AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2000
(House of Representatives - May 25, 1999)

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[Pages H3540-H3584]
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   AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND 
               RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2000

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 185 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 1906.

                              {time}  1333


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 1906)

[[Page H3541]]

making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending 
September 30, 2000, and for other purposes, with Mr. Pease in the 
chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as having 
been read the first time.
  Under the rule, the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) and the 
gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen).
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, today I have the honor to present to the House the 
fiscal year 2000 bill appropriating funds for Agriculture, Rural 
Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. The 
bill we are taking up today has a total discretionary budget authority 
of almost $13.99 billion. This is $296 million above the current level 
and $531 million below the request.
  In mandatory spending, this bill has $47 billion for fiscal year 
2000, about $4.8 billion over current levels and $890 million below the 
request. Almost two-thirds of the mandatory spending in this bill is 
for food stamps, child nutrition, and most of the rest goes to support 
basic farm programs. This bill is within the allocations required by 
the Committee on Appropriations.
  This bill is truly a bipartisan product, Mr. Chairman, constructed 
from hearings that began on February 10 and ended on March 18. The 
Committee on Appropriations has produced seven volumes of hearing 
records containing thousands of pages of information on the hearings, 
the detailed budget requests, and the answers to questions asked by 
Members and the public as well.
  The Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
Administration, and Related Agencies and the Committee on 
Appropriations held markups on May 13 and May 19 respectively, and 
these were public meetings with which the Members participated actively 
in shaping the bill.
  Many Members would like to spend more than is in the bill, and so 
would I. We have about 250 letters to date, many of them with multiple 
requests, but only a handful ask for reduced spending.
  Once again this year the administration proposed to pay for requested 
increases, more than $780 million, with user fees that require 
legislation. Once again the administration has favored budget gimmicks 
over reality because the main component of this legislation, user fees 
on meat and poultry inspection, has been strongly opposed by consumer 
groups, industry, and the authorizing committee for several years.
  This bill does a lot of good in many areas. Farm Service Agency 
salaries and expenses are increased by $80 million to improve delivery 
of farm programs; agricultural credit programs are increased by more 
than $700 million; and funds to protect our Nation's soils are 
increased by $13 million. Rural housing programs are increased over 
last year's level and rural telephone and electric loans are increased 
or held at last year's levels.
  Once again, the Food Safety and Inspection Service gets the full 
request, a $36 million increase. FDA has an increase of $115 million. 
Funding for the Food Safety Initiative is provided throughout the bill.
  Child nutrition programs have been increased by $370 million and WIC 
by $81 million. P.L. 480, Titles I and II, the two main food aid 
titles, are restored to last year's levels, and the full request is 
provided for the Foreign Agricultural Service.
  I would also like to say to my colleagues that the bill so far does 
not have any significant provisions that would bring objections from 
authorizing committees, and I would strongly urge that we keep it that 
way.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman from Florida (Chairman 
Young) and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey), the distinguished 
ranking member of the Committee on Appropriations, and the gentlewoman 
from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur), our even more distinguished ranking member on 
the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
Administration, and Related Agencies, for their help in putting this 
bill together.
  I would also like to recognize the gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. 
Emerson), the gentleman from New York (Mr. Hinchey), the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Farr), and the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Boyd), our 
new subcommittee members who have brought a great deal of enthusiasm 
and creativity to this bill. I look forward to their participation on 
the floor today and in the conference.
  Mr. Chairman, I say to all my colleagues that this is a bill that 
will benefit every one of our constituents every day of their lives, no 
matter where they live in this great country.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise to acknowledge the hard work of the gentleman 
from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen), the chairman of the Subcommittee on 
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and 
Related Agencies, members of our subcommittee, as well as the staff for 
their leadership, including our new staff director, Hank Moore, who has 
worked so hard this year.
  This bill makes a reasonable effort to apportion the limited 
resources available to our subcommittee to keep our Nation at the 
leading edge for food, fiber, new fuels, and forest production, as well 
as the counts relating to research, trade and food safety.
  May I begin by reminding my colleagues that food is not produced at 
the local grocery store. There is no question that agriculture and food 
processing are America's leading industries. Our farmers and our 
agricultural sector remain the most productive on the face of the 
Earth. They well understand, as we do, how difficult it is to maintain 
our Nation's commitment to excellence in agriculture in tight budgetary 
times.
  While on balance this bill seems like a reasonable effort to stretch 
a limited sum of money as far as possible, and I would encourage my 
colleagues to vote for this bill, we simply disagree on the levels of 
support needed for priority programs, including the Women, Infants and 
Children feeding program; the Natural Resource Conservation Service, 
the primary conservation operation in this country; and other programs 
like farmland protection which were not able to be funded at all in 
this bill, nor was the school breakfast pilot program that the 
administration requested.
  We must also keep in mind that this bill simply does not do enough to 
address the Depression-level conditions affecting many sectors of rural 
America from coast to coast, whether we are talking about the Salinas 
Valley, cattle country in Florida, hog producing country in the 
Midwest, cotton fields in Texas, the list goes on and on.
  This bill simply is an exceedingly limited response to an extremely 
serious situation afflicting many sectors of the farm economy across 
our Nation. As we consider this bill today, I would urge my colleagues 
to think about what is going on in rural America, as farmers continue 
to experience significant decreases in commodity prices. It started 
with wheat and with cattle, and it spread to the feed grains, to oil 
seeds, to cotton, to pork, and even now the dairy sectors.
  At the same time, the costs of production are not decreasing. In 
fact, they are increasing. Total farm debt has risen now to over $170 
billion at the end of last year, up nearly 9 percent over the last 2 
years.
  That means people are borrowing against their accumulated equity to 
make up for their lack of ability to receive a price for their product 
in the market. In fact, farmland values began declining in 1998, not a 
good sign.
  We know that USDA, the Department of Agriculture predicts the 
greatest strain this year will be on field crops. We know that wheat, 
corn, soybean, upland cotton, and rice crops experienced about a 17 
percent drop last year; and they project that this year, 27 percent, 
there will be a 27 percent drop in prices from prior year averages.
  So we have a real tender situation here, which frankly this bill does 
not address. This bill puts blinders onto what is happening in rural 
America and basically says, well, we really do not have the money, so 
let us just continue like it was in years past, which will not solve 
the real situation out there.

[[Page H3542]]

  Overall, this bill does a number of useful things, but it can hardly 
be considered adequate. It is moving in the right direction but falls 
far short of the mark. All I can say is that our Nation has a 
responsibility beyond this bill to help a sector of our economy so 
vital to our national security.
  What is really happening in our country, as more bankruptcies occur 
in rural America, is the average age of farmers has now risen to 55. 
People are making live decisions out there about whether or not they 
are going to hold on to the farm or sell it off for another suburban 
development. This is not a good sign for America in the 21st Century. 
People really should not be selling off their seed corn for the future.
  Let me just mention that in the discretionary appropriations, which 
in this bill total $13.9 billion for the next fiscal year, if we just 
take a look at the Farm Credit and the Farm Service Agency people, the 
people doing the work, administering the programs in our Farm Service 
Agency offices, and the loans and so forth that are being made, there 
is an increase of less than one-fifth of 1 percent over the prior year.
  If we really take a look at what it is taking to hold agricultural 
America together today in this severely depressed economy in the rural 
countryside, we will find that the amounts in this bill are one-third 
below what was spent during this fiscal year and the last fiscal year 
as we attempted to prop up the disasters going on out there with the 
emergency bills that we were forced to pass outside the regular budget 
process.
  So this a very lean bill that truly will not meet the needs of rural 
America. We may be forced again into one of these extra budgetary 
sessions to try to figure out how we are going to prop up rural America 
in the months ahead.
  Let me also mention that the bill does try to meet the 
administration's request for the Food and Drug Administration to 
process additional drug approvals and to increase the safety of our 
food supply, with all the additional imports that are coming in here as 
well as pathogens found in food.
  We increased funding for the Food Safety and Inspection Service, very 
important to the health of the American people, and to some rural 
housing and rural development accounts, as well as for agricultural 
research and pest and disease control through the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service as well as the Natural Resources Conservation 
Service.
  But, more importantly, on the minus side there is no provision in 
this bill for any of the emergency assistance provided to rural America 
during this fiscal year. We do not continue any support for market 
support, nor any of the subsidies for the crop insurance premiums or 
the extra funds we provided to the Secretary of Agriculture to lift 
surplus commodities off the marketplace to try to get prices to rise in 
this country.
  So the situation facing our farmers in this bill is that, well, we 
really do not take care of them. We sort of continue things the way 
they were, and we may be forced to come back later in the year in order 
to deal with the hemorrhage that is occurring across this country.
  Let me also mention that in this bill we will probably be forced to 
reduce county office staff by another 650 staff positions. I think this 
is truly tragic, because we have got backlogs around the country of 
farmers waiting to receive payments after months and months because of 
disasters that have occurred from coast to coast.

                              {time}  1345

  So reducing these staffing levels really does not make much sense, 
and yet it is the truth that is buried inside this bill.
  Further, the bill reduces funding for food aid programs, which are so 
important to support people around the world who live at the edge of 
hunger, but also to aid rural America. In fact, we lift surplus during 
this year that was sent to Russia; we have tried to assist the Kosovo 
refugees in the emergency supplemental that just passed, but there is 
nothing in this bill that continues that kind of additional surplus 
purchase. In fact, it will be reduced.
  So the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) and our subcommittee 
have certainly tried to do what was best under the hand that we were 
dealt, but the bill falls far short of what is needed to address the 
urgent problems facing farmers across America.
  One thing is certain, no matter what forum or legislative vehicle is 
chosen, it is essential that Congress act today at least to move this 
bill forward and to move the first appropriation bill through this 
session of Congress. We are now approaching Memorial Day.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Missouri (Mrs. Emerson).
  Mrs. EMERSON. Mr. Chairman, I want to take a moment to express my 
appreciation to the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) for the hard 
work he has done in putting together this piece of legislation before 
us today.
  Given the tight budget constraints that we face, the chairman has had 
to make difficult decisions and balance a lot of different needs. He 
knows, and I think all our subcommittee members know, that this bill 
will not, as the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) said, address all 
of the many urgent needs that are there out on the farm right now. 
Funds are desperately needed for farm programs because of the low 
prices and tough market conditions for farmers and ranchers all over 
the country.
  However, I think the gentleman from New Mexico has worked with the 
numbers that he was given and done a tremendous job and the best job 
possible to meet the many needs of farmers and ranchers, and I just 
want to thank him for the outstanding job he has done.
  Let me just take a minute too to highlight some of the aspects of 
this bill that are critically important to agriculture. Total dollars 
for agriculture research are up by $61 million. The bill rejects the 
cuts in Hatch Act and extension research funding that were proposed by 
the administration. Export programs, such as P.L. 480, Titles I and II, 
are funded at or near last year's levels, again rejecting large cuts by 
the administration.
  Many farm State Members of Congress have expressed a concern, as I 
have, about increased concentration in agriculture markets, and I am 
pleased this bill includes a $636,000 increase for packer competition 
and industry concentration, as well as $750,000 strictly for poultry 
compliance activities. There is much needed oversight and enforcement 
money to ensure our beef, pork and poultry producers are treated 
fairly.
  Now, I personally believe that we should do more and have mandatory 
price reporting for livestock, but this is a function of the 
authorizing committee, not the Committee on Appropriations, and I will 
look forward to working with my colleague from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) on 
this legislation later on this year.
  Our bill also increases farm loan accounts, such as farm ownership, 
farm operating, and emergency loans from $2.3 billion to $3 billion. 
Not enough, and we will probably need more later, but because there is 
an increasing demand for these loans due to the hardships in the farm 
economy, we need the money now and, as I said, we will need more later.
  For soybean producers in Missouri and around the country there is 
continued funding needed to fight the cyst nematode pest. Continued 
research will help develop soybean varieties that are resistant to the 
yield and profit endangering pest.
  I would simply add this is an extremely tough time for our farmers 
and ranchers. As the gentlewoman from Ohio noted, this is an issue of 
national security. My farmers tell me that it is as bad as it has been 
in decades. Not years ago, but decades. And while this bill does not 
address all of the problems in the farm economy, particularly as it 
relates to the staffing in the Farm Services Agency and the National 
Resource Conservation Service, it is a positive step in the right 
direction and I would urge a strong ``yes'' on the bill.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Woolsey).
  (Ms. WOOLSEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Chairman, today I am disappointed and I am outraged. 
I am almost at a loss for words.

[[Page H3543]]

  I am angry because this bill does not include the school breakfast 
pilot program. The school breakfast pilot program tests the benefits of 
making breakfast available at school to all children in early grades. 
It was authorized in the William F. Goodling Nutrition Reauthorization 
Act, and it is included in the President's budget.
  As this Nation searches for ways to make our schools safer, surely, 
surely we want to consider all reasonable ways to improve students' 
behavior. Well, two studies have already shown that kids who eat 
breakfast improve both their grades and their behavior at school. So 
why are some of my colleagues opposed to an official study to evaluate 
what happens in a school when all the students start the day with a 
good breakfast?
  I plan to fight this and I plan to keep working with the committee, 
but I want to talk about the whys on this. The answer may be because we 
already know that school breakfast should be offered by schools as a 
learning tool, just like a book, just like a computer. It may be that 
some of my colleagues are too concerned with keeping our schools just 
the way they have always been, so they fight against any proposals for 
change. Or it may be that children just do not count enough.
  Mr. Chairman, as this Nation, as this body searches for ways to make 
our schools safer and better for our children, surely we want to 
consider all reasonable ways to improve students' behavior. The school 
breakfast program would help us with that, so I will continue to fight, 
I will continue to work with my colleagues in support of the school 
breakfast program on the appropriations committee.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. WOOLSEY. I yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I wanted to thank the gentlewoman for 
fighting so hard for this school breakfast program and to say that with 
her leadership the members of the subcommittee and the full committee 
have attempted to do what was necessary.
  Unfortunately, the administration did not provide us with some of the 
information that we were expecting. The gentlewoman from Connecticut 
(Ms. DeLauro) worked with us at the subcommittee and full committee 
levels, and it is our firm intention to try to take this issue into 
conference to see if we cannot do something to move this pilot project 
forward.
  But I just want to say to the gentlewoman that without her interest 
and research and the deep dedication that she has shown, we would not 
be this far. I know we are not where the gentlewoman wants us to be 
yet, but without her leadership we would not be anywhere. We hope that 
as we move towards conference we might be able to accommodate some of 
this.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. I thank the gentlewoman.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 7 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Kingston).
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I stand in support of the agriculture 
appropriations bill. I serve on the subcommittee and can say on a 
firsthand basis that the staff, on a bipartisan basis, went through 
this legislation thoroughly to be sure that we have balanced the needs 
of the American farm, agricultural community, and the American grocery 
consuming public.
  Last year's bill was $61.7 billion. This year the legislation is down 
to $60.8 billion. A lot of this goes back, Mr. Chairman, to the 1997 
bipartisan budget agreement, which was pushed by Democrat and 
Republican leaders alike with the full support of the President. And to 
get back to that budget agreement, it had some good and it had some 
bad, as my colleagues can imagine in any huge piece of legislation 
which Democrats and Republicans come together on.
  Now, unfortunately, we are seeing from both sides of the aisle people 
who are peeling away from the agreement, people who voted for the 
budget agreement that are now lamenting the fact that it actually does 
call for some belt tightening here and there and they are beginning to 
walk away from it.
  But the staff on this subcommittee, and again on a bipartisan basis, 
tried to put together the actual requests of 280 Members asking for 
specific projects in their districts or of national scope. And it was 
quite a balancing act, because we do have a certain amount of 
institutional schizophrenia. We have, on one hand, people who say I 
want to cut the budget and I want it cut now, but oh, no, not in my 
district, not in the district that I happen to represent. And, by the 
way, I want to fund this particular project, which of course is not 
pork, it is just that it is economic development when it is in my 
district. So this bill, like all appropriation bills, is a balancing 
act.
  Now, Mr. Chairman, the American farmer is facing probably 
unprecedented challenges. They have challenges getting credit. 
Businesses in America, small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, have 
to have credit. They have to borrow both short- and long-term money. 
Yet for farmers, they cannot get long-term money any more. Banks, and 
rightfully so, facing the realities of making a profit on the farm, 
they will not lend them money any more. So the farmers are scrambling, 
and that is one of the huge challenges that is facing farmers today.
  A second challenge is international competition. I represent Milen, 
Georgia, little Jenkins County, Georgia, and farmers there can grow 
oats and do it very inexpensively and very efficiently. And yet at the 
end of the season, they can still go down to Brunswick, Georgia, and 
buy imported oats cheaper than they can grow it in America. And that is 
just one commodity.
  That is the story with so many of our imports now. And one reason is 
that our foreign competitors are heavily, heavily subsidized in 
comparison to the American farmers, where we have about $3.9 billion of 
this $60 billion bill that is spent on actual commodity-type programs.
  People say, oh, let us cut out the farm ``subsidies'', yet most of 
these are not true subsidies. But even so, it is impossible to compete 
against foreign competitors, even with the modern technology and all 
the farming techniques we know.
  A third challenge that our farmers are facing is that simply of the 
weather. We do not get the rain that we need in every growing season. 
Last year Screven County, Georgia, town seat of Sylvania, lost $17 
million because of the drought; $17 million in farm losses. Now, that 
is not much for a big country like America, but tell that to somebody 
in Sylvania, Georgia, and tell that to a third generation farmer who is 
going to lose his farm because of that drought.
  Unfortunately, in Georgia this year, we are facing possibly another 
bad season because of the lack of rain. We need to help our farmers on 
all these challenges, Mr. Chairman, and this bill tries to do that. It 
is not going to do it all the way. It will not do it as well as we 
would like, but it takes a step in the right direction.
  There are a lot of things in this bill, though. There is some money 
for water projects, there is money for conservation projects. One thing 
not in the bill, that I want to try to work with the minority and the 
majority representatives on, is giving some tax credit for precision 
agriculture. Because if we can move our farmers towards obtaining 
precision agriculture equipment, then they would know exactly how much 
fertilizer to apply, exactly how much water to use, and exactly what 
their profits are per acre so that they can make Ag production as 
absolutely efficient as possible.
  I would also like to see more tax credits for farmers in other areas. 
I would like to see them taxed more on the use of their land rather 
than on the potential use of their land. I represent Coastal Georgia, 
it is a huge growth area. Bulloch County last year, 17 percent; 
Effingham County, 42 percent; Bryan County, 52 percent. All these are 
traditionally agricultural counties and now they are becoming urban or 
suburban counties. There are few family farms left, but they are being 
taxed out of existence.

                              {time}  1400

  I would like to see some tax help for farmers in that direction. I 
would like to see land taxed on its actual use and not its percentage 
use. And I of course, Mr. Chairman, would love to see some estate tax 
or death tax relief so that family farms can be passed from one 
generation or the other.
  This is not going to happen in this bill but this bill takes us in 
the right direction. Right now, Mr. Chairman,

[[Page H3544]]

less than 2 percent of the American population is feeding 100 percent 
of the American population and a substantial portion of the world. Does 
our ag policy work? I would say yes, it does. Americans spend about 11 
cents on the dollar earned on food and groceries. We spend more than 
that on entertainment, jet skis, CDs, movies, vacations. We are 
spending more on recreation than we do on food and groceries.
  So the ag policy is working. It has a lot of good potential in it for 
improvements. We are going to continue to work on that on a bipartisan 
basis. I urge my Members to support the bill.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Hinchey), a distinguished member of the subcommittee who has 
put in long hours on this bill.
  Mr. HINCHEY. Mr. Chairman, I want to express my appreciation to the 
gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen), the chairman of our 
subcommittee, for the care and craftsmanship with which he worked to 
put this bill together. It has been a pleasure to work with him as a 
member of the Subcommittee on Agriculture.
  Unfortunately, the constraints within which we have had to operate, 
constraints imposed by the leadership here in the Congress and 
traceable directly back to the agriculture bill of 1996, the so-called 
Freedom to Farm bill, have made it impossible to put together an 
agriculture appropriations bill here that meets the needs of the 
agriculture community, the needs of our farmers and the needs of our 
consumers across the country.
  As I said, this is directly attributable to the constraints that flow 
from the so-called Freedom to Farm bill, which is not in fact a Freedom 
to Farm bill, but in many cases it has been a freedom to fail bill, 
almost a guarantee of failure. Farm prices in the farm belts all across 
our country are at near-Depression prices. Farmers are finding 
themselves in situations that verge on the desperate and in many cases 
they are in fact desperate. Farmers are being forced out of business 
because they cannot sell their crops at a price that is higher than the 
cost that they had to incur for putting those crops in the ground. It 
is an absolutely impossible situation.
  We cannot have an agriculture that is sustained in a global economy 
where other countries are subsidizing their agriculture and making 
certain creating circumstances within which agricultural people are 
going to prosper. We have failed to do that. In fact, we have taken all 
the safeguards that our agricultural community has had away from them. 
We did so in that Freedom to Farm bill in 1996. We need to go back and 
correct those mistakes, and we need to do so soon. The longer we wait, 
the more desperate the circumstances will become.
  Are we committed to family farms, or do we want farms that are 
corporate in nature exclusively across this country? Do we want farmers 
to make a living, or do we want it all to be processors? Do we want to 
have an agricultural community that is healthy and strong and providing 
the food and fiber that our people need domestically here to sustain 
their lives?
  These are the basic questions that are before us. And, unfortunately, 
this bill, not through any fault of the chairman or members of the 
subcommittee, but only because of the constraints imposed upon the 
subcommittee and constraints in the Freedom to Farm bill have made it 
impossible to meet these needs this year. We need to go back and meet 
them and we need to do so soon, intelligently, and thoroughly.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Upton).
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, I would wish to engage in a colloquy with my 
good friend from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen).
  Mr. Skeen, I appreciate your willingness to discuss the Department of 
Agriculture Plant Protection Center located in Niles, Michigan. I know 
that you share my belief that this center has a very important mission, 
finding natural means to combat pests. The role of this facility among 
plant protection centers is important to American agriculture and is of 
enormous value to the agriculture industry throughout the Midwest.
  The work the employees do in Niles is particularly important in light 
of the probable loss of pesticides as a result of the implementation of 
the Food Quality Protection Act. In fact, just this past year the 
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Michigan State University have 
formed partnerships with the laboratory at Niles aimed at promoting 
biological control options. This is a prime example of partnering and 
cost-sharing between State and Federal agriculture interests using the 
best strengths of both partners to benefit agriculture.
  I am greatly troubled that within the past 2 years the budget of this 
facility has been cut by 26 percent, the staff reduced from 45 to 19 
employees. Especially troubling is the fact that this facility receives 
its funding through the biocontrol line item, which tends to receive 
increased funding and is scheduled to get a 22 percent increase in 
fiscal year 2000. I firmly believe that any further reductions in the 
budget at this Niles facility would be a serious error and would 
jeopardize the strength of agriculture throughout the Midwest.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to my friend the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. 
Skeen) for a response.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I share the gentleman's concern for the 
future of the critical work that is being done at the Niles Protection 
Center.
  As I understand it, the USDA has not made a final decision. And, of 
course, we have a long way to go before we produce a conference report 
with a final number for APHIS. We have provided the account in question 
with a significant increase for fiscal year 2000 at a time of a very 
tight budget, and I hope the USDA will take note of our efforts and our 
concerns for the Niles facility.
  Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for his efforts, and I promise to 
continue working with him in conference on this matter.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. 
Kaptur).
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I want to say to the chairman of our 
subcommittee, and to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Upton) that we so 
much support the efforts that he is making for this Niles Center, also 
on behalf of the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Roemer). We have that 
special situation where Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio all meet. And the 
services provided through the Center serve the entire country 
certainly, especially the Midwest. And I want to compliment the 
gentleman for drawing our attention to it and placing it in the debate 
today.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Salinas Valley, California (Mr. Farr), another member of our 
committee who represents the area that really feeds America, a hard 
working and dedicated member of our subcommittee.
  Mr. FARR of California. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for 
yielding me the time.
  I rise as a new member of the Committee on Appropriations and of the 
Subcommittee of Agriculture, first of all to tell them how much I 
appreciated the leadership that was given in this markup by the 
chairman, the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) and also by our 
ranking member, the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur).
  I represent a productive part of our country. We produce about 84 
crops, which no other State in the United States produces that many as 
are produced in my district, about $2.5 billion in agricultural sales. 
And most of it does not receive any help from the Federal Government. 
But they are interested in research and they are interested in sort of 
cutting-edge issues.
  I would just like to point out, for those that are interested in 
these budgetary issues, that this markup is about a 1.8 percent 
increase over last year's discretionary money. Now, remember, last year 
we had a lot of agricultural debate on the floor because we were 
putting money into supplementals, into emergency aid. If we take the 
total amount that was spent last year on agriculture and we look at the 
amount that was spent this year, we are $6.4 billion below what 
Congress spent last year, or about a 31 percent cut. So this is a very, 
very, very tight budget.
  And I might add, as tight as it is, it still ranks number four of all 
the appropriation committees in the amount of spending it does. Why? 
Because in America we created the Department of

[[Page H3545]]

Agriculture when President Lincoln was here, and he indicated that we 
needed a department that essentially had a little bit for everybody in 
America, kind of a consumers department.
  So the department has all the rural America issues, which are as true 
today as they were a hundred years ago. Rural America always needs more 
help. We have all the commodities programs. We have all the foreign 
sales programs, whether we are going to have commodities abroad. And I 
know there will be Members up here attacking the fact we put taxpayers' 
money into foreign sales.
  But my colleagues, wake up and smell the coffee. Every day we have 
Juan Valdez telling us to drink Colombian coffee, and we do. Why? 
Because that country puts money in advertising in America and Americans 
buy it. So we do a little quid pro quo in the same way. We take money 
here and we take products and try to get them to sell abroad. Why? 
Because we export four times more than we import. Our balance of trade 
is in the plus in agriculture. We produce more agriculture in America 
than Americans can consume, so we need to export it, and people want 
it. And we ought to be proud of it, because it is a labor-intensive 
industry that is the heart of our country, and it has been the number 
one production in America historically and today more than ever.
  So, with this tough budget that we have adopted, we also left many 
programs on the table, the conservation program, farm land protection. 
There is no money in here. We have got to get that before this is over. 
Also left on the table, we cut wetlands reserves. We left on the table 
environmental quality initiatives. We left on the table, more 
importantly, about $120 million to fully fund all the nutritional 
programs we need in America.
  This is a very tight appropriation, too tight for many people and not 
tight enough for others. But I do not think we will ever find an 
appropriation that has had more bipartisan support than this one does, 
and I think that is attributable to both the leadership on the other 
side of the aisle and on our own side.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  (Mr. COBURN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I want to say from the outset, I come from 
a farm district of rural northeastern Oklahoma that has a great deal of 
farmers. And I believe, overall, that the appropriators have done a 
good job on this bill. But they have not done good enough.
  We passed two supplemental emergency bills for farmers in this last 
Congress, almost $12 billion, and I am not objecting to the fact that 
we did that. What I am objecting to is the fact that that money was 
paid for out of Social Security receipts. There is no question about 
it. And what I want to focus on is, where is the money going to come 
for the increase in this year over the true baseline last year? It is 
going to come from Social Security.
  I want to spend a minute just showing everybody the kind of problems 
we have. Most young people under 35 believe in UFOs before they believe 
they are going to get their Social Security money. And do my colleagues 
know what? They are probably right. This is the Social Security 1999 
Trust Report. And what we see in black is the amount of money that is 
coming into the government in excess of what is being paid out, and my 
colleagues will note as of 2014 that starts to turn red.
  Last year we spent approximately $29 billion of that money. The 
Congress appropriated $29 billion of excess Social Security money for 
appropriation bills. Twenty-nine billion was taken out of the money 
that was coming in supposedly dedicated for Social Security.
  The other thing that I would like to discuss is we do not have a real 
surplus. What we have is a Washington surplus, because if we exclude 
Social Security money, last year we ran a $29 billion deficit. The debt 
to our children and our grandchildren is rising at the rate, as we 
speak, of $275 million a day. So it is not about whether we should do 
the right things for our farmers. We should, and probably we should 
spend more money on our farmers than what we are spending. The question 
is, how do we spend that money?
  If we look at what is about to happen this year, the surplus for the 
year 2000, as estimated by the Social Security Administration, is $141 
billion. Based on the plans that we see, it is a conservative estimate 
that $45 billion of that will be spent. That is Social Security money 
that people are working every day putting into that, with the trust to 
think that that money is going to be there for them when they retire. 
And that does not come close to addressing the issue, can they live on 
their Social Security payment now?
  In my practice in Muskogee, Oklahoma, when I see seniors, I have 
seniors who are totally dependent on Social Security. And do my 
colleagues know what they do? They do not buy their medicine because 
they do not have enough money. They buy food before they buy medicine.

                              {time}  1415

  So not only do we have a problem in taking the money that is supposed 
to be for Social Security, the benefit that we have out there in many 
instances is not enough for our seniors to live on, let alone live 
healthily on.
  Finally, the point I would make is that we have 102,000 Agricultural 
Department employees. We have another 87,000 contract employees for the 
Department of Agriculture. That comes to 189,000 employees in the 
United States. If we take 260 million people, it is pretty quick you 
can come up, for every 1,500 people in the United States, we have at 
least one Agricultural Department employee. Do we need all those 
employees? What we have said is we cannot cut the number of employees 
in the Agriculture Department, we cannot have less employees, and we 
cannot get more money directly to the farmer, because we are chewing up 
a vast majority of the money trying to give them the money. It is not 
about not taking care of our farmers. If we expect to protect Social 
Security money, which on both sides of the aisle, save two Members of 
this body, voted for budgets that said they would protect 100 percent 
of Social Security, then we have to bring this bill back to the level 
of spending last year. What that requires is about $260 million worth 
of trimming amendments to be able to do that. I propose to offer 
offsetting amendments that will bring us down to last year's level. 
When we are at that level, then I will stop offering amendments. Until 
we get to that level, I plan on continuing to offer amendments. This is 
not done in any precocious fashion. My intention is to help us all do 
what we all voted, save two Members, to do, and, that is, to preserve 
Social Security. The best way I know of doing that is the first 
appropriation bill, to make a first start on that.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, the reason we have a 1-year appropriations bill is so 
that the Congress can look at the spending each year and adjust 
accordingly as the Constitution requires. We do not rubber stamp the 
administration's request and we do not automatically approve last 
year's level of spending. This bill has a modest increase in spending 
over fiscal year 1999, and it is about 30 percent of the increase 
requested by the administration. I have heard several hundred requests 
for more spending by my colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats. 
Frankly this bill does not come near to paying for all those requests. 
But we did the best we could and I certainly hope that no one who wrote 
us asking for spending will support this amendment.
  In this bill, there is additional money for food safety, for 
conservation, for rural housing and for a lot of programs that benefit 
all our constituents. Our bill funds about 130 accounts with many more 
subaccounts and individual projects. It is always possible to find 
fault with individual items in the bill, but this bill is a cooperative 
effort. I believe it reflects the kind of legislation that a majority 
of our Members want to see for their constituents.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to remind all my colleagues that although 
we refer to this as the agricultural appropriations bill, the majority 
of funding goes to nonproduction agricultural programs. This bill pays 
for badly needed housing, water and sewer, and economic development in 
rural America. It pays for human nutrition programs

[[Page H3546]]

for children and the elderly. It pays for conservation programs that 
benefit watersheds in urban and rural areas. It pays for food safety 
and medical device inspection programs that are literally life and 
death matters. That is why I oppose this amendment and why I ask my 
colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. 
I also wanted to make a couple of comments about the prior gentleman's 
remarks. No department percentagewise inside this government of the 
United States has been cut more than the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture. In 1993, there were 129,500 employees. Today the request 
of the department would fund 107,700. This is a reduction of over 
21,800 positions. I would like any other department of the United 
States based on the amount of funds that it receives through the 
taxpayers to take this kind of cut. There have been over 35,000 
positions cut in the U.S. Forest Service, battling forest fires. Look 
what has happened across this country over the last several years. In 
meat inspection, so vital to the health of this country, over 9,700 
meat inspectors have been cut. I would say to the gentleman, we have 
had over a 30 percent cut in the staffing levels at the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture. So if you are looking for cuts, believe me, this agency 
is hemorrhaging. Part of the damage being caused in Oklahoma and other 
places in this country is because we are not paying attention to the 
production side of the equation inside the United States in rural 
America, and that is a true tragedy.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Stenholm), a very respected member of the authorizing committee.
  (Mr. STENHOLM asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me 
this time. I rise in support of this bill. I commend the chairman and 
the ranking member for the hard work they have done under some very 
difficult circumstances.
  We come here today with a situation in agriculture that is worse than 
it was a year ago. Farm income stress is only intensifying from last 
year. To those that are worried about the spending level on 
agriculture, let me make this point. In 1990, net farm income was $44.7 
billion. In 1999 it is projected to be $43.6 billion, which includes 
all of the $12 billion in subsidies that have been written. At the same 
time look at what has happened to the Dow Jones average. It has gone up 
230 percent. My colleague from Oklahoma that spoke, I want to commend 
him for his honesty and his forthrightness and his persistence. He 
voted for the Blue Dog budget. Had the Blue Dog budget passed, we would 
have been talking about increased funding for agriculture today. We 
would have been talking about meeting the needs of the cotton step-2 
program, meeting the additional needs of research in agriculture, 
paying the $100 million the WIC program needs in order to meet all of 
the human need. The gentleman from Oklahoma voted for it of which I 
deeply appreciate. A majority of my colleagues on this side of the 
aisle voted for it. If we had only gotten a majority on both sides, we 
could have been doing a much more adequate job of meeting the true 
needs of agriculture.
  Now, we have got a lot of problems that need to be solved. They 
should not be attempted to be solved on this bill. It needs to be done 
in the House Committee on Agriculture. We have got work to do on crop 
insurance, opening world markets. We are going to get an opportunity to 
do that. Coordinated policies, working together with USDA in this 
Congress. We really cannot afford to wait much longer. I hope and 
expect that this year under the leadership of the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Combest), the chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and 
those on both sides of the aisle that we will be able to take up in an 
orderly fashion those things that need to be done in order to make sure 
that agriculture will continue to be for all of America what it is 
today.
  Mr. Chairman, I submit the following correspondence for printing in 
the Record:
                                    U.S. House of Representatives,


                                     Committee on Agriculture,

                                     Washington, DC, May 12, 1999.
     Hon. Dan Glickman,
     Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Secretary: We are writing to urge you to give 
     careful consideration to the development of new programs to 
     enhance the competitiveness of U.S. wheat exports by 
     improving the cleanliness and uniformity of grain delivered 
     to foreign buyers.
       Over the past decade, competition in the wheat export trade 
     has intensified. The domestic wheat industry believes that 
     cleaner US wheat will be more competitive in foreign markets. 
     We are writing to urge you to develop a program that would 
     provide assistance to export elevators for the financing of 
     high speed cleaning equipment.
       In recent months, we have had some very strong reminders of 
     just how important exports are to US agriculture, along with 
     the recognition that we need to make our products as 
     competitive as possible. We believe that improvement of the 
     domestic cleaning infrastructure is a worthwhile investment 
     that will help US wheat gain market share in the years to 
     come. Capital investments made now will ensure the future 
     competitiveness of the US grain industry.
       Thank you for your consideration of this proposal, and we 
     look forward to working with you in developing and 
     implementing a program that will enhance US grain 
     competitiveness in world markets.
           Sincerely,
                                              Charles W. Stenholm.
                                                      Jerry Moran.

  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the esteemed 
gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro) who has spent so many hours 
and weeks working on this bill.
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Chairman, let me thank the gentleman from New Mexico 
(Mr. Skeen) and the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) for their hard 
work in what has been a difficult feat to balance the important 
priorities of this bill given the budget constraints that the 
subcommittee faces. I am concerned that we could not do more to support 
vital programs, however, that improve the day-to-day lives of 
hardworking American families; providing a safety net for farmers in 
crisis, reducing smoking among young people, ensuring high quality 
nutrition for parents and their children. These are issues not 
receiving enough attention. First there is a crisis facing our farmers 
today. From low grocery store food prices to safe food on the dinner 
table, the benefits of U.S. agriculture are immeasurable to each and 
every American family. Farmers across this country are begging Congress 
to do something and, by God, we must do something.
  This bill does not do enough to address the depression level prices 
our farmers face. A serious issue before this Nation is tobacco use 
among America's youth. Each day an astounding 3,000 teenagers take up 
the smoking habit. The loss to America equals 420,000 lives. This year 
the President requested a $30 million increase to expand the 
partnership between the FDA and States to enforce the laws prohibiting 
tobacco sales to minors. The additional funding would have enlarged 
this successful and business-friendly program that would have been 
expanded to 50 States. Sadly, this bill does not provide this important 
investment, made even more essential because States like Connecticut, 
my own State, are not investing their money from the tobacco settlement 
into educating the public about the dangers of smoking. I am concerned 
about the little over $4 billion allocated for the WIC program in that 
it may not be able to cover all of its participants. WIC guarantees 
that 7.4 million women and their children receive solid nutrition and 
health advice, preventing future illness and serious health problems. I 
am disappointed that funds could not be found to take the first steps 
toward a study of the benefits and the costs of a universal school 
breakfast program, a study that has already been authorized by the 
Goodling Act. Regional studies have linked school breakfast programs 
with higher test scores, better behavior and improved attendance. But a 
truly rigorous and a comprehensive study is necessary to nail down and 
to solidify the proof of that relationship.
  This is an unfunded mandate. If the Congress is going to require this 
study, it must provide the funding. I again applaud my colleagues for 
facing these restrictions. These issues deserve our highest commitment.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Boyd).
  Mr. BOYD. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman from New Mexico

[[Page H3547]]

(Mr. Skeen) for yielding me this time and for his leadership in putting 
this appropriations bill together, and also to the gentlewoman from 
Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) for her leadership with the gentleman from New 
Mexico.
  As many of my colleagues know, Mr. Chairman, I have spent all of my 
productive life in agriculture and have followed these proceedings in 
Congress for many, many years as related to a national agricultural 
policy. In 1996, this Congress decided to write a new farm bill which 
my people back home called Freedom to Fail. Prior to that time, many of 
us came to Washington and asked the Congress to take a long, hard look 
before it changed national ag policy. We had a policy in this country 
that worked. Obviously there was a consolidation of farming over the 
years like there has been in every industry that weeded out some of the 
less efficient operators. But certainly if you were efficient and a 
good operator, under the policy that existed, you could make a living 
in agriculture. It established and kept a strong agricultural economy 
for our Nation. I stand today speaking in support of the bill that is 
brought to this floor by the gentleman from New Mexico and the 
gentlewoman from Ohio. They are working within the confines of the 
Balanced Budget Agreement that we put in place in 1997. Actually I 
think we were treated very well in these allocations, given the 
confines of the budget that we are working under. As the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Stenholm) said earlier, had we passed the Blue Dog budget 
which many of the folks on both sides of the aisle voted for, we would 
have a few more bucks to play with here. But I think really the debate 
today is not about whether this appropriations bill is good or bad, 
because it is absolutely the best that we can do under the 
circumstances that we have been presented with. But it has to do with a 
larger picture, and, that is, what is the national agricultural policy 
of this Nation?
  I just want to throw out a couple of things for Members' 
consideration. Number one is, in 1996 when that farm bill was written, 
the farmers were promised if they would give up their safety net, they 
were promised in exchange a loosening of regulations and, secondly, 
opening of world markets. Well, they gave up the safety net, but in 
both cases they did not get what they were promised. They did not get a 
loosening of regulations and they certainly have not gotten an opening 
of the world markets.

                              {time}  1430

  Now many people want to blame the administration. I do not think the 
administration is to be blamed here. It was the Congress that wrote 
this piece of legislation, and it is the Congress that ought to go 
revisit it.
  I think, Mr. Chairman, that I would like to strongly encourage the 
Members to support this piece of legislation, and I want to thank the 
gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) and the gentlewoman from Ohio 
(Ms. Kaptur) for their work.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Berry), the hard-working member of the authorizing 
committee.
  Mr. BERRY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. 
Kaptur) for yielding this time to me, and I want to thank the chairman 
and the ranking member of this committee for the hard work that they 
have done.
  Mr. Chairman, America is the greatest Nation that has ever been today 
because of our ability to domestically produce safe, affordable and 
abundant agriculture commodities. The American farmer is the most 
productive ever anywhere in the world. The American farmer only asks 
for a chance. If we will just give him a chance, he will do the rest.
  A combination of factors have contributed to historically low 
commodity prices that are being received by our American farmers today. 
We have got a crisis in rural America, and we need to face that crisis. 
This bill is a good effort to begin that. It a shame that we do not 
have more money in this bill for America's farmers, but I know that it 
is the best that the appropriators could do with what they had to work 
with.
  Congress has an obligation to protect the food and fiber security of 
America. Current budget restrictions and resulting appropriations for 
agriculture do not allow for adequate devotion of financial resources 
to properly address the crisis that American agriculture faces today. 
We need to commit to America's farmers to protect the food and fiber 
security that our country has historically provided.
  I firmly believe, Mr. Chairman, that the further we get from our 
rural agrarian roots that Thomas Jefferson envisioned, the more social 
problems we have, and it is something that is of great concern to me. 
But this is just another reason why we should do the best we can to 
fund the Department of Agriculture and support America's farmers.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Iowa 
(Mr. Latham).
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Chairman, as a member of the Subcommittee on 
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and 
Related Agencies, I rise in support of this bill and, first of all, 
would like to thank the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) and the 
gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) for their very hard work. The 
subcommittee enjoys a bipartisan cooperation, and I have really enjoyed 
working with all the colleagues to get this bill on the floor today.
  This bill feeds our schoolchildren, ensures the safety of 
prescription drugs and medical devices, protects our environment to 
water and soil conservation, restores Congress' commitment to 
agricultural research and rejects the President's desire to cut ongoing 
science. It helps expand our increasingly important export markets, and 
most importantly, it protects the taxpayer.
  Just as importantly, this bill does not include some of the 
President's proposals. Probably the most egregious is the fact that in 
the President's budget he had a $504 million new increase in fees on 
struggling livestock producers. These are the folks who have undergone 
some of the worst prices in history, and again, another increase in fee 
for grain farmers to the tune of $20 million that the President wanted 
to put on those farmers.
  I would like to engage the gentleman from New Mexico in a colloquy, 
if I may.
  Mr. Chairman, my intention is to clarify the committee to provide not 
less than $27,656,000 for the National Plant Germplasm System for 
Fiscal Year 2000. With this funding, our best and brightest scientists 
working throughout the Nation will continue to help farmers provide 
abundant, safe, nutritious and affordable supplies of food fiber.
  Mr. Chairman, is it the committee's intention to name that funding 
level in the conference report?
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. LATHAM. I yield to the gentleman from New Mexico.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to tell the gentleman that the 
committee will work hard to meet that funding level.
  Mr. LATHAM. I thank the gentleman, Mr. Chairman.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
North Carolina (Mrs. Clayton) from the authorizing committee, who has 
worked with us every step of the way on this bill.
  Mrs. CLAYTON. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from Ohio for the 
time, and I want to rise in support of this appropriation bill, and I 
want to commend both the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) and the 
ranking member of the subcommittee agriculture appropriations.
  I rise in support of the bill because there are many things in this 
bill that is very much needed in agriculture. It provides obviously the 
money of more than $60 billion in agriculture programs including moneys 
for research, including moneys for farm service administration, 
including moneys for rural housing, including money for WIC and 
nutrition programs, agricultural research; so many parts of this 
program are essential for the infrastructure and ongoing agriculture 
and research program.
  However I also raise issues that are deficits. There are still lack 
of funding of recognition in these program. One in particular I think, 
the ranking member from agriculture raised the issue about Cotton Step 
2. Obviously that is very, very important to my district in terms

[[Page H3548]]

of having the opportunity to market in that area. I am sensitive to the 
cooperative research is $14.2 million below the request, and I know all 
the land grant schools throughout the United States are indeed in need 
of those monies, and the conservation program again is underfunded, and 
yet there are more requirements in requiring them to implement the 
programs. They do not have the resources to do that, and I just say to 
our colleagues that if they expect for a full implementation, they have 
to have the resources.
  Again, the whole issue of disadvantaged farmers I know will be 
addressed, and I am appreciative of that, but I want to say now to both 
the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) and to the ranking member I 
will be glad to support that amendment. There are issues that I think 
we can still revisit, hopefully, from the amendment process, but I want 
to commend both of them and say to my colleagues who think that we are 
spending too much money that I think we have the unique position of 
being first out of the box and being most conservative so we get to be 
kind of whipping boy, whipping girl, and I think that is unfair to 
rural America, I think it is certainly unfair to the farmers that feed 
us and provide fiber for us.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Nethercutt).
  Mr. NETHERCUTT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding this 
time to me, and I want to congratulate him and the ranking member on 
this subcommittee, a subcommittee on which I am proud to serve, for 
their good work in trying to craft a bill that stays within the budget 
caps.
  Agriculture has some very difficult challenges this year and next, 
and what I hope this bill will do is provide adequate resources for our 
farmers, not only in the area of agriculture research, but in other 
areas in which we think the free market system has a better chance to 
work.
  One of the things I am disappointed that the bill does not contain, I 
am going to introduce an amendment later about it, is the issue of 
sanctions relief. I feel we need to be in a position to open world 
markets that are currently shut off from our farmers, and this may not 
be the vehicle, but we have to open those markets.
  So open markets, adequate funding of agriculture research, and there 
will be some challenges to that today, but I think we have to resist 
those challenges to government-funded research. It is critically 
important to our farmers.
  So, I urge support of this bill. I appreciate the good work of the 
gentleman from Mexico and the people of our subcommittee, and I urge 
its passage.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire about my remaining time?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) has 2 minutes 
remaining, and the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) has 30 seconds 
remaining.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I yield our remaining time to the 
distinguished gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) who has fought for 
agriculture not only in Vermont, but throughout our country.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Vermont is recognized for 2 minutes.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding this 
time to me, and I want to congratulate the chairman and the ranking 
member for the outstanding work they have done on this bill. I think, 
however, there is no disagreement that the committee is forced to 
operate under very severe budget constraints. There is no debate about 
that, and I would simply want to remind every Member of the U.S. House 
of Representatives that in this great country, in this country which is 
wealthier than any other country in the history of the world, today 
there are millions and millions of Americans who are hungry, who are 
hungry, and what does it say about our national priorities that we see 
a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires, that we see a 
situation when some want to provide over a trillion dollars in tax 
breaks over the next 15 years, and yet hospital administrators tell us 
that when senior citizens go to the hospital, they are finding many 
seniors who are suffering from malnutrition? What does it say about our 
country when school administrators tell us that when kids get to school 
in the morning many of these children come from families which do not 
have enough money to provide them with adequate breakfast or adequate 
lunches, that these kids are unable to do the school work that they 
otherwise would be able to do? They fall off the wagon, and they get 
into trouble.
  Is that what America is about? I think not.
  Now I understand the limitations that there are in this bill because 
of the overall budget, but I would hope that every Member of Congress 
understands that the day has got to come and come soon when this 
country wipes out the disgrace of having hungry people within our 
wonderful Nation.
  Second of all, Mr. Chairman, within that context we must be aware of 
the plight that family farmers in rural America are suffering from one 
end of this country to the other. Other people have made this point, 
and I want to repeat it. If we do not stand up and protect the small 
family farmer, we are going to lose that important aspect of what makes 
this country great.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds, my last one-half minute, 
to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Bonilla).
  (Mr. BONILLA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BONILLA. Mr. Chairman, I would like to commend the chairman and 
ranking member of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, 
Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies for facing a very 
difficult task head on and doing the absolute best they could in 
dealing with our agriculture needs this year. With the falling 
commodity prices and drought, it was a very difficult task that we 
faced, and the gentleman from New Mexico has taken care of research 
activities, conservation funding, distance learning and tele-medicine 
programs, FSIS programs, and it is amazing actually that we were able 
to get through this as efficiently as possible and deal with these 
important problems.
  I just hope that every Member of this body understands how important 
it is to support this bill as it is.
  Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, this Member rises in support of H.R. 
1906, the Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2000.
  This Member would like to commend the distinguished gentleman from 
New Mexico (Mr. Skeen), the Chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations 
Subcommittee, and the distinguished gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur), 
the ranking member of the Subcommittee for their hard work in bringing 
this bill to the Floor.
  Mr. Chairman, this Member certainly recognizes the severe budget 
constraints under which the full Appropriations Committee and the 
Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee operated. In light of these 
constraints, this Member is grateful and pleased that this legislation 
includes funding for several important projects of interest to the 
State of Nebraska.
  First, this Member is pleased that H.R. 1906 provides $423,000 for 
the Midwest Advanced Food Manufacturing Alliance. The Alliance is an 
association of twelve leading research universities and corporate 
partners. Its purpose is to develop and facilitate the transfer of new 
food manufacturing and processing technologies.
  The Alliance awards grants for research projects on a peer review 
basis. These awards must be supported by an industry partner willing to 
provide matching funds. During its fifth year of competition, the 
Alliance received 23 proposals requesting $892,374 but it was limited 
to funding 9 proposals for a total of $350,000. Matching funds from 
industry partners totaled $475,549 with an additional $82,000 from in-
kind contributions. These figures convincingly demonstrate how 
successful the Alliance has been in leveraging support from the food 
manufacturing and processing industries.
  Mr. Chairman, the future viability and competitiveness of the U.S. 
agricultural industry depends on its ability to adapt to increasing 
world-wide demands for U.S. exports of intermediate and consumer good 
exports. In order to meet these changing world-wide demands, 
agricultural research must also adapt to provide more emphasis on 
adding value to our basic farm commodities. The Midwest Advanced Food 
Manufacturing Alliance can provide the necessary cooperative link 
between universities and industries for the development of competitive 
food manufacturing and processing technologies. This will, in turn, 
ensure

[[Page H3549]]

that the United States agricultural industry remains competitive in a 
increasingly competitive global economy.
  This Member is also pleased that this bill includes $200,000 to fund 
a drought mitigation project at the Agricultural Meteorology Department 
at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This level of funding will 
greatly assist in the further development of a national drought 
mitigation center. Such a center is important to Nebraska and all arid 
and semi-arid states. Although drought is one of the most complex and 
least understood of all natural disasters, no centralized source of 
information currently exists on drought assessment, mitigation, 
response, and planning efforts. A national drought mitigation center 
would develop a comprehensive program designed to reduce vulnerability 
to drought by promoting the development and implementation of 
appropriate mitigation technologies.
  Another important project funded by this bill is the Alliance for 
Food Protection, a joint project between the University of Nebraska and 
the University of Georgia. The mission of this Alliance is to assist 
the development and modification of food processing and preservation 
technologies. This technology will help ensure that Americans continue 
to receive the safest and highest quality food possible.
  This Member is also pleased that the legislation has agreed to fund 
the following ongoing Cooperative State Research, Education, and 
Extension Service (CSREES) projects at the University of Nebraska-
Lincoln:

Food Processing Center..........................................$42,000
Non-food agricultural products...................................64,000
Sustainable agricultural systems.................................59,000
Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) (a joint effort with Iowa 
  State University and the University of Missouri)..............644,000


  Also, this Member is pleased that H.R. 1906 includes $100 million for 
the Section 538, the rural rental multi-family housing loan guarantee 
program. The program provides a Federal guarantee on loans made to 
eligible persons by private lenders. Developers will bring ten percent 
of the cost of the project to the table, and private lenders will make 
loans for the balance. The lenders will be given a 100% Federal 
guarantee on the loans they make. Unlike the current Section 515 direct 
loan Program, where the full costs are borne by the Federal Government, 
the only costs to the Federal Government under the 538 Guarantee 
Program will be for administrative costs and potential defaults.
  Mr. Chairman, this Member appreciates the Subcommittee's support for 
the Department of Agriculture's 502 Unsubsidized Loan Guarantee 
Program. The program has been very effective in rural communities by 
guaranteeing loans made by approved lenders to eligible income 
households in small communities of up to 20,000 residents in non-
metropolitan areas and in rural areas. The program provides guarantees 
for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for the purchase of an existing home 
or the construction of a new home.
  Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, this Member supports H.R. 1906 and urges 
his colleagues to approve it.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of H.R. 
1906, Agriculture Appropriations for FY 2000. In particular, I wish to 
draw my colleague's attention to the valuable work being done by the 
Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) Monitoring Program at Colorado State University.
  This program provides information on the geographical distribution 
and temporal trends of UVB radiation in the United States. This 
information is critical to the assessment of the potential impacts of 
increasing ultraviolet radiation levels on agricultural crops and 
forests. Specifically, it provides information to the agricultural 
community and others about the climatological and geographical 
distribution of UVB irradiance.
  In a broader sense, the monitoring program supports research that 
increases our understanding of the factors controlling surface UVB 
irradiance and provides the data necessary for assessing the impact of 
UVB radiation on human health, ecosystems and materials.
  Beginning in 1992, Congress appropriated two million dollars per year 
in support of this research effort. At that level of funding, the 
program was able to get underway and to carry forward some money each 
year. Recently, appropriations have been at $1,000,000 annually, which, 
with the carry over amounts have been adequate. As of FY 1999, the 
carry-over funds have been exhausted. The President's budget calls for 
$1,750,000 to simply continue this program at current funding levels. 
H.R. 1906 appropriates $1,000,000 for this program, but I remain 
hopeful that the goal of $1,750,000 can be accommodated during the 
upcoming conference committee with the other body.
  Mr. Chairman, since the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole in 
1985, I have been personally very concerned about the impact of UVB 
radiation on all of earth's living systems. This program is surely a 
step toward understanding and monitoring this significant threat to all 
of our ecosystems.
  Mr. BISHOP. Mr. Chairman, after experiencing one weather-related 
disaster after another, the future of production agriculture and family 
farming in middle and south Georgia faces a threat of almost 
unprecedented proportions.
  This is not a sudden, overnight crisis. Farmers, bankers, and 
communities dependent on production agriculture have been in a crisis 
mode for some time.
  Our farmers have faced a threatening situation that has now become 
even more severe.
  I have visited farms to meet with farmers all across the Second 
District and to see first-hand the destruction that has been wrought by 
the droughts and other disasters which have struck our area. Indeed, 
the University of Georgia has estimated farmgate value lost during the 
past crop year at over $767 million.
  The bill contains many of the crucial programs which are needed to 
restore a vibrant farm economy.
  It provides $2.3 billion for direct and guaranteed farm operating 
loans, $647 million more than the current fiscal year.
  It contains $559 million for direct and guaranteed farm ownership 
loans, $49 million more than the current year.
  Research is the backbone of ag production, and it would be 
irresponsible for the federal government to abdicate its role in this 
area. This is why we need to leave all this partisan bickering behind 
and get on with the business of providing the $836 million for the 
Agricultural Research Service that is in this bill.
  For the extension service that is so important to our farmers, this 
bill has $916 million for Cooperative State Research, Education and 
Extension Service activities.
  There is $71 million for USDA's Risk Management Agency, which manages 
the federal crop insurance program. How else will the Congress ensure 
that insurance products that can effectively protect against risk of 
loss are developed? How will we ever get to the point where farmers can 
adequately recover their costs of production following a disaster and 
pay premiums that are affordable?
  The bill will fund the $654 million needed for operation of USDA's 
Natural Resource Conservation Service. This agency helps farmers 
conserve, improve, and sustain the soil and water on their land for 
future generations.
  This bill includes a $300,000 allocation to expand research into ways 
to protect the few consumers who are allergic to peanuts, and thereby 
to prevent misguided efforts to ban or reduce peanut consumption.
  Prices for southeast timber are at a record low, and it would be 
financially damaging to force growers facing thinning-out deadlines to 
sell their harvested timber on the current market. This is why this 
good bill includes language giving farmers an extension until January 
1, 2003 for thinning out and selling their timber under the 
Conservation Reserve Program.
  I ask my colleagues to let this House do the work expected of us by 
our farmers.
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise to address some language contained 
in the Committee report on the FY 2000 Agriculture Appropriations bill. 
The language ``directs'' that the FDA not proceed with a highly 
controversial rulemaking on ephedrine-containing products. The 
inclusion of this report language is an attempt to subvert regular 
order. The proper course for the proponents of the language to address 
this issue is to contact the Commerce Committee, which exercises 
primary jurisdiction over FDA matters. I therefore urge the House-
Senate conferees to drop the language in conference. Further, I intend 
to closely monitor the regulatory proceeding at issue to ensure that 
FDA meets all of its legal obligations.
  The CHAIRMAN. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment 
under the 5-minute rule.
  During consideration of the bill for amendment, the Chair may accord 
priority in recognition to a Member offering an amendment that he has 
printed in the designated place in the Congressional Record. Those 
amendments will be considered read.
  The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole may postpone a request for 
a recorded vote on any amendment and may reduce to a minimum of 5 
minutes the time for voting on any postponed question that immediately 
follows another vote, provided that the time for voting on the first 
question shall be a minimum of 15 minutes.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the 
     following sums are appropriated, out of any money in the 
     Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the fiscal year 
     ending September 30, 2000, and for other purposes, namely:

[[Page H3550]]

                                TITLE I

                         AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS

                 Production, Processing, and Marketing

                        Office of the Secretary


                     (including transfers of funds)

       For necessary expenses of the Office of the Secretary of 
     Agriculture, and not to exceed $75,000 for employment under 5 
     U.S.C. 3109, $2,836,000: Provided, That not to exceed $11,000 
     of this amount, along with any unobligated balances of 
     representation funds in the Foreign Agricultural Service, 
     shall be available for official reception and representation 
     expenses, not otherwise provided for, as determined by the 
     Secretary: Provided further, That none of the funds 
     appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be 
     used to pay the salaries and expenses of personnel of the 
     Department of Agriculture to carry out section 793(c)(1)(C) 
     of Public Law 104-127: Provided further, That none of the 
     funds made available by this Act may be used to enforce 
     section 793(d) of Public Law 104-127.

  Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today to commend the chairman and the ranking 
member for their efforts in appropriations in this appropriation bill 
related to agriculture. Obviously a Member of Congress who comes from 
the district I come from is very concerned about the agriculture 
economy, and the impact of this appropriation bill upon my State is 
significant, and I commend the committee for its efforts.

                              {time}  1445

  I do want to raise a topic that is of great concern to me and to the 
many small businesses that I represent within the agribusiness 
community of Kansas. I have an amendment to be offered later today that 
would allow small meat processors with sales under $2.5 million and 
less than 10 employees to have an additional year before their 
compliance with USDA's HACCP, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control 
Points Inspection System would take effect and impact them.
  This amendment would apply only to the smallest local meat processors 
and would in no way change the inspection system in our large 
nationwide plants.
  There are significant problems out there. In fact, the U.S. Small 
Business Administration has concluded in its letter to USDA that 
something must be done. Their conclusion in their letter to USDA, dated 
July 5 of 1995, says, ``The Office of Advocacy at the SBA remains 
deeply troubled by the failure of FSIS to analyze properly the impact 
of HACCP on small businesses.'' Requires, among other things, that an 
agency tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on businesses 
of differing sizes.
  There are many alternatives which USDA could pursue which have been 
either rejected or overlooked by FSIS and which would reduce the 
compliance burden on our smallest businesses.
  This is Sam's Locker across the country in the smallest communities 
of our Nation, and many of them are going out of business, really on a 
weekly basis. I pick up the paper and the local locker plant in one of 
my communities across Kansas is closing its doors because of the cost 
and burden of compliance with this rule which will take effect January 
1 of the year 2000.
  The Small Business Administration says that the smallest firms face 
the greatest burden in both absolute and per-unit costs and suggests 
that there are a number of alternatives which USDA has not explored. So 
I intend later today to offer an amendment that would delay the 
implementation for approximately 9 months of this last phase of HACCP 
regulations.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. MORAN of Kansas. I yield to the gentleman from New Mexico.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for his concern and 
his remarks. It is good to know that someone is looking out for the 
small businessperson.
  As it happens, the committee has commissioned a GAO study of the 
HACCP process, and if possible, I will try to include the gentleman's 
concern in that study, or work with him during the conference on the 
issues that he has just raised.
  Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I appreciate 
the comments from the gentleman and I look forward to working with the 
gentleman from New Mexico on this issue. It is a significant one.
  Mr. SKEEN. As they say in our country, igualmente, equally.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                          Executive Operations


                            chief economist

       For necessary expenses of the Chief Economist, including 
     economic analysis, risk assessment, cost-benefit analysis, 
     energy and new uses, and the functions of the World 
     Agricultural Outlook Board, as authorized by the Agricultural 
     Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1622g), and including 
     employment pursuant to the second sentence of section 706(a) 
     of the Organic Act of 1944 (7 U.S.C. 2225), of which not to 
     exceed $5,000 is for employment under 5 U.S.C. 3109, 
     $5,620,000.


                       national appeals division

       For necessary expenses of the National Appeals Division, 
     including employment pursuant to the second sentence of 
     section 706(a) of the Organic Act of 1944 (7 U.S.C. 2225), of 
     which not to exceed $25,000 is for employment under 5 U.S.C. 
     3109, $11,718,000.


                 office of budget and program analysis

       For necessary expenses of the Office of Budget and Program 
     Analysis, including employment pursuant to the second 
     sentence of section 706(a) of the Organic Act of 1944 (7 
     U.S.C. 2225), of which not to exceed $5,000 is for employment 
     under 5 U.S.C. 3109, $6,583,000.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Coburn

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Amendment offered by Mr. Coburn:
       Page 3, line 23, after dollar amount insert ``(reduced by 
     $463,000)''.

  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentlewoman reserves a point of order.
  Ms. KAPTUR. We do not have the amendment on this side and have not 
seen it.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will distribute copies of the amendment.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, the purpose of this amendment is that the 
$463,000 represents over a 7 percent increase for this department, 
Office of Budget and Program Analysis. Again, I will restate the 
obvious.
  I believe that the money that we spend on agricultural programs ought 
to be going to our farmers, and I object to the fact that we are 
increasing overhead and bureaucratic expense, and that this money is 
not available to the farmers in my district. This money is not 
available to put the FSA offices back close to the farmers instead of 
having it 90 miles away from my farmers.
  So what we have done by this increase over the baseline from last 
year is spend money in Washington and not spend money on our farmers.
  The purpose of this amendment is to bring us back to last year.
  I again want to go back. Any dollar that is spent that should not be 
spent is a dollar of Social Security money stolen from our seniors and 
our grandchildren. The Social Security Administration estimates that in 
the year 2020 to 2022, to stay even with Social Security, despite no 
other changes, that we will have an effective FICA tax rate, a Social 
Security tax rate of somewhere between 22 and 24 percent, somewhere 
double where we are today. So if we continue to have this kind of 
spending, which we know, if it is not absolutely necessary, will be 
taking money from our grandchildren, our grandchildren will repay this 
money. Any money that is spent in this bill for a service that is not 
absolutely necessary is a dollar stolen from our Social Security.
  What does that mean? That means, number one, that the Social Security 
surplus is less. Number two, that means the debt, external debt that we 
hold today will not decrease by that amount, and that is what we have 
been doing with the excess Social Security money; we have been paying 
off bankers and foreign governments who own our Treasury notes and 
Treasury bills and putting an IOU in the Social Security system. So 
that also is a lost opportunity for savings on external debt.
  Number three, it pretends to be a situation that rationalizes that in 
hard times, like we are in today spending money on a war in Yugoslavia, 
we can afford to have a 7-plus percent increase in bureaucratic 
overhead.
  It is my feeling that the people in my district are best represented 
when the money that is spent for agriculture goes to our farmers, not 
to the bureaucratic administration of that aid to our farmers.
  So, therefore, Mr. Chairman, I would make the point again that we are 
going to have close to $149 billion in excess

[[Page H3551]]

Social Security payments in the year 2000, and that this one small 
area, this one small amount of $463,000 is enough to supply Social 
Security in the future for several of our grandchildren, especially if 
it is not spent and compounded and earned.
  Mr. Chairman, one of our colleagues, the gentleman from South 
Carolina (Mr. Sanford) took 6 years, the years from 1944 to 1950, and 
took the amount of money that was put into Social Security. Had that 
money been saved and not spent and invested at a rate of 6 percent 
return, there would be $3 trillion from those 6 years in Social 
Security today. So by spending money, rather than saving money as it 
was initially intended, what we are doing is losing opportunity for our 
children.
  Mr. Chairman, I plan on offering this amendment. I am in hopes that 
people will support the fact that we do not need to have this much of 
an increase to be able to accomplish this as the purpose of this 
budgetary office. It is my hope that we can have an acceptance of this 
amendment, that the chairman will look favorably on this amendment, 
knowing that the dollars to pay for this will come not only from the 
seniors who have trouble getting by today, will come from the 
commitment that we made not to touch one penny of Social Security.
  The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentlewoman insist on her point of order?
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, we have been provided now with copies of 
this amendment, so I withdraw my point of order.
  Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Coburn amendment because I 
just believe it is time to keep our promise, and this is one place we 
have to start. We have told the American people that we balanced the 
budget, and I really believe that now we need to stick to our word, 
because otherwise we are not being true to them.
  I understand and sympathize with the American farmers; I understand 
the committee's concerns and problems. In fact, we just passed a 
supplemental bill that added additional dollars for farmers.
  But since this year's budget resolution calls for $10 billion in 
discretionary spending cuts, we have to make the cuts to stick to the 
balanced budget agreement and protect and preserve Social Security, and 
the time to start is now.
  There is never a good time. That is the difficult thing about this 
place, because it is always hard not to spend money in a culture that 
is set up to spend, spend, spend. That is what Washington does and does 
well.
  It is always easy to stick pork in bills to spend more money; it 
happens every day. I think that is wrong.
  Mr. Chairman, we have to stand up for our principles of lowering 
taxes and protecting 100 percent of Social Security for our children 
and our grandchildren. They are depending on that. They look to us to 
be responsible, and as we do our bills, as this whole appropriations 
process goes forward, we have to be really conscious of that.
  It is time to put the good of the country ahead of personal ambition 
and tighten our belts. Without cuts now, and this is a relatively 
noncontroversial bill, if we cannot do it here, how in the world are we 
going to reduce spending in the other 12 appropriations bills?
  Mr. Chairman, for years, Congress has raided Social Security and 
funded pork barrel spending, and I believe it needs to stop; and today 
is a good time to stop it. I support the Coburn amendment, and I 
support fiscal responsibility.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was refused.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I object to the vote on the ground that a 
quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not 
present.
  The CHAIRMAN. Evidently a quorum is not present.
  Pursuant to the provisions of clause 6 of rule XVIII, the Chair 
announces that he will reduce to a minimum of 5 minutes the period of 
time within which a vote by electronic device, if ordered, will be 
taken on the pending question following the quorum call.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.
  The CHAIRMAN: The gentleman will state it.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, is there a planned quorum call at this 
time? Can the Chair advise as to the planned quorum call?
  The CHAIRMAN. There is a quorum call at the point of order request of 
the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. And will that be granted?
  The CHAIRMAN. It will be. It has been.
  The call was taken by electronic device.
  The following members responded to their names:

                             [Roll No. 151]

                       ANSWERED ``PRESENT''--399

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Andrews
     Armey
     Bachus
     Baird
     Baker
     Baldacci
     Baldwin
     Ballenger
     Barcia
     Barr
     Barrett (NE)
     Barrett (WI)
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bass
     Bateman
     Becerra
     Bereuter
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bishop
     Blagojevich
     Bliley
     Blumenauer
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonior
     Bono
     Borski
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (FL)
     Brown (OH)
     Bryant
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Callahan
     Calvert
     Camp
     Campbell
     Canady
     Cannon
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chambliss
     Chenoweth
     Clay
     Clayton
     Clyburn
     Coble
     Coburn
     Collins
     Combest
     Condit
     Conyers
     Cook
     Cooksey
     Costello
     Cox
     Coyne
     Cramer
     Crane
     Crowley
     Cubin
     Cummings
     Cunningham
     Danner
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (VA)
     Deal
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Deutsch
     Diaz-Balart
     Dickey
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Dixon
     Doggett
     Doolittle
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Ehlers
     Ehrlich
     Emerson
     Engel
     English
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Everett
     Ewing
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Fletcher
     Foley
     Forbes
     Ford
     Fossella
     Fowler
     Franks (NJ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Ganske
     Gejdenson
     Gekas
     Gibbons
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gilman
     Gonzalez
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Goodling
     Gordon
     Goss
     Green (TX)
     Green (WI)
     Greenwood
     Gutierrez
     Gutknecht
     Hall (OH)
     Hall (TX)
     Hansen
     Hastings (FL)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hill (IN)
     Hill (MT)
     Hilleary
     Hilliard
     Hinchey
     Hobson
     Hoeffel
     Hoekstra
     Holden
     Holt
     Hooley
     Horn
     Hostettler
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hutchinson
     Hyde
     Inslee
     Isakson
     Istook
     Jackson (IL)
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, E.B.
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kelly
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind (WI)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kleczka
     Klink
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kucinich
     Kuykendall
     LaFalce
     LaHood
     Lampson
     Lantos
     Largent
     Larson
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Lazio
     Leach
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lofgren
     Lowey
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Luther
     Maloney (CT)
     Maloney (NY)
     Manzullo
     Martinez
     Mascara
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCollum
     McCrery
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McHugh
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Menendez
     Metcalf
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller, Gary
     Miller, George
     Minge
     Mink
     Moakley
     Mollohan
     Moore
     Moran (KS)
     Morella
     Murtha
     Myrick
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nethercutt
     Ney
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ose
     Owens
     Oxley
     Packard
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Paul
     Pease
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Petri
     Phelps
     Pickering
     Pickett
     Pitts
     Pombo
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Portman
     Pryce (OH)
     Quinn
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Ramstad
     Rangel
     Regula
     Reynolds
     Riley
     Rivers
     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Rogan
     Rogers
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roukema
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Sabo
     Salmon
     Sanchez
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Sanford
     Sawyer
     Saxton
     Scarborough
     Schaffer
     Schakowsky
     Scott
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shays
     Sherman
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shows
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sisisky
     Skeen
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (NJ)
     Snyder
     Souder

[[Page H3552]]


     Spence
     Spratt
     Stabenow
     Stearns
     Stenholm
     Strickland
     Stump
     Stupak
     Sununu
     Sweeney
     Talent
     Tancredo
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Tauzin
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thornberry
     Thune
     Thurman
     Tiahrt
     Tierney
     Toomey
     Towns
     Traficant
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Upton
     Velazquez
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Walden
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Waters
     Watkins
     Watts (OK)
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Wexler
     Weygand
     Wicker
     Wilson
     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                              {time}  1515

  The CHAIRMAN. Three hundred and ninety-nine Members have answered to 
their name, a quorum is present, and the Committee will resume its 
business.


                             Recorded Vote

  The CHAIRMAN. The pending business is the demand of the gentleman 
from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) for a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The CHAIRMAN. This will be a 5-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 133, 
noes 285, not voting 15, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 152]

                               AYES--133

     Aderholt
     Archer
     Bachus
     Ballenger
     Barr
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bass
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Brady (TX)
     Bryant
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Camp
     Campbell
     Cannon
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chenoweth
     Coble
     Coburn
     Collins
     Cox
     Crane
     Cubin
     Deal
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Diaz-Balart
     Doggett
     Doolittle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Ehrlich
     English
     Foley
     Fossella
     Fowler
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (NJ)
     Ganske
     Gibbons
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Goodling
     Goss
     Green (WI)
     Greenwood
     Gutknecht
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hilleary
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hunter
     Hutchinson
     Inslee
     Isakson
     Istook
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kelly
     Lazio
     Leach
     Linder
     Lofgren
     Luther
     Maloney (CT)
     Manzullo
     Martinez
     McCollum
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     Meehan
     Metcalf
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller, Gary
     Myrick
     Northup
     Norwood
     Paul
     Pease
     Petri
     Pitts
     Pombo
     Portman
     Ramstad
     Riley
     Rogan
     Rohrabacher
     Roukema
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Salmon
     Sanford
     Scarborough
     Schaffer
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (WA)
     Souder
     Spence
     Stearns
     Stump
     Stupak
     Sununu
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Toomey
     Upton
     Walden
     Wamp
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller

                               NOES--285

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Armey
     Baird
     Baldacci
     Baldwin
     Barcia
     Barrett (NE)
     Barrett (WI)
     Bateman
     Becerra
     Bentsen
     Bereuter
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bishop
     Blagojevich
     Bliley
     Blumenauer
     Boehlert
     Bonilla
     Bonior
     Bono
     Borski
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (FL)
     Brown (OH)
     Callahan
     Calvert
     Canady
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Carson
     Chambliss
     Clay
     Clayton
     Clement
     Clyburn
     Combest
     Condit
     Conyers
     Cook
     Cooksey
     Costello
     Coyne
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cummings
     Cunningham
     Danner
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (VA)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Dickey
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Dixon
     Dooley
     Doyle
     Dunn
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Everett
     Ewing
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Fletcher
     Forbes
     Ford
     Frelinghuysen
     Frost
     Gallegly
     Gejdenson
     Gekas
     Gephardt
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gilman
     Gonzalez
     Gordon
     Green (TX)
     Gutierrez
     Hall (OH)
     Hansen
     Hastings (FL)
     Hill (IN)
     Hill (MT)
     Hilliard
     Hinchey
     Hobson
     Hoeffel
     Holden
     Holt
     Hooley
     Horn
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Hyde
     Jackson (IL)
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind (WI)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kleczka
     Klink
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kucinich
     Kuykendall
     LaFalce
     LaHood
     Lampson
     Lantos
     Larson
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lowey
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Maloney (NY)
     Markey
     Mascara
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCrery
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McHugh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Miller, George
     Minge
     Mink
     Moakley
     Mollohan
     Moore
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Morella
     Murtha
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nethercutt
     Ney
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ose
     Owens
     Oxley
     Packard
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Phelps
     Pickering
     Pickett
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (NC)
     Pryce (OH)
     Quinn
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Regula
     Reynolds
     Rivers
     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Rogers
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Sabo
     Sanchez
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Sawyer
     Saxton
     Schakowsky
     Scott
     Serrano
     Sherman
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shows
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sisisky
     Skeen
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (NJ)
     Snyder
     Spratt
     Stabenow
     Stark
     Stenholm
     Strickland
     Talent
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Tauzin
     Thomas
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thune
     Thurman
     Tierney
     Towns
     Traficant
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Velazquez
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Walsh
     Waters
     Watkins
     Watt (NC)
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Weldon (PA)
     Wexler
     Weygand
     Wicker
     Wilson
     Wise
     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--15

     Baker
     Brown (CA)
     Graham
     Granger
     Hinojosa
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Kasich
     Largent
     Millender-McDonald
     Nadler
     Ortiz
     Reyes
     Rothman
     Smith (TX)
     Whitfield

                              {time}  1523

  Mr. EHRLICH and Mr. SESSIONS changed their vote from ``no'' to 
``aye.''
  So the amendment was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.


                    Amendment Offered By Mr. Coburn

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Amendment offered by Mr. Coburn:

       Page 3, line 23, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced 
     by $231,000)''.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, it is obvious that the House did not concur 
with the last amendment to hold the Office of Budget and Program 
Analysis at last year's level.
  The above-intended amendment is designed to cut the increase in that 
office in half. Instead of having an almost 8 percent increase, this 
will offer the employees and administrators in that office a 4 percent 
increase.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry regarding 
the amendment of the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman from Oklahoma yield for an inquiry?
  Mr. COBURN. Yes, I am happy to yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, is this a new amendment that the gentleman 
from Oklahoma is proposing?
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, this is an amendment under the same section 
at the same line item to cut the rate of increase in one-half of what 
the committee has recommended for the Office of Budget and Program 
Analysis within the Department of Agriculture.

                              {time}  1530

  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, may I ask the gentleman if we have a copy 
of this amendment?
  Mr. COBURN. It is my understanding that this amendment was given to 
the Chair, and I will be happy to supply the gentlewoman with a copy of 
it at this time.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will distribute copies of the amendment.
  Ms. KAPTUR. I thank the gentleman.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Oklahoma may proceed.
  Mr. COBURN. So the purpose of this amendment, Mr. Chairman, having 
the House, with 137 Members, I believe, agree that we should freeze 
this spending, given the fact that the increase in spending is going to 
be above this last year's fiscal year and will come from Social 
Security surpluses, the purpose of this amendment is to decrease by 
one-half the amount of increase in the Department at this level.
  I have before me a sample of what most seniors probably think is 
going on right now, a check from the Social Security Trust Fund for 
$231,000. This still gives that department in that area an increase 
two-and-a-half times the rate of inflation. Very few people within our 
districts and within the private

[[Page H3553]]

sector are seeing increases in their operating and overhead or their 
expense or their salaries going up at two-and-a-half times the rate of 
inflation.
  It is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of 
Management and Budget that the Social Security surplus this year will 
be $149 billion. On track, the first appropriation bill to meet this 
House, has an increase over last year. The budget agreement that we 
agreed to with the President in terms of meeting the targeted spending 
in 1997, the budget that passed this House, the minority-sponsored 
budget, all had provisions to protect Social Security 100 percent. The 
purpose of this amendment is to try to keep us at our word, to protect 
Social Security dollars. It is my feeling and my conviction that we do 
that best by, with the first bill, setting an example on how we are 
going to spend money.
  I recently had a Member come up and say that I was a good reason to 
vote against term limits, because I was offering amendments to decrease 
the spending in Washington and that I felt we should not spend any 
money that comes from Social Security. Well, I would portend just the 
opposite of that. I think that is a good reason to vote for people with 
term limits.
  The fact is that we are spending $260 million more in this 
appropriation bill than we did last year. The purpose of this amendment 
is to trim some of that. It is not to inhibit what we do with our 
farmers, it is to make sure that the money that we put into the 
Department of Agriculture gets to the very people that we want it to. 
By having an 8 percent increase in this office, a portion of that money 
could be saved, could be preserved in Social Security, could be used to 
lower the FICA taxes that our children and grandchildren are going to 
have to pay so they will be able to have Social Security.
  It is not anything but incumbent on Members of this body to try to 
spend the taxpayers' money in the way that they believe is in the best 
interest of the country and in the best interest of the long-term 
security for this Nation. I want to be measured by how I left our 
country. I want to be measured when my grandchildren, who are now 3 and 
1, look at their income tax statements and look at their payroll slips 
and know that we were not responsible for raising the FICA payments 
from 12 percent to 25 percent. And that is the estimate from the Social 
Security Administration that is going to be required by the year 2022.
  We can change what happens in Washington. We do not have to spend 
more money.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 146, 
noes 267, not voting 20, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 153]

                               AYES--146

     Aderholt
     Archer
     Armey
     Bachus
     Ballenger
     Barr
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bass
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Brady (TX)
     Bryant
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Camp
     Campbell
     Cannon
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chenoweth
     Coble
     Coburn
     Collins
     Cox
     Crane
     Cubin
     Cunningham
     Davis (VA)
     Deal
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Diaz-Balart
     Doggett
     Doolittle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Ehlers
     Ehrlich
     English
     Foley
     Fossella
     Fowler
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (NJ)
     Ganske
     Gibbons
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Goodling
     Goss
     Granger
     Green (WI)
     Greenwood
     Gutknecht
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hill (MT)
     Hilleary
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hunter
     Hutchinson
     Hyde
     Istook
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kelly
     Klink
     Largent
     Lazio
     Leach
     Linder
     Lofgren
     Luther
     Maloney (CT)
     Manzullo
     McCollum
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     Meehan
     Metcalf
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller, Gary
     Miller, George
     Moran (VA)
     Myrick
     Northup
     Norwood
     Ose
     Paul
     Pease
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Pombo
     Pryce (OH)
     Ramstad
     Rogan
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roukema
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Salmon
     Sanford
     Scarborough
     Schaffer
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherwood
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (WA)
     Souder
     Spence
     Stearns
     Stump
     Stupak
     Sununu
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Toomey
     Upton
     Walden
     Wamp
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller

                               NOES--267

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baird
     Baker
     Baldacci
     Baldwin
     Barcia
     Barrett (NE)
     Barrett (WI)
     Bateman
     Becerra
     Bentsen
     Bereuter
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bilbray
     Bishop
     Blagojevich
     Bliley
     Blumenauer
     Boehlert
     Bonilla
     Bonior
     Bono
     Borski
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (OH)
     Callahan
     Calvert
     Canady
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Carson
     Chambliss
     Clay
     Clayton
     Clement
     Clyburn
     Combest
     Condit
     Conyers
     Cook
     Cooksey
     Costello
     Coyne
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cummings
     Danner
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Dickey
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Dooley
     Doyle
     Edwards
     Emerson
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Everett
     Ewing
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Forbes
     Ford
     Frelinghuysen
     Frost
     Gallegly
     Gejdenson
     Gephardt
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gilman
     Gonzalez
     Gordon
     Green (TX)
     Hall (OH)
     Hansen
     Hastings (FL)
     Hill (IN)
     Hilliard
     Hinchey
     Hobson
     Hoeffel
     Holden
     Holt
     Hooley
     Horn
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Inslee
     Isakson
     Jackson (IL)
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind (WI)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kleczka
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kucinich
     Kuykendall
     LaFalce
     LaHood
     Lampson
     Lantos
     Larson
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lowey
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Maloney (NY)
     Markey
     Mascara
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCrery
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McHugh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Minge
     Mink
     Moakley
     Mollohan
     Moore
     Moran (KS)
     Morella
     Murtha
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nethercutt
     Ney
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Owens
     Oxley
     Packard
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Phelps
     Pickett
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (NC)
     Quinn
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Regula
     Reynolds
     Rivers
     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Rogers
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Sabo
     Sanchez
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Sawyer
     Saxton
     Schakowsky
     Scott
     Serrano
     Sherman
     Shimkus
     Shows
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sisisky
     Skeen
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (NJ)
     Snyder
     Spratt
     Stabenow
     Stark
     Stenholm
     Strickland
     Talent
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Tauzin
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thune
     Thurman
     Tierney
     Towns
     Traficant
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Velazquez
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Walsh
     Waters
     Watkins
     Watt (NC)
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Weldon (PA)
     Wexler
     Weygand
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson
     Wise
     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--20

     Brown (CA)
     Brown (FL)
     Dixon
     Fletcher
     Gekas
     Graham
     Gutierrez
     Hinojosa
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Kasich
     Martinez
     Millender-McDonald
     Nadler
     Ortiz
     Portman
     Reyes
     Riley
     Rothman
     Smith (TX)
     Young (AK)

                              {time}  1558

  Mr. Cook and Mr. John changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''
  Messrs. George Miller of California, Moran of Virginia, Davis of 
Virginia, and Klink changed their vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''
  So the amendment was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  Stated for:
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Chairman, because of a previously scheduled 
commitment, I missed rollcall vote No. 153 during consideration of H.R. 
1906, the Fiscal Year Agriculture Appropriations Act.
  Had I been present, I would have voted ``yea''.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                office of the chief information officer

       For necessary expenses of the Office of the Chief 
     Information Officer, including employment pursuant to the 
     second sentence of section 706(a) of the Organic Act of 1944 
     (7 U.S.C. 2225), of which not to exceed $10,000 is for 
     employment under 5 U.S.C. 3109, $6,051,000.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Coburn

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

[[Page H3554]]

  Amendment offered by Mr. Coburn:
       Page 4, line 3, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced 
     by $500,000)''.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, the purpose of this amendment is to address 
the increase that was given to the Office of the Chief Information 
Officer. What we have heard through the general debate on this bill is 
that this is a fairly tight bill, and I agree that it is a fairly tight 
bill. I also agree that there is also an area where if we spend a 
certain amount, $61 billion, that we ought to make sure that that money 
that is allocated, that belongs to the taxpayers, actually gets to the 
end people that we want it to get to, i.e., the farmers, i.e., the 
people that are going to be dependent on it.
  The Office of the Chief Information Officer under this appropriation 
request received a 9 percent increase. Now, of that $500,000 increase, 
what we will see, if we are honest about where the money is going to 
come, is it is all going to come from Social Security. We are going to 
take surplus Social Security money and we are going to spend it to give 
a 9 percent increase. For us to keep the agreement not to spend Social 
Security money, to keep the agreement that the President and the 
Congress signed off on in 1997, that we have to cut spending $10 
billion, not increase it a quarter of a billion as this bill does, we 
have to make some trims back in these appropriation bills.
  Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. COBURN. I yield to the gentleman from North Dakota.
  Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I am informed that the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural 
Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies has 
brought this bill to the floor within their 302(b) allocation and 
therefore am of the opinion that it is funded by general fund revenues 
and has nothing to do with the Social Security funds the gentleman is 
speaking to.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, that is a literal 
statement that in fact at the end of the day will not be true. Because 
by saying that this is within the 302(b) means that you also would 
agree that Labor HHS could be cut $4.9 billion which is also in the 
302(b) for Labor HHS. I assure you that neither you nor I would vote 
for an appropriation bill at that level. So what I would tell the 
gentleman is that the 302(b)s really are not applicable to the process 
that we are seeing going on right now because the end game is we are 
going to spend Social Security money and we are not going to be below 
the $10 billion. I understand how that works, you understand how that 
works, and although technically this committee is within the 302(b) 
allocation, the 302(b) allocations are designed so that in the long run 
we will spend Social Security money.
  Mr. POMEROY. If the gentleman will yield further, this House passed a 
budget. These are the early appropriation bills coming to the floor 
under that budget. Much was made by the majority in consideration of 
the budget that it was protecting Social Security. Here we have the 
chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture bringing his bill up within 
the allocation he had.
  Mr. COBURN. Reclaiming my time, if the gentleman would agree to vote 
for this bill under its 302(b) and agree to vote for the Labor HHS bill 
under its 302(b), I will be happy to buy his discussion of this 
argument. But I would portray that I will not vote for a Labor HHS bill 
that is cut by $4.9 billion and I would surmise that he probably would 
not do that under the same argument. The fact is that the 302(b)s are 
not an accurate reflection of where we are going with the budget 
process this year. They are in terms of total dollars, and I would 
agree with the gentleman in terms of total dollars, but what they are 
is front-end-loaded and at the tail end is the very things that most 
people are going to need besides our farmers, those that are most 
dependent on us, the veterans, those that do not have housing, those 
that are needy in terms of Medicaid, Medicare and the supplemental 
things that we do to help those people, those dollars are not going to 
be available. So what we are going to do is we are either going to pass 
a bill that cuts those severely, which neither of us I would surmise 
would vote for, or we are going to go into a negotiation again with the 
President and bust the budget caps and in fact spend Social Security 
money. So I will stick with my argument that this bill, because it is 
above last year and is not below last year, will in the end ultimately 
spend seniors' money.
  Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I want us to look very closely at what is going on 
here. This is an appropriations bill brought up pursuant to the budget 
plan passed by this House. The chairman of the Subcommittee on 
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and 
Related Agencies was given a 302(b) allocation and he has brought his 
bill forward under that allocation. This is not about emergency 
spending. This is not about extra allocation spending. This is a 
chairman that has done everything right, operating under the 302(b) 
allocation the Committee on Appropriations received under the budget 
plan passed by the majority. So I simply do not believe that it is 
rooted in fact that we need to look at this for other than it is, 
spending for agriculture.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. POMEROY. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I guess if we were to ask the seniors who 
are on Social Security in Oklahoma and those from your State if they 
believe it is appropriate that this office get a 9 percent increase 
this year and what did they get in terms of their Social Security 
increase, I think most of them would object to the fact that we cannot 
be more efficient. That is the point I am making.
  Mr. POMEROY. Reclaiming my time, I was respectful to the gentleman in 
his 5 minutes and I want to make a couple of points. The farmers of 
this country are in a world of hurt. I have lived all my life in North 
Dakota and I have never seen it as bad as it is today. We have prices 
that do not cover the cost of production. This body made a decision 
that we were not going to protect farmers when prices collapsed and 
prices have collapsed below the cost of production. As a result, we 
have got farmers going bankrupt all over the country. We have got 
auction sales in North Dakota that do not quit. Now, this Congress 
because we have got a farm bill that is not working has tried to do a 
lot of things. Members will remember last year, we passed increasing 
the AMTA payments, we passed accelerating the AMTA payments, more money 
to farmers to somehow tide them through this situation. We passed a 
disaster bill that has proven to be the most confusing disaster bill 
ever passed and the U.S. Department of Agriculture did not even get it 
all fully available until June of this year. Now, through this all, the 
farmer understands one thing. He is losing money, and he is about out 
of time. He does not understand all these relief measures that we are 
trying to pass because they are confusing, they are haphazard, they 
have been passed in a happenstance way and in an ad hoc way. The Public 
Information Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has never been 
more important. And if you think everyone gets it in terms of what is 
available for them, you just call one of your farmers right this 
afternoon and ask them. It is chaos out there and confusion. They do 
not know what is available. The U.S. Department of Agriculture needs to 
do a better job. Secondly, it needs the resources so that it can do the 
job we expect them to do. We have changed the farm program. We have 
ended the price support that has been part of farm policy for four 
decades. We are now operating under ad hoc, give them some money here, 
get them some money there, build a program, try to tide us through, and 
all of that is very confusing. This public information function is 
vital. When we pass a response to farmers, that just does not mean that 
money appears in the bank account. You have got to run the program. 
That means have the people understand it, have them come in, have it 
administered in the field offices and get the checks out. This is an 
essential part of that bargain. This is under the absolute legitimate 
function of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture operating 
under their allocation bringing this money to the floor.
  I notice that all of the Republican leadership voted for the last 
Coburn

[[Page H3555]]

amendment. Does the Republican leadership not understand the crisis 
that we have in farm country? We have an absolutely deadly threat to 
our farmers. We are going to lose family farming as we know it today 
without responding. And so I do not want this to be a Republican or 
Democrat majority-minority thing. This is a bill for farmers at a time 
when they have never ever needed it more. So let us save those 
arguments about these unrelated matters, make them in special orders, 
make them another time, but let us today, this afternoon, stand for our 
farmers. They desperately need the help.
  Mr. SALMON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to compliment the gentleman from Oklahoma. 
While I know that the debate, as we go forward, might get just a little 
bit convoluted, we might begin that old discussion of apples and 
oranges, the fact is, the gentleman from Oklahoma recognizes this, that 
last year we made a solid, ironclad promise to the seniors in this 
country; and that was that we, as a Congress, would do everything 
within our power in a bipartisan way, both Republicans and Democrats, 
to protect the solvency of Social Security.
  The fact is, the gentleman from Oklahoma has recognized, I think, as 
many of us do, that within this total budgetary process, he sees that 
train wreck coming. The fact is, at the end of the day, after it is all 
done, if we fund government, if we fund the bureaucracies at the level 
that all of these proposals are coming in at, we will end up having to 
rob Social Security to cover up the difference. Frankly, I am not going 
to be a party to that.
  I know the gentleman has risked a lot to put forth, what, close to 
100 amendments today because he believes so strongly in the sanctity, 
the sacredness of making that promise to the seniors in our country, 
the seniors in this land. Every amendment that he offers, you are going 
to hear arguments why the bureaucracy that they are defending is more 
important than the promise and the commitment, the sacred commitment, 
that we made to our senior citizens. Frankly, I am going to side with 
the gentleman from Oklahoma on this one.
  Mr. NETHERCUTT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number 
of words.
  I have listened to well-meaning people here today. The sponsor of the 
amendment certainly is, and the last speaker certainly was; my friend 
from North Dakota certainly is. But let us make sure we understand what 
we are really talking about here.
  All this discussion about senior citizens being hurt by something 
that we might or might not do relative to emergency spending or busting 
the budget caps or whatever the spending argument might be is just 
false. Nobody is going to hurt any senior citizens. Senior citizens are 
not going to be touched in this debate on Social Security.
  It is my generation that is going to be hurt. And the younger people 
who are baby boomers are going to have to face this Social Security 
issue. It is not going to affect senior citizens. We are not going to 
cut Social Security that affects their lives. We are talking about out 
to 2032, for goodness sakes. So I think that is a false argument as we 
talk about agriculture.
  My friend from North Dakota, as a strong advocate of agriculture and 
rural agriculture, like I am because I come from a district that 
depends on it, is mistaken relative to the farm bill of 1996 somehow 
causing the low prices around the world. That is nonsense in my 
judgment.
  What is happening is, we are in a world market economy that has some 
price depressions. It is not the farm bill that has caused problems for 
our farmers; it is the fact that we do not have markets, for crying out 
loud.
  My argument is, we ought to be lifting sanctions on those countries 
which we have previously traded with that have been good customers of 
our farmers, in a free market system, not more government control or 
more government regulation or more command and control farming for the 
government in our system. This free market system is a good one.

                              {time}  1615

  Ask farmers. I have asked them, and they have told me: We like the 
system, but we have to have freedom to market our products overseas, 
and we do not have it right now, and we need less regulation at the 
Federal level, at the USDA level. That is what is going to save and 
help our farmers.
  So I am all in favor of making cuts wherever we can, but as my 
colleagues know, the chairman here has worked hard within our budget 
allocation to do what is right for agriculture. Most of this money in 
this ag budget goes for food stamps, WIC programs, as my colleagues 
know, food safety and other social sides of spending relative to 
agriculture. It is not the farmers that are getting some great 
windfall. The farmers are hurting. So the biggest part of this budget 
goes to the social spending side of agriculture which is lumped into 
the ag appropriations bill.
  So we are not going to hurt senior citizens in this process where 
certainly our farmers are needing help, but I think it can be done 
better in the market economy rather than in more government control. As 
my colleagues know, more regulations and rules at the Federal level are 
going to hurt our farmers and restrict them even more.
  So, Mr. Chairman, let us make sure we understand what we are talking 
here, and I understand the motivation of my friend from Oklahoma. He 
has got good motivation, but this bill is within our budget targets, 
and we are trying to do all we can for farmers as well as the WIC 
program and food safety and all the rest that is lumped into this very 
difficult challenge of trying to make the ag budget work and be 
balanced.
  Mr. McINTOSH. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. NETHERCUTT. I do not have much time, but I yield to the gentleman 
from Indiana.
  Mr. McINTOSH. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentleman's discussion.
  One question that the gentleman from North Dakota (Mr. Pomeroy) 
really refused to answer was whether he would be able to support the 
later appropriation bills with as much as $3 to $5 billion in 
reductions so that we could stay within the overall cap and stop using 
the Social Security surplus. I know the gentleman has worked with us in 
the past to make sure that we could do that, but I just wanted to ask 
for the record, would he anticipate being able to support those types 
of bills with the lower spending in the later part of the process?
  Mr. NETHERCUTT. Mr. Chairman, I think that is what we have to do one 
at a time. I think we have to make that judgment based on what we have 
before us. I have got an interest, a strong interest, in biomedical 
research, which is part of the Labor-HHS bill. That is extremely 
important to me. But I think we have to make tough choices, and so we 
are trying to make tough choices. The chairman has in this ag bill in 
staying within our caps, but as my colleagues know, we have got to get 
them passed, too.
  Mr. Chairman, we cannot just not pass something. This, as my 
colleagues know, we can fight this bill until the cows come home, but 
we got to get something passed, and that is the chairman's motivation, 
the chairman of the big committee, the full Committee on 
Appropriations' motivation, and as my colleagues know, we can look 
downstream and figure out what we are going to have to face. But let us 
face it, but let us pass these bills or else we are going to have 
nothing to pass until the end of the day.
  Mr. BOSWELL. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  It has been an interesting discussion going on here, and it does not 
take really a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on when we 
see this many amendments on this particular bill, and if we want to do 
something about Social Security, let us bring it out here and get on 
with it. But if we are going to talk about agriculture, let us say it 
like it really is.
  Agriculture is in a world of hurt. The last speaker, the previous 
speaker, and I just met in the Rayburn Room with some of my bankers 
from rural Iowa, and they are talking about the foreclosures that are 
starting to take place. It is really happening, it is really happening; 
reflections for me, having come out of the State legislature,

[[Page H3556]]

of what went on in the 1980s, and it is not a very pretty sight and it 
is not good for our country.
  Now we might ought to reflect on this a little bit. As my colleagues 
know, we are pretty unusual in the world of things at 14, 15 percent, 
Mr. Chairman, of disposable income spent on food compared to anywhere 
else in the world, modern countries, wherever, 25 or whatever, to 
undeveloped countries that take everything, and we have got the most 
plentiful, safest food and the least expensive. Now we do not feel that 
way when we go to the grocery store, but the truth of it is it is that 
way. Now we are messing with our machinery, if my colleagues will, with 
our factory, if my colleagues will, that produces this food and fiber.
  Now some of these things said need to be expanded on a little bit. 
The secretary told us in our Committee on Agriculture here 3 months 
ago, something like that, unprecedented, unprecedented worldwide, that 
we have got overproduction. So when we go somewhere else to make a 
trade or to want to sell, they say: ``Excuse me. We want to sell to 
you.''
  So, Mr. Chairman, we got a tough situation, and to get the word out 
and to make sure that, as my colleagues know, those of them that are 
aware of what is going on in the Farm Service Agency offices and so on, 
to be able to get the word out as to what is there for them, we need 
this to be done. We probably need it more than what we are 
appropriating.
  And I want to compliment the chairman, too, and I want to compliment 
the ranking member for the work they have done within these targets 
that were established. Pretty tough. I know they have had a tough 
assignment, but they worked hard and put the hours in, and we thank 
them for it, and we appreciate it. But we need to pass an ag bill. We 
need to tell the farmers out there that provide the food and fiber for 
all of us that we know what is going on and that we want to help them 
and we want to pass this bill.
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I take the time first to compliment my friend and 
colleague from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) for speaking out so strongly for 
those who rely on Social Security, because I have the great privilege 
of representing more Social Security recipients than almost every 
Member of this House of Representatives, and so I really appreciate the 
strong work and the strong message, and I am glad that Congress 
recognizes that it is important to keep our commitment to those on 
Social Security. And to do that we did adopt a budget resolution that 
provided the appropriators with a certain amount of money for 
discretionary spending.
  Now in that amount of money, we suballocated that money based on what 
we refer to as section 302(b) suballocations. Now this is the first of 
the 13 regular appropriation bills to come before the House. We have 
already done two supplemental bills, one conference report on the 
supplemental bills, and now this is the fourth appropriations vehicle 
that we have seen for the year. It is within the section 302(b) 
suballocation, and the section 302(b) suballocations are within the 
budget numbers set by the budget resolution and also within the budget 
caps established in 1997.
  As a matter of fact, during the work of the full committee there were 
numerous amendments that were offered to dramatically increase the 
amount of money in this bill, and the Committee on Appropriations, 
determined to stay within the suballocation, the budget ceiling number, 
resisted those amendments.
  So, Mr. Chairman, we bring to our colleagues a bill that has been 
looked at extremely closely by both sides of the House, both parties, 
and we came to a workable bill that will meet the requirements of 
America's farmers for this fiscal year, and as has been pointed out, 
that is important. It is important that America's farmers stay alive 
and stay well because while we do import some food, 75 percent of our 
nutrition comes from what the American farmer produces.
  So again, Mr. Chairman, to my colleagues I would say this bill is 
within the section 302(b) suballocations, which are within the budget 
resolution number, which are within the 1997 budget caps that all of 
the leaders of both political parties in the House, both political 
parties in the Senate and the President in the White House have all 
said we are going to live within. This bill lives within those budget 
caps and within its section 302(b) suballocation, and I would hope that 
we could resist these amendments and get on to passing this bill, and 
get to conference with the other body and get the funding to the 
agriculture community where it is really needed.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I have the utmost respect for the 
gentleman. I believe his heart is right.
  As my colleagues know, when 1997 was agreed to, we did not have a war 
in Bosnia, we did not have $13 billion that we are going to spend on an 
action over there. Where are we going to get the money to pay for that? 
Where did that money come from? That money comes from Social Security.
  So the debate really is, is the climate in Washington going to 
change? Are we going to talk to the President? Are we going to bring 
things down and say: We are spending this $13 billion because we got to 
fight a war, and there is probably going to be more where that comes 
from. We want to plus up defense. I agree with that, but are we going 
to live within those budget caps as we do that?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I would respond to the gentleman 
that that is a decision that neither he nor I will make. That is a 
decision that will be made by the leadership of the House and the 
leadership of the Senate. Then the Congress will work its will and 
decide if they want to agree or disagree with the decision made by the 
leadership.
  But I would also respond to the gentleman that for the last 4 years I 
had the privilege of chairing the Subcommittee on Defense of the 
Committee on Appropriations. Now last year alone, from the time that I 
submitted the bill to the subcommittee to the time that it came to the 
floor and to the time it went to conference with the Senate, I had my 
section 302(b) suballocation, it was section 602(b) back then, but now 
it is section 302(b), I had my suballocation changed three times during 
that process.
  So it is certainly possible that, as we go through the consideration 
of the 13 appropriations bills, we will re-look at adjustments under 
the section 302(b)s. But the section 302(b) suballocations that we have 
before us today are the best job that we could do based on where we are 
and what the budget resolution provides for and what moneys are 
available and identifying those important items that need to be 
identified.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young) has 
expired.
  (On request of Mr. McIntosh, and by unanimous consent, Mr. Young of 
Florida was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)
  Mr. McINTOSH. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I yield to the gentleman from Indiana.
  Mr. McINTOSH. Mr. Chairman, I want to say I also appreciate the 
chairman's hard work in this area. It cannot be emphasized enough how 
difficult the task is.
  I think the real question that the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. 
Coburn) was asking and I would be interested in knowing and I think 
frames this debate is: ``Do you think, as chairman of the committee, 
when we are finished with all 134 bills we will have met the overall 
cap, the 132(a), and not have had to go above that?"
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I would respond to the gentleman that we will 
probably spend every nickel and every dime that is provided for in that 
budget resolution because, as the gentleman knows because I have told 
him this many, many times, if we just froze every account at last 
year's level we would be $17 billion over those '97 budget caps, and 
that tragedy that we experienced last year, the end of the year so-
called omnibus appropriations bill, if we did everything that that bill 
committed us to do, we would be $30 billion over those budget caps that 
the gentleman is talking about.
  But let me close out this conversation on this subject because Social 
Security was Mr. Coburn's original discussion. No one will fail to 
receive

[[Page H3557]]

their Social Security check if this bill passes. No one Social Security 
check will be late unless the Y2K problem does not get solved, and that 
is something else that we have to worry about.
  And I have heard these arguments in this Congress for many years in 
an attempt to, whatever the attempt was, and I will not suggest what 
the attempt was, to frighten people into thinking that if we did not do 
this or did not do that, their Social Security check would not be 
coming. That did not happen. The Social Security checks go out, they go 
on time, they are deposited electronically on time, and this bill's 
passage is not going to affect the outcome of anyone's Social Security 
check 1 hour, 1 minute or 1 second or $1.
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I have had difficulty figuring out where I am today. 
When I came over here, I thought that I was attending a session of the 
House of Representatives. I did not know that I was really attending a 
session of the Republican Caucus.

                              {time}  1630

  It has been very interesting. I am not quite sure what to say about 
it. Let me simply suggest that the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young), 
the chairman of the Committee on Appropriations has, on three 
occasions, tried to produce legislation which would meet with 
bipartisan approval in this House. Each time, it is interesting to note 
that he has run into a roadblock.
  That roadblock has not been constructed by members of our party, the 
minority; that roadblock has been placed in his way by members of the 
majority party, the Committee on Appropriations chairman's own party.
  I think all of us know that the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young) is 
trying to do the right thing both for his party and for this 
institution, and for this country. And I, for one, make no apology, and 
I do not think he does either, for the level at which this bill is 
funded.
  I know of no group in the country that has suffered a larger erosion 
of income over the past decade or two decades than have American 
farmers. I know that we hear a lot about urban poverty, but the fact 
is, I can take my colleagues into communities where poverty is just as 
excruciating in rural areas. It is just a little bit more anonymous and 
it is a little bit further away from the television reporters who are 
located in the urban centers of this country.
  So I think, given that fact and given the fact that American farmers 
are now being exposed to the crunch of world markets as never before, I 
do not think we have to apologize for the high funding level in this 
bill. This bill, if we compare it to what we appropriated last year, 
out of all spigots including emergency appropriations and the famous 
Omnibus Appropriations bill, this bill represents a 31 percent cut from 
last year.
  Now, I would simply say this: We have tried on this side of the 
aisle. I did not vote for the budget 2 years ago. I thought that it was 
ill-conceived for this Congress to pass it; I thought it was ill-
conceived for this President to sign it.
  There are a lot of things that this Congress and this President have 
done that I think are ill-conceived. That was the most spectacular, in 
my view. But nonetheless, even though I have disagreed with that 
budget, I tried to cooperate with the committee, because that is our 
institutional responsibility. But sooner or later, we are going to have 
to face the fact that we either make some compromises or nothing 
further will get done this year.
  This is, as I say, the third time that we have seen a different play 
called after the committee brought its legislation, or tried to bring 
its legislation, out of subcommittee.
  On the last vote, I understand virtually all of the Republican 
leadership voted for the amendment that eliminated the funds contained 
in the original committee bill. I make no apology for supporting this 
bill, but I want to say this to those on my side of the aisle. I do not 
believe that we have any greater obligation to stick to the committee 
product than does the majority party. And if the leadership of the 
majority party is going to vote for amendments which are admitted by 
the author to be part of a tactical filibuster, then I would say the 
leadership of the House on the Republican side is cooperating in the 
destruction of its own ability to produce any progress on appropriation 
bills for the rest of the year.
  Now, if they want to do that, that is up to them, but I do not think 
that is going to be healthy for the House or, in the end, healthy for 
their record come October.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to tell the gentleman from Wisconsin just 
my perspective on roadblocks by one member or another member. My 
perspective is that we do not have roadblocks, we do not have partisan 
politics. Basically, we have differences of opinions. We come here as 
Members of Congress to exchange information, for the most part, have a 
sense of tolerance for somebody else's opinion, and then we vote. And 
what I see here from the gentleman from Oklahoma and those who support 
his position, they have a strongly held conviction that we need to 
reduce various budget items for the purpose of saving Social Security, 
all of which we would agree with.
  I would also say that this is not the Republican Caucus on the House 
floor right now; this is the Congress, and we are speaking to various 
issues. I know the gentleman from Massachusetts is going to strike some 
very humorous comment about that, and I am going to wait around to 
listen, because I would appreciate it.
  What I do want to say, however, is that I strongly disagree with the 
gentleman from Oklahoma on this issue; and what I would like to do is 
to read part of the committee bill and then give my opinion on the need 
to enhance and preserve and save agriculture and not talk about 
agriculture like it is General Motors and we are producing cars out 
there, or Westinghouse producing light bulbs.
  This is an industry that produces life-needed food for this country, 
and we are, for the most part, the warehouse for foodstuffs for the 
world. They are doing this on less and less land.
  This is what the committee bill says. This bill ``provides funding 
for research to strengthen our Nation's food supply to make American 
exports competitive in world markets, to improve human nutrition, and 
to help ensure food safety. Funds in this bill make it possible for 
less than 2 percent of the population to provide a wide variety of 
safe, nutritious and affordable food for more than 272 million 
Americans and many more people overseas.''
  What we are seeing in agriculture is, we are losing 1 million acres 
of ag land a year. That is not a million acres of ag land 10 years ago 
or over the decade, that is every single year we lose 1 million acres 
or more of agricultural land for a variety of reasons, but we are 
losing it.
  So that means, because the population continues to increase, we need 
to produce more poultry on less land. We need to produce more milk on 
less land. We need to produce more vegetables and more agricultural 
products on less land with fewer farmers, and in order to do that, we 
need the best technology.
  There is all kinds of technology out there, but not all of it is the 
best, and not all of it is environmentally safe. Not all of it is going 
to work within the confines of what we understand to be the mechanics 
of natural processes.
  One might be able to create genetically safe corn from the southern 
boll weevil, but what other forms of life are going to be damaged in 
the process? This is an intricate, very complex, scientific undertaking 
that we are doing here today.
  Now, I would say that Social Security is safe. This has nothing to do 
with Social Security. We are going to preserve Social Security not only 
for seniors today, but for future generations.
  This bill is about how we, as people, will understand how we are 
going to provide food for a growing population on less land; and I 
would urge my colleagues to vote for the bill of the gentleman from New 
Mexico (Mr. Skeen). It is a good one.
  Also for the bill of the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur).
  In conclusion, on the House floor, we have various differences of 
opinions. We do not see these arguments in Cuba

[[Page H3558]]

or North Korea or Iraq. This is the way we do business in this country. 
We come down here, sometimes in a very volatile atmosphere, but we 
discuss, debate, argue, disagree. We have a sense of tolerance of 
someone else's opinion, and then we vote. And that is the final say.
  Mrs. CLAYTON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  That is the hope, Mr. Chairman, that we will have a chance to vote.
  Mr. Chairman, I serve on the Committee on the Budget, and as I 
recall, the Committee on the Budget set certain limits, and my 
understanding is that agriculture being the first out is under its 
302(b) allocation. So the issue about spending more monies than 
allocated that are out of compliance of the budget resolution is not 
directed at appropriations of agriculture. It is only directed because 
it is a convenient model to discuss this issue.
  So although this may be a worthy issue to talk about, saving Social 
Security, not spending it, and I would entertain the gentleman's 
argument that it is a worthy issue, it is misdirected. It should not be 
directed here. We should not make agriculture the scapegoat for the 
gentleman's worthy discussion. I think it is misplaced.
  I do not know what the issue is with agriculture. The gentleman says 
he is from an agriculture community. Oklahoma, the last time I heard, 
has a lot of issues that are equally as pressing as Social Security. 
This agriculture bill takes no more from Social Security than if it had 
not passed. It will take a lot from Oklahoma farmers, however, if it 
does not pass.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Mrs. CLAYTON. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, we just heard the chairman of the Committee 
on Appropriations say that if we come through with last year's 
spending, just if we came through with last year's spending, we would 
bust the caps from 1997 by $17 billion.
  Mrs. CLAYTON. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, that is my point, if 
we came through the whole process.
  We are just starting this process, and the gentleman is attacking the 
beginning of the process as if we were the culprit in making that 
happen. We are not. So why not apply this theory to the whole?
  It is inappropriate to say, if we go through 13 appropriations bills, 
the likelihood is that we will bust the caps, that may happen. That is 
not the case; it is inappropriate.
  So I would just urge my colleagues, and I know the gentleman's 
strategy is indeed to prolong this. If, indeed, he wants to have this 
discussion, this discussion is an appropriate discussion, but it is 
ill-placed directed at the agriculture appropriation.
  In fact, I would suggest that it may be better when we talk about the 
lockbox. We are going to have that opportunity. I do not see the 
gentleman planning to do that.
  We are talking about the subject of Social Security. Here the 
gentleman is applying Social Security safety on an agriculture 
appropriation as if they are in conflict with each other, and they are 
not. The gentleman is making the conflict. The gentleman is placing it 
as if the appropriation for agriculture is breaking the caps. It is not 
doing that. The whole process may do that, but why make us the 
scapegoat for what the gentleman thinks may be an eventuality in that 
process.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
requisite number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I had understood that the leadership on the other side 
had brought this bill up because this was the easy appropriations bill. 
I know we are not supposed to address the audience watching this on 
television, but my guess is that some of them may be eagerly 
anticipating the fun they will have watching the hard appropriations 
bills if this is what we do with the easy one. Were it possible to sell 
tickets to this circus, we could probably do something about the 
revenues, but of course we cannot.
  But what I want to talk about is what I think is, in fact, the real 
issue here. The real issue is that one of the signal achievements of 
the Republican Party, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, is an unmitigated 
disaster. Now, there are efforts going on to mitigate it. But let us be 
very clear. That is the unspoken premise of this whole debate.
  What a terrible mistake this House made with the acquiescence of the 
other body and the President in 1997. Everybody gets up and says, oh, 
those budget caps, what a terrible thing they were, sort of. Some 
people are saying, we are going to hold you to them, and the suggestion 
that we are being held to them is considered to be an unfortunate one.
  But everybody acts as if the budget caps fell down from the heavens 
like the rains or the hail. People have forgotten. Those budget caps 
are not a force of nature. They were the vote of this House, and they 
were, as I understand it, one of the great achievements of the 
Republican Party.
  I also agree, by the way, that Social Security is not at risk here. 
What is at risk is Medicare. Because that same wonderful 1997 Balanced 
Budget Act, which is the greatest orphan in history since it does not 
appear to have any parent left, that 1997 Budget Act cut Medicare very 
substantially. It cut home health care, it cut prescription drugs in my 
State; it has cut hospital reimbursements.
  And what do we have now? Surprise, surprise, the 1997 budget caps 
which said spending would be the same in 2002 as in 1997. People are 
shocked that it is inadequate.

                              {time}  1645

  People are shocked at having voted to cut $115 billion out of 
Medicare to pay for a capital gains tax cut, and Medicare is suffering. 
What is all the shock coming from? Were Members in a coma when they 
voted for the 1997 budget act? Did people not think that voting to keep 
spending at the exact level 5 years later was going to cause problems? 
Did people think cutting $115 billion out of Medicare would have meant 
there would be a shortage of monopoly money the next time they sat down 
at the game?
  Never in the history of humanity have so many people professed 
surprise at the foreseeable consequences of their own actions. Members 
ran for office on this budget in 1998. They bragged about it. Now they 
are acting as if it was some terrible act of God that we have to live 
with.
  Everybody in here is Job; Oh, look what has happened to us, and we 
will have to live with it.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I disagree that that is what the issue is. I believe 
the issue is, did the Congress speak and say something, and are they 
willing to have the American people believe that they are going to do 
what they told them they would do.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I will 
respond to the gentleman, when the gentleman says ``do what they say 
they were going to do,'' that is what we said we were going to do in 
1997, is that correct? The issue is whether we are going to live up to 
the Act of 1997.
  I would ask the gentleman, is that right?
  Mr. COBURN. I will answer when I have my own time, because I am not 
sure I am going to get to answer the way I want to.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Yes, the gentleman can. I just wanted to 
make sure I understood it.
  Mr. COBURN. Wonderful.
  Mr. Chairman, what the American people are looking for from this body 
is honesty, integrity, and truthfulness about what our situation is. We 
can have wonderful debates about where our priorities should be, but 
the fact is that we did have an agreement. I did not happen to vote for 
the 1997 budget agreement, but we did have an agreement with this 
President, with the Congress of the United States, that said we are 
going to live within this agreement.
  What the American people are wondering is are we really going to do 
it, or is Washington going to continue to do what it has done the last 
40 years, to say one thing and do something completely other, and at 
the same time spend their pension money?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I will take back my time.
  I would only make one edit. When the gentleman said ``Washington,'' 
read

[[Page H3559]]

for that, ``The Republican Congress.'' That is what he means by 
``Washington,'' because the Republicans control the House and control 
the Senate.
  So my friend, the gentleman from Oklahoma, says the issue is, is this 
Republican-controlled Congress going to live up to this Republican 
accomplishment of 1997. And I think the answer is, they are looking for 
a way not to. He may not like the implications of what he said, but 
that is what he said.
  He said, here is the issue, is this Republican Congress willing to 
live up to this Republican 1997 budget act. And I think here is the 
problem with the American people.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. 
Frank) has expired.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to 
proceed for 2 additional minutes.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Massachusetts?
  Mr. SMITH of Michigan. I object, Mr. Chairman.
  Mr. Chairman, I withdraw my objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Massachusetts?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I have been here too long 
to be proud. I will accept second chances.
  Mr. Chairman, I would just say I think the issue is in fact, and I am 
not as sure as the gentleman as to what the American people think, but 
I think the American people may be conflicted.
  I think they may have a preference, on the one hand, for a low level 
of overall spending, and on the other hand, for particular spending 
programs that add up to more than the overall level. That is, I think 
the American people may be in a position where they favor a whole that 
is smaller than the sum of the parts they favor, and that is what we 
have to grapple with.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield to the gentleman from Maryland.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to make a comment 
about the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, and this is with 
regard to the caps, and I say this with all sincerity.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I knew Lincoln was a pretty smart fellow, 
but if the guy that was around in 1865 has made a comment about 1997, 
he was even smarter than I thought. But go ahead.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, here is what I think he would say, that 
he would restate his comment that the foolish and the dead alone never 
change their minds.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I guess he would say that, but I do not 
know why.
  If the gentleman is saying, ``change your mind,'' okay, but let us be 
clear what ``change your mind'' means. If it means he admits that this 
great accomplishment of 1997, this Balanced Budget Act that has been 
the basis for so much that they have taken credit for, they are really 
ready to throw it over the side, I do not blame the Members. I never 
liked it in the first place.
  The one thing the Members are not entitled to do is to express 
surprise at the entirely foreseeable consequences of their action. They 
are not entitled, having done it in 1997 and taken credit for it in the 
1998 election, to throw it over the side and say, what do you guys 
think this is, term limits, a promise one makes and then forgets about?
  Mr. SMITH of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  Mr. Chairman, agriculture is very important to me. I am a farmer. 
Agriculture has been shortchanged. We need to pay attention to 
agriculture and the survival of the family farm as other countries 
protect and subsidize their farmers.
  But I think that is one reason that this is the first of the 
appropriation bills where we are faced with the decision of 
overspending. Are we going to start inching our way into a situation 
where we have to break our word on keeping our commitment on the caps 
that we set in 1997.
  Just to make it clear, synonymous with sticking to the caps under the 
current CBO projections is whether or not we spend the social security 
trust fund surpluses to accommodate that extra spending.
  For most every year in the last 40 years, we have used the social 
security surpluses to mask the deficit; in other words, we have spent 
the social security surpluses for other government programs. A lot of 
people here say, well, do not worry about it, somehow social security 
is going to take care of itself.
  I disagree. The easy step, the easiest possible thing that we can do, 
is say that we are going to stop spending the social security surpluses 
for other government programs. That is a baby step. That is so easy 
compared to the program changes that are going to have to be 
implemented to change social security so it can stay solvent.
  So when we are faced with a situation that we inch our way into 
overspending and using Social Security surpluses on this important 
Agricultural budget, which is so difficult for so many of us to vote 
against, we set the pattern. Then the next budget that is also 
important, we are faced with more overspending. Then a situation at the 
end is that we cannot possibly stay within our caps and not spend the 
social security surpluses.
  Look, if the spending is so important, have the guts, the fortitude, 
to say, we are going to increase taxes to accommodate this kind of 
spending. Do not say, we are simply going to reach under the table, 
take the social security surpluses that are coming in because current 
workers are being overtaxed, and use that money, because few will 
notice the abuse. Nobody is going to see it or realize it until it runs 
out of money.
  We have ground this country into a $5.5 trillion debt. We are 
increasing that debt on a daily basis. Sometime we are going to have to 
face up to the fact that we are transferring our shortsighted desire 
for more overspending to our kids and our grandkids and future 
generations.
  Not only will they be asked to come up with additional income taxes 
but also social security taxes to pay for our overindulgence. I just 
give the Members a couple of situations. Germany did not pay attention 
to this early on, and now they are spending almost 50 percent of their 
wages in taxes to accommodate their senior retirement program.
  I am very concerned that we are going down, if you will, the primrose 
path of thinking all of these expenditures are necessary and important.
  I would just like to encourage my colleagues to face up to the 
consequences. If spending is so important, let us increase taxes to 
accommodate that spending. Let us reduce other expenditures to 
accommodate that spending. But let us keep our promise and not spend 
social security surpluses.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I just wanted to remind my colleagues that we are 
actually debating an amendment. Now, we have heard speeches here on 
social security, we have gotten into Abraham Lincoln's life, and 
everything else. But I become increasingly angered as I see the 
irresponsibility of the majority party inside this institution.
  I am a loyal Member of this House, and I am rarely as partisan as 
some of my colleagues on this side of the aisle. But I am going to get 
partisan now, because a bill that I have major responsibility for is 
being held up on this floor because of disarray inside the Republican 
Party. Who it is hurting is the farmers across this country.
  Mr. Chairman, I will not yield until I finish my statement to any 
Member on the other side of the aisle, since they are the reason for 
the continuing delay here today.
  I have served in this Congress now for 9 terms and I have the highest 
respect for the chairman of our subcommittee, the gentleman from New 
Mexico (Mr. Skeen), who has worked under enormous pressures of various 
types as we have moved this bill to the floor, the first appropriation 
bill to arrive on the floor, and rightly so for rural America, because 
no sector of this country is hurting more than rural America today.
  But as I look at the record of the Republican Congress during my 
tenure over the last several years, last year they could not clear a 
bill to assist rural America. We had to end up with

[[Page H3560]]

that omnibus atrocity at the end of the year where we threw in some 
help for rural America, because they could not deal with their 
appropriation bills on time.
  And then just last week, 6 months late, they appropriated more money 
under an emergency basis to try to help rural America, as well as 
defense and Kosovo and Hurricane Mitch victims and all of the rest. 
They did not do it under regular order. The only part of the bill that 
they required to be offset for budget purposes was the agriculture 
piece, the part that affected citizens of the United States of America 
who have paid taxes.
  Now today I come down here, and what do I see? I see delay by a 
Member who is not up for reelection, let us put the cards right on the 
table; who has, according to what we have been told, between 100 and 
200 amendments to an agriculture bill which is very important to rural 
America. So what I see today are delay tactics.
  I do not understand what is going on on the Republican side of the 
aisle. They can check my whole career, I probably have not used the 
word ``Republican'' in speeches on the floor 10 times in 17 years, but 
I am sick of it and what they are doing on agriculture. They are 
holding up our bill.
  I would just beg of the leadership, I will say to the leadership of 
their side of the aisle who voted with the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. 
Coburn), if this is any indication of what is about to happen over the 
next several days as we string this agony out and they make rural 
America wait again, I would just say, why do they not go back into 
their own little caucus and figure out what they are really for, 
because we have worked very hard for several months to produce this 
bill, and the people of America, particularly rural America, are 
waiting, and they are continuing to delay.
  I will specifically say to their leadership, the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Armey), the gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay), those who voted with 
the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn), why are they doing this? 
There are over 100 to 200 more amendments yet to come, and they are 
going to delay this bill?
  If these Members want a vote on social security, bring up a social 
security bill. They are in the majority. They can do anything they 
want. But why do they continue to take it out of the hide of rural 
America?
  I have a real problem here. I would just beg of the leadership to 
treat their committee chairs with respect, bring their bills to the 
floor in regular order, and do not nitpick us to death.
  Thank God we are not the other body. We are not supposed to have 
filibusters here. We are supposed to move the people's business. I am 
here to do that as a Democrat, and I wish they were here to do that as 
Republicans.


                      Announcement by the Chairman

  The CHAIRMAN. Members are reminded that their remarks are to be 
directed to the Chair, not to other persons.
  Mr. SHAYS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  I would like to say that I have tremendous respect for the 
gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) who just spoke. I would like to 
think that later she will regret some of the intensity that she feels, 
because this is the first day of a debate on the agriculture 
appropriations bill.
  We have a right, even in the majority, to amend majority bills, just 
as the minority has a right to offer amendments to these bills. That is 
what we are doing, and the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) in my 
judgment, is showing a lot of courage and integrity.
  I was sitting in my office and I was thinking, he is speaking the 
truth. We all need to have this dialogue, and if Members disagree with 
it, they disagree with it.
  The fact is, when we set the 302(b) allocations, we decided to give 
more to agriculture; we decided to give a lot more to defense; and, 
obviously, we decided to give less to Labor and Health and Human 
Services. These departments are going to receive a $10.7 billion cut. 
We also decided to give less to HUD. That department is also going to 
receive a significant cut.
  What we are saying is that when we increase agriculture spending, the 
only way we can do this is by cutting other departments. And we do not 
want that.
  What I am saying is that I will vote for appropriations bills that do 
not increase spending and that stay within the caps.

                              {time}  1700

  I understand that the chairman can say we are staying within the cap, 
because we could triple the agriculture budget. It is the first budget, 
and we could spend all the 302(b) allocation on agriculture and still 
not be above the cap.
  But we have to recognize that this budget is going to affect all the 
other budgets that follow. That is why I am on the floor to say I will 
vote against this budget, not because I dislike farmers, but because I 
do not like the bureaucracy in the Agriculture Department.
  I have a hard time understanding why we need over 95,000 employees in 
the Agriculture Department and less than 10,000 in HUD. I have a hard 
time understanding why we have over 85,000 contract employees working 
in the Agriculture Department.
  I do not think they help farmers as much as some of the other things 
we do. We have a gigantic department that, in my judgment, makes HUD 
look efficient.
  As a Member of Congress, I think I have a right to come here, speak 
on the amendment that the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) has 
offered, and vote for it with pride.
  I would gladly take credit for the balanced budget agreement, but I 
cannot take credit because a lot of people share in that credit. That 
agreement is one of the reasons why I think our country is doing as 
well as it is today.
  Our challenge is we have a gigantic surplus, and we simply do not 
know how to deal with the surplus, so we want to spend it and make 
government bigger and bigger and bigger.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from California for 
yielding to me.
  Everybody said what my intention was, but they never asked me exactly 
what my intention was. The reason for the number of amendments that 
have been offered is because the real debate is about what we are going 
to do with all this money that we are spending.
  As a Member of this body, I think, and I think the gentlewoman from 
Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) will agree, that I was just as obstructive in my 
desire to not spend wasteful money last year and the year before and 
the year before and the year before. I have not changed at all. I have 
been this independent ever since I have been up here, because I believe 
that we have an obligation to not spend one additional dollar that we 
do not have to.
  What I hear throughout the whole body is that we cannot. We cannot be 
better. We cannot get better. We cannot be more efficient. That the 
product of the appropriation process is the best that it can be.
  We all have an equal vote in here in terms of what we think and how 
we get a vote on certain issues. I, quite frankly, think that there are 
a lot of areas in this appropriation bill that we can trim spending, 
that will help us have money for Labor-HHS, Commerce, Justice and 
State, that will not have one effect on our farmers. Do my colleagues 
know what? Most of my farmers think so, too.
  So it is not a matter of just obstructing the process, it is a matter 
of reestablishing confidence within this body with the American people 
that we said we were going to hold spending down, that we were not 
going to waste money, and that in fact it is really true that, if we 
spend $1 that we do not need to, we are stealing the future from our 
children.
  So the debate is about Social Security because the money that we are 
going to end up spending is going to come from the Social Security 
surplus that, guess what, our children are going to have to pay back.
  Mr. LARGENT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to, if I could, see if we cannot back out 
of the trees and look at the forest a little bit. I appreciate the 
comments earlier by the gentleman from Massachusetts, and I think that 
he had it exactly right.
  One of my favorite movies is ``Indiana Jones.'' In the movie, his 
father is

[[Page H3561]]

killed, and they are drinking from the silver chalice. If Indiana Jones 
picks the right chalice to drink from, his father will live. If he 
picks the wrong one, he will die.
  In one of the moving lines of the movie, the bad guy says to Indiana 
Jones, ``Indiana Jones, it is time for you to decide what you 
believe.''
  I think what the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) is trying to do 
is to force that question on this party, the Republicans, to decide 
what we believe. The gentleman from Massachusetts had it exactly right.
  I will tell my colleagues that, as one Republican, I am not ashamed 
of what we did in the 1997 balanced budget agreement. It is the best 
thing we have done since I have been here, and I am proud of that and 
will gladly defend it to my dying day. But are we all willing to do 
that?
  What we have really is a logjam of ideals that are coming together in 
this first appropriation bill. The ideals are saving Social Security 
and the surplus, balancing the budget, and spending more money.
  I would have bet my last dollar that several years ago, had my 
colleagues asked me a question, if we had a logjam of those three 
ideals, which one would win, I would have bet my last dollar that 
Social Security would trump all the others. But what we are finding 
evident in this process is that is not true. Spending trumps everything 
else in this body. Big spending trumps everything, including Social 
Security.
  Again, let us back out of the woods and look at the forest. What we 
have here is the first of 13 bills, checks that the Congress writes to 
fund all the discretionary spending in the budget, about $600 billion. 
It may be a little bit more than that. This is the first one.
  What the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) has had the nerve and 
the courage to do is take the high ground and try to see if we can 
figure out where the end of this road is going to be.
  I will tell my colleagues where the end of the road is. It is a box 
canyon. It is a dead end. That is where we are headed.
  An old Chinese proverb says, ``The longest journey begins with the 
first step.'' This is the first step, and it is a step in the wrong 
direction. If we continue down this path, we will end up with another 
disaster like we had at the end of the last Congress.
  So what the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) is doing, he is not 
railing against agriculture, he is railing against this process. Sure, 
my colleagues are right, this is a problem within the Republican 
conference; and leadership is what is needed.
  We need to talk about what is the end game, not agriculture. What is 
the end game? Where are we going? Are we going to end up with the same 
disaster that we had last year, where we end up spending billions of 
dollars above the budget caps, $17 billion if we freeze all spending 
right now? That is the point that the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. 
Coburn) is trying to make.
  I was always taught, say what you mean and mean what you say. Now say 
what you mean is a communication issue; and I hear that wherever I go, 
speaking across the country on behalf of the Republican Party: What is 
the problem with your communication?
  One of the problems is we do not say what we mean. We are trying to 
do a better job of that. Do my colleagues know what we are saying? We 
are the party that wants to save Social Security first, not 62 percent 
of the surplus, as the President said from that lectern not long ago, 
but 100 percent.
  Mean what you say is an integrity issue. That is what this issue is 
about. It is an integrity issue of this party. Because if my colleagues 
are going to ask me to go around the country and hail the Republican 
Party and say we are the party that is to save Social Security first, 
then my colleagues better mean what they say, because I want to mean 
what I say. If we do not mean what we say, then I am going to quit 
saying it.
  That is the issue, are we going to mean what we say when we say we 
are going to save Social Security first? This bill is the first test on 
that issue.
  Again, the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) has had the foresight 
and the courage to take the high ground and look ahead and say, if we 
continue down this path, we have a disaster coming in the form of VA-
HUD and Labor-HHS that none of my colleagues will vote for under the 
302(b) allocations. Not one of my colleagues will vote for a $4 billion 
cut in VA-HUD and $5 billion cut in Labor-HHS. Not one of my colleagues 
will vote for it, not one.
  So that is the problem. It is a leadership issue. I agree with the 
gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur). It is a leadership issue that we 
need to deal with. I will tell my colleagues that this was our last 
resort, was to come to the House floor, because we hit dead end after 
dead end in trying to carry on this family discussion inside our own 
house.
  Mr. ETHERIDGE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I had not planned to come and speak on this bill today. 
As I was over in my office and watching it, I was thinking I am sure my 
farmers are out in the field this afternoon, and I hope they are, 
working, and not seeing what was going on that would have such a 
dramatic impact on their lives.
  We are here in an air conditioned building and, as my friend the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Largent) said who just spoke from the 
majority side, we are in an air-conditioned building, well-lighted and 
comfortable; and they are out in hot fields, their lives on the line. 
As he said, and he put it correctly, we are having a family fight.
  I am not going to get in the middle of this family fight. I am going 
to let my colleagues all fight it out. But I hope my colleagues will 
settle it, because this bill has a significant impact on the farmers in 
my State and the farmers all across this country.
  Yes, there are other bills to come that will affect the children. But 
this bill does, too, because it affects the quality of family life.
  I am proud to be a Member of the United States Congress. I am not 
proud when we bring our dirty laundry to the floor. There is nothing 
wrong with offering amendments. I have no problem with that. I will 
stay here all night and tomorrow morning, all day tomorrow. But we 
ought to know where we want to get to. It ought to be about getting to 
a destination. It ought to be about making it better rather than just 
to stop the process, to make a point. That is not what legislation is 
all about.
  I am only in my second term in Congress. I served 10 years in the 
General Assembly in my State. I understood stalling tactics, but it 
ought not to be about that. It ought to be about making it better and 
providing a better opportunity for people in America and specifically 
about our family farmers, because they are hurting.
  Our small farmers are going out of business. They are going broke. I 
have had farmers tell me, and I met with bankers, I met with someone 
earlier today and they said to me, ``If you do not have crop insurance, 
I will not make a loan. If you do not get a program in place, we are 
going to quit lending money.''
  If that should happen, I pray to God it does not, but if that should 
happen, it will not happen with my vote. I trust the majority party 
will come to their senses and make sure it does not happen with their 
vote either, because we have been fortunate in America, we have been 
blessed, as no other country in the world, to have a bountiful food 
supply.
  Oh, sure, there are children that do not have as much food as they 
should have; but over the years we have tried to do a good job. We have 
not done as much as we should to make sure that they are fed with the 
child nutrition program and other programs like that.
  But, Mr. Chairman, we have a job to do. We are paid to do it. So let 
us get on and pass this bill and get on to the other appropriations 
bills and get the people's business done.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I wrote down a few different thoughts here that we have 
all heard. Rome was not built in a day. The first step is the hardest 
step. The gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Largent) just mentioned the 
Chinese proverb, which was the longest journey begins with the first 
step. Do not do tomorrow what you can do today. To me, this is what the 
amendment of the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) is all about.

[[Page H3562]]

  As has already been stated numerous times on the House floor, we have 
a train wreck coming unless we go out and basically reroute this little 
train. So it is a family fight. It is an internal discussion. But it is 
a conversation that really has to take place now because the 
gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) mentioned the 302(b) numbers. There 
is no way we are going to cut $3 billion from VA-HUD. There is no way 
we are going to cut $5 billion from Labor-HHS. If we are going to get 
ahead of this curve, we have simply got to do it now.
  So I would just commend the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn). I 
would say that farmers that I talk to are the most straightforward 
people in the world. What we are dealing with, again, goes back to what 
the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Largent) was talking about in terms of 
the word ``integrity''. What we have is a budget plan that cannot work.
  When we talk about this idea of a surplus, last year we borrowed $100 
billion from Social Security to give us a surplus of about $70 billion. 
Most folks I talk to say basically we are still $30 billion in the hole 
if that is the math.
  A family, if one had to go out and borrow against one's retirement 
reserves to put gas in the car and food on the table, one would say 
that family was not running a surplus. In the business world, if one 
borrowed against one's pension fund assets to pay for the current 
operation of the company, one would go to jail. That is how we are 
getting to this surplus.
  So we are building on very shaky ground. That is what the gentleman 
from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) is trying to get us away from with this 
particular amendment.

                              {time}  1715

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SANFORD. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I want to go back and make a couple of 
points. This amendment is about cutting a 9 percent increase in an 
office that is full of computers for an Office of Public Information 
for the Department of Agriculture. And here we have people saying that 
we have to have 9 percent when every other aspect of our economy is not 
seeing any kind of increases near that.
  It is sacrosanct because of what has to continue; the way we used to 
do it, we always have to do it that way in the future. It is a process 
that needs to be shaken up.
  I would love to have been in a room with our Founding Fathers, 
because while we talk about majority-minority parties, I am sure they 
did not talk about majority-minority parties. They talked about doing 
what was best for this country regardless of what an individual's party 
says.
  It should be what is best for our districts, not what is good for our 
party. The Founding Fathers never once rationalized getting in power 
and having control so they could stay in power. What they said was, we 
are going to put this Union together and we are going to make it work 
because the people are going to have the integrity to do what is best 
for their constituents and they are going to have the vision to make 
sure that they do not make a short-run choice that sacrifices the long-
run choice.
  These amendments are about sacrificing the short run so we secure a 
future for our children in the long run. It is not about which party 
controls. It is a matter of living up to our responsibility to secure a 
future for our children. And, quite frankly, I am not sure this body is 
up to it, because I think the body is more interested in power politics 
than principle. I find that evident as we have had the debate today.
  So I would yield back to the gentleman and thank him for the 
additional time, and I would reemphasize that this is a debate about 
cutting a 9 percent increase out of the Office of Information for the 
Department of Agriculture, and that will not impact one farmer.
  I would rather see this same money moved and go to our farmers.
  It is not about not having enough money for our farmers; it is about 
having way too much bureaucracy and not having the guts to change it.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  First off, I think it is important that we know just exactly what the 
proposed increased spending is for. And I have great respect for the 
gentleman from Oklahoma, I do not believe he intends to misspeak, but 
this is an attempt to do something that many of us have been attempting 
to do since 1992, and that is bring the USDA into the next century 
technologically. And that is what these computers are all about. It is 
to allow our farmers to be served better by less people.
  And that is what the cuts that are being proposed are all about, and 
that is why some of us have opposed these cuts.
  But let me make a couple of other observations. If we want to save 
Social Security, let us bring a Social Security bill to the floor of 
the House from the Committee on Ways and Means.
  Now, the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) and the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Smith), on this side of the aisle, the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Shaw) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Archer) have 
brought bills and ideals but not to the floor. This is the wrong time 
for us to be picking on an agricultural bill, particularly making cuts 
that do just the opposite of what the gentleman from Oklahoma wants to 
do, in my opinion.
  But the gentleman is correct in many of the observations that he 
makes with his amendments today. We have no appropriations strategy, 
``we'' meaning this body, unless those who voted for the majority's 
budget are prepared to cut $6 billion from the Veterans Administration 
and HUD, unless they are willing to cut $11 billion in Labor HHS, 
unless they are willing to cut 8 percent in Commerce, State, Justice, 
and the energy and water bills, and unless they are willing to cut 20 
percent from the Interior and Foreign Operations.
  Now, I did not vote for that budget, because I am not willing to make 
those kinds of cuts in those areas, because I believe it would be 
counterproductive, and I am perfectly willing to say what I mean. But I 
did vote for the Blue Dog budget, and the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. 
Coburn) did also, which suggested that in the areas of agriculture, 
defense, education, health and veterans we might need to spend a little 
bit more on those areas, subject to the scrutiny of this body, which is 
perfectly okay for any Member in this body to challenge the Committee 
on Appropriations at any time on anything we are doing, and I do not 
begrudge the gentleman for doing that.
  We also, in our amendment, saved Social Security, and I would submit 
we did it really, and the gentleman agrees because he voted for it. We 
also provided for a 25 percent tax cut, or using 25 percent of the on-
budget for cutting taxes. But we also recognized there was going to be 
a need for additional spending, and we are proving it today. And this 
is an area in which when I say ``we,'' the leadership of this House 
needs to look at the train wreck that they are leading us down by the 
proposed 302(b) allocations.
  The gentleman from New Mexico and the gentlewoman from Ohio are doing 
what they were told to do. They were given a mark in the budget. This 
budget passed by a majority vote of this body. Therefore, that means a 
majority must support it.
  Well, if it means a majority do not wish to spend that which has been 
designated for agriculture, vote against it. Cut the agriculture bill. 
Vote to adopt the amendment of the gentleman from Oklahoma, in which he 
will cut the very technology that we need in order to make the 
efficiencies to do more work with less people. That is what this is all 
about.
  I know the gentleman has not looked into it. I have spent since 1992. 
I was the chairman of the Subcommittee on Department Operations, 
Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry that started us down the road of 
USDA reorganization, and I have been fought every step of the way by 
the bureaucracy. We have made some substantial improvements and 
changes, and one of the things that we must do now is provide our 
people with the technology that they need in order that they might do 
that which they are criticized every day for doing.
  Secretary Glickman has been criticized day after day after day 
because he has not been able to deliver that which our farmers expect. 
Part of the reason he has been criticized is we have

[[Page H3563]]

not given him the tools to use. So before we start blindly making 
amendments and trying to make points, let me just say this agricultural 
function is within the budget that passed by a majority of this House.
  It does not meet the criteria of the Blue Dogs. Those who supported 
us, which was a majority on my side of the aisle and 26 on that side of 
the aisle, said, no, we cannot do that, we have some other needs, and 
we are willing to stand up and be counted for those needs in a very 
responsible way.
  But if we truly want to save Social Security, let us bring a Social 
Security bill to this floor and do it tomorrow. Then we will have an 
honest debate about how we can best do it, not on an agricultural bill.
  Mr. WALSH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words. Mr. Chairman, I will not take the full 5 minutes. I would just 
like to make two points.
  One is that for those who have mentioned in the debate that the 
farmers are waiting in the fields for us to resolve this issue, I would 
remind them that this bill does not become law for at least 4 months, 
regardless of how long this debate goes on. So no one is going to be 
harmed by this debate except perhaps the patience of the Members who 
are participating in it or whose constituents are listening to it back 
home.
  So this is not going to cause any breakdown in USDA or in the 
delivery of services or anything else. This is next year's 
appropriations bill.
  The second thing is, the gentleman from Oklahoma has every right to 
offer these amendments, but that does not mean we have to debate every 
one of them. This could go on for a long, long time. Why do we not just 
agree that he has his right to bring the amendments and let us vote 
them down?
  The committee, the subcommittee, went through the process according 
to Hoyle. We did the right thing. Let us just vote these amendments 
down. If we debate every amendment, it could be 4 months before we 
complete.
  Mr. BOYD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I will not take 5 minutes, but I think it is wonderful 
that we can be in this position. When I was running for Congress in 
1996, the major theme was that the Congress ought to live within its 
own means, it ought not to spend more money than it takes in. And I am 
proud of the U.S. Congress for what they have done in the past few 
years to get us there.
  I know the gentleman from Oklahoma played an integral role in that, 
and I respect his right to bring these amendments. But I want to tell 
the gentleman that we have to live within these budget caps that we 
have imposed upon ourselves, or we are going to have a train wreck.
  Now, I did not happen to vote for the budget that we are operating 
under right now. Like the gentleman from Texas, I voted for the Blue 
Dog budget, as did the gentleman from Oklahoma. And I think the major 
difference between the two was that we recognized, as Blue Dogs, that 
we could not do the cuts quite as deeply as were shown in the budget 
that came out of the majority of this House.
  So, obviously, that Blue Dog budget went down, and now we are living 
within the constraints of the one that we have. And as my colleagues 
know, the main difference in those was the depth of the tax cuts.
  So I just wanted to remind the gentleman from Oklahoma that, as I 
have listened to this discussion today, much of it has focused on 
senior citizens and the issue of Social Security. What has not been 
mentioned today is the fact that much of this bill that we are debating 
right now is of direct benefit to senior citizens. Actually, only 12 or 
13 billion goes directly into the farm programs, the balance goes into 
WIC and some other programs that are directed at senior citizens.
  Our rural housing programs, particularly the multifamily housing and 
rental assistance programs are heavily oriented towards seniors. We 
have housing repair loans and grants that help senior citizens fix 
their homes and rentals and repair handicapped access. Our community 
facility loans and grants build community centers that are used by all 
age groups in rural America.
  A significant part of our research in this bill has gone for the 
elderly nutrition. This bill supports several feeding programs for 
senior citizens in urban and rural areas. This bill also supports 
people, the computers, the buildings and all other things necessary to 
make these programs work.
  Now, I have spent most of my life in agriculture, and I go in and out 
of the FSA office regularly; and we have cut the staff in those 
offices, we have consolidated those offices to the point where we are 
doing a disservice to our farmers now all across this Nation. And the 
only way for us to be able to continue to sustain that is with 
technology. I am embarrassed when I go in and see some of the computers 
that they are using.
  So I strongly urge the defeat of this amendment, and I certainly am 
thankful to the gentleman from Oklahoma for continuing this debate.
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number 
of words.
  Mr. Chairman, I thought one of the most interesting talks was given 
by the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Largent). This is not about 
agriculture today, as far as what the gentleman is doing. It is about 
spending and it is about the future and, in the long run, farmers are 
going to be better.
  I grew up in a little town called Shelbina, Missouri, which had a 
population of 2,113 folk, and I want to tell my colleagues that most of 
my friends were farmers, and most of them are having to have second and 
third jobs just to hang on to their farms. And I understand that. But 
when I look at this body and the argument, not just with our party, but 
with the other party as well, on total spending for the future, it is 
important.
  Most of us could live within the budget caps, even national security. 
We could live under the budget caps set with national security if we 
did not have the Somalia extension, which cost billions; Haiti cost 
billions; Bosnia has cost $16 billion so far, and that is not even next 
year; Kosovo has already cost $15 billion; going to Iraq four times 
cost billions of dollars.
  And all of this money, every penny of this, we could put in farms, we 
could put in Social Security, and we could do all the other things we 
want to. But this White House has got us in folly all over this planet, 
costing billions of dollars. So there is spending there.
  I also look at the different things that we fight, and not just 
agriculture. Take a look at the balanced budget process. If I had my 
way I would do away with the budget process, and I think the gentleman 
from Massachusetts (Mr. Frank) would too, and I would just go with an 
appropriations bill.
  I would get rid of the authorization, and I would reduce the entire 
size of government so that we do not have to tax farmers so much, so 
that neither a State nor local nor Federal tax means more than 25 
percent. That would help farmers.

                              {time}  1730

  Look at the Endangered Species Act. Look at how that hurts farmers. 
Increased taxes hurt farmers. All of these things that we talk about on 
this floor on almost all the bills, whether it is defense or 
environment or other things, affect farmers negatively.
  The supplemental we passed, we passed a pretty good bill out of the 
House. It was clean but it went to the other body and it was a disaster 
coming back here. And that took money out from the things that we are 
trying to do in medical research and all the other things.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from Texas talked about this 
office and this amendment. I want to get back to it for a minute.
  I just want the American people to know, in 1964 there were 3.2 
million farms in this country and there were 108,000 agricultural 
employees working for the U.S. Government. In 1997 there were 40 
percent fewer farms, 1.9 million, and there were 107,000 Department of 
Agriculture employees plus 82,000 contract employees that did not exist 
in 1964.
  So the question that I am wanting to raise, the philosophical 
question is why

[[Page H3564]]

can we not get the government smaller if we have fewer farmers, they 
are more efficient, they are doing better, and send more of the money 
that we have for agriculture to the farmers? How is it that we cannot 
do that? We can do that. It is that we choose not to do it.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  I appreciate focusing, as the gentleman did, on the fundamental issue 
here. And I think we do have a question as to the adequacy of the caps. 
The gentleman from California said we could live under the cap, even 
for national security, and he said if it were not for Somalia, Haiti, 
Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.
  My point to the gentleman is this: Kosovo came after, but the other 
military efforts he mentioned all preceded the cap. The cap was 1997. 
So if the gentleman says we could have lived under the cap except for 
Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia and Iraq, then he must be saying, seriously, 
that the cap was too low. Because those four items which he said make 
it impossible to live under the cap, four of the five predate the cap.
  So I ask the gentleman, does he still say the cap was adequate in 
1997?
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Cunningham) has expired.
  (By unanimous consent, Mr. Cunningham was allowed to proceed for 2 
additional minutes.)
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, what I would say to the gentleman is 
this. The Joint Chiefs, for example, in defense said that we need $150 
billion, that is an additional $22 billion a year just to pay for 
defense, and that is because of all of those deployments that have 
happened.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman would 
continue, I understand that. But my point to the gentleman is we can 
differ about that, although I hope we can work together to reduce some 
of these excessive commitments. But I would say to the gentleman this: 
Most of those things happened before my colleagues voted for the cap. 
So I am simply saying it is impossible logically to say both that these 
interventions make the cap unrealistic and to have voted for the cap, 
because the cap came after most of those interventions.
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I think the 
gentleman is missing the point. Even though the cap came afterwards, 
those other events preceded it and all of those bills were carried on 
down the line.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman would 
continue to yield, yes. Then why did my colleague vote for the cap? I 
agree that because the events preceded it, the cap came after it. That 
I agree to.
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, again it is about 
spending. And I would say, look at www.dsausa.Org. That is the Democrat 
Socialists of America. And under that are 58 of the members in this 
body.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman would 
continue to yield, would he tell me what that remotely has to do with 
anything?
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. They want increased spending. They want increased 
government control. They want increased taxes. They want to cut defense 
by 50 percent. And every single one of those hurts farmers.
  So this is about spending. And they in the minority want to increase 
spending. They want to increase taxes. They want to increase government 
control. All of those things hurt farmers.
  So this bill and this debate is good, because it is not about 
agriculture. It is about a principle of spending and taxes and whether 
Congress is putting us in the hole for future generations or not.


                      Announcement by the Chairman

  The CHAIRMAN. Members are reminded that they are to refrain from 
characterizing the actions of the other body.
  Mr. MINGE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, last Sunday afternoon I spent 3 hours at the Emmanuel 
American Lutheran Church in rural Fulda in Minnesota. The Fulda 
Ministerium had organized a service to minister to the anguish of the 
farm community. The local Catholic priest and several ministers 
participated.
  Farm families are struggling to decide if they can continue to farm. 
Business families are wondering if their businesses will survive. 
Churches are wondering if they will survive. Teachers are wondering if 
their schools will stay open in the small communities in rural America.
  As I sat in the service, I looked up at the wall in the front of the 
sanctuary and I noticed that the Ten Commandments were there. The 
Seventh Commandment states, ``Thou shalt not steal.'' The Seventh 
Commandment, which states, ``Thou shalt not steal,'' had a very strange 
and eerie relevance to the meeting that afternoon.
  What is happening is this country has a cheap food policy and we have 
been stealing from America's farm families for decades. We are driving, 
by our national cheap food policy, thousands of families from the farms 
of America every year.
  This year we are struggling with the first appropriations bill, 
Agriculture Appropriations. It is a humble bill. From my reading of the 
approach that we are taking, there is no real policy in this bill. We 
are not making progress. And I fear that the American farmers are 
getting rolled again in fiscal 2000. Their bill comes up first, and 
there is all this debate about whether their bill is too high.
  Well, I can assure my friend from Oklahoma that we are not investing 
enough in agriculture. It is far from the truth. And the 100,000 
employees he is talking about at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
they are not dealing with our agricultural programs. Almost all of them 
are dealing with nutrition and Forest Service and other programs. It is 
not agriculture.
  Let us quit treating our farmers like dirt. We expect them to farm in 
the dirt, but they deserve to be treated with dignity. I do not see any 
progress in this series of amendments. We are squandering hours of 
floor time on a frivolous debate over these amendments.
  What we need to do, Mr. Chairman, we need to recognize the fact that, 
as we move through this appropriations process, one appropriations bill 
after another is going to exceed the caps. The Agriculture 
Appropriations bill is probably the one that is considered easiest to 
pass without protracted debate over whether we should not be spending 
more.
  Tragically, when the end of the year comes and we have the new CBO 
budget baseline and the pressure is there for other programs, we will 
start to find ways to explode the caps. I think all of us know that. 
But for agriculture, no, there is no new program. There is no crop 
insurance reform for fiscal year 2000. We are not increasing the loan 
rates for fiscal 2000. We are not providing additional money for new 
and beginning farmers in fiscal 2000. We are not investing in our rural 
communities for fiscal 2000 to a greater degree.
  We have a static program. We are regressing for America's rural 
communities in fiscal 2000. And I think to blame the White House, to 
blame this and to blame that, is absolutely wrong. It is asinine. We 
need to look at ourselves and blame ourselves for the fact we are not 
doing justice to America's farm families.
  I urge that we defeat this amendment and that we move on to consider 
the substance of this bill so that we no longer are insulting rural 
America.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 239, 
noes 177, answered ``present'' 3, not voting 14, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 154]

                               AYES--239

     Aderholt
     Andrews
     Archer
     Armey
     Bachus
     Baird
     Baker
     Baldwin
     Ballenger
     Barr
     Barrett (WI)
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bass
     Becerra
     Bentsen
     Bereuter
     Berkley
     Berman
     Biggert
     Bilbray
     Blagojevich
     Bliley
     Blumenauer
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Borski
     Brady (PA)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (OH)

[[Page H3565]]


     Bryant
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp
     Campbell
     Cannon
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chenoweth
     Clement
     Coble
     Coburn
     Collins
     Conyers
     Cook
     Costello
     Cox
     Coyne
     Crane
     Crowley
     Cubin
     Cunningham
     Davis (VA)
     Deal
     DeFazio
     Delahunt
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Deutsch
     Doggett
     Doolittle
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Ehlers
     Ehrlich
     English
     Eshoo
     Evans
     Fattah
     Filner
     Foley
     Fossella
     Fowler
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (NJ)
     Gallegly
     Ganske
     Gejdenson
     Gephardt
     Gibbons
     Gillmor
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Goodling
     Gordon
     Goss
     Granger
     Green (TX)
     Green (WI)
     Greenwood
     Gutierrez
     Gutknecht
     Hall (OH)
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hill (MT)
     Hilleary
     Hoeffel
     Hoekstra
     Holt
     Hostettler
     Hutchinson
     Inslee
     Istook
     Jefferson
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kelly
     Kennedy
     Kind (WI)
     Kleczka
     Klink
     LaHood
     Lantos
     Largent
     Larson
     Lazio
     Leach
     Lee
     Levin
     Linder
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Luther
     Maloney (CT)
     Maloney (NY)
     Manzullo
     Martinez
     Matsui
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Meeks (NY)
     Metcalf
     Mica
     Miller, Gary
     Miller, George
     Mink
     Moakley
     Moore
     Murtha
     Myrick
     Neal
     Northup
     Norwood
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Paul
     Pease
     Pelosi
     Petri
     Phelps
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Pombo
     Portman
     Pryce (OH)
     Rahall
     Ramstad
     Rangel
     Reynolds
     Riley
     Rivers
     Rogan
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roukema
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Salmon
     Sanchez
     Sanford
     Sawyer
     Scarborough
     Schaffer
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherman
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Slaughter
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (NJ)
     Snyder
     Souder
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stearns
     Stump
     Stupak
     Sununu
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Taylor (MS)
     Terry
     Thornberry
     Thune
     Tiahrt
     Tierney
     Toomey
     Towns
     Udall (NM)
     Upton
     Velazquez
     Walden
     Wamp
     Waters
     Watts (OK)
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Weygand
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wise
     Woolsey
     Wu

                               NOES--177

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Baldacci
     Barcia
     Barrett (NE)
     Bateman
     Berry
     Bilirakis
     Bishop
     Boehlert
     Bonilla
     Bonior
     Bono
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brown (FL)
     Callahan
     Canady
     Capps
     Carson
     Chambliss
     Clayton
     Clyburn
     Combest
     Condit
     Cooksey
     Cramer
     Cummings
     Danner
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     Diaz-Balart
     Dickey
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Dixon
     Dooley
     Edwards
     Emerson
     Engel
     Etheridge
     Everett
     Ewing
     Farr
     Fletcher
     Forbes
     Ford
     Frelinghuysen
     Frost
     Gekas
     Gilchrest
     Gilman
     Gonzalez
     Hansen
     Hastings (FL)
     Hill (IN)
     Hilliard
     Hinchey
     Hobson
     Hooley
     Horn
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Isakson
     Jackson (IL)
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kuykendall
     LaFalce
     Lampson
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Lofgren
     Lowey
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Markey
     Mascara
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCrery
     McHugh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McKinney
     Meek (FL)
     Miller (FL)
     Minge
     Mollohan
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Morella
     Napolitano
     Nethercutt
     Ney
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ose
     Owens
     Oxley
     Packard
     Payne
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Pickett
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (NC)
     Quinn
     Radanovich
     Regula
     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Rogers
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Sabo
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Saxton
     Schakowsky
     Scott
     Serrano
     Shows
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sisisky
     Skeen
     Skelton
     Smith (WA)
     Spence
     Stabenow
     Stenholm
     Strickland
     Talent
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Tauzin
     Taylor (NC)
     Thomas
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thurman
     Traficant
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Walsh
     Watkins
     Watt (NC)
     Wexler
     Wilson
     Wolf
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                        ANSWERED ``PRESENT''--3

     Kaptur
     Kucinich
     Menendez

                             NOT VOTING--14

     Brown (CA)
     Clay
     Graham
     Hinojosa
     Holden
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Kasich
     Millender-McDonald
     Nadler
     Ortiz
     Pallone
     Reyes
     Rothman
     Smith (TX)

                              {time}  1800

  Mr. ROEMER and Mr. STRICKLAND changed their vote from ``aye'' to 
``no.''
  Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. HOEFFEL, Mr. BAIRD, Ms. SANCHEZ, Ms. VELAZQUEZ and 
Messrs. MOAKLEY, NEAL of Massachusetts, DEUTSCH and GREEN of Texas 
changed their vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''
  So the amendment was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  (Mr. GILMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Chairman, I will not take the 5 minutes.
  Mr. Chairman, I had planned on offering an amendment that would have 
attempted to strike funding for the Office of the Secretary as well as 
other offices and programs within USDA in an attempt to provide some 
$40 million for onion and apple farmers in the State of New York that 
were severely struck by bad weather, a disaster-type of problem that 
they had last year.
  We, our good Committee on Agriculture, adopted a $5.9 billion 
emergency relief measure. Our farmers still have yet to see one dollar 
of that, and I wanted to mention as we are considering this major 
agriculture measure, I wanted to make my colleagues aware of the poor 
manner in which the United States Department of Agriculture has 
addressed emergency relief for our farmers at a time when this Congress 
passed a $5.9 billion emergency relief measure last October, and yet 
very few of our farmers have received the kind of relief they are 
entitled to. Moreover, when they go to seek relief, they find that the 
crop insurance program leaves a lot to be desired.
  Again, Mr. Chairman, I want to commend the Chairman of the Committee 
on Agriculture in the House and the Senate for taking a hard look at 
revising that program.
  So again I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind our 
colleagues that while the USDA speaks highly of trying to do something 
for the farmers, their programs leave a lot to be desired.
  Mr. Chairman, I had planned on offering an amendment that would have 
attempted to strike funding for the Office of the Secretary as well as 
other offices and programs within the USDA in an attempt to provide $40 
million for onion and apple farmers from New York.
  However, in observance of comity as well as in recognition that such 
amendment would not pass, I will not offer such an amendment.
  Moreover, along with my colleague the gentleman from New York, Mr. 
Walsh, we attempted to add $30 million to the recently approved 
emergency supplemental for emergency assistance for our apple and onion 
producers, but we were denied such relief.
  However, the manner in which the Secretary of Agriculture and the 
USDA has chosen to handle the current crisis which continues to plague 
our onion producers from my congressional district in Orange County, 
New York is wholly unsatisfactory.
  One year ago this month, a devastating hail storm swept through the 
Orange County region causing severe damage to vegetable crops and 
adversely affected the production of our onion crops. When our farmers 
went to their Federal crop insurance for assistance, they encountered a 
system that hindered them, rather than helping them.
  In the year that has followed since the last disaster, the United 
States Department of Agriculture has utterly failed to act within their 
mandate to secure and protect the interests of our nations farmers. 
Many of our farmers face bankruptcy as a result of multi-year losses 
and absolutely no assistance from USDA. In Orange County, our farmers 
began planting for the new season, despite receiving no indemnities on 
their claims. They could not afford to buy the seed and supplies needed 
to ensure a bountiful growing season and many are struggling to keep 
themselves afloat in the midst of the maelstrom that the Department has 
unleashed upon them. We called upon the Secretary of Agriculture, 
noting that unless the emergency funds so desperately needed were 
released immediately, a number of them may not be able to survive.
  Despite numerous pleas from a number of us in the Congress, the 
Department has continued to follow a course of action that puts the 
best interests of our farmers at risk. This bureaucratic blockade of 
emergency funding stands in stark contract to the mission of the 
Department of Agriculture and has succeeded only in prolonging the 
suffering of our farmers, rather than assuaging it.
  Once again, I renew my call to the Secretary to take every 
appropriate action to ensure that these emergency disaster funds that 
were appropriated by Congress back in October of last year are promptly 
disbursed and I urge the Secretary to take whatever steps are necessary 
to thoroughly revise the Federal

[[Page H3566]]

Crop Insurance Program. We should not continue programs that provide no 
substantive relief to those who look to them for assistance. The time 
is now for the Secretary to begin such a revision process.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, parliamentary inquiry.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentlewoman will state her parliamentary inquiry.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I would like to perhaps have the gentleman 
from Florida on the other side talk about the schedule at this point, 
or the Chair, whomever knows what the schedule is for this evening. We 
understand that votes may be being rolled. If someone could clarify it 
for us, what is happening here now?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentlewoman from Ohio could move to strike the last 
word and yield to the gentleman from Florida.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word and would 
yield to the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young), chairman 
of our full committee.
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, the plan is as follows:
  The freshmen have a commitment between now and 8 o'clock at the 
Holocaust Museum, and we will continue the debate, but we will roll the 
votes that occur between now and 8 o'clock. Then at 8 o'clock we will 
take the votes that have been postponed, and then after we have 
completed that, a decision will be made whether to proceed further into 
the evening and take votes or to proceed further into the evening and 
roll the votes until tomorrow or to rise.
  Mr. Chairman, one of those three options will be announced after the 
votes at 8 o'clock.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman.
  So, there will be no votes between now and approximately 8 p.m., but 
debate will continue.
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. That is correct.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for the 
clarification.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:


                 office of the chief financial officer

       For necessary expenses of the Office of the Chief Financial 
     Officer, including employment pursuant to the second sentence 
     of section 706(a) of the Organic Act of 1944 (7 U.S.C. 2225), 
     of which not to exceed $10,000 is for employment under 5 
     U.S.C. 3109, $4,283,000.

          Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration

       For necessary salaries and expenses of the Office of the 
     Assistant Secretary for Administration to carry out the 
     programs funded by this Act, $613,000.

        Agriculture Buildings and Facilities and Rental Payments


                     (including transfers of funds)

       For payment of space rental and related costs pursuant to 
     Public Law 92-313, including authorities pursuant to the 1984 
     delegation of authority from the Administrator of General 
     Services to the Department of Agriculture under 40 U.S.C. 
     486, for programs and activities of the Department which are 
     included in this Act, and for the operation, maintenance, and 
     repair of Agriculture buildings, $140,364,000: Provided, That 
     in the event an agency within the Department should require 
     modification of space needs, the Secretary of Agriculture may 
     transfer a share of that agency's appropriation made 
     available by this Act to this appropriation, or may transfer 
     a share of this appropriation to that agency's appropriation, 
     but such transfers shall not exceed 5 percent of the funds 
     made available for space rental and related costs to or from 
     this account. In addition, for construction, repair, 
     improvement, extension, alteration, and purchase of fixed 
     equipment or facilities as necessary to carry out the 
     programs of the Department, where not otherwise provided, 
     $26,000,000, to remain available until expended; making a 
     total appropriation of $166,364,000.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Sanford

  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Amendment offered by Mr. Sanford:
       Page 4, line 25, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced 
     by $21,695,000)''.

  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is a very slight and modest 
change within the whole of the $13-plus billion that will go to 
agriculture. It deals specifically with the agricultural buildings and 
facilities rental payments section, and what it does is it deceases by 
a little over $21 million the specific agricultural buildings and 
facilities rental payment section.
  Now what this really gets at is, there is what they call the space 
plan within the Department of Agriculture, and there are numerous 
Department of Agriculture buildings throughout the country, and what we 
do not have in schools across this country where we have actually 
students in trailers is this kind of money being spent.
  So this is to take out $21 million which seems to me to be a 
Washington phenomenon, to go simply on planning on where buildings may 
or may not be, where leases will or will not go next, and so this is a 
420 percent increase in this one category of expenditure, and again it 
is something that we do not see in the private sector. We do not see 
somebody in the private sector spending $21 million planning on where 
they are going to lease or sublease next, we do not see $21 billion 
additional being spent on planning when it could go into real 
buildings.
  One of the choices that we will be having later this year is do we 
spend this $21 million on planning, or do we put the money, for 
instance, into education? This could actually buy books for the 
classroom, it could actual buy computers for the classroom, it could 
actually take people out of trailers.
  In South Carolina we see trailers that actually house students. It 
could take them out of those facilities and put them in a real 
facility.
  There is, for instance, if the choice right now is between this $21 
million and, for instance, VA-HUD, would we rather spend the $21 
million on veterans or would we rather spend the money, the $21 
million, deciding where we are going to put bureaucrats in and around 
Washington, D.C.?
  That is all this amendment does. It is part of a much greater 
context, and that is the context of what comes next. If we do not get 
ahead of the curve on where Washington is spending money, we have a 
train wreck coming this fall. There is no way this institution will cut 
$5-plus billion out of Labor-HHS, there is no way this institution will 
cut $3-plus billion out of VA-HUD, and the simple question before us 
is:
  Can we save this $21 million to go toward planning where bureaucrats 
will be housed in Washington, or would we rather save that for these 
greater purposes later on?
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I might inquire of the gentleman?
  My understanding of this is that last year we spent $5 million in 
this area and that we are increasing it to 21 million 600 and some odd 
thousand dollars, and I profess to not understand the rationale behind 
that, and I would like to know where this $16 million, how it is 
actually going to be spent. Is that a contract with some outside firm 
to help the Department of Agriculture better utilize its space or to 
give them a strategic plan? Where is the $16 million going to be spent 
over this next year, and how is it that we have a 420 percent increase?
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. COBURN. I yield to the gentleman from New Mexico.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate it.
  The gentleman is talking about the wrong section of the bill, because 
it is not the building account his amendment goes after. His amendment 
goes after the repairs and the rental accounts. These are contracts 
that have been made by the Department of Agriculture in renovating some 
of the older buildings that they own.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from New Mexico for 
that explanation.
  I would like to read from the committee print.
  The Department's headquarters staff is presently housed in a four-
building, government-owned complex in downtown Washington and in leased 
buildings in the metropolitan Washington area. In 1995, the USDA 
initiated a plan to improve the delivery of USDA programs to American 
people, including streamlining the USDA organization. A high priority 
goal in the Secretary's plan is to improve the operation and 
effectiveness of the USDA headquarters in Washington.
  To implement this goal, a strategy for efficient reallocation of 
space to house the restructured headquarters agencies in modern and 
safe facilities has been proposed. This USDA strategic plan will 
correct serious problems which USDA has faced in its facility program, 
including inefficiencies of operating out of scattered lease facilities

[[Page H3567]]

and serious safety hazards which exist in the huge Agriculture South 
Building.
  During Fiscal 1998, the Beltsville office facility was completed. 
This facility was constructed with funds appropriated to the 
departments located on government-owned land in Beltsville, Maryland. 
Occupancy by USDA agencies began in 1998 and will be completed in 1999.
  I guess my point is the same point that the gentleman from South 
Carolina (Mr. Sanford) had, is we are going to be trading classrooms 
for children, we are going to be using Social Security money to 
facilitate new buildings, new headquarters and new facilities for the 
USDA, and that does not help farmers one bit that I can figure out. It 
does help the people who work for the Department of Agriculture, but it 
does not help the farmers, and it is my hope with this kind of increase 
that we could take a look at that and perhaps trim that down or 
eliminate it, or bring it down to something realistic because, in fact, 
we do have a war that is costing $15 billion thus far, and we are going 
to have to make some choices.
  Mr. Chairman, would the gentleman like to respond to that?
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman is still in the wrong account. 
That is an operations and maintenance account that we are talking about 
for buildings that are in use by the Department of Agriculture, and it 
is not planning money at all.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I would again thank the gentleman for 
responding to that. Again, I would stand by what I just read in the 
committee print, which is how this money was labeled in terms of the 
strategic space plan, and I guess I will just have to be satisfied.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. COBURN. I yield to the gentleman from New Mexico.
  Mr. SKEEN. It is still the wrong number. We will be happy to show the 
gentleman where it is.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I will be happy to wait on the gentleman.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman. He should not hold 
his breath.
  Mr. COBURN. Okay, again I would make the point.
  The point is this: There is a significant increase in this section of 
the bill.

                              {time}  1815

  It is $21 million in a time when we are spending money on a war, 
where we have made a commitment not to spend Social Security dollars to 
run this government, and in an area that offers nothing for our 
farmers.
  Now, there is no question that I want more dollars to go to our 
farmers. That is why we spent almost $12 billion in emergency 
supplemental dollars last year for our farmers. That is why we advanced 
the Freedom to Farm payment of $5 billion last year. That is why the 
baseline for the agricultural bill was up $5 billion over last year, 
because what was appropriated in the initial appropriations was $55 
billion, almost $56 billion; and when we adjust that for the emergency 
spending that raises the baseline, we come to $61 billion.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. COBURN. I yield to the gentleman from South Carolina.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, I would just ask the gentleman this 
question.
  How would this strategic space plan in fact help a farmer?
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, that was the question I asked.
  Mr. SANFORD. In other words, Mr. Chairman, I think it is a question 
that goes straight to the heart of the matter of do we really need to 
spend this additional $21 million.
  Mr. SHADEGG. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise reluctantly in support of this amendment. My 
good friend from New Mexico, I know has worked very hard on this 
legislation, and I know him to be a talented Member who works very 
hard. He is from my neighboring State of New Mexico, and I applaud him 
for his efforts. Indeed, I applaud him for his efforts throughout this 
legislation because I think he does a good job for the agricultural 
community, and this is an important piece of legislation which we are 
considering here today.
  I certainly support all of his efforts and all that he has done to 
support the ag community.
  However, I must rise in support of the amendment itself because of 
the circumstances in which we find ourselves. It seems to me that there 
is a proper time in the course of events when one can look at, how 
could we improve the situation at the Department of Agriculture 
buildings; how can we ensure their proper maintenance, how can we 
indeed perhaps strategically plan their use of space; and there is a 
time in the course of events when one can afford to do those kinds of 
things.
  But my belief is that at this particular moment, this particular 
allocation of $21 million, a little over $21.5 million, comes at a 
moment in time when we face some very, very difficult challenges, 
challenges having to do with the confrontation we face in the Balkans, 
the challenge we face in meeting our commitment to the American people 
in other spending priorities, and particularly with regard to our 
overall spending plan.
  It seems to me what we have done is, we have placed individual 
subcommittee chairmen, individual cardinals such as my good friend, the 
gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Skeen) in a difficult position, because 
right now, what we have done is, we have come to the floor to debate 
one of the 13 appropriations bills which we need to debate and which I 
agree we must, in fact, pass as we move forward; and I think we must 
pass them as expeditiously and as quickly as possible because it is our 
obligation to fund the government and it is our obligation to do that 
in a timely fashion.
  However, when we engage in that debate, we need to put it in a 
context in which we look at the entire spending pattern of the 
government.
  I am now beginning to serve my fifth year in the Congress and to look 
at our spending priorities, and I know that when I look back at how we 
have handled the appropriations process in the last few years, the 
commitments we made to the American people when we came here and the 
way we have on, quite frankly, too many occasions allowed the process 
to spin out of control and gotten ourselves in a position where late in 
the game, late in the appropriations process, we cannot come to 
agreement, and we wind up breaking our commitment as to how much money 
we should spend to fund the government. We come back and we break our 
word to the American people about what we are going to do in terms of 
putting a tax burden on them.
  I think we do not engage in this overall debate and have a plan and 
have each bill come with a measured response that will fit into an 
overall plan, and what we instead do, as it appears we are doing this 
year, is we bank on the future, bank on a windfall, bank on extra 
monies coming in and kind of put off to the side the financial 
commitments we have made to live within our means or to put off until a 
later date that debate; and all we do is create problems.
  Mr. Chairman, I stood on this floor and watched us year after year 
get into a confrontation with the President where he demands higher 
spending and higher spending and higher spending, but we have put 
ourselves in a crunch at the end of the legislative process where we 
have, in the end, absolutely no choice but to agree with that. I, for 
one, am very reluctant to ever again come to this floor, vote for a 
spending bill which puts us in that position at the end of the year, 
and then I have to go home and look my constituents in the eye and say, 
yes, we did not live up to our word.
  So I rise in reluctant support of the gentleman's amendment and in 
reluctant opposition to my good friend from New Mexico on the bill, 
because I think, on balance, he has done a good job on this bill. But 
the bill is a part of a larger mosaic, it is a part of a 13-piece 
puzzle.
  Earlier in the day, I raised the question of how does this bill fit 
into our overall commitment to the American people, because I simply 
think we cannot break faith with the American people yet one more time, 
on spending.
  Mr. Chairman, we have all kinds of rules back here. We live within 
these

[[Page H3568]]

budget caps and we get to talking about caps and we get to talking 
about the 1997 Budget Act. Quite frankly, the people back home in my 
district say that discussion of budget caps is a lot of inside-the-
Beltway gobbledegook that they quite frankly do not understand.
  However, they understand one thing. They understand fundamental 
principles and they understand hypocrisy. And we have put out a 
commitment to the American people that we will not break our word and 
spend one penny of the Social Security surplus. We have laid that 
marker down.
  Now, that is not some big notion of budget caps, that is not some law 
dictated by something we did 5 years ago; that is a very clearly 
enunciated principle that says, we will not this year, once again, raid 
Social Security. And yet I see us, because we have all 13 pieces of 
this puzzle put into place, risking that commitment.
  So I rise in support of the gentleman's amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Shadegg) 
has expired.
  (On request of Mr. Coburn, and by unanimous consent, Mr. Shadegg was 
allowed to proceed for 3 additional minutes.)
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SHADEGG. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for his comments.
  Mr. Chairman, I think one of the important things, and I have 
discovered, thanks to the chairman and his committee staff, that we do 
in fact have a drafting error on this amendment; and I am going to in a 
minute ask for unanimous consent for that drafting error to be changed. 
If it is not agreed to, then I will withdraw the amendment.
  But I think the real question is, if we took a poll of farmers out 
there on whether or not we ought to have a 420 percent increase in this 
area, what would they say right now? They would not just say no; they 
would be screaming up and down, saying no, because they know not one 
penny of this money are they ever going to see, and they know it is 
going to be spent in Washington.
  I mean, that is what the committee print talks about, about space 
needs and organizing the space for the bureaucracy that is in the 
Department of Agriculture. So I think it would be an interesting 
question as to what farmers who are actually out there struggling, what 
cattlemen would say about a 420 percent increase for this area in the 
Department of Agriculture.
  It would be my hope that we would agree with what the farmers would 
say. I know what the farmers from my district would say and I know what 
the ranchers would say.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SHADEGG. I yield to the gentleman from South Carolina.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, on that very point, the back of the 
envelope, what we are really looking at here, if the gentleman figures 
he can get a good used tractor for about $20,000, we could just go out 
and buy 1,000 tractors for farmers across this country rather than 
spending the $20 million on space needs in Washington, D.C.
  Mr. SHADEGG. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I applaud the 
gentleman for being willing to withdraw the amendment if he cannot get 
permission to fix the drafting error.
  Again, I want to make my point, and that is the subcommittee 
chairman, my colleague from New Mexico, my neighboring State, did do a 
good job of trying to craft this legislation. I think the bigger 
question is, how does it fit into a larger puzzle. That is the concern 
I wanted to raise.
  I would agree with the gentleman that I think the cattlemen in 
Arizona and the farmers in Arizona, they are in dire shape and they do 
need help. The least thing they are concerned about is space planning 
in the Department of Agriculture, and they are more concerned about the 
dollars we can get to them that would help them very much.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I just wanted to mention in regard to this amendment, 
which apparently has been withdrawn, it is just another example of 
misfeasance on the other side of the aisle trying to write legislation 
on the floor, not carefully thought through, never brought before the 
committee, account numbers even wrong on the amendment that is 
proposed.
  Now, I think the gentleman in his heart probably is trying to do what 
is right for the country, but again, the people that suffer from these 
kinds of ill-advised amendments are the people in rural America; and if 
the gentleman is not running for office again, that means the gentleman 
is really not accountable to them for his actions here today. This is 
just another example where we have been subjected to using our time as 
we watch the gentleman try to rewrite and correct this amendment on the 
floor.
  At the same time, we have had more bankruptcies today across this 
country. Some of the people that the gentleman really derides, that the 
gentleman says work in these buildings, they are the people that 
administer the programs that are trying to serve the farmers and the 
ranchers of this country, and I have great respect for them. A lot of 
them have given their lives over to the service of the American people. 
They are the finest, most educated, most dedicated employees anywhere 
in the world.
  As I have traveled the world and I have looked at agriculture in 
other places, and I have seen the faces of hungry people, and I have 
watched nations unable to take the best information available to 
humankind and make it available to those in the field, I understand how 
important these people are to America. We not only feed our own 
country, we feed the world. That does not happen by accident.
  Frankly, I do not want people to have to work in dilapidated 
circumstances with bad air-conditioning and bad heating systems and bad 
ventilation. I want the best for America. I want the best for our 
people to be able to serve the public, which is what we are here to do.
  I really think that whoever advised the gentleman on this amendment 
obviously was not studying the legislation very carefully, and I wish 
the gentleman had come before our subcommittee. We have a fine 
chairman. We have never had a better subcommittee of the Committee on 
Appropriations than the Subcommittee on Agriculture. We would have been 
open. We would have worked with the gentleman. The gentleman never did 
that; the gentleman never made an appearance. I do not think he ever 
sent us a letter.
  I just want to put that on the Record.


Request for Modification Offered by Mr. Coburn to the Amendment Offered 
                             by Mr. Sanford

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the Sanford 
amendment be changed from page 4, line 25, to page 5, line 11.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the modification.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Modification offered by Mr. Coburn to the amendment offered 
     by Mr. Sanford:
       Change the page and line numbers from ``Page 4, line 25'' 
     to ``page 5, line 11''.

  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Oklahoma?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, reserving the right to object, I 
do so to try to get an indication of how many amendments we might be 
considering here tonight. I have heard that there might be as many as 
130 amendments offered just to filibuster this bill. If that is the 
case, we are just going to rise and move on to other business.
  So I wonder if we can get an idea from any of the Members that are 
present if we are going to consider 130 amendments tonight, or whether 
we are going to consider 20. I would like to know where we are, because 
if we are going to have to go all night long, I am going to object to 
every opportunity that would slow down the process.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, it is my intention, as I stated during the 
general debate and during the rule, to do everything I can to bring 
this bill back in line with last year's spending and do it in such a 
way that will not affect farmers, but will affect the overhead costs 
that are oftentimes markedly inefficient.

[[Page H3569]]

  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, that does not 
respond to my question. Is the gentleman going to offer the 135 
amendments that he advertised?
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will continue to yield, we 
are $500,000 closer to that after the last amendment that the House 
agreed to in terms of trimming. That means we only have $249,500,000 to 
go. Some of those amendments are $60 and $70 million, some of them are 
$200,000. When we achieve last year's freeze level, then I will stop 
offering amendments.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman for reserving 
the right to object, and I wanted to state that to our knowledge, we 
have been given a minimum of 20 amendments by the Clerk. We have been 
told there are an additional 80 amendments that have been filed, and 
there may be more of which we are not aware.
  As the gentleman may know, we have been on the floor this afternoon 
having to consider amendments we have never seen. In fact, on this 
current amendment, it is unclear to us whether line 12 of page 5 is 
included in the amendment or not.
  So I would support the gentleman in his efforts to try to put some 
rational process in place here. I realize we are in the minority, but I 
think our Members have a right to be informed as to what is going on, 
because they are coming up to me, and I would prefer to have a more 
orderly process.

                              {time}  1830

  Mr. FARR of California. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. FARR of California. Mr. Chairman, for the other gentleman who was 
talking about trying to bring us back to last year's budget, as we told 
him in the initial discussions, there have been $6.4 billion below what 
we spent in agriculture last year. This bill is way under. In fact, it 
is 31 percent less than what was spent on agriculture last year.
  I think that we met the mark, and these amendments are essentially a 
filibuster tactic that are frivolous.
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, let me say, I will not object to 
allowing the gentlemen to correct their error in drafting their 
amendment. However, I will object to any extensions of time or anything 
that would delay the process.
  Mr. Chairman, I withdraw my reservation of objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Oklahoma?
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, reserving the right to object, I just 
wanted to ask, in the way of a parliamentary inquiry, when the 
gentleman intends to amend his amendment, does he intend to also amend 
the $166,364,000 figure in line 12 on page 5? Is that part of his 
amendment?
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. KAPTUR. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. That is not part of the amendment. It is intended that 
the conference could make that adjustment as a technical correction, 
and we amended exactly what we intended to amend in this change.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Then, if I might just state for the Record, then the 
amendment is a frivolous amendment because it does not change the total 
amount of dollars in the account.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Oklahoma?
  Mr. POMEROY. Reserving the right to object, Mr. Chairman, I must say 
that I am profoundly surprised by what is occurring on the floor. I 
represent farmers, and these farmers are in a world of hurt.
  A bill comes to the floor, the agriculture appropriations bill, 
prepared and reported out of the committee with a bipartisan vote 
within the appropriations allocation assigned to that committee, and we 
begin to see a slew of amendments, amendments that would eviscerate the 
help my farmers need.
  Now we see, with the unanimous consent request before this body, just 
what haphazard nonsense these amendments are. They have not been 
printed, they have not been distributed. We have had no notice. They 
are not even accurate.
  Now the Member seeks unanimous consent to correct his amendment on 
the floor as we meet as a Committee of the Whole, because he did not 
even go to the preparation of getting it in proper form before bringing 
it to us. We have also heard in the preceding discussion that we can 
expect more than 100 similar amendments to be offered from this Member.
  Back in North Dakota, just like all across this country, farmers are 
trying to get their spring financing together. They are trying to get 
their crop in. They are trying to figure out how they are going to make 
it another year, in light of the financial trouble they are under.
  Here in Congress, we cannot even get an agriculture appropriations 
bill out of this Chamber without having Members of this body attack 
this bill in this fashion. It is shameful.
  The only thing that is more shameful than the amendments themselves 
is the fact that they have had the support of the majority leadership, 
leadership which we are led to believe gave no notice to the 
subcommittee chairman that his budget was going to come under attack in 
this fashion.
  The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Armey), the majority leader, and the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay) owe it to the farmers of this country 
to stop these amendments and get this bill out.
  Mr. Chairman, I object to the Member trying to correct his amendment. 
If he wanted to have this amendment considered, he should have had it 
in proper form the first time.
  The CHAIRMAN. Objection is heard. The unanimous consent request is 
not granted.
  Mr. WALSH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise, and not on a specific amendment, but on this 
process that we are following under.
  As I said earlier in the debate, I respect the gentleman's right to 
offer amendments. I respect the principle that he is trying to uphold 
by reducing the size of this budget. I do not think he is trying to gut 
the services and the programs that the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
provides to our constituents.
  I would remind my colleagues that this bill does not become law for 
at least 4 months, so there is nothing wrong with debate. However, 
there is something wrong with dilatory tactics. That is exactly what 
this seems to be. But I am going to offer the gentleman from Oklahoma 
(Mr. Coburn) who is offering these amendments a chance to prove me 
wrong.
  What I would ask him is, if the purpose of this is to reduce the bill 
to last year's level, or to get to the level that he would like to see 
us at with this bill, would the gentleman agree to take all these 
amendments, make them en bloc, and present them as one amendment so 
that we can deal with this issue right now, and get the work of this 
bill done?
  Would the gentleman take all these amendments and roll them into one, 
offer them en bloc, $249 million, and give the body the opportunity to 
vote up or down? If that is the gentleman's point, then I would ask the 
gentleman to please respect the Congress, respect the House, respect 
this debate process, respect the chairman, certainly, who has worked 
endlessly on this, and give us the opportunity to vote on this up or 
down, one vote.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. WALSH. I yield to the gentleman from South Carolina.
  Mr. SANFORD. Not speaking for the gentleman from Oklahoma, Mr. 
Chairman, but it seems to me the problem in that strategy would be well 
witnessed by the last vote.
  The last vote succeeded and saved the taxpayers a number of dollars. 
There are some things that clearly will work and some that will not, 
and therefore, the idea of going en bloc might guarantee a defeat of 
what the gentleman is trying to do, which is save money.
  Mr. WALSH. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, and I would be happy to 
carry this on, the gentleman has already conceded that they cannot win 
all of these, so if there are some amendments that the Members think

[[Page H3570]]

they can, why do not Members offer those en bloc and not offer the ones 
that they do not think will pass?
  Let us try to be a little bit pragmatic here. If Members want to 
accomplish their goal, then work within the normal constraints of the 
body and give us an opportunity to move forward on the bill.
  I would like to offer, again, the opportunity to the gentleman who 
has put these 100-some-odd amendments forward, the opportunity to enter 
into a colloquy to determine whether or not he is willing to end this 
what I perceive as a dilatory tactic, offer this en bloc, and give us 
one vote up or down.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. WALSH. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, first of all, the reason I was hesitating 
responding to the gentleman is I do not think I can respond to the 
gentleman in the time that is remaining. I am going to ask for 
unanimous consent for additional time.
  This is not about dilatory tactics, in spite of everything the 
gentleman hears. I do not say things I do not mean, and I mean exactly 
what I say. That is something different than what this body is known 
for, unfortunately, over the last 40 years, as we have confiscated and 
put $5.6 trillion on the books owing by our children.
  My purpose is to reduce this and to have a discussion, as is my right 
in this body, so that the people of this country can hear the people's 
business.
  I want to tell the Members, there are some farmers out there right 
now talking about the 420 percent increase. They had no idea the money 
was spent that way. I guarantee a lot of us will hear about it tomorrow 
in terms of strategic planning.
  Mr. WALSH. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I would again offer the 
gentleman the opportunity to, with the help of the Parliamentarian, 
roll all these amendments into one to accomplish his goal, which is, I 
think, an honest goal, something he believes in; roll them into one, 
give us an en bloc amendment, let us vote up or down on this, and then 
move forward on the really additionally important aspects of this bill, 
which is the agriculture policies and feeding policies of the Nation.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will continue to yield, 
it would seem to me that the problem with that logic would be that that 
assumes that all things are equal within the Department of Agriculture 
funding, which I do not think are.
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I yield to the gentleman from South Carolina.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that the problem with that 
logic assumes that all things are equal within this category of 
expenditure. I do not think that to be the case, which is why I would 
think that the proposal of gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) does 
make sense, because some things we will like, some things we will not.
  By going through the debate process amendment by amendment, we find 
where the good is and where the bad is.
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I listened with great interest to 
the gentleman from New York as he made his comment about dilatory 
tactics, and the comments that I have made earlier about an apparent 
filibuster.
  I am looking at a Dear Republican Colleague letter here, I guess it 
was an e-mail, that was forwarded through several people and finally 
was sent to the Committee on Appropriations staff.
  It says, ``I just submitted 115 amendments to the Agriculture 
Appropriations bill. It is my intent to first oppose the Rule for the 
Agriculture Appropriations bill and should the rule be adopted, then 
proceed to filibuster the bill with amendments.'' The signature line is 
the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  So the fact of the matter is he has admitted this is a filibuster. We 
ought to get to the business of the House. We do not have filibuster 
rules in the House. They do in the other body. Here, we deal with 
important legislation that has merit and that has some substance.
  The gentleman himself has admitted this is a filibuster. If the 
Members of the House want to go along with a filibuster, then we will 
stay here until the wee hours of the morning, but if they really are 
not pleased with sitting here just spinning our wheels on a filibuster, 
then we will proceed to vote these down, and we will not extend 
anybody's time limit.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will continue to yield, 
it would seem to me that a lot of those farmers, whether in Oklahoma or 
Texas or in South Carolina, for that matter, a lot of them did not send 
in $500,000 worth of taxes. The gentleman's last amendment saved 
$500,000. I think that is the core of what he is getting at, not 
filibuster, but $500,000 that they would have had to send to Washington 
that now they do not.
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. If the gentleman would make substantial 
amendments to this bill, then I think we might remove the suspicion 
that this is simply a filibuster.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I yield to my friend, the gentleman from 
Oklahoma, with whom I am normally on the same side of the issue.
  Mr. COBURN. We are on the same side, we are just maybe talking past 
each other. Mr. Chairman, $500,000 in Florida, in South Carolina, and 
Oklahoma is substantial money. This last amendment was $15 million 
difference, bringing it back down. That is substantial money.
  If we do that at $15 million a clip, it is not going to be long until 
we have the $250-some million that we are trying to get to get back 
down to last year's level.
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. The way the gentleman is proceeding, an inch at 
a time, is a filibuster. These amendments could have been put together. 
They could have been done en bloc. They could have been several major 
amendments that we could have had a substantial debate, and we have 
wasted a lot of time here talking about philosophy that should have 
been discussed on the budget bill, when the budget resolution was here. 
That is the time these arguments should have been made.
  I would say to my friend that this bill and all of the other bills 
that we will present to this floor are under the freeze and are within 
the budget caps of 1997, and meet the section 302(b) suballocation as 
provided for by the budget resolution.
  So try to cut the money if the gentleman wants, and believe me, I 
have been here to vote for a lot of amendments to cut a lot of money 
out of spending bills, but let us do it in a reasonable, responsible 
way. Let us combine the amendments so they have some substance to them, 
and so that we do not spend the next 3 or 4 or 5 days here going over 
115 amendments that the introducer admits is a filibuster.
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.

                              {time}  1845

  Mr. Chairman, I just want to admonish everybody, first of all, that 
it is a violation of House rules to question the motives of other 
Members. I just want to make it clear, whether one agrees with these 
amendments or one disagrees with the amendments, clearly the gentleman 
from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) has every right to offer these amendments.
  Also, I want to say something else. I have been listening to the 
debate and watching on C-SPAN back in my office. It bothers me a little 
bit right now. I represent a farm State, and my farmers are hurting, 
and that is the truth, and all of my colleagues should know that.
  But I will tell my colleagues something else, my farmers do not want 
to steal from the Social Security Trust Fund either. Frankly, they feel 
a bit abused sometimes when people say things like, well, we have to do 
this because of the farmers. They do not want this huge bureaucracy 
that we have here in Washington.
  I mean, this amendment, as far as I know, deals with $21 million for 
new buildings. I will tell my colleagues, on behalf of most of my 
farmers, if one asks them, ``Do you think we ought to build $21 million 
worth of new buildings for more bureaucracy in Washington, and at the 
end of the day be

[[Page H3571]]

forced to take that money out of Social Security Trust Funds or to 
borrow it from our grandchildren for one more generation,'' the answer 
to that question is no.
  I mean, this idea that we have to patronize farmers, farmers are 
Americans, too, and they care about their future. They care about their 
kids' future. They care about the future of the Social Security Trust 
Fund. They care about these things, too. So I care about what is 
happening to farmers.
  But I think the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) is raising some 
very, very good points. For too long in this Congress, every year, we 
did what I call ``manana'' budgeting. We will make the tough decisions 
``manana''. We will make the tough decisions next year. Well next year 
is here and we have got to make some of those tough decisions.
  I supported that budget resolution. Frankly, a couple of weeks ago we 
had that vote on the emergency supplemental. I voted against it because 
I thought that was the first crack in the wall. We are going to see 
this happening on every single appropriation bill.
  Let me just remind Members, the people of this country did not send 
us here to do what was easy. This is tough. Balancing this budget is 
not going to be easy this year. In fact, in some respects it is harder 
now because we, quote, have a surplus, and everybody, every group that 
I can imagine has been in my office saying ``We just want a little bit 
of an increase here. If we could, just squeeze out a little more money 
for my program.'' Do my colleagues know what happens when we do that? 
We never balance the budget. We continue to steal from Social Security.
  I care about my farmers. Let me tell my colleagues something. My 
farmers care about this budget. They care about the future of this 
country. They care about Social Security. I admire the gentleman for 
bringing this amendment.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. I am happy to yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman's objective of trying to deal 
with the budget is a worthy objective. Can I ask the gentleman, since 
he is in the majority party and we, as the appropriators, and I 
particularly in the minority, have had to abide by the budget caps they 
gave us, and we have done that on this Subcommittee on Agriculture, 
Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, 
why do my colleagues not go back and redo the budget rather than put 
our subcommittees through this agony on the floor? I am missing 
something here.
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, if my colleagues ask 
the average American, whether they are a farmer or a machinist, whether 
they live in Ohio or Minnesota, if my colleagues ask them, ``Do you 
think the Federal Government can meet the legitimate needs of the 
people of this country, of the national defense, and of all the people 
who depend upon the Federal Government, do you believe that the Federal 
Government can live with spending only $1,700 billion, do my colleagues 
know what? If they ask that question, whether it is in Ohio or 
Minnesota or Oklahoma, if my colleagues ask people, ``Do you think we 
can meet the legitimate needs of the United States of America, spending 
only $1,700 billion?'' they will say, ``You betcha.'' Seventeen hundred 
billion dollars is a lot of money.
  That is what the spending cap is all about, saying that is all we are 
going to spend. We are going to have an argument and a fight about how 
much is going to go to defense, how much is going to go to agriculture, 
how much is going to go to transportation, all the other departments; 
but at the end of the day, we ought to live by these spending caps.
  I believe in the spending caps. In fact, I have heard leadership on 
the other side, I have heard leadership in the Senate, I have even 
heard the President of the United States say we are going to live by 
the spending caps. Well, this is the first installment to find out if 
we really mean it.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. I am happy to yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, but did the Subcommittee on Agriculture, 
Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies 
not abide by the caps that were given to us from the Committee on the 
Budget, the budget under the 302(b) allocation?
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, it is my 
understanding that, no, the subcommittee did not. The subcommittee 
overspent it by the smallest amount. Listen. According to what I have 
been told by my staff, this bill actually does overspend the budget 
allocation by two-tenths of 1 percent.
  Admittedly, the gentleman from New Mexico (Chairman Skeen) has done a 
fabulous job. I am not here to criticize the subcommittee. But when I 
hear people criticizing the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) and 
criticizing his motives in this debate, I think that is wrong, and my 
colleagues have overstepped their bounds.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  There was no objection.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, parliamentary inquiry.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Oklahoma may state his parliamentary 
inquiry.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, if I am not incorrect, and I will be happy 
to be corrected on this, we still have the amendment before us that was 
rejected in terms of it; and if we have spoken, we can not speak again. 
I am not sure I recall whether the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) 
has spoken or not.
  The CHAIRMAN. As the gentleman will note, the Chair said, without 
objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for an additional 5 minutes.
  Mr. COBURN. I do not object.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, in terms of how the Members of our side of 
the aisle functioned, we accepted the budget numbers that were given us 
and we acted in good faith on our subcommittee.
  We have produced a bill that meets the budget mark that we were 
given. So, therefore, to rip apart the bill because maybe my colleagues 
do not like some provision in the bill, they want to do something else 
with it, well, I think most Members come to the floor but they do not 
come with 150 or 200 amendments. We operated in good faith here.
  I will tell my colleagues it is a little hard to maintain it as the 
hours go on here today, but the point is, if my colleagues do not like 
the budget, go back and redo the budget. Do not pick apart every 
appropriation bill that comes to the floor.
  We have lived within our budget. Let our committee function. Frankly, 
my colleagues really risk great damage to this Republic, because we 
could end up where we were last year when the majority here rammed that 
big bill through here at the end of the year because we could not 
complete our appropriation bills on time and on schedule.
  Here we are here in the Committee on Agriculture, because of the 
crisis in rural America, on time with our bill, within the allocation 
we are given; and now my colleagues are holding us up again. I fear 
that the very same mess that was created last year is going to repeat 
itself this year.
  So if my colleagues have a problem with the allocation, go back to 
their budgeteers; work the problem out there. But when we have 
subcommittees acting in good faith and doing their job, do not 
disenfranchise them. I think that is the height of my colleagues' 
responsibility inside the Chamber.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I am probably not going to take the full 5 minutes, but 
I heard the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) a little while ago 
saying he did not want to do anything to hurt farmers. Well, I have to 
tell my colleagues I have the greatest respect for the gentleman, but 
the last amendment hurt farmers a lot.
  When my colleagues look at the services that they are trying to 
provide to farmers in the FSA offices, NRCS offices, with the computer 
systems that

[[Page H3572]]

today cannot work together, and the whole purpose of that funding is to 
finally get some coordination at USDA, now this is an area that I have 
worked in in the last 3 years trying to fix this problem so that we can 
actually deliver services to our farmers, and cutting this money out of 
that is wrong.
  I did not enter into the debate before because I thought it was 
silly, but to make a statement like that simply is wrong. The gentleman 
should be aware that many Members who have voted for some of these 
amendments have actually come to us and asked for little research 
projects. Maybe the two-tenths of 1 percent that is overspent in this 
budget may be some of that that is going to different parts of the 
country for folk who today are voting to cut in this budget.
  I mean, I have heard of rice studies, wild rice, things like that. 
There are projects that people have asked all over to be included in 
this bill and now are voting against this bill.
  We are in the budget caps. If my colleagues do not think that this is 
going to hurt farmers, what they are doing, they are wrong. I will tell 
my colleagues directly, it may be fine to stand up and talk about 
protecting Social Security. The fact of the matter is we do not know 
what the budget surplus is going to be at the end of the year. We may 
in fact have surplus beyond what Social Security is this year. Then my 
colleagues' argument is not correct. Then we are not taking money out 
of Social Security.
  The fact of the matter is, I agree with my colleagues, we have got to 
balance the budget, but the fact of the matter is my colleagues are 
hurting farmers. If this is some filibuster today just to take 
advantage of an opportunity from very well-meaning people here who have 
worked their tails off on a bill, trying to accomplish a bill that 
helps a lot of Members around here with very important research 
projects that having a lot of them put us over maybe slightly, if in 
fact that is the case, but to talk about how this is not hurting 
farmers here is simply wrong.
  What we are doing here, it makes this House, it really is not the 
bright point of the day around here, let me just say that. Because in 
fact we have done the hard work of staying within the caps. We have 
done what we have been given as far as staying inside our allotments. 
But I just take very strong exception to the fact that we are not 
hurting farmers here today.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me. I 
take the gentleman's admonition. But I also would point out that in the 
last supplemental we gave $47 million to the Department of Agriculture 
for Y2K, if I would be allowed to continue, for Y2K just upgrades, just 
for that one segment.
  I would point out that, in fact, by taking the whole assumption of 
the gentleman's argument is that this is the only way we can get there. 
My objection to being above what we spent last year is that it is not 
the only way. I am not saying my way is the best way, but I am wanting 
the people of this country to hear the debate on all of the areas.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I will tell the 
gentleman we have heard the debate this afternoon. But why does the 
gentleman not talk to somebody who has been involved in an issue like 
this for 3 years now, trying to get the chief information officer to 
straighten out the travesty that is going on at USDA, where we have got 
29 agencies down there, smokestacks, which each have their own computer 
system, cannot talk to each other, they cannot even e-mail from the 
north building to the south building. We are trying to fix that.
  Five hundred thousand dollars, maybe my colleagues do not think that 
is a big deal, but it is in a nonfunctional agency that is trying to 
straighten itself out. It will hurt our farmers, and I just want the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) to know that. That amendment that 
passed hurts his farmers at home and hurts the services that USDA 
provides them as far as the FSA offices and NRC offices.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to first associate myself with the comments of 
the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Latham) a moment ago. Indeed, that last 
amendment did hurt farmers.
  If my colleagues had been following, as he has for the last 3 years 
and I have for the last 6 years, what we are trying to do at USDA, they 
would understand there was a little wisdom in the money that was 
proposed to be spent.
  Let me speak specifically to the amendment the gentleman proposes to 
cut now, a $21 million increase, which the gentleman said a 420 percent 
increase, which sounds like a whole bunch of money, and it is a whole 
bunch of money, but this is to implement the strategic space plan, 
which includes the new USDA office facility on Federal land at 
Beltsville. The construction of the Beltsville office facility started 
in June 1996, was substantially completed in 1997, and we are 
completing the occupancy this year in 1999.
  The 2 million gross square feet south building is over 60 years old, 
eligible for listing in the National Register. The required renovation 
work includes fire protection, abatement of hazardous materials, such 
as asbestos, PCB light fixtures, and lead paint, replacement of old, 
inefficient heating, ventilation, and all conducting air conditioning 
systems for improved energy conservation.
  The construction contract for phase one of the modernization was 
awarded in July of 1998 but has been tied up in a legal suit, and is 
now being proposed to be funded. The fiscal 1999 appropriation of $5 
million included funds necessary to continue the south building 
modernization.
  One of the problems we have got with delivering services to our 
farmers, we have not kept up with the technology. We are doing it in 
our offices. Notice what happens when we improve the computer 
technology here, there is a lot of wires get run. We have to go back 
and do things. They are very expensive.
  When we are trying to do that to our USDA headquarters so that we 
will be able to coordinate our services, it requires spending of some 
money. This was a plan that was proposed and is being implemented.
  We can cut this money, very easily cut it. But then do not stand up 
and criticize USDA for not being able to deliver the services to our 
farmers and ranchers as we have been doing, many have been doing, 
blaming it all on the Secretary of Agriculture because the disaster 
payments were not delivered on time.

                              {time}  1900

  Part of that we are dealing with in this first few lines of the bill. 
It is what the gentleman from New Mexico and the gentlewoman from Ohio 
have been supporting and trying to do.
  I know the gentleman's intentions are very honorable. I do not 
question those at all. And I am certainly one that would never stand up 
and suggest the gentleman does not have a right to do it. But it would 
be helpful if the gentleman's staff would spend a little bit of time 
talking specifically about what the gentleman is doing before he stands 
up and talks about how he is not doing harm to farmers, because the 
gentleman from Iowa stated it very, very accurately and succinctly.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. STENHOLM. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. The gentleman makes some good points. However, Mr. 
Chairman, there is one underlying point that I disagree with, and the 
underlying assumption with his statement is that the Department of 
Agriculture is efficient now and that the money used, and just let me 
finish my point, the money that is going to be appropriated above last 
year to accomplish these things, that there is no way it could be found 
anywhere else.
  That is my objection. It is not what the gentleman is doing or how he 
is doing it, it is where the money comes from.
  The fact is, we do not have the courage to say the Department of 
Agriculture has to do this and we are going to write it into the bill 
and they will find the money there and they will have to make sure it 
gets done because we will have the oversight to make sure that the 
Department does do it.
  My objection is that this is an inefficient organization. That is not 
a slam

[[Page H3573]]

on the employees, it is a slam on the organizational structure that we 
have piecemealed together through the last 40 years or so.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I doubt any other 
Member has been more critical of the Department of Agriculture since 
1992 in not doing what the gentleman is talking about. But I find it 
rather ironic that at the moment we are actually beginning to propose 
to put the money into doing what I have been criticizing them for, we 
are now going to cut it out and say we want them to do a better job 
without it. That is my problem.
  And again, fundamentally, the chairman of the committee a moment ago 
stated the absolute fact: This bill is within the caps according to the 
budget that passed this House, period. So let us not keep talking about 
we are doing all of this to save Social Security.
  If the gentleman wants to save Social Security, bring a Social 
Security bill to the floor and let us talk about Social Security. If he 
wants to make points on the agricultural bill, let us debate them. We 
can stay and debate them until the cows come home, but we will be 
talking specifically about what the gentleman is doing, and again, the 
gentleman is hurting farmers in these amendments when he passes them.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Sanford).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 185, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. 
Sanford) will be postponed.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                       Hazardous Waste Management


                     (including transfers of funds)

       For necessary expenses of the Department of Agriculture, to 
     comply with the requirement of section 107(g) of the 
     Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
     Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9607(g), and section 6001 of the 
     Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. 6961, 
     $15,700,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, 
     That appropriations and funds available herein to the 
     Department for Hazardous Waste Management may be transferred 
     to any agency of the Department for its use in meeting all 
     requirements pursuant to the above Acts on Federal and non-
     Federal lands.

                      Departmental Administration


                     (including transfers of funds)

       For Departmental Administration, $36,117,000, to provide 
     for necessary expenses for management support services to 
     offices of the Department and for general administration and 
     disaster management of the Department, repairs and 
     alterations, and other miscellaneous supplies and expenses 
     not otherwise provided for and necessary for the practical 
     and efficient work of the Department, including employment 
     pursuant to the second sentence of section 706(a) of the 
     Organic Act of 1944 (7 U.S.C. 2225), of which not to exceed 
     $10,000 is for employment under 5 U.S.C. 3109: Provided, That 
     this appropriation shall be reimbursed from applicable 
     appropriations in this Act for travel expenses incident to 
     the holding of hearings as required by 5 U.S.C. 551-558.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Coburn

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Amendment offered by Mr. Coburn:

       Page 6, line 3, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced 
     by $3,049,000)''.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, the purpose of this amendment is to talk 
about the 12 percent increase in the Department of Agriculture 
administration budget. The increase is from the fiscal 1999 level of 
$32 million, increasing it by $3,949,000.
  According to the committee print, departmental administration is 
comprised of activities that provide staff support to top policy 
officials and overall direction and coordination within the Department.
  These activities include department-wide programs for human resource 
management, I believe we have talked about that in a couple of the 
amendments; management improvement, we have talked about that; 
occupational safety and health management, we have talked about that; 
real and personal property management, we just talked about that in the 
previous amendment; procurement, contracting, motor vehicle and 
aircraft management, supply management, civil rights, equal opportunity 
and ethics, participation of small and disadvantaged businesses and 
socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in the departmental 
programs activities, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
  Again, I would raise the point, I do not have an objection with any 
member of this committee. I know that they have done good work. I do 
not disagree that they have met the targeted caps.
  What I am saying is, when was the last time an appropriation bill 
came to the floor that was below the caps? What a novel idea, if we 
are, in fact, going to not spend money that does not belong to us.
  Now, I understand why other Members do not want to talk about the 
Social Security issue, and I agree with the members of the committee 
who say we have met our 302(b) allocation. I agree with that. They 
have. My purpose in offering the amendments is to drive efficiency in 
the Federal Government, to ask the question, why, when we spend a 12 
percent increase in administrative overhead within a department. I 
would say that if this is truly the people's House, a debate on those 
issues ought to be heard by one and all.
  The other thing that I would object to is the reference to this bill 
being the committee's bill. This bill is all of ours. It is not just 
the committee's bill, it is the House's bill. And to say that one of us 
has more priority over this bill than any others is wrong.
  The other thing I want to do is to take a minute and perhaps defend 
my motives. And I am somewhat discouraged that the gentlewoman from 
Ohio has not recognized my persistence in the past 5 years. Because 
three times today she said that my motivation is based on the fact that 
I am not running for reelection.
  I never was running for reelection when I came up here on this this 
year. And I would ask, if the gentlewoman were to look at my voting 
record and at my challenges in terms of the appropriations process, she 
would see that I did this same thing last year and the year before and 
the year before.
  So this does not have anything to do with running for reelection, 
this has to do with questioning why we would have a 12 percent increase 
in administrative overhead. And if we have to do that, and that is the 
only way we can do it, and there is no waste in the other $32 million 
and it cannot be done better and it cannot be done more efficiently and 
the American people can be convinced of that and I can be convinced of 
that, I will be happy to withdraw this amendment.
  But as I look at what I read in the committee print, and having been 
through five of these appropriation bills in the past, I do not believe 
that that is true. I think they can do better. And I believe that it is 
wrong for us not to ask the administration within the Department of 
Agriculture to do better.
  Most of the Members of this body would like to see a 12 percent 
increase in their staff and their capability of running their offices, 
but the fact is, we are not going to pass that for ourselves, are we? 
But we are going to say that the Department of Agriculture is 
underfunded in terms of its administrative capability, does not have 
the dollars to do what it needs to do and must have a 12 percent 
increase, when the true cost of living associated with government-run 
programs in this area, and the area where the vast concentration of 
these employees are, rose by less than 1.7 percent last year.
  So what we did in terms of the computers in the Office of Information 
was true, and we cannot take it out of this money, or not because it is 
not that there is not enough money. There is money running all over 
this bill. And I again would say, ask the farmers.
  A $3,949,000 increase from $32 million; that is 12 percent. How many 
of them are going to see 12 percent handed to them? They are not. And 
how many of them want to see this money spent up here? They want to see 
it spent on them, not up here. And they want to make sure that we are 
supporting them with their ability to continue to feed us and that we 
give them a constant program.
  So I do not object to what the committee has done. I said when we 
talked about the rule that this was a good bill

[[Page H3574]]

and that it was probably going to pass. What I said was that I did not 
think it was good enough and it needed to get better.
  Mrs. CLAYTON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  When the gentleman said that he really is looking for ways for 
efficiency, I think if he was an astute politician he would know that 
merely cutting is not necessarily the way to efficiency. Efficiency 
includes more than dollar amounts.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Mrs. CLAYTON. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I would say to the gentlewoman that we have 
not proposed a cut. What we have proposed is leaving it at last year's 
level.
  Mrs. CLAYTON. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, the assumption is 
that the gentleman is looking for efficiency, and therefore, if we 
leave it at that level, meaning less expenditure, then by that 
definition, we would have more efficiency.
  But let me tell the gentleman what these particular funds he proposes 
that are not needed will be used for: one, for the Office of Civil 
Rights. And that may not be important to the gentleman from Oklahoma, 
but I can tell him it is important to a large number of farmers who 
felt that this USDA, who the gentleman says is inefficient, had also 
not been fair, and in fact had to file a lawsuit as a result of their 
discriminatory actions.
  This now allows them to more efficiently respond to those complaints 
rather than have the U.S. Government to pay out a large settlement 
because of the failure of their accountability and responsibility. $1.6 
million of the $3.6 goes to the Office of Civil Rights.
  Even more important to socially disadvantaged farmers is the $931 
million that affords the opportunity for small farmers, not just 
necessarily minority farmers, but small, disadvantaged farmers who will 
have outreach and technical assistance. This may not be big to the 
gentleman from Oklahoma, but it is efficiency in their way of thinking 
to have the kinds of services explained to them, to have the technical 
assistance so they can more efficiently produce their products with the 
kind of expectation that they will be profitable in their livelihood.
  So the $3.9 million which is being offered here already is 
insufficient to meet all of the needs.
  If the gentleman's definition were applied, I think he actually would 
need to add to this, if the gentleman is truly about putting the money 
where it is most needed and making sure it is implemented. I would 
think by the gentleman's definition, and I disagree with the 
gentleman's premise, it would say this is insufficient.
  If the gentleman understood what this is doing, he would say they 
should have been doing this. They should do it better. There should be 
more outreach programs, not less. The Office of Civil Rights should 
have been there before. These farmers should not have had to sue.
  Now we are putting a structure there so that there can be the kind of 
investigation that needs to be there.
  So I would think the gentleman would want to be on the side of, not 
anticivil rights, but the gentleman would want to be on the side of, 
there should be fairness and there should be a structure there to deal 
with this. And the gentleman's amendment, in his zeal for his fiscal 
philosophy denies the very premise of efficiency of this department 
serving the people who need it most.
  So I would urge that this amendment on its merit, not on the 
philosophy, just on its merit, should be defeated.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  My colleagues, the Department of Agriculture has been dealing with 
serious civil rights issues for the last several years. Minority 
farmers and employees at USDA have filed discrimination litigation, and 
the increase provided in this account would go a long way towards 
addressing some of those civil rights issues.
  I would like to have that entered in the discussion because I think 
the gentlewoman from North Carolina had a very pertinent point.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite 
number of words.
  My colleague is not on the floor at this time, the maker of the 
motion, the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn), but I was rising to 
appeal to him to allow at least some of us who have some expertise in 
this area to speak to him, as I would if he were discussing medical 
issues. I really do believe that he knows a lot more about that than I 
do.
  Now he has dipped over into the legal arena, and I think I know a 
little bit more about that than he does.
  With that in mind, I would offer to him that the status quo would 
create backlogs, and the creating of backlogs is what this particular 
12 percent is intended to try to get rid of. When backlogs occur in any 
structural system, and it does not matter whether or not it is 
employment discrimination or if it is in the criminal arena or if it is 
in the civil arena, it impacts the whole process.
  It is not just one thing that is impacted, it is not just this 
particular office of departmental administration, it is all of what 
they do in trying to clear up the number of cases that they have.

                              {time}  1915

  Over the years, there have been a number of legitimate complaints 
that have been brought and those people have to sit and wait. Let me 
see if I can get my colleague to understand the analogy.
  In South Florida, at one time we had to try nothing but drug cases. 
By trying drug cases, we forced civil litigants to have to seek redress 
elsewhere, and people who needed remedies in the Federal court system 
were unable to get them because we were busying ourselves with one side 
of the system, which was mandated that we do.
  We need to be very, very careful in expecting in every instance that 
people can do more with less. What they are asking for is 17 staff 
years, $1.6 million, and 11 staff dollars for 931 in the Office of 
Outreach which, incidentally, also deals with the National Commission 
on Small Farms, yet another area totally unrelated to anything having 
to do with civil rights per se, but an initiative that is important so 
that small farmers have a chance to survive in this system.
  I do not know what it will take in order for us to understand this 
particular dynamic, but I will take it up with the maker of the motion 
so as he understands that it is not just going to, if his motion were 
to pass, impact this one arena, it would impact the whole.
  And in this particular instance they have not been able to do the job 
efficiently and effectively with what they have, and there is no need 
to expect if they leave them in the status quo that they are going to 
be able to do more.
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, my colleagues, right over there is a dictionary; and if 
we look up the word ``efficient,'' here is what it says: ``ability to 
accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort.''
  My colleagues, there is a lot of discussion about this amendment, but 
I think we ought to get back to what it really does. In fact, let us 
use a little bit of analogy. Let us take a major corporation, and my 
colleagues fill in the blank. They can say AT They can say Chrysler. 
They can say IBM, whatever. And let us say this company thinks that 
they have had a problem with efficiency.
  Now, this company has 107,000 employees. They have another 80,000 
contract employees. In fact, it works out to about one employee or 
contract employee for every 10 customers. This is a mythical 
corporation. And we are the board of directors and we are sitting 
around saying what can we do to make this thing a little more 
efficient.
  Now, how many of my colleagues think they would raise their hands and 
say, you know what we ought to do? We ought to increase administration 
by 12 percent. That is crazy. That would not happen at Chrysler. That 
would not happen at AT That would not happen at IBM. But, my 
colleagues, that is what is happening in this bill. We have one 
employee or contract employee for every 10 farmers in this USDA.
  Now, again, I come back, if we ask most farmers do they think that is 
an appropriate level, they would say that is ridiculous. And so would 
most voters. And so before we dismiss this

[[Page H3575]]

amendment out of hand, this is not an anti-farmer amendment. This is 
about the board of directors saying we have a terribly inefficient 
administration right now in the USDA and throwing more money at it is 
not going to make it more efficient.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment. First of all, 
let me say that if the offerors of the amendment want efficiency, then 
surely the bill that our subcommittee has brought to the floor is 
efficient.
  In fact, the author of the amendment stated in his last comments on 
the floor that we were in fact within the budget allocation. So we have 
a very efficient bill, without question.
  Now, this particular amendment is one that goes after one particular 
function at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the proponents 
claim that it is efficient. Let me say that overall, our bill is 
efficient. But in making decisions in the public realm, one has to not 
only be efficient, one has to be equitable, and I would oppose the 
gentleman's amendment on the basis that it is not equitable.
  Why? What are these funds dedicated to? They are dedicated to 
redressing wrongs inside USDA and an inability, because of 
discrimination in past years, for that department to deal with all of 
America, all of America's farmers, regardless of color, regardless of 
creed, regardless of sex, whatever.
  The funding that is provided, and even the Wall Street Journal has 
done front page stories on this, my colleagues do not have to listen to 
this Member, they just need to call it up on their web site, is to 
redress past wrongs.
  The inability of this department in past years to serve all of 
America's farmers, to make sure that the credit programs were open to 
all farmers, to make sure that when people worked hard, just because 
they might have had low equity did not mean that their work did not 
have a value, and that in fact they perhaps should not have been 
ignored for decades and in fact perhaps for a century and a half.
  And so I would say to those who offer this amendment, I would hope 
they would withdraw this. I think to try to cut funds, for example, for 
the Office of Outreach, and again our bill is within the budget 
allocation, means that they will continue the historic discrimination 
that has characterized so much of the behavior of our Government and 
our people in this century and the last.
  This is the first time we have had a chance to do what is both 
efficient and equitable. And I would ask my colleagues and those who 
are offering this amendment to really seriously consider what they are 
about to do. I really do not think they want to do this. I think they 
want to do what is right for America, right for all of its people, and 
right for the future.
  I would encourage my colleagues to vote a strong ``no'' on this 
Coburn amendment.
  Mr. DICKEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I understand the concern of the gentleman from Oklahoma 
(Mr. Coburn). I think it is a concern for this bill as well as the 
other appropriations bill, and I join in that concern. And I know he 
had a concern about the supplemental, and I did too, about it running 
wild, about us missing the point as far as what ``emergency'' was and 
what ``emergency'' was not.
  But I serve on this subcommittee, this Subcommittee on Agriculture, 
Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies 
of the Committee on Appropriations, and I know the balance that we have 
to give, so I stand here sort of split and yet not split on this 
particular issue.
  To bring this within the caps, I think the chairman from New Mexico 
(Mr. Skeen) did a wonderful job. It has been easy over the years when 
we could just borrow money and say, well, the heck with it. We do not 
care about this or that. But we gave our word and we kept our word.
  Now, what the problem is, is that I think that the position of the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) is lessened somewhat about this 
accusation of filibuster. And I hope he can hear me and he will come 
and talk about it. But I know that we have had this before in past 
years. I would like for the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn), if he 
can, to come and defend that position of filibustering because I think 
it was his words, from what I understand, and it is going to undermine 
those elements, that we need to push down the expenses that we have in 
the appropriations bill.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DICKEY. I yield to the gentleman from South Carolina.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to go to this notion that the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) is somehow filibustering. Because just on the 
back of the envelope, I grabbed my calculator, and if my colleagues 
look at the amount of money that this particular amendment would save, 
it would save $3,900,000. Now, if we take people earning average 
income, it would take 1,974 taxpayers earning a whole year's worth of 
income to pay the taxes on $3,900,000.
  So what we are really talking about is, again, 1,900 people paying 
taxes for a year. That seems to me to be anything but a filibuster but 
something very real, because what we are talking about are people's 
lives and where are they sending money.
  Mr. DICKEY. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, one thing I want to add 
is this applies to almost all the bills, the same type of thing. And 
what I would like to ask is for us to have a better way, and I am 
frustrated too, I would say to the gentleman from Oklahoma, a better 
way for us to express our frustration and to hope to bring constructive 
change than this way of doing things.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DICKEY. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I would disagree. I think that the American 
people benefit from seeing the debates on how we spend money; and the 
closer that we put the magnifying glass to it, the better we are as a 
country.
  And I understand the pride of ownership of the Committee on 
Appropriations as they work hard to bring these bills up. And I am 
going to remind my colleagues again, when we talked about the rule, I 
said when we talked on the general debate hour that this was a good 
bill. I want to try to make it better, and I also want us to not be in 
a position where we are going to spend the first dollar of Social 
Security surplus.
  Mr. DICKEY. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, here is another 
question: Are we going to do this on each one of the appropriation 
bills? If we are, we are going to lessen the effect of the conservative 
concerns of my colleague about spending outside the caps.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman would continue to yield, I 
have no intentions to do it on anything other than what I think will 
not lead us to the commitment that we have made to the American people.
  The minority offered a budget and it had some good things in there, 
but the one common thing it had is they were going to take some of the 
money and make sure we did not spend any money of Social Security on 
anything except Social Security and Medicare.
  The Blue Dogs had a budget. Same thing. The Republicans had a budget 
that ultimately passed the House. Everybody agrees, with the exception 
of two Members of this House who voted for President Clinton's budget 
which said I am going to spend 38 percent of Social Security money. At 
least he admitted it.
  We either need to say we do not have the courage to trim the spending 
in the Federal Government and that we are going to take 38 percent, the 
seniors' money, or we need to say, the President was wrong, we do have 
the courage to spend less money up here.
  I want to make the point again. The 302(b) allocations that my 
colleagues all have met, they have met the requirement of the budget 
numbers and the number that was given to them. I am not objecting to 
that. What I am objecting to is, number one, the 302(b)'s this year are 
not an adequate representation of what is going to happen. And there is 
not a person in this body that does not know that. And that is a sham 
to the American public to say this is one 302(b) but the rest of them 
are not.
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Dickey) 
has expired.

[[Page H3576]]

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman 
from Arkansas be given 3 additional minutes.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Oklahoma?
  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I object.
  The CHAIRMAN. Objection is heard.
  Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  To take the 302(b) allocations that we all know on the four big bills 
are not an accurate reflection of what is going to happen, and their 
claim to use that as a designation for why we should not trim this bill 
additionally is not fair to the American people.
  I have no fight to pick with the appropriators on this committee, and 
I have no desire to harm farmers. I say that they can do it better. 
What we hear in this body all the time is it cannot be done, we cannot 
do it. Well, I come from a group of people that says we can do it. We 
can do better. We cannot spend all the money allocated to us. We can 
get efficiencies without adding money to the Department of Agriculture. 
We can demand innovation, insight, and new ideas. We can promote 
efficiency.
  The VA Regional Office in Muskogee, Oklahoma, is a great example of 
that where they cut their costs like crazy and they did not spend any 
additional money. So if they can do it, why cannot the Department of 
Agriculture do it? Why cannot the administration and the Department of 
Agriculture do it? They can do it, but they are never going to do it 
until we make them do it. We have to demand that they do it.
  Mr. DICKEY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. MANZULLO. I yield to the gentleman from Arkansas.
  Mr. DICKEY. Mr. Chairman, I ask the gentleman from Oklahoma, are we 
doing the right thing by doing it by filibustering? That is my 
question.
  It seems to me that he has got a better argument than to use 
something that is indirect.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. MANZULLO. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, ``filibuster'' is not my word. My word is 
let us bring it back to the freeze level of where we were last year and 
ask for efficiency, and I am willing to do that. And I have said here 
on this floor, as soon as we are back to the level in terms of cuts, I 
am through.
  I am looking for dollars. The term to ``filibuster,'' it is a 
filibuster in terms of taking time, but that is not my intention. My 
intention is to get us back down to where we were last year. My 
colleagues will see me walk right out of here as soon as we have done 
it. But to resist calls for efficiency, to resist debate on issues is 
not fair to the American public.
  And to impugn my motivations. I want to tell my colleagues something. 
My motivations are pure. I think about my grandkids and I think about 
the grandkids of all of those patients that I take care of. Every baby, 
three babies this weekend, I spank the bottom of. I delivered three new 
babies into this world. Every one of them owes $21,000, and it is 
growing at $500 a year, what they owe.

                              {time}  1930

  They will never see the first penny of Social Security unless we have 
the courage to step up to the plate and demand change in Washington and 
demand it of ourselves. I am not talking about not having the right 
priorities. I do not want to punish our farmers. But I want us to 
create an environment of change that says we are not going to spend 
more, we can do better, we can spend less.
  Mr. FARR of California. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. MANZULLO. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. FARR of California. I would just like to ask the gentleman, did 
he charge for delivering those babies?
  Mr. COBURN. I am a Member of Congress. I can make no money as a 
doctor.
  Mr. FARR of California. I am glad to hear that.
  I want to ask one question of the gentleman. I sit on the Committee 
on Appropriations. I have not sat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on 
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and 
Related Agencies before.
  We had dozens and dozens of hearings. We asked Members to come before 
the committee. We debated these items because that is the way you put 
together a budget. To my recollection, the gentleman never came to one 
of the committee hearings. He never suggested in a letter to the 
committee that we cut any of these programs. This is the first instance 
of his litany of cuts that we are faced with.
  Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Chairman, I reclaim my time and yield to the 
gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. The gentleman makes the point that I was not before his 
committee on the cuts. That is a valid criticism, but that does not 
deny me the right to raise the issue on this floor and to say that I do 
not have the right to raise the issue on this floor because I was not 
before his committee. Simply because of the way the House operates, as 
the gentleman well knows, you cannot be at all those at one time and 
fulfill the rest of your duties.
  The point is, do you agree or do you not agree that we should trim 
some of the administrative overhead out of this budget? If you do not 
agree, then, fine, that is what our debate is all about. We are in the 
Committee of the Whole. That is what this is. That is why we are doing 
it in the Committee.
  Mr. FARR of California. If the gentleman will yield further, there is 
a process here, and I think what is disturbing the House is that we try 
to honor that process. I do not think by bringing 114, as you have 
stated, amendments to the floor is a process that we use very often, if 
ever, and certainly I have been here a short while and I have never 
seen it used before.
  Mr. MANZULLO. Reclaiming my time, one of the Coburn amendments saves 
the taxpayers $500,000.
  Mr. HOSTETTLER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number 
of words.
  (Mr. HOSTETTLER asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. HOSTETTLER. Mr. Chairman, discussion has taken place with regard 
to the motives and the application of the process. I would just like to 
remind the Members and talk very briefly about an incident that 
happened on the floor just a couple of hours ago.
  That was, I opposed the rule for the consideration of this bill 
because the bill spends more money than it did last year. The 
discretionary amount is more than what we passed out of this House last 
year.
  I was asked why I would oppose an open rule, and I think that was a 
good question. I think that was a good question because the Committee 
on Rules, I believe, relinquishes a great deal of power whenever they 
decide to give an open rule, and it was a good question. The reason was 
not because we had the freedom of an open rule, but merely because the 
rule allowed for the deliberation on this floor of a bill that spent 
more money last year, the very first bill in the appropriations process 
that we deal with is going to spend more money than we spent on this 
bill before.
  And so the reason that the gentleman is offering so many amendments 
is not for the sake of a filibuster, but for the simple fact that we 
have an open rule.
  I was led to believe that an open rule would allow for free debate. 
Now we hear that the debate should in fact be reduced, should be cut 
off by the gentleman from Oklahoma. I think in fact if we are going to 
have an open rule and a gentleman will go to the hardship of having 
many of these amendments preprinted in the Record and offering them 
himself, we should at least recognize the Rules of the House.
  Secondly, with regard to hurting America's farmers, I do not know, 
maybe southwest Indiana farmers are different from other farmers, but 
whenever I ask farmers in southwest Indiana what they would like to see 
coming from the Federal Government, the first thing they always tell me 
is tax relief. I tell them we can cut taxes, but if we continue to 
increase spending

[[Page H3577]]

across the board, even in the Agriculture Department, somebody is going 
to have to pay for that.
  And so when I say we can either give you tax relief or we can take 
more of your tax dollars to allow the various bureaucracies to spend 
that money in order to help you, they realize in fact that Washington, 
D.C. is probably not the best source of their help.
  Secondly, they ask for regulatory relief. If individuals really want 
to help farmers, they will indeed support regulatory relief, and for a 
little bit of commercial activity, I will merely tout the virtues of 
H.R. 1578, my Protect American Agricultural Lands Act of 1999, which 
will allow for that land which has been in production 5 of the last 10 
years to be exempt from clean water permitting, because in fact it has 
been used for farming.
  Thirdly, the agriculture community wants open markets, places where 
they can sell their product. But they do not want open market 
agreements for the sake of merely signing an agreement. They want 
agreements that can be enforced, enforced by this administration which 
they see dreadfully lacking.
  Finally, I will simply say that this is the opportunity that many of 
us that do not necessarily serve on the House Committee on 
Appropriations have to offer amendments in this fashion. When we look 
at all the various constituencies of all of these provisions, we 
realize that in fact there is the potential in the future to not cut $5 
billion from the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education 
Department. There will not be the opportunity to cut almost $4 billion 
from the Veterans' Administration and the Housing and Urban Development 
bill that is going to come up later, that in fact if we are not 
diligent from the very outset of this whole appropriations process, 
that in fact it will whirl out of control; and when we get to the end 
of the appropriations season later this year, that we will in fact be 
busting the caps and having to reduce our commitment to cutting taxes, 
our commitment to stopping the raids on the Social Security trust fund; 
and we will in fact tell America that indeed Washington D.C. knows 
best, and if you simply give us more of your money, we will prove it to 
you.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the gentleman's amendment 
and ask that the Committee do likewise.
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Again, I think it is important that we focus on the process which we 
are discussing today. Again, I quarrel not with the motives of the 
gentleman from Oklahoma. He has every right, as others have said, to 
bring the amendments before this body that he has brought today; and I 
have opposed them because I disagree with them.
  I think it is important, though, for everyone to understand the real 
quarrel apparently is with the leadership on the other side of the 
aisle. That is where the quarrel is. Because we are disagreeing with 
the numbers that have been given to the Appropriations Subcommittee on 
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and 
Related Agencies. That was given as a leadership decision.
  I happen to have supported a budget that protected Social Security, 
that paid off $88 billion more debt over the next 5 years than the 
budget we are talking about, provided a reasonable tax cut and improved 
the funding of five priority areas, one of which was agriculture of 
which I am prepared to say we are $450 million under what we need to be 
spending for American agriculture.
  Why do I say that? Because I am proud of our American agricultural 
system, from our farmers on up and down. We have the most abundant food 
supply in this Nation, we have the best quality of food, we have the 
safest food supply to our consumers of any country in the world, and we 
do it at the lowest cost, including all of this, quote, ``wasteful 
spending'' we are talking about today.
  Now, do I make this argument in saying that we cannot do better? 
Obviously we could do better. But we have ways of doing it better. It 
is called the House Committee on Agriculture and it is called the House 
Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and 
Drug Administration, and Related Agencies that spend the hours looking 
at these details and making those decisions. I put my trust in them, on 
the first part because I am one, but I do not quarrel at all with the 
gentleman who chooses to say that we have not done our jobs properly.
  Let me read this letter:

       The American Farm Bureau Federation is aware of a long list 
     of amendments to be offered to H.R. 1906. In addition to the 
     letter sent this morning, we are deeply concerned about these 
     amendments and the approach being taken against general 
     agriculture programs.
       Specifically, we are opposed to amendments that would 
     prohibit funding to promote the sale or export of tobacco, 
     decrease spending for the APHIS Boll Weevil Program and 
     effectively eliminate the Boll Weevil Eradication Program. We 
     oppose any cut in funding for agricultural research programs 
     for wool, cotton, shrimp aquaculture, blueberries, specialty 
     crops or precision agriculture. We oppose any attempts to 
     decrease funding for agriculture market analysis, promotion 
     and rural development.
       Further, we oppose cuts in funding for conservation 
     programs, the peanut price support loan rate and any 
     reductions in research or other cuts to peanut support 
     programs. We also oppose any attempts to effectively 
     eliminate any international or domestic marketing programs.
       Farm Bureau has worked closely with the Agriculture 
     Appropriations Subcommittee and supports the bill as reported 
     by the committee.

  This is our largest farm organization that has looked at the work of 
the gentlewoman and the gentleman and others in saying, in their 
judgment, we cannot make these cuts without doing harm. Again, I 
specifically have objected to the previous two amendments and to this 
amendment for the reasons that were specified before, in pointing out 
that if we are going to be critical of inefficient operation in USDA, 
if we are going to be critical of those ``who have not been able to do 
their job,'' quote-unquote, then how do we justify coming in and saying 
we are going to deny them the tools to bring them into the modern 
century of technology which is what the committee suggested be done?
  That is the simple question. It deserves a simple ``no'' vote on the 
amendment.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. STENHOLM. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Again, I want to be clear about what we are doing. We are 
cutting nothing. What we are saying is we are holding to last year's 
level.
  I understand the Farm Bureau. I have worked with them a great amount. 
A large number of the people who supported me to come here are from 
that organization.
  But I would also say that there probably would not be anything that 
they would probably say was a good idea to cut out of this bill, 
because that is not what they are set up to do. They are set up to make 
sure that their members are protected in this bill.
  I just wanted to state, and I thank the gentleman for being so kind 
as to yield to me, there is not a cut in the bill. It is the old 
Medicare scam cut, hold spending or cut. What we are saying is, let us 
not increase the administrative overhead that has been proposed in the 
bill.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  I would follow up on the remarks of the gentleman from Texas, 
specifically the letter, because it seems to me, as the gentleman from 
Oklahoma just suggested, that naturally they are in the business of 
protecting the status quo.
  What the gentleman from Oklahoma is trying to do is anything but the 
status quo, and that is, on a line-by-line basis, to walk through 
money, where it is going, where it is being spent and asking, is the 
taxpayer getting the best bang for his buck.
  I would disagree with the letter on a whole number of fronts. I mean, 
for instance, the gentleman from Oklahoma's amendments, for instance, 
do not touch the sugar subsidy program. That letter has basically said 
the sugar subsidy is right.
  I know we would disagree on this, but I have problems with any system 
wherein you have got the Fanjul family out of Palm Beach who are worth 
over $400 million, who get $60 million a year as a result of a program 
that is part of this bill. That is not even being challenged by what 
the gentleman

[[Page H3578]]

from Oklahoma is doing. So I think I would have a number of objections 
to that letter.
  But I want to go back to the original content of what he is getting 
at, which is, line by line, looking at where the money is being spent 
and simply asking, is the taxpayer getting a good return on his 
investment. I would say no, because going back to, I guess the comments 
of the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Gutknecht), if you had any 
corporation out there in America that had 100,000 employees, had 80,000 
contract employees and said, how can we make it better, their solution 
would not be to increase administration by 12 percent. Yet that is what 
this does.
  All this amendment would do would be to knock out that increase. That 
is worth doing, it seems to me, for a couple of reasons. If you took 
out this $3.9 million that we are talking about at $20,000 a pop, that 
would buy tractors for 200 farmers. I would rather put the money into 
tractors.
  It would pay taxes for 2,600 farmers if you figured the taxes on a 
small farm were $1,500. It would take 1,900 farmers earning an average 
income to pay the money for this increase; or turned around a different 
way, it would take one farmer 1,900 years to pay for the increase that 
this amendment gets at.

                              {time}  1945

  It is a sensible amendment. It gets at where is the money going.
  Most farmers I talk to, talk to somebody down at the stockyard or 
talk to somebody at FTX, these are reasonable, commonsense folks, and 
the idea of plussing up the administration, and in fact I saw one thing 
here in the administration portion, and I would have a question for the 
staff on this, talking about aircraft management.
  I mean how many aircraft does the Department of Agriculture own?
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SANFORD. I yield to the gentleman from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I just want to ask the gentleman one 
simple question.
  He mentioned that there is nothing wrong with going over this line by 
line, dollar by dollar, and that is not bad.
  Would the gentleman move now to abolish the committee system of the 
United States House of Representatives?
  Why are we wasting our time with 13 committees?
  They hold hearings, and they have all these experts coming together, 
and let me finish.
  Mr. SANFORD. No. Reclaiming my time, of all people, the gentleman 
from Vermont has been consistently independent in the way he votes. To 
suggest that he takes anything lock-step from the committee as it 
comes, I mean the gentleman would be the furthest person from that. He 
is the one independent that is here.
  Mr. SANDERS. True. But I have never offered 125 amendments, and as 
independent as I am, I think the committee process is a reasonable 
process. We have got 435 people. In all fairness, in all fairness, the 
gentleman does not think he knows all aspects of that bill.
  The gentleman never sat on the committee, nor have I, and I think it 
is totally reasonable.
  I have two amendments that I am offering. The gentleman may have some 
amendments. But basically really what he is saying is, ``If you're 
supporting the concept of bringing 125 amendments up,'' what the 
gentleman is saying is, ``Let's junk the committee.''
  Mr. SANFORD. Absolutely. Reclaiming my time, this is part of a much 
larger conversation, as the gentleman from Oklahoma has already 
suggested, and that is, as we all know, if we wait until the end when 
we run into Labor-HHS, when we run into VA-HUD, we are running into a 
train wreck, and so I mean unless we address this larger issue; which 
is, as my colleagues know, we can cherry pick the easy bills, 
supposedly ag was going to be one of those; do those first, and then 
wait for the really difficult bills later on. If so, we are in real 
trouble, and it means we will be taking the money from Social Security, 
which is why I go back to the simple point: would we rather spend money 
on this, as my colleague knows, administration here within the 
Department of Ag, or would we rather save it for Social Security?
  I would rather save it for Social Security.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 185, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) 
will be postponed.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

     Office of the Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations


                     (including transfers of funds)

       For necessary salaries and expenses of the Office of the 
     Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations to carry out 
     the programs funded by this Act, including programs involving 
     intergovernmental affairs and liaison within the executive 
     branch, $3,668,000: Provided, That no other funds 
     appropriated to the Department by this Act shall be available 
     to the Department for support of activities of congressional 
     relations: Provided further, That not less than $2,241,000 
     shall be transferred to agencies funded by this Act to 
     maintain personnel at the agency level.

                        Office of Communications

       For necessary expenses to carry on services relating to the 
     coordination of programs involving public affairs, for the 
     dissemination of agricultural information, and the 
     coordination of information, work, and programs authorized by 
     Congress in the Department, $8,138,000, including employment 
     pursuant to the second sentence of section 706(a) of the 
     Organic Act of 1944 (7 U.S.C. 2225), of which not to exceed 
     $10,000 shall be available for employment under 5 U.S.C. 
     3109, and not to exceed $2,000,000 may be used for farmers' 
     bulletins.

                    Office of the Inspector General


                     (including transfers of funds)

       For necessary expenses of the Office of the Inspector 
     General, including employment pursuant to the second sentence 
     of section 706(a) of the Organic Act of 1944 (7 U.S.C. 2225), 
     and the Inspector General Act of 1978, $65,128,000, including 
     such sums as may be necessary for contracting and other 
     arrangements with public agencies and private persons 
     pursuant to section 6(a)(9) of the Inspector General Act of 
     1978, including not to exceed $50,000 for employment under 5 
     U.S.C. 3109; and including not to exceed $125,000 for certain 
     confidential operational expenses, including the payment of 
     informants, to be expended under the direction of the 
     Inspector General pursuant to Public Law 95-452 and section 
     1337 of Public Law 97-98.

                     Office of the General Counsel

       For necessary expenses of the Office of the General 
     Counsel, $29,194,000.

  Office of the Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics

       For necessary salaries and expenses of the Office of the 
     Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics to 
     administer the laws enacted by the Congress for the Economic 
     Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics 
     Service, the Agricultural Research Service, and the 
     Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, 
     $940,000.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Coburn

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Amendment offered by Mr. Coburn:

       Page 9, line 3, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced 
     by $400,000)''.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, this again is an area that has a 75 percent 
increase, and the first thing I would like to do with my time, if I 
may, is inquire of the committee the thinking behind this increase of 
75 percent in this account so that we can have an understanding of it, 
and actually I would, if the gentleman from Texas knows the reason for 
that, I would even respond if he could give us the answer for that.
  The fact is, this is a significant increase for just the Office of 
the Under Secretary. We are not talking about research, we are talking 
about the Office of the Under Secretary for Research, by increasing it 
by $400,000, and I just would like an explanation.
  Mr. Chairman, it was $140,000, and it is going to be $540,000, and I 
believe that people would like to know why we are increasing that 
spending, and we ought to have a good explanation of why we are 
expending. If there is a great one and we should not be trimming this 
money out, then I will be happy to defer to the chairman, but to me it 
seems this 75 percent increase, from $400,000 to $540,000, is a 
significant increase.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.

[[Page H3579]]

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 185, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) 
will be postponed.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                       economic research service

       For necessary expenses of the Economic Research Service in 
     conducting economic research and analysis, as authorized by 
     the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627) 
     and other laws, $70,266,000: Provided, That this 
     appropriation shall be available for employment pursuant to 
     the second sentence of section 706(a) of the Organic Act of 
     1944 (7. U.S.C. 2225).


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Coburn

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Amendment offered by Mr. Coburn:

       Page 9, line 8, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced 
     by $4,509,000)''.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, again this is an increase of $4,509,000 on 
a budget. Last year was at $65,000. What we are seeing is a 6.8 percent 
increase, and the question that I would ask again is if we are going to 
increase this $4,509,000, and ultimately when it is all said and done 
the money is going to come out of the Social Security surplus, that we 
ought to have a great explanation.
  If my colleagues read the committee print on this, and I will take 
the time to read it, there is not a valid explanation of what we are 
doing here, and again I would query the members of the committee. Maybe 
we are supposed to be doing this just to give us a good answer, and I 
will try to withdraw this amendment. But the fact is that we have 
silence on the issue.
  Let me read what the committee print says.
  ``For the Economic Research Service the committee provides an 
appropriation of $70 million, an increase of $4,509,000 above 1999 and 
an increase of $14 million above the budget we have. The committee has 
provided $17,495,000, an increase of 300 above the budget request, for 
studies and evaluations of work under the Food and Nutrition Service.''
  Now I am for our elderly food nutrition programs, I am for our WIC 
programs, but I want to know how we are going to spend this money, and 
I want to know why we are spending it in the direction and the 
increase, if, in fact, the committee expects ERS to consult and work 
with the staff of the Food and Nutrition Service as well as other 
agencies to assure that all the studies and evaluations are meeting the 
needs of the department. Is there an area where we are not supplying 
that need with the $65 million that we had last year? Is there money 
that could go to our farmers that are out there starving? Could some of 
this $4,509,000 go directly to farmers?
  As my colleagues know, we say we want to help farmers, and some 
gentlemen have said today that some of our amendments have hurt 
farmers. Well, if they have, help us take this and change this and move 
it to the farmers instead of spending it on bureaucracies.
  Again, we are going to have a process by which at the end of the 
appropriation day this $4,509,000, whether we want to hear it or not, 
is going to be taken from the Social Security surplus. Most people in 
this room know that. It is apparent that that is what is going to 
happen, regardless of whether we have another omni-terrible bill or 
not. The money on increased spending is going to be taken from the 
Social Security surplus, and I believe that it is the honorable thing 
for us to do to stand up and admit that, and then say I believe we 
ought to take from the Social Security surplus an additional $4,509,000 
to run this branch of the Department of Agriculture.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I oppose this amendment, and we have been hearing talk 
of efficiency, and this is one area where the committee strongly 
believes that we have been very efficient.
  The funding in this account is made up of two parts. One is the base 
economic research program for USDA, and the other is in the studies and 
evaluation for the feeding programs in this bill. By consolidating the 
studies and evaluations funding in this account, we have found that the 
program can be managed more efficiently.
  The increase to this account is made up by corresponding increases in 
the child nutrition, food stamp and WIC accounts, and if we cut this 
account there will be no way of determining whether or not the $36 
billion that we are spending on feeding programs in this bill are 
meeting their goals.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment 
offered by the gentleman from Oklahoma, and I just wish to state for 
the record that the Food and Nutrition Service, which is in another 
account, was conducting some of its own evaluations for a number of 
years, and the committee felt that a more objective set of evaluations 
could be done through the Economic Research Service. That is the reason 
that these funds are in this account, because essentially we have 
transferred responsibilities from the Food and Nutrition Service to the 
Economic Research Service.
  This is a new function, in a sense, for the Economic Research 
Service, but we believe with their objectivity they could do a good job 
of evaluating the two-thirds to three-quarters, actually three-quarters 
of this budget that is in the mandatory programs, including our major 
food and nutrition programs.
  So I think the gentleman expressed some concern that there were funds 
in here providing for research, but the point is they are not being 
provided in the Food and Nutrition Service any more. These 
responsibilities have been shifted to the Economic Research Service.
  So I wanted to state that for the record and to state that we hope 
that the Economic Research Service will do their job well. We certainly 
have had waste, fraud and abuse in many of the food and nutrition 
programs, and we have been going after that through the Inspector 
General, I think who is doing a tremendous job at USDA in particular, 
and I would hope that the evaluations that would be done would continue 
to show progress.
  So I would not support the gentleman's amendment because I think it 
is a rather arbitrary and ill-advised cut.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. KAPTUR. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, so I understand what the gentlewoman has 
said, last year for these programs there was no money for ERS under 
Food and Nutrition, and all of the increase, this $4,509,000, all of 
that increase is only for this area?
  Ms. KAPTUR. For the Economic Research Service, yes.
  Mr. COBURN. Or associated with Food and Nutrition Services.
  Ms. KAPTUR. That is correct.
  Mr. COBURN. And the money that was being spent in the Food and 
Nutrition Services has been reduced by that amount and transferred to 
this committee.
  Ms. KAPTUR. The Food and Nutrition Service will no longer be doing 
its own evaluations; that is correct.
  Mr. COBURN. But that is different than the amount of money that they 
were spending on it being reduced from their budget and transferred to 
the ERS.
  Ms. KAPTUR. The Food and Nutrition Service will no longer perform 
their own evaluative research; that is correct.
  Mr. COBURN. But they will still have the money that they were using 
to do that, and those structures will be in place.
  Ms. KAPTUR. They will not be doing research in this evaluative 
research. We changed it because we thought that perhaps they had too 
much of a vested interest in continuing programs the way they were, and 
the monitoring might not have been as objective as it should have been.
  This may not work under ERS. We are not sure it will work, but we 
think it is a way of being more objective.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw this 
amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Oklahoma?
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. The amendment of the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. 
Coburn) is withdrawn.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                National Agricultural Statistics Service

       For necessary expenses of the National Agricultural 
     Statistics Service in conducting

[[Page H3580]]

     statistical reporting and service work, including crop and 
     livestock estimates, statistical coordination and 
     improvements, marketing surveys, and the Census of 
     Agriculture, as authorized by 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627, Public Law 
     105-113, and other laws, $100,559,000, of which up to 
     $16,490,000 shall be available until expended for the Census 
     of Agriculture: Provided, That this appropriation shall be 
     available for employment pursuant to the second sentence of 
     section 706(a) of the Organic Act of 1944 (7 U.S.C. 2225), 
     and not to exceed $40,000 shall be available for employment 
     under 5 U.S.C. 3109.

                     Agricultural Research Service

       For necessary expenses to enable the Agricultural Research 
     Service to perform agricultural research and demonstration 
     relating to production, utilization, marketing, and 
     distribution (not otherwise provided for); home economics or 
     nutrition and consumer use including the acquisition, 
     preservation, and dissemination of agricultural information; 
     and for acquisition of lands by donation, exchange, or 
     purchase at a nominal cost not to exceed $100, and for land 
     exchanges where the lands exchanged shall be of equal value 
     or shall be equalized by a payment of money to the grantor 
     which shall not exceed 25 percent of the total value of the 
     land or interests transferred out of Federal ownership, 
     $836,381,000: Provided, That appropriations hereunder shall 
     be available for temporary employment pursuant to the second 
     sentence of section 706(a) of the Organic Act of 1944 (7 
     U.S.C. 2225), and not to exceed $115,000 shall be available 
     for employment under 5 U.S.C. 3109: Provided further, That 
     appropriations hereunder shall be available for the operation 
     and maintenance of aircraft and the purchase of not to exceed 
     one for replacement only: Provided further, That 
     appropriations hereunder shall be available pursuant to 7 
     U.S.C. 2250 for the construction, alteration, and repair of 
     buildings and improvements, but unless otherwise provided, 
     the cost of constructing any one building shall not exceed 
     $250,000, except for headhouses or greenhouses which shall 
     each be limited to $1,000,000, and except for ten buildings 
     to be constructed or improved at a cost not to exceed 
     $500,000 each, and the cost of altering any one building 
     during the fiscal year shall not exceed 10 percent of the 
     current replacement value of the building or $250,000, 
     whichever is greater: Provided further, That the limitations 
     on alterations contained in this Act shall not apply to 
     modernization or replacement of existing facilities at 
     Beltsville, Maryland: Provided further, That appropriations 
     hereunder shall be available for granting easements at the 
     Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, including an 
     easement to the University of Maryland to construct the 
     Transgenic Animal Facility which upon completion shall be 
     accepted by the Secretary as a gift: Provided further, That 
     the foregoing limitations shall not apply to replacement of 
     buildings needed to carry out the Act of April 24, 1948 (21 
     U.S.C. 113a): Provided further, That funds may be received 
     from any State, other political subdivision, organization, or 
     individual for the purpose of establishing or operating any 
     research facility or research project of the Agricultural 
     Research Service, as authorized by law.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Sanders

  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Amendment offered by Mr. Sanders:

       Page 10, line 14 (relating to the Agricultural Research 
     Service), insert after the dollar amount the following: 
     ``(reduced by $13,000,000)''.
       Page 50, line 9 (relating to the commodity assistance 
     program), insert after the dollar amount the following: 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.

                              {time}  2000

  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I want to assure my colleagues that I do 
not have 150 amendments, not even 50, only 2, and I believe the 
majority is going to accept one later. So this is it for me, and I 
would appreciate support for this amendment.
  This amendment is cosponsored by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Ney), 
the gentlewoman from Georgia (Ms. McKinney), the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Lee), and the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Hall). This is a 
very similar amendment to the one that the gentleman from New Jersey 
(Mr. LoBiondo) and I introduced last year, which won in the House by a 
strong vote. Unfortunately, the conference committee did not support 
the effort that we had made in the House.
  The purpose of this amendment is to increase funding for a nutrition 
program of extreme importance to many low-income senior citizens, small 
children and pregnant women, and that program is the Commodity 
Supplemental Food Program.
  This year, the President requested $155 million for the Commodity 
Assistance Program, which contains the Commodity Supplemental Food 
Program. However, the program was funded at $14 million less than the 
President's request. We are attempting now to add $10 million to the 
program, which would still be $4 million less than what the President 
had requested.
  Mr. Chairman, it is no secret that malnutrition and hunger among 
senior citizens is a serious and tragic problem in the United States. 
Throughout our country, food shelters see more and more use, and 
hospital administrators tell us that thousands of senior citizens who 
enter hospitals in this country are suffering from malnutrition. We 
know that programs like Meals on Wheels have long waiting lists and 
that large numbers of seniors throughout this country are simply not 
getting the nutrition that they need.
  The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is currently operating in 20 
States. Other States are on the waiting list and still more are in the 
process of applying for the program. We have been told by the USDA that 
unless additional funds are given to this program, there simply cannot 
be an expansion, which would be a real tragedy not only for seniors, 
but for pregnant women and young children who also utilize this 
important program.
  Mr. Chairman, the amendment is offset by cutting $13 million from the 
Agricultural Research Service. At a time of very, very tight and 
unreasonable, in my opinion, budget caps, this particular program 
received a $50 million increase this year, which brings the program up 
to just over $830 million.
  I am not an opponent of the Agricultural Research Service. I think 
they do a lot of good. I come from an agricultural State, and they do 
important work. But it seems to me that we have to put our priorities 
in a little bit better place.
  At a time of significant and growing hunger in the United States, it 
is frankly more important to be funding nutrition programs than adding 
$50 million to ag research in such programs as funding a geneticist 
plant breeder for lettuce to develop red snapper agriculture, 
aquaculture, to conduct golden nematode worm research and rainbow trout 
research.
  I do not mean to make fun of those programs. I am sure that they make 
sense and are useful. But I think in terms of our priorities, when we 
have seniors who are hungry and small kids who are not getting the 
nutrition that they need, I think we should do better; and we can do 
better by supporting this nutrition program.
  I want to thank the cosponsors of this amendment, one of whom is the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Ney), and the schedule has been so thrown off 
today that I do not know if they are going to come and speak to this 
right now. But the gentlewoman from Georgia (Ms. McKinney), the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lee), the gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Woolsey) are also cosponsors of this amendment, and I would ask 
for its passage.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I hate to do this, but I rise in opposition to this 
amendment. All programs within the bill were put on the table as we 
began to make funding decisions under the tight allocation that we had 
received. No one can deny the importance of commodity assistance 
programs, but to use as an offset funds from the Agricultural Research 
Service to find ways to help farmers, who are less than 2 percent of 
the Nation's population, to feed this country and much of the world, is 
not acceptable.
  In addition, Mr. Chairman, we provided about $6 million more in this 
account than the President requested for the Commodity Supplemental 
Food Program for fiscal year 2000 and maintained TFAP administrative 
funds at $45 million. These are the only two programs within the 
Commodity Assistance account.
  Mr. Chairman, I oppose the amendment.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Sanders amendment, and this 
may be the only disagreement that the chairman of the subcommittee and 
I have on this bill.
  I compliment the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) for bringing 
this amendment to us to get the full body's view on this when we vote 
very shortly, and I support the amendment for several reasons.
  One is, around this country, the feeding kitchens of America are 
empty. We

[[Page H3581]]

have an enormous need for additional food. Just the last two weekends 
ago the letter carriers across our country did a food drive and tried 
to replenish the supplies in these food banks, because this is not 
close to Christmas and they have been drawn down, and with all of the 
changes that have been made in welfare reform, for example, we do have 
lots of people who are hungry in America tonight, most of them women 
and children.
  So I would say that there is great merit in the gentleman's proposal.
  In addition to that, in this bill, we were unable to fund so many 
worthy programs that would bring food to people, including the Senior 
Nutrition Program where there had been a proposal to provide a small 
subsidy so that seniors would not have to pay so much for lunches when 
they go into some of their lunch programs. We were not able to include 
that in this bill.
  Finally, I will support in this bill and in any subsequent bills any 
effort that would lift commodities off this market in order to try to 
help get prices up for our farmers. This bill itself, in the body of 
this bill, we were not able to provide the kind of surplus commodity 
assistance that we would have hoped for. We have done some, but we just 
have not done enough.
  I would say to the author of the amendment, it is difficult for me to 
take money from the Agricultural Research Service. I would hope that as 
we move toward conference we might be able to find other ways to fund 
this very worthy proposal. I will vote for the gentleman's amendment 
when the time comes for all of the reasons that I have listed, but I 
would hope that we might be able to find other offsets, because truly 
we know that the future of American agriculture rests in research, and 
our bounty is directly related to the investments we make in so many 
crops.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. KAPTUR. I yield to the gentleman from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I hope the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. 
Skeen) understands, I am not against ag research. I know that the 
gentleman has had a difficult time trying to fit in all of the needs. I 
do not disagree with the gentleman, and I do not disagree with the 
gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur). I just think that when we have 
senior citizens going into the hospitals suffering from malnutrition, 
that is an issue that cannot be ignored.
  I would raise that to a higher level and ask for the support of the 
body in the passage of this amendment.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Sanders amendment. I think 
that a $10 million increase for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program 
is warranted.
  I represent a district in Cleveland, Ohio, and in my district there 
are many seniors who depend on programs like this for their sustenance.
  There are those of us who have a prayer that we say that includes the 
words, ``Give us this day our daily bread.'' This is a very humble and 
simple request that people have. In America, where there are so many 
people hungry, where there are so many people who hunger amidst so much 
plenty, what would it matter to give a mere $10 million to help our 
senior citizens have improved nutrition, to reduce the waiting lists 
for Meals on Wheels, to make it possible for those millions of 
Americans who rely on emergency food assistance to be able to get some 
help.
  We in this country have a moral obligation to provide for those who 
are without. It is a work of mercy to feed the hungry, and we should 
with regard to the great power of this government, with the billions of 
dollars that are spent on so many things that are questionable, that we 
have an opportunity here to take $10 million and feed some people, give 
them an opportunity to be better fed so that they do not end up in the 
hospital from malnutrition.
  I think the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) has come up with a 
wonderful amendment, and while I have the greatest respect for the 
committee which has created this bill, I have to say that the bill can 
be improved and it can be improved with the help of the gentleman's 
amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I would be happy to yield to the gentleman from 
Vermont, Mr. Sanders, so that he can have a few more minutes to explain 
the importance of this amendment.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Ohio for his 
strong support. I think the essence of the problem that we have as 
serious legislators is that we are confronting a budget which in many 
ways prevents us from doing the things that we have to do, and that is 
not the chairman's fault and it is not the ranking member's fault. But 
I think when we talk about priorities in the United States, in this 
great country, in this wealthy country, how can we not address the 
reality that there are senior citizens who are going to the hospital 
and the administrators and doctors there are telling us they are 
malnourished? We are wasting huge sums of money spending dollars on 
hospital care that could have been prevented if we would provide 
adequate nutrition to our senior citizens.
  The same thing is true with low-income pregnant women who are giving 
birth to low-weight babies.
  So again, I would not argue about ag research. That is important. But 
I think what we are asking for is taking $13 million out of an increase 
of $50 million to use $10 million for the expansion of this commodities 
program.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Chairman, the Master said, ``Feed my sheep.'' This 
is our challenge.
  Mr. NEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to stand tonight in support of this amendment. 
This year the President requested $155 million for the Commodity 
Assistance Program which contains the Commodity Supplemental Food 
Program. However, this program was funded at $14 million less than the 
President's request.
  The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is currently operating in 20 
States. Also, four States are on the waiting list, as are others, such 
as the State of Ohio; and we believe that all people should be able to 
participate in this. Too many seniors are suffering already because 
they live on such tiny incomes they cannot afford to buy food or else 
they are forced to choose between the life-saving prescription drugs 
they need and groceries.
  The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is often a life-saving source 
of food for elderly constituents. The source of the money this is 
coming from is coming from a program that is receiving ample support, 
and I come from a State that has agriculture, and I do support 
obviously where the money is going. But the amount of money that is 
going to go into this program for the Sanders amendment is not going to 
hurt the existing appropriation, it is going to do an awful lot, 
really, to help our seniors. So I think it is a good amendment.
  It is a senior program that makes good fiscal sense. Studies have 
shown that malnourished seniors stay in the hospital nearly twice as 
long as well-nourished seniors, costing thousands of dollars more per 
stay. So I think it is cost-effective.
  It is a good amendment, it should receive good bipartisan support. I 
think it is the right thing to do, and I urge the support of my 
colleagues for this amendment.
  Mr. WALSH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise, regrettably, in opposition to the gentleman's 
amendment, because I think he is attempting to do something that is 
proper and good, but I would point out to the gentleman that all of 
these funds are very competitive with each other. We have done our 
level best to fully fund the nutrition programs which make up the 
majority of this bill.
  As the gentleman knows, and we have worked together on funding the 
Emergency Food Assistance Program, it is a very important program. We 
have raised the funding for that program, the mandatory programs, food 
stamps and WIC, and we have done our level best to fund those as close 
to full funding as we can.
  The Commodity Supplemental Food Program, the program the gentleman 
wants to add an additional $10 million to, is funded above the 
President's budget request level.
  So we have gone out of our way to try to find the discretionary funds 
to meet the needs of these programs. We

[[Page H3582]]

just do not have enough money to meet everybody's priorities.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. WALSH. I yield to the gentleman from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Walsh) 
and I have worked together on a number of issues, and I appreciate 
where he is coming from, and we all understand the difficulty of coming 
up with the money.
  However, I think the gentleman is not accurate in saying that we have 
funded the program higher than the President's request. I believe it is 
$14 million below the President's request, to the best of my knowledge.
  Mr. WALSH. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I will check to verify 
which one of us is accurate here, but the fact of the matter is, these 
nonmandatory funds are heavily in demand by all of these programs.

                              {time}  2015

  To take the funds from the agriculture research budget and put them 
into nutrition programs may be penny wise and pound foolish, because 
the agriculture research, which again, is underfunded, we cannot do 
enough for the research that needs to be done, but that research, Mr. 
Chairman, has increased by multiples, geometric progression increases 
in our yields of crops.
  If we neglect our agriculture research on things like the green 
revolution varieties of wheat and corn and rice that are now feeding 
the entire world, the disease resistance that we are breeding into our 
crops, the new varieties of fruits and vegetables that our agriculture 
research institutions produce for the consumption not only of our 
citizens but of the whole world, if we continue to neglect our 
research, we are not going to have nearly enough food to feed ourselves 
and the rest of the world.
  I understand the gentleman's desires here. Perhaps at the end of the 
process, if there is a way to provide additional funds, we will try to 
do that. But for the sake of this amendment, I do urge that it be 
rejected and that we keep the funds in agriculture research where they 
belong.
  Mr. HALL of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of Mr. 
Sanders' amendment, which will add needed resources for food banks. As 
you know, growing numbers of Americans are turning up at our nation's 
food banks--and too many of them are senior citizens.
  The food banks from around the United States that I've surveyed 
during the past two years report many reasons for the increase--from 
the deep cuts in food stamp funding, to low-wage jobs, to an economy 
that is leaving too many of our fellow citizens behind. Since last 
year, 22 percent more people are turning up in their lines, the food 
banks say--and many of them are going home empty-handed.
  The prospect of hunger in our rich nation is troubling no matter who 
it affects. Children who are poor often and rightly grab our attention, 
because hunger in the growing years scars them physically and mentally. 
Working people who are doing all they can to feed their families also 
disturb us. And hungry senior citizens, who have given so much for 
their entire lives to their families and our nation, are nothing short 
of an outrage.
  I saw senior citizens at Ohio food banks last year, many of them too 
weak to stand and wait in long lines; all of them suffering the 
indignity of being unable to feed themselves; and a surprising number 
of them there because our healthy system has left them no choice other 
than to pay for their medicine, or their food.
  The Commodity Supplemental Food Program operates in only 18 states 
(plus one reservation). The WIC program we know so well grew out of 
this program, which now focuses on poor Americans aged 60 and older. It 
was cut by $10 million in FY '99; this amendment restores this funding 
and should enable the program to reach senior citizens in more states. 
My own state of Ohio is eager to participate, and will do so as soon as 
the needed funding is available.
  No American should have to turn to food banks in the first place; and 
no one who has no other choice should be turned away empty-handed. This 
amendment will add needed funding for food banks that serve senior 
citizens. I commend Mr. Sanders and Mr. Ney for their strong stand in 
support of hungry seniors, and urge my colleagues to support it.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Sanford

  The CHAIRMAN. The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. 
Sanford) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the 
noes prevailed by voice vote.
  The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The Clerk designated the amendment.


                             Recorded Vote

  The CHAIRMAN. A recorded vote has been demanded.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The CHAIRMAN. This will be a 15-minute vote, followed by two five-
minute votes.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 143, 
noes 274, not voting 16, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 155]

                               AYES--143

     Aderholt
     Andrews
     Archer
     Armey
     Bachus
     Baird
     Ballenger
     Barr
     Barrett (WI)
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bass
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Blagojevich
     Blunt
     Brown (OH)
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Campbell
     Cannon
     Capuano
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chenoweth
     Coble
     Coburn
     Collins
     Cox
     Crane
     Cunningham
     Deal
     DeFazio
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Doggett
     Doolittle
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Ehrlich
     Eshoo
     Fossella
     Fowler
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (NJ)
     Gibbons
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Gordon
     Goss
     Green (TX)
     Green (WI)
     Greenwood
     Gutknecht
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hilleary
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hunter
     Hutchinson
     Istook
     Johnson, E. B.
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kelly
     Largent
     Larson
     Lazio
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Lofgren
     Luther
     Maloney (NY)
     Manzullo
     Markey
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Metcalf
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller, Gary
     Miller, George
     Mink
     Moore
     Moran (VA)
     Myrick
     Napolitano
     Northup
     Norwood
     Paul
     Pease
     Petri
     Phelps
     Pitts
     Pombo
     Portman
     Pryce (OH)
     Ramstad
     Riley
     Rivers
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roukema
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Salmon
     Sanford
     Scarborough
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherwood
     Shows
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (WA)
     Spence
     Stearns
     Stump
     Sununu
     Tancredo
     Tauscher
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Tiahrt
     Toomey
     Upton
     Wamp
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller

                               NOES--274

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Baker
     Baldacci
     Baldwin
     Barcia
     Barrett (NE)
     Bateman
     Becerra
     Bentsen
     Bereuter
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bilbray
     Bishop
     Bliley
     Blumenauer
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonior
     Bono
     Borski
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (FL)
     Bryant
     Callahan
     Calvert
     Camp
     Canady
     Capps
     Cardin
     Carson
     Chambliss
     Clay
     Clayton
     Clement
     Clyburn
     Combest
     Condit
     Conyers
     Cook
     Cooksey
     Costello
     Coyne
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cubin
     Cummings
     Danner
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (VA)
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Diaz-Balart
     Dickey
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Dixon
     Dooley
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     Engel
     English
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Everett
     Ewing
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Fletcher
     Foley
     Forbes
     Ford
     Frelinghuysen
     Frost
     Gallegly
     Ganske
     Gejdenson
     Gekas
     Gephardt
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gilman
     Gonzalez
     Goodling
     Gutierrez
     Hall (OH)
     Hansen
     Hastings (FL)
     Hayes
     Hill (IN)
     Hill (MT)
     Hilliard
     Hinchey
     Hobson
     Hoeffel
     Holden
     Holt
     Hooley
     Horn
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Hyde
     Inslee
     Isakson
     Jackson (IL)
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson (CT)
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind (WI)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Klink
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kucinich
     Kuykendall
     LaFalce
     LaHood
     Lampson
     Lantos
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Lipinski
     Lowey
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Maloney (CT)
     Martinez
     Mascara
     Matsui
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCrery
     McGovern
     McHugh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Minge
     Moakley
     Mollohan
     Moran (KS)
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Neal
     Nethercutt
     Ney
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Ose
     Owens
     Packard
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Pickering
     Pickett
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (NC)
     Quinn
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Regula
     Reynolds

[[Page H3583]]


     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Rogan
     Rogers
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Ryun (KS)
     Sabo
     Sanchez
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Sawyer
     Saxton
     Schaffer
     Schakowsky
     Scott
     Serrano
     Sherman
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sisisky
     Skeen
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (NJ)
     Snyder
     Souder
     Spratt
     Stabenow
     Stenholm
     Strickland
     Stupak
     Sweeney
     Talent
     Tanner
     Tauzin
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thornberry
     Thune
     Thurman
     Tierney
     Towns
     Traficant
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Velazquez
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Walden
     Walsh
     Waters
     Watkins
     Watt (NC)
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Weldon (PA)
     Wexler
     Weygand
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson
     Wise
     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--16

     Brady (TX)
     Brown (CA)
     Graham
     Granger
     Hinojosa
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Kasich
     Kleczka
     Millender-McDonald
     Morella
     Oxley
     Pallone
     Reyes
     Rothman
     Smith (TX)
     Stark

                              {time}  2039

  Messrs. LIPINSKI, GUTIERREZ, REYNOLDS, TIERNEY, RYUN of Kansas, 
TRAFICANT, and BECERRA and Mrs. JOHNSON of Connecticut changed their 
vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''
  Messrs. McNULTY, MARKEY, SHAW, DeFAZIO, and LARSON and Mrs. TAUSCHER 
and Ms. ESHOO changed their vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''
  So the amendment was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  Stated for:
  Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Chairman, on rollcall No. 155, I was 
inadvertently detained and missed the vote. Had I been present, I would 
have voted ``yes''.


                    Amendment Offered By Mr. Coburn

  The CHAIRMAN. The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) on 
which further proceeding were postponed and on which the noes prevailed 
by voice vote.
  The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The Clerk designated the amendment.


                             Recorded Vote

  The CHAIRMAN. A recorded vote has been demanded.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The CHAIRMAN. This will be a 5-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 129, 
noes 289, not voting 15, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 156]

                               AYES--129

     Aderholt
     Andrews
     Archer
     Armey
     Ballenger
     Barr
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bass
     Biggert
     Boehner
     Bryant
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Camp
     Campbell
     Cannon
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chenoweth
     Coble
     Coburn
     Collins
     Condit
     Cook
     Cox
     Crane
     Cubin
     Cunningham
     Deal
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Diaz-Balart
     Doolittle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Ehrlich
     English
     Foley
     Fossella
     Fowler
     Franks (NJ)
     Gibbons
     Gillmor
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Goodling
     Goss
     Granger
     Green (WI)
     Greenwood
     Gutknecht
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hill (MT)
     Hilleary
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hunter
     Istook
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kelly
     Largent
     Lazio
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Luther
     Manzullo
     McCollum
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller, Gary
     Myrick
     Nadler
     Northup
     Paul
     Pease
     Petri
     Pitts
     Pombo
     Portman
     Pryce (OH)
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Riley
     Rogan
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roukema
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Salmon
     Sanford
     Scarborough
     Schaffer
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherwood
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (WA)
     Souder
     Stearns
     Stump
     Sununu
     Tancredo
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Toomey
     Upton
     Walden
     Wamp
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller

                               NOES--289

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Bachus
     Baird
     Baker
     Baldacci
     Baldwin
     Barcia
     Barrett (NE)
     Barrett (WI)
     Bateman
     Becerra
     Bentsen
     Bereuter
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bishop
     Blagojevich
     Bliley
     Blumenauer
     Boehlert
     Bonilla
     Bonior
     Bono
     Borski
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (FL)
     Brown (OH)
     Callahan
     Calvert
     Canady
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Carson
     Chambliss
     Clay
     Clayton
     Clement
     Clyburn
     Combest
     Conyers
     Cooksey
     Costello
     Coyne
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cummings
     Danner
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (VA)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Dickey
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Dixon
     Doggett
     Dooley
     Doyle
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Everett
     Ewing
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Fletcher
     Forbes
     Ford
     Frank (MA)
     Frelinghuysen
     Frost
     Gallegly
     Ganske
     Gejdenson
     Gekas
     Gephardt
     Gilchrest
     Gilman
     Gonzalez
     Gordon
     Green (TX)
     Gutierrez
     Hall (OH)
     Hansen
     Hastings (FL)
     Hayes
     Hill (IN)
     Hilliard
     Hinchey
     Hobson
     Hoeffel
     Holden
     Holt
     Hooley
     Horn
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Hutchinson
     Hyde
     Inslee
     Isakson
     Jackson (IL)
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind (WI)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kleczka
     Klink
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kucinich
     Kuykendall
     LaFalce
     LaHood
     Lampson
     Lantos
     Larson
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Lipinski
     Lofgren
     Lowey
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Maloney (CT)
     Maloney (NY)
     Markey
     Martinez
     Mascara
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCrery
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McHugh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Metcalf
     Miller, George
     Minge
     Mink
     Moakley
     Mollohan
     Moore
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Murtha
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nethercutt
     Ney
     Norwood
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Ose
     Owens
     Packard
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Phelps
     Pickering
     Pickett
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (NC)
     Quinn
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Reynolds
     Rivers
     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Rogers
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Sabo
     Sanchez
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Sawyer
     Saxton
     Schakowsky
     Scott
     Serrano
     Sherman
     Shimkus
     Shows
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sisisky
     Skeen
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (NJ)
     Snyder
     Spence
     Spratt
     Stabenow
     Stenholm
     Strickland
     Stupak
     Sweeney
     Talent
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Tauzin
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thune
     Thurman
     Tierney
     Towns
     Traficant
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Velazquez
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Walsh
     Waters
     Watkins
     Watt (NC)
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wexler
     Weygand
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson
     Wise
     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--15

     Blunt
     Brown (CA)
     Graham
     Hinojosa
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Kasich
     Millender-McDonald
     Morella
     Oxley
     Pallone
     Reyes
     Rothman
     Smith (TX)
     Stark
     Weldon (PA)

                              {time}  2049

  Messrs. KLECZKA, COOKSEY and MALONEY of Connecticut changed their 
vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''
  Mr. COOK changed his vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''
  So the amendment was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Coburn

  The CHAIRMAN. The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn) on 
which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes 
prevailed by voice vote.
  The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The Clerk designated the amendment.


                             Recorded Vote

  The CHAIRMAN. A recorded vote has been demanded.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The CHAIRMAN. This will be a 5-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 139, 
noes 278, not voting 16, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 157]

                               AYES--139

     Andrews
     Archer
     Armey
     Baird
     Ballenger
     Barr
     Barrett (WI)
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bass
     Biggert
     Boehner
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (OH)
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Campbell
     Cannon
     Capuano
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chenoweth
     Coble
     Coburn
     Collins
     Conyers
     Cook
     Crane
     Cunningham
     Deal
     DeFazio
     Delahunt
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Diaz-Balart
     Doggett
     Doolittle
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Ehrlich
     English
     Eshoo
     Foley
     Fossella

[[Page H3584]]


     Fowler
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (NJ)
     Gibbons
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Gordon
     Goss
     Granger
     Green (TX)
     Greenwood
     Gutknecht
     Hall (TX)
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hill (MT)
     Hilleary
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hunter
     Inslee
     Istook
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kelly
     Kleczka
     Lazio
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Luther
     Maloney (CT)
     Maloney (NY)
     Manzullo
     Markey
     McDermott
     McInnis
     McIntosh
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Metcalf
     Mica
     Miller, Gary
     Miller, George
     Mink
     Myrick
     Northup
     Paul
     Petri
     Pitts
     Pombo
     Portman
     Ramstad
     Riley
     Rivers
     Rogan
     Rohrabacher
     Roukema
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Sabo
     Salmon
     Sanford
     Scarborough
     Schaffer
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shays
     Shows
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (WA)
     Souder
     Stearns
     Stump
     Sununu
     Tancredo
     Tauscher
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Tiahrt
     Tierney
     Toomey
     Upton
     Wamp
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Wu

                               NOES--278

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Bachus
     Baker
     Baldacci
     Baldwin
     Barcia
     Barrett (NE)
     Bateman
     Becerra
     Bentsen
     Bereuter
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bishop
     Blagojevich
     Bliley
     Blumenauer
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Bonilla
     Bonior
     Bono
     Borski
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (FL)
     Bryant
     Callahan
     Calvert
     Camp
     Canady
     Capps
     Cardin
     Carson
     Chambliss
     Clay
     Clayton
     Clement
     Clyburn
     Combest
     Condit
     Cooksey
     Costello
     Coyne
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cubin
     Cummings
     Danner
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (VA)
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Dickey
     Dingell
     Dixon
     Dooley
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     Engel
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Everett
     Ewing
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Fletcher
     Forbes
     Ford
     Frelinghuysen
     Frost
     Gallegly
     Ganske
     Gejdenson
     Gekas
     Gephardt
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gilman
     Gonzalez
     Goodling
     Green (WI)
     Gutierrez
     Hall (OH)
     Hansen
     Hastings (FL)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hill (IN)
     Hilliard
     Hinchey
     Hobson
     Hoeffel
     Holden
     Holt
     Hooley
     Horn
     Houghton
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Hutchinson
     Hyde
     Isakson
     Jackson (IL)
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     John
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind (WI)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Klink
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kucinich
     Kuykendall
     LaFalce
     LaHood
     Lampson
     Lantos
     Larson
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Lipinski
     Lofgren
     Lowey
     Lucas (KY)
     Lucas (OK)
     Martinez
     Mascara
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCrery
     McGovern
     McHugh
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Miller (FL)
     Minge
     Moakley
     Mollohan
     Moore
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Morella
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nethercutt
     Ney
     Norwood
     Nussle
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Ose
     Owens
     Packard
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pease
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Phelps
     Pickering
     Pickett
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (NC)
     Pryce (OH)
     Quinn
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Regula
     Reynolds
     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Rogers
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Sanchez
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Sawyer
     Saxton
     Schakowsky
     Scott
     Serrano
     Shaw
     Sherman
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sisisky
     Skeen
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Snyder
     Spence
     Spratt
     Stabenow
     Stenholm
     Strickland
     Stupak
     Sweeney
     Talent
     Tanner
     Tauzin
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thornberry
     Thune
     Thurman
     Towns
     Traficant
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Velazquez
     Vento
     Visclosky
     Walden
     Walsh
     Waters
     Watkins
     Watt (NC)
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wexler
     Weygand
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson
     Wise
     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--16

     Brown (CA)
     Cox
     Dicks
     Graham
     Hinojosa
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Kasich
     Largent
     McCollum
     Millender-McDonald
     Oxley
     Pallone
     Reyes
     Rothman
     Smith (TX)
     Stark

                              {time}  2058

  So the amendment was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  Mr. SKEEN. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Sherwood) having assumed the chair, Mr. Pease, Chairman of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 1906) 
making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending 
September 30, 2000, and for other purposes, had come to no resolution 
thereon.

                          ____________________