Amendment Text: H.Amdt.383 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (09/12/2017)

This Amendment appears on page H7264 in the following article from the Congressional Record.

[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 147 (Tuesday, September 12, 2017)]
[Pages H7253-H7277]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES 
                        APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2018


                             General Leave

  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and to include extraneous material on the further consideration of H.R. 
3354.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hill). Is there objection to the request 
of the gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 504 and rule

[[Page H7254]]

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. 3354.
  Will the gentleman from California (Mr. McClintock) kindly take the 
chair.

                              {time}  1412


                     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. 3354) making appropriations for the Department of the 
Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending 
September 30, 2018, and for other purposes, with Mr. McClintock (Acting 
Chair) in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose on Friday, 
September 8, 2017, a request for a recorded vote on amendment No. 77 
printed in House Report 115-297 offered by the gentleman from South 
Carolina (Mr. Norman) had been postponed.


       Amendments En Bloc No. 3 Offered by Mr. Culberson of Texas

  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, pursuant to section 3 of House 
Resolution 504, as the designee of Chairman Frelinghuysen, I offer 
amendments en bloc No. 3 as part of consideration of division C of H.R. 
3354.
  The list of amendments included in the en bloc, Mr. Chairman, is at 
the desk and has been agreed to by both sides.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendments en bloc.
  Amendments en bloc No. 3 consisting of amendment Nos. 81, 82, 84, 86, 
88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 103, 107, 110, and 
111 printed in House Report 115-297, offered by Mr. Culberson of Texas:


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  September 12, 2017, on page H7254, the following appeared: 107, 
110, and 111 printed in House Report 115-297, offered by Culberson 
of Texas:
  
  The online version has been corrected to read: 107, 110, and 111 
printed in House Report 115-297, offered by Mr. Culberson of 
Texas:


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 



            Amendment No. 81 Offered by Mr. Castro of Texas

       Page 251, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $13,000,000) (increased by $13,000,000)' ''.


         Amendment No. 82 Offered by Mr. Reichert of Washington

       Page 249, line 4, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $1)''.
       Page 250, line 15, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $1)''.
       Page 269, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 291, line 15, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 291, line 17, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 292, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.


          Amendment No. 84 Offered by Mrs. Demings of Florida

       Page 252, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $5,000,000)''.
       Page 264, line 13, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $5,000,000)''.


        Amendment No. 86 Offered by Mr. Courtney of Connecticut

       Page 258, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $1,000,000) (increased by $1,000,000)''.


          Amendment No. 88 Offered by Mr. Lipinski of Illinois

       Page 260, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $10,100,000) (increased by $10,100,000)''.


          Amendment No. 89 Offered by Mr. Lipinski of Illinois

       Page 260, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $1,200,000) (increased by $1,200,000)''.


           Amendment No. 90 Offered by Ms. Bonamici of Oregon

       Page 260, line 1, after the dollar amount insert 
     ``(increased by $21,775,000) (reduced by $21,775,000)''.


           Amendment No. 92 Offered by Ms. Bonamici of Oregon

       Page 260, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduce 
     by $5,000,000) (increase by $5,000,000)''.


          Amendment No. 93 Offered by Mr. Buchanan of Florida

       Page 260, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $8,000,000)''.
       Page 264, line 13, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $8,000,000)''.


          Amendment No. 95 Offered by Mrs. Demings of Florida

       Page 269, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $5,000,000)''.
       Page 296, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $5,000,000)''.


  Amendment No. 96 Offered by Ms. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico

       Page 269, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $5,000,000)''.
       Page 291, line 15, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $5,000,000)''.
       Page 291, line 17, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $5,000,000)''.


            Amendment No. 97 Offered by Mr. Castro of Texas

       Page 269, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $2,500,000)''.
       Page 298, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $2,500,000)''.


        Amendment No. 98 Offered by Mr. Norman of South Carolina

       Page 269, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $7,000,000)''.
       Page 291, line 15, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $7,000,000)''.
       Page 294, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $7,000,000)''.


           Amendment No. 99 Offered by Ms. McSally of Arizona

       Page 269, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 291, line 15, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 292, line 23, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.


          Amendment No. 100 Offered by Mr. Issa of California

       Page 276, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 291, line 15, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 293, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 293, line 20, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.


          Amendment No. 102 Offered by Mr. Cohen of Tennessee

       Page 280, line 21, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(decreased by $4,000,000)''.
       Page 298, line 21, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $4,000,000)''.


        Amendment No. 103 Offered by Ms. Brownley of California

       Page 280, line 21, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $3,000,000)''.
       Page 291, line 15, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $3,000,000)''.
       Page 294, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $3,000,000)''.
       Page 295, line 9, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $3,000,000)''.


         Amendment No. 107 Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas

       Page 282, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $500,000)''.
       Page 286, line 3, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $500,000)''.


       Amendment No. 110 Offered by Mr. Cicilline of Rhode Island

       Page 294, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $100,000,000) (increased by $100,000,000)''.


        Amendment No. 111 Offered by Mr. Murphy of Pennsylvania

       Page 295, line 1, strike ``$12,000,000'' and insert 
     ``$14,000,000''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Culberson) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Serrano) each will control 10 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.

                              {time}  1415

  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I am in support of the en bloc amendments. 
We have worked on it jointly, and I support all of the amendments that 
are included in the en bloc.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Nevada (Ms. 
Rosen).
  Ms. ROSEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of my colleague 
Congresswoman Julia Brownley's amendment to increase funding for 
veterans treatment courts.
  Veterans courts keep our heroes struggling with addiction or a mental 
health condition from going to jail, instead providing them with the 
care they need and a second chance.
  Our Nation's military is returning home from a decade and a half of 
war with invisible wounds: PTSD, depression, TBI, trauma, and more. 
Researchers are continuing to find links between substance abuse and 
combat-related mental health struggles.
  Specialized drug court participants are significantly less likely 
than nonparticipants to relapse or later commit crimes. By keeping 
veterans out of prisons, focusing on rehabilitation and sobriety, these 
programs offer long-term solutions rather than shortsighted 
punishments.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to join me in voting ``yes'' for 
this amendment.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
South Carolina (Mr. Norman).
  Mr. NORMAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to seek support for my en bloc 
amendment to H.R. 3354.
  As we all know, drug overdose deaths in our country have dramatically 
increased since the turn of the century. Over the past decade alone, 
overdose deaths have increased by more than 400

[[Page H7255]]

percent. In 2015, more Americans died from opioids than in the Vietnam 
war. Mr. Chairman, that is astonishing.
  This is a national emergency. I have seen the effects firsthand in my 
district. In 2016, nearly one-fifth of all opioid-related deaths in 
South Carolina took place in my district.
  My amendment would provide more funds to opioid prevention by 
transferring $7 million from the DOJ General Administration account to 
the opioid abuse reduction activities. More than ever, we must provide 
as much funding as possible to defeat this national epidemic.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to join me in combating this 
crisis.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Oregon (Ms. Bonamici).
  Ms. BONAMICI. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the en bloc amendment, which 
includes my amendments to increase funding for the ocean acidification 
program and increase coastal monitoring and assessment of algal blooms.
  Oregon's economic vitality is dependent on the ocean economy. Ocean 
acidification and harmful algal blooms threaten ocean health, the 
tourism industry, and our valuable fisheries.
  Communities along the coasts are vulnerable to the effects of our 
changing climate. I applaud NOAA's acidification program and coastal 
monitoring and assessment programs that give our coastal community the 
tools they need to understand and address these threats.
  I thank the chairman and ranking member for including these 
amendments and for their hard work on this bill.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I wish to address the gentlewoman's 
comments, very briefly.
  I want to thank the gentlewoman for bringing this matter to the 
House's attention. Harmful algal blooms are an important issue, 
especially to the State of Florida. We know how dangerous they are and 
the terrible effect they have had on our friends in Florida, who are 
already suffering the effects of this hurricane. Our prayers and 
thoughts are with them. All of us in Houston understand the severity of 
the problem they face, and we are praying for them and look forward to 
helping them in any way we can.
  I will certainly continue to work with the gentlewoman on this issue 
that she brings to the House's attention.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Washington (Mr. 
Reichert).
  Mr. REICHERT. I thank the chair for yielding and for all his hard 
work in working together with us to address the issue of gun crime in 
this country.
  As everyone knows, over the last several years especially, high-
profile shootings and violent crime have caught the attention of 
Americans all across this country and sparked a debate about what 
should be done to reduce gang violence and gun crime in the United 
States.
  Well, the truth is, there is an answer and a proven solution that 
actually worked for many years when I was the sheriff in King County in 
Seattle, Washington. It is a program called Project Safe Neighborhoods. 
It was first the Safe Cities Initiative by the Clinton-Gore 
administration and then changed to Project Safe Neighborhoods under 
George Bush.
  Through strong partnerships, Federal, State, and local governments 
created local gun crime reduction task forces and form coalitions with 
other agencies, community groups, and citizens committed to reducing 
gun crime.
  Between 2001 and 2009, when data was collected on the program, cities 
that were first to implement the program achieved a significant decline 
in violent crime.
  We need to fund this program. The data and the statistics that were 
collected that show this is a proven solution was ignored by the 
previous administration. Despite the high rates of success for cities 
that have implemented the program, funding for the program has steadily 
decreased.
  My amendment to increase funding for Project Safe Neighborhoods is 
fully offset by a reduction to the General Administration account at 
the Department of Justice.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge all Members to support this amendment.

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to take a moment to say 
to my friend that my prayers and my thoughts are with him, his family, 
his constituents, Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, South Carolina, my 
birthplace of Puerto Rico, and all the other folks who have been 
through this very difficult time.
  I intend to use my vote on appropriations in whatever way it can to 
serve to help those communities as they get back on the road to 
recovery.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the en bloc 
amendment. It is made up of noncontroversial items that we have worked 
out with the minority, and I urge its adoption.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. Lipinski. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of my two amendments 
included in the en bloc package being considered for Division C of H.R. 
3354 I want to thank Chairman Culberson and Ranking Member Serrano for 
their leadership on this division, and for including these amendments 
in the en bloc package. These bipartisan amendments, cosponsored by me 
and my friend Mr. LoBiondo of New Jersey, protect critical functions at 
the National Weather Service. The Weather Service is essential to so 
much of what we do. From its critical functions like helping us 
predict, prepare for, and ride out extreme weather events to its 
everyday functions like telling us whether or not to carry an umbrella, 
life without up-to-date weather information is hard to imagine.
  My first amendment (No. 89) directs the National Weather Service not 
to cut $1.2 million from the Climate Prediction Center. one of its 
National Centers for Environmental Protection The Service is further 
directed not to consolidate the functions of the Climate Prediction 
Center into the Weather Prediction Center. Keeping these two centers 
separate recognizes the essential and very different services each one 
provides. The medium- and long-term predictions offered by the Climate 
Prediction Center are used for planning by diverse industries including 
transportation, agriculture, energy, and public health. Its global 
datasets are used by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for 
International Development to understand international phenomena like 
flood and drought that could impact food supplies and regional 
stability.
  My second amendment (No. 88) directs the National Weather Service not 
to cut $10.1 million from its budget for Information Technology 
Officers, and to maintain an on-site IT Officer at each Weather 
Forecast Office. These officers do software maintenance, technical 
systems upgrades, and develop software and data products to meet local 
office needs. According to the Weather Service's assessment of its 
performance during Hurricane Matthew (2016), ``[Weather Forecast 
Offices] were unanimous in their support of having a local [IT Officer] 
present to address issues before, during, and after hurricane season.'' 
In addition, a significant number of IT Officers are also trained, 
experienced meteorologists who can augment the forecasting staff during 
extreme weather.
  I think all of my colleagues can agree that supporting the National 
Weather Service is more important now than ever and I urge support for 
these amendments and for the en bloc package.
  Mrs. DEMINGS. Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of the Minority 
Business Development Agency, the MBDA. My amendment, number 84, which 
is included in the en bloc amendment, would increase funding for the 
MBDA by $5 million in Fiscal Year 2018.
  With three MBDA Business Centers in Florida, including one in my home 
district, we in Florida understand the value the MBDA provides. In 
2012, Florida had the third highest number of minority-owned 
businesses, in the country, with a high concentration of: African 
American-owned firms; Native American-owned firms; Asian American-owned 
firms; Hispanic American-owned firms; and Native Hawaiian & Pacific 
Islander-owned firms. All that rely on the assistance of the MBDA.
  For 48 years, the MBDA has been the only government agency focused 
solely on fostering the growth and development of minority-owned 
businesses; identifying and assisting to overcome the barriers to 
economic growth.
  According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau's Survey on Business Owners, 
minority-owned businesses contributed $1 trillion in economic growth to 
the $16 trillion U.S. economy, and employed 6 million Americans. 
Additionally, minority-owned businesses are twice as likely to generate 
sales through exports, compared to non-minority owned firms, due to 
their language and cultural ties.
  While their economic contributions are significant, minority-owned 
businesses struggle in acquiring private capital and securing 
government contracts at disproportionate rates, compared to non-
minority owned businesses.

[[Page H7256]]

Studies have also shown that minority loan-seekers are given less 
information on loan terms and offered less help with their loan 
applications. They are also denied loans at three times higher than 
non-minority firms.
  The MBDA assists minority-owned businesses in: financing, joint 
ventures, and more. Firms assisted by MBDA secure an average of $5.4 
billion dollars in contracts and investments. Given this significant 
contribution to the U.S. economy, it is vital to support the work done 
by the MBDA to grow our nation's 8.5 million minority-owned business.
  I want to thank Chairman Culberson and Ranking Member Serrano for 
including this amendment in the en bloc amendment. I would also like to 
thank my colleagues, Representatives Butterfield, Jackson Lee, and 
Velazquez for their co-sponsorship of my amendment, and for their 
previous work on these important issues.
  Mr. Chair, the en bloc amendment also includes my amendment, number 
95, which increases funding for the Office of Juvenile Justice 
Programs' Youth Mentoring Grants by $5 million--restoring those grants 
to the Fiscal Year 2017 enacted level.
  These grants allow local jurisdictions to develop, expand or sustain 
youth mentoring efforts using evidence-based best practices.
  Mr. Chair, improving outcomes for disadvantaged youth requires more 
than simply expanding opportunities at school, because the challenges 
they face often extend beyond the schoolhouse door.
  In my 27 years in law enforcement, I saw this first-hand. As Chief of 
Police for the City of Orlando, Florida, I had the honor of founding 
Operation Positive Direction--a program through which OPD Officers 
mentor Orlando youths.
  Across the nation, youth participating in these programs show 
improvements in their perception of social support and acceptance, 
their family relationships and a decrease in antisocial behaviors. 
Youth that meet regularly with their mentors are 46 percent less likely 
to start using illegal drugs, and youth that face opportunity gaps, but 
have a mentor are 55 percent more likely to go to college.
  Again, I want to thank Chairman Culberson and Ranking Member Serrano 
for including amendment number 95 in the en bloc amendment as well. I 
would also like to thank my colleagues, Representatives Langevin and 
Butterfield, not only for their co-sponsorship of my amendment, but for 
their continued leadership on these issues.
  I urge all my colleagues to support the en bloc amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendments en bloc offered 
by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Culberson).
  The en bloc amendments were agreed to.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, as the designee of Chairman 
Frelinghuysen, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I yield to gentleman from Washington 
(Mr. Reichert), my good friend.
  Mr. REICHERT. Mr. Chairman, I rise for the purpose of engaging in a 
colloquy with the chairman about the COPS Hiring Program.
  Managed by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or 
COPS, the COPS Hiring Program is vital to State and local law 
enforcement agencies. The program provides our communities with the 
much-needed funding to hire law enforcement officers and meet public 
safety demands.
  Since its beginning, the COPS Hiring Program has placed more than 
129,000 officers in communities across the United States to advance 
policing and crime prevention efforts.
  Make no mistake, these officers are necessary for the safety of our 
neighborhoods, constituents, and loved ones. Staffing challenges not 
only jeopardize the safety of our men and women in uniform, but also 
directly lead to the breakdown and trust between law enforcement and 
our communities.
  From my over 33 years of experience in law enforcement, I know that 
police departments and sheriffs' offices must have the staff necessary 
to engage with their communities and proactively respond to their 
needs, instead of running from one call to the next.
  COPS Hiring is a proven program that studies have shown reduces crime 
without a corresponding increase in arrests. Effective policing lowers 
crime rates and builds strong community relationships. Throughout my 
time in Congress, I have been fighting to keep this program funded. It 
is the same this year.
  While I appreciate that the bill before us includes a $100 million 
increase for Byrne-JAG law enforcement grant program, and I thank the 
chairman for his efforts, I am disappointed that it doesn't provide 
funding for the COPS Hiring Program.
  As this process moves forward, I urge the chairman to include funding 
for the COPS Hiring Program. We must continue this program that has 
been so important to State and local law enforcement. This program is 
not just good for those who put their lives on the line every day, but 
it benefits all citizens as our country works to bridge the gap between 
law enforcement and the communities they serve.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague from Washington for 
his service to the people of Seattle, the people in his State, his 
service here, and for his devotion to this program.
  I absolutely recognize the importance of the COPS Hiring Program and 
what an important impact it has had on the safety of local communities. 
We are especially grateful to our first responders in southeast Texas, 
southwest Louisiana, and the people of Florida. I don't know what we 
would do without our first responders. Our police officers and firemen 
have done a magnificent job in the wake of these terrible storms that 
we have had.
  Given the staffing shortages and the current issues facing our law 
enforcement, the COPS program is especially important. As you know, the 
Senate has funded the COPS program in its bill, and I look forward to 
working with the gentleman to make sure the COPS program is funded in 
conference.
  Mr. REICHERT. I thank the chairman, and I just mention that I know in 
my heart his compassion and dedication to the men and women who wear 
the uniform across our country. I look forward to working with him in 
making sure the COPS program is funded once again.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 83 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  It is now in order to consider amendment No. 85 printed in House 
Report 115-297.


                Amendment No. 87 Offered by Mrs. Torres

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 87 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mrs. TORRES. 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:

       Page 258, line 17, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $5,000,000)''.
       Page 258, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $5,000,000)''.
       Page 269, line 22, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $5,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentlewoman 
from California (Mrs. Torres) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California.
  Mrs. TORRES. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer my amendment to this 
appropriations bill.
  Mr. Chairman, since I have been in Congress, I have been working with 
manufacturers in my congressional district to ensure that we are doing 
all we can in Congress to support them in creating good-paying, high-
skilled jobs right here at home.
  Last month, I took a ``Made in the 35th'' tour and traveled across my 
district, meeting with manufacturers who are creating jobs here in the 
U.S. They told me about how they are competing with importers from Asia 
and an unfair playing field created by how our trading partners support 
their manufacturers.
  I continued my tour to the Port of Los Angeles, where it became 
clearer where this unfair playing field has left us. Ships from Asia 
come in full and leave empty.
  Mr. Chairman, the ships that leave Los Angeles should be full of 
American-made goods. This is the goal of the Manufacturing Extension 
Partnership, or MEP: supporting American businesses through expanding 
markets and supporting innovation.
  Two of the nine MEP success stories in California have happened in my 
congressional district. Insulfoam in Chino used the MEP to increase 
production by 20 percent, while reducing their energy costs by more 
than 5 percent.

[[Page H7257]]

  Diamond Wipes, a very impressive company that I visited on my Made in 
the 35th tour, used the MEP to expand their wet wipes business to 
markets around the world.
  A small investment in MEP meant real wins and expansions for these 
real American businesses.

                              {time}  1430

  Mr. Chairman, this amendment is common sense. For every dollar of MEP 
investment, we can generate nearly $20 million in new sales growth and 
$20 in new client investment. That is a $100 million return on my 
amendment.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment because that 
investment could end up in one of our communities.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the congresswoman from Connecticut 
(Ms. Esty).
  Ms. ESTY of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this 
amendment to increase funding for the Manufacturing Extension 
Partnership, the MEP program. This amendment would restore $5 million 
to MEP, which has helped U.S. manufacturers create and retain good jobs 
in Connecticut and in every State in the country over nearly 30 years.
  Connecticut's MEP, the Connecticut State Technical Extension Program, 
or CONNSTEP, works with facilities in Connecticut advising them on ways 
to grow their businesses. And thanks to partnerships with CONNSTEP, in 
my district alone, Metallon in Thomaston has increased new sales by 
nearly a half a million dollars, Metallurgical Processing in New 
Britain increased production by 20 percent, and RTR Technologies in 
Canaan increased sales by $6 million.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to restore funding to MEP by $5 
million, because passing a budget that grows the economy and retains 
and brings good jobs to our communities is exactly what we were sent to 
Washington, D.C., to do.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support Representative Torres' 
amendment.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
gentlewoman's amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I have no particular objection to the 
amendment other than I am concerned about the offset. We need to make 
sure the Department of Justice has all the resources they need in order 
to protect this country. I am concerned about taking it out of General 
Administration. However, I am prepared to let the amendment go.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. TORRES. Mr. Chairman, I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Serrano), the ranking member of the 
subcommittee.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment, and I 
commend the authors for offering it.
  This effective program funds a series of centers that help small- and 
medium-sized manufacturers to develop new products, attract new 
customers, and reduce protection costs.
  Because this bill received an inadequate allocation, the chairman was 
forced to partially agree with the President's efforts to undermine our 
manufacturing sector, and the bill currently contains a cut of $30 
million from the MEP program. This amendment provides an important 
downpayment in restoring funding for this important program. We will 
have to do better down the line, but this is a good start.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to support the amendment.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. TORRES. Mr. Chairman, I have no further speakers, and I am 
prepared to close.
  Mr. Chairman, this is a $5 million investment for manufacturers in 
the U.S., and I strongly ask for the support of my colleagues in 
passing this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Torres).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mrs. TORRES. 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 gentlewoman from California 
will be postponed.


                Amendment No. 91 Offered by Mr. McKinley

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 91 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. McKINLEY. 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:

       Page 260, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000) (reduced by $10,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from West Virginia (Mr. McKinley) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from West Virginia.
  Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Chairman, the Environmental Security Computing 
Center within NOAA--the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration--utilizes high-performance computing technology to 
quickly process information from weather satellites and to predict the 
path of a hurricane or the extent of damage a wildfire can create. As 
recent events have shown, weather events can have a devastating impact 
on the lives of our fellow Americans.
  In late July, northern West Virginia experienced unexpected flooding 
that placed eight counties under a state of emergency. Nearly 1,000 
homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, and, tragically, two 
individuals lost their lives. This was an unexpected flow of water.
  Recently, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have destroyed thousands of 
homes and communities, which will require a massive influx of Federal 
resources to rebuild. This Congress has the responsibility to ensure 
the accuracy and viability of the weather and climate monitoring work 
performed by the security center.
  One of the most important systems NOAA uses to process this data is 
its high-performance computing assets, such as NOAA's Environmental 
Security Computer Center. My amendment provides funding to complete the 
build-out for that facility that NOAA has initiated. Completing the 
build-out will support the supercomputer systems that NOAA uses to 
process and report this important and critical weather model data.
  What we are witnessing during this hurricane season, Mr. Chairman, 
demonstrates just how important passage of this amendment is to our 
Nation, and we are going to have reliable information provided to us. 
So I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. McKinley).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 94 Offered by Ms. Rosen

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 94 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Ms. ROSEN. 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:

       Page 264, line 13, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $18,000,000)''.
       Page 314, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $18,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentlewoman 
from Nevada (Ms. Rosen) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Nevada.
  Ms. ROSEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of my amendment to 
increase funding to the National Science Foundation's Computer and 
Information Science and Engineering research directorate, commonly 
known as CISE.
  CISE supports research in computing, communications, information 
science, and engineering. Through their NSF-supported work, our 
Nation's scientists have been able to develop innovative solutions to 
energy,

[[Page H7258]]

advanced manufacturing, national security, healthcare, and personal 
communications.
  CISE also provides advanced cyber infrastructure for all areas of 
science and engineering, and it contributes to the education and 
training of computer engineers, ensuring our future generations are 
well equipped with the skills they need in an increasingly competitive 
global market.
  In Nevada and across the country, we are continuing to see a huge 
demand for workers in the tech industry, including software developers, 
analysts, engineers, and computer programmers like myself. According to 
the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computing industry's rate of job 
creation in the U.S. is now three times the national average. In order 
for our workforce to continue to push the boundaries, we must invest in 
research and training programs at NSF.
  CISE is particularly important because it provides funding for 
cutting-edge computing and information science research, which is 
critical to innovation in nearly all lines of work from business to 
government.
  Simply put, the 21st century runs on computers and constantly 
evolving technologies. As one of the few women in Congress to build her 
career in STEM, I know all too well the demand for talent in STEM is 
real, and we must make smart investments now.
  Current CISE projects across the country include developing unmanned 
aerial systems technology to help reduce wildfires, creating new 
clinical modeling techniques to use electronic health records for 
personalized patient care, and strengthening our cyber infrastructure.
  In my district, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is using CISE 
funding for several groundbreaking initiatives. One of their projects 
focuses on increasing the participation of students with disabilities 
in computer science courses by creating accessible tools and curricula, 
preparing professors for diverse students.
  UNLV is also partnering with the local Clark County School District 
to mentor high school teachers on computer science, cybersecurity, and 
big data.
  Mr. Chairman, this current bill maintains fiscal year 2017 level 
funding for NSF research and related activities, which CISE is funded 
through. That is admirable, given the fact that President Trump's 
proposed budget slashed NSF research. Maintaining level funding shows 
shared, bipartisan support for scientific research right here in 
Congress.
  I thank the majority and the subcommittee chairman for recognizing 
the importance of supporting computer and information science. However, 
even with this funding level, according to agency leadership, the NSF 
has had to deny over $2 billion worth of excellent proposals every 
year, indicating the fact that it is underfunded.
  If we are going to be serious about competing in the economy of 
tomorrow and the economy of today, then we must continue funding 
programs that help our country to remain the global leader in 
innovation, productivity, economic growth, and provide good-paying jobs 
for the future.
  My amendment would increase funding to CISE by 2 percent, allowing it 
to keep up with year-over-year inflation and fund the same number of 
grants as previous years. This level funding in real dollars is the 
least we can do to remain globally competitive in computer science and 
engineering.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to join me in voting ``yes'' for 
this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, we have, as you know, an extremely 
difficult budget year. Our constituent's hard-earned tax dollars are 
being stretched farther and thinner than ever, particularly in light of 
the disasters that struck Texas and southwest Louisiana and now 
Florida.
  We have, in our Commerce, Justice, Science bill, protected America's 
investment and basic research through the National Science Foundation 
and its main grant account, the Research and Related Activities 
account.
  We have funded the Research and Related Activities account at $672 
million this year. We recognize that America's leadership in the world 
is grounded, in large part, on the innovations and discoveries that are 
made by unrestrained scientific research.
  I am a very strong supporter of the National Science Foundation's 
scientific research. And while we would like to see higher levels of 
funding for the National Science Foundation for NASA and for other 
science-related research in this bill, until the Congress comes to an 
overall budget agreement, Mr. Chairman, we simply do not have 
additional funds, and we must live within our means.
  The proposed offset that is offered by this amendment would seriously 
hinder program and financial oversight over the Department of Commerce 
and could result in professionals being let go.
  Further, with respect to the gentlewoman's statement, I believe it is 
important that we defer to the National Science Foundation to 
distribute any additional funds according to the highest priority needs 
identified by the scientific community and not designate them for a 
specific directorate.

                              {time}  1445

  Should the gentlewoman's amendment pass, the funds will be added to 
the research and related activities account, in general. It will then 
be up to NSF to determine how those additional funds are spent 
according to the needs of the scientific community, that the offset is 
very damaging to the Department of Commerce and the important work they 
do, in fact, the constitutionally mandated work that they do, to 
provide for the decennial census of the United States.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to oppose the amendment, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Nevada (Ms. Rosen).
  The amendment was rejected.


                 Amendment No. 101 Offered by Mr. Cohen

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 101 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. COHEN. 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:

       Page 277, line 4, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 320, line 7, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Tennessee (Mr. Cohen) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Tennessee.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to speak in support of our 
bipartisan amendment, which would increase Legal Services funding by 
$10 million. I am willing to withdraw this amendment after my 
colleagues and I take a brief moment to speak about Legal Services. I 
know that the chair and the ranking member support Legal Services and 
may be able to help, but at some time in the future.
  Our justice system is the envy of the world. Whenever we travel, 
people say what they really respect about America is the rule of law 
and our justice system, but it takes professional help by an attorney 
to navigate it. When they are poor--which most people don't have legal 
training--they are not going to be able to successfully compete against 
a private attorney on the other side. They need help. If they don't 
have that help, the justice system is not fair.
  Legal Services helps ensure equal justice under the law. It helps all 
kind of folks: military families, homeowners and renters, families with 
children, the disabled, and the elderly.
  It is vital all over the country, but in places like Houston, 
residents struggle from Hurricane Harvey. Lone Star Legal Aid, which is 
partially funded by Legal Services, is helping people navigate the 
legal hurdles when people need them most so that they can get their 
lives back.
  Mr. Kennedy has been a strong supporter of this. He was supposed to 
be here today, but I think he has been detained.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
(Mr. Fitzpatrick).

[[Page H7259]]

  

  Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Chairman, every year for 42 years, Congress has 
funded the Legal Services Corporation so that low-income Americans 
might realize our country's solemn pledge of justice for all. For 
military families, homeowners and renters, families with children, the 
disabled, the elderly, and nearly 112,000 veterans, investment in civil 
legal aid is one of the most effective ways to help Americans navigate 
the justice system.
  The Legal Services Corporation allows millions of Americans to 
safeguard their basic legal rights at a minimal cost to the Federal 
Government. As the late Justice Antonin Scalia emphasized in 2014: `` . 
. . this organization pursues the most fundamental of American ideals, 
and it pursues equal justice in those areas of life most important to 
the lives of our citizens.''
  This organization provides direct grants to legal aid providers 
across our Nation, including eight organizations in my home State of 
Pennsylvania. I am proud to support the Legal Services Corporation, 
which allows people access to justice even when they cannot afford 
representation. We must continue this program.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania for 
his help.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Serrano), the ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee. Mr. 
Serrano has helped me on other amendments as well as this one.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I feel comfortable with Mr. Cohen withdrawing his 
amendment because I know the chairman, Mr. Culberson, is very 
supportive of this program.
  It is interesting to note that this program was born in a bipartisan 
fashion, with President Nixon, at that time, being the main supporter 
of it.
  The bill only provides $300 million for Legal Services, which is a 
cut of $85 million from fiscal year 2017. This amendment provides a 
downpayment towards restoring these cuts, and I commend the authors for 
offering it.
  We should not be cutting LSC funding at a time when more people than 
ever qualify for these services. Legal aid providers always must turn 
away more than half of eligible applicants. They already do that, and 
these cuts would only create a bigger problem.
  Very briefly, in closing, there are a lot of issues that we can 
discuss that make America great. One of them is the right to legal 
representation. If you can't afford it, then this is where programs 
like Legal Services come in and support.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Indiana (Mrs. Brooks), my good friend and colleague.
  Mrs. BROOKS of Indiana. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the 
gentleman from Tennessee's amendment.
  As a democracy founded on the belief in the rule of law, I am a proud 
co-chair of the House Access to Civil Legal Services Caucus with my 
colleague from Massachusetts (Mr. Kennedy).
  I believe we have an obligation to ensure that all Americans have 
access to legal representation in order to uphold the values upon which 
our Nation was founded: equality and justice under our laws. This 
amendment will ensure that Legal Services Corporation can continue 
supporting those values by providing legal support to the millions of 
Americans who would otherwise go without it whenever they might face 
serious legal challenges.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentleman withdrawing 
the amendment. I want to express my support for the work the Legal 
Services Corporation does.
  When we reach a budget agreement throughout the Congress for Legal 
Services, we will work with you in conference to help make sure they 
have the funds that they need to do their vital work to defend abused 
women, veterans, and members of the military who need assistance. They 
do important work. As soon as we find some extra room, I will work with 
you in conference to find them some extra support.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I thank Mr. Culberson for his help, and Mrs. 
Brooks for her leadership.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time, and I withdraw the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The amendment is withdrawn.
  The Chair understands that amendment No. 104 will not be offered.


               Amendment No. 105 Offered by Mr. Grothman

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 105 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. GROTHMAN. 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:

       Page 281, line 11, insert ``(reduced by $64,688,800)'' 
     after the dollar amount.
       Page 347, line 16, insert ``(increased by $64,688,800)'' 
     after the dollar amount.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Wisconsin (Mr. Grothman) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Wisconsin.
  Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of my amendment to H.R. 
3354.
  Since we last met, we began spending, I guess, a new $15 billion on 
the tragedies in Florida and Texas. I haven't had a chance to see how 
all of my colleagues are doing, but I sure hope that we are getting 
nothing but amendments designed to reduce spending to make up for the 
difference. I hope that is so.
  I am looking at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and 
Explosives. I am on the Government Oversight Committee. We recently had 
another hearing on Fast and Furious. I don't think there has been 
enough contrition there at all. This was, I think, probably the biggest 
scandal in my lifetime, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms 
and Explosives has to consider themselves to be a big part of that 
scandal.
  Being from Wisconsin, I am also familiar with a local scandal we had 
there. If you google ``ATF'' and ``Milwaukee,'' you will find a 
situation in which they were selling guns which they shouldn't have 
been selling and buying guns which they shouldn't have been buying. So 
there is another reason why we should look at the Bureau of Alcohol, 
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
  Despite these scandals, their funding has gone nothing but up over 
the last few years. We are, in this budget, looking to borrow between 
13 to 14 percent of this budget, and that is before we begin to have to 
spend money on the Florida and Texas hurricanes.
  I am introducing a bill with a mild 5 percent across-the-board cut to 
ATF. President Trump had wanted a smaller increase. The Appropriations 
Committee went $20 million over what President Trump wanted. I don't 
think that is right. I think they need a little bit of a slap-down 
here.
  I am looking to reduce the amount of spending on this organization by 
$64 million. I think that is very appropriate given the scandals that 
they have been involved in. It is very appropriate given that we are 
borrowing 14 percent of our money. In the sane world, we would almost 
take every agency down 14 percent. We don't have time for that, but 
this agency, based on their behavior, seems in favor of that.
  I know some people are going to probably not want to cut anything 
here. We just heard in the last amendment that it appears like some 
people want to go up. I think this is a modest decrease, and I think 
they should have no problem finding this small amount of money.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the gentleman's 
amendment, remembering that, first and foremost, the appropriations 
annual operating budget of the United States represents only 30 cents 
out of every dollar spent by the Federal Government.

[[Page H7260]]

  I am keenly aware of how precious and hard-earned and scarce every 
dollar earned by our constituents is. We need to focus on the 70 
percent: the automatic pilot programs, the looming insolvency of Social 
Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That is how we can really get our 
budget balanced.
  We have done our part on the Appropriations Committee to bring down 
annual spending every year, and the ATF, in particular, plays an 
important role in protecting America's Second Amendment rights. You 
must remember that the ATF is now under the direction of Attorney 
General Jeff Sessions, who shares with us a passion for protecting 
Americans' Second Amendment rights.
  This amendment would cause serious damage to ATF's ability to end the 
backlogs. The ATF would not be able to speed up the processing of the 
National Firearms Act applications. The ATF would not be able to beef 
up the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, which is so 
vital to help police officers identify the source of the bullet used in 
a crime.
  This amendment would injure an agency that is doing good work today 
under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to protect our 
Second Amendment rights. Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to oppose it.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Serrano), my colleague, the ranking member on the 
Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  This reduction would have a significant impact on public safety. The 
ATF would be investigating fewer firearm traffickers and violent gangs. 
They would be unable to respond effectively to theft burglaries from 
Federal firearms licensees. These cuts would weaken the ATF's ability 
to do its primary responsibilities: combat violent crime and regulate 
the firearms and explosive industries.
  Not surprisingly, a reduction of this magnitude would result in 
approximately 400 employees being laid off. According to the ATF, that 
means they would have to eliminate approximately 200 special agents, 65 
industry operations investigators, and 135 professional technical 
positions. The elimination of these positions at ATF directly degrades 
the Department's capacity to combat violent firearm crimes and regulate 
the firearms and explosives industries.
  I just think that this is not a proper amendment at this time or, for 
that matter, at any time, and I join the chairman in agreeing on this.
  Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Chairman, I am going to disagree a little bit with 
one of those past statements.
  We have heard the statement made, sometimes behind closed doors by a 
lot of people, and that is we have an increase of discretionary 
spending over the last 3 years. This is a mild cut this year, but over 
the last 3 years, collectively, it is an increase, 3 or 4 years.
  There are some people who feel that we shouldn't scrutinize that 
spending because so much of our budget is mandatory spending. I do feel 
that we need a larger cut in mandatory spending than the rather modest 
cut that came out of the Budget Committee, and I hope everybody in our 
Conference will demand a more significant cut in mandatory spending.

  But, nevertheless, discretionary spending is 30 percent of the 
budget. Common sense will tell you that, as things become more 
technology oriented, it should be easier for an agency that processes 
data, like the ATF, to do their business with a little bit less money.
  And one more time I will emphasize that there haven't been cuts to 
reflect these scandals in the ATF, and I think that, if we are not 
going to kind of slap them on the wrist now, when will we?
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to oppose this amendment.
  ATF is doing a good job of protecting our Second Amendment rights, 
and this amendment would injure them severely.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Grothman).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. GROTHMAN. 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 Wisconsin 
will be postponed.

                              {time}  1500


               Amendment No. 106 Offered by Mr. Grothman

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 106 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Chair, as the designee of the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Buck), I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 281, line 17, strike ``none of the'' and insert 
     ``such''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Wisconsin (Mr. Grothman) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Wisconsin.
  Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Chair, as mentioned, this amendment was actually 
drafted by Representative Buck from Colorado. I understand this 
amendment passed on a voice vote last time.
  I do have a nice speech that Representative Buck's office has 
prepared for me, but I am not going to read a speech that is not my 
speech. I am sure it is a wonderful speech.
  I hope the chairman allows this amendment in.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to this very 
misguided amendment. This amendment would allow felons and other 
dangerous individuals to try to regain the ability to own guns by 
sending an application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and 
Explosives.
  I am not sure why the Member would offer an amendment that makes it 
easier for felons to get guns. Most Americans would be shocked by such 
a proposal. Each year since 1993, Congress has prohibited ATF from 
processing applications from felons seeking to have their gun rights 
restored, and with good reason.
  Prior to 1993, there were numerous examples of felons who had their 
gun rights restored by ATF only to go on to commit further crimes 
later. For example, in 1977, Michael Paul Dahnert of Wisconsin was 
convicted of burglary. In 1986, he was granted relief and allowed to, 
once again, own firearms. Two months later, he was rearrested and 
charged with first degree sexual assault and four counts of second 
degree sexual assault, for which he received 5 years in prison.
  In 1977, James Morgan was convicted of perjury to a grand jury. In 
1988, he was granted relief and allowed to gain and own firearms. He 
was arrested that same year for first degree wanton endangerment and 
later sentenced to 6 months confinement and 2 years probation.
  These are only a few examples. It is important to point out that the 
gentleman's amendment makes no distinction as far as the seriousness of 
the offense for which the individual was initially denied a firearm, 
and ATF would need to investigate all applications for gun rights 
restoration. Furthermore, simply processing these applications would 
require significant ATF agent resources and would divert ATF away from 
its core law enforcement mission of fighting firearm offenses.
  Since 1998, when the National Instant Criminal Background Check 
System was put in use, well over 1 million firearm transfers have been 
denied after background checks established that the individuals 
attempting to purchase the firearms were prohibited from processing 
firearms.
  Even if only 20 percent of the denied individuals file an application 
with ATF to have their gun rights restored, this would require the 
efforts of hundreds of full-time ATF agents to perform background 
checks of these individuals. The agents would be diverted

[[Page H7261]]

from their primary law enforcement investigation.
  Even though ATF is legally required to ensure that the applicant 
``will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety,'' 
we know that this process is not perfect, as evidenced by the examples 
I just gave.
  The bottom line is that this amendment would give guns back to felons 
and, at the same time, sharply reduce ATF's resources for pursuing 
violent crime investigations. Both of these outcomes would seriously 
harm public safety, and for these reasons, I strongly urge my 
colleagues to reject this amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chair, I thank the Chairman for the opportunity to 
speak about my amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related 
Agencies Division of H.R. 3354.
  Mr. Chair, the right to bear arms is ingrained in our nation's 
founding. These rights are given to us by God and guaranteed by the 
Constitution.
  But for many Americans, this right has been forfeited. And their only 
option for recourse has been taken away.
  When I was District Attorney in Northern Colorado I met a man who 
told me that when he was in college he bounced a check to his landlord. 
He pleaded guilty to a felony.
  Since that day, he has been a model citizen. He finished college. He 
worked hard and raised a family.
  This man made a mistake that is still haunting him nearly 40 years 
later. He wants to take his grandchildren hunting. But he can't possess 
a firearm because he made a mistake in his youth.
  The worst part of this situation is that the law allows the Bureau of 
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to consider petitions to 
restore this man's right to possess a firearm.
  However, for 25 years, the underlying bill has included a provision 
authored by then-Rep. Schumer prohibiting ATF from processing these 
applications.
  America is a land of second chances. We restore civil rights for 
those who have made mistakes in their past, including the right to vote 
in many states. We help our neighbors find employment after 
incarceration.
  Why should non-violent individuals who made a mistake in their past 
be prohibited from having their case heard?
  This amendment simply seeks to remove a 25-year-old ban on the ATF's 
legal function to hear petitions from non-violent individuals like the 
man I mentioned earlier.
  To be clear, my amendment would not act as a rubber stamp on every 
application. The ATF must weigh the merits of each individual case.
  The burden is on the applicant to prove that he or she is nonviolent 
and does not pose a threat to the community.
  Any American who can prove to ATF they do not pose a danger to 
society should be allowed to state their case. They should be allowed 
to advocate for their rights.
  It is about time that we give these individuals that opportunity 
again.
  Mr. Chair, my amendment is simple. It would give nonviolent 
individuals who made a mistake in their past the opportunity for a 
second chance.
  It would allow a grandfather the opportunity to take his 
grandchildren hunting and provide a way for a mother to protect her 
home.
  To be clear, this amendment does not guarantee that an applicant will 
have their rights restored. But it does give them hope, a chance to 
once again possess their Second Amendment rights.
  After all, America is the land of second chances.
  I thank the Chairman and urge my colleagues to support my amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Grothman).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 108 Offered by Mr. Cohen

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 108 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chair, as the designee of the gentlewoman from Texas 
(Ms. Jackson Lee), I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 282, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 283, line 3, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $20,000,000)''.
       Page 296, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Tennessee (Mr. Cohen) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Tennessee.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chair, this amendment would reprogram $10 million from 
the prison account and put it in the juvenile justice programs designed 
to reduce recidivism, gang violence, and gun crimes.
  Ms. Jackson Lee, a fellow member on the Judiciary Committee, has been 
a leader on this issue, and she is right in her approach, understanding 
that working with juveniles early will save money in the long run and 
see that they don't get into the prison pipeline that so often takes 
young people and ruins their lives and costs our communities and our 
taxpayers a great deal of money.
  Our Federal prisons are presently funded $7 billion for 
administration, operation, and maintenance. Twenty million dollars of 
that is made up for contract confinement.
  This amendment would reduce the account by $10 million and put it 
into juvenile justice programs that would reduce recidivism, gang 
violence, and gun crime.
  These juvenile justice programs that would get the benefit of this 
money would protect our most vulnerable children through treatment and 
mentoring programs. According to the Justice Policy Institute, locking 
up juveniles costs an average of $407 a day and $148,000 per person per 
year.
  There are a lot of conservative coalitions, like FreedomWorks, 
American Conservative Union Foundation, and Taxpayers Protection 
Alliance that agree that mass incarceration is extremely costly to 
taxpayers.
  This amendment invests in our youth population at the front end with 
rewards on the back end, as these folks don't end up in the prison 
system; supports programs that have shown consistent success in 
curtailing gang violence and gun crimes.
  Violence among our youth is a health epidemic that must be addressed; 
therefore, we must support professionals that possess practical 
experience in epidemic control for violence prevention, and that show 
success working with the most vulnerable and at-risk youth population 
when addressing this health epidemic.
  Within the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the 
following programs focus on violence prevention: Forum, Community Based 
Violence Prevention, and Defending Childhood. The CBVP explicitly calls 
for and supports the health approach; hence, this amendment provides 
funding for organizations such as community-based violence prevention 
programs that have shown great success.
  Cure Violence, a health-based organization operating in several 
cities and States, including Chicago and New York and Philadelphia and 
others, has shown great success and also shown success in Puerto Rico. 
They have had 100 percent reduction in homicide retaliation in Chicago, 
a 41 to 73 percent drop in shootings in five of eight communities in 
Baltimore; they have had a 56 percent drop in killings, and 44 percent 
other places.
  In essence, this is putting money in a place where we can save money, 
save youths, save lives.
  Mr. Chair, I ask that we support this amendment that Ms. Jackson Lee 
has brought forth. It makes a lot of common sense.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chair, this amendment would cut the Bureau of 
Prisons' operations by $10 million. This is a serious cut. The Bureau 
of Prisons performs an essential function in keeping our streets safe 
and protecting the people of America.
  We have already funded the youth mentoring programs in our bill today 
at $75 million. It is 25 percent above the request, because of the 
value of these programs.
  I certainly agree with the gentleman that these programs are 
successful, they are effective, but the Department of Justice is not 
even finished awarding the grants from fiscal year 2017, and this 
program is very healthy.
  This program would also, Mr. Chairman, eliminate a longstanding 
authority the Bureau of Prisons has had for

[[Page H7262]]

contract flexibility that enables the Bureau of Prisons to manage its 
contracts in a way that benefits both the agency and the taxpayer. This 
includes contracts for halfway houses, reentry facilities, and juvenile 
detention.
  This burden would strap the Bureau of Prisons, putting pressure on 
them and putting inmates in more danger, putting officers and staff in 
greater danger. If we want prisoners to get healthcare and 
rehabilitation, Mr. Chairman, and prisoners and staff to be safe, we 
have to adequately fund the Bureau of Prisons.
  Mr. Chair, I urge Members to vote ``no'' on this amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chair, I understand Mr. Culberson's position and look 
forward to his help with legal services that will help juveniles, too.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chair, thank you for this opportunity to discuss 
Amendment 108 to the ``CJS Appropriation Act of 2017''.
  This amendment will save thousands of lives within our youth 
population by decreasing our federal prison funding of $7,070,248,000, 
available for the administration, operation and maintenance of Federal 
penal and correctional institutions. Of this amount, up to $20,000,000 
is made available for the use of contract confinement.
  My amendment seeks to reduce this account by a mere $10,000,000 for 
juvenile justice programs designed to reduce recidivism, gang violence 
and gun crime.
  These juvenile justice programs help protect our most vulnerable 
children through treatment, education, training, and mentoring, not 
incarceration.
  According to the Justice Policy Institute, locking up juveniles costs 
an average of $407.58 per person per day and $148,767 per person per 
year.
  Even conservative coalitions like Freedom Works, American 
Conservative Union Foundation, Generation Opportunity, and Taxpayers 
Protection Alliance agreed that mass incarceration is extremely costly 
to taxpayers.
  This amendment invests in our youth population at the front end with 
a greater return before the damage becomes irreversible at the back 
end.
  This amendment supports programs that have shown consistent success 
in curtailing gang violence and gun crimes.
  Research shows that violence among our youths is a health epidemic 
that must be addressed with appropriate measures beyond incarceration.
  Therefore, we must support professionals that possess practical 
experience in epidemic control for violence prevention, and that show 
success working with the most vulnerable and at-risk youth population 
when addressing this health epidemic.
  Within the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the 
following programs focus on violence prevention: Forum, Community Based 
Violence Prevention (CBVP), and Defending Childhood. The CBVP 
explicitly calls for and supports the health approach.
  Hence, this amendment provides funding for organizations such as 
community-based violence prevention programs that statistically have 
shown much success.
  For example, Cure Violence, a health-based organization that operates 
in, several cities and states, have shown great success in the 
intervention and prevention of violence in places like, Chicago, 
Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia and others. They have also shown 
great success in Puerto Rico.
  Statistics show l00% reduction in homicide retaliation in Chicago, 
and a 41-73% drop in shootings in 5 of 8 communities; in Baltimore, up 
to 56% drop in killings; and 44% drop in shootings; in New York, 20% 
lower level of shootings; and in Philadelphia, reduction shooting rate 
was significantly larger than any reduction compared to non-program 
police districts.
  Unlike incarceration cost of $407.58 per person per day and $148,767 
per person per year, these alternative measures cost significantly less 
to serve a much larger population than what it cost to incarcerate one 
person, while reducing shootings and killings by 50%-70% in 15 of the 
most highly impacted large cities in the U.S. Hence, programs such as 
Cure Violence, Safe Streets and others show that alternative methods to 
incarceration are effective.
  Both sides of the aisle agree that our juvenile justice system is in 
desperate need of repair. Incarceration at alarming numbers does not 
solve this problem.
  Statistics show that incarceration does not serve as deterrence, nor 
does it keep our communities safe. Rather, it increases the likelihood 
for recidivism and thus, increases crime rates and mass incarceration.
  For those who say juvenile justice is a state problem and not a 
federal problem because we don't have many youths in federal custody, I 
say even if there is but one juvenile in our prison system, we have one 
too many.
  I saw many young faces during the horrific tragedy in Houston's 
vicious storm that claimed so many lives.
  I do not ever want to see that look of despair and hopelessness again 
if we can do something to prevent that.
  While some may say that juvenile justice is already funded, it is not 
enough. We need to address the epidemic taking place in our juvenile 
justice system and the crisis that follows thereafter--economic 
hardships, lack of education and inadequate job training.
  For all the reasons stated above, I ask my colleagues to support this 
amendment.

  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time, and I 
withdraw the amendment.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  September 12, 2017, on page H7262, the following appeared: Mr. 
Chair, I yield back the balance of my time, and I withdraw the 
amendment.
  
  The online version has been corrected to read: Mr. COHEN. Mr. 
Chair, I yield back the balance of my time, and I withdraw the 
amendment.


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  The Acting CHAIR. The amendment is withdrawn.


               Amendment No. 109 Offered by Mr. Pascrell

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 109 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 291, line 17, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $100,000,000) (increased by $100,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I rise today, once again, to highlight 
the hypocrisy reflected here of the party that claims to be the law-
and-order party, because, once again, the Commerce, Justice, Science 
Appropriations bill before us has zeroed out funding for the COPS 
Hiring Program.
  This critical program provides Federal grants to local police 
departments for the hiring and retention of police officers. Despite 
the fact that this vital program helps ensure that we have enough cops 
on the beat in our communities, the House Commerce, Justice, Science 
Appropriations bills have cut or eliminated funding for the COPS Hiring 
Program since the Republicans took control of this House in 2011.
  So every year, Representative Dave Reichert and I, co-chairs of the 
Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, come to the floor to offer an 
amendment to shift funding back to the COPS Hiring Program to show 
support for local police hiring programs. We do this dance every year, 
but no one seems to learn their lesson, because here we are again with 
a bill that zeros out funding for this program.
  Our amendments pass with overwhelming support, often by voice vote. 
The Senate sees this strong support and ends up funding the program in 
the final appropriations package. In fact, both the Senate and 
President have proposed funding the COPS program at $207 million.
  Typically, we have regular order in the House when considering 
appropriations bills. That means we would have an open rule to allow us 
to offer any amendment to shift funds in this bill. However, this is 
not the case this year, Mr. Chairman.
  Our dance with the Appropriations Committee would have continued this 
year, but the Rules Committee prevented any substantive amendment to 
boost funding for the COPS Hiring Program from moving forward.
  This amendment enjoyed the support of law enforcement organizations 
across America, including the Major County Sheriffs Association. They 
were dismayed at the decision to eliminate the COPS Hiring Program.
  The amendment before us enjoys the support of law enforcement 
organizations, such as the National Association of Police 
Organizations, Fraternal Order of Police. In their letter of support, 
NAPO wrote that they are ``very concerned that H.R. 3354 does not 
provide funding for the COPS Hiring Program.''
  The FOP writes: `` . . . we must continue to fund the COPS Hiring 
Program.''
  Mr. Chairman, I include these letters in the Record.


                           Major County Sheriffs' Association,

                                   Pontiac, MI, September 6, 2017.
     Hon. Bill Pascrell,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Congressman Pascrell: On behalf of the Major County 
     Sheriffs of America

[[Page H7263]]

     (MCSA), I write in support of your amendment to the FY18 
     House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies 
     Appropriations bill which will provide critical funding to 
     the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program. The 
     MCSA is an association of elected Sheriffs representing the 
     Nation's largest counties with populations of 500,000 people 
     or more. Collectively, we represent more than 100 million 
     Americans.
       The MCSA was again dismayed at the CJS Appropriations 
     Committee's decision to eliminate the COPS Hiring program--a 
     program helping to ensuring state and local law enforcement 
     have the personnel and resources necessary to protect and 
     serve their communities. At a time when agencies are being 
     asked to do more yet are still struggling to recruit and 
     retain law enforcement professionals, we are seeing a 
     pullback of federal support.
       The MCSA applauds your understanding of the many challenges 
     facing local law enforcement today and we appreciate your 
     commitment to our profession.
           Very Respectfully,
                                              Michael J. Bouchard,
     Sheriff, Oakland County (MI).
                                  ____

                                           National Association of


                                   Police Organizations, Inc.,

                                Alexandria, VA, September 7, 2017.
     Re Support for Amendment #109 to H.R. 3354 to Provide $100 
         Million for COPS Hiring.

     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Member of Congress: On behalf of the National 
     Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), I am writing to 
     advise you of our strong support for Amendment #109 to H.R. 
     3354, offered by Congressmen Pascrell and Reichert, that 
     would provide $100 million in funding for the Community 
     Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program.
       NAPO is a coalition of police units and associations from 
     across the United States that serves to advance the interests 
     of America's law enforcement through legislative and legal 
     advocacy, political action, and education. Founded in 1978, 
     NAPO now represents more than 1,000 police units and 
     associations, 241,000 sworn law enforcement officers, and 
     more than 100,000 citizens who share a common dedication to 
     fair and effective crime control and law enforcement.
       NAPO is very concerned that H.R. 3354 does not provide 
     funding for the COPS Hiring Program. This vital program has 
     assisted more than 13,000 jurisdictions with over $14 billion 
     in funding to hire more than 127,000 community police 
     officers across the United States. A big part of the success 
     of the original program was its reliance on local police 
     agencies in defining what their communities needed. In 
     addition to the hiring and retention of much needed officers, 
     this funding program has contributed to continued success in 
     combating crime, drug use, and gangs; reducing and preventing 
     the manufacture, distribution, and use of illegal drugs; 
     promoting officer safety and wellness; and addressing 
     emerging law enforcement needs. It is vital that this program 
     continue to be funded.
       The Pascrell/Reichert Amendment #109 rights this wrong by 
     providing necessary funding to the COPS Hiring Program. As 
     major cities across the country are facing an increase in 
     violent crime for the first time in years and community-
     police relations are strained, now is not the time to put 
     additional stresses on state and local police forces by 
     leaving them short-handed. Further, this funding will be 
     essential to police and sheriff departments affected by 
     Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as they look to rebuild.
       NAPO urges you to support this amendment and ensure that 
     the COPS Hiring Program remains strong and robust.
           Sincerely,
                                         William J. Johnson, Esq.,
     Executive Director.
                                  ____

                                                National Fraternal


                                              Order of Police,

                                Washington, DC, September 7, 2017.
     Hon. Paul D. Ryan,
     Speaker of the House, House of Representatives, Washington, 
         DC.
     Hon. Kevin O. McCarthy,
     Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Nancy P. Pelosi,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Steny H. Hoyer,
     Minority Whip, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Speaker and Representatives McCarthy, Pelosi and 
     Hoyer: I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal 
     Order of Police to advise you of our strong support for an 
     amendment, introduced by Representatives William J. Pascrell, 
     Jr. (D-NJ) and David G. Reichert (R-WA), which would increase 
     by $100 million the appropriations for the hiring program 
     administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing 
     Services (COPS) at the U.S. Department of Justice.
       In 1994, Congress established the COPS Office and, in the 
     decade which followed, our nation experienced a significant 
     drop in crime rates. A large part of this success was the 
     nation's commitment to community oriented policing, 
     particularly its hiring component which helped get more 
     officers on the beat. Community oriented policing has been 
     the cornerstone of our nation's policing strategy for nearly 
     25 years and the hiring program is the reason this strategy 
     works.
       However, today, we have less police on our streets and 
     neighborhoods than we did even a decade ago, making the 
     community policing strategy very difficult to pursue. It is 
     no surprise to our profession that crime, particularly 
     violent crime, is on the rise. There are less men and women 
     policing our streets, keeping the peace and interacting 
     positively with the communities they protect. If we are 
     serious about stemming the rise in crime and if we remain 
     committed to the community policing strategy, then we must 
     continue to fund the COPS hiring program.
       It is for these reasons we urge you and all Members of 
     Congress to vote in support of the Reichert-Pascrell 
     amendment providing resources to the COPS hiring program.
       On behalf of the more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal 
     Order of Police, I appreciate you considering our views on 
     this important issue. If you need additional information, 
     please do not hesitate to contact me or my Senior Advisor Jim 
     Pasco in my Washington office
           Sincerely,
                                                 Chuck Canterbury,
                                               National President.

  Mr. PASCRELL. Hiding behind procedural shenanigans to dodge support 
for our Nation's law enforcement officers and then pontificating when 
you come to the floor, that doesn't settle right with me or a lot of 
other people.

                              {time}  1515

  You have done it year after year. You are not going to do it this 
year? I am sorry. You can't have your cake and eat it.
  I want to say this in closing. I want all of my colleagues to reflect 
on how, on the one hand, you can claim support for law enforcement 
while, at the same time, cutting the resources you need to hire brave 
men and women who keep the neighborhood safe. I do not know the answer 
to that question, but I do know that, during this year's National 
Police Week, a week where we honor the brave men and women who lost 
their lives while serving in the line of duty, my friend and the 
chairman of the subcommittee--and I consider him a friend--stood on the 
House floor and said:

       As the chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science 
     Appropriations Subcommittee, it is and continues to be my top 
     priority to ensure that our law enforcement officers have the 
     resources that they need.

  Mr. Chairman, I yield the remainder of my time to the gentleman from 
New Jersey (Mr. Lance).
  Mr. LANCE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of Mr. Pascrell's 
amendment to increase COPS grant funding. The COPS program works. These 
resources have saved the lives of police officers and the citizenry 
they are tasked with protecting.
  These funds often bridge the gap between the policing services a 
community requires and the capabilities of its existing force. These 
funds are merit based, prioritizing hiring and equipment where they are 
most needed and for the best use of the taxpaying public. In these 
challenging times for law enforcement, it is critical that we keep this 
program operational for our Nation's crime challenges.
  Earlier today, we discussed legislation critical to the health and 
safety of our Nation's firefighters, and now we consider this important 
priority for our Nation's police officers.
  I commend Mr. Pascrell and Mr. Reichert for their leadership in the 
Law Enforcement Caucus. I am proud to be a member of the caucus, and I 
join in their efforts to provide continued support for COPS funding and 
for expanding the capabilities of law enforcement to do their jobs and 
protect the public and themselves, which is critical to every officer 
in the Nation.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition, but I 
have no objection to this amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from Texas is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chair, I share my colleagues' support for law 
enforcement and have no objection to this amendment; and I will work 
with the gentlemen to ensure that the COPS program is funded when we 
get to conference, we have a budget agreement across the Congress, and 
additional funds are made available. The COPS program is an essential 
one that will be at the top of the list.
  My support for law enforcement is reflected in the $100 million 
increase seen in the Byrne JAG Program, which is a

[[Page H7264]]

very flexible grant program for local law enforcement to use for a 
variety of reasons, including hiring police officers, including 
forensic work, lab work, and eliminating the backlog of rape kits, 
which is so important to getting dangerous criminals off the streets.
  The Byrne JAG Grant Program is one that is increasingly popular and 
successful among the men and women of law enforcement, and that is why 
we have increased it by $100 million in this year's Commerce, Justice, 
Science bill to keep the men and women of America safe, to support our 
law enforcement officers of whom we could not be prouder.
  We are immensely grateful for the work of our first responders and 
law enforcement. The people of Houston, the people of southwest 
Louisiana, the people of Florida have all relied on them in this time 
of crisis with these terrible floods in Houston, the hurricane in 
Florida. I don't know what we would do without our first responders and 
men and women in uniform in the law enforcement community protecting us 
every day.
  Mr. Chair, I have no objection to the gentleman's amendment, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell).
  The amendment was agreed to.


            Amendment No. 112 Offered by Mr. Smith of Texas

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 112 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. 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:

       Page 314, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $30,200,000) (increased by $30,200,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Smith) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I support this bill and endorse 
division C, the CJS appropriations bill developed by Chairman 
Culberson. The appropriations included in division C implement the 
Science Committee's authorizations that have been enacted into law or 
passed by the House.
  I offer an amendment today to simply increase physical and biological 
science research by one-half of 1 percent, or $30.2 million, over the 
current funding within the $6 billion National Science Foundation 
research account. Total spending is not increased, as NSF will adjust 
other areas of spending accordingly.
  I ask the chairman and members to support the amendment and endorse 
this increase for the basic research that produces the scientific 
breakthroughs that fuel technological innovation, new industries, 
economic growth, and good jobs.
  I yield to the chairman, Chairman Culberson, for his support of this 
amendment.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Chairman Smith, I support your amendment to increase 
the physical and biological sciences and will fight for it in 
conference.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I thank Chairman Culberson for his 
support and very much appreciate his help along the way.
  On a separate matter, can the chairman assure me that the funding in 
the bill is fully consistent with the Tsunami Warning, Education, and 
Research Act enacted into law earlier this year?
  Mr. CULBERSON. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I can. It is fully consistent with the 
authorization.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Texas, 
the chairman of the subcommittee, for his support, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith).
  The amendment was agreed to.


           Amendment No. 113 Offered by Mr. Scott of Virginia

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 113 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I rise as the designee of the 
gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro), and I have an amendment at 
the desk, No. 113.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 346, strike line 18 and all that follows through line 
     2 on page 347.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Scott) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would strike 
language in the bill that would prohibit the EEOC from using its funds 
to implement pay data collection.
  Mr. Chairman, we know that racial and gender pay gaps exist in 
America. The Obama administration, a few years ago, created the 
National Equal Pay Task Force, which recommended this new data 
collection, the EEO-1 form, which would, for the first time, require 
employers to provide not just data on who is hired by race, sex, and 
ethnicity, but also to include pay data.
  The EEOC has collected employer data since 1966. There has been no 
problem with confidentiality. So for 50 years we have gotten 
information on the race, sex, and ethnicity of those employed, but we 
do not have the pay data, and the pay data would expose the pay 
disparities where all the women are paid less than men. You don't find 
that on the present EEO-1 form.
  Recently, the OMB, without warning or transparency, rescinded the 
EEOC's plan to collect the data, which was to begin in March. This 
amendment would make it clear that Congress should honor the purpose 
and spirit of title VII and permit the EEOC to carry out its statutory 
obligation to collect necessary data needed to enforce civil rights 
laws.
  Mr. Chair, I would hope that we would adopt this amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Maryland is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, everyone here appreciates concerns about 
the ways of discrimination. The question is how to collect the data in 
an efficient way, and the new EEOC-1 form is certainly not the way to 
collect that data.
  What do I mean by that, Mr. Chairman?
  You have to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. It is 
not like we don't collect data already. We have 140 different data 
points on the EEOC-1 form. This would increase the number of data 
points to 3,306 that an employer potentially would have to report.
  Mr. Chairman, if we had better data, that is all right, but let's 
take a specific example: a large hospital. The new form groups all 
professionals together. A hospital would have to report what it pays 
its professionals in the same category, what it pays its female 
professionals and its male professionals. But, Mr. Chairman, it 
includes nurses and surgeons in the same category. They are all 
professionals. In fact, in the United States, for instance, among 
registered nurses, we have about 3 million--89 percent--are females.
  Now, in the United States, we have an estimated number of physicians 
and surgeons of about 900,000; 65 percent are males, only 35 percent 
females. They are all grouped in the same category for the EEOC-1 form.
  So what would the result be? If you were in a hospital and you had 
nurses and you had employee surgeons, it would look like you were 
discriminating against women because the nurses get paid less, and your 
average salary is going to be less for your women because you have 
grouped surgeons in with nurses. Only a Federal Government bureaucrat 
could come up with an idea like that in order to gauge whether wage 
discrimination occurs.
  The fact of the matter is it is even worse, Mr. Chairman, because, 
based on the reporting of these results, EEOC can go on a fishing 
expedition against

[[Page H7265]]

whatever institution it wants to that files this. And if we don't think 
that happens, Mr. Chairman, I am just going to say two words: Lois 
Lerner.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Culberson), the chairman of the subcommittee, and I want to thank the 
chairman for attaching this section to the bill. It is an important 
section for our employers.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I join the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. 
Harris) in opposing this amendment because the EEOC, under the previous 
administration, has created this monstrosity of a burden on small 
businesses, and they did such a poor job of it that the Office of 
Management and Budget actually put the requirement under review and 
suspended it.
  Mr. Chair, I strongly oppose this amendment. I join the gentleman in 
seeking to protect small businesses from this unnecessary and 
burdensome requirement. EEOC already has a huge backlog of cases 
involving actual complaints of discrimination that need to be resolved, 
people who need to be protected, and EEOC should focus on doing their 
job, clearing up the backlog, protecting people from discrimination 
where they actually already have a real complaint, not looking for 
needles in haystacks.

  Mr. Chair, I urge Members to join us in opposing this amendment, and 
I recommend a ``no'' vote.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Frankel).
  Ms. FRANKEL of Florida. Mr. Chairman, my, my, my. Here we go again. 
Another bill to protect the derrieres of big business, allowing them to 
hide crucial data from public scrutiny, information that would disclose 
pay disparities in the workplace.
  It is a law, Mr. Chairman, that businesses must pay equal pay for 
equal work. So why is it that women and minorities make much less money 
than their white male counterparts doing similar work?
  Mr. Chairman, let's pass this amendment. Root out pay discrimination, 
because it is time that all Americans are paid for their hard work and 
not for their gender or the color of their skin.
  Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, I just say that it is absolutely true if we 
were looking at similar work, but the bill does not look at similar 
work. It looks at huge categories like, for instance, professionals in 
a hospital that include neurosurgeons and nurses. It is not similar 
work.
  This is the worst kind of data gathering you can have by the Federal 
Government because, again, they use this to go after employers that 
they want to go after.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Serrano).
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, if you hear the opposition to this 
amendment, you would think that discrimination does not exist in this 
country any longer. Oh, how I wish that were the case.
  Mr. Chairman, I support the amendment. This amendment would strike 
the harmful EEOC rider which blocks the EEOC from collecting data on 
the expanded EEO-1 form. This data collection would allow EEOC to 
better examine pay patterns by industry and/or geographic region and/or 
employer or establishment, conduct comprehensive statistical analysis, 
and evaluate the context of the discrimination allegations.

                              {time}  1530

  The EEOC will use the data primarily for early assessment of 
allegations of discrimination based on sex, ethnicity, or race. In 
short, the newly expanded form will be critical to closing gender and 
racial wage gaps. Preventing the collection of this information will 
result in less oversight and more wage discrimination.
  Mr. Chair, I strongly support the amendment.
  Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chair, I thank the gentleman from New York for his 
remarks. No one is naive enough to think that discrimination doesn't 
exist.
  The question is: What tools should the Federal Government use?
  And this certainly is not the tool that is helpful.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, the form is not a complaint. We know that there are pay 
disparities. This would allow the EEOC to notice gruesome problems and 
disparities and address them where appropriate.
  In that hospital situation, it is obvious the situation is not 
appropriate, but we do know that pay disparities exist, and this would 
be information that would allow the EEOC to address them.
  I would hope that we would allow the EEOC to do its job.
  Mr. Chair, I support the amendment, and I yield back the balance of 
my time.
  Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chair, I agree with the gentleman. Pay disparities 
exist, but we need a precise tool. If we are going to give the Federal 
Government a tool with which to investigate and punish employers, it 
should be a surgical tool. This is not a surgical tool. This is an 
imprecise tool.
  The EEOC, again, Mr. Chairman, has 3,360 data points. It groups high-
wage professionals with low-wage professionals, and has nothing to do 
with discrimination. It is an imprecise tool. We should retain the 
language in the bill.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Costello of Pennsylvania). The question is on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chair, 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 Virginia 
will be postponed.
  The Chair understands that amendment No. 114 will not be offered.


                Amendment No. 115 Offered by Mr. Zeldin

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 115 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chair, 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 division C (before the short title) insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used by the National Marine Fisheries Service to enforce 
     Executive Order 13449 or section 697.7(b) of title 50, Code 
     of Federal Regulations, in the Block Island Transit Zone (as 
     that term is defined in section 697.7(b)(3) of such title).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Zeldin) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of my amendment to H.R. 
3354 on behalf of the hardworking fishermen of Long Island and our 
entire region who are suffering more than ever under confusing and 
unfair regulations that are threatening to put them out of business.
  This amendment is nearly identical to one I offered to the DHS 
division of this bill that unanimously passed by voice vote last week 
that related to the Coast Guard.
  Today's amendment would bar the National Marine Fisheries Service 
from enforcing the ban on striped bass fishing in the Block Island 
Sound Transit Zone, a 15-mile stretch of water between Montauk Point, 
New York, and Block Island, Rhode Island.
  No other species of fish are subject to an arbitrary ban in this 
section of Block Island Sound, famous for fishing and recreational 
boating.
  The fact that the transit zone is considered a part of the EEZ means 
the ban on striped bass fishing extends into this local waterway. This 
means hardworking commercial fishermen, charter boat captains, and 
recreational anglers enjoying a day on the water with their family can 
suddenly go from fishing for striped bass legally to committing a 
Federal crime because they are drifted over the 3-mile line.
  This ban was meant for the high seas, not a local waterway, 
arbitrarily declared to be part of the EEZ due to a boundary drawn on a 
map by a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C.

[[Page H7266]]

  Every other species of fish popular in this area--scup; eel; squid; 
bluefish; even striped bass' cousin, black sea bass--are not subject to 
an unfair ban in this area. Just like they can legally with proper 
permits and allocations in adjacent State waters, local fishermen 
should be able to legally fish for striped bass in this area after 
State waters end and the transit zone begins.
  Mr. Chairman, on the East End of Long Island, the coastal economy is 
our economy. So when unfair regulations impact fishermen, it also hurts 
the other local businesses like tackle shops, restaurants, gas 
stations, and hotels.
  No one is more invested in protecting this important fishery to 
ensure it is there for the next season and the next generation than the 
hardworking men and women from my district who rely on fishing as a way 
of life.
  This amendment does not create open season on stripers or lift the 
need for quota allocations or permits. In addition to a nearly 
identical amendment passing on a voice vote last week, last Congress, 
my standalone bill to address this issue, H.R. 3070, the EEZ 
Clarification Act, passed the House with another unanimous voice vote.
  This amendment is supported by the Recreational Fishing Alliance, the 
Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, and the Montauk Boatmen and 
Captains Association.
  Mr. Chair, I urge adoption of this amendment, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the gentleman's 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, if the gentleman had brought some cooked 
fish, I probably wouldn't read this.
  Mr. Chair, this is not an appropriate amendment for inclusion in an 
annual spending bill. Congress should not be in the business of 
micromanaging fish conservation in this manner.
  The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is an interstate 
compact that was established in 1942 as a mechanism to allow Atlantic 
coastal States to join forces in managing their shared fishery 
resources.
  For over 75 years, this Commission has served as a body for the 
Atlantic coastal States, coordinating the conservation and management 
of 27 nearshore fish species. Each State is represented on the 
Commission by three commissioners who participate in deliberations and 
interstate fisheries management, fisheries science, habitat 
conservation, and law enforcement.
  Through these activities, the States collectively ensure the sound 
conservation of management of their shared coastal fishery resources. 
We should allow the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to do 
its job in managing fish stocks. We must not allow the House to be in 
the business of second-guessing them and micromanaging fish regulations 
in particular locations.
  There is a process currently in place for addressing these issues at 
the regional level, and we should allow that process to work. A stock 
assessment for striped bass is planned for next year. The Atlantic 
States Marine Fisheries Commission can make a determination as to 
whether it intends to ask the Federal Government to open up the Block 
Island Transit Zone to striped bass fishing.
  Currently, the consensus position of the Atlantic States Marine 
Fisheries Commission is that the fishing restrictions should remain in 
place. I believe that this is a bad precedent for Congress to interfere 
with this State-driven process.
  For that reason, I oppose the amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chair, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Culberson).
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of the gentleman's 
amendment. I understand his concern. I appreciate him bringing it to 
our attention. I understand similar language has already passed the 
House. I have no objection to him, and I urge Members to support it.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chair, I wish to speak in favor of the amendment. How 
much time is remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman has 1\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chairman, my colleague on the other side speaking in 
opposition actually made a great argument for exactly why the amendment 
needs to be passed.

  I completely agree, we should not be micromanaging the local fishery. 
And the best way to ensure that we are not micromanaging the local 
fishery is to pass this amendment.
  The amendment is empowering the local regional council to be able to 
manage the striped bass fishery. If we don't pass the amendment, then 
we are micromanaging and we are taking away power from the local 
council managing the fishery.
  So by passing this amendment, we are encouraging that regional 
council to manage the striped bass fishery in that area. Without 
passing the amendment, then we are micromanaging and we are not 
allowing any striped bass fishing at all.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Chairman, the hardworking fishermen of Long Island's 
East End, our entire region, and our entire country are struggling. The 
special interest groups, knowing nothing about the East End, may 
incorrectly disagree. Fish do not adhere to arbitrary man-made 
boundaries drawn by bureaucrats.
  This amendment, by no means, removes the management of this species, 
including the quotas or allocations meant to protect against 
overfishing. Now, more than ever, we should be taking commonsense steps 
to help our fishermen get back to work. This simply allows for local 
fishermen to not be treated like criminals when they drift across an 
arbitrary 3-mile line.
  Mr. Chair, I encourage support from my colleagues for this amendment, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Zeldin).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Chair understands amendment No. 116 will not be 
offered.


                Amendment No. 117 Offered by Ms. Norton

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 117 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Ms. NORTON. 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 division C (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ____.  None of the funds made available by this Act 
     may be used to carry out section 3622(c)(2) of title 18, 
     United States Code.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentlewoman 
from the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton) and a Member opposed each 
will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  My amendment prohibits the Federal Bureau of Prisons from using 
Federal funds to carry out a law that requires individuals in halfway 
houses or on home confinement to pay a subsistence fee.
  Currently, the subsistence fee for residents of halfway houses is 25 
percent of income. This criminal justice reform amendment would improve 
reentry and reduce recidivism among the Nation's returning citizens.
  Out of prison and almost always without a job or ability to support 
themselves, returning citizens have no ability to pay counterproductive 
subsistence fees while in halfway houses or on home confinement any 
more than they could have paid for their subsistence while in prison.
  For the limited time individuals spend in halfway houses--up to 12 
months--or on home confinement--up to 6 months--the subsistence fee 
requirement is a substantial burden on them and de minimis on the BOP, 
witness that the Congressional Budget Office concluded that this 
amendment would have no budgetary effect.
  If returning citizens are lucky enough to find work at all, it would 
almost certainly be in minimum wage jobs. So the loss of 25 percent of 
their paychecks to subsistence fees would be a significant hurdle to 
successful reentry--which is what we are after--

[[Page H7267]]

making it extremely difficult to pay rent, child support, or fines and 
fees associated with their conviction, such as restitution.
  Far from promoting financial responsibility, subsistence fees, while 
in custody, actually prevent returning citizens from meeting their 
financial obligations. Congress surely did not mean to impose 
additional burdens on returning citizens, setting them up to fail. Jobs 
and affordable housing are crucial to reentry but rare for returning 
citizens. Charging subsistence fees is antithetical to these goals.
  The Department of Justice itself has recommended eliminating this 
fee. A November 2016 DOJ memorandum recommended developing a plan to 
limit the use of ``counterproductive `subsistence' fees imposed on 
indigent residents.''
  It further stated:

       The Bureau of Prisons' process for collecting these 
     subsistence fees is costly and administratively burdensome on 
     both halfway houses and the Bureau. And these fees make it 
     difficult for residents who typically earn minimum wage, if 
     anything, to meet their other financial obligations, 
     including restitution fines and child support.

                              {time}  1545

  The BOP already eliminated subsistence fees for individuals on home 
confinement, but that is only by regulation. However it was a step in 
the right direction.
  My amendment would continue this trend and eliminate the fees for 
those in halfway houses as well. My amendment provides a critical 
reform that would help improve reentry and reduce recidivism.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge adoption of this amendment, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I think it is entirely appropriate to 
make inmates help pay for some of the cost of their time in a halfway 
house. This program helps make inmate reentry into the community as 
seamless as possible. It has been a successful one. We want to reduce 
obstacles to make that transition without unnecessary burdens. However, 
this proposal would cut the Bureau of Prisons' operations by about $20 
million. It would be forced to be absorbed by the Bureau of Prisons, 
that money that they are now receiving in reimbursement from 
transitioning inmates.
  The Bureau of Prisons' resources are already stretched very thin, Mr. 
Chairman, and this money would come out of other programs such as 
reentry services, antirecidivism, counseling, and inmate health and 
safety that are needed for inmate welfare and a successful transition 
into society.
  While I appreciate the intent of the gentlewoman's amendment, if the 
Bureau of Prisons were to have a cut of $30 million, then prison safety 
and prison services would be severely compromised, and that won't help 
inmates or officers.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to join me in opposing this amendment. I 
urge a ``no'' vote, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from the District of Columbia has 
1\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, my friend suggests that the BOP actually 
collects this $20 million. I would submit to him and challenge him to 
show me that the burden of trying to collect these fees does not 
outweigh any actual reimbursement. These people have no jobs. If they 
had jobs, they would almost surely be minimum wage jobs.
  I want to ask my friend if he would rather the BOP be paid the de 
minimis cost to the government--which they hardly ever collect, I am 
almost sure--or would they rather this money go to child support, or go 
to pay subsistence fees?
  This is a cruel burden for people getting out of prison at a time 
when the crime rate is low. It sends inmates back to the streets, which 
is the only recourse they have for gaining money.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. NORTON. 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 gentlewoman from the 
District of Columbia will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 118 Offered by Mr. Latta

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 118 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. LATTA. 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 division C (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ____.  None of the funds made available by this Act to 
     the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may 
     be used to reclassify M855 ammunition as armor-piercing 
     ammunition. The limitation described in this section shall 
     not apply in the case of the administration of a tax or 
     tariff.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Ohio (Mr. Latta) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio.
  Mr. LATTA. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer a commonsense 
amendment that prevents the Federal Government from infringing on the 
Second Amendment rights of sportsmen and sportswomen in Ohio and from 
around the country.
  Under the Obama administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, 
Firearms, and Explosives--the ATFE--proposed a new framework for 
interpreting a Gun Control Act and for determining which projectiles 
should qualify for the sporting purpose exemption. This framework would 
have withdrawn the exemptions for certain 5.56-millimeter ammunition, 
including the M855, because the ATFE felt that they should be 
classified as armor-piercing ammunition. The M855 is one of the most 
commonly used ammunitions in the United States and is widely used by 
target shooters and hunters. Ultimately, due to overwhelming public 
opposition, the ATFE withdrew their proposal.
  In order to guard against new attempts to ban this popular and 
commonly used ammunition, I am offering this amendment, which prohibits 
the ATFE from using funds to reclassify M855 ammunition. Again, this 
amendment is codifying the ATFE's own stance.
  As a lifetime hunter and competitor at the National Rifle and Pistol 
Championship matches at Camp Perry in Ohio, I fully support our Second 
Amendment right to bear arms, and I oppose any efforts to intrude on 
these rights. I believe that is what the ATFE attempted to do in 2015.
  I also thank the chairman from Texas for his work on this issue in 
the previous Congress. I ask my colleagues to join me in support of 
this amendment to protect the rights of sportsmen and sportswomen.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. I rise in opposition to the amendment, Mr. Chairman.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to this 
amendment. This amendment is very inappropriate for this bill and sets 
a bad precedent. We should not be tying the hands of the ATF as it 
attempts to keep our law enforcement officers safe.
  The Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act established a process to 
ensure that police officers do not face a threat of armor-piercing 
bullets capable of being fired from concealable semiautomatic handguns. 
This law passed the House of Representatives in 1985 by a vote of 400-
21. Then it later passed the Senate by a vote of 97-1.
  For far too long we have dealt with irresponsible riders on 
appropriations bills that put limits on our ability to keep our 
communities and our law enforcement officers safe. This is just one 
more example.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge the defeat of this amendment.
  I may say to my colleagues that this is one of the issues that 
baffles me the

[[Page H7268]]

most. I don't hunt, but I respect people who do. I don't target 
practice and target shoot, but I respect people who do. But it seems 
that more and more every day, as we have more and more violence, we 
want more and more stronger weapons because otherwise we are going to 
lose our rights if we don't do so.
  Mr. Chairman, our rights are at the ballot box and many other places, 
not just in our holster. I think if we continue to do this, first of 
all, this is the wrong place to do it, and, secondly, it is the wrong 
thing to do.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LATTA. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Culberson), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, 
Science, and Related Agencies.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of this 
amendment. Within 2 months of my becoming chairman of the subcommittee, 
the ATF did, indeed, attempt to ban this commonly used ammunition. Mr. 
Latta is exactly right.
  I met, at the time, with the Director of the ATF. I am grateful that 
the ATF withdrew the proposed ban. The Director of the ATF, Tom 
Brandon, is doing a good job of protecting America's Second Amendment 
rights. I want to ensure Mr. Latta that I will continue to work to make 
sure that this rule is not put back into place.
  As long as I am chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and 
Related Agencies Subcommittee, I will always zealously protect the 
unambiguous Second Amendment rights of every American to keep and bear 
arms.
  Mr. Chairman, I strongly support the gentleman's amendment and I urge 
its adoption.
  Mr. LATTA. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, just very briefly, I usually don't get up 
a second time, but to my friend--and he is my friend--it is a confusion 
in this country. This is not about protecting the Second Amendment. We 
all do. Everybody does.
  It is about common sense and asking: Where does it stop? How do we 
keep it from growing? How violent can we get? How many people can we 
shoot?
  That is what this is about. It is not about the Second Amendment. The 
Second Amendment is well protected. Trust me.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. LATTA. Mr. Chairman, again, the ATF received over 80,000 comments 
on their proposal. In their own words: ``The vast majority of the 
comments received were critical of the framework and include issues 
that deserve further study.''
  Again, this amendment is only codifying the ATFE's own stance. Again, 
I ask my colleagues to protect the rights of our sportsmen and 
sportswomen, and to support the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Latta).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Chair understands that amendment No. 119 will 
not be offered.
  The Chair understands that amendment No. 120 will not be offered.
  The Chair understands that amendment No. 121 will not be offered.


                 Amendment No. 122 Offered by Mr. Gaetz

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 122 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. GAETZ. Mr. Chairman, as the designee of the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Deutch), 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 division C (before the short title) insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available under this Act 
     may be used to relocate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration's Southeast Fisheries Science Center located 
     in Virginia Key, Florida.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Gaetz) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. GAETZ. Mr. Chairman, I offer this amendment on behalf of several 
of my colleagues from the Sunshine State who are still responding to 
the devastation from Hurricane Irma that made landfall earlier this 
week. The sponsor of this amendment, Congressman Deutch, and the 
cosponsors, Congressman Curbelo, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, 
Congressman Hastings, and Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, all 
represent districts that received significant damage from Hurricane 
Irma. Due to the damage in their districts, these Members--with strong 
interest in this amendment--were unable to return to D.C. in time to 
debate this issue on the House floor, so I am here pinch-hitting for 
them.
  Recently there have been reports that the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries headquarters, located on 
Virginia Key in south Florida, may move to another location. This 
amendment would prohibit that move. Such a move would be devastating to 
the longstanding research relationships that the NOAA facility on 
Virginia Key has with local universities, the local business community, 
and the marine industries of south Florida.
  The NOAA research facility on Virginia Key has maintained a 
partnership with the University of Miami and the south Florida 
community since 1943. Over the years, the NOAA facility and their 
research teams have worked closely and collaborated on critical 
research projects and scientific breakthroughs with the University of 
Miami, Florida Atlantic University, NOVA Southeastern University, 
Florida International University, the Palm Beach County Business 
Development Board, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the Beacon 
Council, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, and other 
south Florida universities and business coalitions.
  In fact, the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and 
Atmospheric Science is located across the street from the NOAA facility 
on Virginia Key. These south Florida universities and business councils 
recently signed a formal memorandum of understanding that encourages 
collaboration among research, education, business, and economic 
development organizations.
  Some research projects that the NOAA facility on Virginia Key has 
worked on with south Florida universities and business councils include 
the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, creating a storm surge 
database for Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and something near and 
dear to my heart, Everglades restoration projects.
  Moving the NOAA facility from Virginia Key would sever the bonds 
between the facility and the research universities in the south Florida 
community that create so much progress and so many jobs.
  Again, I am grateful, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to introduce 
this amendment on behalf of my colleagues, and I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Gaetz).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 123 Offered by Mr. Serrano

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 123 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, as the designee of the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Crowley), 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 division C (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ___.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used for the operation of a correctional facility by a 
     private party or contractor.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Serrano) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.

                              {time}  1600

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, my amendment is very straightforward. It 
would prohibit funds allocated in the bill from being used on the 
construction and operation of private, for-profit prisons.

[[Page H7269]]

  The use of private prisons in our country is a crisis. More and more 
Americans are being locked up in facilities that don't respect basic 
human rights. One in four people behind bars worldwide is in a United 
States jail. That is right. A country with less than 5 percent of the 
world's population accounts for a quarter of all the world's prisoners. 
In fact, our prison population has continued to increase over the past 
few decades, even as statistics have shown a decrease in crime.
  According to the FBI, violent and major property crimes are at 
historic lows. Nevertheless, more and more Americans are getting locked 
up. There are several reasons for this: from overly punitive mandatory 
minimum sentences to the cycle of poverty in the school-to-prison 
pipeline.
  But one thing is for sure: so long as there is an incentive to build 
prison cells for profit, there will be more Americans unnecessarily 
behind bars. So long as we perpetuate the prison industrial complex, we 
will find it harder and harder to reduce our bloated prison population 
and make meaningful reforms to our criminal justice system.
  Last year, an investigative reporter for The Nation uncovered 
horrible conditions at private correction facilities. Inmates were not 
receiving basic medical care, even items required by the Bureau of 
Prisons. In one case, they were kept in rows of bunk beds in un-air-
conditioned domes, baking in the heat and the sun. In another case, the 
poor conditions sparked riots by the inmates.
  Now, don't get me wrong. I feel no sympathy for violent criminals who 
have no remorse for what they did and deserve to be locked away for 
their crimes. But our Founders knew that we have an obligation to 
maintain respect for human life, and they enshrined it in our 
Constitution by protecting against cruel and unusual punishment.
  When this report came to light, President Obama's Attorney General, 
Loretta Lynch, chose to act. The President issued a memorandum saying 
that we would phase out the use of private prisons, partially by 
seeking to reduce our prison population.
  But in February, in keeping with this administration's policy of 
simply reversing everything President Obama did, Attorney General Jeff 
Sessions rescinded the order. He has since indicated that we won't 
continue to use private prisons.
  We will use more of them, and we will lock up more people to fill 
them. What a disgrace. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars and a waste of 
countless American lives that could be turned around and made into 
successful citizens.
  I am proud that in my home city of New York we have decided to divest 
our pension system from the for-profit prison industry. But now it is 
time for the Federal Government to divest itself as well.
  We must continue to work on comprehensive criminal justice reform 
that seeks to reform mandatory minimum sentences and curb the failed 
war on drugs and focus on reentry and reintegration so that those who 
serve time can become productive members of society, rather than 
lifelong inmates.
  Tonight, we can start with this amendment and send a message to the 
Trump administration. Tonight, we can tell him not to reverse the 
progress made under President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch. 
Tonight, we can say that making money off of incarcerating individuals 
is simply inconsistent with American values.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Griffith). The gentleman from Texas is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I understand my colleague is offering 
this on behalf of another Member who could not be here today, but I 
rise in strong opposition to this amendment.
  Let me make sure that we read it so the people understand what we are 
talking about. None of the funds made available by this act may be used 
for the operation of a correctional facility by a private party or 
contractor, period.
  This would shut down every privately operated prison and halfway 
house in the United States. Where are those 34,000 criminals going to 
go? Well, you would have to just turn them loose on the streets or pack 
them in like sardines in existing prison cells or spend billions of 
dollars over the next few years to house them.
  This amendment is dangerous, irresponsible, and risks the safety of 
the public. By cutting off immediately all funding to private prisons, 
these 34,000 inmates would have to be released onto the streets of 
America. I can't imagine what kind of disaster that would result in.
  Furthermore, I have always believed in the Yellow Pages test. If you 
can find a government service in the Yellow Pages, you ought to try to 
privatize it. As a general rule, the private sector is going to find a 
way to do it more efficiently, less expensively, and in a way that is 
going to save taxpayer money.
  My experience with the private prisons that have operated in the 
State of Texas quite successfully throughout the Bureau of Prisons is 
that they are providing better security, better food, better 
healthcare, better transportation, better housing, better facilities 
for both the inmate and the staff. They have been very successful 
across the country. These 34,000 inmates will have nowhere else to go.
  This amendment is extremely dangerous, destructive, and 
irresponsible. I urge Members to join me in opposing this amendment not 
only for the risk to public safety, but for the damages it will do to 
the hardworking people of America.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to join me in voting ``no,'' and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York has 1 minute remaining.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
New Jersey (Mrs. Watson Coleman).
  Mrs. WATSON COLEMAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer my strong 
support of this amendment to end the proliferation of private prisons 
in our Federal justice system.
  Following this administration's reversing President Obama's ban on 
the use of private prisons for Federal prisoners, the for-profit prison 
industry has not only been rejuvenated, but it is expanding.
  Our criminal justice system's only purpose should be to reeducate and 
rehabilitate individuals who have made mistakes and are serving their 
sentence. No one should profit from our prison system.
  That is what I plan to reintroduce the End For-Profit Prisons Act--
legislation that will require the Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Marshals 
Service to end its contracts with for-profit confinement facilities and 
make critical changes to the reentry process for individuals who have 
been released from Federal prisons.
  Mr. Chairman, I call for the immediate passage of this amendment.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to join me in opposing 
this amendment to protect the public safety of the people of the United 
States, to ensure that our tax dollars are efficiently used, but, above 
all, to make sure these 34,000 inmates are not released onto the 
streets of America.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge a ``no'' vote on this amendment, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Serrano).
  The amendment was rejected.


                Amendment No. 124 Offered by Mr. Flores

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 124 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. FLORES. Mr. Chair, as the designee of the gentleman from Alabama 
(Mr. Byrne), 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 division C (before the short title) insert 
     the following;
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement, administer, or enforce Executive Order 
     No. 13547 (75 Fed. Reg. 43023, relating to the stewardship of 
     oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes), including the National 
     Ocean Policy developed under such Executive Order.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman

[[Page H7270]]

from Texas (Mr. Flores) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. FLORES. Mr. Chair, I rise today to offer an amendment with my 
good friend from Alabama (Mr. Byrne), to address an ongoing 
bureaucratic overreach of our country's ocean and inland economies.
  Our amendment bans the use of Federal funds for the implementation of 
the previous administration's National Ocean Policy. Executive Order 
13547, signed by then-President Obama in 2010, requires that 60-plus 
bureaucracies essentially zone the oceans and the sources thereof.
  The National Ocean Policy's requirements are an encroachment into the 
powers of Congress as set forth in Article I of our Constitution. These 
activities have not been authorized by Congress, nor have any 
appropriations ever been made by Congress to fund those activities. Yet 
the bureaucracies continue to act as if those are irrelevant 
prohibitions against their activities.
  Mr. Chair, since 2010, this body has voted eight times in support of 
this amendment in a bipartisan manner. This language also was included 
in the base text to the fiscal year 2018 Energy and Water, Interior, 
and Agriculture Appropriations bills. We are looking to get it in the 
CJS bill now.
  We are offering this amendment again because concerns remain that the 
National Ocean Policy extends far beyond restricting ocean activities 
and that it significantly impacts inland activity as well.
  This amendment simply stops the funding of unauthorized bureaucratic 
overreach. It does not have any impact on coordination, planning, or 
congressionally authorized activities to take care of our Nation's 
important oceans.
  Mr. Chair, I urge my colleagues to support the amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  This executive order was signed by President Obama in July 2010. The 
National Ocean Policy is designed to improve stewardship of our oceans, 
coasts, islands, and Great Lakes by directing government agencies with 
differing mandates to coordinate and work together. The National Ocean 
Policy creates no new authorities.
  The result of increased coordination is better stewardship of our 
national heritage through improved government efficiency, better 
development and use of data and information, and a process of open and 
transparent stakeholder engagement that informs decisionmaking. This 
increased coordination between agencies needs to take place on a 
Federal level to reduce inefficiency, waste, and redundancy between 
agencies.
  The National Ocean Council brings together State, local, and Tribal 
governments and all of the oceans uses, including recreational and 
commercial fishermen, boaters, industries, scientists, and the public, 
to better plan for, manage, harmonize, and sustain uses of ocean and 
coastal resources.
  The bottom line is that the National Ocean Policy offers an avenue 
for thoughtful planning around issues affecting ocean, coastal, and 
Great Lakes areas. It is the best choice for stakeholders looking to be 
involved in the process.
  For all of these reasons, I urge the defeat of this amendment.
  Before I reserve the balance of my time, on a personal note, it is 
amazing how much work we have done in the south Bronx with what little 
bodies of water and green space we have, how much we cherish it, and 
how much we feel that it has been a gift that we continue to work on. 
We no longer have earmarks, but when we did, it did a great job in 
restoring a lot of areas.
  I see how, in other parts of the country and at the Federal level, we 
want to undo years and years of progress. I keep thinking of Republican 
leaders who took a different view. Teddy Roosevelt would be so upset at 
so much of what we are doing today because he saw the world in a 
different way. Thank God that he was our President for that period of 
time when we needed him for that particular issue.
  Just on a personal note, I understand that a lot of people see the 
world differently than I do. Where I come from, tonight people know 
they now have places where they can row a boat, where they can 
eventually swim, where they can fish, and where a beaver named Jose has 
returned.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. FLORES. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Culberson).
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I have no objection to the gentleman's 
amendment, and I support it. We have had it in previous bills. I hope 
the House will adopt it in this bill as well.
  Mr. FLORES. Mr. Chair, in closing, the issue is not whether or not we 
want to take care of oceans. We all agree that we should take care of 
our oceans. We all believe in being good stewards of the environmental 
and economic interest in our oceans. But, Mr. Chair, we also believe in 
trying to make sure that we have a government that adheres to the 
Constitution.

                              {time}  1615

  Under Article I of the Constitution, all legislative powers are 
returned to Congress--not some, all. That is the issue at stake here. 
The Obama administration's National Ocean Policy has overstepped 
constitutional statutory bounds.
  Congress did pass a bill in the 106th Congress to create an Ocean 
Commission to review and make recommendations. Since then, the 108th, 
109th, 110th, and 111th Congresses each looked at those recommendations 
and decided to take no legislative action. This must have been what 
caused then-President Obama to move forward with his executive order 
and to try to go around Congress. There have been no appropriations for 
these activities.
  Additionally, 81 groups have signed a letter asking the 
Appropriations Committee to include this language to address this 
unconstitutional bureaucratic overreach in their annual appropriations 
bills.
  Again, this is a simple amendment that stands up for the 
constitutional rights of this body to create the statutes under which 
this activity can be conducted and to transparently appropriate the 
funds which authorize activities, should it so choose.
  We are not against Ocean planning, as I said at the outset of this. 
What we are for, though, is the Constitution. Again, this amendment has 
been adopted with bipartisan support in this body eight times since 
2010.
  I want to thank the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Byrne), for his work 
on this amendment, as well as to thank Chairman Culberson for his 
consideration. I urge my colleagues to support this straightforward 
amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FLORES. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Flores).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CULBERSON. 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 Texas will 
be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 125 Offered by Mr. Buck

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 125 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. BUCK. 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 division C (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act 
     under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program may be used 
     in contravention of section 642 of the Illegal Immigration 
     Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Colorado (Mr. Buck) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Colorado.

[[Page H7271]]

  

  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak about my amendment to the 
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies division of H.R. 3354.
  Mr. Chairman, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, or SCAAP, 
is intended to further local law enforcement's ability to adhere to 
Federal immigration law. SCAAP provides States and localities with 
Federal funds to help offset correctional costs related to 
incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens with at least one felony or 
two misdemeanor convictions.
  However, in recent years, the number of jurisdictions receiving SCAAP 
funding that have adopted sanctuary policies, allowing violent criminal 
aliens to go free, has skyrocketed. My amendment would cut off SCAAP 
money for cities that violate the intent of these funds. These 
sanctuary cities must not continue using taxpayer money to flagrantly 
violate Federal immigration law and put American citizens at risk.
  Look no further than my home State of Colorado in the case of Mr. 
Ever Valles. Back in October, Mr. Valles was picked up on charges, 
including possession of a weapon, vehicle theft, and eluding. He also 
had a history of gang involvement.
  ICE placed a detainer on Mr. Valles, but Denver officials failed to 
honor the Federal detainer, releasing him without providing the proper 
notice to ICE officials. Upon his release, Mr. Valles took part in 
robbing and shooting 32-year-old Tim Cruz at an RTD train station. He 
has been charged with first-degree murder.
  Sanctuary policies just don't break the law. They place people's 
lives in danger. We cannot continue allowing these jurisdiction 
sanctuary cities to use taxpayer money to further these misguided 
policies. In fact, the Office of Justice Programs' own website states 
that applicants for SCAAP funds are required to certify compliance with 
all applicable Federal laws at the time of application. It goes on to 
say that, if the OJP receives information indicating that an applicant 
violated the statute related to sanctuary policies, that the applicant 
will be investigated by the inspector general and could be subject to 
criminal and civil penalties.
  A recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency report 
identified the top 10 jurisdictions with the highest volume of 
detainers issued that restrict cooperation with ICE. Not surprisingly, 
every one of those sanctuary cities received SCAAP awards in fiscal 
year 2016.
  Mr. Chairman, sanctuary cities stand against the rule of law. These 
jurisdictions support illegal immigration and allow individuals who 
violate the law to remain free. We cannot allow these jurisdictions to 
continue these harmful policies on the American people's dime. I urge 
my colleagues to support my amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I oppose this unnecessary amendment. All 
this amendment does is prohibit use of funding to violate current law.
  As we all know, Federal grant recipients of the State Criminal Alien 
Assistance Program, or SCAAP, are not using Federal funds in 
contravention of Federal law.
  The amendment is really about so-called sanctuary cities. This and 
other amendments like this seek to effectively overthrow community 
policing by diverting State and local police from their core mission of 
protecting public safety. Imposing this one-size-fits-all approach 
would degrade trust between immigrant communities and local police, 
thereby undermining public safety in all communities and for all 
residents.
  We should not be attempting by word or deed to turn our local law 
enforcement into an arm of Federal immigration efforts. I live in a 
sanctuary city, and I can tell you with great certainty that amendments 
like this one will make my hometown less safe. People will be less 
likely to report crimes and cooperate with investigations simply 
because of the concern that they will be deported for interacting with 
local law enforcement.
  What we need is broad and humane immigration reform which would place 
undocumented immigrants on a workable and earned path to citizenship, 
thereby allowing them to contribute even more to their families, 
communities, and our country.
  Our immigration system is broken, but this amendment does nothing to 
fix it. I urge my colleagues to defeat this amendment.
  And I must say, the sanctuary cities, as they are called, have a lot 
of support from law enforcement throughout the Nation because they know 
that they need to speak to people in the community and get information 
on who the bad guys are or who the bad gals are, number one.
  Number two, this is going to be a boom for the legal profession 
because just about every city and every State is going to sue if this 
ever became law. And we actually started holding moneys back because 
they know how much help is brought to their community and how much they 
want to keep it in place.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chairman, may I ask how much time I have left.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Colorado has 2\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Culberson).
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the 
gentleman from Colorado's amendment.
  When Kate Steinle was murdered, I was the new chairman of this 
subcommittee, and I swore that I would find a way to cut off Federal 
funding to these sanctuary cities. That young lady's murder could have 
been prevented had the city of San Francisco simply cooperated with 
Federal immigration authorities and handed that criminal over to be 
deported immediately. That is all we are talking about here.

  With the previous administration, Attorney General Lynch, I met with 
her as the CFO, so to speak, of the DOJ. I used the power of the purse 
that the Congress was entrusted with by the Founders of our 
constituents to persuade the previous Attorney General to adopt 
precisely the policy that Mr. Buck is attempting to make sure that we 
continue to follow.
  I know, under Attorney General Sessions' leadership, sanctuary cities 
are not going to receive Federal money. That policy was first put in 
place last summer. At my insistence, current guidelines in the 
Department of Justice grant policies are that a local law enforcement 
agency has to certify that they are cooperating 100 percent of the time 
with Federal immigration authorities about individuals in local jails 
or State prisons. That is all this is.
  If a State prison or local jail is housing someone who was in the 
country illegally when they committed the crime and were sentenced, 
before they are released, current Department of Justice policy adopted 
last summer, being enforced today by Attorney General Sessions, says 
you have to tell Federal authorities you are about to release this 
person so they can be immediately deported. That is common sense. It 
protects public safety, and it is a wise use of our tax dollars.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chairman, I yield an additional 20 seconds to the 
gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, the days of sanctuary cities accepting 
Federal money and ignoring Federal law are over. The policy under this 
administration, the policy I insisted be adopted last summer, is, if 
you want Federal money, follow Federal law, or don't ask.
  I support the gentleman's amendment.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chairman, I would just ask my colleagues to support my 
amendment, and I thank the chairman of the subcommittee for his 
support.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Buck).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by

[[Page H7272]]

the gentleman from Colorado will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 126 Offered by Mr. Amash

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 126 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. AMASH. 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 division C (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ____.  None of the funds made available by this Act 
     may be used for activities prohibited by the order issued by 
     the Attorney General entitled ``Prohibition on Certain 
     Federal Adoptions of Seizures by State and Local Law 
     Enforcement Agencies'' (Order No. 3488-2015, dated January 
     16, 2015) or the order entitled ``Prohibition on Certain 
     Federal Adoptions of Seizures by State and Local Law 
     Enforcement Agencies'' (Order No. 3485-2015, dated January 
     12, 2015).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Amash) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. AMASH. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, each year the Federal Government uses civil asset 
forfeiture to take billions of dollars' worth of property from people 
who have not been charged with any crime. It is an unconstitutional 
practice that is used to violate the due process rights of innocent 
people.
  Fortunately, some States have passed laws to limit asset forfeiture; 
but the Federal Government helps State law enforcement evade these 
requirements by doing adoptive forfeitures where the Federal Government 
accepts property seized by the State law enforcement, forfeits it under 
Federal law, and gives the State agency a cut of the proceeds.
  Mr. Chairman, this practice is outrageous. It supplants the authority 
of States to regulate their own law enforcement, and it further mires 
the Federal Government in unconstitutional asset forfeitures.
  In 2015, the Department of Justice placed limits on adoptive 
forfeiture, prohibiting the Federal Government from accepting property 
seized by local police when there is no involvement by Federal law 
enforcement and the property does not relate to public safety. These 
are commonsense restrictions that prevent the most egregious seizures.
  Unfortunately, these restrictions were revoked in June of this year. 
My amendment would restore them by prohibiting the use of funds to do 
adoptive forfeitures that were banned under the 2015 rules.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Davidson).
  Mr. DAVIDSON. Mr. Chairman, I stand in support of the amendment.
  The amendment does a great deal to restore our constitutional right 
to due process and protects the institution of federalism. The 
equitable sharing program incentivizes local law enforcement agencies 
to ignore State laws regarding civil asset forfeiture in favor of 
Federal law.
  After Ohio reformed civil asset forfeiture laws, local agencies have 
been able to bypass, just as the gentleman from Michigan described. DOJ 
allows this even when Federal officials play no role in the 
investigation or the arrest. Congressman Amash's amendment would end 
this policy.
  This program violates the independence of State's police powers and 
promotes an asset forfeiture scheme that undermines due process. I urge 
my colleagues to support this amendment.

                              {time}  1630

  Mr. AMASH. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Hawaii (Ms. Gabbard).
  Ms. GABBARD. Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues strongly to adopt 
this amendment.
  Attorney General Sessions' recent announcement to expand civil action 
forfeiture really allows local law enforcement to bypass State laws and 
seize property from people with the lowest possible burden of evidence 
and without concern whether the person is eventually charged or 
convicted.
  While some will tell you this is necessary to go after big drug 
cartels, the reality is the median value of the adoptive forfeiture 
seizures has been around $9,000--not exactly the sign of any major drug 
trafficking operation.
  These adoptive forfeiture efforts tend to target poor neighborhoods. 
Between 2012 and 2017, the median value of assets seized by Cook County 
police was just over $1,000. In Philadelphia, in 2015, the median value 
was $192.
  This policy does not discriminate between the innocent and the 
guilty.
  With the responsibility on private citizens to prove their innocence, 
rather than law enforcement to prove guilt, innocent people without 
legal representation often never see their money or property again, and 
even those who are proven innocent have no promise that their property 
will be returned.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. AMASH. Mr. Chairman, I yield an additional 15 seconds to the 
gentlewoman.
  Ms. GABBARD. Mr. Chairman, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution 
exists to protect the citizens of this country from being deprived of 
life, liberty, or property without due process of law. In practice and 
principle, adoptive forfeiture is a violation of that Fourth Amendment. 
I urge my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. AMASH. Mr. Chairman, I yield 45 seconds to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Rohrabacher).
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment.
  Asset forfeiture is a crime against the American people, committed by 
their own government. This is absolutely opposite of what our people 
who wrote the Constitution of the United States had in mind.
  For the government to take away someone's property and then say, 
``You have to prove you are innocent to get it back,'' that is totally 
in contrast to the limited government, individual responsibility, 
individual freedom, and property rights concepts that our Founding 
Fathers had in mind.
  If we believe in freedom and if we believe in liberty, let's not open 
up the government to be able to steal our property and then we have to 
go to court. We have lost all of our due process. It is now our 
obligation to prove that we are innocent until proven guilty. That is 
ridiculous. Vote for this amendment and protect the freedom of our 
people.
  Mr. Chair, I rise as a proud co-sponsor in strong support of the 
Amash-Sanford-Labrador-Rohrabacher Amendment.
  Civil asset forfeiture is a widely abused law enforcement tactic in 
which federal, state and local law enforcement agencies seize property, 
often with little or no evidence that a crime has been committed. The 
person whose property has been seized then has to hire an attorney and 
prove their innocence in order to try to get their property back.
  Police departments have a strong incentive to abuse civil asset 
forfeiture because they get to keep these ill-gotten gains for their 
own use. Even when state legislatures have enacted important safeguards 
against abuse, the Justice Department has helped local police 
departments to circumvent such restrictions by ``adopting'' seizures 
that would be illegal under state law, and then sharing the proceeds 
with local law enforcement.
  In January 2015, under the Obama Administration, the Justice 
Department issued two crucial orders to stop this circumvention of 
state, raw. Unfortunately, the current Justice Department has reversed 
those orders, and Congress must now take action.
  This amendment will prohibit the Justice Department from using any 
money in this bill to engage in activities not allowed by the 2015 
orders. I ask my colleagues to stop the assaults against law-abiding 
citizens by the people who are supposed to protect them. Vote for the 
Amash-Sanford-Labrador-Rohrabacher Amendment.
  Mr. AMASH. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Beyer).
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Chairman, I stand here also to express my strong 
support for the Amash amendment.
  Civil asset forfeiture without limits presents one of the strongest 
threats to our civil, property, and constitutional rights. It creates a 
reverse incentive for law enforcement to seek profit over justice.
  Mr. Chairman, I encourage all of my colleagues to support this great 
amendment.
  Mr. AMASH. Mr. Chairman, how much time is remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Michigan has 10 seconds 
remaining.
  Mr. AMASH. Mr. Chairman, I encourage everyone to support this 
amendment. We must defend the Fifth

[[Page H7273]]

Amendment and we must protect property rights.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Amash).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 127 Offered by Mr. Roskam

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 127 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. ROSKAM. 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 division C (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ____.  None of the funds made available by this Act 
     may be used to pay a performance award to any officer or 
     employee of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section 
     of the Department of Justice under section 5384 or 4505a of 
     title 5, United States Code, prior to the date on which the 
     Department of Justice rules on all petitions for remission or 
     mitigation in judicial forfeiture cases pursuant to section 
     9.4 of title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, for which the 
     Internal Revenue Service has submitted a report of its 
     investigation and its recommendation to the Department of 
     Justice on or before June 26, 2017.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Roskam) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, let me tell you a quick story. Andrew Clyde served 
three combat tours in Iraq, after which he returned home and opened a 
store in Georgia. Mr. Clyde had an insurance policy that only covered 
up to $10,000 in off-premised losses. So like any reasonable person, he 
never brought more than $10,000 in cash with him when he was making his 
nightly deposits.
  Do you know what happened next?
  The Internal Revenue Service noticed that he was depositing just 
under $10,000 in cash regularly, so they took all of his cash. That is 
$950,000.
  If you are like most people, you are confused when you first hear 
about this. As it turns out, Mr. Clyde was in violation of a Federal 
law known as structuring, which is the intentional avoidance of Federal 
reporting requirements by staying below $10,000 in cash deposits. This 
law was intended to catch large-scale criminal enterprises, mobsters, 
terrorists, and human traffickers, not veterans like Mr. Clyde.
  When structuring is believed to have occurred, the IRS can use its 
civil asset forfeiture authority to seize funds in question and force 
the owner to prove that the money was earned legally.
  Well, in this instance, Andrew Clyde earned the money legally and had 
a legitimate reason for depositing less than $10,000. So you would 
assume that Mr. Clyde would have ended this with the IRS talking to him 
and then saying: Oh, we made a mistake. Clearly you are not a mobster 
or a terrorist. Thank you for your service. Here is your life savings 
back.
  But, no, that is not what happened, Mr. Chairman. That is not how the 
story ended.
  Instead, the IRS threatened him with criminal structuring charges 
until he agreed to settle with the agency and give them $50,000, after 
he had already spent $100,000 in legal fees. He lost $150,000 simply 
because he wanted to make sure that his cash deposits were low enough 
to be insured. If that sounds messed up to you, Mr. Chairman, that is 
because it is.
  Now, here is the good news. The House recently passed, unanimously, 
H.R. 1843, the RESPECT Act. This bill prohibits the IRS from seizing 
funds from individuals, unless there is a probable cause that the money 
was earned illegally or connected to an illegal activity. But there is 
still the problem of those people who are already victims of this abuse 
by our government in civil asset forfeiture.
  Now, since we began our bipartisan investigation of the IRS's civil 
asset forfeiture practices a couple of years ago, the IRS has 
apologized for past behavior, which is good; they worked quickly to 
reach out to possible victims, which is good; and they subsequently 
responded to the 454 petitions that they received. As of March 1, the 
IRS returned over $6 million in seized funds. Good news. So far so 
good.
  But the plot continues, and here is where we are right now. It turns 
out that a majority of the petitions were actually referred to the 
Department of Justice. The IRS referred the DOJ 255 cases, and has 
recommended that the DOJ return $16 million to taxpayers whom they do 
not suspect of being conducted in any way to illegal activity. 
Unfortunately, the Department of Justice has not been nearly as 
interested in correcting these past wrongdoings.
  As of July, the Department of Justice responded only to 73 of the 
outstanding 255 cases. This is completely unacceptable. The Federal 
Government took legally earned money from taxpayers, and the Department 
of Justice hasn't given the majority of these people a response, 
including Andrew Clyde.
  The Roskam-Neal amendment, offered by myself and Mr. Neal, the 
ranking member from Massachusetts on the Ways and Means Committee, is 
very simple. It simply says this: No one in the relevant section of the 
Department of Justice can get a performance bonus until they finish 
reviewing the backlog of cases that the IRS has sent them. We are not 
asking the Department of Justice to do anything extraordinary, Mr. 
Chairman. We are simply asking them to do their job. And until they do 
their job, the bare minimum that taxpayers can expect is that we at 
least don't reward these people with bonuses.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment, even though I am not opposed to it.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from Texas is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Chairman, I strongly support the amendment. I will 
work with Mr. Roskam as the CFO of the DOJ and do whatever is necessary 
to help make sure they review these cases rapidly and return people's 
money to their rightful owners.
  Once again, Mr. Roskam has brought a great amendment to the House 
floor. I look forward to working with him to ensure that his intent is 
implemented as quickly as possible.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to support the amendment, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for his support.
  I thank the chairman for his assurance and his hard work on this. I 
am confident that this will be resolved.
  Mr. Chairman, I have got to tell you that the discussions that this 
House has made on a bipartisan basis with the Department of Justice 
have been obtuse and they have been ridiculous. I have been embarrassed 
by the interactions that I have had with senior staff members at the 
Department of Justice on this issue.
  The Ways and Means Subcommittee has been scandalized by this, and we 
are going to do something about it. So here, today, we are rising on 
both sides of the aisle to bring remedy, rescue, and restoration to our 
citizens.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Roskam).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 128 
printed in House Report 115-297.


                Amendment No. 129 Offered by Mr. Walberg

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 129 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. WALBERG. 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 division C (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to carry out Order Number 3946-2017 of the Attorney 
     General, issued July 19, 2017.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Walberg) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Chairman, in recent years, we have seen a growing

[[Page H7274]]

number of instances where the government has confiscated private 
property from citizens and small businesses without any criminal 
conviction, or even criminal charges.
  Under current civil forfeiture law, the system is ripe for abuse, and 
has undermined the constitutional rights of far too many Americans.
  In response, 24 States and the District of Columbia have adopted 
reforms to their forfeiture laws.
  However, through a practice known as adoptive seizures, Federal 
agencies, like the Department of Justice, can circumvent State and 
local laws to continue this practice.
  In July, the Department of Justice announced a continuation and 
expansion of civil forfeiture, reversing a previous ban on adoptive 
seizures.
  My bipartisan amendment, introduced with Representatives Cohen, 
McClintock, and Ellison, would prohibit funds for the DOJ to implement 
this expansion.
  Our amendment is also supported by a broad and diverse coalition of 
organizations, including the American Conservative Union, the Institute 
for Justice, the NAACP, and the ACLU.
  Today's vote takes an important step in halting the practice of 
adoptive seizures, protecting the rights of States and localities, and 
limiting some future abuses.
  Ultimately, this amendment is a starting point, and we can't stop 
here. Congress must submit more comprehensive changes into law, changes 
like those included in the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act, 
my bipartisan bill, that calls for sweeping reforms to curb civil asset 
forfeiture abuse.
  America was founded on the principles of due process and property 
rights, and these principles must be vigorously defended.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan 
amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment, even though I am not opposed to it.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from Tennessee is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I thank Mr. Walberg for bringing this 
amendment and for the bills he has proposed; and I thank Senator Paul 
as well.
  I think criminal asset forfeiture is one of the worst, most heinous, 
most despicable, and most vile laws that we have ever put on the books. 
It is an assault on human beings and State governments on State 
sovereignty and on individuals having a right to their property and 
having a right to a hearing and being found guilty of something before 
their property is taken.
  The way it is today, the government can come in, and they don't even 
have to charge you with a crime, and they can take your car or your 
money or whatever else they find. It is an un-American a thing as has 
ever existed.
  Mr. Walberg laid out some of the supporters: the ACLU, NAACP, and 
then it goes around to some conservative worlds. There are many times I 
have found that you get 360 degrees where the liberals and the 
conservatives come together and agree on libertarian principles that 
something needs to happen.

                              {time}  1645

  When you have got Rand Paul, Keith Ellison, Mr. Walberg, and myself 
all on the same thing, this needs to happen. So we need to pass it now.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Chair, I thank Mr. Cohen for yielding. I think that 
what he said is absolutely true. When you do a complete circle, you 
have come to a point of understanding that something is amiss, in good 
will we work together in a bipartisan fashion to fix it.
  There can be useful issues relative to civil assets, but it needs to 
follow due process. Our civil liberties must be protected. We want to 
support law enforcement; it is a tough job. But, nonetheless, in our 
great country, liberty is still the most important ideal that we have, 
and the freedom that makes us different from other nations.
  Mr. Chair, I thank my good friend for his support, and I would ask my 
colleagues to support it.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Walberg).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 130 Offered by Mr. Raskin

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 130 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Chair, 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 division C (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement Order Number 3946-2017 of the Attorney 
     General allowing Department of Justice components and 
     agencies to forfeit assets seized by State or local law 
     enforcement agencies.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Raskin) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Maryland.
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Chairman, I also want to thank my colleagues, Mr. 
Sensenbrenner, Mr. Conyers, and Mr. Mooney, for cosponsoring and 
supporting this amendment.
  It is a bipartisan amendment and, I think, a natural complement to 
the excellent amendments just added from Mr. Walberg and also from Mr. 
Amash. It would prohibit funding made available by this act from being 
used to implement the recent DOJ policy change, which dramatically 
expands the Federal Government's civil Asset Forfeiture Program.
  The new policy revives a controversial and, I think, unconstitutional 
practice that has been decried by Americans and Members of Congress 
across the political spectrum who hold dear the idea of due process and 
the presumption of innocence as it applies not just to us as people but 
also to our private property as well.
  The new policy allows State and local law enforcement to circumvent 
State laws limiting civil asset forfeiture by having Federal agencies 
adopt State and local cases. Under this dubious practice, law 
enforcement may seize a citizen's cash and property simply because 
someone suspects it of being connected to criminal activity without 
convicting, indicting, arresting, or even charging the property owner 
with having committed a crime and without proving or even alleging in 
court that the property is somehow connected to criminal activity.
  Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property have been seized in 
this way by law enforcement on an officer's mere suspicion. In order to 
get your property back, you have to go out and hire a lawyer, you have 
to go to court, and you have to prove that your property was obtained 
through innocent means, completely reversing the constitutional 
presumption of innocence that is at the heart of due process.
  This practice is an outrageous violation of property rights, of civil 
liberties, and of the due process principle that we are all presumed to 
be innocent as American citizens, and it raises profound questions also 
under the Takings Clause, which forbids the taking of private property 
without just compensation by the government.
  Although the resurrected policy contains a few new safeguards, they 
will not remotely prevent abusive seizures or eliminate the profit 
incentives that encourage rampant civil asset forfeiture. The policy 
will lead to the same abuses uncovered in 2014.
  A Washington Post investigation found that, since 2001, State and 
local law enforcement had made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and 
property worth nearly $2.5 billion under the civil Asset Forfeiture 
Program.
  One striking case discussed by The New York Times was of Carole 
Hinders, owner of a restaurant in Arnolds Park, Iowa, who deposited her 
cash earnings in the bank on a weekly basis, and it was always under 
$10,000. She was suspected of illegally structuring her deposits, 
although they were perfectly innocent, and the IRS simply seized 
$33,000 from her, causing huge problems for her business.
  Another case that caught my eye was of a Chinese-American 
restaurateur who was traveling with a large sum of

[[Page H7275]]

money because he was about to buy a building for his new restaurant. He 
had been saving for decades to buy his own restaurant. He was stopped 
by the police and became understandably very anxious during the 
encounter. The police said that they found the large sum of cash money 
he had with him suspicious, and his nervous demeanor also telling, and 
they simply seized his money. They detained him for 2 hours. They let 
him go. They didn't charge him with anything, but they seized his 
money, his life savings that he had planned to use to purchase the 
building for his restaurant. He was a lucky one in that he was able, 
eventually years later, to get his money back, but he lost the business 
deal and his deposit in the process.
  In 2014, the value of money and property seized under civil asset 
forfeitures by Federal law enforcement exceeded the total of losses in 
money and property from burglaries in our country. That means our 
people lost more money at the hands of the government through civil 
asset forfeiture than from being burglarized.
  Because of the abuses revealed in 2015, the DOJ imposed restrictions 
to limit when the Federal Government could adopt forfeiture cases, and 
banned State and local police from using Federal law to seize cash and 
property without criminal charges or warrants, but the new policy lifts 
these restrictions and places the Federal Government back on the side 
of the trampling of people's constitutional rights.
  With civil asset forfeiture, people cannot only lose their property 
without being charged with a crime, they can also lose their property 
when someone else allegedly uses their property in commission of a 
crime.
  A Michigan woman lost a car she co-owned with her husband because he 
was caught soliciting prostitution while driving her car.
  This policy runs roughshod over the property rights of the innocent 
and burdens our citizens with onerous costs to get their property back 
that they never should have lost in the first place.
  Mr. Chair, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all agree that 
civil asset forfeiture is a serious threat to constitutional values.
  Mr. Chair, I urge all of us to vote for this important amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Raskin).
  The amendment was agreed to.


        Amendments En Bloc No. 4 Offered by Mr. Cole of Oklahoma

  Mr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, pursuant to House Resolution 504, as the 
designee of Mr. Frelinghuysen, I offer amendments en bloc No. 4.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendments en bloc.
  Amendments en bloc No. 4 consisting of amendment Nos. 132, 140, 143, 
144, 146, 147, 148, 151, 153, 157, 159, 162, 163, 166, 177, 181, and 
185, printed in House Report 115-297, offered by Mr. Cole of Oklahoma:


           amendment no. 132 offered by ms. lee of california

       Page 697, line 23, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $16,000,000)''.
       Page 698, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $16,000,000)''.
       Page 718, line 15, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     the following: ``(decreased by $16,000,000)''.


          amendment no. 140 offered by ms. bonamici of oregon

       Page 718, line 15, after the first dollar amount insert 
     ``(increased by $906,000) (decreased by $906,000)''.
       Page 719, line 14, after the dollar amount insert 
     ``(increased by $906,000)''.


          amendment no. 143 offered by ms. bonamici of oregon

       Page 734, line 10, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $18,270,000) (increased by $18,270,000)''.


          amendment no. 144 offered by mr. kildee of Michigan

       Page 735, line 14, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $1,000,000)''.
       Page 740, line 3, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $1,000,000)''.
       Page 740, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $1,000,000)''.
       Page 770, line 18, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $3,000,000)''.


          amendment no. 146 offered by mr. nolan of minnesota

       Page 738, line 21, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $300,000)''.
       Page 770, line 18, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(decreased by $300,000)''.


       amendment no. 147 offered by mr. keating of massachusetts

       Page 738, line 21, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $1,000,000)''.
       Page 770, line 18, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $1,000,000)''.


            amendment no. 148 offered by mr. mast of florida

       Page 740, line 3, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $400,000)''.
       Page 741, line 16, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $400,000)''.


       amendment no. 151 offered by Mr. desaulnier of california

       Page 744, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $1,000,000)''.
       Page 770, line 18, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(decreased by $1,000,000)''.


           amendment no. 153 offered by mr. tonko of new york

       Page 751, line 24, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $12,500,000) (increased by $12,500,000)''.


         amendment no. 157 offered by mr. denham of california

       Page 763, line 3, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $1,000,000) (increased by $1,000,000)''.


          amendment no. 154 offered by ms. mcsally of arizona

       Page 767, line 24, insert ``(increased by $14,232,847)'' 
     after the dollar amount.
       Page 805, line 25, insert ``(reduced by $14,232,847)'' 
     after the dollar amount.


          amendment no. 162 offered by ms. bonamici of oregon

       Page 794, line 15, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $8,900,000)''.
       Page 794, line 15, after the second dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $8,900,000)''.
       Page 794, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $8,900,000)''.
       Page 805, line 25, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(decreased by $8,900,000)''.


          amendment no. 163 offered by ms. bonamici of oregon

       Page 795, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $1,150,000,000) (reduced by 
     $1,150,000,000)''.


       amendment no. 166 offered by mr. desaulnier of california

       Page 796, line 5, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 805, line 25, after the dollar amount, insert the 
     following: ``(decreased by $10,000,000)''.


        amendment no. 177 offered by mr. murphy of pennsylvania

       At the end of division F (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  For ``Health Resources and Services 
     Administration--Health Workforce'' for establishing and 
     carrying out the training demonstration grant program, as 
     authorized by section 760 of the Public Health Service Act 
     (42 U.S.C. 294k), there is hereby appropriated $10,000,000, 
     and the amount otherwise provided by this Act for ``Health 
     Resources and Services Administration--Program Management'' 
     is hereby reduced by $11,750,000.


           amendment no. 181 offered by ms. sewell of alabama

       At the end of division F (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act to 
     carry out the Child Care Development Block Grant Act of 1990 
     may be distributed to any child care provider if a localized 
     list of providers (as mentioned in part 98 of title 45 of the 
     Code of Federal Regulations, applicable to the Department of 
     Health and Human Services, Administration of Children and 
     Families, and in the final rule published in the Federal 
     Register, Vol. 81, No. 190, on Sept. 30, 2016) indicates that 
     a serious injury or death occurred at the provider due to a 
     substantiated health or safety violation.


         amendment no. 185 offered by mr. griffith of virginia

       At the end of division F (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  For ``Health Resources and Services 
     Administration-Rural Health'' to carry out section 427(a) of 
     the Federal Coal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1969, there is 
     hereby appropriated, and the amount otherwise provided by 
     this Act for ``Health Resources and Services Administration-
     Program Management'' is hereby reduced by, $2,734,000.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole) and the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey) 
each will control 10 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. 
DeLauro), who is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Labor, 
Health and Human Services, and Education approved this list of 
amendments last week, along with myself, and was looking forward to 
discussing them and others with all of us here today.
  Unfortunately, the gentlewoman is not able to be here this week due 
to the death of her beloved mother, Luisa DeLauro, who passed away over 
the weekend at the age of 103.

[[Page H7276]]

  The gentlewoman from Connecticut and I have something in common on 
this point: neither of us would likely be a Member of this body today 
were it not for the inspiration and role model of our mothers, both of 
whom were actively involved in local politics.
  Like my own late mother, Helen Cole, who served in the Oklahoma House 
and Senate and as mayor of our home town of Moore, Oklahoma, Luisa 
DeLauro served 35 years as a member of the New Haven, Connecticut, 
Board of Aldermen, the longest tenure in the city's history. She served 
with six different mayors and dedicated her time to improving the lives 
of seniors and the working poor.
  Her daughter has most certainly followed in her footsteps, bringing 
her passion, dedication, and tirelessness for these same causes to the 
Halls of Congress.
  We are sorry the gentlewoman cannot be with us today. We know she is 
honoring her mother and her mother's legacy, and making her mother 
proud of her work here.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, first I would like to join my colleague in 
sending our thoughts and condolences to the DeLauro family.
  Ranking Member DeLauro's mother, Luisa, passed away this weekend at 
the age of 103. The family is together this week in New Haven, 
Connecticut.
  Luisa DeLauro was an inspiration to her daughter, Rosa, to the city 
of New Haven, and to us all. Luisa was the longest serving member of 
the New Haven Board of Aldermen in the city's history, serving 35 
years.
  She set an example for women everywhere as she fought to ensure that 
women's voices were heard in the male-dominated arena of politics.
  As Rosa has said, her mother understood that politics was an avenue 
for change, a way to help people who were struggling, and she dedicated 
her service to issues involving seniors, the working poor, and her 
beloved neighborhood of Wooster Square, which she helped to designate 
as New Haven's first historic district.
  Luisa was a beloved local leader with an open-door policy, who 
developed friendships that lasted a lifetime, but she was also well 
known as a strong-willed fighter for issues she believed in, and it is 
clear that her dedication and fierce passion will live on in her 
daughter, our friend, Rosa.
  Even though Luisa DeLauro passed away at 103, for Rosa and her 
family, it still feels like she was taken too soon. My thoughts are 
with my good friend, Rosa DeLauro, and the entire DeLauro family.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Oregon (Ms. 
Bonamici).
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Chair, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of the en bloc amendment, which 
includes my bipartisan amendment to highlight the need to fully fund 
Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants.
  These grants are critical to the successful implementation of title 
IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Schools across the country can 
use the Student Support grants to give all students access to a well-
rounded education.
  The grant program is also important because it was created to 
allocate funding by formula, which levels the playing field so small 
school districts can get their fair share of funding.
  I am disappointed that this bill funds Student Support grants 
significantly lower than the original $1.65 billion authorized in the 
Every Student Succeeds Act, and I hope there will be an opportunity in 
the Senate to increase funding for these critical Student Support 
grants.
  I thank the chairman and ranking member for including my amendments 
in an en bloc package and for their hard work on this bill.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Denham), my good friend.
  Mr. DENHAM. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this bloc, which 
includes my amendment to prevent homeless youth and young mothers from 
seeing a lapse in service from their runaway youth programs and 
maternity group homes.

                              {time}  1700

  Specifically, this amendment allows HHS to offer transitional living 
programs and maternity group home grants for centers that would 
otherwise see a lapse in funding in fiscal year 2018.
  This amendment does not increase funding for the program. This 
amendment simply prevents centers from facing a gap in grant 
eligibility due to a fiscal year which commenced off cycle. Failure to 
act will cause runaway and homeless youth and maternity group home 
centers across the county to downgrade, discontinue, or eventually 
close.
  These important centers provide a temporary shelter to youth in 
crisis who are experiencing homelessness. These centers teach life 
skills and provide counseling and transitional services to homeless, 
pregnant, and parenting youth to promote long-term economic 
independence to ensure their well-being.
  This issue was first brought to my attention by the Modesto Center 
for Human Services, which supports individuals and families in 
Stanislaus County, California. The Modesto center provides youth 
services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, family 
resource centers, shelter services, and community projects. The center 
relies on an existing Transitional Living Program grant. The TLP grants 
are critical to helping homeless youth find employment and transition 
back into the community.
  Unfortunately, the Modesto center and more than 100 other centers and 
shelters across the country are in jeopardy of losing eligibility for 
funding due to circumstances outside of their control. These grants 
account for a significant portion of their annual budgets, and a gap of 
this length will drastically reduce the services or force programs to 
shut down completely.
  My amendment implores the administration to authorize bridge funding 
to close this gap in grant eligibility, allowing services to continue 
until the grant is realigned with the appropriations process. For the 
area I represent, losing these grants would have much wider 
ramifications for the overall homeless population and collaborative 
efforts to improve homeless care and services.
  TLP and MGH grants help break the crippling cycle of homelessness. I 
call on my colleagues to support this amendment and allow homeless 
youth and parenting young people access to life-changing services.
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Kildee).
  Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend, the ranking member, for 
yielding time to me and for her leadership and work on this important 
issue.
  Mr. Chairman, I support and appreciate my amendment being included in 
this en bloc amendment. My amendment increases funding for three very 
important and very successful programs that provide lead prevention 
resources in support for those already exposed to high levels of lead.
  Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin. Its effects can be permanent, 
especially on very young people and those most vulnerable citizens 
among us. In fact, according to the medical community, there is no safe 
level for lead.
  As you know, I come from Flint, Michigan, where we have experienced 
the most significant lead crisis. It is one that we are still working 
to overcome. Even though that crisis in Flynt is no longer in the 
headlines, Flint and many other communities are still dealing with 
issues caused by exposure to lead.
  There is no cure to lead exposure. We have to work on prevention and 
do everything we can to support those like the people in Flint and 
others across the country who have been exposed so they can grow into 
healthy and successful adults. This amendment will do just that.
  I appreciate the ranking member, Ms. DeLauro, and I share in my 
colleagues' expression of grief for her loss. I thank Ranking Member 
Lowey and I thank Chairman Cole for working to include this in the en 
bloc amendment, and I urge its passing.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Costello), my friend.
  Mr. COSTELLO of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to rise in 
support of this en bloc amendment, specifically the amendment I offered 
with Congresswoman Bonamici.

[[Page H7277]]

  Our amendment would help ensure adequate funding for a grant program 
available to States, including my home State of Pennsylvania, to tailor 
assessment systems to work for teachers, parents, and students. The 
amendment would provide $378 million in funding for State assessment 
grants, the amount authorized for these grants in the Every Student 
Succeeds Act but, notably, $8.9 million more than that which was 
included in the legislation we are currently debating.
  Including full funding for State assessment grants is a critical way 
for Congress to fulfill our promise under ESSA that we would streamline 
testing so the high-stakes testing culture that has burdened schools 
and students for too long is rolled back.
  I thank the chairman and ranking member for the opportunity to offer 
this amendment, and I urge the adoption of the en bloc amendment.
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of this bi-
partisan amendment that would increase funding for the Black Lung 
Clinics Programs in the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) 
by $2.7 million. This increase, when added to the $7.2 million provided 
in the appropriations bill being considered, will provide $10 million 
in total funding for Fiscal Year 2018. I want to commend Representative 
Griffith for his leadership on this issue.
  The additional funding proposed by the amendment is fully offset by a 
reduction in program management, and the total amount of $10 million is 
equal to the permanently authorized amount. That level, I would note, 
has remained the same since the Black Lung Clinics Program was first 
authorized in the 92nd Congress as part of the Black Lung Benefits Act 
of 1972.
  Today, there are 28 black lung clinics located in 15 coal mining 
states which, with small grants provided by HRSA's Federal Office of 
Rural Health Policy, serve as a lifeline for disabled miners.
  In many cases, these coal miners spent a lifetime working in our 
nation's mines, but now face black lung disease--a debilitating and 
frequently fatal lung disease that continues to erode lung function 
even after a miner leaves work in the mines. Since 1968, 76,000 miners 
have lost their lives to black lung disease.
  The black lung clinics program is expected to serve 13,800 miners 
this year. The need for these clinics is rising due to an increase in 
the number of black lung cases, coupled with an increased number of 
miners who are now seeking assistance following the closure of mines.
  The rate of black lung disease in coal miners fell steadily in the 30 
years following the enactment of binding coal dust exposure limits in 
the 1969 Coal Mine Safety and Health Act. However, that favorable 
downward trend started to reverse beginning in 2000, according to the 
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH is 
also finding that miners are becoming totally disabled from black lung 
at much younger ages.
  The increase in black lung disease has been due in part to longer 
mining shifts, more powerful mining machinery, and mine operators 
cutting into more rock because the easiest reach coal has been mined 
out. Much of that rock is quartz bearing sandstone which, which when 
mined, releases large amounts of silica containing mine dust that is 
far more toxic than coal dust.
  The most severe form of black lung disease, known as progressive 
massive fibrosis or PMF, has spiked dramatically. Earlier this year, 
NIOSH reported that the Stone Mountain Resources clinic in southwest 
Virginia had identified the largest cluster of PMF ever found--over 400 
cases. National Public Radio has reported on large clusters in Kentucky 
and other states.
  PMF produces large masses of scar tissue in the lung, and often the 
only means for survival is undergoing a high-risk lung transplant.
  While funding for the black lung clinics has been frozen at virtually 
the same level for the past 5 years, a number of clinics, including 
many of those in Appalachia, have faced substantial increase in demand 
from coal miners for screening, diagnosis and pulmonary rehabilitation.
  Clinics provide benefits counseling, including assisting miners with 
federal black lung benefits and state compensation claims.
  Some clinics are so underfunded that they are operating with obsolete 
and inefficient diagnostic equipment, which needs to be upgraded.
  Mr. Chair, we owe it to coal miners to get them the care and benefits 
they need and deserve. I urge a yes vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendments en bloc offered 
by the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole).
  The en bloc amendments were agreed to.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Committee will rise informally.
  The Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Costello of Pennsylvania) assumed the 
chair.

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