to speak for one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: fellow members of the house, if you would turn your attention to the back rail there, you will see the pages who have served us this past semester. [applause]
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the chair: thank you. mr. bishop: you're supposed to applaud after i speak. the chair: the committee will be in order. the gentleman from utah deserves to be heard. mr. bishop: thank you. these are the kids who still get up in the middle of the night at times i thought was only a rumor so they could go to an accredited high school at the library of congress and complete a full day of studies before they're here at 10:00 to serve us. they have learned the process of government by watching us. which is a scary thought. [laughter] mr. bishop: but in the process of doing that, they've gained a healthy respect for our system and they have learned lessons that they will take with them and made friendships they will take with them through the rest of their lives and they've served this body well. mr. speaker, i wish to yield -- mr. chairman, i wish to yield time to the -- to mr. kildee of michigan.
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there you are. i wish to yield time to mr. kildee. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kildee: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i would like to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude -- the chair: the gentleman will suspend. the committee will be in order. the gentleman from michigan deserves to be heard just as the gentleman from utah deserves to be heard. maybe even more so. [laughter] the chair: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. kildee: i'd like a record roll call on that. mr. speaker, i'd like to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude to all the pages for what they have done to serve this house of representatives. i have a list of pages and their names, and i would ask that it be made part of the congressional record. the chair: the gentleman will have to make that request in the full house. mr. kildee: i will do that. these groups of young people
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who come from all across the nation represent what is good about our country. to become a page, mr. speaker, these young people have proven themselves to be academically qualified. they have ventured away from the security of their homes and families to spend time in an unfamiliar city. through this experience, they witnessed a new culture, made new friends, and learned how our government operates. as we all know, the job of a congressional page is not an easy one. along with being away from home, the pages must possess the maturity to balance competing demands for their time and energy. in addition, they just have the dedication to work long hours and the ability to interact with people at a personal level. at the same time, they face a challenging academic schedule of classes in the house page school. you pages have witnessed the house debate issues of war and peace, hunger and poverty, justice and civil rights.
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you have lived through history. you have seen congress at moments of greatness, and you have seen congress with its frailties. and you have witnessed the workings of an institution that's endurred well over 200 years. no one has seen congress and members of congress as close up as have you. and i am sure that you will consider your time spent in washington, d.c. to be one of the most valuable and exciting experiences of your lives. and with this experience, you all move ahead to lead successful and productive lives. and before yielding, mr. speaker, i'd like to thank the members of the house page board who provide such service to this body, congressman rob bishop, not only a member of the board, but a dear friend. diana degette, also a very good friend. and my good friend on the other
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side of the aisle, virginia fox. -- virginia foxx. i don't think we've ever had a disagreement on the page board. we've reached unanimity there. the clerk of the house, karen haas and the sergeant at arms, ben livinggood, lynn silver smithkline, i want to thank them for their service on the house page board and thank all our departing pages and yield back. the chair: the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: i'd like to yield a few seconds to the gentlelady from north carolina who also is a member of the page board. the chair: the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: i simply want to add my congratulations to the pages and my great thanks to them for their service to us. they really do a tremendous amount to help this house work effectively, and i also want to say a thank you to the page coordinators, ms. keating and ms. campson, who are with them
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-- [applause] ms. foxx: who help facilitate their activities here. they also do a tremendous job and work long hours, and i'm very grateful to them. mr. bishop: mr. chairman, once again, we thank the pages who will be having their graduation ceremonies tomorrow and leaving us. we wish them very well on their further endeavors. thank you very much. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. -- without objection, the time of the the gentleman is expired. the unfinished business is the request for a vote offered on the amendment from the gentleman from high because, mr. king, on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. king of iowa. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in favor say aye will rise and be counted.
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a sufficient number having arisen a sufficient number having arisen. a vote will be taken. members will record their votes by electronic vote. this is a series of two-minute votes. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas --
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 251, the nays 168, one voting present. the amendment is agreed to. the chair wishes to remind members this is a series of two-minute votes. the unfinished business is a request for a recorded vote on amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota, mr. clay vac on which further proceedings were postponed and ayes prevail bid voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. cravaak of minnesota. the chair: a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes
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by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: all time having expired on this vote the yeas are 288, the nays are 131, and the amendment is agreed to. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 1 offered by the gentleman from michigan, mr. amash, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment 1 offered by mr. amash of michigan. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support for the request of a recorded vote will rise and be counted. evidently a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. again, a two-minute vote.
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[captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: all time having expired on this vote the yeas are 130, the nays -- the chair: on this vote the yeas are 127, the noes are 295. the amendment is not agreed to. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on
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amendment number 2 offered by the gentleman from michigan, mr. amash, on which further proceedings were postponed and the yeas prevailed by a voice vote. the the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment 2 offered by mr. amash of michigan. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support for a vote will rise and be counted. evidently a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic vote this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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dd the chair: all time having expired on this vote the yeas are 123, the nays are 300 and the amendment is not agreed to. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 3 offered by the gentleman from michigan, mr. amash on which further
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proceedings were postponed and on which the ayes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. amash of michigan. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of a request for a vote will rise and remain stanning, a sufficient number having arisen, members will record their votes by electronic device. once again this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: all time having expired on this vote, the yeas are 267, the nays are 104, the amendment is agreed to. the unfinished business is the amendment offered by mr. rokita. the clerk: amendment number 1 offered by mr. roe coo ta of indiana. the chair: a recorded vote is requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise. a a sufficient number having arisen having risen, a recorded -- a sufficient number having arisen a recorded vote is order. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning
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institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote, the yeas are 110, the nays are 312, the amendment is not agreed to. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 2 offered by the gentleman from indiana, mr. roe coo ta and on which -- rokita on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 offered by mr. roe key to of indiana. the chair: a recorded vote is requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is order. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
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commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: all time having expired, on this vote the yeas are 218, the nays are 205. the amendment is agreed to. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 42, offered by the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. cole, on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 42, printed in the congressional record, offered by mr. cole of oklahoma. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. a sufficient number having arisen a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device this is a
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two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: all time having expired, on this vote, the yeas are 252, the nays are 170 the amendment is agreed to. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, on which further proceed wrgs postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. gohmert of texas. the chair: those in favor of
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taking this vote by recorded device will rise and remain standing to be counted. a sufficient number having arisen a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: all time having expired, on this vote, the yeas are 189, the nays are 294, the amendment is not agreed to. the unfinished business is the amendment offered by mr. mica of florida. clerk will redesignate. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. mica of florida. the chair: members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote, the yeas are 219 -- the chair: have all members cast their votes?
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the chair: all time having expired, on this vote the yeas are 219, the nays are 204. and the amendment is agreed to. the chair wishes to inform members that this is the last of a series of two-minute votes. the unfinished business is a request for a recorded vote on amendment 23 printed in the congressional record offered by the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, on which further proceedings were postponed and the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment 23 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. polis of colorado. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support for the request for a recorded vote will rise. evidently a a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. those in favor will vote aye. those opposed will vote no. members will record their votes
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by electronic device. this is the final two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: the yeas are 107, the nays 313. the amendment is not agreed to. the committee will be in order.
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the committee will be in order. the clerk will read the last two lines. >> this act may be cited as the department of homeland security appropriations act 2012. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama, the chairman of the subcommittee, rise? mr. aderholt: mr. chairman, i move the committee do now rise and report the bill back to the house with sundry amendments and the recommendation that the amendments be agreed to and the bill as amended do pass. the chair: the question is on the motion of the gentleman from alabama. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. accordingly, the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman?
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the chair: mr. speaker, the committee on the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 2017 asks me to report the same back to the house with sundry amendment with the recommendation the amendments be agreed to and the bill be amended and do pass. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports the committee has had under consideration the bill h.r. 2017 and reports the bill back to the house with sundry amendments adopted in the committee of the whole with a recommendation the amendments be adopted in the bill as amended do pass on the house resolution 287, the previous question is ordered. is a separate vote demanded on any amendment reported from the committee of the whole? if not, the chair will put them engross. the question is on the adoption of the amendments. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendments are adopted.
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the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill making proceedings for the department of homeland security for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> mr. speaker, i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? >> in its current form, i am. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies. the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: mr. bishop of new york moves to recommit the bill h.r. 2017 to the committee on appropriations with instructions to report the same back to the house forth with, with the following amendment, page 45, line 8, after the dollar amount insert increased by $75 million. after each of the dollar amounts, insert reduced by $75 million.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does -- the gentleman from new york is recognized for five minutes. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this final amendment, the bishop-hotel motion to recommit in order to increase funding for grants for transportation security and counterterrorism. intelligence seized from osama bin laden's compound indicates al qaeda was targeting america's railroads on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. earlier in 2009, the f.b.i. disrupted a plot to blow up trains in new york city and in washington, d.c. the 9/11 commission placed some of the blame for the intelligence breakdown before the 9/11 attacks on a failure of imagination. but today we don't have to imagine the damage a terrorist could do on a rush hour commuter train. that is evident from the tragedies in madrid, london, and mumbai and a more deadly attack could occur on a train carrying hazardous chemicals
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through a major city including trains that pass regularly on a stone's throw from the u.s. capitol. while airline security upgrades the past 10 years can help prevent another 9/11, we still face an evolving threat for multiple modes of transportation. in fact, trips by rail exceed air travel by 18 times, yet air travel receives over 200 times more federal security funding per passenger than trail. -- than rail. >> the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. please take your conversations off the floor. the house will come to order. the gentleman may continue. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. still, the bill before us today makes deep cuts to rail security. it provides no specific funding for transit, rail or bus security grants in 2012. instead, it rolls nine grant programs together to compete for funding that has already been cut 55%. that's not a failure of imagination, that's a
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dereliction of duty. in response, the bishop-hotel amendment would increase funding for grants for transportation, security, and counterterrorism by $75 million. fully offset with a reduction in funding for the national bioand agri defense security. while the d.h.s. insisted on a animal disease lab in the heart of cattle country and tornado alley is completely safe, the g.a.o. and the national academy of sciences have found many faults in safety and cost overruns. in fact, most of us agree with the national academy of sciences that the risk of a release of foot and mouth disease in america's heartland must be better addressed before d.h.s. proceeds with construction. we have much higher homeland security priorities than beginning a new billion dollar facility that will replicate many of the existing functions already conducted at our federal labs. 14 million americans ride mass transit every day in our
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nation's urban areas with millions more riding commuter or passenger rail each year. if we under the clear threat to these passengerers and accepted efforts are underfunded we must do more to keep them safe. i urge my colleagues to make the right choice and support this final amendment to increase funding for grants for transportation, security, and terrorism, and i yield the balance of our time to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: thank you, mr. speaker. this proposed amendment has a simple purpose, to prevent the reckless cuts to passenger rail security. mr. speaker, you probably read that at the time the al qaeda leader bin laden was killed, he was planning attacks on u.s. passenger rail systems. even as we debate this bill, our intelligence and law enforcement communities are running aground leads and other potential terrorist plots. this discovery underscores the need to sustain, not to cut
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transit security funding. following the terrible events of 2001, our nation took unprecedented steps to secure our nation's airlines, appropriately so. however, transit security grant programs remain badly underfunded. we need these funds to field canine teams, install surveillance cameras, security fencing, provide resources for incident response training and a host of other mission activities to help secure our trains and buses. transit provides 18 times as many passenger trips as aviation but receives 12 times less security funding. in other words, aviation security receives 215 times as much federal funding per passenger as land transit. we have -- we want to do much, much better because the threat is real. in 2004, terror cells conducted successful and deadly bombings in spain. the next year in the u.k., in
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india, in belarus, hundreds of people killed, thousands of people wounded. let's not put off the necessary rail security steps until after the tragedy here. let's thwart bin laden's plans. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yield back? mr. holt: i yield back my time with a request and support for this amendment. mr. bishop: i urge support and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? mr. aderholt: i rise in opposition to the motion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. aderholt: this is about priorities as our nation grapples with a genuine budget crisis and security priorities in the after math of osama bin laden's death, and as we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. this bill includes robust spending reductions on bureaucracy and on programs
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that are not producing. cutting waste, reducing spending, and -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the house is not in order. the house will please come to order. take your conversations off the floor, please. the gentleman will continue. mr. aderholt: this bill includes robust spending reductions on bureaucracy and on programs that are not producing, cutting waste, reducing spending, and instilling genuine budget discipline. . this bill puts money where it matters, intelligence and disaster relief. this is just a political ploy at the end of a long process to find the restraint ours nation needs. further, speaker bayne ears leadership with chairman dreier and chairman rogers, we have completed two days of floor
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debate under completely open rule. it is the most open possible debate before the people's house. we have repeatedly addressed the issues that the gentleman is raising. with this motion -- is raising with this motion and thoroughly debated the shortcomings of his points. in short, it is time to vote, mr. speaker, it is time to deliver fiscal discipline and to deliver robust security. the american people are demanding no less. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. without objection the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion to recommit. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. >> mr. speaker, i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered.
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members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of passage. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 187, the nays are 234. the motion is not adopted. the question is on passage of the bill. under clause 10 of rule 20, the yains -- the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: op this vote the yeas are 231, the nays 188. the bill passes. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut rise? >> mr. speaker, by direction on the democratic caucus, i offer a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 293, resolved that any member -- >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be considered as read and printed in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the clerk will read. the clerk: resolved the following named member is hereby elected to the following standing committee of the house of representatives, one, committee on homeland security, ms. hochul. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas rise? ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, on amendment number one of rokita of indiana, i was unavoidably detained and i would like to place for the record my vote and i ask unanimous consent that my vote of no be placed in the record at the appropriate place. the chair: without objection, so ordered. -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> mr. speaker, i -- mr. cuellar, the gentleman from texas. mr. cuellar: i ask unanimoussen kent -- consent to remove representative ryan as co-spon or of h.r. 771.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from culberson rise? mr. culberson: i ask unanimous consent -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee rise? ms. jackson lee: i want to make sure that the corrected vote or lack of vote was amendment number 1 of rokita of indiana, that is a vote of no. i ask unanimous consent that it be placed in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman's statement will appear in the record. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas, mr. culberson, rise? mr. culberson: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 2055 and that i may include tabular material on the same. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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pusuant to house resolution 288 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 2055. the chair appoints the gentleman from nebraska, mr. terry to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 2055, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill making appropriations for military construction, the department of veterans' affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012, an for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered
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read the first time they have gentleman from texas, mr. culberson, and the gentleman from georgia, mr. bishop, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. culberson: mr. chairman, it's my privilege to lay out tonight for the house for consideration the appropriations bill for the -- for military construction and veterans affairs that my good friend, mr. sanford bishop of georgia, we have worked together arm in arm to make sure our men and women in uniform have everything they need to do their squob. we're the peace of mind committee for the united states military and for our veterans. we have an obligation as congress this government has an obligation first and foremost to provide for national curt to make sure our men and women in uniform, not only in -- here at home and overseas have everything they need to do their job. the scope of our appropriations bill today includes
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construction of all the military basis here -- bases here and overseas. we have fully funded in this bill all the requests of the branches of the military for our men and women in uniform on active duty. we've made sure that all the retired men and women who have served this nation have everything they need when it comes to their -- to the veterans' hospitals, the department of veteran affairs. we are laying before the house tonight this funding bill as part of our nation's -- i would also like to think of it as part of our nation's mortgage payment, one of our nation's obligation as a government to ensure that our military is fully funded, that they've got the equipment, the logistical support that they need, that their housing is the best it can be, that they've got the facilities are the very best they can be, and this is one of those obligations we've got to take care of.
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we are in this bill, in all the appropriations bills, mr. chairman, brought to the house for the first time, this new republican majority, this conservative majority is for the first time, money that has been left in the treasury unspent in previous years was just spent in other areas. for the first time, under the leadership of chairman hal rogers of kentucky, our subcommittee and other subcommittees are returning that unspent money back to taxpayers to reduce the deficit. chairman rogers and the leadership of the house, speaker boehner, our republican leadership, all of us are committed to bringing the nation -- doing everything in our power to get back to a balanced budget, to reduce federal spending to bring the size, scope, and cost of the federal government back under control. while we recognize our responsibility to fully fund and take care of our troops in military construction of our
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veterans through the veterans' affairs, through the hospitals, through the v.a., we also have an obligation to manage the money in a way that's fiscally sound. we've identified rescissions, unspent money, to taxpayers in the amount of $388 million. again, the first time that's ever been done. we found money in -- and then again, these savings don't impact in any way the level of services provided to our veterans. this in no way impacts or diminishes the quality of housing or the level of service necessary to -- on bases here in the united states or overseas. but we have found savings, for example, $100 million in planning and design money that was left over from previous years, we found $100 million in unspent funds from the base
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realignment and closure commission, money that was unspent and left over, we found money in a variety of accounts that in previous years would have been respent elsewhere and under the chairman of chairman ronellers and speaker boehner, our subcommittee, every subcommittee of the appropriations committee, is committed to return that money to taxpayers and to find savings everywhere we can that will not diminish again the level of service provided to our military. we have to make sure they have absolutely no worries as they stand on the wall defending our free come every night, every day, 24/7. we have also incrementally funded, mr. chairman, five projects and found savings of $304 million, that we have been able to return to taxpayers and in three cases, we found -- there's three projects which we did not fund for the f-35 aircraft facility at the air
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force base in nevada because that aircraft is not ready to be fully deployed, there's central distribution facility in germany a commissary building a variety of savings we looked for, not just unspent money but ways to save money for taxpayers while maintaining the high level of service for our men and women in uniform while being good stewards of the public's precious tax dollars. we in the area of veterans affairs, michigan, were able to find savings of $25 million and we also found savings of $136 million in technology and a whole separate category of accounts for minor construction, we saved about $ 5 million there. all this money has been returned to taxpayers to reduce the deficit to do everything we can within our power to reduce the level of obligation that our children and grandchildren are going toin heart. finally, i want to point out,
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we found savings, the u.s. court of appeals for veterans claims, had asked for a new courthouse and in light of the debt an deficit, we did not recommend that that new courthouse be built. the court of appeals for veterans' claims does a great job, they're working out of -- they're work in a leased fa ill isity right now and we -- a leased facility right now and we recommend that be continued. mr. chairman, we have in the situation the nation faces today is truly unprecedented. we calculated that about $2.2 trillion in revenue come into the treasury every year yet the existing only fwations of the federal government to pay the current liability of social security, medicare, medicaid, interest on national debt, our veterans' benefits, all programs that have to be funded up front that serve our national mortgage payment. those programs alone consume
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$2.3 trillion. so if you just look at the math, right out of the gate, the nation begins the year at the stroke of midnight on the first day of the year, american taxpayers are already $105 billion in debt. so every dollar the appropriations committee spends all year is borrowed. this is why you see fiscal conservatives, all of us, constitutional conservatives are so passionate so determined to get us back on path to a balanced budget to do everything we can within each of these subcommittees to find savings. i'm so grateful to chairman rogers and speaker boehner, for the first time returning unspent money to reduce the deficit. we had to reduce the overall amount of money available to every sector of the government dramatically. it's tough. we've got a lot of tough savings. but in the area of supporting our military, when it comes to making sure they've got the best equipment, they've got the absolute best in their housing
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and hospital care, whether you are active duty military or if you are retired and in the care of the veterans' admgs, you can be sure the united states congress stands behind you. we're proud of you. we made sure we have fully funded every need that you've got. we made sure you are given the best medical care. and all of the family members out there who have sons or daughters or fathers or mothers serving in the united states military need to know that despite this tough budget environment, this congress stands behind your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, who serves in the military and we are committed to ensure that they've got the very best equipment possible on the face of the earth, that they've got everything they need to do their job, to stand on the wall defending this great nation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as they do so beautifully. we are very fortunate on this
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subcommittee, mr. chairman, we've got an extraordinary group of people working behind the scenes who have for years to make sure that this subcommittee has produced a bill that the house can support in a bipartisan way with great pride. i want to make sure this to thank our extraordinary staff, tim peterson, our chief clerk of the subcommittee, serbed the appropriations committee for 22 years, served on the staff of the secretary of the navy for nine years. he's done an extraordinary job, we're grateful to him for the time and effort he put into this bill. to sue qan timbings as for her her work and eblings per tees. to sara young, who has done an extraordinary job as well, they've all done a magnificent job. on the minority side, matt washington has done an extraordinary job. danny cromer, all of us worked together arm in arm my good
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friend, mr. bishop from georgia, this is one bill i know the members of the house will be able to support in a bipartisan way with great pride pause our subcommittee has produced this bill in a bipartisan way without regard to party label, our entire focus has been how can we make sure that our men and women in uniform, active duty and retired have got everything they need? how can we be better stewards of the taxpayers' precious dollars. we identify things, for example, the -- we share concern for money that was unspent, veterans' hospitals, and giant facilities like the new one in denver that i understand had $97 million, tim, i believe? $978 billion unspent for years. we put language in this bill saying they're going to lose the money after five years unless they get it obligated and get the hospitals built. had great support from mr. bishop ensuring that our veterans with claims for
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disabilities get those handled in an expeditious way. we want to make sure we identify efficiencies, how can we make sure our men and women in uniform not only have the best housing but that our veterans who have retired are given the best possible service. we have on every occasion throughout the year working on this bill, found that we have -- found areas of agreement in this bill, produce it in a way that is unanimous. it's a real privilege to work with mr. bishop, with our ranking member from washington state, mr. dicks, been a real privilege to work with you on this. but above all, extraordinarily proud to serve as subcommittee chairman under my chairman hall rogers of kentucky. -- hal rogers of kentucky who i count as a role model and mentor to me. he's been a good fren and great leader for this committee and
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is a stalwart fiscal conservative, committed to make sure our men and women in uniform are -- continue to be the very best military in the world. it's my privilege to be here tonight to present this bipartisan bill to the house. i reserve the balance of my time. happily -- the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i am pleased to join chairman culberson as the house takes up the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill for veterans construction, veterans affairs and related agencies. the v.a. bill is critically important to the strength and the well-being of our military, our veterans and the families who sacrifice so much to defend our country. working with chairman culberson and the members of the
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subcommittee, we've crafted a bill that will address the funding needs for military construction and family housing for our troops and for their families as well as other quality of life construction projects. in addition, it will provide funding for many important v.a. programs as well as agencies like the veterans court of apeels and the american battle monuments commission. the bill before us today touches every soldier, every sailor, every marine and every airman. in addition this bill will also impact military spouses, their children and every veteran that participates in veterans programs. i want to commend chairman culberson for his hard work, he's done his best to hold hearings that he believes are important to the work of the subcommittee, together we sat through 12 hearings, gaining valuable insight into the workings of all of the agencies under our subcommittee's
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jurisdiction. i'd like to thank all of the subcommittee members and recognize them for their hard work on the bill. i believe that the minority was treated fairly during this process and i want to thank chairman culberson for that. we worked very well in a very collegial fashion and i think that that is the way that this institution should work. chairman culberson has already provided the funding highlights in the bill and i want to repeat the law but i'd like to point out a few items that i believe are extremely important. the department of defense schools. the bill before us today includes $483 million for the renovation and replacement of 15 department of defense schools. six schools here in the united states and nine schools overseas installations will be refurbished with this funding. mr. chairman, i believe that providing the funds for these
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schools will not only help our service members' children get a quality education in a safe facility, but will also give our service members some peace of mind. medical center replacement. mr. chairman, i was pleased that the bill includes $1.1 billion for the medical center replacement in germany. as you know, a large proportion of the serious casualties from iraq and the afghanistan theaters are treated there and i'm pleased to see that we're making this very, very important investment. regarding veterans affairs, the bill contains $52.5 billion for advanced appropriations for medical services, for medical support and compliance and medical facilities at the v.a. which is $1.8 billion above the amount that was included in the f.y. 2011 continuing resolution. mr. chairman, i strongly believe that advanced funding provides
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timely and predictable funding for the veterans health care system. for example, during the delay in the f.y. 2011 funding, veterans health care funding was already in place and veterans health care programs were not subject to the continuing resolution process and our veterans did not have to go without their health care. mr. chairman, overall the bill provides adequate funding for programs included in this bill, but i'm troubled by one item. unfortunately during the full committee markup an amendment was adopted to eliminate funding to implement executive order 13502 which was issued in february, 2009, which addresses project labor agreements, p.l.a.'s. if you're owe polesed to that executive order, that's -- opposed to that executive order, that's fine, but using the milcon v.a. bill to address this issue is i believe the wrong place.
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the language is purely an ideological political provision that really is beyond the scope of this bill. if you want to deal with this issue we should deal with it on a labor bill and not on the military construction v.a. bill. the milcon v.a. bill has always enjoyed broad, bipartisan support and has avoided divisive issues like this, no matter which party held the gavel. i believe that including this language only causes unnecessary complications and does nothing to help our service members or veterans. mr. chairman, please know that as we continue through the process, our work to address this issue because an item like this really has no place in a bill that is always placed our troops, their families and our veterans above ideology. before i close, mr. chairman, i'd like to recognize the staff for all of the work and the time that they have put into this
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bill, from the minority committee staff i'd like to thank danny and michael and gregg from my personal staff. from the majority committee staff, i'd like to thank tim peterson, sue, siri and tracy as well as alec and evan. from the chairman's personal office. i'd also like to thank mr. dicks, ranking member, and mr. rogers who set the standard for the committee and for the subcommittees in their collegial relationship and they've worked together and their effort to make sure that we move these appropriations bills through regular order. i appreciate that very much and i reserve the balance of my time, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. culberson: mr. speaker, it's my privilege to yield such time
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as he may consume to the distinguished chairman of the full committee. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. rogers: i thank the chairman for yielding this time. i want to at the outset congratulate him on a great job on this bill. he and his terrific staff have worked long and hard along with the subcommittee members to produce, i think, a star of a bill. so on your maiden voyage, mr. chairman, congratulations on a good job. and to mr. bishop and the minority members of the subcommittee, including my distinguished cohort, mr. dicks, ranking on the full committee, we've all worked together on this and we appreciate the collegial atmosphere as mr. bishop has said that has governed this proceeding. so i rise in support of this act . colleagues on both sides of the
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aisle agree that our nation's service members, their families, our veterans deserve the greatest quality of care and support for their service and their sacrifices. this bill funds the most pressing needs in a timely manner while also acknowledging the urgent need to reign in federal spending -- iranian in federal spending during a time of historically high and dangerous deficits. this legislation provides $72.5 billion in discretionary funding for military construction projects, veterans programs and other agencies that support the quality of life of our war fighters and veterans and families. this funding level represents a $615 million cut from last year's level and ads 1.2 billion reduction from the budgetary request. the bill fully funds the construction of department of
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defense hospitals and clinics, schools, family housing, providing our military personnel with the resources to effectively advance u.s. missions abroad and the support they need here at home. the bill also protects the health and well-being of our veterans, funding medical care, disability benefits and education benefits. but in addition to adequately funding these programs, the subcommittee also made difficult but responsible choices that eliminate excess spending wherever appropriate. much of the reduction in this bill comes from savings related to the black process and from rescissions of previous year funding left over from lower than estimated construction costs. the bill also includes provisions for strong oversight, overspending. mr. chairman, cleaning up the way we spend taxpayer dollars will help balance our nation's
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budgets and will show the american taxpayers that we can be trusted with their hard-earned money. we can restrict cuts to only some areas of government, all agencies and programs must be held accountable to tighter budgets with more stringent supervision. chairman culberson and members of this subcommittee have shown great fiscal restraint and a commitment to real savings in reducing the discretionary spending in this bill below the 2011 levels while providing the resources our troops and our vets deserve. so again, mr. chairman, i want to congratulate chairman culberson, ranking member bishop, all the members of the subcommittee and my ranking partner, mr. dicks, for great work on this bill and of course to again say how much we appreciate the work of this fine staff. both on the committee, both on the minority and majority level.
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a great work. i believe this bill is an excellent representation of the good work that we can do in congress, when we work together. both as we support our troops and veterans and as we work in regular order to fund our government responsibly. i urge colleagues to support the bill. and yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: mr. chairman, i am delighted to yield four minutes to the distinguished ranking member of the defense subcommittee and of the full appropriations committee, mr. dicks. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. dicks: thank you, mr. bishop, and i want to congratulate you on -- -- on being the ranking member and also chairman culberson who is -- has i think done an outstanding job and of course my good friend and colleague, hal
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rogers, the chairman of our committee, and i would also congratulate the staff. the staff has done an amazing job considering we had to go through the 2011 episode and then come right back and get the 2012 bill out. the milcon-v.a. subcommittee has always had a strong reputation for common ground and bipartisanship as members traditionally worked together to find construction of military facilities and strive to improve the quality of life and care afforded to our veterans and family military. many years ago we got during the reagan administration, we got david stockman to allow us to do incremental funding on military hospitals. i'm glad the committee has gone back to an incremental funding approach. i think it's the only way we can do these major projects. we all acknowledge the challenge
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facing the nation today with respect to the debt and deficit and i believe this bill has done a commendable job addressing these fiscal challenges while ensuring that we are not impacting the level of care and benefits that our service members have so rightfully earned. military construction is funded at $14 billion which is $2.6 billion below the 2011 enacted amount and $752 million below the president's request. the subcommittee achieved those cuts through incremental funding of projects and by eliminating funding for several projects that were ahead of need. as ranking member bishop noted this bill makes a strong investment in the defense department schools by investing $483 million for construction and replacement of substandard facilities. i have been a strong advocate for the modernization of schools serving the children of our nation's servicemen and i commend the chairman and ranking member on their commitment to this effort.
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the department of veterans affairs would be funded at $58.3 billion in discretionary spending which is $1.85 billion above the f.y. 2011 enacted level and $476 million plo the president's request. most of this funding is for veterans medical services. the recommendation provides full funding of $69.5 billion for the mandatory v.a. programs providing compensation and pensions, educational benefits, vocational rehabilitation, life insurance and housing loan programs. i'd like to commend the chairman and ranking member for their efforts to ensure that our nation's veterans are well taken care of by maintaining adequate funding for veterans' health care under the benefits on which so many have come to count on. again, i'm pleased overall with the funding levels proposed in this bill today and i'm pleased that during the full committee markup we were able to move a contentious and divisive restriction on implementation of davis-bacon wage requirements
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but unfortunately there's one item that i believe will complicate the bill, passage of this bill. i'm troubled by the inclusion of a provision that prohibits the use of project labor agreements for any project in this bill. this divisive policy writer should not be included in an appropriation bill and the decision to implement p.l.a. -- p.l.a.'s should remain at the discretion of the agency. the inclusion of this provision unnecessarily complicates the support for a bill that would otherwise pass with wide bipartisan support. i expect the amendment to be offered that will remove the restriction on p.l.a.'s and would further improve the bill. i would like to urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the amendment. regardless, i remain commitmented to working with my colleagues to respectfully work out any differences on the floor so that we -- can you give me another 30 seconds? mr. bishop: i yield the gentleman another 30 seconds. mr. dicks: so we may pass a bipartisan bill that adequately
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provides for our troop, veterans and military families and again i want to -- i intend to support this bill and i wish we could finish tonight but i understand we can't and i look forward to seeing this bill done and i commend again the chairman and ranking member for their good work. thank you. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. culberson: i want to say again how much i appreciate working with all the members of the committee, mr. dicks, mr. bishop, we have worked with one goal in mind, to ensure the peace of mind of our men and women in uniform and retired military members to ensure that no matter where they go, what they're doing, they don't have a worry in the world. we want to make sure they're taken care of. we've done so in a way that's fiscally responsible. we've done so in a way that's ever mindful of the record debt, record deficit and many
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of the projects the v.a. has done before getting done on time or even getting started. we're making sure claims are paid on time. we're also giving any member of the house an opportunity to file an amendment and be heard. in an open and transparent way. something we in the majority committed to do, that every american would have the opportunity to read the bill online at least 72 hours in advance. it's important that we, doing the nation's business, do so in a way that's transparent and open and straightforward, especially when it comes to supporting our men and women in uniform and making sure they are taken care of and have no worries, there are no party labels. i see my good friend, mr. farr, of california, is here, he's been a particularly valuable member of the subcommittee. he's brought great expertise to the committee and i look forward to hearing from him
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tonight as well. i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: thank you very much. at this time, i am delighted to yield to mr. karr of california -- mr. farr of california. i'm happy to yield to mr. farr. the chair: the gentleman yields as much time as he may consume. mr. bishop: two and a half minutes, excuse me. the chair: the gentleman yields for two maff minutes on the me -- two and a half minutes. mr. farr: it's always a pleasure to serve with mr. dicks and mr. ronellers, the ranking and chair of the major committee. this committee is unique in congress. it's the only committee where
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both active duty military and veterans are dealt with in the same policy. there's no other committee in this house or in the senate that has the one stop that this committee has. it's a pleasure to be focused on the continuum of care for active duty and reservists and veterans. this past weekend, we remembered patriotic sacrifices of those who lost their lives in service to our country. today, we renew our commitment to keep our promise to our nation's more than two million troops and reservists and families and 23 million veterans. this committee has a strong history of working in a bipartisan way to produce a bill that supports our active duty service members and our veterans. i'm proud to support some much-needed increases in the veterans affairs department and would note that while this bill is $1.4 billion above last year's level, it is also $1.2 billion less than what the
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president requested. additionally, i'm pleased to see that this bill emphasizes the need for veterans in rural areas. the national cemetery administration anticipates that 10% of all the veterans will not receive access to burial options in a national, state, or tribal cemetery within 75 miles of their home. i am pleased that this bill directs the national cemetery administration to develop a strategy to serve our rural veterans. this language is important because it recognizes that veterans who live in rural communities should be treated on par with those who live in urban areas in all services provided by the v.a. in my district on the central coast of california, veterans are moving a step closer to achieving a dream of a veterans' cemetery at the former ford military base. i commend the chairman and ranking member for their hard work in ensuring that this bill is another significant step in
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fulfilling the promise our country has made to leave no veteran behind. i urge support for this bill on one condition and the condition is that the davis-bacon prohibition needs to be taken out. with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman from texas. mr. culberson: mr. chairman, i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman from georgia. does the gentleman from georgia have additional speakers? mr. bishop: we have no further speakers. mr. culberson: mr. chairman, i want to say briefly, one of the reasons we're trying to move expeditiously on this is we want to make schauer our men and women in uniform have everything they need as soon as possible. we want to make sure we get it -- that we get it done in an expeditious fashion. i reserve my time.
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the chair: does the gentleman from georgia continue to reserve or yield back? mr. bishop: we're prepared to yield back. the chair: the gentleman from georgia yields back. the gentleman from texas. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. culberson: the chair: the gentleman has yielded back. do you yield back your time? mr. culberson: mr. speaker, i would like to -- we are waiting for an amendment to be completed drafting but it's important i think to re-emphasize -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. culberson: in the time i have remaining, it's important to emphasize the scale of the problem the nation faces. this is not just a record deficit and record debt we face. it's actually a whole lot bigger than that. as we make sure our men and women in uniform are taken care of, with their housing, we made
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sure the marine -- the marine -- all the b.e.q.'s for the bachelors' enlisted quarters are funded, the army, navy, air force are fully funded, we've had to do this in a way that's fiscally responsible because we are ever mindful of the scale of the problem the nation faces financially. it's difficult to even begin to comprehend how huge the problem is that's been created by so many years of previous congresses, previous administrations too many promises, too many people, on too many occasions on money borrowed from future generations. the result has been that today, the unfunded liability facing the taxpayers, the nation, are about $49.6 trillion. those are liabilities for the -- at present value, for example, the publicly held debt
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which military and civilian pensions, retiree health benefits an other explicit, direct liabilities of about $16.9 trillion. now the entire u.s. economy is about thrs 13 trillion. our gross domestic products right at about $13 trillion system of just the explicit liabilities we have to pay already exceed the size of the entire u.s. economy. now we've got long-term contingencies and implicit liabilities, for example, the future cost of social security benefits. $31 trillion. future medicare benefits under part a, part b, and part d, all added together, create, this is unfunded liability, for which there's no source of revenue lined up to pay for this, of about $50 trillion. $49.6 trillion. to give you an idea of how big that number is, norled to pay that liability off, every living american would have to
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write a check tonight for $ 159,000 to pay off that future unfunded liability. i've had constituents ask me if they just write that check, can they be done? is that it? i wish it were that simple. but we in the appropriations committee, this vast amount of money we spend every year, this extraordinary responsibility with which we have been entrusted by our constituents, is -- the am of money we spend every year is -- pales in significance to the unfunded liabilities in the future. the amount of money we spend every year in the appropriations committee, a little over $1 trillion, an extraordinary amount of money, one thousand billion dollars, it is dwarfed by the size of the unfunded liability we face in the future. it is important to remember for everyone, mr. speaker, listening to this debate tonight, that the money we
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spend here tonight in support of our troop, the money we spend in support of our troops, to pay for all the things the federal government does, it's all borrowed. the hole is so deep that's been cug dug by our predecessors and again, too many promises to too many people on too many occasions, too many big government promises, still worried about lyndon johnson's war on poverty, how many trillions of dollars later and that hasn't worked out. we in the new constitutional conservative majority are committed to getting us back on track to a balanced budget. we recognize the scale of the problem, the urgency of the impending, these unfunded liabilities. this massive bill that's going to come due to our children and grandchildren. that is a -- in fact, the joint chiefs of staff do an analysis about every five years on the strategic threats facing the united states and analyzing all the threats facing our nation,
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the joint chiefs concluded that one of the greatest threats to america's strategic, one of the greatest stratenalic threats america faces, is our national debt. this unfunded liability, these crushing obligations that our kids are going to inherit if we as a congress don't work as we have on this subcommittee in a way without regard to party for the benefit of the nation to find ways to make sure that social security, medicare are solvent that we get the entitlement programs under control because they're going right off a cliff unless we make sure we rescue them and make sure they're solvent and there for our kids. we've got to make sure that we're doing everything within our power in the annual appropriations process to save every single dollar that we can. now -- there's been some debate, mr. chairman, some members of congress in the past have said, we just need to raise taxes. my predecessor, bill archer,
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chairman of the ways and means committee, had an analysis done that showed that even if you were to confiscate all of the corporate income, 100% of the corporate income in america, that would generate about $1.3 trillion. if the government were to confiscate 100% of all individual income over $200,000. that would generate about $2.1 trillion. 10 you can see that it isn't possible to solve this problem by raising taxes. that is something we also understand instinctive -- instinctively as conservatives, if you get the government out of our lives and leave us alone to raise our kids and run our businesses and run our lives, let texans run texas, let georgians run georgia, if you unleer the entrepreneurial creativity of the people, people will invest and save their money far wiser than the government will and we'll begin to dig out of this hole we're
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in. we're committed to not just saving money year to year but to ensuring that medicare, social security, that these social safety net programs that are so essential to our nation are there for the future, for our children and grandchildren. we're going to do everything in our power to make sure that we have done our job in a fiscally responsible way this year when it comes to military construction and veterans' affairs or homeland security or transportation or labor health and human services, all the various subcommittees of appropriations, that's year-to-year dollars that we have direct control over right now but we're also thinking long-term. we also want to eliminate that threat that the joint chiefs of staff identified, the greatest threat to our long-term national security, they identified as the national debt. much of which is held by nations hostile to the united states. deeply, deeply disturbing, mr. chairman, that the -- that the communist chi meeze government buys so much of our debt,
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they're the largest purchaser today of gold. the chinese economy is thundering, they have a very aggressive campaign under way to acquire as much intellectual property as they can through espionage and acquisition. we have as a nation in ahouring this debt to be created, allowing so many of our -- so many nations that are hosstilte united states to buy our debt, have placed too much power in the hands of the chinese, of sovereign wealth funds and we here tonight when it comes to supporting our military through this construction bill, through the veterans' affair we made sure that our men and women in uniform have everything they need in a fiscalry responsible way and this is just a first step we'll take to get america back on track to a balanced budget. i think that the members of the minority and our staff have been working to put together an en
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bloc amendment so we can attempt to continue to expedite this process and ensure that this bill is done as quickly as possible in order that again our men and women in uniform can have the peace of mind to know when they're taken care of and there's no bubble in the low jissitycal supply chain and they won't have to worry about disability claims, if they go to a veterans hospital or make sure their housing needs are taken care of on bases. we have an en bloc amendment, mr. chairman, i think that should be, i believe, on the brink of being ready for consideration so that we can move very rapidly to passage of this bill and get it over to the senate because we know how long it sometimes takes the senate to get things done. the chair: does the gentleman reserve? mr. culberson: i believe i can yield back my time at this point because i think we're very close to getting the agreed to group of amendments done. the chair: would the gentleman
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like to yield into a colloquy? mr. culberson: i'd be happy to ender -- enter into a colloquy. mr. bishop: i thank the gentleman for yielding. we have i think presented a good bill with the caveats that have been stressed by ranking member dicks and myself, along with mr. farr and at this time i think we're prepared to entertain the amendments. i think the chairman has some en bloc amendments that he will like to offer and we're happy to entertain those and move forward at this time. mr. culberson: mr. chairman, i yield back time on general debate, let's move forward to the amendments. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered read for amendment under the five-minute rule. during consideration of the bill for amendment, the chair may accord priority and recognition to a member offering an amendment who has caused it to be printed in the designated place in the congressional
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record. those amendments will be considered read. the clerk will read. the clerk: the enabilityment of the following money appropriated for the military construction, department of veterans affairs and represented agencies, 2012, namely title 1, department of defense, military construction, army, including rescission of funds, $3,144,491,000 to remain available until september 30, 2016. the chair: the clerk will suspend. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. culberson: mr. chairman, i would ask unanimous consent that the remainder of the bill through page 60, line 9, be considered as read, printed in the roar and open to amendment at any point -- printed in the record and open to amendment at any point. the chair: is there objection? hearing none, so ordered. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. culberson: mr. speaker, mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk.
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the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. culberson of texas. on page 29, line 16, after the dollar amount insert, reduce by $20 million, increased by $20 million, page 31, line 2, after the dollar amount, insert reduce by $100,000, increase by $100,000. page 32, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert increase by $22 million. page 33, line 12, after the dollar amount insert reduced by $22 million. page 34 of line 4, after the dollar amount insert the following, reduced by $100,000, increased by $100,000. page 35, line 4, after the dollar amount, insert reduced by $70 million, increased by $70 million. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. culberson: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that debate on this amendment and any
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amendments thereto be limited to 10 minutes to be equally divided and controlled by myself and the ranking member, mr. bishop. the chair: is there objection? hearing none, so ordered. the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. culberson: mr. speaker, this is an amendment which we've worked hard to come up with again arm in arm in a cooperative, bipartisan way, to increase, for example, -- we're making sure we have $20 million set aside for suicide prevention outreach, a terrible, terrible problem among veterans, and a high priority for us to do everything we can to help prevent suicide. that amendment offered by congressman holt and runyan. also this is another amendment we are submitting to attempt to reduce wait times for mental health services, also to increase research funding by $22 million, offset by reduction in
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general administration and also, mr. speaker, mr. chairman, to set aside $100,000 for the purpose of a study of veterans affairs, v.a. historic properties. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: at this time i'd like to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman, mr. holt. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. holt: mr. chairman, i thank the gentleman and i appreciate that this bipartisan amendment offered by my colleague, representative runyan of new jersey, has been accepted by the majority and i thank the chairman culberson and running backing -- ranking member bishop and their staffs for make this possible. as you may know, mr. chairman, last month the federal 9th circuit court sided with two veterans groups that sued the department of veterans affairs for failing to provide timely
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care to veterans at risk of suicide. the court noted that on average 18 veterans per day take their own lives. i'll repeat. on average 18 veterans per day take their own lives. we must end the suicide epidemic . this amendment is one important step in that process. so our amendment is simple. it fences $20 million of the $1 billion in advanced funding for the v.a. fiscal years 2012 -- 2013 and 2014 and dedicates these funds to suicide prevention outreach. specifically our intention is to use television ads and social media. we know that when veterans are made aware of the national suicide prevention number, which is 1-800-273-talk, they use it. and lives are saved. 1-800-273-talk. indeed in the state of new jersey we have our own veteran
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counseling hotline. the vet to vet program run by the university of medicine and dentistry in new jersey. since it went live, a half dozen years ago, no new jersey guard member who has used its services has taken his or her own life. it is a successful program, we want to see this expanded. when we get the word out about these counseling services, we save lives. it's past time that we pushed the v.a. to do the advertising and the outreach that's necessary to reach the people who need it. this amendment is budget-neutral, it's vitally needed and i thank my colleagues for carrying it forward. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. culberson: mr. chairman, i'm pleased at this time to yield such time as he may consume to my colleague from new jersey, mr. runyan. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. runyan: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, chairman, for the time. i thank my colleague from new jersey, mr. holt, for his work
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on this amendment. mr. chair, i rise today in support of the holt-runyan amendment which takes further steps toward keeping veterans alive by dedicating $20 million to suicide prevention outreach within the v.a. for fiscal year 2012. suicide is always tragic, but suicide by a veteran, especially young veterans of iraq and afghanistan, is especially troubling. v.a. officials tell us that one in five suicides in america is a veteran and that the suicide rate of male veterans is twice that of the general population. while most of these are older veterans, young male veterans are still more likely to commit suicide than those who have never served in iraq or afghanistan. when the suicide rate of veterans of iraq and afghanistan spiked in 2004, congressmen responded by increasing v.a.'s budget for mental health by merely 1/3. this allowed v.a. to create a veterans crisis line and place
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suicide prevention coordinators in every medical center. but if any veteran who needs help cannot get help or does not know it's available, the program is a failure. as i said before, every suicide is tragic and more must be done. this is why i strongly support this amendment which would give the v.a. the necessary additional resources to use -- to let veterans knew through tv and social media to reach out to our veterans and i hope all of my colleagues will stand with me and my colleague, mr. holt, in support of this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. is recognized. mr. bishop: yes. at this time i'd like to yield a minute and a half to the gentlelady from wisconsin, ms. moore. the chair: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for 90 seconds.
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ms. moore: thank you so much, the gentleman from georgia. i rise to support this omnibus amendment and for the purpose of directing the department of veterans affairs to examine its practices on how it plans to rehabilitate and reuse national land marks that are aging outdating or in obsolete conditions within the v.a. infrastructure. and issue a report to congress no later than january 1, 2012, on any actions taken or planned to be taken to rehabilitate and use these national landmarks to fulfill its responsibilities under section 106 of the national historic preservation and to our veterans. an example of these landmarks is the milwaukee soldier's home built in 1867. one of the original soldier's homes established by congressional legislation and approved by president abraham lincoln on march 3, 1865 the soldiers home reflects how our
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four sisters chose to care for and honor the solders who fought to keep the country united as one nation. i say, four sisters because it was the ladies of milwaukee's westside soldiers aid society whose tenacity and dedication made it possible to raise the funds necessary to create the milwaukee home for disabled volunteer soldiers which they generously gifted to the soldiers' whole system of forerunner of the department of veterans affairs. this summer on the 150th anniversary of the civil war, the soldiers home will hopefully be dedicated as a national historic landmark. i urge the department of veterans affairs to send a report to congress and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. culberson: mr. chairman, i continue to reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman
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continues to reserve. the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: i'd like to continue to reserve our time. we have one speaker who is on the way to the floor. the chair: the gentleman from texas gets to filibuster again. mr. culberson: mr. chairman, i'm -- the chair: he has 2 1/2 minutes. mr. culberson: i'll continue to note my time. we are pleased to support this amendment as the gentlewoman has just pointed out. this veterans hospital has created, i think she said, march 30, 1865, that would have been one of the last acts on earth of president abraham lincoln. we're pleased to accept her amendment to ensure the preservation of this very historic and important piece of american history. and i'll reserve our time. the chair: the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: we reserve our time and we want to commend the gentlelady for her amendment and her compassion in offering it. while i have the time, let me
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discuss the halt mire amendment which has been offered and mr. altmire, i believe, is on the way to the floor, but this amendment will move $22 million from the veterans administration's zero administration account for the medical and prosthetic research account. a recent civic committee on veterans affairs heard testimony from wounded soldiers about the disparity of prosthetics technologies between the department of defense and the veterans health care. this amendment will restore some of the funding that was cut from the medical and prosthetic research account by taking a small dollar amount from the v.a. general administration account. wounded warriors are deserving of no less than this nation's full commitment and i rise in strong support of this amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves and the gtl

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