tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN July 25, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT
the speaker: the house will be in order. the chair will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. we give you thanks, o god, forgiving us another day. please hear our prayers for the members of this assembly upon whom the authority of government is given. help them to understand the tremendous responsibility they have to represent both their constituencies and the people of this great nation of ours. this is a great but complex task . grant them as well the gift of
wisdom, to sort through what competing interests might exist to work a solution that concern all of the american people. finally, give each member peace and give all americans generosity of heart, to understand that governance is not simple, but difficult work, at times requiring sacrifice and forbearance. may all that is done within the people's house this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof and pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on -- the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal.
those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it, the ayes have it. the gentleman from texas. mr. poe: i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of lule 20, further -- rule 0, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from missouri, mr. clay. mr. clay: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. -- the speaker: without objection, so ordered. mr. poe: mr. speaker, mexican bandits have killed yet another
american. the reason -- his family couldn't come up with the $10,000 ransom. he was a court translator for the federal court in el paso, texas, he also was a lecturer at u-tep. he had gone to juarez to get his car fixed but he was kidnapped on july 6. when his relatives didn't pay the ransom he was murdered. he was found bound with duck tape after being stabbed repeatedly. juarez is the border city of death. thousands of mexicans have been murdered there as well as several americans. rowing bandits and drug cartels rule the city. they rein terror on people through violence, racketeering, extortion, robbery and drug deals. the violence and death city is not the only border town with an atmosphere of outlawrie. other border towns such as nuevo laredo are dangerous for honest persons. violence in mexico affects the u.s. border towns with cross-border crime. including reports of americans
with spanish surnames being kidnapped and held for ransom. failure to realize that crime in death city and other mexican border towns is real and expanding is to live like alice in wonderland and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from the mariana islands rise? mr. sablan: i ask to address the house for one minute, i reserve the balance of my time i reserve the balance of my time -- revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. sablan: mr. speaker, 50 years ago president kennedy observes the delightful arts, far from being an interpretation, a distraction, in the life of a nation is very close to the nature -- to the center of a nation's purpose season is a test of the quality of the nation's civilization. i ask you to join me today in recognizing an artist in the northern mariana islands who very much embodies the ideal of which the president spoke. and who through hised a vocations as both artist and
educator has brought in a community's appreciation of art, creativity and culture and encouraged others to explore and achieve artistic diverse as well. today he's representing the united states in china. artists from 96 different countries are creating sculptures there which will be adding to some 500 sculptures already exhibited in that city for previous emposeums. we all watch his progress, we wish him well and thank him for representing the northern mariana islands and america with such distinction and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> during barack obama's two years as a freshmen senator, america's debt increased $400 billion. during obama's next two years in
the senate majority america's debt increased another $1.8 trillion. as president, barack obama drove up america's debt another $3 trillion. mr. brooks: in barack obama's time in washington, america's debt load has increased by more than $5 trillion. that's a 50% increase in just six years. do you see the pattern? the longer obama's in washington, the worse america's debt and the weaker america becomes. what is president obama's solution? obama submits record high budgets to congress that continue washington's unsustainable spending binge. obama demand as debt ceiling increase with no spending cuts. mr. president, america needs white house leadership, if you have a written solution to this debt crisis please submit it, the american people deserve no less. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
the gentleman is reminded to address his remarks to the chair. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on july 22, 2011, at 3:28 p.m., that the senate passed senate resolution 234, that the senate passed senate 300. with best wished, i am, signed, sincerely, karen l. haas.
without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. landry: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, i had an opportunity this weekend to go home to louisiana which i enjoy doing and i heard from a state senator of mine who is also a banker and he said that he had a gentleman come in his office this weekend asking for some more money on his loan and he said, well, you know, in order to do that you have to give us some more information, we have to see your debt to income ratio, your assets versus your liability. and so after looking at that he explained to him that the ratio doesn't work. he can't lend him any more money. but if you plug in the same type -- that same ratio, what our fellow regulators are requiring of our financial institutions when you look upon the american people and american businesses, you will find that if we put that same set of rules on this government that basically our federal regulators would not let us borrow any more money. the point of the matter is, mr. speaker, is that we have a spending problem here in
washington. we cannot raise this debt ceiling unless we do three things. we cut, we cap and we balance our budget. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: thank you very much. my good friend did what many of us did, he's my neighbor in louisiana and i went home to texas and interacted with so many constituents, many of them asking the question -- why? and i believe it's important to ask the question, why not? let me tell you, my let me tell you my friends, we don't need to politicize the debt crelling, but we need to tell the truth for if the debt ceiling is not raised, trillions of dollars will be lost, not in those of us who sit on this floor, but in the portfolios and packages for seniors and
401-k's. if you want to talk about $1 trillion, talk about what will be lost to our seniors and hardworking americans. there is no option. there is not an option for short-term. that's a joke. that's politics to start up back again in april or march. let's go forward with the proposed plan. let's get a deficit reduction, raise the debt ceiling, cut what we can. and go into regular order. that is the responsible, adult way to go. america is watching. america is looking. i'm not going to stand by while trillions of dollars are lost. i ask my republican friends to join us in a reasoned response. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the ladies time has expired. -- the lady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah rise?
for what purpose does the gentleman from utah rise? mr. bishop: it's so good to he > you this morning. the speaker pro tempore: equally good to see you, sir. mr. bishop: by direction of the committee on rules i caup you will house resolution 363 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 59, house resolution 363, resolved, that at any time after the adoption of this resolution, the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 2584, making appropriations for the department of the interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012, and for other purposes. the first proceed reading of the bill shall be dis-- the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and
controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations. after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. the amendment printed in section 2 of this resolution shall be considered as adopted in the house and in the committee of the whole. points of order against provisions in the bill as amended are -- for failure to comply with clause 2 of rule 21 are waived. during consideration of the bill for further amendment, the chair of the committee of the whole may accord priority and recognition on the basis of whether the member offering an amendment has caused it to be printed in the portion of the congressional record designated for that purpose in clause 8 of rule 18. amendments so printed shall be considered as read. when the committee risings and reports the bill -- rises and reports the bill as amended back to the house with a recommendation the bill do pass, the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill as amended and amendments
thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. section 2, the amendment considered as adopted in the house and in the committee of the whole is as follows. strike section 427. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah is recognized for one hour. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. for purpose of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentlelady from new york, ms. slaughter, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. during the consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for purpose of debate only. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. bishop: mr. speaker, this resolution provides an open rule for consideration of h.r. 2584. it allows any member of the house to offer amendments which are germane and comply to the house rules. the rules allows priority
recognition for the amendments that have been preprinted in the congressional record. i am pleased to support this resolution which continues the record of our rules committee in this congress providing for open and fair and orderly process as possible. i commend our chairman, mr. dreier, for continuing the record of fairness and openness in the formulation of this rule which is in the contrast to some rules that we have had in past years. madam speaker, -- mr. speaker, h.r. 2584 provides $27.5 billion overall for programs within the department of interior and the forest service, environmental protection agency, the indian health service, and other agencies. but it is a bill that strikes a fiscally responsible balance between providing funds for ongoing federal programs while also saving the taxpayers 7% over last year's enacted levels. puts us back roughly to the 2009
levels. there are some who claim there are certain programs that have been hurt heavily. it is true. for example, that the environmental protection agency has an 18% reduction in funding in this bill. please remember, though, that this was made possible simply because of unprecedentedly high record appropriations for e.p.o. in 2009 of which $3 billion still remains unobligated. in an era when 42 or 44 cents of every dollar we spend goings for interest, it makes no -- goes for interest, it makes no sense in continuously overappropriating line items where money is not needed, used, and sits there vacant. this is a program, a bill that oftentimes for those of us who live in the west has been full of riders year after year after year. probably makes no difference here. but i realize that some are going to be very sensitive to this issue. i know the gentlelady from new york is very concerned about these potential issues that may be on this bill. why should she not?
her state actually has .3% of its territory -- that's wrong. if you include the military, .8% of new york is owned by the federal government. i will contrast that my state which has 64% owned by the federal government. and we are not the highest. this is an issue an a bill that is very important to those of us. mr. speaker, this is a good bill. it is an extremely fair rule. you can't get any fairer than this one is. i urge its adoption. i'm going to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the lady from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank thea. utah, my colleague, for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the lady is recognized. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, in these tough times we must make choice that is reflect our values and our beliefs that we solve our toughest problems through shared sacrifice and working together. unfortunately today we consider yet another bill that is devoid of these values.
once again today's legislation places the burden on the american people while reloig the special interests and lobbyists who walk these halls. one of the many riders inserted into the bill would effectively open up a million acres ever national forest and other -- of national forest and other public land around the grand canyon. people want to mine uranium there. democrats have great concerns about maintaining the integrity of the grand canyon. and the effect of uranium mining on water quality, not to mention that shows us auctioning off a national treasure with the proceeds going to mostly foreign-owned entities. who is it that wants to drill for uranium? russia, and south korea, state owned utility. in other words, we will give up the grand canyon and potable water likely to benefit the russians and south korea.
and any mining that is included in this bill comes under a bill that was signed by ue listcies -ulysses grant in 186 -- 72. at the same time the majority proposes crippling cuts to the e.p.a. that will cut programs that protect our air and water. there are few more important responsibilities in making sure when we go to the kitsch sink the water coming out is safe. we know a human being may live as long as he or she may without food. for days without water f our nation can't protect the most basic of life necessities, we have indeed fallen far. today's bill will also prohibit the use of government money to add animals to the endangered species list, but allows the use of government money to take
species off the list. this policy change threatens the endangered species act and the protection that is come with it. the misguided priorities in this bill would directly impact my district, and my colleague is right about that. in the city i'm elected to represent. but not just them. 20% of the fresh water on this planet resides in the great lakes. most of us who live around the great lakes believe it is our responsibility to take care of that and to pass it on to future generations. but in recent years the great lakes has been invaded by species carried into water by foreign vessels. new york being closest to the atlantic ocean and st. lawrence'way, they have enacted stronger laws gents dumping balance list and this bill pun ushes us for doing that. the invasive species are not
just damaging an ecosystem but way of life. the e.p.a. has come to the aid of these communities by dedicating funding to restore the great lakes. but today's bill would bar new york state from receiving any restoration funding from the e.p.a. and leave the great lakes to be overrun by the invasive species delivered overseas. any bill that stands up for foreign shipping magnets but won't provide a cent to help americans should never see the light of day and will never receive my vote. today's legislation also harms the arts. if today's bill takes effect, the national endowment for the arts will have lost 20% of its funding in two years. these cuts target a program that works. in f.y. 2010 we invested $165.5 billion, remember that number. $167.5. for the purpose of providing funding to nonprofit art
organizations. the funding created 166.2 billion in total economic activity. supported 5.7 million jobs. and generated back for the $167 million, put back in the federal treasury $1.6 billion in tax revenues to the united states treasury. and that does not count what happens -- the improvement to state treasuries and local treasuries. today legislation targets a program proven to create jobs and contribute to economic and cultural well-being of our nation. you would think that people who are elected to congress of the united states would want a program like that. want it to survive and grow. but, no, here they are cutting the budget once again. our country is blessed with stunning natural beauty and a wealth of natural resources that are unparalleled anywhere in the world.
but in one final swipe at our national interest, today's bill cuts the budget for land and water conservation fund by a whopping 78%. the land and water conservation funding ensures that our national treasures will be here for our children and grandchildren. a mission that apparently deserves a 78% less money than it did a year before. a cut like that is all you need to know about the priorities of the majority and the special interests that are being served. if getting our physical calgary house in order is truly about shared sacrifice, this bill does not reflect it. we could have started by asking oil and gas companies to pay their fair share after profiting so richly for resources found on american soil. instead the majority injected an amendment that would ask oil and gas companies to pay more so the nation can fund programs that clean up the most polluted lands in our country. the majority will not even allow this amendment.
today's bill asks nothing, nothing of the companies that are making record profits. instead cuts the programs and services and agencies that serve the american people and protect our environment for future generations. mr. speaker, a bill like that does not reflect our values, is not up to the standards the american people have come to expect and deserve. it cuts special interests over our general welfare and it fails totally to invest in our future. we can and we must do better. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: reserves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah reserves. the lady from new york. ms. slaughter: i'm pleased to yield three minutes to my colleague from new york, the ranking democrat on water resources and environment subcommittee, mr. bishop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. bishop: thank you. i thank my friend from new york for yielding. mr. speaker, i thank you. i rise in opposition to this rule and to the underlying bill.
as the---as every member of the rules committee knows, the interior, environment, appropriations bill that we will debate today simply violates the rules of the house. unfortunately the rules committee has waived all points of order against the bill, preventing members from striking provision that is are clearly in violation of house rules. in particular, title 5 of the bill includes the reducing regulatory in particular the regulatory burdens act of 2011, a bill that amends the clean water act which is solely within the jurisdiction of the transportation and infrastructure committee and the water resources and environment subcommittee of which i am the ranking member. furthermore the provision amends the federal insect side, fungicide act that is under the jurisdiction of the house agriculture committee. as we all know, advancing authorizing legislation within an appropriations vehicle is not within the jurisdiction of the committee on appropriations and it stands in stark contrast to
clause 2-b of rule 21 of the house rules which state in part, a provision changing existing law may not be reported in a general appropriations bill and yet that is precisely what title 5 is. it is a change in existing law. not only is the inclusion of title 5 in the underlying bill a violation of house rules, it's also legislatively redundant. the house has already passed h.r.h. 72 earlier this year under suspension of the rules. the bill is now being considered in the senate where it has been reported out of the senate agricultural committee. in my opinion including h.r. 872 in the interior appropriations bill will hamper negotiations between senators and between the house and the senate as a final -- to get a final bill that everyone can be disappointed with, frankly, that's what's at stake here, but that can pass both chambers and be enacted into law before the court order deadline of october 31, 2011.
let me say that again. there is a court ordered deadline of october 31, 2011, to resolve this issue. mr. speaker, i would be offering an amendment to strike title 5 when it comes up during debate this week, however i am deeply disappointed that the rules committee has blatantly ignored the rules of the house by eliminating the ability of members to raise a point of order against provisions of an appropriations bill that changes existing law. there are approximately 39 policy writers included in the interior appropriations bill. and let's be clear. these are policy earmarks. and these earmarks undermine the jurisdiction of authorizing committees and undermine the ability of the house and the senate to work its will. it is unfortunate that the rules committee is protecting these new earmarks from the rules of the house. i urge a no vote on the rule and a no vote on the underlying bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah.
mr. bishop: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: this particular bill is a great illustration of one of the probables we have here in the house of representatives and indeed with government. our land policy in the united states is one historically that had no purpose or organization to it, it simply happened. but what happened happened disproportionately throughout this country. which is why one out of every three acres in america is now owned by the federal government. i defy anyone on that side to find for me a constitutional provision that would allow that ownership, but nonetheless it is. the unfortunate thing is it is disproportion. one out of every two acres in the west is owned by the federal government. that means 52% of the area west of denver is owned by the federal government, 4% of the area east of denver is owned by the federal government. much of that in military installations. as i said, the state of new york has .3% of its land owned by the
federal government, .8% if you include military. state of virginia has 8% owned by the federal government, almost all military. the gentleman from massachusetts who will be here as well, 1.1% of their state is owned by the federal government. and so it means different issues for my state, which is a 65% owned by the federal government, alaska, nevada which is almost 90% owned by the federal government, idaho which is over 60% owned by the federal government, things take place differently. that's why, for example, things like the land water conservation fund, it's a nice fund if it was used to preserve what we already have. unfortunately that fund is used to buy more territory. with administration decision and mindset that is no land should ever be given back or up, more should be accumulated. that's why the ability of this appropriations bill to try and put that money not simply to cut it but to move it into
preservation as opposed to access to buying more land makes sense to us in the west. because we recognize this heavyhanded tyranny that takes place. let me just give you one simple example. and it was brought up here that deals with uranium mining in arizona, one of these so-called writers in this particular appropriations bill. takes place in what is called the arizona strip which has led some people to mistakenly think that we are going to be strip mining around the grand canyon. the arizona strip is the size of the state of new jersey but that is the area between utah and colorado river. in that area in 1984 morris udall who was at the time the secretary of the resource committee here -- sorry, the chairman of the resources committee here in the house created a wilderness compromise in which wilderness area was created in the state of arizona. 56% of the state of arizona was put offlimits to any kind of
mining endeavors whatsoever. in exchange certain areas were put specifically for those type of mining areas including areas in the arizona strip, this new jersey-sized piece of the state of arizona. the unfortunate thing is it was always intended to be used there for mining purposes because there is a great deal of uranium-ore there. unlike other kinds of mining, this ore is found in little pipes, strips within the ground that go up and down. and what you need to do is simply to bore into the pipe, find the ore in the middle, take it out and replace all the stuff back in, so once are you done with that mine, no one ever sees that it was there in the first place. the ore that is taken out is not left in arizona, it's actually going to be shipped for processing somewhere else so, there will be no tailings, there will be no wind pollution, there will be no dust issues whatsoever. certain special interest groups said, well, it could change the water quality that goes through colorado and then would
eventually flow to las vegas and do something strange in las vegas, as if that were ever possible. unfortunately as stated by the arizona department of environmental quality, the mining groups, there have been certain groups that have inferred with no substantive supporting data that groundwater in this particular area of the colorado river may be contaminated by uranium mining. that simply won't happen and it won't happen because of where the ore is. the ore is found 100 feet below the surface. there is only 12 inches of rain a year, there is no particular kind of any runoff that takes place. it's also found 1,000 feet above the aqua ferre which clay underneath so there is no way there can be any kind of leashing that goes into the aquafer. the bottom line is there will never be any kind of tams on thwart which was the ex -- tams on this water which was the excuse used to provide political use reason for taking this land
off the table and it could not be used again. unfortunately the e.p.a. gets involved in this one again because they have determined that if uranium or whatever they call uranium gets into the water and it's more than 30 parts ber billion, that's unsafe. unfortunately there are uranium pipes within the grand canyon itself which already erode into the water tanned creates a situation where tharl -- water and it creates a situation where naturally occurring there are four parts per billion. they did some testing to find out what would happen if actually some of this uranium were to leech into the water and it would increase that four number to six parts per billion. in essence what they are say something you could take all of the tailings that could come from these potential mines and dump them into the colorado river and you still would not reach the level set by the e.p.a. for drinking water. in fact, the uranium that naturally occurs in the colorado river, even if you had a catastrophe, is still lower than uranium levels found in
freshwater lakes in the desert area. now, why isn't all that considered? because the decision to withdraw that area from mining was not based on science, if it was based on science and the department of environmental quality of arizona would not have testified that there was no scientific basis for it, the state of arizona would not have passed a letter -- a piece of legislation decrying the withdrawal of that particular area, the guy who was actually part of the national parks conservation association as well as the autobahn society and the safe of redwoods league who is actually one that did the scientific study in 1984 when the original design was made, simply said there was no legitimate evidence to say there could be any contamination there which basically means the withdrawal of this land was done for political purposes, not scientific purposes. so to put a provision back into this bill saying that if you're going to do this kind of stuff it darn well better be on a
scientific basis and not a political basis makes sense. it's one of the right things to do in here. i realize we have some other speakers in here so i'm not going to take all the time but i would desperately like to talk about clean water provisions, naskgabble water provisions and what e.p.a. does with those because it has a different impact on those of us in the west where almost all of our land is controlled by them versus those in the east where almost no land is controlled by them and they have a great deal of freedom to develop the resources on their own. with that, mr. speaker, i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to respond for a minute before i yield to mr. mcgovern, i have an article saying that the previous allowing of uranium mining has caused great damage, this watershed gives water to 26 million people and has 90% of
their water. as it is, let me quote from the paper, the colorado river is already endangered by the uranium mines which the gentleman from has talked about is not hurting anybody at all, they sit in the watershed, some perilously close to the water. the moratorium does not prevent mining claims from being developed, there are over 3,500 of them that have been put in, the interior department says that they are looking at 3,500. adding to the potential for more uranium to reach the water does not make sense. republicans in congress should stop trying to repeal the moratorium and should instead work to protect the grand canyon and the colorado river, make noes sense to put drinking water at risk. i will put that in the record if i may, ask unanimous consent, and "the new york times," june 28, mining in the canyon, an editorial, and absolutely harm is being done. i'm pleased now to yield five minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. maybe of the rules committee, mr. mcgovern.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for five minutes. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the ranking member, ms. slaughter, for yielding me the time. mr. speaker, i rise today to oppose this rule and the underlying legislation. mr. speaker, i have two children, ages 13 and 10, and one of our favorite things to do as a family is to go hiking and we have hiked all over this great country. we have a love and a respect for our open spaces and for our environment and unfortunately the republicans' fiscal year 2012 interior appropriations bill throws that into grave danger. this interior appropriations bill represents an unprecedented departure from our nation's decades-long bipartisan commitment to protecting our shared environment, magnificent natural resources and our cherished cultural treasures. it's a shame that my republicans colleague prioritize tax breaks and incentives for highly profitable oil companies over the grand canyon, the cape cod
national sea shore, state parks and even public health. mr. speaker, i could be here all day talking about the harmful cuts and misplaced priorities that are included in this bill. from the more than 25 policy writers that do not belong in an appropriations bill, that do everything from gutting the endangered species act to allowing uranium drilling by foreign companies alongside the grand canyon, to the harsh cuts in e.p.a. funding that will result in millions of americans being exposed to dirtier air and dirtier water, i give my republican colleagues credit. they've left no stone unturned in their environmental assault. unfortunately, though, that stone will be covered in toxic algae, coal ash and polluted water if they have their way. one of the most egregious cuts in this bill is the land and water conservation fund. the land and water conservation fund has been one of the greatest conservation success stories over the past 50 years, protecting thousands and thousands of acres of land at
the federal and state level. states rely on this funding and demonstrate their commitment to its value by providing matching funds for state park and recreational purposes. not only that, but the land and water conservation fund has a dedicated source of funding derived from oil and gas leasing and the outer continental shelf and is authorized to accumulate $900 million annually from its dedicated sources. nonetheless my republican friends forget all of this and still slash the land and water conservation fund funding by 78% from the current fiscal year. this represents the lowest level of funding in the 45-year history of the land and water conservation fund. what's most troubling is that in the committee report my republican colleagues acknowledge the enormous value of the land and water conservation fund but then go right ahead and decimate its budget. the bill also cuts clean water
and safe drinking water grant programs by nearly 40%, threatening americans' ability to access clean water and adding to the already significant backlog of safe drinking water infrastructure projects. i know it's politically popular to demonize the e.p.a. right now. at times i have had my own strong disagreements with the e.p.a. on certain issues, but this interior appropriations bill is not the way to meaningful address any of those disagreements. this bill puts the priorities of special interests and scoring cheap political points over public health and natural resources. it's as simple as that. mr. speaker, i realize that these are tough budgetary times, but what tubbles me about the republicans' approach to this appropriation process is that so many of their cuts are aimed at programs that will lower the standard of living and lessen the you quality of life for the majority of americans. this process, this
appropriations process should be about lifting people up not putting people down. and it should be about a decent respect for our environment. and it's certainly a respect for our environment over corporate special interests. mr. speaker, when we talk about protecting our environment, we are talking about quality of life issues. that um pact every single person -- that impact every single person in this country. this bill undermines our historic bipartisan commitment to our environment. i urge my colleagues to reject this rule and the underlying bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts yields back. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: i'm once again appreciative that data from newspaper articles were put into the record because the newspapers have a tendency of quoting one another and quoting environmental groups. unfortunately, the data still says the same thing from those who know what they are -- the scientific community that actually knows what they are talking about who said a few
environment groups claim without providing any scientific supporting data that the ground water in the colorado would be contaminated with uranium mining. we conclude even the most inplausible accident would increase the amount by an amount that's undetectible over those carried normally. that i could continue to view such activities as posing no credible threat of environmental harm to either the grand canyon national park or the colorado river that flows through it. i see no justification for 1.1 million acre withdrawal from mineral entries land north and south of the park. it's important to note the research conducted by the united states geographical survey and preliminary findings confirm uranium exploration and mining pose no threat. this is the study. this is the scientific data. it would be nice if for once we used this data instead of quoting nun another and quoting things that have no basis in science. with that i yield two minutes to the gentleman from michigan, a
member of the resources committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for two minutes. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of this rule and final passage of the bill. at a time when government is borrowing over 40 cents for every dollar it spends, this bill makes needed cuts and puts forward a responsible and sensible framework for mangle our nation's natural resources. i represent the vast district in northern michigan that includes federal forests, national parks, and three great lakes. i am particularly pleased that the committee included language to boost and streamline timber harvests in federal forests. similar to legislation that i introduced earlier this year. right now on the federal forest for them to plan a timber harvest takes nearly eight years to complete a harvest, from beginning of the attempt to sell a parcel of land for timber and
the actual harvesting. mr. benishek: whereas certified sustainable state forests take less than two years. and certified sustainable county forests take up a year. basically it comes down to jobs in my district. we have a lot of federal land in northern michigan. and people in my district depend on the timber industry for jobs. every little town has a mill, a flooring mill. jobs. high-paying jobs. and the frustration that comes from having a timber -- forest full of tim perfect being unable to harvest it because of onerous regulations and rules results in a less healthy forest and less jobs for northern michigan. we have a long way to go to responsibly harvest timber in northern michigan and elsewhere in this country. but i believe this is a good start.
i certainly look forward to working with this committee in the future to continue to promote jobs in northern michigan. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields back. the lady from new york. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. let me yield myself 30 seconds before i yield five minutes to mr. markey. we are always being told what junk science in here, i will tell you right now i really think that the science is very strong and thank goodness there's a moratorium on this mining around the grand canyon. i'm pleased to yield five minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts who will make it very clear, mr. markey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for five minutes. mr. markey: i thank the gentlelady very much. this spending bill represents one of the most egregious assaults on our nation's environment in the history of our country. if this bill were to pass, our air will be smoggier.
our climate will be hotter. our water will be more polluted. our public lands will become more dess spoiled. sim -- despoiled. simply put, this legislation is so toxic, h.r. 2584 is so toxic that you better handle it wearing a hazmat suit. because there are so many future environmental crimes committed against the environment in our country that you have to handle this bill with extreme care. the actual title of this bill is interior, environment, and related agencies appropriations for 2012. but it could be called, the have the republicans been outside act? it is hot, ladies and gentlemen. it is hot. the world is warming. all of the evidence has been
pointing in this direction for decades and people are living it on a daily basis. it's appropriate that this bill starts with the word interior, because only the house republicans who have been couped up inside for weeks debating whether to crater our economy could possibly ignore what's going on outside in our natural environment. the weather forecasters said we were trapped under a heat dome last week. well, the republican majority under this capitol dome would commit us to even more dangerous heat if this bill passes and believe it or not, this bill bans the environmental protection agency from increasing the fuel economy standards of the vehicles which we drive in our country. which will basically put the brakes on the all electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid
revolution. now, i know that's what the auto industry wants. i know that's what the oil industry wants. they don't want to see cars become more and more efficient so we don't have to consume all that oil so that we can tell opec we don't need their oil anymore than we need their sand. but in this bill they actually ban the e.p.a. from approving the fuel economy standards of the vehicles that we drive and they ban all 50 states from improving the efficiency of the vehicles which we drive. and how else could you explain that this bill would increase smog and dirty air days if you didn't have the house republicans living in their own world. when families are planning their summer trips to explore our national parks, how else could you explain a bill that allows for mining of nuclear fuel
uranium near grand canyon national park? under this bill when families go to enjoy the sunset across the canyon, it won't just be the sun that's causing the glow, but the radiation as well from the uranium mining. and when americans are canceling vacations because they can't pay for gas, how else can you explain a bill that would tell auto companies to stop making more fuel efficient cars and trucks? if you live in an air conditioned mansion with an indoor pool and you have your bottled water delivered, then this bill makes perfect sense to you. especially if you also work for the oil, coal mining, or chemical industries. for those industries this bill represents their summer vacation from regulation. for the rest of us it is a one-way ticket to the a dirtier environment for the united states of america. house republicans have a tough time raising the debt ceiling. but with this bill, they are
proving to have no reservations when it comes to raising the death ceiling. with more pollution in our air, in our water, making us less healthy, making us more likely to be able to contract diseases that we would not otherwise. it is bad enough that the house republicans want to take medicare away from grandma, but now they want to make the air she and her grandkids breathe and the water they drink more polluted. this bill would cause more premature deaths, more asthma, more harm to children from toxins like mercury. yeah, they don't want to lift the debt ceiling. but they will be lifting the death ceiling because of the exposure to these chemicals and pollutants. vote no on the republican appropriation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: mr. speaker, i know
that what we do here on the floor is often riveting drama from those who are watching on television, let me in sum respects not try to add to that drama and go back to facts. something we don't necessarily like around here. we have already talked about this so-called uranium issue showing facts. the chart we just saw from the gentleman from massachusetts was an interesting chart. the area of the united states that was colored on that chart is the area there are those in this administration, indeed on this floor, want to be owned by the federal government here. let me talk to you just a moment, i'll even grant some time to the gentlelady from new york if she could actually answer this one, and talk about what some of these issues do those of us who live under what nelson rockefeller called the deadening hand of bureaucracy. because once again in the east you don't have to deal with
these situations. in the west we do. let me talk to that simply the environmental protection agency and some of the brilliant things they do in the name of trying to clean up our water and our air and make life more livable for us. one of the suburbs of my community, and i call it a suburb simply because my community only has 18,000 people in it. i like calling them a suburb. has no rivers, no creeks, no streams, no anything. it does have irrigation ditches starting at the top of the mountain the irrigation water flows down so it covers all the fields. as normally you wouldn't want to do. we passed legislation allowing for the clean water act, allowing the federal government, especially the e.p.a., to come in and monitor water that is navigable water systems on interstate commerce. great lake in utah is all confined in the state of utah. there are no outlets. that's why it is salty. there is nothing more
intranavigable than the great lake but because in the 1808's some of the pioneers used to ship sheep over there on the islands, it is now part of the interstate commerce system and part of the navigable water system in the united states, therefore controllable by the environmental protection agency. now, let's see what they did in my particular community. in this community where there were irrigation ditches, the overflow from the irrigation ditches ran down and the environmental protection agency said the runoff from those irrigation ditches would eventually go into the great lake, therefore that runoff from a ditch was part of the navigable water systems of the united states and controllable as wetlands by the environmental protection agency. even though that irrigation runoff to get to the great lake would actually have to run down the mountain, through a culvert for the city road, through one for the train tracks, through one that was the side road of the freeway, through the northbound freeway, through the barrel pit, through the southbound freeway, through
another one of the roads to the southbound freeway, up a 3% grade to an area that had been previously determined to be not a wetlands area and into the bear river system which was stopped from going to the great lake by the bear river bird refuge. they claim that could happen. and because of that the water from the irrigation system was navigable waters of the united states and the environmental protection agency claimed jurisdiction over it. which meant that the citizens of that community could not expand their sewer system. instead they had to take money out of their pockets to ship their sewage either to brink brigham city or others because they control the navigable waters because we gave them the pow tore do that under the clean water act. one of the things i'm talking about here and one of the frustrations we had illustrated by this bill is unfortunately time after time these agencies funded in this bill do not
consider what they do to real people. real people in my community are being harmed time after time by decisions made from bureaucrats sitting here in washington and then we wonder why we rail against these environmental groups? why we rail against these agencies? and why we don't want to have some kind of control over this process and the only vehicle we seem to have is the appropriation bill? the land and water conservation funding is used to buy more land to get more control. if it were not, we would not complain about it. the e.p.a. is used to get more control over people's life and they hurt people in the process. so we are -- so we would not complain about them. the withdrawing of uranium mining on the arizona strip was done despite all the scientific testimony for political reasons. were it not done so we would not complain about it. this is a decent bill which moves us a step forward to control our spending habit, dealing with what is really the core issues and core responsibility of our agencies. and trying not to harm people. .
i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i have no further requests for time and may i inquire of my colleague if he has further speakers? mr. bishop: may i inquire how much time actually remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah has 11 minutes and the lady from new york has nine minutes. remaining. mr. bishop: to the gentlelady from new york, i have a brilliant 11-minute speech welling within my boss om but i will be willing to close if you are willing to close as well. ms. slaughter: i thank you for that and i am willing to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i think we have demonstrated that this bill contains an astonishing array of devastating cutting and special interest writers that jeopardize the water we drink, the air we breathe and our country's national heritage. i urge a no vote on the rule and the underlying legislation and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york yields back. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: mr. speaker, i think we've also proved in this bill that we're moving in the right direction to try and control the excesses that continuously take place here and still maintain the core responsibilities that have to be there and we have done it in a rule that is adamantly fair, it is an open rule that will allow anyone to bring anything down here to the floor until we do an agreement that stops it. it's a good rule, i urge your adoption of that particular rule. in closing, i will once again reiterate the fairness of this open rule, i urge its adoption, i urge the adoption of the underlying legislation and with that i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: all time having been yielded back, without objection the previous question is ordered. the question is on the adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: this hurts. i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois rise? mrs. biggert: mr. speaker, 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 368, resolved that the clerk of the house of representatives requests the senate to return to the house the bill h.r. 1309 entitled an act to extend the authorization of the national flood insurance program, to achieve reforms to improve the
financial integrity and stability of the program, and to increase the role of private markets and the management of flood insurance risk and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings now will resume on questions previously postponed as follows, first, adoptioning -- adopting resolution 363 and, second, agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. first vote will be a 15-minute vote. the second vote will be a five-minute vote.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair will make the following announcement. the chair will remind the house that on july 24, 1998, at 3:40 p.m., officer jacob j. chestnut and detective john m. gibson of the united states capitol police were killed in the line of duty, defending the capitol against an intruder armed with a gun. at 3:40 p.m. today the chair will recognize the anniversary of this tragedy by observing a moment of silence in their memory. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will now resume on house resolution 363 on which
the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title. the clerk: house calendar number 59, house resolution 363, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 2584, making appropriations for the department of the interior, environment and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are 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.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 205, the nays are 131. the resolution adopted. -- the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. on which the yeas and nays and nays were ordered. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. 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
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 233. the noes are 108 with two members voting present. the journal stands approved. the house will be in order. the house will be in order. members, please take your conversations off the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho rise? mr. simpson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 2584 and that i may include tabular material on the same. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
pursuant to house resolution 363 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. 2484. the chair appoints the gentleman from california, mr. campbell, to proside over the committee of the whole. -- preside over the committee of the whole. h.r. 2584. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 2584 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill making appropriations for the department of the interior, environment and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012, and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from idaho, mr.
simpson, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from idaho. mr. simpson: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i'm pleased to bring to the floor the 2584 the fiscal year 2012 interior, environment and related agencies appropriations bill. as we begin i want to personally thank mr. moran, mr. dicks and each member of our subcommittee for their active participation and bipartisan spirit. regardless of our positions on this bill i sincerely appreciate their constructive contributions. mr. chairman, we're living in a time when the federal government borrows more than 40 cents on each dollar it spends. we're living in a time of record deficits and debt. while reductions in discretionary spending alone will not totally erase the deficit we know that reducing federal spending is the first step. the fiscal year 2012 interior and environment bill is funded at $27.5 billion which is 7%
below the f.y. 2011 enacted level and $3.8 billion or 12% below the budget request. funding in this year is with 2009 spending. the subcommittee has made some very difficult choices in preparing this budget proposal. in total 235 members of the house submitted over 1,700 programmatic requests to the subcommittee for consideration. while it makes significant spending reductions across many agencies and programs, it provides ample funding to address key accounts supported by a bipartisan cross-section of members. for instance, fire suppression at the department of interior is fully funded at the 10-year average. the bill includes $37 million increase over fiscal year 2011 for the bureau of ocean energy management to hire new inspectors and move forward with offshore oil gas and oil
permitting. and the operations of our national park is sustained at levels only slightly below last year which means every park in the nation will be fully operational and staffed without the threat of furloughs or layoffs. it makes investments in indian country. this bill continues to make investments in human health and wellness programs in indian country affecting health care, education and self-determination. overall the department of interior's funded at $9.9 billion which is $715 million or 7% reduction below last year's enacted level. as i mentioned, we've done some things that secretary salazar will support. the secretary and i had many discussions about these issues as well as some areas where funding isn't like what he wants to see. one of those areas relates to the endangered species act. since the e.s.a. was enacted there have been 2,018 species listed and only 21 recovered.
that's a pretty poor track record. any other program such a poor rate of success would have long since been terminated. there is not one member of this committee that is opposed of to having the endangered species act. it has become a policy failure. the authorization for the e.s.a. appropriation expired 20 years ago and the assumption has been that the appropriations committee would continue to fund it year in and year out as it has in the past. in fact, members may be interested to know that 26% is for programs which authorizations have expired. that's not how the process is supposed to work, mr. speaker. as we are going through regular order and passing appropriations bill, we need to work with the authorizers to update and fix laws that no longer work or have expired. it's time to fix the e.s.a. the best way to do that is for the authorizers and
stakeholders in the conservation community to come to the table to fix and so we can begin recovering species. we are sending that message today. climate change is another item of interest to members of the committee. most members know that i am not a climate change naysayer. climate change funding has been increasing over the past few years and no one has any idea how or whether its funding is being coordinated between various agencies. a report released in may of this year, the g.a.o. said, without further improvements in how climate change funding is defined and reported strategic priorities are set and funding is aligned with those priorities, it would be difficult for the public and congress to fully understand how climate change funds are accounted for and how they are spent. as a result of this ongoing concern, climate change funding in this bill is reduced by $83 million or 22%. the bill also makes a significant reduction in funding for land acquisition. land acquisition was funded at
$301 million in the current fiscal year. the president has requested $900 million. we funded it at $66 million in this bill to complete land acquisitions currently under consideration. i'd personally like to see more funding in the ldcf. the problem is we just don't have the money. it's also worth noting while we increase gas and oil permits, we won't have a $38 million increase for additional onshore gas and oil fees or the $55 million increase for additional offshore oil and gas fees. these issues are best left to the authorizing committees of jurisdiction and i hope that by next year the authorizing committees will address this issue. there are a few other items that may be of interest to members that i'll mentioned briefly. the u.s. geological survey is funded at $1.1 billion which is 3% of the f.y. 2011 enacted level. the satellite program which has
been a cooperative venture with nasa was supposed to be transferred to the usgs without any corresponding funding with nasa. because the projected costs are protected to be increased by 10-, fold, this sends the bill back to thed a information with instructions to start over. within the e.p.a., the bill -- the bill includes $15 million for a new competitive grant program to fund rural water technical assistance which is widely supported on both sides of the aisle. the n.e.a. and n.e.h. are funded at $135 million which is too low for some members and too high for others. it helps the long drls standing slated programs. it provides funding for the smithsonian levels just below the f.y. 2011 levels. it has $75 million for
revitalization of smithsonian buildings. the bill provides a $30 million down payment to begin construction next year of a memorial to honor dwight d. eisenhower. i hope this debate will focus the intent of the e.p.a. we need to fund the e.p.a. to operate -- to operate and ray chord with the environmental laws. through e.p.a. funding we also continue to address our nation's critical water and wastewater infrastructure needs. however, one of the major underlying themes in this year's work is the sheer volume of the regulatory actions being pursued by agencies in the absence of legislation and without clear congressional action. my intent's opposition to the e.p.a.'s efforts to control nearly every industry in this country is no secret. the e.p.a.'s unrestrained effort to regulate greenhouse gases and the pursuit of an
overly aggressive regulatory agenda is science of an agency that has lost its bearing. wherever i go the biggest complaint i hear about the federal government is about how the e.p.a.'s creating economic uncertainty and killing jobs. this isn't a partisan issue. members of both parties have said that the e.p.a.'s regulatory actions vastly exceed its authority and the congressional intent. the responsibility to determine whether or not to expand that authority rests solely with congress, not with the feamplet. we have included a number of provisions until the base bill to address some of these issues and more were added in full committee. we saw in consideration of h.r. 1 earlier this year and we will see on the house floor even more efforts to rein in the e.p.a. i know some of my democratic friends will be critical of the spending reductions in the e.p.a. accounts. while we all recognize the importance of clean -- of the clean drinking water and state drinking water revolving funds, we know that funding them, as we have in the past, is not possible. we need to find a better long-term funding source for
water infrastructure projects, something that a number of members have been working on. it's also worth pointing out that these are programs received $6 billion in recovery funds. in calendar year 2009 the e.p.a. received over $25 billion in combined stimulus funding and regular appropriations, so it should come to no surprise that the funding for the e.p.a. was reduced by 18% from current levels. much will be said today by the subcommittee's allocation of the policy provisions in this bill but just remember a at the end of the day what this committee is doing is reducing spending, promoting an economic environment condusive to job growth. if there's one thing we should have learned in the last couple of years it's that we can't spend our way to an economic recovery. that didn't work. all it did was make the hole we're in much deeper. i know mr. moran and mr. dicks
may not agree but the legislative provisions in this bill and those that will be added today and on the house floor, they aren't about special interests. they're about jobs. they are about protecting businesses and hardworking americans from frivolous lawsuits. it is about creating certainty in the marketplace and ensuring businesses that employ people that it's safe to begin hiring people again without the threat of the e.p.a. under the guise of protecting our environment and posing millions of dollars in penalties that defy common sense. is this a perfect bill? no, but i've never seen a perfect bill. this is a bill that makes a very tough choice on spending. it's a bill that attempts to rein in the excesses of the e.p.a. and it's a bill that sends a clear message to stakeholders in congress that it's time to get busy on dealing with authorizing measures. i also wish we didn't have a $1.6 trillion deficit. i wish we weren't $14.5 trillion in debt. i wished that the economy was
booming and unemployment was something we read in history books. wishing doesn't make it so. these are the political realities we have to face. in closing i'd like to thank staff on both sides of the aisle for their hard work in producing this bill. most members don't realize how much time and effort staff put on this. on the minority side i'd like to thank pete and others. they played an integral role in the process. on the majority side' like to thank the subcommittee staff, colin, grace. she held off until she was sure we had this bill through the committee. aircrafta, dave. i'd also like to thank missy, lindsey on my personal staff for their great work. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from idaho reserves his time. the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran, is recognized. . mr. moran: thank you, mr.
chairman. mr. chairman, this is a sad day. a sad day for the environment and for america's great natural and cultural heritage. h.r. 2584, with its deep cuts and important environmental and natural resource programs, an amazing array of special interests, writers, and funding limitations falls far short of meeting our responsibilities to protect and wisely use our nation's natural resources. the bill before the house today is more than $2 billion below the current spending level. and it's almost $4 billion below the president's request. it's even $324 million below the level of h.r. 1245 was passed by the house -- of h.r. 1 that was
passed by the house in februaryment given the subcommittee's punishingly low 302-b allocation, i do recognize the difficulties that chairman simpson of the subcommittee and chairman rogers of the full committee and their excellent staff faced in crafting the bill. i do appreciate his efforts, mr. simpson's efforts particularly, and mr. cole's to protect funding for american indian programs. i only wish that that protection could have extended to other important portions of this bill. but as bad as the funding in this bill is, what is most disappointing is the scope and extent to which the majority has filled this bill with extremist legislative riders and funding limitations. the bill is short on needed funds and long on anti-environmental riders.
h.r. 2584 is not so much a spending bill as a wish list for special interests. oil companies, cattle grazers, industrial agribusiness, miners, and those who wish to pollute our air and water for greater profit all have their special provisions tucked away into this bill. it is a dump truck of provisions for special interests. in addition, this bill picks up where h.r. 1 left off. and includes dozens of deep cuts in conservation and environmental protection programs, while the extractive or consumptive uses of our public lands are shielded from cuts and given a pass from complying with our nation's landmark environmental laws. we continually hear from the majority that the pain of budget cuts has to be shared by all. but in this bill they have
chosen winners and losers. the extracters and the exploiters, the despoilers of the forests and animals and the people who depend upon clean air and water, they have chosen winners and losers. the former are the winners, the latter are the losers. the animals, the environment, the forests, the waterways, they all lose. this bill continues the majority's assault on the environmental protection agency with deep cuts after the e.p.a. budget was cut by 16% and the current fiscal year, the majority is now proposing a further reduction of 18% for next year. in other words, a 34% cut in environmental protection. cuts of nearly 40% are made to the clean water and safe
drinking water grant programs. just at the time when the states localities have run out of money to try to provide for clean water and to deal with storm water overflow and all of the infrastructure that is necessary throughout our country, when the majority says it wants to rein in the e.p.a., what they are really reining in is the ability to protect clean air and clean water. i'm extremely disappointed that the majority's decision to prohibit funds for the endangered species act listing and critical habitat designations. these are the vital first steps needed to begin the recovery process for 260, 260 species currently at risk of extinction. under the guise of sending a signal to the authorizing committee, this bill attacks the very heart of the endangered species act. wildlife programs overall are hard hit by this bill. state and tribal wildlife grants are cut by 2/3.
multijarble species conservation -- multinational suppose yigs conservation by a fifth. even funding for the national wildlife refuge system will be cut by 7.5%. our national parks and forests, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, and other conservation units deserve better than what this bill provides. as stewards of these magnificent resource that is were passed down to us, we have a responsibility to defend and preserve them for future generations. spending reductions like the 78% cut in the land and water conservation fund. nearly 80% cut to the land and water conservation fund, to the lowest level it's ever been. and the 33% cut to the national landscape conservation system. will place at risk some of our most precious resources. i'd also like to note that this bill is about more than our natural resources than the
environment. while the cultural activities and institutions are a small portion of the bill, they are vital part of our communities. they do enhance our economy and way of life, yet these programs and activities would receive substantial cuts under this bill as well. also struck by the contradictions contained in h.r. 2584. here are two examples. on the one hand the bill allocates millions of dollars to restore the everglades in florida. yet the majority includes a funding limitation that will permit the pollution of the everglades. the bill also includes funding to deal with the continuing fallout from uranium mining on the navajo indian reservation, yet it includes language that will expose the grand canyon national park and the millions of americans depend upon the colorado river for their drinking water to the well-known dangers of uranium mining. and they give away the publicly owned uranium to a foreign-owned asian mining company.
i appreciate the gentleman's comment. imagine giving away publicly owned uranium, giving it away to a foreign firm. the list of legislative riders and funding limitations in the bill is long. nepa waivers, limitations on judicial review, blocking of air, water pollution controls. whole lemming texts have been dumped into this bill. these riders and limitations have nothing to do with deficit reduction and everything to do with carrying out an extreme ideological agenda. repealing environmental regulations doesn't save money, it costs money. keeping toxins out of our air and water is a great deal cheaper than cleaning up the damage, or dealing with the adverse health effects. preventing the deep water horizon disaster would have been far cheaper than having to clean it up after the fact. each rider or funding limitation seems designed to benefit one industry or another. these provisions have become the new earmarks with 39 such
provisions already in the bill and more are going to be proposed to be added. this bill rewards businesses and industries that seek to delay or undermine environmental protections, it penalizes others who try to do the right thing. just one example, american electric power recently announced it's going to stop work on a low-carbon coal-fired power plant, showing it can work, but they are going to stop work on it in light of the pullback in regulating admissions related climate change. they see what the congress is doing. they see what their competitors are doing. so they decided not to do the right thing because we are making it too expensive to do the right thing. the funding cuts and special interests provisions, it's no wonder the statement of administration policy on h.r. 2584 runs five pages with its veto threat. i concur with the administration views on the bill and under general leave will submit the administration's statement. we owe it to our constituents and communities to protect the air we breathe and the water we
drink. to protect public health from the dangers of mercury and arsenic and lead. imagine we have more than 500 coal-fired power plants in this country and they have emit more than 78,000 pounds of mercury, yet one crop will poison an entire lake. that's what we should look to. not tying e.p.a.'s hands. we ought to be good stewards of the abundant natural and cultural heritage passed down to us. president johnson noted in 1964, i'm going to quote, that future generations are to remind us and remember us with gratitude rather than contempt. we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. we should be leaving them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning not just after we got through with it. mr. chairman, h.r. 2584 falls far short of our responsibilities to present and future generations. so i obviously oppose the bill and i reserve the balance of my time. thank you, mr. chairman.
the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from idaho will suspend. the committee will rise informally. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the president. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: mr. secretary. sloim i'm directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: the committee will resume its sitting. the chair: the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: i yield five minutes to the esteemed chairman of the full committee, the gentleman from kentucky, mr. rogers. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for five minutes. mr. rogers: i thank the chairman for yielding. i rise today to commend this bill to our colleagues and urge
that it be passed. it includes $27.5 billion in federal spending that's a reduction of $2.1 billion below last year. $3.8 billion below the president's request. some have complained that these cuts are too much. too fast. so it's important to remember that these agencies and programs have seen unprecedented massive increases in spending in recent years. this sort of excess has contributed to our astronomical debt and threatening our recovery. we simply can't fund unnecessary and ineffective programs when we are borrowing 42 cents on every dollar we spend. we just simply can't afford it. this legislation makes smart, significant cuts across each and every agency funded by this bill. the bill still adequately funds
the agencies that are important to the health of our citizens, the stability of our economy, and the preservation of our environment. but we have made some priority adjustments in areas that can and should which stand lower budgets. some areas that will see bigger reductions include climate change programs, which is trimmed 22% from last year, and land acquisition funding, which is at a level nearly 79% lower than last year. frankly, many of the cuts in this bill are just plain common sense, particularly when it comes to the environmental protection agency. the reductions and provisions in this bill were made with very good reason, to rein in unparalleled out-of-control spending and job-killing overregulation by the e.p.a. though we all appreciate the core mission of the e.p.a., this
agency has lost grips with economic reality and it's become the epitome of the continued and damaging regulatory overreach of this administration. we can't allow an agency to circumvent the authority of congress, especially when it has such destructive effects. on our nation's economic recovery. i'd like to say that we have heard from americans all across the country and across every sector of the economy who attribute harsh regulatory burdens to their economic uncertainty, uncertainty that's crushing job growth. it's my hope that this legislation sends the message loud and clear, legislation by regulation must stop. we have restricted funding for e.p.a. personnel as well as
addressed e.p.a.'s flawed greenhouse gas regulations and de facto moratorium on mining permits in appalachia. it's my hope that provisions like these will return the e.p.a. to a better working order. facilitating a more effective government, sending money where it really needs to go and removing burdensome barriers to job creation to clear the way for economic recovery. . mr. chairman, i want to thank chairman simpson and ranking member moran. the subcommittee and all of the staff for all their hard work on this very tough bill. chairman simpson has led the way on an excellent bill. i think it makes good on our promise to reduce government spending with real significant spending reforms. his subcommittee, mr. chairman, held 22 oversight hearings, more than any other of the 12
subcommittees on appropriations. i'm confident that they've gone above and beyond their duty to ensure that these cuts come from wasteful and redundant programs. i know these decisions were not made lightly, were not made easy but they are responsible and will help us move in the right direction. although it's been difficult at times, the house should be proud to be moving this year's appropriations process in regular order the first time in years. with this bill we will have finished more than half of the 12 -- fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills before our august recess. this return to regular order has contributed to thoughtful, clib are a tif appropriations bills that reflect the will of the american people and it will
help get our nation's finances in order. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and yield back. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky yields back. the gentleman from idaho researches. the gentleman from virginia is recognized -- idaho reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. moran: i yield to the ranking member of the full committee, mr. dicks. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. dicks: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. dicks: i rise to state my opposition to h.r. 2584, the f.y. 2012 interior and environmental appropriations bill. before i state my opposition, i want to recognize chairman simpson, ranking member moran -- i -- moran for their hard work in putting together the interior and environmental appropriations bill. i want to thank their staff for developing this bill. that being said, the low
allocation foisted on the interior subcommittee made it impossible to develop a bill that is responsible and reasonable. so it is no surprise that the resulting bill will harm the environment and our ongoing efforts to preserve our natural heritage. two potential damages is it should the lowest spending in the land and conservation fund if more man 40 years and funding levels for e.p.a. not seen in over a decade. overall the allocation is 7% below the amount enacted in the current year which will have a negative impact on our natural resource agencies and on the environmental protection agency. after the e.p.a. took a substantial cut of 16% in the current fiscal year, 2011, the republican majority is now proposing a further reduction
in the agency' budget of 18%. you add that together, it's a 34% reduction in just one year. it would diminish the capacity of e.p.a. to carry out its responsibilities which may be the goal of some of my colleagues on the other side, but the repercussions will be felt across the nation, including an ever-growing backlog of water treatment infrastructure projects and a decline in air and water quality. as was pointed out in a recent "washington post" article, the vast majority of e.p.a.'s funds passed through states and localities that are already squeezed through budget cuts. these infrastructure projects create jobs in communities all across the country and provide one of the most basic services taxpayers expect, clean water. the bush administration's e.p.a. administrator estimated
there was a $688 billion nationwide backlog of clean water infrastructure projects and that total is even larger today. that backlog will not disappear if we just ignore it, but as we have seen in so many cases this year, the majority has decided to push this problem further down the road. in addition to the clearly insufficient levels of funding across the board in this legislation, we were surprised that the majority also included a wish list of special interest riders to the bill that will hand off -- handcuff the e.p.a. and the department of the interior. these types of riders are largely ideological, have no impact on deficit reduction and will be rejected by the senate and the president hopefully. it seems that special interest riders have become the new earmarks. this bill will -- and i support earmarks -- this bill was made
even worse when the majority adopted more special interest riders with amendments that were approved at full committee. and i fear that there will be more policy amendments offered on the floor as we consider this bill. one of the riders is language that would effectively block any funding fought fish and wildlife service for new listings under the endangered species act. as mr. moran said, there are 260 candidate species waiting to be listed, and they will not receive the protection of the endangered species act. here is the situation that fish and wildlife service -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. moran: i yield an additional minute to mr. dicks. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. dicks: speaking of that 260, of that total there are just under 30 species that are poised for listing in the near
future. the spending provisions in this bill would block further activity to protect these declining species. and, remember, if you delay listing too long a species will go extinct, thus making recovery impossible. i'll also be strongly supporting the amendments that aim to remove these riders. these amendments include an attempt to protect grand canyon national park and the folks who depend on the colorado river for drinking water and the potential danger from new uranium mines. another statement that i strongly support, an amendment i strongly support will increase funding for sanitation facilities for native american communities. in closing, i do want to reiterate my praise expressed at subcommittee markup for mr. simpson, mr. moran, mr. cole and other subcommittee members for the funding levels for programs serving american indians. it is gratifying that the subcommittee's bipartisan
commitment for tribal programs forged over the last few years has been continued by the new majority. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: mr. speaker, i yield to the gentleman from washington such time as he may consume for the purpose of a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the chairman for yielding. mr. chairman, as you know, two months ago the secretary of the interior announced that the u.s. fish and wildlife service would remove gray wolves in the rocky mountain states and the eastern one-third of the state of washington, the eastern quarter rft state of oregon and a small piece of utah. i understand that h.r. 2584 also would exempt from judicial review any final rule issued by the secretary that delists wolves in the state of wyoming and the great -- western great lakes. so i commend the chairman for your leadership to see that these states are given a chance to succeed in their management
of species. as with other decisions, the secretary of the interior's may announcement does not resolve the problem for any agriculture states that do not fish in the set geographic boundaries and it reverses the policy that the fish and wildlife service implemented by regulation in 2003 in which rules -- wolves were delisted in all of the state of washington and other areas with appropriate state recovery measures in place. under the current administration's policy in my own district in central washington, wolves will be delisted on an eastern side up to a highway that cuts through the heavy agriculture area. wolves on one side of the highway will be listed. on the other side not. the same is true in oregon and utah. i appreciate the steps the gentleman has included in this bill to create a more rational approach towards delisting these recovered wolves by allowing the states to manage
the populations using sound wildlife management principles. i want to confirm my understanding that the bill and accompanied report language on page 10 is intended to include in all states in their entirety in the northern rocky mountain area wlug washington, oregon and utah. i yield to the chairman. mr. simpson: i thank the gentleman for yielding. our intent is to make it clear that states with approved management plans should be given management authority. the language in the bill makes sure that they are made by scientists on the ground, not judges in the courtroom. language clarifies that similar language should apply to areas which wolves has expanded population boundaries once the fish and wildlife service determines that the population
will be delisted. it addresses states that faces mixed management challenges like washington, oregon and utah. representative walden has shared similar concerns with me as well. mr. hastings: reclaiming my time. i thank the gentleman for that clarification. the problem goes far beyond wolves. the e.s.a. has nearly 1,400 listed species in the u.s. and hundreds of millions of dollars being spent by local, state, federal and private entities on e.s.a. activities. yet, federal agencies are being regularly sued for poor science and poorly drafted regulations and only 20 species have been recovered. do you agree with me that the endangered species act is broken and needs to be modernized and updated? i thank the gentleman. mr. simpson: it is so highly contidgeous political and litigious that it has become a failure of public policy. authorizations expired two decades ago.
because we continued to fund them, e.s.a. continues to stay on a back burner. this bill calls for a time-out in the e.s.a. delisting decisions in order to encourage authorizers and stakeholders to bring the e.s.a. in the 21st century, which is not now. mr. hastings: reclaiming my time. a couple weeks ago secretary salazar acknowledged, and i quote, there are changes and improvements can be made how we deal with endangered species, end quote, and i quote, we need to have an endangered species program that does work, end quote. i couldn't agree more with the secretary's statement. the natural resources are committee, that i chair, has jurisdiction over e.s.a. as well as noaa and the fish and wildlife service and we will be working in coming months to conduct robust oversight and look at much-needed proposals to update this law. i appreciate your leadership and look forward to working with you on this very important issue, and i yield to the chairman. mr. simpson: i thank the gentleman. it's important that the
authorizing committees be able to modernize landmark laws that were widely supported when they were passed but do not work like congress originally intended. stakeholders and interested members of congress should know that these frams are also at risk of defunding if they are not re-authorized. our bill will hopefully provide incentive for stakeholders who have been unable to participate to have serious reform of the e.s.a. mr. hastings: reclaiming my time. that certainly is the intent that we tend to pursue and i thank the gentleman for yielding. i yield back to the gentleman. mr. simpson: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from idaho reserves. the gentleman from virginia has the time. mr. moran: mr. chairman, the minority would respectfully request of the majority that such col keys, including the ones that -- be shared with the minority.
and they may very well prompt actions on my part -- that may very well apply to the delisting of wolves. so we would appreciate when the majority engages in colloquys sharing that language with the minority. would the gentleman like to respond, i would yield to the gentleman? mr. simpson: i have no problem with sharing with you the colloquys that we engage in. mr. moran: good. we'd like to have a copy of the colloquy that transpired. at this point i'd yield five minutes to the gentleman from new york, the ranking member of the financial services appropriations subcommittee, mr. serrano. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for five minutes. mr. serrano: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the chair: without objection.
mr. serrano: i thank the gentleman. i rise today to express my opposition to h.r. 2584, the interior appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012. first, however, i'd like to acknowledge both chairman simpson and congressman moran who have worked in a bipartisan and collaborative way throughout the lengthy hearing and markup process. it has been a pleasure for me to serve as a member of this subcommittee. unfortunately this subcommittee's insufficient spending allocation has resulted in deep cuts in funding for important agencies and programs. in addition, numerous environmental riders have been attached to this legislation. although there are many to choose from, i'd like to mention a few of these cutbacks and what their impact will be on specific agencies and programs. . the lapped water convation fund which helps protect threatened and endangered species was
funded at $66 million which is $834 million below the budget request. state and tribal wildlife grants which play an important role in making sure that we have strategic and effective wildlife conservation programs, were funded at 22 million or $73 million below request. the environmental protection agency, e.p.a., is funded at $7.1 billion which is $1.8 billion below the request. at this funding level, the e.p.a. will be prevented from accomplishing many of its missions to protect our environment. there are so many destructive riders attached to this legislation that it is difficult to figure out which ones to highlight during my brief remarks. one that specifically haunts my state of new york was added during full committee markup. this rider prevents the great lakes states from receiving any e.p.a. funding if they have
implemented ballist water rules if they have stronger timelines than the federal requirements currently in effect. because new york has been at the forefront of efforts to require ships to treat their ballist water before discharging into new york's waterways, our state will be immediately affected. states should have the right to protect their own waters from dangerous aquatic and evasive species. another particularly harmful rider would stop the e.p.a. from limiting greenhouse gas emissions from a stationary source. for one year. overall 69% of greenhouse gas emissions in the united states come from stationary sources. such as our electric utilities and petroleum refineries. this rider which prevents the e.p.a. from acting will have far-reaching and devastating consequences on our nation's air quality.
in particular my bronx congressional district which has one of the highest asthma rates in the nation will continue to suffer from poor air quality. because of the sharp reductions included in this bill to the programs and agencies that protect our environment, enrich our lives through the arts, and increase recreational opportunities, and because of the riders that harm our wildlife, our land, our water, and our air quality, i will be voting against this bill. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york yields back his time. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield two minutes to a valued member of the subcommittee, the gentleman from california, mr. calvert. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. calvert: mr. chairman, i rise in strong support of the fiscal year 2012 interior, environment, and related agencies appropriation. i would like to thank our chairman, chairman simpson, and ranking member moran, for being excellent leaders on the
subcommittee. it's certainly been a pleasure to work with both of them. especially commend the 22 oversight hearings that our subcommittee held this year. this is -- this subcommittee works hard. we have done our due diligence in putting this bill together. the f.y. 2012 interior environment appropriation bill recognizes the current environment for the past four years is out of control spending. it's a $2.1 billion below last year's levels as was mentioned. $3.8 billion below the president's 2012 request. it's a focused clean bill. supports funding for duties that are clearly the responsibility of the federal government and makes tough decisions about how we allocate taxpayers' dollars. the bill fully funds federal firefighters, forest service, wildland, fire management, ensures our national parks that belong to the american people remain fully operational in 2012. and finally it includes $30 million for diesel reduction grans to retrofit old diesel
engains with cleaner burning once -- ones. the bill also reduces e.p.a.'s inflated budget back down to the 2006 level, cuts $46 million in requested funding for burdensome regulation of greenhouse gases which means control of carbon dioxide. regulation that unilaterally adopted by the administration that is making u.s. competitive in the world and sending american jobs overseas. finally, yes, mr. chairman, there are many spending reductions in this bill. including programs i support. however we have to start somewhere to bring economic sanity back to the budget process and this is the first -- one of the first of many steps to come. in conclusion i am pleased to support this bill. i urge all my colleagues to support the bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from idaho reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. moran: mr. chairman, may i request the -- how much time we
have on either side in general debate? the chair: the gentleman from virginia has 10 1/2 minutes. and the gentleman from idaho has 6 1/2 minutes. mr. moran: thank you, mr. chairman. i would yield five minutes to the gentlelady from minnesota, ms. mccollum. ms. mccollum: thank you, mr. moran. as a member of the interior environment appropriation subcommittee i have great respect for chairman simpson, ranking member moran, and the staffers on both sides of the aisle. one important aspect of this bill, chairman sensenbrenner, representative cole have worked together with democrats to protect critical education and health care investments in indian country. that's part of our trust relationship with the 565 tribes in this country. native american children, families, and elders will all benefit as a result of our efforts. however, on virtually every other spect of this bill, particularly on the environment, this appropriations bill is a
radical attempt to take america backwards from 40 years of bipartisan progress and protecting human health and our environment. there are nearly four special interest pol sid riders in this bill. it is outrageous these riders protect corporate polluters while attacking clean water, clean air, our public lands, and wildlife conservation. representatives waxman, markey, and rush as rms of the house energy and commerce committee and natural resources committee have sent letters expressing their grave concern about these extreme destructive policy riders that have no business being on an appropriation spending bill. this abuse of the process -- it will imperil america's heritage for future generations. in particular, republicans have chosen to mount an unprecedented assault on the environmental
protection agency, an agency created by president richard nixon. clearly republicans have now come full circle and this bill makes house republicans the most polluter friendly congress in nearly two generations. in addition to cutting -- and -- gutting the e.p.a.'s budget, republicans have added 10 policy riders that will make the air we breathe dirtier and policy riders that will make the water we drink more polluted. the republican riders halt the e.p.a.'s work under the clean air act to protect the public health from carbon dioxide pollution, soot, and smog. this will jeopardize the health of millions of children suffering from asthma and put more americans at risk.
-- that's an equivalent -- leading to $2 trillion in economic benefits. the republican riders also stop the e.p.a.'s work under the clean water act to clean our rivers, streams, lakes, and to protect our drinking water from the impacts of coal mining, storm water discharge, and toxic nutrient pollution, and pesticides. essentially house republicans are telling the american people that protecting public health and the environment from corporate polluters is no longer important. and despite the tea party republican bent on earmarks, this bill is loaded with earmarks for a few privileged polluters and special interests. here's just some of the earmarks. an earmark for foreign companies to allow for uranium mining adjacent to the grand canyon. one of america's most treasured
places. an earmark for shell oil to ignore environmental regulations to drill offshore in the arctic ocean. an earmark for a few sheep farmers subsidized by u.s. taxpayers on u.s. land so that they can invade environmental laws that protect big horn sheet. and the state of texas to permit its program in violation of the clean air act. these dirty, toxic, and dangerous earmarks to a few special interests come at the expense of cleaner water, healthier air, our cherished national parks, and endangered wildlife. minnesotans are deeply, deeply troubled by this reckless bill that endangers the health of our communities while destroying our natural resources and our children's inheritance. this is one of the most extreme pieces of anti-environmental legislation ever to come to the floor of the house. as far as the american people are concerned, h.r. 2584 should be declared a toxic superfund
site because it is so dangerous to human health and the environment, it needs to be remediated rather than passed into law. i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and its abandonment of 40 years of progress. we have made in protecting america's people's health and the american natural heritage. with that, mr. speaker -- mr. chairman, i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman from minnesota yields back. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: thank you. i yield two minutes to an esteemed colleague and member of the subcommittee, the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. cole. the chair: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for two minutes. mr. cole: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise in strong support of this legislation and i want to praise the process by which we arrived at this. this is probably the hardest working subcommittee on a very hardworking appropriations committee. 22 separate hearings. very open process. i think even the minority disagree was some of the
decisions were made, but would agree they were made fairly, openly, transparently, and by votes and the american people can look at what we did. usually when you come to this floor, you come to debate and to disagree. we are certainly going to have a great deal of that over the course of the next several days as we work through the main legislation and the many amendments which undoubtedly will be offered. but i want to focus today on an area of bipartisan agreement. and that's the decision that is were made regarding funding in indian country and native american programs. mr. speaker, our chairman generously mentioned and appropriately mentioned the hard works that mr. moran and mr. dicks did in setting the foundation for the progress that's being built upon this year. what he was too modest about was his own role first as a ranking member and then as the chairman and also seeing an appropriate focus was placed upon indian contry. frankly while i disagree with the administration in many place, i want to thank them as
well because in many cases they had great suggests, they -- suggestions, they certainly put forward serious proposals and they have very easy to work with in american -- native american issues. most importantly from an appropriation standpoint the dums speak for themselves. the bureau ever indian affairs funding was cut but cut less than the president requested. the indian health service got a 9% increase, almost $400 million. you can run through the program. i.h.s. staffering for new facilities. 63 million fully funded at the president's request. road maintenance, 25 million funded at the president's request. indian guaranteed loan programs, something to help tribes as they move into private industries. actually funded above the president's request. contract support cost, fully funded, $228 million. indian health service, fully funded, $574 million. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional one
minute. mr. cole: thank you very much. i thank the gentleman. contract support costs, again fully funded or funded alt very near what the president requested. and most importantly, language put in to make sure that those contracts are actually fully funded by the b.i.a. something that is not always -- has not always happened in the past. again, important language on joint ventures whereby we encourage tribes to take some of their revenue, work with the federal government, reinvest in health care facilities, other needed infrastructure improvements in indian country. i say all this just to point out that while we have serious disagreements and serious debates, and while we made very hard decisions because overall funding in this bill is as chairman simpson suggested down 7% from last year and certainly well below the request that the president made, in this area defending one of the most challenged populations in the country, republicans and democrats alike can be
exceptionally proud of what was done and the priorities when we put, again, the most challenged people that we deal with on that committee in the most favored position. that hasn't always happened. i want to thank my friend, chairman simpson, for making sure it happened. my friend, mr. moran and mr. dicks for doing the same. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from oklahoma yields back. the gentleman from idaho reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. . more -- mr. moran: how much time for general debate? the chair: the gentleman from virginia has 5 1/2 minutes and the gentleman from idaho has 2 1/2 minutes. mr. moran: we yield to the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. bishop: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i strongly oppose the f.y. 2012 interior appropriations bill in its current form. not only am i deeply troubled by the bill's lack of infrastructure investment that will create jobs, grow the economy and protect public health but it's unfortunate that the appropriations
committee has included several dozen egregious special interest policy earmarks in the bill that will undermine our nation's clean water and environment. we heard from our friends on the appropriations committee that we must deal in these trying economic times. we heard from the chairman of the subcommittee that he believes that many of the programs that are cut are good programs but we must be willing to make cuts to reduce our growing debt. the bill cuts $2.1 billion in 2011 levels from the department of interior and other agencies. if we cut those bush tax cuts from the households of those earning $1 million or more, we could preserve these critical agencies in less than 18 days. 18 days. the bill provides $1.4 billion less for the clean water state revolving fund, a fund that is critical to both environmental
protection and economic development. if we were to eliminate the bush tax cuts we could re-establish our commitment to clean water within 12 days, affecting only those tax cuts from people who make $1 million a year or more. that's a reasonable price to pay for the economic development that would result. over the past several months we have heard repeatedly we must do all that we can to prevent taxing our nation's job creators, a sentiment with which i agree in principle. however, let us be clear that in my district and in districts all across this country it is the environment that is the job creator. the economy of my district depends on clean water, clean air and safe swimmable beaches. the cuts in this bill place all of these in jeopardy. if the republican priorities in this bill prevail, we could put an effective tax rate of zero in my district because they would have no income and no income means no jobs. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york yields back.
the gentleman from virginia reserves and the gentleman from idaho is recognized. simpson simpson -- mr. simpson: i thank the chairman. i yield to the member emeritus of several subcommittees, the gentleman from california, mr. lewis. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to express my deep appreciation of the chairman of the subcommittee as well as the ranking member, especially for the number of public hearings they had reviewing all of the programs of this subcommittee. taking us back to regular order in almost unprecedented form, making sure the public gets a chance to talk to us about their view as to how these programs are working. as we meet today, the country is faced with a crises regarding our debt. should we raise the national debt ceiling or not? and that debate is swirling around whether we should reduce spending or we should increase taxes to fund additional
spending desired by the administration and the former majority. it's very, very important to know we are at a crises point in terms of spending. with that backdrop, we can hear the same debate taking place in this very committee discussion. people complaining about not enough money for e.p.a., for example. the fact is that most of these programs are overfunded relative to just a few years ago and the debate and the concern is the discretion about a desire for more spending or a lack of increased funding above and beyond the wish list of many around here. the fundamental issue ought to be discussed in terms of how programs have worked and not worked. i've heard many complain about air quality questions today by the other side. it was, mr. chairman, my privilege to write the toughest environmental laws in the country relative to improving air quality.
years ago as we discussed implementing those policies in my state of california, the center of discussion was to make sure we focus upon the real problems. we can solve the problems of stationary sources we set then very quickly, very easily, up to 97%-plus of their pollution. the real problem lies with the automobile, doing something serious about that and what people do driving their cars is the key to the question. e.p.a. has failed us in many, many a way dealing with these major challenges, and i would suggest that any number of issues that might be raised is illustrated by the one endangered species i mentioned. if i could have 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. lewis: the endangered species is the desert tortoise. we could plant endsless number of eggs in the east mohave.
the e.p.a. decided to ignore and the environmentalists decided to ignore that poe -- potential, saying it took too long to grow to adulthood. in the last 15 years had we done that we wouldn't have that endangered species. we know they are at the army national base where they took care of the animals versus what we did in the environment. the e.p.a. deserves some serious review as well as authorization. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back his time. the gentleman from idaho reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. moran: mr. chairman, at this time i yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from oregon, an extraordinary champion of the environment, mr. blumenauer. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for three minutes. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy. i am uncomfortable coming to the floor having to speak against this bill. there's nobody in congress that
i have more respect and affection for than the subcommittee chairman. but this bill is an example of why the republican budget gimmick last week is a fool's airened. if enacted -- errand. if enacted the public would be outraged. just talk to anybody in your home community dealing with things like the revolving fund for sewer and water. this bill is not balanced. there are opportunities where there could have been fees and charges from people who profit from the activities of this bill, but, no, instead we are shifting costs to the public and damage to the environment. we're actually giving more money to some of the special interests that profit from these activities. we are slashing things that matter to most americans. the ability of the e.p.a. to protect our families and their
environment. land acquisition to protect american treasures. it's going to cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural and small town america where people rely on our open spaces, our public lands, our park and recreational activities. it shortchanges america's future. the jihad against climate change continues for my friends on the republican side of the aisle, and it's ironic. when people can barely walk outside in washington, d.c., where we're dealing with drought, flood, wildfires, extreme weather events across the country and the scientists tell us that it's related to human activity and this budget reduces our ability to deal with climate change and extreme weather events.
well, i agree that the subcommittee has a very difficult job. in part because of the unrealistic numbers that were given to them. but sadly if you look at the bill at its entirety, i must take gentle exception to chairman rogers saying we all support the core mission of e.p.a. sadly, anybody who reads this bill understands that that's not the case and it's being brought to us in a way that simply does undermine that core mission that means so much to americans, to our environment and our future. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. the gentleman from idaho has one minute. mr. simpson: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman
reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. moran: mr. chairman, how much time do we have on general debate? the chair: the gentleman from virginia has 30 seconds. mr. moran: 30 seconds. would the gentleman prefer to speak? all right. well, mr. chairman, the reality is that this is a bad bill. there may be some good people that have been involved in putting this together, like the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee, but the fact is this would severely restrict our government's ability to improve the quality of our air and water. it would substantially cut programs that i think many of the american people take for granted. our environment will be spoiled by this bill if it becomes
enacted, so i would strongly urge that this body vote against it. and with that we'll yield back whatever time we have. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: i thank the chairman and i thank the members for the debate that has gone on on this bill. i notice that members on the other side of the aisle continually refer to some of the policy revisions in this bill is policy riders, special interest legislation. they were called earmark legislation in this bill. but they were special interest. let me tell you the only special interest that i care about right now are the unemployed people in this country looking for a job. and if you talk to any business in this country, the one thing they will tell you is the uncertainty created by the potential regulation and proposed regulation by the e.p.a. is stopping them from expanding their businesses because they have no idea, no idea what it's going to cost to hire a new employee. they are the biggest wet
blanket on our economy that we have today. to we need to do something about them. we need to rein them back in because they are total plea out of control and that's what in bill does. this is under an open rule. that means members will have the opportunity if they have a different idea, if they can get a majority of the votes to remove some of these things, they can remove them. i suspect more will be added rather than removed as this bill moves to its full consideration. i thank the chairman and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from idaho yields back his time. both sides having yielded back, all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. the amendment printed in section 2 of house resolution 363 is adopted. during consideration of the bill for further 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 record. those amendments will be considered read.
the clerk will read. the clerk: be it enacted that the following sums are appropriated for the department of interior, environment and related agencies for fiscal year 2012, namely, title 1, department of the interior, bureau of land management, management of land and -- the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho rise? mr. simpson: i ask that the amendment will be considered en bloc and be considered in the reading. the chair: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. simpson: mr. speaker mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read. the chair: without objection. mr. simpson: the manager's amendment before us makes several technical and conforming changes to the bill. these are all none controversial changes and they have been shared with the minority. i believe the minority is supportive of this minority and i urge its adoption. mr. moran: we have no objection. the chair: the gentleman yields back. both sides yield. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from idaho, mr.
simpson. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. >> mr. chair. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> mr. chairman, i move to strike the last word for the purpose of entering into a colloquy with the distinguished chairman of the interior appropriations subcommittee. the chair: the gentleman from missouri is recognized for five minutes. >> i want to thank you and mr. moran for your leadership to discuss an important and urgent matter. as the chairman knows, there are two acts that seek to conserve marine mammals. the endangered species act and the marine mammals protection act. i am not here to debate the merits of those acts but to
discuss an inadvertent and unexpected consequence of them. mr. clay: there is what seems to be a contradiction when it comes to the protection of polar bears, exactly the opposite may be happening and i yield to the gentleman from idaho. mr. simpson: i thank the gentleman for yielding and thank the gentleman from missouri. the law whose intent is to protect may be unintentionally causing harm and i yield back. mr. clay: mr. chairman, you are correct. this is an urgent issue as we know of polar bears are specific bears that are in danger of being lost and which could be saved by importation into the united states. . while it was the intent of congress to protect these animals, the acts were never intended to be bureaucratic obstacles to common sense and to saving their lives. some background is in order.
mr. chairman, section 101 of the marine mammals protection act established a moratorium on the importation of marine mammals. however, section 102 and 104 of the act allow for the issuance of permits for the importation of marine mammals under certain circumstances. now, the act generally prohibits permits for public display of marine mammals from a species of stock designated as depleted. which is defined as one that is listed as an endangered species or a threatened species under the endangered species act. on may 15, 2008, the secretary of the interior listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the endangered species act and since then no permits for the importation of polar bears for the health and welfare of the animal or for the purposes of public display have been
issued by the secretary. the act does require that conservation plans for taking animals include proposals to enhance their habitat which in this case is impossible. one of the main reasons the polar bear was listed as threatened is the loss of their habitat. it is not possible to comply with this requirement and we urge the secretary to take this into consideration when making a final determination on these permits. there's also a requirement that such takings be for scientific purposes. mr. chairman, i think you would agree that establishing successful captive breeding programs for a threatened species fits into the congress' intent for scientific purposes. declining habitat conditions for the polar bear and increasing number of human-bear interactions have resulted in an increase in the number of polar bears brought into temporary or
permanent captivity in canada in recent years, including an increase in the number of nonreleaseble animals and often cubs. to date institutions cannot house all of these bears and any animals not placed in suitable facilities could be euthanized or left to die in the wild. the government of canada has passed legislation allowing such bears to be exported from canada for purposes of captive maintenance and public display at accredited zoological institutions in the united states. these are institutions that have undergone a thorough and regular roy rouse review and -- and rigorous review and inspection process. prior to issuing those permits the secretary of the interior should determine the institution is accredited by the association of zoos and aquariums and meets
specific public display criteria as determined by the secretary. mr. chairman, i'd like to clarify that it is your understanding that under these acts the secretary of the interior may issue permits for the importation into the u.s. of live polar bears for the purpose of public display at appropriated, accredited zoological institutions. such importation will benefit the health and welfare of the animal or is otherwise consistent with the conservation of the polar bear. in addition to other areas, the secretary's authority is granted under the marine mammals protection act, sections 102-b and 104-c. again i want to thank the chairman for this opportunity. i yield to the gentleman from idaho. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired.
mr. dicks: i yield the gentleman three additional minutes. the chair: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized from missouri. mr. clay: mr. chairman, i yield to the chairman. mr. simpson: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i agree with the gentleman from missouri and want to be clear and i hope that the secretary of interior and the fish and wildlife service hears clearly that under these acts the secretary of interior may issue permits for the importation into the united states of live polar bears for the purposes of public display at appropriate, accredited zoological institutions upon finding that such importation will benefit the health and welfare of the animal or as otherwise -- or is otherwise consistent with the conservation of the polar bear. i thank the gentleman for raising this matter and for working with me on this important issue and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. clay: i thank the chairman as well as the ranking member, mr. dicks, for yielding more time and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 2, line 9,
bureau of land management, management of lands and resources, $918,227,000. in addition. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. moran of virginia, page 2, line 20, insert after the dollar amount -- mr. moran: i ask unanimous consent that it be considered as having been read. the chair: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. moran: mr. chairman, as i noted previously, there are a lot of winners and losers in h.r. 2584. two of the winners of the oil and gas companies and the cattle grazers who use or publicly owned lands -- our publicly owned lands. one of the losers are the indian sanitation facility program. my amendment would do two things. first, it decreases funding from the increase in the bill for the b.l.m.'s oil and gas and grazing
management programs. second, the amendment would restore the indian sanitation facilities program by what it was cut below the current spending level. i find it ironic that the majority refused to allow the administration to collect an inspection fee from the oil and gas industry but had no problem in providing more taxpayer funds for the oil and gas industry. the oil and gas industry gets about $4 billion in subsidies per year. likewise cattle ranchers who pay the ridiculously low fee of $1.35 per month per cow while states charge so much more. texas, for example, charges $65 to $150 per cow per month to graze on state-owned lands. but the federal government charges only $1.35. well, they would see an increase in taxpayer resources devoted to grazing management from $75
million to $90 million, a 0% increase. if our national budget -- a 90% increase. if our budget is about shared sacrifice, how about starting with the oil and gas industries who have profited by the resources owned by the american public and from ranchers whose use of the public lands is heavily subsidized by the american taxpayer? and yet they get increases in the bill while indian sanitation facilities are cut. that's why the second part of my amendment provides an additional $18.6 million for the indian sanitation facilities program, it would simply restore funding to last year's level. at the end of f.y. 2010 there were about 230,000 native american homes in need of sanitation facilities including 34,000 homes without portable water. according to the indian health
service, native americans in these homes are at extremely high risk for gastrointestinal disease and respiratory disease at rates similar to thirled world countries. additionally the indian health service has noted that many of these homes without services are very remote, have limited access to health care which increases the importance of improving environmental conditions in these homes. the least we can do is to provide the same level of funding that was provided this current year to the indian sanitation facilities program, which is an integral component of the indian health services disease prevention activities. i urge support of the amendment and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman may not reserve. mr. moran: mr. chairman, again, the chairman suggested that there were no special interests. well, this disproves that.
there are special interests, oil and gas companies already getting subsidies from the american taxpayer of about $4 billion a year. they get increases in this bill. we're simply asking them to pay a little more towards the federal government's cost of managing the fees that they should be paying. just a little bit more we're asking them to pay. and we're also asking the ranchers who again get special interest subsidies in this bill, more money for the ranchers, more subsidy, more subsidy for the oil and gas companies and yet at the same time we cut the money that would provide sanitation facilities for 230,000 native american homes in need and 34,000 of those homes are without even portable water. they are the losers, oil and gas
companies and the grazers are the winners in this bill. that's why i'd urge support for the amendment, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho rise? mr. simpson: move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. simpson: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the amendment offered by my friend and colleague from virginia. honoring our nation's obligations to american indians and alaskan natives is an unshakable bipartisan sentiment shared by members of the interior appropriations subcommittee and is an accomplishment in this bill that i am most proud of. this bill increases funding for indian health service business $392 million over the current fiscal year while everything else, almost virtually everything else is being cut. a 10% increase that also happens to be one of the rare and by far the largest increases in this bill. this bill includes the same $19 billion cut for sanitation facilities that was proposed by the president and i note that the president's indian health
service budget was an additional $162 million higher than this bill. the problem is the offset, the b.l.m.'s management of land resources account has already been cut by 43.-- $43.5 million below the f.y. 2011. this account funds the management of the b.l.m.'s more than $245 -- 245 million service acres and subsurface acres, further cuts to this account are not appropriate. mr. chairman, i am proud of the increases we were able to provide in this bill and in previous bills by my predecessors, mr. moran and mr. dicks. you bet i am. will i continue to fight for more funding for indian country despite the attacks from virtually every other interest group who isn't happy with their share of the pie? you bet i will. will i stand by and let my friend and colleague from virginia continue to systematically dismantle the budget of the largest land owner in the west, the b.l.m.?
absolutely not. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. dicks: i move the strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dicks: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. dicks: i support my friend, mr. moran's amendment. which wine crease funding for the indian facilities construction program. the amendment would provide $18 million for this important health program which would bring the funding level back up to the enacted level for this year. the offset for this increase comes from a couple of programs that help support the private sector energy and livestock industries. i think this amendment is a very good deal for the american taxpayer. and by the way, these kinds -- if you've ever been to -- out in indian country, one of the problems that they have, i can think of the indians in my
district in mason county, washington, where they have very serious need for new sanitary facilities and across indian country this is still a major problem and, you know, there was a group of scientists a few years ago who were asked, what was the greatest thing that happened in the 20th century to improve health care? and ironically they came up with sures and sanitary facilities -- sewers and sanitary facilities was the thing that improved health care around the world most substantially. the indian health service program, to construct sanitary facilities that would benefit from this amendment, improves the lives of some of our poorest fellow citizens. the indian health service program provides funding for people who often lack basic sanitary facilities such as the delivery of portable water to their homes. for me the choice is simple.
i urge my colleagues to choose to help provide basic sanitation to native americans by making small cuts to programs that assist the energy and livestock industry. this is a good amendment and should be adopted. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from minnesota rise? >> i rise to strike the last word, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentlewoman from minnesota is recognized for five minutes. ms. mccollum: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise to offer support for the moran amendment, for providing more access to clean drinking water and to chairman simpson's point, we did do a good job of working together to significantly improve the quality of life in indian country and we did that working together. . one of the areas we could have done better is in the area of indian sanitation. we are trying to put this funding back to where we had it
back in 2011, not a cut . and a way we're asking to do this, and i'll speak to the issue of grazing because i offered the amendment in full appropriations committee, is to ask cattle ranchers to pay a fair fee, a fee of $1.35 is less, than like mr. moran pointed out, is less for states for use of their public lands. and it's significantly less in some information gathering i did that the private sector charges for the use of their lands. when we have our lands at $1.35, not only is it a benefit to the taxpayers but it leads to overgrazing of our lands which does nothing to help improve the quality of public lands for future generation of cattle ranchers. $15 million to grazers in this bill, $4 million to oil and gas. and the numbers again, $2 --
230,000 american homes without sanitation facilities. 34,000 homes without clean, safe drinking water. no infant, no child in this country or in indian country should be at risk of intestinal disease that is found in third world countries. let us provide at the same level of funding that we had in the f.y. 2011 bill for indian sanitation. let us support clean drinking water for our children. i rise to support this amendment, and i yield back, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman from missouri is recognized for five minutes. >> i have an amendment at the desk. mr. chairman, in the committee report for this bill, the appropriations committee -- the chair: the gentleman will suspend. the chair would advise the gentleman that there is a
current bill -- amendment before the committee. the gentleman will suspend. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho rise? mr. simpson: i ask for the yeas and nays, a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 3 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by virginia will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise? >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i offer an amendment to bring the interior appropriations bill in line with the r.s.c. budget.
mr. chairman, credit rating agencies across the country are threatening to downgrade our debt, and not because we won't pass a debt ceiling increase but more so because we have not passed a credible plan to pay that debt back. every child born in america today owes the federal government over $46,000 and bill bill rises every day. the times we are in demand we look at the effectiveness of every federal dollar we spend and that is why i offer this amendment today. it makes cuts across the bill with the biggest cuts coming from the e.p.a. in my opinion no agency in my federal government has done more to negatively impact our economy than the e.p.a. mr. humps camp: the e.p.a. is not helping the power plant. it would delay jobs.
261 permanent jobs. they can't break ground. region seven is asking for changes. environmental groups continue to file lawsuits, a death by litigation strategy against the electric cooperative members seeking to build this plant. 351 proposed solar, wind, wave, biofuel, coal, gas, nuclear projects have been delayed or canceled due to significant impediments such as regulatory barriers including inefficient review processes and the intent of lawsuits and legal action. the study found these projects would produce 1.9 million new jobs during construction and almost 800,000 jobs in an ongoing basis. these jobs are simply in limbo when our economy southerly needs them. not a week goes by without the e.p.a. introducing new regulations.
water cooling intakes for power plants. dust and our particulate matter, ozone, and the list goes on and on. these lists not only drive up costs but creates high levels of uncertainty in our fragile economy. when the e.p.a. isn't are hampering our economy at home, they are sending our tax dollars abroad. nearly $1.3 million was sent to china in greerchts the past two years. yes, that's right. these grants were sent to the china coal institute, the china university of petroleum, the china urban construction, design and research academy and the china association of rural energy industry. i guess the hundreds of billions of dollars of debt we owe them is not enough. the e.p.a. has long given up sound scientific methods to ensure a clean environment for left-wing agenda that has left our economy billions in deficit without a change in our air quality. mr. chairman, this amendment
zeros out funding for the n.e.a. and the n.e.h. federal spending on the arts and humanities has been long controversial. i believe the federal government should not play such a role in our society. and certainly should not at a time when we are facing an impending debt crisis. if we cannot make relatively easy decisions to eliminate this funding how account american people expect us to make the harder decisions necessary to balance our federal government? mr. chairman, the amendment also ends funding for national heritage area grants. this provision was included as a result of the youcut program where the american people could vote on a government program to cut, and this is the one they selected. federal funding for heritage areas was supposed to be seed capital to get them up and running for the private sector who requested them. many of the grarnts have exceeded the 10-year limitation. even the president recommended a 50% cut in his budget for
them which was included in the bill. bulingts in this time of much-needed federal restraint it's time to cut them altogether. mr. chairman, i encourage my colleagues to pass this amendment and to help put us on a track to balance our budget in the next decade. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman from kansas yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. moran: i rise in strong opposition to this amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes in opposition of the amendment. mr. moran: mr. chairman, this amendment cuts every environmental conservation and cultural program across the bill. it totals $3 billion in cuts and then puts those funds in the spending reduction account. the funding in the bill is already grocery inadequate, and this amendment would cut the bill by more in an 10%. the amendment zeros out u.s. fish and wildlife construction by cutting $12 million it zeros out u.s. fish and wildlife land acquisition by cutting $15
million it zeros out forest service land acquisition. it zeros out the national endowment for the arts. it zeros out the national endowment of the humanities. it cuts state and local water infrastructure by $770 million. 30%. even though the infrastructure needs across the country, as mr. dicks has stated, is $688 billion. this amendment goes on to cut the national park service, the office of the secretary, wildland fire management, etc., etc., etc. mr. chairman, we should all appose these draconian cuts. they don't make sense. i don't think the gentleman proposed them necessarily knows what the full impact would be. i suspect if his constituents, let alone the american people, knew what was being attempted they would agree with me that this amendment should be soundly defeated, mr. chairman.
the chair: the gentleman yields back. mr. moran: i yield my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to join with my good friend from virginia in speaking against this amendment, although i do appreciate my friend from kansas in offering it because this is precisely what would be required if the budget gimmick that was offered by the republicans last week to restrict funding to 1966 levels, a budget level that was never met by ronald reagan who never proposed a budget that was less than 21%. but this is exactly what would be required. it's why the house is going to demonstrate the schizophrenia on the part of my friends on the other side of the aisle because this amendment is going
to be rejected, i predict. it will be rejected even though that is what they would wish on the american public. zourg out the resources -- zeroing out the resources for the national humanities, the n.e.a. the american people embraces, supports, have dramatic economic impact at home that -- at home, that leverages private dollars. but this is the tip of the iceberg. i appreciate it being offered. i wish that people would like at it closely because this is what is being proposed by our republican friends in their efforts going forward. mr. chairman, i will at this point yield back but i do hope that people pay close attention to what is embodied here because this is a taste of what people have in store for the american public.
the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho rise? mr. simpson: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. simpson: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to this amendment. while i appreciate my good friend from kansas' passion for cutting spending, the reality is this is exactly what we're doing. this bill comes in. we passed a budget earlier on this floor, we're the only body to pass a budget, the senate has not passed one. we were given an allocation and this bill comes under that allocation. we all know that we cannot balance this budget simply by cutting. but we also know that reducing federal spending is a necessary priority and a first step toward getting us toward a balanced budget. i think that this amendment goes too far. it would take $3 billion from the numerous accounts in this bill including the b.l.m., fish and wildlife service, national park service, n.e.a. and n.e.h., as was mentioned, and
transfer it to the budget reduction account. i think it goes too far because there are -- while i appreciate the gentleman's concern that he expressed about the impact that the e.p.a. is having in this country on job creation, and i said repeatedly when i go out and give a speech somewhere to a chamber of commerce or a lion's club or whatever, i'll talk about the interior bill and the agencies that we fund. and when i get to the e.p.a., someone in the audience will say, just defund it, get rid of it. it's the first applause line in the speech. that's the reputation the attempt has out in the public. that's the concern that the public has about the direction that the e.p.a. is headed. so i appreciate my gentleman's concern about the e.p.a. as i explained to the people, you can't just do away with the e.p.a. because if you're out there and you have a business and the underlying law requires you to get an air quality permit or water quality ferment and you call the e.p.a. and get
your air quality permit and no one's there to answer the phone to help you with that, then you got a problem. so we don't want to -- we don't want to eliminate the e.p.a. what we want to do is rein the e.p.a. back in because i think they got an overly aggressive agenda. as i've said, i think they are the biggest wet blanket on the growth of our economy there is. i rise in opposition to the amendment, and i would hope that my colleagues would oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, i move to strike the last word to oppose this amendment. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. woolsey: what the american people want from us in washington can be summed up in one word, jobs. j-o-b-s. the republicans have now controlled the house for more than 200 days and they haven't lifted a finger to address the single overriding priority of
the people we work for. that is jobs. it's a gross failure of leadership. instead of what's on their agenda this week, only the biggest assault on environmental protection since several decades. i have yet, mr. chairman, to see a poll where americans are clamoring for the congress to undernine pollution controls, damage public health and unravel a 40-year bipartisan conservation consensus. i can't think of a single environmental program or initiative that is spared under the base legislation and this amendment makes it even worse. the base bill would mean more toxic mercury, arsenic released in our air. it leaves the area surrounding the grand canyon, the grand canyon, an iconic national park, open to toxic uranium mining. . it cuts the land and water conservation fund by 78%,
ittaries the heart out of the clean water act and guts the endangered species act and it removes those pesky regulatory obstacles that keep pesticides out of our waterways. the republicans want to block e.p.a.'s efforts to protect communities from storm water runoff and to issue new energy efficiency standards for new vehicles after 2016. everything we've put in place that makes sense -- it's what they want to get rid of. and on and on and on it goes, mr. chairman. one extreme policy writer after another. none of this will do anything to save taxpayers money. it is an absolute frontal assault on the water we drink, the air we breathe, the public lands we cherish. this is a big special interest giveaway and that is simple. it's a classic example of
legislating to benefit friends and ben factors, big oil and other corporate polluters at the expense of national interests. the nation's natural resources are not ours to exploit at all will. they're on loan to us. we must be the responsible stewards. it will be a moral failure if we don't pass an improved environmental bill and if we don't pass an environment on to the next generation, one that is in even better condition than the one we have today. but that's what this disgraceful legislation would do. it breaks a covenant that the american people take very seriously, a covenant they actually take for granted. it's republican extremism run amok, on steroids, rampaging out of control. the base bill, h.r. 2584, must be stopped. this amendment cannot see the
daylight. i urge all my colleagues to vote no. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman from california yields back her time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman -- >> mr. chairman. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. dicks: i move to strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. dicks: i want to commend chairman simpson for opposing this amendment. this is an amendment way too far. we've already, under the president's budget request, the budget is -- this budget is $3.8 billion, almost $4 billion below what the president requested. it's $2 billion below the f.y. 2011 which we just passed a few weeks ago and it would have a devastating effect on our environment. when i hear people talk about growing the economy by cutting the budget i wonder what school of economics they attended.
in fact, there was an outstanding article just a few weeks ago in "the new york times" that really laid out the basic problem we have in the economy. and that is that consumers -- consumer spending has dropped by 7%. so we need -- and normally in previous recessions it only went down 3%. so then when you cut state and local government funding, when you cut federal funding you make a bad situation worse in terms of consumption. and that is why the economy has slowed down and that's why it's going to go up as a result of these kinds of reckless cuts being offered by the other side. let me give you one example. the land and water conservation fund, the former administrator from new jersey did a study of
what the backlog on waste water treatment facilities are and it was $66 88 billion. it's definitely gone up. and yet we're slashing and would slash again the amount of money for the clean water revolving fund and the safe drinking water revolving fund and the state and tribal assistance grants. those are exactly the programs that we should be plusing up in order to get people back to work . it's infrastructure, that's one thing we used to be able to agree on, both democrats and republicans in this house, that we need infrastructure work. this will put people to work. how are you going to get the deficit down? not by slashing government spending, you're going to get it by putting people back to work. when you put them back to work, they start paying taxes, they start buying goods and that will drive down the deficit, it will
drive down unemployment. so what we're here about and this reckless amendment from the gentleman from kansas again would make this a bad situation even worse in terms of job creation. so i am pleased that the majority is resisting this ill-thought-out amendment and i urge its defeat. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. dicks: i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from kansas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise? >> i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: does the gentleman ask for a recorded vote? >> yes, sir. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from kansas will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk.
the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. cleaver of missouri, page 2, line 20, after the dollar amount insert, reduce by $3 million. page 65, line 19, after the dollar amount insert, increase by $3 million. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. cleaver: mr. chairman, and the committee reporter this -- in the committee report for this bill, the appropriations committee includes language expressing concerns in regard to the environmental protection agency's urban waters initiative and provides no funding in this bill for this program for fiscal year 2012. i understand the committee's reluctance to extend funding for new, broad, crosscutting initiatives given our economic situation, however i feel this initiative has immense value to millions of people who live in urban centers and who rely on the government to ensure that they have clean water to drink and use in their daily lives. this amendment would restore partial funding for the urban waters initiative for fiscal
year 2012. this amendment does not increase the spending by one single penny. cities share one key characteristic, they're full of people, buildings and businesses because everyone shares the same relative space, air and water environmental impacts are concentrated in small areas including waterways. urban waters take on large aments of pollution from a variety of sources including industrial discharges, mobile sources such as cars and trucks, residential, commercial wastewater, trash and polluted storm water runoff from urban landscapes. as urban pollutions often share centralized water sources this pollution creates public and environmental health hazards like lower drinking water quality and water bodies that aren't safe for human swimming. the e.p.a. launched the urban waters program to address water quality challenges in the urban watersheds and build capacity of
disadvantaged communities through projects that revitalize these watersheds. if maintained properly urban waters can also yield positive impacts for populations in both urban and upstream communities. revitalization of waterways can spur ploist employment -- -- can spur employment -- the chair: the gentleman will suspend. pursuant to the chair's announcement of earlier today, the house will now observe a moment of silence in memory of officer jacob j. chestnut and detective john m. gibson. will all present please rise for a moment of silence.
the chair: the gentleman may proceed. mr. cleaver: mr. chairman. community as i cross the country are coming together, working with the e.p.a., state and local agencies and taking steps to access, restore and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding lands. my missouri five district, a large section of which is kansas city, is one such community. the e.p.a. regional staff are working with the kansas city and local citizens groups to monitor water supply and plan and conduct improvements to the blue river watershed and brush creek, covering 270 square miles, the blue river complices the largest watershed -- comprises the largest watershed in the area. its drainage is divided between the states of kansas and missouri and flows through three counties, 12 cities and 10 school districts. bush creek is the most visible
tributary to the blue river and runs completely through an area that we are trying to rebuild called the great impact zone. the e.p.a. is monitoring water quality along the watershed and assisting in local efforts to conduct large scale watershed planning for brush creek and the blue river. whether part of a cleanup leading to water front development or putting monday tering in place to -- monitoring in place to ensure clean drinking water with the e.p.a.'s health, -- help, community groups across the country have taken the initiative, engaging volunteers, community organizations and local and state government to make their water safe for many uses. this amendment provides $3 million for urban waters within the e.p.a.'s environmental programs and management account. though it is by no means the maximum amount of funds that this program could utilize. it will ensure that this vital community-driven initiative can continue and i ask for the approval of this amendment.
the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from idaho. mr. simpson: move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. simpson: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to this amendment. the amendment would take $3 million from the b.l.m. management of lands and resources and transfer to the e.p.a.'s urban water initiative. the d.l.m. management of land and resources account has already been cut by $43.5 million below the f.y. 2011 level. this funds -- account funds the management of their more than 245 million surface acres and 700 million subsurface acres, further cuts to this account would not be appropriate. the eliminated funding forer the e.p.a.'s new initiative because it was duplicative funding. regardless of whether a water body is in a rural or urban area, e.p.a. and states should be addressing the most impaired waters first and there are a
number of well established programs that handle there. there is no need for a separate, duplicative initiative in order to protect our urban waters. it only results in duplicative spending. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. moran: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for five minutes. mr. moran: mr. chairman, i support the distinguished gentleman from missouri, mr. cleaver's, amendment to add a modest $3 million to the environmental protection agency for the urban water initiative which the subcommittee refused to fund. e.p.a. and the department of the interior announced the first pilots of this program last month. they included baltimore's watershed, the ant costia watershed in the district of columbia and maryland, the bronx and harlem river watersheds in new york, the south platte river in denver, the los angeles river watershed, the lake
pontchartrain area in new orleans and the northwest indiana area. all areas in drastic need of attention. the subcommittee report charged e.p.a. with reprioritizing funds to begin the program in fiscal year 2011 without the express approval of the committee. my friends should know that when you fund the government under a continuing resolution, the agency has more flexibility. we don't want e.p.a. or any other agency to decide how to prioritize funding, then we should pass real bills and frankly they did exactly the right thing in moving forward with this urban water initiative. that's where the need is. furthermore, denying funds to urban watersheds where a majority of our population lives because of a dist dislike for all things e.p.a. is -- a dislike for all things e.p.a. is simply unfair to all these communities.
object a bipartisan basis we've worked together to provide needed funding for rural water programs. we agree that should be a priority. but we should also show the same level of commitment to the urban waters initiative. this program will also capitalize on work being done through e.p.a.'s broader geographic programs such as chest peek bay and lake pontchartrain. these are two very critical water bodies that are in dange -- are endangered. i don't think i need to get into the extent of the endangerment of chesapeake bay and certainly not lake pontchartrain. imagine, just think back to what happened in new orleans just a few years ago. this offset is from the management account of the bureau of land management which is adequately funded in the bill. so i really do support this amendment and i would urge all of my colleagues to do the same and i'd be happy to yield to the gentleman from washington. mr. dicks: i just want to associate myself with the
gentleman's remarks. i support this amendment. i can think back when i was going to the university of washington and when lake washington, which is between seattle and bellview, was completely polluted. you couldn't swim in it. and then the people that there bonded themselves and completely restored the lake and today that is some of the most valuable property in the entire pacific northwest. so these urban water initiatives are critically important for the environment, for the health of the people of those areas and i think this is a modest amendment and i urge our colleagues to accept it. mr. moran: at this time i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from virginia yields back his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from missouri, mr. cleaver. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair,
the noes have it. mr. moran: mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from virginia. mr. moran: we would ask for a recorded vote on this. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by offered by the gentleman from missouri will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. inslee: i move to strike the requisite number of words and to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. inslee: it's true that no bill is perfect but this bill is truly atrocious, and i've come here as co-chair of the sustainable energy and environment caucus, a coalition, to talk about how this bill represents a whole set of failures to really recognize our stewardship responsibilities of the greatness of this country and it is a great country. i fly across it every monday and friday and the words of the
song that god's grace will shed on thee in this country really is true but this bill does nothing to sustain the precious assets of clean air, clean water and good open ground that we have in this country. and i'm sad to say that when you look out across america today you'll see republicans and democrats out recreating. they understand what a beautiful playground we have in our national lands and clean water. but right now all this bill is is a playground for the special interests. and it's sad to say that a party that we have worked with historically has now turned its back on this stewardship responsibility. teddy roosevelt, that started this effort, would be rolling over in his grave to see this wholesale abandonment of this stewardship responsibility of this great country. republicans and democrats alike
want more clean air. this bill gives them less. they want more clean water. this bill gives them less. they want more open good ground. this bill gives them less. and the reason is it's based on a huge mistaken belief that dirty air's good for our economy, that dirty water is good for our economy and that spoiled land is good for our land. these are falsehoods. you want to talk about job creation, i'd like to talk about some jobs we'd like to create and keep that are damaged by this bill. right now in puget sound in washington state we historically have grown some of the best oysters in the world in hood canal and other places. and now because of water pollution the oyster industry that employs thousands of people in my state is
endangered by water pollution. now, one would think when we're trying to protect jobs in every industry, including the oyster industry, we might be interested in preventing pollution that destroys a whole industry, but, no, that's not what this bill does. this bill weakens our ability to protect against dirty water and stormwater pollution which is endangering jobs in my state and other places in this country. now, if you talk to the people in this industry, they'll say their jobs are important, but according to this bill they are not, but what's important are the special interests and the ability to degrade our environmental protection. take a look at the alternative fuels industry that is now growing across this country, and their ability to create millions of new jobs. a few weeks ago i was at a company called targeted growth. targeted growth a few years ago had an idea of creating
biofuels that we could fly airplanes in and five years ago people thought this was a pipe dream. because of their intellectual prowess, a couple weeks ago we flew the first transowes yannick flight using bio-- transoceanic flight using biofuels for the first time in american history. that's something one would be proud of. one would think in a bill like this we'd help new job-creating industries like that get started. no. what this bill does is degrade the clean energy parts of our law that will give inspiration and innovation in these industries. this bill makes the assumption that dirty air and sick people are good for economic growth. and that is not a recipe for economic growth in this
country. now, i'll just talk about one thing. there's been an 80% reduction in our land and conservation water fund which is very disturbing. should be to democrats and republicans alike. this is one thing i hope we can fix in this bill, and it's not something that is so urban or rural. i think about this a little city park in mossy rock, washington, that a police officer said, why do i get all these kids hanging around the bars, let's get them off the streets, and using some of these funds we now have a city park. we've built in mossy park, washington. is that such a dangerous thing for our economy? i hope representative bass' amendment is successful later on. reject this bill. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: mr. chairman, i take modest exception to the comments of my good friend from the state of washington because having read wilderness warrior by teddy roosevelt there's no doubt that he's spinning in his grave and this interior appropriations bill represents an advocation of spobblingt on the part of the -- responsibility on the part of the federal government. not only does it cut money for clean air, clean water, it's polluted with anti-environmental riders. these riders have nothing to do with reducing the deficit and everything to do with undermining the role of the federal government in protecting our nation's environment and public health. this bill is a partisan attack on 40 years of progress to protect the health and environment. it puts polluters over the health of the american public, privatizing the benefits forcing the children and alederly bear increased costs. most all, this bill is a waste of time. in the midst of a looming debt crisis we're engaging in a
rhetorical debate about legs that moves us backwards and will never become law, either overturned in the senate or vetoed by the president. the republicans will demonstrate once guenther' more concerned about protecting industry profits than the american people. in the midst of a heat wave in washington, d.c., and around the country, the bill pretends that climate change isn't happening and even prevents the e.p.a. from following the law and the supreme court decision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. it threatens two million jobs and over $363 billion of the nation's economy that depends on the support of the programs in the department of the interior. it is preventing clean water in the state revolving funds, the water and conservation fund, as referenced, 80% cut. the most dramatic reduction in 45 years. it cuts e.p.a.'s operating budget, offsite budget for
drilling and, more, leave communities around the country struggling to provide services to their citizens and even comply with federal laws. in oregon, the cuts to public lands funding will mean missed opportunities to protect special places like the columbia river gorge. it will also cripple local economies. studies have shown that for every $1 billion invested in infrastructure, between 20,000 and 26,000 jobs are created. it cuts almost $1 billion from the state revolving fund which helps states finance federally mandated upgrades and repairs to water and sewer systems. it will put additional pressure on already tight local budgets as well as potentially increasing water and sewer rates and in communities like mine we've seen them skyrocket in recent years. the bill rolls back like saving and cost saving measures under the clean air act and other
environmental laws which were enacted to protect the health and environment of the american people. it should be no surprise that it's cheaper and easier to prevent toxics like mercury and arsenic from going into our water and air in the first place than try and remove them later. the e.p.a.'s study show the benefits far outweigh the costs. there's no doubt why one of the reasons why a number of public health organizations, including the american lung association, the american public health association, the american academy of peed at ricks have all written to congress -- pediatrics have all written to congress opposing these riders. the riders can only be described other than fulfilling special interests' wish list. overmining and also to clarify the jurisdiction of the clean water act to a new moratorium on listings under the endangered species act, the bill countless times ignores the needs of our communities
and instead implements what polluting industries have been asking for. why are we talking about allowing new mining in -- around -- rather, the grand canyon? the bill restricts funding for the e.p.a. office of sustainable communities. now, this is an office that provides technical assistance to local communities who wish to plan for increased economic growth and development and accounts for the changes in their community and demographic impacts. this office has been in existence for over 15 years. it is an extraordinarily useful tool to help communities understand how to put the pieces together, how to coax more value. they can only help only 9% of the applicants. now would not be the time, it would seem, to make it harder
for communities who want to encourage economic development and growth in a thoughtful and sustainable fashion. i urge my colleagues to vote against this bill. we can and must do better for our communities. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. >> mr. chairman. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho rise? mr. simpson: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. simpson: i yield to the gentleman from new york for the purpose of a colloquy. >> thank you. mr. serrano: i'd like to enter into a colloquy with the chairman of the interior appropriations committee. simpson -- simpson i'd be glad to. mr. serrano: congressman latourette entered an amendment to help our waters that are stronger than the federal international requirements that are currently in effect. at the time, mr. chairman, i asked we look more thoughtfully of the potential impact this amendment might vfment since
that markup i heard concerns from numerous groups and the state of new york. in addition, it's my understanding that both e.p.a. and the coast guard are working towards finalizing national standards. would you be willing, as we move towards conference with the senate, to work with new york members, congressman latourette and other great lake members to help us find a workable solution to this problem of invasive species? mr. simpson: the gentleman from new york has spoken to me about these concerns. i am aware this is a serious issue that will have an immediate impact on the state of new york. before conference i'll work with you, congressman latourette and other great lake members to try to resolve these concerns. mr. serrano: i'd like to thank the chairman for your assistance. >> i thank you very much. i want to commend mr. serrano of new york for the reasoned and balanced approach he's taken to this rather than following a knee jerk reaction
on committee or on the floor, etc.' recommitted to working to solve this problem. mr. latourette: i just want the record to be clear in 2008 new york, the new york department of environmental conservation, not the state legislature, not the state, enacted balanceased water exchanges that would have gone into effect if they pushed the issues that is 100 more times more stringent and would have gone to 1,000 more times more stringent a year after that. only two states, new york and also minnesota, had something in their regulations called innocent passageaged that is it applies to all ships passed through new york water whether they take on discharged balance ised water. the -- i take a backseat to no one in this congress on the issue of endangered species in the great lakes. the first piece of legislation i wrote with john glen, the invasive species in 1996, but this particular provision by
the new york port authority would cripple and perhaps eliminate commerce on the great lakes. so this deserves thoughtful consideration. it deserves our study. and i would again commit to the gentleman from new york, mr. serrano, to work with you and the chairman to find a way that solves this horrible problem of invasive species or anything else but doesn't stop interstate commerce on the great lakes. and i yield back and i thank you. . >> i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman and my colleagues, i rise in strong opposition to this bill. mr. waxman: i hope the press and the american people are paying attention to what's going on the house floor. i know the news is all about raising the debt ceiling and all the cuts or revenues that might be involved before we can get legislation to do something that has been routinely done almost
automatically done -- done, almost automatically done every year or two for decades, but what is happening on the house floor deserves the attention of the american people. this is the most anti environmental house of representatives in history. the new republican majority seems intent on restoring the era where there were no controls on pollution from power plants, oil refineries and factories. this year we witnessed weather disaster after weather disaster, there have been massive floods, recordbreaking fire, recordbreaking droughts and now recordbreaking heat waves yet earlier this year the house passed a bill that repealed e.p.a.'s scientific finding that climate change is occurring. it's caused by man and is a
serious threat. we don't hear about the connection between these weather events and climate change and carbon emissions. we're not hearing from it when we watch the daily news shows and we're not hearing it from this administration. i just sent recently a letter to secretary chu, the secretary of energy, a nobel prize winner, asking him to speak out. we need to educate the american people so we can educate our colleagues here in the house of representatives. in this bill the republican majority wants to block e.p.a. from issuing regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants and oil refineries that are causing this catastrophic climate change. the majority also wants to block regulations to cut carbon pollution from motor vehicles, even though these regulations help break our dangerous
dependence on oil, save american families money and clean the air we breathe. this house can deny science, we can amend our nation's laws, but we cannot rewrite the laws of nature. the longer we ignore the scientific reality that our actions are destabilizing the environment, destabilizing our climate, the more costly and disruptive our response will need to be and the more we endanger our children's future. when we were debating carbon regulations earlier this year my colleagues on the other side of the aisle claim that they supported reductions in what they call real air pollution, whatever that means. but it turns out they're gutting those protections as well. this legislation includes a provision that will block landmark rules to protect the health of our children by cutting air pollution and reducing toxic mercury pollution
. the bill blocks cross-state air pollution rules, an important rule that is designed to prevent dirty power plant in one state from contributing to air quality problems in other downwind states. e.p.a. estimates that this rule will prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths and nearly two million sick days a year beginning in 2014. the bill indefinitely delays mercury and air toxic standards for power plants, mercury is a potent neuro toxin that damages brain developments in infants and children, impafering our ability to think and learn -- impairing our ability to think and learn, e.p.a.'s mercury rule will clean up this pollution and prevent 17,000 premature deaths each year. republicans like to argue that environment regulations must be justified by a regular rouse -- rigorous cost-benefit analysis.
well, these regulations have been thoroughly analyzed and their benefits are 10 times greater than their cost and yet they want to stop those regulations from going into place. these essential health protections are not being targeted because they are too costly, they are being targeted because they are opposed by powerful special interests like oil companies and electric utilities. we need to stop putting the special interests ahead of the public interest. this bill poses a choice. are we for protecting pregnant women, infants and children from toxic pollution or are we for protecting the profits of special interests? a strong and vital e.p.a. is in our national interest and the public interest. if we disarm e.p.a. as this bill would do, there's no one to stand up to -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise?
the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. chu: i rise today in strong opposition to the 2012 interior appropriations bill, the most antienvironment bill i've seen on the house floor since i was elected to congress. if this bill passes our air will be more polluted, our water will be dirtier and we know that much of what we love will disappear. this bill rolls back the clock to a time when big companies could poison our streams and rivers with impunity, when power plants could freely contaminate the air we breathe and when our national treasures were destroyed by corporations all for a bigger profit. first, the bill splashes funding to the e.p.a. -- slashes funding to the e.p.a. by $1.8 billion, stealing funding that keeps our drinking water and wastewater systems clean. then it guts the land and water conservation fund. this program has done more than any other to expand local parks,
recreational green spaces and public lands enjoyed by hundreds of millions of americans. while this bill cuts this program by 80% to its lowest level in history, nearly eliminating efforts to ensure that our treasured places are protected for families to enjoy for generations to come. then it abolishing the national oceanic and atmospheric administration climate service which is crucial to understanding how the changes in our national climate affect our farm, -- our farms, coastal communities and businesses. finally it proposes crippling cuts to the development of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, only making our nation more dependent on importing oil and gas from foreign countries. but you know what's worst of all? is that these cuts severely jeopardize the 1.5 million jobs that could be created as a result of american clean energy innovation and undermines growth in our nation's clean tech
industry. and even though some are calling this a cost cutting bill, it's really a bill to pad the pockets of big corporations and the worst polluters. unbelievably it gives away $5 million in subsidies to oil -- $55 million in subsidies to oil and gas companies and blocks the necessary increase in fees to inspect oil and gas stations from disasters like the b.p. gulf spill. and that's not all. the bill includes 39 different environmental policy bans that open up our natural resources to greedy polluters and keeps our environmental agencies from doing their jobs to protect us from contamination. it allows more soot pollution in our air by blocking critical public health standards that ensure our air is very healthy for americans to breathe. it blocks the e.p.a. from implementing greenhouse gas pollution standards for new cars , jeopardy 700,000 new jobs and
the estimated 2.4 million barrels of oil a day saved in just two decades. it prohibits my home state of california from moving ahead with its own clean air standards. it exempts oil companies from complying with clean air act standards for offshore drilling, again protecting the special interests of big oil. it puts the drinking water of 117 million americans at risk by blocking e.p.a. from keeping our water clean and half of america's streems and some 20 million acres of wetlands. it allows unregulated discharge of pesticides directly into our rivers and lakes. this bill is a direct attack, a declaration of war on our air, water, wildlife and wildlands. it is clear that this bill isn't about cutting spending, it's about cutting years off our children's lives by increasing
their exposure to contaminants in the air and water. the republicans are putting polluters ahead of the health and safety of the american people. i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> strike the last section. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. serrano: thank you, mr. chairman. you know, when some of us go home and we speak to different groups about how congress conducts its business, one of the parts of those conversations that may be hard to understand is that we have personal relationships and we have people on both sides of the aisle that we respect and we like. and so especially during these times it becomes difficult for some of us when, for instance, a
person like myself looks at a chairman rogers or a chairman wolf or a mike simpson, chairman simpson, and we know that these are good people who are totally confused as to what it is we're supposed to be doing. you say to a republican these days, good morning, and he or she answers, cut the budget. the sky is blue, cut the budget. we all understand the need to get certain amounts of spending under control. but the problem is that some folks, and this bill shows that, continue to totally misunderstand that, yes, we may have economic issues that we have to deal with, that's a given. but we are also still an perhaps forever the greatest country on earth. how did we get there? we didn't get there because we
decided every couple of years to simply cut the budget. we got there because we invested money, because we created, yes, rules, because we created, yes, laws, that protected our way of life the way that we wanted our future generations to be treated. and so what you see across the board now is this belief that if you get the budget down to a certain number, which sometimes, and i say this profoundly sarcastic, perhaps, some people would like to get it to zero and i don't-ask, don't-tell know what happens constitutionally after that, if the budget gets to zero, but if you get it down, then the country will do better of the everything will be well -- better. everything will be well. couple that with the fact that while some folks on that side are in fact strong believers, that you must cut spending -- believes that -- believers that
you must cut spending, others have taken the opportunity to roll back language, to roll back regulations that have made the environment safer, that have made our lives better, that have made us safer as americans. and so the public is being told it's about cutting the budget. the public is being told it's about not having a national debt. the public is being told it's about the future of our country in terms of what we owe. yes, that is a legitimate concern. but what the country is not being told is that, for instance, in this bill, through writers, we are going back perhaps not evenly to the 1960's, but to the 1950's or even the 1940's in environmental issues, on environmental issues and other issues. so what we need to do is to continue to be a voice on this side and folks on that side who believe as i do that this is the
wrong route to take, that we have to continue to stand up and say we all understand the need to address the issues we have to. but we can't throw away everything that we've had, we can't throw away everything we've built, we can't simply not invest in the future. i sit on other committees, committees that have traditionally given us an opportunity to invest. somewhere right now in this country there is a person, male or female, sitting with a white robe in a laboratory coming up with the next medicine, the next velcro, if you will, the next invention that will make us a better nation and a better society and help ourselves and heth help the world. if you look at those budgets and they'll be coming to a floor near you pretty soon, those budgets are devastated when it comes to investing money in research and so while it's good to tell the public, cut the
budget, we need to be honest and say, in the process we may set you back 30 or 40 years. i yield back the balance of my time. . the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. sarbanes: this bill is a terrible bill for our country and represents an assault on our environment and actually, i was looking through the various assessments about this bill, this interior and environment appropriations legislation for 2012 from different groups who are concerned about the environment, clean air and clean water and that's the word they kept using, assault.
this is an assault on clean water. it's an assault on clean air. it's an assault on conservation. it continues the assault that was begun at the beginning of this year with h.r. 1, to completely dismantle our environmental protections. and i confess to you i just don't understand the motivations of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle. do we not breathe the same air? do we not drink the same water? do we not traverse the same beautiful terrain across this country? i can't imagine, i can't fathom what the motivation is to engage
in this wholesale attack on our environment. let's look at that attack. they're proposing to cut the e.p.a.'s budget -- this is the agency that is charged with protecting our environment -- to cut that budget by 18% below 2011 levels and 40% by 2010 levels. i come from the chesapeake bay. i grew up fishing for crabs on the eastern shore of maryland. my grandmother lived in salisbury and that's where we used to go during the summers. this would be devastating for the chesapeake bay. it cuts funding to the chesapeake bay program, which is designed to put the bay on a pollution diet so we can clean up the chesapeake bay.
but this would undermine that. and it puts all these policy riders on it, loaded up with policy riders and prevent the regulation of coal ash as a hazardous waste. we have that in my district. i want the environmental protection agency to be able to do that work. but this bill would undermine it. so it's an assault on clean water and that affects the chesapeake bay. but let's look what else it does. it's an assault on clean air. this bill, with all of these policy riders, would block standards to cut air pollution from cement kilns and delaying power standards by six months that would reduce mercury arsenic and lead in the air. don't we want to do that? it would exempt oil companies, now this is no surprise, that's become a common practice.
how many exemptions can we give to the oil and gas companies? it would exempt oil companies from complying with the clean air act in offshore drilling prayings. it's an assault on clean air. a study was done by the e.p.a. that said the air quality improvements under the clean air act if maintained from the period of 1990 to 2020 will result in $2 trillion in savings for this country and prevent 30,000 deaths. why would you want to undermine the protections with respect to our clean air? it's an assault on environmental education, taking funding away from the national park service in terms of needed construction that has to be done. it's an assault on our national wildlife refuges. the reduction in funding for our national wildlife refuges, that
is 120 across the country. assault on conservation, reducing the water and land conservation fund to $66 million, an 80% cut from 2011 levels. but here's the great shame of it. the great shame of it is, the american people are ready to step up and be stewards of the environment. they want to do that. they want to take ownership in their own back yards. but they can't do it if the federal government isn't there as a partner. i urge defeat of this bill. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. speaker. the american public was concerned mainly about two things in this last election.
a, jobs. trying to get opportunities for themselves and their children and young people to earn a living. they are also concerned correctly about the debt and deficit that confronts this country. those were the two items that they were very focused on and concerned about and i think almost everybody on this floor shares their concerns. i got no message from any voter that i ought to come to congress and undermine the air, water, land that they survive on, recreate on and rely on for the quality of their lives, not one constituent whether they voted for me or against me said undermine the protections of our
land and water and air. not one. however, that is what we're dealing with today. not jobs, not deficits, but undermining the integrity of our air, our water and our land. i rise, therefore, mr. speaker, in strong opposition to this bill, which puts some of our nation's most precious natural resources at severe risk. this blill slashes funding for the environmental protection agency by nearly 20%. after a year in which its funding already declined by 16%. the result of these cuts will be an agency unequiped. now, mr. speaker, i don't want to have to address you but under the rules if i didn't address you, i would address all of
america but their concerns of this undermining of the environmental protection agency. americans want the environment protected. they don't want that effort undermined. it will mean higher risks of dirt year air, unsafe water and carbon pollution in our atmosphere. no american said that's what they wanted when they talked to me. this bill includes a rider that would defund the listing of endangered species and habitat, a true failure of environmental stewardship. perhaps worst of all, this bill comes with 39 separate anti-environment riders that cater to some of our nation's most powerful special interests. now, maybe i missed it. maybe there is an american who said, protect the special interests and undermine our environment, but gee, maybe i missed talking to them.
maybe that was it. these riders would endanger and exploit our public resources including the grand canyon and colorado river, quality of our nation's air and water for the private gain of just a few. the land and water conservation fund which re-invests money we can gain from offshore gas drilling into protecting our public lands. now we have just seen a dramatic assault on our lands on the gulf coast. it's cut 78% from the current year's funding in this bill. communities waiting for funding for new sewer and drinking water systems will find a 40% cut. no american asked me for that. in 1995, the very first vote of the republican majority, 1995, the very first vote the new republican majority cast on a bill like this one, one that
attempted to slash the e.p.a.. the year is different, but the policy is the same. there was one major difference. that failed bill had just 17 environmental riders. less than half of this one. this one has 39. these provisions do nothing to control spending. they are end runs simply around laws to protect our environment. now, as then, the wish list deserves to be voted down. representative bottle earth a member of the natural resources committee stood on this floor when that 1995 bill was offered, a republican leader said do not do this to our land, our air and our water. let me quote the rise words of the ranking member, my colleague
and friend, congressman jim moran and i quote, there are those who want to make this controversy between humans and the environment. but that is a false assertion. i urge you to read the balance of mr. moran's quote in opposing this bad bill. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. grijalva: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. grijalva: h.r. 25884 is without question the most regress i have, destructive and shameless attack on our environmental protections, this country's public health and conservation in over four decades. this is accomplished through the back door changes that 40 i had logically policy-driven riders
in legislation and the biggest to the polluters who helped craft these riders and adding them to our laws. and this is accomplished on the riders. riders in an appropriations bill that legislate. it is accomplished through defunding agencies, such as the e.p.a., so that their oversight is weakened and unfortunately becomes nonexist tant. giving away public lands. these mechanisms are used in this legislation to not only undermine, but to dismantle protections that have been part of the legacy of this nation for years upon years and decades upon decades. matters of life and death to the american people, clean air and clean water are left without funding to protect american families. and the legislation before us does not create jobs. if the reason of the deficit -- the reason that this is being
done as we hear from the other side is for deficit reduction, that sounds hollow and contrived when one measures public health and the cleanup. it sounds hollow when the taxpayer sees the tax breaks, public resource giveaways and unrelated privileges to industry and big business. it seems hollow when the average american taxpayer suffers both the financial and human cost of this legislation. let me use one example of a rider introduced by my colleague from arizona, a son of arizona, to the grand canyon. this would effectively defund any opportunity to study, to analyze the consequences of uranium mining on one million acres around the grand canyon. if anything else were to be an important point for this
congress, it is the icon of all our national parks, the grand canyon and the uranium miners in that area has caused damage to the people in that area and now with this rider, we are perpetrating the same climate, the same strategy that has caused the problems in the area. we are jeopardizing the water, the colorado river and water users in nevada, california and arizona. and they use an expert -- they tout an expert as of today and recently, a person who rationalized that there would be no real damage to the grand canyon. isn't it ironic and interesting to note that this expert is sitting on 30 or more mining claims in the withdrawal area around the grand canyon and would stand to do very, very well financial about sale and
resale of these claims. this is the expert. . this legislation is a feeding frenzy for polluters, big oil and speculaters who make their huge profits by cutting corners, ignoring regulations and skirting the responsibilities that we all have to follow the law. now their mission has an eager partner. the majority of the house of representatives. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this legislation and to protect the health of the american people and the health of our legacy as a nation. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? >> mr. chairman, i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, as we sit and endure this mini filibuster about how horrible republicans are when it comes to this bill and the environment, i want to give a perspective about how some of these writers actual i -- actually got in the bill.
mr. latourette: and i -- i and a number of my colleagues have pent a lot of time talking with this e.p.a. this e.p.a. administrator and it's like talking to this lectern. nothing gets through and i want to bring to your attention one particular matter that i put in this bill that's a writer and it has to do with the u.s. e.p.a. draft notice 2010-x and that was a notice that went out to the manufacturers of lawn fertilizer. now everybody in the chamber would agree that the people who manufacture lawn fertilizer, what they put in the bag should be safe, it should not harm the environment and it should actually do what it's supposed to do and that's grow grass or do something else. however, the e.p.a., because they had precious little to do, decided that they weren't content with regulator what was in the bag, they want to regulate what's on the bag and that's a list of ingredients but what the product is called. so draft regulation 2010-x says that these companies need to reevaluate their trademark names, some of them that have
been in effect since the 1960's and remove those that the e.p.a. determines are misleading to the public. now, i sat down with mrs. jackson, the administrator of the e.p.a., she smiled and said, you know, this doesn't make a lot of sense to me, i brought it up in subcommittee last year and withdrew it at the request of the then majority so they'd work on it. well, it's still here. and here's a list of the words that they determined that you can't use if you're in the lawn fertilizer business. germ shield, 100% protection, professional grade, pro safe, safer, safest, natural, environmentally safe and green. now, hold on a minute. there's a company in ohio that's called scott's. i bet a lot of people use scott's products and they make a product called turf builder. they also make a profit called turf builder pro. this draft notification tells them they can't call it pro anymore because it's misleading to the public. even though the word pro is
installed to create a brand that's small -- that small hardware stores could -- -- could sell, it's a niche brand for smaller retailers but a you can't call that in a anymore. you can't call a fertilizer anything if it says green. now, mr. speaker, when i was growing up, mr. chairman, when i was growing up, green was a color. this folder was green. not anymore. not anymore. if i can't demonstrate that this folder has something to do with liveability and sustainability, i am misleading the people that are watching this program. now, there's another company in ohio that's over in toledo, it's called -- they have a product called anderson's golf pro and they have indicated that they're not allowed to call it grolve pro anymore because you don't have to use the seed and the weed and seed on the golf course, you could use it on your front lawn. so they have to call it anderson's pro.
they can't call it pro anymore because that's misleading. so they can call it handerson's and hope you can figure out what to do with it. i said, you know, you have really barely scratched the surface on this thing because the product that scott's manufactures that i like so much is miracle grow. now, you can imagine, mr. speaker, how is the e.p.a. going to be able to certify when i put that miracle grow on my tomato plant that a miracle has occurred? you're going to put a tremendous burden on the vatican, all these little old ladies are going to be at the airport flying over to rome to talk to the college of cardinals and say, did a miracle occur? that's why some of these writers are in here. you have to be able to talk to people. and if they won't talk to you, you have to take action as is contemplated by the constitution , as a co-queam branch of the government we've done that and -- co-equal branch of the government we've done that and i'm sorry it offends some of our colleagues and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
>> mr. chairman, when americans think of america they think of our great resources. now, for big oil that probably means the oil that's found on public lands and off our shores where they can get for a song and charge a fortune, but for most americans it's the spacious skies and purple mountain majesties. mr. holt: and this bill, this legislation that we're considering here now has no appreciation for america's priceless resources. according to the league of conservation voters, though, going farther than just beautiful vistas or purple mountain imaginiests this bill is -- majesty this bill is the biggest, in their words, biggest assault on the air we breathe, the water we drink and the wildlife and wild places we hold dear ever to come before congress.
continuing the clean water network or the american lung association or the american public health association or physicians for social responsibility, they all go on to point out that the budget cuts or policy writers in this legislation undermine the laws that protect public health and reduce health care costs because we will lose the preventions that help reduce adverse health outcomes. it will lead to greater exposure that is cancerous, asthma attacks, strokes, emergency department visits. it is not just for the beauty of this country, although that might be reason enough to try to preserve all these things, it is for the health of america's people.
this legislation would put children's health at risk. at the same time that it would be exempting oil companies from complying with clean air standards. we cannot tolerate this. unregulated discharge of pesticides into our waterways, with holding funding for -- withholding funding for wild lands, allowing uranium mining all around the grand canyon. mr. chairman, this is an unprecedented attack and not just on those things i've mentioned, not just on life-saving public health protections and essential pollution control, it's an attack on science as well. this bill includes reduction in funding for the u.s. geological survey, research and complimet and land use -- complimet and -- climate and -- climate and land
use. let me give an example. the satellite just in the past month has been used to track the largest fire in arizona's history. yet because of the cuts that would come to pass through this legislation, the data coming from the landsat system would go unrecorded, unanalyzed, unused. talk about false economy. and it's an unprecedented attack on our public land as. -- lands. the largest cut in the land and water conservation fund that most of the members of this house have seen in their service and i must say it's particularly important to a state like mine, new jersey. my constituents reside in the most densely populated stea state in the union and yet they've demonstrated again and again with their votes their
support for open space preservation, for fighting sprawl, for providing their kids, our kids with safe places to experience the outdoors. mr. chairman, there is a long list of questions and a long list of reasons and you'll be hearing still more about why this is terrible legislation. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from massachusetts rise? the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. tsongas: i rise in strong opposition to the underlying bill, h.r. 2584, and am disappointed that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are using this appropriations process to put at risk the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, our public lands and our public health. for example, this bill would
dismantle the clean water act which would not only undermine our constituents' access to clean and healthy waterways but also would mean the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. my district, the fifth district of massachusetts, is home to dozens of remarkable rivers and streams which are a key part of the history, culture, economy and natural beauty of the fifth district. most of our rivers have excellent water quality and it is common on warm days to see people swimming, fishing and paddling. but our rivers were not always sos who pitble. there was a time when the merrimac river, one of the largest watersheds in new england, and the river that flows through my hometown, was a depository for waste and pollution. for 150 years the merrimac river was one of the 10 most polluted rivers in the country. it was the clean water act enforcement of the early 1970's that changed the future of our
rivers. because of the act and the enforcement authority afforded the e.p.a., a cleanup plan was put in place and polluters and violators were held responsible. slowly the merrimac and surrounding rivers were monitored and improved to meet the clean water standards we take for granted today. this is just one oh so fortunate example but rerp cated all across our country -- recommend cated all across our country to our great fortunate and that of our children and grandchildren. while some states may adequately protect their waters on their own, not all do. and that is why congress has given the e.p.a. the authority to protect our waterways under the clean water act. we must continue to strengthen safeguards for privilegers -- rivers and streams, to ensure that all across the country americans enjoy the benefit of clean, safe water. i urge my colleagues to reject the shortsighted proposal to undercut the clean water act and help protect america's clean
water legacy. thank you and i yield back. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from connecticut rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. delauro: i rise in strong opposition to a reckless and unconscionable interior appropriations bill put forward by the house republican majority. once again they have put a radical out of touch agenda and the desires of big oil and polluters above the interests of the american people, the need to create jobs and the health of our environment. this appropriations bill is more than just a danger to the health and safety of american families, it represents the worst assault on clean air and clean water in our nation's history. this legislation slashes funding for the environmental protection agency by 18% and the majority has shown time and time again that it opposes any environmental regulation that
might hurt the bottom line to polluters. but it doesn't stop there. this legislation also slashes the clean water state revolving fund which helps states to finance wastewater system improvements by providing 5% of the resources -- 55% of the resources meaning that america's waterways will be put at risk of sewage and urban runoff pollution and good middle class jobs will be lost. and it cuts the land and water conservation fund which protects national parks, forests, wildlife refugees from development by 78%. in addition, this partisan legislation includes at least 38 policy writers that for purely ideological reasons would harm american families and the environment. the bill would prohibit the e.p.a. from implementing rules to protect communities from power plant pollution. it blocks the e.p.a. from restoring clean water protections for more than half of our nation's streems and 20
million acres of wetlands. meaning the drinking water of 117 million americans is put at risk. it blocks the e.p.a. from moving forward on fuel efficiency standards that will reduce foreign oil imports and cut pollution. it blocks the e.p.a. from regulating carbon pollution at power plants, refineries and industrial sites and even stops indefinitely long overdue standards to control air pollution from toxic mercury and dangering pregnant women, infants and children. this legislation would open up more of our coast lines to offshore drilling, one million of acres of land around the grand canyon, a national treasure, to toxic uranium mining. mr. speaker, there was a time when the republican party were known as defenders of the environment, it was a republican president, toad teddy roosevelt, who inaugurated the national forest service and who worked to conserve 230 million acres of americanland including the grand
canyon which is now put at risk. he called the canyon, and i quote, a national wonder, which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. leave it as it is, he said, you cannot improve on it. the ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it, end quote. ment richard nixon brought life to the environmental protection agency. another president, josh bush senior expanded the clean air act even further to protect americans' health. and yet, today, republican majority brings us an interior appropriations bill which undoes all of this good work, which endanger american families threatens to do permanent damage to the environment. i urge my colleagues in the majority ks return to your roots to once again put the american
people before the interests of polluters and to oppose this disastrous legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. tonko: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. tonko: i rise in opposition to the underlying bill. instead of work oing a bipartisan solution to address the looming default crisis or to create american jobs, today house republicans have brought to the floor h.r. 2485, which would gut pollution controls and health protections to give bigger profits to big oil and other special interest polluters. by attaching three dozen policy riders to this bill, they are attempting to use this to make back door changes of federal laws that protects clean water, air, land and wildlife. it would crip will federal
agencies charged with protecting american citizens and our natural resources. this is a new low for the 112th congress which has seen the new house g.o.p. majority overturn the clean water act and repeal energy efficiency standards and pull the plug on american jobs and clean energy innovation and manufacturing. now this legislation would overturn 40 years of bipartisan progress, protecting the american people and the environment. one area i choose to focus on is they continue to tax the clean air act which have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and improve the health of americans of every state and protects the air we breathe and water we drink. it protects our children from developing asthma and our seniors. according to the american lung association in 2010 alone, the clean air act saved over 160,000 livings.
since 1990, the clean air act prevented 384,000 asthma attacks and 672,000 cases of chronic bron kite is and it is clear that the republican majority is doing all it can to stop e.p.a. from carrying out its mission of protecting public health and the environment. many will claim that the e.p.a. is moving at a faster pace than any other administration in history. however, the e.p.a. has proposed fewer clean air act rules under president obama over the past 24 months than the first two years of either president bush or president clinton. that is why in december of 2010, 280 groups including the american heart association, american lung association, american public health association and others sent a letter urging the congress to reject any measure that would block or delay the united states
environmental protection agency from doing its job to protect all americans from life-threatening air pollution. this bill, an appropriation bill, is not the place to legislate these type of changes. these should be policy changes not made during this process. the clean air act is promoting innovation and breaking americans' oil dependence, but republicans would give big polluters a loophole to roll back our clean energy progress and continue our addiction to foreign oil. the clean air act is good for the economy. many studies have shown that the clean air act economic benefits far exceed any costs associated with the law by 40 to 1 ratio. as president obama so eloquently spoke of during his state of the union address, we must outinnovate, outeducate and outbuild our global competitors and win back the future. protect the air our children
breathe, allow oil companies, companies that are reaping record profits, the ability to spread pollution into the air just to please a lobbyist or big oil corporation is irresponsible and yes, extreme. the clean air act has been on the books for decades with positive results for our economy, our environment and our businesses. rolling back these probings will hurt our most vulnerable. we simply cannot afford to go backward. and with that, i thank you and yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island rise snr mr. cicilline: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. i mr. cicilline: the bill before us represents an assault on clean air, clean water and land conservation efforts in our country. to be clear, passage of this measure is an absolute
abandonment of this body's responsibility to provide for the general welfare of the united states. this bill seriously undermines the significant advances that we have made as a country as responsible stewards of our land and natural resources, our wildlife, our air and our water. and perhaps most importantly, this legislation is a threat to the health and well-being of all americans. some have argued that the riders attached to this bill are sensible and an attempt to rein the excesses of the environmental protection agency and job-killing regulations. this is an absurd claim. this legislation is nothing more than a complete caveg in to special interests and bill oil and some of our nation's worst polluters. for the people i represent in the first congressional district of rhode island, the stunning reductions to the e.p.a. and the related policy riders that strike against the begins we've made to clean air and clean
water are a threat to public health and environment. let me give you one example. according to reports from the rhode island clean water action, rhode island has the thrird highest rate of childhood asthma in the northeast and fifth highest nationally. the state spent $360 million providing health care. what's more, 27,000 rhode island children currently suffer from as mass. the average hopization stay for children with asthma is two days with cost of,-- $7,840. the drastic reductions and the anti-environmental riders in this bill threaten our air and water quality and have real and negative consequences on real people and real families, increasing health care costs, additional lost days of work and productivity and detrimental
long-term health and environmental conquenses for our children. this slashes funding that is essential to protecting our environment and public health but protects state and local economic development opportunities. this bill sets the fund at 55% below the f.y. 2011. the bill sets the state drinking water fund 50% below 2011. i would like to read an excerpt from the 2010 annual report of the entity charged with administering federal and state programs relating to municipal waste water and drinking water. a revolving fund allows for the perptral funds to allow units by providing loans and other forms of financial assistance. our primary goals is to provide means to reduce pollution, help
provide safe drinking water and low interest loans to cities and towns to repair substandard septic systems. at this moment, we are working to rein our public debt. we need to be smart. consider the mission of this state agency's whose efforts are supported to promote low-cost means to reduce pollution caused by waste water and provide safe drinking water. these are objectives to safe gurd the health and well-being of rhode islanders and men and women across this country. what is the response from our friends on the other side, cut programs by more than $1 billion. we could no longer try to fool ourselves with the misguided belief that critical infrastructure projects, especially those supported by state revolving funds that protect our health and environment are going to be less expensive over time.
reducing federal funds that support these kinds of projects to improve our water and waste water systems will insite deferred maintenance and will make future projects more expensive and will increase the likelihood of infrastructure failures that threaten public health, the environment and impede economic growth. these will cost us more in the long run. some have called this bill the worst assault on clean air and clean water in history. i sfrongly urge my colleagues to reject this assault on the health, welfare and economic vitality of our states, our cities and our towns. let us not be known as the congress who betrayed our solemn responsibility to be good stewards of the earth. i urge my colleagues to reject this bill and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. johnson: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
mr. johnson: i move to strike the last word. having set sail in search of new shores for pirat inning, the g.o.p. is lost at sea under misguided leadership. under the guise of austerity and deficit reduction, they have plotted our nation on a fateful course that will only resurge in the torrents of sewage, untreated chemicals and other hazardous materials into our rivers, streams and creeks along with factories, plants and refineries bilching smoke, smog and mercury into our blue skies. sick children and the aged who suffer from asthma, respiratory illnesses, they'll get sicker and sicker, while oil and gas
companies and mining companies get fatter and fatter. mr. chair, i -- as i see it, this bill is nothing more than an attempt to remove 40 years of federal laws that protect our air, water, land and wildlife. only in a republican-controlled house would we increase access to oil and gas leases while reducing our ability to ensure drilling operations are environmentally safe. only in a republican-controlled house would we reduce the ability of states to safely manage their sewage and waste water runoff. and mr. speaker, only in a republican-controlled congress would we allow more uranium mining near the grand canyon.
mr. speaker, these efforts are opposed by the majority of americans who believe in oversight of drilling operations, protection from tainted drinking water and those who believe the grand canyon with all of its majestic beauty, should be a natural national treasure for the enjoyment of families and tourists, not a wasteland laid bear by mining companies whose appetite for profits is equaled by the amount of damage they would inflict upon our environment. these aren't the rants and raves of liberals, environmentalists hell bent on protecting nature at all costs, but sentiments of red-blooded americans who believe our natural resources