tv U.S. House of Representatives House Debate on National Parks Funding CSPAN January 11, 2019 8:04pm-8:32pm EST
lot in life. that does not seem the reality now, and that is a profoundly disappointing thing, at least for me. >> watch "book tv" this week and on c-span2. house 21 of the shutdown, debated a bill to reopen parts of the federal government, including operations for national parks and funding for the epa. there is the last portion of that debate. mr. joyce: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the distinguished gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. joyce: mr. speaker, i rise today to highlight some of my concerns with h.r. 266. as a representative from the great state of ohio, i know how important it is to have programs to ensure we're protecting our natural resources and preserving them for future generations. one of the greatest natural resources and economic powerhouses we have in the united states and for the world, that matter, is the great lakes system, which is in my district -- which my
district is lucky enough to have a portion have. the lakes provide more than 45 million people with drinking water. they support more than 3,500 species of plants and animals. studies have shown 1.5 million jobs are directly connected to these five lakes generating $62 billion in wages. that's why i fought so long and so hard for the great lakes restoration initiative. as members of this house, we have a responsibility to properly represent the people who sent us here to fight for their priorities and needs. unfortunately, this bill is falling far short of fulfilling that responsibility. the fact is there is bipartisan, bicameral report language that would not go into effect if the bill before us goes into law. it reduces the growth of harmal algal bloom that have been a concern nationwide. affected lgal bloom
people in toledo ohio. it would not help preventing and controlling harmful algal bloom. it doesn't help urban and rural communities control nutrients in their watershed. it doesn't include language about working to understand the risks of exposure to toxins that result from harmful algal blooms. these toxins can come through our drinking water and can be extremely harmful to humans. in the end this bill does not include the priorities many members have fought for for their constituents. it does not include language that supports programs that impact ohio as well as many other states across the country. i cannot in good faith support legislation that does not treat our great lakes as the national treasure they are or invest in them to the fullest extent. please stand with me today in sending a message to protect our great lakes. i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill in its current form. we can do much better than this. we as members of the house must not abdicate our responsibility to craft these spending bills in the best interest of our constituents. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from minnesota is recognized. i mccollum: mr. speaker, also hail from the great lakes state and the funding in the senate bill and the house bill for the great lakes was identical. so at least in this portion of the funding, it was equal for both the house and the senate. with that, mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. huffman, a member of the house natural resources committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. huffman: i thank the gentlelady for yielding, and i rise today in support of this bill to reopen our national parks and end the trump shutdown. over the last three weeks, the conditions in our national parks have reached unacceptable and unsafe levels as park employees are furloughed without pay and forced to keep quiet about the ongoing damage.
here's what some of it looks like. dirty diapers, coffee cups, burrito wrappers, that's just the start of what congresswoman jackie speier and i saw this past weekend as we joined volunteers for a trash cleanup it the golden gate national recreation area, which we both represent. it took us a few minutes to bags wo 32-gallon trash to fill with waste. is that the idea, mr. trump, the backup plan, to have our parks and park visitors and our professional park staff pay for the wall? you said mexico would pay for. and, mr. speaker, the damage from the trump shutdown does not end there. i have more than 24 federally recognized tribes in my district. each of these communities faces serious financial insecurity as a result of this shutdown. i refuse to stand by as indian country suffers, as our
national parks suffer, and as millions of americans suffer so that donald trump can pretend he's building a medieval border wall. we need the house and senate to pass the interior aprops bill. we need the president to sign it, to prevent further degradation of our public lands. this government does not belong to donald trump. it belongs to the american people and it's time to reopen the government. i urge a yes vote and yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentlewoman from minnesota reserves. members are reminded to refrain from -- are reminded to direct their comments and remarks to the chair. the gentleman from california, mr. calvert, is recognized. mr. calvert: mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from the great state of utah, mr. stewart. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. stewart: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to begin by stating the obvious, if i could, and my democratic colleagues call this a compromise. this bill is a lot of things
but a compromise it is not. it takes away everything we have done for the last year, everything we have done for the last year and, poof, it's gone. it throws it away. there's an old saying in the house, it's not the opposing party that's the enemy, it's the senate. in is great illustration of this. as a member of the appropriations committee it pains me that my friends across the aisle have effectively removed my constituents from the process by just accepting the senate bill. every member of the house and our constituents have been silenced in this. we are not represented at all. and not only is the democratic majority ignored this body's role in creating this budget, they are throwing away hundreds of hours of hearings, of markup, of floor time. again, as we are fighting for our constituents, we passed a bill. the house has done our work. let me say it again. the house has done our work. if this was a serious effort by our friends on the other side to open up the government, they would pass our house bill
again. it would go to the senate and we would reconcile these two bills. let's consider some of the things that have been thrown way, poof, magically gone in smoke, money for our indian brothers and sisters, including for hospital staffing, money for road maintenance so children can go to school, money for our national parks for deferred maintenance. the list goes on and on. i ran for congress because i wanted to represent my district. this bill is my district. 70% of my district is owned by the federal government. how can i just sit by and say that my constituents will have no voice, no voice in this bill or in this appropriations process at all? finally, my friends on the other side know these bills don't stand a chance of actually becoming law. they know that. the senate won't take these up. the president has said he won't sign it. if you want to talk compromise, then let's actually try to do that. let us take where we are, let
us take where the senate is, try to bring them together. that, my friend, is compromise. and with that regretfully i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from minnesota is recognized. ms. mccollum: thank you, mr. chair. once again, i am sorely disappointed when before the end of december, before the new congress came into being, some of the suggestions here to move forward with conference committee reports, to bring them to the floor, to work with the president, now that we have the new congress sworn in, for the president to say, you know, you get those conference committee reports going, we'll do a continuing resolution to keep government open, we'll negotiate the homeland security bill off to the side but there's silence. there's no commitment. quite frankly, i don't know if the president would change his mind again if he would agree to
that. with that, mr. speaker, i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from washington, a member of the appropriations subcommittee who serves on the secretary of the interior committee, mr. kilmer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kilmer: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i rise in strong support of this bill, which will restore funding for the department of interior, for the forest service and for the environmental protection agency because it's simply wrong for federal workers to be held hostage. it's wrong for people who de pend on these agencies to be held hostage as they negotiate a tactic on a completely unrelated policy issue. the renal i represent has more than 600,000 -- the region i represent has more than 600,000 acres of national forest. it's home to olympia national park and it overlooks the iconic puget sound so i'm speaking on behalf of the hundreds of federal workers who protect and manage these natural resources, from park rangers to timber sales
specialists to water quality monitors who've gone unpaid for almost three weeks. this isn't just about those federal workers who lost their pay. i'm also here to speak on behalf of the communities that depend on these federal resources. gateway communities like my hometown where i grew up, port angeles, washington, where the economy depends on park visitors who come in and eat at local restaurants, stay in local hotelses, gas up their car -- hotels, gas up their car. remote towns like forks who need resources to help with roads. and those that support the local indian health clinics and cities like tacoma that trust the environmental protection agency to protect the quality of their air and their water. congress should end this shutdown now so that federal workers can receive the pay
that they've earned for serving us and so that our communities can again count on the government to provide taxpayers with the services that they fund, services that belong to everyone in this country. this bill is a responsible way forward. it has already passed the senate with the support of 92 senators including majority leader mcconnell. congress should not wait another day to pass this bill and reopen these agencies so i urge my colleagues to vote yes and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentlewoman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. calvert: thank you, mr. speaker. i may point out to my friend from the state of washington the earthquake warning system we both worked on is below the house number by $9.4 million. and so that's unfortunate. mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to the gentleman from arkansas, mr. westerman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. westerman: i would like to thank the gentleman from california for yielding and for his hard work in putting together an appropriations
product of the house which is a far cry from what this bill is. it's not a product of the house. it's more like something you would get from the bill of the month club. it has none of the house priorities that have been debated here. mr. speaker, i would like to think about the number 85. 85 people perished in the campfire last year in california. the blaze destroyed an entire community, burned 14,000 homes, and left hundreds of other americans injured or homeless. adding to that, the campfire was just one of thousands of blazes that burned nine million acres across the country last year. let's face the facts. more and more americans are living closer to our nation's forests. these forests are becoming thicker, drier, and overstocked with flammable materials. when the temperatures rise and the arid winds blow, we have
seen firsthand how these unhealthy forests become objects of mass destruction. the u.s. forest service now estimates that there are at least 43 million homes in the wildland urban interface, that's the part of our country where forests an communities intersect. this is a major increase from the 31 million homes that were located there less than 20 years ago. meanwhile, millions of acres of public land are at a high or severe risk of wildfire. like paradise, california, some of these acres directly threaten the communities and the americans that live nearby. mr. speaker, the notion that congress would lower the level of hazardous fuels reduction in the wake of all this is outrageous. at a base level, the government must protect its citizens and the hernandez fuels reduction fuels nd the hazardous reduction will do this. however, this version of the interior appropriations bill drops $21 million out of the
hazardous fuels reduction account. mr. speaker, we should be investing more on hazardous fuels reduction and sound forest management, not less. forest management is the essential component to protecting americans who live next to our nation's forests. again, forests which are getting drier and deadlier with each passing year. further, hazardous fuels reduction leads to all sorts of environmental and economic benefits. in addition to protecting american lives, proper forest management leads to cleaner water, more rural jobs and less carbon in the atmosphere. i am all for fiscal soundness, but, mr. speaker, cutting the hazardous fuels money is illogical. it's like saying, we prefer a pound of cure over an ounce of prevention. while we may save money upfront, the american people are going to have to pay more over the long term as taxpayers foot the bill to put out these blazes and property owners have their homes and assets
incinerated. in closing, we should be investing in protecting americans' lives and property and being good stewards of our environment, lowering the hazardous fuels reduction account accomplishes the exact opposite. failing the thousands of americans who live and around our forests. thank you and i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from minnesota. . ms. mccollum: i think the gentleman and the chair would both be concerned and i quote from president trump, one of his tweets. billions of dollars are sent to the state of california forest fires that with proper forest management would never happen. unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, i have ordered fema to send no more money. it is a disgraceful situation, lives mbs and money. mr. chair -- lives and money, mr. chair, the gentleman who just spoke and the president, i would like to note that the bill that we will pass today,
hopefully, shortly, will provide $1.76 million more than house republicans passed last year for the department of interior wild land fire management and $226 million more for the u.s. forest service for wild land fire and management. mr. chair, i think we should all grieve for loss of life and loss of property for those who have been impacted by our wild land fires. mr. speaker, i would like to yield five minutes to the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, the chair of the house natural resources committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to the chair of the subcommittee, representative mccollum. i rise today to add my voice of support for the interior appropriations bill to fund the government. trump's ongoing government shutdown has damaged our economy, our national parks, and our public lands. this is not an inevitable outcome, this damage that we
see. this is directly a a republican inflicted damage. trump and his enablers seem happy to let this shut down slow our economy, hurt underian country, and put our national parks and public lands at risk indefinitely. it shouldn't be hard for our republican colleagues to choose between funding normal government operations or continue to make people suffer for the trump ego and obsession. this bill is nearly identical to the legislation that already passed the senate 92-6. it he reopens vital agencies and returns our national parks to normal business. this means we can clean up the trash and repair the damage that has been done through this shut down. opposing this bill encan courages trump to keep holding americans hostage to his elusional demands. ms. mccollum: would the gentleman yield for a question?
as you know, mr. chairman, i feel as strongly as you do about the health and protection of our public lands. in your view as chairman of the committee that oversees the interior department, is the administration protecting the quality of our public lands during this shut down? i yield back. mr. grijalva: thank you. the administration has done -- has not done enough to protect public safety or the quality of our public lands during this shut down. new roads have been bulldozed through protected land in joshua tree national park because that was not there to prevent it. hikers have been injured and rely on volunteers to carry them to safety. we all heard about the trash piling up at precious sites across this country. every day we see more damage to our public lands. and that involves also the vandalism and looting on protected areas, cultural resources, and historic resources in our public lands
and parks. i haven't seen any serious willingness from the administration to end this shut down and get back to normal operations. ironically the permitting for gas, oil, mining continues unabated at the expense of the public, taxpayers, and employees and of course our public lands and parks. the permitting process for -- in the refuge and other parts of new mexico and oklahoma continues unabated. that is one part of this shut down that was not affected at all. ms. mccollum: would the gentleman yield once more? i agree with my colleague that this administration when it comes to our public lands is making matters worse not better by choosing to keep some parks open during the trump shut down. this political attempt to minimize the consequences of the shut down will only result in further damage to our national treasures and place the safety of visitors at risk. using funds from fee collection to provide operations to support the parks hurts the parks in two ways.
this small funding stream cannot replace the $2.5 million that we provide for park operations each year that ensures the safety of visitors, maintains clean and orderly park operations, and safeguards park's assets. redirecting these funds away from their intended purposes delays the capital improvements needed to sustain our parks for our future. because of this, i join you, i join you in urging the president to slows the parks for the remainder of this trump shut down or better yet, sign this bill into law so that our parks can open fully and safely. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. i'm very grateful to my friend for her leadership on this issue, the tireless efforts of the appropriations chair. and smoker pelosi. -- speaker pelosi. they are working for people to fund and reopen this government and on behalf of people. i make one particular note. while the harm to our parks has been noted, the damage to
indian country is less documented and in many cases much more personal and devastating. according to a january 1 "new york times" report, the shut down has trapped members of navajo nation in their homes due to unplowed roads. and has put many tribal members and their families in severe economic stress. law enforcement officers continue working without pay because they are federal employees. similar scenarios are reported and playing out in tribal land across this nation. the national council of urban indian health found that 62% of their urban indian health centers will need to cancel programs or cease offering services if the shut down continues. that process has already begun. today i launched an online tool for americans to share their stories of how the trump shut down impacts their lives. i ask them to share their experiences being furloughed, forced to work without pay, and turned away from visiting public lands and denied essential services.
trump and his supporters need to listen to these stories. i encourage everyone to speak out on social media with the hash tag, my shut down story. we're hearing from my families -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. grijalva: with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentlewoman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. calvert: mr. speaker, has the right to close. i am a' the final speaker. the speaker pro tempore: that's correct, sir. mr. calvert: does the gentlelady from any additional peakers? the gentlewoman from minnesota has the right to close. miss column: i have no more sec -- ms. mccollum: i have no more speakers. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from california virginia tech. mr. calvert: i have served on the appropriations committee for a long time and i'm proud of the work that we have been able to accomplish in a bipartisan and bicameral manner which is the history of the appropriations committee.
unfortunately, the senate bill before us today forces us to choose between abdicating our constitutional obligations and underfunding important programs in a way that's unacceptable to me and my constituents. i'm afraid this is a a bad precedent and i hope this does not happen in the future that we just accept whatever the senate determines is the proper path forward. i'm just hardened by the democrats' closed process. it throws our bipartisan house priorities and will neither secure our borders nor reopen the government. rather than passing bills to score political points, i urge my friends on the other side of the aisle to work with us to find a solution that reflects the will of the house, will pass in the senate, and will be signed by the president. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from minnesota is recognized.
ms. mccollum: mr. chair, before i do my closing remarks i have two articles which i would like to insert in the record dealing with the administration's illegal use of taking fees to keep our parks and refuges open. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. mccollum: thank you, mr. chairman. responsibility funding the government is one of congress' most important duties. republicans failed to meet this obligation and they have allowed president trump to pedal chaos. the trump shut down is creating uncertainty for families, businesses, and communities more than 800,000 employees are not getting paid today. and for that i am deeply heart sick. vital services are being disrupted. small businesses are being forced to lay off employees, but democrats are ready to end the trump shut down. the interior bill has already received bipartisan support from the senate, so after this house bill passes, senate republicans will have a a
choice. pass their own bill end the shut down or reject it and keep the government closed. on monday, the national governors association sent a letter, and i quote from it, mr. speaker, a federal government shut down should not be a negotiating contact. end of quote. i agree with the governors. i'm sure that federal employees whose paychecks are being withheld today feel the same way. i urge my colleagues on both produced and would actually serve the american people better than this piece of >> the house passed the bill. the majority leader sent the body will not consider legislation that does not include border funding. also today, the house debated a senate passed major which requires federal workers who have been furloughed during the current partial shutdown be
now they approach this day on having moved from paycheck to no check. employees 00 fellow ill not receive their first paycheck of this new year. tear lifting us up as a nation should not be held hostage to olitics as a result. 380,000 federal employees have been furloughed and locked out of their offices. another 420,000 federal employees, hardworking employees working without pay. we will see them at our airports. we'll see them working today