Amendment Text: H.Amdt.398 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (06/29/2005)

This Amendment appears on page H5397 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H5376-H5433]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, THE JUDICIARY, 
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 
                                  2006

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 342 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 3058.

                              {time}  1129


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 3058) making appropriations for the Departments of 
Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, the 
Judiciary, District of Columbia, and independent agencies for the 
fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes, with Mr. 
McHugh in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as having 
been read the first time.
  Under the rule, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) and the 
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg).
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present to the House the Fiscal Year 
2006 Transportation, Treasury, HUD appropriations bill which was passed 
out of committee via voice vote last week.
  Before getting into the specifics of the bill, I want to commend the 
gentleman from California (Chairman Lewis) and the ranking member, the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey), for their tireless work to finish 
these bills by the end of this week.
  Here we are on June 29 marking up the final of the 11 spending bills. 
I am sure that the gentleman from California (Chairman Lewis) has been 
saving best for last.
  Mr. Chairman, I must acknowledge the role that my ranking member, the 
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver), played in assembling this 
bill. I consider him a partner in creating the product before you 
because his input has been invaluable. We have found common ground more 
often than not, and what few differences remain are the result of 
honest disagreement.

                              {time}  1130

  He and I have had several conversations about almost every facet of 
this bill. The staff has met repeatedly, and information has been 
shared in a timely manner. I believe the bill is stronger because of 
the input the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver) has provided.
  I also want to mention, of course, the staff which has contributed 
heavily and in mighty ways, extraordinary ways, to the completion of 
this bill. My clerk, Dena Baron, Cheryle Tucker, David Gibbons, David 
Napoliello, Steve Crane, Tammy Hughes, Kristen Jones; and on the 
minority side, Mike Malone, the clerk, and Michelle Burkett. They have 
done tremendous work.
  As my colleagues know, this is the committee's first year with its 
current jurisdiction, and I believe the product before us is worthy of 
this body's

[[Page H5377]]

strong support. It is a fiscally responsible bill, funding high-
priority programs and eliminating Federal funds for other programs that 
are duplicative or ineffective.
  The bill before us is at our 302(b) allocation of $66.9 billion in BA 
and provides total budgetary resources, including transportation 
obligation limitations and mandatory spending, of $134.9 billion, an 
increase of $7.2 billion over last year and $8.8 billion over the 
request.
  Let me be very clear here. These increases do not represent frivolous 
spending by the committee. The increases over the budget request and 
last year are due to House rules mandating certain funding levels for 
highways, transit and aviation programs, House rules that we voted for.
  We also retained CDBG in the bill and were able to fund it at a level 
near last year's limit. As most of my colleagues know, the President 
proposed eliminating that program, but the response was overwhelming to 
keep it right here in HUD.
  In transportation, we have met all of our guarantees for surface 
transportation and safety, and aviation infrastructure as included in 
TEA-LU and Vision-100. For FAA operations, we have provided funds for 
595 new controllers, plus an additional $8 million over the request for 
safety inspectors.
  I realize there will be a lot of attention paid to Amtrak today. The 
bill provides $550 million, $190 million more than was included in the 
budget request, and $657 billion below last year's enacted level. To 
that end, this bill prohibits Federal funds for any Amtrak route that 
requires a subsidy of $30 or more per passenger, most of which, of 
course, are long-distance routes. The 24 routes that require a Federal 
subsidy of less than $30 per passenger will continue to receive Federal 
aid, and those 24 routes account for more than 80 percent of Amtrak's 
annual ridership. Let me just repeat that: The 24 routes that will 
continue to receive the Federal subsidy make up more than 80 percent of 
the ridership.
  Specifically, the bill permits Amtrak to use Federal funds to support 
operations for the following: All routes in the northeast corridor, 
including spurs that run from New York City to Albany, from New Haven, 
Connecticut, to Vermont, and from Portland, Maine, to Boston; routes 
running through Pennsylvania; most corridor routes in the Midwest; 
trains running from Portland, Oregon, to Vancouver; and corridor routes 
in California.
  I want to also be clear that it does not prohibit Amtrak from using 
non-Federal resources to support other routes, nor does it mandate that 
any routes be shut down or truncated. We need to make it clear that 
Congress will no longer sanction the use of taxpayer dollars on such 
extremely unprofitable routes.
  From the very first time I picked up the subcommittees gavel, I knew 
that Amtrak would be a major issue of contention. I came in with an 
open mind and had no preconceived notions of an outcome. I instructed 
staff to follow the facts wherever they may lead, and Mr. Chairman, 
they have led us right here. The Amtrak proposal before the House is an 
honest one and worthy of our support.
  In the Department of the Treasury, we fully funded the budget request 
for the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Financial Crimes 
Enforcement Network. The Community Development Financial Institutions 
program fund is funded at last year's level of $55 million.
  The IRS is funded at a total of $10.5 billion, an increase of $313 
million from last year and a decrease of $130 million from the request. 
This funding level allows IRS to maintain the critical balance between 
taxpayer services and enforcement activities. While the IRS requested 
more funds for enforcement, the request relied on a Budget Enforcement 
Act provision that our Committee on the Budget did not adopt in the 
budget resolution.
  Also included in Title II is an administrative provision that 
prohibits the IRS from closing taxpayer assistance centers until IRS 
submits a report outlining the impacts of the closures on taxpayer 
compliance and consults with stakeholders.
  The committee had two priorities to meet for HUD in 2006. First and 
foremost was the protection of all extremely low-income families 
currently receiving Section 8 and public housing rental assistance, and 
to continue to restore facilities and rental assistance for low-income 
individuals that are severely disabled or have HIV/AIDS, all of which 
the administration proposed for major reductions. Failure to fully meet 
this commitment would have resulted in thousands of families losing 
their assistance and becoming homeless. To achieve this, the committee 
added more than $2 billion over last year's funding level and more than 
$700 million over the administration's proposals for these programs.
  Our second priority is to retain and restore to the maximum extent 
possible the formula funding for cities and towns across America 
through the Community Development Block Grant. As my colleagues know, 
the administration proposed to terminate this program, which was funded 
at $4.7 billion last year, but we were able to restore formula funding 
for CDBG to within 6 percent of the amounts provided in 2005.
  To fund these high priorities, however, the committee had to do a 
broad sweep of duplicative and lower-priority programs throughout the 
Department, including boutique programs that have typically been funded 
by reducing the amounts in the formula CDBG program. It is never easy 
to stop funding a program once it gets started receiving Federal funds, 
but we have to make these decisions in order to meet our main funding 
objectives.
  For the Judiciary, the bill provides sufficient funding to maintain 
current services of the Federal Judiciary, including rent and personnel 
increases. In addition, we fully fund the Judiciary's revised request 
for court security.
  For the District of Columbia, we provided the budget request for 
Federal payments to the District, which includes tuition assistance, 
court costs and school improvement. As for the District's local budget, 
the bill appropriates the budget and financial plan by reference, and 
carries many of the same general provisions of the past.
  We funded HIDTA, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program at 
$227 million. That is the same as last year, and it was $77 million 
over the request. Other Executive Office of the President programs are 
funded at the requested levels.
  As for the General Provisions, we recommend no substantive changes to 
the provisions carried in prior years.
  All in all, after much hard work and discussion, I believe that we 
have a balanced bill before us. No, we did not fund every program, but 
we did fund the higher priorities under our jurisdiction that will 
deliver the best results to the most people, and that is our 
responsibility.
  I would like to take a moment and talk about a few of the amendments 
which may be before us today. This is a large bill with a rather vast 
and disparate list of agencies under its title. When it comes to 
dividing up the 302(b) allocation, we really have to do a balancing 
act. Each agency has a responsibility to the citizens of this Nation 
and each has a role to play.
  GSA has the responsibility for being the Federal landlord, for every 
citizen receiving Social Security or needing a passport or a visa, for 
every veteran needing his claim adjudicated, for every neighborhood 
waiting on an economic development grant, every citizen seeking justice 
in a Federal courtroom, or relying on the Department of Homeland 
Security to keep our borders safe. GSA provides those buildings to do 
its work, and the public, of course, to find the government. To view 
the Federal Buildings Fund as a bottomless offset for ``program'' 
spending is dishonest to the programs we propose to fund.
  I do have an amendment to offer with the gentleman from 
Massachusetts, my friend, the ranking member of the subcommittee, that 
takes money from an unidentified project in GSA and moves it to CDBG 
for Youthbuild and tax law enforcement.
  Other than that one amendment, I think it is a good bill. I urge its 
adoption quickly so we can move to other urgent business.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

[[Page H5378]]

  Mr. Chairman, I, too, want to congratulate the gentleman from 
California (Chairman Lewis) and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Ranking 
Member Obey) for managing to get us here before the end of June to the 
final bill. And with any luck at all, we will actually finish this 
final bill before the end of June.
  For the second year in a row, last year as the Subcommittee on 
Transportation, Treasury and Independent Agencies, and this year now as 
the Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, House and Urban 
Development, the Judiciary, District of Columbia, and Independent 
Agencies, this has been the last subcommittee to report. The 
reorganization does not seem to make much difference. We are still the 
last subcommittee to report to the floor, and I do not know what else 
can be said or inferred from that except that the best has been left 
for last.
  First, I want to thank the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman 
Knollenberg) for the positive and constructive relationship that we 
have forged thus far in this expanded and reorganized subcommittee.
  Mr. Chairman, as the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg) 
put the bill together, he listened to both majority and minority 
Members, the concerns that they might have, and worked to resolve a 
good many issues. That cooperative approach was not limited to 
subcommittees or even subcommittee members or even to full Committee on 
Appropriations members. He considered all Members concerned, and where 
he was able to help, he did that, even to the last 12 hours, as he has 
indicated in his remarks, the amendment that will be offered early on 
in the process, and I thank him for that.
  I particularly want to commend the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman 
Knollenberg) for his mark in regards to his thoughtful approach to our 
capital city's budget which is embodied in this bill.
  I also want to take a moment to thank the excellent staff on both 
sides of the aisle for their hard work on this legislation. On the 
minority side, Mike Malone, Michelle Burkett, Matt Washington, Kathleen 
Harris on my staff, and Shalanda Young.
  On the majority side, Dena Baron, the majority clerk, Cheryle Tucker, 
Steve Crane, Dave Gibbons, Tammy Hughes, David Napolielo and Kristen 
Jones.
  This bill has become more complex than I think any of us realized it 
would, and I appreciate the efforts and the long hours of each and 
every one of those staff members.
  Mr. Chairman, every dollar of budget authority allowed in the 
severely inadequate allocation where a subcommittee has been used, were 
I in charge of the distribution of that allocation, it would be 
different. However, there would be still the same volume of holes. So I 
stipulate that this inadequate allocation created problems.
  On the one hand, I am very pleased to see significant increases for 
transportation funding because transportation investments are critical 
for a healthy, growing economy for our growing and shifting population. 
For example, the Federal Aviation Administration funding is 13.5 
percent above the President's request at $14.427 billion. The Federal 
Transit Administration is 9 percent above the President's request at 
$8.482 billion. Federal Highway Administration's allotment here is 4.5 
percent above the President's request at $37.026 billion. Mr. Chairman, 
even the Federal Railroad Administration is 32 percent above the 
President's request at $732 million. Mr. Chairman, as we can see, these 
are good levels for transportation funding.
  On the other hand, I am very concerned about the impact that meeting 
the House TEA-LU levels was having on other agencies and accounts in 
the bill.
  In Title I, the transportation title, Federal aviation, Federal 
highway, Federal transit are funded substantially above the fiscal year 
2005 enacted level and way above the President's request for 2006.

                              {time}  1145

  That is driven by current authorization on FAA and the anticipated 
authorization, which we all fervently pray for within the next month or 
so of Federal highway and Federal transit through the TEA-LU bill.
  The lone exception to adequate funding is Amtrak. The chairman uses 
an extremely blunt instrument on Amtrak, somewhat like the proverbial 
2-by-4 between the mule's eyes. The bill terminates all Federal subsidy 
on 18 long-distance lines, which are the most heavily subsidized lines, 
thereby terminating the very concept of a national passenger rail 
system. Those 18 lines carry roughly 20 percent of Amtrak's passengers 
and provide the only passenger rail service in 23 States, represented 
by a lot of Members of the House and, incidentally, by 46 Members of 
the other body.
  The shutting down of those lines would incur $300 million in labor 
and contractual costs in fiscal year 2006 alone. That $300 million, 
plus $275 million in mandatory debt servicing, plus $130 million of 
Federal subsidy to keep the remaining 24 inner-city lines operating is 
already $150 million above the $550 million provided in the bill, and 
that is before any allocation for capital improvements on the 
deteriorating northeast corridor trackage, wholly owned by Amtrak and 
carrying 50 percent of all Amtrak passengers.
  Mr. Chairman, if this body funds Amtrak at $550 million, it should be 
no surprise if there is no passenger rail service this time next year. 
And there will be one or more amendments offered to address that 
problem.
  Mr. Chairman, there remain holes in title III, the HUD title. Section 
8 and public housing accounts are relatively well funded, but there are 
substantial reductions from 2005 enacted levels in the community 
development accounts, and that is largely because the committee wisely 
rejected the proposal by the President to move almost all of the 
community development accounts into a different department and a 
different piece of legislation. And in rejecting and bringing back that 
material, which has always been the material of the community 
development portion of housing and community development, the funding 
ended up not being high enough to be anywhere close to enacted levels 
from last year.
  As examples, the CDBG formula grants, which go to virtually all of 
our communities around the country, are down below the 2005-enacted 
level by 6 percent, and the HOPE VI and Brownfields Development are 
defunded, defunded, just as examples. The YouthBuild program, which is 
operated successfully in so many districts, is not yet funded.
  So, Mr. Chairman, our bill has some shortfalls. These shortfalls 
should not be allowed to remain in this bill as it becomes law.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Sweeney), the vice chair of the subcommittee.
  Mr. SWEENEY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman for yielding me this 
time, and I rise in strong, strong support of this very important bill. 
It is important in so many ways because it meets so many of the needs 
of our Nation, and it represents every year one of the significant 
milestones of the session. It represents that more so this year than 
almost any other.
  And in saying that, I want to recognize the full committee chairman, 
the gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis), and the ranking member, the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey), and congratulate them on what I 
think is not a small point, and that is that we will, as of the passing 
of this bill, have completed the work of the Committee on 
Appropriations initially here in this body.
  That is important to the American people because it ensures for them, 
in an organized and reasonable manner, some transparency in order for 
us to really understand what the priorities are going to be. And as we 
go forward and focus more in conference and have discussions and 
debates with the other body about what the funding priorities are to 
be, the fact that we have gotten our work out of the way at this 
juncture is very important.
  Secondly, I want to specifically recognize the chairman of the full 
committee for fulfilling a commitment to the American people to do 
something about the deficit. This appropriation process recognizes that 
we needed to symbolically, and maybe otherwise, make real commitments 
to ourselves and to the people of this Nation to reduce our spending 
habits. And in this

[[Page H5379]]

process we have made that strong statement, or will have made that 
strong statement in the body.
  Now, I also want to congratulate the chairman of the subcommittee, 
the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg), and my neighbor, the 
ranking member, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver), for their 
work on this bill and the staffs of the committee for the great work 
they have done on this bill. This particular bill represented a unique 
challenge because for the first time the bill includes funding for 
highway transit, aviation and Amtrak, as well as the Department of the 
Treasury, IRS enforcement, and Housing and Urban Development. In 
addition, the bill also provides funding for the District of Columbia.
  The needs of all of these competing programs are staggering, and the 
chairman and the ranking member really have done a noble job, as well 
as the staffs on both sides of the aisle having done a really noble job 
of trying to listen to the needs of all Members.
  Let us talk about what this bill accomplishes. The bill increases 
highway spending and funding for the FAA to help make our roads and 
skies safer. I am especially pleased at the commitment in this bill for 
airport improvement, $3.6 billion and $104 million for essential air 
services. I come from the 32nd largest rural district in the Nation. 
This is a key, key component. The bill also includes funding to hire 
and train 595 new air traffic controllers. I hope to avert some 
potential problems that we may have in that human resources area.
  In terms of housing needs, the bill provides funding for section 8 
vouchers and project-based rental assistance. Importantly, this bill 
rejects an administration proposal to undermine the Community 
Development Block Grant, CDBG, program. CDBG is critical to our local 
communities, and this bill preserves the program in its current state.
  I also want to highlight the contributions this bill makes in the war 
against drugs by providing funding to the Office of National Drug 
Control Policy and the National Antidrug Media Campaign. The work 
achieved by the Media Campaign, in conjunction with the Partnership for 
a Drug-Free America, is incredible and greatly contributes to our 
efforts to keep kids from experimenting with drugs.
  Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Michigan for allowing me to 
speak. This bill is not perfect. No bill ever is. No appropriation bill 
ever is. It moves the process along. In putting this bill together, I 
know the chairman faced a $3 billion shortage in transportation 
guarantees and overall a $1 billion shortage with the inclusion of all 
these additional programs. The gentleman has met that challenge in 
fulfilling some basic structural needs to move it along, and he has met 
many other needs; and I wanted to congratulate the chairman.
  On Amtrak, let me say this. I recognize there are negotiations and 
decisions to be made. We need to move it further. We need to begin the 
process of reforming Amtrak. We need to get realistic, or more 
realistic, about what that Federal subsidy needs to be. But in this 
bill the fact that the chairman has targeted 80 percent of ridership is 
a pretty good foundation piece, and I really respect the decisions the 
chairman had to make and how he made them.
  For my constituents, and those of us on the lines that are most 
dependent upon Amtrak use, this bill ensures, as these negotiations go 
forward, that the essential services we need will be maintained. But 
that is not good enough, Mr. Chairman. We have to make sure that in 
going forward, we are able to bring about changes and reforms in 
Amtrak, changes that have been talked about for more than a decade.
  And to Mr. Gunn at Amtrak, and those people who run Amtrak, as one 
who has worked with him in the past, I am deeply, deeply disappointed 
in their failure thus far, frankly, of bringing about meaningful 
proposals, other than asking for more money. It puts those of us who 
are Amtrak allies in a distinctly disadvantaged position. Because other 
than fighting over money, we do not ensure any strengthening of the 
system, or any increase in the vibrancy of the system.
  I am going to vote for and support this bill. I probably will end up 
supporting some other amendments that will help move the Amtrak debates 
further along. But we cannot get to the point that we need to unless 
the people who are running the system get more interactive with us and 
propose more of the changes that we need in order to finally resolve 
the longstanding problems of that system.
  Again, Mr. Chairman, our chairman has done a noble and terrific job. 
His staff has as well, as has the staff of the other side. And the 
leadership on the other side, I want to congratulate them for that and 
vow that we will continue to work together to make improvements where 
we can.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 5 minutes to the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey), the distinguished ranking member 
of the Committee on Appropriations.
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman for yielding me 
this time, and let me simply say that I appreciate the fact that the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) has tried to do everything in 
his power to make this bill as acceptable as possible, given the 
circumstances. So I do not object to what he has done, but I do object 
to the circumstances.
  I would simply say that the problem is that Chairman Knollenberg has 
not been given the tools necessary to make this a desirable bill. It is 
sort of like giving a surgeon a spoon and telling him to go ahead and 
perform surgery. He needs more than that in order to get the job done.
  This bill, I think, is an important failure in terms of our 
obligation to meet a number of national needs. As has been mentioned 
previously, we have a number of important HUD programs which are 
crunched and zeroed out. Brownfields, for instance. My community has 
had some wonderful successes in cleaning up polluted areas through the 
use of that program. That program, if this bill has its way, would be 
gone. We have other problems in the housing area which have already 
been discussed.
  Amtrak. As my friends in this House know, I often quote my favorite 
philosopher, Archie the Cockroach. Archie said once: ``Did you ever 
notice when a politician does get an idea, he gets it all wrong?'' And 
I would say that this budget for Amtrak gets it all wrong.
  Amtrak, frankly, does not impact my district to any significant 
degree, but the fact is it is an important national resource which 
should not be scuttled like it is an old World War I battleship. The 
fact is that it provides an important national service, and we ought to 
be able to preserve a national passenger rail system.
  The idea that is wrong is the idea that somehow we ought to require 
passenger rail service in this country to show a profit. We do not 
require airlines to do that. The Federal Government pumps a lot of 
money into the budget in order to provide service to hard-to-serve 
areas in the country as far as air travel is concerned, and we need to 
treat rail transportation the same way.
  We would not have a Federal highway system if we only built the 
routes that ``paid for themselves.'' Most of rural America would be 
flat out of luck, especially the West, when it comes to highways, if we 
applied the same logic to highway construction that the House is trying 
to apply to railway transportation in this bill.

                              {time}  1200

  Another shortcoming, in my view, is the fact that it provides a $250 
million reduction to the Community Development Block Grant. I do not 
represent a city over 40,000 in my entire district, but those small-
town mayors that I represent make terrific use of the money in this 
program in order to revitalize neighborhoods in ways that they 
otherwise would never be able to do.
  I would also say, and this is no particular fault of the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) either, but this bill represents the 
last chance that we have to do something about the fact that the 
administration for 2 years has kept the truth from Congress about the 
needs of the veterans health care system in this country.
  We have been trying for 2 years to get more money into the VA for 
veterans health care. We have steadily been told by the administration, 
No, no, no, the budget is fully adequate, we do not need any more 
money. Now we know it has all been baloney.

[[Page H5380]]

  Yesterday, the administration finally broke down and admitted that 
they are more than a billion dollars short for this year, and for the 
coming year, they will be $2.6 billion short. We have an obligation to 
do something about it. The Senate did something yesterday on the 
Interior bill. The Senate added $1.4 billion as an emergency 
appropriation to deal with what is an emergency situation in the 
veterans health care agency.
  This is the last appropriation bill that is going to go through here 
on a regular basis, and because we were not allowed to offer this 
amendment on the subcommittee bill where it should have been offered, 
we have no choice but to try to get it offered to this bill, unless 
this House wants to sit, as FDR used to say, ``frozen in the ice of its 
own indifference.'' I would hope we would not do that and would respond 
to the challenge at hand.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from Ohio (Mr. Regula), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, 
Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.
  (Mr. REGULA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. REGULA. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of this bill. I commend the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) for presenting a fair bill. 
It provides for critical transportation and housing needs of our 
country, as well as funding for the Federal Judiciary and the District 
of Columbia. In the interest of time, I am just going to summarize my 
remarks.
  I think one of the key elements to a strong economy in a Nation is an 
interstate highway system so we can move goods and people. I often 
think how wise President Eisenhower was when he started the interstate 
system. We cannot imagine the United States without the interstate 
system. So this bill, under the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Knollenberg), really focuses on transportation, and that is a key 
element of the Nation's economy. It is a key element of providing 
quality of life and jobs for people.
  In addition to the Federal system, this bill provides $37 billion for 
public roads, bridges and so on that deal with the safety issues. There 
is over $14 billion to the FAA because, again, safety in our airports, 
safety in facilities to expand the aviation capability of the United 
States. Along with that is the money for the air traffic controllers. 
Again, there is a need for a growing number. Many air traffic 
controllers will be retiring, and this bill addresses that by making 
investments in new hiring and training for almost 600 new air traffic 
controllers. I think we forget when we are up in the sky in an 
airplane; we assume safety. But we are dependent on the air traffic 
controllers to ensure that.
  Housing needs, again an essential part of the quality of life in a 
country. This bill addresses the section 8 programs.
  I would particularly commend the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Knollenberg) for restoring funding to the community development fund. 
This gives the local communities an opportunity to meet the needs and 
requirements of their people. I think it is a great way of involving 
local government and the people who know what the needs of their 
community would be to ensure that there is a quality of life.
  Lastly, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program is part of 
the National Drug Control Policy. We do a lot of drug control programs 
in the Labor-HHS bill, but this is also an important part of that. This 
is critical in the State of Ohio for the HIDTA program. It is critical 
for local communities as well as Federal responsibilities.
  For all of these reasons and many more, and the qualities of this 
bill, I urge my colleagues to support this important funding measure.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the Transportation, 
Treasury, HUD Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2006. As a member of 
the Subcommittee, I commend Chairman Knollenberg for presenting a fair 
bill that provides for the critical transportation and housing needs of 
our country, as well as funding for the Federal Judiciary and the 
District of Columbia.
  I would like to highlight several issues that make this a good bill 
that deserves the support of this House.
  First, a strong interstate highway system is essential for a growing 
and healthy economy. I am pleased the bill increased funding to 
Federal-aid highways to $37 billion to construct and improve our 
Nation's highways, public roads and bridges.
  This represents an increase of nearly $2 billion from last year's 
enacted level. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) partners with 
States to assist in financing the construction and preservation of 
nearly 1 million miles of highways and other key routes, connecting 
cities and towns across the country.
  The bill also provides over $14 billion to the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA); nearly 900 million over last year's level. This 
important funding supports the operations of a 24-hour a day national 
air traffic system and a continued commitment to safety and efficiency 
in our Nation's airways. I support the Chairman's increases of funding 
for the Airport Improvement Program to $3.6 billion and for the 
Essential Air Service program to $104 million. These important programs 
assist public use airports with costs of capital improvements and 
ensure that people living in small communities and rural areas have 
access to air service.
  Air traffic controllers have the tremendous responsibility of 
providing for safety and security of our Nation's airways. With the 
expectation that 73 percent of controller work force will be eligible 
to retire over the next 10 years, I am pleased the committee directed 
$25 million in responsible investments to hire and train 595 new air 
traffic controllers.
  Addressing housing needs, the bill includes $15.5 billion in funding 
for the Section 8 housing vouchers. This funding level represents a 
$765 million increase over last year and allows for the renewal of all 
existing tenant-based vouchers. The bill assumes completion of the 
transition from a ``unit-based'' to a ``budget-based'' system so that 
Public Housing Authorities will now have a set amount of funding to 
work with each year. Recognizing that numerous Public Housing 
Authorities were adversely affected by the three-month snap shot period 
used last year to set the budget totals, the bill provides $45 million 
to restore vouchers to those areas that need it most.
  Section 8 housing vouchers are the safety net needed to help many low 
income working people provide a safe and secure home for their 
families.
  I would like to commend Chairman Knollenberg for restoring funding 
for the Community Development Fund to a level of $4.151 billion and 
maintaining this community development program in the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development where it can best serve our local 
community needs. This critical program provides local governments with 
flexible funds, allowing them to address specific needs existing within 
their communities.
  I would also like to note that this bill maintains funding for the 
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program (HIDTA) within the Office 
of National Drug Control Policy and does not move the program to the 
Justice Department. The bill provides $227 million to fully fund the 
existing HIDTAs and allows some expansion where needed.
  This program is critical in the State of Ohio to allow local, State 
and Federal law enforcement agencies to coordinate and work together to 
reduce drug trafficking in the State.
  With that I urge my colleagues to support this important funding 
measure.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Indiana (Ms. Carson).
  Ms. CARSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong opposition to the 
irresponsible funding level of Amtrak in this bill. The funding level 
in this bill will kill Amtrak service. Among the 15 long-distance 
routes that will be eliminated is the Cardinal train, which connects my 
hometown of Indianapolis to Chicago and to New York City, serves over 
88,000 passengers each year.
  Also slated for elimination is Amtrak's Hoosier State train which 
connects my constituents to Chicago, serving about 18,000 passengers. 
In all, 100,000 Indiana passengers would be stranded without rail 
service. Over 1,000 Hoosier jobs will be threatened, including the 640 
workers of Amtrak's Beech Grove heavy maintenance facility in my 
district.
  This funding level is irresponsible. All transportation is subsidized 
by the government. When the airlines are in trouble, my colleagues do 
not hesitate to jump to their aid. Since Amtrak's creation, the 
Congress has subsidized air and highway transportation over $1.89 
trillion. That is 63 times what we would have spent on Amtrak.
  Let us not forget, it was Amtrak trains that brought stranded 
Americans home in the aftermath of September 11. I commend the 
gentleman

[[Page H5381]]

from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette), and the ranking member, the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar) for bringing to the floor the amendment today 
that would raise Amtrak funding to $1.2 billion.
  In closing, let me remind my colleagues, there is not a rail service 
anywhere in the world that is not subsidized by the government. It is a 
service to consumers and should be maintained. I would appreciate 
unilateral, universal support of the amendment.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Ohio (Mr. Turner).
  Mr. TURNER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time and thank him for his support of the Community Development Block 
Grant program and for working so hard to find funds for CDBG in this 
bill. As the appropriation process continues and the bill moves to 
conference, will the chairman continue to work to find additional funds 
to offset the reduction in the CDBG for fiscal year 2006?
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. TURNER. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Turner) for working with me on CDBG and for his efforts to help fund 
this program.
  Restoring the funds for CDBG was our highest priority after funding 
assistance for the neediest families in our society. Funding for CDBG 
remains one of our highest priorities, and I will do everything to 
return the program as close to the 2005 enacted level as possible.
  That was my intent during the development of this bill, and it 
remains my intent as we continue to final passage of this appropriation 
act for 2006.
  Mr. TURNER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Knollenberg) for his response, and I look forward to working with him 
on CDBG. I appreciate the success that he has accomplished on this 
bill.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Frank), the ranking member of the Committee on 
Financial Services.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I invite Members to return 
with me to the thrilling days of the Reverse Houdini. That is what we 
are seeing today on the floor.
  Older Members will remember Harry Houdini who had an act. His act was 
to have other people tie him in knots and then appear before the public 
and get out of the knots.
  What my Republican colleagues will show you today, as they did in the 
Labor-HHS bill and other bills, is the Reverse Houdini. Under the 
Reverse Houdini, you tie yourself in knots. Then you appear before the 
public and tell them how much you wish you could help them, but you 
cannot because you are all tied up in knots. You do not mention that 
you tied the knots.
  The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg), in his capacity as 
chairman of the subcommittee, has done work which I admire and for 
which I am grateful. He rejected the shortsighted and thoughtless 
efforts by the administration to gut the CDBG program and to rearrange 
the section 8 program. And I admire and appreciate what they did. So 
given the very limited, indeed inadequate, resources with which the 
gentleman had to work, he did a very good job.
  On the other hand, I must say to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Knollenberg) and others on the other side, I admire what you did with 
inadequate resources, but I do not admire that you are the ones who 
made the resources inadequate. Members who voted for the tax cuts do 
not come to the floor with clean hands when they talk about the 
consequences of the tax cuts.
  We will hear today, as we heard on the bill dealing with Labor, Heath 
and Human Services and Education, laments. The gentleman said he wished 
he could do more for CDBG. Well, who is stopping him? What is stopping 
him is the budget he voted for. The budget he voted for was dictated by 
the tax cuts he voted for.
  The President said last night that the war in Iraq will go on and on. 
He will not waver. No, he will not waver. Funding for all these 
important programs will waver. A month in the war in Iraq would have 
been more than enough to make unnecessary all of the apologies we will 
hear. We will hear the Reverse Houdini again and again and again.
  Members of the Committee on Appropriations will come, and they will 
accurately say that, given the resources they were provided, they 
cannot adequately fund all of these programs. But we ought to make 
clear, it is their own decision that led to these inadequate decisions.
  In the housing area where I have some involvement and jurisdiction, 
virtually no program is adequately funded. They did better than the 
administration would have had them do, and I appreciate that important 
programs like Youthbuild are going to be resuscitated from having been 
snuffed out; but we will still have too little in CDBG, the Community 
Development Block Grant program.
  The CDBG is an excellent program, and we are being told, maybe, if we 
are lucky, we will get it back up to where it has been, in an era of 
massive tax cuts for the wealthiest and an ongoing war in Iraq. 
Community development will be going on much better in Mosul and Baghdad 
than it will be in Pittsburgh and Chicago. I do not mean to deny the 
needs of people there, but we should not have it come at the expense of 
people here.
  The section 8 program is better, but it will still not be enough. Let 
us also note that public housing, the entity that houses some of the 
poorest people in this country, will again not get what it ought to 
get. I would urge my colleagues, let us stop coming to the floor and 
apologizing for the consequences of your own actions. Let Harry Houdini 
rest in peace.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Boehlert).
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I note the committee's strong support for 
parallel electric hybrid buses. I agree, we must encourage the use of 
low-emission technologies as a way to reduce air pollution from our 
Nation's bus fleet.
  I would like to point out that series-type hybrid systems, although 
they operate differently from parallel systems, strive to meet the same 
goals. Regardless of their operating systems, I believe there is value 
in these technologies and hope the chairman will join me in encouraging 
their use. I would welcome any comments the Chair might care to make.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. BOEHLERT. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman raises a very important 
issue. I acknowledge that series-type hybrid systems have the same 
goals and encourage the Federal Transit Administration to increase the 
procurement of buses utilizing both types of systems.
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for his comments.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton), our capital city.

                              {time}  1215

  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time.
  I want to thank the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver), ranking 
member, and the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg) for 
their work on a bill that happens to include the District of Columbia 
in this new consolidated appropriation. The chairman and the ranking 
member are making their debut, and I want to congratulate them on being 
in on time on one of the most complicated bills because it has many 
unrelated issues, and yet they have worked very collegially together.
  I want to speak only briefly to three items. The least important part 
of the bill for every Member but me is the District of Columbia 
section. I appreciate the gentleman from California (Chairman Lewis) 
and the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg), who was once 
Chair, both of whom worked with the Subcommittee on the District of 
Columbia and the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg) as a 
recent past Chair, for the way they have worked with the

[[Page H5382]]

Committee on Rules to give us a rule that will just let this bill pass 
through as the least important part of what they are doing here today. 
I particularly respect the self-government respect they have shown to 
our city. The Mayor and the police chief were here yesterday. There 
will be a point of order regarding a matter on gun safety, and I think 
that that should simply take care of it.
  On CDBG I was very pleased to hear the gentleman from Michigan 
(Chairman Knollenberg) say he was trying to do what he can, because it 
must be hard to find a Member in this body who is not with us on this 
program, which has been so productive for large and small cities alone. 
All we see around us in the new economic development in the District of 
Columbia has been aided by the CDBG.
  Amtrak is before us. It is perhaps the most controversial part of 
this bill. I am supporting the amendment to add funds and have myself, 
out of one of our authorizing bills, contributed funds out of one of 
our appropriations. That is just how important it is to me. But not 
just important to me, of course. Union Station is the second busiest 
behind New York. But what is important to Members of this House is the 
500 stations and the 46 States that would essentially be left with the 
present level of funding with no Amtrak.
  I ask Members to remember that no country in the world is able to run 
a railroad privately. This claptrap about the private sector and the 
States, I draw to their attention the only reason we have Amtrak at all 
is that in 1970 the private sector came and literally dumped it on the 
Congress, saying, We cannot run this; we lose too much money.
  Railroads are first and foremost the responsibility of great nations. 
This is our responsibility. We cannot just hand it back to them. They 
cannot do it. If we cannot do it with a profit, why in the world do we 
think that the States, which are running to us screaming about Medicaid 
and other unfunded mandates, can do it?
  I thank the gentlemen for all their work on this bill.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Wisconsin (Mr. Petri).
  Mr. PETRI. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague for yielding me this 
time.
  I would like to ask the gentleman to address in conference the 
Federal Transit Administration's ``accounting problem'' that has been 
created by the current law treatment that split-funds each Federal 
transit program 80 percent from the Mass Transit Account of the highway 
trust fund and 20 percent from the general fund.
  Because of Office of Management and Budget accounting rules regarding 
the treatment of split-funded programs, every FTA program is spending 
down much faster than the actual outlays of these programs. In H.R. 3, 
or TEA-LU, we fix this accounting problem by funding each transit 
program wholly from either the trust fund or from the general fund, 
while maintaining the agency's overall 80/20 split between the Mass 
Transit account and the general fund. Making this structural and 
funding source change will allow FTA programs to outlay at their actual 
programmatic rates.
  I ask the gentleman to work in conference to make this change, as it 
will have no scoring impact on the appropriations bill. If we do not 
make this change now, in the budget year 2006 cycle, the Mass Transit 
account of the highway trust fund will have a negative cash flow by 
fiscal year 2007. If the appropriations bill does follow the program 
structure change in the TEA-LU authorization, the balances of the Mass 
Transit account will be stabilized and, in fact, will grow over the 
next few years because the trust fund will be spending out at the 
actual programmatic outlay rate.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. PETRI. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I am aware of the accounting problem 
that split-funding the Federal Transit Administration program has 
created. I will work on this issue in conference and trust that there 
will be a long-term authorization in place by the time the House 
Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Appropriations Committee 
convene a conference.
  Mr. PETRI. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I thank the gentleman 
for his response.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Bishop).
  Mr. BISHOP of New York. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding me this time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of providing sufficient 
funding for Amtrak so as to preserve Amtrak's incomparable service. It 
is a vital engine of America's economy, particularly for those of us 
living on the northeast corridor. As an Amtrak rider myself, I strongly 
support preserving this safe, reliable, and cost-effective way for 
America's commuters and families to travel throughout the country. This 
bill would deny them that option, an approach that flies in the face of 
common sense and even the President's stated goals of growing the 
economy.
  The events of September 11, 2001, proved America relies on rail, and 
Amtrak in particular. As planes sat grounded everywhere, goods, 
services, and people continued to move, thanks in large part to Amtrak. 
This bill says that when it comes to passenger rail, we have not 
learned enough from that day. Abandoning Amtrak would discard a system 
that we have never fully funded or given the chance to operate at full 
capacity. We rank a lowly 25th on the list of countries that provide 
commuter rail funds, behind countries like Estonia, Belgium, and 
Slovenia. Amtrak deserves better than that.
  We move 850,000 commuters a day on Amtrak, and they rely on it to get 
to and from work. Therefore, I urge all of my colleagues to preserve 
Amtrak as an affordable option for America's families well into the 
future.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Pascrell).
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I want to congratulate the gentleman from 
Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg) and the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. Olver), ranking member, for the hard work they have done under 
this bill under very tight budget restraints.
  I think that this is a good piece of legislation, although I do have 
some concerns about cuts in particular programs.
  HOPE VI; the Empowerment Zone program; the Community Development Loan 
Guarantees; the HUD Brownfields program, a program close to my heart, 
which provides a second chance for reuse to many old industrial 
properties, all of which have been contaminated, we want to get them 
back on the tax rolls.
  But perhaps most surprisingly the YouthBuild program, which provides 
a crucial second chance for a good life to thousands of disadvantaged 
young people in our Nation's urban communities, has been zeroed out in 
the legislation that we are debating today.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to describe to my colleagues today what I 
have learned about the tremendous success of YouthBuild in my years as 
mayor of the city of Paterson, New Jersey. In the work I have done with 
YouthBuild participants, I have heard scores of inspiring accounts from 
young kids who spent their lives struggling with poverty, dysfunctional 
or absent families, drug addiction and other forms of neglect and 
abuse. And be rest assured this program is not a handout. Through the 
challenging concrete task of building houses for the homeless, getting 
their hands dirty with demanding physical labor, these kids have been 
given the tools to begin to rebuild their own lives.
  This is a model program that both sides of the aisle should 
enthusiastically support, a program that helps young people gain the 
self-esteem, self-reliance that come with a hard day's work in the 
service of another human being.
  According to a recent study, an astounding 65 percent of the 
YouthBuild graduates say that they now expect to live an average of 32 
years longer after YouthBuild experience than they expected to live 
before. Self-esteem is not the only thing that is raised through this 
program. Income potential and educational achievement have also soared. 
Seventy percent of YouthBuild graduates are either in post-secondary 
education or in jobs averaging $10 per hour.

[[Page H5383]]

  This program is unquestionably a winner for young people across our 
Nation. YouthBuild develops job skills, leadership potential, civic 
involvement, and creates a community of adults and youth committed to 
helping each other achieve success in life. And through the 
construction of affordable housing, it contributes to the 
revitalization of our poorest neighborhoods.
  It is hard to believe that a compassionate President and a Congress 
would want to wipe out any of these programs which epitomize our oldest 
and most sacred American values: hard work, self-reliance, and 
limitless optimism about the future.
  I urge the House to find ways to increase funding for the valuable 
community revitalization initiatives that have been cut from this 
legislation.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Honda).
  Mr. HONDA. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to engage in a colloquy with 
the gentleman from Michigan, the chairman of the subcommittee, on the 
issue of flight attendant fatigue.
  Mr. Chairman, 144 of our colleagues and I recently requested funding 
in the fiscal year 2006 Transportation-Treasury-HUD appropriations bill 
to continue studying the growing problem of flight attendant fatigue 
caused by work schedules that in some cases may provide as little as 5 
hours for actual sleep. Sleep experts consistently warn that working 
long hours with little rest can impair a crew member's decision-making 
abilities and performance of critical safety duties.
  As the chairman knows, the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute, or 
CAMI, is currently completing a study on flight attendant fatigue. 
While the Congress looks forward to the results of CAMI's study, 145 
Members of Congress believe that CAMI may not have either the resources 
nor the time to complete a truly comprehensive study and that 
additional funding is necessary to study this life-threatening issue.
  Accordingly, I ask the chairman's assistance in expediting the 
overdue CAMI study and ask him to consider the findings of that report.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. HONDA. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, as the gentleman knows, we had 
included funding in last year's bill to study flight attendant fatigue. 
I understand the study was due to Congress on June 1, 2005, and I will 
be happy to work with the gentleman from California to determine the 
status of CAMI's current study and expedite its completion, if 
possible.
  Mr. HONDA. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I thank the chairman for 
his willingness to work with me on this issue.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Waters).
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Chairman, I certainly appreciate the opportunity to 
speak on this appropriation that is before us.
  I am perplexed with how and why decisions are made, basically, by my 
friends on the opposite side of the aisle to do away with economic 
development. And as I look at what is happening, what is proposed, for 
example, to be transferred to Commerce, what is zeroed out, what I see 
is an attack on programs that could create some real initiative and 
self-reliance.
  The YouthBuild program was just talked about. YouthBuild is an 
important program where young people are developing skills and 
attitudes to become independent. Why would we zero that out?
  In addition to that, the section 108 loan guarantee program is an 
economic development program for cities that does job creation and 
helps to improve cities and build up the old towns. Many of our cities 
are using this; and for some of the little towns and cities, they 
absolutely depend on these kinds of economic development funds.

                              {time}  1230

  Mr. Chairman, I do not understand why the attack on these economic 
development programs, these programs that will help to make our young 
people self-reliant, and the block grant program that is being reduced 
by 21 percent, that goes into our cities to help us deal with not only 
senior problems, young people, the gangs, et cetera. I think we are 
undermining our efforts to strengthen America and to invest in human 
potential by cutting these programs and zeroing them out.
  I would ask that reconsideration be given, if no place else, but in 
conference. I am going to come back later on today with an amendment on 
section 108 loan guarantee programs, because that will not be scored 
against the budget. These programs are kind of guaranteed by CDBG 
moneys, and you do not have to spend the money to get this economic 
development.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Indiana (Mr. Souder).
  Mr. SOUDER. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the chairman for his 
efforts to preserve the HIDTA program, the High Intensity Drug 
Trafficking program, as well as the National media campaign under the 
Drug Czar's office.
  There will be several amendments offered today by the gentlewoman 
from Oregon (Ms. Hooley) and by the gentleman from Washington (Mr. 
Larsen) and myself, one related to ad campaign and one related to HIDTA 
to further increase those fundings.
  We have a meth epidemic sweeping this country. It is absolutely 
critical that we address it in our national ad campaign, which has been 
substantially reduced over the years, and through the most aggressive 
law enforcement program and the most effective law enforcement program, 
the HIDTAs.
  We held a hearing Monday in Minneapolis. If you do not have meth next 
door to you, it is coming soon. It started in the rural areas and the 
rural States, and everybody kind of ignored it. But as it moves to the 
suburbs and as it moves to the east, we are seeing an epidemic of 
proportions we have not seen since the first outbreak of the crack 
epidemic. We either get on it now, or we are in deep trouble.
  In Ramsey County, St. Paul, Minnesota, between 80 and 90 percent of 
all children in Child Protective Services right now are coming from 
meth families. That is not a rural community; it is a big city. Next 
door, in Hennepin County, 50 percent of the women in treatment right 
now through the drug courts are because of meth.
  Formally, this was just at the little towns, and we saw it, although 
we could ignore it. But this is a freight train. We have to grab it. 
And in the authorization bill that matches this appropriations bill, we 
will make sure the ad campaign is designated, that a percentage of it 
has to go to meth if we can get adequate dollars to run that campaign.
  In the HIDTAs, we have the first meth HIDTA in Missouri. We are 
moving to more meth HIDTAs, because we must get control of this before 
it wrecks every family in this country. When people become addicted to 
this, they go crazy.
  We have never seen a drug that is harder to treat, that is more 
violent, has more environmental damage, and this Congress has to start 
to grab hold of the meth problem before it chokes our country.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Chairman, I think we have had a good general debate here for this 
hour that covered a lot of the different areas in the bill and 
certainly reflects some of the issues that we will be debating as the 
amendment process goes forward.
  Again, I want to thank the chairman and the staff on the majority and 
the minority side for all the work that they have done. It has been a 
process which has gone a long way. It will go more in the next day or 
two. All of it should improve the bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I, too, want to thank everyone that participated in 
this opening inning or two of activity. We have a long way to go. But I 
do think, with the work of the staff on both sides, who I think have 
done extraordinarily well to shape this product into what it is, I am 
very, very happy with where we are in terms of the kind of bill. I know 
there is going to be more debate, and we look forward to that.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank chairman Knollenberg and 
ranking member Olver for doing the best they could with the

[[Page H5384]]

limited resources that were made available to the subcommittee.
  The allocation that we were given highlights this inescapable fact: 
the budget resolution passed by the republican majority has real 
consequences.
  It is clear, for example, that the funding for Amtrak is simply not 
adequate.
  It seems to be an effort to shut down national passenger rail in this 
country.
  Make no mistake: if we fail to provide Amtrak the funds it needs to 
operate, we won't just be shutting down the few routes identified by 
the committee to be closed.
  The resulting layoffs, inability to fund capital upgrades, and lack 
of funds to operate remaining routes will eventually lead to the shut 
down of national passenger rail permanently.
  However, despite this and other problems with the bill, I believe 
that it contains many good provisions that deserve our support.
  For example, I am pleased that the committee adopted the Hoyer-Wolf-
Moran amendment, providing a 3.1 percent pay adjustment for Federal 
civilian employees--which is consistent with the pay adjustment 
proposed for our military personnel.
  We must recognize the contributions made by both Federal civilian 
employees and military personnel to the safety and security of this 
Nation.
  I am also pleased that the $126.7 million that the president 
requested for the FDA consolidation was included in the bill. These 
funds will help relocate FDA employees from their current substandard 
facilities into modern, state-of-the-art facilities, and end the 
practice of extending costly leases for various FDA offices throughout 
the region.
  Furthermore, I am pleased that the chairman recognized that the 
Federal Government has a responsibility to the general aviation 
airports in the metropolitan region that were shut down after 9/11--
through no fault of their own.
  In this bill, we reimburse those airports for their losses and the 
chairman has committed to working with me to increase that amount 
during conference to ensure full restitution.
  That is fair. And, that is right.
  Finally, I am pleased that this bill recognizes the important Federal 
role in helping States reform their election systems.
  The bill sensibly provides $15.8 million to the new Election 
Assistance Commission so it can fulfill the high expectations Congress 
intended when it passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
  I also am personally gratified that the bill's accompanying report 
urges the EAC to set aside $250,000 for the HAVA College Program, an 
innovative program that encourages college students all over the Nation 
to enlist as non-partisan poll workers.
  To be sure, Congress has not carried out all its election reform 
obligations to the states. And, I am disappointed the bill does not 
provide the remaining $800 million we owe the States to upgrade their 
voting machines, provide voter and pollworker training, and improve 
voting machine security.
  I appreciate the committee's hard work on this bill. This legislation 
is not perfect. But it contains many important, needed provisions that 
deserve our support.
  Mr. NUSSLE. Mr. Chairman, not since 1988--more than a decade and a 
half ago--has the Appropriations Committee passed all its bills out of 
the House before the Fourth of July. This year the committee stands 
poised to do so--even though its subcommittees have been restructured, 
and it is the first year at the helm for the Committee's new Chairman, 
the gentleman from San Bernardino County. I applaud the Committee and 
the Chairman for the deliberate pace they have maintained.
  The appropriations measure before us today provides funding for 
Transportation, Treasury, and Housing, as well as the Federal Judiciary 
and the District of Columbia. Under the reorganized subcommittee 
structure, this bill represents the first time Housing is matched with 
Transportation and Treasury in the same appropriations bill. I am 
pleased to report the bill is consistent with the levels established in 
H. Con. Res. 95, the House Concurrent Resolution on the budget for 
fiscal year 2006, which Congress adopted as its fiscal blueprint on 
April 28th.


                         the budget resolution

  H.R. 3058 provides $115.2 billion in discretionary budgetary 
resources. This is a 7 percent increase over fiscal year 2005. Even so, 
the bill is consistent with the allocation to the subcommittee, and 
therefore complies with section 302(f) of the Budget Act, which 
prohibits consideration of bills in excess of an Appropriations 
subcommittee's 302(b) allocation of budget authority and outlays. The 
bill does not contain any emergency spending.
  To meet their 302(b) limit, the bill rescinds $549 in mandatory 
contract authority previously provided to the FAA. The bill also 
rescinds $2.497 billion of previously enacted discretionary budget 
authority, all but $4 million of the discretionary rescissions come 
from the Public and Indian Housing certificate fund.
  The bill also complies with the provisions in the budget resolution 
concerning advance appropriations. The bill includes $4.273 billion in 
such appropriations, all of them in accounts the budget resolution 
lists as eligible for advances. The House should be aware, however, 
these provisions--along with the $18.885 billion in advances already 
passed in the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill--reach the 
ceiling of $23.158 billion in total advance appropriations provided for 
in the budget resolution. Any further increase in advance 
appropriations would breach this limit and subject such legislation to 
a point of order.


                        programmatic provisions

  The Department of Transportation is funded at $61.959 billion, $4,457 
above the request. This includes $36.3 billion for Federal Aid-Highways 
and $14.4 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration. Treasury is 
funded at $11.6 billion, $358 million above 2005. Most of these funds--
$10.5 billion--go to the IRS. The Federal Judiciary is funded at $5.4 
billion, which represents a $326 million (6 percent) increase over 
2005. The District of Columbia Federal payments are $603 million, $48 
million above 2005 and $30 million above the President's request.
  The bill addresses our critical housing needs by funding the 
Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] at $33.5 billion, 
$544 million above the 2005 level. The bill does not reflect the 
administration's proposal to move Community Development Block Grants 
[CDBGs] to the Commerce Department, instead keeping the program at HUD. 
Also, funding for Section 8 programs is split into two accounts to 
provide for better accountability and oversight.


                               conclusion

  Again, I commend the Chairman for balancing difficult priorities and 
delivering a bill within our agreed upon budget constraints. I express 
my support for H.R. 3058.
  Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Chairman, for the last 2 years, the President's 
budget requests have failed to meet the housing needs of lndian 
Country. Native Americans continue to suffer from severe overcrowding 
in their homes and they have higher rates of homes with serious 
physical deficiencies than their counterparts. Some estimates indicate 
that Indian housing needs exceed $1 billion.
  The President's FY 2006 funding request for the Native American 
Housing Block Grant (NAHBG) is $582.6 million, a decrease of $40 
million from the FY 2005 enacted level of $622 million. But the real 
reduction to the NAHBG is even more drastic because the budget request 
calls for the $57.8 million in Indian Community Development Block Grant 
(ICDBG) funding to come out of the NAHBG account, resulting in funding 
for the NAHBG to be a mere $524.8 million. This is a reduction over a 
3-fiscal year period of more than $125 million. This erosion of Federal 
funding for Indian housing and community development is simply 
unacceptable.
  I appreciate the work of the gentleman from Michigan who was working 
within very tight allocations. The Committee increased the funding for 
NAHBG to $600 million, a $17.4 million increase above the President's 
request. However, its support of the President's proposal calling for 
$45 million in ICDBG funds to come out of the Community Development 
Block Grant (CDBG) account, would leave a total proposed allocation for 
NAHBG at a mere $555 million. Appropriated funding for the NAHBG 
reached a high point in FY 2004 when it was funded at $650 million.
  I do not support the President's proposal to remove the ICDBG line 
item from the CDBG account. The ICDBG program has traditionally been 
furlded by the CDBG account through a 1 percent set-aside. As I just 
indicated, a change to this current funding scheme would further reduce 
NAHBG funding.
  We have a moral responsibility to provide safe, decent, and 
affordable housing for our country's First Americans. Housing is the 
backbone of economic and community development. It creates jobs and 
drives tribal economies. It is a basic need that can strengthen 
progress in other areas like education and health care.
  I look forward to working with both sides of the aisle on restoring 
the funding of the NAHBG account to the FY 2005 enacted level and 
addressing my concerns regarding the ICDBG program as the FY 2006 
Transportation, Treasury, HUD, Judiciary and District of Columbia 
appropriations bill proceeds through the legislative process.
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of funding for the 
Community Development Block Grant program. The proposed cuts to this 
vital program for individual community improvement growth must be 
withdrawn and full funding restored.
  H.R. 3058 seeks to cut $251 million from the Community Development 
Block Grant program, a 6 percent slash in funding and another reduction 
in a long string of cutbacks for the program. I stand strongly opposed 
to any effort to reduce funding to the CDBG program.
  The nature of CDBG--funds for housing, economic development, public 
facilities, social

[[Page H5385]]

services, and land acquisition, to name a few--incorporates a 
significant amount of flexibility to appropriate funds at the 
discretion of each community. What this means for each community is 
their ability to use Federal funds for a wide range of initiatives as 
well as to prioritize local needs while supporting national objectives. 
This great characteristic, leaving specific appropriations for local 
decision making, does not warrant reductions in the program, which 
would prevent Federal funds from being used where they are needed most.
  In FY 2004, the Community Development Block Grant program provided 
$4.853 billion to communities across the Nation. In my home State of 
New Jersey, CDBG funds many important initiatives. In Trenton alone it 
supports childcare services, provides for job training programs, funds 
the food programs at local area soup kitchens, and is used towards 
building and repairing affordable housing in the city. Elsewhere, in 
Monroe Township the CDBG funds ``A Friend in Need,'' a program which 
provides homecare to the elderly unable to afford it. It also aids the 
South Brunswick Citizens for Independent Living (CIL), which builds 
affordable housing for the disabled and provides training programs on 
financial independence. These are only a few local examples of this 
vital Federal program.
  The 31-year history of this program has proven to us that investment 
in communities continues to benefit lower income persons in need of 
assistance. Most of the CDBG-funded programs have proved to be small in 
scale, neighborhood-based initiatives. Expenditures through the CDBG 
program for lower income individuals have repeatedly exceeded the 
minimums set by Congress.
  The 6 percent reduction for the Community Development Block Grant 
program included in H.R. 3058 is much more damaging than it seems: due 
to the small nature of many of the programs CDBG funds, it would result 
in the complete cutting of numerous and invaluable local community 
projects. I firmly believe that the absence of these programs would 
neglect many pressing needs of the American people, negatively impact 
many communities, and, most importantly, prevent Federal funds from 
reaching those who need them most.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to restore full funding for the 
Community Development Block Grant program as the bill moves to 
conference.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIRMAN. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment 
under the 5-minute rule. During consideration of the bill for 
amendment, the Chair may accord priority in recognition to a Member 
offering an amendment that he has printed in the designated place in 
the Congressional Record. Those amendments will be considered read.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                               H.R. 3058

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the 
     following sums are appropriated, out of any money in the 
     Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the Departments of 
     Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, 
     the Judiciary, District of Columbia, and independent agencies 
     for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other 
     purposes, namely:


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Edwards

  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Edwards:
       On page 2, line 5 insert the following new title and 
     renumber the succeeding titles accordingly:

                TITLE I--DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

                     Veterans Health Administration


                            medical services

                     (including transfer of funds)

       For an additional amount for necessary expenses for 
     furnishing, as authorized by law, inpatient and outpatient 
     care and treatment to beneficiaries of the Department of 
     Veterans Affairs and veterans described in section 1705(a) of 
     title 38, United States Code, including care and treatment in 
     facilities not under the jurisdiction of the Department of 
     Veterans Affairs, and including medical supplies and 
     equipment and salaries and expenses of health-care employees 
     hired under title 38, United States Code, and aid to State 
     homes as authorized by section 1741 of title 38, United 
     States Code; $1,000,000,000, to be available for obligation 
     upon the enactment of this Act and to remain available for 
     obligation until September 30, 2006: Provided, That the 
     amount provided under this heading is designated as making 
     appropriations for the purpose set forth in subparagraph (A) 
     of section 402(a)(1) of H. Con. Res. 95 (109th Congress), the 
     concurrent resolution on the budget for the fiscal year 2006: 
     Provided further, That amounts made available under this 
     heading may be transferred to other accounts of the 
     Department of Veterans Affairs to the extent necessary to 
     reimburse those accounts for prior transfers to ``Medical 
     Services'' after notice of the amount and purpose of the 
     transfer is provided to the Committees on Appropriations of 
     the Senate and House of Representatives and a period of 30 
     days has elapsed: Provided further, That the transfer 
     authority in this paragraph is in addition to any other 
     transfer authority available to the Department of Veterans 
     Affairs.

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order against the 
amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman reserves a point of order.
  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, I believe we have a moral obligation to 
support our veterans, especially so during a time of war. This 
amendment is out of the regular order of business, but I could think of 
no better reason to waive the rules of the House, which we do on a 
daily basis here, than to support our veterans, that are being 
underfunded in their health care by over $1 billion in this fiscal 
year.
  Democrats tried during the budget resolution last year to add 
additional funding for VA health care because of the needs there. I 
tried an amendment in the Committee on the Budget this year, and we 
were voted down on a partisan basis. We tried an amendment in the 
Committee on Appropriations offered by the gentleman from Wisconsin 
(Mr. Obey), and we were voted down on a partisan basis.
  Now the Veterans' Administration leadership, part of the Bush 
administration, has admitted we have more than a $1 billion shortfall 
this year in VA health care funding. What that means, Mr. Chairman, is 
that every day that passes, there are veterans that are not receiving 
the VA health care they need and they deserve.
  What I would like to ask, Mr. Chairman, is that, on a bipartisan 
basis, Members of the House and Senate, Members of the House, 
Republican and Democrat alike, recognize the need to fund this veterans 
health care. Let us do it today. Let us not wait until after a week-
long vacation next week. Veterans do not delay in serving our country 
when we ask them to do their duty. We should not delay in fulfilling 
our moral obligation to provide quality health care for our veterans.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey).
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Let me simply say, I hate to say, we told you so, but we told you so. 
We warned the majority that, if you listened to the denials of the 
Veterans Administration, you would eventually be embarrassed because 
their request was inadequate to meet the needs of returning veterans.
  We have now been told yesterday, finally the VA is telling us the 
truth, and the fact is, this is the only remaining appropriation 
vehicle that we can use to add the necessary funds. The Senate added 
$1.4 billion yesterday to the Interior bill. That was not germane 
either, but the Senate did not let dunghill jurisdictional politics get 
in the way of dealing with the problems of veterans. I would urge the 
House to follow the lead of the Senate and to allow this amendment to 
be added so that we can take care of the problem.
  We are not even adding the extra $400 million that the Senate added 
yesterday. We are simply saying, take what the VA has already admitted 
they need for this year. We know it is going to be more for next year. 
But at least take the $1 billion we know is needed now, so that we do 
not continue to listen to false promises from the VA.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state it.
  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, if no Member of the House objected to this 
amendment, if we accepted this amendment on a bipartisan basis, is 
there anything that would prohibit this amendment from becoming part of 
this appropriation bill, if no Member of the House objected, if on a 
bipartisan basis we accepted it?
  The CHAIRMAN. If the gentleman's amendment were not to induce a point 
of order, it would come to a vote.
  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, to be clear on the parliamentary inquiry, 
if we could on a good faith bipartisan basis, say, look, this is not 
the typical way we want to do business, but we did not get it done in 
the Committee on

[[Page H5386]]

the Budget or Committee on Appropriations, so we could do it now, 
without an objection today, we could pass in this bill $1 billion in 
emergency funding for VA health care without objection. Is that 
correct?
  The CHAIRMAN. The Chair would reiterate that, absent a point of order 
against the amendment, the amendment, as all amendments, would come to 
a vote.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis).
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I do not have a serious reservation to having this 
bipartisan discussion regarding the growing understanding of the 
shortfall that lies in veterans health care. My reservation, and it is 
a serious one, is that it is one thing to want to take credit for doing 
something about this problem, but we are attempting to do it in a bill 
that is not going to become law for 2 or 3 months.
  The gentleman knows that the appropriate committee had an oversight 
hearing just yesterday morning to begin to draw in the administration, 
get information, et cetera, in order to lay the foundation for 
expediting this process. The way to solve this problem and truly in a 
bipartisan way deal with the challenge that we have in serving our 
veterans is to come together and move something quickly. Any 
appropriations bill is going to take longer than that.
  So I do not want to be pretending today that we are doing something 
by passing an amendment, when regular order will allow us to move much 
more quickly. We are trying to lay the foundation for that. That is why 
we had an oversight hearing yesterday.
  Mr. Chairman, I would think we ought to proceed with regular order. 
So in that connection, I have a reservation in terms of what is being 
done here today. It appears to be a ``credit'' business rather than 
real business. I would look forward to working with the gentleman in 
the days ahead.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his point of order.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the 
amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes 
legislation in an appropriations bill and therefore violates clause 2 
of rule XXI.

                              {time}  1245

  Further, the rule states, in pertinent part: ``An amendment to a 
general appropriations bill shall not be in order if changing existing 
law.''
  The amendment includes an emergency designation and, as such, 
constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule XXI.
  I ask for a ruling from the Chair.
  The CHAIRMAN. Does any Member seek recognition on the point of order?
  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, very briefly, could I ask the Chair, or 
the gentleman from Michigan, for whom I have great respect, were there 
other points of orders against this bill that were waived in the rule 
that brought this bill to the floor?
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will yield.
  The CHAIRMAN. If the gentleman from Michigan will suspend, the 
gentleman may not yield on the point of order. The Chair will hear each 
member in turn.
  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, I guess I would direct my question to the 
Chair. The point of order being raised now on my amendment to support 
veterans health care is that it is contrary to some of the process 
rules of the House. Could I inquire of the Chair as to whether there 
were other rules of the House that were waived in bringing this bill to 
the floor for debate today?
  The CHAIRMAN. The Chair would advise that House Resolution 342 waived 
all points of order against consideration of the bill and certain 
points of order against provisions in the bill.
  Mr. EDWARDS. So all points of order against the bill. Some points of 
order were waived, but apparently the majority is not going to allow us 
to waive a point of order to help us bring $1 billion to veterans 
health care.
  The CHAIRMAN. Do other Members wish to be recognized on the point of 
order?
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I would simply state that the House is in a 
strange position today because, under the rules of the House, every 
item that is brought to the floor is supposed to be germane to the bill 
at hand unless the Committee on Rules has provided exceptions to that. 
My understanding of the rules is that notwithstanding the fact that the 
rule does not specifically allow for this amendment, if no Member 
objects, this amendment could be considered.
  So I would simply ask every Member of the House, through the Chair, 
whether or not this matter is sufficiently important enough that a 
point of order not be lodged.
  The gentleman from California suggested that this ought to be 
considered in some other venue. We would be happy to do that if someone 
had another suggestion; but right now, this is the only dog in the 
hunt. I am afraid that if the gentleman persists in his point of order, 
the gentleman from Texas and I would have to concede the point of 
order; but I would hope that we would not be pushed into that position.
  The CHAIRMAN. Does any Member seek recognition on the point of order?
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I am not sure whether this is on the point 
of order, but I would just like the body to know that there would be no 
objection on this side of the House to having this item made in order. 
Notwithstanding the comments by the chairman here, if that manages to 
keep this issue in the forefront, even though he is suggesting and has 
suggested that the final actions on this legislation would not occur 
for 3 months, if that manages to keep the issue before the body, it is 
important enough that that in itself would be valuable, that it be kept 
there so that we do indeed find a fast way of dealing with the matter.
  The CHAIRMAN. If no other Member seeks recognition on the point of 
order, the Chair is prepared to rule.
  The Chair finds that this amendment includes an emergency 
designation. The amendment, therefore, constitutes legislation in 
violation of clause 2 of rule XXI.
  The point of order is sustained, and the amendment is not in order.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                                TITLE I

                      DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

                        Office of the Secretary


                         Salaries and Expenses

       For necessary expenses of the Office of the Secretary, 
     $84,913,000, of which not to exceed $2,198,000 shall be 
     available for the immediate Office of the Secretary; not to 
     exceed $698,000 shall be available for the immediate Office 
     of the Deputy Secretary; not to exceed $15,183,000 shall be 
     available for the Office of the General Counsel; not to 
     exceed $11,680,000 shall be available for the Office of the 
     Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy; not to exceed 
     $7,593,000 shall be available for the Office of the Assistant 
     Secretary for Budget and Programs; not to exceed $2,052,000 
     shall be available for the Office of the Assistant Secretary 
     for Governmental Affairs; not to exceed $23,139,000 shall be 
     available for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for 
     Administration; not to exceed $1,910,000 shall be available 
     for the Office of Public Affairs; not to exceed $1,442,000 
     shall be available for the Office of the Executive 
     Secretariat; not to exceed $697,000 shall be available for 
     the Board of Contract Appeals; not to exceed $1,265,000 shall 
     be available for the Office of Small and Disadvantaged 
     Business Utilization; not to exceed $2,033,000 for the Office 
     of Intelligence and Security; not to exceed $3,128,000 shall 
     be available for the Office of Emergency Transportation; and 
     not to exceed $11,895,000 shall be available for the Office 
     of the Chief Information Officer: Provided, That the 
     Secretary of Transportation is authorized to transfer funds 
     appropriated for any office of the Office of the Secretary to 
     any other office of the Office of the Secretary: Provided 
     further, That no appropriation for any office shall be 
     increased or decreased by more than 5 percent by all such 
     transfers: Provided further, That notice of any change in 
     funding greater than 5 percent shall be submitted for 
     approval to the House and Senate Committees on 
     Appropriations: Provided further, That not to exceed $60,000 
     shall be for allocation within the Department for official 
     reception and representation expenses as the Secretary may 
     determine: Provided further, That notwithstanding any other 
     provision of law, excluding fees authorized in Public Law 
     107-71, there may be credited to this appropriation up to 
     $2,500,000 in funds received in user fees: Provided further, 
     That none of the funds provided in this Act shall be 
     available for the position of Assistant Secretary for Public 
     Affairs.


                  Amendment Offered by Mr. Knollenberg

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

[[Page H5387]]

  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Knollenberg:
       Page 2, line 10, after the first dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $250,000)''.
       Page 2, line 13, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $250,000)''.
       Page 56, line 18, after the first dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $38,750,000)''.
       Page 77, line 24, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $67,500,000)''.
       Page 77, line 26, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $17,500,000)''.
       Page 164, line 12, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     the following: ``(reduced by $88,789,000)''.
       Page 164, line 12, after the second dollar amount, insert 
     the following: ``(reduced by $67,789,000)''.
       Page 165, line 21, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(reduced by $67,789,000)''.
       Page 169, line 2, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(reduced by $21,000,000)''.
       Page 171, line 4, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(reduced by $17,711,000)''.

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the 
Record.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, this amendment provides an additional 
$38 million for tax enforcement efforts at IRS. These funds will 
significantly enhance our ability to close the tax gap by more than 
$400 million over 3 years.
  Further, this amendment restores $67.5 million to CDBG. Some of these 
funds may need to be used to provide some funding for the YouthBuild 
program if the program is not authorized under the Department of Labor 
by the time of final passage of the appropriations act.
  The program, for the moment, has been left in suspension because the 
administration has not yet submitted the needed legislation, but I am 
assured that the legislation will be submitted very soon.
  I want to thank the ranking member, the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. Olver), for his diligence on these issues and for working with us.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge the adoption of the Knollenberg-Olver amendment.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to cosponsor and endorse this 
amendment. This amendment represents exactly what I said an hour or so 
ago, that the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg) has 
listened to both majority and minority Members' concerns and has worked 
to resolve all issues. He has considered all Members' concerns and, 
where he could help, he did; and I thank him for that.
  With this amendment, the bill would now provide $50 million for 
YouthBuild and will keep YouthBuild alive while the authorizing 
committees figures out exactly where YouthBuild should best be 
authorized.
  The YouthBuild program is a good program. Several other Members 
during general debate have talked about it. It is a program that serves 
young men and women in their late teens and early 20s who dropped out 
of high school, or graduates from high school who find 2 or 3 years 
later that they have no real job skills and poor prospects of a good 
job. Dropouts in this program get a GED and other key education for the 
construction industry. All participants get skills and experience in 
housing construction trades.
  The program has been in place about a dozen years. Nearly 15,000 
units of affordable housing have been built, and nearly 30,000 young 
people have learned the housing construction and building trades, 
thanks to the YouthBuild program. Many of these young people have gone 
on to college. Those who have been in trouble with the law earlier in 
life have a stunningly low recidivism rate after they have been in the 
YouthBuild program.
  Each of the items in this amendment was included in my primary 
remarks at subcommittee markup and again at the full committee markup 
and in debate on adoption of the rule yesterday. I appreciate the 
gentleman from Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg) listening and 
responding, and I hope the amendment will be adopted.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to engage in a colloquy with the chairman 
of the subcommittee, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg).
  Mr. Chairman, the worst construction accident in Federal 
transportation history in the city of Toledo, Ohio, took place on 
February 16, 2004 on the $200 million I-280 Maumee River Crossing 
Bridge, affecting serious loss of life. Crushed to death on the job, as 
a launching gantry crane collapsed, were Mike Phillips, age 42; Arden 
Clark, age 47; Mike Moreau, age 30; and Robert Lipinski, Jr., age 44. 
As I mentioned before, all iron workers. There were injuries sustained 
by many other workers.
  Since that time, the Lucas County prosecutor has been investigating 
the accidents to determine if there may be criminal liability in these 
deaths. The prosecutor's office has been working with the Inspector 
General of the Department of Transportation, but has needs that go 
beyond the assistance that the Inspector General can provide. The 
prosecutor needs technical assistance in determining answers to 
engineering and other special issues. One might expect that such 
expertise resides within the Department of Transportation, perhaps 
specifically at the Federal Highway Administration.
  Mr. Chairman, would the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman 
Knollenberg) and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Ranking Minority 
Member Olver) be willing to work with me to determine what resources 
may be available throughout DOT, including the Federal Highway 
Administration, to provide technical expertise in the ongoing 
investigation and to ensure that such assistance is provided to the 
Lucas County prosecutor?
  Additionally, if such assistance is not available directly from the 
Department, would the chairman work with us to determine if the 
Department can provide assistance to the Lucas County prosecutor in the 
hiring of appropriate outside experts?
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. KAPTUR. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I can assure the gentlewoman that I 
will do everything I can to work with her to make sure that we do 
address this issue. So I thank the gentlewoman for bringing it up.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Michigan. It is 
greatly appreciated.


                  Amendment Offered by Mr. LaTourette

  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. LaTourette:
       Page 2, line 10, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $17,339,000)''.
       Page 2, line 19, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $2,052,000)''.
       Page 2, line 23, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $1,910,000)''.
       Page 2, line 24, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $1,422,000)''.
       Page 3, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $11,895,000)''.,
       Page 3, line 17, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $60,000)''.
       Page 4, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $31,583,000)''.
       Page 6, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $25,000,000)''.
       Page 9, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $59,000,000)''.
       Page 29, line 10, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $26,325,000)''.
       Page 30, line 10, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $626,248,000)''.
       Page 51, line 25, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $2,500,000)''.
       Page 164, line 12, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $727,909,000)''.
       Page 164, line 12, after the second dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $9,500,000)''.
       Page 165, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $9,500,000)''.
       Page 166, line 9, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $568,409,000)''.
       Page 166, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $133,417,000)''.
       Page 167, line 14, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $434,992,000)''.
       Page 169, line 2, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $150,000,000)''.

  Mr. LaTOURETTE (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the 
Record.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Ohio?

[[Page H5388]]

  There was no objection.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that debate on 
this amendment be limited to 40 minutes, equally divided and controlled 
by the proponent and myself as opponent, and that this limitation also 
apply to any amendments thereto, except one pro forma amendment each by 
the chairmen and ranking members of the Committee on Appropriations and 
its Subcommittee on TTHUD.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette) is recognized 
for 20 minutes.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that half of 
our time, 10 minutes, be yielded to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. 
Oberstar), the ranking member of the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure, and that he be permitted to yield time from that 10 
minutes.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Ohio?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, on the issue of Amtrak, the gentleman from Michigan 
(Chairman Knollenberg) and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver) 
had an impossible task, and I know that we will hear that again and 
again and again. The original budget submission from the President 
talked about zero, and then we went up to $360-some million, and now we 
find ourselves with a bill at $550 million.
  I am pleased to offer this bipartisan amendment with my colleague, 
the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar), as I said, the ranking 
member of the full Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; and 
it ensures that we will maintain a little less than last year, but we 
will at least make sure that Amtrak can continue its valuable function. 
I want to thank my friend, the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar), 
for his guidance and leadership as we drafted this amendment, and for 
the assistance of his staff.
  Unlike aviation, highways, and transit, there is no dedicated fund 
for investing in passenger rail development. These other modes all 
operate on predominantly federally owned or federally assisted 
infrastructure, and rely on government-supported security, research, 
and traffic controllers.
  We are certainly willing to listen to reform proposals as they come 
forward. Already, as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, we 
have had two hearings dealing with difficulties of Amtrak. We are about 
to launch a series of hearings on reforms as we move into this next 
century, but this particular piece of legislation effectively strands 
millions of passengers and, I would assert, is irresponsible.
  The funding levels of $550 million would force Amtrak to shut down 
all operations and declare bankruptcy.

                              {time}  1300

  If H.R. 3058 is enacted as it is now, Amtrak would be forced to pay 
$360 million in mandatory labor severance payouts for employees laid 
off from the elimination of the 15 long distance routes and three 
shorter routes in the bill, and $278 million for debt service. Since 
that total of $638 million is greater than 550, Amtrak, the railroad 
would be forced to default on its debts, abandon its labor agreements 
and declare bankruptcy.
  Mr. Chairman, the amendment in the bill, the amendment we had printed 
in the Record originally would have taken us back to the $1.24 billion 
of last year. Due to some difficulties in scoring, this amendment would 
restore $1.176 billion. That represents only about 2 percent of the 
DOT's budget of $60 billion, whereas 50 percent of the Department's 
spending goes to highways; $20 billion goes to air travel. America 
relies on this service. This is not the amendment that I think either 
the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar) or I would have wanted to 
bring to the floor with some of the offsets we were required to choose. 
But that is the nature of the rules of the game. I think originally we 
talked about invading perhaps the F account and FAA, but thanks to 
some rather very clever authorizing work by the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar) in years past, we were prevented from doing 
that today.
  This is a good amendment. I ask all of our colleagues to consider it.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds to express my 
gratitude to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette), one of our most 
principled Members and most thoughtful Members of this body for always 
seeking to do the right thing, policy-wise, and for the people.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. 
Corrine Brown), the ranking member on our Rail Subcommittee, who has 
led the charge in support of Amtrak.
  (Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida asked and was given permission to 
revise and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Chairman, a recent poll showed that 
81 percent of the American people said that this Congress does not 
stand with them on their priorities. There is no better example than 
what we are discussing here today. I fully support the amendment, but 
if the amendment is not adopted, I want Members to be clear that this 
will be the end of Amtrak. Today is a day where we are going to fish or 
cut bait. This is your opportunity to stand up for the people that sent 
you here.
  Why is it that we constantly, in the House, hope the other body will 
rescue us?
  The current funding issue concerning Amtrak brings up a fundamental 
question of where this Nation stands on public transportation. We have 
an opportunity to improve a system that serves the needs for passenger 
rail service, or we can just let it fall apart and leave this country's 
travelers and business with absolutely no alternative forms of public 
transportation.
  Without the funding Amtrak needs to keep operating, we will soon see 
people that rely on Amtrak to get them to work each day waiting for a 
train that is not coming. We continue to subsidize highways and 
aviation, and by the way, one of the strongest vocal persons are 
Members against Amtrak. We have given aviation over $20 billion. We 
give Iraq $1 billion a week. That is $4 billion a month. But we refuse 
to give Amtrak what is needed for 1 week. One week that we spend in 
Iraq will fund the entire Amtrak system for the entire country for an 
entire year. This is the day. You either fish or cut bait on Amtrak 
today, and the American people are watching you.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in full support of this amendment. The current 
funding issues concerning Amtrak brings up a fundamental question of 
where this Nation stands on public transportation. We have an 
opportunity to improve a system that serves our need for passenger rail 
service, or we can let it fall apart, and leave this country's 
travelers and businesses with absolutely no alternative form of public 
transportation.
  Without the funding Amtrak needs to keep operating, we will soon see 
people that rely on Amtrak to get them to work each day, waiting for a 
train that isn't coming.
  We continue to subsidize highways and aviation, but when it comes to 
our passenger rail system, we refuse to provide the money Amtrak needs 
to survive.
  This issue is so much bigger than just transportation. This is about 
safety and national security. Not only should we be giving Amtrak the 
money it needs to continue providing service, we should be providing 
security money to upgrade their tracks and improve safety and security 
measures in the entire rail system.
  Once again we see the Bush administration paying for its failed 
policies by cutting funds to vital public services and jeopardizing 
more American jobs. This administration sees nothing wrong with taking 
money from the hard working Amtrak employees who work day and night to 
provide top quality service to their passengers. These folks are trying 
to make a living for their families, and they don't deserve this shabby 
treatment from the President.
  We're spending 1 billion dollars a week in Iraq, $4 billion a month, 
but this administration zeroed out funding for Amtrak. Just one week's 
investment in Iraq would significantly improve passenger rail for the 
entire country for an entire year.
  It's time for Congress to step up to the plate and make a decision 
about Amtrak based on what's best for the traveling public, not for the 
bean counters at OMB.
  Some people think that the solution to the problem is to privatize 
the system. If we privatize, we will see the same thing we saw when we 
deregulated the airline industry. Only the lucrative routes would be 
maintained, and

[[Page H5389]]

routes to Rural locations will be expensive and few.
  I was in New York shortly after September 11th when the plane leaving 
JFK airport crashed into the Bronx. I, along with many of my colleagues 
in both the House and Senate took Amtrak back to Washington. I realized 
once again just how important Amtrak is to the American people, and how 
important it is for this Nation to have alternative modes of 
transportation.
  This isn't about fiscal policy, this is about providing a safe and 
reliable public transportation system that the citizens of this Nation 
need and deserve.
  I strongly encourage my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, it is my pleasure to yield 2 minutes to 
the gentleman from Montana (Mr. Rehberg).
  Mr. REHBERG. Mr. Chairman, I too recognize the difficult position 
that the Appropriations Committee has been put in with the cost of 
Amtrak and the ongoing costs. I just caution the Members of this body 
that there are States like myself. I represent an entire State. The 
distance of my district spans the distance of Washington, DC, to 
Chicago. Our cities were not established in Montana because of rivers 
and a port. We were established because of the rail. Rail in Montana is 
not an essential service; it is a critical service. In many cases, we 
have good bus service. It just does not happen to be in the area where 
Amtrak is. We have good air service. Unfortunately, it just does not 
happen to be in the area where the rail is. And so, in our particular 
case, where you have a large geographical area with very little 
population, it becomes a critical service to provide not only our 
products but our passengers as well.
  The Empire Builder in Montana has as many as 500,000 people traveling 
on it. Do we recognize it is subsidized? Yes, we do. But I do not think 
the founding fathers and I do not think this Congress ever intended it 
to be run entirely like a business. We want good quality service. We 
want a cheap price. The problem is there cannot be competition because 
you cannot set up a rail next to the other. You cannot have two 
railroads competing against each other. So Amtrak is one of those 
entities that cannot entirely be run like a business. And so I hope you 
have listened to the gentleman from Ohio's amendment because what it 
does is it lays the foundation of implementing the beginning of a 
reform initiative within Amtrak that will make it run more like a 
business. It can be supported, and ultimately, we will have the rail 
service in States like Montana and the rest of the long lines that are 
so critical within our transportation system. I hope you will support 
the amendment.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Goode).
  Mr. GOODE. Mr. Chairman, first, I want to thank the gentleman from 
Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg) for providing $550 million more for 
Amtrak than was originally submitted in the budget. And I want to thank 
the gentleman from California (Chairman Lewis) for getting us to this 
point of finishing the appropriations bills before July 4.
  Lastly, I want to thank the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette) and 
the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar) for their work on this 
amendment in an effort to preserve the long-distance Amtrak routes. In 
my district, the long-distance route is the Southern Crescent Route 
that goes from New York and stops in Charlottesville, Lynchburg and 
Danville, and I hope it will be the pleasure of this body to preserve 
the Crescent Route, the Cardinal Route and many other long-distances 
routes.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I would like to inquire of the gentleman 
from Michigan whether he has a number of speakers, or is going to 
continue to reserve until our side has used all of our time. I think we 
would like to hear from those who would like to speak against us.
  The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman yield time to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) to respond to the inquiry?
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I continue to reserve my time, and I 
do not have at this point an additional speaker because there are a 
couple of things we are trying to work out right now.
  Mr. Chairman, I continue to reserve my time.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell).
  (Mr. PASCRELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, Amtrak was there for America after 9/11. 
It performed beautifully. Its employees performed. This is delivering 
people, product, all over the United States of America. And if you look 
at the map, this is all wiped out, all in red. In red, mind you.
  It is inexcusable that we are only funding half of what is needed for 
Amtrak. There could be no more illusion about the administration's 
desire to destroy Amtrak. The Federal Government took on the burden of 
passenger rail from the freight railroads in 1971, in a bill signed by 
President Richard Nixon. Read my lips. These private companies were 
relieved to be rid of what they knew was inherently a nonprofit 
operation.
  Federal subsidization for other transportation modes is nothing new. 
Each year in New Jersey, 4 million New Jersey residents ride Amtrak. 
Pennsylvania, 5 million. And look at the investments in the many cities 
of Pennsylvania, and Amtrak, that they have invested capital 
improvements. We cannot accept half of a loaf.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the amendment being offered 
by Chairman LaTourette and Ranking Member Oberstar which would give 
Amtrak a fighting chance to function next year.
  It is inexcusable that the bill before us today contains only $550 
million for intercity passenger rail service, effectively bankrupting 
Amtrak. There can be no more illusions about the Administration's 
desire to destroy Amtrak once and for all.
  The Federal Government took on the burden of passenger rail from the 
freight railroads in 1971 in a bill signed by President Richard Nixon. 
These private companies were relieved to be rid of what they knew was 
inherently a non-profit operation.
  Federal subsidization for other transportation modes is nothing new. 
We have been subsidizing the money-losing airlines time and time again.
  This Congress properly provides tens of billions every year for 
highways, public transit, aviation, and maritime transportation 
infrastructure and operations. Passenger rail is just as deserving of 
our support as the rest.
  Each year, about 4 million New Jersey residents ride Amtrak.
  200,000 commuters up and down the Northeast Corridor rely on Amtrak 
to maintain the NJ Transit system. Amtrak has tremendous impact on our 
regional economy in the Northeast. Amtrak relieves congestion 
throughout the Northeast on the roadways and airways.
  Like so many of our States, my home State of New Jersey already has a 
severely strained State budget. Passing the buck of rail operations and 
maintenance onto already struggling State budgets is not a solution 
based in reality.
  Funding Amtrak at last year's level is the very least we can do to 
keep the trains running that Americans count on nationwide.
  We must support the LaTourette/Oberstar amendment. We must defeat 
this ill-conceived proposal. The Congress must provide the dollars that 
Amtrak needs to run efficiently and effectively.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Menendez).
  (Mr. MENENDEZ asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of this 
amendment to save Amtrak, and that is what this bill is about: $550 
million within the bill shuts down Amtrak entirely. It is not a scare 
tactic. It is not an exaggeration. It is a matter of hard financial 
truth. Amtrak would have nothing left basically to run its trains when 
it pays out its debt and its interest on its debt and its mandatory 
labor severance pay outs. And without Amtrak, for example, in the 
northeast corridor, 80,000 daily commuters in New Jersey and thousands 
more throughout other States would be stranded because many

[[Page H5390]]

transit systems in those States, your States, my colleagues, depend 
upon Amtrak to run their trains for their commuters and their citizens. 
This is about small and mid-sized businesses having intercity rail 
service to sell their goods and services, to send their sales forces. 
This is about putting the country and linking it together, the United 
States of America. And after September 11, my God, if we do not 
understand that this is about national security, we are waiting for the 
next disaster like in Madrid. Vote for Amtrak.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the LaTourette-
Oberstar-Menendez amendment to save Amtrak. We've heard the facts about 
what this appropriations bill would do. We know that 550 million 
dollars will shut down Amtrak entirely. This is not a scare tactic. 
This is not an exaggeration. This is a matter of hard financial truth. 
With the interest it pays on its debt and the mandatory labor severance 
payouts for discontinued routes, Amtrak would have nothing left--
nothing--to run trains. And without Amtrak maintaining the Northeast 
Corridor, 80,000 commuters in New Jersey and throughout the Northeast 
would be stranded, because many transit systems depend on Amtrak in 
order to run their own trains.
  As I said, we've already heard these facts. But I want to focus on 
the fundamental problem: a combination of unrealistic expectations and 
insufficient support that Amtrak has struggled with since its creation. 
I hear these complaints all the time: We keep pouring money into 
Amtrak, and it keeps getting worse. So we give Amtrak barely enough to 
get by. And then Amtrak gets worse. It's a vicious cycle, and it does 
nothing to improve passenger rail in this country. We cannot have an 
Amtrak on a starvation diet. Do you want to see an efficient, effective 
intercity rail system? Give it the money that it ultimately deserves.
  There are some other facts about Amtrak that people tend to forget. 
First, we spend more money on highways in this bill alone than we have 
on Amtrak in its entire history. Second, Amtrak was created when the 
railroads begged the government to take the passengers off their hands. 
The freight railroads didn't want the burden of these unprofitable 
lines, so expecting Amtrak to be profitable on these same lines with 
bare-bones funding levels is totally unrealistic.
  In addition, no mode of transportation pays for itself. Not aviation, 
not mass transit, and not highways. We subsidize them because they 
improve the quality of our lives. And that's what transportation is 
about. It's not just getting from one place to another. It's about 
creating jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods, stimulating commerce, 
redeveloping underutilized land, and making us more secure. Amtrak is 
part of all of that. It is a crucial link for businesses up and down 
the Northeast Corridor. It provides mobility options for rural 
communities that don't have airports or inter-city bus service. And as 
we saw on September 11th, it is a crucial element of our transportation 
system when the airlines are grounded.
  Mr. Chairman, people ride trains in this country when you give them 
good service. What we've seen in California in the past few years is 
that when you run more trains, more often, and you run them on time, 
people flock to the trains. We should be arguing seriously about how to 
improve Amtrak. We should be making the commitment and the investment 
that we're willing to make for transit, highways, and aviation. We 
should be here talking about how to build a world-class intercity rail 
system, instead of trying to scrape together enough money so Amtrak can 
survive another year.
  If you want to have a discussion about how to reform Amtrak, you have 
to have an Amtrak. This appropriations bill would kill it. Our 
amendment would save it. But it is still just enough to scrape by. 
Amtrak will continue to defer maintenance, and service will suffer. So 
we'll be back here again next year fighting the same fight. But we can 
do better than that. We can give Americans the intercity rail system 
they deserve. This amendment keeps Amtrak on life-support, but we need 
to start talking about rehabilitation and regrowth. I look forward to 
that discussion and urge my colleagues to support the LaTourette-
Oberstar-Menendez amendment and keep Amtrak alive.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Delaware (Mr. Castle).
  Mr. CASTLE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment to 
restore funding for Amtrak. I appreciate the gentleman from Ohio's work 
on this effort, and I thank the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Knollenberg), the subcommittee chairman for his willingness to work 
with Members on this extremely important issue.
  While I agree that reform is necessary, the administration's goal of 
ending Federal support for passenger rail is at best half-baked. Unlike 
aviation highways and transit, there is no dedicated fund for investing 
in passenger rail development. Although these other modes rely on user 
fees for a great deal of their funding, they still receive a large 
amount from the General Fund. In addition, these other modes all 
operate on predominantly Federally owned or Federally assisted 
infrastructure and rely largely on government supported security, 
research and traffic controllers.
  Despite the fact that passenger rail has proven to be such an easy 
security target in other parts of the world, the TSA's fiscal year 2005 
appropriation included only about $12 million for passenger rail, 
compared to the $4.32 billion that was allocated for aviation security, 
close to half of which comes from the General Fund, not aviation 
security user fees.
  While the TSA is currently spending $16 million a year on new 
uniforms for airport screeners, passenger rail relies on a total force 
of 342 Amtrak officers to protect 25 million yearly passengers 
traveling on 22,000 miles of track in 46 States. When you consider the 
fact that 20 percent of all Americans live in the northeast, and 
approximately 1,700 commuter trains travel the northeast corridor every 
day, we need to seriously consider the amount of congestion and 
overcrowding that would occur if these trains stopped running.
  Passenger rail can be extremely effective in relieving congestion, 
cutting pollution and lowering our demand for oil while creating jobs 
and increasing security. We have barely scratched the surface of 
passenger rail's potential, and a commitment from Congress to improving 
the viability of this system would lead to greatly expanded 
possibilities.
  The facts are clear. Amtrak needs Federal support to survive just 
like highways, ports and airlines. America is a world leader in all 
other modes of transportation. When it comes to rail, we are quickly 
falling behind.
  Mr. Chairman, many Americans depend on Amtrak for both business and 
pleasure. Instead of bankrupting the organization, we should work 
together to improve passenger rail. Pass this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment to restore funding 
for Amtrak. I appreciate Mr. LaTourette's work on this effort and I 
thank the Subcommittee Chairman for his willingness to work with 
Members on this extremely important matter.
  The $550 million provided by the subcommittee is $650 million less 
than the funds appropriated for passenger rail in FY05. Based on the 
bill's instructions, Amtrak may use the funds to operate the North-East 
Corridor and short-distance trains, but will be prohibited from using 
funds to operate its 15 long-distance trains and 3 shorter distance 
routes. However, when you take into account Amtrak's considerable 
mandatory debt payments and the severance expenses that would result 
from shutting down these routes, there is a significant question as to 
whether anything would be left for operating expenses in the North-
East.
  While I strongly agree that reform is necessary, the Administration's 
goal of ending Federal support for passenger rail is at best half-
baked. Unlike aviation, highways, and transit, there is no dedicated 
fund for investing in passenger rail development. Although these other 
modes rely on user fees for a great deal of their funding, they still 
receive a large amount from the general fund. In addition, these other 
modes all operate on predominantly federally owned or federally 
assisted infrastructure, and rely largely on government-supported 
security, research, and traffic controllers.
  Despite the fact that passenger rail has proven to be such an easy 
target in other parts of the world, the TSA's fiscal year 2005 
appropriation of $5.15 billion included only about $12 million for 
passenger rail--compared to the $4.32 billion that was allocated for 
aviation security, roughly half of which comes out of the general 
fund--not aviation security user fees. While the TSA is currently 
spending $16 million a year on new uniforms for airport screeners, 
passenger rail relies on a total force of 342 Amtrak officers to 
protect 25 million yearly passengers traveling on 22,000 miles of track 
in 46 states.
  When you consider the fact that 20 percent of all Americans live in 
the North-East and approximately 1,700 commuter trains travel the 
Northeast Corridor every day, we need to seriously consider the amount 
of congestion and overcrowding that would occur if these trains stopped 
running. I-95 is already clogged and lines at airports are increasing. 
If this plan goes through, millions of travelers would be added to this 
already extremely congested transportation system.

[[Page H5391]]

  The facts are clear; Amtrak needs Federal support to survive, just 
like highways, ports, and airlines. America is a world leader in all 
other modes of transportation. When it comes to rail, we are quickly 
falling behind.
  I tend to believe that any successful plan to fix passenger rail will 
require vision and truly bipartisan collaboration. We need the 
foresight to ensure the survival of this system by improving the safety 
and efficiency of passenger rail. Putting Amtrak on the chopping block 
directly contradicts this goal. Dozens of reform proposals exist 
without jeopardizing the viability of Amtrak and they should be openly 
debated in Congress.
  Mr. Chairman, many Americans, including thousands in my State, depend 
on Amtrak for both business and pleasure. Instead of bankrupting the 
organization, we should work together to improve Amtrak.
  The Department of Transportation's Inspector General estimates that 
Amtrak needs at least $1.4 billion to survive and the Amtrak Board 
recently put forward a strategic reform initiative that requires $1.82 
billion to make important improvements to the system. The funding 
included in this amendment would simply allow passenger rail to squeeze 
by in the short-term and provide Americans with effective 
transportation options.
  Passenger rail can be extremely effective in relieving congestion, 
cutting pollution, and lowering our demand for oil while creating jobs 
and increasing security. We have barely scratched the surface of 
passenger rail's potential, and a commitment from Congress to improving 
the viability of this system could lead to greatly expanded 
possibilities.
  Reform will take time and require cooperation. I know many of my 
colleagues, and the Chairman of the Rail Subcommittee on Transportation 
and Infrastructure, join me in my commitment to defining an appropriate 
reform strategy. In the meantime, supporting this amendment can help to 
sustain Amtrak for millions of Americans.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  I rise in opposition to this amendment, which is a wholesale slash-
and-burn attempt to restore funding for Amtrak. First, I want to state 
clearly that I want to reform Amtrak. It is a broken system that has 
siphoned billions of dollars from other priorities over the years.

                              {time}  1315

  For Members who agree that Amtrak needs to be reformed, this bill 
provides an excellent starting point. The bill preserves Federal 
funding for routes that are heavily utilized and that show signs of 
economic sustainability. It also preserves Federal subsidies for more 
than 80 percent of Amtrak riders, 80 percent. While the amendment 
proposes to leave the route limitation in place, I have little doubt 
that if it is successful another will follow to remove the limitation 
and return Amtrak to the status quo. I do not want to go to the status 
quo.
  If that happens, Congress will again send the message to Amtrak that 
it is acceptable to run a route so unprofitable as to require a Federal 
subsidy of $466 per ticket. We have seen Amtrak's Federal subsidy grow 
from $521 million in fiscal year in 2002 to $1.2 billion in fiscal year 
2005, and now Amtrak is asking for $1.8 billion. When is it going to 
end?
  Continuing to throw good money after bad to maintain the status quo 
is totally unacceptable to me. Amtrak is threatening to shut down again 
because it is unwilling to make changes to improve its profitability. 
This marks the sixth time since 2002 that Amtrak's CEO, the sixth time 
since 2002, that Amtrak's CEO has threatened a shutdown if we do not 
provide more money.
  The flaw in the argument that $550 million is not sufficient to 
operate trains is the assumption that Amtrak would have to shut down 
routes. There are cost-saving measures that Amtrak could adopt to 
continue long distance rail service, but it simply refuses to do so. 
Furthermore, the offsets to this amendment would cannibalize the 
Department of Transportation and important GSA facilities. These in 
effect would cause severe disruption to programs within the 
jurisdiction of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  First, the amendment proposes to completely eliminate several offices 
within the Office of the Secretary of Transportation.
  Second, it cuts funding from the Transportation Planning, Research 
and Development account; $20 million of that funding is for commuter 
rail in the event Amtrak cannot meet its financial obligations. And 
$1.2 billion, if expanded to all routes, as I suspect will be offered, 
is according to Amtrak a ``shutdown'' number. So the amendment leaves 
commuter rail, particularly in the Northeast, in jeopardy.
  Third, the amendment cuts funding from the DOT headquarters building. 
DOT's current lease runs out in June of 2007. If the building is not 
complete, significant rent increases on the old building will kick in, 
as will rent payments on the new one.
  Fourth, the amendment eliminates railroad research and development 
which provide science and technology support for rail safety 
rulemakings. That means no funding for research on such things as grade 
crossing safety, derailment prevention, hazardous material 
transportation, like the chlorine tank cars that were involved in 
Graniteville, South Carolina, earlier this year, or simply passenger 
protection.
  Fifth, the amendment cuts $435 million in repairs and alterations to 
government buildings nationwide. Some may be in your State. This 
funding is critical, given that the backlog in repairs and maintenance 
currently stands at $6.2 billion.
  Six, the amendment takes funding from the Eisenhower Executive Office 
Building, which would delay completion of construction, including 
security-critical features and the cuts to building operations, much of 
which are a part of that. The Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure has repeatedly stressed the importance of modern, safe 
facilities.
  If GSA is impacted in this fashion, we will not be able to pay for 
utilities, for maintenance, or cleaning. These cuts are in direct 
conflict with that policy.
  Seventh, the amendment would void the FAA's flight service station 
contract that would deliver tremendous benefits to the general aviation 
community and save the FAA $2.2 billion over the next 10 years. Instead 
of realizing these savings, taxpayers will be on the hook for up to 
$350 million in additional costs to the FAA in the form of termination 
penalties.
  This contract has been years in the making. Congress should not step 
in after the fact to stop this contract and deny better services to 
more than 600,000 private pilots.
  Eight, the amendment eliminates the air transportation stabilization 
program which issues credit instruments to air carriers.
  I know the authors of this amendment feel strongly about Amtrak, and 
I appreciate their interest in the issue. And what I am trying to do is 
to make sure that we do keep a system in the short term and one that 
will develop into a long-term situation. But if you obliterate 
important safety and construction projects, that is no way to go about 
funding a railroad that desperately needs to be reformed.
  For these reasons, I ask Members to vote ``no.''
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Nadler).
  (Mr. NADLER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, this bill is a backdoor attempt to shut 
down Amtrak, to guarantee an Amtrak bankruptcy. We simply cannot allow 
it to happen.
  Amtrak is one of our most efficient modes of transportation. It 
provides a vital alternative to our clogged highways. We need to 
finally start investing adequate resources in Amtrak to allow the 
railroad to provide stable, reliable service.
  We spend approximately $50 billion a year on highways and aviation, 
but only about $1 billion on Amtrak. We hear that Amtrak funding should 
be cut because the railroad is not profitable or is inefficient or 
mismanaged. Amtrak has had its problems, but they are largely a result 
of being systematically underfunded for 30 years. Deliberately forcing 
Amtrak into bankruptcy, destroying it, should be unthinkable.
  We do not require highways or the air transport system to be self-
sufficient or profitable. No transportation system is self-sufficient, 
and we should

[[Page H5392]]

not require that of Amtrak either. It is an illusory goal. We should 
fund our transportation systems because they provide an important 
public service. They are critical to the economy and a vital part of 
national security.
  On September 11, 4 years ago, Amtrak was the only mode of 
transportation into and out of New York City. Redundancy in 
transportation is key for national security. This amendment will 
restore Amtrak funding to close to last year's level and will avert a 
shutdown of the railroad. It ought to be adopted. I urge my colleagues 
to vote for it.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the LaTourette-Oberstar amendment 
to restore funding for Amtrak.
  The FY06 TTHUD Approps bill funds Amtrak at a paltry $550 million--a 
cut of $650 million from last year's level, which was barely enough to 
keep Amtrak running. This is simply a backdoor attempt to shut down the 
railroad--to guarantee an Amtrak bankruptcy. We simply cannot allow 
this to happen.
  Amtrak is of particular concern to me given that my district contains 
Penn Station in New York City, the largest Amtrak Station in the 
country. In New York alone, Amtrak carries over 10 million passengers a 
year, employs over 2,000 New York residents, and contributes over $96 
million in wages a year.
  Amtrak is one of the most energy efficient modes of transportation. 
It provides a vital alternative to our clogged highways. We need to 
finally start investing adequate resources in Amtrak to allow the 
railroad to provide stable, reliable service. We spend approximately 
$50 billion a year on highways and aviation, but only about $1 billion 
on Amtrak. We hear that Amtrak funding should be cut because the 
railroad is not profitable or is inefficient or mismanaged. Amtrak has 
had its problems but they are largely a result of being underfunded for 
about thirty years. Deliberately forcing Amtrak into bankruptcy--
destroying it--should be unthinkable.
  We don't require highways or the air transportation system to be 
self-sufficient or profitable, and we shouldn't require that of Amtrak 
either. We should fund our transportation systems because they provide 
an important public service, they are critical to our economy, and a 
vital part of our national security. On September 11, 2001 Amtrak was 
the only mode of transportation into, or out of, New York City. 
Redundancy is key for national security, and we must preserve all modes 
of transportation, including rail.
  The LaTourette-Oberstar Amendment will restore Amtrak funding to 
close to last year's level and will avert a shutdown of the railroad. 
It is essential that this amendment pass, and I urge all my colleagues 
to support it.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Shuster).
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Chairman, it is with great regret that I rise in 
opposition to this amendment offered by my good friend from Ohio.
  I would like to remind my friend who is the immediate past chairman 
of the Subcommittee on Public Buildings, which has jurisdiction over 
the Federal buildings fund, of the negative impact this amendment would 
have.
  By cutting $750 million from public building projects, this amendment 
would endanger Federal workers nationwide by delaying and canceling 
fire and life saving projects, accessibility projects for disabled, 
perimeter and building security projects that protect against terrorist 
attacks, as well as preventing GSA from providing safe, secure, and 
functioning work space for Federal workers nationwide.
  While I support his desire to increase funding for a reformed Amtrak, 
this is not the way to go about it. The gentleman's amendment cuts $570 
million from the repair and alterations account. This means a cut in 
funding for the repair of the Old Executive Office Building, which is 
immediately adjacent to the White House. These repairs are desperately 
needed because nearly a third of the building has been closed since 
September 11 due to security concerns.
  Of even greater consequence would be the $435 million cut from the 
general repairs and alterations account. This account provides funding 
for projects nationwide including buildings in nearly every State.
  The amendment also cuts $150 million from the building operations 
account which, in addition to paying for cleaning service, pays the 
salaries of the men and women who keep our Federal buildings running.
  My colleagues from New Jersey and New York are going to have to go 
home and answer to the senior citizens and the veterans that go to a 
Federal building to get their problems solved on why the air 
conditioning is not working, on why the ramps and the different 
projects to upgrade and make easier access are not in place. They are 
going to have to answer to the Federal law enforcement officials, the 
FBI, and our court systems on why we are not able to do the necessary 
security upgrades that are required and necessary to keep these 
buildings safe.
  So while I applaud the gentleman for his dedication to ensuring 
continued operation of Amtrak, I must oppose this amendment which comes 
at the expense of Federal workers and their ability to provide services 
for our constituents all across this country.
  I urge all of my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the LaTourette 
amendment.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, how much time remains on all sides?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) has 11 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette) has 2\1/2\ 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar) has 5 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 15 seconds to rebut a red 
herring raised recently in the gentleman's remarks regarding the 
Eisenhower Building. It was not authorized. It has not been considered 
in a prospectus by the committee. The issue is nonexistent.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Maryland 
(Mr. Cummings).
  Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Chairman, I applaud the committee for its 
accomplishments in crafting H.R. 3058, including increasing funding to 
public transit and preserving the CDBG program, I join my colleagues in 
expressing my disappointment that Amtrak has not been adequately 
funded.
  By providing only $550 million for Amtrak, this bill would have the 
effect of pushing Amtrak into bankruptcy. Many people might think that 
$550 million is an enormous amount. In fact, $550 million is only 5 
percent of the total amount that is provided in this bill for the air 
traffic control system, and it is $323 million less than Congress has 
appropriated to support the redevelopment of transportation 
infrastructure in Iraq.
  In addition to failing to adequately fund Amtrak, the committee 
inserted a provision in the bill that would have the effect of 
eliminating up to 18 different Amtrak routes, including six routes that 
travel through my district in Baltimore.
  Mr. Chairman, it is time we bring to close the prolonged debate about 
the future of Amtrak by recommitting ourselves to the value of our 
national intercity passenger rail service. I have therefore joined with 
my colleagues, the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Corrine Brown), the 
gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Rahall), and the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Menendez), in sponsoring an amendment that would save these 
18 routes and preserve passenger rail service in 23 States. I urge my 
colleagues to keep Amtrak on track.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman 
from Kentucky (Mr. Rogers).
  Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Mr. Chairman, I want to compliment the 
chairman for a great bill and especially this provision of the bill.
  Mr. Chairman, the numbers simply do not lie. The current model for 
Amtrak is simply unsustainable. This issue has perennially haunted this 
subcommittee. Amtrak refuses to take a good hard look at the facts, 
instead relying on an annual congressional bail out. They would rather 
lobby Congress than reform the system.
  When I chaired this subcommittee, we included a series of reporting 
requirements and business practice modifications for Amtrak so the 
Congress and the American taxpayers would know the financial stakes 
involved.
  These reporting requirements included developing a quarterly grant 
process, giving the Secretary of Transportation direct oversight into 
Amtrak decisions, separating out operating and capital expenses, and 
also requiring monthly financial reports and zero-based budgeting. And 
we insisted that Amtrak employ generally accepted accounting principles 
in order to control spending and eliminate waste.

[[Page H5393]]

  These modifications have been carried forth and expanded in the last 
four appropriations bills, including this one. And what did we discover 
with those procedures? Amtrak's financial records reveal that for every 
$1 Amtrak earns in food and beverage revenue, it spends about $2, 
resulting in a $245 million loss between the years 2002 and 2004.

                              {time}  1330

  Amtrak's on-time performance fell 74 percent in 2003, 71 percent in 
2004. Service is not getting better. It is getting worse.
  Amtrak's current 2005 revenue projection will be $95 million short of 
its original estimate.
  For the last 6 years, the average annual cash losses have exceeded 
$600 million.
  Most notably, they are carrying an estimated $5 billion in what they 
need to repair and improve safety on the railroad.
  The amendment that is before us does not address any of these 
problems; $900 million, or 75 percent of these moneys, in this 
amendment would restore operating expenses and debt service on $4.6 
billion in accrued debt. No reform, no tough cost-cutting decisions, no 
recognition of the facts. This amendment simply kicks tough decisions 
down the track.
  For too long, Amtrak has deferred critical maintenance on a system it 
simply cannot maintain. With this amendment, we simply increase the 
cost and increase the likelihood of a serious system failure.
  The plan put forth by the chairman is a fair and equitable plan to 
limit the Federal contribution to routes that are simply imprudent. By 
capping the per-passenger subsidy at $30, Amtrak is given clear 
prioritization on its spending and forced to address supply-and-demand 
realities.
  We simply cannot keep going on sending empty trains clear across the 
country with no riders. I would point out that on one of the 
crosscountry trains we are subsidizing every passenger by $420 per 
person. I can buy you a first class, round-trip ticket to California 
for less on an airline. How can we sustain such a thing?
  Cut out these wasteful, expensive, riderless trains and save Amtrak 
for the places where people want to ride the trains, the northeast, the 
Midwest, the West Coast. It makes no sense to run these empty trains 
across the country with nobody on them. Save that money. Put it into 
the northeast corridor. Put it into the Chicago area. Put it into the 
California trains and the West Coast trains, and let us reform Amtrak.
  I urge the defeat of this amendment.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, it is my pleasure to yield 30 seconds 
to the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the courtesy.
  This is the sixth time that we are approaching a shutdown, but it is 
not any failure of Amtrak. It is a failure of Congress.
  There are people here who have a theological zeal that somehow Amtrak 
should be self-supporting, but they sit back as we lavish subsidies on 
the airline industry, which has not shown a profit in its passenger 
service for 75 years, despite $14 billion in airport subsidies, $11 
billion in air traffic control. After 9/11, we gave them $15 billion in 
loans and grants. In fact, Amtrak and its operation helps keep down 
airline ticket prices because it provides some competition.
  What is the problem? Well, first of all, our Republican leadership 
friends will not allow us to bring to the floor our bipartisan 
legislation that would reauthorize Amtrak. If we would do that, Amtrak 
would have stability rather than playing hand-to-mouth. Investing in 
Amtrak is the cheapest way to buy airport capacity and road capacity.
  Amtrak is not refusing. To the contrary, David Gunn and the 
management there are a breath of fresh air. They are being very 
cooperative with the Congress that changes signals, makes unrealistic 
demands, will not let it manage, and yet ignores subsidies in other 
areas and pretends that we should be the only Nation in the world with 
unsubsidized rail passenger service, a test that Congress will not 
apply to the airline industry. Well, they do not apply it to the 
airline industry because they should not. We should have balanced 
transportation.
  Last but not least, this starvation of Amtrak ignores the huge 
shutdown costs that will mean for years to come we will still be paying 
more but more so that Amtrak can't operate. Approve the amendment, 
reauthorize Amtrak, and we will make sure that we have a balanced 
transportation system for the future.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Sessions).
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me 
time.
  During the last 35 years, congressional funding for Amtrak has 
amounted to roughly $29 billion. It is $29 billion from the taxpayers 
that were given for a system which we really do believe in, but back in 
1997 with its reauthorization, Amtrak came to the table with an 
agreement that they would change their operations and become 
profitable.
  Today, Members of Congress come to the floor to ask, once again, for 
Amtrak to do exactly that. We have heard, boy, there is not enough 
money there; we are going from hand to mouth. Yet, we know that there 
is $83 million that Amtrak loses alone just in its food service on 
trains.
  I would submit to this body that it is time now that we take 
additional steps to do the right thing, to give Amtrak that necessary 
kick in the pants that allows it to be able to offer its service on a 
more efficient basis, a market-based way, and this will allow us the 
opportunity to end this large subsidy, to have Amtrak do something that 
the American public not only has confidence in but is run on market-
based forces. I would submit to my colleagues, they will become a 
better transportation service.
  I support what the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) is doing 
in his bill. The President of the United States is correct, and the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis), our Committee on Appropriations 
chairman, is right. It is time that we take on this unwieldy process of 
spending $1 billion a year as a subsidy.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I am just inquiring about the amount 
of time for each side.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) has 5 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette) has 2 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar) has 1\3/
4\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, it is my pleasure to yield 1\1/2\ 
minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Schwarz).
  (Mr. SCHWARZ of Michigan asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. SCHWARZ of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, no passenger rail system in 
the world that is worth its salt runs without subsidy.
  After World War II, the entire rail system in Europe was destroyed, 
and they have built up from that time to the best passenger rail system 
in the world, France, Germany, the low countries, the UK, Italy, Spain. 
Spain, for God's sake, has a better passenger rail system than the 
United States.
  The first four airlines in the United States are broke or going 
broke. If my colleagues have flown lately, and I know all of them have 
flown lately, they know what a great experience that is.
  The gentleman from Oregon was correct in saying we are going to take 
traffic off the interstates. We are going to take passengers off the 
airplanes, especially east of the Mississippi and up and down the 
California coast, and put them on trains, but we cannot run this system 
unsubsidized. It is not possible, and our friends in Europe, our 
friends in Japan, that have the best rail passenger systems in the 
world, understand that.
  I ask the body to fund Amtrak at the level suggested by the 
LaTourette amendment for another year. I also ask the body to appoint a 
commission to study Amtrak, to put together a plan to make Amtrak 
something that survives and is efficient, but my colleagues must know 
there will always be a subsidy. I find it an embarrassment that the 
passenger rail service in

[[Page H5394]]

the United States of America is in its present state, and something 
needs to be done about it. It needs to be preserved.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Mica).
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman for the time.
  Mr. Chairman, I have been on the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure of the House for some 13 years, most of that time on the 
Subcommittee on Railroads, and I always hear that Amtrak reform is 
right around the corner.
  For the benefit of the gentleman who just spoke, in 1997, we put an 
Amtrak Reform Council, ARC, in place for some 4 years to 1991. They 
came up with a recommendation, and Congress ignored the recommendation. 
Yes, the problem is Congress. No, the problem is not just putting more 
money into Amtrak, as this amendment would do.
  My colleagues heard the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Rogers), the 
Committee on Appropriations subcommittee chair, talk about the waste in 
Amtrak. The GAO just testified before our subcommittee again, for every 
dollar that we get in food and beverage service, every dollar, it costs 
us $2. We lose $2.
  The service, if we had service, my colleagues heard the gentleman 
from Kentucky (Mr. Rogers) talk about subsidizing routes, the sunset 
limited, $466 per passenger. Now, it would not be bad if we paid that 
and, for example, the train got there on time. Do my colleagues know 
what its on-time performance was? 4.3 percent of the time it got there 
on time, an absolute disaster.
  We had a hearing on the money that they lost in trying to put in 
high-speed service. We have neither high speed and we do not have 
service, an absolute farce, billions of dollars wasted, and no Acela 
high-speed service in the quarter.
  Here is the GAO report. The President has called for this reform. The 
Amtrak Reform Council has called for this reform.
  I am a critic of Amtrak, but I am a strong supporter. We need a 
nationwide system to supply an alternate transit system across the 
country, and we are behind countries. We are even behind Romania, which 
recently decided to privatize their railroad.
  So I get letters. Here is a letter from an Amtrak employee. My 
colleagues heard some of the waste here. ``There are so many other ways 
Amtrak squanders its money,'' he wrote me, and this is just one. He 
said, $20,000 for a 7-week course of which most of the people never 
even completed. ``I still witnessed my share of a finely tuned money 
pit.'' Amtrak West headquarters, the fifth floor of the Port of 
Oakland's luxury high-rise, the place is full of employees but what 
they all do is a mystery. Then he says, We have another office 20 miles 
away. He said, I started to wonder if Amtrak owns stock in FedEx. They 
ship everything FedEx. He goes on and says they fly around the country 
on airline tickets, costing thousands of dollars each.
  Here is the report of how we save money with Amtrak, not how we 
squander it.
  Then we had the question of not just losing money but stealing money. 
Food service, over 135 employees were dismissed, resigned or 
disqualified for improper cash handling and 250 conductors stealing 
money. There is the report.
  Give them more money. Go ahead, because we will be back here next 
year doing the same thing.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. How much time remains, Mr. Chairman?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar) has 1\3/4\ 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentlewoman from Texas 
(Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson) for the purpose of making a unanimous 
consent request.
  (Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas asked and was given permission to 
revise and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong 
support of this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the LaTourette-
Oberstar amendment aimed at keeping Amtrak on track.
  This amendment restores funding for Amtrak to $1.176 billion, an 
increase of $626 million. This funding will save Amtrak from bankruptcy 
and allow the railroad to continue to operate in a safe and reliable 
manner.
  No passenger railroad system in the world operates without some form 
of public subsidy. Yet, unfortunately, the bill before us would 
essentially end this country's passenger rail system as we know it.
  Countries with well-developed passenger rail networks but much 
smaller populations such as Germany and Japan invest $3 to $4 billion 
annually on passenger rail, representing over twenty percent of their 
total transportation spending.
  At five hundred and fifty million dollars, Amtrak would be forced to 
shutdown all operations, causing unnecessary disruption and hardship on 
millions of Americans that depend on this alternative mode of 
transportation.
  Local economies and businesses that have benefited from Amtrak's 
service would also suffer. Amtrak's twenty thousand workers would be 
out on the streets looking for new jobs.
  Last year Amtrak provided over eleven million dollars in wages for 
good paying jobs for Texas residents.
  Bankruptcy is not the solution for Amtrak. The American people want 
and deserve a national passenger rail system.
  All transportation is subsidized by American taxpayers.
  Singling out Amtrak assumes wrongfully that taxpayers do want to 
invest in passenger rail and this just plain wrong.
  Polls consistently show that Americans support federal funding for a 
national rail passenger system.
  I urge my colleagues to renew this body's support for a national rail 
passenger system and vote yes on this amendment.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield for the purposes of making a 
unanimous consent request to the gentleman from California (Mr. Costa).
  (Mr. COSTA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Chairman, I, too, rise to support the amendment for 
increased Amtrak funding.
  Mr. Chairman, the LaTourette/Oberstar Amendment will increase by $626 
million the annual funding to AMTRAK.
  Mr. Chairman, the President's push to eliminate Federal support of 
AMTRAK is a shortsighted, poorly-conceived policy. Federal support of 
national transportation systems is a national priority that goes back 
to Abraham Lincoln, and to act in the face of such an American 
tradition is to do so at our own peril.
  AMTRAK provides a great service to California, and is an extremely 
important tool for my constituents. In the State of California alone, 
AMTRAK operates 70 intercity trains and over 200 commuter trains per 
day. The San Joaquins line, which services Fresno and Bakersfield in my 
district, is the fifth-busiest passenger line in the country, and 
carries over 700,000 people annually. As a matter of fact, three of the 
Nation's top five busiest intercity corridors are in California.
  California recognizes the importance of AMTRAK, and has invested 
heavily over time to maintain its presence in the State. Over the past 
10 years, California has invested approximately $100 million per year 
to work towards this goal. Many of the routes in California--including 
the San Joaquins--continue to experience double-digit ridership growth, 
demonstrating the importance AMTRAK has for my constituents and 
Californians.
  While continued reform of AMTRAK is essential, it must be 
accomplished in a bipartisan fashion that reflects a post-9/11 view of 
the world. The United States requires an intermodal transportation 
system that has real interconnectivity, and protects our citizens' 
socio-economic needs in a flexible and cost-effective fashion. We must 
remember all forms of transportation in America have and continue to 
utilize some form of subsidy.
  If this body chooses to not support Amtrak, it will ignore the needs 
of the citizens of this Nation. AMTRAK remains a vital and viable mode 
of transportation for many people in this Nation, and to undermine that 
service will go against a history of service this Nation has put into 
the national transportation network.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of time on our 
side.
  Remarks have been made in all seriousness of purpose by people with 
genuine beliefs on all sides of this issue, but facts are stubborn. The 
cuts in GSA or the offsets, from cleaning and maintenance, security 
issues, that is provided by the Department of Homeland Security. We do 
not touch security at Federal buildings. The Federal Protective Service 
provides that.
  Reference was made by the last speaker to comments of an Amtrak 
employee. Let me quote another Amtrak employee, the CEO, David Gunn who 
says that, with this funding level, Amtrak will close its doors and 
cease operations nationwide.

[[Page H5395]]

                              {time}  1345

  The Association of American Railroads, I want to say for those who 
are interested in their views, supports this amendment. ``A shutdown of 
Amtrak will cost the freight railroads $5.3 billion over the next 6 
years.''
  I heard references to needing reform. Well, we passed a reform bill 
in 1997, a 5-year reform that concluded in 2002. Every year the 
appropriation bill imposes new restrictions on poor old Amtrak. Every 
month, under that reform, a business plan is submitted to the Congress.
  Now, let us talk about the successes. The 5-year capital plan of 
Amtrak focused on restoring the northeast corridor to higher levels of 
reliability and safety, restoring the aging fleet of rolling stock, 
eliminated three long-distance routes, increased ridership from 22.5 
million in 2000 to 25.1 million in 2004, and kept the cash operating 
requirement at or below $570 million. There were 256,000 concrete ties 
installed, 104,000 wood ties replaced, 226 miles of rail infrastructure 
restored, and 50 undergrade bridges have been improved.
  There have been improvements. Those dollars have been invested wisely 
in the capital facilities of Amtrak. Give it an opportunity. David Gunn 
is the best operator we have had. Give him an opportunity to run this 
railroad right.
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment, and I want to just 
comment on a couple of things that were said by the distinguished 
subcommittee chairman during the debate. He described this amendment as 
being a ``slash and burn amendment.'' Well, I want to suggest that what 
was ``slash and burn'' was the budget resolution which has enforced 
these kinds of reductions across the budget.
  In my view, it is the budget resolution which slashed and burned when 
it wound up producing an education budget that left No Child Left 
Behind education programs $800 million below last year. It was slash 
and burn which left the National Institutes of Health with 500 fewer 
medical research grants than they had 2 years ago. It was slash and 
burn that eliminated nine out of the 10 programs that were supposed to 
focus on the development of health professions in rural areas and in 
urban inner-cities. It was slash and burn which has caused this very 
bill to provide, in essence, a shutdown of Amtrak.
  The gentleman from Oregon summed it up as well as anyone in the 
debate today when he pointed out the strange dichotomy that exists 
between believing that railroad transportation must show a profit, but 
airline transportation, passenger service at least, does not have to.
  And I would add that there are hundreds of miles, thousands of miles 
in this country of interstate highway that in actuality have very few 
riders and standing alone could not justify their construction in the 
first place. So it seems to me, as has been said, we need a balanced 
set of transportation alternatives in this country. And you do not 
balance your transportation system by putting one leg of that 
transportation system out of business, as this committee product 
essentially does.
  Mr. Chairman, I would urge support for the amendment. I do not like 
the reductions in the offsets any more than many other persons in this 
Chamber like them, but the fact is they were forced by every single 
Member who voted for that Republican budget resolution. So like it or 
not, those are the choices you enforced, and we choose not to shut down 
one of the major transportation legs in this country.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last 
word.
  Mr. Chairman, I have risen to strike the last word, first, because I 
want to express my deep appreciation to the chairman of the 
subcommittee and the ranking member of the subcommittee for a rather 
fabulous job done on this bill overall. In a time of short financial 
circumstances, they produced a very balanced bill that reflects a 
cross-section of very important issues to the country.
  I rise also to specifically talk about the job the committee has done 
relative to Amtrak. It is not like Amtrak does not have problems, and 
it is not like the chairman is suggesting we ought to shut it down by 
way of his bill but, instead, to deal with the reality that Amtrak has 
been going over a cliff for some time now.
  In the last 3 fiscal years, the subsidy has grown from over .5 
billion to over $1.2 billion. And, indeed, others in this town have 
decided its pathway is such we cannot afford it any longer, so 
recommendations were made to zero Amtrak. This subcommittee, in a very 
thoughtful way, in a very tough budget year, laid the foundation to 
eliminate the very expensive routes to support the northeastern 
corridor, the routes in the West, and at the same time try to make 
sense out of this process.
  It is long past due that we reviewed this policy and put in place 
something that will work so we have a passenger rail system. If we 
continue on the path the way that we are, and the amendment presented 
by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette) essentially does that, 
takes us back to that pathway, eventually the train is going to go over 
the cliff and Amtrak will be no more.
  I would suggest that the House recognize a rather fabulous job done 
by this subcommittee. I congratulate them for their work and in doing 
so urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the LaTourette amendment and to 
support the committee's product.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word, and I yield 
for the purpose of making a unanimous consent request to the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Rothman).
  (Mr. ROTHMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of this 
amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the LaTourette-Oberstar-Menendez 
amendment which would restore funding for AMTRAK.
  As a member of the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban 
Development, the Judiciary, and District of Columbia Subcommittee, I 
want to thank Chairman Knollenberg and Ranking Member Olver for their 
work on this legislation.
  I also want to acknowledge both the Majority and Minority staff for 
their dedication to the difficult task of crafting this legislation 
that incorporates such a broad spectrum of different agencies of our 
government.
  Chairman Knollenberg was given a difficult task with what I believe 
was an inadequate allocation. I have appreciated his willingness to 
work with both sides of the aisle to make sure that all members of the 
subcommittee had input into this final product. Mr. Knollenberg has 
done the best job he could with what he was given.
  I especially want to thank him for his help with Teterboro Airport in 
my District.
  Unfortunately, though, I disagree with the allocation for AMTRAK in 
this bill. That is why I support this amendment.
  The $550 million provided for AMTRAK will certainly bring an end to 
passenger rail service as we know it.
  Furthermore, this bill only funds the Capital Improvement Program for 
the Northeast Corridor line, which runs from Washington DC's Union 
Station to Boston's South Station, at $50 million.
  This amount is hundreds of millions of dollars below what is needed 
to keep the Northeast Corridor in good repair.
  Just maintaining the tracks and making needed safety improvements in 
my home State of New Jersey will cost $90 million. If AMTRAK where to 
uphold their agreement with the State of New Jersey to provide matching 
funds of $45 million for track maintenance, that would only leave $5 
million left for the maintenance of the rest of the Northeast Corridor 
line.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment to restore funding for 
AMTRAK to continue the stated goal of this bill to provide viable 
passenger rail service in the United States.
  Mr. OLVER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I support this 
amendment. I believe very strongly that we should have a national 
passenger rail system, and I want to see that that is a successful 
system and a system that we can modernize and make into one that is 
truly a part of our balanced transportation system.
  Several people have come to the floor in opposition to the amendment 
and pointed out how much money is expended by Amtrak. Well, yes, 
indeed, each of the last 3 years has been over $1.2 billion. One year, 
3 years ago, it was $1.3 billion. But even at that level of 
expenditure, there has not been enough money to even make a serious 
dent in the capital needs for the northeast corridor, the northeast 
corridor which carries 50 percent of all of the passengers on our 
version of the national rail system. So we are being

[[Page H5396]]

quite unrealistic in the idea that some seem to have that it is 
possible to run a passenger rail system on the cheap.
  The number of dollars that are being talked about here simply does 
not run even the inner-city rail system, those 24 lines that the bill 
purports to support. As I have said earlier today, the chairman has 
used an extremely blunt instrument on Amtrak, somewhat like the 
proverbial 2-by-4 between a mule's eyes.
  Well, the bill cuts out all Federal subsidy on 18 long-distance 
lines, which forces them to shut down. But the cost of doing that is, 
as the gentleman from Ohio pointed out, giving a more accurate number 
than I gave, I said $300 million, he said, I believe, $369 million in 
costs that are just to close down those lines in the first year. And it 
continues for several years, while those costs of abrogating 
contractual arrangements and labor costs would continue. That plus 
already the debt on Amtrak's capital debt, the debt service on Amtrak's 
capital debt, would be another $275 million and growing.
  Those two items by themselves end up being more than has been 
suggested for funding by the bill. So the bill is a shutdown of Amtrak. 
It is not a reform of Amtrak. That is really for the authorizers to do 
over time. What the amendment does, as has been proposed by the 
authorizing committee, and I commend them for putting together a set of 
offsets which are difficult, but not nearly as difficult in dealing 
with Amtrak as the proposal is in the bill, what they have done is 
completely funded offsets within the authorization committee's area. 
And they are the ones ultimately that are going to have to figure out 
how to come up with a bill that in the long run provides a national 
passenger rail system and reforms it, which does not have to be by the 
basis of cutting out all of these long-distance lines.
  The lines that are cut out, shown by that map that everybody has 
seen, cuts out all passenger rail service in 23 States, representing 
154 Members of this House of Representatives and 46 Members of the 
other body. That is just not a realistic position. And the position 
which the authorizing Chair and the ranking member of the authorizing 
subcommittee have put forward is a position that still requires reform, 
because that number of dollars in the long run does not fully fund a 
functioning and efficient national passenger rail system.
  Mr. Chairman, I support the amendment that has been put forward by 
the gentleman from Ohio and the gentlewoman from Florida. Both States, 
by the way, lose all of their passenger rail system. I hope the 
amendment is adopted.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the last 30 seconds of 
my time.
  Mr. Chairman, what is wrong with Amtrak is that Congress has 
micromanaged its operation. What is wrong with Amtrak is that the 
United States Congress has not permitted David Gunn to implement the 
reform package that he sent up here in April of this year.
  I heard a lot of comments about the food service. I conducted that 
hearing with the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Corrine Brown), and 
these statements made on the floor are a little less than accurate.
  Lastly, I have to tell my colleagues that priority is important; but 
I need to remind people that I voted for a lot of stuff that I might 
not have thought is important: cranberry and blueberry research, sweet 
potato research, a tattoo-removal program, and even a national anger 
management program. Amtrak is at least as important as removing tattoos 
with Federal money.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  I want to just comment on a couple of things in closing. This has 
been recommended to the CEO of Amtrak over and over: eliminating 
sleeper car service would save 100 million a year. Just improving their 
food and beverage service would save $83 million a year. If it would 
match its train sets to the actual locomotives and the cars they need, 
they could save still more money. All those things have been ignored.
  Let me tell my colleagues a little about our friend who is the CEO of 
Amtrak.

                              {time}  1400

  This is a quote from David Gunn, ``President Bush's proposal to give 
Amtrak just over half of what it is seeking in Federal subsidies would 
shut the railroad down just as more passengers are taking the train.'' 
That was February 10, 2004.
  Secondly, ``It would be a chaotic shutdown,'' says David Gunn, Amtrak 
president, on what would happen to the railroad if a bill passed last 
week by a House Appropriation Subcommittee becomes law. That was July 
of 2003.
  Amtrak President David L. Gunn said last week that if the passenger 
railroad corporation does not get a loan of at least $200 million by 
the end of month, he will be forced to begin an orderly shutdown of all 
Amtrak passenger service in July; June 15, 2002.
  And when he was with the folks in Toronto, ``Bits and pieces of the 
Toronto Transit Commission risk being shut down and abandoned unless 
the cash-strapped organization gets proper funding from the metro and 
provincial governments, transit boss David Gunn said.'' That was in the 
Toronto Star, February 17, 1996.
  Going back to December 30, 1982, ``Authorities in Philadelphia and 
the New York area are bracing for possible shutdowns or slowdowns of 
commuter rail service beginning New Year's day. `I would not assume my 
train will be there Monday morning,' General Manager David Gunn warned 
commuters.''
  Finally, ``Without an emergency transfusion of public funds, this 
area's commuter-train service could die before next July, 
transportation officials have warned. `There is the real risk of a 
shutdown for the rail service,' said David Gunn.''
  This gentleman has done nothing but ask for money; no reform, just 
money. And this amendment lies on a phoney offset to reward 
mismanagement of Amtrak. The bill fully supports rail service for four 
out of five riders or 80 percent of Amtrak's ridership. I oppose this 
amendment.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Chairman, I rise to strongly support the 
LaTourette/Oberstar amendment for $626 million to restore funding for 
Amtrak.
  Our vision for our country should be more far reaching, our dialogue 
more elevated. When we talk about the future of Amtrak it should not be 
in one year intervals. We should set forth a plan that begins with a 
responsible Amtrak reauthorization bill that Congress will commit to 
fund every year. This piecemeal approach that Congress currently 
engages in to budget for Amtrak is unacceptable and irresponsible.
  The opponents of Amtrak should take a moment and look at all the 
Members of Congress lined up to speak on behalf of Amtrak today. 
Support for our nation's rail system is not fading--it is getting 
stronger.
  The American people have spoken through action in their support of 
Amtrak. Last year, Amtrak provided service to 25 million passengers. 
For the past three years, Amtrak has had an increase in passengers. In 
Southern California, the Pacific Surf liner had an increase in 
ridership of 25 percent last year alone.
  Given the increased ridership both locally and nationally, anything 
but a continued investment in Amtrak would be a tragic misuse of 
Federal resources and would be extremely shortsighted.
  I look forward to standing here next year and praising our leadership 
for having done the responsible thing and budgeted for Amtrak, so that 
we will not have to debate this issue on the floor year after year.
  I join my many colleagues in support of the LaTourette/Oberstar 
amendment.
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the LaTourette/Oberstar 
amendment that would restore funding for Amtrak. The Fiscal Year 2006 
Transportation Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations 
bill that we are debating today cuts funding for Amtrak to $550 
million, half of its current funding level. Without increasing the 
funding level to $1.2 billion, Amtrak will be unable to survive and 
will be forced into bankruptcy.
  In recent years the Administration and some members of Congress have 
repeatedly proposed significant cuts in Federal funding for Amtrak. 
They seem determined to eliminate this vital transportation service, 
and justify these actions by demonizing and blaming Amtrak for all of 
its problems. These opponents of Amtrak often forget that the Federal 
government subsidizes our nation's airports, roads, sidewalks, and even 
its bicycle paths. Why should it treat our national rail system 
differently?
  Like the 25 million people that rode Amtrak in 2005, I appreciate the 
essential public service Amtrak provides. I am a frequent rail 
passenger, as are many of my constituents in

[[Page H5397]]

central New Jersey. In fact, 4 million New Jersey residents rode Amtrak 
last year, and many New Jersey commuters ride Amtrak or use their 
infrastructure daily.
  The loss of Amtrak would impact more than my constituents and other 
patrons across the nation who depend on its convenient service. Those 
customers that rely on Amtrak will be forced to descend on our already 
heavily congested roads and airports. These demands on our roadways 
will accelerate the loss of open spaces that will be paved over in 
order to construct new roads. The additional congestion will increase 
pollution in urban environments that already suffer from the ill 
effects of smog.
  Furthermore, the economic impact of eliminating Amtrak should not be 
overlooked. In New Jersey alone, at least $200 million in annual 
revenues would be lost from the newsstands, convenience stories, cafes, 
and other retail businesses that are located near the rail lines and 
that count upon daily commuters for much of their cashflow. This 
economic dependence on Amtrak is similar along the Northeast Corridor, 
in cities across the Nation and in rural areas that depend on the train 
passing through their town.
  I am disappointed that the Administration and some members here in 
Congress fail to recognize the benefits of Amtrak. I hope that the 
majority of my colleagues will appreciate the importance of Amtrak on 
America's transportation infrastructure and support the LaTourette/
Oberstar amendment that will keep Amtrak running.
  Mr. SIMMONS. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the LaTourette 
amendment to ensure that we keep Amtrak up and running.
  With hundreds of workers and thousands of riders, Connecticut relies 
every day on a healthy and efficient passenger rail service to sustain 
our way of life.
  Were Amtrak to cease operations the ripple effect on my district 
would be near catastrophic. Hundreds of workers and their families 
would be without a source of income, thousands of riders would be 
forced to use an already-clogged 1-95 or equally congested local roads 
and millions of commuters and business in my district and throughout 
the state would be inconvenienced and perhaps worse.
  Passenger rail in my district and throughout the heavily-populated 
Northeast Corridor simply cannot survive without Federal support.
  While an improvement from the administration's allocation, the $550 
million provided to Amtrak in this funding bill must be increased to 
sustain our passenger rail system.
  I encourage my colleagues to join me in supporting the LaTourette 
amendment and to continue our Nation's commitment to a viable passenger 
rail system.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I would just like to bring the House's attention to one 
fact: Since Members keep asking me, are we going to be here Friday, I 
would like to make the point simply that this is the 224-page bill. We 
are still on page 2.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:


                         Office of Civil Rights

       For necessary expenses of the Office of Civil Rights, 
     $8,550,000.


           Transportation Planning, Research, and Development

       For necessary expenses for conducting transportation 
     planning, research, systems development, development 
     activities, and making grants, to remain available until 
     expended, $40,613,000.


                          Working Capital Fund

       Necessary expenses for operating costs and capital outlays 
     of the Working Capital Fund, not to exceed $120,014,000, 
     shall be paid from appropriations made available to the 
     Department of Transportation: Provided, That such services 
     shall be provided on a competitive basis to entities within 
     the Department of Transportation: Provided further, That the 
     above limitation on operating expenses shall not apply to 
     non-DOT entities: Provided further, That no funds 
     appropriated in this Act to an agency of the Department shall 
     be transferred to the Working Capital Fund without the 
     approval of the agency modal administrator: Provided further, 
     That no assessments may be levied against any program, budget 
     activity, subactivity or project funded by this Act unless 
     notice of such assessments and the basis therefor are 
     presented to the House and Senate Committees on 
     Appropriations and are approved by such Committees.


               Minority Business Resource Center Program

       For the cost of guaranteed loans, $500,000, as authorized 
     by 49 U.S.C. 332: Provided, That such costs, including the 
     cost of modifying such loans, shall be as defined in section 
     502 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974: Provided 
     further, That these funds are available to subsidize total 
     loan principal, any part of which is to be guaranteed, not to 
     exceed $18,367,000. In addition, for administrative expenses 
     to carry out the guaranteed loan program, $400,000.


                       Minority Business Outreach

       For necessary expenses of Minority Business Resource Center 
     outreach activities, $3,000,000, to remain available until 
     September 30, 2007: Provided, That notwithstanding 49 U.S.C. 
     332, these funds may be used for business opportunities 
     related to any mode of transportation.


                        Payments to Air Carriers

                    (Airport and Airway Trust Fund)

       In addition to funds made available from any other source 
     to carry out the essential air service program under 49 
     U.S.C. 41731-41742, $54,000,000, to be derived from the 
     Airport and Airway Trust Fund and to remain available until 
     expended: Provided, That the Secretary may transfer amounts 
     appropriated to the Federal Aviation Administration under any 
     heading in this Act or otherwise available to the Federal 
     Aviation Administration, to make such amounts available for 
     obligation and expenditure for the essential air service 
     program, in satisfaction of the requirements of section 
     41742(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code, in advance of 
     the collection of fees under section 45301 of title 49, 
     United States Code: Provided further, That the Secretary 
     shall reimburse such amounts to the Federal Aviation 
     Administration proportionally by transfer, to the extent 
     possible, from amounts credited to the account established 
     under section 45303 of title 49, United States Code, as such 
     fees are collected during the fiscal year: Provided further, 
     That, in determining between or among carriers competing to 
     provide service to a community, the Secretary may consider 
     the relative subsidy requirements of the carriers.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I raise a point of order against the 
paragraph.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman may state his point of order.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I raise a point of order against the phrase 
``to be derived from the airport and airway trust fund'' beginning on 
page 5, line 25, and ending on line 26.
  This provision violates clause 2 of rule XXI. It changes existing law 
and therefore constitutes legislating on an appropriation bill in 
violation of House rules.
  The CHAIRMAN. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of 
order?
  If no other Members wish to be heard on the point of order, the Chair 
is prepared to rule.
  The provision would provide that funding for payments to air carriers 
be derived from the airport and airway trust fund. Authorization in law 
may exist for this funding from general revenues, but no specific 
authorization in law exists for this funding to be derived from the 
trust fund. This is consistent with the rulings of the chair of 
September 23, 1993, and June 26, 2001, and November 28, 2001. The Chair 
finds that the provision is not supported by an authorization in law.
  The point of order is sustained, and the provision is stricken from 
the bill.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:


                       New Headquarters Building

       For necessary expenses of the Department of 
     Transportation's new headquarters building and related 
     services, $100,000,000, to remain available until expended.


                   Amendment Offered by Ms. Velazquez

  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Ms. Velazquez:
       Page 6, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(reduced by $20,000,000)''.
       Page 48, line 5, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(reduced by $30,000,000)''.
       Page 91, line 19, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $47,656,000)''.

  Ms. VELAZQUEZ (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the 
Record.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman 
from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
gentlewoman's amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman reserves a point of order.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentlewoman may state her parliamentary inquiry.
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, I have been advised that the amendment 
has been cleared by the CBO and the parlimentarians, so I would like an 
explanation for the point of order.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Michigan has reserved as point of 
order. The chair will entertain argument on the point of order if it is 
raised.

[[Page H5398]]

  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, in cities and towns across the country, 
lead paint hazards still pose a clear and serious risk to families, 
with exposure of toxins in the home triggering asthma at a great cost 
to American families and the national economy. At greatest risk are 
low-income and minority children living in older, substandard housing.
  Despite these facts and the bipartisan effort to increase funding for 
HUD's lead hazard control grants, this bill cuts funding by 
approximately $48 million, risking the health and safety of children 
and families across the Nation. Even with last year's funding level, 
HUD was only able to fund one-third of the requests it received from 
cities and States, and the cut contained in this bill would only make 
this situation worse.
  With this in mind, I rise today to urge Members to support the 
Velazquez-Slaughter-Terry amendment which restores funds to HUD's lead 
hazard control grants to last year's level for this critical program 
that makes great strides in eradicating lead poisoning in children.
  We have a national goal of protecting our children from lead 
poisoning by 2010. HUD's lead hazard control grants are critical to 
achieving this goal. Without adequate funding, we run the risk of not 
being able to match the rhetoric with action.
  This amendment reduces funding for salaries and expenses and at the 
Department of Treasury, and the Department of Transportation's new 
headquarters building. Despite the offsets, these two areas will still 
receive sufficient funding, with Treasury still above the fiscal year 
2005 funding level. By adopting this amendment, we will protect the 
health and safety of children while maintaining sufficient funding 
levels, making this a win/win situation.
  Even at moderate to low levels of exposure, scientific evidence shows 
that lead can adversely impair a child's performance on standardized 
intelligence tests, and it can affect school performance, educational 
attainment and, ultimately, career prospects. Voting for this amendment 
will help with prevention efforts and move us closer to the goal of 
eradicating lead poisoning altogether.
  For the health and safety of children across the country and for the 
billions of dollars in potential savings by preventive outreach, I urge 
support of this amendment.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  This amendment would add $47.7 million to the fair housing budget. 
The amendment would more than double funding for the program over the 
2005 level. There is no possible justification for doubling the program 
in 1 year.
  Additionally, this program has one of the lowest spend-out rates in 
all of HUD. Simply put, these funds could never be used by HUD, and 
they are absolutely unnecessary. The committee has funded the program 
at the requested level which HUD has said is full funding. I have 
already indicated why this is the case.
  Also, as drafted, all of the funds would go to the FHAP program. If 
Velazquez did not mean to double the total and put it all in the FHAP 
program, I strongly suggest that the gentlewoman should withdraw the 
amendment.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the Velazquez-
Slaughter-Terry amendment to restore the funding to HUD's Office of 
Lead Hazard Control.
  The funding is critical to achieving our national goal of eradicating 
childhood lead poisoning by 2010. HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control 
provides grants to cities and States to correct serious lead hazards in 
their homes. These grants are targeted to individuals vulnerable to the 
effects of lead, particularly children under the age of 6.
  Lead poisoning affects nearly 434,000 American children between the 
ages of 1 and 5, and that is criminal. In my district, 1,200 Monroe 
County children fall victim to lead poisoning each year, and in 
response, Monroe County and the City of Rochester with its partners 
have used funding from HUD's lead hazard control grants to make 220 
housing units lead free and safe for children.
  The lead hazard control grants work, but only if they are available, 
and already one of my counties was forced to stop accepting 
applications this early in the year because the money had run out.
  Last year, HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control was unable to fund 
two-thirds of the requests it received due to the lack of founding. 
This year, the office is slated to be cut by $47 million. This cut will 
further reduce the number of grants awarded and leave children exposed 
to lead hazards.
  It is a tragedy that failing to deal with this problem renders 
children many times brain damaged, with asthma and other seizures. They 
are going to continue to be at risk for hearing loss, developmental 
delays, osteoporosis, and kidney damage simply by breathing the air in 
their homes.
  I encourage my colleagues to support the amendment to help eliminate 
lead poisoning exposure for our children. We can do better, and we 
should not squander this opportunity.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I am very opposed to increasing this 
program at the expense of other critical programs. There are a number 
of reasons.
  The committee mark fully funds the amount requested by the 
administration and fully funds the program that has been in place for 
the last decade. These funds go to State and local governments to abate 
lead-based paint in homes that will not be restored through 
modernization or resale. Three years ago, the Senate began a new 
demonstration program and added between $50 million and $75 million. 
The House has not included these funds in subsequent years, and the 
Senate has attempted to continue the demonstration program each year. 
They may well try to do so again.
  The committee is simply not in a position to absorb a $60 million 
increase in funding for this demonstration program at the expense of 
programs that are being funded at the 2005 level or below. This is not 
an appropriate trade-off.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge that the amendment be defeated and we work to 
determine if the program should be included during conference.

                              {time}  1415

  Mr. TERRY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Today I rise in strong support of the Velazquez-Slaughter amendment 
to H.R. 3058. This amendment will restore almost $48 million in 
critical funding to help States combat lead poisoning in children.
  Just as a reference, my interest is in the children and the families 
who live in older areas of cities, including Omaha, Nebraska that I 
represent, who have to deal with the lead paint and lead dust in their 
houses. On top of that, in my city they also deal with contaminated 
lead. So EPA is coming in, cleaning up the lead soil in people's yards, 
but yet are not doing anything to clean up the lead poisoning from the 
paint inside and outside those homes.
  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that as 
many as 1,600 children in East Omaha have harmful levels of lead in 
their bodies. There are 86,000 residents in Omaha affected by the lead 
cleanup.
  Parents wonder whether it is safe for their children to play outside, 
but they must continually check windowsills for lead dust and beware of 
cracking paint inside their homes to help protect their children from 
lead poisoning.
  The dangers of lead poisoning are well known and heightened for young 
children. High levels of lead in the body can cause asthma, brain 
damage, mental retardation, hearing loss, hyperactivity, and 
developmental delays. The Federal Government will end up paying the 
costs of lead poisoning in Medicaid, S-CHIP, and IDEA dollars unless 
greater resources are directed toward lead remediation efforts such as 
the State grant program operated by the EPA's Office on Lead Hazard 
Control.
  The amendment offered today will prevent a significant cut to this 
program from $166 million in fiscal year

[[Page H5399]]

2005 to $119 million in the Transportation-HUD appropriations bill 
under consideration right now. This year the EPA was only able to fund 
one third of the State grant proposals for lead-based paint 
remediation. The city of Omaha in its dire need lost a $3 million grant 
for HUD assistance. This situation can only worsen unless the amendment 
is approved today.
  I commend the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Slaughter) and the 
gentlewoman from New York (Velazquez) for championing this effort and 
strongly urge my colleagues to join me in voting for this commonsense 
amendment to help protect children from the dangers of lead poisoning.
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN (Mr. Fossella). Is there objection to the request 
of the gentlewoman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, I would like to respond to the 
chairman's statement regarding the fact that HUD did not use all the 
money last year.
  Let me just say that HUD only funded one third of all grants 
applications that were submitted to HUD last year; so clearly there is 
a need.
  Today we have the opportunity to send a strong message to the 
estimated 310,000 children that every year are poisoned by lead. Lead 
paint is a serious problem, taking an especially hard toll on low-
income minority communities. If we do not address this issue now by 
investing in preventative measures, we run the risk of suffering the 
ramifications for decades to come.
  We cannot put a price on a child's health. However, we can recognize 
the impact cutting funding for HUD's lead hazard control grants will 
have on the health and safety of children around the country.
  This amendment will simply restore funding to last year's level while 
maintaining adequate funding levels for the programs it reduces through 
off-sets. With the need for this program outpacing the ability of 
community organizations to work with affected neighborhoods, we cannot 
sit idly by and fail to, at the very least, maintain current funding 
for such crucial services.
  I urge the Members to support this amendment and vote in favor of 
holding the line to protect the lives of children in all our districts.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman from Michigan withdraw his 
reservation?
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. I do, Mr. Chairman.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by 
gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Velazquez).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                    Federal Aviation Administration


                               Operations

       For necessary expenses of the Federal Aviation 
     Administration, not otherwise provided for, including 
     operations and research activities related to commercial 
     space transportation, administrative expenses for research 
     and development, establishment of air navigation facilities, 
     the operation (including leasing) and maintenance of 
     aircraft, subsidizing the cost of aeronautical charts and 
     maps sold to the public, lease or purchase of passenger motor 
     vehicles for replacement only, in addition to amounts made 
     available by Public Law 108-176, $8,042,920,000, of which 
     $4,986,000,000 shall be derived from the Airport and Airway 
     Trust Fund, of which not to exceed $6,424,229,000 shall be 
     available for air traffic services activities; not to exceed 
     $951,042,000 shall be available for aviation regulation and 
     certification activities; not to exceed $222,171,000 shall be 
     available for research and acquisition activities; not to 
     exceed $11,759,000 shall be available for commercial space 
     transportation activities; not to exceed $50,583,000 shall be 
     available for financial services activities; not to exceed 
     $69,943,000 shall be available for human resources program 
     activities; not to exceed $150,744,000 shall be available for 
     region and center operations and regional coordination 
     activities; not to exceed $140,337,000 shall be available for 
     staff offices; and not to exceed $36,612,000 shall be 
     available for information services: Provided, That none of 
     the funds in this Act shall be available for the Federal 
     Aviation Administration to finalize or implement any 
     regulation that would promulgate new aviation user fees not 
     specifically authorized by law after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act: Provided further, That there may be 
     credited to this appropriation funds received from States, 
     counties, municipalities, foreign authorities, other public 
     authorities, and private sources, for expenses incurred in 
     the provision of agency services, including receipts for the 
     maintenance and operation of air navigation facilities, and 
     for issuance, renewal or modification of certificates, 
     including airman, aircraft, and repair station certificates, 
     or for tests related thereto, or for processing major repair 
     or alteration forms: Provided further, That of the funds 
     appropriated under this heading, not less than $7,500,000 
     shall be for the contract tower cost-sharing program: 
     Provided further, That funds may be used to enter into a 
     grant agreement with a nonprofit standard-setting 
     organization to assist in the development of aviation safety 
     standards: Provided further, That none of the funds in this 
     Act shall be available for new applicants for the second 
     career training program: Provided further, That none of the 
     funds in this Act shall be available for paying premium pay 
     under 5 U.S.C. 5546(a) to any Federal Aviation Administration 
     employee unless such employee actually performed work during 
     the time corresponding to such premium pay: Provided further, 
     That none of the funds in this Act may be obligated or 
     expended to operate a manned auxiliary flight service station 
     in the contiguous United States: Provided further, That none 
     of the funds in this Act for aeronautical charting and 
     cartography are available for activities conducted by, or 
     coordinated through, the Working Capital Fund: Provided 
     further, That none of the funds in this Act may be obligated 
     or expended for an employee of the Federal Aviation 
     Administration to purchase a store gift card or gift 
     certificate through use of a Government-issued credit card. 
     In addition, $150,000,000 for transition costs associated 
     with OMB Circular A-76 Flight Service Station competition.


                  Amendment Offered by Mr. Knollenberg

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Knollenberg:
       Page 7, line 8, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $263,000,000)''.
       Page 7, line 12, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $263,000,000)''

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the 
Record.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, this is a very simple amendment. On 
page 7, line 8, after the dollar amount, insert ``increased by 
$263,000,000,'' and page 7, line 12, after the dollar amount, insert 
``increased by $263,000,000.''
  What it does simply is it adds $263 million to FAA safety programs.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  I just want to say we agree with the amendment that has been offered.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                  Amendment No. 12 Offered by Mr. Poe

  Mr. POE. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 12 offered by Mr. Poe:
       Page 7, lines 8, 9, and 11, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $24,875,000)''.
       Page 30, line 10, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $24,875,000)''.

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
gentleman's amendment.
  Mr. POE. Mr. Chairman, the FAA, in a report mandated by Congress in 
the Vision of 100 Act, reported that over the next 10 years, 73 percent 
of the agency's nearly 15,000 air traffic controllers will become 
eligible to retire. Total losses over this time are expected to be 
11,000.
  More than 649 million passengers flew our Nation's skies last year. 
As America's aviation system continues to expand, we must ensure we 
have the proper number of trained air traffic controllers to make 
travel move efficiently and safely. FAA's current staffing plan calls 
for the hiring and training of 12,000 controllers over the next 10 
years.
  While the underlying bill provides just under $25 million, up from 
$9.5 million in the fiscal year 2005 to do this, I believe it falls 
short and fails to account for the immediate specific staffing needs as 
well as additional controllers for expected increases in traffic 
volume, an expected 5 percent training failure rate, and the higher-
than-normal retirement rates beyond 2014.

[[Page H5400]]

  This amendment simply would add $24.875 million to the FAA's Air 
Traffic Services account which would double the funding called for in 
the bill to better address short-term and long-term air traffic 
controller staffing and training needs. It reduces overall spending in 
the bill by 4.5 percent for Amtrak.
  Amtrak continues to operate at a deficit and requires substantial 
taxpayer subsidies to operate. At a time of flat budgets and large 
deficits, taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the poor management 
and unprofitable services of Amtrak. According to the House Committee 
on Appropriations, Amtrak alone is to blame for the bulk of their 
problems, most notably taking on nearly $4 billion in debt. A rider 
taking a train from Orlando to Los Angeles receives a $466 taxpayer 
subsidy on top of a $165 ticket for a trip that takes more than 71 
hours. For $211, less than half the Federal subsidy alone, the same 
traveler could fly from Orlando to Los Angeles in less than 6 hours. 
The Amtrak CEO has reported six times in the past that if it is not 
provided more funding, it is threatening to shut down.
  So I ask my colleagues, why are we consistently throwing money at 
Amtrak when it consistently operates at a deficit, especially when we 
need this money for the FAA and air traffic controllers? People are 
going to continue to fly, Mr. Chairman; and it is important that we 
make the skies safe for them.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I make a point order against the 
amendment because it increases an appropriation from the Airport and 
Airway Trust Fund over the amount authorized from that fund and 
therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Does any Member wish to be heard on the point of 
order?
  Hearing none, the Chair will rule.
  The amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe) proposes 
to increase the appropriation for a certain account in the bill that as 
presently proposed is at a level authorized by law.
  Under clause 2(a) of rule XXI, such an increase must be specifically 
authorized by law. The burden of establishing the authorization law 
rests with the proponent of the amendment. In this instance, the 
proponent must show that the amendment does not cause the pending 
appropriation to exceed the level authorized in law.
  Finding that this burden has not been carried, the Chair sustains the 
point of order. The amendment is not in order.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:


                        Facilities and Equipment

                    (airport and airway trust fund)

       For necessary expenses, not otherwise provided for, for 
     acquisition, establishment, technical support services, 
     improvement by contract or purchase, and hire of air 
     navigation and experimental facilities and equipment, as 
     authorized under part A of subtitle VII of title 49, United 
     States Code, including initial acquisition of necessary sites 
     by lease or grant; engineering and service testing, including 
     construction of test facilities and acquisition of necessary 
     sites by lease or grant; construction and furnishing of 
     quarters and related accommodations for officers and 
     employees of the Federal Aviation Administration stationed at 
     remote localities where such accommodations are not 
     available; and the purchase, lease, or transfer of aircraft 
     from funds available under this heading; to be derived from 
     the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, $3,053,000,000, of which 
     $2,618,000,000 shall remain available until September 30, 
     2008, and of which $435,000,000 shall remain available until 
     September 30, 2006: Provided, That there may be credited to 
     this appropriation funds received from States, counties, 
     municipalities, other public authorities, and private 
     sources, for expenses incurred in the establishment and 
     modernization of air navigation facilities: Provided further, 
     That upon initial submission to the Congress of the fiscal 
     year 2007 President's budget, the Secretary of Transportation 
     shall transmit to the Congress a comprehensive capital 
     investment plan for the Federal Aviation Administration which 
     includes funding for each budget line item for fiscal years 
     2007 through 2011, with total funding for each year of the 
     plan constrained to the funding targets for those years as 
     estimated and approved by the Office of Management and 
     Budget.


                 Research, Engineering, and Development

                    (airport and airway trust fund)

       For necessary expenses, not otherwise provided for, for 
     research, engineering, and development, as authorized under 
     part A of subtitle VII of title 49, United States Code, 
     including construction of experimental facilities and 
     acquisition of necessary sites by lease or grant, 
     $130,000,000, to be derived from the Airport and Airway Trust 
     Fund and to remain available until September 30, 2008: 
     Provided, That there may be credited to this appropriation 
     funds received from States, counties, municipalities, other 
     public authorities, and private sources, for expenses 
     incurred for research, engineering, and development.


                       Grants-in-Aid for Airports

                (liquidation of contract authorization)

                      (limitation on obligations)

                    (airport and airway trust fund)

                         (including rescission)

       For liquidation of obligations incurred for grants-in-aid 
     for airport planning and development, and noise compatibility 
     planning and programs as authorized under subchapter I of 
     chapter 471 and subchapter I of chapter 475 of title 49, 
     United States Code, and under other law authorizing such 
     obligations; for procurement, installation, and commissioning 
     of runway incursion prevention devices and systems at 
     airports of such title; for grants authorized under section 
     41743 of title 49, United States Code; and for inspection 
     activities and administration of airport safety programs, 
     including those related to airport operating certificates 
     under section 44706 of title 49, United States Code, 
     $3,600,000,000 to be derived from the Airport and Airway 
     Trust Fund and to remain available until expended: Provided, 
     That none of the funds under this heading shall be available 
     for the planning or execution of programs the obligations for 
     which are in excess of $3,600,000,000 in fiscal year 2006, 
     notwithstanding section 47117(g) of title 49, United States 
     Code: Provided further, That none of the funds under this 
     heading shall be available for the replacement of baggage 
     conveyor systems, reconfiguration of terminal baggage areas, 
     or other airport improvements that are necessary to install 
     bulk explosive detection systems: Provided further, That 
     notwithstanding any other provision of law, not more than 
     $81,346,584 of funds limited under this heading shall be 
     obligated for administration and not less than $20,000,000 
     shall be for the Small Community Air Service Development 
     Program: Provided further, That of the amount authorized for 
     the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, under sections 
     48103 and 48112 of title 49, United States Code, $469,000,000 
     are rescinded.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the 
paragraph.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Florida will state his point 
of order.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against page 11, line 
22, beginning with ``; for grants'' through page 12, line 1, ending 
with the word ``code.''
  This provision violates clause 2 of rule XXI. It changes existing law 
and therefore constitutes legislating on an appropriation bill in 
violation of House rules.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Does any Member wish to be heard on the point of 
order?
  Hearing none, the Chair will rule.
  The provision proposes to earmark certain funds in the bill.
  Under clause 2(a) of rule XXI, such an earmarking must be 
specifically authorized by law. The burden of establishing the 
authorization in law rests in this instance with the committee or other 
proponent of the provision.
  Finding that this burden has not been carried, the point of order is 
sustained, and the provision is stricken from the bill.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I make a further point of order against the 
paragraph.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his point of order.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against page 12, line 
12, beginning with ``provided further'' through line 17 ending with the 
word ``program.''
  This provision also violates clause 2 of rule XXI. It changes 
existing law and therefore constitutes legislating on an appropriation 
bill in violation of the House rules.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Does any Member wish to be heard on the point of 
order?
  Hearing none, the Chair will rule.
  The Chair finds that this provision explicitly supersedes existing 
law. The provision therefore constitutes legislation in violation of 
clause 2 of rule XXI.
  The point of order is sustained, and the provision is stricken from 
the bill.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:


       administrative provisions--federal aviation administration

       Sec. 101. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
     airports may transfer without

[[Page H5401]]

     consideration to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 
     instrument landing systems (along with associated approach 
     lighting equipment and runway visual range equipment) which 
     conform to FAA design and performance specifications, the 
     purchase of which was assisted by a Federal airport-aid 
     program, airport development aid program or airport 
     improvement program grant: Provided, That, the Federal 
     Aviation Administration shall accept such equipment, which 
     shall thereafter be operated and maintained by FAA in 
     accordance with agency criteria.
       Sec. 102. None of the funds in this Act may be used to 
     compensate in excess of 375 technical staff-years under the 
     federally funded research and development center contract 
     between the Federal Aviation Administration and the Center 
     for Advanced Aviation Systems Development during fiscal year 
     2005.
       Sec. 103. None of the funds in this Act shall be used to 
     pursue or adopt guidelines or regulations requiring airport 
     sponsors to provide to the Federal Aviation Administration 
     without cost building construction, maintenance, utilities 
     and expenses, or space in airport sponsor-owned buildings for 
     services relating to air traffic control, air navigation, or 
     weather reporting: Provided, That the prohibition of funds in 
     this section does not apply to negotiations between the 
     agency and airport sponsors to achieve agreement on ``below-
     market'' rates for these items or to grant assurances that 
     require airport sponsors to provide land without cost to the 
     FAA for air traffic control facilities.
       Sec. 104. None of the funds appropriated or limited by this 
     Act may be used to change weight restrictions or prior 
     permission rules at Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, New 
     Jersey.
       Sec. 105. (a) Section 44302(f)(1) of title 49, United 
     States Code, is amended by striking ``2005,'' each place it 
     appears and inserting ``2006,''.
       (b) Section 44303(b) of such title is amended by striking 
     ``2005,'' and inserting ``2006,''.
       Sec. 106. None of the funds made available in this Act 
     shall be used for engineering work related to an additional 
     runway at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

                     Federal Highway Administration


                 limitation on administrative expenses

       Necessary expenses for administration and operation of the 
     Federal Highway Administration, not to exceed $359,529,000 
     shall be paid in accordance with law from appropriations made 
     available by this Act to the Federal Highway Administration 
     together with advances and reimbursements received by the 
     Federal Highway Administration.


                          Federal-Aid Highways

                      (limitation on obligations)

                          (highway trust fund)

       None of the funds in this Act shall be available for the 
     implementation or execution of programs, the obligations for 
     which are in excess of $36,287,100,000 for Federal-aid 
     highways and highway safety construction programs for fiscal 
     year 2006: Provided, That within the $36,287,100,000 
     obligation limitation on Federal-aid highways and highway 
     safety construction programs, not more than $485,000,000 
     shall be available for the implementation or execution of 
     programs for transportation research (as authorized by title 
     23, United States Code, as amended; section 5505 of title 49, 
     United States Code, as amended; and sections 5112 and 5204-
     5209 of Public Law 105-178, as amended) for fiscal year 2006: 
     Provided further, That this limitation on transportation 
     research programs shall not apply to any authority previously 
     made available for obligation: Provided further, That the 
     Secretary may, as authorized by sections 183 and 184 of title 
     23, United States Code, charge and collect a fee, from the 
     applicant for a direct loan, guaranteed loan, or line of 
     credit to cover the cost of the financial and legal analyses 
     performed on behalf of the Department: Provided further, That 
     such fees are available until expended to pay for such costs: 
     Provided further, That such amounts are in addition to 
     administrative expenses that are also available for such 
     purpose, and are not subject to any obligation limitation or 
     the limitation on administrative expenses under 23 U.S.C. 
     188.


                          federal-aid highways

                (liquidation of contract authorization)

                          (highway trust fund)

       Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for carrying 
     out the provisions of title 23, United States Code, that are 
     attributable to Federal-aid highways, including the National 
     Scenic and Recreational Highway as authorized by 23 U.S.C. 
     148, not otherwise provided, including reimbursement for sums 
     expended pursuant to the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 308, 
     $36,000,000,000 or so much thereof as may be available in and 
     derived from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass 
     Transit Account), to remain available until expended.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the 
paragraph.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his point of order.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the phrase 
``notwithstanding any other provision of law'' on page 16, line 8.

                              {time}  1430

  This phrase violates clause 2 of rule XXI. It changes existing law 
and therefore constitutes legislating on an appropriations bill in 
violation of House rules.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN (Mr. Fossella). Is there any Member who wishes to 
be heard on the point of order? Hearing none, the Chair will rule.
  The Chair finds that this provision explicitly supersedes existing 
law. The provision therefore constitutes legislation in violation of 
clause 2 of Rule XXI. The point of order is sustained and the provision 
is stricken from the bill.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:


       Administrative Provisions--Federal Highway Administration

       Sec. 110. (a) For fiscal year 2006, the Secretary of 
     Transportation shall--
       (1) not distribute from the obligation limitation for 
     Federal-aid highways amounts authorized for administrative 
     expenses and programs funded from the administrative takedown 
     authorized by section 104(a)(1)(A) of title 23, United States 
     Code, for the highway use tax evasion program, and for the 
     Bureau of Transportation Statistics;
       (2) not distribute an amount from the obligation limitation 
     for Federal-aid highways that is equal to the unobligated 
     balance of amounts made available from the Highway Trust Fund 
     (other than the Mass Transit Account) for Federal-aid 
     highways and highway safety programs for the prior fiscal 
     years the funds for which are allocated by the Secretary;
       (3) determine the ratio that--
       (A) the obligation limitation for Federal-aid Highways less 
     the aggregate of amounts not distributed under paragraphs (1) 
     and (2), bears to
       (B) the total of the sums authorized to be appropriated for 
     Federal-aid highways and highway safety construction programs 
     (other than sums authorized to be appropriated for sections 
     set forth in paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (b) and 
     sums authorized to be appropriated for section 105 of title 
     23, United States Code, equal to the amount referred to in 
     subsection (b)(8)) for such fiscal year less the aggregate of 
     the amounts not distributed under paragraph (1) of this 
     subsection;
       (4) distribute the obligation limitation for Federal-aid 
     highways less the aggregate amounts not distributed under 
     paragraphs (1) and (2) for section 201 of the Appalachian 
     Regional Development Act of 1965 and $2,000,000,000 for such 
     fiscal year under section 105 of title 23, United States Code 
     (relating to minimum guarantee) so that the amount of 
     obligation authority available for each of such sections is 
     equal to the amount determined by multiplying the ratio 
     determined under paragraph (3) by the sums authorized to be 
     appropriated for such section (except in the case of section 
     105, $2,000,000,000) for such fiscal year;
       (5) distribute the obligation limitation provided for 
     Federal-aid highways less the aggregate amounts not 
     distributed under paragraphs (1) and (2) and amounts 
     distributed under paragraph (4) for each of the programs that 
     are allocated by the Secretary under title 23, United States 
     Code (other than activities to which paragraph (1) applies 
     and programs to which paragraph (4) applies) by multiplying 
     the ratio determined under paragraph (3) by the sums 
     authorized to be appropriated for such program for such 
     fiscal year; and
       (6) distribute the obligation limitation provided for 
     Federal-aid highways less the aggregate amounts not 
     distributed under paragraphs (1) and (2) and amounts 
     distributed under paragraphs (4) and (5) for Federal-aid 
     highways and highway safety construction programs (other than 
     the minimum guarantee program, but only to the extent that 
     amounts apportioned for the minimum guarantee program for 
     such fiscal year exceed $2,639,000,000, and the Appalachian 
     development highway system program) that are apportioned by 
     the Secretary under title 23, United States Code, in the 
     ratio that--
       (A) sums authorized to be appropriated for such programs 
     that are apportioned to each State for such fiscal year, bear 
     to
       (B) the total of the sums authorized to be appropriated for 
     such programs that are apportioned to all States for such 
     fiscal year.
       (b) Exceptions From Obligation Limitation.--The obligation 
     limitation for Federal-aid highways shall not apply to 
     obligations: (1) under section 125 of title 23, United States 
     Code; (2) under section 147 of the Surface Transportation 
     Assistance Act of 1978; (3) under section 9 of the Federal-
     Aid Highway Act of 1981; (4) under sections 131(b) and 131(j) 
     of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982; (5) 
     under sections 149(b) and 149(c) of the Surface 
     Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987; 
     (6) under sections 1103 through 1108 of the Intermodal 
     Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991; (7) under 
     section 157 of title 23, United States Code, as in effect on 
     the day before the date of the enactment of the 
     Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century; (8) under 
     section 105 of title 23, United States Code (but, only in an 
     amount equal to $639,000,000 for such fiscal year); and (9) 
     for Federal-aid highway programs for which obligation 
     authority was made available under the Transportation Equity 
     Act for the 21st

[[Page H5402]]

     Century or subsequent public laws for multiple years or to 
     remain available until used, but only to the extent that such 
     obligation authority has not lapsed or been used.
       (c) Redistribution of Unused Obligation Authority.--
     Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Secretary shall after 
     August 1 for such fiscal year revise a distribution of the 
     obligation limitation made available under subsection (a) if 
     a State will not obligate the amount distributed during that 
     fiscal year and redistribute sufficient amounts to those 
     States able to obligate amounts in addition to those 
     previously distributed during that fiscal year giving 
     priority to those States having large unobligated balances of 
     funds apportioned under sections 104 and 144 of title 23, 
     United States Code, section 160 (as in effect on the day 
     before the enactment of the Transportation Equity Act for the 
     21st Century) of title 23, United States Code, and under 
     section 1015 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation 
     Efficiency Act of 1991.
       (d) Applicability of Obligation Limitations to 
     Transportation Research Programs.--The obligation limitation 
     shall apply to transportation research programs carried out 
     under chapter 5 of title 23, United States Code, except that 
     obligation authority made available for such programs under 
     such limitation shall remain available for a period of 3 
     fiscal years.
       (e) Redistribution of Certain Authorized Funds.--Not later 
     than 30 days after the date of the distribution of obligation 
     limitation under subsection (a), the Secretary shall 
     distribute to the States any funds: (1) that are authorized 
     to be appropriated for such fiscal year for Federal-aid 
     highways programs (other than the program under section 160 
     of title 23, United States Code) and for carrying out 
     subchapter I of chapter 311 of title 49, United States Code, 
     and highway-related programs under chapter 4 of title 23, 
     United States Code; and (2) that the Secretary determines 
     will not be allocated to the States, and will not be 
     available for obligation, in such fiscal year due to the 
     imposition of any obligation limitation for such fiscal year. 
     Such distribution to the States shall be made in the same 
     ratio as the distribution of obligation authority under 
     subsection (a)(6). The funds so distributed shall be 
     available for any purposes described in section 133(b) of 
     title 23, United States Code.
       (f) Special Rule.--Obligation limitation distributed for a 
     fiscal year under subsection (a)(4) of this section for a 
     section set forth in subsection (a)(4) shall remain available 
     until used and shall be in addition to the amount of any 
     limitation imposed on obligations for Federal-aid highway and 
     highway safety construction programs for future fiscal years.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state it.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I raise a point of order against section 110. 
This provision violates clause 2 of rule XXI. It changes existing law, 
and therefore, it constitutes legislating on an appropriations bill in 
violation of House rules.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Is there any Member who wishes to be heard on 
the point of order? Hearing none, the Chair will rule.
  The Chair finds that this section includes language imparting 
direction. The section therefore constitutes legislation in violation 
of clause 2 of Rule XXI. The point of order is sustained, and the 
section is stricken from the bill.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Sec. 111. Notwithstanding 31 U.S.C. 3302, funds received by 
     the Bureau of Transportation Statistics from the sale of data 
     products, for necessary expenses incurred pursuant to 49 
     U.S.C. 111 may be credited to the Federal-aid highways 
     account for the purpose of reimbursing the Bureau for such 
     expenses: Provided, That such funds shall be subject to the 
     obligation limitation for Federal-aid highways and highway 
     safety construction.
       Sec. 112. Bypass Bridge at Hoover Dam. (a) In General.--
     Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary of Transportation 
     may expend from any funds appropriated for expenditure in 
     accordance with title 23, United States Code, for payment of 
     debt service by the States of Arizona and Nevada on notes 
     issued for the bypass bridge project at Hoover Dam, pending 
     appropriation or replenishment for that project.
       (b) Reimbursement.--Funds expended under subsection (a) 
     shall be reimbursed from the funds made available to the 
     States of Arizona and Nevada for payment of debt service on 
     notes issued for the bypass bridge project at Hoover Dam.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state it.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I raise a point of order against section 112. 
This provision violates clause 2 of rule XXI. It changes existing law, 
and therefore constitutes legislating on an appropriations bill in 
violation of House rules.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Is there any Member who wishes to be heard on 
the point of order? Hearing none, the Chair will rule.
  The Chair finds that this section includes language conferring 
authority. The section therefore constitutes legislation in violation 
of clause 2 of Rule XXI. The point of order is sustained, and the 
section is stricken from the bill.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

              Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration


              Motor Carrier Safety Operations and Programs

                      (limitation on obligations)

                (liquidation of contract authorization)

                          (highway trust fund)

                     (including transfer of funds)

       None of the funds provided for expenses for administration 
     of motor carrier safety programs and motor carrier safety 
     research shall be available for fiscal year 2006, the 
     obligations for which are in excess of $215,000,000: 
     Provided, That for payment of obligations incurred to pay 
     administrative expenses of and motor carrier research by the 
     Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, $215,000,000, to 
     be derived from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass 
     Transit Account), together with advances and reimbursements 
     received by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 
     the sum of which shall remain available until expended.


                 National Motor Carrier Safety Program

                 liquidation of contract authorization

                      (limitation on obligations)

                          (highway trust fund)

       For payment of obligations incurred in carrying out motor 
     carrier safety grant programs in accordance with title 49, 
     United States Code, $286,000,000, to be derived from the 
     Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) and 
     to remain available until expended: Provided, That none of 
     the funds provided for the implementation or execution of 
     motor carrier safety grant programs authorized by title 49, 
     United States Code, shall be available for fiscal year 2006, 
     the obligations for which are in excess of $286,000,000.


 Administrative Provision--Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

       Sec. 120. Funds appropriated or limited in this Act shall 
     be subject to the terms and conditions stipulated in section 
     350 of Public Law 107-87, including that the Secretary submit 
     a report to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees 
     annually on the safety and security of transportation into 
     the United States by Mexico-domiciled motor carriers.

             National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


                        Operations and Research

       For expenses necessary to discharge the functions of the 
     Secretary, with respect to traffic and highway safety under 
     chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, and part C of 
     subtitle VI of title 49, United States Code, $152,367,000, of 
     which $135,367,000 is to remain available until September 30, 
     2008, and $17,000,000 is to remain available until expended: 
     Provided, That none of the funds appropriated by this Act may 
     be obligated or expended to plan, finalize, or implement any 
     rulemaking to add to section 575.104 of title 49 of the Code 
     of Federal Regulations any requirement pertaining to a 
     grading standard that is different from the three grading 
     standards (treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance) 
     already in effect.


                        Operations and Research

                (liquidation of contract authorization)

                      (limitation on obligations)

                          (highway trust fund)

       For payment of obligations incurred in carrying out the 
     provisions of 23 U.S.C. 403, to remain available until 
     expended, $75,000,000, to be derived from the Highway Trust 
     Fund: Provided, That none of the funds in this Act shall be 
     available for the planning or execution of programs the total 
     obligations for which, in fiscal year 2006, are in excess of 
     $75,000,000 for programs authorized under 23 U.S.C. 403.


                        National Driver Register

                (liquidation of contract authorization)

                      (limitation on obligations)

                          (highway trust fund)

       For payment of obligations incurred in carrying out chapter 
     303 of title 49, United States Code, $4,000,000, to be 
     derived from the Highway Trust Fund: Provided, That none of 
     the funds in this Act shall be available for the 
     implementation or execution of programs the obligations for 
     which are in excess of $4,000,000 for the National Driver 
     Register authorized under chapter 303 of title 49, United 
     States Code.


                     Highway Traffic Safety Grants

                (liquidation of contract authorization)

                      (limitation on obligations)

                          (highway trust fund)

       For payment of obligations incurred in carrying out the 
     provisions of 23 U.S.C. 402, 405, and 410, to remain 
     available until expended, $551,000,000 to be derived from the 
     Highway Trust Fund and to remain available until expended: 
     Provided, That none of the funds in this Act shall be 
     available for the planning or execution of programs the total 
     obligations for which, in fiscal year 2006, are

[[Page H5403]]

     in excess of $551,000,000 for programs authorized under 23 
     U.S.C. 402, 405, and 410, and the State Traffic Safety 
     Information Systems Improvements, High Visibility 
     Enforcement, Child Safety and Booster Seat, and Motorcyclist 
     Safety grants programs, to be allocated as follows: 
     $229,000,000 shall be for ``Highway Safety Programs'' under 
     23 U.S.C. 402, $136,000,000 shall be for ``Occupant 
     Protection Incentive Grants'' under 23 U.S.C. 405, 
     $129,000,000 shall be for ``Alcohol-Impaired Driving 
     Countermeasures Grants'' under 23 U.S.C. 410, $30,000,000 
     shall be for State Traffic Safety Information Systems 
     Improvement grants, $15,000,000 shall be for High Visibility 
     Enforcement grants, $6,000,000 shall be for Child Safety and 
     Booster Seat grants, and $6,000,000 shall be for Motorcyclist 
     Safety grants: Provided further, That none of these funds 
     shall be used for construction, rehabilitation, or remodeling 
     costs, or for office furnishings and fixtures for State, 
     local, or private buildings or structures: Provided further, 
     That not to exceed $10,000,000 of the funds made available 
     for section 402, not to exceed $3,306,000 of the funds made 
     available for section 405, and not to exceed $3,000,000 of 
     the funds made available for section 410 shall be available 
     to NHTSA for administering highway safety grants under 
     chapter 4 of title 23, United States Code: Provided further, 
     That not to exceed $500,000 of the funds made available for 
     section 410 ``Alcohol-Impaired Driving Countermeasures 
     Grants'' shall be available for technical assistance to the 
     States.


       Administrative Provision--National Highway Traffic Safety 
                             Administration

       Sec. 130. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
     States may use funds provided in this Act under section 402 
     of title 23, United States Code, to produce and place highway 
     safety public service messages in television, radio, cinema, 
     and print media, and on the Internet in accordance with 
     guidance issued by the Secretary of Transportation: Provided, 
     That any State that uses funds for such public service 
     messages shall submit to the Secretary a report describing 
     and assessing the effectiveness of the messages: Provided 
     further, That $10,000,000 of the funds allocated under 
     section 405 of title 23, United States Code, shall be used as 
     directed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator 
     to purchase national paid advertising (including production 
     and placement) to support national safety belt mobilizations: 
     Provided further, That, of the funds allocated under section 
     410 of title 23, United States Code, $6,000,000 shall be used 
     as directed by the Administrator to support national impaired 
     driving mobilizations and enforcement efforts, $14,000,000 
     shall be used as directed by the Administrator to purchase 
     national paid advertising (including production and 
     placement) to support such national impaired driving 
     mobilizations and enforcement efforts.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state it.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I raise a point of order against section 130.
  Mr. Chairman, I raise a point of order against page 28, line 15, 
beginning with ``provided further'' through page 29, line 2.
  These provisos violate clause 2 of rule XXI. They change existing law 
which constitutes legislating on an appropriations bill in violation of 
House rules.
  Mr. SWEENEY. Mr. Chairman, I insist that the point of order be 
extended to the entire paragraph.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Does anybody wish to be heard on the point of 
order? Hearing none, the Chair will rule.
  The Chair finds that this section explicitly supersedes existing law. 
The section therefore constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 
of Rule XXI. The point of order is sustained, and the section is 
stricken from the bill.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, could I inquire as to what page that would 
apply to, through what page?
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. It will apply to section 130, beginning on page 
28, and ending on page 29, line 2.
  The Clerk will read:
  The Clerk read as follows:

                    Federal Railroad Administration


                         Safety and Operations

       For necessary expenses of the Federal Railroad 
     Administration, not otherwise provided for, $145,949,000, of 
     which $13,856,000 shall remain available until expended.


                   Railroad Research and Development

       For necessary expenses for railroad research and 
     development, $26,325,000, to remain available until expended.


            Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Program

       The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to issue to 
     the Secretary of the Treasury notes or other obligations 
     pursuant to section 512 of the Railroad Revitalization and 
     Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-210), as 
     amended, in such amounts and at such times as may be 
     necessary to pay any amounts required pursuant to the 
     guarantee of the principal amount of obligations under 
     sections 511 through 513 of such Act, such authority to exist 
     as long as any such guaranteed obligation is outstanding: 
     Provided, That pursuant to section 502 of such Act, as 
     amended, no new direct loans or loan guarantee commitments 
     shall be made using Federal funds for the credit risk premium 
     during fiscal year 2006.


                    Next Generation High-Speed Rail

       For necessary expenses for the Next Generation High-Speed 
     Rail program as authorized under 49 U.S.C. 26101 and 26102, 
     $10,165,000, to remain available until expended.


         Grants to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation

       To enable the Secretary of Transportation to make quarterly 
     grants to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, 
     $550,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2006: 
     Provided, That none of the funds herein shall be available 
     for the operation and maintenance of routes RT16A, RT18, 
     RT19, RT22, RT25, RT26, RT27, RT28, RT30, RT32, RT33, RT34, 
     RT45, RT48, RT52, RT54, RT63, RT66, as in existence on May 1, 
     2005: Provided further, That of the funds provided, 
     $50,000,000 shall be used by the Secretary of Transportation 
     to enter into contracts to make improvements to the Northeast 
     Corridor, as authorized under chapters 241 and 249 of title 
     49, United States Code.


           Amendment Offered by Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida

  Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida:
       In the matter relating to ``DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION--
     Federal Railroad Administration--grants to national railroad 
     passenger corporation'', strike ``none of the funds herein'' 
     and all that follows through ``further, That''.

  Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Chairman, this amendment will 
strike the language in this bill that prevents funding for 18 important 
Amtrak routes throughout the country. Without this amendment, 23 
States, over 154 Members and 258 local communities and over 4 million 
passengers will be waiting for a train that is not coming.
  This assault on Amtrak by the President and some of his allies in the 
Congress is a perfect example of why 81 percent of the American people 
believe Congress is out of touch with their priorities. This is the 
People's House, and I would hope that the House would do the people's 
work and also not wait for the other body to rescue us.
  We spend $1 billion a week in Iraq, $4 billion a month, but there is 
no money for Amtrak or its passengers. Just one week's investment in 
Iraq would fund passenger rail for the entire country for the entire 
year. In fact, listen up, we could fund Amtrak for a year with the $1 
billion that the Pentagon said was misappropriated by Halliburton.
  I just want someone to explain to the American people why investing 
in transportation in Iraq is more important than investing in passenger 
rail right here in the United States. No transportation system in the 
world pays for itself. We continue to subsidize highways and aviation, 
but when it comes to passenger rail systems, we refuse to provide money 
needed for Amtrak to survive. For years, we put Amtrak on a starvation 
diet, and now we are trying to kill it off.
  Last year, we authorized more than $3 billion out of general revenue 
funds for the Federal Aviation Administration, and this is in addition 
to the $20 billion in financial relief that we provided to the airlines 
after 9/11, all paid for by the American public.
  It is important to note that the Members who complain the loudest 
about Amtrak are the same Members that open up the American checkbook 
and ask how much do they need when the airlines come calling, all while 
ticket prices go up and service goes down.
  I represent central Florida, which depends on tourists for its 
economy, and we need people to be able to get to the State to enjoy it. 
Ever since September 11, more and more people are turning from airlines 
to Amtrak, and they deserve safe and dependable service. But if this 
amendment is not passed, the 200,000 visitors that take the AutoTrain 
to Florida each year will not be visiting our great State.
  This is just one example of Amtrak's impact on my State. Amtrak runs 
four long distance trains through Florida, employing 990 residents, 
with wages totaling over $43 million. They purchased

[[Page H5404]]

over $13 million in goods and services last year, and they are doing it 
at the same time in every single State.
  We have maps and information right here, and I would encourage my 
colleagues to see what impact Amtrak has on their State.
  I want to thank all of the Members who have come to the Floor in 
support of Amtrak. I strongly encourage my colleagues to do the right 
thing for their constituents and support this important amendment. If 
we do not fund Amtrak, we will leave 25 million people waiting for a 
train that is not coming.
  Mr. Chairman, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but 
you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. The American people 
support passenger rail service in this country. We will be the only 
civilized country that does not have passenger rail service.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to this 
amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, this amendment would remove from the bill the 
limitation on routes that would be eligible for Federal funding, take 
them all out. It would strip any semblance of reform out of the House 
bill. All reform goes out the window.
  If we want to talk about killing Amtrak, if you really want to kill 
it, this is the way to do it. In the FY 2006 grant request, Amtrak 
specifically stated that it cannot continue to operate all routes with 
$1.2 billion, all routes. The LaTourette amendment offered earlier 
provides less than $1.2 billion. If this amendment is adopted, the 
northeast corridor is in jeopardy, the northeast corridor is in real 
bad shape.
  The limitation in the bill protects the northeast corridor. This 
amendment does not. Amtrak supporters in the northeast need to 
understand that supporting this amendment redirects the funding to the 
highly unprofitable routes, routes that carry Federal subsidies up to 
$466 per passenger, routes that carry less than 20 percent of Amtrak's 
riders, and it leaves more than 52 percent of Amtrak riders in the 
northeast exposed to a shutdown, 52 percent, over half.
  Striking the limitation on route eligibility will siphon funding from 
routes that chill the promise of self-sufficiency, routes that are well 
used, to routes that will never, never, never under any circumstances 
be profitable.
  I urge a ``no'' vote.
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to remind my brothers and sisters from both 
sides of the aisle that this was a national system envisioned by the 
President in 1971, President Nixon, who had the bipartisan support of 
the Congress of the United States. And why was it proposed? It was 
proposed because the private companies wanted out. They no longer could 
pay for a system that serviced America.
  Now, let me say what that system encompasses, I support this 
amendment by the ranking member, the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. 
Corrine Brown), the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Railroads.
  Just three of those routes in red that you want to dispose of, the 
Silver Service, the Silver Meteor and the Palmetto, from New York to 
Miami, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington, all the way to 
Jacksonville-Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, services 738,000 people. No 
small potatoes. That is a lot of folks. Where are you asking them to 
go? How are they going to get between destinations?
  While I can accept that Amtrak must reform and while I can accept 
that we need to do away with any frivolous spending whatsoever, we need 
to sustain a system here, and we need to figure out on both sides of 
the aisle how to do it.

                              {time}  1445

  The Crescent from New York to New Orleans to Philadelphia to 
Wilmington, to Baltimore, Washington, Greensboro, Charlotte, Atlanta 
and Birmingham, 256,000 people, 256,000 passengers. And the Carolinian 
from Charlotte to New York City, 305,000 passengers. That is why I 
support the Brown-Menendez-Rahall amendment to keep these Amtrak trains 
on track.
  I want to express in the strongest words here, Mr. Chairman, contrary 
to what one might expect, residents in my area of New York, New Jersey, 
Connecticut, Pennsylvania, they travel rail to Florida. They do not 
only travel the northeast corridor, they travel by rail to the Midwest, 
they travel up to New England beyond just Boston, and they like using 
the trains, the very same trains that brought us from place to place 
after 9/11, remember, when we could not travel. Thank goodness that we 
had some semblance of a national system.
  Americans like the freedom to travel. They want to make choices. I 
believe it should be the goal of the Department of Transportation to 
expand transportation alternatives, not to cut back on those choices.
  It was Amtrak that I rode home from Washington on to be with my 
constituents to assess the damage at Ground Zero, as well as folks from 
both sides of the aisle. It is too important to the American people and 
the American economy to settle for anything less than a national 
system.
  Mr. Chairman, I have heard the presentations about reform. I have 
heard no explanations, no alternatives to in any way sustain those 
routes that are all in red. So if we took the red away, we have systems 
that are not interconnected, and many of those systems are connected to 
the intermodal part of transportation, which is what TEA-LU is all 
about, which is what TEA-21 was all about, intermodal transportation. 
The Amtrak system is part of it, whether we are talking about rail, 
whether we are talking about airlines, whatever we are talking about.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, this is an important amendment because it does do away 
with the reforms that this appropriation subcommittee has imposed on 
Amtrak. As I said earlier, I have been on the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure for some 13 years. I watched for more 
than 4 years when they had an Amtrak reform council look at the 
operations of Amtrak and come up with recommendations that were made to 
Congress; and, sure enough, they ignored those recommendations.
  This is a tough business to reform Amtrak and eliminate some of these 
politically popular routes. But the cost of those routes, as we have 
heard, range from $242 subsidizing per ticket on the Sunset Limited, 
some $466 to run the route that we saw here. Some of those go into my 
State, Florida. But it is time to reevaluate those routes, and we must 
eliminate them if we have to, only by legislation, because the reform 
which we have tried to do through an advisory council and commission to 
look at this in an independent study, all that has failed.
  I do support the President in really drawing a line in the sand and 
saying we must impose reforms on Amtrak.
  Now, we have heard this analogy, and I chair the Subcommittee on 
Aviation, on how much we subsidize aviation. But every ticket that is 
sold by Amtrak is subsidized by $49, every single ticket. In aviation 
that is not the case, I say to my colleagues. We heard how much money 
goes in, but that money is raised by a 7.5 percent ticket tax. The next 
time you get your airline ticket, look at 7.5 percent, look at the 
other fees. There is a passenger facilitation fee, and that could be 
anywhere from a few dollars on up. There is an aviation security fee of 
$5. You hear the airlines complaining about how taxed their passengers 
are. The passengers are paying their full fare, including a fuel tax.
  Amtrak pays no fuel tax, there is no passenger tax, there is no 
security fee. There is no contribution. Besides that, they are losing, 
on every ticket they sell, an average of $49.
  Now, I am a strong supporter of mass transit, high-speed rail, rail 
as an alternative; and I do know that some of that has to be 
subsidized. I will vote to subsidize this. But a loss of nearly $500 a 
ticket, and that is what this amendment would do, will restore all 
those losing routes.
  Now, why has Amtrak not changed out some of these routes? Let us be a 
little candid among friends here. Labor cut sweetheart deals so most of 
the Amtrak employees are going to get 7 years' salary and benefits 
assistance; some will get 5 years. There is a cost. We cannot eliminate 
one single route without paying those benefits that have already been 
negotiated. But at some time, we have to pay the piper, and sometimes 
we have to cut the losses.

[[Page H5405]]

  Now, out in America right now, probably not watching the proceedings 
of this House, are millions of Americans who are working hard. It is 
hard for me to tell them to go out there and work even harder, maybe 
get another part-time job so you can send that money here to 
Washington, so we can have them waste it.
  When they provide food service and take in a dollar, it costs them 
$2. They lost a third of a billion dollars in the past 3\1/2\ years on 
food service. When they try to put high-speed rail in, and I am a 
strong advocate of high-speed rail, we have neither high-speed and we 
do not have service. It is down the tubes. It was going 83 miles an 
hour. That is not high-speed service, even by our own standards which 
are, under Federal law, 120 miles an hour.
  So let us make the reform that is necessary. The chairman and the 
subcommittee have done an excellent job in forcing some of these 
reforms that are long overdue. Let us defeat this ill-conceived 
amendment. Let us reform Amtrak. Let us provide good service, not a 
Soviet-style train endurance test for passengers, but modern, high-
speed rail and long-distance service across the United States, and give 
service to passengers that do not have that service available, at the 
lowest cost to the taxpayers. We can do that.
  Mr. SWEENEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I also rise in opposition to this amendment, and I will 
acknowledge up front I do it rather reluctantly, because I am a huge 
proponent of the national rail system and recognize up front the need 
for some subsidization, fair and responsible and reasonable 
subsidization, as we do in other transportation routes; and a lot of 
speakers have addressed that issue and that point.
  But just as the last speaker pointed out the inefficiencies in the 
system, in the process both at Amtrak and, frankly, how the Federal 
Government has provided oversight, I think that passage of this 
amendment represents a premature move to acceptance of those 
inefficiencies at a point, a critical point, in negotiations that we 
cannot do that. Facts are facts, and we have been asking for Amtrak to 
reform itself for a number of years. We have not gotten much of a 
response. In fact, we have gotten resistance. And the inefficiencies in 
the system continue to atrophy downward.
  How it really impacts on people, in my district, just outside the 
northeast corridor, not part of the corridor, because the tracks are 
not owned by Amtrak, there is a continued deterioration; and there is 
no Amtrak plan, no Amtrak plan to resolve those issues, putting at risk 
an awful lot of people. I know what the chairman is trying to 
accomplish in this particular piece of legislation is force Amtrak back 
to the table to talk about what needs to be maintained, what is 
critical infrastructure, what are critical lines of connection that 
have to be in this; and if we simply just say we are going to go on 
with business as usual, we continue to promote the atrophy within the 
system.
  Now, I think at some point in this process, many of these lines that 
are eliminated in this particular bill are reinstated before this bill 
becomes law. But we ought not to do it just willy-nilly; we ought not 
to just give it away. We need to force some people to make some tough 
decisions. We need to force some people to live by their commitments of 
the past, which they have not thus far. I think this is one of the few 
pieces of leverage that the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman 
Knollenberg) and this subcommittee will have as we continue to try to 
find a way to get to the answers.
  Now, we have gone from zero to now $1.2 billion in this bill. That is 
a real commitment to Amtrak. It is still, I would suggest, short of 
where we need to end up. But let us not just end up there by dealing 
away those funds; let us end up there by making sure that we bring 
efficiencies to the system.
  Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, the bill before us posed a double-barrel shotgun blast 
to the continuation of Amtrak. One barrel has been dealt with with the 
amendment passed earlier by this House restoring funding critically 
needed to keep national passenger rail available. But we cannot stop 
now. We have to also pass the Brown amendment, because without the 
passage of this amendment, investment in the routes denoted in red on 
this chart will end. Now, that continues to be the routing for many of 
the vast stretches across this country that truly make this a national 
rail system.
  Coming from the heartland, representing North Dakota, a place of vast 
distances and not that many people, I must tell my colleagues that I am 
surprised at what I am hearing on the floor of the House, that this is 
a national service. Provided, it runs just between populated areas and 
short distances, some place for the Northeast, maybe the Southwest; but 
the rest of the expanse of this great country, forget about it. Are we 
the United States of America, or what?
  In North Dakota, what is at stake is the Empire Builder. It is a 
route that has been operating for 76 years. This year, it will serve 
89,000 North Dakotans. Amtrak links many rural cities and communities 
that are not serviceable by airlines. In North Dakota, Amtrak has a 
strong record of reliable service. It is an important transportation 
option for many North Dakotans and North Dakota businesses.
  For the resident of Rugby, North Dakota, seeking to get to Minot, the 
regional medical center to attend to their medical needs in the middle 
of a cold, January day, or small businesses along the northern route, 
Devils Lake, depending upon the transportation option for the shipping 
of central materials for that particular business, Amtrak matters and 
it matters a great deal to us. In Minot, North Dakota, one station 
alone, 29,000 served last year.
  Mr. Chairman, in rural America we do not have airports in every 
corner, we do not have the same kinds of options that the crowded areas 
of this country do, and that is why we need to continue this national 
commitment to national passenger rail.
  We all have supported taxpayer dollars, and I mean over and above the 
ticket tax dollars, that have gone into the highway program. They have 
gone into the airport improvement program, and now it is time to do our 
proportional share for passenger rail. It is pennies on the dollar 
compared to the public subsidy of these other transportation 
alternatives. But take it from one from the heartland: passenger rail 
matters, and it matters just as much to us as it does in the northeast 
corridor.
  I urge passage of the Brown amendment. Do not dismantle Amtrak. Do 
not take this service away from rural America.

                              {time}  1500

  Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  I would like to speak in opposition to this amendment, Mr. Chairman. 
And I would agree with the gentleman from Florida (Chairman Mica) that 
I, like he, am for high-speed rail. We are for commuter rail that gets 
people in high volume areas back to work and forth. But if we want to 
preserve Amtrak as a viable entity, I agree also with the gentleman 
from Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg) who said, if you care about 
Amtrak, oppose this amendment, because if we do not reform Amtrak, it 
is hard for us to be able to afford its survival.
  I would just cite the Washington Post editorial of May of this year 
where they listed as the first test to whether Amtrak is going to make 
it is whether they force the closure of the most uneconomic routes. 
That is what this amendment tries to oppose.
  The second test, according to the Washington Post, is that Amtrak 
needed better management. Better management would recognize this, would 
oppose this amendment. We need to stand up for both Amtrak's future and 
for our taxpayers. Oppose this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Knollenberg).
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  What is interesting about this amendment is that only 20 percent of 
the people are involved in the elimination of these lines, but it is 50 
percent of the cost. This is like a stake in the heart of a plan to 
establish some reform. You know, unfortunately, our

[[Page H5406]]

national rail service is no longer a source of pride. Amtrak has 
suffered mismanagement, irresponsible investments, poor service and a 
tremendous backlog of, maintenance that has sunk the system to a new 
low.
  Amtrak, as we know it, faces tremendous debt while operating in a 
fundamentally flawed management system. Amtrak goes back to 1971, and 
the conception at that time was to produce it as a for-profit business. 
And it was expected to be one within 5 years. Here it is 35 years 
later. Guess what, they are in worse shape than ever. As has been 
pointed out, unfortunately for the taxpayers, its self-sufficiency is 
only a pipe dream. On average, taxpayers will pay a $210 subsidy, even 
though you do not think you are paying it, because some pay $466, you 
are because the system needs an average of $210 per person. All other 
transportation systems in our country are paid for directly. Highways 
and aviation are funded through user fees and excise taxes. Rail is the 
only passenger transportation mode that relies solely on the generosity 
of taxpayers. And this charity is running out.
  It is funny, I have not heard one word from anybody who is 
complaining about shutting those lines down who is interested in doing 
anything locally to provide resources to keep it going. That is an 
option. We are not mandating the closure. And the message should be 
clear. In a time of flat budgets and large deficits, we cannot afford 
the abuse of taxpayer dollars on irresponsible ventures, poor 
management and unprofitable services.
  I know that reform is never easy. But in Amtrak's case, it is 
essential. We have come to the last stop. Amtrak is no longer helping 
us move forward. Passenger rail must be reformed, or it will end, be 
the end of Amtrak.


                      Announcement by the Chairman

  The CHAIRMAN. Members should be reminded that when yielding to 
another under the 5-minute rule the yielding Member must remain on his 
feet.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  This is a bit of a surreal debate at this point. To me, the only 
logical thing to do with this vote is to vote to strike the section 
that eliminates the long-distance routes. I believe that, in large 
measure, the vote that was taken earlier was a vote in adding money 
back to Amtrak, was a vote to allow Amtrak to operate another year, and 
leave the authorizers with a mandate or a very strong signal that they 
had to do something and finally get this matter settled through the 
normal authorization route.
  My chairman, and I know, I respect what he is trying to do. He has 
this section which eliminates these long-distance routes that serve the 
only passenger rail service in 23 States, with all of those Senators on 
the other side of the Capitol and at least 154 of our Members in those 
States. And by eliminating those routes, he wishes to force reform of 
the system, to force the authorizing system to operate effectively. And 
in eliminating those routes, there is such a large cost for the 
elimination of the routes that the amount of money that was put in was 
simply not adequate to do the job, and so it was going to shut down the 
whole of the Amtrak system. I think that that, clearly, is what comes 
through as the end result of the way the bill was written.
  Now, if we leave the routes in there and no subsidy can be placed on 
those routes, then that shuts down those routes and triggers the utter 
waste of $360 million a year of costs for abrogating the labor and 
other contractual obligations that relate to those routes. It is an 
utter waste, and that means, in fact, that I think the chairman is 
right. It probably means that then the system is likely to shut down 
again because the total amount of money is not going to be adequate.
  But the chairman himself has indicated what the actual reform is. The 
chairman has pointed out that there is extremely high costs on these 
long distance routes through the luxury services, the sleeper services 
and the meals services, which cost $300 million or thereabouts to 
provide on these routes. So one could have one's cake and eat it, too, 
by eliminating that luxury service, those meals and sleeper services on 
the long-distance routes, continue to have the long-distance routes 
without those costs, which serve a very small group of people, a very 
small number of people, and then that process, the amount of money that 
was put in the bill would then serve to keep things going for the next 
year.
  So it seems to me that the logical thing to do would be to strike 
these routes and, instead, provide the reforms, not by the bludgeon of 
eliminating these routes which triggers that high cost of contractual 
changes, rather than doing that, find the reform that is going to 
actually keep the national rail system going and allow the amount of 
money that was put in to provide that service at a much lower cost than 
what presently is the case. So I hope that the amendment will be 
adopted and that we will get somewhere to what would be a real reform.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike 
the requisite number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the Brown-Menendez-
Rahall amendment aimed at keeping Amtrak on track. This amendment would 
strike current bill language that eliminates 15 long-distance trains 
and three shorter-distance routes, some of which provide essential 
transportation services to rural areas.
  In the State of Texas, Amtrak operates one short-distance train, the 
Heartland Flyer, and two long-distance, the Sunset Limited and the 
Texas Eagle, which services my district.
  H.R. 3058 eliminates Texas' only two long-distance routes. The 
elimination of these routes would have an adverse effect on Texas 
communities that depend on these routes and leave hardworking Texans, 
which depend on the $11 million in wages that Amtrak currently 
provides, unemployed.
  I am fully aware that the money is very tight. We have a war to 
finance, and we have big tax cuts for some. But let us do something for 
the heartland of the USA.
  Further, in certain rural parts of the State, these lines are often 
the only transportation alternatives to automobiles. The State of Texas 
is experiencing unprecedented population growth. The growth is placing 
enormous strain on the State's highway capacity. And all of us know 
where that bill is for the last 2 years.
  As the construction of new highways becomes less practical, the need 
for a comprehensive passenger rail system will continue to grow. 
Passenger rail is a component of this Nation's economic and 
transportation backbone. Bankrupting and gutting our national passenger 
rail system is not the way to go.
  I urge my colleagues to renew this body's support for a national rail 
passenger system and urge a yes vote on this amendment.
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, this House, just a short while ago, adopted the 
LaTourette and Oberstar amendment, the clear intent of which was to 
restore passenger service to the routes shown in the map that everybody 
has been showing around today, the areas, the routes in red. It was 
meant to retain a truly national passenger railroad service.
  Without the subsequent amendment of the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. 
Corrine Brown), that initial action by the House remains essentially 
meaningless, and it means that the only thing that the money would be 
used for, which was gained in that LaTourette amendment, would be to 
pay shutdown costs to the former employees of the parts of Amtrak that 
are being shut down. I do not think that action is going to please 
anybody. I do not think it is going to fool anybody. We clearly need 
this amendment, and I would urge support for it.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Corrine 
Brown).
  Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker, if my amendment is not 
accepted, millions of passengers will be stranded. Commuters, operators 
will be disrupted. Thousands of jobs will be eliminated. States will be 
forced to figure out how to pay for new services under already tight 
budget restraints. Taxes on freight railroads and their workers would 
increase as a result of decreased revenue for the railroad retirement 
and unemployment program, and local economies and businesses that 
depend on Amtrak services will

[[Page H5407]]

suffer. Save our Nation's passenger rail network. Vote yes for the 
Brown-Menendez amendment.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  (Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise to support the Brown-
Menendez-Rahall-Cummings amendment, and I offer just a little story. 
Because I heard the ranking member, the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. Olver) mention the solution to our problem.
  We just passed a very helpful and needed amendment by the gentleman 
from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette) that acknowledged America's commitment to 
long-distance rail. But then we have a slight problem. As we have 
supported his amendment, we have a sea of red that indicates that 
America will be disconnected.
  Well, Mr. Chairman, let me tell you a little story. I have traveled 
on rail, heavy rail in the early stages of my life as a little girl. 
Not only was I not in the luxury seats, I was in the back of the train 
or the train designated for one group of people. In addition, I brought 
my own bag of food. Now, I might say that I enjoyed that delicious food 
that was given to me by my grandmother. But when it comes to saving our 
rail system, I believe we might just go back to eliminating the luxury 
but providing for the practical. My condition was a predicament of this 
society, segregation. But yet, now that we have a full and open 
society, we need to be able to continue a full and open transportation 
system. Although it notes that Texas may be included in the rail 
system, all of the red suggests that we will not be connected because 
of the cuts in the rail system.

                              {time}  1515

  So this amendment will eliminate a provision in the bill that 
prohibits Amtrak from using funds to operates all 15 of the railroad 
long-distance trains, some of which provide essential service to rural 
area and three short-distance trains. The amendment will eliminate the 
provision that prohibits Amtrak from using the funds to operate these 
particular long-distance trains. How can you have a system that 
eliminates all of these connecting aspects of our rail system? That is 
the benefit of rail. That gives us, the consumer, the choice: driving, 
bus service, flying, or, yes, the train service.
  And if I might add to the esthetics of train travel, how many 
families have testified to the value of traveling together as a family 
along America's highways and byways, seeing America through the eyes of 
a train?
  By yet there is more to the train service because some of our rural 
communities and smaller cities do not have access to any kind of 
interstate travel except for train travel. They do not have close 
enough airports. They may not have bus service. They may not have 
access to automobiles. And with the fuel prices, I will assure that you 
there will be many who will fall into this category.
  The Brown-Menendez-Rahall-Cummings amendment is a good commonsense 
amendment. It plays right into the hands of the LaTourette amendment, 
the funding; but it also says that it is important to serve America. 
Why not cut the luxury service? Why not encourage families to bring 
their own home-cooked meals? Whatever the choice may be, bag lunches, 
however it is. But I would assure you that most Americans would rather 
have the kind of travel that is necessary for them to move about this 
Nation than some hot-cooked meal on a train that does not come to their 
doorstop.
  I ask my colleagues to support this amendment. Texas will be mighty 
lonely. Even though it may be one of those States that has the service, 
we are disconnected because the routes going through our State will be 
disconnected and we will have no way of connecting to the rest of 
America. Support this amendment and give back to America its ability to 
travel.
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number 
of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I will not take 5 minutes. I rise in opposition to this 
amendment. Congressman Ron Packard, a former Member here, was a very 
strong supporter of Amtrak. He pushed it every year that he was 
chairman on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He also 
realized that we had to reform Amtrak.
  If we do not push the Department of Defense to make changes, they 
will never do it. This week this body made several votes to send a 
message. Let me give you a good example. I think the total outlay to 
Saudi Arabia was $24,000, but they voted to cut off funding for Saudi 
Arabia. Why? It is a message to keep them moving in a right direction.
  I read recently where if you took Amtrak from Florida to San Diego, 
the ticket is about $135, but the Federal subsidy for that is $477. 
What we are trying to do is send Amtrak a strong message that someway 
they have got to reform.
  Sleeper cars, now, that trip from Florida to San Diego would take 71 
hours. Someone that is a senior citizen is not going to sit in a chair 
for 71 hours. It costs $100 million a year, the food service. $50 
million it loses. Let us offer it up for bid and privatize it and at 
least go some of these reforms. This particular amendment does the 
opposite. It allows Amtrak to go on without any message to do just as 
they have. They have even said that ridership is up. Well, then, let us 
make it profitable for them so we can make a bigger and better Amtrak 
instead of one that takes billions of dollars just in subsidies to 
fund.
  I am not opposed to the subsidy. Look at the Metro here in 
Washington, D.C. It costs a lot of money. We subsidize it. But now put 
all that traffic on the highway and see what it costs with pollution, 
with extra drive time and so on.
  Yes, we do need a cross-country Amtrak, but we definitely need to 
send them a message. That is why I oppose this amendment.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  (Mr. MENENDEZ asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the Brown-
Menendez-Rahall-Cummings amendment to save the 18 Amtrak routes that 
would be cut in this bill represented with these red lines across the 
country.
  This is a mode of transportation for millions of Americans who have 
chosen it as their form to get connected to other parts of this 
country.
  Now, if the language in the bill stands, notwithstanding that the 
previous amendment added money to Amtrak's overall budget, but if we 
allow the rest of the language in the bill to stand, Amtrak would be 
eviscerated as a national rail passenger service, as a national rail 
passenger service from coast to coast, one country, the United States 
of America, the United States of America.
  The map shows it all very clearly. All long-distance routes would be 
gone. The 23 States in yellow would lose Amtrak service. However, 
nearly every State would be affected by the loss of some of these 
routes, including my home State of New Jersey. And even if Amtrak were 
still able to run its short-distance trains, States with Amtrak service 
would still suffer.
  And there are a lot of places, we keep hearing about these air 
traffic ticket fares. Well, they are very selective and they also do 
not speak to the volume that there are a lot of places in the country 
where you cannot get to that location through a direct flight or even 
sometimes through a connector flight. Amtrak brings the Nation 
together. And you cannot starve a horse and ask it to run like a 
thoroughbred. That is exactly what has happened to Amtrak time and time 
again.
  Those who starve it then come here and say how inefficient it is, but 
it cannot function if it does not get the right resources in the first 
place.
  Now, these long-distance routes are not just a lifeline for people in 
rural towns out west, although certainly Fargo, North Dakota; Minot, 
North Dakota; Cut Bank, Montana; Elko, Nevada; Trinidad, Colorado; 
Needles, California; Yazoo City, Mississippi; Newton, Kansas, and many 
more are what you are seeking to eliminate by eliminating these routes.
  Those people in America, small-town America, rural America, they 
deserve the opportunity to be connected to the

[[Page H5408]]

rest of the country as well, because these long-distance routes are not 
just the lifeline for people in the rural town out west who depend on 
trains like the Empire Builder and the Southwest Chief to be able get 
around the country.
  This is about thousands of people, for example, in New Jersey who 
take the train to Atlanta or Florida each year. It is about tens of 
thousands of people who take the train from New York to Chicago. It is 
about maintaining the critical redundancy of our intercity 
transportation system, the importance of which we saw the days after 
September 11 when our airplanes were grounded, and it was Amtrak that 
was still connecting the Nation together.
  Eliminating the long-distance routes will not solve Amtrak's 
financial problems. The Department of Transportation's Inspector 
General estimated that getting rid of all of these routes would only 
save Amtrak about $300 million, but because of mandatory labor 
severance payouts, it might be several years before Amtrak actually 
saves a single dime. In the meantime, the severance payouts would 
strain Amtrak's finances, starve good areas like the northeast corridor 
of essential maintenance money.
  This is about ultimately degrading a national passenger system, a 
system that is critical after September 11.
  The amendment is about our fundamental commitment to a national rail 
passenger network, a commitment that is an essential lifeline for 
people throughout the country, enhances our national security, eases 
congestion on our highways and our airports, and gives small and mid-
size businesses the chance to sell their products and services at 
different points throughout the country.
  Vote for the Brown-Menendez-Rahall-Cummings amendment. Make sure we 
stay together as one country.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number 
of words.
  Mr. Chairman, first let me thank the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. 
Corrine Brown) for her extraordinary work on this issue. She is very 
effective, and I want to thank her very much for her work.
  Mr. Chairman, let me join the chorus of support for this amendment. 
This amendment will eliminate a provision of the bill that prohibits 
Amtrak from using funds to operate all 15 of the railroad's long-
distance trains, some of which provide essential services to rural 
areas, such as my rural district in eastern North Carolina.
  This amendment will save our national passenger rail network by 
ensuring that 23 States, 258 local communities, and over 4 million rail 
passengers continue to benefit from Amtrak's service.
  Mr. Chairman, Amtrak has been there. Amtrak has stood the test of 
time, and it must be preserved. I urge my colleagues to support this 
amendment.
  Mr. CARNAHAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of Amtrak. I 
support the Brown-Menendez-Rahall Amendment, which we are debating now, 
and I also strongly support the amendment offered by Mr. LaTourette and 
Mr. Oberstar, which the House considered earlier.
  Trains have been, and continue to be, an integral part of our 
Nation's transportation system. Every year, millions of Americans use 
Amtrak and our Nation's railways to travel throughout our great 
country, removing cars from our congested highways and travelers from 
our crowded airports. In my home State of Missouri, over 400,000 people 
used Amtrak last year.
  However, despite this heavy volume of travel, one of the routes that 
would be eliminated by this appropriations bill passes through Missouri 
and serves the city of St. Louis.
  It is vital that we stop the elimination of these routes and restore 
full funding to Amtrak so that it may continue to provide the same 
level of service to the people of the United States for generations to 
come.
  I urge my colleagues to support this essential component of our 
Nation's transportation infrastructure and support the Brown-Menendez-
Rahall amendment.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank my fellow cosponsors--
Ranking Member Brown, Congressmen Menendez and Cummings--for bringing 
this issue before the House.
  Today represents another attempt to derail Amtrak and the essential 
transportation services it provides to millions of Americans, 
particularly rural Americans, across the country. The 18 routes the 
Appropriations Committee has proposed to eliminate would leave nearly 
4\1/2\ million Americans stranded without needed rail service in 23 
States, including my home State of West Virginia.
  Unilaterally eliminating these routes is not prudent, and would deal 
a significant blow to our rural communities.
  I urge my colleagues to support the Brown-Menendez-Rahall-Cummings 
Amendment that would save rail service to rural America.
  A vote in favor of our amendment is not a vote just in support of 
Amtrak, it is a vote for the millions of Americans who depend on rail 
service to meet their transportation needs.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Corrine Brown).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Corrine 
Brown) will be postponed.


             Amendment Offered by Mr. Kennedy of Minnesota

  Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Kennedy of Minnesota:
       Page 30, line 10, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced 
     by $100,000,000)''.
       Page 80, line 19, after the first dollar amount insert 
     ``(increased by $100,000,000)'' and after the second dollar 
     amount insert ``(increased by $100,000,000)''.

  Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an 
amendment to address two critical problems: preventing wasteful 
government spending and at the same time giving our States more 
resources they need.
  My amendment will take $100 million in unnecessary government 
subsidies from Amtrak and redirect it to HUD's Homeless Assistance 
Grants to help States combat homelessness.
  Mr. Chairman, I know we have just completed a very long debate on 
Amtrak, but creating a budget is all about setting and sticking to 
priorities and tightening your belt when you need to. In that process, 
I think it is important that we get the maximum return that we can from 
our Federal taxpayer dollars.
  As we know, the President recommended eliminating funding for Amtrak 
unless they reform themselves, and we originally proposed $550 million; 
but now we are at near $1.2 billion. However, instead of being 
thankful, Amtrak President David Gunn claimed the impact of $550 
million in Federal support would be the same as getting zero.
  Where else but Washington can you hear someone complain that if you 
only get $550 million that they would be as well off as getting 
nothing.
  This is not about the northeast corridor, which is very sustainable. 
It is about Amtrak's refusal to reform itself. Refusal to eliminate 
lines like the disastrous Sunset Limited that takes from 6 days to trek 
from Los Angeles to Orlando, costing taxpayers as much or more than it 
would cost to buy each passenger an airplane ticket.
  Amtrak uses funding from its profitable areas in a forlorn attempt to 
prop up these lines. Mr. Chairman, this is simply unacceptable.
  Instead of dumping more money into a failed Amtrak system, I propose 
that we take some of that money and give it to those who can actually 
use it, State housing agencies trying to end homelessness through HUD's 
Homeless Assistance Grants program.
  The Homeless Assistance Grants program was created to fund HUD's four 
major programs that funds housing services for the homeless. These four 
programs form the core of HUD's Continuum of Care strategy to work with 
local governments and service providers to combat homelessness. They 
help States renovate and rehabilitate buildings for use for emergency 
shelters, provide transitional and permanent housing for homeless 
families with children and those with disabilities, and provide 
assistance to homeless adults who have serious mental illness or 
chronic substance abuse problems.

                              {time}  1530

  The bill before us today grants $1.34 billion for homeless grants, 
but it is

[[Page H5409]]

$100 million short of the President's budget request.
  Mr. Chairman, while some can debate whether or not this is the best 
and most efficient strategy for fighting homeless, there is no doubt 
these programs can help improve the lives of individuals in need more 
than continuing to throw even more money at Amtrak.
  For States like Minnesota, which has a 10-year program to end long-
term homelessness, the Homeless Assistance Grants program constitutes 
the bulk of matching Federal aid to support this goal. Adding $100 
million to this program, according to one estimate, increases the 
number of housing units available to fight homelessness by up to 3,400 
for a period of 4 years, or 13,500 unit-years of assistance.
  I think it would be beyond irresponsible to deny the funding these 
programs need to work only to continue to prop up an Amtrak system that 
has been a neverending black hole of wasted taxpayers' dollars.
  Mr. Chairman, if we are serious about curbing wasteful government 
spending and giving States the resources they need to fight challenges 
they face like homelessness, we must take action to ensure not another 
dollar is thrown away on Amtrak when it can be put to good use.
  I urge all Members to take a stand against waste and in favor of 
helping those in need. Vote for the Kennedy amendment.
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Hallelujah. Hallelujah. We have finally found a Republican who cares 
about any kind of a poor people program. Hallelujah. What has the world 
come to? Let me tell you some of the things that you scuttled for poor 
people before you started with crocodile tears on this amendment. Let 
me just list some of the programs for poor people you have scuttled 
over the last 4 years.
  The earned income tax credit: You only qualify for it if you make 
less than $27,000 a year, but oh, you had to have a major effort on 
that side of the aisle to cut it.
  Housing: How many times have you come to this floor cutting housing 
programs for low-income, squeezing housing programs for elderly, low-
income?
  Dental care programs: How many times in the Labor, Health, Education 
bill have you opposed efforts to try to increase dental care service? 
What did you do just last week in the Labor HHS bill when you scuttled 
the community services block grant, when you savaged it? That is a 
program that many rural communities use to help the homeless, to help 
the low-income.
  What did you do about low-income heating assistance? Last week, you 
cut it by $200 million bucks.
  What did you do about the minimum wage? How many times have you tried 
to block an increase in the minimum wage?
  I just have to say, I am thunderstruck. I am amazed we have finally 
found a Republican who would put something on the Floor to help poor 
people, except that is not the real intent; is it?
  Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that it is rather convenient that we 
have a newfound concern for the poor at a time when, by expressing 
concern for the poor, it facilitates the scuttling of a national 
transportation system. So I just have to say, I do not know how this 
amendment's going to go, but I have no doubt that the purpose of the 
amendment is simply to scuttle what is left of our ability to provide a 
national transportation system, and if, for a few moments, the poor 
people of this country are fooled into thinking that the other side 
actually cares about them, well, this is politically so much better for 
you; is it not?
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number 
of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I do not have the revival gusto that the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Obey) does, but I do want to oppose strenuously this 
amendment.
  We had, for a long time now, rather a vigorous discussion on the 
Amtrak system, and I do not know if the gentleman from Minnesota was 
present during that discussion, but when I hear the $550 that Amtrak 
should be thankful for, the evidence was pretty clear in the statements 
that we gave that that $550 was worse than a shutdown number; it was 
bankruptcy number, because Amtrak with its obligations for labor costs, 
almost $400 million, and for its debt service, almost $300 million, it 
would have forced the system into bankruptcy, ending not these long-
distance routes, which were the subject of the last amendment, but all 
Amtrak service in all of the United States, including the northeast 
corridor and service out west.
  What this amendment does not allow us to do, now that we have 
squeaked the Amtrak number back up, it is not $1.2 billion. It is 
$1.176 billion which is below last year's spending, which is $1.244 
billion. To take $100 million now after a lot of hard work, quite 
frankly, by the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar) to identify 
some hard decisions for offsets, but that is the environment we find 
ourselves in, but we were successful in doing that, breathing new life 
into the Amtrak program, giving David Gunn the opportunity to implement 
the plan that he just sent to us on Capitol Hill in April of this year.
  Are we so impatient that we have to identify long-distance routes and 
we have to take a meat axe approach to the Amtrak budget that we cannot 
let some of the reforms work?
  David Gunn gets it. He gets that there is a problem with the food 
service, and he needs to do something about it. He gets the fact that 
the Acela high-speed train system has some difficulty with disk brakes 
that were manufactured in a poor fashion, and he needs to do something 
about it.
  Those of us on the authorizing committee get it, and that is why we 
have already had two hearings dealing with difficulties at Amtrak. The 
next phase will be to invite people with all the good ideas, and 
everybody in this chamber has good ideas about how to fix something, 
anybody that has a good idea on how to reform Amtrak, to invite the 
States to participate in providing quality inter city train service in 
this country, will be invited to appear before our subcommittee and 
also the full committee to engage in that discussion.
  But this amendment, I have to say, really is a wolf in sheep's 
clothing because its purports to help homeless people. Everybody in the 
Chamber I bet wants to help homeless people, but the real intent, I 
would suggest, is to take $100 million away from Amtrak that we have 
just been able to restore. It was unanimous. It was a voice vote. 
Everybody supported it on the last occasion, and that, again, puts us 
into a bankruptcy situation. It is bad policy.
  Every other industrialized Nation in the world recognizes that 
passenger rail service is something worth keeping. The United States 
Congress, or some of us, seem to be the only body in the world that 
think that it is not worth saving.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, last week, we had a rather unpleasant debate on this 
Floor about what we should be doing vis-a-vis religious conversion. The 
gentleman from Wisconsin was involved, but once again, he is today 
dealing with religious conversion, but today, he was welcoming 
converts. He was welcoming those who for many years have whittled away 
and chopped away and hacked away at our efforts to help low-income 
people, and now he has, as he said, found some people who understand 
it.
  Some of us must tell my colleagues, we are a little skeptical. To be 
told by some of the supporters of this amendment that I and others who 
have been fighting so hard to prevent these savage cuts in housing for 
low-income people that we are somehow insensitive to the homeless is 
like being called silly by the Three Stooges.
  The fact is that there has been a sustained attack on everything the 
Federal Government has tried to do to provide housing, and it is not 
just in the past.
  The Committee on Financial Services, on which I serve, reported out 
by an overwhelming vote a bill which included a provision which would 
take some of the profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, not tax 
dollars but profits from corporations which get great Federal 
advantages, so we felt entitled to do this, and we were following a 
precedent set years ago with the Federal Home Loan Bank. We said, let 
us take 5 percent of their after-tax profits and help build houses for 
homeless people. It would produce an

[[Page H5410]]

amount five or six times each year what this amendment deals with. You 
want to help the homeless, you have to try and build them homes.
  Well, we have been told by some of the most conservative members of 
this body that that is a terrible thing, and we have been told that 
they are going to try and stop the bill from even coming up.
  So, if Members want to genuinely help the homeless, there are at 
least two pending ways to do it. One, cut back on Amtrak. Two, let us 
take a percentage of the profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a 
time-tested program, a concept endorsed I understand by Jack Kemp, a 
former Secretary of HUD, back when the Secretary of HUD was even on the 
Republican side, cared about housing, and let us go that way. Now, we 
say, well, but let us take it out of Amtrak.
  I wish this concern for the poor had been around when we were doing 
some earlier bills. As I understand it, we voted a significant amount 
of money to send people to Mars. We cannot find enough money for the 
homeless so we have to take it out of Amtrak. Well, would it not have 
been better to take it out of the trip to Mars? I mean, literally, this 
Congress voted to start spending, at least this House did, to send 
people to Mars, and at the same time, we talk about, well, but we have 
to cut Amtrak to help the homeless. Where was the concern for the 
homeless when you were going to Mars?
  Mr. Chairman, there are many ways to help the homeless. Many of us, 
in a bipartisan way on the Committee on Financial Services, and I would 
note that the gentleman from Ohio who just spoke was one of those 
Republicans on the Committee on Financial Services who voted with us on 
that proposal for affordable housing. He understands and voted, as did 
others on that committee from both parties, that there are better ways 
to do this.
  I think, frankly, that we have done enough damage to low-income 
people. We are now giving true meaning to the phrase, let us add insult 
to injury; let us use the lowest-income people in this country as a 
pawn in this effort to dismantle a decent rail system.
  I welcome them, as does the gentleman from Wisconsin, this newfound 
support for the poor. I am available to help people in a far less 
destructive fashion to let them learn how to do it. I understand, when 
you are new to something, you are not always good at it. When you are 
new at helping poor people, it may not come out too good. Some of us 
who have been trying this for a long time are available for 
instruction.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I would just like to point out that, in the bill that 
we have before us, that the appropriation for homeless assistance 
grants is increased by about 8 percent over last year's, the 2005 
appropriation. It is up by $100 million over the 2005 appropriation, 
but that is almost two-thirds of the way to what had been the budget 
request.
  Now, there are many, many places in this bill that the budget request 
by the President is under two-thirds of the amount that had been 
requested in the budget by the President, and this is one where we are 
already at that level, at least. The increase of $100 million and an 8 
percent increase in the budget is a very good set of funding, given the 
kind of allocation that the subcommittee was given. That, first of all.
  Second of all, I point out that the gentleman from Minnesota who 
spoke earlier for retaining the elimination of the long-distance 
routes, which carries with it a cost of a total waste of money, carries 
with it a cost of $369 million which has been estimated as the cost of 
shutting down those routes. It seems to me that it would be far better 
to retain the routes, to retain the routes over the long haul and to 
make the savings of $300 million in other places in the high costs of 
those routes which we know how to do and still have the service and 
still have the national passenger rail system.
  However, by the amendment that the gentleman offers, what he does is 
to now, after the previous decision adding $600 million roughly to the 
Amtrak, he takes $100 million of that out and puts them back in the 
position where the amount of money is not adequate to keep the whole 
system running for the year.
  So this is really a counterproductive amendment from the Amtrak point 
of view. It puts them back in the position of not having enough money 
to run for the year, and at the same time, he has voted and spoken even 
for making certain that we waste the $370 million or thereabouts on the 
shutdown of those long-distance routes.

                              {time}  1545

  So I would hope that we would not adopt this amendment. I think that 
there are other ways that we could do that that would normally be for 
homeless assistance grants, except that there is already a very large 
increase in the homeless assistance grant, and in so doing we then 
return Amtrak to an untenable position. So I hope the amendment is not 
adopted.
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, this is the most discouraging part of this discussion 
that we have had this afternoon. Everybody has been civil. I think 
everybody has attempted to be nonpartisan, which is how it should be on 
such an important piece of legislation. Even if we eliminated all the 
long-distance routes in Amtrak, we would save $300 million. But these 
savings do not occur in the first year because these are expenses that 
are accrued. This is not acceptable.
  What is most reprehensible is to not only deal with the facts but 
make those who support this legislation of returning the $1.2 billion 
to its rightful place, that we somehow are going to be on the side of 
those depriving those who are homeless of necessary resources. That, to 
me, is despicable.
  I really want to say a different word, but I respect the institution 
and I respect the gentleman from Minnesota. But this is horrible. We 
ought to take a good look at ourselves. We ought to take a look at how 
many letters we sign, how many parts of the petitions over the years we 
have come back to this Congress with to say, ``Please restore the 
dollars for the homeless. Please restore the dollars for the 
downtrodden.'' Neither party is privy to virtue. Neither party is privy 
to who cares more about the homeless. But do not try to take it out of 
something that you know we have been fighting for that is necessary.
  Now, I have an idea. Why do we not do away with the long-distance 
route the Carolinian? That is 305,000 passengers. Let us wipe it out 
tomorrow. You tell those people in Raleigh and Richmond and Washington, 
D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia, you tell them we are taking the 
route off because we think there are more productive routes and that 
this is the least productive. You write the letter and put your 
signature on it and tell them that. You put your signature on that.
  We, as a body, must do for the homeless together, and we as a body 
must do for those who ride the trains all over this country. You have 
seen enough of the map. You have seen enough of those routes that go 
everywhere and every place. And if we are going to have a system of 
intermodal transportation in this country, we all have to pull 
together.
  No one denies there should be some changes in Amtrak. I have fought 
for them myself. But do not stand there and tell me that I am not 
responding to the homeless. I take exception to that. You are pointing 
at me. You are not making a general statement. I am not going to let 
you get away with making a general statement that those of us on this 
side of the aisle and those of you on this side of the aisle do not 
care about the homeless.
  So you have done, I think, a disservice to both sides of the aisle 
when you suggest that we can take a little off here and put it over 
there. This is not checkers. This is the real stuff. This is the real 
thing, and we need an intermodal system. We need a system of national 
transportation started by President Nixon in 1971.
  I will end on that note.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I join all our colleagues in asking us to come to our 
senses with reference to dealing with matters pertaining to the 
homeless. We talk an awful lot, and correctly so here in this 
institution, about homeless people and veterans. The connection seems

[[Page H5411]]

to get lost in this particular argument that a significant number of 
the homeless are people who are former soldiers who once protected all 
of us in this country.
  I shudder to think what is going to happen psychologically to some 
who are presently in Afghanistan and in Iraq when they return home. I 
suspect that we will see them, not all, but a lot of them, on corners, 
like we see some of the Vietnam veterans and we saw some of the Korean 
veterans and some of the Desert Storm veterans.
  All of us want to assure that the homeless are properly cared for. 
Now, then, to say that the money to take care of them should come out 
of an intermodal system that is vital to our Nation's transportation is 
a bit disingenuous and, in many respects, is harmful to our overall 
structure.
  Let me ask everybody to think about September 12, after the 
devastating impact of terrorism here on September 11. The entire air 
system of the United States of America was grounded. I have not heard 
the argument here from many of my colleagues on either side of the 
aisle that transportation, the intermodal system, becomes a national 
security matter.
  Assume for the moment that those that would have Amtrak not operate, 
and I am not here to suggest that there are not necessary reforms 
within that rail system, and I believe we all know what they are, and I 
think a lot of us know how to help them achieve it, but as a national 
security matter, if by chance we did not have a passenger rail system 
of consequence in this Nation and we suffer yet another attack like we 
did on September 11, then we add to our interstate highway system the 
number of things that need to be transported and individuals who have 
necessary business.
  I cannot begin to tell you the number of Congress people that had to 
go up that corridor on Amtrak to do the business of this Nation. Please 
look at it realistically. Do not do the homeless this way and do not do 
Amtrak this way. Let us come together in a bipartisan fashion and do 
something that we have not done well around here, and that is work 
together to better Amtrak and to assure that no one in this great 
Nation of ours is homeless.
  Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, first of all, let me just say that the Republicans are 
very good at talking out of both sides of their mouths. Because as far 
as I am concerned, they practice what I call reverse Robin Hood: 
robbing from the poor and working people to give tax breaks to the 
rich. Not to Amtrak, but to the rich.
  So let us be clear. This is not about whether or not we support the 
homeless. I have never not voted to support the homeless. In fact, one-
third of the people that are homeless are veterans. They are veterans. 
And we do not adequately fund the veterans appropriations. All of a 
sudden you discovered that we are $1 billion short for the veterans. We 
have been saying all along, all of the independent budgets, that we are 
$3 billion.
  So do not come up here and try to act Miss High and Mighty as far as 
this amendment is concerned. This is about Amtrak and whether or not we 
are going to have a National Transportation System in this country. It 
is clear that you have Republicans over there that do not support a 
National Transportation System, and we are going to have an opportunity 
to put it on the board.
  The ink is not even dry. They have not even printed the amendment 
when you come up here to take $100 million from Amtrak. Let us not kid 
ourselves. This amendment is not about the homeless; this is about 
taking another bite at the apple. The House voted to fund Amtrak at 
$1.178 billion. Let us do not just start over again.
  We have heard about the homeless. When do the Republicans support the 
homeless? Look at the budget. Over and over again, look at the record 
as to how you stand as far as the poor people of this country. In fact, 
we do not even use that word around here. Not poor people. We do not 
care anything about them. But transportation generates jobs and 
opportunity for the community, and that is what the question is on the 
table: Do we support a national rail system?
  Do not be confused about the person and the amendment. The question 
is whether or not the American people support the foolishness that you 
keep bringing to the floor of this House. Eighty-one percent of the 
polls say that the Congress is not in tune with the views and values of 
the American people. Well, you can fool some of the people some of the 
time, but you cannot fool them all of the time.
  I support funding programs for homeless, but I am going to vote 
against your amendment because I support a national rail transportation 
system.
  Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  (Mr. ROTHMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Chairman, first allow me to thank my subcommittee 
chairman and his staff for being so extraordinarily cooperative and 
bipartisan in word and deed when it came to the needs of everyone on 
our subcommittee, Republican and Democrat. We on our side of the aisle 
believe there was not a sufficient budgetary allocation to our 
Subcommittee on Transportation. But within the confines of what we were 
given under the budget resolution, I believe that our chairman and his 
staff, my ranking member, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver), 
and his staff put together a wonderful bill, which needed help on 
Amtrak, which both sides of the aisle fixed about an hour ago.
  So it does pain me somewhat to find out that there is an effort now 
to undo the solution that would have helped us keep intact a national 
rail system. A national rail system. Is that some wild idea that we 
just have here in America? No. They have it all over the world. All 
over Europe. China is investing tens of billions of dollars in their 
rail system, their infrastructure. Japan. Talk about rail system. They 
have the bullet trains. Where we here in the United States of America 
are struggling along with trains whose brake systems failed on these 
antiquated rail beds, et cetera. We are the greatest country in the 
world, and we are not keeping up with our infrastructure needs. That is 
wrong.
  They say we are falling behind in education to all kinds of 
countries, India, China, other countries around the world, because we 
are not investing in the education infrastructure needs. And now there 
is this amendment to take away money that would have helped us try to 
keep some of our transportation infrastructure.
  My colleagues, if you cannot move people, if you cannot move goods 
around your country, you are going to be a second-rate country. And how 
we got to be the first-rate country that we are is because our parents 
and grandparents did what it took to build an infrastructure, a world-
class infrastructure of transportation. Now the majority party wants to 
destroy our national transportation infrastructure when it comes to 
passenger rail?
  We have an airline system that the majority wants to subsidize, and 
has subsidized. So has the minority. Both sides of the aisle. We 
subsidize the roads and highways, superhighways all over America. Why 
can we not then subsidize passenger rail in America as they subsidize 
passenger rail all over the world?

                              {time}  1600

  Because they want to privatize it. They want to privatize Social 
Security. They want to privatize rail. They want to privatize the 
Federal Government workforce. They want to privatize Medicare 
prescription drugs. They want to privatize the IRS. Did Members know 
that? They are contracting out the IRS to collect money from taxpayers. 
Private companies they are hiring, when the solution is simply: Give 
our chairman the power, the ability to reform our system. Maybe we need 
a separate capital account to maintain the rail beds and improve the 
stations, as well as an operating account. Make the reforms necessary, 
but we cannot do it on the cheap.
  It is like you have three houses: One for airplanes, one for roads, 
and one for rail, and people live in those houses.
  The house for roads, we pay the mortgage and provide money to fix the 
roof and keep the sewer system alive.
  The same with airlines. We pay for the mortgage and keep the roof up 
and all of structures and systems intact.

[[Page H5412]]

  But when it comes to the rail, the house of rail that the Republicans 
want to build, yes, they will pay most of the mortgage, but not all. 
But no money for the roof that is falling down. No money for the water 
system that is decaying and bringing lead-filled water into the home.
  They say, if you managed your home budget better, rail system, that 
would be enough. Yes, maybe the rail system does not manage their money 
100 percent as well as we would like, and that is why we need reforms; 
but we have to give them the money to fix the roof. We have to give 
them the money to fix the trains, fix the stations, and fix the rail 
beds, and have enough money to operate the trains safely, especially 
when there are threats of terrorism facing our railroads, and 
especially given the real world possibility of horrible incidents 
occurring.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Rothman) 
has expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Rothman was allowed to proceed for 1 
additional minute.)
  Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Chairman, we need three different kinds of national 
transportation systems in America: Airlines; highways for cars and 
trucks; and rail for freight and passenger service.
  That is only if we want to be a first-class country. That is only if 
we want to be a first-class country, because we could give up that 
status and be a second-rate country, and then this amendment would fit 
right in. Just toss our national rail transportation network into the 
garbage. We do not need it because we want to be a second-class 
country.
  Not on my watch, not without my objection. Reform, yes. We have 
Members on both sides of this aisle, people of goodwill and intentions 
who want reform, but we cannot starve the patient and expect it to live 
and run a marathon. We cannot tell the homeowner, We will give you 
almost as much as you need for your mortgage, but nothing for the roof 
falling down. It cannot be done.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to 
reject this amendment.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, we cannot attribute good intentions to my good friend. 
I do not know his heart. And certainly there are homeless Americans, 
and the numbers are growing. Unemployment in America is soaring. The 
money spent for the war is ongoing. And when we begin to look at the 
landscape, more and more Americans are unemployment and underemployed. 
Forty-four million Americans are uninsured.
  But here is what you call borrowing from a poor Peter to pay a 
devastated Paul. Homelessness in America needs its own special 
attention. In fact, I wish we were not under a massive budget cut, the 
low ebbing, if you will, of funding America's greatest needs.
  I would hope the gentleman would join me and the colleagues that have 
spoken and really address the questions of homelessness. I would 
venture to say we can almost spend a billion dollars to provide housing 
for Americans.
  But when it comes to taking money from an already crippled system 
that really assists the poorest of Americans many times in getting from 
place to place, we are not gaining, we are only losing.
  In the midst of this fight and debate, there are many cities who are 
fighting for more light rail dollars. The city of Houston has been to 
be one. We are being frustrated by the new formulas that have been 
generated only because we do not have the money. I want to see the 
system in Washington, D.C., get the billions-plus they need for their 
light rail system, but because of the fact that we are out of money, 
cities and rural areas across America in fact are suffering in terms of 
expanding and growing their light rail system with artificial capping 
and victimizing those citizens who are needing service.
  We are in a battle right now to get rail to minority communities in 
Houston that were promised it, and they are not able to get it right 
now because of formula cuts.
  I would like to be able to take that money out of Amtrak and provide 
for light rail. I hope we will find a way to solve our problem, but in 
the sense of collegiality or recognizing that we have a crisis, I know 
we cannot cripple Amtrak any further.
  I hope, my good friend, as they say, we will lock arms together and 
fight the problem of homelessness. I hope you will join us by adding 
dollars to the section 8 underfunded allotment that we have. I hope the 
gentleman will join in adding dollars for emergency home repair for 
senior citizens who live in dilapidated housing all over America.
  But we cannot afford to take $100 million from someone who is 
crippled, as Amtrak is, and stifle transportation across America; and 
then, if you will, give money to a poor Paul, and that is for the 
homeless.
  We want a collective, comprehensive effort that will really attack 
the question of homelessness. Might I say that homelessness also goes 
to societal concerns: Addiction, unemployment, lack of education. It 
just does not get solved with $100 million for those who are homeless 
and veterans who are suffering.
  So I think this amendment bears consideration only because I do not 
judge the gentleman's heart, but we should oppose it because we need a 
more comprehensive response, and we cannot undermine an already broken 
system of heavy rail that people are needing to survive. And for those 
of us who are still fighting for light rail, we certainly need a 
lifeline. And obviously, we all need an infusion of dollars to provide 
for a comprehensive solution. I hope we will work together for that. 
For that reason, I oppose the amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Kennedy).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Kennedy) 
will be postponed.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I am not going to offer an amendment, but I do want to 
speak on this bill. First of all, I want to congratulate the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) and the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. Olver) for their hard work on this bill.
  The last amendment demonstrates the folly of the Republican fiscal 
policies and the Republican budget. There are simply insufficient 
resources to cover the responsibilities, not the wants, but the 
responsibilities that we have. I want to speak about one of those.
  I am pleased that the bill before us recognizes the importance of 
continuing our investment in helping States reform their election 
systems. This bill sensibly provides $15.8 million to the new Election 
Assistance Commission so it can fulfill the high expectations Congress 
intended when it passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
  I am personally gratified that the bill's accompanying report urges 
the EAC to set aside $250,000 for the HAVA college program, an 
innovative program that encourages college students all over the Nation 
to enlist as nonpartisan poll workers.
  But, Mr. Chairman, this bill falls short of what HAVA requires. 
Almost 3 years after HAVA was enacted, Congress has yet to carry out 
all its election reform obligations and promises to the States. I am 
especially disappointed the bill does not provide the remaining $800 
million we owe the States to upgrade their voting machines, provide 
voter and pollworker training, and improve voting machinery technology.
  I have not offered an amendment because there is not $800 million to 
take from one of the objects in this bill to an obligation that we 
have, so I am not offering an amendment. Moreover, starting on January 
1, HAVA requires, and I want my friends, particularly on the Republican 
side of the aisle, who have been properly very concerned about unfunded 
mandates. They have talked a lot about unfunded mandates. I agree with 
you on unfunded mandates.
  This bill, HAVA, required States to spend money and it requires them 
to

[[Page H5413]]

have every voter online with the local precinct in statewide 
registration offices. That is expensive. It will help elections, but it 
is expensive. These systems, which will cost States tens of millions of 
dollars to install and maintain, will go a long way toward improving 
the accuracy and reliability of registration rolls and reduce fraud, 
something we all can agree on.
  Today, Congress has appropriated $3 billion of the $3.8 billion 
promised in HAVA, roughly 78 percent of what was promised. That sum 
represents an important down payment to the States, and I thank the 
Speaker, the former chairman, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young), 
and the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Ney) for their strong support in 
securing this money. I might say that the administration was supportive 
of this as well. This was a bipartisan effort.
  However, we clearly have not carried out our promise. I happen to 
believe that a promise only partially fulfilled is a promise 
unfulfilled. For those who would say appropriating 78 percent is 
enough, I would suggest to them that they ought to talk to their State 
administrators who are not able to get the money that we are requiring 
them, hear me, requiring them to spend.
  The principal cosponsors spent considerable time estimating how much 
it would cost the States to fulfill all of the mandates prescribed in 
the bill. We consulted State and local election officials, the 
Congressional Research Service and the then-Government Accounting 
Office, among other authorities, before deciding $3.8 billion would 
provide the States with the resources necessary for comprehensive 
reform.
  Indeed, there is reason to believe we underestimated what it would 
cost. Some credible reports estimated the cost will actually be over $6 
billion. At a time when we are spending $1 billion a week building a 
viable democracy in Iraq, money which I have supported, an objective 
that I think is important, we can and must find it in ourselves to fund 
our own democratic infrastructure so that no eligible voter is ever 
refused the right to vote through administrative or mechanical error.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer) has 
expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Hoyer was allowed to proceed for 1 
additional minute.)
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, from 1789 to 2002, the Federal Government 
got a free ride from the States in the administration of elections. We 
did not pay a nickel to elect any Member of Congress, any United States 
Senator, any President, or on running elections.
  If we care about the quality and credibility of our election system, 
we must strive in the months ahead to provide the remaining $800 
million.
  Mr. Chairman, I hope you work with me. I intend to work with the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert) and the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Ney) and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver) and the gentleman 
from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey) in accomplishing this objective. It is an 
important objective to meet our promises and not have unfunded 
mandates, and to make sure that America's elections are run in a 
fashion that will continue to be an example for the rest of the world 
and the pride of our own country.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the 
remainder of the bill through page 47, line 19, be considered as read, 
printed in the Record, and open to amendment at any point.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  The text of the remainder of the bill through page 47, line 19, is as 
follows:


       Administrative Provision--Federal Railroad Administration

       Sec. 140. The Secretary may purchase promotional items of 
     nominal value for use in public outreach activities to 
     accomplish the purposes of 49 U.S.C. 20134: Provided, That 
     the Secretary shall prescribe guidelines for the 
     administration of such purchases and use.

                     Federal Transit Administration


                        Administrative Expenses

       For necessary administrative expenses of the Federal 
     Transit Administration's programs authorized by chapter 53 of 
     title 49, United States Code, $12,000,000: Provided, That no 
     more than $80,000,000 of budget authority shall be available 
     for these purposes: Provided further, That of the funds 
     available not to exceed $989,000 shall be available for the 
     Office of the Administrator; not to exceed $7,284,000 shall 
     be available for the Office of Administration; not to exceed 
     $4,140,000 shall be available for the Office of the Chief 
     Counsel; not to exceed $1,276,000 shall be available for the 
     Office of Communication and Congressional Affairs; not to 
     exceed $7,916,000 shall be available for the Office of 
     Program Management; not to exceed $7,123,000 shall be 
     available for the Office of Budget and Policy; not to exceed 
     $4,712,000 shall be available for the Office of Demonstration 
     and Innovation; not to exceed $3,113,000 shall be available 
     for the Office of Civil Rights; not to exceed $4,155,000 
     shall be available for the Office of Planning; not to exceed 
     $21,408,000 shall be available for regional offices; and not 
     to exceed $17,884,000 shall be available for the central 
     account: Provided further, That the Administrator is 
     authorized to transfer funds appropriated for an office of 
     the Federal Transit Administration: Provided further, That no 
     appropriation for an office shall be increased or decreased 
     by more than a total of 5 percent during the fiscal year by 
     all such transfers: Provided further, That any change in 
     funding greater than 5 percent shall be submitted for 
     approval to the House and Senate Committees on 
     Appropriations: Provided further, That any funding 
     transferred from the central account shall be submitted for 
     approval to the House and Senate Committees on 
     Appropriations: Provided further, That none of the funds 
     provided or limited in this Act may be used to create a 
     permanent office of transit security under this heading: 
     Provided further, That of the funds in this Act available for 
     the execution of contracts under section 5327(c) of title 49, 
     United States Code, $2,000,000 shall be reimbursed to the 
     Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General 
     for costs associated with audits and investigations of 
     transit-related issues, including reviews of new fixed 
     guideway systems: Provided further, That upon submission to 
     the Congress of the fiscal year 2007 President's budget, the 
     Secretary of Transportation shall transmit to Congress the 
     annual report on new starts, proposed allocations of funds 
     for fiscal year 2007: Provided further, That the amount 
     herein appropriated shall be reduced by $20,000 per day for 
     each day after initial submission of the President's budget 
     that the report has not been submitted to the Congress.


                             Formula Grants

                     (including transfer of funds)

       For necessary expenses to carry out 49 U.S.C. 5307, 5308, 
     5310, 5311, 5327, 5335 and section 3038 of Public Law 105-
     178, $662,550,000, to remain available until expended: 
     Provided, That no more than $4,417,000,000 of budget 
     authority shall be available for these purposes: Provided 
     further, That of the amount available, $2,500,000 shall be 
     available for the National Transit database.


                   University Transportation Research

       For necessary expenses to carry out 49 U.S.C. 5505, 
     $1,200,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, 
     That no more than $8,000,000 of budget authority shall be 
     available for these purposes.


                     Transit Planning and Research

       For necessary expenses to carry out 49 U.S.C. 5303, 5304, 
     5305, 5311(b)(2), 5312, 5313(a), 5314, 5315, and 5322, 
     $24,049,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, 
     That no more than $160,325,000 of budget authority shall be 
     available for these purposes.


                      Trust Fund Share of Expenses

                (liquidation of contract authorization)

                          (highway trust fund)

       Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for payment of 
     obligations incurred in carrying out 49 U.S.C. 5303-5308, 
     5310-5315, 5317(b), 5322, 5327, 5334, 5505, and sections 3037 
     and 3038 of Public Law 105-178, $7,209,700,000, to remain 
     available until expended, and to be derived from the Mass 
     Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund: Provided, That 
     $3,754,450,000 shall be paid to the Federal Transit 
     Administration's formula grants account: Provided further, 
     That $136,276,000 shall be paid to the Federal Transit 
     Administration's transit planning and research account: 
     Provided further, That $68,000,000 shall be paid to the 
     Federal Transit Administration's administrative expenses 
     account: Provided further, That $6,800,000 shall be paid to 
     the Federal Transit Administration's university 
     transportation research account: Provided further, That 
     $148,750,000 shall be paid to the Federal Transit 
     Administration's job access and reverse commute grants 
     program: Provided further, That $3,095,424,000 shall be paid 
     to the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment 
     Grants account.


                       Capital Investment Grants

                     (including transfer of funds)

       For necessary expenses to carry out 49 U.S.C. 5308, 5309, 
     5318, and 5327, $546,251,000, to remain available until 
     expended: Provided, That no more than $3,641,675,000 of 
     budget authority shall be available for these purposes.


                 Job Access and Reverse Commute Grants

       For necessary expenses to carry out section 3037 of the 
     Federal Transit Act of 1998, $26,250,000, to remain available 
     until expended: Provided, That no more than $175,000,000 of 
     budget authority shall be available for these purposes: 
     Provided further, That up to $300,000 of the funds provided 
     under this heading may be used by the Federal Transit 
     Administration for technical assistance and support and 
     performance reviews of the Job Access and Reverse Commute 
     Grants program.

[[Page H5414]]

       Administrative Provisions--Federal Transit Administration

       Sec. 150. The limitations on obligations for the programs 
     of the Federal Transit Administration shall not apply to any 
     authority under 49 U.S.C. 5338, previously made available for 
     obligation, or to any other authority previously made 
     available for obligation.
       Sec. 151. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
     unobligated funds made available for a new fixed guideway 
     systems projects under the heading ``Federal Transit 
     Administration, Capital Investment Grants'' in any 
     appropriations act prior to this Act may be used during this 
     fiscal year to satisfy expenses incurred for such projects.
       Sec. 152. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any 
     funds appropriated before October 1, 2005, under any section 
     of chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code, that remain 
     available for expenditure may be transferred to and 
     administered under the most recent appropriation heading for 
     any such section.

             Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

       The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation is hereby 
     authorized to make such expenditures, within the limits of 
     funds and borrowing authority available to the Corporation, 
     and in accord with law, and to make such contracts and 
     commitments without regard to fiscal year limitations as 
     provided by section 104 of the Government Corporation Control 
     Act, as amended, as may be necessary in carrying out the 
     programs set forth in the Corporation's budget for the 
     current fiscal year.


                       Operations and Maintenance

                    (harbor maintenance trust fund)

       For necessary expenses for operations and maintenance of 
     those portions of the Saint Lawrence Seaway operated and 
     maintained by the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development 
     Corporation, $16,284,000, to be derived from the Harbor 
     Maintenance Trust Fund, pursuant to Public Law 99-662.

                        Maritime Administration


                       Maritime Security Program

       For necessary expenses to maintain and preserve a U.S.-flag 
     merchant fleet to serve the national security needs of the 
     United States, $156,000,000, to remain available until 
     expended.


                        Operations and Training

       For necessary expenses of operations and training 
     activities authorized by law, $112,336,000, of which 
     $23,750,000 shall remain available until September 30, 2006, 
     for salaries and benefits of employees of the United States 
     Merchant Marine Academy; of which $17,000,000 shall remain 
     available until expended for capital improvements at the 
     United States Merchant Marine Academy; and of which 
     $11,211,000 shall remain available until expended for the 
     State Maritime Schools Schoolship Maintenance and Repair.


                             Ship Disposal

       For necessary expenses related to the disposal of obsolete 
     vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet of the Maritime 
     Administration, $21,000,000, to remain available until 
     expended.


          Maritime Guaranteed Loan (Title XI) Program Account

                     (including transfer of funds)

       For administrative expenses to carry out the guaranteed 
     loan program, not to exceed $3,526,000, which shall be 
     transferred to and merged with the appropriation for 
     Operations and Training.


                           Ship Construction

                              (rescission)

       Of the unobligated balances available under this heading, 
     $2,071,280 are rescinded.


           Administrative Provisions--Maritime Administration

       Sec. 160. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, 
     the Maritime Administration is authorized to furnish 
     utilities and services and make necessary repairs in 
     connection with any lease, contract, or occupancy involving 
     Government property under control of the Maritime 
     Administration, and payments received therefore shall be 
     credited to the appropriation charged with the cost thereof: 
     Provided, That rental payments under any such lease, 
     contract, or occupancy for items other than such utilities, 
     services, or repairs shall be covered into the Treasury as 
     miscellaneous receipts.
       Sec. 161. No obligations shall be incurred during the 
     current fiscal year from the construction fund established by 
     the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, or otherwise, in excess of the 
     appropriations and limitations contained in this Act or in 
     any prior appropriations Act.

         Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration


                        Administrative Expenses

       For necessary administrative expenses of the Pipeline and 
     Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, $17,027,000, of 
     which $645,000 shall be derived from the Pipeline Safety 
     Fund.


                       hazardous materials safety

       For expenses necessary to discharge the hazardous materials 
     safety functions of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials 
     Safety Administration, $26,183,000, of which $1,847,000 shall 
     remain available until September 30, 2008: Provided, That up 
     to $1,200,000 in fees collected under 49 U.S.C. 5108(g) shall 
     be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury as 
     offsetting receipts: Provided further, That there may be 
     credited to this appropriation, to be available until 
     expended, funds received from States, counties, 
     municipalities, other public authorities, and private sources 
     for expenses incurred for training, for reports publication 
     and dissemination, and for travel expenses incurred in 
     performance of hazardous materials exemptions and approvals 
     functions.


                            Pipeline Safety

                         (pipeline safety fund)

                    (oil spill liability trust fund)

       For expenses necessary to conduct the functions of the 
     pipeline safety program, for grants-in-aid to carry out a 
     pipeline safety program, as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 60107, 
     and to discharge the pipeline program responsibilities of the 
     Oil Pollution Act of 1990, $72,860,000, of which $15,000,000 
     shall be derived from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and 
     shall remain available until September 30, 2008; of which 
     $57,860,000 shall be derived from the Pipeline Safety Fund, 
     of which $24,000,000 shall remain available until September 
     30, 2008: Provided, That not less than $1,000,000 of the 
     funds provided under this heading shall be for the one-call 
     State grant program.


                     Emergency Preparedness Grants

                     (emergency preparedness fund)

       For necessary expenses to carry out 49 U.S.C. 5127(c), 
     $200,000, to be derived from the Emergency Preparedness Fund, 
     to remain available until September 30, 2007: Provided, That 
     not more than $14,300,000 shall be made available for 
     obligation in fiscal year 2006 from amounts made available by 
     49 U.S.C. 5116(i) and 5127(d): Provided further, That none of 
     the funds made available by 49 U.S.C. 5116(i), 5127(c), and 
     5127(d) shall be made available for obligation by individuals 
     other than the Secretary of Transportation, or his designee.

           Research and Innovative Technology Administration


                        Research and Development

       For necessary expenses of the Research and Innovative 
     Technology Administration, $4,326,000: Provided, That there 
     may be credited to this appropriation, to be available until 
     expended, funds received from States, counties, 
     municipalities, other public authorities, and private sources 
     for expenses incurred for training.

                      Office of Inspector General


                         Salaries and Expenses

       For necessary expenses of the Office of Inspector General 
     to carry out the provisions of the Inspector General Act of 
     1978, as amended, $62,499,000: Provided, That the Inspector 
     General shall have all necessary authority, in carrying out 
     the duties specified in the Inspector General Act, as amended 
     (5 U.S.C. App. 3), to investigate allegations of fraud, 
     including false statements to the government (18 U.S.C. 
     1001), by any person or entity that is subject to regulation 
     by the Department: Provided further, That the funds made 
     available under this heading shall be used to investigate, 
     pursuant to section 41712 of title 49, United States Code: 
     (1) unfair or deceptive practices and unfair methods of 
     competition by domestic and foreign air carriers and ticket 
     agents; and (2) the compliance of domestic and foreign air 
     carriers with respect to item (1) of this proviso.

                      Surface Transportation Board


                         Salaries and Expenses

       For necessary expenses of the Surface Transportation Board, 
     including services authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109, $26,622,000: 
     Provided, That notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
     not to exceed $1,250,000 from fees established by the 
     Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board shall be 
     credited to this appropriation as offsetting collections and 
     used for necessary and authorized expenses under this 
     heading: Provided further, That the sum herein appropriated 
     from the general fund shall be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar 
     basis as such offsetting collections are received during 
     fiscal year 2006, to result in a final appropriation from the 
     general fund estimated at no more than $25,372,000.


        Administrative Provisions--Department of Transportation

                     (including transfers of funds)

       Sec. 170. During the current fiscal year applicable 
     appropriations to the Department of Transportation shall be 
     available for maintenance and operation of aircraft; hire of 
     passenger motor vehicles and aircraft; purchase of liability 
     insurance for motor vehicles operating in foreign countries 
     on official department business; and uniforms or allowances 
     therefor, as authorized by law (5 U.S.C. 5901-5902).
       Sec. 171. Appropriations contained in this Act for the 
     Department of Transportation shall be available for services 
     as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109, but at rates for individuals 
     not to exceed the per diem rate equivalent to the rate for an 
     Executive Level IV.
       Sec. 172. None of the funds in this Act shall be available 
     for salaries and expenses of more than 100 political and 
     Presidential appointees in the Department of Transportation: 
     Provided, That none of the personnel covered by this 
     provision may be assigned on temporary detail outside the 
     Department of Transportation.
       Sec. 173. None of the funds in this Act shall be used to 
     implement section 404 of title 23, United States Code.
       Sec. 174. (a) No recipient of funds made available in this 
     Act shall disseminate personal information (as defined in 18 
     U.S.C. 2725(3)) obtained by a State department of

[[Page H5415]]

     motor vehicles in connection with a motor vehicle record as 
     defined in 18 U.S.C. 2725(1), except as provided in 18 U.S.C. 
     2721 for a use permitted under 18 U.S.C. 2721.
       (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Secretary shall not 
     withhold funds provided in this Act for any grantee if a 
     State is in noncompliance with this provision.
       Sec. 175. Funds received by the Federal Highway 
     Administration, Federal Transit Administration, and Federal 
     Railroad Administration from States, counties, 
     municipalities, other public authorities, and private sources 
     for expenses incurred for training may be credited 
     respectively to the Federal Highway Administration's 
     ``Federal-Aid Highways'' account, the Federal Transit 
     Administration's ``Transit Planning and Research'' account, 
     and to the Federal Railroad Administration's ``Safety and 
     Operations'' account, except for State rail safety inspectors 
     participating in training pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 20105.
       Sec. 176. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, rule 
     or regulation, the Secretary of Transportation is authorized 
     to allow the issuer of any preferred stock heretofore sold to 
     the Department to redeem or repurchase such stock upon the 
     payment to the Department of an amount determined by the 
     Secretary.
       Sec. 177. None of the funds in this Act to the Department 
     of Transportation may be used to make a grant unless the 
     Secretary of Transportation notifies the House and Senate 
     Committees on Appropriations not less than 3 full business 
     days before any discretionary grant award, letter of intent, 
     or full funding grant agreement totaling $1,000,000 or more 
     is announced by the department or its modal administrations 
     from: (1) any discretionary grant program of the Federal 
     Highway Administration other than the emergency relief 
     program; (2) the airport improvement program of the Federal 
     Aviation Administration; or (3) any program of the Federal 
     Transit Administration other than the formula grants and 
     fixed guideway modernization programs: Provided, That no 
     notification shall involve funds that are not available for 
     obligation.
       Sec. 178. Rebates, refunds, incentive payments, minor fees 
     and other funds received by the Department of Transportation 
     from travel management centers, charge card programs, the 
     subleasing of building space, and miscellaneous sources are 
     to be credited to appropriations of the Department of 
     Transportation and allocated to elements of the Department of 
     Transportation using fair and equitable criteria and such 
     funds shall be available until expended.
       Sec. 179. Amounts made available in this or any other Act 
     that the Secretary determines represent improper payments by 
     the Department of Transportation to a third party contractor 
     under a financial assistance award, which are recovered 
     pursuant to law, shall be available--
       (1) to reimburse the actual expenses incurred by the 
     Department of Transportation in recovering improper payments; 
     and
       (2) to pay contractors for services provided in recovering 
     improper payments: Provided, That amounts in excess of that 
     required for paragraphs (1) and (2)--
       (A) shall be credited to and merged with the appropriation 
     from which the improper payments were made, and shall be 
     available for the purposes and period for which such 
     appropriations are available; or
       (B) if no such appropriation remains available, shall be 
     deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts: 
     Provided, That prior to the transfer of any such recovery to 
     an appropriations account, the Secretary shall notify the 
     House and Senate Committees on Appropriations of the amount 
     and reasons for such transfer: Provided further, That for 
     purposes of this section, the term ``improper payments'', has 
     the same meaning as that provided in section 2(d)(2) of 
     Public Law 107-300.
       Sec. 180. The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to 
     transfer the unexpended balances available for the bonding 
     assistance program from ``Office of the Secretary, Salaries 
     and expenses'' to ``Minority Business Outreach''.
       Sec. 181. None of the funds made available in this Act to 
     the Department of Transportation may be obligated for the 
     Office of the Secretary of Transportation to approve 
     assessments or reimbursable agreements pertaining to funds 
     appropriated to the modal administrations in this Act, except 
     for activities underway on the date of enactment of this Act, 
     unless such assessments or agreements have completed the 
     normal reprogramming process for Congressional notification.
       Sec. 182. None of the funds made available under this Act 
     may be obligated or expended to establish or implement a 
     pilot program under which not more than 10 designated 
     essential air service communities located in proximity to hub 
     airports are required to assume 10 percent of their essential 
     air subsidy costs for a 4-year period commonly referred to as 
     the EAS local participation program.

                              {time}  1615


                            Points of Order

  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I raise a point of order against page 
32, line 25, beginning with ``provided further'' through page 33, line 
3.
  This provision violates clause 2 of rule XXI. It changes existing law 
and therefore constitutes legislating on an appropriation bill in 
violation of House rules.
  The CHAIRMAN. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of 
order?
  If not, the Chair is prepared to rule.
  The provision proposes to place a legislative condition on the 
availability of funds. As such, it constitutes legislation in violation 
of clause 2 of rule XXI.
  The point of order is sustained, and the provision is stricken from 
the bill.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the 
phrase ``notwithstanding any other provision of law'' on page 34, line 
4.
  This phrase violates clause 2 of rule XXI. It changes existing law 
and therefore constitutes legislating on an appropriation bill in 
violation of House rules.
  The CHAIRMAN. Does any other Member wish be to be heard on the point 
of order?
  If not, the Chair is prepared to rule.
  The Chair finds that this provision explicitly supersedes existing 
law. The provision therefore constitutes legislation in violation of 
clause 2 of rule XXI.
  The point of order is sustained, and the provision is stricken from 
the bill.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I raise a point of order against 
section 151 on page 35, line 25, through page 36, line 5.
  This provision violates clause 2 of rule XXI. It changes existing law 
and therefore constitutes legislating on an appropriation bill in 
violation of House rules.
  The CHAIRMAN. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of 
order?
  If not, the Chair is prepared to rule.
  The Chair finds that this section explicitly supersedes existing law. 
The section therefore constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 
of rule XXI.
  The point of order is sustained, and the section is stricken from the 
bill.
  Are there any amendments to this portion of the bill?
  If not, the Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                  TITLE II--DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

                          Departmental Offices


                         Salaries and Expenses

                     (including transfer of funds)

       For necessary expenses of the Departmental Offices 
     including operation and maintenance of the Treasury Building 
     and Annex; hire of passenger motor vehicles; maintenance, 
     repairs, and improvements of, and purchase of commercial 
     insurance policies for, real properties leased or owned 
     overseas, when necessary for the performance of official 
     business, not to exceed $3,000,000 for official travel 
     expenses; $187,452,000, of which not to exceed $7,216,000 for 
     executive direction program activities; not to exceed 
     $7,521,000 for general counsel program activities; not to 
     exceed $32,011,000 for economic policies and programs 
     activities; not to exceed $24,721,000 for financial policies 
     and programs activities; not to exceed $16,843,000 for 
     Treasury-wide management policies and programs activities; 
     not to exceed $63,731,000 for administration programs 
     activities: Provided, That $35,409,000 of the amount provided 
     under this heading is for the Office of Terrorism and 
     Financial Intelligence as authorized in Public law 108-447, 
     of which $22,032,000 is for the Office of Foreign Assets 
     Control, $5,882,000 is for the Office of Intelligence and 
     Analysis, and $1,998,000 is for the Office of the 
     Undersecretary: Provided further, That the Secretary of the 
     Treasury is authorized to transfer funds appropriated for any 
     program activity of the Departmental Offices to any other 
     program activity of the Departmental Offices upon 
     notification to the House and Senate Committees on 
     Appropriations: Provided further, That no appropriation for 
     any program activity shall be increased or decreased by more 
     than 2 percent by all such transfers: Provided further, That 
     any change in funding greater than 2 percent shall be 
     submitted for approval to the House and Senate Committees on 
     Appropriations: Provided further, That of the amount 
     appropriated under this heading, not to exceed $3,000,000, to 
     remain available until September 30, 2007, is for information 
     technology modernization requirements; not to exceed $100,000 
     is for official reception and representation expenses; and 
     not to exceed $258,000 is for unforeseen emergencies of a 
     confidential nature, to be allocated and expended under the 
     direction of the Secretary of the Treasury and to be 
     accounted for solely on his certificate: Provided further, 
     That of the amount appropriated under this heading, 
     $5,173,000, to remain available until September 30, 2007, is 
     for the Treasury-wide Financial Statement Audit Program and 
     internal control programs, of which such amounts as may be 
     necessary may be transferred to accounts of the Department's 
     offices and bureaus to conduct audits: Provided further, That 
     this transfer authority shall be in addition to any other 
     provided in this Act.

[[Page H5416]]

        Department-Wide Systems and Capital Investments Programs

                     (including transfer of funds)

       For development and acquisition of automatic data 
     processing equipment, software, and services for the 
     Department of the Treasury, $21,412,000, to remain available 
     until September 30, 2008: Provided, That these funds shall be 
     transferred to accounts and in amounts as necessary to 
     satisfy the requirements of the Department's offices, 
     bureaus, and other organizations: Provided further, That this 
     transfer authority shall be in addition to any other transfer 
     authority provided in this Act: Provided further, That none 
     of the funds appropriated shall be used to support or 
     supplement ``Internal Revenue Service, Information Systems'' 
     or ``Internal Revenue Service, Business Systems 
     Modernization''.


                      Office of Inspector General

                         salaries and expenses

       For necessary expenses of the Office of Inspector General 
     in carrying out the provisions of the Inspector General Act 
     of 1978, as amended, not to exceed $2,000,000 for official 
     travel expenses, including hire of passenger motor vehicles; 
     and not to exceed $100,000 for unforeseen emergencies of a 
     confidential nature, to be allocated and expended under the 
     direction of the Inspector General of the Treasury, 
     $17,000,000, of which not to exceed $2,500 shall be available 
     for official reception and representation expenses.


           Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

                         salaries and expenses

       For necessary expenses of the Treasury Inspector General 
     for Tax Administration in carrying out the Inspector General 
     Act of 1978, as amended, including purchase (not to exceed 
     150 for replacement only for police-type use) and hire of 
     passenger motor vehicles (31 U.S.C. 1343(b)); services 
     
authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109, at such rates as may 
     be determined by the Inspector General for Tax 
     Administration; not to exceed $6,000,000 for official travel 
     expenses; and not to exceed $500,000 for unforeseen 
     emergencies of a confidential nature, to be allocated and 
     expended under the direction of the Inspector General for Tax 
     Administration, $133,286,000; and of which not to exceed 
     $1,500 shall be available for official reception and 
     representation expenses.


            Air Transportation Stabilization Program Account

       For necessary expenses to administer the Air Transportation 
     Stabilization Board established by section 102 of the Air 
     Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (Public 
     Law 107-42), $2,500,000 to remain available until expended.


           Treasury Building and Annex Repair and Restoration

       For the repair, alteration, and improvement of the Treasury 
     Building and Annex, $10,000,000, to remain available until 
     September 30, 2008.

                  Financial Crimes Enforcement Network


                         salaries and expenses

       For necessary expenses of the Financial Crimes Enforcement 
     Network, including hire of passenger motor vehicles; travel 
     expenses of non-Federal law enforcement personnel to attend 
     meetings concerned with financial intelligence activities, 
     law enforcement, and financial regulation; not to exceed 
     $14,000 for official reception and representation expenses; 
     and for assistance to Federal law enforcement agencies, with 
     or without reimbursement, $73,630,000 of which not to exceed 
     $6,944,000 shall remain available until September 30, 2008; 
     and of which $8,521,000 shall remain available until 
     September 30, 2007: Provided, That funds appropriated in this 
     account may be used to procure personal services contracts.

                      Financial Management Service


                         Salaries and Expenses

       For necessary expenses of the Financial Management Service, 
     $236,243,000, of which not to exceed $9,220,000 shall remain 
     available until September 30, 2008, for information systems 
     modernization initiatives; and of which not to exceed $2,500 
     shall be available for official reception and representation 
     expenses.

                Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau


                         Salaries and Expenses

       For necessary expenses of carrying out section 1111 of the 
     Homeland Security Act of 2002, including hire of passenger 
     motor vehicles, $91,126,000; of which not to exceed $6,000 
     for official reception and representation expenses; not to 
     exceed $50,000 for cooperative research and development 
     programs for laboratory services; and provision of laboratory 
     assistance to State and local agencies with or without 
     reimbursement.

                           United States Mint


               United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund

       Pursuant to section 5136 of title 31, United States Code, 
     the United States Mint is provided funding through the United 
     States Mint Public Enterprise Fund for costs associated with 
     the production of circulating coins, numismatic coins, and 
     protective services, including both operating expenses and 
     capital investments. The aggregate amount of new liabilities 
     and obligations incurred during fiscal year 2006 under such 
     section 5136 for circulating coinage and protective service 
     capital investments of the United States Mint shall not 
     exceed $36,900,000.

                       Bureau of the Public Debt


                     Administering the Public Debt

       For necessary expenses connected with any public-debt 
     issues of the United States, $179,923,000, of which not to 
     exceed $2,500 shall be available for official reception and 
     representation expenses, and of which not to exceed 
     $2,000,000 shall remain available until expended for systems 
     modernization: Provided, That the sum appropriated herein 
     from the General Fund for fiscal year 2006 shall be reduced 
     by not more than $3,000,000 as definitive security issue fees 
     and Treasury Direct Investor Account Maintenance fees are 
     collected, so as to result in a final fiscal year 2006 
     appropriation from the General Fund estimated at 
     $176,923,000. In addition, $70,000 to be derived from the Oil 
     Spill Liability Trust Fund to reimburse the Bureau for 
     administrative and personnel expenses for financial 
     management of the Fund, as authorized by section 1012 of 
     Public Law 101-380.

              Community Development Financial Institutions


                          Fund Program Account

       To carry out the Community Development Banking and 
     Financial Institutions Act of 1994, including services 
     authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109, but at rates for individuals not 
     to exceed the per diem rate equivalent to the rate for ES-3, 
     $55,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2006, of 
     which up to $13,000,000 may be used for administrative 
     expenses, including administration of the New Markets Tax 
     Credit, up to $6,000,000 may be used for the cost of direct 
     loans, and up to $250,000 may be used for administrative 
     expenses to carry out the direct loan program: Provided, That 
     the cost of direct loans, including the cost of modifying 
     such loans, shall be as defined in section 502 of the 
     Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended: Provided 
     further, That these funds are available to subsidize gross 
     obligations for the principal amount of direct loans not to 
     exceed $11,000,000.

                        Internal Revenue Service


                 Processing, Assistance, and Management

       For necessary expenses of the Internal Revenue Service for 
     pre-filing taxpayer assistance and education, filing and 
     account services, shared services support, general management 
     and administration; and services as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 
     3109, at such rates as may be determined by the Commissioner, 
     $4,181,520,000, of which up to $4,100,000 shall be for the 
     Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program, of which $8,000,000 
     shall be available for low-income taxpayer clinic grants, of 
     which $1,500,000 shall be for the Internal Revenue Service 
     Oversight Board; and of which not to exceed $25,000 shall be 
     for official reception and representation expenses.


                          Tax Law Enforcement

                     (including transfer of funds)

       For necessary expenses of the Internal Revenue Service for 
     determining and establishing tax liabilities; providing 
     litigation support; conducting criminal investigation and 
     enforcement activities; securing unfiled tax returns; 
     collecting unpaid accounts; conducting a document matching 
     program; resolving taxpayer problems through prompt 
     identification, referral and settlement; expanded customer 
     service and public outreach programs, strengthened 
     enforcement activities, and enhanced research efforts to 
     reduce erroneous filings associated with the earned income 
     tax credit; compiling statistics of income and conducting 
     compliance research; purchase (for police-type use, not to 
     exceed 850) and hire of passenger motor vehicles (31 U.S.C. 
     1343(b)); and services as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109, at 
     such rates as may be determined by the Commissioner, 
     $4,541,466,000, of which $55,584,000 shall be for the 
     Interagency Crime and Drug Enforcement program: Provided, 
     That up to $10,000,000 may be transferred as necessary from 
     this account to the IRS Processing, Assistance, and 
     Management appropriation or the IRS Information Systems 
     appropriation solely for the purposes of management of the 
     Interagency Crime and Drug Enforcement Program: Provided 
     further, That up to $10,000,000 may be transferred as 
     necessary from this account to the IRS Processing, 
     Assistance, and Management appropriation or the IRS 
     Information Systems appropriation solely for the purposes of 
     management of the Earned Income Tax Credit compliance program 
     and to reimburse the Social Security Administration for the 
     cost of implementing section 1090 of the Taxpayer Relief Act 
     of 1997 (Public Law 105-33): Provided further, That this 
     transfer authority shall be in addition to any other transfer 
     authority provided in this Act.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the remainder of the bill through page 57, line 9, be 
considered as read, printed in the Record, and open to amendment at any 
point.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. Are there any amendments to that portion of the bill?
  If not, the Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:


                          Information Systems

       For necessary expenses of the Internal Revenue Service for 
     information systems

[[Page H5417]]

     and telecommunications support, including developmental 
     information systems and operational information systems; the 
     hire of passenger motor vehicles (31 U.S.C. 1343(b)); and 
     services as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109, at such rates as may 
     be determined by the Commissioner, $1,606,846,000, of which 
     $75,000,000 shall remain available until September 30, 2007.


               Amendment Offered by Mr. Al Green of Texas

  Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Al Green of Texas:
       Page 57, line 17, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(reduced by $7,700,000)''.
       Page 91, line 8, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $7,700,000)''.
       Page 91, line 9, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $3,900,000)''.
  Mr. AL GREEN of Texas (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask 
unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed 
in the Record.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in the spirit of a 
great and noble American, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, who 
reminded us, Mr. Chairman, that injustice anywhere is a threat to 
justice everywhere.
  And I would like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle 
who have fought injustice in housing. I especially thank the gentleman 
from Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg); the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. Olver), ranking member; and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. 
Frank), my ranking member on the Committee on Financial Services. I 
would also like to thank Democrats and Republicans of goodwill who have 
been engaged in this fight for housing justice because fighting 
injustice in housing is neither Democratic nor Republican.
  Fighting injustice in housing is an American cause, and all people of 
goodwill understand that we cannot allow invidious discrimination to 
steal the great American ideal of having a place to call home. This is 
why 37 years ago, Mr. Chairman, this august body passed the Federal 
Fair Housing Act. However, 37 years later we still have more than 3.7 
million Fair Housing violations annually.
  This is why my colleagues have supported the funding of the Fair 
Housing Initiatives program and the Fair Housing Assistance program. 
Mr. Chairman, I thank God for those Democrats and Republicans who have 
supported the funding of these vital programs that not only educate 
consumers about housing discrimination but, more importantly, 
promulgate investigations that produce evidence of discrimination.
  So today, Mr. Chairman, I call upon Democrats and Republicans of 
goodwill to restore these vital programs to the fiscal year 2005 
levels. If we are to keep real the American ideal of homeownership for 
all, we need to restore this funding. If we want the American Dream 
embodied in the adage ``there is no place like home'' to thrive and 
survive not only for those in the suites of life but also for those in 
the streets of life, we are to restore this funding.
  Mr. Chairman, when it comes to housing, we cannot claim justice for 
all of us as long as there is injustice against any one of us. We ought 
to restore this funding.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  I am opposed to increasing the budget for the fair housing programs 
for two reasons. The funds are not really needed, and a reduction in 
HUD staffing to pay for it is completely contrary to what HUD really 
needs. I do not disagree with the gentleman's interest in providing 
more for a worthwhile project. The increase in funds is not needed.
  I think I have said this before. In 2002, 2003, and 2004, HUD was 
awarded $7 million in additional funding to conduct a new national 
survey of discrimination. This work was conducted by the Urban 
Institute and has now been completed, and the report is issued. 
However, in 2005 the increase in funds was retained to complete the 
work and reduce the backlog of discrimination cases that have built up 
at HUD and in the States. The backlog has been reduced and the report 
has been issued. Therefore, the administration requested that the 
budget return to historic funding levels, and the committee mark funds 
the program at the requested levels. We did not go below or above, but 
we did do it at requested levels.
  So, therefore, I do not believe that a reduction in funding for HUD 
salaries and expenses is appropriate for an increase above the 
requested levels for fair housing programs. And what I figure is 
appropriate, I would say that we would urge the defeat of this.
  I am prepared to go into specific details of why this does not 
represent any reduction in activity for the program if the gentleman 
would prefer, but the fact is that we have a very real and harmful cut 
to the agency's workforce in order to put more funds in FHIP. So I do 
not know where we go for more money, and that is the problem that I 
have.
  The gentleman and I spoke yesterday; and the conversation was, I 
thought, very interesting; and also I admit to the fact that he has a 
point about things. I just wish that I could tell him this is what we 
can do, but we cannot do it under the circumstances.
  I urge my colleagues, therefore, to prevent that from happening and 
vote ``no'' on the amendment. HUD can do better.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, we agree with the gentleman from Michigan that reducing 
salaries and expenses would be a mistake, and there has been some 
confusion that is not the fault of the gentleman from Michigan. There 
was, as Members on our side talked about various offsets, some lacking 
at salaries and expenses, but, in fact, it has been changed, and the 
gentleman had no way to know this. He was not misrepresenting.
  But the offset in this is not from salaries and expenses. It is from 
business systems modernization, a $199 million account for technology. 
And the gentleman is correct, and we spoke with various other people 
who represent those who work at HUD. So this is not now a reduction of 
salaries and expenses. It comes from the account on page 57, line 20, 
and following, $199 million for internal revenue.
  Secondly, I would say this: when Secretary Jackson testified at his 
hearing before our committee, the Committee on Financial Services, in 
which the gentleman from Texas now makes a very important contribution 
from his own experience and awareness of the need here, I told 
Secretary Jackson I was disappointed to see this reduction from one 
year to the next. And Secretary Jackson's response, and it is available 
from the record and we will make it available for anyone who wants it, 
was that he agreed it would be a good idea to have more money, but he 
simply had to work within this limited budget. That is, Secretary 
Jackson did not say this is enough. He said it was not enough. He did 
not have enough resources.
  We do believe the modernization is useful, but not at the expense of 
a fairly small amount. This is, what, less than 4 percent of the amount 
for modernization.
  The fact is that housing discrimination continues to be a serious 
problem, and we have had recent hard evidence of that. By mandate of 
this Congress, we collect something that is known as the Home Mortgage 
Disclosure Act data, HMDA data people have heard; and the recent report 
from banks of the HMDA data shows a prima facie case of discrimination 
based on race. There may be some explanation for that, and we are going 
to be looking at that. People have said, well, there are other various 
reasons. But the fact is that the HMDA data is one indication of that.
  I believe this country has made a great deal of progress in doing 
away with housing discrimination. It was not so long ago in the 
lifetime of many of us here when the Federal court still enforced 
racially restrictive covenants which said one could not sell their home 
to someone who was African American. That was changed less than 60 
years ago. We still have racial discrimination. We still have racial 
discrimination particularly in housing;

[[Page H5418]]

$24 million, which is what we would have if the gentleman's amendment 
passes, is hardly excessive for this country of 240-plus million people 
to deal with a continuing manifestation of what I think is the greatest 
single domestic problem we face from our inception, which is racial 
unfairness and racial discrimination.
  The enforcement of racial discrimination is complicated. People have 
become sophisticated. They do not admit that they are discriminating. 
The need to test, the need to do very sophisticated work is important. 
People have a right, if they are prosecuted, to various procedural 
defenses. If we are going to make a good case to prove this, we need 
the money.
  So I would agree with the gentleman from Michigan that it would have 
been a mistake to take it from salaries and expenses, and this does not 
do that. I also agree with Secretary Jackson, at least on this one 
occasion, and I am trying to think of others and they do not come to 
mind, that it would have been better if we had more money for housing 
discrimination, given the role that racial discrimination and 
unfairness have played in this country. The gentleman from Texas, from 
his own career and his own life, has a very profound understanding of 
this; and when he came to this Congress, one of the first things he 
asked those of us who had been on the committee about was can we 
address this.
  And we asked him to take the lead, and he has done that very ably. 
This is a very well-thought-out, really quite moderate amendment. 
Adding $7 million out of this $199 million pool, I think, makes a great 
deal of sense. The money will clearly be well used. Yes, there had been 
other surveys, but no one familiar with the state of race relations in 
America thinks we have reached a point where housing discrimination has 
disappeared. And $24 million in this Nation of 240 million people, what 
is that, a dime a person? I do not think a dime a person is too much 
for this country to spend, and I thank the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Hastings) for confirming my arithmetic because I was a little unsure 
there, but I do not think a dime a person is too much for this country 
to spend in trying to further combat what has been one of our enduring 
obstacles towards reaching our constitutional goal.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the ranking member and the chairman of 
this committee. I recognize the constraints that they have operated 
under and we can go forward from there. But there comes a time when we 
do have to address consequential problems with reference to our 
actions.

                              {time}  1630

  In this particular instance, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Al Green), 
and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lee) and myself have seen fit 
to join hands and bring this amendment before the body because we know 
that this continues to be a concern and a serious problem in our 
Nation.
  Two years ago, President Bush proclaimed June as National Home 
Ownership Month. In doing so, he pledged his support to help, and I 
quote him, ``every citizen, regardless of race, creed, color or place 
of birth, have the opportunity to become a homeowner.'' Yet despite the 
administration's rhetorical commitment, more than 3.7 million fair 
housing violations continue to occur each year.
  The Fair Housing Initiative Program and the Fair Housing Assistance 
Program play critical roles in fighting housing discrimination. Fair 
housing organizations and other nonprofit groups use Federal funds to 
provide vital services directly to communities. Grants are used for 
education and enforcement programs that educate consumers about how to 
recognize and report housing discrimination and to conduct 
investigations and testing of complaints of housing discrimination.
  Despite this obvious need, funding for fair housing activities in 
fiscal year 2006 has been cut by more than 15 percent. This unnecessary 
cut will reduce services and leave many potential homeowners with no 
programs to advocate and enforce fair housing policies on their behalf.
  The Green-Lee-Hastings amendment restores funding to fiscal year 2005 
spending and levels the playing field for all who seek home ownership. 
Owning a home embodies the core American values of individuality, 
responsibility and self-reliance. Owning a home creates neighborhoods 
that promote growth and stability throughout our communities.
  In my view, restoring this essential funding for fair housing 
activities ensures the American dream can become a reality. For the 
last 5 years, we have been about the business of a housing boom, and 
during that same period of time, 3.7 million discrimination acts a year 
have taken place.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for 
letting me correct myself.
  Mr. Chairman, I misread this. Actually, the money comes out of the 
information system section of the IRS, not the business modernization. 
That is $1.6 billion, including hiring of passenger motor vehicles. So 
we are talking about car rentals for the IRS and other accounts. It is 
$1.6 billion.
  Also I have been corrected by the gentleman from New York. The 
population is now closer to 290 million, so we are really talking about 
8.5 cents a person. I would like to be precise. We are taking this out 
of the $1.6 billion information systems account.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I thank 
again my colleagues from California, Texas and Florida. I think that 
kind of at least covers the breadth of the Nation. In the breadth of 
the Nation, I think what happens sometimes is maybe some of our 
colleagues have never suffered discrimination, but I have gone seeking 
an apartment that later was rented to someone else and told that the 
apartment was not available. It hurts.
  We should stop that kind of discrimination. We made progress, but we 
are not nearly there yet. This is a $7 million fund that can assist us 
in avoiding some measures of housing discrimination.
  As far as the chairman's suggestion about the backlog, one of the 
reasons the backlog occurs is because people do not get on the front 
end and do their work. It is like EEOC. They have a backlog because 
they do not have the funds to do what we could have them do if we 
properly funded it.
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, this bill is woefully underfunded. It is unfortunate 
that the administration and many of our Republican colleagues seek to 
cut programs that help the most vulnerable in our country.
  Fairness in housing should not be on the chopping block. This is 
America. That is why we are here to offer the Green-Lee-Hastings-
Grijalva amendment. This amendment would restore much needed funding to 
the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Fair Housing 
Initiative in the amount of $7.7 million, equal to the fiscal year 2005 
account level.
  Mr. Chairman, the Fair Housing Initiative Program and the Fair 
Housing Assistance Program are essential programs at HUD. They handle 
over 3.7 million fair housing complaints annually. Housing should be a 
basic right of every human being, and no one should be discriminated 
against. It is really just that simple.
  HUD's Office of Fair Housing works daily to address the concerns of 
fair housing, civil rights and the disabled. But they still have a long 
way to go to gain the public confidence in the enforcement of civil 
rights laws, protecting minorities and people with disabilities.
  Currently, and let me just mention this, because a lot of our 
colleagues do not know this, but discrimination complaints against the 
disabled are on the rise. A HUD report found that some landlords 
profiting from federally subsidized housing discourage, they discourage 
and they continue to discourage, disabled people from applying for 
housing through discriminatory practices.
  Mr. Chairman, this is just simply unacceptable. It is wrong. How in 
the world can we allow anyone in this country, any landlord, to 
discriminate against the disabled?

[[Page H5419]]

  The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a responsibility 
to every person in this country to ensure that there is no housing 
discrimination in America. We must work with HUD and the Assistant 
Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to ensure that they 
have the resources and the authority needed to protect minorities and 
the disabled in public housing and prosecute those, yes, prosecute 
those, who have violated the civil rights of these individuals.
  Mr. Chairman, I close by reminding this Congress that many people who 
are discriminated against, who are seeking fair, equal and quality 
housing are in our own congressional districts, in your congressional 
districts and in my congressional district. This is not a partisan 
issue, and should not be.
  We must make sure that we restore the $7.7 million needed. We need 
really more than $7.7 million. Let us at least restore that in the fair 
housing accounts to ensure that housing is fair and accessible for all. 
That is a basic, basic principle in terms of our American democracy 
that we should always adhere to. We should not discriminate, and we 
should fund every program that allows for nondiscrimination efforts. We 
need to make sure that this $7.7 million is restored.
  Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman, and I ask my colleagues to 
support the Green-Lee-Hastings-Grijalva amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Al Green).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Al Green) 
will be postponed.


        Amendment No. 9 Offered by Gary G. Miller of California:

  Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 9 offered by Mr. Gary G. Miller of 
     California:
       Page 57, line 17, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(reduced by $24,000,000)''.
       Page 77, line 24, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $24,000,000)''.

  Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer 
a modest amendment to ensure that HUD can continue to work to redevelop 
brownfields sites in our local communities.
  As a member of the Committee on Financial Services and Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure, I would like to commend the 
subcommittee chairman, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg), 
for his hard work to adequately fund our Nation's housing and 
transportation needs through this difficult budget year.
  What we are trying to do here today is, there has been a program 
zeroed out for brownfields. As we all know, on the BEDI grants on 
brownfields through HUD, HUD looks at a brownfield in a different way 
than EPA does. HUD looks at a brownfield in a fashion where they look 
and say, what benefit is it to the local communities, and how can we 
revitalize communities and create economic development? They do it in 
that fashion. They are very discriminatory in how they issue the 
grants, too.
  On the other hand, the EPA looks at one issue, cleaning up polluted 
areas. That is all they look at.
  Experts estimate in the United States that more than 450,000 vacant, 
unused industrial areas sit fallow today because we really have not 
taken and spent the time necessary to clean them up. If you look 
throughout our communities, there are many sites that you see that are 
fenced in, old plants, old industrial areas, that are sitting vacant 
that could be utilized today for housing and for many other areas. And 
they are just basically blighted sites throughout individual 
communities. They threaten our groundwater supply. They cost our 
communities jobs and revenues, and they contribute to urban sprawl.
  It is estimated that if, we clean these sites up the way we want to, 
550,000 additional jobs will be provided through this country and $2.4 
billion in new tax revenues to cities and towns. To build the economies 
and attract employers, an increasing number of States and local 
governments are working to plan, clean up and redevelop brownfield 
sites.
  There is a clear and critical role for the Department of Housing and 
Urban Development to get involved and play a role in this effort. The 
largest obstacle cities face in redevelopment of brownfield sites is a 
lack of capital needed for the initial work, the planning, the early 
stages, the assessment, remediation planning and basically actual 
cleanup.
  Brownfields can be developed through HUD and developed in a positive 
fashion, but we do not do that today. BEDI grants are available. We 
have passed legislation now out of the authorizing committee, in fact, 
the gentleman from Ohio (Chairman Oxley) was going to be here to speak 
in favor of this amendment today, to basically revitalize the BEDI 
process, to make it more simplistic, to make it easier for communities 
to be able to access the funds without pledging CDBG fund as they have 
had to in the past.
  We need to return these contaminated sites to productive uses 
throughout our communities. BEDI programs give local communities 
valuable tools to address blight, create new jobs and expand their tax 
base.
  It is completely different in every State today than EPA. EPA has a 
single goal, and that is just basically to clean up environmentally 
polluted sites. On the other hand, HUD looks at it in a different 
fashion. HUD looks at the BEDI process as a way to revitalize sites, to 
take an actual environmental condition that is perceived or real and 
basically develop it into a plan that currently exists.
  They target for uses not just basically on one issue, but they target 
brownfields for use for economic development, to increase economic 
opportunities for low-and moderate-income persons, to stimulate and 
retain businesses or jobs, that would otherwise be left fallow and not 
lead to economic revitalization.
  BEDI financed activities will provide near-term results and 
demonstrable economic benefits, such as job creation and increases in 
the local tax base. HUD does not encourage applicants who want to land 
bank, who want to go and acquire a site, remediate it, and then just 
let it sit there and allow it to remain fallow.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. I yield to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  The gentleman from California has been a very creative leader on 
this. I just want to agree with what he has had to say. This is very 
important for all of the older, urban industrial areas. I do not want 
take time with my own 5 minutes because the gentleman from California 
has made the case, as will the gentleman from Texas. I just want to 
express my strong support and appreciation for his leadership on this 
and on the BEDI issue.
  Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I 
thank the gentleman.
  The important part is you could generate $2.4 billion to local 
government by cleaning these sites up. We need to give HUD an 
opportunity to do what they do best, and that is local economic 
development, community development. We need to reform the program, 
there is no doubt about it. The legislation we have at hand does that. 
I would encourage support in this area.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support 
of the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to begin by commending the gentleman from 
Michigan (Chairman Knollenberg) and the ranking member, the gentleman 
from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver), for their good work on this bill in the 
midst of an extremely tight budget environment. Both gentlemen have had 
to make some very unpopular decisions. However, eliminating funding for 
a proven, results-oriented program like the Brownfields Economic 
Development Initiative is one I, along

[[Page H5420]]

with my colleagues from California and Massachusetts, feel strongly 
should be reconsidered.
  When cities redevelop brownfields, they boost their tax base, spawn 
job creation, spur neighborhood revitalization and provide 
environmental protection. Unfortunately, H.R. 3058 eliminates funding 
for the continued cleanup and redevelopment of urban brownfield sites 
for which $24 million was provided last year when no funds were 
requested.

                              {time}  1645

  This amendment represents a renewed pledge to communities across the 
country signaling this body's commitment to creating and sustaining 
viable communities. This amendment increases grants available under the 
Community Development fund with the intent that this increase would be 
directed toward brownfields redevelopment activities.
  The increase is offset by reducing the IRS information systems and 
telecommunications support program by $24 million. This account is $29 
million above last year's appropriation and $16 million more than the 
President's budget requested.
  The assessment and cleanup of brownfields are critical to the 
economic and environmental health of communities across the Nation.
  Within the city of Dallas, a Federal investment of less than $2 
million has leveraged more than $370 million in private investment and 
created or helped retain close to 3,000 permanent, full-time jobs. Over 
1,600 units of housing, including 134 units of affordable housing, have 
been developed on former brownfields sites. The program has brought new 
vitality to long-distressed portions of the city, boosting the tax 
base, and bringing important economic opportunities to many 
neighborhoods.
  According to the Government Accountability Office, there are well 
over 500,000 brownfields across the country. Brownfields affect cities 
of all sizes and represent lost opportunity wherever they exist. Yet, 
in spite of this fact, the National Report on Brownfields Redevelopment 
produced by the U.S. Conference of Mayors cites the lack of funds as 
the biggest impediment to meaningful brownfields redevelopment.
  I am aware of the argument that the expanded authority of EPA to 
handle brownfields precipitated the current cut in HUD's the 
brownfields account. EPA's guidelines are much more restrictive. 
However, in my respectful view, that flexibility for our Nation's 
communities to utilize more than one funding source should not be 
eliminated. Further, many communities across the country already have 
existing relationships with their local HUD offices.
  I urge my colleagues to renew this body's pledge to American 
communities and urge a ``yes'' vote on this amendment. I thank my 
colleagues for this partnership opportunity.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, this is an amendment that is difficult for me, but I am 
looking at it, and I wanted to point out a few things that I think 
everybody ought to know about what the Brownfields amendment, what kind 
of heartburn it causes us on the committee. We typically oppose any 
amendment to the Brownfields because of the fact that there are several 
reasons why this program can and should be considered a low priority. 
Let me explain.
  While this program has been funded at about $25 million each year, 
the EPA has an identical program which in 2005 was funded at over $160 
million per year and which has addressed over 8,000 sites. In 2006, 
there was an increase of $10 million to over $170 million in EPA. The 
facts being cited about the number of projects that Brownfields funding 
has served must be referring to the EPA's program, because in the HUD 
program, it is very, very minimal. Let me give an example.
  HUD's program has been extremely slow in spending money. Only $35 
million of the $175 million in appropriations received from 1998 to 
2004 has been spent; $35 million out of $175 million. Rather than 
putting these funds into project development, funds are often used as a 
loan loss reserve rather than for reconstructing sites.
  Besides EPA, there are several other sources of remediation funding. 
Besides EPA, the Brownfields tax deduction of $200 million is what is 
really driving redevelopment decisions, not the small amount of funds 
that are in HUD. Where grants have occurred, HUD grants are a very tiny 
portion of project development. HUD funds on average are just about 2.3 
percent of the total development cost of the project. Moreover, for 
each HUD dollar, there are $28 in private and $12 in State and local 
funds committed to this project.
  What all this means is that Brownfields has found a home at EPA; and 
it clearly belongs there, where there are fewer restrictions and more 
funds. However, I would pause at this point and say that on the basis 
of the work of the gentleman from California (Mr. Gary G. Miller) and 
what he has been doing, and we have had several conversations about 
this, and there may be a future again to look at this down the road, so 
I am not going to oppose it, but I wanted my colleagues to know 
something about what troubles us within HUD; and I am going to, in 
fact, offer to accept the gentleman's amendment.
  Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman 
yield?
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I agree that a more 
flexible, widely accessible program needs to be developed. I believe my 
bill, H.R. 280, achieves that goal, and that is why the gentleman from 
Ohio (Chairman Oxley) and I have been fighting very hard and believe 
that we do need this program. I think we need it. Does it need 
improvement? Yes, I agree. We are going to improve it, and I appreciate 
the gentleman's help.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, we accept the amendment.
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to congratulate the chairman and I want to 
congratulate the gentleman from California (Mr. Gary G. Miller). If 
there is any area that will positively affect, positively affect our 
cities, as a former city mayor, it is this piece of legislation.
  I drive by Paterson, New, Jersey and there are so many places that 
have been abandoned. Either the person could not keep up with the 
taxes, or he cannot clean up the property in the first place.
  If there is anything that fosters private-public partnerships, it is 
this legislation, because it brings together the local community, the 
developer, usually State officials who have their own brownfields 
legislation themselves.
  I want to commend the gentleman from California. I think that this is 
an excellent piece of legislation. I support the added $24 million. I 
think this is going to go a long way. This is something tangible and 
far from a lot of hot air we hear about helping cities from both sides 
of the aisle here. Congratulations.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Miller-Johnson 
Amendment to increase the Community Development Fund by $24 million--
funding that will be allocated toward the HUD-Brownfields Redevelopment 
Program.
  There are an estimated 500,000 to 1 million brownfields sites 
nationwide--covering nearly 200,000 acres of land across the country. 
Indeed, there are over 1,000 brownfields sites in the 2 counties that 
make up my district alone.
  These sites are abandoned, often former industrial properties whose 
redevelopment can be an important ingredient in the economic recovery 
of urban areas.
  As a former mayor, I can tell you that redevelopment is the only type 
of growth that is possible any longer in our urban communities.
  Brownfields development can have a multitude of positive effects on 
our Nation's most troubled cities: they can help to create jobs, 
improve the quality of the environment, and spur smart growth and 
preservation of open space.
  My district in New Jersey has many brownfields redevelopment success 
stories to tell. The formerly abandoned Boris Kroll Mill in Paterson 
has recently been transformed into market-rate rental housing--creating 
39 new apartments for residents and 10,000 square feet of retail and 
office space.
  With financial support from the Federal and local governments 
buttressing private support, the area surrounding the new redevelopment 
has been given new life.
  The buildings have retained their beautiful 19th Century architecture 
with brick fronts, high ceilings and grid windows.

[[Page H5421]]

  With the increasing commitment of Federal, State and local 
authorities to redevelopment, these success stories from our cities and 
suburbs are being heard around the country.
  In the past decade, Congress has made an impressive bipartisan 
effort, as we are demonstrating in this amendment today, to raise the 
profile of brownfields redevelopment projects and pass laws to 
streamline the process.
  Every member of the community benefits from increased Federal 
incentives for development: residents, land owners, developers, and 
businesses.
  Unlike EPA brownfields funds, the HUD brownfields grants are 
primarily targeted for use in economic development projects.
  This HUD program provides a powerful incentive for cities, developers 
and parties facing brownfields liability to convert dilapidated sites 
into engines of economic growth.
  These redevelopment projects enable certain distressed communities to 
experience a type of rebirth.
  They reconnect us to our historic past, renew our sense of pride in 
our cities, and infuse neighborhoods with the vitality and dynamism 
they once had in our great industrial past.
  Let us not take a step backward by zeroing out funding for the 
important Brownfields Economic Development Initiative at HUD right at 
the moment when we are beginning to see real progress.
  I urge the House to vote for the bipartisan Miller-Johnson amendment 
to add $24 million in funding to this important community renewal 
program.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise to congratulate the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. 
Eddie Bernice Johnson) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Gary G. 
Miller) for their recognition that there are communities that are still 
suffering and that the brownfields cleanup has been something that even 
the least of those really understand. You go into a community where 
there has been, if you will, old oil cans piled up in their 
neighborhood, tires piled up in their neighborhood, and you will find 
that they understand what a cleanup and a brownfield is all about.
  I wondered in the original drafting of this legislation whether there 
was full recognition of how important the brownfields cleanup is to our 
communities. In particular, in the community that I represent, we had a 
number of brownfields still waiting for dollars to provide that 
assistance. These extra dollars I hope will spread the opportunity for 
the cleanup but; more importantly, I hope that it will emphasize the 
importance of maintaining this program and maintaining it by funding it 
and letting it work.
  Quality of life is something we owe all Americans. Many Americans 
live in neighborhoods where the quality of life is dependent upon 
public funding and public assistance. Brownfields dollars are extremely 
important. I would hope that our colleagues would vote for this 
amendment because it adds to the quality of life of Americans, some of 
whom cannot fight for themselves.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Gary G. Miller).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:


                     Business Systems Modernization

       For necessary expenses of the Internal Revenue Service, 
     $199,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2008, 
     for the capital asset acquisition of information technology 
     systems, including management and related contractual costs 
     of said acquisitions, including contractual costs associated 
     with operations authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109: Provided, That 
     none of these funds may be obligated until the Internal 
     Revenue Service submits to the Committees on Appropriations, 
     and such Committees approve, a plan for expenditure that: (1) 
     meets the capital planning and investment control review 
     requirements established by the Office of Management and 
     Budget, including Circular A-11; (2) complies with the 
     Internal Revenue Service's enterprise architecture, including 
     the modernization blueprint; (3) conforms with the Internal 
     Revenue Service's enterprise life cycle methodology; (4) is 
     approved by the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of 
     the Treasury, and the Office of Management and Budget; (5) 
     has been reviewed by the Government Accountability Office; 
     and (6) complies with the acquisition rules, requirements, 
     guidelines, and systems acquisition management practices of 
     the Federal Government.


               Health Insurance Tax Credit Administration

       For expenses necessary to implement the health insurance 
     tax credit included in the Trade Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-
     210), $20,210,000.


          Administrative Provisions--Internal Revenue Service

                     (including transfer of funds)

       Sec. 201. Not to exceed 5 percent of any appropriation made 
     available in this Act to the Internal Revenue Service or not 
     to exceed 3 percent of appropriations under the heading ``Tax 
     Law Enforcement'' may be transferred to any other Internal 
     Revenue Service appropriation upon the advance approval of 
     the Committees on Appropriations.
       Sec. 202. The Internal Revenue Service shall maintain a 
     training program to ensure that Internal Revenue Service 
     employees are trained in taxpayers' rights, in dealing 
     courteously with taxpayers, and in cross-cultural relations.
       Sec. 203. The Internal Revenue Service shall institute and 
     enforce policies and procedures that will safeguard the 
     confidentiality of taxpayer information.
       Sec. 204. Funds made available by this or any other Act to 
     the Internal Revenue Service shall be available for improved 
     facilities and increased manpower to provide sufficient and 
     effective 1-800 help line service for taxpayers. The 
     Commissioner shall continue to make the improvement of the 
     Internal Revenue Service 1-800 help line service a priority 
     and allocate resources necessary to increase phone lines and 
     staff to improve the Internal Revenue Service 1-800 help line 
     service.
       Sec. 205. None of the funds in this title may be used to 
     modify the number or location of Taxpayer Assistance Centers 
     until the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration 
     completes a study detailing the impact that such closures 
     would have on taxpayer compliance and submits such study to 
     the Committees on Appropriatons of the House of 
     Representatives and the Senate for review: Provided, That no 
     funds shall be obligated by the Internal Revenue Service for 
     such purposes for 60 days after receipt of such study: 
     Provided further, That the Internal Revenue Service shall 
     consult with stakeholder organizations, including but no 
     limited to, the National Taxpayer Advocate, the Internal 
     Revenue Service Oversight Board, the Treasury Inspector 
     General for Tax Administration, and Internal Revenue Service 
     employees with respect to the types of data to be included in 
     the model that will determine which Taxpayer Assistance 
     Centers should be closed and the relative weight of such data 
     as it relates to such model.

         Administrative Provisions--Department of the Treasury


                     (including transfer of funds)

       Sec. 210. Appropriations to the Department of the Treasury 
     in this Act shall be available for uniforms or allowances 
     therefor, as authorized by law (5 U.S.C. 5901), including 
     maintenance, repairs, and cleaning; purchase of insurance for 
     official motor vehicles operated in foreign countries; 
     purchase of motor vehicles without regard to the general 
     purchase price limitations for vehicles purchased and used 
     overseas for the current fiscal year; entering into contracts 
     with the Department of State for the furnishing of health and 
     medical services to employees and their dependents serving in 
     foreign countries; and services authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109.
       Sec. 211. Not to exceed 2 percent of any appropriation made 
     available in this Act to the Internal Revenue Service may be 
     transferred to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax 
     Administration's appropriation upon the advance approval of 
     the Committees on Appropriations: Provided, That no transfer 
     may increase or decrease any such appropriation by more than 
     2 percent.
       Sec. 212. Of the funds available for the purchase of law 
     enforcement vehicles, no funds may be obligated until the 
     Secretary of the Treasury certifies that the purchase by the 
     respective Treasury bureau is consistent with Departmental 
     vehicle management principles: Provided, That the Secretary 
     may delegate this authority to the Assistant Secretary for 
     Management.
       Sec. 213. None of the funds appropriated in this Act or 
     otherwise available to the Department of the Treasury or the 
     Bureau of Engraving and Printing may be used to redesign the 
     $1 Federal Reserve note.
       Sec. 214. The Secretary of the Treasury may transfer funds 
     from ``Financial Management Services, Salaries and Expenses'' 
     to ``Debt Collection Fund'' as necessary to cover the costs 
     of debt collection: Provided, That such amounts shall be 
     reimbursed to such salaries and expenses account from debt 
     collections received in the Debt Collection Fund.
       Sec. 215. Section 122(g)(1) of Public Law 105-119 (5 U.S.C. 
     3104 note), is further amended by striking ``7 years'' and 
     inserting `` 8 years''.
       Sec. 216. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by this or any other Act may be used by the United 
     States Mint to construct or operate any museum without the 
     explicit approval of the House Committee on Financial 
     Services and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, Urban 
     Affairs.
       Sec. 217. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by this or any other Act or source to the 
     Department of the Treasury, the Bureau of Engraving and 
     Printing, and the United States Mint, individually or 
     collectively, may be used to consolidate any or all functions 
     of the Bureau of

[[Page H5422]]

     Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint without the 
     explicit approval of the House Committee on Financial 
     Services; the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban 
     Affairs; the House Committee on Appropriations; and the 
     Senate Committee on Appropriations.

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the remainder of the bill through page 62, line 25, be 
considered as read, printed in the Record, and open to amendment at any 
point.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Sec. 218. Not later than 60 days after enactment of this 
     Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit to the 
     Committees on Appropriations a report defining currency 
     manipulation and what actions will be construed as another 
     nation manipulating its currency, and describing how 
     statutory provisions addressing currency manipulation by 
     America's trading partners contained in, and relating to, 
     title 22 U.S.C. 5304, 5305, and 286y can be better clarified 
     administratively to provide for improved and more predictable 
     evaluation.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against section 218 
on page 63, lines 1 through 10 of this bill, H.R. 3058, on the grounds 
that this provision violates clause 2(b) of House rule XXI because it 
is, in fact, legislation included in a general appropriations bill.
  The CHAIRMAN. Does any Member wish to be heard on the point of order?
  If not, the Chair is prepared to rule.
  The Chair finds that this section includes language imparting 
direction. The section therefore constitutes legislation in violation 
of clause 2 of rule XXI.
  The point of order is sustained, and the section is stricken from the 
bill.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  It is my understanding that the chairman intends to work with us to 
incorporate this provision into future legislation that the House will 
consider. Is that correct?
  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Chairman, the Chair is not rising to a point of order 
on the substance because the Chair supports the substance; it is the 
manner in which it is being carried in an appropriations bill. The 
Chair wishes to work with the chairman very closely to make sure that 
this position represented in the legislative portion of the 
appropriations bill is included in a legislative vehicle that will be 
before us fairly soon.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, that is exactly my 
understanding.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

         TITLE III--DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

                       Public and Indian Housing


                     Tenant-Based Rental Assistance

                     (including transfer of funds)

       For activities and assistance for the provision of tenant-
     based rental assistance authorized under the United States 
     Housing act of 1937, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.) 
     (``the Act'' herein), not otherwise provided for, 
     $15,531,400,000, to remain available until expended, of which 
     $11,331,400,000 shall be available on October 1, 2005, and 
     $4,200,000,000 shall be available on October 1, 2006: 
     Provided, That the amounts made available under this heading 
     are provided as follows:
       (1) $14,089,755,725 for renewals of expiring section 8 
     tenant-based annual contributions contracts (including 
     renewals of enhanced vouchers under any provision of law 
     authorizing such assistance under section 8(t) of the Act: 
     Provided, That notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
     from amounts provided under this paragraph, the Secretary for 
     the calendar year 2006 funding cycle shall provide renewal 
     funding for each public housing agency based on each public 
     housing agency's 2005 annual budget for renewal funding as 
     calculated by HUD, prior to prorations, and by applying the 
     2006 Annual Adjustment Factor as established by the 
     Secretary, and by making any necessary adjustments for the 
     costs associated with the first-time renewal of tenant 
     protection or HOPE VI vouchers: Provided further, That the 
     Secretary shall, to the extent necessary to stay within the 
     amount provided under this paragraph, pro rate each public 
     housing agency's allocation otherwise established pursuant to 
     this paragraph: Provided further, That except as provided in 
     the following proviso, the entire amount provided under this 
     paragraph shall be obligated to the public housing agencies 
     based on the allocation and pro rata method described above: 
     Provided further, That up to $45,000,000 shall be available 
     only (1) to adjust the allocations for public housing 
     agencies, after application for an adjustment by a public 
     housing agency and verification by HUD, whose allocations 
     under this heading for contract renewals for the calendar 
     year 2005 funding cycle were based on verified VMS leasing 
     and cost data averaged for the months of May, June, and July 
     of 2004 and solely because of temporarily low leasing levels 
     during such 3-month period did not accurately reflect leasing 
     levels and costs for the 2004 fiscal year of the agencies, 
     and (2) for adjustments for public housing agencies that 
     experienced a significant increase, as determined by the 
     Secretary, in renewal costs resulting from the portability 
     under section 8(r) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 
     of tenant-based rental assistance: Provided further, That 
     none of the funds provided in this paragraph may be used to 
     support a total number of unit months under lease which 
     exceeds a public housing agency's authorized level of units 
     under contract;
       (2) $165,700,000 for section 8 rental assistance for 
     relocation and replacement of housing units that are 
     demolished or disposed of pursuant to the Omnibus 
     Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996 
     (Public Law 104-134), conversion of section 23 projects to 
     assistance under section 8, the family unification program 
     under section 8(x) of the Act, relocation of witnesses in 
     connection with efforts to combat crime in public and 
     assisted housing pursuant to a request from a law enforcement 
     or prosecution agency, enhanced vouchers under any provision 
     of law authorizing such assistance under section 8(t) of the 
     Act, HOPE VI vouchers, mandatory and voluntary conversions, 
     vouchers necessary to complete the consent decree 
     requirements in Walker vs. U.S. Department of Housing and 
     Urban Development, and tenant protection assistance including 
     replacement and relocation assistance;
       (3) $45,000,000 for family self-sufficiency coordinators 
     under section 23 of the Act;
       (4) $5,900,000 shall be transferred to the Working Capital 
     Fund; and
       (5) $1,225,000,000 for administrative and other expenses of 
     public housing agencies in administering the section 8 
     tenant-based rental assistance program, of which up to 
     $25,000,000 shall be available to the Secretary to allocate 
     to public housing agencies that need additional funds to 
     administer their section 8 programs: Provided, That 
     $1,200,000,000 of the amount provided in this paragraph shall 
     be allocated for the calendar year 2006 funding cycle on a 
     pro rata basis to public housing agencies based on the amount 
     public housing agencies were eligible to receive in calendar 
     year 2005: Provided further, That all amounts provided under 
     this paragraph shall be only for activities related to the 
     provision of tenant-based rental assistance authorized under 
     section 8, including related development activities, except 
     that up to $200,000,000 of funds made available on October 1, 
     2006, to this account may be transferred to the ``Project 
     Based Rental Assistance Account'' at the discretion of the 
     Secretary.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Nadler

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Nadler:
       Page 63, line 20, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $100,000,000)''.
       Page 63, line 21, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $100,000,000)''.
       Page 63, line 25, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $100,000,000)''.
       Page 95, line 2, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(reduced by $120,000,000)''.

                              {time}  1700

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would increase funding for 
section 8 housing vouchers for low-income people by $100 million to 
enable an additional 15,000 low-income families to afford safe decent 
housing.
  To offset this increase, the amendment cuts the working capital fund, 
a poorly managed computer upgrade program that has been the subject of 
lawsuits and which the committee criticizes in its report on Page 108. 
Even with the reduction, the bill would still provide up to $110 
million in working capital funds for IT projects.
  Please note, the bill provides up to $65 million in working capital 
funds in 11 accounts scattered around the bill other than the working 
capital fund itself.
  We have a choice, Mr. Chairman. Do we want to help thousands of 
families obtain safe affordable housing, or do we think it is more 
important to have a somewhat faster computer upgrade in HUD? If we 
support American families, we should support this amendment. The need 
for housing assistance is staggering. All over the country, local 
housing authorities have long section 8 waiting lists, years long, but 
are forced

[[Page H5423]]

to reduce the number of housing vouchers they give out, not because 
there is not a huge need, but because we are failing to meet the need 
here in Washington.
  In fiscal year 2001, we increased the number of section 8 vouchers by 
79,000. For fiscal year 2002, the number of new vouchers dropped to 
18,000. In fiscal years 2003, 2004 and 2005 not one new voucher at all 
was provided for. Rather, the debate concerned how much funding was 
necessary simply to maintain the same number of vouchers. And so it is 
again now as we debate the fiscal year 2006 budget.
  Despite the committee's assurance that the bill fully funds section 8 
voucher renewals, the committee has been flatly wrong in making this 
assertion in each of the last 3 years; 2 years ago, for example, we 
passed an amendment to boost section 8 voucher funding by $150 million. 
The committee opposed the amendment on the Floor arguing that vouchers 
were fully funded.
  Yet the conference report adopted a few months later added $110 
million over and above the $150 million we added on the Floor, meaning 
that the committee would have underfunded section 8 vouchers by over $1 
billion while saying the account was fully funded. That was 2 years 
ago.
  Last year, the conference report provided $89 million more for 
voucher renewals than did the House bill. Yet just 2 months after the 
approval of the conference report, the Department, HUD, acknowledged 
that even the conference report fell $568 million short of funding all 
voucher renewals.
  Now the committee, once again, says it is fully funding section 8 
voucher renewals. But the President, President Bush tells us that to 
renew all existing section 8 vouchers, we would need $314 million more 
than the committee thinks is necessary. So the committee understated by 
$1 billion, by $568 million, and now by $314 million in each of the 
last 3 years.
  We all understand that the budget is extremely tight and that many 
programs are facing cuts. Our amendment therefore does not seek the 
$314 million above the committee amount that the President would 
recommend. It seeks merely to restore $100 million. This is less than 
the bare minimum of what is needed.
  The amendment will not enable us to provide vouchers to any more 
families than receive them now, but it will allow us to continue to 
help 15,000 families who are now being helped. It enables us to avoid 
throwing 15,000 poor families out on the street. That is our choice. 
The section 8 housing voucher program provides safe affordable housing 
to approximately 2 million American families in urban and rural 
communities in every State across our country. These vouchers are often 
the only resource for low-income families confronted by our Nation's 
affordable housing crisis. Once again, the choice is, will we force an 
existing 15,000 families who are now living in safe decent housing out 
on the street because we do not have the money to renew their vouchers? 
Or will we slow down a computerization program for the bureaucrats at 
HUD? That is the choice. I hope we will elect to help the low-income 
families meet their critical housing needs by supporting this 
amendment. I hope everyone will vote yes on the Nadler-Velazquez-Frank 
amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I will also at this time include in the Record a chart 
which documents the 11 different accounts in which funding for the 
working capital fund is squirreled away, so that people do not think 
that our offset takes too much money away from this program. And I will 
include in the Record a letter in support of this amendment signed by 
nine religious organizations representing Catholics, Jews, Lutherans, 
Presbyterians and Methodists. 


        Account                                                  Amount
Working Capital............................................$165,000,000
S,000,000
Sect. 8 voucher acct..........................................5,900,000
Sect. 8 project acct..........................................1,000,000
Pub. Hsng. Capital...........................................10,000,000
CDBG..........................................................1,600,000
HOME..........................................................1,000,000
Homeless grants...............................................1,000,000
Sec. 202 elderly................................................400,000
Sec. 811 disabled...............................................400,000
FHA--MMIF Acct...............................................18,281,000
FHA--GI/SRI Acct.............................................10,800,000
                                                       ________________
                                                       
      Total.................................................230,381,000
                                                       ================

Less reduction in Nadler amdt..............................-120,000,000
Working Capital after Nadler amdt...........................110,381,000
*Note: The bill hides $65 million in additional working capital on top 
of the Working Capital Account by sprinkling amounts in 11 other 
program accounts. This also has the misleading appearance of 
overstating the amounts made available for programs like Public Housing 
and Section 8.
                                  ____

                                                    June 28, 2005.
     To: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

     Re: Funding for the Housing Choice (``Section 8'') Voucher 
         Program.
       As members of the faith community, we are writing to 
     express our concern about funding for the Section 8 housing 
     voucher program, and to ask that you vote to increase funding 
     for vouchers when the FY 2006 TTHUD spending bill comes to 
     the floor of the House of Representatives.
       Our organizations work with millions of low-income 
     individuals and families who, despite their best efforts, are 
     struggling to meet their basic needs. For many of these 
     families, high housing costs present a major hurdle in this 
     struggle, often forcing them to choose between paying rent 
     and paying for food, clothing, prescriptions and medical 
     care, transportation to work, and other essentials. The 
     Section 8 voucher program offers critical assistance to two 
     million such families, allowing them to live with dignity in 
     decent, safe and stable housing. Through our work, we are 
     witness to the important role that housing vouchers play in 
     preventing homelessness, and in helping families whose 
     members are unemployed, working low-wage jobs, or living on 
     fixed incomes to make progress towards economic stability and 
     self-sufficiency.
       Congress has for many years expressed a strong commitment 
     to the Section 8 voucher program, consistently voting to 
     fully fund all vouchers. We were therefore disappointed to 
     learn in January that HUD had announced a 4-percent cut in 
     voucher renewal funding for FY 2005, despite Congress' 
     intention to fully fund renewals for this year. This cut, 
     which is equivalent to 80,000 housing vouchers, has reduced 
     the availability of affordable housing in hundreds of 
     communities around the country.
       For FY 2006, the House Appropriations Committee has 
     recommended increasing funding for Section 8 vouchers by $765 
     million, which is well below the President's request of over 
     $1 billion. While the Committee recommendation would likely 
     be sufficient to renew vouchers currently in use, it falls 
     well short of restoring those vouchers that have been lost 
     due to the FY 2005 funding shortfall.
       Rep. Jerrold Nadler and other Members of the House are 
     expected to introduce an amendment to increase Section 8 
     funding by $100 million in the House bill. This amount would 
     restore funding for approximately 15,000 vouchers, thereby 
     helping 15,000 poor families obtain decent, stable housing in 
     the coming year. While more is needed, this amendment 
     provides an important step forward in supporting these 
     families. We therefore ask you to support the amendment with 
     your vote.
       As faith organizations, we are committed to strengthening 
     our communities by assisting those who are the most 
     vulnerable, and we believe that our work is not simply a 
     matter of charity, but of responsibility and justice. We urge 
     you to assist in in our work by renewing Congress' commitment 
     to fully fund and expand the Section 8 voucher program.
           Sincerely,
     Call to Renewal.
     Catholic Charities USA.
     Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
     Lutheran Services in America.
     National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.
     NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby.
     Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office.
     Union for Reform Judaism.
     The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and 
         Society.

  Mr. Chairman, the conscience of this Nation is asking for this 
amendment. I ask this House to agree with that and to adopt this 
amendment.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to this amendment. The 
amendment would require HUD to close down most of its systems and its 
operations, and would result in a loss of almost 400 jobs at HUD. All 
of this would occur almost immediately after the passage of the act.
  And tragically, all of this would occur just to add funds to the 
Section 8 program that are not needed. It adds funds for renewals of 
vouchers when the renewal of vouchers has already been fully funded.
  This is a tragic outcome for HUD for absolutely no benefit to 
families on assistance.
  Everyone agrees that the renewal of vouchers at $15.531 billion fully 
funds this program for 2006. The industry groups have said so and HUD 
has said so.
  The only reductions in the Section 8 program that this committee took

[[Page H5424]]

were in overhead and funds originally requested that the Department now 
agrees will not be needed in 2006.
  Specifically, we reduced overhead and administrative fees to reflect 
the transfer of assistance from the tenant-based vouchers to project-
based vouchers, and we reduced tenant protection funds because the 
Department indicates that the anticipated regulation that might require 
those funds is not going to be put out until after 2006.
  What this amendment would accomplish is nothing, or to fund a 
shortfall of any kind. Each PHA will receive the amount it is entitled 
to, and then the additional funds will sit there and be swept up and 
used for other purposes by the administration, just as excess funds 
have been swept up and used for non-HUD purposes for years.
  But here is what I want you to look at. Look at what happens to HUD 
in the meantime. The original request for HUD's working capital fund 
was for $265 million to maintain and develop new systems in HUD, new 
systems for accounting and new systems for programs.
  The committee has already reduced the working capital fund by $120 
million in order to fully fund critical assistance programs, such as 
the Section 8 program. The amount remaining is the barest of minimums 
that HUD has to have to keep its functions, keep its systems 
functioning and keep its functioning going.
  The committee has already removed funds for all system enhancements 
and removed funds for all initiatives. Funds left were for maintaining 
the current systems and upgrades needed to meet Federal requirements 
such as their accounting system.
  An additional cut of $120 million in their working capital fund 
would, according to HUD, simply shut down their systems, shut them 
down, and it would abrogate the contract they have with EDS and 
Lockheed Martin to maintain their systems. The contract itself runs 
over $100 million each year, and it is only maintenance. This amendment 
would leave all of HUD with only $45 million.
  According to HUD officials, HUD would have to shut down the 
accounting system, the development of the new accounting system for 
FHA, system for PIH and to administer the Section 8 program, and then 
public housing programs will be shut down. Virtually all systems will 
be shut down.
  Shutting down the contract that was painfully negotiated over a 4-
year period will also throw HUD into chaos. They have no back up, 
nowhere to go except to the GSA schedule that will cost 150 percent of 
the cost of the contract, so with this amendment, HUD could not go 
there either.
  I would just suggest to the gentleman that this is not workable by 
all of the investigation that we have done, and I would urge that we 
oppose this amendment.
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of restoring funding for 
Section 8 vouchers. Providing decent, safe affordable housing is one 
area that must not be overlooked in the greater debate on spending 
priorities. This bill funds Section 8 at the level of $314 million 
below the President's request, jeopardizing the housing of low-income 
families across the country. Without restored funding, hardworking 
families struggling to make ends meet will be left without homes and 
will be forced to turn to the already crowded shelter system.
  If you are committed to end homelessness as we know it, today you 
have the opportunity to vote for this amendment. The Nadler-Velazquez-
Frank amendment will restore $100 million for Section 8 providing 
vouchers for approximately 15,000 families by reducing funding for 
HUD's working capital fund which provides for the technology needs of 
the Department. This increase will ensure that families working to 
create a better life for their children will have a safe, decent place 
to call home.
  Stable housing is the first step to economic advancement and positive 
outcomes for children. Without a steady home, children suffer from 
being shifted between shelters and the homes of family and relatives, 
missing school and lacking opportunity for the lasting relationships so 
crucial to healthy development. The Nadler-Velazquez-Frank amendment 
will help address this issue by restoring critical funding to a program 
that has had a tremendous impact on the lives of low-income families 
around the country.
  The Section 8 program is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of 
families without which they would face the cold reality of life on the 
streets or the uncertainty of navigating our Nation's swelling shelter 
system. This amendment will prevent 15,000 families from losing their 
homes, continuing the support so needed as they strive to achieve 
economic stability in the face of challenging circumstances.
  In this body, day in and day out, we hear talk about family values. 
What issue could be more linked to the morals we espouse than providing 
safe and decent homes for America's families? The Section 8 program 
serves the approximately 2 million Americans in greatest need, and 
these families are depending on us here today.
  The Nadler-Velazquez-Frank amendment will restore $100 million in 
funding for 15,000 vouchers. This is a modest but important increase to 
protect the homes of families working to overcome obstacles in 
difficult economic times. I urge support of this amendment.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to begin by acknowledging that the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) did a very good job of dealing with a 
difficult issue that was dumped in his lap in Section 8, and I 
acknowledge that. And I think he provided a great deal of comfort to 
tenants and administrators throughout the country by relieving them of 
the uncertainty that some proposed very drastic changes were there. And 
I thank the gentleman for that. And I understand also that he had a 
difficult situation. I would like to see even more.
  The point I would just make is this: From a number of decisions that 
we have made, Section 8 has become the main housing program of the 
United States. I wish it were not. I think it is a mistake to have no 
production. And we have virtually no production. I think we have made 
the Section 8 program, by default, carry more load than it ought to.
  Secretary Jackson talks about what an increasing percentage of the 
HUD budget Section 8 has become. That is partly because they have cut 
out everything else. And so what the Section 8 program is, is a 
survivor. And in an ideal world, we might allocate a little bit more to 
housing production, et cetera. But that is not where we are. We very 
much need this money. It is not nearly enough, but we are in a tight 
budget situation. Some of us wish we were not. Some of us voted not to 
be in it, but facts are facts.
  As to renewals, the gentleman from Michigan may be right that there 
is enough for renewals. I hope he is. He may not be. But the point is 
that nothing in this amendment says it is only for renewals. The 
gentleman from New York pointed out that we have not had any new ones. 
Does anyone think that all of the people in America who need Section 8 
housing now have it, and that we only have to work with renewals?
  We had an amendment offered earlier by the gentleman from Minnesota, 
and I should acknowledge the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Kennedy) 
voted for that affordable housing program that I talked about, and I 
should not have implied if anyone thought that he had not. But he 
talked about a $100 million more for the homeless, taking it out of 
Amtrak.
  If you want to provide $100 million for the homeless, vote for this 
amendment because, you know what makes you homeless? Not having a home. 
That is what homelessness means. And one way to deal with the homeless 
is to get them homes. An additional $100 million in Section 8 is the 
best, most efficient way to provide homes for the homeless. So we 
acknowledge that there is an unmet housing need. And as I said again, 
and I mean this very sincerely. I appreciate the gentleman from 
Michigan with regard to CDBG and HUD and Section 8 and HUD. He brought 
some order of a situation that was fraught with confusion for people, 
and I appreciate his willingness to do this.

[[Page H5425]]

                              {time}  1715

  We are talking now about a somewhat marginal increase. We wish it 
could be bigger. But I would say the argument against this on the 
merits has to be that you think America is now providing housing for 
everybody who needs it.
  I would say to other Members, across party lines, across geographic 
lines, in past years when there have been threats for shortfalls in 
Section 8, I know all of us on the Committee on Financial Services that 
deals with housing have gotten anguished complaints from other Members 
saying, How can we stop this?
  Well, I tell you the best way to stop another wave of threatened 
shortfalls, people not having enough. Rents can go up. You cannot 
entirely predict what the needs are going to be. I tell you a very good 
way to prevent yourself from being again besieged by fears that there 
will be people turned away, et cetera. Put this money in here now. If 
it is not needed for renewal, I hope it is not, I cannot be sure it is 
not, if it is not needed for renewals, then I think we will find in 
this country $100 million worth of people who need housing. And that is 
of course what we do.
  I would say again, if you were tempted by the homelessness amendment 
before, taking it out of Amtrak, let us put it here. As far as HUD's 
administration work is concerned, I think we can probably find some 
ways to deal with that. But I do not think that we ought to sacrifice 
HUD's primary goal of providing housing for people to deal with some of 
the bureaucratic issues. So I hope the amendment is adopted.
  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Nadler-Velazquez amendment to 
restore partial funding for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher 
Program. The underlying bill cuts some $314 million for vouchers that 
enables low-income families to rent safe, affordable housing. This 
amendment would restore a third of that money, $100 million, and 
thereby save about 15,000 low-income families from across this country 
from losing their homes.
  If you are concerned about the homeless, then this should be a 
definite vote in favor of this amendment. This is very much a 
bipartisan issue. This past spring over 170 Members from both sides of 
the aisle signed a letter this spring to the appropriators urging them 
to restore full funding for the Section 8 voucher program. Those 
Members recognized that the Section 8 voucher program is the only 
effective Federal program supporting affordable rental housing in large 
urban areas such as New York City and Chicago and would be very much 
affected if this amendment does not pass.
  Section 8 vouchers provide millions of families across the country a 
safe and affordable place to live and are critical to State and local 
efforts to end homelessness.
  These cuts come at a time when Section 8 is already under attack due 
to program changes in April that threatened to cut over $50 million in 
vouchers in New York City alone. Due to underfunding in the last bill, 
many housing agencies have had no choice but to reduce the number of 
vouchers and cut the subsidy below local rental levels.
  The proposed cuts make this very, very bad housing crisis a much 
worse situation. The money to fund this amendment comes out of a 
program for computer upgrades that the committee criticized in its 
committee report as ``poorly managed and inefficient.''
  I would certainly say that keeping 15,000 families in their homes 
instead is a better choice that supports family values. My colleagues 
on the other side of the aisle constantly talk about family values. I 
cannot think of a more important family value than keeping families in 
their homes. This is what this amendment does.
  In fact, a wide range of faith-based organizations have written an 
open letter to me and other Members of Congress making exactly that 
same point. And these faith-based organizations call the effort to save 
Section 8 vouchers ``not just a matter of charity but of responsibility 
and social justice.''
  There are so many drastic cuts in this bill for worthy housing 
programs that protect the most vulnerable among us, cuts to housing for 
those with HIV/AIDS, cuts to fair housing programs that reduce 
discrimination in housing, and cuts to the Community Development Grant, 
program just to name a few.
  I do want to compliment my colleagues for accepting the Miller 
amendment. It is very, very important to have monies in the budget for 
brownfields, particularly urban areas in order to spur economic 
development.
  You cannot really build affordable housing without a Federal role. 
The Section 8 voucher program has been one of the most successful in 
this country's history in providing affordable housing to those in 
need, and it is unconscionable to have this cut. It would literally put 
15,000 families out on the street and increase the need for more 
homeless housing.
  So if you care about housing in general, if you care about not 
reducing the need for homeless housing, and the other cuts that the 
leadership of our ranking member, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. 
Frank), has pointed out so clearly on the floor, you should support 
this amendment. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I have examined very carefully this budget that we have 
oversight responsibility for in the Committee on Financial Services and 
the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development, and it is a 
matter of whether or not we are going to stand up here on every issue 
and try and get those programs back that have been zeroed out and 
attempted to transfer over to Commerce, whether or not we are going to 
stand here and beg for some meager assistance to help us with the 
Section 8 program, whether or not we are trying to get the Brownfields 
back or the section 108.
  Well, it is pretty difficult to choose which one you want to spend 
your time on. As ranking member of the Subcommittee on Housing and 
Community Development, I really would like to speak on all of them 
because it is really unconscionable that in this time in the United 
States of America, 2005, that we are haggling over dollars to help 
American citizens have a decent quality of life with decent housing.
  We have a crisis in housing in America, not just in our cities, in 
our rural areas. People are not able to have decent housing. They are 
looking to their government for some help. We are giving some help. And 
I am appreciative of the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) for 
the hard work that he has put into this budget. I know that given what 
he had to work with, with the limitations of this budget, he has done 
the best job that he could possibly do. That is why some of us have 
been so opposed to these tax cuts.
  We know that the tax cuts that we have passed in this Congress have 
benefited the richest 1 percent in America while we have people who are 
sleeping under bridges, families that are living in cars, people who 
work every day who cannot get into apartments because they cannot pay 
the first and last month's rent; children who go to school every day 
living in cars who are basically homeless because they do not have a 
place to live.
  For those people who are fortunate enough to get the Section 8 
vouchers, now we have to say to them as we did in Los Angeles that we 
cannot fund some of those vouchers. We made some mistakes in Los 
Angeles, and we over subscribed what we had. And we had people out 
there that we had given the authorizations to that we cannot honor. And 
now we are talking about taking money from one of the most profound 
programs in all of government, a program that simply allows individuals 
and families to have a decent place to live, and we are going to 
eliminate their ability to have decent housing because we want to spend 
money on some computers.
  Well, I am all for good systems. I am all for upgrading. Now is not 
the time. Let us not take money from these housing subsidies in order 
to have computers when, in fact, if we take this amendment, we can fund 
15,000 more vouchers. That is not too much to ask.
  I know that there are those who have said we have made the additions. 
We are not going to undo them. We are not going to turn them around. 
But those of us who get these calls in our offices, ask us, Where can 
you find me a place to live? How can you help me?

[[Page H5426]]

  The lines are long all over America. People wish to get in this 
Section 8 program because they cannot do any better.
  Our ranking member referred to housing production. It is next to 
nothing. We do not have housing production. The cost of the land 
acquisition is too high. It is absolutely prohibitive to try and build 
low-cost units for people who really need them without some government 
help. And we do not have enough government help in order to acquire the 
lands and to write down the costs of building these units.
  The best thing that we could do for those who could not do it without 
us is to provide them with Section 8 housing vouchers. I do not think 
it is too much to ask. I support this amendment, and I am very thankful 
that the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) and the gentlewoman from 
New York (Ms. Velazquez), despite the fact that they were advised not 
to do it, had the courage and the guts to do it. So I stand here with 
them to say no matter what else we are cutting, let us put the money 
back into this program.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I simply could not let the time go by without rising to 
support the Nadler-Velazquez amendment.
  I realize the difficulty of finding resources. We all know about 
tight budgets, and we know that you cannot get blood out of a turnip. 
But the Section 8 housing voucher program is one of the best things 
that has happened for poor people in this country. Every day my phone 
rings incessantly with people asking if we know where they can find a 
place to live; do we know where they can find some low-income housing; 
do we know where they can find some affordable housing?
  And while we are only talking about 15,000 vouchers, which is 
minimum, for those individuals who would be able to acquire them, it 
would be like receiving manna from heaven.
  So I simply reiterate what has already been said and that is if we 
really want to help the homeless, do as the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Frank) said, provide them with a place to live. I 
support the amendment.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  (Mr. MENENDEZ asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Chairman, I want to rise in strong support of the 
Nadler-Velazquez amendment. And I appreciate the gentleman from 
Michigan's (Mr. Knollenberg) attempt to protect Section 8 in the bill. 
I respect his support for the program, but we are here about a debate 
in large respect about our values. That is what the budget process is. 
That is what the appropriations process is.
  We speak to the different issues that we care about in this country 
and our personal values, and the total values of both our parties as 
well as our country are reflected in this national document that we 
call the budget and the appropriations process that fulfills that 
budget.
  Now, when we think about values, what more values are there than of 
having a home, a place to call home, a place to bring your family, a 
place to bring your newborn child, a place where in fact that child is 
nurtured, a place where that child is going to study, a place where 
there will be celebrations, a place where difficult moments will be met 
together by family, a place that is secure and safe and warm and 
comforting and nurturing. That is a value when we talk about families 
because a family that does not have a home finds it very difficult to 
sustain itself as a family.

                              {time}  1730

  So this amendment strikes at the very heart of what we want to see, 
the ability of families to sustain themselves together in a nurturing 
environment that we call home. For too many people in this country, 
there is simply not a place for them to call home, and many times 
families are not even together because they are living with other 
family members. They are separated and apart.
  So, ultimately, this is about creating an opportunity for more 
families to call someplace home, and I wish we were discussing an 
amendment that would be providing far more than $100 million for 
Section 8, but still, this move, this is a critical one towards 
fulfilling the gap that the bill leaves open. At a minimum, we should 
be able to meet the President's request which recognizes the shortfalls 
in the program last year.
  Section 8 is our Nation's most successful Federal low-income housing 
program, but it has been the victim of continual underfunding, sweeping 
structural changes and last-minute policy changes.
  I have seen that firsthand in my district the havoc that it wreaks on 
the lives of people who are in it, and the millions who are waiting 
throughout the country and certainly thousands that are waiting in my 
own district as they wait on the list, and they are told after waiting 
so long, oh, we are still further underfunded; we are not going to get 
to that list. Without warning or rationale, HUD has changed the 
formulas, capped funding, established policies retroactively, making it 
harder and harder for housing authorities to keep up.
  Last year's appropriation left a shortfall of 80,000 vouchers. What 
will it be this year, 100,000? The ongoing shortfall comes at a time 
when the administration has also put forward a proposal that 
dramatically threatens the future of Section 8, and finally, at a time 
when the cost of living is rising, when rented housing prices are 
increasingly out of reach, particularly in high cost areas like New 
Jersey, the answer to these obstacles should not be weakening the very 
program that provides assistance to those who depend on it most. If 
home is where the heart is, let this Congress not be heartless and not 
make more people homeless at the end of the day.
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I did not want this debate to end without expressing my 
support for what the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) is doing 
today.
  The reality is that, while this economy has improved in the last 
several years, while housing starts are on the rise, while the number 
of Americans with the chance at the dream of homeownership is rapidly 
expanding, there are a lot of breaks and gaps in this economy, and this 
program, Section 8, exists to remedy those breaks and those gaps.
  The score of the amendment of the amount of money that the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Nadler) proposes to add to this budget is roughly 
1.6 percent of this bill. This is a fractional investment in the scheme 
of things, but it is a significant investment for numerous families who 
will benefit from Section 8.
  So I want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) for his 
outstanding work in raising this issue and being persistent and 
bringing it before this body.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and let 
me say that I also appreciate the work of the distinguished chairman 
from Michigan in bringing some order from the recommendation of the 
administration on this bill, but I have to make a couple of comments.
  First of all, as I said before, look at what we have done on Section 
8. We have hundreds of thousands of people on waiting lists, hundreds 
of thousands, waiting 8, 9, 10 years for decent housing for Section 8 
vouchers. As recently as 2001, we increased the number of Section 8 
vouchers by 79,000. In 2002, we increased it by 18,000. Since then, in 
2003, 2004, 2005, we did not increase it by one, not by one. Instead, 
we debated, are we funding the existing number of vouchers, and this is 
what we are debating again now. I wish we were debating increasing the 
number of vouchers.
  The gentleman from Michigan says Section 8 is fully funded. Well, I 
do not think it is, but even if it were, we should be increasing the 
number, and if we are wrong, and we are increasing the number by a few, 
that is the right thing to do, but the fact is, look at the history 
here.
  Two years ago, the committee said we were fully funding Section 8. We 
added to that an amendment of $150

[[Page H5427]]

million. The conference report added $910 million above that, and that 
is what was necessary to fully fund it, $1 billion above what the 
committee said was fully funded. Last year, the conference report added 
$89 million above what the House did, $89 million more than what the 
committee said was necessary to fully fund existing Section 8, and HUD 
later acknowledged during the year that that did not fully fund it. It 
was $568 million short, and a huge number of people lost their 
vouchers.
  Now the committee once again says it is fully funded, but the 
President says we need $314 million more to fully fund it. This 
amendment would give $100 million of the $314 million the President 
says is necessary to fully fund it, and again, what do we mean by fully 
fund? Not kick people out on the street, not increase by one, not 
shorten the waiting list. So we ought to be doing that.
  Finally, let me say that we are told that the offset would leave only 
$45 million in its computer account. The fact is the co-committee has 
been very ingenuous in squirrelling away money in different accounts. I 
have here, and I submitted for the Record earlier, the list of all the 
places in the bill where money is squirrelled away. There is a total of 
$230 million. If we take $120 million away, as we will, that will leave 
$110 million for this purpose, which is enough for the computer upgrade 
program that they are talking about. Again, are we in favor of people 
having decent housing, or are we in favor of a somewhat faster computer 
upgrade at the Department?
  Do not believe bureaucrats when they tell us that all will be lost if 
they do not get all the money they need. We should know better than 
that.
  Finally, Mr. Chairman, Republicans many of them support this 
amendment. We passed a similar amendment 2 years ago with Republican 
support; 170 Members have signed a letter in support of this amendment, 
including many Members from the other side of the aisle. They voted for 
the same amendment 2 years ago.
  I urge everyone on both sides of the aisle to vote for this 
amendment, to indicate that the very least we can do is not reduce the 
number of people who have the assistance, who are having decent 
housing. If we value family values, if we value decency in providing 
people with the ability to have decent housing, we will support this 
amendment, and the damage will be mitigated. It is not as much as the 
President wants, $314 million, but at least it is a third of that. 
Unfortunately, we could not find more offsets.
  So I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank the chairman. I urge 
everyone to vote for this amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) 
will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Gingrey

  Mr. GINGREY. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 1 offered by Mr. Gingrey:
       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. 948. None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used to provide assistance under the community development 
     block grant program under title I of the Housing and 
     Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) 
     for any private economic development project (including 
     assistance for any project under paragraph (17) of section 
     105(a) of such Act) involving the obtaining of property by 
     the exercise of the power of eminent domain.

  The CHAIRMAN. The Chair notes that the amendment addresses a portion 
of the bill not yet read for amendment. Is the gentleman seeking a 
unanimous consent request to proceed out of order?
  Mr. GINGREY. Mr. Chairman, I do ask unanimous consent to proceed out 
of order.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to its consideration at this point 
in the reading?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
gentleman's amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman reserves a point of order.
  Mr. GINGREY. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to discuss an amendment that 
I have offered to H.R. 3058.
  I would first like to thank the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman 
Knollenberg) for this opportunity to speak on behalf of my amendment 
and to explain its intent within the greater context of the recent New 
London decision by the Supreme Court.
  The amendment that I have offered would prevent any funds 
appropriated to the Community Development Block Grant program from 
being used to support an economic development project that acquires 
land through eminent domain.
  Like many members of this body and most people in this country, I am 
incensed by the recent Supreme Court decision in the case of Kelo v. 
the City of New London that has effectively turned the deeds to every 
American home and business over to the government. Imagine a sign on 
every piece of real personal property that reads: For Sale By 
Government.
  While most people recognize that eminent domain has been used 
historically for the building of a school or a road which serves the 
entire community, the American people will never accept the idea that 
government can arbitrarily take away one person's home or business and 
give it to someone else for the sole purpose of increasing that 
government's tax base. Government should never have the power to force 
a person out so that a mini mall can move in.
  In the city of Augusta, Georgia, where I grew up there is a little 
shop called the Sunshine Bakery. Owned by the same family for over 100 
years, the Sunshine Bakery may not be a Fortune 500 company, Mr. 
Chairman, but it is this family's livelihood, and it serves as an 
important part of the community. Yet, the City of Augusta could now 
shut down the Sunshine Bakery and sell the property and their life to 
the highest bidder. Frankly, such an act is not only un-American but it 
is also unconstitutional.
  Unfortunately, by the narrowest of majorities, the Supreme Court last 
Thursday decided to abandon its responsibility to uphold the Fifth 
Amendment to the Constitution. By a margin of only one vote, five 
justices have thrown out over 2 centuries worth of precedent and 
protections. They have taken away the constitutional guarantee that no 
one's home or business could be forcibly taken away by the government 
except for public use and with just compensation.
  Mr. Chairman, I encourage every American to read the majority's 
opinion. Rather than ruling about what is public use and what is not 
public use, this narrow majority just threw up their hands and allowed 
government to take, for all intents and purposes, whenever it so 
desires.
  Congress cannot, and I trust will not, stand idly by while States and 
local governments abuse their power of eminent domain. From the largest 
State to the smallest city, no government should use the New London 
decision as cover to take away personal real property and give it to a 
developer to increase the tax base.
  Make no mistake, I fully support economic development and 
improvement. Like most Americans, I believe that communities should 
work in conjunction with their citizens to build stronger, more 
economically vibrant communities. However, what has distinguished this 
great country of ours above all others is our bedrock belief in 
individual liberty and property protections and the security these 
liberties and protections offer. This security has fostered economic 
prosperity. It has created a society in which this prosperity can be 
enjoyed. The Supreme Court, by removing these protections, has struck a 
serious and dangerous blow to the American way of life.
  Mr. Chairman, my amendment would use Congress' power of the purse to 
make sure that this government never subsidizes eminent domain abuse 
and never subsidizes the theft and destruction of people's homes and 
businesses. However, Mr. Chairman, in light of the point of order 
reserved against my amendment, momentarily I will ask to withdraw it.

[[Page H5428]]

  This amendment marks only the start of this discussion, and it is my 
hope that this Congress will set the record straight for the sake of 
the American people.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Georgia?
  There was no objection.


            Amendment Offered by Ms. Kilpatrick of Michigan

  Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Amendment offered by Ms. Kilpatrick of Michigan:
       Strike ``Provided'' in line 3 on page 64 and all that 
     follows through line 19 on page 65, and insert the following:

     Provided, That notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
     from amounts provided under this paragraph, for the calendar 
     year 2006 funding cycle the Secretary shall allocate and 
     provide renewal funding for each public housing agency (other 
     than an agency with a special funding agreement under the 
     Moving To Work demonstration program) based on leasing and 
     per-voucher cost data for the most recent 12-month period for 
     which such data is available as of the time of the such 
     allocation determinations, as adjusted to reflect likely 
     reasonable future costs (A) by applying 2006 local and 
     regional Annual Adjustment Factors as established by the 
     Secretary using the most recent data available, and (B) by 
     applying such additional adjustments to such prior period 
     data, to compensate for changes in the leasing rate or 
     average voucher cost, as the Secretary may approve for a 
     public housing agency, pursuant to application by the agency: 
     Provided further, That application and approval of such 
     additional adjustments shall be in accordance with such 
     limitations as the Secretary shall provide, which shall 
     include the use of objective and fair approval criteria 
     established by the Secretary that provide that (A) adjustment 
     to the leasing rate shall be approved if an agency 
     demonstrates need for renewal of previously issued tenant 
     protection vouchers or of other authorized vouchers to comply 
     with court orders or to meet previous commitments to owners 
     for project-based vouchers in projects ready for occupancy in 
     2006, and (B) adjustment of the per-voucher cost shall be 
     approved if an agency demonstrates (i) rent increases, (ii) 
     utility rate changes, (iii) known changes in subsidy costs 
     due to enhanced vouchers, portability, increased average unit 
     size, or approval of higher subsidy payments for people with 
     disabilities due to reasonable accommodation, (iv) change in 
     average tenant income, including adjustments needed for areas 
     with seasonal employment if income variations are not 
     adequately reflected in the period of data used by HUD, or 
     (v) increase in number of families participating in the 
     Family Self-Sufficiency program who are building escrow 
     savings due to increased earnings: Provided further, That the 
     Secretary shall use per-voucher cost data from 2004 for a 
     public housing agency in lieu of the prior-period data 
     specified above if requested by the agency and the agency 
     certifies that the reduction in its per-voucher cost in 2005 
     or authorized leasing level in 2004 or 2005 was due to policy 
     changes made by the agency to respond to a funding shortage 
     in 2004 or 2005 and it is necessary to modify such policies 
     to comply with requirements under law or goals under the 
     Secretary's regulations relating to voucher renewal funding: 
     Provided further, That the Secretary may deny the adjustments 
     referred to in the preceding two provisos with respect to a 
     public housing agency if the agency is not complying with 
     section 8(o)(10)(A) of the Act (regarding rent 
     reasonableness): Provided further, That the aggregate amount 
     of such additional adjustments referred to clause (B) of the 
     first proviso of this paragraph (1) and determined under the 
     two provisos that follow such clause shall not exceed 2 
     percent of the total amount provided under this paragraph and 
     each public housing agency for which such an adjustment is 
     approved shall receive the same percentage of the approved 
     amount: Provided further, That the Secretary shall, to the 
     extent necessary to stay within the amount provided under 
     this paragraph, prorate each public housing agency's 
     allocation otherwise established pursuant to this paragraph, 
     except that such proration shall not apply to the renewal of 
     enhanced vouchers under any provision of law authorizing such 
     assistance under section 8(t) of the Act currently subject to 
     proration;

  Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask 
unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed 
in the Record.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman 
from Michigan?
  There was no objection.

                              {time}  1745

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Michigan.
  Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman for 
working with us, and I understand the point of order. It is something 
we need to bring to the attention of the Committee on Appropriations.
  There has been much discussion already today about the section 8 
program and the need of millions of Americans who are now in the 
section 8 program and millions more who are waiting for affordable, 
safe, clean housing. This amendment would talk about the distribution 
of the dollars, once we restore the section 8, and as we are in the 
section 8 program today.
  In 1993, this Congress passed an act that would limit the 
distribution of those dollars and use a 3-month window to decide how 
those dollars would be distributed. First, the dollars are not enough, 
then they use a 3-month window rather than 12 months of the fluctuating 
cost of public housing authorities to decide how much each public 
housing authority will get in the section 8 housing choice voucher 
program.
  I want to thank my colleague, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Knollenberg), the chairman, and the ranking member, the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Olver), for providing an appropriation in this bill 
to address some of that need in the 2006 budget. As of right now, as 
this bill was debated and as it passed the Congress in 2003, in 2004, 
my district and districts all over America lost hundreds of thousands 
of vouchers. And for my district, in the 13th Congressional District, 
that was 1,500 vouchers people had in 2004 that they do not have in 
2005, and there is some help in this budget to rectify some of that.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan. I yield to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for 
yielding to me, and I just want to express my support for what she is 
doing. As an authorizing member of the committee, I am very 
appreciative of what she has done on the appropriations subcommittee, 
along with my neighbor and ranking member. Well, not quite my neighbor, 
but my colleague.
  And I just wanted to express my support and my hope that the very 
important issue she is raising now will be worked out satisfactorily.
  Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I thank 
the ranking member; and I hope to get it in an authorizing bill as well 
as to rectify it permanently.
  We suggest that the formula would be better distributed on a fairer 
basis if it would use the 12-month rather than the 3-month window, so 
that the housing authorities can get the dollars they so sorely need 
and deserve.
  I have a list here of several organizations who support this fairer 
funding amendment and will be working with the ranking member and the 
chairman of the authorizing committee to make sure that as we save the 
section 8 program that it is funded properly and that the money is then 
distributed properly.
  Organizations such as the Center For Budget and Policy Priorities 
support the fairer distribution; organizations such as the National 
Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials support the 
distribution using the 12-month window rather than the 3-month. The 
National Association of State Housing Agencies supports using the 12-
month need and flexibility rather than the 3-month window, which has an 
unfair distribution of those dollars. Also, the National Leased Housing 
Association also believes that we ought to consider distributing those 
dollars on a 12-month average rather than a 3-month average. The 
National Low-Income Housing Coalition also believes we should do that 
as well.
  It is important that as we look at the section 8 program, and as was 
mentioned earlier, and I will not go back over all of that again, that 
we not only know the need and how important it is but that public 
housing authorities must be able to meet those needs in a better and 
fairer way. We have to be able to do what is necessary so that the 
program is saved.
  The portability of those vouchers is something we want to maintain so 
that individuals, families, and children are able to create and have 
safe, clean, decent housing. The disparity that exists

[[Page H5429]]

when you use the 3-month window is really appalling and not equal and 
not fair. This prevents the displacement and the air that adds to the 
displacement of our elderly and disabled and other tenants who are 
sometimes in private development. They need these protections, and they 
need to make sure the distribution of the funding is fairer.
  I know Chairman Knollenberg has raised a point of order. Would my 
good Michigan colleague and chairman of the committee join me in a 
dialogue?
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. If the gentlewoman will yield, I will indeed.
  Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I thank 
my colleague. I understand the gentleman's point of order, and I 
respect it highly as our chairman, but I wanted to ask if the gentleman 
would work with us to make a fairer distribution of the section 8 
dollars as we go forward into next year.
  I commend the chairman for putting in the extra dollars in this 2006 
budget so that we can rectify some of that across the country.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, if the gentlewoman will continue to 
yield, I would say to my friend and colleague from Michigan that I will 
do everything I can to work with her. I intend to do that. I know that 
we have worked things out on some other issues, so we will do our 
darnedest to make sure we work in fulfilling her desire as best we can.
  Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman and 
appreciate his time and energy on that; and I am sure, Mr. Chairman, 
that we will work to strengthen the section 8 program in general and 
certainly the distribution of the funding. I hope that we will also 
work together to make permanent a 12-month distribution of those funds 
and not use the 3-month window, which will better serve the public 
housing authorities in this country.
   Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an amendment addressing the 
growing concern I have with the unfair distribution of renewal funding 
for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
   The trend of the past few years for providing allocations to state 
and local housing agencies for voucher renewal funding has been to base 
budget allocations on a 3-month ``snap-shot,'' from May through July in 
2005.
   The justification for selecting those 3 months is only because that 
was the most recent fiscal quarter for which data was available. There 
was no consideration of local market condition changes throughout the 
year in different areas of the country.
   While I greatly appreciate Chairman Knollenberg and Ranking Member 
Olver for recognizing this disparity, and including a set-aside of $45 
million to adjust the allocations of the housing agencies whose snap-
shot did not accurately reflect leasing levels and costs for 2004, this 
``fix'' still does not address the fundamental problem.
   The essential problem is that we are basing yearly budgets on just 3 
months of costs. That leaves 9 months of fluctuating market conditions 
unaccounted for.
   At a time when rising energy costs are driving utility costs up, and 
job markets are fluctuating, particularly in areas like Michigan with 
its manufacturing base, we cannot ignore the impact of these market 
changes on subsidy needs.
   Similarly, housing agencies are required to pay portability costs 
for families who are relocating, though agencies have control over rent 
subsidies for those areas. They must simply compensate by reducing or 
denying assistance for someone else.
   This arbitrary snap-shot creates a disparity where some housing 
agencies wind up with more money than they need to meet their 
commitments, and others will have to turn families out into the cold 
because their under-estimated budgets could no longer support the same 
number of vouchers.
   Mr. Chairman, my amendment would implement a formula for allocating 
renewal funding to state and local housing agencies that better 
captures the effects of fluctuating local conditions, while adding a 
cost containment incentive and retaining congressional control over 
total spending.
   It would preserve a key feature of funding policy created last year 
in fiscal 2005 appropriations by continuing to base budgets on leasing 
and costs in the prior year, but to avoid unfair impacts of using a 3-
month ``snapshot,'' the most recent data available for a 12-month 
period would be used.
   My amendment would help prevent the displacement of the elderly, the 
disabled, and the other tenants of privately owned developments by 
guaranteeing stable funding for tenant protection vouchers by exempting 
those un-negotiable costs from proration.
   If total funding allocations are below the sum of the calculated 
budgets, the distribution of funds would be prorated so each housing 
agency would receive the same percentage of funds they should have if 
fully funded. Thus in times of constrained resources, there would be a 
shared sacrifice; each agency would still receive the same proportional 
amount.
   Agencies currently manage their program over a 12-month period, with 
fluctuation in costs and leasing from month-to-month. A 12-month 
snapshot would provide a smoother and more accurate reflection of an 
agency's program reality than a 3-month snapshot, which could represent 
a hill or a valley in its budget year.
   I know some may worry that agencies reimbursed for their actual 
costs, have no incentive to keep costs down, but all agencies will be 
constrained by the amount Congress provides regardless, and they know 
that, which in and of itself is a reason to constrain costs. This 
formula is simply a more fair way of distributing limited resources.
   Mr. Chairman, if Congress wants to legitimately help American 
families have access to safe, affordable housing we must work toward a 
fair, balanced policy and seriously consider real market factors that 
families must face in their communities.

        Endorsers of the Proposed Hybrid Voucher Funding Policy

        1. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
        2. Jody Geese, Executive Director, Belmont Metropolitan 
     Housing Authority (Martins Ferry, OH).
        3. Neal Molloy, Executive Director, Housing Authority of 
     St. Louis County, Missouri.
        4. National Association of Housing and Redevelopment 
     Officials (detailed proposal only, excluding item 4(a)(i)).
        5. National Council of State Housing Agencies.
        6. National Leased Housing Association.
        7. National Low Income Housing Coalition.
        8. Ohio Housing Authorities Conference.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the gentlewoman's amendment is 
withdrawn.
  There was no objection.


               Permission to Offer Amendment Out of Order

  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Chair is informed that the reading of the bill has 
not yet progressed to the portion to which the gentleman's amendment 
may be offered.
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, the response I would make to that 
is that it is my understanding that because the funding has been zeroed 
out for HOPE VI, we are entitled to raise the amendment and that we 
can, in effect, either reach forward or reach backward as far as 
capturing these funds goes. That was the information relayed to me by 
the Parliamentarian.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Chair is informed that the Clerk has read to page 
67 and the gentleman's amendment proposes an insertion on page 73. So 
the gentleman's amendment should be held in abeyance until we reach 
that point.
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. If that is the Chair's ruling, I would ask, 
without prejudice, permission to address it now, based on the absence 
of other people being on the floor. I would ask unanimous consent to 
address it now.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Chair would ask, is the gentleman asking unanimous 
consent to offer his amendment at this point?
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. I am, Mr. Chairman.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Alabama?
  There was no objection.


               Amendment Offered by Mr. Davis of Alabama

  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Davis of Alabama:
       Page 73, after line 4, insert the following new item:


     revitalization of severely distressed public housing (hope vi)

        For grants to public housing agencies for demolition, site 
     revitalization, replacement housing, and tenant-based 
     assistance grants to projects, as authorized by section 24 of 
     the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, and the 
     amounts otherwise provided by this Act for ``INDEPENDENT 
     AGENCIES--General Services Administration--federal buildings 
     fund'' and for building operations under such item are hereby 
     reduced by, $60,000,000.

  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask 
unanimous consent that the amendment be

[[Page H5430]]

considered as read and printed in the Record.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Alabama?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that debate on 
this amendment and any amendments thereto be limited to 20 minutes to 
be equally divided and controlled by the proponent and myself, the 
opponent.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Davis) is recognized 
for 10 minutes.
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 4 minutes, and let 
me begin by thanking the chair of this committee and the ranking member 
of the committee for their diligence. We have obviously had a difficult 
task this budget year, given the constraints that we have; and I 
recognize this whole argument proceeds in that context.
  Let me begin by stating that this is a bipartisan amendment that 
speaks to a program that was created by George H.W. Bush, the 41st 
President of the United States, and by Jack Kemp, the former Secretary 
of Housing and Urban Development. In 1989, the Bush administration came 
up with a striking insight, that rather than write off a lot of our 
inner-city neighborhoods, that we try to revitalize them; that we 
sustain a public and private commitment to draw resources back into the 
inner-city; and that we literally change the face of abandoned 
neighborhoods. And they encapsulated this vision as HOPE VI. It has 
been around for 16 years. It is very much a bipartisan creation, and it 
is zero funded at this point in this budget.
  Mr. Chairman, we ask that $60 million be added, which of course is 
literally 1 percent of the value of this whole appropriations bill; 
that $60 million be added to sustain this program and to allow its good 
works to go forward. And perhaps the best recommendation that I can 
offer comes not from my side of the aisle, but it comes, frankly, from 
the other side.
  Our friend and colleague, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Dent), 
speaking on June 6 in a press release announcing the HOPE VI project in 
his district said, ``More than just an upgrade, this $75 million 
project will be a catalyst for the revitalization of the entire 
community, and it will serve as a model of what public housing can and 
should be.''
  I also quote our friend and colleague, the gentleman from Mississippi 
(Mr. Pickering), announcing a HOPE VI grant in his district in June of 
2004: ``This grant represents a significant investment into the overall 
economic development and renewal of the East Mississippi region.''
  I would next quote our friend and colleague, the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Upton), who states that ``This is tremendous news for the 
Ben Harbor community. It is another example of local, State and Federal 
levels coming together for the betterment of Ben Harbor and surrounding 
areas.''
  And I could go on and on, Mr. Chairman; but the reason that this 
program has captured so much bipartisan support is it draws down our 
two best instincts. It draws down our public instinct that we can 
reinvest in abandoned communities, and it draws on our private instinct 
that we can use private sector dollars.
  I am told by CBO, frankly, that this amendment is budget neutral 
because of the nature of the way HOPE VI funds are disbursed, the 
nature of the way they are drawn down in escrow. So as a practical 
matter, there is no significant dollar consequence from this amendment, 
no significant dollar objection to this amendment. The only question is 
whether or not we believe this is a valuable program.
  We are told by some that the program is backlogged. We are told by 
some that the program takes a while to work its way to completion. And 
I think all of us in this House are hoping to change some of the 
structure of HOPE VI, but the changes should not be such that the 
program cannot go forward. The thrust of this bipartisan amendment is 
that we restore a level of funding, whatever changes can be made 
administratively can be made, and we give these communities a chance to 
flourish.
  Mr. Chairman, I make the very simple proposition that 4 days after 
the U.S. Supreme Court has granted unlimited powers of domain to many 
of our communities, HOPE VI represents a principled, balanced approach 
that respects the needs of people living in the community and draws on 
our instincts for the betterment of those communities.
  I am happy to be joined by my cosponsor, the gentlewoman from Florida 
(Ms. Harris), who has been so stalwart on these issues. I thank her for 
lending her bipartisan voice to this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. 
Harris).
  Ms. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to join my colleague in 
offering an amendment that would restore funding for the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development's HOPE VI program. Created in 1992 by 
former Secretary Jack Kemp and President Bush, this program offers to 
renovate existing public housing sites and replace them with new mixed-
income housing.
  This grant program has been remarkably successful in its revitalizing 
of some of the most troubled and distressed communities. We have all 
seen these conditions that exist in public housing developments 
throughout the Nation: dilapidated buildings and homes, rampant rodent 
and insect infestation, barely functioning plumbing, and sometimes 
sewage that flows into our children's playgrounds, with high rates of 
violence and crime. These are the conditions that have overtaken too 
many of our public housing facilities, the very same conditions in 
which too many families are struggling to live and to raise their 
children.
  This program is aptly named because hope is exactly what these grants 
supply to our communities. I can speak firsthand of the outstanding 
results of this program I have seen in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and 
Bradenton, areas that have been completely revitalized as a result of 
HOPE VI.
  For example, in Bradenton Village the successful partnership between 
Federal and local governments, as well as the private sector, has 
restored and revitalized a community that years ago was left crumbling 
and suffering. Today, Bradenton Village is a vibrant and thriving area 
and a testament to the success of the HOPE VI grant program.
  That success is not limited to Florida programs; it has been 
remarkable and responsible for rebuilding substandard housing and 
replacing them with quality affordable housing across the country. It 
is not just about bricks and mortar. By creating more options, giving 
consumers more and better choices in housing, education, job training 
and job placement, HOPE VI grants transform lives.

                              {time}  1800

  Our amendment, which I am so pleased to offer with the gentleman from 
Alabama (Mr. Davis) who has been a stalwart friend and supporter of 
housing programs, will ensure that Hope VI can continue to deliver on 
its promises.
  The Davis-Harris amendment seeks to restore $60 million to the Hope 
VI program so it can continue its mission of revitalizing communities 
across America. $60 million is a far cry from the funding Hope VI has 
received in the past, but it is enough to keep the program going and 
keep hope alive, and we can continue to make a difference in our local 
communities.
  Let us invest in Hope VI and invest in the strength and possibilities 
of our communities. I urge my colleagues to support the Davis-Harris 
amendment. Let us keep hope alive.
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  As further proof of the bipartisan nature of this amendment, the 
National Home Builders Association, one of the larger lobbies that 
deals with this Congress, has also expressed its support for restoring 
these funds.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Let me respond and give a little history about Hope VI. I have been 
on the

[[Page H5431]]

committee for 11 years, and I have seen this item come into view, and I 
have seen some of the experiences it has gone through.
  First of all, we know Hope VI has had a difficult and varied history 
as a 10-year demonstration program. It has worked well in some cases, 
but in many more, it has not. The program has been unsuccessful in 
fulfilling its mission over the last 10 years and has been extremely 
difficult to implement. Consider the following: At the end of last 
month there remains $2.8 billion in appropriated funds that have been 
awarded to public housing agencies that has not as yet been spent.
  Number two, Hope VI has failed to meet its mission. In the beginning, 
the idea was to demolish the 100,000 worst units. To date, over 133,000 
of the worst units have been demolished, but only half of those were 
the result of Hope VI grants. The rest have been done by PHAs with 
their own money or with other Federal funds provided elsewhere in this 
bill.
  Third, there are ample new funds available to continue the program 
until it is either fixed or dropped. No 2006 funds are necessary. I was 
one of the most supportive of this program when it first came on the 
scene, but I have grown tired over the years of seeing the subsidized 
failure that took place here.
  The fourth item I would mention is that there would be a great 
disruption to the GSA programs if the amendment were adopted. The 
amendment proposes to seriously delay and reduce funding from seven 
important buildings that have been in the planning stage for many 
months.
  I mention the security at the U.S. mission to the U.N., an FBI 
building in Houston, three courthouses in Missouri, Texas and New 
Mexico, and two border stations in Texas. These are critical projects 
that are scheduled for construction awards, and we plan to use them in 
2005. These funds are not excess funds; far from it. They were added by 
GSA because of material, price increases, namely steel and concrete. 
Without the increases, these projects face real and significant funding 
shortfalls.
  Last year, the committee had to reprogram funding five separate times 
from other projects because of materials' price increases on projects.
  I know that there are places in the country that people can point to 
where they see this program working. But there are not as many as I 
would like, and for the reason I have already stated, I think this 
pretty much covers my position and what I feel would be the wrong move. 
As much as I know your hearts are strongly for this, I feel we cannot 
go there. We have been there, and it does not work. I ask for a ``no'' 
vote on the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis).
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I had an amendment at the desk 
that is a very similar amendment that I will not call up, and I would 
ask to be incorporated as a cosponsor of the Davis-Harris amendment, to 
be the Davis-Harris-Davis amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I represent more public housing I suspect than any 
Member of Congress other than perhaps the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Rangel) or the gentleman from New York (Mr. Owens). Cabrini Green, 
Henry Horner, Rockwell Gardens, Obla, Ogden Courts, Laundale Courts, 
Hilliard Courts, Stateway Gardens, Ida B. Wells, Lakepoint Towers, all 
in Chicago.
  If Members want to see where Hope VI has been working, we have a 
transformation plan in Chicago where thousands of people have been able 
to move out of high-rise buildings where they were packed together like 
sardines in a can, impossible for socialization to really occur.
  I would agree Hope VI has not been perfect, but it has been the best 
thing that has happened to those individuals because they have been 
able to move from on top of each other. They have been able to have 
some breathing room and some space.
  I recognize all of the things that the gentleman from Michigan 
(Chairman Knollenberg) has pointed out, but let us continue to give 
people hope by providing the continuation of Hope VI programming and 
Hope VI funding.
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I have no further requests for time, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my 
time.
  First, in response to the gentleman's observations, with respect to 
where this account goes to sustain itself, where it goes to get the $60 
million, the GSA building fund, that fund is $7.6 billion out of this 
budget. That is a $550 million increase over last year. I do not think 
moving $60 million from $7.6 billion is of any consequence.
  And I will also reiterate what I said at the outset: Because of the 
way that Hope VI funds are drawn down, this amendment is viewed by CBO 
as being budget neutral. In fact, it is actually viewed by CBO as being 
an amendment that will actually save outlays of around $56 million this 
year. So, frankly, there is no dollar consequence this year. And in the 
scheme of things, even over the outyears, this is a very well-growing 
fund of $7.6 million.
  The second point, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) has 
made observations, and Democrats and Republicans have made, about some 
of the weaknesses and some of the delays in Hope VI, and I do not think 
there is any opposition on this side of the aisle, and certainly not 
from proponents of this amendment, to looking closely at why the 
projects do not expedite and why it takes them awhile to move to 
completion, but that is not an argument for doing away with the 
program. That is an argument to reforming the program.
  Mr. Chairman, $60 million will amount to three or four projects 
around the country, but that will be three or four neighborhoods that 
have been written off and abandoned that can be reclaimed.
  Finally, given the small dollar consequence of this, I think we ought 
to err on the side of these communities. We ought to err on the side of 
the community of the gentleman from Mississippi (Mr. Pickering), we 
ought to err on the side of the community of the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Upton), we ought to err on the side of the community of 
the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Harris), and so many like it around 
the country.
  We are in a phase where we can either write off a lot of our inner 
city neighborhoods, or we can reinvest in them. We can either consign 
them to being blighted places of neglect, or we can rebuild them, and 
this does it with our private and public dollars. I urge a ``yes'' vote 
on this amendment.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Chairman, it is a sad day when I am rising in 
support of an amendment that would provide only $60 million for this 
critical program.
  But this is the situation in which we find ourselves with this bill, 
when priorities of the Republic budget are focused elsewhere and we are 
sent a budget that puts the future of our Nation's housing programs in 
jeopardy.
  While I am relieved to see the Committee has rejected the extremely 
unsound proposal to rescind the funding we appropriated for this 
current Fiscal Year, I find it hard to comprehend that this bill still 
provides no funding for Hope VI.
  Just to provide some perspective, we should realize that HOPE VI 
funding for the last two fiscal years combined is only roughly half of 
the funding level provided in 2003.
  I think part of the problem my colleagues have is trying to quantify 
the success of this program.
  Mr. Chairman, I understand it is very hard to see the accomplishments 
of this program on paper.
  There are not clear numbers of statistics that make it easy to put it 
in a bureaucratic category that proves it is ``demonstrating results.''
  But Mr. Chairman, I can tell you personally of the success this 
program has brought, not only to communities in my district, but across 
the country.
  HOPE VI has successfully transformed some of the nation's most 
dilapidated public housing into revitalized mixed income communities, 
providing a second chance for neighborhoods that often had little or no 
hope of improvement.
  I have seen the transformation HOPE VI funds have brought to 
communities in my district and around New Jersey.
  I have stood at communities that have been completely rebuilt, where 
renovated townhouses replace crumbling buildings, where senior centers 
and new playgrounds invite the community in, instead of shut it out.
  Because cycles of poverty and crime are likely to be concentrated at 
the most distressed and run-down public housing structures, there is 
often little chance for changing

[[Page H5432]]

the surrounding community without providing a clean slate for the site.
  HOPE VI proves neighborhoods with that chance.
  What I think many have forgotten today is that this program was born 
out of strong bipartisan support.
  HOPE VI began in 1992 with the express goal of demolishing and 
revitalizing 86,000 units of distressed housing.
  Mr. Chairman, I have heard arguments that there is no longer a need 
for the HOPE VI program.
   Are we really saying there are no more crumbling housing structures 
that are in need of repair?
   Are we telling our communities struggling to find some hope of a 
better future that their neighborhood has no chance of revitalization?
   That their children will not get a safe playground, that their 
family will never have a home they are proud to live in because the 
goals of HOPE VI have been accomplished?
   Mr. Chairman, while we may have surpassed the original goal of 
transforming those 86,000 units, the program has not lost its need or 
effectiveness.
   The fact remains that there is an ongoing need for fundamental 
revitalization in communities across the country that HOPE VI makes 
possible and which is currently unmatched by any other program.
   HUD itself has noted the effectiveness of HOPE VI in affecting 
positive change beyond the housing structures and well into the 
community.
   Perhaps most importantly, however, HOPE VI funds have become a 
critical source for localities to leverage private funds.
   HOPE VI is thus not only a mechanism to bring about change, but it 
is a mechanism for drawing in critical investment.
   Without HOPE VI as the incentive, communities will lose out on 
sources that are essential to ensuring true revitalization.
   This program is a promise to people that if they live in a building 
that is unsafe, dilapidated, and beyond disrepair, we will not abandon 
them.
   And it is a promise to our communities that our commitment continues 
far beyond the public housing structures we provided years ago--that we 
will be there to help all of communities be neighborhoods where we 
would be proud to raise our families.
   Mr. Chairman, now is not the time to abandon our communities.
   This program has provided many families and communities throughout 
the country hope of a better quality of life and we should not deprive 
additional communities of that chance.
   Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the 
amendment offered by the gentleman from Alabama, Mr. Artur Davis, which 
would restore funding to the Homeownership and Opportunity for People 
Everywhere program, more commonly referred to as HOPE VI.
   The HOPE VI program is one of the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development's most successful programs, and it is a shame that it is 
one of the many valuable and worthwhile Federal programs that the Bush 
administration has targeted for elimination.
   HOPE VI allows public housing authorities to revitalize 
neighborhoods affected by blighted public housing districts, and 
transform them into showcases of urban renewal and redevelopment.
   For over 15 years, first as Mayor of the City of Alexandria and now 
as a Member of Congress, I have been involved in the revitalization of 
the former Samuel Madden public housing project, in the area known as 
the ``berg.''
   While Samuel Madden was once a well-intentioned effort to provide 
affordable housing for those in need, it had become mired in 
controversy and the focal point of criticisms and problems synonymous 
with troubled public housing programs throughout the nation.
   In 1999, the Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority received 
$6.7 million dollars in HOPE VI grant funds to redevelop the 100-unit 
Samuel Madden public housing site.
   This new project, Chatham Square, is a 152-residential unit 
development, 52 of which will be affordable rental homes operated as 
public housing units, and 100 of which will be market-rate townhouses 
for sale to the public.
   This former public housing site has now become an inclusive 
community that is a mix of market-rate and subsidized public housing 
and continues to serve the needs of moderate and low-income residents.
   Last year, I was proud to stand with representatives from the 
Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority and other City of Alexandria 
leaders as we attended the celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony of 
this new development. The cornerstone of the event was the presentation 
of house keys to the first residents to move into the development: one 
who bought a market-rate townhouse and one who receives assistance with 
housing needs.
   The Chatham Square project serves as a model for what public housing 
should become and identifies a successful mechanism through which this 
transformation can occur.
   I have already shared with you a successful HOPE VI program from my 
congressional district, and there are thousands more all across the 
nation.
   While the Bush administration may be critical concerning the HOPE VI 
program, it does not deserve to be gutted in next year's budget.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Davis).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. DAVIS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Davis) will 
be postponed.


          Sequential Votes Postponed in Committee of the Whole

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, proceedings will 
now resume on those amendments on which further proceedings were 
postponed in the following order: amendment by the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Corrine Brown), amendment by the gentleman from Minnesota 
(Mr. Kennedy), amendment by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Al Green), 
amendment by the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler), amendment by the 
gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Davis).
  The Chair will reduce to 5 minutes the time for any electronic vote 
after the first vote in this series.


           Amendment Offered by Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida

  The CHAIRMAN. The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote 
on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Corrine 
Brown) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the 
noes prevailed by voice vote.
  The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The Clerk designated the amendment.


                             Recorded Vote

  The CHAIRMAN. A recorded vote has been demanded.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 269, 
noes 152, not voting 12, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 336]

                               AYES--269

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baca
     Bachus
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Barrow
     Bean
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boustany
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (OH)
     Brown, Corrine
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Butterfield
     Camp
     Capito
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carson
     Case
     Castle
     Chandler
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Costa
     Costello
     Cramer
     Crenshaw
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (TN)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Deal (GA)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Dent
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle
     Drake
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Emanuel
     Engel
     English (PA)
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Fitzpatrick (PA)
     Foley
     Forbes
     Ford
     Fortenberry
     Frank (MA)
     Gerlach
     Gibbons
     Gilchrest
     Gonzalez
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Gordon
     Green (WI)
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hall
     Harman
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastings (FL)
     Hastings (WA)
     Herseth
     Higgins
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Hooley
     Hoyer
     Inslee
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Jindal
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Keller
     Kelly
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kind
     Kucinich
     Kuhl (NY)
     Langevin
     Lantos
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lee
     Levin
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lynch
     Maloney
     Markey
     Marshall
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy
     McCaul (TX)
     McCollum (MN)
     McCotter
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McIntyre
     McKinney
     McMorris
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Menendez
     Michaud
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Mollohan
     Moore (KS)
     Moore (WI)
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Ney
     Norwood
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Osborne
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Pickering
     Platts
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (NC)
     Putnam
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Renzi
     Reyes
     Rogers (MI)
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruppersberger
     Rush

[[Page H5433]]


     Ryan (OH)
     Sabo
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sanders
     Saxton
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schwartz (PA)
     Schwarz (MI)
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Shaw
     Sherman
     Shuster
     Simmons
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Solis
     Souder
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stearns
     Strickland
     Stupak
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Taylor (MS)
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tiberi
     Tierney
     Towns
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Upton
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walden (OR)
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Weldon (PA)
     Westmoreland
     Wexler
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (NM)
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                               NOES--152

     Aderholt
     Alexander
     Baker
     Barrett (SC)
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Bass
     Beauprez
     Biggert
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Bono
     Boozman
     Bradley (NH)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (SC)
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Carter
     Chabot
     Chocola
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Cooper
     Cox
     Cubin
     Cunningham
     Davis (KY)
     Davis, Tom
     DeLay
     Doolittle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Emerson
     Everett
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Flake
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Granger
     Graves
     Gutknecht
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Inglis (SC)
     Issa
     Istook
     Jenkins
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kennedy (MN)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     LaHood
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Lucas
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McHugh
     McKeon
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Northup
     Nunes
     Otter
     Oxley
     Paul
     Pearce
     Pence
     Petri
     Pitts
     Poe
     Pombo
     Price (GA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Radanovich
     Ramstad
     Reichert
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shays
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Simpson
     Smith (TX)
     Sodrel
     Sullivan
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf

                             NOT VOTING--12

     Akin
     Clay
     Conyers
     Culberson
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Lewis (GA)
     Murphy
     Neal (MA)
     Peterson (PA)
     Ross
     Scott (GA)

                          ____________________