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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  May 25, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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had under consideration house resolution h.r. directs to the house no approval thereon. spoipt chairman states that committee has had under consideration h.r. 15440 and has come to no resolution thereon.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. mckeon: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that during further consideration of h.r. 1540, pursuant to house resolution 276, amendment number 26 printed in house report 112-88 may be considered out of sequence. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the request? without objection, it's so ordered. pursuant to house resolution 276 and rule 18 the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole commel for turt consideration of h.r. 1540. will the gentleman from
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california, mr. mcclintock, kindly resume the chair? the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of h.r. 1540 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2012 for military activities of the department of defense and for military construction, to prescribe military personnel strength for fiscal year 2012 and for other purposes. the chair: when the committee of the whole rose earlier today, a request for a recorded vote on amendment number 8 printed in house report 112-88 by the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi, had been postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 26 printed in
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house report 112-88. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york seek recognition? mrs. maloney: i have an amendment at the desk, number 26. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 26 printed in house report 112-88 offered by mrs. maloney of new york. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 276, the gentlelady from new york, mrs. maloney, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from new york. mrs. maloney: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment would require public disclosure of information submitted under section 847 of this act. this amendment is about bringing more accountability and sunshine to the $379 billion annual average defense contracting business by making a revolving door database which already exist publicly
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available. it would have important ethics information about some d.o.d. employees who leave to go through the revolving door to jobs in the defense contracting industry often with companies with whom they have been negotiating billions of dollars in contracts. current and former public servants should not be able to use their positions for private gain and powerful defense contractors should not be able to rig the system. but unfortunately this relationship is not uncommon. one way contractors gain influence in the government is to hire away civil servants and political appointees with access to inside people and information from their government position. in some cases, highly skilled and well-connected former senior government officials
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enter the private sector as executives or officers or lobbyists or on the boards of directors of government contractors, a practice known as the revolving door. it is also widely acknowledged that there are inherent conflicts of interest in the revolving door. potentialal ethical problems that could lead to wasteful taxpayers' dollars and worse. for this reason d.o.d. currently collect ethics opinions on certain acquisition employees who go to work for contractors within two years of leaving d.o.d. this amendment would simply require this database to be publicly available online. this amendment would not add any requirement or change the current postemployment restriction. the law already requires d.o.d.
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employees who hold a key acquisition position to obtain a written ethics opinion from a d.o.d. ethics counselor before taking a job with a crotor in the two years after leaving d.o.d. the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2008 mandated that covered d.o.d. acquisition officials, that would be certain stpwhrecktiffs schedule, senior executive service and general or flag officer positions, must obtain a postemployment ethics opinion before accepting a paid position from a d.o.d. contractor within two years after they leave d.o.d. service. it also requires that d.o.d. contractors ensure that new hires have an ethics opinion. the law also requires that each request for written opinion made pursuant to this section
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and each written opinion provided pursuant to such a request shall be retained by the department of defense in a central database. for not less than five years fwing on the date on which the writ -- beginning on the date on which the written opinion was provided. but these ethics opinions are not currently shared with the public. why should this information be secret and hidden from public view? at times the overly cozy relationships between d.o.d. and contractors lead to huge cost overruns, loose ethical standards and lack of accountability. this problem is compounded by the dramatic increase in d.o.d. contract spending in recent years. the inability of d.o.d.'s acquisition work force to effectively manage that dramatic growth and increasing industry consolidation have caused d.o.d. to become too
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dependent on a handful of companies to provide essential goods and services. it has become impractical or even outright impossible for d.o.d. to bar any of these companies from contracting or impose punishment more severe than a mere slap on the wrist. the examples of accountability are endless, and in the interest of time i will just place them in the record and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from california, for what purpose does he seek recognition? mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the gentlelady's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i'll just make three brief point. public disclose our of this person information does no purpose except to infringe on the rights and privacy of civil servants. second, the data required is already being reviewed by the d.o.d. inspector general.
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there's no oversight value in making it publicly available. this will only hamper the d.o.d.'s effort to recruit talented acquisition personnel. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from new york has consumed her time. does the gentleman yield back? mr. mckeon: i yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: thank you. mr. chairman, in addition, i think it should be pointed out that in the f.y. 2010 national defense authorization act, the congress required that the panel on contracting integrity review policies related to postemployment restrictions. now, that report is supposed to be delivered this summer, and it seems to be to be prudent that we listen -- and it seems to me to be prudent that we
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listen to what they tell us before we make new requirements without hearing what their report says. so i appreciate the concerns that the gentlelady brings up on this issue, but as the chairman indicated, study after study related to our acquisition process talks about the difficulty of atracking top-quality acquisition folks, and yet the importance of having those having people. and so i think it's very important while we obviously must consider the ethical considerations we also just as obviously have to consider whether we are attracting top-quality talent or repealing top-quality talent. and it would be very helpful for congress to hold off, listen to the report that we have ordered them to give us before we start making additional legislation and additional requirements that
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could have severe adverse consequences in this area. i think we should reject this amendment, listen to the report, see what it says and see if and when additional action is needed after that. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: how much time do i have remaining? the chair: the gentleman from california has 2 3/4 minutes remaining. mr. mckeon: thank you, mr. chair. i think one of the things that we do in this bill is look at redundancy and the things that we're trying to make things simpler, not more complex. i think, as the gentleman said, we've already asked for a report on this. we'll get the report back and then we'll see if there's any reason to go further into this direction. with that i would encourage my colleagues to oppose this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the
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amendment offered by the gentlelady from new york. those in favor of the amendment say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it and the amendment is not agreed to. mrs. maloney: i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from new york will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 30 printed in house report 112-88. for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut seek recognition? mr. himes: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 30 printed in house report 112-88 offered by mr. himes of connecticut. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 276, the gentleman from connecticut, mr. himes, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from connecticut. mr. himes: thank you, mr. chairman. and i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. chairman, i rise today to speak on behalf of my amendment to h.r. 1540. the underlying text of the
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national defense authorization act calls for the shift of certain inherently governmental functions currently being performed by contractors to civilian employees within the department of defense. my amendment is simple. it requires that any cost savings achieved by this transfer be used for deficit reduction. let me say it again. any cost savings associated with shifting work from contractors to civilian employees will get used for deficit reduction. reaching the debt limit last week was a stark reminder of the consequences of ballooning spending throughout the federal government, including defense spending. committing cost savings to deficit reduction is the first step toward returning to a fiscally sustainable budget. by reducing the deficit with identified savings from the department of defense, we will help to ensure that we have enough to invest in the education, infrastructure and job-creating priorities that we all share while cutting
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spending to reduce the deficit. this is a smart, fiscally responsible amendment, and i urge my colleagues to adopt it, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, first of all, i want to thank the gentleman for bringing this amendment. i know he's sincere in talking about deficit reduction and i appreciate that. all of us on this side are equally sincere. in fact, i am one of only 17 members of this body who voted against every one of the ball yoit and stimulus bills because we realized what it was doing to this country. mr. forbes: secondly, i understand the gentleman's concerns about some of d.o.d.'s decisions to change from private contractors to civilians because some of those decisions haven't been based on business models. but just because they have not all been correct doesn't mean they have all been wrong.
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and the problem with this approach is that that's exactly the wrong approach because it will be a disincentive for the department of defense to try to reach these fisheses. the reason that -- these efficiencies. the reason that d.o.d. hasn't tried to reach these efficiencies is because they can reprioritize and use these that is important for the national defense of the country. to say that every time they make those savings we will take at the top line of the department of defense will be a disincentive for the department of defense to make those savings. and here's the effects that we have. if we don't have military -- if we don't have civilians doing these jobs, we have had testimony coming before our committee from our generals and our admirals that basically what that means is they have to take military personnel to do that work which means they don't have the time to do the training that they need to do
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to be prepared to fight and defend this country. . the other concern that we have, in the budget submitted to us this year, they were actually pushing back on facility maintenance that we needed to keep our facilities updated to only 80% of the maintenance that was required. so, mr. chairman, i think it's vitally important that we do a lot for deficit reduction. it's important that we look at the fact, for example, on some of our stimulus bills, we are talking about $800 billion and in this, several million dollars. but the most important thing, mr. chairman, is we make sure we give d.o.d. the incentives they need to make sure they prioritize the dollars they have and not be taking money off the top line which would be detrimental at this time.
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and i would oppose the amendment and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from con cuts. >> he is saying by taking away money from the d.o.d., that they will be -- we will be disincentivizing action which we know to be the right thing to do here. fact number one, demirl mullen, chairman of the joivent chiefs of staff has identified the debt of this country as perhaps the largest single strategic threat. people are dedicated to doing the right thing by all of us, sacrificing for the good of this nation. and their leader said that the largest single strategic threat to our country is debt, how can you make an argument to this
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amendment? think about the words of admiral mullen. the argument is if you take away their cheese, they won't take -- they are doing the wrong thing. do you believe the context of what admiral mullen said that the d.o.d. will do the wrong thing here and reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. forbes: i would be glad to answer my good friend's question and i absolutely believe what admiral mullen said. when you look at the efficiencies that the department of defense has been talking about, roughlyly $179 million, but i would suggest my friend look at comparing that to the $800 billion that we spent on the stimulus package, which i voted against because i realized what it was doing to the deficit to this country, exactly what the admiral mentioned.
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the other thing i would suggest is quite honestly i will tell him that i don't know if the constitution gives us the authority to bail out the auto industry, insurance industry, banking industry and whatever else, but one thing i do know is this, when some of the smartest people and agreed on one thing in our constitution, the thing they mandated that this congress do is to maintain strong armies and navies and to defend this country and one of the things i will say is that we need to stand firm and make sure that the department of defense has the dollars they need to defend and protect freedom and pass it on to our children and grandchildren. and i believe this amendment goes a step towards taking that ability away from them. with that, mr. chairman, i hope we reject the amendment. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from connecticut has 2 1/4 minutes remaining.
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mr. himes: wow. and the gentleman from virginia is bringing up stimulus and tarp, which have absolutely nothing to do with the question at hand, a mechanism that is used all too often by the other side. nobody in this room is president saying we shouldn't adequately fund the department of defense. this isn't about tarp or stimulus or the other things my colleague spoke about. the constitution says that it is this body, this body that will determine how funds are spent. my colleague from virginia is saying that extra money at the d.o.d. that is saved in a mechanism that we all agree make sense, that it should be a slush fund that the d.o.d. should decide how to use that. the constitution of the united states is very clear, that's our job. nobody is saying that we should underfund defense. this is not what this is about and i'm delighted the gentleman voted against the stimulus and
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the tarp and the day that chrysler repaid its government loans six years earlier, the gentleman might revisit that point. this is about good government and deficit reduction and abiding by the spirit of the constitution that says we decide how money is used, not the agency. and with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from virginia has yielded back. does the gentleman from connecticut yield back? mr. himes: i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from connecticut. those in favor of the amendment say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. and the amendment is agreed to. pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from connecticut will be postponed.
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the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i have an amendment. the clerk: amendment number 31 printed in house report 112-88, offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: i see my good friend from pennsylvania on his feet and he will help me help small businesses because that is what this amendment does, it is simple, engaging and embracing and all of us have our good neighbors back in our district and it is an affirmation of the importance of the work of the united states military and the small businesses who desire to be of service. this amendment is simply informational, but it has a
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basis in success. outreach, to make sure that our small businesses around the nation have a sense of what available opportunities are there for them. it recalls for renewed vigor in advocating and constructing effective policies that will make the united states most diverse and powerful work force in the global economy. i always say to my small businesses that they are the job creators of the 21st century and do so in conjunction with the united states military. it may be painting buildings, mowing lawns, our small businesses can do that. so this amendment simply asks the department of defense as it outsources its work to make sure that it reaches out to the small business communities so they will be -- if i might use the words, in the mix. they don't have the understanding and opportunities to get jobs and businesses.
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based upon their qualifications and ability to do work. in addition, might i say many of us have come across situations where our base leadership is trying to be fiscally response i will and has taken in business that they had outsourced. my point is that it is important to assess that impact on small businesses. and i heard a discussion earlier on the floor that we want to equalize the playing field for our small businesses. we know that the larger companies, they've got the road map. this is an opportunity to say to americans, all of you as taxpayers, all of you have the opportunity to do something for the united states military and that may be using your talents as a small business to have the opportunity. let's outreach so they have the fear information. let's make sure they are engaged and create jobs. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition?
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mr. shuster: i rise in opposition. i appreciate the gentlelady from texas offering this amendment and i want to restate what it intends to do, prohibit outsourcing of d.o.d. functions until a secretary of defense conducts an outreach program to benefit women and minority-owned small businesses. it is a duplication of what is in the law. it is dupely indicates section 891 which requires the establishment of an outreach program to firms. this act simply delays allowing for outsourcing to come back in and be part of the benefits that it provides to this nation, reducing costs, streamlining the process. so, again, this is already in law. this is nothing more than a delay tactic to stop outsourcing and we need to use outsourcing where it makes sense.
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reduce costs and has the potential to help our small businesses which i think we all support, whether they are women-owned or minority-owned businesses. in my district, there is a deppo that has public-private partnerships. and heritage foundation did a study at what is going on at the depot utilizing d.o.d. civilians as well as the private sector coming together where it makes sense and have a tremendously positive impact on the work that goes on there. there is a model out there and outsourcing is important. i would urge my colleagues to vote no on this amendment because again, it already is established in last year's defense authorization bill exactly what the gentlelady from texas wants to be established. and with that, i reserve.
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the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentlelady has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. ms. jackson lee: i would like to yield to the distinguished ranking member one minute. mr. smith: this amendment is a reasonable request and making sure that minority and women-owned businesses is protected. and it is reflected in many different aspects of federal law to make sure that opportunities are made available for women and minority-owned businesses and this amendment does not presume that outsourcing is harmful. it simply wants to gauge the effect. and the effect is positive and create an opportunity for them that would not otherwise be created. the impact on these businesses is an important part of that and this amendment is not meant to restrict outsourcing. it just says when you do that,
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keep this important consideration in mind and i urge support for the amendment and i thank the gentlelady from texas in bringing it to the committee's attention. and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from texas reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: i would agree with the distinguished ranking member and i believe he supported last year in the national defense authorization section 891 which in fact does what the gentlelady from texas wants to do. again, this is a delay tactic to put outsourcing back on the table, back in play, back in our tool box. i would urge all of my colleagues to vote no on this amendment. and with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from texas has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. ms. jackson lee: i hope my good friend from pennsylvania listens to both the distinguished ranking member and myself. this is not an amendment that opposes outsourcing.
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in fact, it is an amendment that affirms that outsourcing occurs and to ask that that playing field be even more even by attention being given to our small minority-owned and women-owned businesses. they have lost business opportunity because they could not compete for federal contracts because ladger companies are allowed to bundle contracts and only they have the resources to hand will on the condition that could have been given to small businesses. i want our small businesses to be in the mix, have an outreach program. there's nothing wrong with added leverage of outreach for all of our small businesses and let me say something else, mr. chairman. it is also to say that if a small business has a contract and it's hauled back in, pulled
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back in, let us assess how that is impacting the loss of jobs. 40 jobs of constituents that came to our attention hallmark lost, by bringing in the business. so by no means is this an opportunity to block outsourcing. and i call it contracting out. it is the business of supporting our small businesses. mr. chairman, i ask my colleagues to support this very even-handed, this very vigorous amendment to support the hard working americans, small, women-owned. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. and the amendment is not agreed to. ms. jackson lee: mr. chairman, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas will be
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postponed. . it is now in order to consider amendment number 32 printed in house report 112-88. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? mr. andrews: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 32 offered by mr. andrews of new jersey. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 276, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. andrews: one of the things that the administration often faces is whether a certain task is better performed by employees of the department of defense or whether that task is best performed by those working for contractors competing for the right to do that business.
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there's two things i know about this issue. the first is that it is one we always debate because it's a very difficult one to resolve. and the second is that i don't think either answer is always the right one. i think any strategy that presupposes that having employees do a job isn't right, and a strategy that presupposes having contractors do a job isn't right. i think we've built a bipartisan consensus around the proposition that on a case-by-case basis over time we should collect evidence and decide whether or not a certain function is best performed by employees of the department of defense or whether it is best performed on a competitive contracted out basis. the purpose of my amendment is to address what i believe is an
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inbalance in this evidence-gathering process that goes under the name of an efficiency initiative. now, i don't think there's a member on this floor who would oppose an efficiency initiative, but efficiency is not something that presupposes that one answer is always better than the other, and i think the record shows we're presently living under an initiative that presupposes that contracting out is better than having federal employees perform that function. here's the evidence. between fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2010 department of defense services performed by contracting agencies -- that is to say companies -- increased from $73 billion in fiscal year 2001 to $181 billion in fiscal year 2010. this is an increase of 17% or
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about 15% per year. during the same period of time -- 117% or about 15% per year. during the same period of time it grew from $41 billion from 2001 to $69 billion in fiscal year 2010, a 68% increase or just under 7% per year. now, i am not prejudging as to whether the decisions that make up those aggregate numbers were all right or all wrong. that would certainly be beyond anyone's capability to do, but i think that kind of imbalance shows we're not conducting the kind of careful, fact-driven, merit-driven evidentiary process that we ought to be following. so here's what my amendment does. it says that when our bill is signed by the president that there will be a 60-day period
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where there will be just be a time-out, where we stop the contracting out process, we'll ask the department of defense -- we'll direct the department of defense to do two things. to answer the question of whether the decisions it has been taking are truly based on the merit and cost benefit or whether there are other factors involved. it will then ask the department of defense to certify that the laws and procedures that we set up in the past to make such decisions have in fact been followed. at the conclusion of that 60-day period, reports will be given to the armed services committee and the other defense committees of the congress and we will collectively review those reports and make a decision in time for next year's bill what to do. so this is an amendment that does not favor contracting out or keeping work in the hands of federal employees. this is an amendment that says that we should reflect on the fact that we've had a 147%
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increase in contracted out services at the time we've had a 68% increase in the compensation of federal employees, we should pause for 60 days after the bill is enacted, reflect the accuracy of that record and then collectively make a decision for the future as to what's best for the country. i think this is a reasonable approach to this issue. i'd urge a yes vote from both republicans and democrats. i'd reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. forbes: claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. forbes: mr. chairman, first, i appreciate the gentleman's amendment and i appreciate his work on the armed services committee. it's always very thoughtful and very committed to the national defense of our country. as i listen to him over and over again, i was agreeing with many of the things that he said. i think oftentimes the decisions that the department
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of defense has made under the guise of efficiencies have not been efficiency -- it could have cost us more. i think secondly they have been made without being well thought out. i think sometimes they have backfilled their analysis as they make the decisions. as i reach the gentleman's amendment basically it would suspend all the sourcing and work force policies based on all of d.o.d.'s initiatives -- efficiency's initiatives which is a wide gamut. mr. chairman, i think one, as i mentioned before, i think oftentimes the department of defense has been wrong in some of its efficiencies. that doesn't mean they have been wrong in every situation. and one of the things i think is a vital flaw in the gentleman's amendment is that there's no offset for the amendment to cover the reversal and the plan savings. in fact, according to the information that i've been given, the cost of not implementing these efficiencies could be as much as $3 billion.
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that is off of the top line of the defense budget, and i know the gentleman would agree with me that at this particular point in time such a huge hit to the department of defense would not be in the best interest of the national defense of the country. so with that, mr. chairman, i hope we will oppose the amendment. i hope that i can work with the gentleman and other members of the committee so we can make sure that d.o.d. gets this right as they move down the road but certainly we don't want to put this kind of impact of our men and women in uniformat this time. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the time of the gentleman from new jersey has expired. does the gentleman from virginia yield back? mr. forbes: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey. those in favor say aye of the amendment say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. mr. andrews: mr. chairman, on that i would ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further prosewedings on the amendment
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offered by the gentleman from new jersey will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 33 printed in house report 112-88. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? ms. lee: thank you, mr. chairman. amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 33 printed in house report 112-88 offered by ms. lee of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 276, the gentlelady from california, ms. lee, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: thank you very much, mr. chair. i do intend to withdraw this amendment, but i'd like to say why i offered it and why i think this debate is so important. we're talking about now trying to address a deficit which we all want to address. we do not want to leave this debt to our children and our
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grandchildren. that's a given. the big issue i think for many of us is, how do we get there, and what do we do and how do we ensure we have a budget that reflects, yes, our national security priorities, but also a budget that protects the most vulnerable in our country and a budget that ensures that we have priorities to create jobs and to turn this economy around? and so i believe we have to talk about not only discretionary spending and entitlement cuts, which the other side is talking about and making such an issue of, we have not really talked about the pentagon budget. we have not talked about looking at what it would mean if we cut the defense -- the defense budget back to 2008, as the republicans want to do with regard to our domestic discretionary spending. so what this amendment
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basically does is to say if we're going to do this we need to engage in a debate that is honor and we need to put everything on the table. that includes the pepping and in fact we need to begin to look at how we cut back to 2008 levels. we all know there's waste, fraud and abuse mountain pentagon. we still haven't been able to come up with a way to audit the pentagon funds. and so we need to do that. i think we should actually put a freeze on defense spending until we know where our tax dollars are going and until we know that our funds -- our tax dollars are being spent in a prude ept way. we don't even know that because we can't even get an audit of the pentagon. we also need to recognize that there are weapon systems that either do not need to be built because they have nothing to do with our national security interest now. i mean, we're out of the cold
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war. we're looking at asymmetrical warfare. we need to have a research and development program and a defense budget that reflect this new world that we're in rather than going back to cold war and developing these cold war-era weapon systems. so there are billions of dollars in those accounts. and so it's just prudent i think upon us to really begin to look at why if we're going to start cutting food stamps and community development block grants and how -- if we start cutting work force training and head start and health care and all of the areas which the majority of the american people rely on as taxpayers that we need to really look at where a huge portion of our budget falls. and that's within the pentagon's budget. also, we, again, want to talk about reducing the deficit, cutting the deficit.
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there's no way we'll even touch this unless we begin to look at the defense budget and the pentagon's budget. and so basically once again this amendment, what it does, it forces us to pause. it forces us to look at what type of savings there would be if we go back to 2008 as we want to do with domestic discretionary spending. again, i hope that we could discuss this amendment, have this debate. i know that there are not enough votes to get this passed, but i do know we need to begin this process of looking at and examining the defense budget so that the american people can nowhere their tax dollars are going and to recognize that there are billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse that we can look at in the pentagon budget and we need to put all of this on hold and go back to 2008 levels, be honest with the american people and begin to have some real debate about
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deficit reduction, job creation and the reduction of spending. so with that i will withdraw my amendment and thank you for the time and let's hope we can have a debate on the pepping budget -- pentagon budget at some point. the chair: the gentlelady from california asks to withdraw her amendment. without objection, the amendment is withdrawn. it is now in order to consider amendment number 37 printed in house report 112-88. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? mr. richmond: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 37 printed in house report 112-88 auched by mr. richmond of louisiana. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 276, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. richmond, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. mr. richmond: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. richmond: mr. chairman, i rise to ask my colleagues to support an amendment and restore fiscal common sense back to government. this amendment would save the u.s. taxpayer up to $310 million which would be paid to a private company in avondale, louisiana, for what? for closing. and before we get too far into policy and other things, i want to actually read the language of the amendment so that the american people can understand exactly what we're doing, mr. chairman. the amendment simply says that the secretary of defense may not make any payments pursuant to section 2325 of title 10 to united states code to a contractor related to the restructuring or closure of a ship yard manufacturing complex located in avondale, louisiana. now, many people may say, well,
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what am i attempting to stop? let me just take a minute and say what's going on here. . we have a business that employs almost 5,000 shipbuild iris and spun off. north throp grumman received money for this. and they made $530 million this quarter. the new company is closing the shipyard and because they are closing the shipyardu the u.s. government, the taxpayers will pay them up to $310 million for closing. that's insanity. as i meant with those employees last week, they said, congressman, we don't know if you can stop it, but the part that makes this very hard for us is that our tax dollars are being used to pay our employer who is giving us pink slips. i would just implore my
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colleagues to save the federal government $310 million at a time when we are cutting medicare, our children's future and not feeding the hungry. this is an attempt to save $310 million and i would also add that to all of my colleagues who have great ideas and looking for a pay-for, i'm volunteering $310 million out of my district so we can put back into the federal government so we can pay down the debt and do other things. but we do not need this $310 million going to a private company who made $45 million just this quarter for closing. and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> i rise to oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. akin: the question involves the avondle shipyard and there
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are three possibilities of what might happen to the shipyard. one possibility is that we leave the shipyard there to build ships for the navy. the trouble is we don't have enough demand or money to buy the ships we would need to keep that shipyard busy, which then means we are trying to build ships that a lot of locations where we don't have enough ships to get any economic benefits. what the result of that is, it's going to cost the taxpayer a whole lot more money to keep the ship yep yard open -- shipyard open when we don't have any money. another possibility is that the possibility because of the people that work there could be retooled and redesigned to use it for building other kinds of things other than navy ships. that would preserve the jobs. and the navy is willing to
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invest some money as long as it is less than what it would cost to keep the thing open. they are willing to invest some money to help with that transition so those people won't be unemployed. the other thing that could be done, you could just close the shipyard down. what this amendment does is, it says well, we aren't going to allow the navy to invest in retooling, so it's like a dare because it's really begging to have the whole shipyard closed down and not used for anything else. it's kind of a gamble to say well, we are going to save $310 million and gamble that that shipyard is going to stay open. if you say the navy isn't going to invest the money and say we'll close it down and lose all those jobs. this amendment may do the exact opposite of what you are trying to do. i may recognize mr. wittman for a comment or two for a minute
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and a half. mr. wittman: i want to rise in opposition to this amendment. passage of this amendment may result in the government being liable for the cost of maintaining these facilities. we want to make sure we are making the most efficient decision in rightsizing this industry. and after thorough review and endorsement by the department of defense, the contractor's plans to wind down were approved back in 2010. this amendment seeks to prohibit payments associated with the transition of the avondale shipyard. as the law is currently written, it allows the facility in louisiana to potentially be reconfigured to an alternate use in the future. if we want to transition, make
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sure we are using the employees there if we don't have the capacity needed to build ships. if this amendment were to become law, there no chance of transing it to something other than ship building and the government may be held liable. we want to make sure the capacity used in a productive way. this amendment will not prevent the closure of avondale and i urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from missouri has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. akin: the fact that this is going to save $310 million is not true. what this is going to do is force a solution that will be more expensive for the
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government and not very good for the employees down at avondale either. i have to say along with the navy and the leadership on the committee that we cannot really support this amendment. i think that the gentleman has very good intentions of what he is trying to accomplish but i don't think it's going to work the way he thinks to. it will probably force the closure and a whole lot of layoffs that wouldn't have to happen if we don't pass this amendment. i'm going to oppose it and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from louisiana has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. richmond: and i just want to clear some things. i don't want the shipyard to close. huntington just chrisened a ship a couple of weeks ago and while they did there, they announced to the employees, we are closing. the 3,000 employees, we will no longer be here. it's not personal, it's business. as much as i do like it, this is
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a private business that has decided they are going to close. i don't want to take the dollars and reward for closing in the process. so when you talk about they can retool or do something in the future, mr. chairman, i don't want to pretend or mislead the american people. they have yet to bid on a ship building contract since they have acquired the yard. they have no intentions to build ships there in the future. so as we talk about what they could do with the yard and this may force a closure, they have decided that they are going to close. they made $45 million in the first quarter of this year. they announced they are not going to bid on ships, not going to do anything or stay open. why would we give them $310 million of taxpayers' dollars and then pretend we are fiscally responsible? it's not fiscally responsible. the good thing i don't have to go back to my district whether
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it's virginia or missouri and explain to my constituents why i'm fighting to give a company in louisiana $310 million while i'm cutting medicare, medicaid, social security and all of these other things. i just wanted to clear up the fact that it's not an assumption that they're going to close. they already informed their employees that we're closing. hay hey, it's been a good ride. 6,000 indirect jobs, we wish we could stay but we made another decision. it is a private company's right when they want to close, i disagree with their decision, but i respect this is america and they have a right to do. but i have a right to be upset and try to block federal dollars going to them and that is $310 million going to a company for quitting. that's not the american way and i would ask my colleagues to support the amendment and not
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give $310 million to a company who just made $45 million in three months. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from louisiana. those in favor say aye. . those opposed, no. the noes have it. mr. richmond: i would like the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from louisiana will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 38 printed in house report 112-88, for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. mica: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 38 printed in house report 112-88 offered by mr. mica of florida. the chair: the gentleman from florida, mr. mica and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida.
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mr. mica: thank you, mr. speaker and my colleagues and i thank the members of the committee for allowing me to bring forth this rule and also the rules committee for allowing me to have it considered by the house. this is a simple amendment and this is an amendment that i almost think i'm offering not on behalf of myself but on behalf of our troops. i usually don't get involved in armed services matters, but i did have the tuvent to visit our troops -- have the opportunity to visit our troops in afghanistan in march and i was out in the forward operating positions in afghanistan and i asked the troops a question, you know, sometimes you get a few minutes of quiet time with our troops that are serving us out there in those dangerous areas and i said, when i return to congress, what could i do to help you do a better job?
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what would assist you? and every one of them said to me, mr. mica, could you change the rules of engagement. and so i'm offering this amendment on their behalf and on behalf of all the servicemen and women who should be able to defend themselves in hostile areas and i'm not trying to micromanage the military, but i have a basic provision that says, the secretary of defense shall ensure that the rules of engagement applicable to the armed services assigned to duty in any hostile fire area and we have a definition for that, shall and, one, fully protect the members' rights to bear arms and two, to authorize the members to fully defend themselves from hostile action. the secretary would set those parameters. this is my amendment. i believe that implementing a successful counterinsurgency
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strategy should not come at the costs of increasing coalition or military casualties. if we ask members of our armed forces to risk their lives to protect the home front, we must do everything with the material, options to fight on our behalf in hostile areas. please help me in arming our armed forces and also providing them with what i believe is the opportunity to adequately defend themselves in hostile theaters. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. who claims time in opposition? for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. smith: claim time in opposition and i will begin by yielding two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous
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consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. andrews: my objection respectfully to this amendment is that it supplants the decision of the commander in the field with the judgment of the congress. i frankly agree that there are very, very few circumstances i could imagine where we would not want our troops in the field to be fully armed to their complete comfort and satisfaction level. and so it's hard for me to imagine a circumstance where that would not be the case. but it's easy for me to understand a circumstance where the person in the field who is charged with the responsibility of achieving the mission and achieving maximum protection of his or her troops should have the authority to make that decision. so my objection to this is not the intent. i think we share it. my objection is the fact that the amendment supplants the
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judgment of that commander in the field and with the judgment we are making here thousands of miles away. although i shared the gentleman's intent, i would respectfully urge the members to vote no on the amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington reserves? mr. smith: i'll reserve. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i rise in opposition for a very simple reason. as the gentleman said in favor of the amendment, he does not wish to micromanage what goes tonight in field. i think there can be no more -- having congress insert itself into the debate about what the rules of engagement should be in the field of operations for the military is micromanaging in the
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absolute worse way. we should trust our commanders in the field to make those decisions and those decisions are and always will be controversial, both ways in terms of what the rules of engagement should be but i will simply make the very clear statement, i want our trained commanders in the field to make the decision on what the rules of engagement should be in any given environment, not the united states congress. this is not a debate that we should insert ourselves into and i believe that we should defeat this amendment and give the authority to the -- or leave the authority with the commanders where it belongs. and with that i would yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. >> in closing let me say that the united states congress does set the policies for engaging in war and hostile actions. the secretary of defense is clearly given the authority here to provide again applicable
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provisions for how this would apply. mr. mica: let me say that in closing, our troops, our service men and women should not be used at target practice in any hostile theater and they should be given the right to basic right to bear arms and defend themselves. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from florida. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes appear to have it. >> i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: does the gentleman ask for a recorded vote? >> yes. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from florida will be postponed.
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the chair: if there is no objection the committee will rise informally. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill.
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the clerk: h.r. 1893, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the airport and airway trust fund to amend title 49, united states code, to extend the airport improvement program and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the committee will resume its sitting. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in house report 112-88 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. amendment number 2 by ms. woolsey of california. amendment number 12 by mr. hunter of california. amendment number 24 by mr.
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sarbanes of maryland. amendment number 25 by mr. murphy of connecticut. amendment number 27 by mr. cole of oklahoma. amendment number 28 by mr. garamendi of california. amendment number 26 by mrs. maloney of new york. amendment number 30 by mr. heinz of connecticut. amendment number 31 by ms. jackson lee of texas. amendment number 32 by mr. andrews of new jersey. amendment number 37 by mr. richmond of louisiana. the chair will reduce to two minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote after the first vote in the series. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 2 fingerprint -- by the gentlelady from california, ms. woolsey, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 precipitationed in house report
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112-88 offered by ms. woolsey of california. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of
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the chair: on this vote, the yeas are 83, the nays are 334 with zero answering present. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 12, printed in house report 112-88 by the gentleman from california, mr. hunter, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the ayes prevailed.
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the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 12 printed in house report 112-88 offered by mr. hunter of california. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 203, the nays are 213, zero answering present, the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on on amendment number 24 printed in the house report 112-88 by the gentleman from maryland, mr. sarbanes, on which the proceedings were postponed and
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on which the pace in prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 24 printed in house report 11-88 offered by mr. sarbanes -- 112-88 offered by mr. sarbanes of maryland. the chair: a record vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this also is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 198, the nays are 225, zero answering present, the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on on amendment number 25 printed in house report 112-88 by the gentleman from connecticut, mr. murphy, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the pace in prevailed by a voice vote -- anyways prevailed by a voice vote. the clerk: -- nays prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: the amendment offered by mr. murphy of connecticut. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. also a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
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commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 208, the nays are 212 with zero answering present. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the
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request for a recorded vote on on amendment number 27 printed in house report 112-88 by the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. cole, on which further proceedings were postponed and which the ace prevailed by voice vote -- ayes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment number 27 printed in house report 112-88 offered by mr. cole of oklahoma. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote, theize are 12261 and nays are 163 and the amendment is adopted. the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote for amendment number 28 printed in house report 112-88 offered by the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi, on which the yeas prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment number offered by mr. garamendi of california. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a
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two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote, the yeas are 168, the nays are 256, zero answering present, the amendment is not adopted. unfinished business is request for recorded vote on amendment number 26 printed in house report 112-88 by mrs. maloney on which further proceedings were postponed and the nays prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment number 26 printed in house report 112-88
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offered by mrs. maloney of new york. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote -- the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 176, the nays are 248, zero answering present, the amendment is not adopted. unfinished business is request for a recorded vote on amendment number 30, printed in house
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report 112-88 by the gentleman from connecticut, mr. himes, on which further proceedings were postponed and which the yeas prevailed by a voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 30, offered by mr. himes of connecticut. the speaker pro tempore: the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, members will record their votes by electronic device. two minutes. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 184, the nays are 240 with zero answering present. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on on amendment number 31 printed in the house report 112-88 by the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, on which further proceedings are postponed and on which the nays prevailed by a voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 31 printed in house report 112-88 offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute,
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inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 189, the nays are 232.
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 191, the nays are 232. zero answering present. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 32 printed in the house report 112-88 by the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews, which further proceedings were postponed and on which the nays prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 32 printed in house report 112-88 offered by mr. andrews of new jersey. the chair: recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having
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arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. we only got two left, stay in the room. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 178, the nays are 246, zero answering present. the amendment is not adopted.
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the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 37 printed in house report 112-88 by the gentleman from louisiana, mr. richmond, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the nays prevailed by a voice vote. the clerk are will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 37 printed in house report 112-88 offered by mr. richmond of louisiana. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 177, the nays are 46 with zero answering present. the -- 246 with zero answering present. the amendment is not adopted.
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the chair: the house will be in order. the chair would like to request members to take their conferrings off the floor and out of the well area. the house will be in order. members will take their seats or their conversations off the floor.
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 39 printed in house report 12-88. -- 112-88. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk designated number 39 in house report 112-88. >> the house is not in order. the chair: the gentleman is correct. members will take their conversations off the floor. the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 39 printed no house report 112-88 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 276, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. one second, sir.
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the member will suspend. again, so we can continue on business, please take conversations off the floor. those in the rear of the chamber as well, please. ok the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chair. this amendment would include sense of congress language in the bill that would express that congress supports extending the current deployment of national guard troops on the border through the rest of the fiscal year. as many are worry -- are aware, october of last year, 1,200 national guard troops were deployed along the border. it's helping to bridge the gaps until we train enough border agents to patrol the rest of the border as authorized by congress. to be more specific, the governor of arizona indicated
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that under this deployment, the arizona national guard has been involved in approximately 19,000 observations, 10,000 apprehension assists, 235 drug seizure assists involving about 18 tons of marijuana. however, unless action is taken this deployment will end at the enof next month when troops will be coming off the -- troops will be coming off the border likely before that as well. in arizona, those in the yuma sector will tell you that the presence of national guard troops has been instrumental in us achieving operational control, which means that if an illegal ail general crosses the -- crosses the border in the -- if an illegal alien crosses the border in the yuma session -- section, there's a good chance we'll catch them. we also need to achieve that in the tucson sector.
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-- sector. it would be a step back yards in the tucson sector which continues to deal with drug smuggle. in february of this year, the g.a.o. testified that, quote, the border patrol reported achieving varying levs of operational control, 873, 44% of nearly 2,000 southwest border miles by the end of fiscal year 2010. so we will -- have a long ways to go and we need these national guard troops there. it's not the time to do that when you talk particularly with local ranchers, farmers, and residents along the border who regularly come in contact with groups coming across the border, many times armed, many times carrying drugs, they certainly support extending the stay of the national guard. when i talked to the ranchers there, they have particular praise for the actions of the national guard there. they've dope a good job. so until we can have
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operational control of more of the border, we've got to ensure that these national guard troops stay. any understand -- my understanding is that the president supports keeping them there. if we can find the resources to do so. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. smith: i claim time in opposition though i am not opposed to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: border security continues to be a challenge and priority, national guard troops are helping, now in a bipartisan way there's agreement on that i support mr. flake's amendment an urge the body to support it asle with. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i yield back my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair,
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the ayes have it, the amendment is -- amendment is agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 40 printed in house report 112-88. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk designated as number 140 in house report 112-88. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk -- the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 40 printed in house report 112-88 offered by mr. flake. the chair: the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: this amendment is straightforward as well. it seeks to repeal the authorization for the national drug intelligence center which was included in the 1993 defense appropriation act. the ndic is an entity that received millions of taxpayer dollars over the years despite steady criticism that it's been ineffective in accomplishing its mission. this is a mission that's been described as duplicative and ought to be realigned else
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twhresm "wall street journal" noted on january 31 that, quote, conservatives have argued the center is a waste of money and critics argue it's never fulfilled its promise to provide high quality analysis of drugs network. i have come to this floor many times to reduce funding or close the ndic. reducing funding or ending funding for the ndic has been far from a solo mission. earlier this year, we voted in the c.r. debate to end funding for the ndic. according to citizens against government waste, president bush proposed termination of the ndic in his budget for 2006, 2007 and 2008. in 2006 the spokes map for the department of justice asserted that the resources should be, quote, realigned to support priority counterterrorism and national security initiatives. even the current administration's deputy
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attorney general said that many of the center's functions can be performed elsewhere, as reported in c.q. today on february 14 of this year. as i mentioned during consideration of h r. 1, 262 members of the body voiced their option opposition to the ndic when they voted in favor of an amendment i offered to strike funding in its entirety for fiscal year 2011. yet the ndic still received more than $34 million in f.y. 2011 and stands to receive more in f.y. 2012 unless we do something to stop it. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i rise in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: as we discuss the ndic once again, i'm concerned for the folks working at the ndic doing the great work and worried about them as their work and their jobs are again turned into political football.
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this is not obviously as the gentleman from arizona has said, not the first time that he's offered amendments or offered legislation to close the ndic and at the vote earlier that he referenced earlier this year, i'm a reasonable human being and i sent mr. flake a note, february 22 of this year, asking him for the information that he was just citing because i want to see, i want to do good things for this cupry and if there are duplicative functions, if ndic is not doing the job they tell me, i want to see that information. i did not receive any response to that february 22 information and so i then had my staff do research and found some of the references that were being -- some of the information that was being referenced was from a g.a.o. report from april, 199 . some of the personal testimonies against the ndic
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were from a gentleman who was fired and another man who hadn't worked there for 16 years. so what i did then was do some research on what ndic -- not do some research but quantify and qualify what ndic does and noted they are the only stratenalic drug threat assessment organization in the country. many times, there are -- they are compared to the el paso center epic which does tactical. tactical meaning that they have a 24-hour watch system, prepared to respond quickly to requests from law enforcement. many times they're talked about as fusion centers. fusion centers are operational. they support multijurisdictional investigations. ndic is the only strategic drug intelligence center in the country, they offer strategic drug threat assessments, money laundering, support to intelligence community and senior policymakers and they
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also have a product called domax, the document and media exploitation support. what's interesting is that the prior amendment talking about the borders of arizona and how important it was to secure them, domax and ndic also have operations in arizona and according to the phoenix d.e.a., they are doing an incredible job assisting and enhancing the strike force investigations being conducted here in arizona. arizona attorney general's office recently sent a letter stating, i wish to take this opportunity to express the appreciation of this office for all the work ndic has done in connection with the investigation of money laundering. now when we talk about money laundering and the work ndic is doing, because the money that is made ill listly through drugs finds its way into ill list -- illicit activities and
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terrorism. they find the reports and ship them out to agencies. they eliminate redundancy. the director of operations cited ndic's participation in a weekly briefing that includes over 290 participants talking about ill liss it -- illicit drug trafficking around the world. they produce maps each week that are a key piece of the teleconference. in their budget request, the agency, the department of justice says -- the ndic facilitates the sound strategies, initiatives and policies and regulations and promotes effective intelligence driven solicitation in support of the attorney general's priorities. mr. chairman, ndic is not duplicative. they proved time and time again. it's time to stop rehashing
quote
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information from mid 1990's to eliminate this center an i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from new york, mr. the judiciary committee to talk about the germaneness of this amendment. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, nowhere in this bill that's before us is there any authorization -- the chair: the gentleman will suspend. the gentleman only has 30 seconds. mr. smith: i yield the balance of my time. >> nowhere in this bill is the ndic funned at all. now it's funded in the department of justice. this antidepressant has no business in this bill. mr. nadler: it ought to be in the authorization or perhaps the appropriations bill for the department of justice. the only reason that the parliamentarian might rule this not ungermane is because the rule waives all poifereds but
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-- all points of order. it's authorized and appropriated in the department of justice. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: may i inquire as to the time remaining? the chair: the gentleman has three minutes remaining. mr. flake: let me just say that two successive administrations, one republican, bun democrat have -- one democrat have called for eliminating or severely reducing the funning that goes to ndic because as we've heard before, programs are duplicative, wasteful, and there's no doubt that some good work goes on there, nobody is disputing that, but there's also good work that goes on at the ondcp, or the d.e.a. or other drug enforcement agencies or other agencies that have that as their portfolio. for years and years we have been funding programs just because a powerful member of
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this body or somebody sought an earmark or several earmarks or earmarks over a series of years to fund particular institutions or programs. that's what we have here. that's the legacy we're left with here and we're simply trying to say, enough is enough. we've got to save money somewhere. and if we can't do it with a program like this, where can we do it? when are we going to get serious about this debt and deficit that we have? and so that's what we're doing here. the reason we're doing it on this is because we're seeking to strike authorization. as we know, if we don't have authorization for a program, it's more difficult for that program to be funded. believe me, we'll be back in the appropriations process to go after this funding as well. but we thought we ought to go here, this was ruled in order, it is germane to the bill and that's why we're here. and let me just stress again, we have to get serious about this fiscal situation we're in. if we can't get serious about a program like this, that's been
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called duplicative and wasteful and too successive administrations, one republican, one democratic, have urged either to eliminate or severely reduce funding for and congress keeps coming back and providing far more money than the administration even wants for this, because they know there are other programs, other agencies, other institutions that are doing this same work, if we can't save money here, i don't know where we're going to save it, mr. chairman. so i would urge adoption of the amendment and let's do something here for the taxpayer and something for our defense and intelligence and our drug -- antidrug efforts by making sure that programs that are not effective end and that's funding -- and that funding be placed elsewhere. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. >> mr. chairman, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 41 printed in house report 112-88. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? ms. schakowsky: i'd like to speak in favor of the amendment. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 41 printed in house report 112-88 offered by ms. schakowsky of illinois. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 276, the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. schakowsky, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois. ms. schakowsky: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. for those who are interested in fiscal responsibility, this
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amendment would freeze department of defense spending until the pentagon is able to pass an audit, able to pass an audit. this freeze could be waived by the president if it would harm our national security and my amendment excludes spending for wounded warriors and defense personnel accounts as well as for overseas contingency operations. though defense spending currently accounts for over 20% of our federal budget, d.o.d. remains one of the few federal agencies unable to pass an independent audit. this leaves the pentagon vulnerable to serious waste and fraud. a recent g.a.o. review of selected major weapons systems found that $70 billion have been lost through waste, mainly due to, quote, poor management and execution problems, unquote. tens of billions of -- more have been paid to fraudulent contractors. i remember back in 2002 then secretary defense rumsfeld admitted that he could not
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account for $2.3 trillion in pentagon expenditures. for over two decades the pentagon has been under obligation to face an audit and currently it must be auditable by september, 2017, but recent status reports have raised serious concerns that this goal will not be met. waste and fraud in the pentagon have serious consequences, both for our fiscal stability and our national security. my amendment provides a real incentive for the pentagon finally to pass an audit. it is a -- it is irresponsible to continue what secretary gates has called the gusher of defense spending without ensuring that we know where taxpayer dollars are going. i believe this is a commonsense idea, it is also a bipartisan one, my amendment is very similar to a proposal that senator coburn made to the national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform under which i also served last year. it is a constitutional requirement that, quote, a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of
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all public money shall be published -- published from time to time, unquote. these are very difficult financial times and we're faced with difficult choices in the pros remain -- prospect of cutting difficult federal programs and this accounting of funds has become more important than ever, including the pentagon. and now i would like to yield one minute of my remaining time to the gentlewoman from california, barbara lee. mr. lee: thank you very much, mr. -- ms. lee: thank you very much. i want to thank my colleague, congresswoman schakowsky, who has been such a strong leader on sensible and serious deficit reduction efforts. this amendment is very similar to an amendment that i submitted to rules and i want to thank congresswoman schakowsky for continuing to move this forward. because it is just extremely important that the financial statements of the defense department be audited. where are our defense dollars
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going? we have no idea. sadly the department of defense inspector general and the g.a.o. have documented time and time again the department's inability to answer this very basic question. some of my colleagues may make the argument that the department deaf fence is making so much progress on this -- department of defense is making so much progress on this issue, requiring the records to be audited by september, 2017, but this is too late. billions of dollars are going out of the door each month, the american people deserve to know where our defense dollars are going. there can be no more blank checks and certainly no blank checkbook to be handed over to any president. i thank the gentlelady for yielding and for this very commonsense amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired -- the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, first of all, i want to applaud the gentleladies for the amendment that they've brought forward because they have hit a true problem with the department of defense. there is a statute requiring
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that the department of defense audit their financial records and they have failed to do that. they didn't do it in 2007, didn't do it in 2008, didn't do it in 2009, didn't do it in 2010. they're not going to do it this year. mr. forbes: but this is part of a bigger problem. mr. chairman, one of the things that we've got to do for the national defense of this country is determine what the true threat assessment is without having budgetary influences. independent panel about review has said that they're very, very concerned that our q.d.r. defense strategies are dictated more by the budget than they are by risk assessment. and i'm proud of the fact that the chairman and the rank member have fought very hard to make sure this bill, they have moved us in that direction. secondly we've got to determine the true cost of defending the country based on those risk assessments. and thirdly we've got to determine what the risk are if we don't do it. and the fourth thing s as the gentlelady mentioned, we've got to know where our money is going and right now we do not know that.
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but the unfortunate thing is, this bill is just a bridge too far. it is a risky situation to begin cutting all the funding for many of these operations and we're not cutting the missions. and while i agree with the gentlelady's concern and think we need to work towards it, i'm proud of the work that we have done in this committee this year to move that forward. i can assure the gentlelady we're going to continue to work to hold d.o.d.'s feet to the fire and to make sure they're accountable for the dollars they spend, the american taxpayers deserve that. but i hope we'll reject this amendment because our men and women in uniform and the people of the united states also deserve to make sure we're doing everything possible to defend and protect this country and i'm afraid this amendment would put that defense in jeopardy. for that reason, mr. chairman, i hope we'll reject the amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from -- the gentlelady from illinois has 1 1/2 minutes remaining.
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ms. schakowsky: thank you, mr. chairman. seems to me, since we agree that the problem is that the pentagon has never explained where its money is going and because there are waivers within this, that anything declared in need of national defense and we certainly take care of our troops will be excluded from the legislation, that it is time, finally. it's not just the last year, the year before, the year before that, it's been about 20 years before the pentagon itself has explained where all the money goes. and being such a huge part of our budget it seems like now would be a good time, particularly because there are so many open doors left in this so that our national security and our troops are in no way jeopardized by the -- by my bill and i would really appreciate all of us being able to work together to make sure that the taxpayers know where this huge amount of money is going. the time is long overdue.
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i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from virginia. mr. forbes: could i inquire as to how much time i have remaining? the chair: three minutes. mr. forbes: marriage, the gentlelady makes a good point. it is past time that this happened but this is a very risky thing to do. one with of the things that these waivers are limited, the second thing is it's very difficult for the president to come in and make sure he's making all the appropriate waivers. this could jeopardize moneys that we're spending for training, money we're spending for modeling and simulation to forecast risk assessments that may hit the united states and i think we need to be very, very careful before we come in with a sledgehammer and begin hitting all of this funding across the board. that we make sure that we recognize we have a problem, that the key for us, mr. chairman, so make sure we're very deliberate and careful about how we address that problem. i think we've done it in this bill, i think we've done it in a bipartisan manner. it was 60-1 in the bill and i think, mr. chairman, i hope that
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we'll reject this avenue because i don't think we can afford to just go in and cut off all the funding, as much as i wish we could do that, i think it's dangerous for the american people and for the defense of the country and i hope once again we'll defeat the amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from illinois. you have 30 seconds. ms. schakowsky: vote yes, thank you. the chair: you yield back? ms. schakowsky: i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. forbes: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question son the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from illinois. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. this amendment is not agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 42 printed in house report 112-88. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. smith: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate -- the gentleman from california.
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>> i ask unanimous consent that the debate time for consideration of amendment number 42 be expanded by 10 minutes and that such time shall be equally divided and controlled by the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, and myself. the chair: without objection, so ordered. now, the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 42 printed in house report 112-88 offered by mr. smith of washington. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 276, the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, and a member opposed will each control five minutes -- 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chair, i yield myself such time as i may consume. this amendment has to do with whether or not to try anyone in guantanamo or any non-u.s. citizen captured abroad going forward in article three courts in the united states. the underlying legislation prohibits anyone currently at guantanamo or anyone who would be brought there in the future and for that matter any non-u.s.
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citizen captured abroad from being tried in article three courts. this really sort of grew out of the larger debate over whether or not to close guantanamo bay. the one argument that i want to make clear, you can support my amendment even if you believe guantanamo bay should remain open. now, i don't. i believe we should close it, that we should handle those terrorists, where we handle them by military commission, by article three court or by indefinitedy tension, that they should not be held at guantanamo. but you can still hold guantanamo bay open and support my amendment. what my amendment says is we want to make sure that article three courts are still a possibility for trying these terrorists. the main problem i have with the underlying bill is it takes that possibility off the table and requires either a military commission or indefinite detention and i think that is a bad and dangerous policy. now, we have to understand that we have already tried and
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convicted over 400 international terrorists in our federal courts. in our article three courts. as we sit here right now or as i stand here right now we have over 300 convicted terrorists being held in prisons in the united states. there's no question that we can do this, no question that we can do it safely. by going into this bill and taking off the table the option of article three courts, all we're doing is we are tying the hands of our department of justice and our president as they seek ways to bring terrorists to justice and take them off the battlefield. right now we have over 170 inmates at guantanamo bay. we don't know what to do with the fair number of them, for a variety of different reasons. that undermines our ability to fight the terrorism threat that we are trying to confront, it doesn't help it. i ask we give the president all the tools in his toolbox. i support military commissions and i support indefinite
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detention, in some cases that's going to be necessary. i also support our courts that have over 200 years of history, some of the most effective courts in the world for their ability to bring swift an fair justice to all criminals. we should not undermine our president's ability to make use of those courts in prosecuting our fights against terrorists. therefore, i urge you to support this amendment. i will add one thing. in my amendment if the president is going to bring people from guantanamo bay to be tried here in article 3 court he has to notify congress, he has to establish -- establish that he feels that can be done safely and fairly. it does require that. more than anything, it gives the president the option of article 3 courts which he needs in order to properly prosecute the war against terrorism. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington, did you reserve the balance of your time?
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the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i rise in -- mr. mckeon: i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. choim the -- the chair: the gentleman is reck nighed for 10 minutes. mr. mckeon: thank you. my good friend ranking member smith and i and our staffs have been working together for a long time to try to come to agreement. and we have. come to agreement on many points of this bill. but there are a few differences here. his amendment would be a change and a weakening of existing law regarding circumstances relating to guantanamo detainees. the law last year prohibited the transfer of guantanamo detainees to the united states, prohibited certain detainee transfers to countries overseas
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and prohibited the construction or modification of facilities in the united states to house guantanamo detainees. ranking member smith's amendment would relax all of these restrictions. miz amendment would allow guantanamo detainees and others to be transferred to the united states to face prosecution. i share his goal of seeking justice for victims of terrorism. however, i disagree that it's necessary to bring detainees to the united states to do so. i feel strongly that guantanamo detainees and other detainees overseas should be prosecuted in the military commission system. instead of bringing them into the united states. we currently have multimillion dollar facilities ready to try detainees for their war crimes at guantanamo that are sitting empty. additionally guantanamo detainees who already have
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habeas protection would likely be granted further constitutional rights if brought on to u.s. soil. i strongly oppose ranking member smith's amendment. there is no need to bring guantanamo or other law of war detainees into the united states. and with our increasing concerns relating to the recidivist rates and activities of guantanamo detainees, there's no reason to loosen restrictions on transferring detainees overseas to countries where they're likely to return to the fight and threaten men and women in uniform, u.s. citizens, or the u.s. homeland. i strongly oppose this amendment and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. langevin. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. langevin: i thank the gentleman for yielding.
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mr. speaker, i rise in support of the amendment offered by my colleague and the ranking member, mr. smith of washington. to strike a line in the bill relating to transferring detainees to the united states for prosecution. this amendment does not require that detainees be transfered to u.s. soil. it simply allows a range of options for prosecution of terror suspects and supports our most sacred national values. as currently written, this legislation ties our hands at a crucial time in gitmo's history. it's important to know that as of today over 400 terrorism convictions have occurred in u.s. federal courts since 9/11. prosecuting terrorists in the u.s. is just one of many options, incruding military commissions and detainee transfers which must be available in order to bring these terrorists to justice. a yes vote for this amendment
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is a vote for our national values, for due process and for leaving all our prosecuteorial options on the table when dealing with the terrorists. i want to thank the gentleman for his amendment, this does not require detainees be transfered to u.s. soil, it leaves the option on the table if the president so deems that that would be an option to be exercised. with that, i thank the gentleman and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. chairman. i think the bottom line here is that the american people have made their views on this subject quite clear and their views are they do not want guantanamo terrorists brought here to our homeland.
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and that view has been reflected in legislation that was passed even in an overwhelming democratic congress during the last term. and i would suggest that there are good reasons that the american people feel that way, that they don't want terrorists brought here to our homeland. part of that reason i'd suggest is that the administration has not done a lot to promote confidence in its ability to handle these situations. they come up with one plan and they get criticism, they back off, it's back and forth, and so we have had needless delays ever since this administration has been in office because frankly they have been inept when it comes to dealing with having a plan that deals with trifflets that the american people can trust. now maybe if we had a different history, there could be greater confidence in giving greater options as the gentleman wants to do or to having some other
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possibilities but we cannot rewrite history and the trust is simply not there. instead what we have is some rather petulant comments by the attorney general saying that, well, they still want to close guantanamo and they still want to try them in article 3 courts, even though the law is the other way and the opinion of the american people is clearly the other way. so i believe that the current law that we had in last year's bill should be the same policy for next year. and i do think it's important to point out that this only applies to the coming fiscal year. this is not a forever thing. but this does continue the ban on bringing terrorists here to our homeland for the coming fiscal year. given the history of where we've been and where we are, that's what the american people want. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from no, mr.
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nadler. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: this amendment is not about closing guantanamo. it does not demand the closing of guantanamo. it does say that detainees, whether they're held at guantanamo or somewhere else, can come to the united states if the administration decides that they should be tried in a regular court or can be tried in the military court at guantanamo or even somewhere else. now it may be that we keep talking about terrorists. some of these people are terrorists. some are accused of being terrorists. and are not. some were simply picked up by a rival group in afghanistan and sold for $5,000 for a bounty to an american -- to american troops and labeled terrorists. it may be the prosecuting authorities believe it would be better justice to have this person tried in regular court. we know the regular courts have convicted 400-something odd,
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470, i think, terrorists whereas the military courts have convicted five or six. we also know that the statutory underpinnings of the military courts are under channel and will be under challenge in the courts and anyone convicted there will probably go for years before that is affirmed by the supreme court. it may well be that in some or many cases or a few cases it makes sense from justice and from operational efficiency to try people in a regular court as we have done since the declaration of independence. that's what the gentleman's amendment does. it gives the executive branch the power, the discretion, the authority to make intelligent decisions. we can all agree or disagree on whether the current or next administration makes intelligent decisions. that's what political debate is about. we shouldn't tie their hands, let them use military tribunals, though i hope they do that sparingly, we should let them use article 3 courts as american tradition an justice would dictate and we
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should stand on our tra digs of due process. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield to the gentleman from illinois, mr. schilling, one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. schilling: i oppose this amendment for a simple but serious reason. this amendment seeks to loosen the prohibition on detainee transfers from guantanamo to the united states. i must strongly oppose it. the amendment would permit the president to commence detainee transfers by producing a plan and receiving certification from the attorney general. it gives congress no authority to alter or -- alter or disaprove such a plan once submitted. this is fundamentally no different than the state of affairs that existed in 2009 when president obama and attorney general holder created a fiasco by trying to breeng khalid sheikh mohammed to new york for trial. by seeking to strike section
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237, this would pave way for transfer of detainees to military bases within the united states prior to prosecution or civilian facilities like thompson prison, which is in my home state of illinois. there's no reason to bring detainees to the united states of america. i have been to guantanamo and the detention facility there is are state of the art facilities, safe and humane. i want to thank our soldiers who stand guard. day and night with the worst of the worst. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection, so ordered. mr. andrews: i assume we universally share the view that we want those who have committed acts of terrorism against innocent people to be brought to justice. and we have entrusted that responsibility to prosecutors
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in the military and the justice department and to our intelligence community. this amendment lets those prosecutors do their job unimpeded by judgments that we are making without all the factings. if this amendment doesn't pass, the underlying bill says to those prosecutors, even if you think as has been the case with over 400 other suspects convicted in article 3 courts that an article 3 trial is the right thing to do, you may not do it. it says to prosecutors, even if you think live testimony from a guantanamo detainee in a criminal court in this country in someone else's trial will help you win a conviction you may not do it. even if you think that we could gain standing with allies by
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having such a person tried in another jurisdiction, it would achieve a better result for our country and an alliance against terrorism, you may not make that choice. congress should set broad policy for our country, we should not monday morning quarterback or back seat drive. by limiting the options of prosecutors, i believe that's what we're doing and we're risking the undesired and ironic result that we're -- we'll make it more difficult for those with whom we've entrusted this task to achieve the goal of bringing these people to justice. mr. smith's amendment is well considered. it broadens the options of prosecutors. i think it hastens the day when those who deserve to be brought to justice will be brought to justice. i urge a yes vote on mr. smith's amendment. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. smith --

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