Amendment Text: H.Amdt.404 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (06/02/2011)

This Amendment appears on page H3940 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H3939-H3945]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




        DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2012

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gohmert). Pursuant to House Resolution 
287 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of 
the Whole House on the state of the Union for the further consideration 
of the bill, H.R. 2017.

                              {time}  1426


                     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 further consideration of 
the bill (H.R. 2017) making appropriations for the Department of 
Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and 
for other purposes, with Mr. Gingrey of Georgia (Acting Chair) in the 
chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose earlier today, 
the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) 
had been disposed of and the bill had been read through page 92, line 
7.


                  Amendment No. 42 Offered by Mr. Cole

  Mr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement any rule, regulation, or executive order 
     regarding the disclosure of political contributions that 
     takes effect on or after the date of enactment of this Act.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oklahoma is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, in April, a draft executive order was 
circulated

[[Page H3940]]

that would force companies as a condition of applying for a Federal 
contract to disclose all Federal campaign contributions. In my view, if 
implemented, this executive order would lead to a significant 
politicalization of the Federal procurement process. Instead of a 
company being evaluated and judged on its merits, their past work 
experience, their ability to complete the government contract in 
question, this executive order would introduce the potential that they 
would be evaluated politically as opposed to professionally.
  It's never a good idea, Mr. Chairman, in my view, to mix politics 
with contracting. My amendment would prevent the President from 
implementing the proposed disclosure requirements.
  Congress actually considered something similar to what the President 
is proposing in the 111th Congress, the so-called DISCLOSE Act. It's 
instructive to me that that Congress--the majority of which in both 
Houses was controlled by our friends on the other side--decided not to 
implement such a requirement. Frankly, I think doing so now by 
executive order is effectively legislating through the executive 
branch.
  The executive order in question that's being considered would not in 
fact lead to more objectivity in the bidding process, and it could 
potentially chill the constitutionally protected right of people to 
donate politically to whatever candidate, political party, or cause 
that they chose to do so.
  It's worth noting that nothing in this amendment would affect the 
current Federal disclosures under the law. We're not trying to change 
things; we're not trying to let people do something they can't do now. 
We're simply trying to make sure that political contributions and 
political activities never move into the contracting process. Pay-to-
play has no place in the Federal contracting process, and requiring the 
disclosure of campaign contributions for government contracts does just 
that.

                              {time}  1430

  Mr. Chairman, I would respectfully urge that the amendment be 
adopted.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to 
the Cole amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. The amendment before us is a legislative 
attempt to circumvent a draft Executive order which would provide for 
increased disclosure of the political contributions of government 
contractors.
  The draft Executive order being developed by the Obama administration 
would require Federal contractors to disclose more information about 
their political contributions than they currently provide. 
Particularly, those contributions given to third-party entities.
  Some have said they oppose this effort because additional information 
could be used nefariously to create some kind of enemies list. In other 
words, they argue that companies should not disclose more information 
because people in power could misuse that information to retaliate 
against them.
  I just think there are fundamental problems with this premise. Under 
this logic, all campaign disclosures would be bad, not just the new 
ones. Government contractors already disclose contributions and 
expenditures by their PACs and those who contribute to them. 
Contributions by the officers and directors of government contractors 
are also required to be disclosed. Should we eliminate those 
provisions, too? Of course not. The information is required to be 
provided already in law, and the Executive order that the amendment 
would circumvent simply enhances the quality of that information.
  More than 30 groups, including nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations 
like Democracy 21, the Project on Government Oversight, Public Citizen, 
many others have concluded that the draft Executive order would enhance 
transparency and decrease corruption. And these aren't the only groups 
that support the Executive order.
  Two weeks ago, a coalition of institutional investors and investor 
coalitions collectively managing more than $130 billion in assets also 
wrote to express their support. In their letter, they explained that 
corporate political activity presents significant risks to shareholder 
value. And transparency allows investors to put together in a more 
complete picture the various risks to our investments.
  So, Mr. Chairman, as the Los Angeles Times said in a recent 
editorial, disclosure is the solution, not the problem. I believe that 
is the case.
  I urge Members to defeat this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. I rise in support of the Cole amendment, and the reason 
why I do is twofold.
  Number one, I do think there are some questions about what are the 
motives. Why should you have to tell the Federal Government absolutely 
everything in our society today when you're just bidding on a contract? 
I see some good in it, and the gentleman mentioned the L.A. Times 
article. I think it makes some good points. But I also see how there is 
a double-edged sword, that there's too much information that's out 
there.
  But the other thing is this is a major change and a possible 
encroachment on your constitutional right of First Amendment freedom of 
speech as to whom you give.
  So if we are going to make this the law of the land, public policy, 
it really should go through the legislative process--hearings and 
testimony--and let everybody have something to say about it instead of 
just one more Executive order from the administration.
  So I think we should adopt the Cole amendment.
  Mr. DICKS. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Washington is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. DICKS. I too am concerned about this amendment, especially when 
these campaign contributions are given secretly. You know, our system 
has been improved by having public disclosure of political 
contributions. I think the more the public knows about where the money 
is coming from, the better off the citizenry is.
  So I just support the ranking member, Mr. Price, who gave a very 
complete description of why we're against this amendment, and I urge 
its defeat.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oklahoma 
will be postponed.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Gohmert

  Mr. GOHMERT. I have an amendment at the desk, Mr. Chairman.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title) insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used for the new construction, purchase, or lease of any 
     building or space in the District of Columbia except where a 
     contract for the construction, purchase, or lease was entered 
     into before the date of the enactment of this Act.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Under this amendment, no funds would be made available 
by this act for the new construction, purchase, or lease of any 
building or any space in the District of Columbia except where a 
contract was entered into before the date of the enactment.
  Now, in the District of Columbia right now, the Federal Government 
had exactly 304 leases at the start of this year. These leases cover 
more than 23.6 million square feet. This bureaucracy has grown beyond 
the bounds of being reasonable.
  The Federal Government, in addition to the 23.6 million square feet 
that it leases, also owns 109 buildings in the District of Columbia, 
and that doesn't even include all of the Department of

[[Page H3941]]

Defense buildings because those are administered by other than the GSA. 
The 23.6 million square feet come at a cost of around a billion dollars 
every year to the taxpayer.
  Here we are in financially troubling times, and we need to send a 
message back to America we know you're tightening your belts. We know 
that States and municipalities are having to tighten their belts, and 
we get it here, also.
  The Appropriations Committee and the chair is to be applauded. They 
have done a wonderful job on this bill. There is an amount zeroed out 
for new building space in a specific area of this bill. It takes that 
good step and goes one step further and says no funds made available in 
this act can be used in any way for construction, for lease or building 
out any space in the District of Columbia.
  It also should be noted that every cubicle, every desk we add in the 
District of Columbia ends up requiring States and municipalities to add 
space there. They have to put somebody in that space, because every 
time we add a desk with a bureaucrat behind it in the District of 
Columbia, they have to justify their existence. They have to create 
requirements for people back in the States or in the municipalities to 
respond so that they can justify their existence in the District of 
Columbia.
  The Federal funds that might be used for new construction or new 
leases to add to the 23.6 million square feet of space already under 
lease and the 109 buildings, not even including the Department of 
Defense buildings, that money could be better spent reducing the 
Federal deficit or protecting our homeland in other ways.

                              {time}  1440

  Let's let America rebound. Let's let America build back before we 
build or lease one more square foot in Washington, DC.
  With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to 
the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would 
prohibit any funds in this bill to be used for new construction, 
purchase, or lease of a new building or space in Washington, D.C., in 
fiscal year 2012, the life of this bill. If adopted, this amendment, as 
I read it, would or could do several things.
  First of all, it would not allow DHS to renew leases in the 
Washington, D.C., area, which means the leases would lapse, leaving DHS 
employees without offices to work in, and subjecting the Federal 
Government to lawsuits because the lessors would have no choice but to 
begin litigation for damages, to include costs to evict and lost rent.
  The amendment might require DHS to break current construction 
contracts due to a lack of funds if a new purchase or lease is 
required. It would not permit the GSA to condemn facilities that the 
DHS occupies if that were necessary. Therefore, it would force DHS to 
maintain occupancy until follow-on leases might be executed in 2013, or 
further down the road, or alternative space could be identified and 
prepared for use.
  The amendment, as I read it, might not permit DHS even to reconfigure 
its current facility space to provide seats for the new staff being 
hired, particularly for some of these new functions that are going to 
require reconfiguring, such as cybersecurity and intelligence missions.
  And then we need to ask, Mr. Chairman, what happens if a DHS facility 
in D.C. has a fire or a flood and we can't use it? This amendment would 
prevent, as I read it, rebuilding if a new construction contract was 
required as part of that rebuilding, as of course it might well be.
  So the questions just go on and on. This is not a well-advised or 
wise amendment. It's far-reaching. It has negative implications. I urge 
its rejection.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. DICKS. I move to strike the last word.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Washington is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. DICKS. If I could ask the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert), the 
sponsor of the amendment, a question.
  Why just the District of Columbia? You know, there are Federal 
buildings in Virginia and Maryland, surrounding the whole area. Why 
just the District of Columbia?
  Mr. GOHMERT. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DICKS. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Well, the intent is that since this is where so much 
construction and leasing has been done, that that's where it needs to 
stop, that the bureaucracy here in Washington has expanded to the point 
that this was a good place to draw the line. If the gentleman is 
wishing to extend that across the country, you know----
  Mr. DICKS. I am not interested in that. I just want to make that 
clear. But I was interested why just the District of Columbia when this 
whole area here has many different government buildings, both in 
Maryland and in Virginia, which are proximate to the District of 
Columbia?
  Mr. GOHMERT. If the gentleman would like to add those to this 
amendment, I would be glad to accept that.
  Mr. DICKS. Let me also ask the gentleman on the point that Mr. Price 
made about leases: Do you see that a situation would occur that if a 
lease is expired once this amendment was enacted and signed into law--I 
doubt that it will be--but that an agency couldn't redo a lease? And 
what would you do in that situation if you couldn't build office space 
or you couldn't lease office space? You would have to leave the 
District of Columbia.
  Mr. GOHMERT. If the leases were appropriately drafted, then normally 
they would have an option for additional time. That under this 
amendment would mean that that was a contract entered into prior to the 
enactment of this bill. So that wouldn't be a problem. If it is a major 
lease expiring, then heaven forbid but they would actually have to come 
back to Congress, and it would be a form of sunset, for them to justify 
why they need to have a new lease. I think it's a great way of having 
oversight over groups that don't have their own building. We've leased 
a massive 23.6 million square feet of space. Let's sunset some of that 
or otherwise justify why you need another lease.
  Mr. DICKS. Reclaiming my time, I feel that Mr. Price has the better 
argument here, and I urge defeat of this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Gohmert).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas will be postponed.


                     Amendment Offered by Mr. Issa

  Mr. ISSA. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used to promulgate regulations that will result in private 
     sector job losses to United States companies.

  Mr. ADERHOLT. I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's 
amendment.
  The CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
  The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. ISSA. This is a critical amendment. If not now, then when? If not 
on this bill, then when are we going to get to looking at American job 
creators in a positive way? There is no question if this amendment is 
held to a point of order that it will be seen again and again by those 
of us who care about jobs in America.
  The Web site that my committee launched, AmericanJobCreators.com, has 
already seen countless examples, in the thousands now, of different 
ways in which regulatory excesses have in fact cost jobs. Moreover, 
what we're seeing is a pattern of no cost-benefit analysis being done 
in any way, shape, or form on new regulations.
  Promulgating regulations if they don't cost jobs, if they are a net 
benefit to the economy, wouldn't be a problem,

[[Page H3942]]

at least not overall. But in fact, we have had the EPA administrator, 
the former Minerals Management Service, now Ocean Energy, the Assistant 
Secretary of the Interior, and countless more before our committee, 
each of whom seems to be muddled about cost-benefit on the regulations 
they create. They often say, of course we do cost-benefit. Then if you 
say, well, what do the cost-benefits show on a particular regulation, 
they are never familiar with it.
  It is in fact very clear that we know that we're costing jobs. The 
estimate by the Small Business Administration, I repeat the estimate by 
the U.S. Small Business Administration is that regulations cost $1.75 
trillion, or about $8,000 per employee, perhaps as much as $10,000 per 
employee.
  Not every regulation that costs money needs to in fact not happen. 
But it certainly should be a decision of the Congress, and not an 
unelected individual somewhere in a well-windowed office with beautiful 
carpeting deciding on their own to have guidance or rulemaking that 
costs American jobs.
  The Department of Homeland Security is in fact one of the most 
insular organizations. They have proven not to know or care what 
America needs, only that they must do what they choose to do. This is 
an agency that is so, so, so excessive that they even found that 
sending FOIA requests to political appointees who redacted or simply 
didn't send them out was okay. That's the kind of thing that we need to 
deal with here in appropriations, and if not in appropriations, in 
broader legislation.
  My amendment simply seeks to force back to Congress the 
responsibility for regulations that cost jobs. If a study is done and 
it doesn't cost jobs, it would go forward. The fact is that most of our 
laws require some cost-benefit analysis. But since they're able to do 
it without ever formalizing it, or waive it because they say they don't 
believe it would happen, we don't have that kind of fact. An amendment 
like this simply says if you're going to cost American jobs, come back 
to Congress.
  With that, I urge passage of this amendment. I strongly believe that 
with 9 percent unemployment, and in California 11 percent, and more in 
other areas, it's time for us to say don't pass a new regulation that 
costs jobs unless you're willing to bring it back to Congress.
  I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1450


                             Point of Order

  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Chairman, I insist on my point of order.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman will state his point of order.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the 
amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes 
legislation in an appropriation bill and, therefore, violates clause 2 
of rule XXI.
  The rules state, in pertinent part: An amendment to a general 
appropriation bill shall not be in order if it changes an existing law. 
The amendment requires a new determination.
  I ask for a ruling from the Chair.
  The CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of 
order?
  Mr. ISSA. I do.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Chairman, I believe that, in fact, you will rule, if 
allowed to, on this point of order. It is unfortunate that our rules 
allow appropriators to legislate when they want to but don't allow us 
to bring sensible reform when we believe it is necessary. I am not 
legislating; I am limiting.
  But I recognize that the ruling is inevitably going to go against us. 
I will endeavor to bring this to the attention of the body at every 
opportunity and will be drafting a bill that would change the whole 
regulatory format.
  I would hope those who say on a technical basis they cannot support 
us today, even though they know that regulations are costing American 
jobs every day, will support legislation that would change this across 
government.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment.
  The CHAIR. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Alabama is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. I yield to the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. 
Fortenberry) to talk about an important immigration enforcement 
program.
  Mr. FORTENBERRY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise to ensure that appropriate funds are provided 
for the 287(g) program in this bill. The Federal Government must have 
well-equipped partners to address interior enforcement concerns.
  However, the bill does not state specifically all funds for the 
287(g) program, which would allow for robust law enforcement capacity.
  I want to ensure the record reflects that the administration's 
request is $68,321,000 and that this bill supports the President's 
request.
  Citizens nationwide are rightfully demanding secure U.S. borders and 
enforcement of our immigration laws. The desire, Mr. Chairman, in many 
places across the country to strengthen interior enforcement points to 
an overwhelming perception throughout the Nation that the Federal 
Government is not as effectively as possible addressing serious 
security concerns such as the pernicious criminal activity related to 
illegal immigration in the border region.
  We need to better empower States and local law enforcement, and the 
287(g) is a very important program.
  In 1996, Congress enacted section 287(g) as an amendment to the 
Immigration and Nationality Act to provide necessary immigration 
enforcement assistance to State and local law enforcement entities. It 
authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to enter into agreements 
with State and local law enforcement, equipping them through thorough 
training to perform important immigration enforcement functions.
  Local law enforcement agencies are often closest to the problem. To 
date, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has trained more than 1,240 
State and local officers nationwide pursuant to section 287(g) 
programs. Since 2006, the 287(g) program, according to ICE, has 
resulted in the identification of more than 200,300 ``potentially 
removable aliens--mostly at local jails.'' Sixty-nine separate local 
law enforcement agencies participate in the program in 24 States, 
including Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, 
Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, 
Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia; 
and ICE, it appears, has worked very diligently since 2009 to fix 
concerns with the program by strengthening public safety and improving 
consistency.
  In my home State of Nebraska, there is interest at the local level. 
The City of Fremont, in particular, has voiced enthusiasm for this 
program and could directly be impacted by an increase of funds 
available to help secure their community.
  Ensuring full funding for the 287(g) programs preserves a high spirit 
of federalism in empowering States to work together with the Federal 
Government on a critical homeland security matter.
  Mr. Chairman, America has been, for a long, long time, a just and 
generous Nation in regards to immigration policy, opening her arms to 
persons, particularly those facing social, economic or even political 
persecution, who wish to come here and make a new contribution in a new 
community to the well-being of their own lives. This should remain the 
hallmark and spirit of sound immigration policy, but uncontrolled 
borders are a serious threat to the United States' national security; 
and with lax interior enforcement authority, we risk our ability to 
remain a just and generous Nation in regards to immigration policy. So 
section 287(g) plays a critical role in this process and should be 
funded at the administration's request.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Reclaiming my time, the gentleman from Nebraska raises 
some excellent points, and I strongly support robust enforcement of our 
Nation's immigration laws. That includes partnership with the States 
and local law enforcement through the 287(g) program.
  As the gentleman from Nebraska noted, 287(g) is an important tool 
among many and gives ICE a force multiplier for immigration 
enforcement.

[[Page H3943]]

  I thank the gentleman from Nebraska for his attention to this 
important program, and I will continue to work with him as we move this 
bill forward.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, at this point I was planning to offer to the 
House and to the committee for its consideration, as we consider one of 
the most important appropriations measures that the House will 
consider, and that's for our homeland security, I was prepared to offer 
an amendment here at this juncture to limit some of the funds that are 
made available to the Transportation Security Administration.
  My intent is, I think, well founded in having had the opportunity to 
review TSA's operations, actually one of the individuals responsible 
for creating TSA back after the events of 9/11, when we had to put in 
place a transportation security measure and operation for the Nation 
which we didn't have prior to that.
  When we set up TSA, and particularly where we provided for a new way 
of aviation passenger screening, we actually created two models: one, a 
private sector model, which is the Federal setting of guidelines and 
all of the rules for conducting screening and then Federal operation of 
the screening; but also a second model, which was Federal Government 
setting the rules and the protocols for operation but using private 
screeners.
  We set up five models of different-sized category airports to test 
this and see how it would work, testing the all-Federal model against 
the Federal model with private operators. I can tell you that after 
testing this several years, after operational testing not by me but by 
the Government Accountability Office, they found, in fact, that the 
private screeners performed statistically significantly better than the 
other screeners.
  TSA wasn't happy with these findings, and it captured a great deal of 
the market and activity, so they did everything they could to distort 
some of the findings and change the way the airports were tested.

                              {time}  1500

  Even so, about 16 airports now operate with private screeners under 
Federal supervision. Tomorrow our committee, and this is the 
Transportation Committee, our Investigations and Oversight Committee 
will reveal the most comprehensive report of looking at these 
operations, and we are comparing apples and apples to see which one 
runs better and more cost effectively for the taxpayer.
  Without a doubt, this report will show the substantial savings. In 
fact, within 5 years, if we converted 38 of the top airports to Federal 
operations, again, Federal oversight with private screening, we could 
save $1 billion.
  And I was prepared to try to transfer earlier in the bill double the 
amount of money. There's $144 million in here for private screening 
operations under Federal supervision that we currently have, and double 
that amount of money which could have gotten us much more passenger 
screening and do it much more cost effectively for the taxpayers. And 
actually most of our initiatives, positive initiatives, have come from 
these private screening models. In any event, that was my intent.
  At this point in the bill, I can only take money from the overall 
screening activity or limit it. It's my understanding that after I 
strike the last word, I'll have an opportunity to offer an amendment 
that will, in fact, limit the amount of money for the all-Federal 
screening model--not taking it out of TSA, but giving discretion to the 
administrator and hopefully applying it. Once again, we restart the 
private screening under Federal supervision. Actually, as I speak, all 
16 airports continue, but we restart opening it to other airports.
  I want to make certain that we have the funds available to accomplish 
that goal. And that's the purpose of my amendment. So I'm not taking 
away from the overall money to TSA. I'm limiting the amount of money 
that can be used. And now we have a Federal screening force, I'm told, 
of some 41,000, give or take 500, screeners. This bill authorizes up to 
46,000 I'm told. So we stay within the caps.-
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.


                     Amendment Offered by Mr. Mica

  Mr. MICA. I have an amendment at the desk.-
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill, insert the following:
       Sec. __.  Of the amount made available for screening 
     operations under the heading: ``Transportation Security 
     Administration--Aviation Security'', not more than 
     $2,760,503,458 may be used for screener personnel, 
     compensation, and benefits.

  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to 
the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida has not been recognized on his 
amendment yet. The Chair will recognize an opponent following that 
debate.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. My understanding, Mr. Chairman, maybe 
the gentleman can clarify, but my understanding was that the 5-minute 
address we had just heard was addressing the amendment.
  The CHAIR. No, the gentleman rose to strike the last word. After 
yielding back, he then offered his amendment. So the gentleman from 
Florida will be recognized now on his amendment. He had not offered it 
before.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order.
  The CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
  The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 minutes in support of 
his amendment.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I do want to apologize to the members of the 
committee because we want to make certain that if we offer the 
amendment that it was in the proper form as originally drafted. It was 
on a previous page. And I understand from the Parliamentarian that we 
could only do a limitation at this particular stage. So that's why I 
had the time to explain and striking the last word, my position and 
some of the history of my involvement with this. It's not that I'm just 
a Johnny-come-lately on the floor to do some mischief with TSA. It's 
that I helped to actually create the agency. I want it to be effective. 
I want taxpayer money to be properly expended.
  But when I see the results--and I've seen the way the TSA operates. 
They started with 16,500 screeners on 9/11. And what failed on 9/11 was 
not the private screeners. It was the Federal Government, because the 
Federal Government failed to put in place the rules, the protocols, the 
standards and the levels of operation. They were stalling for years, I 
found out, and never put them in place. And that's something we had to 
do.
  But what we did is, again, we set up two models. And airports have 
had the right to opt out from the very beginning and go to private 
screening under Federal supervision. Now, we've been there. We've seen 
how it works. We have entire States that have said that they want the 
opportunity to have the second model, which has proven to be most cost 
effective, not just from dollars and cents, but also from efficiency 
and effectiveness in operation.
  This is all about the performance of TSA, and the models that have 
been independently tested will show you that private screeners, under 
Federal supervision, again, proper oversight, setting the rules, they 
perform better.
  So the purpose of this is to set aside some of that money. TSA came 
in, and I think that the administrator, while well intended, was kept 
in the dark and fed a lot of mushrooms on what happens with these 
programs.
  And in order to justify 3,700 positions, administrative positions in 
Washington, D.C., just in Washington, D.C., 3,700 positions making on 
average $105,000 a person--imagine that, what we've created--and 
another 8,000-plus administrators out in the field, but to justify 
those positions, what they did was they fudged--and GAO has also 
confirmed this--the facts on the cost of the private operation, again, 
under Federal supervision of passenger screening.
  So all this does--it doesn't take any money out of TSA--is it gives 
the administrator the discretion to have that money, and he can use it 
for screening. And we believe that with the pending applications, which 
this bill and your

[[Page H3944]]

bill helps open up, we want to make certain that there are adequate 
funds available to do it in the most cost-effective manner. And that's 
what my amendment provides for.
  So, again, the whole point of this is doing the best possible job for 
security. And stop and think about this: this bill provides $3 billion-
plus just for screening, 3 billion. I think the total of this bill is, 
what, $8 billion, staff? The entire bill is 46.
  But just for TSA is how much? 7.8, close to $8 billion for TSA's 
operation. And I wouldn't begrudge them a penny if it, in fact, were 
used properly for the security of our Nation to make certain that 
people are safe in the skies.
  But I'm saying that this amendment does make certain that for a very 
cost-effective means of providing passenger screening, we can do a 
better job. We'll have the money available, and we won't rely on just 
the all-Federal model.
  So I urge support for this amendment and your consideration.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chair, I withdraw my point of order.
  The CHAIR. The point of order is withdrawn.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to 
the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, I've been listening 
carefully to the gentleman as he described his intentions in offering 
this amendment, and all I can do, I think all any of us can do, is 
react to the amendment before us, not to hypothetical future amendments 
or future administrative actions. And on the face of it, I oppose this 
amendment.
  The bill provides $3.03 billion for screeners. This amendment would 
cut funding by $270 million.

                              {time}  1510

  If this amendment is accepted, TSA would need to lay off 5,000 
screeners. That's 10 percent of the current screener workforce. It 
would also eliminate nearly all of the new screeners hired over the 
past 12 months. These are screeners that are needed to support, to 
operate new security equipment.
  Mr. Chairman, there's no way around it: this would decrease security. 
It would lead to longer wait lines just at a time when passenger growth 
is rebounding at our country's airports. We continue to hear from the 
intelligence community about aviation threats. These threats are 
becoming more and more ominous, more diversified. Why on earth would we 
want to cut back our screener force at this point?
  Now, the gentleman has talked about giving the Secretary discretion 
to somehow make up for this cut in the private screener force. But 
there is really nothing in this amendment that grants such discretion. 
There is not any augmenting in this amendment of the private screener 
account, nor is there any assurance that even if that account were to 
be augmented, that the people that could be hired would replace, one 
for one, the 5,000 we are talking about laying off.
  So just taking this amendment on the face of it, I think it is an 
amendment that would lessen aviation security and, particularly, undo a 
lot of the additional protections that have been put in place in the 
last year or so. So I think it is a most unwise amendment, and I urge 
rejection.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Washington is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. DICKS. Again, this amendment comes to us late. The gentleman from 
Florida happens to be the chairman of the Transportation Committee. He 
could write a bill to change this. All of these things that he has 
bemoaned here on the floor, he could fix. He could bring the bill to 
the floor, and we could have a debate and a discussion. But instead, he 
comes here with a meat ax approach, 10 percent reduction in screeners.
  Also, I think the gentleman's figure of 3,700 people, I think, are 
not screeners here in the Nation's capital.
  So again, I just wish the gentleman would use his jurisdiction and 
his committee, hold the hearings, bring TSA up here and do the job that 
the chairman of the Transportation Committee should do and get this 
thing fixed. If it's so good, why don't you fix it?
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Alabama is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. MICA. I thank the chairman for yielding to me.
  Let me just try to clarify the record. The information I have on the 
number of screeners from our investigative staff director is 49,553 
screeners. That is the figure given to us by TSA. The number of 
screeners is 49,553.
  The other point, too, when I said 3,700 administrative personnel, I'm 
talking about TSA bureaucrats here. I'm not talking about screening 
force. Not one screener am I including in that. I'm just talking about 
TSA headquarters or TSA administrative personnel making, on average, 
$105,000 a year. Now I'm not talking about the screeners. These poor 
screeners, some of the screeners are starting at the lowest wage. The 
money isn't going for professional screeners, although this bill, I 
understand the average pay is about, if you calculate $3 billion 
divided by 49,000, you come close to $60,000, and there are costs for 
benefits and all that, I grant you. But let me just try to make the 
record clear, again: We have 3,700 administrative TSA people in the 
headquarters or associated here in the Washington area, not screeners.
  Mr. DICKS. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. ADERHOLT. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.
  Mr. DICKS. I understand that the gentleman from Florida's amendment 
wouldn't do anything about those managers because it is aimed at the 
screeners themselves. And, also, the bill already reduces screeners to 
46,000.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Reclaiming my time, I yield to the gentleman from 
Florida.
  Mr. MICA. Well, again, the justification of most of the 3,700 who fed 
the administrator mushrooms and kept him in the dark was in fact you 
had someone to supervise all of these people. We have another 8,000 
supervisors out in the field.
  When you go through the airport line sometime, I challenge you to ask 
some of these people what they are doing standing around, the thousands 
standing around. The whole point of this is there is another model, and 
we created that in 2001. We have 16 airports, five initially. The 
biggest one is in the minority leader's district, Ms. Pelosi. It set 
the standards, the example for the rest of us. And tomorrow, we will 
show a report, and we have examined position by position with San 
Francisco airport against LAX because we want to compare apples to 
apples. You will see the incredible savings. You'll see the efficiency, 
which is like twice as much with private screeners.
  So I am taking the money and the positions out of the all Federal and 
making them available to the discretion of the administrator to use 
them hopefully for this SBP program, which is private screeners under 
Federal supervision, which worked so well.
  Mr. DICKS. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. ADERHOLT. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.
  Mr. DICKS. Again, the gentleman is the chairman of the Transportation 
Committee. You are the one who helped create this bureaucracy. Why 
don't you fix it and bring a bill to the floor so we can have a chance 
to vote on it? If it is so good, why do you come here at the last 
moment and cut screeners?
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Reclaiming my time, I yield to the gentleman from 
Florida.
  Mr. MICA. Again, I would love nothing more than to have the 
jurisdiction. I do not have the jurisdiction. I do have jurisdiction 
for some oversight, which we have assumed.
  Mr. DICKS. Oh, Homeland Security does. I get that.
  Mr. MICA. Yes, they do. So I will be here when Homeland Security cows 
come marching through the pasture here and try to make the changes that 
are necessary. We have discussed with your staff the changes that we 
believe are necessary. But I don't have that jurisdiction; I wish I 
did. But I am doing all I can to work with the Appropriations 
Committee. Your professionals

[[Page H3945]]

are doing all they can within the limitations of your jurisdiction. I 
am doing my little oversight bit, and then we have the Homeland 
Security Committee that will march forward with their authorization. 
And I will be here for that parade.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Mica).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida will be postponed.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Mica) having assumed the chair, Mr. Dreier, Chair of the Committee of 
the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that that 
Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2017) making 
appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal 
year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes, had come to no 
resolution thereon.

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