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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  September 19, 2013 5:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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reverend david beckman who writes, the proposed cuts are clear indications that some in congress underestimate the hunger that is present in american homes. to continue with the quote, the bill picks on the poorest people in the country. this is morally and economically unacceptable. especially as some areas continue to experience high unemployment. i also want to thank reverend steven blair. adequate and nutritious food is a fundamental human right and the basic need that is integral to the -- to protecting the life and dignity of the human person. please defeat this bill. it's the wrong thing to do. in a country as rich as our own, we can feed the poor, it's the most basic imperative in the bible. thank you. mr. lucas: may i inquire how much time is remaining for both myself and the other member. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has five and a half minutes, the gentlelady from
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ohio has eight and three quarter minutes remaining. mr. lucas: i'd like to note to the ranking member i potentially have additional speakers, they have not made an appearance yet, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from ohio is recognized. ms. fudge: it is my privilege and pleasure to yield to the gentlewoman from california, ms. pelosi, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady for yielding, i thank her also for her leadership on this really very important issue to the values of our country. her service on the agricultural -- agriculture committee is indeed a blessing to usal as we fight for our children. mr. lucas, thank you for your leadership of the committee as well. i know you tried to bring a bipartisan bill to the floor, what happened after that, i
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won't go into it. i want to thank collin peterson on the committee. we need a farm bill, we want a good farm bill for our farmers and ranchers and for food security. hopefully we can get to that place but not with doing violence to our children. mr. speaker, we come -- this body is so magnificent because it's so diverse. we represent districts all over the country. we represent people of different backgrounds all over the country. but one thing among others but one thing that we certainly have in common is that each one of us has people in our district, each of us has people in our district have people in our districts, who depend on the snap program. for they nutrition. there isn't one person in this room who can rise up and say, nobody in my district relies on
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the nutrition programs that are in the farm bill. chief among them are children, seniors, veterans, and their families. they are the real faces of hunger in america. and their stories are the most compelling reason to reject this dangerous republican legislation. in my district in san francisco, people from all walks of life have relied on the snap program to make it through tough and trying times. one young woman i want to catlynn now in her 20's, worked hard at a part-time job to put herself in college. -- through college. but as the recession took its toll, she found she could not afford to pay rent and purchase food each month. because she qualified for emergency food snap initiative
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she was able to get by, get a promotion, and now works full time. here's brian, 50 years old and homeless. even though he searches constantly for full-time employment, he spends his spare time volunteering at st. anthony's dining room, helping other people a place that helps other people to find food, find shelter, clothes, and compassion in our community. there he gives back what lit he will has to the community, whole heartedly serving our seniors, veterans, children and families who also rely on the generosity of people like brian to feed themselves and their loved ones. like brian and caitlin, millions of people across america are working hard and giving all they have to lift themselves up and help others get on their feet. i have heard my colleagues talk, one of them said if you don't work you shouldn't eat or
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something to that effect, i hope i heard it incorrectly. it's important to note that because of the low minimum wage in our country, a family of four with both parents working full time and earning the minimum wage are below the poverty line. they don't even come close to 130% of poverty. they are below the pofferity line. so in some respects, the snap program is subsidizing a low minimum wage in our country, as other support does as well. i wish that we could respect how hard it is for a family of four with two people working full time not making enough money to put food on the table. that we respect them. for their struggle and for their concern for their families.
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and not judge them that they shouldn't have food on the table because our country has chosen to pay a subliving wage to so many people in our country. the republican proposal on the legs today slashes at the on which many of these people stand. indeed, cutting investments is a full assault on the health and economic security of millions of families. one -- consider this. one in five children that's soon becoming one in four, but one in five children struggle with hunger and nearly half of all snap recipients are children. nearly four million americans over age 60 rely on nutrition assistance. 5,000 active duty military families, active duty families, rely on snap, depend on snap. nearly three million veterans and their families don't get
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enough to eat each month, three million veterans, and this bill would jeopardize assistance for as many as 170,000 veterans. a couple of weeks ago i was in houston texas, we were at mass and the sermon was a beautiful one about -- and the bible was, the gospel was that day too. many of our colleagues have coated the gospel of matthew, when i was hungry you gave me to eat and other parts of the bible. and the gospel that day was talking about how the prayers that day were talking about how we have a responsibility to each other. sermon, the n, the priest said something that i think we should consider as we consider our vote here today. he said, you just can't come to church and pray on sunday and go out and pray on -- and prey on people the rest of the week.
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is legislation is preying, p-r-e-y-i-n-g on people. on children. on veterans, on senior, on all those who are struggling to do their best. in our country. it is our moral obligation to reject this legislation and to preserve the investments, these investments that every american needs. for americans who need them. and other americans who want them to have it. it is our moral duty to vote down this measure and to work across the aisle in conference on a comprehensive farm bill that ensures food security, supports our farmers and ranchers and strengthens rural communities. community. that should be the word of the hour. what is our responsibility to community? it certainly isn't to say to
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kids, we want you to do your best in school but we're not going to fuel your mind by giving you food to eat. or to thank our veterans by priving them of their -- depriving them, or our seniors for all they have done. something is wrong with this picture. but i know one thing for sure, every person who votes for this republican measure is voting to hurt his or her own constituents because we all represent people who at some time need help. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lucas: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady. ms. fudge: i yeeled to the gentlelady from wisconsin, ms. moore, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. moore: i would like to ask the speaker if --
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair ill remind all persons in the gallery that they are here as guests of the house and that any manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings or other audible conversation is in violation of the rules of the house. the gentlelady from wisconsin is recognized for one minute. ms. moore: thank you, mr. speaker. the nutrition reform work opportunity act of 2013 is rife with fraud, waste, and abuse. the bill is fraudulent in its claims that it's a benevolent bill that merely institutes work requirements and won't hurt children. in my very own state of wisconsin 4,000 children will lose free and reduced lunch and as the entire family will be penalized, it will also hurt the elderly and disabled to live in the households. it's fraudulent. it's a bill that is a waste of ur constituents' belief in and
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stewardship in us that we would do the conscientious right thing for the american people. we don't throw people under the bus when they're in a recession and can't find employment. it's a waste. it is abusive of 15% of americans and 22% of children who live in abject poverty. i ask my colleagues to reject this bill rife with fraud, waste, and abuse. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expire theffed gentleman from oklahoma continues to reserve. the gentlelady from ohio. ms. fudge: i yield to the gentlewoman from arizona, ms. sinema, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. sin ma: thank you -- ms. sin ma: thank you -- ms. sinema: thank you for yielding. go hird of children
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hungry. cuts to snap will make this worse. when i was a kid my family went through tough times and after my parents got dworsd mitigating circumstance mom relied on food stamps to feed us kids. later, when my stepfather was out of work and my family was homeless, food stamps once again helped my family survive. yet my family was lucky. we had friends and family and my parents' church helping us in addition to snap. today, snap provides hardworking families with food security while they're struggling to make ends meet. the program helped me just as snap is helping kids and working families in arizona today. both family farmers and hungry children in arizona are waiting on congress to pass a complete farm bill. i've called on congress to put hardworking farmers and families ahead of partisanship. congress should pass a bipartisan farm bill just as it has for decades in the past. today's bill unfortunately
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isn't a solution for families or farmers. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. the gentleman from oklahoma continues to reserve. the screalt from ohio. ms. fudge: i yield to the gentleman from new york, mr. rangel, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rangel: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rangel: thank you for giving me this opportunity. i was sitting in the back, i heard one of the republicans say that what moses would want, he was talking about some picture and i just came up to say that i just talked with moses and he's not in support of this legislation. as a matter of fact, he referred me to other biblical things about how do we treat the lesser of our brothers and sisters. and he directed my attention to the disparity between the rich
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that we have in this country and the very, very poor. and i got the impressions after reviewing matthew that if we're going to refer to moses, you can't ignore jesus, who had some concern about the rich people that did not treat his brothers and sisters fairly and i don't know how it ends but it seems as though they were trying to get into heaven and he told them to go to hell. i don't know how it spins out but everything that seems to be happening in this house strikes against us helping the kids and the vulnerable and helping the sick and the aged. so i would suggest that if we have to go to the bible, everything we're trying to do to hurt the poor is not going to count for us when we meet god -- when we need god the most. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired thch the gentleman from oklahoma reserves.
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ms. fudge: can i ask how much time we have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady has four and three quarter minutes remaining. ms. fudge: i yield to the gentlewoman from maryland, ms. dwards, one minute. ms. edwards: it's hard to know what to say anymore. it's impossible to rationalize what has become completely irrational. from the other side, this bill is mean and unconscionable and just plain wrong. the rational person would ask, don't they know that nearly four million people would have benefits cut and lose their benefits entirely. a rational person would ask don't they know that beneficiaries work and go to school and looking for work. i know what it is to struggle to feed a child and wonder if there
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is food tomorrow or the next week. don't they know this is what families across america are struggling with right now? i don't know. i tell you what, i see the plan, shut down government, starve children, the elderly, the disabled. demonize the poor, blame them for everything. i'm going to tell you, when i go to sleep at night, i sleep well. after you cast this vote, after republicans cast this vote today, they won't sleep well. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. the gentleman from oklahoma continues to reserve. the gentlelady from ohio. ms. fudge: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from missouri, mr. cleaver. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri is recognized for one minute. mr. cleaver: i have only one minute and i would imagine that one minute is sufficient to say
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that i would plead with my colleagues to pay attention to the facts. u.s. economy has not healed. we're still struggling with 7:25 an hour minimum wage. if you make that working all day every day, you are going to make slightly over $15,000 a year. you get $4.50 a day to eat on. $4 .50. i think that there is a right thing that we all can do. we ought to join forces to do the right thing. and the right thing is not to approve this bill, to back away from it. i mean, we are a rich nation that really is having economic problems. we can deal with our poor --
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everybody in this country ought o have equal access to food. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from oklahoma continues to reserve. the gentlelady from ohio. ms. fudge: i yield one minute to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. mcgovern: i thank the gentlelady for yielding to me. mr. speaker, i want to say to my colleagues that this is a sad day, because the whole effort to end hunger used to be a bipartisan issue. i would say to my republican colleagues, remember bob dole and bill emerson. your party has a great tradition, a proud tradition of being part of the effort to end hunger, working with democrats. don't blow that up today. what you are doing here is wrong. and i'm urging my colleagues on the other side of the aisle,
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please don't do this. please do not do this. this is wrong. this is about how we treat the most vulnerable in our society. and i have to just say to all my colleagues here, we should be having a bigger discussion about how to end hunger and instead what we are doing is moving in a direction where we are going to make hung irworse. you are going to throw 170,000 veterans who are unemployed. 3.8 million people will be thrown off this program. surely, that isn't what you want. but that is what your bill does. the bill never went through the agriculture committee and forced upon this house and brought to the rules committee on a closed rule. please do better than this. i know you are better than this. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentleman's time has expired. ms. fudge: i recognize the gentlelady for a unanimous consent.
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ms. jackson lee: i rise to oppose this legislation and place a statement in the record because those who get food stamps are not criminals, they are just hungry. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the statement will appear in the record. ms. fudge: is the gentleman prepared to close? mr. lucas: prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from ohio has 1 3/4 minutes remaining. ms. fudge: i thank mr. lucas for his work on the farm bill. why did we play this on the american people today? why would we use hunger and poverty as a sport. this is the people's house, so let's do what is best. martin luther king junior said the time is always right to do what is right. to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, i know there has been a lot of arm twisting to get you to support this bill. but fortunately i have many
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friends on that side of the aisle and my friends are known to be people who are compassion nature, caring patriots and i implore you to do what is right. hopefully you will muster the courage to vote your conscience. do what is morally right, because if you do it, the others may not have as much courage. you will set them free to do what is right. it is time to stand up for the american people. vote no on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time? ms. fudge: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for 5 1/2 minutes. mr. lucas: my dear colleagues, on several occasions, it has been alluded to, the process we have gone through now literally for years to try and craft a comprehensive farm bill. i think most of you know that i would have preferred this would
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have been accomplished a year ago. i was proud of the committee work at the time, done in a bipartisan way. i was proud when even though we had to start over in a new session of congress, the bipartisan effort done in the committee this time, not every republican or every democrat on the committee voted for it, but we had the majority of both sides. something that seems to be kind of difficult these days on a lot of issues. but that bill came to the floor, and even after a number of amendments were adopted by a majority of this body, primarily focused on the knew trishon title, a ma -- nutrition title, a majority decided not to move on. and we were compelled to bring what i referred to as a farm bill, farm bill only to the floor, one without the critical title dealing with nutrition.
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successful in passing that. but as was noted by many of my colleagues on this side of the room, that left a critical piece out, the nutrition pilot title. and that's the product that we are addressing today. it incorporates all of the efforts, i'll repeat again, from the committee work. dealing with eligibility and liheap and advertising and all of those things. the language we deal with today incorporates the amendments adopted by this body in the effort to address the committee bill. empowering states through pilot programs to engage able-bodied individuals in tan of type work, ending eligibility for murderers,, not their children, not their spouses but they
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themselves, language allowing the states to very clearly use drug testing as a part of their snap application process, adopted by a majority of votes on this floor, those items. and now it includes language that came out of the leader's working group, things that deal with what we refer to as able-bodied adults without tan of. that first committee draft, to the tune of about $20 billion. many of the things on the floor would have added to that, perhaps not substantially. and in the working group's language, an additional $20 billion in reform. that precepts us with the bill we are looking at today. everybody's ideas rolled into one. a substantial amount of savings in a single bill through reform. i would say this to all my colleagues.
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you are going to vote your conscious today. you understand the policy implications. i happen to believe that the tems in this bill are of sufficient merit to be discussed in a conference committee. potentially if the conference would agree to incorporate them in a final conference committee report. but that discussion cannot take place if this bill is not passed. remember, if this bill is not passed, and we go to conference, there are no instructions for reform from the house in effect. what was one of the fundamental points that i and my colleagues in the ag committee discussed as we started this process a long time ago? there would be reforms in all parts of the next farm bill. commodity title, nutrition
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title, there would be the implementation of changes based on our experiences and our learning from the last farm bill and series of farm bills. i know you are going to vote your conscience. i ask you, let me go to conference with the senate with the maximum number of options to work through, because ultimately whatever comes out of that conference has to be a comprehensive farm bill. it has to address our ability to raise the food and fiber safety net. it has to address the safety net that affects all of our consumers. i will simply close by saying this, it should not, as i said at the beginning of this debate, it should not be this hard to pass a bill to make sure that the consumers in this country and around the world have enough to eat. it shouldn't be this hard.
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but everything seems to be hard these days. so let's do the hard things and get our work done and go to conference and put a final bill together. let's fulfill our responsibilities. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 351, the previous question is ordered. the question now is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to amend the student nutrition act of 2008 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? >> yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies and the
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clerk will report the motion. the gentleman reserves a point f order. georgia ligo moves to recommit the bill. at the end of title i of the bill add the following section 142, protecting veterans, seniors, pregnant women and children from hunger, nothing in this act or the amendments made by this act shall result in a delay in issuing or providing benefits otherwise provided or available to a veteran, elderly or disabled member, pregnant women or minor child. mr. gallego: i dispense with the reading. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? without objection, the reading will be suspended. the gentleman from texas is
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recognized for five minutes on his motion to rerecommit. mr. gallego: we know that this motion doesn't kill the bill or send it back to committee but adds an amendment before proceeding to final passage. there is confusion as the debate goes back and forth as to whether or not veterans and kids are or are not included. there is apprehension about the sequester and government shutdown and how that impacts many different services. because snap is a hybrid program, part automatic and part not, the benefits it provides are in jeopardy. regardless of whether or not ap and the cuts here today affect kids or veterans, this is a safety net. this motion to recommit simply says that there will be no delay in benefits for kids or the land deerly, disabled, for
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pregnant women in case of a government shutdown or default. much has been made of this huge philosophical divide in this chamber, but there is a lot of consensus, a lot of commonality, all of us want efficient government. we love our kids. we are taught to respect our elders and he -- we are all grateful to the service of our veterans. and yet, this bill gets rid of an efficient program that is not even broken. it has only a 3% error rate, a very low error rate. 97% of snap beneficiaries get snap because they need it. most of it goes to people bep low the poverty level.
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82% of the households receiving snap have kids or elderly, 210,000 kids will lose their it's lunch and for many the only good and reliable meal they have. as a parent of a young son, i bet i know some of those kids and you know what? i bet you know some of those kids too. the nonprofit group feed our vets -- >> the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. he house will come to order. the jell will suspend. the house will -- the gentleman will suspend. the house will come to order. the gentleman is recognized. mr. gallegos: the nonprofit group feed our vets says there are many vets who don't have enough to eat yet 170,000 veterans have their snap
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benefits impacted under this legislation. we can have that fundamental philosophical divide about the budget or about the debt or about many things but we should all agree that we should take care of our kids. we can all agree we owe an obligation to our veterans. already in november without any action by this congress, snap will automatically lose its arra funding. the average beneficiary gets $133 a month, about $1.40 per meal. try eating for $1.40 per meal or $133 a month. san antonio's food bank already serves 58,000 people per week. imagine how many they'll serve if this bill goes into effect. speaking of san antonio, there's a young lady there, a working mother of three kids, her name is delaney, she works
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full time at a doctor's office, 40 hours a week, raise there's young boys, one the age of my son. she said to me, i'm trying my best, i'm working hard, she'd like to get a second job but there'd be nobody at home to take care of the kids. snap isn't a luxury for her by any means, it's a necessity. the family relies on that especially toward the end of the month when their intunlt tight to help them put food on the table. if we can make the program more efficient, let's look at that. but this bill cuts $40 billion without public testimony, without public hearings, without investigation, without input. somebody just decided that $40 billion needed to be cut. this is not a well-reasoned or reasonable approach. our veterans deserve more than that. our kids deserve better than that. regardless of what happens on the debt ceil thoring government shutdown, let's not make our kids and our veterans casualties of a prolonged
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conversation. let's be sure that there is no delay in snap benefits for veterans, for the elderly, for the disabled or for pregnant women in the event of a government shutdown or default. i ask all of you because this is simply a safety net to please vote yes on this notion because all it says is in the event of a government shutdown, these people the veterans, the kids, the elderly and disabled will be protected. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. before i recognize the gentlelady from north carolina, does the gentleman from oklahoma wish to withdraw his reservation on the point of order. >> i withdraw my point of order. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina rise? > i rise in opposition to this motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlewoman is recognized of. mrs. ellmers: my friends on the other side can say the same thing over and over again but that does not make it true. food stamps are not affected by government shut down. no one, not a struggling mother, not a child, a veteran or any person in need will be denied benefits if they meet the program's current law and eligibility requirements. all this bill does is ask them, just as we did in a bipartisan way in 1996, to prepare for work or participate in their communities in exchange for services. but those much lauded welfare reforms of 1996 have been thrown aside. without the input of this congress for years and has undermined the well being of families participating in this program. work has been proven to be a beneficial part of the physical and mental health of every
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individual. it raises their family's income and improves the outcomes of their children. why do the opponents of the bill want to undermine this successful strategy for reducing hunger in america by increasing work force participation and phasing increasing incomes of american families? i urge my colleagues to oppose this harmful motion and support the underlying bill. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. without objection -- for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it. the gentleman -- mr. gallegos: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: those in favor of the of the request for a recorded vote will rise
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and be counted. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. 230 and the motion is not
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agreed to. the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentlelady from ohio. ms. fudge: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes
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by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 217, the nays are 210. the bill is passed and without
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objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the journal stands approved.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill h.r. 1526. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. pursuant to house resolution 351 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 1526. the cha chair appoints the gentleman from georgia, mr. woodall, to preside over the ommittee of the whole.
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the chair: the committee -- the house is in the committee of the whole on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 1526 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to restore employment and educational opportunities in and improve the economic stability of counties containing national forest system land. while also reducing forest service management costs. by ensuring that such counties have a dependable source of revenue from national forest system land, to provide a temporary extension of the secure rural schools and community self-determination act of 2000 and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the first time. the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio, will each ontrol 30 minutes. the house will come to order. the chair would ask all members to please take their seats and take their conversations from
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e floor. the chair: the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: the committee is not in order. the chair: the committee is not in order. the gentleman from washington deserves to be heard. the chair would ask members and staff on both sides of the aisle to please take their conversations from the floor. those who remain, please take our seats. the chair would ask members and staff to please take their seats. please remove your conversations
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rom the floor. he house will be in order. members at the rear of the chamber, please stake your conversations from the floor. members and staff, please remove your conversations from the loor and take their seats.
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the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, over the last few months, deadly wildfires, especially in california, arizona and colorado, and wildfires in other western states, have highlighted the growing problem with our current federal forest management plan. our national forests should, unless otherwise designated, be open for multiple use where everything from recreation and job-creating economic activity. but instead, federal regulations and lawsuits have effectively shut down our national forests. timber harvests have dropped by 80% over the last 30 years in our national forests. while the forest service once received $2 for every $1 spent, spends $2 for every $1 it
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produces. our federal forests are being badly managed and there are devastating consequences to that management. rural communities are struggling to survive and have no longer stable funding. the federal government made a promise. over a century ago to actively manage our forests for the benefit of rural schools and communities. under a federal law passed in 1908, the u.s. forest service has historically shared 25% of all timber revenues with rural counties containing national forest land. since the federal government doesn't pay local taxes, those counties dependent on this revenue to help fund schools and local infrastructure. bru as timber sales declined, so did the revenues to these counties. and counties struggle to find the resources needed to keep teachers in the classroom and police on the street. congress provided a short-term
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solution in 2000, by passing the rural schools act which continues to fight funding as timber sales declined. s.r.s. was to provide a transition payment over a six-year period while these counties diversified their economies. but the fact is, mr. chairman, their economies are built on natural resources. in this case, timber. with the national debt measuring in the trillions of dollars, it is difficult to finance this program that cost several hundred million dollars annually, especially when it fails to address the fundamental problem of declining forest management. so a new approach is needed now. the federal government's lack of forest management has cost of tens of thousands of american jobs. these forests are the backbone of these communities' economy, from the logging, to the mill
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work, to the truck drivers, our forests put thousands of people to work. i should say had put thousands of people to work. additionally, as i have mentioned the lack of active forest management has caused significant degradation of forest health and they are subject to catastrophic wildfires. this is an interesting statistic, last year, just last year, 9.3 million acres of national forest burned in wildfires. by comparison, only 200,000 acres were harvested by the u.s. forest service. that means that 44 times more acres burned compared to those acres that were responsibly harvested. we cannot continue to sit by while wildfires wages, homes are
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destroyed and lives lost. the restoringing healthy forests for healthy communities act is a long-term solution to put americans back to work, to restore our forest health and help prevent catastrophic wildfires by renewing our government's commitment to actively manage our national forest. it requires responsible timber production on at least half of our timber lands and these lands, by the way, were specifically identified by the forest service for timber har vet. by helping to restore active forest management, this bill estimated to create 200,000 direct jobs and provide $400 million in savings over 10 years. as required by law in 1908, h.r. 1526 would again share 25% of the revenue from the timber
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sales with the counties containing this national forest land. the bill would allow us a short-term extension of the secure rural school payments to provide funding to counties as the forest service transitions back into active management. h.r. 1526 would prevent deadly and catastrophic wildfires by focusing on hazardous fuels reduction and empowering states to take a more active role in reducing those wildfire risks. finally, this bill recognizes that states and counties are often better at managing forest lands than the federal government. states have shown that they are able to produce more revenue from timber lands than the federal government. let me give you an example in my home state of washington. washington state is able to harvest seven times more timber and generate 200 times more revenue on 1/4 of the land
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compared to what the forest service has. they do that by better management. this bill would allow counties to actively manage national forest land through the commitment. h.r. 1526 has broad support. over 140 local and national organizations including 68 counties in 17 different states have endorsed have -- this vital commonsense legislation that will protect american jobs and livelihoods. these communities, their families and businesses deserve better than the status quo and the current failure of our forest management plans today. with that, mr. chairman, i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from washingtonry serves. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? mr. defazio: i yield myself such time as i might consume.
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the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. defazio: thank you, mr. speaker. as someone who represents rural and forested communities that depend upon our national forests, this is an issue i care deeply about and i know that my colleagues on the other side care deeply about this, too. we have many common concerns in terms of forest health, in terms of fuel reduction, in terms of dealing with the bug infestations and other things. there is a common interest in finding solutions to better manage our federal forests. millions of acres are in need of restoration to address climate change, disease and fire. we need a long-term plan to provide for our rural forested counties. many of these counties are struggling to stay afloat. counties in my district are near bankruptcy. public health, education, roads and most importantly, law
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enforcement have been slashed to the point where some counties have no rural patrols and prisoners have been let out of jail. the federal government made a commitment to these counties 100 years ago. congress should honor that commitment. i think there are bipartisan ways to honor that commitment. inclusion of one-year county payments at fiscal year 2010 levels, substantially more than those proposed in the senate, will provide a lifeline to 600 forested counties in 41 states. i thank the chairman for his hard work. any long-term solution on forest management will require bridge payment to counties. this bill provides a bridge payment. this bill includes an extension of stewardship contracting authority and allows the counties to contract up to 20 years. it can help reduce the cost of restoration to our forests and
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to the federal agencies and the u.s. taxpayers to treat large landscapes to prevent catastrophic wildfires we saw in the west this summer and provide to businesses and industry that incentivizes businesses and creates jobs. i met with a gentleman who is ing to open a 2.5 megawatt biomass plant in november and doing it with a 10-year stewardship contract in the vicinity of his plant and done through a collaborative process. and the result is the forest service will be able to do fuel reduction on twice as much acreage as if they had to appropriate taxpayer money to do it. and he told me if it was extended to 20 years, which this bill does, the costs would come down more. we would create electricity and
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make the forests more healthy. and i thank the chairman for working with representative walden, representative schrader and myself to include our balanced, bipartisan solution for the unique lands. these lands exist no where else in the country. they are historically, statute torle and gee graphically unique. it would not be appropriate for other lands included in the larger bill. i spent many hours with representatives walden and schrader to work out a reasonable solution to an incredibly complex and long-standing controversy in western oregon. i admit it is not a perfect solution. there are things that i would change. there are things that representative walden would change and things that representative schrader change and i'm sure there are things you would have done differently. we did the best we could do and
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came up with a strong proposal. it is an oregon solution to an oregon problem and i'm pleased to see it in this legislation. that doesn't mean that i don't have strong provisions in the underlying bill. h.r. 1526 would dramatically change the way we alter our system. the bill would establish timber productions in every national forest and more than double timber harvest levels nationwide. in order to meet these targets. managers would be required to allow logging and road building and sharply curtail of proposed logging projects. the bill would close the courthouse door to citizens concerned about their communities and quality of life n their neighboring forests by requiring plaintiffs to post bond, a new precedent, in order
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to challenge federal management decisions. i have had communities in my district litigate against the forest service over timber projects that they felt threatened their drinking water supply. i have had the timber industry litigate, as we have had environmental groups. doesn't mean it's not frustrating, but we can work on streamlining that process without shutting the door to the courthouse as we did a number of years ago. it would deinvolve forest management, the state boards and exempt these areas from major national environmental laws. the practical import would be to reverse 100 years of precedent and underminor some cases multiple uses of our national forests over substantial parts, recreation, hunting, fishing and tourism. this is the largest proposed change to the modern forest service since it was created by
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roosevelt inledoor 1970. and there can be, i think there is common ground. there is bipartisan agreement on some issues. hopefully this bill is the beginning of that conversation, not the end, as we attempt to have a real legislative process with the senate on these issues. and with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from oregon reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: i yield four minutes to mr. walden whose noted work from his colleagues from oregon, four minutes to the gentleman from oregon. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized. . . mr. walden: i thank the
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gentleman. this will create jobs, generate revenue for our country and be good stewards of our land and water all at the same time. mr. chairman, i thank you for your work and that of your committee on restoring healthy forests for healthy communities act. just two days ago doug decker, who is the state forster for the state of oregon, declared that this has been the worst fire season for oregon since 1951. the state of oregon alone has already spent $120 million on fire suppression on over 1,000 different fires. and fire season is not over. according to the national interagency fire center, this station is the same across our forested states and communities. last year more than nine million acres burned and the federal government spent $2 billion fighting fires. that's billion with a b. and while these federal forests surrounding our local communities are burning, rural
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families are sentenced to live in poverty as the mills close, the jobs disappear, all because we can't access our great natural resources on federal land. of the 20 counties that i represent in eastern and southern oregon, nine face double-digit unemployment today. 16 -- over 14% -- have over 14% of their populations living in poverty. 14%. and 14 have over half of their school children eligible for free and reduced lunch programs. things are so bad in southern oregon that josephine county lost their last mill a few years -- months ago and with that, the closure of that mill, they lost 86 good-paying, family-wage jobs. a lack of timber revenue has left the county with only one patrol deputy and burglary has gone up 49.7%, theft's up 25%
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and disorderly conduct's up 17% in one year. at a recent round table i held, the sheriff told me, and quote, i've seen better law enforcement in third world countries than we have in josephine county, closed quote. and remember, the sheriff spent time in law enforcement in bosnia. he knows of which he speaks. it's so bad that just a year ago a woman called 911 because her ex-boyfriend was breaking into her home. and he had assaulted her the week before. she was told several times by dispatch that there were no deputies available and then was told, and i quote, if he comes inside the residence and assaults you, can you ask him to go away? the woman was then assaulted and raped. these are real issues for our rural communities today. it's clear the status quo is not working for families in our rural communities, this broken system has to change. among many positive provisions in this legislation, it will
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lead to healthier forests. this bill would require foresters to look at sustainable yield a forest could provide and harvest just half of that. and only on land that's suitable for timber harvest. it also limits costly and complex paperwork and requires that it be completed in a timely manner. the bill also contains long overdue provisions for expedited cleanup and salvage, just like we clean up after floods and tornadoes and hurricanes, isn't it time we cleaned up and replanted and restored after forest fires? this bill also includes legislation that i wrote with my colleagues from oregon, representatives defazio and schrader, on oregon's unique lands. we have worked through our differences and forged a balance, commonsense plan that would create or save thousands of forest jobs in oregon. we would ensure the health of these lands for future generations and provide long-term funding certainty for oregon's rural schools, roads and law enforcement agencies that lie within these counties. mr. hastings: i yield an additional 30 seconds.
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mr. walden: and it would end the status quo of endless litigation. it has support. i have here the letters of support and resolutions from 24 counties across oregon, with your permission, mr. speaker, i'd like to have it entered into the record. this act will create prosperous communities and healthy forests. it will provide certainty for teachers and law enforcement officers, it will provide tools for our forest stewards to better manage our federal forests. and it's our opportunity to make federal forest policy work for oregonians and all americans. i urge its passage. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's request will be covered under general leave. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? mr. defazio: mr. speaker, i would yield four minutes to my colleague from oregon, representative schrader. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for four minutes. mr. schrader: thank you, mr. speaker. and i'd like to thank the chairman and ranking member for
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bringing a bipartisan, actual job-creating piece of legislation to the chamber in these highly divisive times. this is the type of legislation we should be talking about. rural counties across america, not just in my home state of oregon, are dying. unemployment is still in the double digits. as you've heard. schools are closing. infrastructure is deteriorating and crime is increasing. there is really no recovery in rural oregon. rural america. the dwindling amount of county funding has left local governments unable to afford even the basic services that every american should have. they're making our communities unhealthy and unsafe. and oregon -- in oregon we currently have two counties going bankrupt while we stand idly by. the status quo is no longer acceptable. moreover, due to the lack of proper active management, our forests are diseased, dying and
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overstocked, leaving them susceptible to the catastrophic wildfires we're seeing on tv every night this past summer and fall. this year alone the u.s. forest service has spent over $1 billion, $1 billion fighting forest fires. these wildfires not only burn millions of acres of public and private forest every year, but they cause serious harm to the environment. water, air quality and to our public health. the fire in oregon in 2002 alone produced as much as 1/3 of all the carbon release through fossil fuel burning in oregon annually. that cannot continue. title 3 of h.r. 1526 is a bipartisan solution to a unique set of oregon forest lands that was drafted by myself and my colleagues, congressman defazio and walden. the oregon and california railroad lands have a unique mandate which differs from other b.l.m. and forest service lands. that requires them to generate
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revenue for 18 oregon counties from a sustainable timber harvest. however, due to tedious and continuous litigation, harvest levels are now 90%% below what they were -- 90% below what they were in the 1990's. no one's asking to go back to the 1980's or 1970's. these are lands that are meant to produce timber in a sustainable way. the federal law requires it, actually, and the legislation we wrote does it in an environmentally sound manner. along with the reliable amount of timber and revenue for our counties, i'd like to remind everyone, title 3 also designates 90,000 acres of new wilderness protections, 150 miles of wild and scenic rivers. it creates a conservation fund to help take care of it. the underlying bill also extends a lot of the popular forestry programs like stewardship contracting and good neighbor
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authority. you're going to hear a lot of misinformation about this bill and outright falsehoods. contrary to what our opponents 3 guarantees e.s.a. and clean water protections that have worked for decades on oregon's state and private forest lands. and has extensive repairing protections. it restricts pesticide use. most importantly, it protects our most green and renewable natural resource for generations to come and it puts certainty back into the woods for our rural communities and job creators. title 3 of this job would create over 15,000 direct and indirect jobs by itself. the underlying bill would create over 200,000 jobs nationwide. when folks are still struggling to find jobs to put food on the table, we cannot deny them this opportunity to work. the families and their communities depend on it. i'm also very encouraged to know senator widen, chairman of the senate energy and natural resource committee, is also working on a parallel plan to help fix our broken rural economies and revive our unhealthy forests.
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we plan to work in a bicameral and bipartisan fashion to come to a final solution that provides revenue for our counties, cleans up our unhealthy forests and gets people back to work in the woods. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to a member of the natural resources committee, the gentleman from arizona, mr. gosar. the chair: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for three minutes. mr. gosar: mr. speaker, thank you, chairman hastings, for the time, for your leadership on our committee and for including my bipartisan wildfire legislation. the catastrophic wildfire prevention act in this package. we have a forest health crisis in this country. and this bill will go a long way toward restoring the environment, improving public safety and putting thousands of people back to work. due to redistricting, i have represented nearly all of rural arizona in congress. nearly 48,000 square miles of u.s. forest service land. these areas have been some of the communities most devastated by recent wildfire.
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in my first year, the largest fire in arizona state history ravaged half a million acres of our treasured pond rosa pine country in just a few -- pondarosa pine country in just a few weeks. and this year we lost 19 firefighters in a fire that was one of many to burn over 103,000 acres this year. we must come together, change the status quo and facilitate conditions that minimize the chance that fires start and reduce their size, intensity once they burn. the bill before us today does a few important things to achieve that goal. first, it prioritizes responsible timber production and ensures a reliable revenue stream for local governments. the feds made a promise to our forest communities and it must uphold that promise. secure rural school dollars, ensure our counties can provide essential services such as public safety and education to our constituents. h.r. 1526 would not only provide certainty in the program, it will increase timber revenues
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threefold. secondly, it implements my bill, the catastrophic wildfire prevention act. these provisions, parts of title 2 and title 5 of the act, reduce red tape and provide the land management agencies a variety of tools, specifically stewardship contracting and good neighbor authority, to conduct smaller projects in high-risk areas that need immediate attention. while long-term active forest management will protect our communities in the long run, we have to protect our people and their assets today. these provide an expedited arrangement to streamline thinning and grazing projects needed in immediate, at-risk areas like forest communities, critical water delivery and critical infrastructures in our schools. the solutions in our bill are supported by nearly every county in my rural district, in particular guila county, and many stakeholders, including the cattlemen, the natural resources conservation districts, and the farm bureau. this bill has commonsense solutions to our forest health crisis that should garner the entire support of this body. you may look at this bill and think it's not perfect.
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but it will do a lot to prevent the suffering that communities like the ones i represent have been experiencing. i would welcome any member of this body to come out to my district and meet with the families that have lost their homes. their father -- they're fathers, they're mothers, -- their fathers and mothers and kids and livelihoods. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: can can i inquire as to how many speakers the gentleman has? mr. hastings: more than you apparently. i have several. mr. defazio: i would reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from colorado, another member of the natural resources committee. the chair: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, chairman hastings. i appreciate the opportunity to address emergencies in our forests in the west. over the past decade week of
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seen an increase in the number of catastrophic wildfires burning in the western u.s. resulting in the tragic loss of life, significant property damage, loss of critical habitats and the pollution of vital watersheds. mr. tipton: according to the national interagency fire center, there have been over 38,119 different fires in the united states in 2013 alone. the black forest fire which ravaged colorado in june of this year is believed the most destructive fire in colorado's history. destroying more than 486 homes with an estimated cost in excess of $85 million. the west fort complex fire burned approximately 110,000 achers in southwest colorado this summer and the incident commanders in charge of the suppression efforts of the fire told me that the behavior of the fire was unprecedented. because of all the beetle bark-killed timber, unnaturally dense forests and dry conditions, the fires acted in way that defied computer models. unfortunately this news was made
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worse last week in my home state as colorado was struck with another natural disaster. and what many believe to be the worst flood in colorado history. parts of at least 18 different counties -- cities and towns in my home state were severely flooded and daniel to roads, bridges and other infrastructure is already estimated to exceed $1 billion. while little could have been done to prepare for the staggering rainfall that the state received over such a widespread area, in parts of colorado where fires in recent years stripped the landscape of vegetation, the severity of the flood damage was worsened by intense runoff, erosion and mudslides. threats to fire and property resulting from the wildfires become increasingly costly and by 2030 the number of acres the forest in colorado, the contained residential housing and commercial development is expected to see -- exceed $2 -- exceed two million acres, representing an enormous potential hazard of fuel reduction projects and other managements are not initiatived. yesterday of -- instead of
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ramping up things, the interior department has proposed a 48% cut agency-wide for hazardous fuel reduction for 2014 and the forest service has proposed to reduce this proactive management by 24%. the forest service spent $296 million nationwide and it is far more efficient and cost effective to manage our forests. i have said it before but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is true when we lk about the reducing of wildfires. we have seen decrease over the past three decades. during this time, the severity of fires and number of acres burned has increased. from 2000 to 2012, 90 million
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acres has burned in the u.s. and mr. chairman, i appreciate the time and your support for this and i urge passage of this legislation. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to another member of the natural resources committee, mr. mcclintock. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcclintock: on behalf of the communities of sierra nevada, i thank the chairman. if anyone doubts the necessity of this bill, let them come to my district where the yosemite rim fire has incinerated 400 square miles. for years, foresters have been screaming this warning at us that the excess timber is going to come out of the forest one way or the other. it will be carried out or burned out, but it will come out. in the days we carried it out,
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we had healthier forests and thriving economy. the environmental regulations have driven 90% and now the timber we once carried out is being burned out and nothing subtle about the numbers. as the board feed harvested out of these numbers have declined, the acreage has increased proportion neal. the human cost has been devastating. dozens of mills closed, thousands of families out of work. local tax bases gone. some of the communities suffer detroit-levels of unemployment. over crowded forests, overdrawn watersheds and now catastrophic fires and there is nothing more than devastating to a forest than a forest fire. this measure restores the sound forest management practice that
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we foolishly abandoned to the detriment of our environment and our economy. this bill marks at long last a return to common sense for the management of our national forests. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i yield myself such time as i might consume. the chair: without objection. mr. defazio: mr. speaker, i would like to spend a little bit of time directly addressing the concerns and questions of some constituents back in oregon regarding the o.n.c. plan in this bill. as representative schrader said, there is an x-rayed amount of disinformation out there. this is the bottom plan. it provides everyone at the table with something that they don't currently have. for failing counties in western oregon, representative schrader talked about that as well as
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representative walden, means $1 billion, $1 billion over 10 basic o help pay for government services like law enforcement, public health and education. it means putting sheriffs back on our roads and keeping violent criminals behind bars and better public health and rebuilding our infrastructure. all of those are necessary jobs and those that enhance the quality of life for all. forested communities and local economies, this plan means sustaining or creating thousands, thousands of good-paying jobs. i have counties that have chronic unemployment in the double digits. i have taken to telling some people, i represent the new appalachia and you visit the suppressed communities when the last mill closes and i talk to the owners and they said you know if your bill had passed, we
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would be miring 100 people instead of firing 100 people. this means keeping those mills open or maybe adding shifts. this plan will keep the raw log here at home. rather than exporting our timber to places like china. now, for the environmental community, many of whom have totally disregarded or created propoganda about this bill, it is the first ever legislative protection for mature and old growth forests in oregon. let me repeat that. they aren't legislatively protected. if the northwest forest plan is ordered fully implemented, impending litigation in a court here in d.c., that home growth
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will be the first to be harvested. since i have come to congress, i have been attempting to preserve the old growth. this would do it. .2 million acres of old growth preserved. habitat that is preserved. best areas to recreate. the bill increases wilderness by 50%, doubling the size, adding devil's staircase and will add 130 miles of wild and scenic designation nation. more protection in one plan than in the previous 50 years complained. and quadruple the watershed protection. they say this is the way private forests operate -- no.
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we are going to require the development of a task management plan through a public process for these lands. this is not oregon forest practices. if they have concerns about oregon forest practices, they ought to go to the governor and state legislature, because this bill is not that. of the 2.8 million acres, 1.2 million acres of old growth will be preserved. 300,000 acres of additional reserve to protect our water quality for consumption, for fisheries. 1.3 million, less than half, will be managed. less than half will be managed. areas that have been previously been managed, many of which need thinning and restoration work and half of those will be managed on a rotation of over
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100 years providing, again, tremendous environmental benefits. here's what the plan does president do. it doesn't privatize or sell any any lands. it will remain in ownership and pay the government $10 million a year to manage these lands and the federal government will save tens of millions of dollars every year because of the management being done by a board, which would be appointed by our governor and would actually govern these forests and manage these forests through an open public process under the oregon open meetings law. it will not return to the unsustainable levels that occurred during the watch of my predecessor. 1.6 billion board feet, the year i ran for congress -- that was not sustainable and they would tell people we are going back to that. no, we are not. i ran against that and we aren't
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going back to that. one-third of the level, one-third of that level on these lands, environmentally responsible plans. it doesn't eliminate environmental laws. they would apply. this is about restoring balance. i was surprised at the statement that claimed this proposal would create more legal uncertainty. i don't know how it's possible to create more legal uncertainty on the o.n.c. lands. there is a process to rewrite he management plan for these lands. the old plan resulted in a lawsuit. the old plan was litigated and withdrawn. new plan was withdrawn by this administration because they said they couldn't defend it in a new
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lawsuit. and just recently, a decision in federal court has confirmed that the act means what it says, permanent sustainable timber production. it throws the status quo into an uncertain area. they have to offer for sale the allowable quantity every year. there is another lawsuit that would be overactive. and yet another lawsuit pending seeks to return the logging levels to the 1970's and 1980's. this says of pending lawsuits. that's not serpt. that's chaos. i'm pushing a plan that does three things, provides predictable payments to failing counts, creates jobs and sustain the existing infrastructure and legislatively protects the environment and public health. this is the beginning, the
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beginning and the first beginning on either side of capitol hill of a long legislative process. the first step toward getting a bipartisan bill finally negotiated and sent to the president sometime hopefully not too distant from now. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i yield two minutes to another member of the natural resources committee, the gentlelady from wyoming, mrs. lummis. mrs. lummis: i rise in support of the act because it will save forests in wyoming and the west. these are fabulous natural resources enjoyed by people and wildlife. but across the west they are burning or dying after decades of federal mismanagement. this is the black hills national forest. right here, you see a very lush, green area in the forest.
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adjacent to that, you have brown areas with dead or dying trees that have been ravaged by the mountain pine beetle and find the healthy soil that is resist ant to erosion, healthy rivers and streams, the safe area, is because you have a healthy forest that was actively managed. this green area was logged. it was thinned. the thinning is selective and measured and designed to maintain a healthy and strong mix of trees. the brown area wasn't thinned. bureaucratic delays, litigation and endless appeals prevented conservation logging in this area. when you don't manage your
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forests, the entire ecosystem suffers from the trees down to the wildlife, soil and streams. it is dangerous to camp or hike in the brown area because of the dead or falling trees. the dead trees are now fuel for fires and we have seen them all over the west, including this summer. this picture is replicated throughout the west. dead or burning federal forests right neeks to state or healthy forests because the state and tribal forests are actively managed. our forests don't have to look like this. they could look like this. this act will get the service back to work to create jobs in the forest products industry and prevent the astronomical costs of responding to wildfires and infestation and gives state and local governments a voice in
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forest management within their borders. through good neighbor authority, we're involving the people who actually live near those forests who depend on that beautiful place to live. mr. speaker, this is one of the most commonsense bills i have had the privilege of helping with. i urge its passage and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i yield two minutes to the the gentleman rom idaho, mr. labrador. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. . . mr. labrador: today i specifically rise in support of title 4 of h.r. 1526. which i originally introduced as
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h.r. 1294, the self-sufficient community lands act. thank you, mr. chairman hastings, for recognizing the importance of this issue and includes it in your bill -- including it in your bill. in idaho and much of the west, the economies of rural communities once relied upon the timber industry for job creation and tax revenues. over the last several decades, extreme environmentalists have hindered the ability to develop timber from our public lands through litigation. in fact, timber harvests have declined more thannle 0% over 80% over the an last 30 years. communities that were reliant on timber receipts find themselves desolate and broke. in 2000 when the federal government operated with a budget surplus, and in order to compensate for the decline in timber receipts, as everybody knows, congress passed the security rural schools and community self-determination act. these payments were supposed to be phased out over time to allow counties to diversify their local economies. however, last year alone, 35 of
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idaho's 44 counties received s.r.s. payments. totaling over $26 million. while congress has continually re-authorized this funding, we are still fighting the same issues about multiple use on public land while leaving our counties in limbo. to solve this problem i introduced h.r. 1294. this legislation empowers counties to generate much-needed revenue by turning over management of federal forests to local and state officials who are best equipped to make these important management decisions rather than bureaucrats in washington. it is time to permanently provide our counties with a solution which would create jobs, generate tax receipts for the counties and improve forest health. in a time of record receipts, and record deficits, it is time that we stop kicking the can down the road, start working toward a solution. our country continues to spend billions -- mr. hastings: i yield the gentleman more time. the chair: the gentleman has an additional 30 seconds.
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mr. labrador: our country continues to spend billions of dollars on this program instead of fixing the problem. traditional rural timber communities have been operating in an environment of uncertainty for decades and many public lands in western states have been inaccessible due to federal policies and litigation. it is time we find a long-term solution to help our counties. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1526 and, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to yield one minute now to a former member of the natural resources committee, but a valuable member then, mr. pearce from new mexico. the chair: the gentleman from new mexico is recognized for one minute. mr. pearce: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the opportunity to speak on this bipartisan bill that brings commonsense management back to our forests. since tom tidwell took over the forest, he said that he would like to reintroduce fire into
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the wild. well, he's done that. this year almost 10 million acres, more than twice the size of new jersey, in the year since 2009 when he took over, larger than ohio, 27 million acres have burned in our national forests. instead, this bill creates jobs. bs in places like new mexico where matt allen used to have a thriving mill but now survives on cutting one-by-four timber boards out of the logs he's able to take out of the forest. our streams are choked with mud, habitat is devastated. a 75-foot deep lake in new mexico that provides drinking water to the city -- to a city has 50 feet of fill in that 70-foot lake. our fish are dead, the streams are dead, choked with mud because the head of the u.s.
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forest service has led -- says let it burn instead of cut it. common sense says cut it. this bill ensures that. we i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from oregon. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, i advise my friend that i have no more speakers and i'm prepared to close if the gentleman's prepared to close. the chair: the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: without objection. mr. defazio: as i stated earlier, this is an imperfect vehicle. i have concerns, major concerns about three of the titles in this bill. but this is the beginning of a legislative process. that's almost become pretty rare here in washington, d.c. we put something forward, we send it to the senate, the senate takes up that or similar legislation, we go to a conference committee, we work things out and we solve problems. it was that for most of the first 25 years i was here. that's a rare thing these days. this holds promise to enter into
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a real legislative process. a real beginning. now, if we fail to act, we just reinforce the status quo. and i got to tell you, the status quo is totally unacceptable. there are some who would prefer that. they think they win with the current paralysis. well, if you want permanent protection of our old growth, if you want additional wilderness on the rogue river and if you want the devil's staircase wilderness and better forest health, the status quo won't get you there. that's what you really care about, it won't get you there. now, my counties can't wait. the status quo, i have two counties who are experimenting see lengthly -- essentially with how a county goes bankrupt. something that's never provided before -- happened before and isn't provided for in oregon statute. i have others who aren't far behind. in my rural communities, in desperate need of real jobs, they can't wait either. so we cannot fail to act.
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we must forward tonight or tomorrow with a vote and then it will be time for the senate to come up with its version, then we can go to coonches committee, we can work -- conference committee, we can work out final legislation and it take it to the -- and take it to the president. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from oregon yields back. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: how much time do i have, mr. chairman? the chair: the gentleman has 5 1/2 minutes. mr. hastings: i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: without objection. mr. hastings: first of all, mr. chairman, i want to thank chairman lucas for the cooperation in expediting this bill to the floor. we have demoralized our agreement in an exchange of letters. i want to thank the ranking member because i think in his closing remarks he made exactly the right statement. and that is that we in the house will have our position. the senate is obligated to do the same. and it may be entirely different and that's fine but we'll work
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out the differences. i also want to thank the ranking member and his two colleagues from oregon because i understand the uniqueness of what they're looking for and frankly their approach to their uniqueness was very similar to what i and others were thinking should be applied elsewhere. so that's what's embodied in this bill. i want to just make one point here. because sometimes we lose sight of this fact. what is multiple use in timber when we talk about timber? multiple use means from a commercial standpoint of thinning and harvesting the timber. where we get caught up in the differences, we look at timber entirely different than any other crop. i represent a very diversified agriculture area in central washington and the crops are on a yearly basis. and this is as diverse as apples to wheat. but when farmers plant these crops, then they use various
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chemicals at various times of the year in order to manage whatever may happen so that they can harvest a good crop at the end of the year. well, timber is exactly the same. except, depending on the type of timber, the harvest period is from 30 to 40 years. but if you have a problem with pine beetles, as we've had throughout the west, and this is a crop, and multiple use area, you ought to manage that. you manage that by using the chemicals that are available. so the only difference when we talk about managing timber from a one-year management of yearly crops is the time span. but it should be managed in a responsible way in this regard. and that's what we provide for in this bill. is set targets and properly manage. so i think this is a good bill. certainly hope that my colleagues will support this when we have the vote tomorrow
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so we can continue the process of negotiating with the senate when they hopefully pass the bill. and also with that, mr. chairman, i'd like to present some letters and resolutions in support for the record under my name. the chair: without objection. mr. hastings: with that i will yield back the balance of my time. the chair: without objection, all time ntleman -- for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 113-21, modified by the amendment printed in part b of house report 113-215, is adopted. the bill as amended shall be considered as the original bill for the purpose of further amendment under the five-minute rule and shall be considered as read. no further amendment to the bill as amended shall be in order
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except those printed in part c of house report 113-215. each such further amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report and by a member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and the opponent. shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in part c of house report 113-215. for what purpose does the gentleman from montana seek recognition? mr. daines: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in part c of house report 113-215 offered by mr. daines of montana. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 351, the gentleman from montana and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from montana. mr. daines: mr. chairman, as a fifth generation montanan and an avid sportsman, i understand how protecting our beautiful
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landscapes and unmatched recreational opportunities are important to our way of life in montana. as much a part of montana is our enjoyment of the great outdoors is, our timber industry, or at least what used to be one. the timber industry has declined 90% since i was a kid. since then the wildfires and beetle kill have worsened. our loggers play an important role in the frontlines of protecting our outdoor heritage and we must never forget that. i'm very concerned that many of these special places are being destroyed because the forest service does not have the tools necessary to manage these lands responsibly. h.r. 1526 gives the forest service the tools to protect and enhance our forests and allow our timber industry to get back to work. it will cut the red tape that has held up responsible forest management and timber production. it includes comprehensive reforms to discourage and limit the flood of frivolous appeals and litigation. it also requires the forest service to increase timber
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harvests on nonwilderness lands, now that it will have a much-needed latitude to do its work. this improved management will protect the health of our forests and watersheds, the safety of our communities, jobs in the timber industry and our cherished access to the outdoors. h.r. 1526 would help create 68,000 jobs and nearly 5,000 jobs in montana. h.r. 1526 would allow access to marketable timber for our mills in montana and breathe life back into this dying industry. this bill keeps the federal government's commitment to crucial revenue and protecting it to our forest counties. it extends the secure rural schools program for one year as the new timber program stands up. s.r.s. has provided essential stop-gap funding for timber counties since 2000 but many of our counties are tired of seeing their funds depend on the whims of congress. this bill has to support -- has the support of the national association of forested counties. this has the support of the national education association. because they recognize the
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economic development and the revenue that will be generated by our bill, it will strengthen our rural schools, rural schools in states like montana. importantly this bill helps to protect healthy forest management from what in-- habitual lawsuits that are brought from fringe groups. my amendment would strengthen the bill's protections against court-ordered obstruction. unfortunately obstructionist tactics too often stop them from going forward. in region 1 alone, at least 40% of timber sales in fiscal twelve and fiscal 2013 have been appealed or litigated. a top forest official recently acknowledged that the abundance of litigation has played a huge role in blocking responsible timber sales. in march of this year, the friends of the wild fawn, alliance for the wild rockies and others halted a much-needed timber sale called the colt sum et project in montana -- summit project in montana due to a technical error involving the impact of a habitat. like this project, often times
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timber sales are stopped in their tracks by court-issued injunctions that are based solely on alleged procedural violations such as mere paperwork errors. my amendment would prohibit these injunctions that are based on nonsub stantive allegations. injunctions on timber sales often turn into permanent delays, leaving dying timber to rot and lose value. my amendment would allow these critical projects to move forward while litigation on the merits of the case is pending. in doing dog so it will help ensure that responsible timber sales come under fruition. this allows projects to move forward while the merits of the case continue to be examined. i urge my colleagues to -- i urge my support -- mr. hastings: will the gentleman yield? mr. daines: i yield to the chairman. haste thaste i think this lead as great -- mr. hastings: i think this leads a great teal to this legislation -- a great deal to this legislation. mr. daines: thank you. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves.
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for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i rise in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. defazio: i'm -- not all appeals and litigation are frivolous. we know that some zero cut groups seeking to enall logging in national forests have been successful in nitpicking the forest service in montana. however this amendment literally clips the scales of justice. the underlying bill already places extraordinary restrictions on parties which i mentioned earlier, over which i have concern, on parties seeking to protect public resources. do we really want to tell people they can't protest government activity if the federal government violates
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procedural requirement? failing to give notice is a major requirement. shopt a community be able to appeal an activity if they think it might impact their drinking water and they were never notified? failing to properly advertise for bids is a requirement. shouldn't a small business be able to stop a contract from being awarded to an out of state company if the forest service failed to follow proper protocol? they already havement ways to make litigation much more difficult. we don't need to tip scales further toward the power of big government and away from the public. with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from montana. mr. daines: mr. chairman, i respect the comments made from the gentleman from oregon but we look at the state of montana and see a 90% reduction in forest timber harvests on
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national forest lands and we hear if the forest service officials, the number one issue is litigation. it is time that we put in place measures and reform this is amendment addresses, that address those kinds of concerns of procedural nature will not stop an entire forest project. this is a very real issue in my home state. i saw it literally firsthand when i was visiting an area, ecause of a small procedural mistake on one of 14 counts. this is saying, let's let the people have control of the forests and restore the jobs needed and revenue back to our schools. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i yield myself the balance of the time. we had a hearing on this and similar issues.
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i did find common ground with folks on the other side of the aisle. we had a vigorous debate over fuel reduction 13 years ago which ultimately resulted in a law called hifra, i participated in writing that law on the house side, very much a bipartisan law with myself and mr. miller on the democratic side and scot mcginn necessary -- mcginn necessary and others. we gave this tool to the forest service and they haven't used it. they've used it in very minor ways. and at the hearing i asked the deputy chief, what about nifra, do we need to change the laws further or do these radical things like preventing appeals and litigation? and he said, well, no, we're moving ahead with a major, major landscape scale
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collaborative process in the black hills. i said, that's great. how about all the rest of the intermountain west? how about central oregon and other places where we need these sort of landscape scale projects that can't be nitpicked, you know, acre by acre, but they are developed collaboratively and we move forward and as i mentioned earlier, we can do them under stewardship contract which will attract investors which will utilize the biomass. there is a way to better do this. we need to push the forest service on these issues, if there are minor changes that need to be made, they should let us know. i believe one is it doesn't allow for them to go into areas and bug kill and that should be fixed and was fixed in a bill that was offered in committee but not allowed on the floor because of scoring issues. i believe there is a way to
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move forward and solve some of these problem bus this is not the proper way -- but this is not the proper way. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from montana. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? mr. defazio: i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further procedure thopes amendment offered by the gentleman from montana will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number two printed in house report 113-216, for what purpose does the gentleman rise? mr. daines: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: amendment number two printed in house report 113-213, mr. daines of montana. the chair: the chair recognizes the gentleman from montana. mr. daines: mr. chairman, nationwide, more than 73 million acres of forest service
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lands and hundreds of millions of acres of other lands are at risk for catastrophic wildfire. as the timber industry has declined, our national forest system has lost much of the labor force to sustain our forest ecosomes and protect our communities. restoring healthy forests for healthy communities act addresses both challenges, providing the forest service with much needed latitude while revitalizing our country's dying timber industry. i'm offering an amendment to hold the forest service accountable for doing the work required in this legislation. my amendment would simply require the is secretary of agriculture to submit to congress an annual report. in fact, the amendment specifies this annual report is one page in length. rarely do we see a report in washington that's less than about three inches thick. this is going to require it's just a one-page summary,
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simple, focused on results, for each forest service revenue area. on this report, we would report the annual volume requirements in effect for that fiscal year. the volume of board feet harvested. the revenues yen rate trd sales, and the amount of receipts distributed to each beneficiary county. it would also require the forest service to place the report on its website. the american people whose lives are often in the paths of wildfires, whose jobs require to access to tame behr and tax schools deserve moneys deserve these answers. i our country needs results urk -- urge the adoption of my
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amendment and reserve the alance of my time. mr. hastings: i agree with this amendment, i think something like this would be very beneficial, i congratulate the gentleman and support his amendment. the chair: the gentleman from montana reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? mr. defazio: i rise in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. defazio: the last amendment would limit public information, now we're asking them to -- ask the forest service to produce more information, except we're not, year asking them to produceless information than they currently make publicly available. an amendment requiring a -- an annual report on one page. the forest service does prepare
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these reports on a quarterly basis. it is available online and bush duh no, it's not one page. i guess we could put it on one page, i'm having trouble reading it at the scale which is 18 pages. this is the 18-page report for the beaver head deer lodge forest. if we look at the report, they offer 3.4 million board feet of timber, the amount of timber delayed, withdrawn from sale, what was bid on, what department get bids, there are quarterly cut and sold reports, show the value of the sales, in the first quarter of 2013, they sold $300,000 worth of timber. if we limit it to one page we may lose other things like the report on christmas trees, $6,050 value for sale of christmas trees. mushrooms, $1,500 in the bitter
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root national forest. the forest service is, you know, already producing this information, they are posting it online. i know it's kind of de rigueur here to say let's get it down to one pame. we can put it on one page but you'll need a microscope to or leaf a but of stuff out and it can be interested if you're really interesting in this stuff. how will you fit all this stuff on one page in are we going to tell them, don't bostonner to produce this data? under the guise of asking for information we're going to tell the forest service to produce less, which they may be happy with because they'll less accountable if they produceless information. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from montana is recognized. mr. daines: i appreciate the
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gentleman's remarks. i spent 28 years in the private sector, having to manage complex operations. what this amendment does it doesn't preclude the forest service from generating all the data in the format the gentleman referenced. what this is asking for is a a one-page summary a dash board if you will, so we can key, it cuts the bottom line in term os they have numbers i pointed out here. so often in washington, we are drowning in data. we're starving for wisdom. this is a simple dash board that cuts to the bottom line here of looking for the volume of board feet actually harvested, the cost of the preparation of sales, the revenue generated from sales and the amount of reseptembered distributed to counties. that's the one-page summary. the other data can be contained in other reports for the perusal of members who want to see it. but this cuts to the chase, a simple, one-page dash board of what the results are as a result of this bill.
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i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the forest service isn't always responsive. but i believe if the committee chairman, in fact, i would be happy to join as the ranking member with the committee chairman and the gentleman from montana and any other members of the committee interested in a letter to the forest service say you produce this incredible amount of data, some people think it's too much. so how about a one-page executive summary that covers these points which would precede the other 18 pages online. they don't have to pin them, so no cost to the government. but i think that might solve the problem. i don't believe we need to pass the law to get an executive summary. most agencies provide all kinds of executive summaries for people who don't have time or interest for knowing things in more detail. i reserve.
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the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from montana. mr. daines: i just would say, as i've been back here, private sector to public sector, sometimes you have to lay out with specificity the need for a one-page summary of what's going on so anyone who wants to see can take the 30,000-foot view here in terms of the program being successful or not. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i have the right to close, i'm prepared to close if the gentleman wants to summarize his arguments. the chair: the gentleman from montana. mr. daines: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from montana. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in part c of house report 113-215.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mcclintock: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 offered by mr. mcclintock of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 351, the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. mcclintock: thank you. mr. chairman, an estimated $1 billion -- one billion feet of timber can still be salvaged out of the forests that have been devastated by the yosemite rim fire but it requires immediate action. as time passes, the value of this dead timber declines until after a year or so it becomes unsalvageable. it's been the practice of radical environmental groups to file lawsuits against such projects with the objective of delaying salvage until the timber's wortless. this amendment waives judicial review of the salvage plans for the 2013 fires.
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this is exactly the same approach taken in legislation offered by tom daschle a few years ago to allow salvage of beetle-killed timber in the black hills national forest. salvaging this timber would throw an economic lifeline to communities already devastated by this fire as local mills can be brought to full employment for the first time in many years. and would provide a new stream of revenue for the federal government as this salvageable timber is auctioned. be happy to yield. mr. hastings: i thank the gentleman for his offering this amendment. last year in my home state of washington, over 300,000 acres burned. and yet the forest service has yet to salvage anything and i daresay now that whatever value is of that salvaged timber has probably gone away. i think this amendment addresses that issue very, very well and i support the gentleman's amendment. mr. mcclintock: i thank the
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gentleman and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? mr. defazio: rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. defazio: again, this is an area where we do have some grounds for potential agreement. part of the problem is the forest service budget. i mean, not only are they spending half their budget on fighting fires, they've had a brain drain because of cuts in personnel and staffing. and they really don't have the personnel to go out and -- i suggested a number of years ago, last time we had a salvaged rider, that a great alternative would be to have the forest service establish a strike team to go out, to major fires in fact, while they're probably still burning, and begin to map out a recovery might be appropro go in and do some salvage, where there are critical watersheds at risk and there's going to have to be some immediate mitigation with the planting of grass or
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other efforts to mitt grate problems that will come with the -- mitigate problems that will come with the rainy season in california. i believe there is a better way to get there. but this is really, you know, there's a new kind of current trend online. it's called throwback thursday and to me this is really throwback thursday to one of the most controversial pieces of legislation ever adopted by this body, back in the 1990's which was a massive salvaged rider. now, i have participated in a much more discrete, individual process when i was first here as a sophomore member of congress with senator hatfield from oregon. we sat down with an area that had been burned and we negotiated and legislated a salvage which preserved the areas that needed to be preserved. there was a potential for 186 million board feet. we ended up lenl slating somewhere around 70 million board feet. the industry was disappointed. the environmentalists were appalled. but in the end we get no
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additional sed mentation, we didn't get any slope slumping and we did get 70 million board feet of timber out there. we did it with helicopter logging and the forest bill made money. so there are ways to do this. but this i don't think is the best way to go forward. the underlying legislation already allows significant waivers of neep. any project less than -- nepa. any probably less than 10,000 acres does not have to go through analysis. but this would allow a project to move forward no matter the size or where it's located. without review, without judicial eview. we don't really know yet, i mean, i don't think a lot of the areas of the rim fire have yet been surveyed. certainly the forest service doesn't have the assets to do that. to find out what the impacts
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were. where the spot burns are, where the through burns are, what the conditions are. what areas would be critical to surviving wildlife, what areas are critical to watersheds and how we will deal with those areas, how we're going to recover the recreation in that area in the future. you know, what would happen with building of roads and logging and salvaged logging in those areas. so, i believe that this is, you know, a bridge too far in terms of expediting recovery and/or potentially salvage efforts and would oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman from oregon reserve? mr. defazio: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mcclintock: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to yield one minute to my neighbor to the north, the gentleman from california, mr. lamalfa. for one minute. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one inute. mr. lamalfa: thank you to my
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colleague, mr. mcclintock, for bringing this measure forward. you know, the craziest thing about this is that each year you have devastating wildfires in california and the west and other areas of our country. we act like we're reinventing the wheel each time when we need to go out and do the basic salvage work. you have a narrow window of time that you can get value out of it, before the trees that are there that have value can be salvaged. and turned into something useful. you can have a participatory, people in the industry, helping bring that value out. if you lose that window of time, then you have higher costs, maybe those areas don't get recovered because nobody can make a living out of it. so this is a commonsense measure that's really a no-brainer, that ought to be used to move forward for this 2013 season, but also established a tell play the long-term so that we can -- tell platt long-term so we -- template long-term. we s get a tell play the so can move quickly, get the
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industry to do it and have our forests start the restoration and recovery project as soon as possible. with that value. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i reserve. the chair: reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. mcclintock: i'm now delighted to yield one minute to my neighbor from the south, mr. denham, california, also a co-author of the measure. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. denham: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the mcclintock-lamalfa- mccarthy-denham amendment. this will speed up the timber salvage project. i'm never surprised by some of the arguments that are made down here. you'll hear that we just don't have enough people to go out there and survey. but yet by harvesting this very timber that will be rotted or infested in several months would actually pay not only for the forest service to go out there and survive and help to pay for the forest service salaries, but actually in a community like ours, helps to pay for our
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schooling and some of our local costs as well. the timber salvage can go a long way to benefit local economies throughout the state. this timely amendment limits the amount of lawsuits that could be used to slow down and hold up the salvage process. under the proposed amendment, wood salvaged could be quickly sent to mills across california, fueling construction projects and benefiting local economies receiving timber and providing much-needed local jobs and revenues to the impacted counties. our communities have suffered an untold damage with the historic and catastrophic wildfire that burned over 4 -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. denham: i ask the gentleman to yield another 30 seconds. mr. mcclintock: 15 seconds. mr. denham: air quality is worse than the ferre tile rain land near the fire may have been -- and our beautiful forest land will remain blackened and sparse for years to come. i ask your assistance in passing
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this critical amendment to put people back to work and start cleaning up this catastrophic situation. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. mcclintock: reserve. the chair: reserves. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i'm prepared to close. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mcclintock: thank you. mr. chairman, i can't put it any plainer than this. without this amendment, one billion board feet of timber owned by the people of the united states will be lost forever. we do not have time for endless years of litigation. within a year this timber, which can now be salvaged for productive use, it can provide jobs for the people of our region and can provide a stream of revenues for our ailing u.s. treasury, will be rendered utterly worthlessment this is precisely the same approach that was used when democrat tom daschle faced the same problem in his district over beetle-killed timber. we are applying exactly the same policy to salvage this timber. i would hope the gentleman from oregon in the spirit of
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bipartisanship will recognize the same remedy used in a democratic region ought now to be used for this district in california. and with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i thank the gentleman. actually, this wouldn't apply just to the rim fire, as i read it. and the gentleman can correct me if i'm wrong. i believe it applies to any area that burned in 2013, anywhere in the united states of america. which would certainly include both democratic and republican districts. fires are not bipartisan in their destruction. so, that is an incredibly broad brush. that would mean there could be no analysis done by forest service, fish and wildlife or anybody else before salvage efforts might begin on forests all across america. now, if you're bidding on a salvage sale, it isn't your job to care about whether or not the road you're going to build in or the area you're going to
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cess is subject to the slumping when the rains start in a couple months or the snows come in the intermountain regions or up in the northwest. so, you know, this is extraordinarily and overly broad. we've exempted things up to 10,000 acres. i believe there's a better way to approach this. the other gentleman from california talked about, you know, getting in there and then we would have the money for strike teams. i would say that's just a little bit backwards, really. we should -- these are public assets. fire is a disaster not only for the people of your district, the people of california, but the people of the nation, particularly with the proximity to one of the nation's most loved parks. and if we did have a strike team, we could have areas like that surveyed by spring and plans in place by spring to know where it might be appropriate to something vagina and where it isn't appropriate to salvage.
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tanned would still be valuable -- and it would still be valued with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 4 printed in part c of house report 113-215. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri seek recognition? geno smith to offer an amendment, mr. chairman -- mr. smith: to offer an amendment, mr. chairman. the clerk: an amendment offered by mr. smith of missouri. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 351, the gentleman from missouri, mr. smith, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri. mr. smith: mr. chairman, thank you for considering my amendment today to house resolution 1526, the restoring healthy forests for healthy communities act. let me begin first by saying i
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fully support increasing the timber harvest on federal lands. and i'm excited for the opportunity to create jobs and stimulate the economy in my rural missouri district. the issue that my amendment deals with, prescribed fires within the mark twain national forest, is a symptom of the larger problem, that h.r. 1522 seeks to fix. to put it simply, our national forest system could be better managed. 50 million board feet of timber with an estimated value of $4.75 million dies every year in the market twain national forest -- mark twain national forest. only 38 million board feet of timber with an estimated value of $4.37 million is harvested. there are individuals ready, willing and able to harvest the timber. but they are prevented from acting by the federal government. the forest service head made the harvest -- has made the harvest problem even worse by burning
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whole swaths of harvestable acreage. while prescribed fire has been used in the past as an effective technique to manage and prevent forest fires in this instance the fires are being used to change the landscape of the area from its current forested state to pine oak woodlands. i have personally visited sites where trees that could be harvested for timber are being burned. folks, it just doesn't make sense to be burning the timber that could be used to bring new jobs and economic prosperity to my district. the forest products industry in my district is alive and well and we certainly could make use of these trees that are instead being burned. the wood flooring, the barely industry, timber and char coal industries are major employers in my district that will put people back to work, turning these trees into valuable finished products. my constituents who have evaluated the impacts of the initial prescribed fires are
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very concerned about the results. the large size of the burns and the failure to utilize cut hardwoods has created a residual forest condition with scorched trees and bear mineral soil. a number of trees, the burns intended to promote, were exposed to excessive heat which has caused these trees to die unnecessarily. the burns have also caused the forest floor to become more susceptible to erosion. as a result of this situation, we need to place a moratorium on these prescribed fires in the mark twain national forest until such time as their effects on the forest can be determined. i wrote a letter to the forest service in august, along with five of my colleagues from missouri, seeking this information. and have yet to receive a response. i ask this body to approve my amendment so that we can get more information from the forest service about the situation and that in the meantime more of our
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valuable missouri hardwood will not be indiscriminantly burned. i yield. mr. hastings: i i think the gentleman's amendment takes care of a unique problem, the gentleman has the right approach and i support his amendment. yield back. the chair: the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i rise in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes in opposition. mr. defazio: i certainly don't know what's best for the mark twain forest, you had five members sign your letter that would leave 430 who probably don't think they have any clue either about what would be ppropriate in your forest. i would suggest, we do have a committee of jurisdiction. there are time -- times when the forest service bureaucracy
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is ding sming -- things i do not approve of. i don't believe the committee has done any oversight on this issue. i don't know if the issue was brought to the chairman before it was offered as an amendment here on the floor this amendment wasn't offered in committee nor -- i was there, there was no discussion of this in committee. it's a very, very localized problem. i would -- i would suggest again as we did earlier that first off, this bill is not going to be co--- going to become law before this winter, which is when they born in the northwest, i assume they do the same in your area, when the risk of fire is down. this isn't going to become law by then. if you're going to get it -- to get their attention, perhaps you'll get their attention if they're listening. but i would suggest that the
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gentleman initiate a process through the committee, you know, ask for a meeting with the forest service under the us a pises of the chair and attempt to get answers to the questions he has. doing through this particular amendment is really not going floish those goals in time, if indeed there are immediate plans to go forward this winter. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman from oregon reserves. >> i yielding -- mr. smith: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from missouri yields back. mr. defazio: i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from missouri. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number five printed c of house part
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eport 113-214. mr. mcclintock: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: amendment number five printed in house report 113-214 offered by mr. mcclintock. the chair: the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, and a member opposed each will control five mins. mr. mcclintock: this amendment guarantees the public has a full opportunity to comment before a forest road is closed or destroyed. these roads are vital to tourism and tourism is vital to the economy of the communities. yet the u.s. forest service has become aggressive in shutting down these roads, restricting public access to mick lands and replacing the inclusionary vision of the forest service described as serving the greatest good for the greatest
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number in the long run into an exclusionary vision which can be described as look but don't touch. the forest service has bypassed congress and adopted a rule that allows it to close any road without -- that it deems to be unnecessary or undesirable without any public hearing. my amendment will protect public access to public lands and requires that road or trail closures follow the established process of public notification and input. under this provision, the forest service can still decommission trails or roads that it considers obsolete but only after, quote, adequate and appropriate public involvement. that's it. before you decommission or destroy an exissing road or trail you have to ask the public. it codifies one of pinchot's maxims for what he called the behavior of forest in public office. he said it's more trouble to
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consult the public than ignore them but that's what you're hired for. i reserve -- i yield to the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i thank the gentleman for offering this amendment. if i were to categorize this amendment it would prohibit the forest service from removing or eliminating roads without public rovement. in my district, there was a case where they were using other funds that were used to maintain roads and they were using them to close roads but all the time there was no public involvement. i think your amendment addresses that issue and i support the gentleman's mendment and yield back. mr. mcclintock: i thank the gentleman and reserve my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? mr. defazio: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. defazio: i agree with the gentleman,s that sensitive
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issue, people who live in, around, near the forest, people who choose to travel there to recreate, we had a disastrous example in my state, the proposed travel management plan in a forest in mr. walden's district in northeast oregon, the plan was developed in 2009, little public input, would have closed a substantial amount of the road network and it became a huge, huge controversy because of the lack of public involvement. i even, even though i had complaints from my constituents and we're 250 miles away. all though i do recreate sometimes in that forest but not on the road -- that's not the road i access the forest by forest roads. so you know, this is something that was a major concern. regional forest who is new said, you're right, they
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screwed this up. they started over in a collaborative public process. but this goes a little bit beyond requiring the public to be notified and involved. it's contradictory because parts of this bill do away with rules that require public involvement and comments by the public. i don't know whether we removed that requirement from the existing law for removal of roads and that's why we have to have this amendment or not. this goes a little further. it says these would be legally created roads and as you know, we get people down in nevada and elsewhere arguing with the government or even attempting to take back government property by saying these are legally created and are not the property of the forest service. fers you get inside which roads are legal which are covered which are illegal, not covered
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who will decide that? the forest service? user group who has an informal road they've established, how will that help with this problem? it requires the forest service to make a specific decision about road or trail closure involving adequate public involvement. what are those standards as opposed to the nepa standards which should apply in these cases. i think that this could actually lead to more confusion and litigation. there is a problem,s that sensitive area and in some areas the forest service has not dealt welt with it and i believe there are other sloughs to that. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. mcclintock: perhapsic assist the gentleman in his confusion by reading the amendment which is simple, straightforward and clear. the forest service shall not remove or otherwise eliminate or obliterate any legally
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created road or trail unless there's been a specific decision which included adequate and appropriate public involvement to decommission the specific road or trail in question. the fact that a road or trail is not a forest system road or trail does not appear on a motor vehicle use map shall not constitute a decision. that is it. that's alpha and omega of this amendment in its entirety. if you're going to close a road to the public, ask them first. i cannot emphasize enough how important this is to the mountain communities of the sierra nevadas. tourists don't visit where they can't get to. the public's use of mountain trails and roads is absolutely central to mountain tourism and removing or closing these trails or roads is not something that should be done behind closed doors by administrative fiat. i ask for an aye vote and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields
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back. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: that doesn't address the concern about legally created road or trail. and again, there's -- i'm not aware that there's a definition elsewhere in the bill nor in this amendment for legal lil created and there is tremendous controversy and litigation over the issue of legally created. it does go on to say any road or trail is not a forest system road or trail or does not appear on a motor vehicle use map shall not constitute a decision. that leaves open the issue of informal use roads potentially in sensitive areas that you know would have to go through a process before they could be closed. what if it's a newly developed o.r.v. trail through a sensitive meadow. we had someone running doughnuts in the three sisters wilderness, did that become a road or trail that then would
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be available to vehicles and we couldn't close that area and they did they put in big rocks and things to close the area off to motor vehicles, wo you would that have been precluded under this amendment? this opens too many questions to controversy and interpretation. there are times when we do need to act quickly when abuse is take police station, other times when the forest service has to act more deliberately. i believe the forest service can do a better job. i believe having the public notified and fully involved and the best way to do that is with nepa. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. mr. defazio: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment of the gentleman from california will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number six printed in part c of house report 113-215.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. lamalfa: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number six printed in part c of house report 113-215 offered by mr. lamalfa of california. e chair: pursuant to house resolution 315 -- 351 the gentleman from california, mr. lamalfa, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. mr. lamalfa: this amendment seeks to prevent the department of justice from seeking excessive, unquantity final damages from land owners who have fires accidentally escape their property. we've seen them sue land owners above sands of dollars the actual damage based on value of habitat, values that
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seem to be based on the desire to gain revenue. when the government gains as much revenue from lawsuits as it does from the forest system there's a problem. i plan to continue to work on this issue until we develop a 50-state solution to this problem. i respectfully ask unanimous consent to withdraw this amendment at this time. the chair: without objection. the amendment is withdrawn. it is now in order to consider amendment number seven printed in part c of house report 113-215. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. lamalfa: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number seven printed in house report 113-215, offered by mr. lamalfa of california. the chair: the gentleman from california, mr. lamalfa, and a member opposed each will troll five -- will control five
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minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. the amalfa: disasters like -- lake that in mr. mcclintock's district not only destroy homes and structures, affect vide -- they other things as well. les don't allow the forest service to salvage timber. this allows salvage activities the plan. of they know that salvage and to take place quickly.
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site rehabilitation has to take place before the rainy season. the forest various' ability to conduct those operations is so restricted that timber that could generate jobs and venues rots on the ground as adja sent private land is rehabilitated. salvage and rehab operations are complete on all these private lands. these areas have been replanted and rehabilitated and will be healthy and productive forests. the lands are untouched. in northern california, 13 lightning-sparked fires burned and caused $150 million in suppression costs. the forest service conducted reeths on a few hundred acres leaving one-third the size of
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ride blackened and scarred. it speeds the rehabilitation process by allowing the forest service to plan this work in njunchings plans and the amendment allows but does not mandate use of suppression funds for these efforts. does not mandate by allows the use of suppression funds for these efforts. the c.b.o. has stated this amendment has no impact on overall spending. this will generate revenue for local communities and the federal government through salvage operations. federal agencies spent over $1.9 billion in fire fighting in 2012 and every dollar is one less dollar diverted from other programs. i have co-sponsored amendments streamlining the judicial delays that slow salvage operations. this accelerates the planning
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process but functions independently. i respectfully request your support for this amendment. mr. hastings: i thank the gentleman for offering this amendment. the issue of salvage is an important part of proper management in our forests and your amendment adds to that and i support your amendment and i yield back. mr. lamalfa: i respectfully request your support and reserve. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? mr. defazio: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. defazio: the gentleman has made the point that it's not mandatory, but the problem would be, we already have inadequate funds for fire fighting. as the gentleman knows that the forest service has devastated the remaining funds for fuel
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reduction, probably restoration activities, whole bunch of recreation activities and other things have all been ripped from this year's budget because they had to spend billion dollars fighting fires. this is an annual problem and time to get real around here about the problem. one is to adequately invest in fuel reduction and not underinvest in firefighting until we do more fuel reduction, we will have big fires. we don't need to make the big fires more prevalent and more common by cutting the fuel reduction budget and we had this discussion a bit in committee and found that there was some common ground in this discussion. i don't believe that certainly site rehabilitation and other activities, you know those are very desirable, but, again, to
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categorize them under firefighting, i think could create major problems. with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. lamalfa: in speaking of inadequate funds, if we were generating the funds, we wouldn't be looking to the government for the money for the type of fuel reductions that are needed. we would be making a living at it by taking marketable timber and operations that go under the plan that requires cleanup and replanting. we would be generating the receipts at the same time we are doing this if we had this type of thinking, not only in the current year where you are imagining those receipts but in the future as you have a regenerated forest. in my area, there was a fire some years ago that nearly burned the town, but with no management, no restoration, the
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land laid idle with all sorts of things growing back, it burned again seven years later and almost devastated the town once again. we see it on private lands, they are out there and salvaging and restoring the forest which is better for the habitat and the wildlife and economy. better for everybody. let's move in the direction of fuel reductions. we don't have to do it with tax dollars but the private sector having marketable timber being taken off and getting the job done. again, i think this amendment will help in this regard. so i seek your support for this amendment and thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i yield myself the balance of my time. fuel reduction and salvage are two different categories.
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salvage needs to be carefully planted. we already discussed the forest service doesn't have the resources to do that, and yet if we take that and add that on to suppression costs, that will take money away from fuel reduction and other programs in the agency. around here, we spend a lot of time talking about sequestration and a lot of people think it doesn't have much real impact or waste coming out of the government. that came out of the fuel suppression budget and firefighting came out of the fuel suppression budget and we are going to act like we can spend it on other activities. we want to do restoration activity but we have to suck it up and make the investments we need to make in our resource agencies so they can get the job done right. we had a discussion how to properly approach salvage earlier.
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i'm not going to reiterate that issue. but this amendment is not mandatory, but as an addition to an already inadequate account that is fueling from other accounts, would not be good policy. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. hastings: i move that the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion that the committee now rise. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted and accordingly, the committee rises.
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the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 1526, has directed me to report it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the committee has had under consideration h.r. 1526 and has come to no resolution thereon. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. cartwright is recognized for 55 nutes as the designee of the
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minority leader. mr. cartwright: i rise on behalf of the congressional black caucus and rise to repeat the calls of our colleagues today to end the disastrous spending cuts known as sequestration, to put a stop to the proposed disastrous cuts to snap benefits and to urge the majority to abandon their plans to force the closure of the government and to default on the national debt. i want to start with snap. mr. speaker, while nearly 50 million americans struggle to put food on their tables, the majority are doubling their cuts
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o basic food aid, supplemental nutrition assistance program, also known as snap, which primarily helps feed children, seniors and the disabled. mr. speaker, 92% of the people who are on snap are children, the elderly, disabled or already working. food stamp recipients currently receive $1.40 per meal. snap is a vital tool to prevent hunger, fight hunger and help struggling americans feed their families as they seek new employment, send their children to school and get themselves back on their feet. slashing nearly $40 billion from snap, the majority bill takes the food out of the mouths of nearly four million americans
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ext year, particularly harming hildren, seniors, veterans and americans living in urban, rural and suburban communities with chronically high unemployment. one in five children, that is 16 million children, struggle with hunger. a record high. and mr. speaker, here to address the effects of the snap cuts that we're talking about today is my valued and esteemed colleague from california, alan louen that will and he was elected after a
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long and distinguished career after city politics and in the california state assembly in sacramento. he serves on the house committee on foreign affairs as well as with me on the house committee on natural resources. congressman lowenthal has stood up as a loud voice against cuts on the snap program. he has been quoted in the press as saying, these cuts literally take the food from the mouths of babes. at this time, i yield to the gentleman from california for as much time as he needs. mr. lowenthal: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank the gentleman from pennsylvania, and i appreciate his leadership in holding this
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vital conversation. during my two decades in public service, i have heard many stories about how when the economy slows down and when americans fall on hard times, the americans' social safety net has helped our fellow americans get back on their feet again. i want to talk a little bit today, my dear friend, about what a constituent told me. i want to talk about how his personal food stamp success, a story that really illustrates that snap is an investment in the future success of americans. his young man, whose name is
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stefan from long beach, recently wrote to me and he said, i quote, my parents, from graduating from college in the 1970's, mid-1970's, had to rely on food stamps for a period. they eventually went on to advance degrees and began to have wonderful and productive jobs in the private sector and in higher education. . . but they are both quick to acknowledge the essential helping hand that food stamps and also for this young man, the w.i.c. program for both he and his sister, played in helping them when times were tough. just let us remember what took place today because these two americans were low income at the time, childless adults.
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for a very short period in their lives that they were low income and also childless as adults. however, let us remember that this is one of the categories of people that the just-passed house bill would strip snap benefits away from. stefan's parents, my friend, did not want to stay on food stamps. but food stamps provided them the ability to go on and become highly productive members of society because america invested in them through the snap program. contrary to the majority's claim, poor and unemployed americans do not, and i repeat, do not want to remain unemployed in order to receive a meager $1.40 per meal.
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that argument is specious. it paints a false picture of the masses of people that would -- who would rather have less than six quarters per meal than a paying job. this is not a rational choice. no one chooses the six quarters. these are people who need america's support and investment in order to survive. >> will the gentleman yield? mr. low within that will: i ill yield. >> congressman lowenthal, your point that no one would choose to take meals for six quarters and no one would choose to remain on snap benefits, there's a myth running around that we hear all the time that people abuse snap benefits, people are buying crab legs and lobster tail with their food stamps, what is your opinion on that? yield to mr. lowenthal.
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mr. lowenthal: thank you, my dear colleague from pennsylvania, i agree it's absolutely ludicrous on $1.40 per meal, you're not having lobster dinners. ou're not having real dinners. you are barely surviving. these are proud people who want to make a difference to society, their son pointed out through this difficult time, they moved on after eare seving these benefit which is they now proudly talk about how much they helped them, are now productive members of our society and contribute greatly to the society. it is fallacious and silly to think that people choose to be on nap because they want to exploit the system. i yield back -- let me continue
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before i yield back for a minute. i want to talk a little bit about what our congressional budget office estimates that the bill that just passed today would deny snap benefits, to who? first of all it would deny snap benefits to over 3.8 million of our fellow americans in the year 2014. now who are these poor, unemployed, childless americans that this bill largely targets? according to the nonpartisan center for budget and policy priorities, they are over 40% women, 34% are over 40 years of age, 50% are white. 30% are african-american. 10% are hispanic and 5% are native americans. 40% live in suburban areas, 40% live in urban areas, and 20%
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live in rural areas. i'd like to say, mr. chairman, the snap is an investment in america's workers. oth current and prospective. to gut that investment, to let americans go hungry, is to deny each of them an opportunity to become a contributing member of our society. this is not how america takes care of its people. thank you and i'd like to yield back the balance of my time. mr. doyle: reclaiming my time, i want to thank the gentleman for bringing up the importance of snap to our nation, the validity of the program and the ridiculousness of the cuts passed out of the house today. thank you. you know, instead of working to create jobs here at home, the majority are -- mr. cartwright:
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the majority are punishing people in america, pushing punishing legislation that abandons americans who want to work but can't find jobs even in communities with high unemployment, double digit unemployment, adults who can't find at least a halftime job under this bill could be thrown off snap after three months regardless of how high local unemployment is. now this is unnecessary. snap currently has work requirements that can be waived by the states during times of high unemployment. 46 states including almost every state with a republican governor have sought waivers in fiscal year 2013 to provide snap for those looking for work and repeatedly so over the last 10 years. the bottom line here is that the bill passed out of the house today on snap, cutting snap benefits, close to $40
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billion over the next 10 years, it's radical and won't pass into law. the senate will not take up such a bill. the president would never sign it. it's radical and it's a waste of time. by imposing such draconian cuts the majority are really derailing any chance at enactment of a responsible new bill, critical legislation to support our nation's farmers, the ranchers, to support food security, conservation, rural communities, and the 16 million americans whose jobs directly depend on the agriculture industry. these majority cuts are almost 10 times those in the senate bill and would make any chance at a bipartisan agreement on a much needed farm bill nearly impossible. i want to share with you some of the statistics from my own
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district. in northeastern pennsylvania, i represent the 17th congressional district this consists of six counties and in these six counties, we have fully 39,000 households receiving snap benefits at this time. 39,000 households. an incredible number of people who really rely on these benefit, who use them to alleviate hunger and to prevent the situation where kids are going to cool hungry every day. the average monthly household snap participation in 815,765 nia in 2011, people. the average monthly household snap participation in the united states in 2011, according to the usda was 21
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million people in this country. in my district, over 14% of the households rely on snap benefits. these draconian cuts would go right to the heart of people -- eal people in my district. mr. speaker, i want to switch gears. and i want to talk about the sequester. i want to enhance the calls by our colleagues in the congressional progressive caucus to end the disastrous spending cuts called sequester. it's been months since these across the board cuts have gone into effect, devastating many important programs that americans relie on every day. the purpose, of course, of sequestration was to create a
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scheme of cuts so odious that congress would do anything possible to avoid them, that congress would be forced to come together and agree on a responsible budget. it was like a ticking time bomb that would force the members of this house to come together, mr. speaker, and arrive at a reasonable compromise on an american budget. but mr. speaker, the time bomb went off. and sequestration went into effect. the bottom line there is that questration is going to cost 750,000 american jobs because of the disaster it wreaks on the american economy. that's not my figure. that's a figure put out by the nonpartisan congressional budget office. 750,000 american jobs. the majority effort to make sequestration a reality shows they're ready, willing, and able to take our economy
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backward at a time when americans are desperate to move this nation forward. that's just missing the point. the majority have shown a willingness to vote on a fix for the front page news f.a.a. flight delay problem but they haven't addressed the 70,000 children who would lose access to head start or any of the other programs that have been crippled. programs and services that millions of americans rely on like head start and even the federal emergency management agency programs are being decimated by draconian cuts in funding. fund for the fema agency has been slashed by over $1 billion under sequester. just as hurricane season began, cuts for the noaa, the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, will delay its
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weather satellite launch, causing an increase in costs to the program and increasing risk of inaccurate forecasts for future extreme weather. public safety is being put at risk. it's also being put at risk as the u.s. forest service is facing fire season understaffed and underequipped with 500 fewer firefighters, 50 to 0 fewer fire en-ins and two fewer aircraft. n fact, our transportation infrastructure in the united states is threatened by the sequester. the u.s. department of $1.943 tation will face billion in total budget cuts and amtrak too was cut by $77 million under the sequester. the services that keep us
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healthy are being hurt including important mental health programs delivered through the substance abuse and mental health services administration which will be cut by $168 million at a time when many are looking to expand mental health services to keep our communities, including communities like washington, d.c., safer. food safety is being compromised as the food and drug administration, the f.d.a., has to perform fewer inspections, increasing the risk of food-borne illness. funding for n.i.h., the national institutes of health, slunk by $1.5 billion. remember what the n.i.h. does. they do life-saving medical research. every single area of medical research in this country will
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be affected including research to cure breast cancer, heart disease, alzheimer's disease. the -- alzheimer's disease. the cuts from n.i.h. alone will result in cuts of billions of dollars in economic activity in this country. a $285 million cut from the centers for disease control research compromises our ability to detect and combat disease outbreaks, facilitate immunizations, plan for public health emergencies and conduct h.i.v. and aids tests. critical support for everything from putting police on our streets to agents at our borders has been jeopardized. our federal public defenders are being furloughed, undermining the services that the already overburdened federal courts face and forcing
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courts to hire private attorneys for defendants on an ad hoc basis and as much as $125 an hour. it's being penny wise and pound foolish. and as for our national security, 800,000 department of defense civilian employees including in my home district where we have the tobey hanna army depot are facing 11 days of furloughs. these are families that are already struggling to make ends meet, to pay their mortgages, to make their car payments, try to put their kids through college and 11 days of furloughs for these faithful employees of civilian defense contractors just isn't right. the department of defense budget was slashed by $37 billion this year, hurting economic growth in
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this nation among many other consequences. in short, these cuts are putting the ability of our government to fully perform basic government functions that we need to keep us safe at risk. and you know, there are personal consequences. right in my district, i represent carbon county, pennsylvania. jim henry from carbon county is a participant in head start. head start doesn't just educate pre-school children but educates and helps entire families. to start for henry helped figure out the situation she was facing as a struggling mother, as a single mother separated from her son's father. she was having a problem with her living arrangements and
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having a problem putting meals on the table. she was having trouble communicating her needs and figuring out how to get along in life as a single mother. head start helped her figure these things out. and you know, we put too much on public schools in this country. we expect teachers to solve problems that parents need to solve. kids don't come with instruction manuals and a lot of times people need guidelines on how to be parents. ead start helped kim henry get back on track, her relationship with her child back on track so she is going to be a responsible parent and she's going to guide her child into being a responsible add utility herself. meals on wheels is cut as well,
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not just head start. wilkesway, head start in barre, 49 kids are being asked to leave because of the sequester cuts. 49 kids. they aren't going to be three and four years old again and aren't going to have a chance to replay their time they had to be in pre-school and they are going to spend their entire academic careers playing catchup with the other kids who did have pre-school. and you know what that means. that means they lose confidence in themselves as they struggle to keep up with the other kids and they question their own ability to hang in there academicically and to achieve and make the most of themselves. it's a big, big deal that kids get pre-school through head start and when we cut kids from head start because of sequester,
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it is penny wise and pound foolish. statistics show that the people who do worse academicically are way more likely to enter the criminal justice system in one form or another, and it's a truth that is proven time and time again. the way to handle this problem is nip these problems in the bud, make good students out of kids and do it through head start and let's not cut these things. meals on wheels, another great american program, in scranton, pennsylvania, which i represent, meals on wheels is an important program and it just doesn't provide meals for the seniors, it al socialization. people are showing up at seniors' heems and talking with them and communicating with them and checking in on them. it's not just about socialization, but also about safety. just recently, a meals on wheels
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volunteer in scranton was delivering a meal to an elderly man who didn't come to his door. the volunteer was concerned, looked through the window and saw the man lying unconscious on his floor in his home. this volunteer was able to summon help, get the man medical help, get him to the hospital and basically saved his life. meals on wheels isn't just about a meal, it's about communication, it's about checking up on people who don't have other people to check on them. old forge, pennsylvania, is another town i represent. another meals on wheels volunteer was delivering food during winter to an elderly women and she came to the door wearing a parka, mittens and a hat. when the volunteer inquired why
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she was wearing that, the woman replied she didn't have any heat. that volunteer was able to make appropriate contact with the social service agencies and figure out how to get the heat turned back on. again, a potentially dangerous situation for the elderly woman was averted. why? because of meals on wheels. it makes no sense for us to cut meals on wheels. the people who are suffering by these cuts are seniors. we need to be honoring our seniors, not cutting their benefits. mr. speaker, while the sequestration process has obvious already begun, it is not too late to work together to change course. and on behalf of the congressional progressive caucus, we must change course, we can't take these sequester
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cuts and add to them. it makes no sense. it's the wrong solution for america. mr. speaker, i also want to address on behalf of the congressional progressive caucus, the question about congress acting to avoid another shutdown showdown. once again, a deadline looms before the united states congress and once again, the majority is set to play politics by threatening to shut down the federal government, rather than work toward a budget compromise. instead of working together to develop a budget that's going to ork for all americans, the majority is letting extremists and idealogs drive the agenda. last month, we marked the anniversary, the standard & poors downgrading the full faith
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and credit of the united states of america. so we have two things going on. we have the majority trying to extract political concessions in exchange for keeping the doors of america's government open and in exchange for america not defaulting on its national debt. mr. speaker, this is the united states of america. we pay our bills. we pay our bills and we pay them on time. and that's what preserves the full faith and credit of the united states. it preserves our credit worthyness and prevents our interest rates from skyrocketing because that's exactly what will happen if we default on the national debt. our interest rates will go through the roof and not cause an mediate recession but an immediate depression. that is ridiculous to hold the
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national debt hostage because you're not just holding the debt ceiling hostage, you are holding the american economy and the welfare of every single american hostage as well. we cannot let that happen. it is the most ridiculous thing. and to have that held hostage for political gain, for political ideological purposes, that is simply unacceptable. so, mr. speaker, on behalf of the congressional progressive fellow urge my colleagues in the house to abandon this plan to hold hostage the american full faith redit, american credit worthiness on the basis that it is a great way to extract political extractions for what
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the idealogs in this house are after. mr. speaker, instead of working together to do our jobs and resolve these critical issues, the majority are staking a decidely different approach from working together. in fact, speaker boehner has indicated that he is gearing up for a whale of a fight, unquote, to push the interest of the majority ahead of the needs of the american people. in fact, mr. boehner has been vocal about his plans to use the need to raise that debt limit to call for cuts to the programs that we have been discussing, the programs that help american families. as speaker boehner said, quote, i'll say this, it may be unfair, but what i'm trying to do here is to leverage the political process. mr. speaker, on behalf of the
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congressional progressive caucus, i say no, don't do that. don't do that. back off of that extreme approach. back off of that dangerous approach. holding hostage the entire american government and holding hostage the american interest rate and economy, it doesn't make sense. let's work together and figure out our problems in a responsible, reasonable and in a measured manner. we can do that. and on behalf of the congressional progressive caucus, i say we must do that. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the
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gentleman from minnesota, mr. pulsen, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. paul: we would -- >> we would like to talk about bipartisan support and what the american people would like to pay attention to. i'm going to talk about the medical device industry. and mr. speaker, i'm a passionate advocate. coming from the state of minnesota where we have giant titans, boston scientific, st. jude, there are also 400 medical device companies that are small. companies you have never heard
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of, but many of which i had the opportunity to tour and visit. they are about flurep, innovation being, improving lives and saving lives. we have a handful of members who want to talk about a challenge that has risen against this industry and that is the new medical device tax. it was part of the health care law and it was implemented in january. 2.3 excise tax. but, you know what, mr. speaker? this is a tax not on profit but a tax on their revenue and we will get into details why it is dangerous to this industry and why it has become much more challenging in just a little bit. i will say this, of the 400 companies in minnesota, 200 of them are in my district. it's easy for me to be a passionate district. people think of minnesota as the land of 10,000 lakes, but there is more than that.
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no doubt that the innovative spirit that is alive in minnesota is across the united states. you will hear from members from the states that are being impacted from this new tax, $30 billion tax that is being collected. a significant amount of money that is being collected. it means less research and development, less innovation. and in the end, that means less opportunity for american patients to access new break-through technologies and many of us would also say that means that will result in less access to health care and lowering health care costs because technology has the great ability to lower health care costs and there are many statistics that show that in the 20-year period, the medical device and technology industry has been responsible for a 4% increase in u.s. life expectancy, 16% decrease in
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mortality rates and astounding, 25% decline in elderly disability rates. medical devices slashed heart rates in 50% and cut strokes by 50%. republicans and democrats don't see eye to eye, but the single worst thing we can do is crush our inventive spirit and that is what the medical device tax is doing. we have bipartisan support and i want to thank congressman ron kind, my colleague from wisconsin, from being a lead author and trying to repeal this dangerous tax. and i'm going to yield right now to my colleague from utah, who also is going to share some thoughts and perspective on this tax. he has been a great leader in gathering folks to talk on the floor. i thank him and his staff to
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encourage colleagues to speak tonight. he has been a strong leader and partner in this repeal in this effort. i yield to mr. matheson. mr. matheson: what should be noticed most is, after the house finishes it business of we have these opportunities to have 60 minutes to talk about anything and usually those are divided democrats have an hour, republicans have an hour. but now we're here with people from both parties taking -- talking together. i applaud the gentleman's leadership in working in a constructive way, building a coalition around this issue and
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i'm going to take some time a little bit later to continue talking about this issue but if i could just for the moment i'd like to yield time to my colleague, mr. peters of california for comments on the medical device tax. mr. peters: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise with many of my colleagues to urge the full and immediate repeal of the medical device tax provision in the affordable care act. as we speak, there are thousands of companies nationwide that are working to develop new technologies that will transform the face of medical care. in my district in san diego, california, is home to numerous medical device manufacturers innovating each day to improve the standard of care, redeuce recuperation times for patients and lower costs in the long-term. they are small businesses and large companies, generating a large economic impact in local communities like mine across the country.
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in my district, i'll use a full examples, i'll feel bad because i'll missome put but nuvasiv has developed a way to let people walk more quickly after surgery and return to work sooner. that's better care and money saved. carefusion creates devices to improve patient care in hospitals that min mids -- minimizes mistakes and saves money. resmed creates unique sleep apnea masks that improve patient health and productivity and reduce incidence of other diseases associated with poor sleep. volcano created a new system that alodfiigs -- physicians to get images inside arteries in a less invasive, more accurate way giving a better picture of diseased arteries and how to treat them. all these will improve patient health an save health care costs and they are vital job
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creators. nearly 250 medical device companies call my region home. between san diego, orange, riverside and imperial counties the medical device an diges noic industry generated nearly $10 billion in economic activity last year. according to our local life sciences trade organization, medical device companies in the san diego area employ nearly 10,000 people and create more than $3 billion in economic activity in the county. that money has flowed into our local communities and further supports tens of thousands of other jobs with good pay and good benefits. in my party we talk a lot about make it in america, which is a great initiative and there's no better way to make it in america than to support the development and manufacturing of medical devices. how are we supporting the go this industry? we aren't. we're punishing it. instead of incentivizing or
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supporting this growing -- growing, productive industry, we're assessing a special tax just against this industry, just against the medical quice device industry. it's not a tax on profits but a tax on revenues, that makes it especially hard on early stage innovators who are not yet making money. can you imagine when you're getting started and every time you make a sale you lose money because of a tax directed at revenues instead of profits? that's a result of the medical device tax. this tax added to the long lag we have in the f.d.a. consideration and approval of medical devices will drive jobs offshore. that's not my guess, it's already happening. recently, cyberonics in texas cited the medical device tax in its division to -- decision to ex-pan not in texas, not in america but in costa rica. san diego business i can tell you today are actively making the same consideration. can we make it here or do we have to move offshore?
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do we have to move these jobsoff shore and this innovation offshore? it's time to come to our senses. the examples of technological innovation abound in san diego and across the country and we can't punish our industries at the same time other countries are providing insent i haves. faster approval times. and incentives -- not taxing this industry in particular, not singling it out for this kind of economic punishment. let's eliminate this tax. let's support our innovators and let's keep our american jobs. i ask that we repeal this tax and helping lead this effort this bipartisan effort, to keep our american jobs here and keep innovation on our shores. thank you and i yield back. mr. paulsen: i thank the gentleman and the gentleman's comments reflect the interest for all of taos make things in america. how many times have we heard we want to make sure we can make
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things in this country. this is an example where an american success story should continue and could continue but we're punishing this industry. i want to take a second to introduce a new leader, someone who wants to speak briefly on his issue, mr. vaughn of oklahoma -- mr. mullin of oklahoma. mr. mullin: thank you for this opportunity to rise up in opposition against this horrible tax. this is an opportunity we have to work with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle and these days that doesn't seem like it happen taos often. i do rise in support of repealing the medical device tax put in effect by obamacare. we've seen time and time again how this mandate is wreaking havoc on individuals and businesses' security and pocketbooks. yet we're talking about how it's going to cost taxpayers jobs and hard earned moneys.
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dentists throughout my district voiced their concern with this tax and how it's going to choke their productivity. i polled my constituents throughout my district on whether obamacare had driven up the cost of health care in their communities and an overwhelming 86% said yes. america can't afford another $30 billion tack bill and 43,000 jobs lost. we must continue to work tirelessly to put america back in business. i believe repealing the medical device tax puts us in that direction. so it is with great pleasure that i'm going to stand up an work with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. thank you for working with us on this, thank you for giving me the time to speak out. yield back. -- paulsen: -- mr. >> at this time i'd like to reck pies my colleague from new
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york, mr. owens for such time as he may consume. mr. owens: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you mr. paulsen, thank you mr. matheson. i appreciate the opportunity to speak tonight. n my district, we have the opportunity to continue support of jobs that pay an average my of $46,500 which in area is an extraordinarily high wage. it employees 19,645 folks, generates $93 billion in wages. as we look around at what we are attempting to accomplish, and i would note as many of the other speakers have, in a bipartisan fashionings, it is to continue economic growth, to continue innovation, and allow us to be globally competitive. this tax is one of those items
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in the health care bill which clearly needs amendment. there are any number of areas where i concur it needs amendment. certainly virtually every significant piece of legislation we have passed in the last 100 years has required amendment and modification. that is simply the reality we all live with, any of my business friends who embark on a new product development adventure or a new marketing adventure will have to tweak it, they'll have ochange it, they'll have to modify it. that's simply a fact of life. i'm pleased that this matter has been brought before congress in a bipartisan fashion. in fact at last count, there were 261 co-sponsors, a sufficient number to bring this to the floor for a vote. i would urge that this bill be moved, i think it's extremely important that we eliminate
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this tax, it will allow for, i know, growth in my district and i suspect growth and jobs in many other districts throughout the united states. again i thank my colleagues for working in a bipartisan fashion and look forward to working with them in many other ways to improve the welfare and job opportunities for all americans. thank you. mr. matheson: i thank the gentleman -- mr. paulsen: i thank the gentleman for his comments. across the country we have states impacted by this new device tax. but it shows how this is an industry that's an american success story, it covers all air dwhreefs country from the midwest to the east coast and the west coast. and to share in that view, a new leader as well, the medical device industry generates $12 billion for california, significantly more than for any
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other state, so the 21st congressional district is representedly bimr. valadao. mr. valadao: a nearly $35 billion device tax took effect on january 1, 2013. plarkt place. at this time it's cost over $1 billion. for fiscal year 2014, which starts october 1, the device will cost manufacturers over $2.5 billion. the additional cost burdens resulting from this tax will force manufacturers to reduce or freeze hiring or even eliminate current employees. putting over 3,000 american jobs at risk. that's why i co-sponsored the protect american innovation act which aims to repeal the excise
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tax on medical devices. this is a bipartisan bill that will with substantial support from both democrats and republicans, both parties know the medical device tax hurts patient access to medical innovation and the competitiveness of the important sector for manufacturing and high skilled jobs. as legislators, we need to be promoting american innovation an protecting american manufacturing, not stifling it. yield back. mr. matheson: mr. paulsen, if it's ok, i want to take a moment to speak on this, i wanted to make sure my colleagues had a chance to speak. this is an excise tax being assessed to an industry that is by any imagination, this is one of these american success stories. this is an american based industry where innovation and
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hard work have created this opportunity for great value generation, to create great jobs and it's also enhanced quality of health care in this country for all of us. this is an industry we should embrace. we should be proud of. it's a poster child for american innovation. isn't it ironic that here in the policy world, we now have a polity -- policy put in place where we say, let's take this industry and apply a special tax to it. when this was put in the obamacare bill, it wasn't put in for any particular policy reason associated with this industry. it was put in to raise revenue, pure and simple. it wasn't put in for any other reason. why we would single out this industry, to me it doesn't make seps. this is an industry that has a few large companies in it and a number of smaller companies that are also across the board innovators and when you tax, as a couple of previous speakers said, not profits but when you tax sales revenue if you're a
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startup company you done have a profit. why would we put a 2.3% tax on the sales of a startup company. this on so many levels is rather disturbing when you think about it. this is an industry that already faces some challenges in terms of the regulatory approval process through the food and drug administration. this is an industry that we ought to be looking at to figure out a way to allow the tri-to work better and instead the affordable care act created this additional tax. this tax started this year in 203. it's already -- the industry collectively has paid over $1 billion through yull of this year. this is real money. real money. what we're doing is taking an industry that as i said was successful and we're saying in sopt respect -- some respects giving them incentive to move offshore. . we want them to sell hair dire their product offshore. that's how powerful this industi

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