Amendment Text: S.Amdt.755 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)

Shown Here:
Amendment as Proposed (10/17/2011)

This Amendment appears on page S6578 in the following article from the Congressional Record.

[Pages S6575-S6582]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will now 
proceed to consideration of H.R. 2112, which the clerk will report by 
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 2112) making appropriations for Agriculture, 
     Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related 
     Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 
     2012, and for other purposes.

  The Senate proceeded to consider the bill which had been reported 
from the Committee on Appropriations with an amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.

                 Amendment No. 750 to Amendment No. 738

    (Purpose: To establish the National Criminal Justice Commission)

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, Senator Kohl will be here momentarily. But 
until the managers of the bill are ready to proceed, I would, on behalf 
of Senator Webb, call up his amendment, which is at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Nevada [Mr. Reid], for Mr. Webb, proposes 
     an amendment numbered 750 to amendment No. 738.

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 

                           Amendment No. 738

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, notwithstanding the previous action just 
taken, I ask unanimous consent that the substitute be called up.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Nevada [Mr. Reid], for Mr. Inouye, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 738.

  Mr. REID. I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment 
be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The amendment is printed in the Record of October 13, 2011, under 
``Text of Amendments.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, I am pleased today to support the 2012 
Agriculture appropriations bill. This is a

[[Page S6576]]

very austere measure. Almost every category of funding is lower than 
last year and much lower than the year before. Setting aside disaster 
and security items that we dealt with in debt limit negotiations, 
discretionary spending in this bill is $200 million below 2011. 
Compared to 2010, it is $3.2 billion lower. That is equal to a 15-
percent reduction compared to 2010.
  In total, discretionary spending is $20.046 billion. That figure 
includes nearly $300 million in disaster for hurricanes, tornados, 
floods, droughts, and other natural disasters. All together, 
discretionary spending is nearly $2 billion below the President's 
request and is consistent with our 302(b) allocation.
  To achieve savings and develop a balanced bill, Senator Blunt and I 
had to set priorities. Among them was a goal to protect public health 
and safety, including food safety. We made sure these activities are 
protected. We provided more than $1 billion for the Food Safety and 
Inspection Service so they can maintain current levels of inspection 
for meat and poultry. The bill includes almost $2.2 billion for the 
FDA, which is an increase of $50 million. Most of this increase is for 
food safety, and FDA is the only agency or office funded by this bill 
at a higher level than last year.
  An equally high priority is protecting the most vulnerable Americans 
from hunger. The WIC Program, which historically accounts for more than 
one-third of all discretionary spending in this bill, is funded at 
almost $6.6 billion. According to USDA, this level will support current 
participation levels. We also protected other domestic feeding 
programs, including the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which is a 
lifeline for many elderly Americans. We believe it is especially 
important during these tough times to maintain nutrition program 
participation, and we have done so in this bill.
  Another priority worthy of protection is agricultural research. 
Without continued investment, food production in this country and 
around the globe will not be able to keep up with challenges posed by 
growing populations, climate change, invasive pests, and other threats. 
According to the Economic Research Service, global demand for food will 
grow 70 to 100 percent by 2050. To meet that demand, our production 
capacity will have to increase, and these increases will not happen 
without sustained emphasis on agricultural research.
  Senator Blunt and I have worked hard to protect these investments 
often at the expense of other USDA programs. One of the most important 
discussions in Congress today revolves around job creation. This bill 
includes more than $2 billion for rural development loans and grants. 
These programs help launch and grow small businesses. They help rural 
communities build water and sewer lines which, of course, are essential 
to economic development. They help improve small town fire stations and 
health care clinics. They support rural housing. These projects are 
important, and Senator Blunt and I have provided funding to help 
protect and create jobs in rural America.
  Two of our programs, PL-480 and the McGovern-Dole Food for Education 
Program, fall within the security category of discretionary spending 
and play a very important role in fighting world hunger. Right now, the 
Horn of Africa is under a state of declared famine, and the lives of 
millions of men, women, and children are at grave risk. Food aid is all 
that stands between life and death for these people, and I am glad to 
report that we are able to provide a slight increase in PL-480 above 
last year. However, we must closely monitor events in Africa and 
elsewhere since the funding levels for these programs in this bill 
remain below the 2010 levels.
  This bill funds the priorities I have described above as well as 
conservation, marketing, trade, and many others important to the 
American people. In spite of the challenges we face, I believe Senator 
Blunt and I have provided the proper balance for the programs in this 
  I thank him for his help and his guidance. This is his first year as 
the ranking member of this subcommittee, and he has been very helpful.
  As I said at the outset, this bill is very austere. The choices we 
made were difficult, but I strongly believe they were the correct ones. 
I urge every Senator to support this bill. I hope we can conclude floor 
action in a timely manner so we can proceed to conference with the 
House and send the bill to the President. USDA and FDA are now 
operating on a continuing resolution. We need to provide them with 
final spending levels for this fiscal year as soon as we can.
  Procedurally, we will be considering two appropriations bills in 
addition to Agriculture: the Commerce-Justice-Science and the 
Transportation-HUD bills. Any Senator who has amendments to these bills 
should work with us to assure that the appropriate chairman and ranking 
member can be on the floor to respond to amendments that fall under 
their jurisdiction.
  The discretionary programs and activities of USDA and FDA that are 
supported by this bill include high priority responsibilities entrusted 
to the Federal Government and its partners to protect human health and 
safety, contribute to economic recovery, and achieve policy objectives 
strongly supported by the American people. The ability to provide for 
these measures is made difficult by growing pressure on available 
levels of discretionary spending as a consequence of the overall public 
debate on Federal spending, revenues, and size of the Federal debt. 
While clearly a part of this overall discussion, the committee notes 
that discretionary spending has not in recent years been a significant 
cause to the rising debt of the nation. In fact, since 2001, when the 
U.S. government had a budget surplus of $128 billion, the increase in 
non security domestic spending, when adjusted for inflation and 
population growth, has been zero.
  Too often, the USDA programs funded by this bill are confused with 
farm subsidies and other mandatory spending more properly associated 
with multi-year farm bills. In contrast, this bill provides annual 
funding for programs familiar to all Americans such as protecting food 
safety through the Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Food and 
Drug Administration, which also plays a vital role in maintaining the 
safety of the Nation's blood supply and availability of safe and 
effective medical drugs, biologics, and other components of our health 
system. This bill also provides funding to fight against the 
introduction and spread of noxious or infectious and often invasive 
pests and disease that threaten our plant and animal health 
environments, as well as funding for many other missions of dire 
importance to the American people.
  As our economy witnesses increasing shifts of manufacturing capacity, 
and associated jobs, to foreign shores, we must never lose sight that 
the one area of production which must be protected as inherently 
domestic is that of our food supply. That does not mean that certain 
foods need not appropriately rely on import and export markets, but it 
does mean that we must never surrender our ability to adequately and 
safely feed our own people. Without adequate levels of research, 
development, and regulatory resources, that threat of surrender will be 
ever present and our natural resource base will remain always at risk. 
Accordingly and in the context of overall pressures on spending and the 
competing priorities that the Committee faces, this bill as reported 
provides the proper amount of emphasis on agricultural, rural 
development, and other programs and activities funded by the bill. It 
is consistent with the subcommittee's allocation for fiscal year 2012.
  The bill provides appropriations to support personnel levels for 
every agency of the Department of Agriculture except for the Forest 
Service. The jurisdiction of USDA programs touches on subjects as far 
ranging as molecular science relating to an exotic plant disease to 
providing housing and nutrition assistance to elderly citizens. The men 
and women who carry out these programs are dedicated and play an 
important role in providing many of the most vital of services to the 
American people. In general, the funding for the salaries and expenses 
of these agencies has been reduced by 5 percent below last fiscal year. 
These reductions will require the Department to seek greater 
efficiencies in operations and to manage resources in a manner that 
will result in the mildest impact on program delivery and the personnel 
of USDA.
  In spite of an abundance of rhetoric denouncing the presence of 

[[Page S6577]]

in our lives, it goes without saying that government plays a vital role 
in assuring the American people a strong sense of security which comes 
in many forms. One of the most important areas of security is the 
inherent ability to provide sufficient supplies of food and fiber. 
These supplies rely on continuing advances in science and, quite 
frankly, the importance of research in the areas of agricultural 
science will become a growing priority for us, and the world, in the 
decades immediately before us.
  As mentioned above, a recent report of USDA's Economic Research 
Service outlined the importance of sound investments in agricultural 
research and the grim prospects in the near future if we ignore the 
warning signs of combined population growth and declining production 
capacity. Highlights of that report state the following:
  By 2050, global agricultural demand is projected to grow by 70-100 
percent due to population growth, energy demands, and higher incomes in 
developing countries. Meeting this demand from existing agricultural 
resources will require raising global agricultural total factor 
productivity, TFP, by a similar level. Maintaining the U.S. 
contribution to global food supply would also require a similar rise in 
U.S. agricultural TFP.
  Total factor productivity, TFP, the broadest measure of productivity. 
It compares the total output of a sector to the total land, labor, 
capital, and material inputs used to produce that output. Increases in 
TFP imply more output is forthcoming from a given level of inputs, or, 
equivalently, fewer inputs are required to produce the same output. 
Growth in TFP is considered to be an indicator of the rate of technical 
change in a sector.
  TFP growth in U.S. agriculture is predicated on long-term investments 
in public agricultural research and development, R Productivity 
growth also springs from agricultural extension, farmer education, 
rural inrrastructure, private agricultural R, and technology 
transfers, but the force of these factors is compounded by public 
agricultural research.
  The rate of TFP growth, and therefore output growth, of U.S. 
agriculture has averaged about 1.5 percent annually over the past 50 
years. Stagnant, inflation-adjusted, funding for public agricultural 
research since the 1980s may be causing agricultural growth to slow 
down, although statistical analyses of productivity growth trends are 
  ERS simulations indicate that if U.S. public agricultural R 
spending remains constant, in nominal terms, until 2050, the annual 
rate of agricultural TFP growth will fall to under 0.75 percent and 
U.S. agricultural output will increase by only 40 percent by 2050. 
Under this scenario, raising output beyond this level would require 
bringing more land, labor, capital, materials, and other resources into 
  Additional public agricultural R spending would raise U.S. 
agricultural productivity and output growth. Raising R spending by 
3.73 percent annually, offsetting the historical rate of inflation in 
research costs, would increase U.S agricultural output by 73 percent by 
2050. Raising R spending by 4.73 percent per year, 1-percent annual 
growth in inflation-adjusted spending, would increase output by 83 
percent by 2050.
  For these reasons, Senator Blunt and I determined that funding for 
agricultural research remains a priority and we simply cannot take the 
risk of jeopardizing our agricultural production capacity. Today, we 
see visions of famine in the Horn of Africa. As hard as it is for us 
today to imagine famine ever touching this country, the sudden 
emergence of exotic plant or animal diseases coupled with dramatic 
shifts in weather patterns could disrupt our food production capacity 
in ways we would otherwise not imagine with repercussions that would 
sound throughout our economy.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I am pleased to join Senator Kohl in 
supporting this bill, the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill for 
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and 
related agencies. I am glad we are considering appropriations bills on 
the Senate floor in a manner that will allow us to fully debate 
  In addition to funding the Department of Agriculture and the Food and 
Drug Administration, the bill we bring to the floor today also includes 
the fiscal year 2012 bills introduced by other committees, as Senator 
Kohl has already specified; by the Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, 
Science and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. For now, 
I will limit my comments just to the agriculture provisions and, of 
course, defer to my colleagues, Senator Hutchison and Senator Collins, 
on the provisions that relate to the other two bills.
  Activities funded by the Agriculture bill touch the lives of every 
American every day. These activities include agricultural research, 
conservation activities, housing and business loan programs for rural 
communities, domestic and international nutrition programs, and food 
and drug safety.
  Funding for each of these deserves thorough and thoughtful 
consideration. Senator Kohl and I have made some difficult decisions in 
drafting this bill. Aside from disaster recovery efforts, the bill is 
$138 million below last year and represents a responsible approach to 
funding agricultural priorities as we tighten our belts and live more 
within our means.
  While most programs are reduced by 5 percent, we prioritized those 
programs that protect the public health and help maintain the strength 
of our Nation's agricultural economy. Agriculture is one of the few 
sectors of our economy that enjoys a trade surplus, and the overall 
state of the farm economy is currently strong. With the Nation's 
unemployment rate continuing to hover around 9 percent, expanding 
agricultural exports is even more vital, as every billion dollars in 
exports supports an estimated 8,000 American jobs.
  That is one reason I was pleased we were able to pass the free-trade 
agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia last week. Expanding 
access to these markets will create an estimated 20,000 agricultural-
related jobs alone. However, expanding access to new markets is only 
one piece of the puzzle that maintains our agricultural economy.
  Our agricultural products are the best in the world. Our producers 
are the best in the world at producing products that are desirable in 
the global market. This is in part the result of smart investment in 
America's agricultural research infrastructure. That is why I am 
pleased this bill places significant emphasis on maintaining research 
programs and our land grant university system and funding competitive 
research programs such as the agriculture and food research initiative. 
These programs are critical to helping our farmers increase production 
and will expand our Nation's economic growth.
  Not only does every dollar spent on agricultural research result in a 
$20 return to the U.S. economy, research investments also result in a 
food supply that is safe, abundant, and affordable. I am also glad that 
the agriculture bill includes funding to help farmers in communities 
recover from natural disasters. Missouri has seen unprecedented 
devastation from both tornados and flooding this year. Funding included 
in this bill for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program and the 
Emergency Conservation Program is necessary to help those areas recover 
and resume their way of life. It is important that we support our 
farmers as they clear debris, regrade, and rehabilitate their land for 
the next growing season.
  I thank Senator Kohl for the bipartisan working relationship we have 
on the agriculture subcommittee. This is my first bill as the ranking 
member of the subcommittee, and the chairman has given me every 
opportunity to provide input into the bill. He has done a good job of 
balancing the priorities of the agriculture subcommittee this year. I 
hope my colleagues join me in supporting the bill that the chairman and 
I present together today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.

                 Amendment No. 755 to Amendment No. 738

  Mr. KOHL. I send an amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to setting aside the 
pending amendments? Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

[[Page S6578]]

       The Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. Kohl] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 755 to amendment No. 738.

  Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

                 amendment no. 755 to amendment no. 738

   (Purpose: To require a report on plans to implement reductions to 
                certain salaries and expenses accounts)

       At the end of title VII of division A, add the following:
       Sec. 7___.  Not later than 30 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall 
     submit to the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
     Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations of the 
     Senate a report describing plans to implement reductions to 
     salaries and expenses accounts included in this Act.

  Mr. KOHL. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, first of all, I congratulate the chairman 
and ranking member of the Agriculture appropriations subcommittee for 
the excellent work they have done and for bringing a bipartisan bill 
before the Senate.
  Shortly, Senator Patty Murray and I will do our opening statements on 
the fiscal year 2012 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development 
appropriations bill.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I am pleased the Senate is now 
considering the fiscal year 2012 Transportation, Housing and Urban 
Development appropriations bill.
  This bill has been supported by broad bipartisan majorities. The 
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations 
subcommittee has 19 members. That is almost a fifth of the Senate. It 
is one of the largest subcommittees in the Senate.
  Despite the diversity of views on our very large subcommittee, back 
on September 20, we voted unanimously to report the bill to the full 
Appropriations Committee. The next day members of our committee voted 
28 to 2 to report the bill to the Senate.
  This bill has strong bipartisan support because it addresses 
pragmatically the very real housing and transportation needs of 
families across all regions of our Nation.
  We all realize that middle-class families face many challenges in 
these troubling economic times. Businesses across the country continue 
to struggle in the aftershocks of the financial and economic crisis 
that has rocked communities everywhere. Too many workers are struggling 
to get back on the job and far too many families are still fighting to 
stay in their homes. Yet, at the same time, our Federal Government's 
debt continues to grow.
  Sensitive to these realities, we put together legislation that funds 
critical pieces of our Federal Government, while cutting spending in a 
responsible way. I believe this bill achieves these goals while 
continuing to ensure that we are investing in our future and protecting 
the most vulnerable among us.
  It was not an easy task. The allocation for housing and 
transportation programs is 19 percent lower--almost $13 billion less--
than the level Congress appropriated in fiscal year 2010. Believe me, 
the demands for the activities that are funded in this bill have not 
diminished. If anything, the needs have increased.
  With unemployment still painfully high, poverty rates are now at 
their highest level in almost 20 years. This bill funds a critical 
piece of the safety net--housing assistance and homeless shelters--for 
millions of families who are one step from the street.
  This bill is also a principal underwriter of the Nation's 
transportation network. The investments we included make it possible 
for people to get to work and get products to market.
  Investing in our aging transportation system--our highways, aviation, 
and mass transit--is a key factor in making sure America can compete 
and win in the 21st century economy.
  There are undoubtedly elements in the bill that many will not like. 
That was unavoidable. But Senator Collins and I had some very clear 
priorities, however, that guided our decisionmaking.
  We wanted to invest in our transportation system, ensure that it 
remains safe, and protect the poor and disabled who depend on the 
programs in this bill to keep a roof over their heads, so the bill 
before the Senate includes funding to preserve the highway program at 
the current level of $43.7 billion. This funding will allow communities 
to continue improving our transportation network, while providing 
critical jobs.
  It also includes $550 million for the highly competitive TIGER Grants 
Program for surface transportation projects that make a significant 
difference in our communities across the country.
  This program has already helped finance projects in many States 
across this country, including in Seattle and Spokane in my home State 
of Washington.
  This bill also provides funding to support FAA's efforts to develop 
its next-generation air transportation system to accommodate growth in 
air travel in future years. It continues Federal support for Amtrak, 
providing the same level of funding as in fiscal year 2011 to maintain 
this key element of the transportation grid.
  We are also investing in transit, providing almost $2 billion to meet 
our commitments to communities that are improving their transit 
systems. These systems, as we all know, help reduce congestion and 
provide a critical service to those who rely on them every day to get 
to their jobs and home to their families.
  Importantly, we continue the Federal oversight that makes travel on 
our Nation's air, road, and rail transportation systems the safest in 
the world.
  The bill also provides funding to preserve rental assistance and 
affordable housing for the Nation's low income, including $18.9 billion 
for the section 8 program, which over 2 million elderly, disabled, and 
low-income families rely on to ensure they have a safe place to live.

  For those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, we have 
provided $1.9 billion for homeless assistance grants. As part of this, 
we have included $285 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant 
Program, which is critical to helping the growing number of homeless or 
at-risk families avoid or quickly escape homelessness.
  I am also very proud that we worked to include $75 million to fund 
over 11,000 new HUD-VA supportive housing, or HUD-VASH, vouchers.
  Providing permanent housing for homeless veterans and their families, 
including veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 
will help us achieve the goal of ending homelessness among our Nation's 
  The bill includes efforts to preserve and revitalize public housing, 
including $120 million for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, as well 
as the Rental Assistance Demonstration. These programs support 
innovation and collaboration, including leveraging private sector 
resources. In this difficult fiscal environment, these are tools we 
need to help protect irreplaceable public housing, which is so 
desperately needed throughout our country.
  Finally, the bill includes $1.8 billion to provide disaster relief to 
communities where highways, public facilities, and other infrastructure 
have been damaged by flooding and other disasters.
  Achieving all these goals required very difficult choices. The bill 
provides significantly reduced funding for high speed and intercity 
passenger rail grants. It also makes deep cuts to the Community 
Development Block Grant HOME Investment Partnership, and other programs 
I have long supported and I continue to believe in. It wasn't easy to 
make these decisions, but the real sacrifices will be felt in 
communities across our country.
  The programs funded in our bill support important investments back

[[Page S6579]]

home. Our constituents will be the ones to see firsthand the impact of 
these cuts. Unfortunately, these types of painful sacrifices were 
necessary within the allocation we were provided.
  In summary, this bill provides assistance to those who need it most, 
and it directs resources in a responsible and fiscally prudent way. It 
is a good bill. It will help commuters, homeowners, the most vulnerable 
in our society, and it helps our economy.
  This bill has broad bipartisan support because it takes a practical 
approach to addressing the real needs we find in the transportation and 
housing sectors. I urge all of my colleagues to support the bill and 
help us move it rapidly toward passage.
  Before I yield, I will take a moment to specifically thank Senator 
Susan Collins for her hard work and partnership. This was a very 
difficult bill to put together. It benefited from her input and from 
the hard work of her and all of her staff. I thank her for that.
  With that, I yield for my friend and partner, Senator Collins.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, first, I thank Chairman Murray for her 
exceptional leadership on this bill. It has been a real partnership, a 
bipartisan partnership, to deal with some very difficult issues. You 
see that with the chairman and ranking member of the Agriculture 
Committee, as well, and with the third bill that is before us today, 
where Senators Mikulski and Hutchison also worked together in a 
bipartisan manner. I think this is a template for how the Senate ought 
to operate, which we need to do more of.
  I am also very pleased that we are bringing the appropriations bills 
before the Senate. I am hopeful we can avoid having some huge omnibus 
bill where no one is too sure of what's in it, who negotiated it, and 
how different provisions made their way into the bill. That is not a 
good way to legislate. Instead, bringing these bills before the Senate 
so the Senate can work its will on these important funding bills is the 
appropriate way to proceed.
  I am very pleased to join my colleagues--particularly the 
subcommittee chairman, Senator Murray--as we begin floor consideration 
of these three bills. I am very pleased to serve as the ranking member 
of the Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies 
  Investment in economic development and infrastructure not only 
creates jobs now, when they are needed most, but also establishes the 
foundations for future growth. Just as important to our economic 
future, however, is reining in Federal spending. Getting our national 
debt under control must be made a priority governmentwide.
  In setting priorities for the coming year, this appropriations bill 
strikes the right balance between thoughtful investment in critical 
projects in infrastructure and housing programs and fiscal restraint, 
thereby setting the stage for future economic growth.
  Our bill makes critical infrastructure and development investments 
and meets our responsibility to vulnerable populations, such as our 
homeless veterans. At the same time, this bill delivers on the promise 
of a responsible budget and recognizes the fiscal reality of an 
unsustainable $14.3 trillion debt.
  I can assure everyone that in this bill we are doing our part to 
establish more sustainable spending levels as quickly as possible. The 
proposed nonemergency funding levels for fiscal year 2012 are nearly 
$13 billion below fiscal year 2010. That is a reduction of nearly one-
fifth in just 2 years. The significant savings represent an 
unmistakable movement in the direction of fiscal sustainability. 
Nevertheless, we have done our best to provide the necessary resources 
that are needed to support ongoing infrastructure investment and 
important safety oversight in the programs administered by the 
Department of Transportation.
  For example, we provided funding for the TIGER Grant Program of $550 
million. This will help to build infrastructure projects across this 
country that otherwise would not be constructed, and those 
infrastructure projects translate into real jobs and needed assets for 
communities across the country. We all know the link between essential 
infrastructure and jobs in economic development. After all, if 
businesses can't ship their goods or get their needed raw materials in 
an efficient, effective manner, then they are not going to be able to 
create and preserve jobs. That is why I see this bill, in many ways, as 
being a jobs bill.
  In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration is provided adequate 
funding to improve the management of the air traffic control 
operations. There have been troubling recent reports of numerous 
operational errors by controllers which call into question the safety 
of our skies over some of our Nation's busiest airports. In response, 
our bill directs the FAA to implement data-driven performance standards 
to make certain that air traffic towers nationwide are properly 
staffed. By setting and enforcing these standards, the FAA can be more 
confident that air traffic controllers have the skills and discipline 
necessary to fulfill their critical duties.
  In addition to improved safety oversight, this bill targets funds to 
the Nation's most critical infrastructure projects. I mentioned the 
TIGER Grant Program. In addition, through the Competitive National 
Infrastructure Investments Program, funding is provided to support 
projects nationwide that otherwise would not be built. In hopes of 
making this funding go even further, we have also increased the 
percentage of funding available to support credit assistance through 
the TIFIA loan program. On average, a TIFIA loan allows every $1 
provided in Federal appropriations to leverage approximately $30 in 
additional transportation infrastructure investment. That is the kind 
of innovation in infrastructure finance we need to produce a greater 
return on our taxpayers' investment.
  In addition to transportation oversight and infrastructure, our bill 
also provides critical economic development and housing investments 
through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As with the 
Department of Transportation title, balancing key investment priorities 
with fiscal responsibility required significant and sometimes very 
difficult reductions in programs that are worthwhile but which we 
simply cannot afford to fund at the level we would like.
  Addressing the ongoing challenge of homelessness remains a core 
priority for our subcommittee. Chairman Murray and I share a commitment 
to combating homelessness, particularly for our Nation's veterans. I am 
very troubled by a statistic I want to share with my colleagues. In 1 
year's time, there are more homeless veterans than there are individual 
military members who were killed during the Vietnam war. That is a 
disgrace. That is something we must change. This bill provides $75 
million for HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program--the so-
called HUD-VASH Program--to provide housing assistance for an 
additional 11,000 homeless veterans.
  I have seen the result of this program in the State of Maine in a 
wonderful apartment complex that has been built specifically to meet 
the needs of our homeless veterans. It is in Saco, ME, and it is making 
such a difference in the lives of those who have served our country and 
yet now find themselves homeless.
  I also strongly believe in the importance of the Community 
Development Block Grant Program. This is such a popular program in 
communities throughout our country. It supports economic growth 
strategies of communities and enables key investments in their long-
term economic growth. It is programs such as the CDBG Program that lay 
the foundation for future prosperity. We were not able to provide as 
much funding, frankly, for this program as I would have liked and as 
Senator Murray would have liked. I hope we can continue to work on it 
once we get to conference.

  As we head into fiscal year 2012, our economy continues to struggle 
with high rates of unemployment, with stagnant incomes, and with prices 
that, in some areas, are starting to rise. Unfortunately, this makes it 
very difficult for us to fund these programs that are meeting an ever-
growing need. For this reason, it has been all that much more 
challenging to achieve lowered budget targets. To address this 
challenge, therefore, our bill includes several measures that are 
designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of programs at 

[[Page S6580]]

  This year, we took very seriously the alarming reports on oversight 
deficiencies under the HOME program. For example, in an effort to 
ensure that funding for the HOME program efficiently achieves its goal 
of delivering affordable housing to those who most need it, we worked 
with the HUD Office of Inspector General to improve the program's 
regulations to better monitor and assess risks. The bill also directs 
HUD to work with the Office of Inspector General to identify strategies 
that the Department can implement to address problems at certain 
troubled public housing authorities and to hold them accountable for 
mismanagement of taxpayer funds. With so many important programs under 
pressure to absorb reductions, it is more important than ever to ensure 
that HUD's programs are free from mismanagement, waste, fraud, and 
  I appreciate the opportunity to join with Senator Murray in 
presenting this legislation to the Chamber. If there is one theme that 
runs throughout our bill, it is practicality. We have tried to take a 
nonpartisan practical approach that asks tough questions but makes sure 
we are setting priorities for those programs that are most essential to 
the most vulnerable individuals and families in our Nation. At the same 
time, we worked very hard to make sure we were funding those programs 
that were absolutely essential in meeting economic and job-creation 
priorities. It is my hope our colleagues will support our bill.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I am pleased to present to the Senate 
the fiscal year 2012 bill to fund CJS appropriations; that is, the 
Department of Commerce, Justice, Science, and related agencies. I wish 
to thank Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell for bringing the CJS 
bill to the floor so we Senators have an opportunity to discuss and 
vote on this important legislation.
  The CJS bill is the product of bipartisan cooperation. I stand here 
today with my ranking member, my colleague, my partner on this bill, 
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. At the outset, I wish to thank her and 
her excellent staff for working hand in hand to advance the cause and 
the goals we believe in--creating jobs, making sure our streets and our 
neighborhoods are safe, and, at the same time, funding innovation and 
technology so America continues to be an exceptional Nation. We have 
worked together, and I thank her for her support and her cooperation.
  This fiscal year CJS totals $52.8 billion in discretionary spending. 
It is consistent with the subcommittee's allocation. That allocation is 
$491 billion below 2011. So everybody should hear this. We are almost 
$\1/2\ billion below where we were in 2011, and we are $5 billion below 
what the President wanted in 2012. When the President said he wanted to 
outbuild, outeducate, and outinnovate, he had a different budget than 
what we have today because of the substantial cuts that were made in 
other legislative initiatives.
  These agencies promote jobs. They also promote security and they 
promote, as I said, American innovation. Let's talk about some of the 
agencies that promote jobs. Let's start with the Department of 
  I am very proud of the Department of Commerce and its funding for the 
International Trade Administration which enforces our trade laws and 
promotes small businesses overseas and also our Economic Development 
Administration, creating economic growth in our communities and in our 
small towns. The National Institutes of Standards works with the 
private sector to set the standards for those new products and those 
new technologies. In the Patent and Trademark Office, we have done a 
lot in innovation. We believe if one invents it, they should be able to 
keep it. Then, of course, we have our Census Bureau, which makes sure 
every American counts and every American should be counted--or every 
person who lives in the United States.
  We have the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which 
predicts our weather and also protects our marine resources.
  Then this committee funds the Department of Justice, keeping us safe 
from violent crime and terrorism, prosecuting criminals, and also 
funding State and local police departments, the National Science 
Foundation and NASA, which, again, promote our innovation. This agency 
also funds the Commission on Civil Rights, upholding citizens' rights, 
along with the Equal Opportunity Commission, ensuring fairness 
particularly in the workplace, and the Legal Services Corporation, 
which represents the poor. This agency has broad scope, but, again, it 
is America's job to promote jobs, security, and innovation.
  Within our ever-shrinking funding levels, the CJS bill has priorities 
to save lives, promote jobs, and protect the safety of our citizens.
  We face two very pressing funding challenges that are critical to 
life and safety. One is the next generation of weather satellites. It 
is our weather satellites that not only say whether we are going to 
have stormy weather, but our weather operations also give us early 
predictions for everything from tornadoes to hurricanes. Also, we have 
a growing and explosive prison population. Together, looking at just 
those two, the issue related to an exploding population in prisons, 
meaning more prisoners, more density in prisons--they require $350 
million more in our budget, and we needed almost $400 million for our 
weather satellites. Meeting their obligations caused us to set other 
priorities, but we did meet our priorities. We provided $2.3 billion to 
support our police officers, to keep them safe with bulletproof vests, 
and to make sure they had funds for the latest crime analysis and 
forensic tools. We also funded the Byrne formula grants, which are the 
important tools for State and local police operations, at $395 million. 
Regrettably, it is $35 million below last year. We also funded our COPS 
hiring grants but, again, at a reduced level.
  Then there is Federal law enforcement. Aren't we proud of our FBI? 
Look at what they have done in the last 2 weeks with the take-down of 
the plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador. But the FBI is on the job 
every day in every way, going after organized terrorists, organized 
crime, and even predatory lenders and mortgage fraud. They are on the 
job looking out for us. And look how they work hand in hand with DEA, 
our Drug Enforcement Agency.
  We have the Marshals Service, which, in effect, guards our judges and 
so on at our courthouses, but they are also the guys who go after 
sexual predators. Under the law we have, they are enforced with any 
runaway or rogue sexual predators.
  This means we did what we could, but unfortunately we had to cut 
these agencies by 2 percent. It was with enormous regret that I had to 
do that, but we are where we are. Cuts do have consequences. I say to 
my colleagues, cuts do have consequences.
  Then there is the area of innovation. We have worked hand in glove 
with the authorizers on the America COMPETES Act. Senator Hutchison is 
a member of that committee and one of the promoters of that. The 
America COMPETES Act recommends that we increase funding for NSF and 
other science agencies by 7 percent every year. Well, we would settle 
for 3 percent every year. This is to come up with the new ideas for the 
new jobs, for the new products. But what did we have to do? We didn't 
raise it by 7 percent; we didn't raise it by the amount we want; in 
fact, we had to reduce it by 3 percent.
  All those who would like to pound their chests and go ``hoo-ha hoo-
ha'' on American exceptionalism have to realize that cuts have 
consequences. But we did work to ensure the fact that we have funded 
the national space agency at $17.9 billion. It is $1.5 billion below 
the authorized level, which, again, Senator Hutchison is one of the 
lead authorizers. We did preserve a balanced space program, human space 
flight, space science, also aeronautics, and the development of a 
reliable space transportation system. This means, though, that NASA 
will be asked once again to do more.
  We did fund the James Webb Space Telescope, which is the successor to 
Hubble. By funding the James Webb Space Telescope, we will ensure 
America's lead in astronomy and in physics for the next 50 years.
  I am very proud of the fact that a Marylander at Johns Hopkins and 

[[Page S6581]]

Space Telescope Institute, on the Hopkins campus, just won the 2011 
Nobel Prize for physics--Dr. Adam Riess. When he accepted the Nobel 
Prize, do you know what he said. He said: I could not have done my 
Nobel Prize without the Hubble telescope. All my research is based on 
the Hubble. Then he said: I want to thank the American people for 
supporting the political leadership that funded the Hubble and kept 
Hubble in space during very dark times. We won that Nobel Prize. It is 
going to reveal secrets of the universe and secrets of physics that are 
going to help us again invent new kinds of things.
  So our bill does focus on jobs, safety, and innovation. We would have 
liked to have done more, but regrettably we could not. So, Mr. 
President, we bring this bill before you.
  I want to close by saying this. There are many who like to wring 
their hands about China, and China is surging ahead. We can't stop 
China, but we can stop ourselves. And the question is do we want to 
stop ourselves in what we need to do? We need to promote commerce, 
trade, patents to protect our intellectual property, make sure we have 
a standard-setting agency, so if you invent it, you create the 
standard, so you can sell it around the world. We need to be able to 
save lives so we can save them not only at NIH in finding cures but 
also throughout Maryland, the Plains of the United States or in my own 
community. You know when a hurricane is coming, you know when a tornado 
is coming. But right now the Chinese are taking what is our National 
Science Foundation and they are replicating it, and we are, 
unfortunately, forced to keep it at a very modest funding level.
  So if you want America to continue to be great and you want America 
to continue to be exceptional and you want to create jobs, support the 
passage of the CJS bill.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, I rise as the ranking member of the 
Commerce-Justice Subcommittee, and I am very pleased that the bill we 
are presenting is a bill Chairman Mikulski and I worked on together. We 
came together in compromise, but we didn't compromise on the top level 
of spending, and I commend Chairman Mikulski for her leadership in this 
very important effort. We have a top line that is $491 million below 
the fiscal year 2011 continuing resolution and $4.9 billion below the 
President's request. So we set a very strict top line, but within that 
I believe we worked a good compromise on the competing priorities of 
law enforcement, terrorism prevention, research, and competitiveness 
through investing in science.
  I will just say that I relate so much to what the chairman said about 
the Webb telescope and the importance of that, and that the Nobel Prize 
winner whom we are so proud to have from America--in astronomy--
mentioned that was how he was able to do his research makes me so proud 
that we have made that kind of investment. You will see that in other 
areas where our finest scientists have been supported, and it is the 
kind of research that is not going to be done in the private sector. So 
this is how we will be able to create something that will provide jobs 
of the future. America is ahead in the world. Our economy is vibrant 
not because we manufacture better but because we have the ideas for the 
manufactured products that have kept our economy going for hundreds of 
  The chairman has gone over the major funding levels, so I won't go 
into that, but I do want to point out a few of those that I think are 
  First, in law enforcement, we have worked hard to ensure that law 
enforcement receives the priority funding needed to protect our Nation, 
our communities, our children, and victims of crime.
  One thing I would like to add is that we have ensured that the FBI 
has the resources needed to continue the significant increase in their 
contribution to counterterrorism and working with the CIA and 
counterintelligence worldwide. This added responsibility commenced 
after 9/11, and Director Mueller has overseen this, really the largest 
transition in this agency probably in modern times from really 
traditional crime fighting to these added missions. I anticipate we 
will add even more in conference with the House, and I will support 
that. I think they have become a major contributor to our national 
security and the global security we are all seeking.
  The language is included also to encourage the Department of Justice 
to maintain its fiscal year 2011 current level of funding focusing on 
the southwest border. It is $1.9 billion. This is so important as 
violence continues to spread across our border and the drug cartels 
become increasingly emboldened and, unfortunately, sophisticated. So 
this was something the chairman and I agreed we must keep at the level 
funding, and we have done so.
  The El Paso Intelligence Center is another important program that is 
one of our first safeguards along the border. This is a national 
tactical intelligence center that supports law enforcement in the 
United States, in Mexico, and the whole Western Hemisphere. It is the 
Drug Enforcement Administration's most important intelligence-sharing 
entity focusing on all that is related to the border.
  Another important program I will point out is the State Criminal 
Alien Assistance Program. We call it SCAAP. SCAAP provides Federal 
assistance to States and localities that are incurring the costs of 
incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens who have been accused or 
convicted of State and local offenses. This is a Federal 
responsibility, and county jails and the State prisons should not be 
holding these prisoners without help from the Federal Government 
because they are illegal aliens.
  Lastly, this bill provides significant support for NASA. The diverse 
set of programs that are aimed at the exploration of space and 
understanding Earth are so important for our country's future. Senator 
Mikulski and I have crafted a bill that balances the needs of science 
while also encouraging the vehicles that will take our astronauts to 
the space station for research and making use of that very important 
scientific station.
  Our part is part of a national lab, and it was designated as such, 
and then, in the future beyond, it will include the supporting of 
emerging commercial space companies to bring cargo and astronauts to 
the space station, supporting our investment, taking advantage of the 
opportunities for discovery on the space station, and ensuring that 
NASA will provide for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.
  So many of us watched the last shuttle return. Knowing we had no 
vehicle that would take Americans into space under American control for 
at least the foreseeable future was not well regarded in our country, 
and we need to make this commitment. We have made the commitment today 
with appropriations to ensure that we are going to continue our 
preeminence in space, that we are going to go through low Earth orbit 
and we are going to see what is beyond the Moon in an astroid or Mars, 
see if there is life there and what we can learn from life that might 
be enhanced on Earth. So it is important that now we have the heavy 
lift launch vehicle design NASA released last month. It will carry our 
astronauts in the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle to the Moon, the 
astroids, and beyond.
  Now that this decision has finally been made, we can focus on the 
future, and I think Americans expect that from us. NASA has announced 
its commitment to the path Congress has authorized, and now we can 
provide the funds to accomplish the development of that rocket.
  So in addition to what the chairman has already mentioned, I am 
certainly a supporter of America COMPETES. I would like to do much more 
in the science area, the hard science, because I think that is our 
future. It is how we create jobs and keep our economy vibrant, having 
the new products and the new ways to secure more jobs and more economic 
vitality in the technical sector in our country.
  I am very pleased. I thank the Senator from Maryland and her staff so 
much for helping and working with us. They have been great partners. I 
could not ask for any better. I think we have done a job that was hard 
to do with the lower levels of spending that we all expect and accept, 
but I think we have been able to cover the priorities well.
  I wish to end on a lighter note and say my friend, the Senator from 
Missouri, is sitting here. I want to point

[[Page S6582]]

out this will be the last time in the next 10 days that he and I are 
going to be on the same side because, of course, the mighty Texas 
Rangers are going to meet the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series 
very shortly.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. TESTER. Mr. President, I rise to speak as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Tester are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
Senate regarding judicial nominees from Pennsylvania.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.