CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 3194, CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2000
(Extensions of Remarks - December 03, 1999)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2533]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




    CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 3194, CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS AND 
             DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2000

                                 ______
                                 

                               speech of

                          HON. XAVIER BECERRA

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, November 18, 1999

  Mr. BECERRA. Mr. Speaker, today we are on the verge of passing a 
budget bill that breaks our commitment to effect real change in the 
areas of Social Security, Medicare reform, prescription drug coverage 
for seniors, managed care reform, gun control, minimum wage, campaign 
finance reform, and immigrants rights. Our constituents deserve better 
than a bill that fails to deliver meaningful solutions to these 
problems. After a full year in the 106th Republican-controlled 
Congress, this body has only enacted one significant piece of 
legislation (the ``Financial Modernization Act of 1999''). This breach 
of duty leaves me no choice but to vote no on H.R. 3194.
  We find ourselves six weeks into the 1999-2000 fiscal year without a 
complete budget and facing an omnibus bill that haphazardly lumps 
together five of the thirteen necessary appropriations measures needed 
to keep the government from shutting down. So it should come as no 
surprise that, six weeks late and with less than 24 hours to read H.R. 
3194, we are locked into a final, single vote--yes or no--on a crucial 
funding bill littered with special interest, deceptive, and other 
egregious yet-to-be discovered provisions.
  Despite Republican promises to protect Social Security, this bill 
raids the Social Security Trust Fund by at least $17 billion. Equally 
offensive is the decision to exclude Congress members' paychecks from 
the ``across the board'' spending cut indiscriminately imposed on all 
discretionary spending. This same irresponsibility manifests itself on 
the international front, as a woman's right to choose is threatened by 
an imprudent return to Reagan-era limits on indispensable aid to 
respected international family planning organizations.
  Things did not have to come to this point. H.R. 3194 could have 
brought a constructive close to what has otherwise been an unproductive 
and lost year. Bipartisan cooperation resulted in progress on a number 
of fronts, including: funding for 100,000 teachers in the classroom, 
another 50,000 cops on the beat, and additional funding for health-
related research. We agreed to promote economic growth by extending the 
research and experimentation tax credit, and we extended needed relief 
to Medicare providers. Congress did the right thing by increasing pay 
for military personnel, meeting our financial obligations in the Middle 
East under the Wye River Accord, and keeping the bill clean of harmful 
changes to our environmental laws.
  With the end of Congress' session for 1999 in sight, perhaps the best 
I can say is that we could have built on these successes had the 
majority in Congress not decided to handle its work like a crash course 
in legislating. I look forward to next year, when we will be given 
another opportunity to complete our unfinished business for the 
American people.

                          ____________________