tv House Debate on Fiscal Year 2018 Spending CSPAN July 27, 2017 12:30am-2:24am EDT
will be watching. >> this a part of the overall omnibus spending package. ; this -- some are calling this a made box at what terms should we be using? >> you could call it an omnibus. the defense appropriations bill which is $659 billion, but because there are another eight bills still out there, they called it the many -- the "mini." >> nancy on nonimage joining us vich joiningognano us. >> some of today's debate on the spending bill. house appropriations committee chair introduces the bill. >> thank you mr. chairman.
i recognize myself six minutes. minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i rise to present an amendment to h.r. 3219 to make america secure appropriations act. this legislative package provides critical appropriations for national security, including for the department of defense, department of veterans atares and department of energy's nuclear programs and the legislative branch bill. my colleagues, this is the primary constitutional duty of the congress to ensure the safety of the homeland and the american people. this legislation was carefully crafted to meet that responsibility, funding our critical material priorities, supporting veterans and making our borders more secure. the core of this package is full year funding in the department of defense and intelligence community. and i thank chairwoman granger.
provides $658.1 billion, an increase of $61 billion in base discretionary funding for fiscal year 2018 enacted levels. this is no doubt, this is a significant increase from the current spending levels and certainly from the last eight years. but this increase is vitally important to continue the process we started this spring, to rebuild, repair and equip our armed forces that we started in 2017 appropriations package. mr. chairman, secretary of dens mattis has made readiness and modernization of our forces his top priorities. it is a fact that we have too many aircraft that can't fly, too many ships that cannot sail, too many troops who can't deploy either because they are not properly trained or not enough of them. how do we get there? in recent years we have just
getting by, reducing investments in our military as the world becomes more dangerous and avoiding tough choices. the package before us will sustain a much needed rebuilding of our military after a half decade of cuts. while our troops remained in constant combat and they do so today. . we boosted missile defense, a program that has taken on critical importance, as north korea unabatedly tries to marry its nuclear warheads with new ballistic missiles. and we increase funding for the vital training that prepares our war fighters for any contingency. this legislation also supports our military families, after all they serve too. .4% pay increase
for our service men and women, the largest such increase -- raise in eight years, and they deserve it. within the military construction and veterans portion of this bill, and i thank chairman dent for his leadership, military infrastructure funding is increased by 25% above current levels. continuing our efforts to rebuild our armed forces and ensuring that our war fighters have the support they need. we cannot forget those who have served. this measure increases funding for the department of veterans affairs by 5%, over current levels, to provide our veterans and their families with access to medical care. and other benefits they've earned and deserve. within the energy and water section of this legislation, i thank chairman simpson for his leadership, funding is prioritized for critical nuclear programs that will help strengthen our security and deter threats around the globe. we also support the maintenance of our nation's waterways and support the work of the army corps. and to also ensure the
resilience and security of our electricity infrastructure. we recommit to opening yucca mountain as a safe and secure location to permanently store the nation's nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. and promote basic science programs which lay the foundation for new energy technologies. finally, mr. chairman, this package also includes funding for important legislative branch functions. i thank chairman yoder for his lee: in proving -- for his leadership, improving security to this wonderful capitol complex, making sure visitors are always well protected. i offer thanks to members of the appropriations committee for their hard work and tough decisions over the past 12 -- over the past few months. producing two appropriations bills, this year, 2017, and 2018, in less than three months. as you know, we received the president's budget on may 23, just over two months ago.
since then, we've worked nonstop to put all 12 through -- bills through the committee in record time. each and every one of these bills deserves to be september to the president's desk -- to be sent to the president's desk. i look forward to completing our work on all of our bills. i'd also like to extend my personal thanks to the entire committee and to our remarkable staff for their hard work on these bills and the eight yet to come. mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york is ecognized. >> mr. speaker, i yield myself four minutes. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for four minutes. >> typically the legislative branch, military construction and veterans affairs, energy and water, and defense bills would be debated and amended by the full house individually. regrettably, we are debating so-called illion
security minibus in only two hours. for some reason other than necessity. substantive amendments chosen at the discretion of the chairman of the rules committee will be debated for 10 minutes. mrs. lowey: we also expect $1.6 billion in border wall funding to be added through a rules gimmick meant to prevent an up or down vote on the wall. the undemocratic maneuver by the rules committee to unilaterally remove congresswoman barbara lee's amendment to debate a new aumf, which received bipartisan support in the committee, is simply outrageous.
all the promises of republican leadership, of returning to regular order, have been broken. i do, however, want to thank chairman frelinghuysen for conducting business in the appropriations committee markups fairly, and collegially, as the minority offered amendments late into the night. on top of the many procedural inequities, however, the majority's increased defense spending is a mirage. shattering budget control caps would trigger automatic across-the-board cut of 13% to every defense account. yet the majority pretends the sequester, which would cut $72 billion in defense funding in this bill, isn't real.
i want to make it very clear that democrats are ready to work with our republican colleagues to raise the caps on defense. but we must also raise the caps on important domestic priorities. playing politics with the bill that funds the troops by inserting the toxic border wall to it is really beyond the pale. why not include the f.b.i.? or the entire homeland security bill? if the intention is to pass security-related bills, securing our homeland goes beyond the department of defense and our own budgets in the legislative branch. the republican approach to
funding our government for f.y. 018 all but guarantees a short-term, if not a full-year, continuing resolution. just like every year democratic votes will be needed to enact appropriation law. and i really do hope we will soon start to work together in to invest responsibly both defense and nondefense priorities, to grow the economy, create jobs and secure the country. as i conclude, i want to thank our distinguished chairman, mr. frelling -- mr. frelinghuysen. his outstanding staff. as well as my outstanding staff. can i have an additional minute?
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. lowey: -- the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. lowey: however, i urge my colleagues to vote no on this bill which would waste $1.6 billion on trump's border wall, use fraudulent defense numbers, guts critical investments in clean energy,, includes poison pill riders -- energy, includes poison pill riders, and leaves the remaining spending bills with no path forward. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to recognize the former chairman and now the chairman of the foreign operations committee for four minutes, mr. hal rogers, the gentleman from kentucky. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for four minutes. mr. rogers: mr. chairman, thank you. thank you, mr. chairman, for yielding the time. and congratulations to you on your maiden voyage in this role that you're occupying. very expertly, i might add.
the forced march that we undertook in the committee for the last three weeks, clearing all 12 bills through the full committee, in a historically record time, and we had a good drill sergeant, mr. sergeant. for doing a great job. we held 74 oversight and budget hearings, heard from over 400 witnesses, with the overarching goal that each of the 12 bills we pass out of our committee address the needs of our constituents. i'm proud to say that these bills do just that. advance our national defense and secure our borders. take care of our veteran, provide critical infrastructure funding, increase resources to combat the opioid epidemic, maintain our presence as a leader in global diplomacy. all the while maintaining fiscal discipline. i'm disappointed that we won't consider all 12 of these bills
before the august recess. but this security package is an important step forward. it will ensure that we as the congress uphold our most sacred responsibility to provide for our nation's common defense. under the previous administration, our department of defense faced needless uncertainty. i'm proud that we are now turning the tide, providing our troops and their commanders with the necessary resources to respond to threats from countries like russia, china and iran, as well as crush the violent extremists who wish to do us harm. as promised to the american people, we're rebuilding and modernizing our military as an international powerhouse by better equipping our troops, strengthening counterterrorism efforts, and re-establishing confidence with our allies. at a time when our enemies continue to advance around the globe, the u.s. must remain at the forefront of military
readiness and advanced technology to strengthen national defense at home and abroad. this bill also maintains our commitment to those brave men and women after their service has come to a close. providing for greater oversight and accountability at the v.a.. and modernizing electronic health records to help our veterans receive the high quality of care they deserve. i'm also pleased that this legislation includes the energy and water appropriations bill. which funds many of our national security interests and builds upon our country's essential infrastructure needs. in particular, this bill protects the appalachian regional commission, a.r.c., from proposed elimination. and ensures that its critical programs will continue in our hardest-hit be a lashean coal communities -- appalachian coal communities. a.r.c. has led efforts to innovate, partner and invest in
the region, to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth. these investments have led to the creations of thousands of new jobs. it has improved local water and sewer systems, improved our schools, increased access to health care, and provided critical assistance to emerging businesses. after eight years of strangulation by regulation in the obama administration's war on coal, appalachia needs the a.r.c. now more than ever. mr. chairman, thank you again for allowing me to speak on behalf of this bill. is it everything we wanted? no. it is critical that we prioritize our national security nd that's what this bill does. mr. chairman, the motto of our appropriationses committee is this -- appropriations committee is this, a vision without funding is a hallucination.
we've got a visionary leader in our chairman, but we've got to provide the funding to make the dreams that we have come true. that's what appropriations does. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. chairman, i am very pleased to yield six minutes to the gentlelady from ohio, ms. kaptur. the chair: the gentlelady from ohio is recognized for six minutes. ms. kaptur: thank you so very much. i wanted to thank ranking member lowey for the time and also thank chairman frelinghuysen on his maiden voyage. not his first voyage, but his first as chair of the full committee. and the members of our fine subcommittee, and especially the staff. i want to thank chairman simpson for his fine leadership and i value the hard work you put into this bill and your attitude
throughout the whole process. i want to thank our staff on both sides of the aisle for the many hours of hard work and dedication. to tanya on our side and donna for the majority. and to t.j. on my own staff. i appreciate that the chairman has allowed robust funding to the corps of engineers, which translates into real jobs from coast-to-coast. and i also am pleased that this bill restores the more than $900 million that the administration proposed to cut from the science account. and provides reasonable funding for energy saving weatherization in both cold and hot climates across our nation. unfortunately the artificially low allocation has forced the chairman to make deep cuts to some of the most important programs in the bill, most notably the office of energy efficiency and renewable energy. too many here in washington have been fooled by the rhetoric that poses a false choice between the environment and the economy.
but today 288,000 americans work in auto industry supply chain jobs. in manufacturing the parts that make vehicles cleaner and more fuel efficient. in addition, 360,000 people work in the solar energy and the fastest growing job in america is wind turbine technology. investment in energy is an investment in jobs and our future. 83% cut from the vehicle tech nolings' office, now that's a backward move, 60% cut to the advanced manufacturing office and this member is unwilling to see that go to the chinese and 57% cut to solar energy, one of the fastest growing job sectors in our country. 65% cut to wind energy and
pa e, the most complex technologies, zero, the program eliminated. whoa. these go to offshore competitors who are hacking into our bank accounts by firms involved in these industries hundreds of times a month, trying to co-op american technology that american taxpayers helped to develop in an era chases short-term quarterly profits and ever improving earnings report, we owe it to our constituents to play the long game, making investments that may take decades to pay off, but they will. the long time horizon and large capital investments of the energy sector for america means that more than any other
path-breaking energy research needs federal support until it becomes commercially viable, because energy research is complex. though energy is an overlooked ingredient in economic spreemssi, those masters are leading in america. presidents have targeted energy independence. that makes national security sense. ut this year, that target is finely in sight. a recent report expects the united states to be a net energy exporter by 2026. would you. the department of energy deserves great credit for bringing us to this point beginning back in the old 1970's and 1980's when it got started. it took 30 years of department of energy support with the
private sector to unleash the fracking revolution that has changed our world and where was that technology developed? at the department of energy and it didn't happen in a year or two, it took years. the next revolution will be the clean energy revolution. we must not forfeit that gain. finally, i would like to raise my concerns over the controversial riders that threaten the enactment of this bill but our most precious resource water. exempting the rule from the administrative act creeds too much authority to the executive branch and something i cannot support. for that reason and the draconian cuts to clean energy, i ask members to oppose the clean water and energy package and busting the spending caps and building a border wall that
doesn't keep us safe. i believe there is no excuse for any democrat to support the overall bill before us. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i recognize the chair of the defense subcommittee, congresswoman kay granger for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. ms. granger: today we consider the make america secure appropriations act which includes the defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018. i ask all members for their support on this very important legislation. congress' number one responsibility is to provide for the defense of this nation. this bill provides that constitutional duty. this is urgent because the world is more dangerous and unstable. north korea is increasing the missile tests, threatening
american soil and our allies. on the 4th of july, they launched an intercontinental missile. russia has instability in the ukraine, battlics and the ball cans. they protect president assad, the tyrant who has murdered men, women and children. china is militarizing the south china sea and modernizing their military. chinese fighter jets flew closely to a us air craft in a dangerous manner. iran is increasing its influence in iraq, syria and yemen. just yesterday an iranian vessel pursued a u.s. navy vessel at high-speed forcing our ship to fire warning shots. isis and al qaeda terrorists continue to spread perverted
the on of islam across world. all of our adversaries are acting in a bold manner. the u.s. military has to confront anyone who threatens us. this can be done by reversing the years of budget instability, sequestration and continuous cuts. since becoming chair, i have made it my priority to listen to our defense intelligence experts and this bill before you reflects their expert advice. this provides secretary mattis the resources he needs to rebuild our military and form a new national defense strategy. it's been an honor to work with mr. visclosky, who has played a valuable role in this process. i want to thank chairman frelinghuysen, ranking member lowey and all the members of the defense subcommittee for their involvement and their contributions. and i would like to thank the
staff of the defense subcommittee, jennifer, sherry, and , b.j., karen ell, chris on becca, and the minority staff. johnny, jason, joe and adam. in closing, i must remind the house of secretary mattis when he told us that without the same sufficient and predictable funding, i assess within five years we will lose our ability to project power. the basis of how we defend the u.s. homeland and meet our alliance commitments. to ensure this doesn't happen, the bill includes, $28.6 billion above the president's request
for national defense restoration fund. we must keep this funding intact. we need to heed secretary mattis' warning and give our military what it needs, no less. this is not a partisan issue. i ask all my colleagues for their support. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey continues to reserve. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: i'm pleased to yield six minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from california, ms. roybal-allard allard, the nking member member of the homeland security. ms. roybal-allard: it is difficult to understand how we make america secure minibus does not include the bill for department of homeland security, which is responsible for security at our borders,
security in the coastal maritime environment, security for surface and air transportation, security for cybernetworks and critical infrastructure and helping state and local jurisdictions prepare for, prevent and respond to terrorist attacks and natural disasters. instead of including the entire d.h.s. funding bill in the minibus, the majority is expected to use a second rule to insert just one part of that bill. funding for the president's border wall, ignoring much more pressing and immediate security needs. because the department has failed to submit to congress a required report laying out the long-term plans and justification for border infrastructure, members of congress are unable to responsibly evaluate the
long-term border security strategy and comprehensively assess its costs, benefits and tradeoffs. $1.6 billionormous initial price tag, members should at a minimum have the opportunity to vote on it separately and in the context of the entire homeland security bill. i submitted an amendment to prohibit the use of funds for border wall construction. and i hope the rules committee will make it in order. while i do not support the d.h.s. bill in its current form, i firmly believe the house would be in a stronger position to make a more informed and responsible decision on how best to invest these $1.6 billion in the context of debating and
amending the entire department of homeland security funding bill. for example, instead of using $1.6 billion of taxpayers' money for just 74 miles of border wall, we could pay for the first two heavy coast guard ice breakers, which are critically needed to help the united states better counter the ever increasing russian presence in the arctic. or we could invest in additional technology and hire thousands of new customs' officers at every land, air and seaport of entry in the united states. we do see wait time for travelers, better facilitating the flow of commerce and contributing to economic growth. this would enhance our ability to intercept more illegal narcotics and other contraband
because contrary to what some may think, the vast majority of the worst illicit drugs flowing into our country arrive through the ports of entry, not between the ports. 81% 6, 86% of the hernan , 81% of the in cocaine came through the border. in addition to the 654 miles of fencing already in place is a misguided and ineffective this y to address problem. using this $1.6 billion for more pressing security needs, i am concerned that by including only border wall funding from the d.h.s. appropriations bill, we
would be sending a terrible message to front line homeland security personnel, many of whom routinely put their personal safety at risk to serve our country. that the president's border wall is more important than all the work they do. mr. chairman, when it comes to the security of our nation and the american people, we, in congress, have an obligation to act in their best interests and to invest their tax dollars wisely. if the only homeland security item in this bill is funding for 74 miles of border wall, we will fail to meet that obligation. this bill should not include funding for a border wall and the house should have an opportunity to vote on this funding in the context of the entire homeland security bill. i urge a no vote on this bill. and i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back.
the gentlewoman from new york reserves. and the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i recognize chairman mike simpson for five minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. simpson: it's my distinct honor to bring the fiscal 2018 energy and water bill. before i go into details, i would like to recognize chairman frelinghuysen because of his leadership and his commitment to the appropriations process that our committee has managed to bring 12 bills and have them ready for consideration by the house. i would like to thank ranking member lowey and kaptur. this has been a better bill. and it is above the request. increases are targeted to those areas where they are needed the most to support our nation's infrastructure. the bill provides strong support for the department of energy's
national defense programs, weapons activities is funded at $10.24 bill quon, up $921 million to keep our nation's deterrent. this will fund stockpile programs and make substantial progress towards addressing the deterioration of infrastructure. the recommendation for naval reactors includes full funding for the columbia class ballistic submarine known as the ohio class. the bill provides funding increases across the department of energy to defend against cyberattacks and electricity reliability, to strengthen energy sectors and preparedness response. . tal of $6.2 a toe
billion -- total of $6.2 billion more than last year. this makes a full recommendation of all use from the the inland waterway trust fund. the harbor maintenance trust fund activities are funded at $1.34 billion which is $40 million more than fiscal year twent -- 2017. and the same as the target. the bill provides $74 million more than last year for flood and storm damage reduction activities. this is a responsible bill, one that makes difficult choices in order to prioritize the most critical federal programs. as a result, as has been mentioned already, this bill eliminates the advanced research project agency or arpa-e as it is known, and title 17 loan guarantee programs for the -- as the department of energy is proposed by the president. i realize some people are concerned about that. these are programs i happen to like also. this is what happens when you're $20 trillion in debt. you have to make tough choices. that's what this appropriations committee is cog. -- is doing. this bill includes a number of
targeted investments above the budget request to ensure a secure, independent and prosperous energy future. mr. chairman, this is a strong bill. that will protect our national security interests, address our most pressing infrastructure needs, and advance our economy. i urge everyone to support it and before i quit i would like to thank the staff of both the energy and water committee, both ranking and minority members, and of the full committee, for the work that they have done in making sure that we can get this bill to the floor. again, i would urge members to support this bill. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey continues to reserve. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. chairman, i'm very pleased to yield six minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. ryan, the distinguished ranking member of the subcommittee on the legislative branch. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for six minutes. mr. ryan: thank you to the gentlelady from new york.
and i'd also like to thank the chairman from new jersey. also the ranking member of the house legislative branch appropriations. while i rise to oppose this appropriations package, even though the legislative branch division of this package is worthy of our support, i commend chairman yoder both for the product and for the way he reached across the aisle to work with me and other members of our committee. and the minority in this process. for all of their hard work i'd like to thank liz on their team, jen and tim from the leg branch majority staff. joe from chairman yoder's office, adam on the minority staff, and anne and ryan on my team. this year's legislative branch appropriations bill would, among other things, allow us to catch up on some deferred maintenance in our buildings, invest in information technology to modernize the library of
congress, congressional research service and copyright office. and adjust to the new cybersecurity environment faced here in the united states congress. i'm also pleased to see that this bill provides additional funds for the sergeant at arms and the capitol police, to increase congressional security in the wake of the tragic shooting at our congressional baseball practice several months back. our goal is to give them the resources they need to maintain the security on the capitol campus, and increase their coverage of members in gagget -- and gatherings of members that might be targeted. it is the responsibility of the house to look out for our safety and the safety of our constituents and the staff and the funding included in this bill is a step in the right direction. there are things i hope we can prove on, as the bill moves forward -- can improve on, as the bill moves forward.
for example, i'd like to see more money for personnel at the library and c.r.s. and not just for information technology. and more for the government accountability office, which is flat-funded in this budget. because of inflation, g.a.o. will have 200 fewer employees than expected at the end of the year. g.a.o.'s audits and investigations root out waste, fraud and abuse in government. something we all agree upon here should be done. with the trump administration resisting all of this oversight, g.a.o. is more important today than it ever has been. while i would support the legislative branch bill, if it came to the floor on its own, unfortunately we're not considering it on its own. i oppose tying $1.6 billion of wasted taxpayer money for president trump's border wall to the legislative branch bill. we need bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform which would include smarter, more effective enforcements of our laws. a few years ago, the nonpartisan congressional budget office said
immigration reform would reduce and eficit by $900 billion increase real g.d.p. growth by over 3%. but simply building a ridiculous wall that faces opposition from both democrats and republicans, this wall won't do anything for our economy and it isn't even a cost effective way to strengthen enforcement. besides, we were told repeatedly over the course of the last 18 months that mexico would pay for the wall. he would ask, the president would ask, who's going to pay for the wall? mexico's going to pay for the wall. why is there a single dime of american taxpayer money for a border wall that president trump promised mexico would finance? and i oppose the republicans' partisan budget strategy.
by refusing to work with democrats on a bipartisan budget deal that raises the budget control act caps, republicans are seriously risking some combination of sequestration, stop gap funding bills, government shutdowns and a catastrophic default on our national debt. nondefense discretionary spending is 1/6 of the federal budget. having already cut it to the bone, they're now sawing off the limbs. the labor, health, human services and education appropriations bill, the transportation bill, the financial services bill that funds consumer protections and regulation of big banks, they will all see big cut because of the draconian spending caps. today's packlage squeeze out investments in our infrastructure, jobs programs, early childhood education, scientific research and all the
things that need to be priorities. we are turning our backs on working families across the country who depend on these programs every day. we all believe in the free market system. we all believe in capitalism. we all want to reward risk takers and provide a good environment for growth for those men and women who will make the investments to hire the workers. but capitalism is not a perfect system. and it is -- are these programs in this bill that we need to fund to make sure that we grow the entire economy, that we have sustained growth, we invest in education, we invest in research, we invest in transportation infrastructure in order for us to grow the economy. as former appropriations chairman david obey used to say, these programs are about knocking off the rough edges of capitalism.
on this side of the aisle we believe in making those investments and that those investments are best for the economy. that's what's at stake. so we must adequately fund defense, veterans' programs and the legislative branch of government. but that can't come at the expense of everything else. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to recognize chairman charlie dent from pennsylvania, the chairman of the military construction and veterans' affairs subcommittee on appropriations, for five minutes. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for five minutes. mr. dent: thank you, mr. speaker. the appropriations act before you today includes division c appropriations for military construction, veterans' affairs, and related agencies, for fiscal year 201. division c is exactly the same as the milcon v.a. bill reported favorably out of the full committee on june 15. thanks to the leadership of
chairman rodney frelinghuysen of new jersey, ranking member nita lowey of new york, and the partnership of the subcommittee ranking member, debbie wasserman schultz, the gentlewoman from florida, this division will provide necessary funding for the department of veterans affairs and military construction projects. we were able to include the vast majority of the subcommittee's over 1,000-member requests. the division demonstrates our firm commitment to fully supporting our nation's veterans and service members. the total investment is $89 billion for military construction, v.a. and related agencies. which is $6 billion above last year's level. the division provides comprehensive support for service members, military families, and veterans. we must make infrastructure investments if we value readiness. this bill increases military construction by 25% over last year's level. that's right. 25% over last year's level.
delivering on our promise to troops in line with the president's focus on national defense. it supports our troops with facilities and services necessary to maintain readiness and morale here in the states and overseas. it provides defense department schools and health clinics to take care of our military families. this division funds our veterans' health care systems, to ensure that our promise to care for those who have sacrificed in defense of this great nation continues as those men and women return home. we owe this to our veteran and our are committed to sustained -- and are committed to sustained oversight until programs deliver what they promise and taxpayers are well served by the investments we make. the staff deserves credit for sustained work and very long hours. like to recognize sara, tracy, maureen, and matt on the committee's staff. and sean of my personal staff. military construction piece this division provides a total of
$10.2 billion for military cruck projects and family housing -- construction projects and family housing. including base and overseas contingency operations funding. an increase of $2.1 billion over last year's level and $197 million below the president's request. this funding meets d.o.d.'s most critical needs, including priority projects for combatant commanders and funding new mission requirements. it provides $737 million for military medical facilities. it provides $249 million for department of defense education alpha silts. for construction -- educational facilities. for construction, renovation and for schools. it supports our guard and reserve. through $575 million for facilities in 22 states. it funds military family housing at $1.4 billion. and it provides for $178 million for the nato security investment program, which is $24 million over the president's request, to
deal with increasing threats and necessary investments overseas. given all that's happening by russia's very bad behavior and eastern europe and elsewhere, this investment is absolutely essential. we're able to also include an additional $439 million in the service's unfunded priority projects that were not included in the budget request. it's very important to many members of this body, on the v.a., veterans affairs, the legislation includes a total of $78.3 billion in discretionary funding for the department of veterans affairs. that's a $3.9 billion increase or 5% above fiscal year 2017 levels. it's the highest level of v.a. funding ever provided. v.a. medical care, the bill funds v.a. medical care at $69 billion. that's the full request. including an additional $2.6 billion beyond the advanced appropriation to cover unanticipated needs. many members expressed concerns about medical care issues and
were able to fully fund the budget request for mental health services at $8.4 billion. suicide prevention outreach at $186 million. homeless veterans treatment services, housing and job training at $7.3 billion. opioid abuse prevention at $50 million. and we began that in the omnibus last year. the $50 million in opioid prevention. opioid abuse prevention. rural health initiatives, $250 million. caregivers' stipends at $604 million. repeat last year's bill language regarding improved standards for suicide prevention hotline. for disability claims processing, again, another issue very important to so many members in this body. particularly through our veterans who are seeking services from the v.a. or benefits. we provide $2.9 billion. which is $50 million over the request.
we need to be vigilant, to be sure that the claims backlog doesn't -- mr. chairman -- mr. frelinghuysen: i yield the gentleman another 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. dent: this legislation also contains $65 million as requested as the v.a. switches gears and moves from modernizing its own aging electronic health record to acquiring a record d.o.d. is using. the bill continues to include language restricting the most -- restricting most of the funding until the v.a. meets milestones and certifies statutory requirements. our bill increases the request for v.a. research funding by $58 million to a total of $698 million, recognizing strong congressional interest in the v.a.'s research to combat devastating conditions like ptsd and brain and also traumatic brain injury. major construction. we continue oversight over those projects, holding back funding until a third party is brought. in closing i ask members to support this important piece of the legislation. it's very important to our service members, our veteran and their families. thank you.
the chair: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i'm delighted to yield one minute to the gentlelady from california, the democratic leader, ms. pelosi. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. pelosi: i thank the gentlelady from new york, the distinguished ranking member of the appropriations committee, for yielding and more importantly for her great leadership to advance the values of our country in the allocation of resources, and i always squad mire the work of mr. frelinghuysen, the depiss ting wished chairman as well. we may have a matter of disagreement here today, though. mr. speaker, all of us, members of congress, all elected official, people who serve in any office, take a solemn oath to support and defend the constitution. that is an oath to protect the american people.
democrats, indeed, all american, believe in a strong national defense. we believe in strong investments in our defense and in our brave men and women in uniform in particular. but far from strengthening our security, this -- the falsely inflated numbers in this spending bill will create uncertainty for our military and hollow out america's communities at home. we face serious threats in the world, we know that. those threats demand serious consideration in congress. we should be making serious decisions about our national security mission. what is our mission? what are the resources that we need? we don't want to spend more than we need but we don't want to spend less. and we should not be posturing in the defense bill with false numbers and no real answers about the mission of the -- that these dollars would fund. we do not give certainty to our
defense or competence to our troops when we legislate with phony numbers, when we refuse to make honest choices about our defense budget. instead of giving certainty to our heroes in uniform, this bill would breach the sequester spending limit by more than $70 billion. forcing a mandatory 13% cut to ll defense accounts. these phony numbers in this bill not only do violence to our defense budget, they starve the strength of america by ransacking our domestic investments. in order to be the strongest possible america, we must measure our strength not only in our military might but in the health, education, and well eing of the american people. and that's what the problem is. we are stealing from the domestic budget with phony
numbers to the defense budget which will be because of the sequester cut the defense account by 13% as we starve our domestic investment. besides the direct danger this bill proposes to our military, it is laden with poison pills. it would squander billions of taxpayer dollars on president trump's immoral, ineffective, and expensive border wall. the president said during the campaign , he said, i promised a wall. no you promised a wall that mexico would pay for. he said it would cost $4 billion to $6 billion. the fact is it could cost as much as $30 billion or $40 billion. and he wants a down payment for that wall in this bill. one poison pill. it also eliminates ar pa-e, the advanced energy research vital to our energy independence, to our national security, to keep
america, the innovation superpower of the 21st century. democrats will continue to demand real leadership to strengthen our national defense. . speaker, on this day, july 26, 1948, president harry truman signed the executive order desegregating the u.s. military. how great that was for america. how great it is for our country to benefit from the service of so many people who had been erving all along, but now with dignity and respect, which was justified. so how sad is it that on this same day the president of the united states, 69 years ago, recognized the value of respecting our men and women in uniform, that the commander in
chief, the president of the united states, fired 15,000 courageous men and women in uniform in a vile, hateful tweet. his actions regarding transgenders in the military were unworthy of their bravery and unworthy of the american people. let us be thank -- thankful for the blessings of all our men and women in uniform and our veterans who have served us and our military families to whom we owe so much. their courage, their service and leadership, their sacrifice is what truly makes us the land of the free and the home of the brave. and it insists that we be serious and real and evidence-based as we make decisions about how we invest in the security of our country. i urge a no vote and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back this egentlelady from new
york reserves this gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i'm pleased to yield to the legislative branch subcommittee on appropriations chair for five minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i rise to speak in favor of the bill before us, paying particular attention to the legislative branch subcommittee. i want to thank my colleagues, chairman frelinghuysen and raking member lowey for their leadership and ranking member ryan who has been a gentleman and a scholar for working with e to develop to product, a representation of how we wan cork across the line to develop bipartisan legislation. our total for the legislative branch is $3.58 billion. we focused on better security and more accountability in a responsible manner. first and foremost the house continues to lead by example in
its frugal operations. mr. yoder: with this bill we'll be spending 12% below the 2010 levels, showing the american people fiscal discipline start here's in our house operations first. we also continue the policy of denying pay increases to members of congress for the eighth fiscal year in a row. this republican congress has tightened its belt since taking the majority and have never allowed a pay increase for members of congress and aren't allows one today, saving taxpayers over $68 million since 2011. in light of the recent shooting where republican members of congress were targeted for their beliefs and our colleague and majority whip steve scalise was seriously wounded, this bill takes a new focus on security related to congress and i want o recognize capitol police officers crystal griner and david bailey. the capitol police protect us, our staff and the visitors we get here with bravery, putting their lives on the line.
special agents griner around bailey put that devotion on displayer in world. their courage under fire safed the lives of countless members of congress, staff, and innocent by standers. steve scalise, zach and others on that field that day are alive today because of their actions. we as a congress owe it to the capitol police to ensure they have the necessary resources to meet their mission in an increasingly polarized climate. we have -- we believe we have propriately emphasized those meetings. we provide resources and make structural changes that will address security concerns here in the capitol and in our home districts, including $29 million in new resources for capitol
police, $5 million for the sergeant at arms, and support for house administrations authorization to increase $25,000 per m.r.a. account to address members' physical security when they're away from the capitol complex. we also invest in cybersecurity measures to protect attack obs our digital information. after hearings, briefings and tour, we have included $581 million in total for the architect of the capitol. we recognize the challenge of preserving our infrastructure in the current fiscal climate. we included funding to renovate house office buildings and other to revitalize in future years. we provided $48468 million for the library of congress, with much funding going to i.t. improvements librarywide. we provided $4.5 billion for
c.b.o. we have our differences and opinions on c.b.o. estimates and how it arrives in those conclusions and in some cases they are wrong. but it serves an important purpose and needs resources to do its job. we also include funding for the government accountability office to root out waste, fraud, and abuse. we sought thoughtful feedback from member os of the committee and the body. they are measures we can be proud of. it includes openness and transparency and increasing efficiencies by publishing nonconfidential reports online, expanded the wounded warrior project to help members hire veterans, increasing slots by 57%. in all this bill represents a frugal approach to funding the base exoperations of congress, we do so in a fiscally responsible manner, keeping expenses low and prohibiting pay
increases in congress. i'd like to thank ranking member yan and his staff, ann and others, and my staff, and to all the members of the committee for their work and participation in the process this year. i urge this body to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: i am pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from maryland, the democratic whip, mr. hoyer. the chair: the whip is ecognized. mr. hoyer: thank you very much, madam ranking member, for yielding. mr. chairman, members of the house. i served actively on the appropriations committee for 23 years. i'm still a member on leave. never in the 36 years that i've
been here have i seen an omnibus appropriation bill or a mini bus appropriation bill brought to the floor before the august break. regular order is to bring each bill to the floor, debate each bill on its merit, have the opportunity to offer amendments, and debate the her pretties of the amendments and of that particular bill. however, the majority party has not done its job. i do not hold accountable the members of the appropriations committee. i want to make that clear. -- clear. but for whatever reasons, regular order has not been followed. so each member of the congress of the united states is confronted with either voting for all of the bill with , ponent parts, alleged bill
defense bill, that they may not like. but if they vote no they will be accused of being against the security of the united states. that, my friends is baloney. in his pledge to america, or in their pledge to america, the republicans said, and i quote, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time. this belies that representation. the sponsors of this mini bus package, mr. speaker, claim it will make america more secure. i reject that argument. senior military leaders have said that the greatest long-term threat to our national security is the growing national debt and the impact of interest payments on the debt as they crowd out our ability to invest in defense
and domestic priorities. it is incumbent upon us, mr. speaker, to work together to pass a fiscally responsible budget. agreement that lifts the sequester caps in a way consistent with the principle of parity between defense and nondefense spending. ladies and gentlemen of this house, we were supposed to pass . budget on or before april 15 it is now july 26. we have passed no budget. there is no plan for overall spending. this, therefore, is a pig and a poke and nobody on this house floor or in this country knows the ramifications about the passage of this bill on the eight domestic spending bills hat remain untended.
i thank the gentlelady two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. hoyer: it's incumbent upon us, mr. speaker, to work together to pass a fiscally responsible budget agreement that lifts the sequester caps. we cannot simply skip to appropriations without determining what our budget priorities are first. it is as critical for our national defense as it is for our ability to support economic growth. moreover this is the earliest, as i have said before, that i can ever remember that the house considered either and omnibus or minibus appropriation bill. it's an acknowledgment by the house majority that the house will not be able to move these bills through under regular order given republicans' internal divisions over spending bills. so instead of working with democrats to craft individual appropriation bills that can pass the house, they're resorting to legislative tactics to push them through on
partisan votes. i will remind my friends across the aisle that they have been unable to enact a single funding bill in the past seven years without ultimately appealing to democratic votes. so i urge my colleagues to eject this minibus package and make it clear that we first ought to negotiate a budget agreement that provides certainty and clarity to the entire federal government, not just a handful of agencies. and we ought to do it through an open and transparent process with members permitted to offer amendments that could shape a budget and appropriation bills truly reflective of the nation's priority as a whole. i urge my colleagues to vote no so that we can get on with an appropriation process that is in the regular order, that makes common sense, that is transparent and that will give the american public the best product that we can produce,
and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman from california, the chairman of the interior subcommittee on appropriations for three minutes. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.r. 3219, the make america secure appropriations act. i would like to commend chairman frelinghuysen for his tireless work to report all 12 appropriations out. he deserves a great deal of credit of getting us to this point today. the four bills included in h.r. 219 reflect hours of hearings, member input, bipartisan cooperation. mr. calvert: i would like to express my thanks to the chairs of the military construction, energy and water, veterans' affairs and the leg branches subcommittee. the energy and water division provides robust funding for
water infrastructure, over $67 million to create needed water storage in the west. i want to thank chairman simpson and his staff for their hard work. as a member of the defense subcommittee appropriations i would like to thank kay granger for her unwavering support for our men and women in uniform. i'd also like to -- also would be remiss if i did not mention the professional staff at the subcommittee who dedicated countless hours to craft a bill that meets the needs of the department of defense and reflects the will of congress. our greatest responsibility as members of congress is to provide for the resources necessary to the men and women of our armed forces. this bill includes $584.2 in base defense funding and $73.9 billion for overseas contingency operations it provides for a 2.4% military pay raise and additional funding to create strength. it has money for shipbuilding,
combat vehicles and more. it invests in our greatest assets, the men and women in uniform, to get the best equipment and training. we are at a crossroads. right now our military is at high tempo to create the missions of the united states. however, in order to meet the next challenge, whatever that may be, we must invest now. we know the situation we're in. national security advisor mcmaster has stated that the u.s. is outranged and outgunned by potential adversaries. out of 58 bri gait combat teams, the -- brigade combat teams, we only have three ready. while capability is important, the vast oceans of the world desperately needs our presence. only seven out of 10 aircraft of the air force are ready to fly. the average age of the aircraft across the service is 27 years. airmen are flying the same
planes as their grandfathers. only 43% of the marine corps total aircraft inventory is considerable flyable. our marines deserve better. today we have a chance to correct the course we have been on for the last eight years. u.s. constitution creates a government of the people to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense. this bill fulfills the promise enshrined in our constitution to secure the blessing of our liberty and provide for the defense of our nation. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. chairman, i'm delighted to yield six minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. wasserman schultz, the ranking member of the subcommittee on military construction and veterans' affairs. the chair: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for six minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the distinguish ranking
member for yielding. i would like to thank chairman frelinghuysen and chairman dent for their hard work as well. as we all know, the military construction and veterans' affairs and related agencies bill has a strong reputation for bipartisanship. chairman dent set a cooperative tone and was inclusive throughout this process. he's worked tirelessly to address many members' concerns and i joined him in that effort as well as critical issues impacting our veterans and active and reserve service members. the military construction portion of this minibus provides adequate funding for both the active and reserve components. in addition, the bill funds the nato security investment program at the frment y. 2017 level, sending -- f.y. 2017 level, sending a strong message to our allies that we stand with them as we face evolving international threats. for the department of veterans affairs, this bill provides $3.9 billion, which is a 3.5% ncrease over 2015 -- over f.y.
2017. and it will address breast cancer awareness and prevention and provides almost $700 million for medical research which will fund essential efforts to address t.b.i. and ptsd, develop state-of-the-art pros theyics, care for those of sexual military trauma and those suffering from mental illness. the bill also continues to fund important programs to combat veteran homelessness, provide our veterans with effective and timely health care and improve the veteran benefits application and appeals process. and i'm also extremely grateful for chairman dent's support for in vitro fertilization and coverage for assisted reproductive technology for veterans who sustained a service-connected injury that impacts their fertility. this issue is both very important to me and to so many service members. all veterans deserve to be able to start families. moreover, providing access to i.v.f. is consistent with the v.a.'s goal to support veterans and improve their quality of life. on a personal note, this bill will also address the issue of
breast cancer awareness and prevention. this past spring our subcommittee visited the washington v.a. medical center. we learned that the v.a. was relying on the controversial uspf guidance for madamography for making decisions. we barred providers from making these decisions base on these guidelines through 2018. however the moratorium did not apply to the v.a., and so women in their 40's who were veterans could be denied coverage for madamograms. its credit, the v.a. -- mamograms. to its credit, language to hold the v.a. to this better standard. as i stated in my testimony before the rules committee, mr. speaker, it's my sincere belief if the milcon-va was being considered as a stand-alone as is tradition under an open rule, it would receive strong bipartisan support. but unfortunately that's not what we're doing here today. instead of following regular
order, we instead are taking up four bills at once and adding funds to begin construction on president trump's irresponsible border wall that he promised mexico would pay for and now taxpayers are being stuck with the bill. this fiscally and morally irresponsible expenditure leaves the nondefense appropriations bills grossly underfunded. furthermore, contrary to popular belief, this bill isn't even great for defense. all this talk about making sure that we provide adequate resources for our defense and our national security ignores the fact that the budget control act provides additional funds that would ultimately be sequestered without a cap adjustment. this minibus would breach this cap by more than $72 billion, sulting in a mandatory 13.2% sequester of all defense accounts, including the military construction title. and by the way, i said this repeatedly each time i have
spoken on this legislation and never once did anyone in the majority counter what i'm suggesting. that is deeply troubling. so even if this bill is signed into law, which it will not be, d.o.d. would not receive $1 of this increase. secretary mattis testified sequestration and the continued use of continuing resolutions would result in a steady erosion of military readiness. that is the only outcome this bill guarantees. by taking up this minibus today we are setting ourselves up for failure and we are setting ourselves up for an early fall with no real progress to be made on the f.y. 2018 appropriations bills. mr. speaker, we continue to govern in this fashion. i believe it is time we stop listening to the most extreme voices and get past these unrealistic beliefs that we can cut our way to prosperity. we cannot. if this failed philosophy persists, our work will only get more difficult. it is clear that passing any appropriations bill that will be signed into law will require
a bipartisan majority of both houses. as a result of this irresponsible posture, i will sadly be voting against the minibus and look forward to working towards an appropriations product that both parties can work on together in true bipartisan tradition. and mr. speaker, i'd lastly before i close like to thank our staff in the milcon-va bill on both the majority and the minority side. maureen, sarah, sue, shawn, tracy with the majority and matt washington, roselyn and jonathan with the minority. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman from mississippi, mr. palazzo, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for two minutes. mr. palazzo: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, chairman frelinghuysen. i rise in strong support of the make america secure appropriations act. as a member of the appropriations committee, i
have witnessed firsthand the hard work that chairman frelinghuysen and his subcommittee chairman have put into crafting this bill. they all should be congratulated for their work on this legislation and so should their staffs. i firmly believe that the number one constitutional responsibility of congress is to provide for the common defense of this nation against all enemies both domestic and foreign. that commitment by increasing defense funding and restoring the cuts and budget shortfalls that threaten our military readiness and our ability to project force around the globe is honored here today. our bill also honors those who serve our country in the armed forces by giving them a much-deserved 2.4% pay raise and making critical investments in equipment and training that help them perform the missions we give them and most importantly help them return home safely to their loved ones and their families and communities. this includes 11 navy ships including two destroyers for our navy and a new l.h.a. for
our marines and i'm proud to say that some of these ships will be built in my district by the greatest shipbuilders on earth. the bill also honors the service of our veterans. our commitment doesn't stop when our men and women in uniform stops serving. we must continue to support them after they leave service and this bill does just that. funding mental health care, care for our homeless veterans and other national priorities. in addition, this bill makes critical investments in our nation's border security, including fully funding the president's request for physical barrier construction along our southern border. the president has promised this funding. the american people want this funding, and today the house is making good on that promise. after all, border security is national security. mr. speaker, this is a solid bill. it honors our commitment to keep americans safe and fulfills our obligation to all those who serve this great country. i urge my colleagues to support the underlying legislation, and
i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. chairman, i am very pleased to yield six minutes to the gentleman from indiana, mr. visclosky, the ranking member of the subcommittee on defense. the chair: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for six minutes. mr. visclosky: i ask unanimous coffin sent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. vis clsky texas i thank the gentlelady for yielding to me. i want to thank chairwoman granger, this is her first time reading -- leading the defense appropriations bill on the floor. she's done so under difficult circumstances with a steadfast commitment to maintaining the tradition of cooperative bipartisanship on the subcommittee, maintaining transparency and taking a thoughtful approach to solving problems. also, i would like to express my immense gratitude to chairman
frelinghuysen, ranking member lowey and members of the subcommittee and our exceptional staff for all their hard work. we have a duty to provide predictable and timely appropriations to the department of defense and the rest of federal government. this is a consistent request by our senior defense leaders. however, the house bills exceed the cap of fiscal year 2018 defense spending established under the budget control act of 2011 by $72.5 billion. if enacted as written and the budget control caps remain in place, the department of defense would face a sequestration of roughly 13%. the department has still not recovered from the rash of problems caused the last time it was forced to deal with sequestration in 2013. in the second of that -- in the second half of that fiscal year the department saverpblged its
maintenance and other accounts to protect military personnel accounts this resulted in the navy idling an aircraft carrier at a pier in norfolking the army canceling train rogueations and the air force reducing flight times for combat aircraft and widespread civilian fur -- civilian furloughs. we cannot allow that to happen again in fiscal year 2018. we have avoided sequestration in the last four fiscal years by adjusting the budget caps for both defense and nondefense ppropriations. those modest adjustment, done in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion, provided needed funding for our military but also for our country's economic and physical infrastructure, scientific research, and veterans care. besides my frustration with the process, i have concerns about the significant increase in funding that this bill will provide to the department.
$60 billion more than last year and $29 billion more than than requested by the administration. i support providing additional funds to the department. as i believe we are -- yet i believe -- as i believe we are asking too much our -- of our brave soldiers and their families. but the world is also an unsettled place and not trending toward stability. but that being said the department -- i believe dethpt will have great difficulty spending so much additional dollars in a timely and efficient matter. vacancies continue in important leadership positions. hiring restrictions on civilian employees and a handful of ongoing strategic reviews will all slow the decision making process. it is also unlikely that congress will complete its work in a timely manner by october 1 and that any dollars provided will have to be spent in a
compressed time period. additionally, i am not convinced that the administration evaluates dollars being spent on the military with the same criteria as it does with the rest of the federal government. in the office of management and budget's major savings and reform document for fiscal year 2018, it was a page turner. for the 150 proposals to allegedly cey billions in discretionary programs, there in nly one recommendation 150, one, for the department of defense with a potential to save nly $2 billion by now and 027. with a budget of roughly $600 billion a year, representing nearly half of the discretionary spending, it is beyond the pale that o.m.b. could only come up with a single savings point for the department of defense.
and one final point because i'm highly disappointed that the republican leadership has watered down language that was added during committee markup regarding the authorization of the use of -- use of military force. representative barbara lee's language would have establish and imminently reasonable approach to updating 2001 legislation and authorization. congress must stop hiding from the debate and carry out its constitutional responsibilities to support our troops in uniform and the civilian support staff that helps them out. in closing, i would like again simply to reiterate my thank you to the members of our subcommittee and committee and for our sterling staff who have done a superb job under the most difficult and -- under the most difficult circumstances i could imagine. with that, i yield become my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york
reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i'm pleased to recognize a colleague from new jersey, congressman lance, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. lance: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank chairman frelinghuysen for yielding to me and thank him for his tremendous leadership as chairman of the appropriations committee. new jersey and indeed the entire nation are fortunate to have mr. frelinghuysen as chairman of this critical committee. under the chairman's leadership, all spending bills have advanced out of the committee and now today we consider a package that affirms one of congress east most important responsibilities, to provide for the common defense. included in this legislative package is an important measure that opens reports by the congressional research service and opens those reports to the public. i have been involved in this issue for some time and i thank chairman frelinghuysen and subcommittee chairman yoder for their support of this measure. american taxpayers spend more
than $100 million a year supporting the work of the congressional research service. their findings, reports andage cease should be public information. it is good public policy to allow educators, students members of the news media and everyday citizens across the nation to have access to c.r.s.'s nonpartisan taxpayer funded reports. by providing public access to c.r.s. reports we can elevate our national discourse and make it easier for citizens to cut through the misinformation that's too often involved in the national debate. citizens should have full access to the same neutral, unbiased information that many of us in congress used to help us make important decisions. it is governed by requirements for accuracy, objectivity and nonpartisanship, those values sought by engaged constituents. i again commend the chairman for including this measure in the legislative branch title.
this is one of many victories for taxpayers in this important bill. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. chairman, i am to yield yield -- three minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from connecticut, ms. delauro, the ranking member on the subcommittee of h.h.s. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. ms. delauro: i rise in opposition to this bill. what does it do? it would force the office of management and budget to issue an across-the-board budget cut for defense spending come january. why? because the house appropriations bill exceed the defense budget spending cap.
by more than $72 billion. and i might add that both democrats and republicans voted for the spending caps for defense spending and for nondefense spending. so the defense funding in the bill, their numbers are in essence fake. these are fake numbers. republicans have no plan to raise both our need to support our national security and military readiness and our need to support hardworking middle class families who are struggling to get by. so if these bills are enacted, e only way to avoid this across-the-board defense spending cut is if we had another budget deal to revise those bipartisan budget -- the burn budget control act which established spending caps for
defense spending and for nondefense spending. now add to that, since military pay is usually exempt from budget cuts, if this bill and the other house appropriations bills are signed into law, the office of management and budget, law, by law, would be required to cut defense spending by more than 13% or $72 billion. we would need a new budget agreement to increase both defense spending and nondefense spending to meet the needs of our country. my friends, this is not going to happen. hardly likely. the biggest economic challenge of our time is that too many people are in jobs that do not pay them enough to live on. we must invest in programs that
provide opportunities for hardworking americans to be able to improve themselves and for our economy to grow. we need a country that works for the middle class and for the vulnerable, not just the wealthy and those with the most lobbyists. this budget process is irresponsible and our military and our hardworking families will all be shortchanged. this is unacceptable. congress needs to negotiate another budget deal that increases both defense and the nondefense spending caps. the spending levels in the defense bill are impossible to achieve unless there is a new budget deal and it's reached. so again, the numbers are fake. if you vote yes on this, you are voting for a pig in a poke. i urge my colleagues to vote against this bill. i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized.
mr. frelinghuysen: i'm pleased to yield to mr. simpson for a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. simpson: at this time i yield to my colleague from alaska, mr. young, for the purpose of a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. simpson: i want to thank chairman simpson and chairman frelinghuysen for their work on this. i want to ask about the denali commission in alaska. my amendment would have restored commission to their funding levels and restore the funding level os they have appalachian regional commission and the northern border regional commission. the denali commission, mr. simpson, started in 1998 with senator stevens. it's an independent federal agency designed to provide critical utilities, infrastructure and economic support throughout alaska. ith the creation of the denali
commission, congress acknowledged the need for increased interagency operations this edenali commission operates in the northeast geographically diverse and challenging areas in the country, twice the size of texas. this would include both the delta regional authority and the appalachia commission. the commission has improved the living conditions in areas of alaska. i know you've done the best you can and i cannot believe all the programs the denali provides for the state of alaska and my constituents and i would appreciate if you would look at a future time to fund them at the level they were in 1917. so mr. -- excuse me, 2017. i apologize for that. mr. simpson i do urge you as the chairman to understand how important the denali commission is to alaska. mr. simpson: i appreciate the -- my colleague's statement on the
denali commission, the house mark this year supports the denali commission in its efforts rather than the administration's request to terminate the agency. the commission would have depried many communities of many infrastructure projects. in a time of economic change they can scarely afford to lose the private investments leveraged by the commission annually. i'll be happy to work with my colleague to ensure the commission is provided sufficient fund to support their efforts in his state. mr. young: again, chairman simpson, i appreciate the fact you just mentioned, it was eliminated by the administration you did restore some of the money, i'm just requesting if you get any more money in this commission, we look forward to the denali commission, the work it's done is well rewarded. i thank you both you and the chairman for the work you have done establishing the denali commission in past years. mr. simpson: i look forward to working with you and yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york is
recognized. mrs. lowey: i am delighted to yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman, the distinguished vice chair of the subcommittee from washington, mr. kilmer. the chair: the gentleman from washington state is recognized. mr. kilmer: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the chairman from new jersey and our ranking member. i have great respect for both of them. mr. chair, the most responsibility we have is to keep our nation and our citizens safe. in order to fulfill that responsibility, we have a commitment to those who serve that they will have the training and equipment and support that they need to be the most capable fighting force the world has ever seen. we also have a commitment to the men and women who serve that we will have their back, not only when they're on duty but when they come home. this congress should support a pay raise for our nation's troops. this congress should support a
cutting edge naval fleet. this congress should make sure that we can say that every veteran will get the care that he or she has earned, but this congress should also be opposed to a bill that puts the department of defense right in the path of the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration. now, i admit, i have not heard about sequestration until i first ran for this job. it's a latin word for stupid because when you face our military leaders, even in my district, they have implored this congress to do away with the bind that sequestration threatens to put them in. they think this is a bad idea, but what we're doing this week ignores the advice of our top commanders and our military experts. instead, it would put the department of defense on a collision course with sequestration. that would mean harmful cuts, across the board cuts to our military. the failure of this congress to pass a legitimate budget is a
disservice to our armed forces and to every man and woman who serves in it. we should be giving those in uniform certainty that their paychecks will arrive on time, that their gear will be the best, that they'll get the training that they need, that cuts won't hurt their readiness. let's vote down this bill and do better. pass a responsible bill. listen, a majority of the members in this chamber are willing to support a plan that not only funds our military but also makes sure we don't approach yet another government shutdown. that's what the american people sent us here to do, mr. chair. let's listen to their voices, and with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to recognize the distinguish chairman of the science, space and technology committee, lamar alexander of texas, four minutes.
mr. smith: i am very pleased to support h.r. 3219, the make america secure appropriations act of 2018, especially because it includes h.r. 3266, which provides appropriations for the energy programs within the science committee's jurisdiction. chairman simpson, who is on the floor behind me, has worked closely with us on the science committee to include responsible, pro-science funding levels for the department of energy. chairman simpson, your leadership and cooperation have been exceptional and are much appreciated. thank you for your leadership in passing this legislation that sets america on a path to remain the world's leader in innovation. the appropriations included in this legislation are consistent with the america competes re-authorization act which passed the house last congress. this bill also funds programs authorized in h.r. 589, the d.o.e. research and innovation
act, which passed this year and which was the project over three years in the science committee which set clear science priorities for the department of energy. american industry relies on federal support for basic research to produce the scientific breakthroughs that fuel technological innovation, new industries, economic growth and good jobs. around the country, scientists at our national labs and universities are conducting groundbreaking basic science research that provides the foundation for next generation technology in energy, medicine and manufacturing. this legislation provides strong support for the department of energy's office of science at $5.4 billion for fiscal year 2018. the office of science will get increased funding for research in basic energy sciences, high-performance computing, nuclear physics, high-energy physics and fusion energy. the strong support for the
office of science in the appropriations bill will prioritize the basic research programs that are the core mission of the department and the national labs and lead to scientific discoveries that can provide benefits across the economy. this legislation also includes responsible funding for d.o.e.'s applied programs, prioritizing early stage research in electricity, energy efficiency, renewables, follil and nuclear. an example of such -- fossil and nuclear. an example is nuclear energy where the bill's funding support the priorities outlined in the nuclear energy capabilities act, which passed the house as part of h.r. 589. that legislation, sponsored by energy subcommittee chairman randy weber of texas, combines the strengths of the national labs, universities and the private sector to develop advanced nuclear technology. this technology is our best opportunity to provide reliable
and emission-free electricity. this will begin design and construction of the reactor authorized -- mr. frelinghuysen: i'd like to yield the gentleman another minute. and let me say we're listening to congressman lamar smith, for the record, very distinguished chairman. mr. smith: i thank the gentleman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. smith: i thank the chairman for yielding me an additional minute. it begins design and construction for the research reactor authorized in h.r. 589, which will provide access to the fast neutrons necessary to enable the next generation of nuclear energy technology. as we shape the future of the department of energy, our priority must be basic and early stage research that only the federal government has the incentives and resources to support and pursue. this will empower private sector innovators to develop and demonstrate resulting new capabilities that will attract the capital investments needed to take energy technology to
the marketplace, creating jobs and expanding our economy. mr. chairman, i strongly encourage my colleagues to support this pro-science bill, pro-energy appropriations bill and i'll yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. chairman, i'm very pleased to yield five minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. cuellar. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. cuellar: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the ranking member for yielding. i also want to thank the appropriation chair from new jersey and the staff and also the ranking young lady from new york and the staff for being a bipartisan committee. the appropriations committee has been bipartisan. while this bill before us is a step toward getting the job done of passing the appropriation bill before the end of the fiscal year, we know this is only the first step. we still need a lot more work to do. and i regret that rule that we
will take up tomorrow will likely include $1.6 billion for a wall. we who live on the border, we understand and we believe that border security, we believe in border security. border security that's strong, sensible, common sense and effective for the border. the wall is a 14th century solution to a 21st century challenge that we have. the border wall is not the right solution for border security. why? number one, private property rights. we believe in private property rights. in fact, there are some people that for generations that have owned land along the border. i have several veterans that own land. in fact, there's one veteran in particular that buried his father. his father who served in world war ii, and his family right along the river bank. so if you put a wall, what is he going to do? once you put the wall, how is he going to go visit the cemetery, the family's cemetery
along the border? what about cattle, livestock? how are they going to have access to water along the river? number two, we have natural barriers along the texas border. we have the rivers. you can see how the river snakes around. and what about the cliffs? are you going to put a wall on top of this cliff? it just doesn't make sense. number three, what about taxpayers' dollars? mexico is not going to pay for this wall. we know that the american taxpayer is going to pay for this. $1.6 billion for 74 miles out of the 1,954 miles that we have. that's $21.2 million per mile for this wall. compared to $1 million of technology we wanted to put technology cameras, sensors for border security. number four -- oh, by the way, so $1.6 billion, all i need is
$100, buy myself a good ladder and we'll take care of that wall. so, again, we got to be smart about border security. number four, environmental concerns. wildlife refuge that we have concerns. at about the 40% of the 11 million people that we have here that did visa overstays? so you can put the biggest wall but people are going to fly or drive across the bridge or get a boat into houston and just stay over the time. what about a cap analysis so we know what are the real needs that we have? that's number six. what about number seven? mexico is an ally. it's not an enemy. every day we have $1.3 billion of trade with our friends to the south. every day $1.3 billion. that's over $1 million of trade every single minute. six million american jobs that we have because of the trade that we have with our friends
to the south. we need strong, commonsense border security. and i know this because i live at the border. i drink the water. i breathe the air. i understand this very well. the border area is very safe. use f.b.i. stats, the murder rate in my hometown of laredo is three murders per 100,000. here in washington, d.c., it's 24.5 murders per 100,000. so if you want to talk about dangerous, when i live at the border, to fly over washington, this is the most thing about my job. so the wall is a 14th century to a 21st century problem. i ask you to vote no on the border wall. again, i want to thank the appropriations committee for being very bipartisan. this is only the first step. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to recognize a very distinguished representative from texas, mr. randy weber, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. weber: i thank the
chairman. i rise today in support of the make america secure appropriations act of 2018. i'm particularly pleased to support language from h.r. 3266, which provides appropriations for energy programs within the science committee's jurisdiction. for years the energy subcommittee, which i chair, has listened to experts and gathered data to determine appropriate priorities for the d.o.e. the bill brought before the house floor reflects the findings of the committee. it funds basic and early stage research and it does so all the while reducing spending. importantly, this bill includes specific appropriations for -- authorizations for programs authorized in my bill, the nuclear energy innovation capabilities act, which establishes a clear timeline and parameters for d.o.e. to complete a research reactor. this type of research requires access to fast neutrons currently only available in russia. to completion of our own research reactor is crucial, mr. speaker, in ensuring materials and nuclear fuels are
indeed takes place in these united states of america. the verse tile neutron source authorized in my legislation will provide the united states with this vital capability. i want to thank chairman frelinghuysen for specifically including $32 million in funding and chairman simpson to begin the design of vital research, infrastructure in this appropriations bill. america must maintain our nuclear capabilities and continue to develop cutting edge technology here at home. this bill provides direction and robust funding for early stage nuclear energy research. without it we will fall behind. it is vital we ensure this important research and development is fully funded. we cannot afford to miss the economic opportunities provided by next generation nuclear technology. i encourage my colleagues to support in pro-science, fiscally responsible legislation, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back.
the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. chairman, i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. green. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. green: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank our ranking member for yielding to me. i rise in opposition to funding for president trump's border wall. i visit the border of texas and mexico many times. communities all along and beyond the boreder in my home state of texas are opposed to this border wall. texas has deep and historic ties with our neighbor to the south, mexico. the people of texas and mexico share a pride, a clear majority of our communities believe that the close ties between texas and mexico, culture, economic, linguistic benefit both texas and mexico. the destruction of the quote, this big, fat, beautiful wall, to quote president trump, along a 2,000-mile long u.s.-mexico border would not only be unnecessary but harmful to our
natural and wildlife habitats and become a symbol of spite and division at mexico and its people. much of the border between the united states and mexico is already separated by the rio grande river. a clear natural obstacle between the two countries. high traffic areas along our southern border are further separated by over 650 miles of pedestrian and vehicle fencing currently on the border. congress has provided the department of homeland security with robust funding since the department's creation to sharply increase the number of border patrol officers including aerial drones along the border. as a result, these substantial investments by the american people, the number of immigrants without authorization has steadied declined while the number of border apprehensions are near a 40-year low. the $1.6 billion taxpayers included in this legislation for the president's border wall should be directed for genuine needs like expanding education
opportunities for our children, rebuilding our nation's aging infrastructure. i ask my colleagues if given the opportunity to amend the legislation before this chamber to remove the border wall funding. otherwise i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in opposing the minibus appropriations bill. and i yield back my time. . the chair: the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i reserve and i would like to take the balance of my time to make some closing comments. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. chairman, in closing, i want to reiterate is a departure from regular order, wastes $1.6 billion on trump's border wall and uses fraudulent defense numbers, guts clean energy, includes poison pill
riders, leaves the remaining spending bills with no path forward. i urge my colleagues to vote know. and no. and i yield back. he chair: the gentlelady yields. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i thank the staff. while we may disagree strongly n some issues, our committee works in a very bipartisan way to get our bills across the finish line and to all the members of the committee and remarkable staff and ranking member, thank you for the a.m.icable way all of us conduct business as part of the history and tradition of our committee. i would be happy to yield. mrs. lowey: i thank the chairman. i think i closed prematurely without thanking you for your leadership.
it's been a pleasure working with you and i do hope that as we move the process forward, we will be able to have a final product that we can all be very proud of. so thank you again. you have been a very delightful person to work with and i thank the chair and my staff that has been so hardworking and so cooperative. we couldn't do this without cooperation from both sides of the aisle. mr. frelinghuysen: i would remind the house that just yesterday, we voted overwhelmingly in a bipartisan way to impose tough new sanctions on three agressor nations, russia, iran and north korea. each pose their unique threats to our vital interests, their neighbors and to global stability. what little in history would predict that sanctions would change the maligned behavior of
these three regimes. we need to get this bill across the finish line, to guarantee that our military is always prepared to meet any threat from anyone anywhere, whether it be china and the pacific and terrorist groups like al qaeda, isis, hezbollah, hamas and transnational drug smugglers and criminal gangs. mr. chairman, i repeat, congress' most important constitutional duty is to provide for the common defense this appropriations package before us allows us to meet that
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