tv House Session CSPAN May 20, 2015 6:30pm-9:01pm EDT
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote -- the chair: on this vote, the yeas are 234, the nays are 18 . the amendment is adopt the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 8 printed in part a of house report 114-120 by the gentleman from california, mr. lowenthal, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the
amendment. the clerk: amendment number 8 printed in house report -- report 114-120, offered by mr. lowenthal of california. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this -- the chair: on this vote the yeas are 187, the nays are 286, the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 10 printed in part a of house report 114-120, by the gentlewoman from oregon, ms. bonamici, on which further proceed wrgs postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 10 printed in house report 114-120
offered by ms. bonamici of oregon. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
by the gentleman from virginia, mr. beyer on which further proceed wrgs postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 11 printed in house report 114-120 offered by mr. beyer of virginia. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the chair: on this vote the yeas are 190. the nays are 233. the amendment is not adopted. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 12 printed in part a of house report 114-120 by the gentlewoman from texas, ms. eddie bernice johnson, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 12 printed in part a of house report 114-120 offered by ms. eddie bernice johnson of texas. the chair: a recorded vote's been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union has had under consideration h.r. 1806 and pursuant to house resolution 271 i report the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports has the
committee has had under consideration the bill h.r. 1806 and pursuant to house resolution 271 reports the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. under the rule the previous question is ordered. is a separate vote demanded on any amendment to the amendment reported from the committee of the whole? if not, the question is on the adoption of the amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the question is on the engrossment and the third reading of the bill. those in favor will say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading.
the clerk: a bill to provide for technological innovation through the prioritization of federal investment in basic research, fundamental scientific discovery, and development to improve the competitiveness of the united states, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor will say aye. those opposed will say no. the ayes have it. the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. johnson: i'd like to request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. the members will record their vote by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20
and the order of the house of today, this five-minute vote on passage -- this is a five-minute vote on passage of the bill. this will be followed by five-minute votes on the motion to recommit on h.r. 880 and passage of h.r. 880, if ordered. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the house will be in order. the house will be in order. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: mr. mica: mr. speaker, in -- i rise to pay tribute to six united states marines who lost their lives may 12, 2015. they died not in combat but in a mission of mercy aiding the people of nepal who as we have
read have been affected by a deadly earthquake. i yield to their member of congress to recognize each of the marines who sacrificed their lives. first congressman mike pompeo of kansas. mr. pompeo: captain. >> congressman adrian smith of nebraska. mr. smith: nebraska's third congressional district. mr. mica: congressman ken calvert of california. mr. calvert: sergeant martin seaman, california's 42nd. mr. mica: congressman bill foster of illinois. mr. foster: corporal sarah
medina, aurora, illinois. mr. mica: and congressman trent franks from arizona. mr. franks: lance corporal jacob andrew huggg arizona's eighth congressional district. mr. mica: mr. speaker and my colleagues greater love hath have no man than to lay down his life for a fellow man. those who represent those brave marines, sergeant ward mark johnson from florida seventh congressional district. we all ask you to join us in a moment of silence and we ask that as we approach this memorial day, that we remember in our thoughts and in our prayers all those brave americans and their families who paid the ultimate price in
service to our nation. mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion to recommit on h.r. 880 offered by the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. neal on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will redesignate the motion. the clerk: motion to recommit by mr. neal of massachusetts. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to recommit. members will record their votes
by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the ayes have it. mr. levin: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: 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. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
>> mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 274 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 35, house resolution 274, resolved that at any time after the adoption of this resolution, the speaker may pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 1, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 1335 to amend the magnusson stevens fishery conservation and management act, provide flexibility for fishery managers and stability for fishermen, and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed. with all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. jep debate shall be confined to
the bill and shall be divided -- equally divided and controlled -- limited to one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the natural resources committee. the amendment in the nature of a substitute now printed in the bill. it shall be in order to consider as an original bill an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of rule committees print 114-16. that amendment mt. nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. all points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in the report the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent
and an opponent. may be withdrawn by the proponent at any time before action thereon, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to demand for division of the question in the house or the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. any member may demand a separate vote in the house on any amendment adopted in the committee of the whole to the bill or to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order as original text. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments throt to -- thereto to final passage except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for one hour. >> during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. i now yield the customary 30
minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized. the gentleman from colorado. i'm sorry, the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: house resolution 274 provides a structured ruled for the strengthening of fishing communities and increasing flexibility in fisheries management act. this rule makes in order eight amendments. five of which are from democratic sponsors. one of the amendments is a democratic substitute which will be debated for twice as long as the other amendments. as someone who has lived his whole life on the gulf coast, i can tell you just how important this bill is. for many people who live on our nation's coast, this bill is a bat -- is about a way of life
this bill is for our nation's commercial fishermen who depend on a reliable fishing stock in order to make a living. this bill is also for our nation's charter boat fleets, which are an important source for tourism. that means jobs, mr. speaker. and all too often people in this town and government scientists seem not to care about that. just as importantly, this bill is for our recreational fishermen and everyday anglers who just enjoy spending time on the waters. for my family this is a lifelong tradition. i remember fishing with my dad on the gulf of mexico. i treasure opportunities to fish with my four children. and as a new grandfather, i look forward to fishing with my grandson. this is a good bill. and as a former move the committee on jurisdiction, the natural resources committee, i can tell you that a great amount of time and effort has gone into
this bill. this process started over two years ago and there was a lot of work to bring parties together to get a bill that everyone can agreen. -- agree on. unfortunately, as happens far too often here in washington mitigating circumstance colleagues on the other side of the aisle have decided to make this into a partisan fight. president obama said he will veto this bill. all this, despite real efforts to work together, across the aisle, to get a bill that works for everyone. i want to briefly talk about the idea of science, that the president and my colleagues on the other side claim the bill undermines. all too often here in d.c., what passes for science is just political ideology dressed up with some technical language with no real basis in observable data. i don't know if the gentleman from colorado has ever been fish for red snapper on the gulf coast if he hasn't i invite him to do system of i can tell you there are more red snapper there
than there have ever been before. despite that good news, noaa and the federal government is consistently undercounting the numb of fish in the gulf of mexico. here's the craziest part of all. noaa is not sampling for red snapper on reefs. despite the fact that the red snapper is a reef fish. that's simply absurd. if you look for red snapper somewhere other than the reefs you're not going to find them because they live on reefs. now noaa has also overestimated the number of red snapper caught each year. for example, last year, the federal government estimated that one million -- that 1,041,000 pounds were ought off the coast of alabama, where i'm from. the alabama red snapper reporting system, run by the state, only estimated a catch of 148,000 ponds pounds. that's a remarkable disparity. what's happened is a dangerous
combination of noaa underestimating how many fish are caught and overestimating the number of fish caught each year. this resulted in a dramatically shortened season for red snapper fishermen. last year's red snapper season was only nine years this year hst been increased to 10 days. that is simply unacceptable. i support science based management. the committee supports sign-based management. but i don't support and the committee doesn't support flawed science based management. and this house shouldn't either. so that's why i get so frustrated when i hear my colleagues say that this bill undermines good science. come tell that to my fishermen on the gulf coast. come tell that to the marine scientists on the gulf coast who have tone extensive scientific research on this. this bill is important because it includes real reforms that are designed to get some better science for all of our
fisheries. not only as it relates to red snapper but as it relates to the fisheries all around the united states of america. why don't we encourage stronger partnerships with local colleges and universities which have done great work in the past? i do want to touch on the red snapper issue a little more because it's so important to the people i represent an it's very important for the debate on this bill. this bill includes three important reforms that i and local scientists and stake holders believe will get us a real red snapper season. number one, it repeals the inflexible quotas that have been in place up to this point. number two, it creates jurisdictional parity by expanding state waters out to nine nautical miles. gulfwide. number three, it shifts the stock assessment and data collection responsibilities from the federal government and giving those responsibilities to the gulf states. so we can get some real science
not flawed science. far too often people in washington think we know best. people in washington think we have all the answers. this is an issue where that simply is not the case. this bill empowers our nation's fishing communities and gives them the flexibility they need. so regardless of whether or not you go fishing this issue should matter to all americans. because this issue is about freedom and limiting the role of the federal government in areas where it just doesn't belong. this is an extremely fair rule and i urge its support, mr. speaker and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: the gentleman from alabama said there's more red snapper than there have ever been before. that would seem to indicate that the policies are working and i
don't think it's a time to reverse course. mr. speaker, i would like to yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from california, the ranking member of the natural resources committee on water, power and oceans and the author of the democratic substitute which is a cleaner re-authorization, mr. hoffman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. hoffman: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman from colorado. like the gentleman from alabama, i do represent a coastal district, a fishing district. in fact the second district of california includes about a third of the california coastline and many working harbors and ports where fishing men and women have been catching fish with their families for many, many generations as well as the native indian -- native american tribes that i represent who have been depending on healthy fisheries for hundreds if not thousands of years. so this is important to me. i share the gentleman's concern that we continue to make fishing
available for ourselves and for future generations. we have some disagreements on how to get there. we'll talk about that. but i think the thing that we have to recognize at the outset of this debate is that the magnusson stevens act has been a great success by just about any measure. it succeeded initially in helping us protect and rebuild fisheries from the threat of foreign fleets that were coming into u.s. waters and overfishing and harming our american fishing communities and fishing families. it then went on to succeed in preventing overfish big u.s. fishermen, by a number of mechanisms in the bill that we'll talk about in a moment. but the other way in which magnusson has been a huge success is that it's always been bipartisan. both the original act and the subsequent re-authorizations have always been strongly bipartisan. unfortunately, mr. speaker we are departing from that positive history with the bill that we have before us today. we need to get it become on track.
the keys to magnusson's success have included strict rules on rebuilding of fishery stocks and also very strict fishery specific quotas so that we can make sure that we prevent overfishing and ensure sustainable fishery populations. this is not so that we stop fishing, quite the contrary. the purpose of these mechanisms is so that we can continue to fish for future generations by maintaining sustainable populations. absent these mechanisms, these very successful provisions in magnusson, history teaches us what would happen. we have a history that's played out over and over again in this country an frankly around the world that without strict protections for sustainable fish population, we will overfish them. we will deplete them and it puts us on a path where the tragedy plays out over and over again and the end result of that is fisheries closures. we're not helping the folks who want to fish when we don't manage these populations, we're
actually hurting them in the long run. now democrats have put forward a substitute amendment that is much closer to a clean re-authorization of magnusson. we think that's really the conversation we need to be having. what kind of clean re-authorization can we have and are there consensus areas where we can improve magnusson. the gentleman from alabama might be surprised to find democrats strongly agreeing with him. that we could benefit from additional science, better science, or maybe better data available on the red napper -- snapper in the fwull of. we're all for working with republicans to get that science and make it visible to the decisionmakers who set those rules for that fishery. but there's also more than meets the eye, even for that red snapper fishery, because while you're talking about a small number of a few days in federal waters, you have a greater number of days in state waters. you also can fish for red snapper and other species.
in federal waters, you can only keep them for a certain number of days. and the reason for that is about half the fish caught are reserved for commercial fishermen who have made their case that only fair that half the fish ought to be available to them and in those small number of days the recreational folks catch the same amount of fish. so there is little more than meets the eye. you hear statistics about the very small number of days available. there is frankly much more to the story. where we do agree get better data, science and monitoring and this should be subject to the flexibility of the act and ought to be something that we can work on here together. unfortunately though, mr.
speaker, we have a republican bill that is taking away some of the key provisions of the act that have been the very source of its great success over the years. that heads in the wrong direction and then we have the runs at nepa and the various environmental laws. this is no place to be carrying out that endless assault on america's environmental laws. let's get back to that point of consensus. sustainable management of our fisheries and we can work on it together in this house. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields. the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: i appreciate the gentleman's comments. very important that we try to find ways to work together when the form of this bill that we worked on in the committee last year which is identical to the
one we adopted this year and mr. defazio's opening statement said thank you, chairman and i appreciate the changes that were made in the provisions of the bill. this has been a bipartisan exercise. mr. pallone, his opening statement virtually identical bill, he says, i do appreciate the fact that you reach out to us on the democratic side of the aisle and many of the provisions that are in the bill did come from input from the democratic side and the gentleman referenced the substitute. the substitute has been made in order and given more time for us to debate. we have leaned overbackwards particularly when you consider the majority of the amendments we have made in order are amendments offered by the democrats. i appreciate the gentleman has a substitute and will give him an opportunity to talk about it. if you look at the substitute, we might as call it the
environmental litigation and disaster creation act of 2015 because that's what's going to do. it would allow the secretary of commerce to support projects and gives the litigation world to add influence. ignore current procedure and and forces the secretary to declare a fishery disaster in california from a january 2004. mr. huffman's amendment singles out blame. as we all know there are many things. this blames farmers for a fishery disaster and erases the transparency and science improvements made in the underlying bill, but we give him the opportunity to make his case before this house to show our
willingness to try to work with him. i was greatly surprised when i read the statement of administration policy that we received from the administration when we were marking this bill up in rules committee yesterday and i was most surprised at what they had to say about the snapper language. now that language came from me. i asked the committee to put it in the bill and i'm greatly appreciative of the fact that they did. and remember what i said about what the science has done. here's what the administration says. h.r. 1335 would also severely undermine the authority of the gulf of mexico regional fishery management council by extending state jurisdiction over the recreational red snapper fishery to nine miles. we intend to give the states more authority by going out. this will give us some
flexibility for the fishery out there. but they are further out than nine miles and the administration goes on to say, this proposed extension of jurisdiction would create a situation where recreational fisherman lmen would be subject to different regulatory regimes. why do they present sume that is going to be the case. they have an aversion of the states have haveing any input and absent an agreement as to how to allocate, the bill would encourage interstate conflict and jeopardize this resource. no one has a greater stake in making sure we keep this healthy than those of us who live on the gulf coast. whether in commercial boat or recreational fishing, i won't
get to fish it with my grandson and they won't make money off of this. charter boat people can't come down to the beach and enjoy themselves. the administration presumes that we are going to be so self-defeating that we would allow that to happen. i'm greatly disappointed that after the work we have done to solve this problem that was created by the government scientists that the government is trying to keep us from solving this problem. i appreciate what the gentleman had to say. i think we should work to together on every bill. but at some point we have to stand up for people who fish in this country. we have a right to fish in the waters of the united states and the waters of the united states don't belong to the government scientists but to the people of the united states of america. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from alabama reserves. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: here we are debating the gutting of the act, which both sides agree passed successfully restore our wild stock including snapper and hardly seems the time to reverse course without any scientific evidence that somehow we'll get to a different place than we were when congress wrote the act to address the issue that it seems to be successfully addressing. the gentleman from alabama mentioned remarks from mr. defazio. then ranking member defazio opposed a similar bill in the last congress. not sure of the context or the remarks he made but he stood here on the floor urging his
colleagues to oppose the bill and opposed it as well in committee. he wasn't happy with the result last time and not happy with the result this time nor is our ranking member of the subcommittee or committee and passed out of committee without a single democratic vote. to be clear there was not a bipartisan effort in committee to talk about the best policy with regard to fisheries. before i jump into the debate about fish populations and fisheries in our oceans, something i have to admit is representing the land-locked state of colorado, i want to talk about some of the events from the last week that i think should merit congressional attention. one item that happened in the last week is 16-year-old student from atlanta public school system in georgia was attacked in his court yard just because he was gay.
a crowd surrounded to watch after 15 people beat this person to a pulp. we could be addressing that through passing the student nondiscrimination act or anti-bully act, instead we are talking about gutting protections of our fisheries. in south texas detention facility, similar to others in the country for immigrants who were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, testimony came out that women and children were abused neglected. we could be pursuing immigration reform. los angeles raised its minimum wage to $15. this congress refuses to take up any minimum wage hike, whether the $12 proposal which democrats
have put forward, or 10.40. this congress has not -- instead of bringing forward a bill to increase the minimum wage -- when somebody works at minimum wage they are making $14,000. when you are working full-time and republicans are keeping people on public housing on food stamps on welfare rather than helping them support their own way and regaining their dignity in the process. no, we aren't talking about that but gutting the act. 21000 gallons of oil spilled off the coast of santa barbara county and that isn't good for the fish there either, following the rupture of a pipeline instead of talking about a renewable energy future and
ending our reliance on fossil fuels or national portfolio energy standard. we are talking about gutting the act. tragically, we had funerals for eight people who were killed in the derailment of the amtrak train in pennsylvania. our house observed a moment of silence on that. rather than discussing measures that can prevent future derailment accidents and i understand there is some technology that when implemented could have helped to avoid this accident, here we are again gutting the act that protected our fisheries and helped restore some of the stock so the the gentleman from alabama can continue to enjoy. it's likely we would not be able
to support the level of fishing. seven people were shot in baltimore yesterday and recent spike in violence following the death of freddie gray. instead of addressing a nonlethal use of force or video cameras on police officers we are discussing gutting the act. the highway trust fund, the body this congress, chose to renew it for 60 days and created a crisis in another 59 days and he are not discussing what a deal would look like, a bipartisan deal for a longer term re-authorization of the highway trust fund. 1 0 democrats seeked to extend the exim bank. and w.t.o. rules and trade agreement rules other countries
have these kinds of banks and to disarm would cost american jobs. instead of talking about how congress gets out of this political box on the import-export bank, we are discussing about gutting the legislation. this congress could do a lot better with regard to dealing with issues that i hear about from my constituents every mr. desjarlais: in and day out. fixing our broken immigration system or protecting our country from terrorism or future derailments. that's the kind of topic that that's the topic i think people want to see us discussing here today rather than gutting legislation which many charter fishermen recreational fishermen and commercial fishermen applaud at having sustained their livelihood or their passion for the last
generation. let's talk about fish. the bill we're looking at today would devastate our wild fisheries. it would make our waters much more of a free for all. under the guise of flexibility, it would allow for overfishing of critical species risking not only their sustainability and future enjoyment of recreational fisherman but also the health of ecosystems that rely on fish stocks that we're debating. it would set an alarming precedent by allowing fishery management councils to supersede nepa the national environmental policy act, the antiquity act and the national marine sang wares act. the fisheries management act was introduced in 1976 to stop fishing that had led to depletion across a number of wild fisheries. in both 1996 and 2007,
legislation was authorized, bipartisan bills, again, this bill passed committee without a single democratic vote, each time, comprehensive drafting process, good ideas from both sides of the aisle were put to paper. ironically, i think the one thing the gentleman from alabama and i can agree son the 2007 legislation has been successful. we have shown increased health of our wild fish stocks. so the question is, do we want to reverse course and jeopardize that or, or to we want to move forward with scientific-backed evidence. unfortunately, the republicans are trying to make sweeping changes to gut the magnusson stevens fisheries act this iteration of the bill was drafted with almost no democratic input and passed out of committee without a single democratic vote. look if we want to go through this kind of exercise with a bill that president -- that the president said he would veto a bill that breaks with the proud
bipartisan tradition of fisheries protection, why aren't we spending time on issues i mentioned earlier, like immigration reform or protecting lgbt students from discrimination, like social and economic disparities in our country, like how to deal with mental health for veterans returning from overseas? let's do that. if we're going to talk about fish, let's at least bring up a bill that's been drafted by all stake holders. at least bring up a bill that ensures that the fishing community will have an industry in 10 years, in 20 year, in 50 years. a bill that protected the interests of our recreational fishermen and preserves the health of our nation -- of our oceans for the enjoyment of all americans and for the health of our planet now and into the future. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: mr. speaker, i was listening to the gentleman from colorado speak, we heard about
immigration minimum wage, lgbt, renewable energy highways, ex-im bank and a little bit about fish. s that bill about fish. it's not about all that stuff. you know, we've heard from our friends on the other side of the aisle that we in the majority are using too many, quote, combined rules, where you have more than one bill in the rule. which they say confuses debate and distracts pr the individual merits of each bill and the process by which it will be considered. i've got to tell you, it seems to me we had a lot of confusion and distraction with the interjection into this debate of a bunch of issues that have nothing to do with fishing. today we have one rule, covering one bill, yet the gentleman just spent the majority of his time discussing issues not covered in the rule before us. let me tell you, the people in my area are suffering. charter boat people have lost their boats. dads who want to take their children fishing can't take their children fishing.
it's destroying a way of life for people. i'm not saying those other issues aren't important, that they're not serious. but they're in the covered by this rule and they're not in this bill. we need to debate that. now if the gentleman -- now the gentleman said something about the 2007 act, that it was successful. let me tell you what it's been successful in doing, it's taken a regular summer red snapper season and reduced it to 10 days. that's what it's been successful in doing. it's been successful in almost decimating our charter boat fleets and putting a lot of people out of work. i hear a lot from the other side about we need to put people to work. people on these charter boats work had lots of jobs because of this. it was successful all right. successful in destroying something that worked for people for generations. i have great respect for my fellow colleague on the rules committee from colorado, i know he doesn't get to fish much and the -- fish much in the gulf of mexico but i extend an
invitation to him, i'll take him out thereunder and let him catch some red snapper and i think once he does thatting he'll be as enthusiastic for this bill as i am. mr. polis: is the gentleman prepared to close? mr. byrne: i am prepared to close. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may use. i ask the gentleman -- i invite the gentleman to fish our wonderful mountain trout which we have in our streams and river. obviously no stranger to a different kind of fisheries management policy where of course our economy in colorado relies on fishing and sportsmen as well. i certainly understand that driver. of jobs locally. but i think that the disconnect here is that the gentleman talks about how what the 2007 magnusson stevens bill has accomplished in that it has reduced the number of days that people can fish.
that was the action that was taken, the effect of that is the wild stocks are up. so there are more snapper, i think both sides agree on that. i believe there's a direct causal link to the fact that already more snapper because there have been less that have been taken out of the water. and if we manage our fisheries for the short term if we throw caution to the wind, people might have a good season or two but it simply won't be there. either for the future generation of recreationalists or for those whose livelihoods depend on a viable commercial fishing stock. now, this bill is about fish. if this rule allowed discussion of some of the other bills i mentioned, i could support it. if this bill allowed a debate of #raise it is the disease wage, either to our democratic proposal of $12 an hour minimum wage or to whatever number the gentleman from alabama would like if he'd like to propose $9
an hour $8:50, i would be willing to support this rule if it even allowed two minutes of debate for raising the minimum wage. mr. speaker, i would support this bill if it allowed for taos consider our bipartisan immigration reform measure. if we allowed that debate under this bill, i would do that. i would support this rule if it allowed debate about the student nondiscrimination act, to make sure that lgbt students don't face bullying in our schools and it's a safe learning environment for all students. i would support this rule if it addressed what we learned from the amtrak derailment and prevented future derailments and could save lives. but none of those items, along with countless others, are included under this rule. in fact, all of the amendments under this rule, as well as the
underlying bill, are related to fish. no, i don't deny that fish are important. we might be discussing our mountain trout someday here on the floor of the house and in defending the president's efforts around clean water or protecting some of our water sheds in colorado. we have a lot of interest in protecting our fishing stock as well. but i would be proud to be able to bring forth some of the priorities that i hear from my constituents are so critical. and rather continually to bring up bills that attack the integrity of our environment, in this case a bill that would gut the fisheries protection afforded under the magnusson stevens act and both sides acknowledge helped successfully restore red snapper population. i would hope that perhaps our next rule will allow taos raise the minimum wage. perhaps our next rule will allow
us to consider immigration reform. perhaps our next rule will help us deal with bullying in schools. perhaps our next rule will help us save lives and prevent future rail -- derailments around so many other issues. i urge my colleagues that this particular bill needs to go back to the drawing board. it needs to go back to the drawing board to have a bipartisan effort in a committee i serve on, the natural resources committee, to include priorities from both sides and good science, and continue to build upon the legacy of success that the 2007 bipartisan re-authorization and the mags nowson stevens act has had in increasing the health of our wild fishing stocks. i encourage my colleagues to vote no on this rule and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from alabama. mr. byrne: mr. speaker, i was
listening very carefully to the gentleman from colorado and accept his invitation to go trout fish, i would love to do that. fishing of all kinds is great for everybody to do. i appreciate his invitation. the reason why we have the problem we have today is not because the federal government knows how many fish is out there. they don't. remember what i said earlier this is a refish, they don't sample for re-- this is a reef fish, and they don't sample for reef fish on reefs. if you don't sample for reef fish on reefs, you're not going to find any fish. we know there's so many fish out there, the snapper are not only eating other species, they're eating other snapper. what our scientists have done is gone out with submersible vehicles with high-def cameras and count the fish on the reef. they have a reel number. they get accurate data. these government scientists don't. my friend said we should go back to the drawing board. we wait today long already. we should have done this last year.
so we got a real snapper season this year. if we wait again, we won't have a snapper season next year. that is not acceptable. we have enough fish out there, the science from our scientists have proven it to have a real snapper season. it's not just about snapper. we have a lot of areas that need to be taken care of in a responsible way. in one is more environmentally conscious than someone who hunts and fishes because that's where we get our enjoyment and we want it to be there for us and our children and now that i have a grandson, for my grandchildren. i appreciated this debate today. i always welcome the opportunity to draw attention to some of the real issues which are affecting my constituents back on the gulf coast. to some people up here this issue doesn't mean much. to some people they only listen to the political talking points but out -- put out by lobbyists or political parties or environmental groups.
but to the small restaurant employees at gulf shores or to the charter boat captain of orange beach or the gas station in foley or the condo owners in dolphin island or the thousands of families who spend time fishing on the gulf coast and around the country this bill is critically important. this bill is about getting the federal government off our backs. so that we can fish. so let's not fall back into another political debate. let's come together on behalf of our nation's coastal communities. let's get some real relief for our fishermen. i encourage my colleagues to support this rule and to support this commonsense bill and to support the people of america and their freedom to fish in our waters. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it.
the resolution is agreed to. mr. polis: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. mr. polis: on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. further proceed option this question will be postponed.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you mr. speaker. today it is with great sorrow that i rise to mark the loss of one of aurora's brightest lights. mr. foster: on may 12, 20 15, while following relief in that pell, five marines tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash. corporal medina was from aurora illinois, and graduated
from east aurora high school in 2010. and while still in high school, she decided to serve her country by joining the marines. in the face of such a tragedy we often ask why and to paraphrase the president, whenever a disaster strikes, the world looks to america to lead because of our extraordinary people who rise to the challenge. as a father, i know that no words that i say on this floor will be able to fill the hole and the hearts of all those who knew and loved sarah, but still we must speak because all should know that corporal sarah medina gave her last full measure of devotion in service to her country, helping those who needed it most. for her sacrifice and for her family's terrible loss, we offer our condolences and thanks of a grateful nation. thank you mr. speaker, and i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: are there any more one-minute requests? the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. cohen of tennessee for may 18 for the first vote. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the request is granted. the chair will entertain special order speeches without prejudice to the presumption of legislative business. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015 the lady from new jersey mrs.
watson coleman, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mrs. watson coleman: thank you 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 the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. watson coleman: thank you, mr. speaker. i am so pleased to join with my distinguished colleague, the gentlelady from florida, as we discuss an issue of great importance to my district and quite frankly to every member of congress, transportation infrastructure. last week our nation endured a terrible tragedy azzam track northeast regional train 188 derailed in philadelphia on its way to trenton en route to new york. that accident killed eight americans including one of my constituents injured more than 200 and disrupted service on the busiest rail corridor in the nation for nearly a week. in the days since the accident,
investigators have indicated that high speeds may have played a significant role in the derailment. speeds that were more than double the limit in that stretch of the track. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have used those details to deflect attention away from discussing our nation's investments in had our infrastructure or the lack thereof in rail and all of our other surface transportation infrastructure. mr. speaker burrowing our heads in the sand and waiting until an accident indisputablely caused by lack of funding or maintenance to discuss that funding is dangerous irresponsible and frankly unacceptable. dangerous because millions of americans every day are driving across delapidated bridges, riding on outdated trains and stuck in endless traffic when traveling to work to school and medical care. irresponsible because news coverage and the looming
highway trust fund depletion have made transportation infrastructure a national focus. unacceptable because transportation infrastructure has traditionally been a bipartisan issue that affects how every single one of our constituents gets where they need to go. still, we stand here today waiting for the house majority to bring forth a good-faith comprehensive surface transportation re-authorization that makes investments to give us a transportation system -- rail, car, air and sea -- that we need. transportation infrastructure is critical for the businesses and employers in our district that ship goods to consumers across the globe. transportation infrastructure creates good-paying jobs here, jobs that can't be outsourced and jobs that will actually give working americans a chance to climb into the middle class and beyond. but like i mentioned earlier, my colleagues on the other side
of the aisle would rather have us wait until an accident that we can attribute to infrastructure decay to invest in our roads, our bridges and our railways. in fact, a "los angeles times" report recently noted that the last time congress significantly increased amtrak funding was 2008, following the 2008 union pacific metro link crash in california that killed 25 people. this year, the day following the philadelphia crash, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle decided to cut amtrak funding by 1/5. it's wrong. it's just plain wrong, it's insane and it's out of touch. earlier this year my congressional progressive colleagues and i introduced the people's budget, a budget that would fix our economy so that it will once again provide opportunities for everyday working-class americans. a key provision in the people's
budget was an investment of $820 billion to close our nation's infrastructure gap, funded by raising the gas tax by just 15 cents for the first time in more than two decades so that we can maintain and improve our nation's infrastructure. unfortunately, instead of the people's budget, congress passed a far more dangerous republican budget, and unfortunately our infrastructure continues to crumble. our roads are frequently congested, limiting productivity for millions of american workers. our airports appear run down compare to their competitors in europe and asia. and rail speeds around the world have long eclipsed even amtrak's fastest trains. our bridges continue to deteriorate and present real safety hazards and our ports are in terrible disrepair having a negative economic impact. in fact, a report last week in "the new york times" noted that
while the train that derailed was traveling well above the speed limit at 106 miles per hour, its speed was about half of the average speed of a french train from paris to marseille. federal and state investments in infrastructure have plunged in recent years, even as econists have repeated over and over and over again that infrastructure spending would bring massive economic benefits and overhaul our transportation networks. this has to change before it's too late, mr. speaker. the congressional progressive caucus is here on the floor today o implore our colleagues to put transportation funding -- spending front and center. i know the gentlelady from florida who's sharing at hour with me, agrees with me. want to thank her for her adership as the member of the house transportation frastructure committee and i yield to her, represtative corrine brown.
ms. brown: thank you and thank you, mr. speaker. i'm going to yield first my classmate, congressman from new york, w sits next to me on the transportation and infrastructure committee and share our passion about the importance of funding a comprehensive transportation bill. i yield as mu time as he may consume. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i thank the gentlelady for yielding. mr. speaker, for well over a decade we have failedo adequately invest in transportation infrastructure. according to d.o.t. there's an $808 billion backlog of investment needs on highways and bridges, including $480 billion in critical repair work. public transit has an $86 billion backlog which increases by $2.5 billion each year as
bus and rail infrastructure ages. the american society of civil engineers has given u.s. infrastructure an overall grade of d-minus because 54% of our major roads are rated poor or mediocre. one out of every four bridges in the united states 147,000 bridges are structurally deficient or obsolete. and most don't have access to transit. federal land management agencies need over $11 billion to address deferred maintenance needs on our roads and bridges. the federal highway administration estimates that the cost of upgrading and repairing our detear or ating bridges is -- -- deteriorating bridges is over $100 billion. bringing existing transit assets just up to a state of good repair will require an
analyzed investment level of $18.5 billion through the year 2030. an amount far in excess of current funding levels. an additional $4.3 billion over current spending levels from all levels of government is needed annually to eliminate the current backlog by 2030. to accommodate future transit ridership growth and preserve transit systems, as much as demrr 24.5 billion per year would need to be invested, compared to only $14.2 billion currently invested, a gap of $10 billion a year. the cost to our economy of not meeting our infrastructure needs are great. according to the 2013 american society of civil engineering report 42% of americans' major urban highways remain congested. congestion costs commuters $121 billion a year in wasted time and fuel or an average of $818 per commuter.
i can guarantee you each commuter would rather spend the equivalent amount in taxes than waste that money sitting on a clogged highway. in 2011, congestion caused urban americans to travel 5 1/2 billion hours more and to purchase an extra 2.9 billion gallons of unnecessary fuel. without existing transit services in place in 2011, travelers would have suffered and additional 860 million hours of delay and consumed 450 more gallons of fuel. despite the underinvestment, we are spending way too little today on roads, bridges, transit and rail. the highway trust fund currently collects about $35 billion per year for the highway account and $5 billion for the transit account. according to c.b.o., the highway trust fund faces a shortfall of about $170 billion over the next 10 years.
by 2020, the highway trust fund's purchasing power will have dropped by nearly half since 1990 because of inflation. at a time when the country's population will have increased 30%. we currently spend about $50 billion a year on highways and transit, and most of the recent fights over revenue for the transportation bill have been merely to fill the gap to maintain current funding levels. the discussion should be much broader. it should be how we can fund the program at a higher level to eliminate the backlog, increase capacity, meet a state of good repair and eliminate the congestion in this country. today, this country spends about $1.7% of g.d.p. on infrastructure. we used to spend almost 4% on infrastructure. europe is spending 5% and china is spending %. who do you think 30 years from now is going to have a competitive economic system which depends on adequate up-to-date competitive transportation infrastructure and broadband?
in particular, for example, we have been underinvesting in our rail infrastructure as well. the passenger rail system needs at least $52 billion or $2.5 billion per year for 20 years just to meet ridership demands such as capacity improvements, such as tunnels to new york and to bring the system into a state of good repair. of that amount $21 billion is necessary for the backlog of projects on the northeast corridor. northeast corridor serves 51 million people and is the major corridor for amtrak in the country. it -- the $21 billion for the backlog of projects includes $13.8 billion in major infrastructure project backlog and $7.2 billion in basic infrastructure backlog. some of these major project needs include $1.5 billion to replace the baltimore and potomac tunnels which date dates back to 19 -- 1873.
$350 billion to repair the highline track. replace the portal bridge which can stop the entire northeast corridor if it should fail. $1 billion for communications signal upgrades and bridge replacements near new haven. $2.8 billion in upgrades to other movable bridges. $1.8 billion in additional upgrades from washington to new york. all this is basic backlog all this is basic backlog to make sure the current system continues to operate and doesn't fail. all this in addition to the $280 billion is needed for projected improvements. yet amtrak gets just $1.4 billion in the annual appropriations bill, less than 2% of federal transportation funding, the appropriations
committee recommended this be reduced to $1.1 billion. with a $64 billion backlog. the fiscal year 016 transportation appropriations bill just marked up in committee, the day after the accident north of philadelphia cuts capital funding for amtrak by $290 million, providing only $1.1 billion in f.y. 2016, $1 billion below the president's request. the president's request for this year's budget includes $5 billion for rail. half of that is for amtrak to bring the system to a state of good repair including $550 million for the northeast corridor. as we await the results of a full investigation, the tragedy of amtrak train 188 shows the importance of a reliable rail system to the northeast region of this country. we cannot continue the decades of neglect that left our system desperately underfunded and resulted in a multibillion dollar backlog to bring the
system to good repair. it should not require a tragedy to spur action to address the deficiencies in our transportation and infrastructure network. we should act before accidents occur. rail safety is not a luxury it's of fundamental importance for our citizens and our economy. thousands depend on rail for commerce and transportation every day. congress must provide the resources necessary for ensthiring safety and reliability of our transportation and infrastructure system. while this congress has failed to make transportation funding a priority the administration has taken the lead in pro-- and proposed a long-term service transportation re-authorization bill. the grow america act provides a total of $478 billion over six years. a 45% increase for highways, bridges, public transportation, highway safety and rail programs. it provides $317 billion for programs under the federal highway administration an increase of 29% over current levels. it allocates $18 billion for a
new dedicated multimodal freight system. how is our economy supposed to operate without an efficient freight transportation system. provides $115 billion for programs under the federal transit administration, an increase of 76% other current levels an significantly boosts new start's funding. it provides $38 -- $28 billion for programs under the federal rail administration and $6 billion for vehicle safety programs under the national highway traffic safety administration. $14 billion for truck and safety programs and $16 billion they are highway improvement program. it provides $6 billion for tfia and supports $60 billion in loans and provides $3.5 billion to leverage research and innovation to move people. several of the members of the transportation committee just introduced the grow america act in the house. not all of us agree with everything in that bill. for example, the transportation committee special panel on freight which i was the ranking
democrat on made several unanimous bipartisan recommendations, including providing dedicated guaranteed funding for projects of national and regional significance. re-authorizing this program is a top priority for many of us on the committee and should be included in any final bill. but it is important to start moving a long-term bill, where we can have an opportunity to shape these policy provisions and the grow america act would serve as a good starting point. the last surface transportation bill, map 21, expired last fall. the president first proposed grow america last spring to provide an alternative for the re-authorization of map 21 before it expired. unfortunately, we failed to re-authorize on time and pass an extension to the end of this month to give us more time to work on a long-term bill. we just passed another two-month extension, the 33rd extension to take us to the end of july. we have known for months this day is coming and yet we have made no progress in finding a solution to funding highways,
transit and other important programs. map 21 itself was only a two-year bill. breaking the tradition of five or six-year bills providing the funds necessary to complete plans. the last time we passed a long-term bill was 10 years ago in 2005 that bill was underfunned because of resis ant to raising the gasoline tax and identifying new revenue sources. house and senate couldn't come up with the money to fill the gap in the highway trust fund to gill the gap in current levels this year they put on the floor a tax extender that will cost $182 billion over 10 years, completely unpaid for. the priorities of this congress are completely out of whack. our infrastructure is crumbling around us and the majority continues to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on tax cuts for the wealthy while leaving transportation to wither on the vine.
i'm concerned we'll be back here in july having this same conversation. we must spend the next two months once and for all making transportation funding a priority. we must realize that what we have based our transportation program since 1955, the gasoline tax is a wasting asset. it is down 30% since 1993 because of inflation and every year we use fewer gallons because of an intelligent policy of energy conservation of higher mileage per gallon but that means fewer tpwhrons of gasoline. we must either raise the gasoline tax or bring in a new source of revenue or both. finally, let me say, interest rates are at negative rates now. when interest rates are at negative rates, when you can borrow money and pay it back more cheaply, that's the time to borrow. to borrow money to invest so that our children inherit not a great date but -- great debt by inherit a functioning economy and investment that makes the
economy function. we have always known this the republican party and their precursor, the whigs have known this. they were the proponents of the american system. that was henry clay's system to invest public funds in internal improvements in roads, canals, bridges, rather than the european system of letting the private sector do it. abraham lincoln don'ted that with the transcontinental railroad in the civil war and eisenhower did it with the national highway system. these are republican party ideals. i wish the republican party wasn't turning its back on its legacy. we have a bipartisan heritage lately of funding the infrastructure. but the republican party seems to have turned its become on this i urge you to reconsider. stop turning your back. join us in the democratic party in continuing our tradition of making this an economy that can function for all our people. where people can move and not
waste time sitting in traffic jams where goods can move, economy can function, businesses can flourish. that's what's at stake. thank you. ms. brown: i want to thank you for your comprehensive information about transportation infrastructure. but my home state of florida, we bring many businesses to florida through amtrak. through the auto train. we have colleagues on the other side that want to privatize that system and i want to know how would that affect new york, privatizing that northwest corridor? mr. nadler: well, the reason -- you have to remember the reason why amtrak was created in the first place. we didn't have public railroads in the 19th century. we didn't have public railroads in the first half of the 20th century. but by 1960 and 1970, many of the freight railroads were going bankrupt and certainly the passenger lines could no longer
pay for themselves, they were all going bankrupt. congress faced the reality in 1970 that if it didn't create something called amtrak which was named amtrak, but something as a public corporation or publicly funded corporation, there would be no passenger rail in the united states. the states did the same thing. what became various commuter rail agencies like n.t.a. in new york and others were created out of the bankrupt passenger operations of they have private rail lines. no one could make money at it. if we -- now, the only thing -- amtrak has survived and is -- and has flourished in the sense of attracting more and more passengers, now has 77% of the market against the airlines in the northeast corridor, and thank god, it saves energy and time ancon jeston. despite the fact that it's been grossly underfunded by congress. the only section of amtrak that makes money is the northeast
corridor, from washington to boston. it subsidizes everything else. there would be no rail lines outside the northeast corridor, not to florida, not to chicago, not to denver, not to any place outside the boston to washington corridor if they had to pay for thems. we, that is the northeast corridor subsidizes the rest of amtrak. now from my point of view as a new yorker i would rather that weren't the case. but, i'm an american. i think everybody ought to have the ability to travel and the ability to have an economy that functions. so we cross subsidize. it would be better for congress put more money in and other sections of the country could become self-sustaining in rail but the fact is, that is very difficult. i'm not aware of any rail system or public transit system in the world that isn't publicly subsidized. we subsidize every transportation system in this country. we subsidize the highways. we subsidize the airlines with
air traffic control. weand do it because we know the country has to move. if we want -- we do it because we know the country has to move. if we want an economy that generates goods and services for people, it thoose move. freight has to move. it these move by rail, by barge by vote. we have to -- by boat we have to invest in it. if amtrak stops funding the line to florida that line wouldn't exist anymore. everything would be on the roads. the roads would be more congested. people would waste more time. and the one exception to that right now is the northeast corridor. but we are willing, because we're americans, participate in a national system and the rest of the country should be willing too. mr. brown: mr. nadler, when i travel to different countries, they always ask us about our freight rail. but we are -- the caboose -- we are the caboose when it comes to funding amtrak and we started the rail system.
and they don't use cabooses anymore. so i don't understand why it is that we as members of congress don't understand the importance of having a safe, efficient, transportation system. the rail has to be part of it. when i think about katrina, and i think about over 3,000 people died because they couldn't move out of harm's way, that is a reason why we need a comprehensive transportation system in this country. our competition in florida is not georgia alabama, and mississippi. nothing personal to the people here from georgia. we're competing with people from other countries. and we must develop an efficient rail system in conjunction with all of our other transportation
needs. mr. nadler: you're obviously completely right. that's why i voted the figures i did earlier in my remarks. prior to 1980, roughly, we used to spent about 4%, 4 1/2% of g.d.p. on infrastructure. now we're spending 1.7% of g.d.p. on infrastructure and of course we're underinvesting. our infrastructure is decaying. by that, i mean roads, highways, bridges, rail, airports, broadband, you name it. china is spending 9% of g.d.p. on infrastructure. we are competing with china, we're competing with other countries, and if they can move goods more efficiently and move people more efficiently, that means their economy is going to be more efficient, their economy will be more come pet pettive they'll be able to sell things more cheaply, generate things more cheaply and out sell us. we have to compete in a world economy. we can't be insulated.
if we're going to compete in a world economy, have an economy to generate job, itage on -- can only compete if you have an efficient transportation system. energy system too but an efficient system. we benefited from prior generations' investment and now we're not doing that investment. i hear people, i hear rhetoric on this floor all the time, we shouldn't leave a debt. we have to have a balanced budget, shouldn't leave a debt to our children. frankly, i'd rather leave a debt to our children if we also, we use that debt to build up the investments in this country. so there are roads for our children to travel on rails to ride on, airports to land in schools to attend, that's an investment. we have to make a distinction. it's one thing to waste money or spend it on something etestify ral but to invest it, so our children inherit a country with a functioning economy and with assets that we give them that
they can use to make a more functioning economy, that's worth it. ms. brown: thank you so much for your contributions. mr. nadler: thank you. mr. brown: do we need to stop for a second. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. >> i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourn today it adjourn to meet at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman from florida may proceed. ms. brown: thank you. congresswoman coleman and members of the house it amazes me that the house practiced what i call reverse robin hood. in other words, robin -- robbing from transportation to give tax breaks to the their friends. . they passed close to $300 billion for tax breaks but yet we can't pass a comprehensive
transportation bill that will put people to work. yesterday in the house, we had another extension of surface transportation programs. once again, failing -- and i will do this to provide a world-class transportation system in our country. transportation programs are much too critical to our economy to be delayed any longer. unfortunately, the republican leadership in washington continues its long-running failure to fund surface transportation infrastructure programs while our international competition are investing more for goods and customers. congress sticks their head in
the sand and pass another continuing resolution. just a few weeks ago, house republicans passed a bill cutting taxes by $269 billion for the richest 1% of americans with no offsets. but we have failed to pass a real transportation re-authorization bill since 2005 because they can't find the money. clearly this nation's transportation infrastructure is not a priority for the republican leadership in this house. transportation infrastructure funding is absolutely critical to this nation. if properly funded serves as a tremendous economic boost and job creator. in fact, the department of transportation statistics show
that for every $1 billion that we invest in transportation infrastructure it creates 44,000 permanent jobs along with $6.2 billion in economic activity. mr. speaker, the traveling public is pleading with you to make transportation infrastructure a priority. when this happens we can put millions of hardworking americans back to work fix our nation's crumbling infrastructure and prepare our country for the future. in the words of transportation secretary anthony fox all of us have a role to play in shaping our nation's infrastructure. and as we saw during the tragic train derailment in philadelphia congress urgently needs to increase funding for our nation's passenger rail
system to make them safe for the traveling public and prevent future tragedies on our nation's rail systems. madam coleman, i understand that the gentleman from new jersey wants to join us and as he joins us, i would like for him to answer that question. how would prioritizing amtrak affect new jersey? as he makes his remarks. mrs. watson coleman: thank you. if the gentlewoman would just yield for a second because i really think i want to share something that i think is very germane to where the gentleman may be going. both of us live on and travel the northeast corridor on the train back and forth to new jersey. we depend upon an efficient and safe train ride to get us back to our homes and to get us back down here to do the people's
business. i did mention that i lost a constituent because that train was on its way to trenton, and it was letting off people in my district and that train would have ultimately gone on up to newark and then on to new york, and i know that the congressman has been tremendously impacted by the tragedy that took place and knowing how important it is for us to be able to move back and forth efficiently effectively and safely in the northeast corridor and i just wanted to sort of preface the introduction of your coming to the microphone with sort of remembering that this is really close to home for you and me. thank you. thank you, madam. mr. payne: thank you. mr. speaker and to the gentlelady from florida and the gentlelady from new jersey for affording me this opportunity to discuss a tragedy, as the
gentlelady from new jersey stated, that has hit very close to home. and the reason i say that is, as stated by the gentlelady from new jersey, the northeast corridor is the way we are able to travel back and forth from our homes to washington, d.c., to do the people's business. and so it is not uncommon that i could have been on train 188. i've taken it on numerous occasions. my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrific amtrak train derailment and their families at this difficult time. i'm grateful for the first responders who put themselves in harm's way to rescue passengers, and i wish all
those injured a full and speedy recovery. this tragedy, as we stated has hit so close to home. sometimes weekly i travel, as do many of my constituents and colleagues, on this rail line. i've taken amtrak's 188 and had my wife and children on that specific train leaving here going back home. as a member of congress, we have a responsibility to ensure and enhance the public safety. the derailment of amtrak train 188 serves as an important reminder that if we are not -- if we are to meet this responsibility, we need to invest in our infrastructure. there's no doubt that our nation's infrastructure's crumbling. the american society of civil engineers has rated it as a d-plus.
now, mr. speaker, i know all of us find education important. if you were given a d-plus on the work that you do, on the quality of your service, what would that say? there's no doubt that we are falling behind other nations in the quality of our infrastructure. long-term investments in our nation's infrastructure is essential for achieving economic growth and competitiveness throughout the world. yet, republicans refuse to address this very real crisis. this only compounds the problem, costing american jobs and undermining our economy. we don't need shortsighted thinking. we need to stay competitive, boost commerce, invest in economic growth and job creation and protect our communities.
these are the benefits of modernizing our nation's infrastructure. one day after the derailment of amtrak train 188, my republican colleagues voted to cut amtrak funding. while the amtrak investigation remains ongoing, we know that slashing funding will hamper safety improvements and upgrades. we shouldn't stand in the way of this wise infrastructure investment. let's commit to ensuring modern safe and reliable infrastructure that reflects the greatness of this nation, and as i go to my seat, i just want to once again thank the gentleladies from florida and new jersey respectively, who have several moments to discuss what is an issue that impacts the safety, the productiveness,
the competitiveness of our nation in our infrastructure and with that mr. speaker, madam, i yield back. mrs. watson coleman: thank you. ms. brown: thank you. i want to talk a little bit more about apple frack -- amtrak, because as the past chair and ranking member of the rail subcommittee and i think amtrak is more and more important. more americans are turning to rail as their prefered mode of transportation. amtrak is building the infrastructure and organization to meet that demand. amtrak carries a record total of 31.6 million passengers in 2013. their ridership has been growing across the system for
over a decade with last year's ridership being the largest in the history. kurt current -- currently they serve more than 500 destinations in 46 states and provides only public transportation option for millions of people in rural areas. let me repeat. amtrak is the only mode of transportation for people in certain rural areas. amtrak has increased their revenue, reduced debt, has new passengers improved their infrastructure and purchased trains that are built 100% in america. that's where those parts are made. 100% in america. amtrak reduces congestion and improves our energy independence and plays a vital
role in emergency preparation and i often talk about 9/11. amtrak was moving. it was the only way people could move in this country, and katrina. so we -- amtrak plays a very important part in making sure that we can continue to move people goods and services. and madam, i want to thank you for your leadership in this area. i want to mention before you close out, i want to mention something about veterans because we're getting ready to have a recess. i have to thank all of the veterans for their service. this morning at 9:00, we went over to the women's memorial wall, and it is what we've done
for 18 years to honor women veterans that have served in this country, and i want to thank all who have served america. we have the freedoms because of their service, and i want to once again thank them. but i must mention the fact that on the 24th of this month, if the house does not move, the project in denver will shut down and it will cost over $20 million to shut down. in addition, it will be $2 million a month. we are talking about the v.a. facility in denver, colorado. now, we want to blame the v.a., but this is our watch. the denver hospital has been a political hot potato for over
10 years. different secretaries, different administrations, but the point is this is our watch, and it is unacceptable that we shut down this project. one of the slogans of the army is failure is not an option. we need to get it done. we appreciate the service that the men and women have provided for our freedom but we need to do our part in making sure that we take care of them. i want to paraphrase the comments of the first president of the united states george washington. he said no matter how well we think a war is important, what is important is how we treat the veterans. now, this is our watch. this is our responsibility, and
we have to make sure that we take care of the veterans. so with that, madam, i want to thank you for your leadership in providing this opportunity to discuss transportation infrastructure amtrak and also to thank the veterans for their service and, you know a lot of us talk the talk but we need to walk the walk and row the row for the veterans. thank you. mrs. watson coleman: i want to thank the gentlelady from florida for everything that she's brought before us this evening. i want to thank my colleagues for raising the issues regarding the significance and importance of -- and the economic benefits as well as safety and security needs of an efficient, effective and safe transportation system. . i want to also thank the gentlelady for reminding us we are having our memorial day holiday and it gives us an
opportunity to thank those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe and to keep the freedoms that we hold so dear. at the end of this mr. speaker thank you for your indulgence here, i want to take this opportunity to simply remind us that the transportation needs of our community, both represent safety and security that we hold very sacred in our community but it also provides an economic benefit, urban, rural suburban, there's a benefit to a system that moves people and goods where they're needed. thank you very much, and we yield back our time. the speaker pro tempore: the good lady yields back. the chair announces the speaker's reappointment pursuant to 20 u.s. code 4412 and thed orer of the house of january 6, 2015, of the following member on
the part of the house to the board of trustees of the institute of american indian -- of american indian and alaskan native culture and arts development. the clerk: mr. ben ray lujan of new mexico. the speaker pro tempore: the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to section 202-a of the have the rans access choice and accountability act, public law 113-146 and thed or ore they have house of january 6, 2015, of the following individuals on the part of the house to the commission on care. the clerk: mr. david p. bloom of columbus, ohio. mr. selnick of oceanside, california. and mr. toby cosgrove of cleveland, ohio. the speaker pro tempore: the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to 22 u.s.
code 276-h and thed orer of the house of january 6, 2015 of the following members on the part of the house to the mexico-united states interparliament rir -- interparliamentary group. the clerk: ms. linda t. sanchez of california, mr. green gene of texas, mr. polis of colorado, ms. jackson lee of texas, and mrs. torres of california. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6 2015, the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, for 30 minutes. mr. johnson: i thank the speaker. and i want to say that i appear
here tonight to talk about police and community relations throughout our country. the purpose of this special order is to talk about how the relationship between police and local communities can be repaired. over the last year, we have witnessed tensions rise between local law enforcement officers and local communities. events we have witnessed across the country have highlighted the need for mending the strained relationship between police and communities across the country. this week, the judiciary committee in the house held a hearing titled policing strategies for the 21st century. the purpose of this hearing was to look at how law enforcement is trained and how it is received in our communities across the country.
the senate also held a hearing this week, their focus was on the use of body cameras. i applaud my colleagues for holding hearings on criminal justice reform this week but i hope that this is just the beginning and not the end of the holding of hearings that need to be held on so many different and very important and fundamental issues under the topic of criminal justice reform. all of these issues screaming out for public attention and for new solutions by this congress. there are many conversations that need to be had about the best ways to improve policing practices including ways to curb use of excessive force, the use of body cameras, and mental health evaluations for law enforcement. the list goes on and on.
i'd like to start out talking about three of my bills, the grand jury reform act, the police accountability act and the stop militarizing law enforcement act. police militarization is an important subject that president obama even weighed in on yesterday with the issuance of an executive order that incorporates my stop militarizing law enforcement act. both my bill and the president's executive order call for a ban on the transfer of certain surplus military grade weaponry and both impose strict oversight and transparency measures to ensure that the equipment that is transferred is used properly. president obama's law enforcement equipment working
group called for law enforcement agencies to, quote embrace a guardian rather than a warrior mindset, end quote, to build trust and legitimacy both within agencies and with the public. this statement is at the very core of what we need to change in our country. military grade weapons are made for one purpose and that is to conduct war. when we seek tanks and grenade launchers and when we see this equipment being used by police, it enforces a message that we are at war in the streets of our very own country. the same way that we are at war in the streets of other countries. this has to change because our streets are not war zones.
and we should not allow the unbridled proliferation of military weaponry onto our streets. when we allow our streets to be flooded with surplus weaponry from the wars in iraq and afghanistan, we set the stage for a military mind set to take hold through the -- mindset to take hold throughout the law enforcement community. we should not allow things to get twisted. there's a big difference between the law enforcement mentality and the military mindset. the creed of an army soldier is to, quote, deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the united states of america in close combat. end quote. conversely the classic police motto is, to protect and serve.
so when we start flooding our streets with military grade weaponry, we start to allow the creeping in of a different mindset. and when we factor in the fact that many of our law enforcement officers have actually had to be deployed to war zones during the last 12 or 13 years because the wars in iraq and afghanistan have been fought by volunteer army with a healthy dose of deployment of reserve and national guard units to the battle when we consider that and we consider the fact that many law enforcement officers are also reservists or national forwardsmen, or women. and they've been deployed to war
zones, then they come back to their jobs in the nation and sometimes they could get it twisted in terms of what their actual goal and mission should be. and it is not on the streets of america to deploy and to engage the enemy and destroy the enemy in close combat. that is not what law enforcement officers should be about. and we don't need to let that mindset creep into law enforcement. when you have the experience and you have the equipment and you have inherent biases and prejudices that exist in the mindset of all americans regardless of whether or not it's law enforcement or civilian you get a situation where your minority communities
can then be at severe risk and that i'm afraid, is what has occurred in this country. because so many of our young people have lost confidence in our police departments and in our law enforcement community. and that ladies and gentlemen, is definitely unhealthy. it is not good for our democracy. and we need to try to do something to change it. and we can't make effective changes without understanding the problem. now, some would say that you need a military solution on the streets of america because the streets have become so lawless.
but i would beg to differ. i would beg to differ strongly as a matter of fact. we're dealing with citizens who still need to be protected and by the way, most people in america are law-abiding citizens. there are some who become criminals who stray and commit criminal acts and sometimes those criminal acts actually place peoples' lives at risk and police and law enforcement are there to make sure that we keep people safe. and all people want to be safe and secure in their homes and walking down the streets and doing their business in their live work, and play pursuits all of us want to be safe and
all of us realize that we must have law enforcement to enforce the laws. and all of us should have a responsibility to each other to stay within the boundaries of the law. and so you know, and we are partners in that regard. we the citizens partner among ourselves and then we must partner with our law enforcement community to enable law enforcement to do the job that we need them to do. and so it's a relationship that is built on trust and it's built on communication because law enforcement can only be as effective in enforcing the law as it is with respect to the relationships that it has among
people in the community. that's why community oriented policing is so important, to get police officers involved in the communities within which they serve. get out of the car, go meet people, go develop relationships, start the flow of dialogue. the citizens are who enable law enforcement to be most effective because that's where they get most of their information. and i'll admit that people don't communicate with law enforcement as much as they should and it hurts us all. and the reasons for that are this breakdown in trust. which is exacerbated by the military equipment and by the military mindset both of those going hand in hand. how do we stop it?
first, by stopping the flow of that free military equipment onto our streets. we must cap that. and i'm not here to say that law enforcement should not have what it meeds in order to do what it -- what it needs in order to do what it's supposed to do, and that is to protect and serb. but it should not have a pipeline directly between the department of defense and law enforcement which supplies equipment to law enforcement leaving out the civilian authority to make the determination of whether or not the equipment is needed. and so that's what the 1033 program does. that is what president obama's executive order which tracks the language of the stop