(House of Representatives - November 19, 2013)

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[Pages H7242-H7247]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2013, the gentleman from California (Mr. Garamendi) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity. 
At least once a week we come before the House to talk about jobs, that 
little four-letter word that is so important on everybody's mind--can I 
get a job, will I have a job, what does it take to get a job in 
America. We still have far too high unemployment, and we still have a 
great need to ensure that our jobs produce the kinds of wages and 
opportunities that Americans really want. They want to be able to buy a 
home, have a car, raise their families, provide the necessities, and 
see their kids get a great education and opportunity.
  We have a long way to go. We have come a long way, but we still have 
a long way to go. One of the critical ways that America can and must 
build jobs is build the infrastructure, to make sure that those 
foundations of the economy will grow, upon which cities will be built, 
those things that allow us to prosper, the critical investments. In 
this case, the physical investments are the issue that we are going to 
talk about today.
  We have an opportunity. Beginning tomorrow, a conference committee 
will be formed here in the Capitol made up of Senators, Republican and 
Democrat, and Members of the House of Representatives, both Republican 
and Democrat, sitting down together. Oh, yeah, together, actually at 
the same table, tomorrow morning, 9:30, to beginning a conference 
committee on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, otherwise 
known as WRRDA. If you are around here long enough, you know what that 
means, but I guess the rest of the world really needs to know it is the 
Water Resources Reform and Development Act.
  And so 13 million jobs, 13 million jobs in America depend upon how 
well that conference committee does its work. The House of 
Representatives a few weeks back put out its version of the bill. The 
Senate did several months ago. Senator Barbara Boxer from the State of 
California, my colleague, will be chairing that committee. We have work 
to do. We have the task of making sure that 13 million American jobs 
that depend upon the Water Resources Reform and Development Act will be 
secure. It is a big one.
  So what is involved in the Water Resources Reform and Development 
Act? Well, how about this: 99 percent of America's international trade 
travels through our ports and waterways. That is a big number. I 
suppose there is some 1 percent that travels on airplanes, and those 
are probably very high-ticket, high-priced items. But if you are 
talking about the great, almost the entire, majority of America's work, 
that goes through our ports and waterways. This is what the Water 
Resources Reform and Development Act is all about. It is about our 
ports, the great ports of America. It is about the waterways of 
America. It is about the locks and the dams on the rivers.
  Let me put this up for just a second. This is an interesting map. I 
don't know if many Americans have really considered the map of the 
United States and the waters of the United States. Obviously, the 
coastline, we don't have Alaska on this map, but it should be there 
also. The great coasts, the east coast, the gulf coast, the Pacific 
coast, and of course on and around Alaska. That is not all. Each of 
these rivers also is a waterway upon which commerce flows; and 
tomorrow, with the conference committee for the WRRDA bill, we will be 
discussing how to make these rivers more attuned to the environment and 
to commerce.
  On the great Mississippi River, the Missouri, the Ohio, and the 
Illinois Rivers and all the way up into Wisconsin, an enormous amount 
of America's commerce flows along those rivers. And joining me in just 
a moment will be Representative Bill Enyart from the State of Illinois, 
and he will be talking about some of these issues as they relate to 
that part of the world. But this great river system in the central part 
of America is a major highway. There are interstate roads, to be sure, 
and there are local and county roads, but most of them feed into this 
great system that moves up and down the Mississippi River. The Water 
Resources Reform and Development Act is all about that. It is all about 
that commerce on that great river and about whether the locks and the 
levees that are on that river are adequate to meet the needs of 
commerce and the needs of public protection.
  For those of us on the west coast and the east coast and even into 
the gulf, it is about the ports. It is about the ports of America and 
whether those ports are adequate for the commerce that we need to have. 
So when you happen to go by a port and you see one of these tied up at 
the dock, you can think about the American economy and about 99 percent 
of the international trade that goes in and out of our ports. It is a 
big deal. It is a very, very big deal, and most of America's ports are 
antiquated. The shoals, that is the mud and sand at the bottom of the 
ports, have been accreted, that is, built up over the last several 
years; and it needs constant dredging. And so part of what we will be 
dealing with at the WRRDA conference committee is the dredging of the 
ports and quite possibly the shore side, what is going on there.

  These are subjects that we will come to in the next few minutes as we 
talk more about how we can build jobs in America and simultaneously 
build the American economy by building the great infrastructure.
  One more issue I want to put up here before I call on Mr. Enyart is 
this one. You see all of these rivers here; they are critically 
important. They are critically important for commerce and trade and 
obviously water and agriculture and all the rest. But sometimes--
virtually every year--they are also a major problem for America.
  This happens to be a picture of a levee break on the Sacramento River 
system. I happen to represent 200 miles of the Sacramento River. This 
break is all too common across America; and so the Water Resources 
Reform and Development Act, which will be up tomorrow in the conference 
committee--it is not going to be finished but at least it will make 
some progress toward completion--will deal with the levees.
  The Army Corps of Engineers is the responsible Federal agency for the 
maintenance of the rivers, for the waters of America, whether they are 
in the rivers or along the shore. They are responsible for the ports, 
that is, for the maintenance of the ports, not the ports themselves. 
And in my district, the Army Corps of Engineers plays a major role in 
public safety because it is their responsibility to make sure that 
these levees are adequate to the challenge of a flood. When those 
levees are not adequate, great damage is done across America. It is 
approximately $22.3 billion of annual unspent American treasure that is 
still in the pockets of America and the governments of America when 
these levees work. When they fail, it is a huge expense--floods, flood 
damage, and the like.
  I would like now to call on the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Enyart) 
to share with us his view of the necessity for the Water Resources 
Reform and Development Act and the way it protects and helps his 
  Mr. ENYART. I thank the gentleman from California for this time to 
speak about the importance of the Water Resources Reform and 
Development Act.
  Mr. Garamendi was talking about the coast, the east coast and the 
west coast and the great coastlines of our Nation. I always like to 
tell folks out here that I represent the west coast of Illinois. I 
always get a strange look when I say that, and sometimes a chuckle. But 
I represent the western-most counties of Illinois, the river counties, 
reaching from Alton, Illinois, just north of St. Louis, all the way to 
Cairo, the very southern tip of Illinois. That piece of Illinois 
encompasses the great maritime highway that is the economic backbone of 
our inland agriculture industry, indeed, all of our inland industries.
  Just north of my district, the Illinois River, which transits from 
the Mississippi up to the Great Lakes, flows into the Mississippi. 
Directly across from my district, the Missouri River feeds into the 
Mississippi; and then as you go downstream, the Mississippi and the 
Ohio converge at the very southern tip at Cairo, Illinois.
  So we understand in southern Illinois the importance of these river 
systems. We understand the importance of port

[[Page H7243]]

authorities. Port authorities aren't just limited to Los Angeles and 
New York and the east coast and the west coast or the gulf coast, but 
they are very important to our inland maritime industry also.
  Back when I served as the adjunct general or the commanding general 
of the Illinois National Guard, I had the unfortunate problem of 
dealing with floods on the Mississippi and on the Ohio. Back when I was 
a young officer, we had the terrible flood of 1993. We had the flood of 
2008 and then the flood of 2011. And then just last winter, we had the 
terrible drought that wound up dropping the river levels in the 
Mississippi so low that it nearly stopped navigation on the river. So 
we need to work on this infrastructure for the three reasons that I ran 
for Congress. When I ran for Congress, I said I ran for jobs, jobs, and 
jobs. And that is what this is about.
  When the rivers started drying up and when that drought hit and those 
barges couldn't transit the Mississippi and were having to go up and 
down the Mississippi with significantly lighter loads, it did several 
things to impact our economy. First, the barges couldn't transport 
nearly as much corn or as much soybeans; and at one point, the world's 
corn supply was down to less than 30 days, 30 days for the entire 
world. The world needed that corn from Illinois and from Iowa, the 
Dakotas and Missouri. That corn gets shipped on the Mississippi River 
and the Missouri River. When that river was drying up, that corn didn't 

                              {time}  1800

  Coming upstream is the oil that goes into the refineries at Wood 
River, Illinois, the steel that gets processed at the steel mills in 
Alton, Illinois, and Granite City, Illinois, and the fertilizer that 
goes on the fields throughout southern and central Illinois.
  There are several provisions in this bill that have passed through 
the Senate that we think need to be added to the House bill that would 
help those navigation requirements on the Mississippi River.
  Additionally, we have provisions in the bill that, as Mr. Garamendi 
talked about, would improve the levee system. The levee system is 
critical not only throughout my district, but, indeed, up and down the 
rivers because of the problems with flood insurance. I have families 
who have lived for generations in homes located near the Mississippi 
River and other contributory rivers who, because of the potential rise 
in flood insurance rates, will be unable to afford to pay the insurance 
and unable to sell their homes, to relocate as necessary. We need to 
improve those levees.
  By the way, while we are improving those levees, what are we doing? 
We are putting people to work.
  This bill is supported by multiple groups throughout our Nation. It 
is truly a bipartisan bill. It passed the House 417-3 and the Senate by 
a vote of 84-14. You can't get much more bipartisan than that.
  Let's look at the supporters of this bill. Labor supports the bill 
because they understand the importance of these jobs, and they 
understand the importance of maritime industry along that river. The 
Chamber of Commerce supports this bill. The National Association of 
Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau, the Illinois Farm Bureau all 
support this bill because it is important to all of those industries 
and to all of those jobs. It is not just the local economy of southern 
Illinois. It is the regional economy, the national economy, and, 
indeed, even the world economy.
  Remember when I was talking about when the world's corn supply was 
down to less than 30 days. If we can't ship corn from Illinois and Iowa 
and the Midwest and out to the world, we will have a very serious food 
  The bill provides provisions for the Corps of Engineers to maintain 
navigation on the river, to improve the navigation aids that were 
virtually useless during the drought. Some of those navigation aids are 
simply lines painted on bridges. Those are navigation aids that date 
back to the 19th century, back to Mark Twain. Today I think we can do a 
little bit better than painting lines on bridge abutments to provide 
navigation aids for our maritime industry.
  Additionally, the Corps, at this point, is restricted to working in 
the 300-foot congressionally mandated channels. So 300 feet going down 
the river the barges transit through is the only place the Corps is 
allowed to work. This bill would give the Corps more authorities to 
work outside that channel to ensure that we have safe navigation for 
those barges filled with oil and with fertilizer and other industrial 
  The bill would also provide for a Greater Mississippi River Basin 
extreme weather management study. Today, we don't understand how the 
river system operates, and we don't treat it as a system. When you look 
at that map that Mr. Garamendi showed you of the river system, you see 
an entire system. You see the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Missouri, the 
Illinois. Those aren't separate entities. But today, in the law, we 
treat them as separate entities. The Missouri River is governed under 
completely different legislation than the Mississippi River is. And the 
Corps of Engineers, even if everybody agreed, couldn't release water 
from those Missouri River dams down into the Mississippi River to help 
the navigation because they didn't have the authorities to do so. That 
doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and I think we need a commonsense 
solution to that: we treat the entire system as it is, indeed, a 
  Another issue that we need to consider is the locks and dams. Many of 
those locks and dams are 70 years old. They are in need of maintenance. 
They are in need of improvement. Those locks and dams, many of them are 
only 600 feet, and for efficiencies they need to be 1,200 feet in order 
to get the barge tows through. That will do several things. It will 
help the economy by lessening shipping costs, by making the cost of 
transportation for that corn, for that fertilizer, for that oil that 
gets refined into gasoline, dropping those transportation costs, making 
it less expensive to process and to buy.
  It would also be good for the environment, because by using bigger 
tows, you are burning less fuel to ship the same amount of goods. 
Shipping by barge in the inland waterways is by far the most fuel 
efficient method of transportation compared to either rail or trucking.
  Clearly, for all of those reasons, we need to get this bill passed. 
We need it for my three issues: jobs, job, and jobs, for southern 
Illinois, for the region, for the Nation.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Thank you very much. Sometimes I want to call you 
Congressman, and sometimes I want to call you General. Always we are 
going to say that you really know the Mississippi. You served there in 
the National Guard, providing the protection to the people, and to have 
a very good sense of what is necessary in that part of Illinois and 
  As you were talking about the issues of moving goods and services up 
and down the great Mississippi River system--Ohio, Missouri, and the 
other rivers--there is about $1.4 trillion of goods that move down that 
river into the other ports across America and is shipped out across the 
entire world. That is 30 million jobs. You were talking about that.
  You also raised a point that is very important, and that is that it 
is not just the ongoing jobs of the tugboats and the barges, the 
granaries and all of that, but it is also the job of building the 
infrastructure itself. The men and women that are going to get out 
there and put together the new docks, the new levee systems--all of 
those things require manpower. And we know that there is an enormous 
benefit. Every dollar that is invested in infrastructure returns well 
over $3 back into the economy immediately, to say nothing of the long-
term benefit that comes of having that new lock system in place, more 
efficient, longer locks so, as you said, more of those barges than just 
one towline can work their way through the lock and not have to be 
broken up into smaller towlines.
  So there are a lot of issues in this piece of legislation. It is 
going to be an extremely important moment in moving the economy 
forward. This is the first time in 6 years. It has been 6 years since 
the Congress and the Senate got together to do a water resource reform 
and development program. Why? I guess we just couldn't quite figure it 
out, but we have to do it this time.

[[Page H7244]]

  There is a need for very serious reform in this system. We know that 
many of the projects that are undertaken, that the Corps of Engineers 
is working on, are forever trying to get in line and get in place.
  We know that many projects simply are derelict; they never should be 
built. So the bill removes $12 billion of derelict projects that should 
never be built and replaces them with new projects that are critically 
important. Some of those are the locks along the Mississippi and the 
Ohio system and some of the other dams that are out there.
  For me in California, we know that these projects are critically 
important. The city of Sacramento, Mr. Enyart, is one of the most 
flood-risk cities--in fact, it is No. 2 in flood risk; probably No. 1, 
now that New Orleans has had an opportunity to have its flood walls 
rebuilt following the devastation of Katrina. Now it is Sacramento. It 
is a huge population in a very risky area, a population that I 
represent part of and share with Congresswoman Matsui, the city of 

  It is a little different than New Orleans. When Katrina came through, 
it was flooded, to be sure, and terribly damaged. Many lives were lost. 
But the water was warm. In Sacramento, if the levees were to break on 
the American River or the Sacramento River system and flood that 
system, we are talking about very cold water, water that people would 
not survive in for more than a few minutes because of the temperature 
and hypothermia. So we really need to build those levees.
  As I go into this task of being on the conference committee where I 
will serve as one of the representatives of the House of 
Representatives, I will be looking at those kinds of projects that are 
really about human life, the safety of my constituents and the safety 
of constituents all around this Nation where these levees need to be 
built to a high standard. Many of them need to be repaired in my 
district, the delta of California. Many of the levees are over 100 
years old and were never built to standards that would be applicable 
  So we have work to do. We have levees to build. We have ports to 
build. We have channels to dredge. We have jobs that will be created 
when we pass this bill and adequately fund it.
  One other thing that is possible here is not only will we create jobs 
directly in building the ports, dredging the rivers and channels, 
building the levees and repairing them--those are direct jobs. Not only 
will we do that. We will also have the long-term foundation, the 
investment necessary for future economic growth. We will also, if we do 
one more thing--and I hope to get this into the legislation. That is to 
make sure that there is a strong buy America provision.
  This is going to be American taxpayer money that is going to be used 
for the steel in the locks, for the cement, for the pilings in the 
piers and probably the dredges that will be used for the channel. This 
is all American taxpayer money that will be used to buy and maintain 
that equipment. If it is American taxpayer money, then, by golly, you 
ought to be buying American goods. So buy American. Use our taxpayer 
money to build the rest of the manufacturing sector of America. Build 
our steel industry by buying American steel for the locks and for the 
piers and for the cement and for the other work that needs to be done. 
Make it in America. It is very simple. Use American taxpayer money to 
make it in America and to buy American goods.
  So I am going to be working very diligently on that conference 
committee to make sure that this buy America provision is strongly 
embedded in the legislation. I know that if we are able to do that, we 
will not only improve our levees, dredge the channels, build the ports, 
but we will also have the opportunity to make American jobs in the 
manufacturing sector.
  Mr. Enyart, you may have some additional thoughts that you would like 
to bring to our attention. If so, please have at it.
  Mr. ENYART. Thank you, Mr. Garamendi. Actually, I do.
  I would like to point out that the Democratic motion to instruct 
conferees--as you pointed out, you serve on that conference committee--
passed on November 14 with bipartisan support. That motion encouraged 
the conferees to reauthorize an effective dam security program.
  The goal here is to reduce risks to people, to life and property from 
dam failure. With the age of some of these dams and the aging 
infrastructure in place, the potential loss of life and limb and 
property is astronomical. By putting money into maintenance now, we are 
saving not only lives and property, but saving money downstream because 
we know that sooner or later, with the age of that infrastructure, that 
it is going to fail. That is one of the important things that the 
Democratic motion to instruct conferees did.
  Additionally, Mr. Garamendi, I signed the bipartisan letter to the 
House leadership of both parties requesting a speedy conference report. 
We need to move this conference report. As you pointed out earlier, Mr. 
Garamendi, this has been waiting for 6 years. We can't afford to wait 
another 6 years. So we need a speedy conference report between the 
Senate and between the House so that we can merge that legislation, add 
the items that we believe are on the House bill that need to be part of 
that Senate bill and vice versa so that we can begin bringing these 
jobs back to America and bringing the use of these American products to 
our districts.
  That letter emphasized the importance of WRRDA, not only to the 
district, but also the difficulties which it imposes on business and on 
labor and on the trades if this bill is not moved in a prompt manner.
  One of the other important aspects of the bill for my particular 
district--you were talking about the Sacramento River. But one of the 
particular parts of bill that we want to see added that has passed the 
Senate establishes the Metro East Flood Risk Management Program. What 
we are talking about there is the urban industrial area in southwestern 
Illinois across from St. Louis, running all the way from Alton, down 
through east St. Louis, south to Columbia, Illinois.

                              {time}  1815

  It encompasses three counties, with a population of about 600,000 
folks. So it is very significant. It includes oil refineries, steel 
mills, chemical plants, residential areas, and many of the bridges, 
both rail and passenger car, that transit the Mississippi there. So it 
is critical that we get this taken care of.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Well, we also, Mr. Enyart, in California we have those 
same issues. Let me swap places with you. I want to put up one of the 
maps here of California.
  Mr. Enyart, you were talking about the central part of America. You 
certainly can see it here, as you were discussing the Mississippi River 
system and your area, up here in the Illinois area.
  In California, we think we are a real big State and we have got a lot 
of people, and this legislation is extremely important for California. 
I am going to just point out some of the--San Francisco Bay, one of the 
great maritime bays in the world. We would argue there is none more 
beautiful nor more important than the San Francisco Bay.
  In and out of this Bay flows a vast amount of commerce to the Port of 
Oakland, and also up to the rivers, into the central part of 
California, through the delta on the Sacramento and the San Joaquin 
River, where trade now goes, international trade, to the Port of 
Sacramento and the Port of Stockton.
  Very, very important because, like Illinois and the great Midwest, we 
have a vast agricultural economy here in the central valley of 
California, and a lot of that, particularly rice from my district, goes 
out of the Port of Stockton and Sacramento.
  Both of those ports now have channels that are of insufficient depth 
to bring in the large ships, and so it becomes much more expensive. The 
issue you raised, Mr. Enyart, about the cost of shipping, if you have 
small ships that can't carry a full cargo because of the depth of 
channel, it gets more expensive.
  So in this area, channel maintenance at the Port of Oakland, channel 
maintenance for the Ports of Sacramento and the like and, of course, up 
along the Contra Costa County area, where the refineries and the oil 
tankers come and go.
  As you move further south, we have got the ports, mostly fishing down 
here along the coast and, of course, Monterey, which is famous, Pebble 
Beach and the Monterey Bay area.

[[Page H7245]]

  Then you get down to Los Angeles, and the two great, great harbors of 
America, side by side, together form the largest harbor system in this 
Nation, and you can argue whether it is the largest in the world, but 
it is surely big, the Port of Los Angeles, represented by Congresswoman 
Hahn, and the Port of Long Beach, side by side there in the Los Angeles 
area, Long Beach represented by Mr. Lowenthal.
  Those ports are really one of the major engines of international 
trade and economic growth, and of course, from those ports, those great 
cargos move in and out, all across America on the railways and 
highways. So we have that.
  Then of course you can get down here to San Diego, some other harbors 
along the way in Orange County, and then the harbor of San Diego, which 
is extremely important for the military. Any time you happen to get to 
San Diego, you will see the aircraft carriers there from the U.S. Navy 
and other critical equipment and ships of the U.S. Navy. All of that is 
  Here in my district--I am going to put up another map, and this is 
where I really get involved. This is a map of, obviously, San Francisco 
Bay here, with the harbor of San Francisco, the Port of San Francisco, 
the Port of Oakland, Alameda in here and up along the Contra Costa 
  As you get into the delta, this is the largest inland delta, or the 
largest delta on the west coast of the Western Hemisphere, and one of 
the great inland deltas of the world. There are more than 1,000 miles 
of waterways here in this delta area.
  I represent about half of that area, the Sacramento River going up 
here and the San Joaquin River coming here, and then down into the 
great San Joaquin Valley. These areas are all protected by levees, and 
so the rivers are confined within those levees, and many of those 
levees, as I said a while ago, are more than 100 years old, and they 
need protection.
  The water system of California, water flowing from the north, across 
these, through these waterways that are channeled by the levees to the 
great pumps down here, delivering water to southern California and the 
San Joaquin Valley, depends upon these levees.
  This is part of the WRRDA bill, and so these levees and protecting 
the water system of California and the great agricultural enterprises 
of the delta are critically important, and the Water Resource Reform 
and Development Act provides money for the maintenance and the 
continuing studies of these levees, as well as for many of the critical 
environmental habitats in the area.
  As you move up the Sacramento River, you will come to the great 
metropolis of Sacramento, which I talked about, and here, the American 
River coming in with the Sacramento River. Right in this area is, 
arguably, the highest flood danger area in America, and there is a 
project right here in the Natomas area that is absolutely crucial, 
crucial to life and limb.
  Then as you move on up in the rest of my district, going up 200 miles 
from here to here, you have Yuba City and Marysville, again, 
communities that have flooded in the past, with the loss of life, and 
those too are dependent upon the success of the WRRDA bill.
  Now, what we are going to do tomorrow, and in the days ahead as we 
move through this conference committee--and my task, is to get the 
policy set. But the other side of it is the money. Where's the money 
coming from?
  Well, the austerity budgets that have been such the prize of our 
Republican colleagues really have stripped money away from the projects 
that we have been talking about, stripped money away from the 
maintenance of the ports, the dredging of the channels, and the 
protection and enhancement of the levees. That money has been stripped 
  So, with the first sequestration that took place about 8 months ago, 
$250 million of money that the Corps of Engineers would have for the 
ports, for the channels, and for the levees, disappeared. That was 
Sequestration 1.
  On January 15, Sequestration 2 hits, with another $90 billion hit, 
and we are not sure exactly how much the Corps of Engineers will lose, 
but they are going to lose a vast amount of money.
  So all of the talk, all of the energy that we are putting into 
writing the appropriate policies to reform, to improve, to put programs 
in place for the American economy, aren't going to happen. Well, many 
of them are not going to happen because of the austerity budgets and 
the two sequestrations.
  This is a critical problem, a critical problem, and I would reach out 
to my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, and say, but there is 
money. There is money available, but we are not spending it in the 
right place.
  In the budget bill that passed the House of Representatives a few 
months ago, there was an increase in the authorization well above what 
the President wanted to build and rebuild nuclear bombs, over $12 
billion over the next decade, for just one life-extension program on a 
nuclear weapon, the B-61--$12 billion.

  Now, it can be argued, and I would argue this, that that was an 
extraordinarily inappropriate place to spend money. We don't need that 
bomb for deterrence, I don't believe. The military may argue that we 
do, but then they can never get enough of these things.
  My argument is, we need to spend the money where real danger exists, 
and that real danger exists on America's rivers when these levees are 
not up to standard. When the levees protecting New Orleans were not up 
to standard, people died, billions upon billions were lost.
  When the levees in Sacramento are not up to standard, billions will 
be lost and people will die, and that is an immediate threat.
  We have got plenty of other nuclear weapons for deterrence, but to 
spend $12 billion in a way that I believe would be better spent on 
things that protect real people in real-life situations--so we are 
making judgments here. First of all, we are making a judgment--well, I 
wouldn't say either you or I, Mr. Enyart, are making this judgment, but 
our colleagues, particularly on the Republican side, are making a 
judgment that they believe you can build the American economy with 
austerity; that is, to cut the Federal expenditures. I disagree.
  There are critical investments that the Federal Government should and 
must make. This is not new. Often we hear the talk around here, the 
Founding Fathers.
  Mr. Enyart, have you heard people talk about, well, the Founding 
Fathers would do thus and so? We hear it all the time.
  The Founding Fathers, let's take Washington and Hamilton, shortly 
after he was inaugurated--
  Oh, by the way, Washington refused to be inaugurated in a suit made 
in England. He was inaugurated in a suit made in America. There was 
only one tailor at the time that would do that, but he did it.
  Then he told Hamilton, I want a policy to build the American 
manufacturing sector. Hamilton came back some days later, probably 2 or 
3 months, with a program, not 2,000 pages, but probably a couple of 
hundred pages at the most, and he said: We need, in America, to do the 
following things: to build the American economy and the American 
manufacturing base.
  He said, one, we need to build ports. We need to build canals, and we 
need to protect American industry by using American taxpayer dollars to 
buy American-made goods. He said, beware of trade policies.
  Hamilton and Washington wanted trade policies that protected the 
American manufacturing sector and American agriculture.
  Interestingly, in the next few days, or in the next few weeks, we are 
going to have the question of trade policy before us here in the House 
of Representatives, and it is likely to be the Trans-Pacific Trade 
  What is it?
  Well, they want to fast-track it, where not one person on this floor 
will be able to say, wait a minute; we ought to change this, or we 
ought to change that. So we ought to be paying attention to the 
Founding Fathers who said, watch trade policy. Protect American jobs.
  So as we go through all of this, in my district, we are going to have 
to have the money, American taxpayer money, plus a lot of local 
taxpayer money to protect the citizens in my district and the ports.

[[Page H7246]]

  About $1.8 billion is collected at the ports to rebuild, to dredge, 
and to maintain the ports. About half that money is siphoned off for 
other projects.
  Beware of austerity budgets. No more sequestration. This Nation 
cannot afford that terrible policy of sequestration because it will rip 
the heart out of the critical investments that America has to make.
  I have rambled on here for a little while and went off to some other 
things. Mr. Enyart, would you like to pick it up for a while?
  Mr. ENYART. Thank you, Mr. Garamendi. I appreciate that.
  You know, what we are really talking about here, Mr. Garamendi, it 
seems to me is, are we spending money, or are we investing in America?
  I like to tell folks at home that when that roof starts getting old 
on your house, and you know those shingles need to be replaced, do you 
want to replace those shingles?
  Do you want to put a new roof on that house before it starts to leak?
  Yes, you want to do that because you are going to save the money then 
of the damage that is going to be caused when this roof does start to 
  We are really talking about the same thing. We are talking about 
investing in America. We are talking about investing in our house, 
investing in our home, protecting that infrastructure, protecting that 
roof before it does begin to leak.
  It is interesting you were talking about how money gets siphoned off, 
and this bill does change that. This bill would increase--you know, we 
have a special fund that is supposed to go to the maintenance of 
harbors and of ports, and this bill would increase the investments in 
improving our Nation's ports by increasing the percentage of the money 
that is collected each year through the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.

                              {time}  1830

  As you pointed out, it is unfortunate, but half of the money that is 
collected to maintain harbors gets siphoned off and spent on other 
  Now, I believe and you believe, we believe, and the folks who voted 
for this bill believe that we should spend that money for the purpose 
for which it is collected, and that is to maintain and improve our 
harbors and our ports.
  Now, you know, some of the Democrats on the committee have said that 
the bill is a compromise. Some of the folks don't like the fewer 
environmental reviews. But, you know, we voted for it. We pushed it 
forward even though it was a compromise. And sometimes in this 
business, you have to give a little to get a little. And it is like I 
talk about at home. When you go buy that new pickup truck, the dealer 
wants one price, and you want another price, you have got to meet 
somewhere in the middle to get there.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. But ``compromise'' is not a dirty word in my lexicon. 
Compromise is absolutely necessary. There are things in the bill that I 
would have written differently. In the conference committee, there are 
going to be differences between the House and the Senate in how we do.
  You have mentioned some of the issues. The environmental issues, some 
of them are controversial. But there is a major part of this bill to 
speed these projects forward and to hold the Corps of Engineers 
responsible for getting things done. Part of it is they have got 3 
years to do the initial study, and they have got $3 million to get that 
study done, and their feet are going to be held to that commitment to 
get these projects moving forward. So there is a lot of reform in here, 
in the bureaucracy of the way this system has worked. There is also a 
lot of reform in this on allowing the local partnerships.
  All of these programs are partnerships. They are partners with the 
local governments, ports, as you described earlier, local levee 
districts, and the like. Those partnerships, under present law, have a 
very difficult time to start a program early, to get it going without 
the Corps' permission. So what we have, we call it ``crediting.'' And 
that allows these local governments, local ports to begin a project. 
Eventually, there is a whole new process in here for selecting which 
projects will be done.
  By the way, we are not going to do earmarks. There are no earmarks in 
this legislation. No earmarks are allowed in the future. But there is a 
process to prioritize projects across the Nation, and ultimately, 
Congress is taking back some of its power to set the priorities for the 
  But that crediting that allows the local governments to get started, 
we are going to want to move that a little bit forward because in my 
district, because of the austerity budgets and the sequestration, many 
necessary projects are not allowed to move forward. But with a little 
tweaking of this language, which I will be working to get done, it will 
allow some of these projects to go forward. And the local share would 
then be counted if and when--if and when the Federal Government, the 
Corps of Engineers, actually decides to make that a national project.
  So this is going to be very important. It is probably important in 
your area, for some of the levees in your area that are maintained now 
by the local levee districts and flood protection districts.
  We spent a lot of time in the House and also in the Senate. We are 
going to have to work out some of the differences, some of the 
compromises. Not so much Democratic and Republican, but some regional 
differences and some differences about how the system should work, so 
we will work on that.
  We have got about another 5, 7 minutes, so if you would like to wrap, 
and then I will wrap. And then I am going to do something that is not 
too common here. I am going to take this ball of some of this 
international trade and I am going to toss it to my Republican 
colleague, and we will let him bat it around for a while.
  Mr. ENYART. Wonderful.
  Well, you know, Mr. Garamendi, while you are working on that 
conference committee, I would really appreciate it if you could see fit 
to--and this goes back to the environmental piece a little bit.
  The Senate bill includes the Middle Mississippi River Environmental 
Pilot Program, which gives the Army Corps of Engineers authority to 
restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat along the Middle 
Mississippi River while they are undertaking navigation projects.
  Right now, they are just constrained working on navigation. Well, 
doesn't it make a lot of sense, by the way, while you are working on 
navigation to also, when you can, improve the fish and the wildlife 
  In southern Illinois, fishing is a big sport. We have a lot of 
tourists come in. Hunting, goose hunting is a big sport and deer 
hunting. And if you can improve that wildlife habitat, it is going to 
help the environment as well as help our tourist economy in southern 
  Now, that was part of the bill that I introduced, but it got stripped 
out before it passed the House. But it did pass the Senate. So as part 
of your conference, if you could help me out with that, I would really 
appreciate it.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Well, this is part of what we ought to be doing, and 
that is looking at these issues and maximizing the potential and the 
benefit that comes from a project. Let me give you another example of 
the same thing, and it is along the environmental line.
  Right now the Corps of Engineers, while dredging in the San Francisco 
Bay area--let's just say the Port of Oakland over here. When they 
dredge there, they have to use the cheapest way of disposing of the 
dredging materials, called spoils, mostly sand and clay. They take it 
out here to Alcatraz, and they dump it in Alcatraz, and the tide takes 
it out past the San Francisco Golden Gate.
  Well, we are saying, wait a minute. That is extremely valuable 
material to build habitat in areas that have been despoiled over the 
years. For example, down here in the southern part of the bay, these 
were great salt flats where the salt industry used the bay and 
evaporated the bay water to get salt. Well, those need to be restored. 
And it is quite possible that the material from the dredging could be 
used in that way or another habitat program, even up here into the 
delta. But it is not the cheapest.
  So we are looking at a little tweak here that would allow the Port of 
Oakland or the other ports in the San Francisco Bay area and, really, 
around the Nation to do an environmental project along with the 
dredging project very similar to what you are talking about on the 
Mississippi River.
  So I see common cause here. I see common cause where we can maximize

[[Page H7247]]

the total benefit for the Nation. It could be an additional cost that 
the port will have to pick up. Okay. But we get a twofer. We get 
environmental benefits as well as the economic benefits to the port.
  Have you got any other things on your list?
  Mr. ENYART. I will just close out with saying, Mr. Garamendi, thank 
you for the time this evening. I think this has been a true team effort 
from manufacturers and business groups, labor unions, port authorities, 
and the Agriculture Committee.

  You know, I sit on the Agriculture Committee, and the ag community 
knows how critical this legislation is for Illinois. And Congress needs 
to get things done for the American people, and no job is more 
important than keeping our economy strong right here at home.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. General Enyart, Congressman Enyart, or Bill, thank you 
so very, very much. I really appreciate working with you tonight on 
this critical issue, the fundamental investment.
  Let's remember, this is not new. The Army Corps of Engineers has been 
around since the very earliest days of our democracy. The Army Corps 
has been responsible for the waterways of America, and the Water 
Resources Reform and Development Act is going to be an opportunity for 
America to really move its infrastructure, particularly the trade.
  Remember, just to review, we are talking 13 million jobs immediately 
depend upon the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. We are 
talking about 99 percent of our trade travels through our ports and 
waterways, whether it is on the Mississippi, the Sacramento, the San 
Joaquin Rivers, or the great ports and the coastal part of America. It 
is critically important.
  And as we do these things, we have the opportunity to reach back into 
the history of America and remember what the Founding Fathers talked 
about way back in George Washington's very early days: that these 
fundamental investments in what they called canals and ports and roads 
were critical to the growth of the United States at the very, very 
outset. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton also recognized the 
importance of international trade and that we get those trade policies 
  So as we get ready to do the Water Resources Reform and Development 
Act, which is critical--and the conference committee starts tomorrow, 
and I have the honor of being on that conference committee--we also 
think about the way in which the trade of America is dependent upon our 
work in getting sound policies in place.
  And it is also critically important in dealing with the issue of 
international trade agreements, whether it is the transpacific trade 
program or the new one that is being worked on with Europe, we have to 
protect our own jobs. We have to protect the American economy. And in 
doing so, we must carry out our constitutional responsibility given to 
us by the United States House of Representatives and the Senators. The 
Constitution says that it is the legislature, Congress and the Senate, 
that shall set trade policy, and that requires that we have the 
opportunity to look at the details of every trade policy and not fast-
track trash through the House.
  Joining me and taking up, as I wrap up my hour, is my colleague on 
the Republican side. Why don't you take my last couple of minutes, and 
then you can have your own half hour.
  Mr. FORTENBERRY. Well, first of all, let me thank the gentleman for 
yielding to me. I know it is a bit unusual when Democrats and 
Republicans come down and share portions of the time. I think it is 
actually what the American people want a little more of. We should do 
this more often.
  I am giving a talk in a few moments on health care. You and I will 
probably disagree to some fundamental philosophical approaches to that, 
and that is fine. You are in one party; I am in another. You have your 
own inclinations; I have my own inclinations and approaches. But to try 
to work constructively toward problem solving, I think it would behoove 
us all if we could figure out a better pathway to do that.
  And that is why I am grateful to you for just leaving me a few 
moments because as I was listening to your speech, you talked about 
something I didn't know, that George Washington refused to wear a suit 
made in England and went back and said, Give me a manufacturing policy 
for this country. It was a very curious but good story to demonstrate a 
particular dynamic that, as you rightly pointed out, is part of our 
modern-day debate about how we do trade agreements in this fast-track 
authority. I think we have to be very, very cautious about this.
  Trade can have the potential benefit to raise all boats. It has to be 
fair. It has an element of free, but it also has to be enforceable. And 
there are other dynamics to trade other than just the economic benefit 
that should be measured, such as the human cost of production in 
various societies. And we have glossed over those things in the past.
  So I just wanted to commend you and thank you for raising this issue 
of giving, basically, over our authority by saying, we will vote to 
deny our authority to review the fullness of a trade agreement should 
one come through to us. I think that is a serious concern. So I want to 
commend the gentleman for raising the issue.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Well, thank you so very much. And I look forward to 
working with you on that issue. I know it is going to be coming.
  Well, we don't know exactly when. But they are trying to wrap up. Our 
trade rep, our ambassador is trying to wrap this up and present it to 
us. And they are talking fast-track. And I am going, time-out, guys. 
Time-out. We need to review. We need to make sure that it is fair 
trade. Not just free trade, but fair trade--fair to the American 
worker, fair to the American manufacturer, farmer, and the like.
  Mr. FORTENBERRY. If I could add something, I think we ought to call 
it ``smart'' trade.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. I like that word, too. Can we compromise on that?
  Mr. FORTENBERRY. Yes, sounds good.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. I yield back the balance of my time.