tv House Rules Committee Meets to Consider Spending Bills CSPAN September 6, 2017 2:08pm-4:09pm EDT
compared to a state-based approach? >> thank you for the question. and i will try to pronounce insurance correctly. but i am from the south, so i don't have any guarantees there. i will say the federal reinsurance program has a benefit for states like mine that may not have the ability to up front the seed money to get our own program started everyone in the 1332 waiver process. >> you can ask me whatever you want to, betty. that's great. we are -- welcome to rules committee. we are continuing the conversation that we have with members, ranking members, subcommittee chairman and we are going to move our appropriations process further today. my colleagues from the democratic party have asked me to go ahead, we're in the middle of the afternoon, they know what's going on, they're well
represented. but some of our members are out and about. you know we're in the middle of some hearings, some things that are going on with sensitive matters. and so we're going to keep pursuing this. today we will resume amendment testimony on hr-3354, make america secure and prosperous appropriations act 2018. the committee will be taking general testimony on the commerce, justice, science and related agencies division, financial services and general government division, the interior environment and related agencies division, and the labor, health and human services education and related agencies division of the bill. once again, if you're planning to offer an amendment, this message is for members in
offices that may be listening this time if you're planning on offering any amendment testimony to divisions a, c, d or f, we will be taking that testimony following these first two panels, which will be introducing their product then subject to amendment. members are advised that they can also submit testimony. we're not requesting everyone come here. we are requesting that if you would wish your testimony to be included into the record, it needs to be given here at the rules committee or to the ranking member and her staff. republicans to the front office. so without anything further adieu, i do want to welcome you. we're delighted that you're here, chairman calvert, ranking member mccullum, to testify as well as chairman john colberson
from houston, texas. yesterday we spent the appropriate amount of time acknowledging not only the sacrifice, the bravery, the working together all groups of people saving lives and taking care of children and elderly people and those in harm's way, but we also offered hastings a happy 81st birthday yesterday. so you're a day late, but not a dollar short. you'll have a chance to tell alsi happy birthday. but we spent time yesterday to acknowledge that. as a member of that houston community, i'm a member of suburb of dallas, we want to do our part in dallas to take care of people in houston. and most sincerely we appreciate
and respect all the people there and what they're going through. so we're going to also have joe sorano who saw me this morning reminded me he'd be here at 2:00 to testify on the commerce, justice, science and other related agencies of the bill. so thank you to each of you for being here. without objection anything you have in writing will be entered into the record. and before we go any further, i want to ask the gentleman from florida if he would choose to have any opening statement or comment. you are recognized. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. and thank you for the birthday greeting both yesterday and today. just another day older and deeper in debt, that's all. in my view, mr. chairman, the bill before us i'm delighted the witnesses that are here, all of them are people i have great respect for and i recognize
their hard work, but i do believe that this bill blindly ignores all sound science and would place the health, safety and livelihoods of the american people at risk by slashing critical environmental protection agency and interior department funding for climate change and environmental enforcement. ideological policy writers also continue this narrative by admiring the administration's ability if it were willing to keep our air and land, water clean and protect threaten species. on yesterday, mr. chairman, i did point out the real irony and richness of the fact that the national oceanic and atmospheric administration is being funded
less, and mr. sorano and ms. lloyd pointed out to us the significance of that. at the time all of this was prepared, i'm sure harvey wasn't in their eyesights. and i'm sure that the hurricane that's looming out there, irma, was not a part of the consideration. hopefully we will have some amendment coming to assist in reality. mr. chairman, over the break i visited one of the lead facilities in this country on ocean policy. and i don't think it makes good sense to prohibit funds to implement the national ocean policy. impeding local work, which i believe is benefitting the ocean economy, safety, security and ocean and coastal resilience.
and a lot of the focus that i have had since i'm in congress deals with coral. and former senator kirk and i when he was in the house, we had successful legislation that addressed that subject. it's critical, in my view. so i hope some of the short-sidedness is taken up by amendments by republicans and democrats to correct some of that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> chair hastings, thank you so much for your comments. the person to address that would be mr. colberson. plr mr. colberson is very aware of and by the way the country is also now aware of the two other storms that are progressing towards potentially your home state and other east coast
states. and we -- i believe you saw us address that this morning with a little bit more money than what we said we'd do just three days ago. so it does -- a day does matter. knowledge does matter. and now that we know what we know, you're going to get a chance to ask those questions -- the opportunity to advise mr. colberson gives him a chance to be prepared too. judge, thank you very much. okay. panel, we have spent a good bit of time yesterday and last night, we are interested in a number of issues. but your presentation about the way you see the world in what you've done, your product to support that is why you're here today. and quite honestly we respect and appreciate the hard work that you do day in and day out. i think people recognize that we're up here late hours and
long hours. you have been too. and your product and your performance to your satisfaction is important. mr. calvert, start with you. you are recognized. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. as reported by the appropriations committee the fiscal year 2018 interior and environment bill is funded at $31.456 billion which is $824 billion below the fiscal year of 2016 enacted level and $4.3 billion above the budget request. this legislation makes a concerted effort to prioritize critical needs within our reduced allocation while also addressing specific interests and concerns brought to our attention through 5,200 member requests. in the interest of time i won't outline all the programs and activities funded in this bill, but i would like to point out a few highlights. the committee has provided robust wild land fire funding in this bill. fire suppression accounts are again fully funded at the
ten-year average level. and the bill increases funding for hazardous fuel reduction. the bill funds the payments in lieu of taxes program at fiscal year 2017 enacted level. rural counties in 49 of the 50 states rely on these funds to make up for lost tax revenue. overall funding for epa is reduced by $534 million or 6.5% from last year. the bill continues to invest in water infrastructure and cleaning up contaminated land. these programs help create jobs and spur economic development in communities across the country. this legislation provides $5 billion worth of investment in water infrastructure through funding through the wifia program and the clean water and drinking water revolving loan funds. this bill provides increases to accelerate the clean up of contaminated superfund and brown field sites. the bill provides $2.9 billion
for the national park service and increases the construction account by $10 million and maintains increases provided last year to address longstanding park operations and deferred maintenance needs. we've also addressed a number of concerns within the fish and wildlife service accounts. the bill restores core programs and popular grant programs to fiscal 2017 enacted level. it also restores funds to combat international wildlife trafficking, protects fish hatcheries from cuts and closures, continues funding to fight evasive mussels and asian carp and reduces the backlog of species that are recovered but not yet delisted. the bill provides $275 million for the land and water conservation fund, programs that enjoy bipartisan support. the bill also makes critical investments in indian country a top priority of this committee. it honors our commitment to native americans with particular emphasis on indian health, law
enforcement, education and water settlements. i would like to thank my good friend and ranking member betty mccallum in working with me to address these and other critical needs on the bill. we are never disagreeable and continue to work together. i would also like to thank the hard work of our staff on both sides. a lot of time as you mentioned went into this. a lot of late hours, nights and weekends to get this bill before us today. mr. chairman, this is a good bill. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i'm happy to respond to any questions you or members of the rules committee may have. and happy birthday, mr. hastings. and thank you. >> mr. calvert, thank you very much. you brought your ranking member with you. she is as you are no stranger to the rules committee and she's one of our favorite when she comes up here. the gentlewoman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and good to see ranking member
slaughter and of course happy 81st, mr. hastings. [ laughter ] to the members in this room who either have direct family members or directly represent states that have been impacted by the disaster, we work together to serve all americans at their time of need. i appreciate the opportunity today to be before you to discuss division a, the fy-2018 interior environment and related agencies appropriations bill. i'd like to be clear, however, that i believe consideration of the entire bill on the house floor should be under an open rule, the traditional process for appropriating legislation is being undermined by the use of structured rules. furthermore, appropriation bill should be considered independently and not lumped together in these unwielding packages.
the omnibus bill continues down a path supporting health, safety and the well being of the american people, the important programs in the interior environment bill suffer from a low 302b allocation which is di vised by the majority in a process that was neither open nor transparent. the subcommittee's allocation is $824 million less than last year's enactive level. a cut of this magnitude shortchanges the protections of our nation's natural and cultural resources and has real consequences for american families and communities. adequate funding for the interior environment division is at a critical time when the trump administration is attacking science behind climate change, rolling back regulations to protect clean air and water and even halting health studies that examine whether some mining practices harm nearby communities. we are at a defining moment in history.
our actions to combat climate change now will impact the world that we pass onto our children and grandchildren. we cannot afford to disregard the overwhelming scientific evidence that the planet's warming. sea levels are rising and glaciers are melting. last month i witnessed firsthand at glacier marbnational mark in montana, receding with just 25 remaining in a landscape that once held 150 glaciers. across the west including glacier, the frequency and intensity of wildfires continue to worsen. in fact, this last week wildfire destroyed one of the park's historic chalets. we've all seen the destruction inflicted by hurricane harvey. as the waters recede, the environmental protection agency will play a key role in keeping americans safe. once again we are reminded about the daily importance that environmental protections have on our lives.
as members of congress, we must meet our responsibility to adequately fund the epa so it can carry out its mission. and this bill does not do that. the majority has chosen to slash funding to the environmental protection agency by $534 million, the epa is shouldering 65% of the overall cut to the subcommittee. the epa protects human health, safety and insures clean air and clean water for all of us. this agency's budget is already $2.2 billion below fy-'10 levels. and it is simply irresponsible to cut the epa any further. i also must express my concern and disappointment with partisan writers in this bill that pander to special interest at the expense of the public good. they jeopardize the protection and cover ri for vulnerable species, restrict protection of our oceans, undermine clean water and clean air safeguards
and everyone prevent the development of renewable energy. these writers do not belong in this bill. but despite my disappointment in these writers, and lack of an open floor process and a wholly inadequate allocation for the interior environment bill, i want to be clear in expressing my appreciation for the hard work of chairman calvert, his staff and the democratic staff and the work that all of our subcommittee members do together. it has been my pleasure to work on this bill. and i thank him for his open and collaborative approach. i'm particularly proud of our subcommittee's nonpartisan, and i say nonpartisan, effort to address the issues facing native americans. despite our low allocation, this bill recommends an increase of $108 million over fy-2017 enactive levels for programs critical to indian country. the health, education and safety
in tribal communities is a federal responsibility that our whole subcommittee takes very seriously and that is one very bright spot in this bill. mr. chairman, i request that when hr-3554 comes to the floor it be considered under an open rule so the house can have a thorough and formed debate on this bill. the american people deserve every consideration of federal funding and policies that affect the health of our environment and our communities and are fundamental to the legacy we leave to future generations. i want to thank you and members of the rural committee to testify on hr-3345 together. and i look forward to working to my chairman as we move forward on the floor. >> thank you very much. not only for your testimony but for your work with mr. calvert and the staff on both sides who worked very diligently. we heard the story yesterday that from the chairman and
ranking member lowe about them working together. not agreeing on everything but them finding common ground on lots of areas. and i appreciate you being here with mr. calvert to do exactly that today. mr. colberson, we're delighted you are here and the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and ranking member slaughter. i want to thank you all for the prayers and support you've offered for the people of houston and southeast texas, southwest louisiana, and for bringing the hurricane harvey relief bill so quickly to the floor. that's going to make a big difference in helping to relieve some of the suffering. >> it really does. and we need to recognize that we have puerto rico directly in that eye right now. and so as we speak about houston, or as we speak about southeast texas, louisiana, we'll have to remember florida, we'll have to remember the virgin islands, we'll have to
remember the term puerto rico, which is an american territory, which is very important to us. and our two members who are from those territories know that we have an active process involving that too. and i know you recognize that. >> absolutely. and mr. sorano, you know all the people -- >> he reminded me of this this morning. >> yes. absolutely. >> he reminded me. as if i need reminding. i do. no, no, he was talking about one of our territories. yeah. >> we thank you very much for the support. as chairman of the commerce science appropriation committee i'm here to explain the cjs bill and ask provide appropriate rule for its consideration as part of the larger appropriations package. excuse me. i spent most of the last week in
neighborhoods out in boats. >> would you like a cough drop? >> no, i'm just hoarse. it's been a rough week. >> we had john carter here yesterday and he choked his way through it. >> yeah. it's been a rough week. as you know our cgs subcommittee has diverse range of agencies responsible for combatting terrorism, mr. chairman, espionage, cyber crime, enforcing trade laws, forecasting the weather, managing fisheries, exploring space and advancing science. the cjs division of the bill, we worked together arm in arm on provides $54 billion in discretionary funding which is $2.6 billion below last year's level. we look forward to an overall agreement that we help would give us more room. thank you very much. we have on a limited occasion we have available to us because of the size of the debt and deficit we're conscious of that working hard to try to find ways to limit federal spending and balance all these priorities.
but with limited funds that we have, we have allocated our constituents very precious and hard earned tax dollars to fund priority programs while reducing funding for activities that we deem less essential to the operation of the federal government. one of our principle priorities, mr. chairman and ranking members, was law enforcement. we want to make sure the fbi is well taken care of. the fbi's been provided with $8.8 billion. it's an increase that will enable them to fight cyber crime, terrorism and espionage. and we have increased funding for federal law enforcement across the board to enhance their ability to protect the nation against violent crime, gang members, to combat human smuggling, human trafficking, unfortunately houston, texas, is a hub for human trafficking. which is a heartbreaking and our bill does everything we can to fully fund those agencies to help them fight. not only human trafficking but
opioid trafficking. i remember in our hearing when our colleague from west virginia pointed out there's one town in west virginia with 300 people in it that have been prescribed 9 million oxycodone spills. unbelievable. for 65 new immigration teams to deal with a 500,000 case backlog of immigration cases that have been waiting to be processed and handled. $22 million increase for u.s. attorneys, mr. chairman, and $88 million increase for the u.s. marshals. $98 million increase for the drug enforcement agency and a $35 million increase for alcohol, tobacco and firearms. and i especially want to say thank you to all of the federal and local and state law enforcement agencies and all the first responders that have done so much to help the people of texas and southwest louisiana in this -- with this hurricane. so we've also provided strong
funding for those local and state law enforcement programs that protect women, children and police officers including $527 million for human trafficking and to protect women against violence $72.5 million, mr. chairman, for to protect missing and exploited children. $500 million for the burn justice assistance grant program and $220 million for the state criminal alien assistance program to reimburse state and local jails and prisons for the cost of housing individuals who committed crimes and entered the country illegally. the bill provides $19.9 billion for nasa, which is a $218 million increase. nasa has had too much on its plate for far too long and too little money to do it. so we've done our best together, working arm in arm, with the subcommittee to make sure that the american space program is the best on earth and will ensure that the united states continues to lead not only in space exploration and technology but aeronautics research and
discovery in space and science. the bill provides for the development of the space launch system that will send american astronauts beyond low earth orbit in the o rien crew vehicle. the bill does not adopt cut to the national science foundation. we've protected investment in basic scientific research which is so essential to our nation's security and economic growth. and we made sure that in order to however live within our allocation we had to reduce funding in some areas. we've eliminated programs that are no longer necessary or not critical to the operations of the federal government. and we also froze reduced funding for several agencies and programs that can operate with a little less. finally, mr. chairman, the bill continues protections for americans second amendment constitutional rights. we have also continued language
from previous bills to prohibit the transfer of housing of prisoners at guantanamo bay into the united states. i'm happy to answer any questions you or the committee may have. thank you, mr. chairman. >> chairman, thank you very much. mr. sorano, we're glad you're here. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. at the expense of being repetitious, let me just tell my chairman, that our prayers and our thoughts were with you during that period. >> thank you. >> and we are here, and i'm here to use my vote on appropriations to make sure that texas, louisiana and those places are made whole again because it's the proper thing to do. >> thank you. >> it's the humane thing to do. and one, mr. chairman, thought that stands in my mind is interesting. that is i was watching univision and i saw first responders from
puerto rico putting their gear together to go to texas. and now as we speak irma is putting puerto rico in a situation that could be as bad as texas. and so if there's no other reason to be good brothers and sisters, it's the fact that you never know when it's going to happen to you. >> that's so true. >> and it will. thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member slaughter and other members of the committee for the opportunity to testify before you today. as a ranking member of the commerce, justice, science appropriations subcommittee, i'm deeply disappointed to appear before you to talk about an omnibus bill rather than an individual consideration of a bill that chairman colberson and i have worked onto date. and let me say in order to make my presentation short, i didn't include a lot of what we do
agree on, programs that i knew i didn't have to fight for because he believes in them too. i want to explain why i think the bill has problems but i respect the work we did. any money comes our way between now and the senate, i know a lot of those things will be taken care of. although i strongly oppose a bill under these circumstances, i believe it is important that if this process moves forward the cgs portion of the bill be considered under an open rule. this is a traditional manner under which appropriations legislation is considered. and i think members on both sides of the aisle would strongly prefer return to regular order. with or without these process problems, the cgs portion of the bill is not one, unfortunately,
that i can support in its current form. this bill after score keeping adjustments is cut by approximately 1% below last year's level. this is far below the level needed to adequately fund the programs of this bill which are crucial to economic development, scientific innovation and protecting our nation's cherished values. for example, the legal services corporation, the cops program, the manufacturing extension partnership program and the economic administration all absorb significant cuts below current funding levels. the census bureau is greatly unfunded and will be unable to complete the important and necessary work that must be done now to prepare for the 2020 census. these are programs that have democratic and republican support and demonstrate how this bill is insufficiently funded. i'm also troubled that this bill allowed many of the
administration's most troubling priorities and initiatives related to immigration and civil rights to move forward without the necessary congressional oversight. in the wake of charlottesville there are many in this country who are justifiably questioning our president's commitment to tolerance, fairness and inclusiveness. the administration's budget request for the department of justice raises those questions as well. a proposal to harm immigrants by increasing criminal enforcement is funded in this bill. there is no attempt here to limit the department's actions to undermine affirmative action. support voter registration that would disproportionately hurt minority and ignore lgbt protections. all this might be in keeping with the president's values but these are ideas that have long been rejected by a majority of the american people. i would like to mention one
amendment which i'm offering which is number 111. this amendment would take $10 million from the program to -- to the program to allow them to provide grants to states and localities to help them investigate and prosecute hate crimes and would provide a significant signal that the federal government will not tolerate hatred and bigotry. i hope the amendment will be made in order. who i will i don't support this bill, i do support each member's right to offer amendments that they will improve the final product. and once again, i want to thank you, mr. colberson. and i want to thank all the committee members for the support you've given us in the past and for the support that you give my district and my other district the commonwealth of puerto rico. thank you. >> mr. serrano, thank you very
much. the avenues of work that you've done for years, all four of you, have played themselves out in a new administration. there are going to be some agreements and some disagreements. i get that. but i think that as i look at both of your products, i think that the daunting overriding viewpoint is you're having to do what you do with less money. you're having to make decisions, and it is and will be increasingly difficult to get the priorities correct, in line, as judge hastings i'm sure is going to have an opportunity with mr. colberson here to extract what you may not have known then but you know now and does this really reflect what
we're doing. but one thing i want to say is, mr. calvert spoke about it, i have watched both of your activities related to tribes and trying to make sure that our native americans not only in the interior package but in the basic rights and opportunities have had an outpouring of opportunities with both of you. the gentleman, mr. cole, the vice chairperson of this committee is deeply committed to that and some time ago i was with mr. calvert in 2009 in california when he was trying to work on water issues. i remember standing in a reception area with him for an hour or two trying to work through how we would address these tough issues if we were in the majority.
and mr. calvert offered wise counsel and good advice. so there may be areas where we lack in. there may be areas where we're successful in. i applaud all four of you for working on them. mr. calvert, i have spent some bit of time and lately on some issues dealing with what might be interior, which also might be agriculture, the national park service. i wanted to be a ranger when i grew up, at some point. that was either before or after i wanted to be a firefighter. as my mother would say, i didn't make it. i seemingly didn't have any ambition so i became a member of congress. but what i want you to know is that the work that you do to protect our wildlife, a way of life in the west and these issues including tribal issues,
i appreciate the struggle. >> thank you. >> mr. colberson, you and mr. serrano have a bulk of issues that have consumed my time. so i know they consumed your time. the ability within these areas of commerce, justice, state are sensitive areas. and they're areas that seemingly we've got to get right. so i will look forward to the testimony that comes behind us, will attempt to follow some bit of wisdom. the committee here including members, including even our newest committee member mrs. cheney, have definite ideas about the world and we appreciate your viewpoint and bringing it forward today. really just offer accolades. i've been through the bills very much so and know the hard work
and the tough decisions that have been made in that process. mr. burnham. >> i wanted to ask mr. colberson a question. first of all, he and i share a tremendous support for nasa. it's not just the things it does to prick the imagination of people all across the world about what our frontiers can be, but it's the concrete things nasa's done for us. and i want to congratulate you on the hard work you've done to try to get that budget in line with what it needs to be. late in the game we got an amendment to your budget -- or your bill, that would take $100 million out of nasa and put it into the byrne jacks program, not the same -- make that clear. a great program. i just wonder about where you would come down on whether it makes sense for us to take $100 million out of this work you've
done so much with regard to nasa to put in the jacks program. >> thank you, i hope we're going to have a broader budget agreement and you'll see in conference when we reach that agreement one of our top priorities will be to help the legal services corporation and to help the byrne jack program. i hope you will not make that amendment an order. i've talked to the author and he's reconsidered it because one thing we don't want to do is cut nasa's earth science program, we don't want to cut nasa's great scientific exploration program. amazing kissimmee of saturn is going to come to an end in about a week, it's going to make its final dive. we've learned not only about saturn but one of the ice moons of saturn is a worldwide ocean with a free floating ice world. that's true in the ocean world of europa. our bill contains -- this is one area we're all in agreement when it comes to nasa. our bill has funded nasa at the
highest ever had in the history of the agency because it does as you say return so much to the economy, technology, none of us would have these devices if it weren't for nasa and the work they do. in fact, it was the social media on the smartphones that saved a lot of lives in houston that people organized and used. so, yes, sir, i encourage you to i hope the rules committee will not make that amendment an order but i hope the author he's right now thinking about it and hope will withdraw it. >> i will work with you and anybody to help him solve that problem. >> nasa's something we can all get excited about. >> the gentleman that runs the marshal space flight center is from my district. and he told me that he grew up -- back we didn't have much on our beaches in alabama, on his granddaddy's beach house, which was a cinder block one story building flat roof and he would sit out there at night with no city lights around him and he would lay on the roof and look up at the stars. so as long as we've got programs
with nasa and the stuff we do with education, to try to keep young boys and girls looking up at the stars and thinking about what we can do to push out the boundaries and the frontiers that we face, the better off we are. i stand with you. >> thank you very much. >> i yield back, mr. chair. >> one of the great parts about this job is help make the dreams of the future come true and there's no one in the federal government better to do that than nasa. i'm pleased to report to you our bill contains a 52-year plan for nasa. that joe and i worked out as lays out initially a plan to discover life on another world in the oceans of europa, directs nasa to identify the nearest earth-like planet around the nearest star and find life on that nearest planet. at the same time develop an interstellar rock propulsion, go no less than 10% of the speed of light. and our bill ask launch humanity's first interstellar mission to that nearest earth like mission containing life no
later than the 100th anniversary of neil armstrong setting foot on the moon. it will be an american spacecraft that makes the first interstellar mission possible. and that's all in this bill. >> i will not be around for that, but i hope that takes place after i'm gone. i'll be one of those little things up in star dust somewhere. i won't be down here on earth. >> i think this is something we can all get behind. thank you. >> you know, one of the interesting things about space is the dramatic size of it. we have in dallas something called ross perot museum, and they put signs up all over the place which update people on facts of science. there's a billboard that said 1,300 earths would fit in the sun. i know it's 93 million miles to the sun, i know it's a long way,
but i'd never known 1,300 earths and it's these kinds of things that is about -- it's extraordinary. oh, yes, sir. >> if i may for a second, not too many of you even know or remember my commerce justice science state story but i was ranking member under rogers and i was ranking member under frank wolf. those were the days when appropriations bill stood alone and got 387 votes on the board. i know some people would think that never happened, but it used to happen. and one of the reasons i waited all these years to get back to be ranking member of this subcommittee and it worked out is because of nasa. and many people would say, well, you're from new york city, what are you worry about nasa. well, without making a bad pun, i'm one of those few americans,
or many americans who believe america is already great and what made us great is we invested money. my concern about these bills is the bills is the fact that the desire to bring down the debt and the desire to cut spending and i understand that, we may be cutting investment in the future. that's what made us great. we are great already. we just need more people to share in its greatness. but we have to be careful, who am i to preach, but we have to be careful that we don't cut to the bone and hurt what made us great. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chair. i just wanted to say i certainly do agree with your idea of open rule. that is something we haven't seen in a very long time. i appreciate what we used to do
and allowing people amendments. we haven't had one up here in a long time on our side. so we will ask for open rule but we won't get one. we are going to continue to pursue that. i think people in new york city ought to worry about everything, don't you? you said people ask you why you care about nasa? >> they worry more about -- >> we have a lot to worry about in new york. they did file suit today on daca. >> they care about everything. there is nothing more exciting than to have an astronaut visit a school. if you have ever had that experience, an astronaut comes to a school the children go crazy in a wonderful way. it's wonderful. >> you think we are going to do manned flight or do without that? >> we have in our bill fully
funded human space flight program. commercial sector we need to think of the commercial sector as a catching the cab in front of the office building. you will have multiple choices of commercial providers to take you to low earth orbit. that is fully funded. deep space, nasa will be the this era under this president will be remembered as father of interplanetary highway system. nasa should be thought of as taking us to deep space as. >> all i want is high speed rail. apparently, america does not. >> this is one of the great joys of this bill. this is something we can all agree on. >> it's really done a lot certainly to make a lot of young people want to go to be astronauts and study
engineering. and astrophysics. >> and become mathematicians. >> we have to make sure we have more jobs for them. >> nasa will help do that with technology spinoffs. >> thank you all. >> thank you. >> judge hastings. >> thank you very much. as i listened about the legacy that they spoke of president eisenhower and i-95, the interstate highway system, legacy sometimes die pretty easy in this institution. it was president nixon that did the environmental protection agen agency. somewhere along the line we are now fulfilling what may have been his vision at that point or the legacy he leaves us rightly that we should be about the
business of protection. the chairman has given me an opportunity to ask you what was a rhetorical question. i won't belabor the point in the interest of time. pretty obvious at the time you did your work you did not have in your sights hurricane harvey or irma or any other. i will repeat what i said yesterday and that is that this congre congress -- congress should be about the business of addressing disaster relief with a lot of scope rather than waiting for happenings to come along. i spoke yesterday what is the truth and that is in california there are substantial fires ongoing. in oregon, the same.
montana, the same. come summer we will have droughts. after winter we will have floods. somehow or another we hobble along. to my way of thinking we should have a broader scope. i have called for the committees of jurisdiction to be the repository of disaster relief so as how we don't have to have helter-skelter approach or have politics enter into it the way that this bill has. the policy writers in here, in my view, were not necessary for us to get the things done. it makes it hard for those of us -- you spoke and mr. serano and i'm sure you have the same
views with regard to our exploration in space. let's not be unmindful that we cut nasa substantially from its program. while i agree with you about some aspect of the private business, sometimes it's hard to catch a cab depending upon who you are and where you are. so i don't know whether all of that is sound reasoning as an analogy. that said, i admire the work that you all have done with the limitations that you have and i do appreciate the fact that you had hearings. the process is important taus here. you talk about it. senator mccain recently opined about the need for congress to get back to regular order. perhaps after this session we will recognize the importance of working together no matter who
is in charge. we are going to need to do that. so, mr. chairman, i know now they know that harvey has occurred and we are about the business and rightly so of doing everything that we can and should to help the people of that region and we must be prepared for whatever happens with irma wherever it goes. and i might add, we are just midway through hurricane season. let's not forget earthquakes and other tornadoes and other things are going to happen and we seem to wait for them to happen before we do the things that may very well put us in a position to address them more meaningfully, more rapidly. >> thank you very much. words of wisdom, too. let me tell you this is not a hurricane to take lightly.
mr. collins. >> i just want to thank you for your testimony. on one of the issues the fish hatchery system and the language we worked for several years now. just sometimes we think about these programs and economic impact and such as the fish hatchery and what had happened was fish and wildlife put those in lowest level for priority despite the benefits of what happens. this language we appreciate it so much for educational, environmental resources repopulating is really interesting that for every dollar that we put into that hatchery for the repopulation we get $40 actual return from new fisher men, new educational opportunities. hatcheries support a lot of different things, recreational services and in my district
which is very rural is the job and tourism creator that i think is unpatched and goes to the environmental side and being good stuards of what we have been given while balancing that need. i want to say thanks. we have worked together well on other things. i appreciate your willingness to be here. i was a child of the late '60s. that was my early childhood. when you talk about space that is something that really reacts. i tell people all the time why are we involved in this? i think there is a great commercial and public interest here. i had somebody come up to me like why do we need to be at nasa. i was just reminded that we got more than tang out of nasa. we got the internet that you love to communicate with me on and there are a lot of things that came out of that. it is always the -- a lot of stuff. so it's the idea of what is in the future.
thank you for both. i yield back. >> the gentleman from the great state of washington. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted to take first of all mr. hastings, i am a firm believer that you should celebrate a whole month whenever it is your birthday so be prepared it could be a long one. as one of the newest members of appropriations committee i want to express my appreciation for the hard work that goes on. probably the only other one i know of that spends long hours is the rules committee. both of these subcommittees have had to accept the challenge of not only investing into the future and mentioned on several occasions already, also solving problems currently faced all
with smaller amounts of money to spend doing it. i think you have done a good job of rising to that challenge. i just wanted to acknowledge all of your work and all of your committee members' work rising to that occasion. so appreciate that, mr. chairman. also, just wanted to make a comment. it's not an open system i guess by definition but certainly when you have well over 1,000 amendments that are offered and a third, a half of them likely will be accepted if not more, that's a pretty transparent process and one that allows members to fully participate in this process. i just wanted to express my appreciation for your ability to give us that opportunity. with that i yield back. >> thank you very much. occasionally we're forced into some circumstances that are not
as pleasant as others. unfortunately, all of the members of the committee have been here for some period of time and have seen some ebb and flow. while i offer an explanation and try to make it move and work, you were just forced into a circumstance where you had to hustle, also. you had to deliver a product and you did not sit around and say it will never be accepted by the senate. in fact, it is public policy in making us think about what we are doing at a time when making priorities work. but we also recognize i think mr. hastings does, too, we have to do the essentials. we have to get them right. and i think both of you represent the essentials. all four of you in both of these bills. i want to thank you very much. i would like to remind you also before you leave our awesome
stenographer would help her, enable her an opportunity to get key words down and double check her mathematics as she moves forward. i want to thank you for taking time to be with us today. >> may i point out it is important to note that the bills have been online and available to the public for full scrutiny since the month of july. we have been as transparent as we can be. we are proud of these bills and the public has had a chance to read them since july. >> in english and in spanish. >> thank you very much. >> we will now move forward. i would like to welcome panel two. chairman tom graves of georgia, ranking member is here to
testify on financial services general government division of the bill as well as our own tom cole. to testify on labor, health and human services education related agencies of the bill. we will recognize them as they come. we are delighted to have you. without objection anything in writing will be into the record. that will help our awesome stenographer. gentlemen, welcome. mr. graves, saw you this morning. i know you were fired up and prepared to be with us today. >> i thank the committee for your diligence. this has been a long process. thank you for allowing the
appropriations committee to bring all of our work product to you over the last several days if not weeks. so it's a privilege for me to present to you the fiscal year 2018 federal services financial services and general government act. i believe this is the prosperous part of make america secure and prosperous act that we are debating here in the next day or so. i will explain why that is. first this bill includes many reforms found in the choice act which has passed the house of representatives earlier this spring, you will recall. eliminating harmful dodd-frank regulations and stream lining outdated agencies and processes and reining in rogue agencies that we know are far too ramp t rampant. we will allow economies and markets to work again and restore financial freedoms that help americans earn a living and achieve their dreams. the bill invests in small businesses by providing just under $1 billion. that's with a b to the small business administration.
i want you to think about the impact that has throughout the communities and for small businesses and entrepreneur whose are getting excited and experiencing that american dream again. this would be significant funding for small business loans and particularly for our veterans programs that funnel through the sba. this bill also carries entire financial institution bankruptcy act which has passed the house in a bipartisan vote earlier. as well as irs funding kept to 2009 levels. with target investments particularly in customer service and cyber security. this is where our committee has been focussed on oversight and how the irs operates. the bill maintains our commitment to this irs oversight t. prohibits harmful regulations impacting the organizations that have been throughout the country over the last several years and prohibits targeting groups based on political beliefs or for
exercising first amendment rights and prohibits determination of church exemptions along with many other protections for our taxpayers as we were back in our districts during august. to combat the opioid crisis we have included more than $360 million for federal drug control programs like the drug courts and the drug free communities programs. it also is important to note that we carry the pro life provisions that have been customary of the past that both the house and senate have passed previously. we have expanded upon that to include the act that prohibits funds used for multistate plans that cover abortion and further we include provision that repeals district of columbia's assisted suicide measure. this bill comes in at just over $20 billion. i will point out why that is a large number. that is a five percent reduction of what we just passed here a
few months ago. it is a five percent cut just from last year. when crafting this bill we took direction straight from the members of the house of representatives with over 1,700 different requests being included. you should know this bill is a result of your interest and requests that have been bipartisan in fashion included in bipartisan amendments and was supported in our committee in a bipartisan fashion. this bill is put together with a strong focus for financial freedom. i believe this bill will make america prosperous again. the committee has worked with a number of offices to work on amendments. i thank you for your work on that and appreciate all your tough work as we bring this to the floor. i do want to thank our committee staff, subcommittee staff, office has been a heck of a
couple of months and we are delighted to bring this to you. thank you for consideration. >> thank you very much. the list as you go through it is impressive. the amount of work. i know you had joined with your colleagues to stay thank you to your staff. the appropriations staff for their hard work. >> thank you so much. it is a pleasure to be here. i want to thank members of the committee for the opportunity to testify. i want to thank the subcommittee chairman for his work on this bill and the spirited debates we have shared throughout this process not always agreeing but that is part of the democratic process. we also want to thank all of the staff involved. this is my first appearance before the committee as a ranking member. while i am pleased to be here i
do wish it was under different circumstances. this is an appropriations bill and as such should be considered under an open rule as it was as recently as just last year. we seem to have embarked on a partisan process that includes a violation of the statory budget caps. on top of that members were given a deadline to submit amendments to this committee for consideration in the middle of the august recess. i respectfully request that this committee honor the republican pledge to allow an open process that lets the will of the majority of members to avail. by abandoning the current plan under open rule the american people could be fully represented in the form of an open and transparent debate on issues of critical importance. i am further disappointed with this committee's decision to strip the bill of provisions agreed to by the appropriations committee. congressm
congressman's language which passed by a voice vote was adopted according to regular order. the provision is straightforward. it simply clarifies that daca recipients be eligible for federal employment. the section seems to have evaporated. the laeegislation before us mak no reference to it as if it never happened. but it did happen and the committee report that accompanies this bill contains additional views by the chairman that refers specifically to this language. as for the content of the bill the recommendation is 20.2 billion, a cut of 1.2 billion or six percent below the current fiscal year 2017 level. this total includes cuts to common sense programs like community development, financial institution and small business entrepreneurial development grants and rescinds previously appropriated funds for a much-needed fbi headquarters building.
this bill is carrying an 88-page authorizing bill that has no business on an appropriations spending bill. majority controls both houses of congress and is perfectly capable of moving stand alone authorizing legislation according to regular order managed by a committee of jurisdiction and subject to independent debate on the merits. this is an unnecessary approach and i hope we have the opportunity to address it as the process moves forward. unfortunately, 88 pages of the choice act is not the only partisan rider. there are too many in the bill. prevent transparency and accountability in our finance system, infringe upon ability for women to make personal health care decisions and block the district of columbia from using local funds to make local decisions. thank you and i look forward to your questions.
>> thank you very much. >> welcome. you are normally on this side. as i and other members of the committee recognize that you have an important role to play not only for this conference and the congress, but you have an important role to the agencies including the nih that you spend time not only to understand to develop their the ithinking and provide clear pathways, tom i have served with you for a number of years. i know that you serve two masters. you do a heck of a job for this conference and i am pleased to call you a colleague and given the time that he needs to explain his bill that is quite honestly in my opinion something that will last, have lasting
impact on the health of this nation. >> thank you for those exceptionally generous and gracious remarks. let me tell you, i like sitting on your side a lot better where i get to ask the questions instead of where we have to answer tough ones. it's an enormous privilege to appear before this committee. i want to certainly thank you very much for allowing me to come and testify today before the rules committee. as you suggest i am here in my capacity as chairman of the subcommittee on labor health and human services education related agencies. i am here to present the labor hhs funding bill for fiscal year 2018. the bill before us today focuses on key national priorities investing in bio medical research, find cures for diseases like alzheimer's and cancer, insuring our country is fully prepared and able to protect our citizens from disease outbreaks and bio
terrorism, continuing to support early childhood education particularly for those at risk, helping first generation college students prepare for access and complete post secondary education and continue to support people living with disabilities. the bill also preserves funding for popular programs like career and technical education, support for historically black colleges and universities, programs that help native americans, the corporation for public broadcasting and manages to do all of those things with $5.1 billion less than we had just as recently as may when we presented the budget. we live within the agreed upon budget caps and we do so by eliminating low priority or unauthorized programs in order to fund higher priority
programs. national sninstitute of health funded $1.1 billion above last year. we need to build upon the increase provided earlier this year. i view this number as a floor and not a ceiling. i am hopeful that this number can increase as the process moves forward. bio defense and preparedness programs including new funding to prevent the pandemic flu are increased. we are all aware of the terrible toll that prescription drugs taking on our nation. this bill includes another $500 million to enable states, localities and tribes to develop antiopioid initiatives focussed on prevention, education,
treatment and recovery services outlined in the 21st century cures act. head start receives $22 million increase in the bill. preschool programs continue to 250 million. child care programs receive $4 million increase. special education programs for students with disabilities are increased by $200 million which will help local school districts ease financial burden of providing specialized education 8 services. bill includes $500 million for the student support. these funds can be used flexbly by school districts across the nation where the need is in the area of counseling, computer science, instruction or teacher training. pelgrants are maintained in the bill. maximum grant of $5,920 per
student. the bill protects the most vulnerable of our nation by continuing community service programs, low income energy assistant program, meals on wheels, job training programs and programs supporting native americans, veterans and people living with disabilities. these increases and the preservation of other programs would not have been possible without a generous allocation from our full committee chairman who faced a challenging nondefense discretionary number and the difficult task of recommending allocations. i think he did a remarkable job of balancing priorities and i want to thank him personally and publicly. i will also note that this is an initial allocation, beginning of congressional funding process. i am always ready to negotiate with our friends in the senate and on the other side of the aisle. i will be looking for opportunities to enhance our priorities. as we continue down the path for fiscal year 2018.
frankly, it is my belief that at the end of the legislative process we will have a product that will win the majority of both democrats and republicans as was the case in fy '16 and fq '17. the bill promotes life by federal tax dollars being used for abortions and including provisions that ensure no tax dollars are used for research on human fetal tissue. i also want to thank the ranking members of the full and subcommittees. my fellow subcommittee members and staff i am proud of the bill we present to you. it represents a balanced approach and will benefit every american and maintain appropriate stewardship of taxpayers dollars that we have been entrusted as members of congress. i want to thank you and yield back my time.
>> thank you very much. we appreciate your hard work. first let me express thoughts and prayers for the great people of texas and louisiana who are just beginning a long road to recovery from the effects of hurricane harvey and the congress as it needs to respond expeditiously to provide disaster relief. as someone from the great state of connecticut that suffered enormously from the impact of sandy we understand what folks are going through and we are prepared to offer whatever assistance is necessary. i'm pleased to join you chairman sessions, the other members of the committee today to be here with my colleagues and with the chairman of the subcommittee on labor, health, education and
human services. i thank you for the opportunity to testify. it's interesting to note that this is the first time that labor, health and human services education bill has been considered with amendments on the floor since the 2010 appropriations cycle. unfortunately, i cannot support the bill under consideration. the combined would violate the budget control act caps triggering a sequester of $72 billion from the department of defense. i am troubled to see the labor hhs bill bearing the brunt of republican budget cuts. the overall cut to nondefense discretionary spending is $8 billion and the labor hhs bill is cut by more than $5 billion. and this cut is completely unnecessary. i will also note that when
adjusting for inflation the labor hhs bill is approximately $30 billion below the 2010 level. instead of moving this bill what we ought to be doing is to negotiate a bipartisan budget deal to lift the sequestration caps on defense and nondefense programs. i listened to secretary mattis at the hearing today talk about lifting the caps. he was talking about defense. i believe we need to do defense and nondefense then we can begin working on a bipartisan basis to draft a reasonable labor hhs bill that adequately funds the programs that support the middle class. the allocations we approve are approximately $5 billion below the non-defense level allowed under the budget control act. so the resources are available
yet the majority refuses to allocate them to the essential programs that are funded through our bill. i admit that there are a few bright spots and i strongly support the increases for nih research for emergency preparedness, special education. the modest increases in this bill are far outweighed by decimating cuts to programs that ought to be seeing increases. this bill fails our students as fundamentally anti-teacher and fails to make new investments in title i. the bill's approach pushes a dangerous and harmful agenda. it eliminates funding for title x family planning and teen pregnancy prevention program and
includes new riders that would block funding for planned parenthood and block life saving research using cells from fetal tissue. the bill cuts access to the mental health block grant and substance abuse prevention programs. the bill cuts nurses training, tobacco prevention and completely eliminates the minority hiv aids initiative. the bill hurts workers by eliminating the employment service which help nearly 6 million unemployed workers including veterans find jobs in 2015. this is a betrayal of job seekers in our economy. it eliminates grants expanding highly effective registered apprenticeship mile that connects job seekers with good paying jobs and employers are desperate to fill. it cuts from other job training programs like job corps and the dislocated worker program. why would we eliminate programs that have for so long been about
economic opportunity and a ladder to the middle class. there are other riders. this bill blocks funding for the affordable care act. it continues to prohibit funding for gun violence prevention which has had a chilling effect on gun violence research. and finally it prohibits the department of labor from insuring the financial advisers act in the best interest of their clients. in short, the funding fails to meet our country's needs and breaks our promises to women, to seniors, to students and to our workforce. we propose more than 40 amendments to strengthen and approve this bill. the majority rejected all of them. thus far 190 amendments have been submitted to the rules committee. i have submitted six amendments to the labor hhs bill including an amendment to prompt the administration to continue
important cost sharing reduction payments under the aca. the amendment would block president trump's efforts to undermine the health insurance market place for more than 10 million people. efforts he has commented on publically. i also submitted amendments to restore or provide funding to several programs in the bill including apprenticeships and i have noted that the secretary of labor has waxed eloquent on how important apprenticeship programs are. after school programs, public health emergency response and worker protection agencies. i have often heard our colleagues speak of the virtues of regular order which would be an open rule that allows for members to have a robust debate regarding programs funded through this bill. that is what we should be doing today, not trying to limit debate or trying to limit the number of amendments that are
allowed. i thank you for your time and i would be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you very much. how many amendments you entertain through your process from this body? we have a process where each member of the house can submit an online portal. our subcommittee received about 1,700 unique submissions and requests from republicans and democrats alike. we would find out where there is duplications and such. many of those are adopted in our base bill and then go to the committee process. the exact number that we dealt with in our committee i want to say was under 50 amendments were addressed in full committee. most were addressed in the base bill. and i would note to the rules committee many amendments you see resubmitted are resubmissions of amendments that
might not have passed full committee through our process you are seeing something that might have come through. >> it was open invitation for a process. >> very open process that went on many hours. our committee at time met at 16, 17-hour days consecutively to address all members' concerns. >> my answer would be very similar to my friend. we actually had over 10,000 different individual member requests. we try today accommodate quite a few of those and as many as we possibly could. we went through the same open amendment process. we had an 11-hour markup, as i recall. testament to the interest of the committee and stamina of the
members. and as i recall we entertained 45 amendments. it has been a robust and open process. >> the important part for me is that we, i believe, from the presence of the speaker through the conference granted the republican side was attempting to make your services, your opportunities available. it sounds like 1,700 or perhaps the same number for you. you extrapolate these around different bills that is a lot of feedback and creative ideas. i bet you just as i presented some to both of you that i was interested in. i think it shows the body on the
republican and democratic basis have to work and hustle to perform their duties in their career which is your committee. i want to thank you both very much for that process. star of our committee on the republican side is young man michael burgess. >> turns out i can't reach my microphone. we have been at this for a while. i'm not going to ask any additional questions. i appreciate all of you being here. we have considerable work to do this evening, mr. chairman. i think we will probably get to address some of these issues as we go through the many amendments. how many amendments did you say on your bill? >> in committee there were 45. i'm not sure. i think 190 here. there's a lot of interest in this bill. >> and there is a lot of
interest. when is the last time that we will have had a labor hhs appropriations bill on the floor of the house of representatives? >> i think the young lady said 2010. i think this is the first time since 2006 that all 12 bills in one form or another will actually reach the floor. i actually agree with a lot of comments my good friend from connecticut made in terms of process we are not very far apart on process. i appreciate her recognizing this is the first time we have been here together. i see incremental progress moving in the right direction. when we became working partners we hadn't had a full markup in the committee since 2009 i think or something like that. we have had that now for three years in a row. it has been a robust debate and negotiating process. i'm sure it will continue. >> we appreciate you doing the work and bringing it to the rules committee. we will book forward to the vote. i yield back.
>> doesn't it make you proud that this committee does its work. we get a bill up here and we just deal with it. i agree with what you said about an open rule. we really need to. that was the way appropriations bills used to be done. i sorry this didn't go through committees. it would have been nice. anyhow, just yours. it went through appropriations committee. we have other committees i think might have wanted to speak about this unless they had been muted, too. you have done some great work on this. i don't think there is question that everybody has worked hard to achieve what we've got. i think we got some good news from the president today on
this. he has agreed to agree with pelosi and chuck schumer for -- >> if i might, congress woman. this is the first time that we have been here and we have moved. i think it bears repeating with regard to labor hhs. after defense it is the largest portfolio of programming that effects the lives of every single american man, woman or child. as i noted that $30 billion below the 2010 level. so that just about every time we
engage in this process and we have engaged over the last three years, the labor hhs bill winds up in my view getting the short end of the stick. >> did you say 30 billion? >> $30 billion in cuts to labor, health, human services and education since 2010. that's because of the allocation we receive which i pointed out, the overall cut in nondefense discretionary spending is $8 billion. the labor h bill has been cut by more than $5 billion. and, in fact, is that the allocations we approve overall are approximately $5 billion below the nondefense level that
are allowed under the budget control act so that the resources are available but yet there has been a refusal to allocate to the essential programs that i believe need to be funded. >> astonishing. we will continue to try to do open rules. we can have other people have their will heard in this house of representatives and we will sit down to do that. and we are going to continue trying to get to do that. >> here, here. >> thank you all for your work. and we'll see how it works, how it turns out. >> you want to yield back time. >> i just want to thank you for the hard work. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much, mr.
chairman. mr. graves, i believe that the irs is an unwarranted whipping boy not by you but by people generally. when i was a judge i would ask people if they had prejudices. invarbly everybody would say they did not. i would say what about the irs and everybody would raise their hands. it was interesting work for me. how do we expect for them to be able to catch tax cheats if they are not properly funded? >> fair question. and i appreciate you bringing it up. one thing this committee has done is draw focus to the true role of what the internal revenue service is. it should be a servant organization. it should be one that serves the taxpayers taxpayers and assists taxpayers. we notice they have gotten a
little outside their lane and scope and then we have drawn them back and we have put more focus on taxpayers services and particularly in a lot of different whether with elderly or with various communities but that they invest in customer service and taxpayers service what we expect them to do. and i will note that this house has passed and voted on multiple years now at these funding levels and they are just down just a little bit more with a little bit more focus. this is nothing much new for them. if everyone in the room voted for this in april just the same. if i could note, this committee has done absolutely amazing work. what many thought couldn't be done because the majority in june of this year made a decision that we are going to try to get all 12 bills done before the fiscal year ends. sometimes we forget that we were doing this on the heels of
funding the government in the previous fiscal year in april in which we did come together. and it would have been possible without input of all members, republican and democrat in the house. this is by far the most open, transparent member-driven process of any committee. i know the outcomes might not be where everybody likes them to be, but there is a lot of bipartisan input into the bills. i'm proud to bring you the one that i have that includes oversight with irs. >> you claim and perhaps with currency from your perspective that the process has been open and inclusive. and at the same time buried or hidden within this appropriations bill is an authorizing bill to roll back consumer protections of dodd-frank.
yesterday i kind of really railed heavily against our colleagues who take the position that dodd-frank is all that bad. my understanding is dodd-frank was a response to enormous abuse of the citizens of this country and the immense amount of wealth just vanished by virtue of actions of those who took advantage. if you go back to the status quo, what is to stop the same people that caused us to get from doing the same thing or do you trust that they will not? >> as i stated from the on set our bill is to focus on making america prosperous again. that means you have to have capital markets that are
available and accessible in providing capital for investment and constituency. back to being an open process because there is an open process and open member input this was a request of members of the financial services committee of the house, as well, to again put in ideas that have passed through committee or passed through the house and also have jurisdiction within this piece of legislation. so we would like to talk about open process but sometimes it is so open you might not like what gets in it. this is a reflection of an open process where ideas from a diverse mindset and group of this body that is not necessarily the appropriations committee -- >> i really do appreciate the way you handled the question that i put, but you didn't answer the question that i put. and i would like to hear the answ answer. >> i appreciate your question and i am not here to debate the
merits of an initiative that was debated on the floor of the house earlier this year and was robust and i imagine will still continue. to comfort you with what is included it is choice light. it is not the full repeal of dodd-frank because quite frankly we can't fully repeal dodd-frank through this appropriations bill. the areas we could impact we did. last time i looked the -- there are other factors, banking, abuses that have taken place. a friend of mine went to an atm machine the other day and it cost them $4 to get their own money out of the bank. i continue to be concerned about fees that are out there. let me ask you didn't you vote
on the amendment and it passed out of the committee? >> let me first respond to your concerns about the irs. it needs to be said that the largest reduction this year comes from the elimination of the additional 290 million that we put in for '17 and '16 that was provided for the improvement of customer service rates to address identity theft. those are areas of concern. the fact is the choice act mini or not still repeals most of dodd-frank and that is absolutely critical. i think it's fair to ask, have somebody say to us and answer where did that amendment go because if amendments if passed under regular order can disappear without a word or a
whisper, what else can be taken out? i understand if you pass an amendment. >> i wanted to ask you to elucidate what it is because we are saying that i'm not sure that public understands what the amendment was. >> it affords opportunities for dreamers to have a career in public service that they can work as interns and employers, employees of the federal government which is an absolute path to where we want folks to go. we encourage public service but are telling dreamers and i would like to think that we will move forward in a positive way with daca that you will have choices not one that i think john f. kennedy eluded to. he was referencing this. we are stripping that away, unfortunately. >> if the gentleman will yield let me be specific about the
ague lar amendment, a bipartisan amendment that would have allowed dreamers to be eligible for federal employment. it was openly debated. it was adopted by a voice vote in the appropriations committee markup. a month later behind closed door whatever the process, whoever was if gauged at what levels of leadership, speaker, other leaders, disappeared. this disappeared. this is not the first time that we have seen a bipartisan provision stripped from an appropriations bill without any debate or without a vote. let me give you another example. in july as we all remember republican leadership pulled representative aumf amendment from the security mini bus. so no debate, no vote, all of a sudden disappeared into the
night. >> thank you. now i don't need to give you all of the that you rightly deserve. you know my respect for you. i am curious and i know you and i know and all the members of this body do, that there is a finite amount of resources. but for something as critical that all of us are talking about in regards of opiate problems, we wind up with $300 million being cut from that particular portfolio. was there some way that we could have if there was one we could have increased or rather than
cut in mental health. i know you know. i know i know. and murphy, our colleague from pennsylvania has been railing on this. i have spent a considerable amount of time, countless other members on the epidemic that exists. and yet we wind up with a cut. so it is on the one hand we need to do it. on the other hand we can't do it. but then we can do some other things that doesn't seem to make sense to me. >> i think that is a great question, my friend. let me begin by saying we do have $5 billion left. it was going to be less money someplace. and second, frankly i know going forward that that number probably will be a moving target. i think if you get to a bipartisan compromise my expectation is we may have more money. we also wanted to continue marking up some things in here that everybody likes m.
those are great programs goes to every school sdribldistrict and have been the leaders in fighting on that the last two years because we didn't have an administration or senate that wanted to do any increase. we got substantial increases both years. >> and the other -- >> we didn't cut pell grants. the maximum grants they were running a surplus in pell grants that is more money coming in than going out. >> you did make investments in title one. >> i look at this just to put all of my cards on the table as opening position in a negotiation. one of our challenges and i was
talking to our good friend mr. burgess about this. i voted for the cures act and most of us did. very good piece of legislation. if you give me a whole slew of new programs that you authorized and take $5 billion away from me at the same time and say meet these authorizations i can't do that. then you in a game of robbing peter to pay paul and there is always some of that in there. i will give you this commitment. these programs that you are focussed on i think are really important programs. as we go forward and my ranking member and i and our counter parts in the senate were able to do this last year. we started looking for places where can we go back? where were the cuts that we made that we would prefer not to have made? where are places that the increases we didn't even like to go further. we have been able to dothat the last years. i can't give you certainty. all i can tell you is the track record has been pretty good and we will continue to try to work.
at the end of the day while we always have our disagreements it has been interesting to me when we have gotten to the final deal we have all been on the same side. so that suggests that we do know how to work the things to find common ground and we will continue to try to work in that fashion. >> i know she is chomping at the bit. >> i mean, the chairman and i have worked together and he knows my views on these issues. but i go back to something that is fundamental. we have busted the cap on defense. that is a decision that was made. where is nondefense? not only have we -- and what that will trigger which no one seems to want to address in any way and i think the people very interested in defense wherever it comes whether in defense, whether it becomes in homeland security or in other areas, this
triggers sequester. $72 billion in cuts. so if you care about these issues then you are going to look at what has look at what's been done and say, my god, what have we brought here? i don't make this up. real. then on the nondefense side we did not address the issue and go to the amount that we were allocated. $5 billion short. so you talk about cutting samhsa which is $300 million and we know, and i know the chairman knows there is a connection between opioids and mental health. we know it, and you start the programs that we have now classified as a nation and as a
national emergency and we starve those programs that can do the most good and there are also other areas. >> i'll reclaim my time in the interest of time so that we can go and vote. i said yesterday and i repeat here, what we are doing is a chaotic process inside all of this stuff right here that people have read and are going to read. one day the light will shine on them and the process that we are undertaking will call us to know there are things within it that are harmful. i appreciate my friend saying it is an opening round of negotiation, but somewhere along the lines, everybody in this body needs to understand one thing. we are afraid to use the word tax reform and lose tax cuts and none of us say what needs to be said.
we need a sensible tax policy that includes the necessary increases from those who can afford those increases in order to be able to pay for these things. it's called shared sacrifice. we haven't been doing it, and we've been giving the people at the top everything that they need and more and we've been dumping on the middle class and the poor. if we continue down that path we do so at our peril. >> would you yield to me? >> yes. >> you asked the most interesting question i think here today, what happened to banks when dodd frank is gone and the same people who are in charge of them? does anybody want to take a stab at what you think of that? so it had to be one of you two. you're going to take away dodd frank. the same people pretty much in charge of those banks and you take away every restraint on there and i know there's something left there and i don't know exactly what. quigley indicates not much. am i right about that?
okay. why do you think they're not going to do that again? they got away with it fine. nobody went to jail. it was a perfect thing. it was the robbery of the century. >> it's called laughing all of the way to the bank. >> if you own the bank. >> what do you think? >> the gentleman yields back his time and touch, i will remind us. >> you cut me off. i was waiting for an answer. [ inaudible ] >> i'm used to that. >> what is the answer? >> did you say the time? >> the gentlewoman is given time. >> thank you. >> yes, ma'am. >> what will prevent the banks when we take away the restraint and the consumer federation for it? >> the goal of the choice act and -- forgive me for -- >> forgive me for trying to advocate on behalf of the chairman of financial services,
but i can tell you coming from a rural community in georgia, big banks have gotten bigger and little banks are non-existent and the goal of repealing dodd frank is to make sure that local communities and individuals have access to banks and to bank accounts, free checking and all of the different services that used to exist which might have mentioned $4 atms, but nobody said what happened to free checking? what happened to all these services that consumers used to have that today they don't have as a result of dodd frank? what has dodd frank done to help small communities? small banks, entrepreneurs? it's really done nothing. i enjoy the gentleman's approach to wall street, and i'm not really worried about how big wall street gets. i'm worried about main street and main street businesses and main street consumers that face the ill effects of dodd frank and the shutting down of community banks throughout this
country and georgia in particular, florida being another. i know you're from new york and it's different in new york, but in other parts of america, they have faced terrible, terrible effects. >> i'm from upstate new york and agricultures are in the state of new york, actually, and we have at least i have five new community banks that have started up in the last three years in my district alone, and we have no problem, and i'm sure we're in the same federal laws as everybody else's including georgia. you have new one, too? >> no. >> i have fewer banks than i had and if you go and look at the statistics on the eve of the financial crisis and they have 70 today. there's not a bank in oklahoma that had anything to do with the financial crisis. so if you want to focus the regulation where it belongs. it belongs on banks that pose a systemic threat to the system.
that's not true of the banks in our respective districts and in terms of prosecuting people, i actually agree with my friend and it was the obama administration that was in office for eight years and choechose not to prosecute and it was a democratic office and there was plenty of way to go around and i can take you to town after town, customer after customer. >> banker after banker. >> i can do the very same thing. >> if dodd frank is not hurting us as much it is in oklahoma. >> it's hurting us a lot. >> no. >> we will point out that -- >> many of the new banks you might refer to are new names and they're called receiver banks that came into buy a failing bank that was forced out of business by the fdic and dodd frank regulations that are overburdensome, but you will also talk to small banks and you say how many people does it take to oversee all of the regulation says now that you have to abide by and it's enormous the amount of individuals and they've had
to hire just to try to comply with rules and regulations that were meant to impact large banks and why have large banks gotten bigger and non-banks -- >> we have an argument here, gentleman, because we've still not answered the question and done away with it. what reason -- what do you have or what sensibility do you have that they are not going to do what they did before and wreak havoc on this country and put us into gigantic recession and people lost their homes all over this country and none of them were punished for a minute. >> obviously, if you're going to take it away, you have something --? it's been fully vetted through the financial services committee and i know the chairman sat right here at this table and i'm sure you're asking some of the same questions and maybe you're not satisfied with the answers at that time, but they're still the same. the impacts of dodd frank, and
we have a robust economy where payrolls are getting larger and that's what the goal is, and for this policy and this bill, it's because of an open process and members of the appropriations committee voted to put this in this legislation so as part of open process and in fact, was there a vote to script it all out. >> the appropriators might have said to the finance committee, we don't want to go through another one of those and you take these protections away. oh, i'm sorry. i'm holding up a vote? >>. >> i yield back. >> i wanted to make sure you had a chance. >> thank you. >> here's what we're going to do. >> mr. burn, do you have any questions? >> thank you very much. i want to thank this panel not only for your expertise and your time. mr. cole, see you back here in a few minutes and we will do this series of vote ands and we will
come back and the next group of people that will be here include the gentleman from virginia mr. goodlap and the gentleman mr. o rourke, the gentleman mr. raskin, and ms. titus. that will be the next panel when we come back subject to the call of the chair. we will be in recess. >> so the house rules committee taking a break now for a series of floor votes on proceeding to a 2018 federal spending bill, wrapping funding for eight agencies into the measure. it's designed to keep the government open past september 30th. today's rules committee meeting reviewing the education, interior, commerce and justice department budgets. yesterday the committee approved
118 amendments to the bill and the house taking those up this afternoon and late into the evening. today's rules committee is meeting is looking at those agency budgets just mentioned and a second batch of amendments to be considered by the house tomorrow. earlier today the house passed a nearly $8 billion relief package for hurricane harvey. it's been sent over to the senate. while the rules committee members are away for votes on the floor of the house, we're going to show you some of what's taken place earlier at today's meeting. the rules committee has come to order. yes, ma'am? i'm sorry? [ inaudible ]
you can ask me whatever you want to. welcome to the rules committee. we are continuing the conversation that we have with members, ranking member and subcommittee chairman and we are going to move the appropriations process further today. my colleagues from the democratic party have asked me to go ahead. we're in the middle of the afternoon and they know what's going on. they're well represented, but some of our members are out and about and we're in the middle of some hearings and some things that are going on since the matters and so we're going to keep pursuing this. today we will resume amendment testimony on hr-3354, make america secure and prosperous, appropriations act 2018. the committee will be taking
general and amendment testimony on the commerce, justice, science and related agencies division, financial services and general government division. the interior environment and related agencies division and the labor health and human services, education and related agencies division of the bill. once again, if you're planning to offer an amendment, this message is for members and offices that must be less at this time. if you're planning on offering any amendment testimony to divisions a, c, d or f, we will be taking that testimony following the first two panels which we'll be introducing their product then subject to amendment. member ps are advised that you can submit testimony and we're not requesting they come here.
we are requesting that if you wish your testimony to be included into the record it needs to be given here at the rules committee or the ranking member and her staff. republicans to the front office. so without anything further due, i do want to welcome you. we're delighted that you're here, chairman calvert and ranking member mccollum to testify on the interior and environment division of the bill as well as chairman john culverson from houston, texas. mr. culverson, yesterday we spent the appropriate amount of time acknowledging not only the sacrifice, the bravery, the working together and all groups of people on a common cause of saving lives, taking care of children and elderly people and those in harm's way, but we also offered elsy hastings a happy
81st birthday yesterday. so you're a day late, but not a dollar short. you will have a chance to take elsie happy birthday. we spent time yesterday to acknowledge that, and as a member of that houston community we want to -- i'm a suburb of houston. i live in dallas, but i want to say that we are trying to do our part in dallas to take care of people from houston and most sincerely, we appreciate and respect all of the people there and what they're going through. so we're going to also have joe serrano who saw me this morning and reminded me that he'd be here at 2:00 to testify on the commerce, justice, science and other related agencies of the bill so thank you to etch ach ou for being here and i want it on the record and before i go forward i want to ask the gentleman from florida if he
would like to have any opening statement. he are recognized. >> thank you very much and thank you for the birthday greeting both yesterday and today. another day old and deeper in debt, that's all. in my view, mr. chairman, the bill before us, i'm delighted to see the witnesses that are here. all of them are people that i have great respect for, and i recognize their hard work, but i do believe that this bill blindly ignores science and would place the health, safety and lively hood of the american people at risk by slashing critical environmental protection agency and interior department and funding for climate change and environment
allenvironmental enforcement and undermining the administration's ability by keeping the land, water and air clean and to protect threatened species. yesterday, mr. chairman, i did point out that the real irony and richness of the fact that the national oceanic and atmospheric administration is being funded less and mr. serrano and ms. lloyd pointed out to us of the significance of that at the time that all of this was prepared, i'm sure harvey wasn't in their eyesights, and i'm sure that the hurricane that is looming out there, irma, was not a part of the consideration. hopefully we will have some amendment along the way that
would assist and come into reality. also, mr. chairman, although the break, i visited one of the league facilities on ocean policy and i don't think it makes sense to prohibit firms to implement the national ocean approximately see impeding local work which i believe is benefiting the ocean economy, safety, security and ocean and coastal resilience and a lot of the focus that i have had since i'm in congress deals with coral and former senator mark corkin. when he was in the house we had successful legislation that addressed this subject. it's critical, in my view, so i hope that some of the short sightedness is taken up by amendments by republicans and
democrats or to correct some of that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> judge hastings, thank you so much for your comments. the person to address that would be mr. culverson. mr. culverson is very aware of, and by the way the country is aware of the other two storms progressing towards potentially your home state and other east coast states, and we, i believe, you saw us address that this morning with a little bit more money than what we said we'd do just three days ago. so it does -- a day does matter, knowledge does matter and now that we know what we know you'll get a chance to ask that question. i think the opportunity to advise mr. culverson gives him a chance to be