tv House Appropriations Committee Debates 2021 State Agriculture Military... CSPAN July 9, 2020 2:37pm-4:29pm EDT
this is why president trump is taking action calling strongly for law and order and peace in our streets and set the tone at the top for mayors and governors and additionally we have had 100 federal arrests and the executive order that has been enhanced in operation legend which i renounced yesterday in honor of a four -year-old boy who was tragically killed in his suite in kansas city. this is the last press briefing of the week so want to make a plea for peace in our streets because far too many children have been lost and it is important to know their names important to see their faces and we all hold in our prayer and keep close to our hearts the families of the talia wallace who was seven, my kia james, ten, a 14 -year-old, a one -year-old, lena nunez, ten, maria jones 13, devonte mcneil 11, and in atlanta that a -year-old. we have peace in our streets as
we can and hold these families in our prayers. thank you. >> back live now on capitol hill where the house appropriations committee is returning from its lunch break. they continue work on 2021 a spending bill. live coverage here on c-span2. >> mistaken at the best of times. they are unconscionable in the midst of a pandemic. i want to remind my colleagues that foodstamp spending is a powerful anti- recession tool and has previously been estimated that for each dollar spent from benefits a dollar 70 is generated in economic activity. let me say thank you again to chairman bishop, ranking member and their leadership and other areas of the bill. their strong investments to ensure the continued availability and safety of the nation food supply as well as language designed to protect the
health and safety of workers in our meatpacking plants and our poultry plants as well as the farmworkers who are out in the field every single day. i thank you very, very much that all of the attention you've paid to these critically important issues and ideals back. >> thank you. i'm proud to lead one minute, two minutes, to ms. lee. >> thank you very much. let me think our chair for your tremendous leadership in putting this bill together and also to our ranking member, mr. thornberry. it's a great investment for our rural communities and for the entire country, especially our nutrition program. let me also think the incredible staff, excuse me, were you saying something -- can you hear
me now? i want to think our incredible staff for putting this bill together and including many of all our priorities, including those in my district. as a chair mentioned this critical bill is funded a 23.98 billion, 487 million increase over fiscal 20 levels which i'm pleased to see. first, mr. chairman, thank you for the noble increases for our farmers in california and across the nation. as the only members from california on the agricultural committee i am pleased to see robust funding for the national organic program at 18 million and are specially cropped program at 198 billion. these programs help fund critical research and education and protect u.s. farmers pollination. also, mr. chairman, thank you for your work on nutrition in this bill, including 50 million
for the summer ebt program which is critical for the millions of children who go hungry during the summer because they are without regular meals. our children is program to help improve nutrition and to make sure no child goes hungry in the summer. the bill also includes 5 million to the health food 9-inch initiative and is critical program provides loans and grants financing to attract grocery stores and other fresh food retailers in low income areas. it's very important because we can help expand access to healthy food again, both in rural and in urban communities. i am so pleased to help usher in the first program running for this program and to see it included in this bill before with this increase that's in a very important step in thank you for the 20 million in this bill for the wic program which, of course, isn't increase and critical to ensure that 1.7 million recipients are
connected to healthy food and have equal access to fresh fruits and vegetables so this is an extremely important program for all our women integer throughout the country. finally, i may think the chair for including bill language that will block the able-bodied adults for the final rules in the standard utility proposed rule for these are very cruel rules proposed by the trump administration to deny access for vital fruit programs and the families in the midst of this horrific pandemic. during covid-19 we must continue to provide snap benefits for struggling families and disproportionately families of color and being hit by the coronavirus rate on top of the systemic racism and structural injustices that already confronts them. we must ease the burden on families by ensuring that they are able to provide food on the table so mr. chairman, thank you again and i look forward to seeing this bill on the floor.
>> thank you, madam chair but i would like to think the chair in the ranking member of the subcommittee and their staff or the hard work on this bill. i know it's been quite an undertaking this year as our country continues to battle coronavirus and it has impacted almost every school aspect of our lives. these vestments are now made more important than ever. i rise in support of this bill which makes frugal investments to strengthen nutrition and assistance for families and children for farmers, protect our environment and natural resources and work to guarantee the safety of our food and drugs. i would like to thank
the committee for including language for providing funding for the fda to address safety. specifically, skin lightening products targeted towards women and girls of color. these products often contain dangerous illegal levels of mercury which can lead to
serious health consequences, including damage to the kidneys, immune and nervous systems as well as skin damage. i'd also like to thank the committee for including the language requiring a secretary purdue submit all documents with the usda for abruptly canceling a study in the rainy river watershed in minnesota. the study was canceled in september 2018, 20 months into a 24 month review with nothing less than one page press release. despite repeated requests and exchanges that i've had the secretary during hearings in this committee for the past two years the forest service has not shared any of the
requested documents. this taxpayer-funded information has that been denied to congress and to the american people. under a freedom of information act request the usda released this document. it is titled page of the
environmental assessment is followed by 60 pages, 60 pages of full reactions. the administration is claiming a deliberate process privilege. that privilege applies to records that are pre- decisional. usda and the forest service has clearly made a decision when they canceled the study in 2018 and then when two federal mining leases renewed in may 2019 and in december 2019 a mining company, twin metals, submitted a plan to review for the federal government. i like to think the chair for working with the language requiring the secretary to release what we should be looking on in all these pages that are rejected. but before i close, mr. chair, i would like to comment on the food distribution program on indian reservation funded at $134 million, about $27 million
more than last year. i understand there is carryover balances from priors in the usda staff thanks it's enough to meet the full demand in 2021. the time when indian country has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus i heard from many tribal leaders about food insecurity and their concern that lower baseline for funding could have consequences for tribes that are already struggling with hunger. mr. chair, i like to work with you in the ranking member and tribal organizations to make sure that what the usda has told us that they have the funding to meet the demand in 2021 that will happen. i thank you so much for your work, mr. chair and to the ranking member. manager, i yield back. >> the speed green sinks recognition.
>> miss green is recognized. thank you, madam chair. i want to add to the many people who spoke earlier today about our wonderful chairwoman and this comes under the category of everything has been said but not everyone has said it. i want to echo the wonderful things that have already been said about you today and thank you personally for from the first day i got here and probably before being such a good friend and such a good leader and a good voice on so many issues. i'm particularly proud that it had the opportunity to serve under a female chair, female chair and ranking member bid i think we can all understand the impact that has on her daughters and granddaughters. thank you for being that female chair. and very proud to be a member of this subcommittee and want to thank the chair for the wonderful work that he did with the staff on this committee and
putting so much together at such an important time. and the ranking member, this is truly a bipartisan committee and food and agriculture for the most part is something that i think we all care deeply about and work well together but i appreciate that. couple of things that i want to highlight and some have been so but i think there are some things in this bill that really respond to the issues that have come to light because of covid-19 and the chair bishop mentioned that the huge increase to rural broadband and if there is one thing we learned in working remotely is that some of the places around the country whether urban or rural don't have access to broadband. sometimes maine is rated 49th in connectivity and 49 and speed. you can imagine how critical important this is to our schools and to our economy. continuing to work on that and treating it like we do electricity with utility is very
important. we've learned a lot about the faults in our food supply chain. evidenced by empty shelves in the supermarkets and fields being plowed under and animals slaughtered before they get to the slaughter house but it's a critical important we take a long-term look at that and it does address many of the things around workers safety in our slaughter houses and also in our fields and addresses other things that are important and increases the funding for the local agricultural program. one thing i've seen in maine and this has been happening in other countries when other states probably other countries too but when people go to a supermarket and see an empty shelf they are more likely to turn to a local or regional farmer and that's great for many of our farmers and we need to do more to support them and just for their marketing and the infrastructure that they depend on. i also want to mention the wonderful language in here about the victory garden campaign. when other phenomenons going on is that farm and garden stores
have it sold out of everything you can imagine from seedlings to potatoes and people are planting gardens in their backyard and i can't think of a better's silver lining to a horrible time to get more people doing that and supporting and at the school level. i have worked a lot in the last couple years around agricultural and climate change working harder to make sure that farmers are partners and that we support many of the conservation programs that farmers already used to help sequester more carbon in the soil and this bill supports some of those things. million dollar increase for the usda regional climate hog and support for food waste reduction which is an important thing to work on these days, composting, directing for the usda to do more with greenhouse gas and soil and research that has a particular emphasis on soil health. also, strong support for organic agriculture and asking the usda
to properly issue the rule on the organic origin which has been in limbo for far too long. i also want to mention enclosing that if the manager's amendment should pass and i appreciate the chair for including this it includes language that we have asked for to support our lobster fishermen and you may wonder why they're in an agricultural bill but the president visited maine a couple month ago learned about the challenges in our lobster industry we have been hard-hit by trade issues and even further collapse of the market right now because of many things related to covid-19 so president suggested that there could be support sense there is for agriculture and we have asked the secretary purdue to move that forward but lastly, there is support of the manager's amendment to deal with the current oversupply of fresh potatoes encouraging ams to make a purchase of those potatoes and what could be better than purchasing more maine potatoes. i note states like idaho and
their potatoes would be better but i think the idea that we could purchase more maine potatoes and move them around the country would be excellent. again, i think everyone for their hard work on the bill and the staff in my office for working with us and yield back and look forward to seeing this pass. >> i would now like to recognize [inaudible] >> thank you, madame chairwoman prayed i'd like to thank the chairwoman, ranking member, and the ranking members who put in such hard work to draft a strong agricultural bill. i want to thank the staff did an amazing job on this as well fred i'm going to take a second to express my appreciation to chairwoman lowy for her many years of service to congress and this committee. i remember sitting in your office years ago having a very warm conversation about whether or not i should be looking at
the appropriations committee and i appreciate your advice and guidance and i think it was integral to me getting here and i appreciate that. i want to say thank you and wish you the very best. in particular to the spell this is a strong bill and manager's amendment and it's strong for farmers and consumers and strong to fight poverty and hunger and i associate myself with many of the remarks made by other people about the bill, however there are a few things in particular i would like to highlight. i'd like to think chairman bishop for his leadership on this critical national importance agricultural research service bid or research that takes place at facilities not owned by ars and also pleased that this bill has increased for important cranberry research and this bill includes support for programs that help dairy farmers in wisconsin and across the country and of course struggling under the weight of a trade war and massive disruption and markets due to covid-19. continued funding for programs such as a snap, healthy fluid
elk initiatives progress and the post harvest dairy research to help dairy farmers and consumers alike. i'd also like to thank the chairman for including language that will help us conduct oversight over the vulnerabilities and our medical device and pharmaceutical supply chain early in the covid-19 outbreak it became clear that our reliance on foreign-based sources of active pharmaceutical ingredients and medical devices left us flat-footed and i appreciated the bipartisan effort to highlight and fix this problem. it is a strong bill, strong managers amendment admired support and i yield back. >> thank you, i would now like to recognize mr. cartwright. >> thank you, madam chair. i would like to begin by thinking chairman bishop and the rest of the subcommittee and the staff. chairman, you have put together a terrific bill that will help,
not only are farmers, but also our rural communities, our seniors and our national health. over the past few months all of us have learned how important broadband services is for connecting us to crucial services like telehealth and online education as well as keeping us connected with our loved ones and our workplaces and the bill would provide for a billion dollars of new investments in rural broadband projects that will make significant differences for rural communities like the one i represent. it was 84 years ago that president roosevelt signed into law the rural electrification act and these are things that government is good at. that is why i'm proud that this money went into your bill, mr. chairman. the bill would also provide funding to help the many american families experiencing economic hardship to put food on the table.
as some have said already this afternoon it allocates nearly $6 billion in funding for the wic program, women, infants and children, 25 billion in mandatory programming for child programs and nearly $70 billion for the snap program, supplemental nutritional's assistance programs. nobody should go hungry in america and this bill will help move us closer to the goal of eliminating hunger in our country but finally the bill provides resources for the food and drug administration to review treatments and we hope soon vaccines for covid-19 building on the cares act and the coronavirus preparedness and response supplemental act and it also lets the fda accelerate much needed initiatives like supports for new manufacturing technology to produce influenza vaccines and i cannot agree more
strongly with our ranking member mr. fortenberry about american manufacturing of drugs and not depending on china to do it. one hundred years ago our country in the world faced another deadly pandemic, the one caused by an influenza virus strain and even as we fight the coronavirus we must continue to guard against other forms of infectious disease. chairman bishop, on behalf of my constituents let me thank you again for your hard work in leading the efforts that produce this bill. i yield back. >> you are recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. i want to thank you and ranking member and also my friend chairman bishop for the great work and ranking member mr. thornberry. they put together a pretty
bipartisan bill. it is one that addresses the needs of the ranchers and farmers and one that addresses the rule areas and one that of course addresses the nutrition part of it, snap or food banks that are needed. i want to first of all say thank you for including some of the language and provisions i requested and others i worked with other members and first of all, the broadband connectivity, the reconnect program where you all added more than $440 million on top of what is there. that is so important, especially at a time like this for the rural areas, broadband connectivity. want to thank you also for the work and the money you have been adding to fight cattle fever and as you know something that is concerned because quarantined areas where the fever takes addressing and even though we put in money it has been growing
and we need to make sure we do more research in that area. i want to thank you also for the help for the citrus growers i have in my area, not only my area but now texas and in florida and in california also and i want to thank you for the grant money to make sure to help those rural communities. i also want to thank you for the language on dietary guidelines for americans and that is based on evidence science and snap and school lunches we know that is white important but i want to thank you for the provisions that you have added on my behalf on the critical issue of students hunger at college campuses and how we can improve the access to snap benefits. finally, i want to say thank you also for putting the language to extend the waiver through the
2020, 2021 school year to ensure children across america have access to school meal programs as we deal with the covid-19. i want to thank you, mr. chairman for thank the member also and of course, chairwoman and for the work that your staff put in the bill that is very well balanced. thank you, sir. ... chairman bishop and ranking member, i commend you on putting together a bipartisan bill that invests in america's farmers, maintain food security, boost conservation programs and provide strong support for the federal drug administration i want to tank chairman bishop for including so many provisions
that help citrus growers. they contribute $7.2 billion to florida's economy and support 50,000 jobs but florida has been devastated be citrus disease. i'm glad to see the bill invests strongly in nutrition programs like wic, and snap. the bill blocks the trump administration's cruel standard utility allowance rule and able he bodied adult's. the first would snap benefits and would kick between 755,000 and 851,000 americans off of s.n.a.p. with represents a cut of $15 billion in s.n.a.p. benefits over ten years. this is a tax on low income and food insecure americans cannot be allowed to stand. the bill includes a billion
dollars in conservation programs to encourage sustainable agriculture. i'm pleased the bill provides $834 million for the national resources conservation service which operates the conservation stewardship program and the environmental quality incentive program and the and i'm glad it included money to the fda for accelerating cancer -- and including full fun ago of $712 million from courtroomer fees for fda's center for tobacco products and the bill includes strong report language that will protect young people from e-cigarette addiction. the report provides direct to fda to not grant the market order to any product that increases use of nick teach or tobacco and reefs from the mukilteo those for which no
plaque has been -- fdaed and tiding rerough of i-segue rids and flavored products are hooking kids on nicotine. in florida, tobacco kills 32,500 people and rain could is health-care cotters by 8.64 bill every year. according to the campaign for tobacco free kids a full quarter of florida's students are using e-cig reds compared to 6.6 % for traditional cigarettes. mr. chairman, ranking member, well done. thank you so much and i yield back. >> any other members wishing to make general comments about the bill? >> yes, madam chairwoman i would like. to this bonny coleman. >> you're recognized. >> yes. i am far away from you but i ram very close to you in my heart
and my spirit and i thank you for your term leadership and meanter toship an the chair of our committee. i just wanted to associate myself with the kind and appropriate support to both mr. bishop and mr. thorn beery on having crafted a bill that i think covers very important issues under your jurisdiction. we fount economicking broadband is so expert givenning noding to learn from distance and not being able to do so because they dope have access to the internet or broadband. the support of the food and nutrition programs for both poor and minority children, and poor and minority women and families, from give thing drug administration the resources it needs to do the kind of inspections to make sure what are we're eating and getting is safe to eat. from looking at how we eliminate
the lives of those things we like to eat and the most humane manner. just so many things that have been covered in this piece of legislation. i just wanted to commend you as the leader of our committee for the work they've done and for every member of the staff that contributed to what i think is a very positive move forward, thank you and ayield back. >> seeing some other member i'd like to recognize mr. bishop to offer a manager's amendment. mr. bishop. >> madam chair i have an amendment at the disk entitled bishop 1. >> fiscal year -- >> without objection the reading is dispensed with. mr. bishop is recognize it. >> thank you, madam chair. before you is the manager's
amendment making noncontroversial technical changes in addressing a number of member requests in the bill and the report. the amendment has been drafted in close consultation and cooperation with ranging member fortenberry and i urge its adoption. madam chair, we support the amendment. thank you very much. oh, okay. i recognize mr. bishop for one minute to close. >> i think we have agreed on it and i think it's a good amendment and i urge adoption. >> question is on the apple.
although in favor say yea. those opposed say no. in the opinion of the chair theeyes have it and the amendmented adopted. any further amendments? >> madam chair i have an amendment. marked bishop number 2. >> the clerk will read the amendment. >> at the end of the bill -- >> ask unanimous consent that dispense of reading of the amendment. >> without objection the reading is disspendded with. i the member from georgia is recognized for five multiples on the amount. >> thank you, madam chair, this amendment will give the fed drug administering to legal authority to order re-call of prescription or over the counter drug if they're a reasonable probability it will cause serious adverse
health consequences or death. the fda current live has the legal authority to require a mandatory re-call of phones, medical devices, infant formula, food and tobacco but that prescription or over the counter drugs. it does not make sense that fda lacks they same authority for proscriptions as over the counter drugs. a common sense fix to a public safety issue. the fix is even more important in a lot of the covid pandemic response. last month the fda was able to quickly identify dangerous substances in imported hand sanitizers. but all they could do is ask the manufacturer for a voluntary re-call and release a statement on their website for consumers. fda says pentagonally two manufacturers refused to re-call their products.
i would add, madam chair, the fda unofficially supports this amendment and they believe that they very much need the authority that would be granted in this bill. with that i yield back. i urge adoption. >> any other members wishing to he about heard on the amendment? >> dr. harrison. >> dr. harris is recognize. ivery temperature ." the amend would just answer a couple of questions. i just saw this an hour ago. the definition of drug, how broadly is drug defined for this? >> it's not defined broadly enough to include controlled substances. >> well, it's inserted into a part of law, 569, d, which deals
with controlled substances and this is piggy backing on there but control substance is a very integrate row category and he word drug has broad meaning. would it include cbd which is -- where in medical claims are made, therapy claims are made. >> i don't believe it will but that's -- i think a subject that would have to be interpreted by the fda when this bill comes -- when the issue their regulations. >> thank you. guest it would defer to the definition of the food, drug and cosmetic act. the other thing is hand sanitizer wouldn't fall under this because they're not drugs. is that correct? >> it would follow under it. >> okay. fortunately did at the mechanism now is a voluntary re-call but if you don't comply with the volunteer re-call the fda can
restrict your license to sell the product or l. it that is the current mechanism that basically would result in the -- the reason why win voluntary recalled are issued that are almost always with complied with because the fda main the report. >> it would require extensive legal action and that would require time and certainly not necessarily be consistent with the health, safety and welfare of the people of this country if we need to remove that harmful drug or substance prepare to the marketplace. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam chair issue yield back. >> any other members? >> [inaudible] >> if there's no further debate the member from georgia is recognized on the amendment for one minute to close. >> thank you, madam chair. we have read and we've heard
about bad actors during this pandemic and this is not likely to be the last time that bad actors will try to profit from this pandemic and selling dangerous products including the hand sanitizer that was documented to have come from mexico. but this amendment will provide fda with a powerful tool in the fight to ensure public safety. it's long overdue and the time is right to act on it and i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. >> the question is on the amendment offer bid the member of georgia. all those in favor say yea. >> those opolessed say no. the yeas have it and the amendment is adopted. >> mr. newhouse seeks recognition. >> madam chair i move to strike the last word. >> the member is recognized. >> thank you, chair.
i appreciate that. chairman bishop, ranking member, i want to thank you for your strong leadership and your hard work on this bill. our nation's farmers and ranchers working hard every day to ensure that we have a safe and nutritious food supply and the bill i hope will accomplish that important work. certainly there are many good things in this bill. you hear heard from colleagued about many of those, just to name a few. i'd like to express my appreciation for the continued investment in rural broadband. as we learn over the last few months we have a huge need here. these investments not only are welcome but they're absolutely necessary, and i can think of few things that will help bring equity to rural and urban folks than broadband connectivity.
in addition i'd like to thank you for language that continues research as well as research for smoke -- in wine grapes from previous years and speaking of research, thank you for including the specialty crop research initiative mam waiver, very helpful for land grants and my home state of washington. many other important issues, too many to cover' and hi colleagues have talk at long about those and i thank you very much for including. however, i was disappointed, hoping to see language on a national herbicide redistant initiative that while use the talent of to land grand universities in oregon and washington and ohio, and farm effort constantly are working to mitigate the next risk that could jeopardize their crops and
the agricultural economy. what resistance then the sustainability of crops in our region. many states in the southeast and midwest are contending with problem weed. the pacific northwest also has many of those kinds of weeds capable of causing as much as 90% in yield losses. herbicide resistant weeds force many farmers to row trite to less profitable and less reliable crop so the research is important and i hope we can get a commitment to work on this with the senate and in con from to find a solution for this very important initiative i. with that i yield back and thank you very much for your leadership. >> is there any further amendment or discussion?
seeing none i recognize the gentlemanwoman from ohio for a motion and i ask for your support for this bill. >> i with to favorably report the agriculture appropriation act 2021 to the house. >> the question is on the motion. all those in fav sayeye aye. >> those opposed no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. congratulations. i ask unanimous don't that's the staff be permitted to make technical and conforming changes to the bill and report just approved. seeing no 0, so ordered. >> madam chair i asked for three days for the minority to file views. >> so ordered. >> that's it?
our fourth and final order of business today is consideration of the military construction and veterans affairs appropriations bill for fiscal year 2021. i will now recognize monday wassership -- ms. wasser shawne shut to present the bill thank you, madam chair. i'm so proud to bring before the committee today the fishal year 2021 military constructions veterans affairs and proud to have worked side by side with ranking member carter who has continued to be an incredible partner and our entire committee who works together in such a collegial and warm way. the bill before us demonstrates our commitment to service members and families as well as to our veterans. in producing this bill we strove to take into account the requests and feedback all of you as well as cog leagues provide
he. we eave work close toty -- and all members of the house. while our hearing schedule this year ended premature by we held several hearings, tackled issues that have faced neglect for too long. the subcommittee healed a hearing with the department of difference officials, private company representatives to focus on the substandard conditions found in privatized housing in the branches of our military which continues to be a vexing problem. we also healed aing here on contamination and the impact of its exposure on service members. on the va side in addition to our virtual brief withing the va secretary we healed an oversight hearing on the electronic health modernize project and we did that to evoke greater transparency in its implement addition and held a briefing with the va secretary and
dr. stone on va covid not a response. these hearings helped us produce a better piece of legislation. the bill naked need investment friday program military red ins and provides improvement in medical care. the recommend provided $115.5 billion in total discretionary funding which includes $350 million for overseas cop continue job si appraisals and 12-1/2 billion in emergencying fund to address the sharply rising cost of veterans care.the bill provides $10.1 billion for military construction, rejects the president's preposed cot of $3.6 million below the current left for critical truck needs on military installations,
including morphothe energy resilience and conservation investment practice which is $270 million before the request. $2.4 billion for unfunded priorities approved by the dod comptroller: the total also provides $1.54 billion for family housing construction, $135 million above the budget request, and those additional resources are for housing support costs associated with inadequate conditions at multiple military installations. committee found over the last no fiscal years inserting a level of oversight the military leadership level was critical and me military agreed. an additional 280 million decide for the account of the facial funds privated, 80 minimum decide for continued effort to accelerate black black clearedup and the bill includes a new
provision to prohibit military projects on installations neal for confederate everies no led rebellion against the united states. no service member should live or train on a base named for a person who betrayed america's pursuit of a more perfect union. filing your own countrymen in the name of continuing the slavery've other human beings is not an act that should be honored and it's beyond time for change at military bases that do honor such individuals with their namesake. a total $104.8 billion is discretionary funding. this amount represents an increase of $12.3 billion more than the enacted level. we have finally achieved consensus with the senate that the cost of va health-care is growing and cannot remain within the budget caps. the 12-1/2 bill decide is
designated as emergency funding to adequately fund va health-care. we have been heading toward a fiscal clef and this is a badly needed fix that will provide relieve. the bill includes -- and providing for approximately 7.2 million patients to be treated in fiscal year 2021. funding includes $661 million for gender care for women, $1.9 million for homeless assistance program, 504 million for opioid abuse treatment and prevention, $84 million for whole health initiatives, 300 million in rural health initiatives. , $10.03 in mental health and 865 million before the enacted level and includes 313 million decide for suicide prevention outreach actives. in addition this funding will support a number of initiatives to removal barriers to mental
health and reduce the stigma of seeking treatment and putting an emphasis on ptsd research and treatment, firearms safety for veterans and supporting the veterans crisis line. other areas of interest include robust oversight of the ehrm implementation and construction of va facilities, improving treatment of conditioned like rare cancers and pressure ulcers. the bill provides an increase of 8% over the budget relate request for the four related agencies to maintain service levels and invest in needed improvements. it will come as no surprise that this bill does not allow the forgot bypass congressional intent and divert military construction funding previously
approved national security projects in support of a border wall. reality not allow presidential xenophobia to take priority. whether we agree or disagreen to the feed nor a while or whether or not there is a crisis at the border i hope the committee can agree funds should not be stolen from provely approved vital military construction project that i higher priority than any wall. ... >> let's reserve the security wall process. thank you for helping with the drafting of this legislation. we have worked so well together. and they do right by her service
members and veterans as a result. a similar think my partner chris artist work on these issues and importantly for his friendship. i am proud to have you by my side as ranking member on this subcommittee. and for several must again express my gratitude to determine. her tremendous leadership and stewardship of this committee as well as the full committee's ranking members. thank you to our staff bring their expertise and commitment to her service members and veterans is evident everything tonight. sarah young, jenny, nicole, and others. my personal staff and others. this is a good bill that will help our service members and veterans regards all members. i would now like to recognize subcommittee ranking members,
judge carter. thank you manager. thank you for recognizing me. ringing the military construction and veteran affairs bill to the committee. i wanted thank you for the work in preparing bill. i would think my good friend and colleague, the chairwoman for the friendship and in working this way through and a very cordial manner. absolute think the chairwoman, the rivers and guidance to support us in this challenging situation. overall i strongly support this project. it was funny for many of the services and priorities as well as finding to allow the services to complete many projects that
are already have arrived. also want to highlight for my colleagues, it provides 35 million traditional oversight of privatized military housing. and energy reserves, and conservation projects. 200 million for military facilities. nasa strongly support a finding for veterans programs, and for mental health, suicide prevention, homelessness and assistance. and also construction programs. on behalf of my republican colleagues, i want to thank most of our funding and language except for a few areas this is a good bill. osha could support it.
from my time in congress, i focus on three things. soldiers, their families, and veterans. i oppose section 130 that prohibits funding for projects on military installations in the name of the confederate officers unfairly punishing the men and women in uniform. in verse the soldiers and others who were impacted. as note also the room. because our soldiers, and it ultimately person families. this provision 49 young soldiers who work. in the taxi. thwe should be utilizing this
bill. we should not be making our soldiers lives more difficult. over which they have no control. jurisdiction over the remaining military installation. the committee should lead this. we sometimes get the power to communicate policy. this goes beyond that. just before the 1940s, the soldiers bears the names of the confederate 11 texas brigade during civil war when created what is now legendary. they brought their skill in dedication every major conflict involving the united states of america for the last 80 years. the soldiers in my district that
we serve, don't deserve the punishment, in the name of the front gate. we strongly support the finding provides for veterans. bill clinton's emergency funding. i have trouble with that. each year we are required to make the difficult and sometimes bad hard decisions. it is his prayer responsible to delegate some emergency just to avoid those decisions. recognize but we have this year, especially regarding - but we should not sabotage the 2019 bipartisan legislator agreement. [inaudible]. rated madam chair, i would like
to thank you and out subcommittn this bill. i look forward to working with you. and working with the chairwoman and also this experience. i yield back. >> i would like to recognize myself opening remarks. i think the chairman and ranking member carter for their work on this bill. i also want to express my appreciation to both the members who have submitted requests in the subcommittee after their tireless efforts during these very challenging times. the bills that we have before us, we express the tremendous
debt of gratitude leo to our armed forces, our veterans and the families this year and service to our country. this year the military construction and veterans affairs funding bill, makes critical investments in veterans and military families and reinforces our national security infrastructure and blocks president trump from stealing appropriated funds from service members to pay for an ineffective wall or project seat already canceled the purpose. in the midst of a global pandemic, this bill makes unprecedented investments in our veterans restore be a medicine system to ensure that every veteran has access to the top-notch healthcare they deserve. the bill includes women's
veterans, men's mental health, and other mental health and medical research and homeless prevention while closely monitoring claims and processing and system monitored station. in particular, the bill would survive two points by $6 million to support the much-needed and long delays. electronic health capabilities. i commended the additional oversight and accountability measures that i put in place by this bill. it is our duty, for the veterans and taxpayers to complete this project as soon as possible. and also provides funding. to improve service members and their families quality of life by supporting improvements to the vital military facilities that have treated and trained
and equipped our forces. the portion of the bill also finds critical infrastructure projects in europe, and across the globe to continue the fight against russian aggression and emerging threats in the middle east and north africa. again i think the members and the staff for their unwavering commitment to our veterans. in the service men and women and their families. in short, this bill builds a strong the va a military and leaves no one behind. i urge support. i would now like to recognize ranking member granger for her opening remarks. >> madam chair, thank you. it we returned to the military construction and veterans affairs bill. i want to think chairwoman schultz and ranking member carter for the work they have done this year. they come together to just many critical issues that affect military installations. our nation's veterans reaching
across the aisle to find many projects that's important to our members. this bill funds the priorities requested by the department of events and helps improve family housing for the military. the bill also in terms of nation's veterans, they are given the care they deserve and they make stars that they have the dignified resting place. that infertility is a centering the subcommittee markup, i am very concerned with the $12.5 billion in emergency spending outside of the budget established last august. now is not the time to window a bipartisan agreement. as is less than a year old without talking to the members across the i/o. we all agreed that the healthcare is a top priority however designating funding is an emergency, is wrong at a record debt and deficits.
it frees up funds we spent on lower priorities and another bills. in addition i concerns about some policy provisions to that check such as those conditions on military construction projects. with all sincerity and work with you and my colleagues to resolve our differences as we move forward. in closing i want to thank the staff of their hard work on this bill manager. >> any other members. >> thank you madame chair. i would like to thank the chairwoman schultz and ricky member carter for the work on this really vital legislation. in chairman lillian ranking member granger. thank you for your leadership. this particular subcommittee dedication to serve veterans of all backgrounds and lifestages
is legendary. provide student $15 million both discretionary and mandatory funding. an increase of 15.2 million above the fiscal year 2020. next to enable military readiness and improves critical programs under department of hundreds of tears. that includes medical affairs, mental health services suicide prevention, home assistance and opioid abuse prevention freedom want to applaud dedicated funding to support programs dealing with the opioid mental health crises which tragically disproportionately affects veterans. the medicine that veterans take the prescription drugs va acquire should be of the highest level of health safety is imperative the view states potential health security risk and vulnerability and interfaces purchasing medicines from offshore sources and addresses strategies to buy american and produce medicines domestically to ensure the va is acquiring
the safest medicine possible for our veterans been a very thankful that this bill underscores the importance of the va workforce. and firstly remains and that that trump administration has failed to feel gnarly 9000 unfilled va positions since my. a major challenge remains with recruitment and retention. this technology we cannot pilfer our military readiness when previously approved vital military concession programs rated they would not push to shortchange the safety and security of the service members on the families in exchange for senseless politically driven portable on our southern border pretty can ever appreciate the chairwoman, ranking member and city staff are diligently working to incorporate these priorities and many others and urges support. i yelled back. thank you.
>> mr. rogers. >> thank you. thank you for including money bill electronic health records merger when the devotees information. you have heard time and again mission young soldier in kentucky who died. i'm sorry, they lost both of his eyes. after being injured in the middle east. the right to germany for operations. and then back home as a veteran. then going to veterans hospital they are unable to access military records. consequently, they cannot operate. so lost both eyes. enemies perfectly blind.
we spent literally billions of dollars of last several years. ten years or so. we still don't have an answer or did what does it take to march to computer systems. it take someone smarter than me number one and number two it takes money which we are providing rated but there's been no solution to this open sore. we are losing young people who are dying run able to get the kind of medical care because they could not access the records from ba and dod together. they even included in the bill, $2.6 billion which is more than double than what we have currently. and you also require them to answer questions. and i am wondering if the chair lady of the subcommittee would
would be willing to tell me what is going on with the program unit i yield to the lady. >> thank you. thank you to the ranking member for that question. i absolutely concur with you. and i know the does as well. as is the ranking member. we've all really struggled with the maddening situation of the length of time that it has taken. and that that va has gone through to have a seamless system of electronic health records so that the record follows the soldiers through their tenure in the military and then onto into their time the rest of their lives as a veteran. what we did in the last year, once again, and started pao into the process. to oversee and help us hold the
va accountable on the implementation of their process. covid-19 has also impacted unfortunately, velocity of what we lack thereof of which the va has been able to implement and they also had a number of challenges in the rollout in the northwest which cause them to have to start over. so starting this fall, to deploy the first live implementation sites at three different locations. we have provided $2.6 billion for hardware for the sites. they were not ready when they were supposed to live initially. in the secretary let us know frankly, right before they were supposed to go live, a bus and when told that everything was going well.
in pretty stern conversation with the va secretary about that. he is obviously our oversight an awareness is important. but we continue to try to tighten up the accountability to make sure that this implementation goes a heck of a lot better than it has the bar. i hope that is helpful. >> thank you gentle lady. we are all frustrated. it is sincere on all of our parts pretty may have been wrestling with this is a committee and subcommittee for so long. and it just seems that the amount of money that we have voted to that works in the different agencies of the government that is not involved. it seems impossible that we cannot get an answer. and i wish you would report to
can you hear that? you hear me? can you hear me now. [background sounds]. it just seems impossible that we can't get an answer to this. in all of the agencies that have got involved over the years. would you please just tell the secretary that we are waiting and waiting and waiting. >> i have a standing call with the secretary every other week. and i have regularly brought this issue up and asked for support. and engage in accountability and questions oriented to make sure that he understands that we are watching this closely. in our next call i will make sure that i take the message
back from you and i assume that i can also assume the rest of the leadership of the committee because our goal is to get answers and this is certainly boiling over greatest in and whether or not this is a bipartisan effort, digby part if you tell him to asked people to raise their hands if they wanted us to move quicker on this. and members of the committee, raise their hands to that. >> yes. but noted bipartisan support. i will. thank you mr. chairman. >> i would like to just add to my good friend, that we have had public meetings, private meetings. and for at least the last four years, it is beyond me how people can manage, manager trip and got a bar and cannot put a
healthcare system in place really is an embarrassment. it's an expensive embarrassment. and i'm embarrassed that after all of the meetings that we have had public or private, we are turning this over to the chair of the committee because it still was not done. and it's such a serious challenge. i have nothing more to say except i'm disgusted. they cannot get something in place that is absolutely vital to the men and women in our military. you used examples rated if an accident happens three years later, something overcomes and the doctors don't know the history. but i do believe that my good friend on to say something. i'll conclude. you have i have had publican private meetings and expressed
her anger last four or five years. i am hoping this chairwoman can resolve the maybe you will do it more effectively than we did. >> is a national disgrace. then we have the situation. it is gone back longer than ten years. will the smart money into it. we cannot get it done. when we said how much money we spent, it was staggering. and at the situation still exist, i'm very hesitant to say yes. we wants more money. we obviously don't have the answers. it is a disgrace. and it's outrageous. >> i could not agree with you more. i remember and you probably will recall when i was a chair, and
we are trying to bring capitol visitor center and for letting a man same issue, massive cost overruns and it was taking forever. and the contractors were making mistakes. and the architects of the capital is making huge errors. so we put in place very specific requirements along the way. and we involved gao and one of the things we did is that we find that additional funding to achieving certain benchmarks. it is likely time rest a look at that. it will pass this bill on the committee today but i think it would be good for us to look at perhaps tightening the screws event and maybe attaching requirements to the release of the funds for the contractors and the va itself . so that we can make sure that we hold them more closely accountable. is that something that we should consider.
>> not to our va bridges the contractors pretty. >> of course pretty. >> we have to do something. >> and just to add, build does require orderly reports on expenditures and quarterly reports . this by facility. and it in consistent with the schedule. we have quarterly performance in there. we can make it tighter than that. i think we should take a look at that for sure. >> the va is only half of the problem. the dod, obviously is really the biggest part of this. and it dod subcommittee has been doing similar type of work as you're talking about in your wheelchair. and yet we still don't see a result and i would hope that the defense subcommittee when hope
thawouldbear down to bring thiso the ground. >> i just want to say because i know how long you and i have been working on this my good friend. is this correct. it is even worse than i thought. i was just told. my good friend tells me this goes back to 1998 di 1998. will move on but i wish you good luck. i will come back to celebration. you know how many years we have been working on this writing so i think you for your administration. other any of their members wishing to make general comments about the belt.
>> thank you very much. i want to thank chairwoman and the ranking members because there's so many areas of this bill that i think are great and i support reading and i agree with everything in the last discussion. on a focus on just three things that touch me. one is that we need to ensure that those who are serving us right now, in their various capacities and in the military services of clean and safe and sanitary housing. clean safe appropriate facilities to organ and decent housing to live and prefer our veterans, and 100 percent in support of the facilities that we need to ensure that are available in the healthcare access is there. and i particularly appreciate
the attention given to suicide prevention and outreach. it's an issue that really affects our veterans. and basically our communities at large right now. and last but not least, what the bill provides the department will not let contracts out to individual contractors who don't have a plan to use the advantage of minority contractors. and that the department will seek to direct the contracts with minority and disadvantaged contractors. i think this is vitally important as we move forward. everyone should be able to participate in the end. and of these resources the federal government puts out and contracts and opportunities to work with predicate upon their willingness, eagerness and notability and minorities and disadvantaged contractors have
been left out of the loop far too low. i commend the chair in the subcommittee chair of the subcommittee for advancing this bill. and with that created thank you and i yield back. thank you. >> any other members wishing to be recognized. saying no other members wishing to make remarks, i would like to record nice minstrels to offer a management amendments pretty. >> thank you. i haven't amendments at the desk. lastly be considered to be read. >> the minute before you today consists of three noncontroversial report language items that have been agreed to both sides of the aisle. several members, asked for provisions that we have consensus on. i believe the members have had a
amendments? there is one more amendment before we are done for the day. before we go, i want to thank the members to the manner in which the committee concluded business today. i also want to remind the members to please discard their trash to protect the health of the staff cleaning the room. now, let's turn to the final amendment. what purpose does the member from maryland rise? >> madame chair, i have an amendment at the desk. i would ask unanimous consent to waive the reading. >> without objection, the reading of the amendment is dispensed with. the member from maryland is recognized for five minutes on the amendment. >> thank you, madame chair. the amendment is simple. it is one that i know the committee has seen in prior year, but even more important
today. you know, while congress -- what the amendment does is it basically restores the president's ability to use emergency funds to build a border wall. while congress may not think border security is important, the american people certainly do. the american people especially during a pandemic and now an increase in our opioid epidemic, a clear majority, 62% in the last pollic -- last poll taken believe the border security is important. you can't close a porous border. the president needs the emergency authority in times of a pandemic or in times of our opioid crisis to make sure the border can be closed. the ama issued a brief, an issue brief yesterday that 35 states have reported an increase in opioid deaths, especially fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. right now a majority of fentanyl crosses the u.s. mexican border with seizures up 11% in the
month of may. july 1st, washington post headline, drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus epidemic. june 11th, in arizona press, 300,000 fentanyl pills seized at the arizona mexican border. the bottom line is we can't tie the hands of the president during an emergency. that's whether it's a pandemic where borders need to be closed or an opioid crisis, where fentanyl is killing our people because it crosses the border illegally. now, the customs and border patrol, the head of customs and border said recently, quote, the ongoing construction of the border wall system is imperative for the safety and security of our nation's southwest border. wherever we have built a new border wall system, drug and human smuggling activities have decreased. why in the world would we want
to tie our hands or tie the president's hands to stopping the flow of illegal drugs across our border that are killing our youth? we've been distracted during the coronavirus pandemic, make no mistake about it, because you don't see headlines every day about the opioid epidemic, but it is going on and worsening. we have to use every tool in our tool box, and one of those tools is to close a porous border. so madame chair, with that, i would ask the committee to adopt the amendment. i yield back. >> are there any other members wishing to be heard? >> madame chair? >> [inaudible]. >> thank you, madame chair. i do rise in opposition to mr. harris's amendment, and i
would note the shift in the gentleman from maryland's argument because he can certainly no longer argue even though that was incorrect at the time as well that undocumented immigrants are streaming across our border, and that's why a border wall is necessary. in fact, the gentleman's argument in this case does not hold water either because in most cases, when drugs are interdicted, they are interdicted at our ports of entry, not in between ports of entry, where the border wall would be built. the vital military construction fund for a border wall is indifference to the needs of our military servicemembers and our families. to even ask that that sacrifice from those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice is simply unconscionable. the military construction funds provided and approved by congress were intended for specific projects as requested by the services. america's military readiness and its servicemembers and their families should never be made to
suffer to pay for a border wall. sections 129 and 513 included the underlying bill prevent the administration from using previously appropriated funds that were requested by the military for military construction projects that are in each -- many of our districts, from being diverted for a border wall. section 129 and 513 also prohibit any of the funds in the underlying bill to be used for back bills of any project in fy's 16 through 20 that were previously cancelled for construction of a border wall. and while there is bipartisan opposition to the actions taken by the president, the debate should take place during immigration reform, order and consideration of the homeland security appropriations bill. finally as a member of this committee, not as a republican or depth but an appropriator, everyone here must realize how inappropriate it is for the executive branch to trample upon
our constitutionally protected power of the purse. but more importantly, can we just simply make sure that we have the backs of our men and women in uniform? if you've ever visited a military base anywhere in the world, and i'm sure most of us have, you have been shown some of the conditions which our servicemembers work, billions of dollars worth of equipment is baking in the sun because it is too dangerous to keep expensive equipment in. 30% of our military's construction worldwide is in fair or poor condition. but the president keeps stealing military construction funding because he thinks an unnecessary border wall is more important than our troop's safety and readiness. i think that says it all, madame chair. i strongly oppose this amendment, urge the members to join me in opposing it and i
crossing, the areas where we can catch them. that's why where we catch them because if we're able to secure the border, they have to move to border crossing. i support this bill, and i too don't like the idea of taking away the military construction, and i think i'd like them to put -- [inaudible]. but i do support the bill. >> mr. -- [inaudible] -- is recognized. >> thank you, madame chair. i want to thank chairwoman wasserman schultz and ranking member carter for doing a great job of putting this bill together. this bill, when you look at this bill, it provides funding for telehealth. it provides funding for mental health programs for the veterans. it provides money for the
national guard in my area. i think my friend knows this. it provides 36 million dollars for a dorm, provides another 19 million dollars for a base training system simulator, provides another 10.8 million dollars for the f-16 mission training center. it does all those good things. why in the world are we going to take this -- possibly take this money away from our men and women and put it for a wall? i mean, look, a wall -- if you're worried about drugs, mr. harris, or you're worried about people coming into the country, look at the facts from the federal agencies. most drugs will come through ports of entry. why are we not doing more to put money in the ports of entry instead of the wall? if you would stop most of the people that come into the united states, most of the people that come into the united states are visa overstays, about 66%, the
number one violator is canada. why are we not talking about putting a wall in the northern part of the united states instead of just focusing on the southern border? and if you look at the -- i'm trying to think of the right term, the heat maps, where there is activities of crossings and people crossing, look at where the fence are being put, and you see the activity where the fence is at. i know most of you all will say well, you know, our men and women want this wall, border patrol, and i always ask this question, is post 2012 or pre2012 because before 2012, the men and women in green were calling the wall a quote ineffective waste of taxpayer dollars. i believe in private property rights. and i believe in making sure that we, you know, don't take this land away from people that have lived for generations.
so let's respect private property rights. let's -- if you want to fight the drugs, let's do it through the ports of entry. if you want to stop people coming in, let's look at visa overstays and look at where those people are coming in. so for those reasons, i respectfully disagree with my friend from maryland and certainly my friend from texas, mr. carter. yield back the balance of my time. >> you are recognized. >> thank you very much. i feel like we've had this argument so many times, so many times. i'm from texas. >> we have. >> can you hear me? we have a crisis. we have lots of crisis right now, so let's talk about just this one thing, and that's the border situation and the crisis we felt there, at the southern border, when people were coming across, children coming across, illegally, drugs were coming across, and so we said what are
we going to do? are we going to sit and talk about it and just worry about it, or are we going to do something about it? that's where the wall as it's called began. i have been to the border countless times. you and i went to the border together. and i've been there with military leaders, with agency heads, and seen for myself the construction that's going as fast as it possibly can, and it won't be everything. it won't do everything. but it's really necessary. and there's so much misinformation, it's disheartening to me to know that we have these arguments that bring up things, and next time i go, come with me and i will show you what the wall is doing. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. i yield back the remainder of my time. i advise you go to the border any time you can go with me. thank you. >> i'm pleased to yield to mr. aguilar. >> thank you, madame chair.
i speak in opposition to this amendment because of the fact that we have real serious national security threats to deal, and a big beautiful wall at our southern border will not stop those threats. this amendment which seeks to use our military's budget to appease the president and build his vanity project is irresponsible and dangerous. and it goes beyond that. this would allow for the backfill of projects that were already cancelled due to the president's obsession with building the wall. throughout this process, we've heard from our colleagues about spending too much. but this amendment allows the administration to raid military projects to fund a wall we know is unnecessary and ineffective. you just can't have it both ways. i have seen the border wall. i've seen the border. i've seen the wall, as many of you have. i see how easily can get under, over, or even through these barriers. they are expensive and ineffective and do nothing to address the root cause, which in this case is a broken
immigration system. our military has real problems to worry about, like the russian president putting bounties on american servicemembers, and the american president doing nothing about it. i urge my colleagues to defeat this amendment so we can focus on what really matters, keeping our military servicemembers safe. thank you, and i yield back. >> if there is no further debate, the member from maryland is recognized on the amendment for one minute to close. >> thank you very much, madame chair. i don't view it as unconscionable when a veteran comes before the committee and place an amendment that would help veterans. the bottom line is that veterans die of opioid overdose at a disproportionate rate, a study in the american journal preventive medicine two years ago say the increase by 65% veterans dying from fentanyl and heroin.
that's what crosses the border. you can put a million dollars worth of fentanyl in your pocket and walk across the border anywhere. of course we're not catching it in a porous border because there's no way to catch it there that's why it is seized at points of entry. mostly marijuana and heroin. fentanyl is compact. it's very valuable. you can put a million dollars worth of it in your pocket. madame chair, this is for the veterans. this is to stop the opioid epidemic in this country, to help stop it. i urge the adoption of the amendment. i yield back. >> the question is on the amendment offered by the member of maryland. all those in favor say aye. >> aye. >> those opposed say no. >> no. >> in the opinion of the chair, the nos have it, and the amendment is not adopted. >> madame chair, i ask for a recorded vote. >> a recorded vote has been requested. all those in favor of a recorded vote, raise your hand. a sufficient number being in support of a recorded vote is
on this vote the yeas are 19. the nays are 31. the amendment is not adopted. is there any further amendment or discussion? seeing none, i recognize the gentlewoman from ohio for a motion. i ask your support for this bill. >> madame chairwoman i move to favorably report the military construction and veterans' affairs appropriations act 2001 to the house. >> the question is on the motion, all those in favor say aye. >> aye >> those opposed say no. >> no. >> in the opinions of the chair, the ayes have it. >> madame chair, i ask for a roll call vote.
>> during the summer months, reach out to your elected officials with c-span's congressional directory. it contains all the contact information you need to stay in touch with members of congress, federal agencies and state governors. order your copy on-line today, at c-span store.org. tonight a special edition of book tv as we look at memoirs and biographies. starting at 8:00 eastern, representative omar speaks about her journey from somalia as a
refugee to becoming one of the first muslim woman elected to the u.s. congress. then a childhood is remembered as a daughter of holocaust survivors and her search for lost family members. later cnn political analyst and former south carolina state representative examines the socioeconomic challenges americans in the rural south face through the lens of their hometown of denmark, south carolina. enjoy book tv on c-span 2. book tv on c-span 2 has top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. coming up this weekend, sunday, at 9:00 p.m. eastern, on afterwords, author, former college president and political commentator examines what he calls the new face of socialism in the united states and whether it's becoming part of our political culture in his book "the united states of soci