tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN July 12, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
federal government right now. u.s. contractors earn so little that nearly 40% of them use public assistance programs, like food stamps, section 8 to feed and shelter their families. . i would like to reserve and offer 10 minutes to congresswoman mccollum of minnesota at this time. ms. mccollum: i'll be brief. i rise to support this amendment. this would ensure that the employment decisions encourage the creation of dees events-paid jobs, implementation of fair labor practices and responsible employer practices. the federal government should set an example to the nation when it comes to contracting decisions.
and with that, i urge adoption of the amendment. and i yield back to mr. ellison of the twin cities. mr. ellison: i continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. calvert: i advise in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. calvert: it ignores contracting award systems and is already in place. contracting officers must consult the system for award management to ensure a contractor can be awarded a contract of the business on the excluded parties' list system have been suspended or debarred through a due process system and may not be eligible to receive or renew contracts. the best way to ensure that the government contracts or price grants to the best employers is to enforce the existing suspension and debarment system. bad actors who are in violation
should not be awarded federal contracts. the federal government has a system in place to deny federal contracts to bad actors. if the contractor fails to maintain business ethics, agencies already have the authority to suspend or debar the employer from a government contract. in 2014, federal agencies issued more than 1,000 suspensions and nearly 2,000 debarments to employers who bid on federal contracts. the amendment would delay the procurement process with harmful consequences. on numerous occasions, the government accountability office has highlighted costly litigation stemming from complex regulatory rules including from the fair labor standards act. this amendment punishes employers who may unwillingly get caught in the maze of federal rules and reporting requirements.
the procurement process is plagued by delays and inefficiencies. with all that, i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. ellison: may i inquire how much time i have left? the chair: 2 1/2 minutes. mr. ellison: the gentleman confuses with the debarment process which says we are going to look at the worst actors and exclude them and the office of od jobs who says we will use education and prioritization to make sure that the best employers are the ones that the american taxpayer is going to employ in order to award contracts. it's a matter of understanding the difference between excluding the very worst and rewarding the best. and i think that the american people would like to sigh the federal government say you are a good employer and you pay good
wages and good benefits and we think that kind of practice is the kind of thing we would like to see and our office of good jobs is going to prioritize such businesses. time and time again we hear members of the party opposite confuse the debarment process with the office of good jobs process and i think the american people would agree that where we find the best practices, we should reward them, not simply of it create a big, big vat the best competing the mediocre and exclude the very worst. this is good for good contractors. because if you are an excellent contractor, you go out of your way to create an economy. you are still competing with the people that do the bare minimum they can to avoid debarment. that isn't fair.
i think good contractors ought to be rewarded and if we establish this office of good bs, what we will see is a general wave throughout our economy as the private sector will look to the federal government to the best ways to create a better economy and see economic equality throughout the land. i just want to say that if the system was adequate, why then would we have 40% of all people who work for federal contractors eligible for federal government programs like section 8 and food stamps? why would we see that? well, because we are not prioritizing good jobs, we are just saying if you a law breaker, you will be excluded, but other than that, we don't care. an office of good jobs would change that and we urge a yes vote.
the chair: the gentleman jeeleds. the gentleman from california. mr. calvert: we have a process place and i certainly won't support subjective federal decision makers to decide who is good and bad. i know most employers are good people want to make sure people have good jobs and with that, i oppose this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it and the amendment is not agreed to. mr. ellison: we ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota will be postponed.
it is in order to consider amendment number 39 printed in house report 114-683. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. norcross: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 9 rinted in house report 114-683 offered by mr. norcross of new jersey. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 3820, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. norcross and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. norcross: thank you, mr. speaker. my simple amendment would add $13 million to the hazardous superfund to equal the level requested by the e.p.a. superfund cleanup is the right thing for the environment, right for the economy and certainly right for public health. i'm from the garden state. and we're known for across the
country of having the best tomatos, corn, blueberries and cranberries. but in south jersey we are the cornerstone of industry. we found out what you can and cannot dump into the lakes, back yards and other facilities. then companies left, leaving our constituents holding the bag. representative jim interior yeoh who held my seat from 1975 to 990 and he offered the superfund legislation back in 1980. almost four decades later, the list of superfund sites is still overflowing. there are well over 1,000 contaminated sites across the country and i have 13 in my district alone. in 2015, the g.a.o. studied the progress of the superfund program and found that in real dollars, appropriations to
e.p.a. superfund program declined almost a billion dollars from 1999 to 2013. congress has funded less than 40% of shovel-ready projects. the e.p.a. is forced to prioritize one site over another, leaving the other sites to be contaminated and in some cases up to 50 years. this amendment would help the e.p.a. clean up more contaminated materials in back yards, commercial properties sooner rather than later. later the house will consider another amendment that would designate an additional $15 million within the superfund account specifically for the enforcement provision. not only do we consistently underfund superfund cleanup back to these -- we have even underfunded the superfund to go
after polluters who were found guilty of polluting our environment. in my district i have 13 sites that are contaminated today. i want to tell you about three of them. and the sites are named after the company that was accused and has been found liable. that is sheer win williams site. and that is located in my district. route 561 dump site and united states burn site. those other sites include part of my district also. back in the 1930's, sheerwin williams opened a paint factory and dumped chemicals that were related to synthetic varnish that were produced and dumped around the area. these toxic chemicals seeped into the groundwater and contaminated the streams, lakes
and homes for miles around. after the devastating events of flint, michigan, i don't know -- i don't have to tell you about the lead exposure on children and pregnant women. and long-term exposure can lead to cancers like skin cancer, bladder cancer and lung cancer and my constituents and all americans are faced with this decision. they need relief today, not in a few years from now. we must hold companies accountable for the havoc that they wreaked in communities like mine. we owe it to my constituents to do everything in our power to protect their health. i urge a yes vote on this amendment. and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. calvert: i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. calvert: while i appreciate the intent of the gentleman's
amendment to increase funding for the superfund, something we all support, it's important that members understand two things. first top-line funding for the superfund is already increased n the bill by $27 million. second, the gentleman's proposes to reduce payment in lieu of taxes which is critical to counties and local governments in 49 states including new jersey, the commonwealth of puerto rico and the u.s. territories. it is fully funded in this bill. it is a program supported by a large majority in the house. a reduction in the funding would have a detrimental affect on counties across the country. i urge my colleagues to vote no. and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. norcross: this is about public health from designated sites that have been
contaminated for literally decades. i urge a yes vote. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. calvert: i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the knows have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. norcross: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey will e postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 10 printed in house report 114-683. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. beyer: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendmt number 10 printed in house report 114-683 offered by mr. beyer of
virginia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 820, the gentleman from virginia, mr. beyer, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. beyer: this amendment simply strips the language that would block the implementation of the stream protection rule. we should not delay or stop this rule. i'm very familiar with mountaintop removal mining. when i was the lieutenant governor of virginia, it became the most prevalent coal mining technique in central appalachia. i made more than 100 trips to the coal fields and i know the impact it has had on the enretirement and the health of these communities. and if we know a reasonable way to mitigate the negative impacts we should do everything in our power to implement. the stream protection rule is so important. tense of thousands of cubic feet are blown off with explosives
killing mountain valleys. these valley fields as they are called vary headwater streams. mountaintop removal mining has flattened 500,000 acres of forested land and buried 200,000 miles of streams destroying sources that feed our water. it has shown a decline in adversity and biomass. if the coal industry asked the government to clearly define the expectations for environmental protection and that's what this rule does. by introducing scientific methods and testing, the government provides regulatory certainty and achieves the environmental protection that is required by law. without this rule, stream protection will continue to occur and will remain more vulnerable to more challenges.
and citizens will resort to the courts instead of the government protecting their welfare. it was flexible to accommodate different reasons why coal was mined. it is different in wyoming than virginia. this is designed to protect our families while protecting jobs. this will have minimal impact on coal companies and minimal job loss. the estimate is 10 lost jobs. but we've seen how necessary this rule is in virginia. water monitoring found that the -- that the kelly branch mine dumped celine yum in the stream at levels way above state water quality standards and without a permit to allow such pollution. as a result of a suit they've since agreed to provide the cleanup and pay the attorney
fees, but mr. chairman, we shouldn't need lawsuits this violation shouldn't happen in the first place. now is the time to give the people of appalachia and people across the country the protection of their waterways promised to them by congress. i urge my colleagues to vote for this amendment and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. calvert: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. calvert: in 2008, the office of surface mining finalized provisions for the stream zone buffer rule in an open and transparent manner. after taking office, the obama administration put on hold that rule and proposed a different one without the input of the states. the administration's approach has been anything but collaborative of inclusive and states have been shut out of the process. in response, f.y. 2016 omnibus includes language to bring the states and administration back
together. to date, o.s.m. has not shared all documents with the state and refuses to meet with the state that had requested meetings. the american people expect more. more openness ans transparency from their government. and that's why this funding prohibition must remain in the base bill. i strongly urge my colleagues to vote no and reswrect this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia. mr. beyer: may i ask how much time i have left? the chair: the gentleman ha two minutes. mr. beyer: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from minnesota. the chair: the gentlelady from minnesota. ms. mccollum: i rise in support of this amendment. the amendment would allow them to continue to deal with the problems posed by mountain top mine regular mufle because the pracktess contaminates, destroys streams and negatively impacts
human health. two lawsuits challenge this bush-era rule and in february, 2014, u.s. district court for the district of columbia vacated the 2008 stream buffer rule. it is important that we allow this to move forward and i'm going to simply state why. in a study in 2011, it found counties near mountain top mining areas had more birth defects including central nervous system, gastro intestinal and i could go on and on. we know that the health effects from mountain top mining relating is cumulative and dangerous to public health. o.s.m. must be allowed to go forward with -- with this water protection rule to guarantee the public an opportunity to live a healthy life. i urge my colleagues to support the beyer amendment and i thank the gentleman for the time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired.
the gentleman from california. mr. calvert: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from virginia. r. beyer: i have about one minute left? the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. beyer: with great respect to the subcommittee chairman, i was at the hearing all morning at natural resources a few months ago when we had the director of the office of surface mining on this exact issue. nd he deeply resisted the idea that we weren't working closely with the states. i completely agree with the subcommittee chairman that office of surface mining has worked closely with the states to work with the rule and they have. from the beginning of the obama administration picking up what the bush administration has done, i agree this is appropriate, i resist the wisdom of the truth that the states have been shut out. and one more small point but a
really important point. a 2009 report on the n.i.h. website estimated that coal mining cost appalachia five times more in premature deaths than provided the region in all the jobs from coal mining, just $8 billion. we're not trying to get rid of coal. there's no war on coal. we want to make sure the people that are doing the work, that live there, are protected. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california. mr. calvert: may i inquire how much time remains. the chair: the gentleman has four minutes remaining. mr. calvert: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from west virginia, mr. jenkins. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. jenkins: thank you, mr. chairman. this is a critically important issue, the prohibition that's contained in this bill relating to this incredible overreach of the regulatory authority from this administration. the stream buffer zone rule is similar in character to so many of the efforts of the
administration to empower the e.p.a. and in this case the office of surface mining to do things that are without legal basis and authority under the law. what's very important about this provision in this bill is saying no to this administration, no once again to a regulatory overreach that is not founded in basis of law. and i strongly urge the rejection of this amendment so we maintain the language that's contained in the interior appropriations bill saying no to this administration's overreach of the rules and regulations. i suggest and encourage a rejection of this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california. mr. calvert: i urge a no on this bill and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. 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 noes have it. he amendment is not agreed to. mr. beyer: i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 11 printed in house report 114-683. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk on behalf of ms. lujan grisham, i'm pinch-hitting for her. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 11 printed in house report 114-683, offered by mr. huffman of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 820, the gentleman from california, mr. huffman, and a member opposed, will each control fife minutes.
the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. huffman: thank you, mr. speaker. this amendment strikes section 122 from the underlying bill, that section would prevent the b.l.m. from meeting its statutory obligations under the mineral leasing act to ensure that operators, quote, use all reasonable precautions to prevent the waste of oil or gas. the b.l.m. would also be prevented if this underlying provision remains for modernizing the existing 0-year-old oil and gas production rules to bring them into line with technological advancements in the industry. if that provision stays in the bill, states, stribes -- states, tribes, and federal taxpayers stand to lose royalty revenues when natural gas is wasted which a 2010 g.a.o. report estimated could amount to as much as $23 million annually in royalty revenue. if this provision remains in the
bill, b.l.m. won't be able to update the current royalty rate or raise it as conditions may warrant and the recommendation has been made by both the g.a.o. and inspector general that they do that, that the conditions do indicate that an increase is in order so it's just good government to take this provision out, to update a 30-year-old set of regulations in order to better reflect the current operating climate, and to ensure a fair royalty return. with that, i urge hi colleagues to support this amendment and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. calvert: the bill includes section 122 because the bue low of -- bureau of land management does not have the authority to regulate meethain emissions. congress has given that authority to the environmental protection agency. the b.l.m.'s proposed regulation is another part of the administration's otherly aggress
i have regulatory agenda and overly broad interpretation of current law. i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. huffman: i yield such time as she may consume to the gentlelady from minnesota. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. mccollum: thank you. mr. chairman, i rise in support of this eafment -- of this amendment. can you imagine a 30-year-old oil and gas production rule and not being able to update it. this amendment allows a 30-year-old rule to comply with today's technology to make sure that we're doing what is best practices in the industry and we can do, work with the industry to do proper oversight. and as was pointed out if this provision stays in place, states and tribals and federal taxpayers would lose royalty revenue. we should be doing everything we
can with our public lands to make sure that taxpayer receives full value whenever there's a lease. so i support this amendment. and i would urge for its adoption. just once again, imagine, not being able to update 30-year-old rules. not being able to update current royalty rates. we need to do better by the american taxpayers, we need to strike this provision, we need to do the update well, need to update 30-year-old regulations, and we need to make sure that the american taxpayer gets a fair return on its royalties. with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from california. pll huffman: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman. mr. calvert: i urge a no vote. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. huffman: i urge a yes vote and yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye.
those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it. he amendment is not agreed to. ms. mccollum: i request a roll call. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will e postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 12 printed in house report 114-683. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. castor: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 12 printed in house report 114-683, offered by ms. castor of florida. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 820, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. castor, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. castor: thank you, mr. chairman. my amendment ensures we keep the appropriation safety regulations in place for offshore oil
drilling to reduce the risk of an offshore oil disaster and the devastating impacts on our economy and environment. the deepwater horizon blowout of 2010 is still very fresh in our minds. i represent a gulf coast district in florida, in tampa bay, and i remember very well he 87 days that oil spewed out of that deep wurt -- deepwater well. the 11 lives lost. the huge economic losses. one study said that in florida we lost 50,000 jobs because of that blowout. not to mention the environmental catastrophe that it was. that we're still trying to determine the long-term impacts. 87 days. the well continued to pump 134 million gallons of toxic oil before it could be stop.
fisheries, wildlife, fragile ecosystems, but i will always remember the hotel -- the motel owner from pinellas county who cried because all of her business evaporated -- evaporated. we didn't even have oil on the gulf coast beaches around tampa bay but all the tourists left and our life's blood in florida is the tourism industry, the fishing industry. so this is this is inexplicable after years of working with industry and congressional hearings to determine the cause of that disaster, after numerous investigative reports, including the bipartisan national oil spill commission, led by former florida governor and senator bob graham, and republican, former e.p.a. administrator, william bradley, where they zeroed on
the well casing and the blowout preventer that was the source of the problem. based on those findings and investigations, they developed a well controlled rule which focusing on the blowout preventor. because this is america and we can develop state of the art technology for risky oil drilling, no matter where it's occurring, the final rule was developed after unprecedented outreach and consultation with industry and other stakeholders and addresses the full range of systems and equipment to well control operations with a focus on blowout preventer requirements, well designed casings, cementing real-time monitoring. these measures are designed to improve equipment reliability. but the most important thing is they protect our communities and they protect us from a disaster like the bp deepwater horizon
from happening again. it is inex politicable that republicans zeroed in on this safety rule in the appropriations bill and said we are not going to support or fund it for this year because what is that going to do? industry already supports most of these things. they don't want to be on the hook for billions and billions of dollars and it's clearly inex politicable to put our communities at risk. so the castor eliminates this harmful provision and maintains the department of interior's critical safety standard to prevent offshore oil disasters. the gulf coast is steel reeling and communities cannot afford another catastrophe. i urge support for my amendment.
ms. mccollum: thank you. investigations were conducted by industry experts and they determined the actual causes of the catastrophe of the deep water. many of the requirements of this rule are not new and the already existing industry standards. this rule has one goal for me and that's to save lives. 11 lives were lost in that explosion and we learned from that event and it was a tragic event what happened. we should do everything we can to put worker safety ahead of big oil profits. and i reserve. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. mr. calvert: i claim time in opposition to the amendment. mr. simpson: i rise in opposition. chairman calvert expressed concern that the administration was taking a page out of the war on coal and the department of
interior has been attempting to make it costly as possible so companies can make a decision not to apply for a permit. they took that step further last week with their arctic regular layings. the department set requirements that mandate that all wells should have the same fitness regardless of where you are drilling. any engineer will sell you these are site-specific decisions based on many decisions. the white house wants to lock in that decision from washington d.c. and ignore recommendations. the result is an administration moratorium on oil production as part of the white house's keep it in the ground strategy. i urge a no vote on this amendment and reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. castor: mr. chairman, if you support the tourism industry, if you support the jobs and the
fishing industry, if you support saving lives and being able to prevent tragedies from ever happening again it's important that you stand up for the very basic industry-supported safety standards. the well rule was developed after months and years of investigations and studies with stakeholder help. but the bottom line is, we've got to do everything to prevent this from ever happening again, protect our economy, protect the jobs, protect our natural environment. i urge adoption of the castor amendment. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mr. simpson: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yield. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from florida. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it and the amendment
is not agreed to. ms. castor: mr. chairman, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from florida will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 13 printed in house report 114-683. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. huffman: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 13 printed in house report 114-683 offered by mr. huffman of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 820, the gentleman from california, mr. huffman, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. huffman: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm glad my colleague from florida brought up the deepwater horizon tragedy. it was six years ago after 87
terrible days of the worst oil spill that bp deepwater horizon well was capped. the toll of that disaster, as everyone knows. 11 workers killed. untold economic damage to communities around the gulf of mexico and devastating ongoing impacts on fish and wildlife. this is a good time for us to reflect and to discuss the role of the federal government in reviewing the environmental impacts of oil and gas development not just in the gulf of mexico, but in a place where the environmental damage could be worse if and when something went wrong, arctic ocean. my amendment would strike section 127 of the underlying bill and doing that would allow the bureau of ocean energy management to move forward with its proposed update of regulation on air quality control reporting and compliance. it would allow that proposed
rule to serve its intended purpose and bring rules into the 21st century. it is a new agency. it was borne out of the response to the bp deepwater horizon spill and borne out of an awareness that the old agency, the minerals management service, was frankly, too cozy with big oil and that's why that old agency never updated these old rules. these existing rules have been in existence since 1988 and past time we move forward with new standards, new modeling and new techology. the proposed rule seeks to address emissions from several harm pollutants including sulfur oxide and carbon monoxide. the proposed rule does it with
flexibility and reduces regulatory burdens by eliminating redundant reporting. the residents of the arctic and other oil-producing regions and the workers shouldn't be subject to additional air pollution from oil and gas production. we should let the new rules go forward. if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that big oil cannot be trusted to do the right thing when left unregulated and i hope my colleagues would agree that strong and consistent oversight is necessary. with that, i ask for a yes vote and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does idaho seek recognition? mr. simpson: i rise in opposition to this amendment. the administration has started the process to promulgate new regulations with the intention
of finalizing them by year's end. however, key studies are currently under way and will not be finished until sometime next year in 2017. the administration wants to finish these rules or finalize these rules before these key stewedies are done. the bureau has allocated $4 million for the studies to determine if there are any impacts to state air quality from offshore operations. section 127 instructs the department to wait until these studies are finalized and indicate there is a need for rulemaking. we say let the science be the science and find out what studies say. there is a regulatory process which should be followed and there is a scientific process that should be followed. that's coming from a republican. the administration cannot circumvent one for the ex speedens of the other and i urge a no vote on this amendment.
and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. huffman: it warms my heart that republicans embrace science. in this case, we had 30 years of study. we know a lot. the administration has developed this rule to the point where they believe it is ready, it's an important rule and long overdue and time to move forward. i continue to request a yes vote and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from idaho. mr. simpson: i reserve. mr. huffman: request a yes vote and i yield. mr. simpson: let the process go through and find out what the studies say and let's follow the science and i urge my colleagues to vote no and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the
noes have it and the amendment is not agreed to. mr. huffman: request the yeas and nays. the chair: the gentleman request a recorded vote. further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will e postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 14 printed in ouse report 114-683. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri seek recognition. mr. smith: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 14 printed in house report 114-683 offered by mr. smith of missouri. the chair: the gentleman from most, missouri, mr. smith and a member opposed each will control five minutes. mr. smith: under the obama
administration, we have seen an explosion of new regulations impacting every area of our lives from the way we heat our homes in the winter to the way we choose our health care. this administration knows no bounds in its regulatory overreach. the e.p.a. leads the way on this front. according to a report released by the american action forum, the e.p.a. has two million hours of paperwork to comply with its regulation. this is equivalent of 395,000 americans working full-time for a year. his represents an ashon nish ishing increase from 2009 and 34 % increase in e.p.a.'s paperwork burden. new regulations such as the clean power plan, waters of the united states and ozone rule contribute to this growing burden. but this burden isn't limited to the active paperwork.
they raise the cost of energy and hurt bottom lines. the e.p.a. uses the air climate and energy, the ace program, to advance research and regulations geared towards a climate change agenda, regulations to address climate change are costing americans billions with very little actual impact on global temperatures to show for it. the result of ace research furthers regulations which burdens our nation's energy sector in communities across the country. i urge my colleagues to support amendment on to cut the program and save taxpayer dollars. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does gentlelady from maine rise? ms. pingree: i claim time in opposition. i rise in opposition to this
amendment. this amendment would eliminate the funding for the e.p.a. air, climate and energy research program. i think we all know the clean air act has resulted in one of the most effective health programs by addressing air quality in the united states. what this amendment would do would be to set back any advances in new technology and new scientific tools that will help protect the american public from pollutants which can damage our health causing heart and lung disease and impact our immune, nervous and reproductive ystems and shorten our lives. this expands the air quality challenges confronting our society. the energy choices we make clearly influence air quality and climate change.
eliminating e.p.a. funding to research and understand the impacts on air quality from alternative energy sources is, at a minimum, shortsighted. the bill already reduces the e.p.a. by $164 million from the f.y. 2016 enacted level. i think we've already done enough damage in that particular reduction and for the health and welfare of our citizens, i urge my colleagues to reject this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from missouri. mr. smith: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from maine. >> i continue to urge my colleagues to reject this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from missouri. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. >> i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: the gentlewoman
requests a recorded vote. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from missouri will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 15 printed in house report 114-683. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from wyoming seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i rise as the designee of mr. chaffetz to offer amendment number 15 as designated in the rule. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 15 printed in house report 114-683, offered by mrs. lummis of wyoming. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 820, the gentlewoman from wyoming, mrs. lummis, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from wyoming.
mrs. lummis: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment transfers approximately $10 million to the e.p.a.'s office of the inspector general from the $2.5 billion e.p.a. environmental programs and management appropriations account. the amendment is necessary to o.i.g.'s workp.a. related to waste, fraud, and abuse, identifying inefficiencies and potential cost savings at e.p.a. the e.p.a. office of inspector general has faced sig cavent funding challenges in recent years. its full-time employees tropped om 349 to 289, a decrease of almost one fifth of the office's work force. despite significant resource challenges, the office of inspector general at e.p.a. continued to conduct important
investigations and audits that saved money for taxpayers and revealed misconduct and abuses at the agency. uring f.y. 2014, e.p.a. o.i.g. reported $380 million in savings, which is a $7.35 return on investment for every dollar in the o.i.g. budget. the e.p.a.'s office of inspector general identified $4.1 million in savings during the most recent semiannual reporting period. the e.p.a. o.i.g. has also investigated gross misconduct and abuses at e.p.a. that .ielded savings for taxpayers in 2013, the office conducted a criminal investigation into former e.p.a. employee john biel, found to have stolen government money and engaged in
travel voucher fraud and time and attendance frauds. biel committed these frauds by masquerading as an employee of the central intelligence agency. biel agreed to pay restitution f $890,000 to e.p.a. and $500,000 to the department of justice. biel was also sentenced to 32 months in prison. the e.p.a. office of inspector general also investigated allegations of gross mismanagement at the chemical safety board in 2012 and found hostility toward whistleblowers and a toxic, ineffective work environment undermined by the board's chemical accident investigations. the e.p.a. o.i.g.'s investigation and pressure from congress caused the president to remove the c.s.b. chairman. i want you to know that as the
subcommittee chairman on our committee, that we have looked taken e.p.a. and we have the inspector general's reports and we have used them to make considerable changes that have increased morale, especially at the chemical safety board and that we have also saved taxpayer dollars because we have utilized the office of inspector genre ports. they have shed light on a litany of other employee misconduct and this is a good investment of taxpayer dollars. this amendment ensures that e.p.a. o.i.g. will have the resources it needs to continue to conduct these essential investigations. so the amendment increases funding for the e.p.a. o.i.g. by
$10,038,000. it decreases e.p.a. environmental programs and management appropriations by $14 million. that's a wash when you look at the out years and i strongly encourage adoption of the chaffetz amendment to this legislation. mr. chairman, with gratitude for your time, i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields. the gentlelady -- for what purpose does the gentlelady from maine seek recognition? >> to claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i want to make a few points about this amendment as my colleague has said. ms. pingree: this would reduce funds from e.p.a. operations by $14 million and increase the inspector general by $10 million. i think we would certainly agree that it would be a good idea to increase the funding for the inspector general and we would
like to see the other side increase those funds. but we're uncomfortable with the idea of taking the funding from the operating account. this account has already been cut by $92 million and it would recuse the operating account by $14 million, putting that money over there and this seems like a -- seems like too severe of a cut on top of what's already been done. we don't disagree that the work of inspector generals across all agencies and federal government are necessary and very important and they do good work. so once again, i just oppose the shift in funding, i think it would be great if the other side wanted to enhance the funding for the office of the inspector general, just not through this mechanism. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from wyoming. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
it is now in order to consider amendment number 16 printed in house report 114-683. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. gosar: i have an amendment at the desk, number 16. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 16 printed in house report 114-683, offered by mr. gosar of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 820, the gentleman from arizona, mr. gosar, and a member opposed will each control five maines. -- five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. gosar: i rise to offer a commonsense amendment that redirects funds from e.p.a. bureaucracy to the forest service's hazardous fuels account to prevent dangerous wild fires. in 2015, over 10 million acres burned throughout the country, setting a new record. in that same year, fire season appropriation requests for approximately $4 billion for all wild fire programs.
shamefully, the president requested only $356 million of those funds go toward hazardous fuels reduction activities. thinning overgrown forests and removing hazardous fuels creates jobs and increases overall forest health. unfortunately, extremist self-interest groups and washington bureaucrats failed to recognize that corligs. as a result, timber harvests are down 80% over the last 0 years. such flawed thinking also negatively impacts education and local communities. historically 25% of receipts from timber harvests go toward schools and important infrastructure projects. the failure to prioritize hazardous fuel reduction activecies -- activities is bad for the environment. tai 25 concludes that one catastrophic wild fire tan emit are emitted by
vehicles in a year. this represents yet another classic example of washington's misguided prioritization of federal funds. the forest service owned fuel treatment effective database reports that, quote, over 90% of the fuel treatments were effective in changing fire behavior and/or helping with behavior. hazardous fuel reduction activities work. in eastern arizona, areas treated in the apache national forest as part of the white mountain stewardship project helped prevent further destruction if the fire. today, there are still healthy trees as firefighters are able to control thinned areas. on other areas, that are not thinned, all that is left behind is scorched earth and sterilized soil. it is of the utmost urgency that the federal government adopt a forward think, active management strategy that combats dangerous wild fires before they get
started. my amendment helps by redirecting money to fuel reduction activities. i'm honored this amendment is supported by the americans for limited government, public lands council, agribusiness and water uncil of arizona, the lake havasu area chamber of commerce, w mexico federal lands, yuma county chamber of commerce and countless other organizations and individuals in my home state of arizona. i ask my colleagues to vote in support of this amendment and i thank the chairman and ranking member for their time. with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentlelady from maine rise? >> i claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. pingree: i have to strongly oppose this amendment that would take more money from the already-starved e.p.a. this bill severely cuts the environmental protection agency's main operating account by $92 million. no, bethink -- in, the bill has
already severely cut the main operating account by $92 million this would cut it by another $70 million and so far tonight we've agreed to another $29 million through amendments. the very air we breathe and the water we drink are endangered by the funding and policy decisions already made in this bill. their consequences will be felt negatively in communities across this country. i know it's often an easy target for my colleague across the aisle to cut the e.p.a. but i do want my colleagues to understand what this amendment would mean if this cut was adopted. the account funds programs that are important to both sides of the aisle, including permitting for construction projects across the country, toxic risk prevention, part of the successful brown fields program, pesticides licensing which as we know is a critical part of fight the zika crisis. in my opinion this irresponse -- this very large cut would be irresponsible. i urge my colleagues to oppose
it. i reserve. the chair: the gentlelady from maine reserves. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. gosar: i yield a minute to the gentleman from california. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. calvert: i believe that the forest service needs tore member -- needs to be more proactive, the latest data shows 60 million dead and dying trees in california right now. this sets the stage for what could be a disastrous fire season. we must get ahead of the situation. this is why we provided significant increases for hazardous fuel. certainly we support any additional help. i would move to adopt this very important amendment. mr. gosar: i reserve. the chair: the gentlelady from maine is recognized. ms. pingree: i reserve. mr. gosar: how much time do i have? the chair: the gentleman from arizona has 1 1/2 minutes.
mr. gosar: well, while the bill does include nearly $ 2.9 billion for wild fire activity, which i'm thankful for, most of the dollars are focused on suppression activities. as i stated previously, the 015 fire season set a new record, burning 10 million acres throughout the country. it's easy to make that statement when it's not your home durning. clerly we must focus on proactive solutions for the nation's forests and the best way is to provide the fire service hazardous fuel account with appropriate funding to prevent fires. my amendment accomplishes that tax while taking resources from the e.p.a.'s bureaucracy. this bill currently funds the e.p.a. at over $7.98 billion this marginal loss to a rogue administration that continues to circumvent congress in order to implement lawless regulations is better pent through my amendment and will dramatically increase the forest service's ability to prevent dangerous wild fires. again,