(House of Representatives - December 10, 2009)

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[Pages H14462-H14480]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 961, I call up 
the conference report on the bill (H.R. 3288) making appropriations for 
the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, 
and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and 
for other purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Weiner). Pursuant to House Resolution 
961, the conference report is considered read.
  (For conference report and statement, see proceedings of the House of 
December 8, 2009, in Book II at page H13631.)
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver) 
and the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Latham) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Massachusetts.

                             General Leave

  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
include tabular and extraneous material on the conference report to 
accompany H.R. 3288.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Massachusetts?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.
  It is my privilege and pleasure to present the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2010 to the House.
  This conference report is the product of many hours of hearings and 
briefings across six subcommittees, always with bipartisan input and 
excellent Member participation, and culminated by extensive 
negotiations with our Senate colleagues. I especially would like to 
recognize the important contributions of our ranking member, Tom Latham 
of Iowa, in putting together the Transportation and Housing portions of 
this bill. While we may not always agree, I always appreciate his 
partnership, and his input has made the bill better.
  I am particularly proud of the Transportation and Housing portion of 
the report because it demonstrates our mutual commitment to investing 
in our Nation's housing and transportation infrastructure; our mutual 
commitment to maintaining critical services in urban and rural 
communities; our mutual commitment to vulnerable populations such as 
the elderly and disabled; our mutual commitment to building sustainable 
communities for our Nation's families; and our mutual commitment to 
maintaining an efficient and safe transportation system that 
contributes to America's place in a global economy.
  Notably, the conference agreement provides funding to improve and 
repair roughly 1 million miles of Federal aid highways; to support and 
expand a public transit system that carried more than 10 billion riders 
last year; to meet demand for 21st century intercity passenger rail 
systems, demonstrated by Amtrak's 11 percent growth in annual 
ridership; and modernizing the air traffic control system that is 
outdated and manages over 10.5 million flights annually.
  Within the Housing and Urban Development programs, the conference 
agreement fully funds the section 8 rental housing assistance program, 
thereby ensuring affordable housing for 3\1/2\ million families and 
individuals; the agreement provides 10,000 new vouchers to homeless 
veterans; the agreement keeps a roof over the heads of 1.2 million 
households living in public housing; and the agreement helps 
communities improve local economies and create jobs through the 
Community Development Block Grant program.
  In conclusion, we worked hard to balance many competing demands to 
produce a bill that reflects the bipartisan needs for transportation 
and housing, and strengthens the foundation upon which our economic 
turnaround is being built. This is a good product, and I urge Members 
to support it.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 5 minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, I first want to thank Chairman Olver for his kind words 
and his leadership this year. The gentleman from Massachusetts truly is 
a gentleman. And I appreciate very much the work that he has done. He 
has very artfully negotiated a good conference report for the House. 
Those of you who know John Olver know that he puts a great deal of 
effort and thought into this bill and to the issues in the 
transportation and housing worlds. In fact, sometimes you feel like he 
has gone a little bit too far into the weeds, but his dedication is to 
be admired.
  It is all the more unfortunate that we are here today under these 
circumstances. Instead of presenting a Transportation-HUD conference 
report, Chairman Olver is forced to carry five other bills with him, 
bills that should be considered on their own as conference reports.
  The Transportation-HUD bill, like all appropriations bills, was 
considered under a closed rule in the name of expediency. The 
Transportation-HUD bill passed the floor of the House in July. The 
Senate even passed the bill. That was on September 17. The Senate, 
apparently the body that can't get their work done on time, managed to 
do it at that time under an open amendment process. They even actually 
got to offer amendments on the bill, which is something we didn't get 
to do here in the House.

                              {time}  1230

  Realistically, we could have and should have been able to bring the 
Transportation-HUD conference report to the floor by the end of the 
fiscal year. Instead, here we are today 3 months into the fiscal year, 
3 months after the Senate passed its bill in an omnibus today.
  The Transportation-HUD is not alone in this situation. The MilCon-
Veterans bill was also considered and passed by both bodies. MilCon-VA 
should be a stand-alone conference report. Commerce, Justice, Science 
actually had a conference meeting noticed up, but that got yanked. The 
CJS should be a stand-alone bill. Instead, it also got stuck in this 
omnibus. Three other bills--the Foreign Operations bill, the Financial 
Services bill, and even the Labor-HHS bill, Mr. Obey's own bill--
weren't considered in the Senate and are buried in this package.
  Members of this House should be aware you voted against this type of 
a package on Tuesday. The House voted to adopt a motion to instruct 
that said no extraneous matters may be added to the Transportation-HUD 
conference report. Instead, against the wishes of the House, we've 
added five bills to this conference report.
  I regret very much that I am unable to support this bill. It's my 
first year on this bill and I have enjoyed, obviously, working with the 
chairman. The issues are interesting and our subcommittee members are 
really engaged and bring a variety of experiences to the table. 
However, the price tag on this bill is simply too high.
  Mr. Lewis offered an amendment, very reasonable, to have the spending 
levels proposed by Congress at the 2010 level, everything but Defense 
and Veterans, at 2 percent over last year. We spent a lot of money last 
year, so a 2 percent increase over last year would really be quite 
  However, when we finish the 2010 bills, the Democrats will have 
increased government spending by 85 percent, 85 percent over the last 2 
years. You tell me one American family that has 85 percent more in 
2009. I can tell you none of my constituents have an

[[Page H14463]]

additional 85 percent to spend this year. And they sure don't have the 
funds to pay for the tax increases that will be needed to pay for this 
or the debt that the other party is dumping on our taxpayers.
  Another issue I think the Members need to be aware of in this 
package, despite our earlier efforts, the Justice Department has issued 
an opinion that the government will still give funds to ACORN. Let me 
say that again. We will still be funding ACORN under this bill and 
their existing contracts. Federal funds will still flow. I had an 
amendment in conference to substitute new language to get at this 
issue, as I think all of us were under the impression that ACORN was 
cut off for good. That's what we were told. However, the Justice 
Department has another view, and the agencies at least in the HUD area 
will still cut checks to ACORN.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. LATHAM. I yield myself another 30 seconds.
  I told the Rules Committee yesterday this is a bittersweet time. The 
THUD conference is completed, and that in itself is an accomplishment. 
There's a lot of good policy in the Transportation-HUD conference bill, 
but this package with all of the six bills piled together is about $390 
billion and five appropriations bills too large.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from New 
York (Mrs. Lowey). Nita Lowey is the chairwoman of the State and 
Foreign Operations Subcommittee of Appropriations, one of the bills 
which is included in this package.
  Mrs. LOWEY. I thank the chairman for his important work on this bill.
  I am very pleased to present Division F of the fiscal year 2010 
omnibus, which includes $48.764 billion in appropriations for the 
Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs. At 
$1.235 billion, or 2 percent below fiscal year 2009 enacted levels 
including supplemental appropriations, and $3.28 billion below the 
President's fiscal year 2010 request, these funds support the U.S. 
diplomatic and development priorities, a cornerstone of U.S. national 
  To address security imperatives, it includes $4.5 billion to help 
stabilize, strengthen, and rebuild Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq; in 
conjunction with funding in the 2009 supplemental, full funding for our 
commitments to allies and partners in the Middle East, including a 
total of $2.775 billion in FMF for Israel, $1.3 billion for Egypt, $300 
billion for Jordan; a provision to prevent the Export-Import Bank from 
entering into any deals with foreign companies that significantly 
contribute to Iran's refined petroleum industry and gives the Secretary 
of State authority to exempt countries cooperating closely with the 
United States to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; $873.6 
million for counternarcotics and alternate development programs in 
Latin America.
  This bill continues the congressional commitment to increase 
diplomatic and development capacity with resources to hire, train, 
support, and protect 700 new Department of State personnel and 300 new 
USAID personnel.
  The bill increases funding for key long-term development priorities, 
including $7.7 billion for global health activities including $5.7 
billion for global HIV/AIDS; $1.1 billion to improve access to quality 
basic and higher education; $1.1 billion for food security and 
agricultural development; over $1.25 billion in bilateral and 
multilateral assistance for clean energy, biodiversity, and climate 
change initiatives; and $315 million to expand access to safe water and 
sanitation; and $2.57 billion for refugee and disaster assistance.
  Finally, to improve accountability and oversight, the bill provides 
$149 million for the Inspectors General of the Department of State and 
USAID and the Special Inspectors General for Iraq and Afghanistan 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 additional minutes to the 
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, the bipartisan foreign assistance package 
before you preserves our Nation's interests. I'm also pleased this 
appropriations package invests in worthy initiatives in our communities 
that will improve health, education, law enforcement, environment, and 
infrastructure in New York and around the Nation.
  So I urge my colleagues to give this bill our bipartisan support.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to yield 5 minutes to the 
distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis), ranking member of 
the full committee.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. I appreciate very much my colleague's 
  As I open my remarks, I know I want to join my chairman to express 
our appreciation for the fine work of our staff. They worked long hours 
and should be very much appreciated by all of us. So as we break for 
the Christmas recess, I hope you all take some time to really enjoy 
yourselves. You deserve it.
  Once again, interestingly enough, Mr. Speaker, we find ourselves 
approaching the holiday season with our appropriations work largely 
unfinished. Here we are 2 weeks before Christmas and 10 weeks after the 
end of the fiscal year demonstrating to the world that Congress remains 
incapable of getting its work done.
  It's ironic that some in the House are quick to find fault in the 
lack of efficiency of governments such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps 
if we did a better job of meeting our own milestones, like finishing 
our spending bills by October 1 of each year, we would be in a better 
position to suggest milestones for others.
  It's laughable to this Member that some in the Democrat majority are 
pointing fingers at the Republican minority for this failure of 
leadership. After all, it's the Democrat majority that controls both 
the House and the Senate and the White House. As much as it may pain my 
friends on the other side of the aisle, they can no longer blame George 
Bush or the Republican Party for their own failure to lead.
  Still left unfinished is the Defense Appropriations bill, which many 
believe will be used by the majority leadership to pass unpopular 
legislation that has little chance of passing on its own. On this point 
let me be very clear: The House Republicans will not support passage of 
a Defense Appropriations measure if it is used as a vehicle to raise 
the debt limit and if it contains other controversial legislative 
  The reckless record of spending by the Congress has caused our 
national debt to more than triple over the last year. In this $450 
billion package that's before us today, spending on domestic programs 
has increased by an astonishing 14 percent, while Military Construction 
and Veterans funding, for example, is held to only 5 percent.
  Sadly, the misplaced priorities of this Congress have resulted in too 
much spending, fewer jobs, and bigger government that the public 
doesn't want and certainly cannot afford. Some in Washington refer to 
this unrestrained spending as a ``change we can believe in.'' Most 
people in our country call it ``business as usual.''
  There is no question that the era of Big Government has returned to 
Washington. One need only look at the so-called Recovery Act or double-
digit unemployment, a job-killing cap-and-trade bill, and an unpopular 
government takeover of health care as evidence. It's no wonder that the 
public confidence in the Congress is at an all-time low.
  Mr. Speaker, I cannot and will not support this package of spending 
bills because it simply spends too much money and makes a mockery of 
our legislative process.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Obey). Mr. Obey is the chairman of the full 
Appropriations Committee but also serves as the chairman of the Labor, 
Health, and Education Subcommittee.
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I have a question. Is the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Lewis) the same Mr. Lewis who chaired the 
Appropriations Committee the last year that the Republicans were in 
control? It's my impression that he is. As I recall, in that year the 
Republicans passed exactly two appropriation bills through the Congress 
and had them signed into law. The other nine appropriation bills were 
not passed in October. They were not passed in November. They were not 
passed in December. They were never passed. And so the incoming 

[[Page H14464]]

under our control was forced to pass their bills at the beginning of 
the next session before we could even get to our own. Yet the gentleman 
with that record is now complaining because, with the passage of this 
bill, we will only have sent to the President 11 of the 12 
appropriation bills needed for the year. And I would point out that by 
next week, we intend to send the last bill to him. If that happens, the 
only difference between our friends on that side of the aisle and us is 
that we will have gotten our work done. Despite the fact that we had to 
deal with the greatest economic collapse in 75 years, we will have 
finished every appropriation bill.

                              {time}  1245

  In contrast to our friends on the other side of the aisle who in the 
last year they controlled this place were not able to complete action 
on a single domestic appropriation bill, under those circumstances, for 
the gentleman on that side of the aisle to squawk about the fact that 
we are a few days late is truly a case of the pot calling the kettle 
black. It is very interesting logic.
  With respect to the spending amount in this bill, I would simply 
point out, as the gentleman from Massachusetts did earlier, that we are 
in the process of trying to deal with years of neglect and we are in 
the process of trying to deal with an economic emergency and 
  The gentleman complains that this bill is 14 percent above last year 
for comparable bills. The fact is, let's look at what those differences 
are. We added $3 billion more than last year so we could clean up the 
disability backlog for veterans' claims. Anybody on that side of the 
aisle want to take that money out? We have an additional $4.2 billion 
for the census because we are required by law to conduct that census so 
we can redirect huge amounts of Federal money to all of the localities 
in this country in an accurate fashion. Anybody think we ought to forgo 
that for the next 10 years?
  We've also put $14.8 billion above the previous year in this bill to 
cover war costs. We put it in the regular bill so it would show up 
rather than hiding it in the supplemental as previous Congresses did. 
Would you really rather go back to the old practice of hiding that 
$14.8 billion?
  Infrastructure investments. We have a 28 percent unemployment rate in 
the construction industry in 14 States in this country, so we are 
trying to respond to that by putting an extra $11 billion into 
infrastructure construction programs. Anybody think we ought to take 
that money out?
  Health care. We are about to pass the most momentous health care 
reform bill in the history of the country. That is going to put 31 
million more people under our health care system. This bill provides $6 
billion in order to expand the capacity of our health care system to 
deal with those people. Anybody think we shouldn't do that?
  And then on education, I plead fully guilty. We've got $5.6 billion 
more than last year, so that people who are losing their jobs and need 
retraining or need some additional education in community colleges can 
get it.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman 2 additional minutes.
  Mr. OBEY. Does anybody really think we should abandon those students 
and those workers? We don't think we should.
  So I would simply say, this country is struggling to overcome the 
longest and deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression. This 
bill before us today is a key measure to help address the problems and 
provide relief for millions of hardworking Americans caught in the 
struggle for economic survival. And for the minority to complain about 
the fact that we are 90 days or 70 days late in getting the job done 
when they never got the job done when they were in control of this 
place is, to me, strange, if not laughable.
  With that, I thank the gentleman for the time.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf).
  (Mr. WOLF asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
  Mr. WOLF. I want to thank Chairman Mollohan and Senator Shelby and 
Senator Mikulski for their efforts. I will not be supporting the bill 
for the reasons that are in my submitted statement.
  But I want to raise another issue that somebody ought to focus on in 
this Congress. This bill will allow people like Khalid Sheik Mohammed 
to be sent from Guantanamo Bay to New York City and I believe 
personally it will endanger the citizens of New York City. And they're 
now going to come in and ask for up to $75 or $100 million to do that. 
That's money that you could put in food pantries or education.
  Secondly, we have asked that this information be nonclassified so 
people can know where these people from Guantanamo Bay are going. 
Twenty-six of them--and it's classified and I can't say any more--are 
being sent to Yemen. Yemen. That's where the sheikh who had the impact 
on Major Hasan Nidal, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood, that's where 
he operates. And al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is all over Yemen. 
So you are going to release people from Guantanamo Bay, who served with 
Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was the mastermind of 9/11 that killed 3,000 
people, 30 from my congressional district. Khalid Sheik Mohammed 
beheaded Daniel Pearl. Think of Daniel Pearl's family. Think of Debra 
Burlingame and the family of others; and they're going to send them to 
Yemen. And then they're also going to send two others to a place that 
no one would believe that they're really going to send them.
  By not adopting the amendments that we offered in conference, one, I 
believe this bill will endanger people in New York City; two, it will 
put pressure on New York City. You will see stories in the paper. As 
you vote for this bill, know that you will see stories in the paper of 
snipers on the rooftops, and tanks moving.
  Khalid Sheik Mohammed will be in New York City for 4 years, 4 years 
or more--Moussaoui was in northern Virginia for over 4 years--and 
Khalid Sheik Mohammed will say things and do things that will be 
unconscionable. So as you vote for this bill, you are, in essence, 
allowing that to take place. It's crazy, absolutely crazy, to think 
that you can try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in Guantanamo Bay with no cost 
and no danger to the American citizens, but then they're going to bring 
him and others into the U.S.
  So Khalid Sheik Mohammed gets a civilian trial when a young 19-year-
old person in the Army, man or woman, who does something wrong has to 
go through a military court system.
  The bill spends too much. I believe that by bringing Khalid Sheik 
Mohammed and the others here, we may very well endanger people and 
bring about another attack. And secondly, to spend all that money to 
protect Khalid Sheik Mohammed when he could have been tried down at 
Guantanamo Bay just doesn't make any sense. No one believes that that 
makes sense. And lastly, to send people to Yemen and other places I 
think will endanger this country.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak briefly on the Commerce Justice 
Science division of this conference report, as I serve as the Ranking 
Member on that Subcommittee.
  First, I want to thank Chairman Mollohan, Chairman Mikulski and 
Senator Shelby for their hard work on the CJS portion of the bill, and 
for their spirit of collaboration and cooperation on this conference 
  However, I believe the subcommittee was given an overly generous 
conference allocation. At $64.4 billion, the bill is almost a 12 
percent increase above last year's level. In my view, this level of 
funding was well in excess of the amount necessary to produce a good 
  The bill contains important funding to support NASA, fight terrorism 
and gangs, and to give our federal law enforcement critical resources.
  The CJS division of this package places important limitations and 
reporting requirements related to the closure of Guantanamo and the 
movement of detainees.
  However, I believe stronger language is necessary, and I regret that 
amendments I offered at conference to prohibit the transfer and release 
of detainees into the United States and to require unclassified reports 
were defeated on party line votes.
  There were press reports just yesterday that a former Guantanamo 
detainee transferred to Saudi Arabia is now a kingpin for al Qaeda in 
the Arabian Peninsula and at large in Yemen. There are already 10 ex-
Gitmo detainees on Saudi Arabia's list of most-wanted terrorists. The 
current transfer policies will likely result in many more similar 

  Because my amendments were defeated, this bill will allow dangerous 
detainees to be transferred to the United States and to unstable 
countries abroad.
  It will allow 26 Yemeni detainees to be returned to Yemen--the 
emerging al Qaeda stronghold in the Arabian Peninsula where radical 
cleric Anwar al Aulaqi--the advisor of Ft. Hood terrorist Maj. Hasan 
Nidal--operates freely. I submit for the Record an article on al Aulaqi 
that appeared in today's Washington Post.
  It will allow 2 other detainees to be released to a country worse the 
Yemen. I cannot share

[[Page H14465]]

the location because my amendment to declassify this information for 
the American people was defeated on a party-line vote.
  It will allow Khalid Sheik Mohammed to be transferred to New York 
City and provide him a platform to spread his hateful message--
endangering our country.
  I am disappointed that the CJS conference report was not brought to 
the floor as a stand-alone bill, as we were prepared to do weeks ago. 
Instead we are once again faced with a bloated, half a trillion dollar 

               [From the Washington Post, Dec. 10, 2009]

    Cleric Linked to Fort Hood Attack Grew More Radicalized in Yemen

                         (By Sudarsan Raghavan)

       Sanaa, Yemen.--The Yemeni American cleric at the center of 
     investigations into last month's massacre of 13 people at 
     Fort Hood, Tex., became more openly radical in Yemen, 
     following a path taken by other extremists in this failing 
     Middle East nation with a growing al-Qaeda presence, 
     according to relatives, friends and associates in Yemen.
       In interviews, they said Anwar al-Aulaqi, 38, blamed the 
     United States for 18 months he spent in a Yemeni jail, a 
     little-known chapter in the cleric's life that some described 
     as a key path in his radicalization.
       Aulaqi, who was born in the United States and spent time in 
     Yemen as a child, left for Britain in early 2002 after he 
     drew scrutiny from U.S. authorities. The United States 
     alleges that Aulaqi was a spiritual adviser to three of the 
     Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers while he was a prayer leader at the 
     Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church and at a mosque in San 
       An examination of some of Aulaqi's sermons and lectures, as 
     well as interviews conducted here, shows that he increasingly 
     began to publicly endorse violence as a religious duty after 
     he returned to Yemen in early 2004, completing his 
     transformation from an imam who condemned the Sept. 11 
     attacks to an Internet preacher who views Americans as 
     legitimate targets.
       Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, who has been charged in the Fort Hood 
     shootings, first contacted Aulaqi by e-mail last December. 
     U.S. authorities intercepted some of the e-mails, but no 
     threat was perceived. The FBI has declined to comment on 
     Aulaqi, citing an ongoing investigation.
       After the Fort Hood attack, Aulaqi issued a statement 
     calling Hasan a ``hero.'' In an interview later with a Yemeni 
     journalist, Aulaqi denied that he had ordered or incited 
     Hasan to carry out the attack but said Hasan considered him a 
       Aulaqi's path to radicalization, at first, appeared 
     unlikely. The Aulaqis' descendants were sultans who once 
     ruled what is now Yemen's southern province of Shabwa, home 
     to the ancestral village where Aulaqi now lives with his wife 
     and five children. Aulaqi's father, Nasser al-Aulaqi, is a 
     former president of Sanaa University and agriculture 
       While in Yemen during his childhood, Aulaqi studied in a 
     secular high school in the capital, Sanaa, along with 
     children from other elite families, before returning to 
     Colorado in 1991 to attend college, said a close relative in 
     an hour-long interview. The relative spoke on the condition 
     of anonymity to avoid harming his family's efforts to 
     persuade Aulaqi to become moderate.
       He said Aulaqi was an avid swimmer who enjoyed deep-sea 
     fishing. His ambition was to become college professor, 
     focusing on finding ways to address water shortages in 
     Yemen, the relative said. Like many Arabs, the relative 
     said, Aulaqi was angered by the U.S. assault on Iraq in 
     the first Persian Gulf War but didn't show signs of 
     radicalization afterward.
       ``He was very moderate. He was always against al-Qaeda 
     ideology,'' said the relative, adding that Aulaqi's contact 
     with the hijackers was a ``coincidence.''
       After Sept. 11, Aulaqi grew frustrated and felt targeted by 
     U.S. authorities, the relative said.
       ``Sept. 11 changed a lot of Muslims,'' the relative said. 
     ``And the invasion in Iraq in 2003 made him even stronger in 
     his beliefs.''
       U.S. authorities have alleged that Aulaqi had become 
     radicalized while still in the United States, before the 
     Sept. 11 attacks, but they never found evidence to detain 
       Beginning in 2002, when he left the United States for 
     Britain, Aulaqi lauded Palestinian suicide bombers on a Web 
     site and in lectures attended by ultraconservative Muslims. 
     He spoke at fundraising events hosted by Cage Prisoners, a 
     rights group in Britain, but did not incite violence or 
     express support for al-Qaeda, said Moazzam Begg, a former 
     Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee who heads the group. ``He 
     wouldn't have been so popular if his message was not moderate 
     and across the board,'' Begg said in a phone interview from 
       In early 2004, Aulaqi returned to Yemen. At a lecture at 
     Sanaa University, he spoke eloquently about Islam's role in 
     the world. He railed against U.S. policies in Iraq. He 
     denounced Israel, according to those present at the lecture. 
     But he stopped short of calling for violent jihad.
       ``He was not inciting us to use arms,'' recalled Adil al-
     Howlari, who now works as a journalist for the United 
     Nations. ``He was talking about how to use English to spread 
     Islamic values.''
       Aulaqi eventually took classes and lectured at Iman 
     University in Sanaa. The university is led by Sheik Abdul 
     Majeed al-Zindani, an influential religious figure whom U.S. 
     officials have described as Osama bin Laden's spiritual 
     leader and placed on a list of global terrorists.
       The university has a reputation as an incubator of 
     radicalism. John Walker Lindh, an American who fought with 
     the Taliban, is a former student. Other students allegedly 
     took part in numerous attacks.
       Aulaqi's relative said the cleric had given four lectures 
     at the university about Islam's role in medieval Spain.
       By 2006, Aulaqi's influence had widened into the world of 
     terrorism through his Web site and Facebook page, even though 
     most Yemenis had never heard of him. Starting that year, 
     investigators have found Aulaqi's sermons downloaded on the 
     computers of suspects in nearly a dozen terrorism cases in 
     Britain and Canada.
       In mid-2006, Yemeni authorities arrested him. Aulaqi was 
     accused of inciting attacks against a man over a tribal 
     matter involving a woman. Aulaqi denied the allegations in an 
     interview with Begg last year and accused the U.S. government 
     of pressuring Yemen to keep him locked up.
       In that interview, Aulaqi said he spent the first nine 
     months in solitary confinement in an underground cell. Around 
     September 2007, FBI agents interrogated him about the Sept. 
     11 attacks and other issues, Aulaqi told Begg. Although he 
     wasn't physically abused, Aulaqi said, a U.S. Embassy legal 
     attache swore at him. He was never charged and was released 
     in December 2007.
       Yemeni officials have declined to comment.
       After his release, Aulaqi's stance on using violence for 
     jihad grew more forceful. Last December, he penned a letter 
     calling for fighters and financing for al-Shabab, the Somali 
     Islamist movement with ties to al-Qaeda. And this January, he 
     published an essay titled ``44 Ways to Support Jihad.'' It 
     called, among other things, for Muslims to stay fit and train 
     in weapons to fight on the battlefield.

  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Edwards), chairman of the Veterans 
Administration and Military Construction Subcommittee of the 
Appropriations Committee.
  Mr. EDWARDS of Texas. Mr. Speaker, this bill supports America's 
veterans, our troops, and their families in a meaningful way by 
improving their health care, their benefits, and their quality of life. 
Those who defend our Nation have earned and deserve this support.
  For the first time ever, we provide 2-year funding for VA medical 
programs. This is an historic achievement and has been one of the 
highest priorities of our Nation's most respected veterans 
organizations. The advance funding is a win for veterans and for 
taxpayers. It will allow the VA to plan its spending more efficiently, 
which will improve health care for veterans and save taxpayers dollars.
  This bill funds President Obama's VA request, a $5.4 billion 
increase, the largest Presidential request for increased veterans' 
funding in over 30 years. Other major initiatives in this bill include 
new training barracks for military recruits, homeowners assistance for 
troops being re-stationed, additional funding for the modernization of 
National Guard and Reserve facilities, and a robust energy conservation 
program for Department of Defense facilities.
  When the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi) became Speaker in 
2007, she promised that supporting veterans would be one of Congress' 
highest priorities. Speaker Pelosi, with the strong leadership of 
Chairmen Spratt and Obey and Filner, has kept that promise. Here are 
some of the significant results in just 3 years: A 60 percent increase 
in VA funding; 145 new VA community-based outpatient clinics; 70 new 
vet centers, 3,384 new VA doctors, 14,426 new VA nurses, 8,300 new VA 
claims processors, an expansion of middle-income veterans' eligibility 
for VA health care, more than a doubling of mental health care funding 
for vets, and a historic new GI college education bill.
  Ultimately, this is about more than even the importance of better 
health care and benefits for our troops and vets, it is about respect, 
respect for the service and sacrifice of those who defend our Nation 
and their families.
  I especially want to thank our ranking member on our subcommittee, 
Mr. Wamp of Tennessee, who was a critical partner in our work on this 
portion of this bill, and who would once again demonstrate his deep 
commitment to our troops and our veterans.
  Finally, but certainly not least, I want to thank and salute our 
subcommittee staff whose professionalism

[[Page H14466]]

and tireless work has made possible our unprecedented achievements for 
our veterans and troops: Carol Murphey, the committee clerk; Mary 
Arnold, Tim Peterson, Walter Hearne, Donna Shabaz, Martin Delgado, 
Kelly Shea, and Liz Dawson. In my book, they personify the best ideals 
of public service.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman 1 additional minute.
  Mr. EDWARDS of Texas. Mr. Speaker, with this bill, we keep our 
promises to those magnificent Americans who have kept their promise to 
serve our Nation and the American family.
  The fiscal year 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and 
Related Agencies Appropriations bill provides $134.6 billion for 
projects and programs of critical importance to America's veterans and 
military troops and their families, including veterans benefits and 
healthcare, and military family housing, barracks and mission critical 
  The bill provides $53 billion in discretionary funding for the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and $56.6 billion for mandatory VA 
programs, $23.3 billion for military construction and family housing, 
and $1.4 billion for military construction projects in support of the 
war in Afghanistan.
  In a major victory for America's veterans, the bill for the first 
time includes advance appropriations for the VA to ensure a stable and 
uninterrupted source of funding for medical care for veterans. For 
fiscal year 2011, the bill includes $48.2 billion for VA medical 
  The bill provides funding to address several significant priorities, 
  Renovating surplus building on VA medical campuses to use as housing 
for homeless veterans;
  Increasing the number of VA outpatient clinics in rural communities 
where veterans do not have ready access to VA hospitals;
  Accelerating the Army's program to modernize troop housing for 
  Addressing critical unfunded construction requirements of the Guard 
and reserve;
  Providing mortgage relief to military families required to relocate 
during the current mortgage crisis;
  Expediting environmental cleanup on closed military bases; and
  Investing in renewable and alternative energy initiatives on military 
  For Military Construction and Family Housing, the bill includes $23.3 
billion to support American's military forces and their families at 
home and overseas, $333.9 million above the request. The bill includes 
$11.8 billion for such items as barracks, child care centers, 
installation chapels, and mission critical operational facilities. Of 
this amount, $350 million is provided to accelerate the Army's program 
to modernize troop housing facilities for trainees. The Army has a need 
for $2.2 billion to bring all 115,413 trainee barracks spaces up to 
standard and the program currently is not scheduled to finish until 
  Also includes $174 million for the Energy Conservation Investment 
Program (ECIP), $84 million above the request, to increase the level of 
investment in renewable and alternative energy resources and to promote 
energy conservation, green building initiatives, and energy security 
programs on U.S. military installations.
  For the Guard and Reserve component, the bill includes $1.6 billion, 
$601.7 million above the request, to provide readiness centers and 
operational facilities for the Army National Guard, Air Guard, and 
Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force reserve forces. Within this 
amount, the bill includes $200 million in additional construction 
funding to address critical unfunded requirements.
  For military and family housing programs, the bill includes $2.59 
billion for family housing, $300 million above the request, to further 
eliminate inadequate military housing, including $323 million for the 
Homeowners Assistance Program, $300 million above the request, to 
provide additional funding for the expanded mortgage relief program for 
military families who are required to relocate during the current 
mortgage crisis and must sell their home at a loss, as well as to 
wounded warriors who must relocate for medical reasons and to the 
spouses of fallen warriors similarly affected by the mortgage crisis.

  The bill includes funding for base realignment and closure (BRAC) at 
the level of $496.8 million for the 1990 BRAC round, $100 million above 
the request, to address the large unfunded backlog of environmental 
cleanup for bases that were closed during the four previous BRAC 
rounds, and $7.5 billion for the 2005 BRAC program, the full authorized 
  Finally, for overseas contingency operations the bill includes $1.4 
billion, matching the request, to support additional military 
construction requirements to support operations and previously 
scheduled troop deployments to Afghanistan.
  For the Department of Veterans Affairs, the bill includes $109.6 
billion, $15.3 billion above 2009 and $747 million above the request. 
The funding includes $56.6 billion for mandatory veterans benefit 
programs and $53 billion for discretionary funding. Total discretionary 
funding is $5.4 billion above 2009, an increase of 11 percent. In 
addition, the bill provides $48.2 billion in advance appropriations for 
veterans medical care programs for fiscal year 2011.
  For the Veterans Health Administration, the bill includes $45.1 
billion, matching the request and $4.1 billion above 2009, for 
veterans' medical care. The Veterans Health Administration estimates 
that it will treat more than 6.1 million patients in 2010, including 
more than 419,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan (56,000 more than 
  A major initiative in the VHA includes $250 million as requested to 
continue the Rural Health Initiative to which the Congress added $30 
million to increase the number of Community Based Outpatient Clinics 
(CBOCs) in rural areas for veterans who do not have ready access to VA 
hospitals. More than 3.2 million (41%) of enrolled veterans live in 
rural or highly rural areas.
  In the area of mental health funding, we have included $4.6 billion, 
matching the request and $300 million above 2009, to treat the 
psychological wounds of returning combat veterans, including post-
traumatic stress disorder. Also included is an additional $1 million to 
provide education debt relief as a hiring incentive for mental health 
  Funding to treat Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi 
Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans is at $2.1 billion, matching the request and 
$463 million above 2009, to meet the healthcare needs of veterans who 
have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The VA estimates that the number 
of OEF/OIF veterans in the VA healthcare system in 2010 will have 
increased by 61 percent since 2008.
  One of the areas of increasing concern is the assistance for homeless 
veterans, where we have provided $3.2 billion, matching the request and 
$421 million above 2009, for healthcare and support services for 
homeless veterans; including $26 million for a Presidential Initiative 
to combat homelessness, $150 million for the homeless grants and per 
diem program, $20 million for supportive services for low income 
veterans and families, and $21 million to hire additional personnel for 
the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program.
  The program for medical and prosthetic research is funded at $581 
million, $71 million above 2009, for research in a number of areas 
including mental health, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, 
burn injury, polytrauma injuries, and sensory loss; including a $48 
million increase for research to address the critical needs of 
Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans.
  The effort to improve the condition of medical facilities of the 
Department of Veteran Affairs continues with a construction program of 
$1.9 billion, $103 million above the request and $232 million above 
2009, including major construction of $1.2 billion for major medical 
facilities, including hospitals and clinics, to enable the Department 
to implement the recommendations made by the Capitol Asset Realignment 
for Enhanced Services (CARES) Commission, which was established to look 
at facilities and determine their construction needs. In addition, the 
bill includes $703 million, $103 million above the President's budget 
request, including $50 million for the renovation of vacant buildings 
on VA campuses to be used as housing with supportive services for 
homeless veterans. The VA estimates that on any given night, 131,000 
veterans are homeless. This program will strengthen the VA's goal of 
eliminating homelessness among veterans by providing housing and 
counseling services in settings that are in close proximity for VA 
  Funding for grants to states for the construction of extended care 
facilities is set at $100 million, an increase of $15 million above the 
request. And $42 million in grant funding for state veterans' 
cemeteries is provided in this bill.
  Finally, for the Department of Veterans Affairs, we have included 
$1.7 billion for benefits claims processors, $223 million above 2009, 
to enable the Department to hire roughly 1,200 additional claims 
processors to continue to address the backlog of benefits claims and to 
reduce the time to process new claims. The most recent VA quarterly 
status report estimates that nearly 397,000 claims are pending. When 
added to funding and hiring provided in prior years, this will result 
in a total of 8,300 new claims processors being hired since January of 
  With passage of this bill, Congress has provided a 60 percent 
increase in funding for veterans health care and benefits since January

[[Page H14467]]

2007. This funding has resulted in a total increase of 8,300 claims 
processors as mentioned, 145 community-based outpatient clinics, 70 Vet 
Centers, and more than 47,000 additional Veterans Health Administration 
employees. These additional resources will provide our veterans with 
their benefits more quickly and improve access to health care and other 
  Congress has also funded several initiatives to improve the quality 
of life for our military and their families to include: $3.2 billion 
for new military hospitals, $1 billion for new child care centers to 
serve 20,000 military children, and $920 million in additional funding 
for barracks.

[[Page H14468]]



[[Page H14469]]



[[Page H14470]]



[[Page H14471]]



[[Page H14472]]


[[Page H14473]]

  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time is 
available on each side?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Iowa has 18 minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from Massachusetts has 17\1/2\ minutes 
  Mr. LATHAM. At this point, I would be proud to give 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Tiahrt).
  Mr. TIAHRT. I thank the gentleman from Iowa. I also want to thank 
Chairman Obey for working with me on Labor, Health and Human Services. 
But Mr. Speaker, this bill is a classic example of a dysfunctional 
appropriation process.
  My principal opposition to this bill is the excessive amount of 
spending. We are spending more and more money each year and we don't 
know where we are going to get it. The American people don't have it; 
in fact, this past fiscal year, fiscal year 2009, we overspent by $1.4 
trillion. That's $5,000 per person, approximately that we didn't have. 
And for those of us that pay Federal taxes, that's about $14,000 per 
taxpayer overspent last year. This year, we have already overspent $259 
billion and we're on course to overspend by $1.6 trillion. That will be 
an increase in the deficit of about $16,000 per taxpayer, money we 
don't have that we have to go out and borrow.
  So where is the money going to come from? We're going to borrow it 
from the Chinese. Well, maybe the Chinese don't want to loan it to us. 
Then we'll just have to print it. Well, if we print it, that drives 
inflation. If the Chinese don't loan it to us, we're in trouble. We 
will be headed for a round of inflation based on the current 
  The excuse that we get for borrowing and spending all this money is 
we've got to get the economy to recover. Borrowing money to fund big 
government doesn't grow our economy, it only grows big government. But 
we go out and hire all these people in big government. They've got to 
do something, so they write regulations. Regulations slow down our 
economy. If you want to speed up the economy, freeze the regulations; 
put them on a benefit-cost analysis. We forget that for every one of 
these government workers, it takes five private sector employees to pay 
for that one Federal Government job. So we have the idea of how we are 
going to create private sector jobs instead of growing the size of 
  This bill spends so much money they have had trouble finding out 
where to spend more money. They decided that they were going to fund 
free needles to dope addicts and junkies--I'm just glad that we're not 
buying kegs for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. They pay for abortions 
in the District of Columbia and they can't prove that it's not Federal 
tax dollars by their Federal funds provision because it all gets 
commingled. And then we're borrowing about $350 million we think, from 
the Chinese to give to the World Bank so that we can give it to some 
third-world countries to fight global warming. So we have a 
questionable source of funds sent to questionable countries to fight a 
program based on questionable science.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill is out of the question. I would ask all my 
colleagues to vote ``no.''

                              {time}  1300

  Mr. OLVER. I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Michigan (Ms. 
Kilpatrick), who is a member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban 
Development Subcommittee.
  Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan. I thank the chairman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee and as 
an honored member serving on the conferee committee, this is a good 
bill. As you know, in the House of Representatives, we passed all 12 of 
our appropriations bills. The Senate passed nine of their 12 bills. 
Unfortunately, they were not able to do them all. Yet we met many hours 
a night and passed what is considered, I believe, a good bill for all 
of the reasons that you have mentioned--health care, veterans, 
education, transportation, helping our military men and women who are 
on active duty and those who are not. This is a bill that wraps up our 
2009 appropriations process, less one bill, and we will take that up 
next week.
  I commend Chairman David Obey as well as our ranking member, Jerry 
Lewis. I commend John Olver and all of the Chair people who have 
brought the bills together and who have worked many long hours to see 
that we get the work of the people done.
  Our Appropriations Committee handles over $1 trillion for various 
programs of the Federal Government. We take our work very strongly. We 
work long hours. We spend many hours on it. All of the bills before us 
today have been reviewed. All 12 which have passed the House are pretty 
much the same bills we had in conference the other evening. I am proud 
of our work.
  As an appropriator and in working with our colleagues on both sides 
of the aisle, but specifically with the Democrats and under the 
leadership of Chairman Obey, I want the American citizens to rest 
assured you have a good product before you. We will continue to do what 
is necessary to fund our children's programs, our health programs, 
transportation, veterans--you name it. This completes, bar one bill, 
the 2009 appropriations process.
  I am honored to be a part of that, and I look forward to the new 
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Wamp).
  Mr. WAMP. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all of our chairmen and ranking members 
of the 12 Appropriations subcommittees for their work this year because 
it is important work. It is the only ``must do'' work that the Congress 
has every year, which is part of the power of the Appropriations 
Committee. I do think that just blaming each other for our shortcomings 
is not particularly helpful, but I want to point out a couple of 
  Chairman Edwards is our chairman of the Military Construction, 
Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, and I am the ranking 
member. It is an incredible privilege for both of us to carry out those 
functions. Chairman Edwards is a true patriot and does an excellent 
job. We have got a great staff. Our bill is certainly not the 
controversial part of this omnibus bill at all. As a matter of fact, 
our bill passed the House 415-3, and it passed the Senate unanimously.
  So there is huge consensus here, and we deserve bipartisan praise for 
doing right by our Nation's veterans and by the men and women and their 
families who are in uniform today. That is what we are supposed to do. 
But I have to say this:
  We had hearings every week through the spring, and we always asked, 
What is the most important thing we can do for you? We heard virtually 
every week, The most important thing you can do for us is to get our 
bill passed and enacted into law on time--by October 1.
  As a matter of fact, that is the battle cry for why we need advance 
funding, which is that they have to rely on the funding flow in 
veterans affairs and in military construction, and here we are more 
than 10 weeks later just now passing our bill. Last year, we got our 
bill done on time. That's not Mr. Edwards, and it's not me. It's 
somebody else on the scheduling of when these bills come up. This bill 
had such consensus, it could have just flown through in late September, 
and everyone under the $78 billion funding profile would have had their 
money on time.
  That is a problem. I don't care whether you are Republican or 
Democrat. That is a problem especially when you come and say, Let's 
start funding them in the future, 2 years out, so that they have the 
knowledge that the money is going to be there. Yet you don't get the 
bill done on time, and you're 10 weeks late or more. That makes no 
sense. It's not only ironic; it's unfortunate.
  Maybe they were holding this bill in case they needed a vehicle for 
all of the other bills that they couldn't pass. I hope not. I hope 
you're not doing that to our men and women in uniform and to their 
families and to our veterans. We can do better than that, I know.
  I was a conferee. I was there on Monday night as we negotiated this 
bill. I tried to take the TARP money, of which now there is $200 
billion left, and put it back against the debt. I would put it in the 
Treasury because now there is a plan to go spend that money on things 
that may or may not work. Why not pay our debt down? The Chinese are 
worried about whether we will

[[Page H14474]]

ever pay our debt. We are sinking as a Nation under a mountain of 
government debt, and we've got to do something about it. Neither party 
has got a lot to brag about, but you all are in charge. We can do 
  Mr. OLVER. I yield myself 2 minutes, Mr. Speaker.
  I fully recognize the argument that is being made by the other side 
on this issue of the level of expenditure. There has been an increase 
in the discretionary expenditure that we are providing for the needs of 
this country.
  The fact is that, through the 6 previous years before we came into 
the majority, there was constraint in discretionary expenditures for 
programs that do things for people in this country and which provided 
money for our education system, for our health care system, for our 
transportation systems, and for our infrastructure in general--not just 
the transportation infrastructure but whatever source of 
infrastructure--and for our housing, just to name a few, and even for 
our veterans affairs.
  Even with regard to our veterans programs, which provided services 
while we had two different wars going on around the world--all of them 
over in Asia--our discretionary expenditures were under very severe 
constraint, and the level of discretionary expenditure during that 6-
year period before fiscal year 2007 was under constraint.
  So the budgets that we have passed in the last three sessions when we 
have been in the majority have had an increase in discretionary 
expenditure to provide a catch-up expenditure for things going on in 
this country. We hear among our constituents all the time, Why are we 
spending so much money in other places around the world when we should 
be spending it here?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. OLVER. I yield myself 1 additional minute.
  Why are we spending so much money there if we cannot find a way of 
expending for those things that I've mentioned--the housing, the 
transportation, the health services, and education? Why can't we spend 
some of that here?
  So, yes, our expenditure has been up, but we make no apology for that 
kind of expenditure given the very reason for why it has occurred. So I 
will leave it at that. We make no apology for increasing discretionary 
expenditures on our own people and on the needs of our own people, and 
that should continue in fact.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to thank the gentleman 
for recognizing the fact that we were fiscally responsible before and 
that to catch up in 2 years by spending 85 percent more, by increasing 
spending by 85 percent, is truly more than catching up, I would say.
  I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from Missouri 
(Mrs. Emerson).
  Mrs. EMERSON. Thank you.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the Financial Services and 
General Government division of the omnibus.
  I first want to commend Chairman Serrano for his efforts in crafting 
the bill. It has been a pleasure to work with him, and while we don't 
always agree, he has at least been open to listening to the minority's 
  While I appreciate Chairman Serrano's efforts, I have got a lot of 
concern with the Financial Services division insofar as it is a 7 
percent increase over fiscal year 2009, or $24.2 billion. This is very, 
very generous, and I believe that the resource requirements of the 
agencies funded in this bill can be met with a smaller allocation, 
particularly given the government's financial situation.
  However, with the allocation provided to Mr. Serrano, he has done a 
good job of allocating funding in the bill, and I am grateful for 
efforts to provide increases to critical programs such as the Financial 
Crimes Enforcement Network, Treasury Terrorism and Financial 
Intelligence programs, Drug Free Communities, and High Intensity Drug 
Trafficking Areas.
  I am also pleased that the bill provides $75 million for D.C. 
education programs, including $42 million to D.C. public schools. I am 
happy, to some extent, that the bill doesn't totally eliminate the 
Opportunity Scholarships program, but I must say I am very disappointed 
that the program is limited to students currently enrolled in the 
  My own daughter teaches in the D.C. public schools, so I know 
firsthand how these schools are failing the city's children. I ask how 
we can possibly limit educational opportunities for low-income students 
when we know the public school system is underperforming?
  Another area of the bill that deeply concerns me are the 
controversial changes to long-standing general provisions regarding 
abortion and medical marijuana in the District of Columbia. We heard 
Mr. Tiahrt address that a little while ago.
  Let me then lastly discuss an issue that is not directly related to 
this bill but that is related to the Department of the Treasury, which 
is part of our bill, and it is the administration of TARP.
  The TARP has greatly expanded the Federal Government's reach into the 
private sector, not by purchasing troubled assets, as was its original 
purpose, but by purchasing common shares of banks, by owning large auto 
companies, and by subsidizing home mortgages.
  Today, many Democrats, including the President and the Secretary of 
the Treasury, are discussing using TARP funds to pay for yet another 
stimulus bill when the first stimulus bill has already been a failure. 
Unemployment is at 10 percent. Only 12 percent of the discretionary 
funding in the stimulus bill has been spent. Yet our friends on the 
other side of the aisle plan to shove through more government spending 
under the guise of job creation, which is going to do more harm than 
good, and we are going to offset it with surplus TARP funding.
  Well, the TARP funding was never supposed to be used again and again 
and again. Our national debt is $12 trillion, and the fiscal year 2010 
deficit is projected to be over $1 trillion. Members are going to be 
asked to increase the debt limit. We cannot sustain this level of 
spending. TARP savings must be used for debt reduction.
  Mr. OLVER. How much time remains on both sides?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Massachusetts has 13 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Iowa has 9 minutes remaining.
  Mr. OLVER. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina 
(Mr. Price), who is also a member of the Transportation, Housing and 
Urban Development Subcommittee.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, our Republican colleagues 
this afternoon have once again raised the issue of Guantanamo Bay, so I 
would like to take just a moment to clarify the treatment of Guantanamo 
Bay detainees in this bill and in previous bills.
  As our colleagues surely know, this is an issue that was debated and 
addressed by Congress in mid-October in the Homeland Security bill, the 
bill produced by the subcommittee that I Chair. This has already been 
signed into law. The language in our bill restricts the movement of 
detainees from Guantanamo Bay. It requires greater transparency on the 
part of the administration as it disposes of each detainee's case. It 
allows the transfer of detainees to the U.S. only for prosecution and 
with requirements that the administration provide a risk mitigation 
plan for each transfer and advance notice to Congress and to the 
destination State.
  That same exact language was carried in the Interior appropriations 
bill, which was also signed into law. The conference report before us 
restates this language yet again, exactly the same language. There 
shouldn't be any confusion at all as to where Congress stands on this 
  Now, in conference, our Republican friends attempted, once again, to 
play ``gotcha'' with this Gitmo issue. They attempted to overturn these 
provisions included in previous bills and to bar the administration 
from prosecuting detainees in U.S. criminal courts. We ought to 
strongly oppose any such effort to stand in the way of bringing 
terrorists to justice. That's exactly what this is all about. We must 
not tie the hands of the Departments of Justice and Defense as they 
seek to prosecute, where appropriate in U.S. courts, terrorism suspects 
housed at Guantanamo Bay.
  Our Republican colleagues would rather keep Guantanamo open, 
apparently, and would exclusively use military tribunals for 
prosecutions. They

[[Page H14475]]

seem to think that three convictions by military tribunals in the 
entire period of their existence is an impressive record. One of those 
was by a guilty plea. This isn't an impressive record; it's a dismal 
record. By contrast, recent analysis of the 119 terrorism cases 
involving 289 defendants tried over the last 20 years in U.S. courts 
shows a 91 percent conviction rate for the cases that had been resolved 
as of June 2.
  I can't tell you whether one option or the other is better for any 
given case, but that's not the call we have to make in an 
appropriations bill. With current law, we can leave that decision to 
the experts in the administration who can best decide on a case-by-case 
basis who should be prosecuted in the U.S. and what mitigation plans 
are necessary to address any risks that may result from these trials.
  The purpose of the Republican amendment, which was rightly rejected 
in the conference committee, was to shut off access to U.S. courts for 
terrorism prosecution. That is a proposition that is patently absurd 
and that, I dare say, our Republican colleagues would not be putting 
forward if there were a Republican President.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. OLVER. I yield the gentleman 1 additional minute.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Is criminal prosecution an option we 
simply summarily want to close off? Of course, the answer is ``no.''

                              {time}  1315

  We should be using these carefully selected prosecutions to send a 
message to the world that we will not be intimidated by the prospect of 
bringing terrorists to justice or allow terrorism to undermine the rule 
of law in our country.
  Mr. LATHAM. At this time, it is my privilege to yield 3 minutes to 
the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Granger).
  Ms. GRANGER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak briefly about the State/
Foreign Operations division of this omnibus package.
  As the ranking member of the subcommittee, I am pleased that I have 
been able to work closely with Chairwoman Lowey this year. She and her 
staff have worked to address concerns by committee Republicans and by 
me, and I thank her for her commitment to bipartisanship.
  I also thank our Senate colleagues and our staff for working together 
to achieve common ground in the conference agreement. In the end, many 
priorities were preserved: funding a new compact for the Millennium 
Challenge Corporation; fighting drug trafficking in Mexico, Central 
America, and Colombia; and continuing security assistance to key allies 
like Israel, Egypt, and Jordan.
  Funds provided in this bill will allow State and USAID to hire more 
than 1,000 new staff, which will help balance the three D's of smart 
power, the approach to national security. The increase for development 
and diplomacy will, in turn, support our Nation's defense and allow our 
military men and women to refocus on their core mission.
  As the Congress provides additional staff and increases foreign 
assistance funding, the level of commitment to reform must be equal to 
funding commitment made. Oversight must be a priority. For that reason, 
the bill provides $149 million for inspectors general, and many 
oversight provisions and reporting requirements are also included.
  The conference agreement retains language that prevents U.S. tax 
dollars from going to organizations that support or participate in 
involuntary or coercive methods of family planning. There are 
legitimate plans about family planning funding that goes abroad, and 
legislative safeguards will remain in place the next fiscal year.
  I regret that this package lumps six bills together in a package of 
close to half a trillion dollars and does not allow this body to 
address appropriations bills individually and fully vet them so that I 
could support them. I support the many programs in this bill. However, 
we must be aware of the tremendous debt held by this country and work 
competently, being aware of this issue.
  Again, I thank Chairman Lowey, our excellent committee staff, and our 
Senate colleagues for working together to address shared priorities.
  Mr. OLVER. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment very briefly on the 
comments of the gentleman from Tennessee, who a few moments ago 
criticized us because we were some 70 days late in passing the Military 
Construction-VA appropriation bill.
  Let me simply point out that we may be 70 days late, but we are 
getting the job done. In addition to passing the basic bill, we are, 
for the first time in history, providing advance funding for VA 
activities. That is something that the veterans community has wanted 
for years and years, and it has been this Congress that delivered.
  That stands in contrast to the performance of the minority party when 
they chaired this institution with respect to what they produced on the 
Military Construction-VA bill. They complain about the fact that we 
were 70 days late. They never passed that bill at all. They didn't pass 
it in October. They didn't pass it in November, which would have been 
30 days late. They didn't pass it in December, which would have been 60 
days late. They never passed it. When a new Congress took over, we had 
to pass all of those domestic appropriation bills and the Military 
Construction bill. I think it is quaint, indeed, when they attack us on 
the question of performance on, of all bills, the Military Construction 
bill. I think they need to go back and take a look at the record when 
they chaired this place.
  With respect to the funding overall levels in this overall bill, let 
me simply repeat what I said earlier. When you take into account the 
necessary increases for veterans disability, for the census, for the 
war costs which are not being hidden in a supplemental as they were 
under the stewardship of our friends on the other side of the aisle, 
when you take into account the infrastructure change in funding and the 
$6 billion that we needed to prepare the health care system for the 
legislation which is about to pass, the rest of the increases in the 
bill before us amount to 1 percent. I hardly think that that's 
excessive, given the economic crisis that we face.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, just one comment. I think it's interesting 
to note the gentleman talked about that we are finally getting the 
Military Construction bill done, VA funding. The last two bills that we 
are funding are Defense, which will be 80 days out from the start of 
the new fiscal year, the Military Construction-VA bill.
  But if you remember back with the schedule, the very first bill that 
was passed and signed into law was to fund Congress itself. We took 
care of ourselves here first and the military was the very, very last. 
I think that is very unfortunate.
  I am now pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I am going to 
break the mold here and say something nice about five pages of the 
bill, this bill in front of me--I think those pages are right here--and 
say something nice about Mr. Obey as well, and Mr. Serrano is waving in 
the back.
  By way of history, people know that the auto industry in this country 
got into trouble, and this administration made a decision to use 
leftover TARP funds to bail out Chrysler and General Motors. Both car 
companies submitted reorganization plans in February of this year and 
both were rejected by the auto task force.
  The auto task force was kind of a strange collection of people that 
didn't have any experience in the auto industry at all. Most of them 
didn't own cars. Those that did own cars owned foreign cars, but they 
determined that the car companies had to be more aggressive when it 
came to dealerships. As a result, about 800 Chrysler dealers were 
closed and about 2,000 GM dealers. The problem with that is, with 
rampant unemployment, about 60 people work at each car dealership 
across this country. Car dealerships don't cost the car companies any 
money, and it was a strange way to do business and potentially take 
200,000 people and put them on the street.
  A couple of young, fresh-faced Democrats, Mr. Maffei of New York and 
Mr. Kratovil of Maryland, launched a legislative effort. But as a 
grizzled veteran, having been here for the last 15

[[Page H14476]]

years, I know that the one piece of legislation or pieces of 
legislation that have to leave town are the appropriations bills. We 
drafted some language and put it in Mr. Serrano's bill, and Mr. Obey 
took it. They didn't have to--they probably got in trouble for taking 
it--but that became the 800-pound gorilla that had to be dealt with as 
General Motors and Chrysler have moved forward on how to deal with this 
dealer situation.
  I also want to say something nice about the majority leader, Mr. 
Hoyer. He took up the mantle and said we are going to solve this 
problem. As a result, the five pages that are here in the bill indicate 
that those aggrieved dealers now have the opportunity for binding 
arbitration, and the facts need to be brought forward, and hopefully 
fairness will prevail. But that wouldn't happen without something good 
and bipartisan happening in the United States Congress.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, it is my honor to yield 1 minute to the 
minority leader of the House, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner).
  Mr. BOEHNER. We're broke. We're broke. America is broke. All year 
long our friends across the aisle have been on this massive spending 
spree that our Nation can't afford.
  We had a trillion dollar stimulus bill that was supposed to create 
jobs immediately, and yet unemployment is now 10 percent in America. 
Three million people have lost their jobs since the bill was signed 
into law.
  We passed a budget that's going to double the national debt in 5 
years, triple it in 10 years. We have got a $12 trillion national debt.
  We brought a national energy tax bill to the floor that's going to 
cost a trillion dollars, passed it. We had a health care bill here 
several weeks ago, another trillion dollars, passed it.
  When are we going to say enough is enough? Here we are today. We are 
wrapping six appropriation bills together. We are going to spend a half 
a trillion dollars, and it has got over 5,000 earmarks in the bill, you 
know, things like $292,000 for the elimination of slum and blight in 
Scranton, Pennsylvania; $300,000 for music and education programs at 
New York City's Carnegie Hall, where they pay the employee who runs 
this program $530,000 a year in salary and benefits. There is plenty in 
here for Washington as well: $150,000 for the National Building Museum; 
$250,000 for the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 
concert venue.
  Listen, I don't know how worthy any of these projects are, but I do 
have to ask the question, are they more important than our kids and our 
grandkids who have to pay the debt, because we don't have the money to 
spend on this. It's our kids and grandkids who are going to pay for it. 
Yet we can't find ways to cut spending.
  Before the President took office, he said that he must go through the 
budget and these bills line by line and page by page. Well, after 
Congress passed the $410 billion omnibus spending bill earlier this 
year, with 9,000 earmarks, the President signed it and he said, well, 
that was last year's business. Now the President says reducing the 
deficit is next year's business and that we need to spend our way out 
of this economic recession that we are in.
  Well, I think the President ought to go through this bill line by 
line and page by page, all 2,500 pages of it, then maybe he will figure 
out that we don't need to be spending this money that we don't have and 
piling more and more debt on the backs of our kids and grandkids. 
Instead, our bond rating, our AAA bond rating is in jeopardy and our 
Democrat friends want to raise the debt limit next week by $1.8 
  Let's stop the madness and vote ``no.''

                              {time}  1330

  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, how much time does each side now have?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Massachusetts has 7 
minutes remaining, and the gentleman from Iowa has 3 minutes remaining.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Obey).
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I regret that this has become another typical 
``Who Shot John'' debate, but since it has, let me respond to the 
distinguished minority leader. Let's compare what President Obama 
inherited with what President Bush inherited. When President Bush 
walked into the White House, he inherited $6 trillion in projected 
surpluses. He inherited 3 years in a row of budget surpluses under 
President Clinton. And he inherited an economy in which all income 
groups saw their income rise by roughly the same percentage.
  In contrast, when Mr. Obama walked into the White House, he inherited 
a $1 trillion deficit, he inherited two wars that were paid for on the 
cuff, with borrowed money. He inherited $6 trillion in projected 
deficits. And he inherited an economy in which, for six straight years, 
94 percent of the income growth went to the wealthiest 10 percent of 
people, and everybody else got table scraps. In addition, he inherited 
an economy that was projected to have a $2.5 trillion hole because of 
the biggest collapse of the economy in 75 years.
  And so, indeed, Mr. Obama and the majority party in this Congress 
spent money to try to prime the pump, to keep the economy going, 
because we were losing 700,000 jobs a month the last 3 months of the 
Bush administration. We have now got that down to an 11,000 job loss 
last month. That's not good enough, but it's certainly a lot better 
than the situation was when we inherited it.
  The gentleman squawks about the debt ceiling. The debt has already 
been rung up, and now the question is, when the bill comes in the mail, 
is it going to be paid or not. The fact is, out of that $1.8 trillion 
debt increase, $1.4 trillion of that is directly traceable to policy 
actions that were taken by the previous administration and the previous 
Republican Congress. And $400 billion of it are directly traceable to 
the actions we've had to take to try to bail the economy out of the 
mess that you folks got us into.
  So if you want to start comparing records, I'd be happy to. I'd much 
prefer to talk about the contents of this bill and the individual 
programs of this bill. But since some the gentlemen on that side of the 
aisle prefer to politicize everything, I guess we're going to have to 
have the debate at that level. That's too bad, but I've come to expect 
very little but that from the other side, I regret to say.
  I do want to thank the gentleman from Ohio for trying insert a bit of 
bipartisanship into the debate.
  Mr. LATHAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much times as I may 
  I don't know if the gentleman has more speakers, but I'm planning on 
closing. I just want to thank the staff, on both sides. Our 
subcommittee does an outstanding job working together, and I'm just 
very, very proud of the work that they've done and the kind of 
commitment they've shown, and just want to say thank you for the 
professionalism that they have exhibited throughout this whole process.
  Mr. Speaker, I'm going to oppose this for various reasons. Number 
one, the fact that this $450 billion bill is a 14 percent increase in 
spending over last year. At a time when people are hurting, we cannot 
afford this kind of additional debt that's being put on the taxpayers, 
on the families at home. Realizing that in the last 2 years, 
discretionary spending in this House of Representatives has increased 
now, 85 percent; 85 percent more money, discretionary money, being 
spent today than just 2 years ago. Does anybody at home have 85 percent 
more money today than what they had 2 years ago? Is it responsible in 
any way, shape or form to have that kind of an increase?
  The gentleman from Massachusetts--and I appreciate his 
professionalism--made the case, basically, for me before. We held down 
spending previously. And this explosion that we've seen just throughout 
the budget is simply wrong. We cannot sustain it, and it is about the 
next generations. I've got four grandchildren. They're going to pay 
this bill, and their children are going to pay this bill, and it simply 
is not fair. It's generational theft, and we've got to finally hold the 
line as far as spending in this Congress and find some kind of sanity 
around here.
  With that, again, I would hope that everyone would vote ``no.'' We 
could get some reality. We could separate these bills, have them done 
correctly and in a responsible way. And just one other thing in 
closing. I want to, again,

[[Page H14477]]

thank Chairman Olver for being a very good friend, his professionalism, 
and someone that I really admire.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. OLVER. I yield myself the remainder of the time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Massachusetts is 
recognized for 4 minutes.
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, my counterpart, the ranking member from Iowa, 
has graciously thanked the people on both sides who have done all of 
the work that our subcommittee dealt with. Actually, since there's six 
different bills here, I would like to extend that thanks to the people 
on the staffs of each of the six subcommittees on each side of the 
aisle who put countless hours into the work that has brought this bill 
to the floor at this time.
  But particularly, let me just personalize it one more step. On our 
side, my clerk, Kate Hallahan, and on the Republican side, their clerk, 
Dena Baron, and the people who work under them, for them and with them, 
and for us and for the people of the country. They have done an 
exemplary job in the THUD committee, as I think each of the other 
groups have done for their own particular subcommittee. We should all 
be very grateful for that.
  With the passage of this bill--and I'm going to urge passage as I 
close--we will on our side have completed the work on 11 of the 12 
bills, and thereby we will be a very large step closer to the finish of 
the budgetary process necessary to provide for the year 2010. And so I 
am very optimistic today, in fact, a great load rises from the 
shoulders of all the chairs and ranking members of the subcommittees.
  With that, let me just urge a ``yes'' vote on this budget bill in 
order to be able to reach that point very close to the completion of 
our work.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act of 2010 and urge its swift consideration by our 
colleagues in the Senate.
  This legislation includes final conference reports for the FY 2010 
Transportation-HUD, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services, 
Labor-HHS-Education, Military Construction-VA and State-Foreign 
Operations bills. Its total funding of $446.8 billion makes priority 
investments in infrastructure, health care, and education, while 
supporting our veterans, funding the upcoming census and honestly 
accounting for war costs previously left to supplementals. Remaining 
items in the bill are limited to a 1% funding increase.
  The $50 billion in infrastructure spending in this bill--including 
$150 million for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority--
will enable us to modernize our aging infrastructure, ease congestion, 
facilitate commerce and create good-paying, homegrown American jobs. To 
further bolster our economic recovery, HR 3288 provides $824 million to 
the Small Business Administration for its work helping our job-
generating small businesses succeed. This investment will help 
facilitate an additional $28 billion in new lending to small 
businesses. I am delighted that the National Institutes of Health is 
funded at $31 billion so that it can continue driving scientific 
innovation and health system reform. Finally, I am especially pleased 
that the Financial Services division of this consolidated legislation 
sets up a fair and reasonable process by which profitable auto dealers 
can have an opportunity to get back into business so that they and 
their employees can play their part in supporting our ongoing economic 
recovery. In that regard, I ask that the full text of the attached 
statement be entered into the legislative Record.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my appreciation that language 
has been included in the Financial Services Appropriations Conference 
Report that will give automobile dealers around the nation a fair and 
reasonable shot at getting back into business. For the past several 
months, I have been pleased to join with Majority Leader Hoyer, 
Congressmen Kratovil and Maffei, and others to ensure that profitable 
car dealers have every opportunity to contribute to our economic 
recovery and put their employees back to work.
  Profitable and viable dealers should have never been terminated in 
the first place, and I was proud to join the fight to have these short-
sighted decisions reversed. Automobile manufacturers won't be able to 
get back on their feet without a strong dealer network, and Congress is 
committed to ensuring that such a network exists. I salute the tenacity 
and determination of these small business owners, many of whom have 
been selling cars and supporting the American auto industry for 
decades. Under the provision we are approving today, these terminated 
dealers will have an opportunity, once again, to do what they do best--
sell and service cars. And that is good for our economy, for job 
creation and for the American car industry.
  It would have been my preference that we would not need to legislate 
on this matter. We convened talks with the auto dealer groups and the 
manufacturers and while both sides offered significant concessions, 
efforts to achieve a non-legislative solution failed when auto 
manufacturers offered plans that fell short of what was needed to add 
dealers to their dealer networks and put their employees back to work.
  As 2009 comes to a close, the federal government still maintains a 
substantial financial stake in Chrysler and General Motors and 
therefore in the United States automobile industry. Clearly, it is in 
the national interest to have the domestic automobile industry regain 
profitability and maintain sufficient dealerships to meet consumer 
  Section 747 of the Financial Services Appropriations division of this 
bill recognizes the valuable role that dealers play in the auto 
industry and our local economies. Automobile dealers are essential to 
the success of automobile manufacturers because at no material cost to 
the manufacturers, they facilitate distribution, sales, and servicing 
of hundreds of millions of vehicles annually. This legislation is 
premised on the notion that it is in the best interest of automobile 
manufacturers, the automotive industry, dealers and the public to have 
an extensive and competitive automobile distribution network throughout 
the country, including in urban, suburban and rural areas.
  Section 747 mandates that manufacturers promptly provide covered auto 
dealers in writing the specific criteria and supporting data relied 
upon by a manufacturer in its decision to end or wind down the 
dealership relationship. In the spirit of cooperation and to ensure an 
efficient process as this legislation is implemented, we expect that 
the manufacturers will provide the information in a format that is user 
friendly, clearly identifies facts, readily accessible, and 
understandable by the dealer and that the data may be transmitted 
either by mail or electronically. We intend that this process provide 
transparency and avoid the excessive costs and delays of litigation and 
discovery disputes. The manufacturers should provide their respective 
covered dealers with each and every detail and criterion related to the 
evaluations of the dealership and the decisions to terminate, not 
assign, not renew or discontinue. It is anticipated that the 
manufacturers will be cooperative and forthcoming and that all relevant 
information will be provided promptly.

  It further provides such dealers with the opportunity to participate 
in a neutral arbitration process designed for the dealer to make the 
case for being added to the manufacturer's dealer network. Congress has 
included specific timeliness for this process and we expect both 
parties to the arbitration to act in good faith and expeditiously so 
that added dealers can return to full-fledged operations quickly.
  Section 747 expressly permits the manufacturer and dealer to present 
any kind of relevant information during the arbitration and provides 
that the arbitrator shall decide whether the dealer should be added to 
the manufacturer's dealer network based on a balancing of the interests 
of the dealer, the manufacturer, and the general public. The public 
interest includes reasonably convenient access for consumers to a 
dealer who can service their vehicles, which is of particular concern 
in rural areas where many dealers were terminated in 2009. It has been 
well-reported that more and more individuals have to drive substantial 
distances to obtain service from an authorized dealer of a specific 
brand because of a dealer termination.
  Congress has provided seven enumerated factors for the arbitrator to 
consider, but this list is not exhaustive because the legislation 
provides that the parties can introduce ``any relevant information.'' 
For example, we expect that arbitrators should consider relevant State 
laws, which provide a context for analyzing franchise agreements and 
the obligations of dealers and manufacturers.
  A couple of these enumerated criteria merit additional explanation. 
For example, Congress has directed that the demographic and geographic 
characteristics of the market are taken into account. This reflects our 
intention that the arbitrator should pay special attention to the 
concerns expressed by some terminated dealers that there are factors in 
their market areas or States that affect their performance and render 
some measurements, such as State averages, less than accurate in 
portraying the true picture of a dealer's operations.
  Another one of the factors involves the dealer's performance under 
the franchise agreement terminated in 2009. In considering this factor 
and related factors, it is important for arbitrators to recognize that 
state law is part and parcel of and modifies auto dealer franchise 
agreements. To look only at a franchise agreement, in other words, 
misses an important contextual element. Accordingly, it is anticipated 
that the arbitrators will consider State

[[Page H14478]]

law elements of good faith and fair dealing in this process and that, 
for example, the franchise agreement's performance standards and a 
dealer's performance under the original agreement will be evaluated in 
accordance with State law.
  Another factor is the historic profitability of the dealership. 
During the legislative process, Congress learned that some dealers, for 
tax planning reasons or other reasons use a variety of legitimate, 
widely recognized accounting conventions, such as LIFO, that could, 
depending on the date a snapshot is taken, affect materially whether 
the dealership appears profitable. It is important that arbitrators 
recognize such accounting conventions when considering the 
profitability of a dealership so a fair and accurate picture is 
  With respect to being added back to a dealer network, it is the 
intent of Congress that notwithstanding the preference of a 
manufacturer to have several brands in the same dealership, in the case 
of a dealer seeking to be added to a dealer network but with fewer than 
all of the preferred brands, the dealer nonetheless will be eligible to 
be added.
  It is worth noting that pursuant to subsection (f), manufacturers and 
dealers may, of their own volition, decide to enter into legally 
binding agreements with one another instead of going through the 
arbitration process. It is the intent of Congress that for this 
subsection to apply, the legally binding agreements shall be 
consensual, non-coercive resolutions of the issue between the dealer 
and the manufacturer entered into or ratified after the date of 
enactment. Coercive agreements should not be upheld.
  In conclusion, I want to recognize the tireless efforts of dealers 
from around the Nation who worked to develop and implement a truly 
historic grassroots effort over the past seven months. Groups such as 
the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights, the Automobile Trade 
Association Executives, National Automobile Dealers Association and the 
National Association of Minority Auto Dealers, were instrumental in 
bringing about the legislation we are approving today.
  Mrs. BACHMANN. Mr. Speaker, today, the House of Representatives once 
again sidestepped its constitutional obligation to fund our Nation's 
Federal priorities in a responsible manner and railroaded a massive 
spending bill through the House without allowing an open and honest 
debate that American taxpayers deserve. While I believe this 
legislation contains important funding for many programs administered 
by Federal agencies, spending bills and the projects they fund must be 
considered individually on their merits, and not obscured by being 
tucked into a giant ``omnibus'' spending package.
  Right now, the national debt has already ballooned to a whopping 
$12.1 trillion and Democrats are ready to increase the debt limit by 
another $1.8 billion to accommodate their rabid spending habits. But at 
a time when American families are struggling to make ends meet and 
Federal deficits are skyrocketing at a record pace, it is absolutely 
necessary for Congress to fully commit to fiscal responsibility and 
scrutinize how every tax dollar is spent. While I understand the 
difficulty associated with such a large task, I, like so many of my 
colleagues, believed the Democrat majority when they pledged to 
``create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in 
history.'' I was hopeful that their stated commitment to open 
government would entail the individual consideration of each of the 12 
annual appropriations bills, setting a path towards restoring the 
confidence and trust of the American people.
  Unfortunately, the actions taken today indicate that our leadership 
is content with the status quo, and will avoid difficult decisions that 
should be made in order to prevent saddling future generations with 
debilitating debt. By combining half of the total appropriations bills 
into one measure, this majority has shown that it has no interest in 
real transparency and is more focused on growing government to 
accommodate their tax-and-spend agenda than being good stewards of the 
taxpayers' money.
  Congress should show the American people that it is serious about 
making the same tough choices American families make every month. But 
this bill's 24 percent increase in government spending ignores the 
realities of our limited budget and assumes the taxpayers will just 
pick up the tab in future years. While the bill includes some of 
Minnesota's local priorities, it strays far from representing anything 
but a big government spending bill that lacks any consideration of our 
massive budget deficit.
  Indeed, in the same manner as households across America set a budget, 
Washington needs to set a budget, and stick to it. However, the tax and 
spend approach to government being exhibited this year serves as a 
haunting indication that no amount of spending or government control is 
too much for the Democrats. That said, it is my sincere hope that as 
Congress moves forward with next year's budget and spending priorities, 
strict attention will be paid to protecting the American taxpayer and 
fostering an atmosphere of bipartisan cooperation and fiscal 
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Conferees for 
including section 747, which regulates the relationship between 
automobile manufacturers and automobile dealerships. I, along with 
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Representatives Chris Van Hollen, 
Daniel Maffei, Frank Kratovil, Steven LaTourette, Jackie Speier, Robert 
Brady, Betty Sutton, and Bob Etheridge have worked together to create 
legislation that will best serve the interests of the automobile 
industry, including manufacturers and dealerships, and the citizens who 
have a significant portion of their tax dollars invested in the success 
of this critical industry. The following is a description of the 
  Section 747 of the Conference Agreement includes language 
establishing an arbitration process to determine whether previously 
terminated, non-assigned, non-renewed, or non-continued auto 
dealerships should be added to dealership networks of automobile 
manufacturers that received federal assistance under the TARP program, 
or that are partially owned by the Federal Government. This provision 
replaces Section 745 of the House bill, which also addressed concerns 
regarding terminated auto dealerships.
  It is in the national interest to protect the substantial federal 
investment in automobile manufacturers by assuring the viability of 
such companies through the maintenance of sufficiently sized dealership 
networks to meet consumer demand for sales and servicing nationally. In 
addition to facilitating the maintenance and growth of industry market 
share among manufacturers that benefitted from TARP funds, and in which 
the taxpayers have a significant financial investment, it is in the 
national interest to ensure that dealerships and manufacturers are each 
treated fairly in their business relationships based on their 
respective economic interests.
  Evidence obtained over the course of numerous Congressional hearings 
in 2009 demonstrates that the automobile industry is integral to the 
health of the United States economy as a whole. Automobile 
manufacturers have been among the largest and most successful 
corporations in the United States, providing significant numbers of 
jobs and producing valuable goods for consumers. Automobile dealerships 
are also essential businesses in most communities nationally, providing 
many jobs to local residents and facilitating the distribution, sales, 
and servicing of millions of vehicles annually. Our investigations have 
made clear that it is in the best interest of the automobile industry, 
automobile manufacturers, dealerships and the public to have a 
competitive and economically viable domestic automobile distribution 
network throughout the country, including urban, suburban, and rural 
  This provision was included because we also believe that by providing 
a process for working out the relationship between automobile 
manufacturers and dealerships that ensures transparency and review by a 
neutral arbitrator according to an equitable and balanced standard, 
taking into account the interests of all affected parties, the property 
and due process rights of manufacturers and dealerships will be 
  Section 747 establishes a procedure by which an automobile dealership 
that had a franchise agreement for a vehicle brand that was not 
assigned to a covered manufacturer, or that was terminated in a manner 
not consistent with applicable state law, on or before April 29, 2009, 
may seek continuation or reinstatement of the franchise agreement, or 
seek to be added as a franchisee to a dealership network of the covered 
manufacturer who manufactures the vehicle brand of the covered 
dealership, with such franchisee being located in the geographic area 
where the covered dealership was located when its franchise agreement 
was terminated, not assigned, not renewed, or not continued. Absent 
such election by the covered dealership, no such binding arbitration 
would occur.
  In order to provide a covered automobile dealership with the 
information useful to determine whether to elect to enter into binding 
arbitration, the dealership will receive in writing notice from the 
covered manufacturer detailing the specific criteria pursuant to which 
such dealership's franchise agreement was terminated, was not renewed, 
or was not assumed and assigned to a covered manufacturer. This notice 
must be provided within the 30-day period beginning on the date of the 
enactment of this Section. This transparency is a vital step in giving 
dealerships the opportunity to understand why their franchise 
agreements were terminated, not renewed, or were not assumed and 
assigned to a covered manufacturer. It is our expectation that this 
transparency will obviate the need for unnecessary arbitration. It is 
also our expectation that this transparency will encourage informal 
agreements between covered dealerships and manufacturers without

[[Page H14479]]

recourse to the more formal procedures provided in this Section. We 
expect that the written transmittal letter will also provide 
appropriate contact information, including an e-mail address, to enable 
the dealership to contact the manufacturer should the dealership have 
specific questions about the dealership's information and individual 
criteria contained in such letter.
  The Conference Agreement provides such dealerships with the 
opportunity to elect to participate in a neutral arbitration process 
designed to permit the dealership to present information in support of 
its addition to the manufacturer's dealership network, and for the 
manufacturer to present information against such addition based on its 
business plan and future economic viability. The arbitrator in each 
case shall balance the interests of the covered dealership, the covered 
manufacturer, and the public and will decide based on that balancing 
whether or not the covered dealership should be added to the dealership 
network of the covered manufacturer. These are the only remedies the 
arbitrator may provide. The Conference Agreement specifically prohibits 
the awarding of compensatory, punitive, or exemplary damages to any 
  The Conference Agreement sets out seven specific factors that the 
arbitrator should consider in ruling on each case. The list is not 
exclusive, and the arbitrator would have the discretion to consider all 
the relevant facts on a case-by-case basis. In considering whether 
adding the covered dealership to the covered manufacturer's dealership 
network is in the public interest, the arbitrator should consider, 
among other factors, the need for reasonable access for consumers to a 
dealership that can service their vehicles, which is of particular 
concern in rural areas. The arbitrator should also consider the impact 
on the viability of the manufacturer of adding the dealership to the 
manufacturer's network, the length of experience of the dealership, the 
dealership's historical profitability and current economic viability, 
and demographic and geographic characteristics of the market.
  It is our understanding that the General Commercial Rules of the 
American Arbitration Association shall apply to the arbitration 
proceeding, except to the extent that a rule is inconsistent with any 
provision of this Section.
  Subsection (f) addresses negotiations between a covered manufacturer 
and a covered dealership, whether acting individually, as a group, or 
through an organization acting on behalf of one or more covered 
dealerships. The provision is intended to ensure that any legally 
binding agreement, such as a memorandum of understanding, resulting 
from a voluntary negotiation between a covered manufacturer and a 
covered dealership, a group of covered dealerships, or an organization 
acting on behalf of one or more covered dealerships will not be 
disturbed by this section. It also makes clear that once a covered 
dealership is party to such an agreement, such covered dealership would 
not be eligible for the arbitration remedy in this section.
  It is not the intent of Congress to bar a covered dealership from the 
provisions of this section if the covered dealership accepted a 
standard form contract prepared by the covered manufacturer and offered 
on a ``take-it-or-leave-it'' basis, even if the agreement was entered 
into voluntarily. As a consequence, a covered dealership that accepted 
a ``wind-down'' agreement drafted by a covered manufacturer would be 
able to avail itself of the provisions of this section. An agreement 
between a covered manufacturer and a covered dealership, whether acting 
individually, as a group, or as part of a group of dealerships acting 
through an organization, will be considered voluntarily negotiated if 
the agreement between the parties reflects a compromise based on 
written or oral discussions, even if one party to the negotiation is 
the principal or primary drafter of the agreement.
  We chose this approach because binding arbitration by a neutral 
arbitrator is the most appropriate means of resolving the differences 
between covered dealerships and manufacturers, and to protect the 
taxpayers, and the broader economy. For this reason, the Conference 
Agreement sets out a procedure for ensuring that a neutral arbitrator 
conducts the arbitration according to a clear standard with factors the 
arbitrator must weigh.
  Due to the time sensitive nature of this situation, the Conference 
Agreement provides that a covered dealership must elect to pursue 
arbitration no later than 40 days of the date of enactment of this 
section, that such arbitration must commence as soon as practicable and 
must be submitted to the arbitrator for deliberation not later than 180 
days of such date. The arbitrator is given the flexibility to extend 
that period for up to 30 days for good cause. The arbitrator then has 
seven business days after the arbitrator determines that the case has 
been fully submitted to issue a written opinion.
  Section 747 expressly permits the manufacturer and dealership to 
present any kind of relevant information during the arbitration. As an 
additional means of ensuring efficiency and economy in the arbitration 
process, the provision prohibits depositions and limits discovery to 
documents specific to the covered dealership.
  Section 747 also makes clear that a manufacturer may terminate a 
covered dealership in accordance with applicable state law.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Under the rule, the previous question is ordered.
  The question is on the conference report.
  Pursuant to clause 10 of rule XX, the yeas and nays are ordered.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, this 15-minute vote on adoption of 
the conference report will be followed by a 5-minute vote on suspending 
the rules and passing H.R. 4017.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 221, 
nays 202, answered ``present'' 1, not voting 10, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 949]


     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Brady (PA)
     Braley (IA)
     Carson (IN)
     Castor (FL)
     Connolly (VA)
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (TN)
     Edwards (MD)
     Edwards (TX)
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Hall (NY)
     Hastings (FL)
     Herseth Sandlin
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kirkpatrick (AZ)
     Klein (FL)
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lee (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Markey (CO)
     Markey (MA)
     McCarthy (NY)
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Moore (KS)
     Moore (WI)
     Murphy (CT)
     Murphy (NY)
     Murphy, Patrick
     Nadler (NY)
     Neal (MA)
     Pastor (AZ)
     Pingree (ME)
     Price (NC)
     Rothman (NJ)
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Scott (GA)
     Scott (VA)
     Smith (WA)
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Van Hollen
     Wasserman Schultz
     Wilson (OH)


     Adler (NJ)
     Barton (TX)
     Bishop (UT)
     Bono Mack
     Brady (TX)
     Broun (GA)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burton (IN)
     Coffman (CO)
     Davis (KY)
     Deal (GA)
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Donnelly (IN)
     Franks (AZ)
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gingrey (GA)
     Gordon (TN)
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jordan (OH)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kline (MN)

[[Page H14480]]

     Lee (NY)
     Lewis (CA)
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     McCarthy (CA)
     McMorris Rodgers
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy, Tim
     Poe (TX)
     Price (GA)
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Ryan (WI)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Thompson (PA)
     Wilson (SC)
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                        ANSWERED ``PRESENT''--1

     Brown, Corrine

                             NOT VOTING--10

     Barrett (SC)
     Frank (MA)
     Moran (VA)
     Polis (CO)

                              {time}  1403

  Messrs. CAMPBELL, CARTER and MELANCON changed their vote from ``yea'' 
to ``nay.''
  Messrs. MILLER of North Carolina and SCHRADER changed their vote from 
``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So the conference report was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Mr. OWENS. Madam Speaker, on Thursday, December 10, 2009, I recorded 
an incorrect vote on Passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 
  I intended to vote ``yea'' on rollcall vote No. 949, in support of 
the overall bill which contained funding that would go towards an All 
Weather Marksmanship Facility for Fort Drum in my Congressional 
  Stated against:
  Mr. COOPER. Mr. Speaker, earlier today I was in a meeting with a 
senior administration official and inadvertently missed rollcall vote 
949 on Agreeing to the Conference Report for H.R. 3288, the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2010. Had I been 
present, I would have voted ``nay.''