FINANCIAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2015
(House of Representatives - July 15, 2014)

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[Pages H6261-H6284]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   FINANCIAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2015

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 661 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, 
H.R. 5016.
  Will the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Thompson) kindly take the 
chair.

                              {time}  1703


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole

[[Page H6262]]

House on the state of the Union for the further consideration of the 
bill (H.R. 5016) making appropriations for financial services and 
general government for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and 
for other purposes, with Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania (Acting Chair) in 
the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose earlier today, 
an amendment offered by the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters) 
had been disposed of, and the bill had been read through page 152, line 
15.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman form Maryland 
(Mr. Hoyer).
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I thank my dear friend from New York (Mr. 
Serrano) for yielding.
  I rise to speak on this bill, but not to offer an amendment. I don't 
offer an amendment because, to offer an amendment, I would have to 
identify an offset within the body of this bill. This bill is deeply 
and harmfully underfunded. Therefore, I will not seek to take from an 
object that already is underfunded to fund the elimination of the 
Election Assistance Commission.
  At the outset, I want to say that I served on this subcommittee for 
23 years. I know a little bit about the subject of this committee. Not 
only that, I was the sponsor of the Help America Vote Act with Bob Ney, 
my friend from Ohio. That bill overwhelmingly passed with over 350 
bipartisan votes. Unfortunately, too frequently, bipartisanship eludes 
us in this body today.
  I voted against Ryan-Murray because I said at that point in time it 
did not provide sufficient resources to meet the responsibility this 
Nation has to stay strong, stay free, and to grow our economy and grow 
jobs for our people.
  As I said, I was the sponsor of the Help America Vote Act. Within 
that bill, we created the Election Assistance Commission. Again, it was 
overwhelmingly supported by both sides of the aisle and the United 
States Senate and signed into law by President Bush. The offices and 
programs covered under that program were focused on trying to assist 
States and local governments to ensure the appropriate administration 
of elections.
  Is there anything, I ask my colleagues, more important in a democracy 
than ensuring that elections are well run and that every voter's vote 
counts? I suggest to you there is not.
  The Election Assistance Commission, established by the Help America 
Vote Act in the aftermath of the 2000 Presidential election debacle, to 
be specific, had 357 Members of this body vote for it. The 
appropriations bill on this floor today, however, would essentially 
eliminate that commission.
  I am not surprised because, frankly, when the Republicans became the 
majority in this House, it was at that point in time they started 
focusing on the elimination of the Election Assistance Commission, as I 
said, designed to make our elections more efficient, fairer, and more 
honest.
  Initially, my Republican colleagues suggested that the duties of the 
Election Assistance Commission would be done by the Federal Election 
Commission, which has a totally different responsibility, and that is a 
responsibility to make sure that the funding of elections is done 
appropriately and within the law.
  I am going to vote against this bill not simply because of the 
zeroing out of the Election Assistance Commission. Very frankly, I am 
chagrined and disappointed that my Republican colleagues too often are 
trying to undermine America's right to vote, undermine America's 
incentive to vote, undermine the facilitating of Americans voting. 
Frankly, I don't understand that.
  The Election Assistance Commission, for the first time in history, 
said that for over 200 years States and localities had run Federal 
elections. They were concurrent with State elections and local 
elections. But they ran our elections with no assistance from us--for 
President, Vice President of the United States, United States Senators, 
and Members of the House of Representatives. We did not participate.
  Under HAVA, we have contributed a substantial sum of money so that 
they could update and make efficient the election systems that they 
had. But recently, the Republican Party, Mr. Chairman, has refused to 
recommend appointments for the Commission, and now they want to 
eliminate the Commission.
  Mr. Chairman, in a country that looks at the right to vote and the 
exercising of franchise as central to our democracy, I would urge us to 
defeat this bill, to re-fund this critically important agency, and to 
do what we ought to do as Americans and as Members of this Congress.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.


                 Amendment Offered by Mr. Frelinghuysen

  Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  The amount otherwise provided by this Act for 
     ``National Security Council and Homeland Security Council--
     Salaries and Expenses'' for the National Security Council is 
     hereby reduced by $4,200,000.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from New Jersey and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would reduce the 
amount available for the National Security Council staff by $4.2 
million, or by approximately one-third.
  The National Security Council staff is the President's staff. They 
serve solely to provide advice to the President on national security 
matters. They have no authority to manage programs. They have no 
authority to allocate funds or otherwise decide spending levels. And 
they have no authority to determine or dictate congressional access to 
classified information involving sensitive military matters or 
operations. As the President's staff, it is appropriate that they are 
accountable to him, just as our staff is only accountable to us. 
Therefore, they are not subject to congressional questioning nor other 
forms of oversight.
  Over the past few years, the size of the National Security Council's 
staff has grown, and it appears that they have moved beyond their 
Presidential advisory role to involve themselves in decisions which are 
not in their purview. Over the last few months, we have had several 
instances in which the National Security staff has mandated that the 
Department of Defense and other agencies selectively withhold 
information from congressional oversight committees.
  While the President has constitutional authority as Commander in 
Chief to provide for the Nation's defense, this Congress was vested 
exclusively with the constitutional authority to fund that defense, a 
constitutional authority that is vested in the Appropriations 
Committee.
  Mr. Chairman, it is important that all appropriate oversight 
committees are not restricted from the information they need to have to 
do their jobs.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to claim the 
time in opposition to the gentleman's amendment, although I am not 
opposed to it.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from Indiana is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the recognition, and I 
would strongly emphasize that I join with my chairman and colleague 
from New Jersey in support of his amendment. So that there is clarity 
as to the purpose of his offering this amendment, I would reiterate two 
of his remarks.
  Over the last few months, we have had several instances in which 
National Security staff has mandated that the Department of Defense and 
other agencies selectively withhold information from congressional 
oversight committees, and in one case specifically, excluding the 
Appropriations Committee. As the chairman rightfully pointed out, the 
Congress is vested exclusively with the constitutional authority to 
fund that defense, and the authority in this instance rests with the 
Appropriations Committee.
  The committee has included clear direction in the Fiscal Year 2014 
Defense

[[Page H6263]]

Appropriations Act and in the House-passed Defense Appropriations bill 
for fiscal year 2015 for the Department to report on the conduct of 
various programs as well as the obligation and expenditure of 
associated funding.

                              {time}  1715

  This direction addresses not only funds expressly provided in the 
Department's appropriations bill but Department actions that may cause 
the reprogramming of funds provided by the Congress.
  Accurate, complete, and timely reporting by the Department of Defense 
is essential for the committee to conduct its oversight 
responsibilities. It informs committee deliberations to prepare the 
annual appropriations bills. It helps prepare the committee for 
negotiations with the Senate, and at present, it will help the 
committee formulate recommendations on the recently submitted fiscal 
year 2015 budget amendment on the overseas contingency operations.
  The committee's responsibilities for funding are specific. Article I, 
section 9 of the Constitution states:

       No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in 
     consequence of appropriations made by law, and a regular 
     statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all 
     public money shall be published from time to time.

  I strongly urge the adoption of the gentleman's amendment, which 
underscores the constitutional prerogative of the Congress as well as 
of the Committee on Appropriations.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Let me thank Chairman Crenshaw and Ranking Member 
Serrano for this opportunity to propose this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I am happy to yield the remainder of my time to the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Crenshaw), the chairman of the committee.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I thank the chairman for yielding and for bringing this 
to the attention of the full House. I will refer to the gentleman as 
``chairman'' because I have the pleasure of serving on the Defense 
Subcommittee, and he acts as the chairman of that.
  Mr. Chairman, as the chairman has said, the National Security Council 
and the National Security Adviser have gotten into a bad habit, I 
think, of bypassing the Appropriations Committee, including the 
chairman of the Defense Subcommittee and the ranking member of the 
subcommittee, when it comes to issues of national security. I can tell 
you firsthand that I have had situations in which I have asked for an 
update on some matters, and they haven't been followed up on.
  I want to thank the chairman for his leadership in all things 
defense. I want to encourage my colleagues to follow his lead, and I 
urge that we adopt this amendment.
  Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Frelinghuysen).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                    Amendment Offered by Ms. DeLauro

  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to enter into any contract with an incorporated 
     entity if such entity's sealed bid or competitive proposal 
     shows that such entity is incorporated or chartered in 
     Bermuda or the Cayman Islands, and such entity's sealed bid 
     or competitive proposal shows that such entity was previously 
     incorporated in the United States.

  Ms. DeLAURO (during the reading). Mr. Chair, I ask unanimous consent 
that the amendment be considered as read.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Connecticut?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentlewoman 
from Connecticut and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Connecticut.
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Chair, I yield myself 2 minutes.
  My amendment would prohibit Federal contracts from going to entities 
incorporated in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands--the two nations most 
often abused as tax havens.
  In the past few weeks, this body has accepted similar provisions for 
the Department of Defense Appropriations bill; the Transportation, 
Housing and Urban Development bill; and the Energy and Water bill. The 
latter passed on a rollcall vote.
  As before, we should not be spending taxpayers' money on Federal 
contracts for companies that have renounced their American citizenship 
in favor of an island tax haven.
  Let me quote from an article from Saturday's Washington Post by Allan 
Sloan, a senior-editor-at-large from Fortune, and the title of the 
article is: ``Tax-Dodging Firms Are Sticking Us with the Bill.''
  He writes:

       These companies don't hesitate to take advantage of the 
     great things that make America America--our deep financial 
     markets, our democracy and rule of law, our military might, 
     our intellectual and physical infrastructure, our national 
     research programs, all the terrific places our country offers 
     for employees and families to live--but inverters do 
     hesitate, totally, when it is time to ante up their fair 
     share of financial support for our system.

  He is right, and we should not be rewarding bad behavior and gifting 
these firms with lucrative Federal contracts.
  Nearly two-thirds of the companies that have established subsidiaries 
in tax havens have registered at least one in Bermuda or in the Cayman 
Islands. If a firm is going to abuse tax loopholes by pretending to be 
from these two island nations, we should make sure we are doing 
business with companies that are paying their fair shares instead.
  We now have taken strong, decisive, and bipartisan action against 
these tax havens in three appropriations bills. I urge all of my 
colleagues to act here as well and stand for American businesses that 
are meeting their responsibilities to our Nation.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition even though 
I am not opposed to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from New York is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, very briefly, this is one of those issues 
that really gets you angry. Both sides believe that people should play 
by the rules, and what you have are people not playing by the rules. 
People in my district, people in Ms. DeLauro's district and people in 
Mr. Crenshaw's district have to pay their taxes and pay their taxes 
where they live. They don't have the option of doing these kinds of 
things. For me, it is not only a legislative issue but a personal 
issue--the fact that these folks continue to get away with this kind of 
a situation.
  This is an issue that Ms. DeLauro has been working on for years. It 
is one that she deserves a lot of credit for, and that is why we have 
to thank her for it.
  I would like to take this opportunity to yield the balance of my time 
to the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentlewoman from Connecticut 
will control the remaining time of the gentleman from New York.
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Chairman, how much time remains?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Connecticut has 5\1/4\ minutes 
remaining.
  Ms. DeLAURO. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, at this time, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Doggett).
  Mr. DOGGETT. Thank you for your good work on this amendment. This 
will be the third bill that we have amended on it.
  Mr. Chairman, seldom has a day gone by recently without a headline 
about some American company that is running for the border to avoid its 
tax bill. Indeed, today's New York Times has ``Patriot Flees 
Homeland,'' ``Drug Firms Make Haste to Elude Tax,'' and an excellent 
piece in Fortune magazine and The Washington Post that Ms. DeLauro 
referenced by Allan Sloan, entitled, ``Positively un-American tax 
dodges.''
  It all gives new meaning to the term ``sunshine patriot'' when some 
corporation renounces its citizenship and

[[Page H6264]]

claims it is a citizen of the Cayman Islands or of Bermuda, where it 
does little or no business other than tax evasion.
  The willingness of corporations to renounce their citizenship and 
leave America behind, at least in name only and at least when the tax 
bill is due but not when the desire for a government contract is there, 
has been recognized in the Senate Finance Committee, where Senator 
Wyden will conduct hearings next week on the best legislative approach 
to put a stop to this. But we can do something today to put a stop to 
what are called ``inversions,'' which are truly perversions of the Tax 
Code. As Mr. Sloan writes, ``Inverters are deserters.''
  Today, Members can respond to this desertion by denying them 
government contracts. I would like to do more, but I believe this 
legislation adopted now in these other appropriations acts--repeating 
it for every one of them--will do a great deal to send a message about 
those who shirk their responsibilities to America at the same time they 
ask other taxpayers to use their tax money to finance government 
contracts.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Ms. DeLAURO. I yield the gentleman an additional 15 seconds.
  Mr. DOGGETT. The amendment says, if you renounce your citizenship and 
go abroad to avoid paying taxes, don't come with your hand outstretched 
to ask other taxpayers who stayed here and worked and contributed to 
the success of America--those that are proud to be American businesses 
and are paying their fair share--to pay for you to get a government 
contract. Don't ask them to put up their tax dollars to pay for your 
success.
  We believe that this approach provides protection to the Treasury and 
responds to those corporations that have abandoned America.
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I mentioned Mr. Sloan's article of this past weekend, and I just want 
to read this quote because I think it really puts this whole issue into 
perspective:

       How much mone are we talking about inverters sucking out of 
     the U.S. Treasury? There is no number available for the tax 
     revenue loss that is caused by the inverters and the never-
     heres so far, but it is clearly in the billions. Congress' 
     Joint Committee on Taxation projects that failing to limit 
     inversions from evading their responsibility like this will 
     cost the Treasury at least another $19.5 billion over 10 
     years and possibly much, much more.

  At a time when we struggle here day by day to look for the resources 
to extend unemployment benefits, to pass a highway trust fund, to 
increase the minimum wage, to increase the dollars for biomedical 
research, to look for funds for education in this Nation for our 
children, we have corporations that are siphoning off $19.5 billion. 
Not only do they do that, but they take with them, and we give to them, 
billions in Federal contracts. No more should we do it.
  I and others long fought for this. We have passed through the 
appropriations process a ban on Federal contracts for U.S. companies 
that acquire businesses in lower tax jurisdictions, and then they claim 
that their headquarters are there despite still being U.S. companies. 
We can send another strong statement to these companies today as we 
have already done on Defense, on Energy and Water, on Transportation-
HUD, by coming together and passing this amendment. I urge all of my 
colleagues to support it. Tell them that they are not allowed to give 
up their American citizenship and, yet, claim it for billions in 
Federal contracts.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 4 Offered by Mr. Bachus

  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to reinstall the Red Mountain sculpture on the plaza 
     of the Hugo Black Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Alabama and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Alabama.
  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Chairman, this is a very straightforward amendment, 
which I am joined by my colleague, Ms. Terri Sewell, in offering.
  The chief judge of the Northern District of Alabama, Karon Bowdre, 
and the U.S. marshal who was appointed under the previous 
administration but who serves under this administration, Martin Keeley, 
have designated this statue as a security risk. We are more concerned 
over the opinions of the senior officials in that bill than we are of 
the GSA's in not having that statue located where it poses a security 
risk to the employees and visitors to that courthouse. Accordingly, I 
ask for the support of this important amendment.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. BACHUS. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.

                              {time}  1730

  Mr. CRENSHAW. I just want to let you know that we are happy to accept 
your amendment.
  Mr. BACHUS. Thank you.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield the balance of my time to the gentlewoman from 
Alabama (Ms. Sewell).
  Ms. SEWELL of Alabama. I want to thank the gentleman from my home 
State of Alabama for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of my colleague's amendment to 
prohibit funding in the underlying bill from being used to reinstall 
the Red Mountain sculpture on the plaza of the Hugo Black Federal 
courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama.
  Despite the security concerns shared by both the United States 
marshal and the chief justice, Karen Bowdre, the GSA has planned to 
reinstall the sculpture. Both Chief Justice Bowdre and Marshal Keely 
believe that the sculpture is nonessential and will pose a serious 
security risk if reinstalled.
  Chief Justice Bowdre noted, in correspondence to GSA, that the 
location of the statue will be roughly 10 to 12 feet from the only 
public entrance door, which is completely made of glass and, further, 
that the monument would create a fatal funnel where someone could hide 
behind the statue and possibly not be seen and cause a security risk.
  Federal law clearly states that the United States marshals have the 
final authority regarding the security requirements for the judicial 
branch of the Federal Government. The Administrative Office of the 
United States Court has also agreed with the chief justice and the U.S. 
marshal that the final authority over these matters should lie with the 
U.S. marshal.
  If the marshal and the chief justice believe that putting the 
sculpture back could threaten the safety of our court, then GSA should 
follow the law and not put the monument back up. Unfortunately, GSA is 
ignoring the concerns of the court and has plans to reinstall the 
statue.
  Now, while I am a steadfast supporter of the arts, I also believe 
that the safety of our courts and the citizens must come first. This 
amendment simply reinforces that GSA must follow the law by prohibiting 
the reinstallation of the sculpture at the Birmingham, Alabama, Federal 
courthouse.
  I want to thank my friend, Congressman Spencer Bachus from Alabama, 
for introducing this bipartisan amendment and urge my colleagues to 
join me in support of it.
  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Bachus).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from New York 
(Mr. Maffei) for the purpose of a colloquy.
  Mr. MAFFEI. Thank you, Ranking Member Jose Serrano.
  Mr. Chairman, I am here because, on March 14, 2013, in my upstate New 
York district, a school librarian named Lori Bresnahan and a 10-year-
old child were attacked in a mall parking lot.

[[Page H6265]]

  The attacker was facing Federal child pornography charges and was out 
on bail and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. He 
disabled the bracelet, left his home, stabbed Mrs. Bresnahan to death, 
and sexually assaulted the young girl.
  In the days following the attack, it was revealed that the attacker 
had been removing and reassembling the GPS monitoring bracelet. The 
device sent out tamper alerts every time he disabled the device, but 
the Federal probation office responsible for monitoring this defendant 
before his trial failed to respond to 46 total tamper alerts.
  On the day of the attack, he again disabled his bracelet, and the 
office again ignored the alert. If they had investigated any of these 
46 tamper alerts, maybe this tragedy could have been avoided.
  This appropriations bill funds the Administrative Office of the 
United States Courts, the organization tasked with overseeing the 
system of Federal probation offices all over this country.
  After this case, I wrote to the Administrative Office of the United 
States Courts, asking them to investigate this gross negligence. In 
their response was, ``Nothing can excuse the deficiencies in the 
supervision of this case,'' but it also said, ``Reduced resources due 
to the sequester is harming the efforts to keep it from happening 
again.''
  Mr. Chairman, we have addressed the sequester for now, but serious 
funding issues remain. The administrative office is continuing to use 
their funding to backfill cuts they have had to make in previous years.
  We cannot allow funding issues to hamper efforts to prevent cases 
like this from happening again, and to be clear, this has happened 
again around the country.
  I ask that the committee take note of the serious problem and ensure 
that the administrative office gets the funds it needs to enact real 
reform and protect our communities.
  I want to thank particularly the ranking member's willingness to work 
with me, Chairman Crenshaw and your staff and the minority staff, your 
willingness to work with me on this.
  Tragedies do happen, but this one could have, should have been 
avoided, and I am dedicated to help Congress do anything in our power 
to make sure it never happens again in central New York or anywhere in 
this great country.
  Mr. SERRANO. I thank the gentleman.
  The gentleman is seeking to bring the salaries and expense of the 
courts of appeals, district courts, and other judicial services up to 
an appropriate level in part, as he mentioned, to address a tragic 
incident that took place in his district.
  It highlights the problems the judiciary suffered while under 
sequestration and with the lower funding levels that agencies in the 
executive branch have also had to face.
  We will work with the gentleman, the majority, and with the 
judiciary, as we do every year, to ensure that we can meet their 
funding needs and address the gentleman's concerns.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I would like to engage the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Yoho) in a colloquy and I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. YOHO. Mr. Chairman, in 2010, this body passed the Hiring 
Incentives to Restore Employment Act, the HIRE Act. Included in that 
measure was the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA.
  FATCA requires U.S. citizens living abroad to prepare tax returns 
that include both non-U.S. income and non-U.S. financial accounts. 
Additionally, FATCA requires financial institutions in other countries 
to report on assets held by American clients to the IRS.
  If those institutions do not supply that information, they would be 
subject to a 30 percent withholding tax. In a recent report, nearly 
77,000 institutions have agreed to hand over that information to the 
IRS.
  The unintended consequences of this law are affecting over 7 million 
Americans living overseas. Due to the additional reporting burden, many 
institutions are simply denying access to our citizens.
  Simply put, added regulations from the Federal Government are putting 
our citizens at a competitive disadvantage around the world, and 
foreign firms now view our citizens as too much of a hassle and a 
liability to hire, making America less competitive.
  One of the solutions to this would be to switch from a citizen-based 
taxation to a territorial or to simply repeal FATCA.
  The U.S. citizens who live and work abroad are our Nation's biggest 
spokesmen for our America and our way of life and what America stands 
for. They represent our country in areas of the world that typically 
see Americans in a skewed light. We, as those in government, should 
give them every opportunity to succeed throughout the world.
  However, we have so many stories like the American living in 
Australia, where her husband is an Australian citizen and they share a 
mutual bank account, but they have to comply with IRS rules, and she 
has no income; or the gentleman from Thailand who has retired. He 
worked for a U.S. company for the last 15 years, and he has to abide by 
U.S. tax laws, even though he has been over there and he resides 
outside of the U.S.
  What Fidelity Mutual told him is we can no longer accept your money 
and invest because you live outside of the U.S., but you are a U.S. 
citizen.
  Mr. Chairman, this is unacceptable. We in government should do 
everything possible to bring certainty to our citizens, regardless of 
where they live, and as a sign of a true great Nation, it is the 
ability for the Nation's citizens to travel and work wherever they 
choose in the world, without being disadvantaged by their own 
government.
  I look forward to working with my colleague from Florida.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I thank the gentleman.
  As you point out, this is an extensive regulation. It is going to 
have a profound and far-reaching impact on our economy.
  I believe these regulations, as you pointed out, are fraught with 
unintended consequences. As you point out, the regulation is creating 
headaches for many Americans who must report their foreign financial 
activities on the U.S. tax return, so they spend countless hours to 
prepare and file their tax forms necessary to comply with the 
regulation.
  Mr. Chairman, we don't need more burdensome regulations. We need some 
pro-growth tax reform, to make it easier for Americans, whether living 
at home or living abroad, to comply with our tax laws.
  Now, it is good to go after tax dodgers, that is understandable, but 
this is overkill, and I look forward to working with the gentleman to 
address these unintended consequences.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.


                  Amendment Offered by Ms. Schakowsky

  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used to enter into a contract with any person whose 
     disclosures of a proceeding with a disposition listed in 
     section 2313(c)(1) of title 41, United States Code, in the 
     Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
     include the term ``Fair Labor Standards Act.''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentlewoman 
from Illinois and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Illinois.
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Chairman, all of us know that hardworking men and 
women in all of our districts are having a rough time these days. Many 
are paid low wages or wages that are not enough to meet their family's 
basic needs. Those problems are made even worse when workers are the 
victims of wage theft.
  Billions of dollars are actually stolen from workers through wage 
theft, and wage theft occurs when workers are forced to work off the 
clock, denied earned overtime pay, or paid less than the minimum wage. 
Workers can lose pay because of illegal paycheck deductions, be denied 
their final paychecks, or not be paid at all.

[[Page H6266]]

  Interfaith Worker Justice, based in Chicago, has been working to stop 
wage theft for years. In 2008, its executive director, Kim Bobo, wrote 
a book called ``Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working 
Americans Are Not Getting Paid--And What We Can Do About It.''
  My amendment is one step we can take to do something about it. My 
amendment is simple. The idea is the same idea that has been offered on 
the House floor by my friend and colleague, Representative Keith 
Ellison, and is supported by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
  It says that Federal contractors have a duty to pay their workers 
their legally-earned wages and that corporations that don't pay their 
workers their legally-earned wages shouldn't benefit from Federal 
contracts. Similar language has successfully been added to the Energy 
and Water and Department of Defense Appropriations bills.
  Wage theft has been documented. One study of workers in Chicago, Los 
Angeles, and New York City found that 26 percent were paid below legal 
minimum wage levels, 76 percent were denied earned overtime, and 70 
percent were not paid for work outside of their regular shifts.
  The North Carolina Justice Center found that workers in that State 
lost $33 million in pay because of wage theft over the course of 5 
years. The Economic Policy Institute found that, ``In total, the 
average low-wage worker loses a stunning $2,634 per year in unpaid 
wages, representing 15 percent of their income.''
  This is a problem in many sectors, and that includes Federal 
contractors. A report by the Senate Health, Education, and Labor and 
Pensions Committee revealed that 32 percent of the largest Department 
of Labor penalties for wage theft were levied against Federal 
contractors.
  National Employment Law Project found that 21 percent of Federal 
contract workers were not paid overtime and 11 percent had been forced 
to work off the clock.
  Federal contract employees deserve to receive the dollars they have 
earned, the dollars that they need, the dollars they would spend in 
their communities, and the dollars that taxpayers awarded the 
contractors for those wages.
  All workers should be safe from wage theft, but my amendment is much 
more modest. It just says that a contract under this FY 2015 
Appropriations bill can't be awarded to a corporation found to be in 
violation of wage requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  It says that corporations that cheat their employees out of hard-
earned wages are not deserving of taxpayer-funded Federal contracts. It 
sends a clear message: obey the law, pay your workers the wages they 
have earned, or we won't give you the benefit of a taxpayer-financed 
Federal contract.

                              {time}  1745

  Allowing corporations to get away with violating the law is not just 
bad for their workers and taxpayers, it is unfair to the businesses 
that are competing for Federal contracts but won't engage in wage theft 
to get a competitive edge.
  Do we really want to tell corporations that they can violate the law 
and steal wages from their workers and still get a Federal contract, or 
do we want to take a small stand by saying that only companies that 
play by the wage rules we have enacted will be eligible?
  I hope we can agree that breaking the law in order to underpay 
workers is not acceptable, certainly should not be rewarded, and 
certainly not with taxpayer dollars. I urge my colleagues to help the 
workers who work for us. Support the Congressional Progressive Caucus 
amendment.
  I certainly urge a ``yes'' vote on the amendment, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 2 Offered by Mr. Meehan

  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, before the short title, insert the 
     following:
       Sec. ___.  None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used to modify or rebuild any portion of the White House 
     bowling alley, including using phenolic synthetic material.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an amendment to the 
FY15 Financial Services Appropriations bill.
  But first, before I start, I would like to commend Chairman Crenshaw 
for his tireless commitment to stopping the culture of spending and 
continuing the culture of savings that we have seen from his 
subcommittee chairmanship. Given our country's current fiscal 
situation, we need to be mindful of our limited resources and that we 
need to do more with less. And one of the most basic concepts in 
budgeting is balancing wants versus needs. A need is something that you 
have to have, something you can't do without. A want is something that 
you would like to have. A good example is calcium. You know, calcium is 
necessary for survival, but ice cream, on the other, hand is a want. 
Everyone needs calcium, but plenty of people would do just fine without 
ice cream.
  What will my amendment do? It will demonstrate to the taxpayers that 
this Congress understands the difference between wants and needs. My 
amendment prohibits any funds from this bill being spent by the General 
Services Administration towards the renovation of the bowling alley in 
the White House Eisenhower Office Building.
  With our Nation $17 trillion in debt, upgrading the President's 
private bowling alley shouldn't be a priority. A spiffy new bowling 
alley may suit the wants for Commander in Chief, but I think I speak 
for the taxpayers of the Seventh Congressional District when I assert 
that it is certainly not a need. I think when the administration came 
forward with this proposal, they rolled a gutter ball.
  The hardworking Americans expect and deserve better. These are 
difficult times in our country. This is no time for business as usual.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, this has very little to do with a bowling 
alley. This is not even about the picture of Richard Nixon fully 
dressed, bowling at the White House. This is about this desire of 
Republicans and the Tea Party segment of Republicans, in some cases, to 
make Barack Obama seem like an illegitimate President.
  The legitimacy of his Presidency has been questioned on and on. There 
were questions about his birthplace. There were questions about what he 
said his religion was. There were questions about whether he was old 
enough to be President. There have been questions about everything. So 
now, these petty attacks continue.
  This is a nonissue. This is a nonstarter. First of all, this was 
about fixing up a bowling alley that has been there forever. I don't 
think the American public, with all due respect to the people in the 
gentleman's district, really spend a lot of time concerned about the 
fact that all Presidents--and I mean all Presidents--are not allowed 
just to pick up and go to a local place to have a beer or bowl a game 
of bowling or whatever. So this is not an issue that we should be 
dealing with.
  But what is important about it is that GSA, furthermore, has canceled 
the project. The Federal contractor posting was pulled on July 9. So I 
am sure that the other side knows that this no longer is an issue, but 
it continues to be something that sounds good. I am sure people will be 
writing about it tonight, that the bowling alley was going to be built 
at the White House. No. This was an existing one that was going to be 
refurbished. That contract has been pulled back. That idea has been 
pulled back.
  There just continues to be more and more and more of this petty 
attack on a President. And I think it is not so

[[Page H6267]]

much that he was elected President, which caused a lot of pain for a 
lot of people, but the fact that he was reelected. That really has 
turned a lot of people to a point where they will come up with 
anything.
  So by tonight, we may see even the plumbing at the White House 
attacked, as we did a couple of years ago. And at that time, I remarked 
that there hadn't been any plumbers at the White House since the Nixon 
administration, and that was the truth. We have leaks. We have a White 
House that needs fixing, and this Congress wastes time on these kinds 
of issues.
  So I would just hope that the gentleman would pull his amendment. If 
he doesn't, then I would hope we could defeat the amendment because it 
is just silly and not necessary at all.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Chairman, I suspect it is only silly if you are the 
people who don't care about the important expenditures of the taxpayers 
of the United States of America. This isn't some trivial issue. This is 
a question of priorities at a time where every family is struggling.
  And the justification here in Time magazine of one of the individuals 
was this needs renovations. Would you believe it? According to their 
first-person testimony--and this is just the staffers and the 
President--there is no electric scoreboard down there, so you have to 
score by hand. And that is just debilitating when you are focused on 
bowling a 300 like I am.
  Well, maybe we ought to have people who are focused on other kinds of 
things at this point in time. This is a serious issue in terms of the 
mispriority of spending Federal dollars.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to 
assert the appropriate priorities in terms of our spending, and I urge 
a ``yes'' vote.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, just in closing, it is silly. And I am not 
suggesting the gentleman is silly.
  We spend money, large amounts of money on the military and on other 
things that we never, ever, ever attack. We send money overseas in 
misguided military situations, and we don't complain about that. But it 
makes good headlines to say that today we stopped the bowling alley 
from being built at the White House. ``Refurbished'' was the question 
at hand, and it has been pulled back since July 9. There is no plan 
whatsoever to do anything with the existing old, decrepit bowling alley 
at the White House.
  So this is not a gutter ball. This is not a strike for anyone. This 
is just more of their silliness that we will see for the next 24 hours.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Meehan).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
will be postponed.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Grayson

  Mr. GRAYSON. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       SEC. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to enter into a contract with any offeror or any of 
     its principals if the offeror certifies, pursuant to the 
     Federal Acquisition Regulation, that the offeror or any of 
     its principals--
       (1) within a three-year period preceding this offer has 
     been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against it 
     for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection 
     with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public 
     (Federal, State, or local) contract or subcontract; violation 
     of Federal or State antitrust statutes relating to the 
     submission of offers; or commission of embezzlement, theft, 
     forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, 
     making false statements, tax evasion, violating Federal 
     criminal tax laws, or receiving stolen property; or
       (2) are presently indicted for, or otherwise criminally or 
     civilly charged by a governmental entity with, commission of 
     any of the offenses enumerated in paragraph (1); or
       (3) within a three-year period preceding this offer, has 
     been notified of any delinquent Federal taxes in an amount 
     that exceeds $3,000 for which the liability remains 
     unsatisfied.

  Mr. GRAYSON (during the reading). Mr. Chair, I ask unanimous consent 
to dispense with the reading.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Florida and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is identical to other 
amendments that have been inserted by voice vote into every 
appropriations bill that has been considered under an open rule during 
this Congress. It is also identical to the amendment I offered to last 
week's Energy and Water bill, which was passed by voice vote.
  My amendment expands the list of parties with whom the Federal 
Government is prohibited from contracting due to serious misconduct on 
the part of the contractors. It is my hope that this amendment will 
remain uncontroversial, as it has been, and will again be passed 
unanimously by this House.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GRAYSON. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I would be pleased to accept the amendment.
  Mr. GRAYSON. I thank the gentleman and yield back the balance of my 
time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Grayson).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I would like to engage in a colloquy with the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania, and I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. ROTHFUS. I thank the gentleman for his offer to engage in a 
colloquy.
  Mr. Chairman, as you know, money market funds are an important tool 
used by a variety of different organizations, such as businesses, State 
and local governments, school districts, pension funds, nonprofits, and 
more. In fact, it is estimated that between 1985 and 2008, people and 
organizations that invested in money market funds have earned $450 
billion more than they otherwise would have earned.
  Since the financial crisis, there has been significant discussion 
about regulating the industry further. In 2010, the Securities and 
Exchange Commission, or SEC, put in place new rules to prevent future 
runs by imposing additional disclosure and liquidity standards.
  Even after these changes, the Federal Reserve, through the Financial 
Stability Oversight Council, has attempted to usurp the jurisdiction 
and expertise of the SEC and proposed additional regulations on money 
markets. While the FSOC has since backed off their proposal, the SEC is 
poised to vote soon on a rule to impose a floating net asset value on 
certain funds.
  I share many of the concerns that commenters on the SEC's rule raised 
about how a floating net asset value would adversely impact money 
market funds and the people and organizations that rely on them. In 
fact, it is worth noting that, of the 1,428 comments on the rule, 98 
percent were against the floating net asset value.
  Before regulators impose any additional changes on money markets, 
they must be certain that the costs and benefits have been thoroughly 
weighed. This includes ensuring that the likely tax changes that will 
need to be considered with a floating NAV are reviewed by the public in 
an open and transparent manner before moving forward. We should not 
eliminate money markets as an option for businesses, communities, 
workers, and retirees to grow and thrive.
  In closing, I would like to thank the committee for its positive 
report language with respect to money market funds and thank the 
chairman for his time and consideration of this important matter.

[[Page H6268]]

  Mr. CRENSHAW. Well, I appreciate the gentleman giving attention to 
this issue.
  As you noted, we have included report language on money market funds 
within the bill. We are concerned about the issue, and we will work 
with you as this bill moves forward.
  Mr. ROTHFUS. I thank the gentleman and look forward to working with 
him on this important issue.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I yield back the balance of my time.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Sherman

  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement, administer, or enforce final leasing 
     accounting standard rules, regulations, or requirements in 
     FASB Project 2013-270, Accounting Standards Update Topic 842.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from California and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.

                              {time}  1800

  Mr. SHERMAN. So much of what we do on this floor is so partisan, 
going over the same old issues. I bring to you an amendment that I 
cowrote with the Chamber of Commerce which deals with an issue that has 
not yet been discussed on this floor.
  The Financial Accounting Standards Board is funded by the SEC through 
a convoluted process designed to claim that they are not a government 
agency, but they are funded by a mandatory tax, and if you don't follow 
their prescriptions, you can, indeed, face criminal, as well as civil, 
penalties.
  If it is not broke, don't fix it. For 100 years, we had good rules on 
how to account for leases. The tenant pays rent, the owner of the 
building owns the building, and the financial statements disclose in 
the footnotes all the details any financial analyst would want to see.
  Since it is not broke, the folks at the Financial Accounting 
Standards Board have decided to fix it. They want to list on every 
balance sheet in America the future amount that will be paid in all 
lease payments as a liability. The effect of that is to increase the 
liabilities shown on the balance sheets of American business by $2 
trillion. That is right, this is a $2 trillion issue that has not yet 
been discussed on this floor.
  The Financial Accounting Standards Board has done some outreach and 
taken some testimony. By the standards of the accounting world, they 
have listened. But by the standards of democracy that we are familiar 
with, trust me, far more is done before you permit a single three-story 
apartment building.
  Mr. Chairman, almost 70 Members of Congress have urged the Financial 
Accounting Standards Board to stop. They keep going. They want to act 
in concert with the European International Accounting Standards Board, 
and that board is beholden to the European Parliament in Brussels. That 
is right. Those who, in effect, enact American law are not listening to 
Congress; they are listening to the only Parliament in the world held 
in lower esteem than Congress.
  What will be the effect on our economy? Well, this will add $2 
trillion to the balance sheet liabilities of American businesses. It 
will put a tremendous disincentive on businesses to sign long-term 
leases. If your tenant won't sign a long-term lease, you can't fund a 
new building project, a new shopping center, or a new industrial park. 
So that is why an economic study funded by the American Association of 
Realtors, the Economic Roundtable, the Business Owners and Management 
Association, and others says that the best-case scenario is that this 
will destroy 190,000 American jobs and reduce our GDP by almost $28 
billion a year. The worst-case scenario is over 3 million jobs and 
nearly half a trillion dollars decline in our GDP.
  It is time for us to tell the Financial Accounting Standards Board 
not to go down this road in an effort to fix something that isn't 
broken.
  It is time, also, to focus on an additional disadvantage of this 
accounting proposal, and that is it will cause tens of thousands--
hundreds of thousands--of businesses in this country to be in violation 
of their loan covenants, which means that they will have to immediately 
pay off their liabilities or renegotiate with their bankers, who will 
insist upon higher personal guaranties and higher interest rates, et 
cetera.
  Thousands and thousands of long-term bonds that have been sold in the 
public market will be held to be in violation of their loan covenants 
and will become immediately due--not because the businesses were wrong, 
but because the accounting standards changed.
  Now, I have often thought that accounting principles ought to be 
written by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and not by 
Congress. I am clinging to that belief. As I see this disaster unfold 
in the preliminary--in the discussions of the Financial Accounting 
Standards Board, it is harder and harder to cling to that belief. But I 
still retain hope that the accounting standards board will change 
direction and will not adopt this new policy, which solves no problem 
and which will add $2 trillion to the liabilities of American business 
and cost us hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
  Mr. Chairman, because I am hopeful that they will change course, I 
ask unanimous consent to withdraw this amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from California?
  There was no objection.


                 Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Fleming

  Mr. FLEMING. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Wenstrup). The Clerk will designate the 
amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement guidance FIN-2014-G001 (relating to BSA 
     Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses) issued 
     on February 14, 2014.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Louisiana and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Louisiana.
  Mr. FLEMING. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to stop the implementation of 
Treasury guidance that is in direct conflict with the Federal anti-
money laundering statutes.
  On February 14, 2014, the Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes 
Enforcement Network, FinCEN, issued compliance guidance for ``Bank 
Secrecy Act, BSA, expectations for financial institutions seeking to 
provide services to marijuana-related businesses.''
  I am concerned that Treasury forgot one detail: the Bank Secrecy Act 
and Federal anti-money laundering laws are explicitly clear that banks 
and financial institutions may not engage in marijuana-related 
transactions.
  Despite trending State laws, Federal law remains unchanged. The 
Controlled Substances Act prohibits the manufacture, possession, and 
distribution of marijuana. Anything but compliance with the CSA, the 
law of the land, will trigger criminal anti-money laundering penalties, 
fines, and possible incarceration for perpetrators.
  Instead of issuing guidance to reinforce Federal prohibitions, the 
FinCEN memo offers banks ways to report suspicion activities as 
required under Federal law, while blatantly ignoring the fact that 
banks are not allowed to participate in any marijuana transactions, 
without exceptions. In other words, instead of enforcing the law, there 
is just a suspicion alert sent out, which we don't even know if anyone 
is even going to pay attention to. The very act of depositing drug 
money runs afoul of Federal law.
  Mr. Chairman, it is important to note that the Department of Justice 
also issued a memo in 2014, ``Guidance Regarding Marijuana Financial 
Crimes.'' This separate memo reinforces Federal law and outlines 
possible prosecution and criminal offense for ``transactions involving 
proceeds generated by marijuana-related conduct.''
  My amendment would stop the Department of the Treasury from 
implementing their February 2014 guidance, which is confusing and is 
actually creating problems throughout the industry. And it is the 
government, again, it

[[Page H6269]]

is the administration not enforcing its own laws. This is nothing short 
of tacit approval for money laundering, all the while encouraging 
banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions to engage in 
illegal and criminal activities.
  With that, Mr. Chairman, I would like to yield some time to my good 
friend from Florida (Mr. Crenshaw).
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Well, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and let me 
see if I got this straight. Right now, manufacturing, distributing, or 
dispensing marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Right?
  Mr. FLEMING. That is correct, sir.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. And the Bank Secrecy Act still prohibits banks from 
laundering the proceeds of illegal activities. Is that right?
  Mr. FLEMING. Right.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. But in spite of the Controlled Substances Act and 
despite the Bank Secrecy Act, Treasury has given banks guidance on how 
to facilitate the sale of marijuana. That seems wrong, absolutely 
wrong. This amendment corrects that wrong, so I urge my colleagues to 
adopt this amendment.
  Mr. FLEMING. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, there are a couple of other speakers, so I 
will be very brief.
  This really has very little to do with the substance that we are 
talking about, or that appears to be marijuana. It is about the fact 
that, whether we like it or not, there are States that have already 
legalized either recreational use, in two cases, or medical use in 22 
States, and those situations require banking decisions and banking 
abilities. Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury, said at our hearing:

       Without any guidance there will be a proliferation of cash-
     only businesses, and that would make it impossible to see 
     when there are actions going on that violate both Federal and 
     State law.

  So an attack on the use of marijuana may be misleading here because 
what we are doing is really ignoring the banking aspect of this and the 
fact that there have to be some regulations and some issues put in 
place to do the right thing and to uphold the law, the banking laws and 
other laws.
  With that, I would like to yield to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. 
Perlmutter).
  Mr. PERLMUTTER. Mr. Chairman, I say to my friend, Dr. Fleming, and to 
the chairman of the committee that the guidance has already been 
implemented--the guidance from the Justice Department, the guidance 
from the Treasury Department to banks and to the regulators how to 
report activity around a marijuana business.
  Mr. Chairman, there are now 22 States that allow for medical 
marijuana. There are two States that have legalized it for all adult 
purposes. We are at 24 States, and by the end of this year, we will be 
at about 30 States.
  What is happening is because banks may not be following--they are 
doing what Dr. Fleming would like to see. They are operating just in 
cash, which creates its own potential for crime, robbery, assault and 
battery. You cannot track the money. There is skimming and tax evasion. 
So the guidance by the Justice Department and the guidance by the 
Treasury Department is to bring this out into the open.
  Mr. Chairman, I will insert in the Record yesterday's article in USA 
Today concerning the security issues dealing with all cash accounts, 
and the Treasury officials there say:

       Our goal is to promote financial transparency and make sure 
     law enforcement receives the reporting from financial 
     institutions that it needs to police this activity.

                    [From USA Today, July 13, 2014]

             Pots of Marijuana Cash Cause Security Concerns

                           (By Trevor Hughes)

       Denver.--The unmarked armored truck rumbles to a stop in a 
     narrow alley, and former U.S. Marine Matthew Karr slides out, 
     one hand holding a folder, the other hovering near the pistol 
     holstered at his hip.
       With efficient motions he retrieves a locked, leather-bound 
     satchel from a safe set into the truck's side and presses a 
     buzzer outside the door. It swings open to reveal a cavernous 
     warehouse filled with marijuana and a safe stuffed with cash.
       Welcome to the rear guard of Colorado's rapidly expanding 
     legal marijuana industry, where eager users pour millions of 
     dollars--most of it in small bills--into buying pot, hashish, 
     and marijuana-infused foods and drinks. All that cash adds 
     up, and there are few places to put it: Federal regulations, 
     which still classify pot as an illegal drug, make it 
     difficult for marijuana producers to deposit their profits 
     into traditional bank accounts.
       And those cash-heavy small businesses make awfully 
     attractive--and vulnerable--targets for criminals.
       That's where Karr and the company he works for come in.
       Heading through the warehouse where workers tend young 
     marijuana plants, Karr greets a young woman, and the two 
     empty a safe of tens of thousands of dollars in cash neatly 
     packed in plastic envelopes. Like every room in this combined 
     marijuana store and grow house, the smell of pot hangs heavy 
     in the air. Karr double-checks the ledger, locks his satchel 
     and hustles outside, where former cop Phil Baca waits at the 
     wheel of the armored car.
       Karr opens the truck's safe, pitches the satchel inside and 
     climbs back into the passenger seat, an AR-15 rifle stashed 
     behind him. It's a scene that plays out six times in three 
     hours. Their take for the day: somewhere close to $100,000 in 
     cash.
       ``For the first three months, people were just keeping the 
     money everywhere--in the walls, in mattresses, at home,'' 
     says Sean Campbell, CEO of Blue Line Protection Group, which 
     provides marijuana security services, including Karr, Baca 
     and the armored car. ``And banks don't even want to deal with 
     it. You have a quarter-of-a-million dollars in cash show up 
     all at once. The counting time alone is going to take an 
     hour.''
       The unusual problem of having too much cash is forcing 
     business owners to hire security firms like Campbell's, 
     especially after Denver police warned in June of a credible 
     threat against marijuana stores and couriers.
       Marijuana-store owners have suffered some smash-and-grab 
     robberies over the last several years but surveillance 
     systems and close police attention have solved many of them. 
     Experts say those robberies were largely committed by 
     amateurs, rather than sophisticated crime rings.
       Campbell said he believes it will take a serious high-
     dollar heist to force smaller marijuana stores to take their 
     security more seriously.
       State law requires marijuana businesses to have security 
     cameras and systems on the premises, and many have armed 
     guards, but they remain easy targets. The stores and grow 
     operations often are in remote industrial areas, in 
     warehouses that have not been hardened against a determined 
     intruder. Many stores have large amounts of pot sitting 
     around in rooms secured only by flimsy wooden doors.
       Options are limited, however. Unlike most other businesses, 
     marijuana-store owners can't easily open bank accounts for 
     fear of running afoul of federal law. Despite Washington 
     state joining Colorado last week in legalizing sales of 
     marijuana for recreational purposes and 23 states plus the 
     District of Columbia permitting medical pot, the federal 
     government still classifies the plant as an illegal drug more 
     dangerous than cocaine or methamphetamine.
       By opening a bank account, pot growers and shop owners run 
     the risk of being charged with money laundering, because 
     federal banking laws and regulations are deliberately aimed 
     at tracking large flows of cash like those generated by both 
     legal and illegal drug sales. A single such charge can bring 
     decades in prison, and most banks and pot-shop owners don't 
     want to run that risk.
       ``When you go into the business, and you know it's 
     federally illegal, you're taking your chances,'' said Tom 
     Gorman, who runs the federally funded Rocky Mountain High 
     Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force. ``That's the 
     problem when the state legalizes something that remains 
     illegal at the federal level.''
       While declining to be quoted by name, many marijuana store 
     owners interviewed by USA TODAY shared tales of playing cat-
     and-mouse with banks, managing to keep accounts open for only 
     a few months at a time before getting shut down.
       U.S. Treasury officials require banks to file what are 
     known as ``suspicious activity reports'' whenever they 
     suspect someone is trying to launder money. Anyone bringing 
     in a pile of cash sets off internal alarms for bank workers, 
     pot-shop workers say. Federal financial-crimes investigators 
     encourage banks to report suspected marijuana transactions 
     because pot remains illegal at the federal level.
       ``Our goal is to promote financial transparency and make 
     sure law enforcement receives the reporting from financial 
     institutions that it needs to police this activity and to 
     make it less likely that this financial activity will run 
     underground and be much harder to track,'' said Steve Hudak, 
     a spokesman for the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes 
     Enforcement Network.
       Tax-and-marijuana attorney Rachel Gillette said she's seen 
     banks' concerns firsthand--several banks she deals with said 
     they wouldn't let her open an account, even though both the 
     federal and state government are allowed to deposit tax 
     payments from pot sellers. Gillette said federally regulated 
     banks say it's just easier for them not to risk getting their 
     hands tainted by pot.
       ``They literally told me they would not take my account 
     because I do business with

[[Page H6270]]

     the marijuana industry,'' Gillette said. ``That seems 
     fundamentally unfair--the state is taking that money and 
     putting it in the bank; the IRS is taking that money and 
     putting it in the bank.''
       Gillette is suing the IRS on behalf of one of her clients 
     who has been paying federal payroll tax bills with cash. The 
     IRS calls for electronic payments and adds a 10% surcharge 
     for cash payments, she said. With some marijuana businesses 
     paying payroll taxes of $100,000 a quarter, those penalties 
     are substantial.
       Colorado has tried to solve the problem with a new state 
     law permitting creation of marijuana banking cooperatives, 
     which would have the power to accept deposits, lend money and 
     make electronic payments. But that system likely won't begin 
     operating for at least another year, said Gov. John 
     Hickenlooper, and even then federal officials would need to 
     bless the plan.
       The amount of cash already flowing through the fast-growing 
     system has forced state tax officials to change how they 
     accommodate payments. While Colorado allows businesses to pay 
     their taxes in cash, most pay electronically. Marijuana 
     businesses, however, must trek to a central Denver office, 
     cash in hand, where they're met at the curb by armed guards 
     and escorted inside. ``Some people walk in with shoe boxes. 
     Some people have it in locked briefcases. We've had people 
     bring it in buckets,'' said Natriece Bryant, a spokeswoman 
     for the Colorado Department of Revenue.
       Campbell, who runs the armored-car company, said the vast 
     cash flows are a clear come-on for criminals. He said he's 
     working with banks to offer alternatives for marijuana 
     businesses, including vault services. For many in the 
     marijuana industry, the scene from the Emmy-winning 
     television series Breaking Bad of a storage unit filled with 
     drug cash hits uncomfortably close to reality.
       Says Campbell, ``You're effectively creating a magnet for 
     crime.''

  Mr. PERLMUTTER. So I would urge a big ``no'' vote on this amendment. 
It is going backwards.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield the remainder of my time to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Sherman).
  Mr. SHERMAN. So many have spoken on this floor in favor of states' 
rights. A majority of Americans live in States in which medical 
marijuana is legal, and yet we have this bizarre circumstance where 
these have to be all cash businesses. The result, as the gentleman from 
Colorado points out, is tax evasion--or potentiality for tax evasion--
and also an invitation to crime--violent street crime--as people figure 
out how they can invade with guns a store that is licensed by my State 
or his State and try to steal huge quantities of cash.
  It is absolutely absurd to tell people that they cannot use medical 
marijuana when they are in physical pain and they live in a State where 
that is allowed, and it is even more absurd to have to keep millions of 
dollars of cash there for the possible criminal taking because we have 
businesses that are actually operating that are outside the banking 
system.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FLEMING. Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Louisiana has 1\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. FLEMING. Mr. Chairman, first of all, it is absolutely a fact that 
marijuana, the use of marijuana and the sale of marijuana, is against 
federal law. Now, you may want to change that law, but that is the law.
  Also, our banking system, even those that are State banks, State 
charter banks, fall under a Federal banking system.
  You are talking about money laundering. Well, what about other drugs? 
What about heroin? What about methamphetamines? Should we also have 
exemptions and carve-outs for those as well? Why even have a system 
that detects money laundering and actually enforces that if we are 
going to begin to create exemptions and carve-outs for that as well?
  Also, I would remind folks that with regard to medical marijuana, 
that is still very controversial. The reason why marijuana is still a 
Schedule I drug, illegal, is that it is neither known nor accepted by 
authorities that raw marijuana has an acceptable medical use.

                              {time}  1815

  Now, yes, extracts of marijuana, even Marinol--which is synthetic 
THC--is a schedule III, like hydrocodone, and that can be prescribed 
and monitored by a physician. There is no problem with that, and the 
money can go into any banking system.
  So if there are beneficial parts of the marijuana, we can extract 
that and create medication from it, whether it is liquid or tablet, 
injection or whatever, and then that will certainly be delivered, 
prescribed by physicians.
  I urge a ``yes'' vote on this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Fleming).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. FLEMING. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Louisiana 
will be postponed.


                     Amendment Offered by Mr. Gosar

  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to pay a performance award under section 5384 of 
     title 5, United States Code, to any employee of the Internal 
     Revenue Service.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Arizona and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Arizona.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer one final amendment to 
the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for 
the fiscal year 2015.
  Let me first say that I am especially grateful to Chairman Crenshaw 
and Ranking Member Serrano for working with me on my variety of 
amendments to this bill. They have been exceptionally cooperative and 
congenial. I would also like to thank the staff of the Financial 
Services Subcommittee. They have also been very courteous and 
cooperative with my staff.
  My final amendment to the bill seeks to effectuate a policy of 
accountability in government. Historically, the IRS has never been 
liked by the American people. The agency takes our hard-earned wages 
and enforces the Internal Revenue Code.
  I would argue that the power wielded by this agency is matched only 
by the Department of Defense because, as we all know, the power to tax 
is the power to destroy, and although no one ever liked the IRS, most 
Americans quietly trusted them.
  They trusted that the agency was enforcing the law with fairness and 
impartiality and were beyond reproach in terms of political pressure. 
That trust has not only been questioned, it has been annihilated.
  This year, House Republicans have gone above and beyond to hold this 
President and his lawless administration accountable for their actions 
and inactions, and this is another opportunity to act rather than to 
speak.
  My final amendment to the bill follows in the footsteps of another 
that I cosponsored and supported in the MilCon-VA Appropriations Act 
just a few weeks ago. This amendment would prohibit bonuses or 
performance awards to be paid to senior executive employees at the IRS.
  The saying goes with great power comes great responsibility. The IRS 
is responsible for administering tax laws fairly and justly. They have 
failed at that responsibility, and they now must be held accountable. 
Senior management should never have let this happen.
  Moreover, they should not be given performance awards in the wake of 
one of the largest scandals in recent history. Giving out bonuses is 
ludicrous and amounts to a slap in the face to the American public.
  I would also like to quickly note that I appreciate the committee's 
inclusion of a provision, section 112, in the bill. That section 
prescribes that, before a bonus may be awarded to an IRS employee, an 
assessment of the employee's conduct, in addition to a mandatory check 
for back taxes or delinquent taxes, must be performed and taken into 
account.
  As a duly-elected Member of Congress representing hundreds of 
thousands of Arizonans, I cannot, in good

[[Page H6271]]

conscience, allow any sort of bonus to be awarded to senior management 
at this rogue agency.
  As long as I remain a Member of this body, I will seek to ensure that 
this policy becomes law each and every fiscal year. It is my hope that 
this amendment will ultimately be signed into law and that no bonuses 
at all will be awarded in the next fiscal year.
  None should have been given this last year, but Commissioner John 
Koskinen decided to dole out bonuses anyway, despite the anger he knew 
it would cause. Overall, my hope is that this amendment will 
incentivize one of these senior executives at the IRS to come forth 
with copies of Lois Lerner's magically vanishing emails.
  Should that day come and should the Congress and the American people 
receive closure to this scandal, I will cease my efforts to prohibit 
these awards, and the IRS may begin the process of rebuilding the trust 
it has so blatantly violated.
  This agency has shown contempt for the American taxpayer, and the 
ensuing outrage at the IRS has been bipartisan. When the House voted on 
House Resolution 565 to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder 
appoint a special counsel to look into the scandal, 26 Democrats voted 
to support that measure.
  As I mentioned with my last IRS amendment, if you disapprove of the 
IRS leaking tax information about the President's political opponents, 
then support my amendment.
  If you disapprove of the IRS targeting conservative groups for their 
political beliefs, then support my amendment. If you disapprove of the 
IRS ignoring congressional subpoenas, then support my amendment.
  If you disapprove of this agency stonewalling Congress, destroying 
evidence, and lying to the American people, then support my amendment. 
Finally, if you disapprove of IRS senior executives receiving bonuses 
for their failures, then support my amendment.
  Again, I thank the chairman and ranking member for their continued 
work on the committee.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GOSAR. I will certainly yield to the chairman.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. The gentleman has made a couple of interesting points 
that I think bear emphasis. Some of the actions of the IRS have been 
outrageous, and we have talked about that from time to time. As the 
gentleman pointed out, this year, $63 million in bonuses were paid to 
IRS employees.
  It is interesting they were paid by the new Commissioner when the 
prior Commissioner had decided that it was not appropriate to pay those 
bonuses, and then the new Commissioner testified before our 
subcommittee how he was outraged that he didn't have enough money to 
answer more than 61 percent of his phone calls.
  I said: Sir, what is outrageous to me is you don't have enough money 
to answer the phone calls, which is the first thing you ought to do, 
yet you paid $63 million in bonuses, and then we find out that some of 
the people who received the bonuses were delinquent on their taxes.
  I urge adoption of the amendment
  Mr. GOSAR. I thank the gentleman, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I get tired of saying this, but it has to 
be said. I realize that the other side's desire is to bring the IRS 
down to nothing. It is a constitutional question. We have the power to 
collect taxes. One would argue that we must have a department that 
collects taxes.
  They may not always be the department--the agency--we want them to 
be. Both sides, whether one believes it or not, were outraged that 
something wrong might have been done, but to suggest and paint with a 
broad brush the whole IRS and say that everyone there at the senior 
level is not worthy of a bonus or not worthy of our respect is really 
to do a disservice to public service employees. These folks do a job. 
They do a job on a daily basis.
  Are there problems with the IRS? There have always been problems at 
the IRS. Has the IRS been an agency that is loved by the American 
public? No, because we as Americans would love somehow to do everything 
we need to do, but have taxes that are either very low or nonexistent.
  That is not a knock on us. We would all rather pay less taxes than we 
pay, but we continuously just spend time knocking and knocking. If you 
measure the time that we have spent on this bill so far and you measure 
how much of that time has been allocated to the IRS and to bringing it 
down, not to helping it in any way, not to coming up with any 
solutions--the whole argument has been they did something wrong, we are 
going to punish them.
  We are not talking about children. We are not talking about a foreign 
government that attacked us. We are talking about an agency that might 
not have done everything the way we want them to do it, and therefore, 
we have to use our resources, our power, and our legislative ability to 
make them do a better job, to help them along the way, not to destroy 
them.
  So here we are saying if you have executives at the higher level that 
are doing a good job, you can't help them in any way. You have to 
ignore that.
  Now, we talk about morale. We talk about morale with our staff. We 
talk about morale with our Membership. Why do we have so many Members 
who are retiring?
  If you asked them, a lot of them are retiring because we don't get 
along the way we used to or maybe because we spend so much time on 
wasteful issues.
  So we can't paint with a brush the whole IRS. We have to find a way 
to help, to make them a better agency--yes, to use tough love.
  Absolutely, I will be the first one to agree to that and to join the 
majority in doing that, but this whole word of punishing of a worthless 
institution, of a corrupt institution, of an institution that does not 
follow the law, that is not true, that is not fair, and that is not 
correct.
  That is why this amendment is misguided, and it may do just the 
opposite, like so many of these amendments. By punishing, you bring 
down morale, and you bring down the support of those who could help us 
do a better job at the IRS like we all would like.
  I hoped that we would get Mr. Gosar to withdraw his amendment, but 
his facial expression tells me that I am crazy in asking that question. 
You don't have to agree that I am crazy in asking that question, but I 
think we should defeat this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona will 
be postponed.


              Amendment Offered by Mr. Heck of Washington

  Mr. HECK of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, 
     Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, 
     Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, 
     Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, 
     Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New 
     York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, 
     Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, or Wisconsin or the 
     District of Columbia, to prohibit or penalize a financial 
     institution from providing financial services to an entity 
     solely because the entity is a manufacturer, producer, or 
     person that participates in any business or organized 
     activity that involves handling marijuana or marijuana 
     products and engages in such activity pursuant to a law 
     established by a State or a unit of local government.

  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
gentleman's amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman from Washington and a 
Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Washington.

[[Page H6272]]

  Mr. HECK of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I offer this bipartisan 
amendment to carry forth an important issue of public safety to provide 
legally-constituted marijuana businesses access to banking services. To 
do otherwise is to render them an all-cash sector of the economy, which 
is fraught with peril.
  If you supported the Rohrabacher amendment to the Commerce-Justice 
and Science Appropriations which passed clearly, then you will support 
this as well. It brings forth the terms and conditions of the 
Department of Justice and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
  Yesterday morning, on the very front page of USA Today was an article 
setting forth the dangers of all-cash businesses in our States that 
have approved legally marijuana-related businesses. In the words of the 
Attorney General:

       You don't want just huge amounts of cash in these places. 
     They want to be able to use the banking system. It is a 
     public safety component. Huge amounts of cash, substantial 
     amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for 
     it to be appropriately deposited is something that worries 
     me, just from a law enforcement perspective.

                              {time}  1830

  If you support public safety, if you supported the Rohrabacher 
amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science bill, you will support 
this amendment as well. In the interest of public safety, you will do 
this. Because in the words of the Department of Justice, the two most 
important terms and conditions: keep marijuana out of the hands of 
children and keep cash out of the hands of gangs and the cartels. To 
oppose this amendment is to support that, and I know you don't want 
that.
  So, I urge you in the strongest terms to support this amendment, this 
bipartisan amendment, as was adopted earlier on the Commerce, Justice, 
and Science Appropriations bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the 
amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes 
legislation in an appropriation bill and, therefore, violates clause 2 
of rule XXI.
  The rule states in pertinent part:
  ``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order 
if changing existing law.''
  The amendment requires a new determination.
  Therefore, I ask for a ruling from the Chair.
  The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point 
of order?
  Mr. PERLMUTTER. Yes, I do.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Colorado is recognized on the 
point of order.
  Mr. PERLMUTTER. Mr. Chairman, I would just urge the Chair, in ruling, 
that this does not change the law in any respect. It respects the 
guidance that has been promulgated by the Justice Department and the 
Treasury Department and does not make a change and is not outside of 
the rules.
  I would say to my friend from Florida that his point of order is 
incorrect, and would ask the Chair to rule that the gentleman's 
amendment is in order.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Chair is prepared to rule.
  The Chair finds that this amendment includes language requiring a new 
determination as to the reason a financial institution provides 
financial services to an entity.
  The amendment, therefore, constitutes legislation in violation of 
clause 2 of rule XXI.
  The point of order is sustained, and the amendment is not in order.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Walberg

  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used in contravention of chapter 29, 31, or 33 of title 
     44, United States Code.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Michigan and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer an amendment which builds 
off the good work accomplished by Chairman Crenshaw and Ranking Member 
Serrano in the underlying bill.
  At a recent Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, we had 
the opportunity to hear testimony from David Ferriero, the Archivist of 
the United States and head of the National Archives and Records 
Administration, which oversees the Federal Records Act.
  In his testimony before Congress, Mr. Ferriero gave an account of how 
the IRS failed to notify him about the unauthorized disposal of Lois 
Lerner's hard drive, a hard drive which contained key emails and 
information about her actions in the targeting of conservative groups. 
In fact, during my questioning of Mr. Ferriero, he stated that the IRS 
``did not follow the law.''
  It is clear the IRS has not made it a priority to comply with the 
intent of the law, whether in the form of intimidating taxpayers, 
ignoring congressional requests for documents, or ignoring requirements 
to document valuable records that are in the public interest. My 
amendment would address one of these failures and prohibit any funds in 
this bill to be used by the IRS to act in contravention of the Federal 
Records Act.
  It is a commonsense check on the IRS's recent behavior, and I urge my 
colleagues to support it.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. WALBERG. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I just want you to know that in the bill we have a 
provision that applies to the IRS. This is a little bit broader, but I 
think it is a good amendment, so I encourage folks to support it.
  Mr. WALBERG. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman is primarily concerned with 
records management at the IRS, which does not surprise us--the IRS 
again. However, this bill already contains a provision preventing the 
use of funds by the IRS to violate these very same sections of the 
code. In other words, the bill that we are debating today, the full 
bill, already accomplishes what the gentleman seeks to do. Every agency 
is already required to follow Federal records management law, so this 
amendment seems particularly unnecessary.
  I realize Members on the other side want to continue to issue press 
releases stating how tough they are on the IRS, but there is no need to 
restate current law. I think that this one is different in the sense 
that while other amendments that I may not approve of or support speak 
to an issue that hasn't been spoken to before or repeat something we 
have dealt with before, this one speaks to an issue that Mr. Crenshaw 
already took care of in the bill.
  That is my opposition to it, and that is why I think the amendment is 
unnecessary.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague from New York for his 
concern about this. I am concerned as well.
  I appreciate the fact what the chairman has said, that this expands 
the reach; it expands the authority. If, indeed, all of our agencies 
had a requirement under the Federal Records Act and they followed it, I 
wouldn't be here. But under significant questioning of the Archivist of 
our Nation, he indicated to me under significant questioning that the 
IRS ``did not follow the law.''
  That is the purpose of this amendment: to make sure there are more 
teeth available even than what is put in this good bill to make sure 
that the IRS follows the law.
  I ask my colleagues for support for this amendment, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Walberg).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                  Amendment Offered by Mr. Farenthold

  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

[[Page H6273]]

  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), add the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds in this Act may be available 
     for the Office of Management and Budget to process or approve 
     an apportionment request that does not include the following 
     phrase: ``Apportioned amounts are not available for any 
     position that is held by an employee with respect to whom the 
     President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of 
     Representatives has certified a statement of facts to a 
     United States attorney under section 104 of the Revised 
     Statutes (2 U.S.C. 194).''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Texas and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Mr. Chairman, today I rise to offer an amendment that 
would prohibit funding to any Federal employee who has been found in 
contempt of Congress.
  As a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I have 
had serious concerns about the nonresponsiveness of certain Federal 
officials to legitimate congressional oversight activities. In some of 
these situations, the actions have been taken by this House to hold 
these officials in contempt of Congress.
  Specifically, my amendment prevents funds from being made available 
for the Office of Management and Budget to process or approve an 
apportionment request from an executive agency that does not include 
the following language:

       Apportioned amounts are not available for any position that 
     is held by an employee with respect to whom the President of 
     the Senate or Speaker of the House of Representatives have 
     certified a statement of facts to a United States attorney 
     under section 104 of the Revised Statutes (2 U.S.C. 194).

  What the experts and lawyers tell me this means is we won't pay folks 
who have been held in contempt of Congress. The taxpayers don't need to 
be funding somebody who is not cooperating with their elected 
representative, and it has gotten so bad that this entire body has held 
them in contempt.
  If somebody has failed to do his or her job in the private sector or 
in any other environment, they wouldn't get paid, and I think the 
Federal Government needs to follow this.
  Let me give you a little bit of background on the process so you 
understand how this is going to work.
  Funds apportioned to executive agencies are apportioned or handed out 
by the OMB. Executive agencies must submit a request to the OMB 40 days 
before the start of the fiscal year or within 15 days of the enactment 
of the appropriations act. The OMB then determines how the executive 
agency's fund will be apportioned.
  This amendment would require an executive agency to include the 
quoted language in their apportionment request to the OMB, which would 
prevent the OMB from allocating funds to an agency for the salaries of 
Federal employees who have been found in contempt of Congress.
  To me, this is just common sense. We don't pay employees who don't 
cooperate with their boss. We are the elected representatives of the 
people. We are the boss, and we need to enact this legislation to 
ensure those in contempt of Congress do not continue to receive 
taxpayer funds.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Farenthold).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Grayson

  Mr. GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. ___. None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to pay any individual at an annual rate of Grade 1, 
     Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6; or Grade 2 Step 1 or 2 as defined 
     in the ``Salary Table 2014-GS'' published by the Office of 
     Personnel Management. Further, none of the funds made 
     available by this Act may be used to pay any individual at an 
     hourly basic rate of Grade 1, Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6; or 
     Grade 2, Step 1 or 2.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Florida and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would end the Federal 
Government's practice of paying poverty wages to its workers and 
hopefully set an example for the private sector to stop paying poverty 
wages to its workers.
  My metropolitan area of Florida has the lowest average wages of any 
of the 50 biggest cities in America. It is time to end this and to pay 
people fairly. A fair day's work should result in a fair day's pay.
  The reason why we have to end poverty wages in America is simple. It 
is just too expensive to be poor in America. If you are poor, it is 
difficult to buy or rent a place to live, to buy or lease a car to 
drive, even to get electricity from a utility company, to save any 
money at all, or even open a bank account. It is just too expensive to 
be poor in America.
  Journalist Barbara Ehrenreich put it best:

       If you can't afford the first month's rent and security 
     deposit you need in order to rent an apartment, you may get 
     stuck in an overpriced residential motel.
       If you don't have a kitchen or even a refrigerator and 
     microwave, you will find yourself falling back on convenience 
     store food, which--in addition to its nutritional deficits--
     is also alarmingly overpriced.
       If you need a loan, as most poor people eventually do, you 
     will end up paying an interest rate many times more than what 
     a more affluent borrower would be charged.
       To be poor--especially with children to support and care 
     for--is a perpetual high-wire act.

                              {time}  1845

  Mr. Chairman, when I say ``it's too expensive to be poor in 
America,'' I am not just quoting a poverty advocate. I am quoting Noah 
Wintroub, an official for JPMorgan Chase. Yes, even the bankers are 
telling us that it is too expensive to be poor in America.
  Right now, the Federal Government can pay as little as $8.62 an hour 
for a grade 1, step 1 worker. That is not enough. You get what you pay 
for. That is the capitalist way. If a government worker has to take 
another job just to get by, then that worker can't focus on doing a 
good job serving the public. If a Federal worker is working 80 hours a 
week instead of 40 just to survive, he is not going to do a good job at 
either job.
  My amendment simply would not allow the government to pay anyone less 
than $10.10 an hour--still a very modest amount. According to CBO, it 
doesn't cost the government a single dime extra. It is supported by the 
American Federation of Government Employees. Paying Federal workers 
$10.10 an hour is still not enough, but at least it is a start.
  Right now, the minimum wage gives you $1,200 a month to live on if 
you work a full-time job for 40 hours a week. From that $1,200 a month, 
you must pay your Social Security taxes, your Medicare taxes, pay for 
your food, your clothing, your housing, your transportation. You must 
also pay, by the way, for the food and clothing of your children.
  That is not possible. It is simply not possible to live that way, and 
we can't expect people to do that. In fact, the taxpayers end up 
subsidizing them through food stamps, Medicaid, the earned income 
credit, and a dozen other ways that we make up for the shortfall when 
their employers are not paying them enough to keep them alive.
  I think it is time that we take a stand. I hope this body sees the 
wisdom of paying at least Federal workers, to start, above poverty 
wages. I urge this body to accept this amendment and set a proper 
standard for labor in this country. Let's have $10.10, not $7.25. You 
can't survive on $7.25.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I just got this amendment a little bit 
ago. I don't quite understand what the gentleman is trying to do.
  As I read the amendment, it basically says you just can't pay Federal 
employees. If I am a Federal employee and somebody says you can't pay 
me this wage, I guess I can either come to work and not get paid or I 
can just decide that you decided not to pay me so I don't think I will 
come to work anymore.
  I don't know how many people are affected by this, but I have got to 
believe

[[Page H6274]]

a lot of people would look at this and say: Gee, the gentleman from 
Florida says we are just not going to pay you.
  I guess on behalf of the Federal employees, I have to oppose that, 
because I think all Federal employees ought to be paid. I don't think 
we should pass legislation saying they can't be paid.
  So I would urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the creativity of my 
colleague from Florida's argument, but no one is suggesting Federal 
employees have to work for free. All this amendment does is simply 
eliminate the poverty rates set forth in the General Schedule and 
replaces them with the existing higher rates.
  All we are saying here is that grade 1, steps 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are 
below poverty level; grade 2, steps 1 and 2 are below poverty level.
  I don't see how this amendment could possibly lead to the scenario 
that the gentleman from Florida, the chairman, is describing. It simply 
would mean that these workers would no longer be paid poverty wages. 
They would be paid under the existing GSA schedule a proper day's pay 
for a proper day's work.
  Therefore, and given the fact that the AFGE, which is responsible for 
representing these workers, supports this amendment and rejects the 
nightmare scenario described by the gentleman from Florida, I would 
hope to have the gentleman from Florida's consent and support for this 
amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I just want to read this again. It says 
that none of the funds made available by this act may be used to pay 
any individual at an annual rate of grade 1, step 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.
  So if you are grade 1, step 6, it says you can't be paid at that 
rate. It doesn't say anything about raising your salary or lowering 
your salary. It just says you can't be paid.
  I really think that this is something we ought to reject. I urge my 
colleagues to vote ``no,'' and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Grayson).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida will 
be postponed.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Massie

  Mr. MASSIE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act, 
     including amounts made available under titles IV or VIII, may 
     be used by any authority of the government of the District of 
     Columbia to prohibit the ability of any person to possess, 
     acquire, use, sell, or transport a firearm except to the 
     extent such activity is prohibited by Federal law.

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
gentleman's amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. 
Massie) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.
  Mr. MASSIE. Mr. Chair, I rise today to offer an amendment that would 
stop the District of Columbia from taking any action to prevent law-
abiding citizens from possessing, using, or transporting a firearm.
  Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. 
Heller that struck down the unconstitutional D.C. handgun ban, it is 
still difficult for D.C. residents to exercise their God-given right to 
bear arms. Congress has the authority to legislate in this area 
pursuant to article I, section 8, clause 17 of the Constitution, which 
gives Congress the authority ``to exercise exclusive legislation in all 
cases whatsoever'' over the District of Columbia.
  Through unreasonable regulation, arbitrary time limits and waiting 
periods, and a ridiculous registration renewal process for guns that 
have already been registered, the government bureaucrats of the 
District continue to interfere with the District's residents' right to 
self-defense.
  As the Washington Times reported earlier this year, the District of 
Columbia has passed the first law ever in the United States that 
requires a citizen who has already legally registered a gun to pay for 
reregistration, go to police headquarters and submit to invasive 
photographing and fingerprinting. This is pure harassment.
  Why would the D.C. government want to punish and harass law-abiding 
citizens who simply want to defend themselves from criminals? As 
everyone with even the smallest bit of common sense knows, criminals, 
by definition, don't care about the laws. They will get the guns any 
way they can.
  Does anyone actually believe that strict gun control laws will 
prevent criminals from getting guns? Strict gun control laws do nothing 
but prevent good people from being able to protect themselves and their 
families in the event of a robbery, home invasion, or other crime.
  I reserve the balance of my time.


                             Point of Order

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the 
amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes 
legislation in an appropriation bill and, therefore, violates clause 2 
of rule XXI.
  The rule states in pertinent part:
  ``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order 
if changing existing law.''
  It also adds a requirement on D.C. that it doesn't add anywhere else. 
It imposes additional duties by requiring law enforcement or the D.C. 
Council to determine what is prohibited by Federal law before they are 
allowed to legislate.
  We know that folks like to sound good on certain issues by 
legislating from here, but the city council should not be asked to 
incur these extra duties that they don't have now.
  I ask for a ruling from the Chair.
  The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point 
of order?
  Mr. MASSIE. Mr. Chair, I certainly disagree with the gentleman's 
points there.
  First of all, Congress has the constitutional authority to legislate 
and exercise over all matters in the District of Columbia. Furthermore, 
if a law enforcement officer in the District of Columbia is not already 
familiar with Federal laws, then I question whether he should be a law 
enforcement officer.
  But most of all, I would make the point that the underlying bill 
already contains language that is virtually identical in form to the 
amendment that I have offered. For instance, section 809 states that 
``none of the Federal funds contained in this Act may be used to enact 
or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise 
reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution 
of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act.''
  There are multiple examples in the underlying bill where the 
structure of those portions of the bill are identical to my amendment 
and require knowledge of law.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Chair finds that this amendment includes 
language requiring a new determination by the District of Columbia as 
to the state of Federal firearms law. The gentleman has not shown that 
this determination is already required.
  The amendment, therefore, constitutes legislation in violation of 
clause 2 of rule XXI.
  The point of order is sustained, and the amendment is not in order.
  Mr. MASSIE. Mr. Chairman, I move to appeal the ruling of the Chair.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is, Shall the decision of the Chair 
stand as the judgment of the Committee?
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
had it.
  So the decision of the Chair stands as the judgment of the Committee.

                              {time}  1900


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Marino

  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

[[Page H6275]]

  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to collect any underpayment of any tax imposed by the 
     Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to the extent such underpayment 
     is attributable to the taxpayer's loss of records (except in 
     the case of fraud).

  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
gentleman's amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman from Pennsylvania and 
a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. MARINO. I thank the chair and the ranking member for their hard 
work and dedication during the appropriations process, and I look 
forward to working with them on a number of important issues 
surrounding the treatment of taxpayers by the IRS.
  Mr. Chairman, I will be withdrawing this amendment at the conclusion 
of my allotted time. However, I wish to make a point.
  I agree with the steps the committee has taken within this 
legislation, but feel more must be done to ensure equal treatment for 
all taxpayers. My amendment would prohibit the IRS from pursuing claims 
against taxpayers for underpayment where the issue is lost records, 
except in the case of fraud.
  According to its own publications, the IRS recommends that taxpayers 
keep records up to 7 years--and more in some cases--to respond to 
potential audits. This is often necessary for individuals and 
corporations to retain records for years and potentially longer for 
businesses depending upon the circumstances and types of records.
  The loss of records can have significant repercussions for the 
taxpayer and can result in penalty fees and payments of back taxes with 
interest. Should these taxpayers be audited, the burden is on them--
yes, the burden is on them--to produce proper records, not the IRS. 
While these regulations make sense, as we do not want taxpayers 
improperly withholding taxes they properly owe under the current tax 
system, it is unfortunate that the one agency promulgating the 
regulations does not follow these strict standards.
  We now know the IRS, through its employee Ms. Lois Lerner, Director 
of Exempt Organizations, unfairly targeted and scrutinized conservative 
groups in their applications for tax-exempt status. Under the IRS' 
rules, Ms. Lerner was required to retain her records discussing policy 
decisions and discussions in paper form, including those related to the 
decision to probe conservative organizations. However, Ms. Lerner 
refused to follow protocol, and to make matters worse, her email copies 
were lost due to a so-called computer crash.
  Given Ms. Lerner's blatant disregard to keep records properly in 
accordance with IRS rules, it is patently unfair to require taxpayers 
to follow such burdensome standards. In addition, the IRS Commissioner 
testified on the topic of Ms. Lerner's emails multiple times before the 
Oversight and Government Reform Committee, suggesting that there would 
be no issue in producing the emails. However, the Commissioner knew 
there was an issue with Ms. Lerner's computer in February and that the 
emails were certainly lost in March. Despite this knowledge, he failed 
to notify Congress until June.
  This is outrageous. While the IRS is trying to evade explaining the 
loss of records, we should prohibit the IRS from mercilessly pursuing 
taxpayers for the exact same fault.
  With that, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Crenshaw), my colleague and the chairman of the subcommittee.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I support the gentleman's amendment even 
though I reserved a point of order.
  I would just inquire if the gentleman intends to withdraw the 
amendment.
  Mr. MARINO. I do. I am going to do that in my closing, sir.
  I thank the chairman for his support of the principle of my 
amendment. While I recognize this would be legislative language in an 
appropriations bill, I welcome the opportunity to work with the chair 
and my other colleagues to properly investigate this situation and 
ensure that similar situations of government abuse do not arise in the 
future.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania?
  There was no objection.


              Amendment Offered by Mr. Heck of Washington

  Mr. HECK of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I have a new and improved 
amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __. None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, 
     Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, 
     Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, 
     Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, 
     Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New 
     York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, 
     Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington or Wisconsin or the 
     District of Columbia, to penalize a financial institution 
     solely because the institution provides financial services to 
     an entity that is a manufacturer, producer, or a person that 
     participates in any business or organized activity that 
     involves handling marijuana or marijuana products and engages 
     in such activity pursuant to a law established by a State or 
     a unit of local government.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Washington and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Washington.
  Mr. HECK of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  This is a referendum on public safety. It follows the exact intent--
but is technically perfected--of the earlier amendment that was 
offered, and I thank the gentleman from the majority for pointing out 
its technical flaws. They have been corrected.
  It is a referendum on public safety. If you want to render an all-
cash sector of the economy in the 23 States that allow for medical 
marijuana and in the two States that allow for the adult recreational 
use of marijuana, you will make them unsafe. That is for certain.
  I entreat you to pick up yesterday's USA Today and read the excellent 
article, including the citation of several security experts, about what 
will happen with a certainty, inevitably, if we do not take this 
measure.
  If you want to keep marijuana out of the hands of children and if you 
want to keep cash out of the hands of gangs and cartels, you will 
support this amendment.
  With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from the 
State of Nevada (Ms. Titus).
  Ms. TITUS. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment.
  The medical marijuana industry is rapidly taking root in Nevada. Our 
local governments are developing regulations and are issuing licenses 
as we speak. Yet representatives of this exciting industry continue to 
raise the same concern--a lack of access to banks, which is critical 
for the safe operation of any small business.
  This commonsense measure would respect states' rights, add more 
transparency, facilitate regulations, protect the public, and foster 
the growth of small business. I urge a vote in favor.
  Mr. HECK of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from the State of California (Ms. Lee).
  Ms. LEE of California. I thank Congressman Heck for yielding and for 
his really bold and tremendous leadership on this.
  I am proud to join you, Mr. Perlmutter and Mr. Rohrabacher, in 
cosponsoring this bipartisan, commonsense amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, this amendment would provide important certainty to 
business owners, employees, government agencies, and financial 
institutions in 34 States and jurisdictions that have passed marijuana 
reform laws.
  By prohibiting Federal agencies from unduly penalizing financial 
institutions for providing basic banking services, like opening a 
checking account, this amendment would ensure that legitimate business 
owners can comply

[[Page H6276]]

with State regulations and that regulators and law enforcement can hold 
businesses accountable.

                              {time}  1915

  I recently had a chance to visit one of these small businesses in my 
home district of Oakland, California, and know how big an impact the 
access to financial services can have.
  When these businesses are unable to access financial services, they 
are forced to use unsatisfactory cash-based transactions that lack 
transparency, accountability, and create a threat to public safety.
  I was proud to cosponsor a similar amendment to the Commerce, 
Justice, and Science Appropriations bill that passed the House. I want 
to thank Mr. Heck again for his leadership and hope this passes.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, a little earlier, we had a discussion 
about this, and I pointed out that it is very clear that, right now, it 
is still illegal under Federal law to manufacture, to distribute, or to 
dispense marijuana. That is the Federal law.
  There is also a Federal law that says banks can't launder the 
proceeds of illegal activities, and as we talked about earlier, we have 
got the fact that the Treasury has given guidance on how to facilitate 
the sale of marijuana.
  The point is the law is the law. The Federal law, I just stated, and 
I don't think we can go around picking and choosing which States the 
Federal law applies to. The Federal law is the Federal law, and that is 
the way it ought to be.
  I think that the fact that we have those two laws, when somebody 
violates those laws, that is wrong. Earlier this evening, we adopted an 
amendment that corrected that. This seeks to go back the other way.
  I would just urge people to vote ``no'' on this because we have a 
Federal law that controls, and we can't pick and choose who gets to 
comply and who doesn't.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HECK of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Perlmutter).
  Mr. PERLMUTTER. Mr. Chairman, to my friend from Florida, I agree, 
except that the world has moved, and businesses that are legal in these 
vast array of States should be able to operate in a businesslike 
fashion.
  They should be able to have checking accounts and credit cards and 
payroll accounts, instead of operating solely in cash that invites 
robberies, invites assault and batteries, invites tax evasion.
  The system--the banking system should be able to provide for that, 
instead of just operating in a cash setting. So we need to limit and 
avoid the crime that the cash invites, and we need to allow these 
businesses to operate in a businesslike fashion.
  The States and the people of those States have chosen to move 
forward. We should not, through the banking system, try to stop that 
and then create crime in its wake.
  Mr. HECK of Washington. First, let's correct the Record. The earlier 
vote did not approve the opposite amendment. In fact, the decision, as 
announced by the Chair, was to affirm the amendment, and then the 
rollcall was provided and is yet pending.
  Secondly, the will of this body has, in fact, been manifested on one 
occasion, and that was an amendment highly similar to this one, to the 
Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations, and it passed by a clear 
bipartisan majority in this Chamber.
  Lastly--and again, this is about public safety. This is about keeping 
marijuana out of the hands of children and cash out of the hands of the 
gangs and the cartels. That is what this amendment is about.
  I am frankly stunned to learn that the party whose heritage was in 
support of states' rights now no longer sees fit to uphold those States 
who have gone in this direction who, through votes of people and votes 
of their duly-elected legislatures, have created tightly-controlled 
markets for this particular substance.
  This is not about being in favor or against marijuana consumption. 
This is about public safety. This is about providing access to banking 
services for safe environments, safe communities, and I entreat you to 
support it as you once did before.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Washington (Mr. Heck).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Washington 
will be postponed.


            Amendment No. 6 Offered by Mr. Price of Georgia

  Mr. PRICE of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment made in order 
by the rule at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used in contravention of section 6103 of the Internal 
     Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to confidentiality and 
     disclosure of returns and return information).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Georgia and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia.
  Mr. PRICE of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I want to commend the chairman of 
the Appropriations Subcommittee for the work that he has done on this. 
This has been yeoman's work, a difficult task.
  We haven't done a Financial Services appropriations bill in a number 
of years, and so I want to commend the chairman for his leadership on 
this issue.
  My amendment deals with the Internal Revenue Service, and I know a 
lot of these amendments have addressed the issue.
  The Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Chairman, as you and the American 
people know, by law--by law--may not release any personal taxpayer 
information. It must be protected, and it is clear that what we have 
had over the past year or so is the revelation of a huge violation of 
the public trust that has occurred as it pertains to the IRS' lawful 
requirement to protect taxpayer information.
  Internal Revenue Code section 6103 is what this amendment deals with. 
It is a portion of the Code that is a taxpayer protection provision 
written to prevent unlawful disclosure of confidential taxpayer 
information.
  The recent actions of the IRS, whether it is the targeting of 
conservative social welfare groups or the unlawful disclosure of an 
organization's confidential tax return and donor list, are nothing less 
than chilling, Mr. Chairman.
  What the IRS has done is targeted conservative groups, allegedly to 
determine whether or not they ought to be granted tax-exempt status. In 
so doing, they have asked for those organizations' donor lists, the 
lists of hardworking Americans who have taken some of their resources 
and provided support for these organizations.
  Then the IRS took that donor list information, not only kept the 
organization from getting tax-exempt status, as would be appropriate, 
took that donor list information and released it to political enemies 
or political opponents of the organization, apparently for political 
purposes.
  This is outrageous activity, Mr. Chairman. This amendment is a very 
simple amendment that reminds the Internal Revenue Service that their 
primary responsibility is to serve the American taxpayer.
  Given the information that has come to light over the last year or 
so, I would suspect that every Member of this Congress should support 
holding the IRS accountable to the rule of law.
  The IRS has violated the trust of the American people, and it is 
imperative that this body hold the IRS accountable for their egregious 
actions.
  It is a simple amendment. It is a commonsense amendment. It is an 
amendment that is supported and responsive to our constituents, and I 
urge its adoption.
  Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield such time as he may consume to 
the

[[Page H6277]]

gentleman from Florida (Mr. Crenshaw), the chairman.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I think every American taxpayer needs to be assured 
that their personal information is going to be held in strict 
confidence, and that is what this amendment does.
  I think, particularly at a time when the IRS has demonstrated a lack 
of ability to either self-police or self-correct, when each week we 
read about a new revelation of some sort of bureaucratic incompetence 
or maybe willful disregard for the law, I think it is more important 
than ever to make sure that every taxpayer knows that personal 
information is going to be held in strict confidence.
  I urge the adoption of this amendment.
  Mr. PRICE of Georgia. I thank the chairman for his support, and I 
urge support of this amendment by all colleagues in the House.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Price).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                   Amendment Offered by Mr. DeSantis

  Mr. DeSANTIS. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used for any Internal Revenue Service instant message or 
     other electronic communications system that is not 
     operationally searchable and archivable at all times.

  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
gentleman's amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman from Florida and a 
Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. DeSANTIS. Mr. Chairman, it was really troubling to be reviewing 
emails that the IRS finally produced to us after we asked for these 
emails for over a year. Of course, they gave them to us on the 
afternoon of July 3, so as to minimize the press damage.
  Basically, the emails showed Lois Lerner sending an email to a 
technician saying, you know, Congress will ask for our emails, and I 
have told people in the IRS they need to be careful about what they 
say; question, if we do an instant message in the system that is called 
OCS, will those be immune to congressional oversight?
  The technician basically said, well, that is the default setting, you 
can make it so that it would be archivable and searchable.
  That was very troubling because it was almost like Lerner, as a 
matter of course, is conducting herself in a way to obstruct the proper 
oversight, and that is very troubling with an agency that is this 
powerful.
  So I think what this amendment will do will be to simply prevent 
that. This is saying exactly what Lois Lerner was asking about, the 
settings. If you are going to use funds, the settings have got to be 
turned on, and if you don't, then you can't use funds to operate it.
  So I think it is a commonsense amendment, and I urge my colleagues to 
adopt it.
  Mr. Chairman, given that the point of order has been lodged, I ask 
unanimous consent to withdraw amendment No. 52.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from Florida?
  There was no objection.


                   Amendment Offered by Mr. DeSantis

  Mr. DeSANTIS. Mr. Chair, as an alternative to the prior amendment, I 
offer amendment No. 54.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used by the Internal Revenue Service to create machine-
     readable materials that are not subject to the safeguards 
     established pursuant to section 3105 of title 44, United 
     States Code.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Florida and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. DeSANTIS. Mr. Chairman, I think this amendment accomplishes the 
similar objective that I articulated just a moment ago, and I would 
just add that it is very troubling, if you were called into court to 
defend yourself against the IRS and they asked you to produce certain 
documents in discovery and your defense was, well, the documents have 
been destroyed, you would be presumed essentially guilty. They would 
have an adverse inference lodged against you.
  I think that is what this amendment is getting to. The IRS has to 
practice what they preach. They should be held to the exact same 
standards as the American people are held to with their taxes, and they 
should follow the record retention requirements under Federal law.
  So I think it is a commonsense amendment, and I urge that my 
colleagues adopt the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield my remaining time to my colleague from Florida 
(Mr. Crenshaw).
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I thank the gentleman.
  Mr. Chairman, I simply want to applaud him for correcting any 
procedural flaws. He makes an excellent point, and I accept the 
amendment.
  Mr. DeSANTIS. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. DeSantis).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. DeSANTIS. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida will 
be postponed.

                              {time}  1930


                   Amendment Offered by Mr. DeSantis

  Mr. DeSANTIS. I have an amendment at the desk, Mr. Chair.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of funds made available by this Act to the 
     Internal Revenue Service may be obligated or expended on 
     conferences.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentleman 
from Florida and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. DeSANTIS. Mr. Chair, last year, the House Oversight Committee 
conducted a hearing to review an IG report documenting a lavish 
conference that was put on by the IRS--over $4 million for one 
conference. Expenses included $135,000 on outside speakers, including 
$17,000 for a speaker who created paintings on stage to make his point 
that one must free ``the thought process to find creative solutions to 
challenges.''
  The troubling thing about the report was that the bulk of that money, 
$3.2 million, came from unused funds that were allocated for hiring. 
Now, this is at the exact same time that the IRS began to single out 
conservative groups that sought tax-exempt status, in part, they said, 
because the agency simply did not have the manpower to handle the 
number of applications pouring in.
  Now, we have debunked that idea that somehow there was a torrent of 
applications, but golly gee, if that is really true, why are you 
spending $3.2 million on these conferences? So I think the IRS has 
abused the trust of the American taxpayer with respect to conferences, 
and I think it should be held accountable.
  Now, some say in response to this amendment that taxpayers need to be 
forced to fund these conferences because it helps with IRS employee 
morale. I have just got to tell you, I am more concerned with the 
morale of the American people. When taxpayers see an arrogant agency 
flout the law, refuse to produce evidence, and waste tax dollars, they 
become demoralized, and rightfully so.
  So at a time when military officers are receiving pink slips, there 
is no way we should allow the IRS to persist with these conferences.

[[Page H6278]]

  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chair, I think the mistake we are making here is the 
one we have been making all day. Not only is it targeted only at the 
IRS, which seems to be the desire to continue to do this for the next 
24 hours or for so long as this bill lasts, but secondly, it paints it 
with a wide brush. If you say no conferences of this type or if you 
limit the number of conferences, okay, we could discuss that; but to 
say that one agency in the Federal Government cannot have any kind of 
conferences, none at all--zero, nada--that really speaks to just a 
continuous desire to destroy the IRS.
  Now, there were issues concerning the conferences. There were issues 
concerning the conferences for other agencies. We have dealt with that. 
We can deal with this. But to say no conferences at all is to suggest 
that an agency cannot operate the way it needs to at times.
  So I think that this is just another attack on the IRS. It makes for 
good headlines, even at this time of night. I think it is the wrong 
thing to do, and I would hope that we could oppose it or that the 
gentleman will withdraw the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. DeSantis).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. DeSANTIS. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida will 
be postponed.


                  Amendment Offered by Mrs. Blackburn

  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __. (a) Each amount made available by this Act is 
     hereby reduced by 1 percent.
       (b) The reduction in subsection (a) shall not apply with 
     respect to the following accounts and programs:
       (1) Payment of Government losses in shipment under 
     ``Department of the Treasury--Bureau of the Fiscal Service''.
       (2) ``Supreme Court of the United States--Salaries and 
     Expenses''.
       (3) ``United States Court of Appeals for the Federal 
     Circuit--Salaries and Expenses''.
       (4) ``United States Court of International Trade--Salaries 
     and Expenses''.
       (5) ``Courts of Appeals, District Courts, and Other 
     Judicial Services--Salaries and Expenses''.
       (6) Payment to judiciary trust funds for Judiciary 
     Retirement Funds under section 624.
       (7) Payments to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability 
     Fund for the Office of Personnel Management under section 
     624.

  Mrs. BLACKBURN (during the reading). Mr. Chair, I ask unanimous 
consent to waive the reading.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Tennessee?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentlewoman 
from Tennessee and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Tennessee.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I want to thank the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Crenshaw), who has done a wonderful job 
bringing this bill to the floor.
  As I do with all of the appropriations bills, it is a focus of mine 
to come in and ask for an additional 1 percent cut on top of the great 
work that has already been done.
  I think it is important to give credit to our Appropriations 
Committee. This is a $21 billion bill, and it is appropriating $566 
million less than what was appropriated in fiscal year 2014, and it is 
$2.2 billion less than what the President requested. That is to be 
commended. Our appropriations team has done a terrific job on beginning 
to rein in what the Federal Government spends. The Republican House 
leadership is to be commended for making their focus to get our fiscal 
house in order.
  I think we have to go a step further, and that is the purpose of my 1 
percent across-the-board spending cut amendment. What we need to do now 
is to engage the bureaucracy, engage these Federal agencies, rank-and-
file employees, to come to the table with their recommendations of how 
we continue to cut.
  We are $17 trillion in debt. We cannot continue to borrow 30 cents of 
every dollar that we spend. We have to think about the future for our 
children, our grandchildren. This is an amendment that we should all 
support because we do this for our children, for the sovereignty of our 
Nation, and for the fiscal health of our Nation for years to come.
  I think it is important to note that through the years, Governors 
have used across-the-board spending cuts, Democrat Governors--a former 
Democrat Governor from my home State of Tennessee. You have got the 
Democrat Governor in New York. You have got the Governor over in 
Missouri. They have all used across-the-board cuts.
  The American people like this idea. They like having the bureaucracy 
engaged in saving money. A Washington Post/ABC News poll from March 6, 
2013, revealed that 61 percent of all Americans even supported a 5 
percent across-the-board cut in Federal spending.
  It is time for us to rein this in and get our fiscal house in order. 
This is a way to save an additional $228 million.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I rise in reluctant opposition to the 
amendment offered by my good friend from Tennessee. She makes an 
excellent point, and I think everyone agrees that we ought to try to 
rein in this culture of spending and put in place a culture of savings. 
I have been working my entire congressional career to do that.
  One of the things that we do in the appropriations process is we have 
hearings. We listen to people. They try to justify their request. 
Sometimes when programs work well, they might receive an increase. When 
people are not doing very well, like the IRS, they have their request 
denied and are actually funded at lower levels.
  What is interesting, last night on this floor, we added about $1 
billion to our debt reduction by taking that billion dollars out of the 
IRS. So when we set our priorities, we do that day to day. In this 
case, we had 12 hearings.
  If you look at our bill, there are actually nine programs that are 
just flat out eliminated. They are gone. It wasn't a 1 percent or an X 
percent cut. It was just, that is not a program that is vital to the 
functioning of the Federal Government so it is gone. It has been 
eliminated. There are several agencies where we have reduced their 
funding because we figured out that they could do with a little bit 
less.
  But when you take an additional 1 percent across the board after you 
have had a lot of time and energy put into place to set the right 
priorities, I don't think you take into consideration that some 
programs are better than others.
  I know my friend from Tennessee cares a lot about Women's Business 
Centers, and they received an increase under our appropriations bill 
because we think they are doing a great job. The Small Business 
Administration does great work at creating private sector jobs. The 
Women's Business Centers, because we thought they were doing well, they 
received an increase. Now, I don't know that she really wants to cut 
them.
  She says she is not going to apply these cuts to the Federal 
judiciary, and I think that is appropriate. Actually, the Federal 
courts are pretty happy. Last night, several millions of dollars were 
added to the Federal courts.
  I guess the simple point is that you have to take into consideration 
the merit of every program. If we didn't do anything and we just showed 
up one day and said how should we fund these people, then I think it is 
appropriate to say, well, let's just cut them across the board. But 
when you spend time and energy in setting the priorities and making 
hard choices, that is what we have done, and we are proud of the work 
we have done. I appreciate her compliment that we have done great work.
  The fact that she would like to cut 1 more percent across the board I 
don't

[[Page H6279]]

think is the right way to observe the situation. I appreciate what she 
is trying to do, but I don't think in this case it is the right 
approach.
  I would also like to yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Serrano), the ranking member.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I also rise in opposition to this 
amendment. The only difference here, Mr. Chairman, is that we are not 
attacking the IRS. Now we are attacking the Financial Services 
Subcommittee. The fact of life is that this committee took the biggest 
hit of any subcommittee in the House.
  And while I may disagree with how some of the bill came out, I have 
made it clear to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Crenshaw) that what I 
disagree with the most are the riders and the allocation. With a 
different allocation, we would have had a different bill. So to now cut 
1 percent from the committee that took the biggest hit is really to 
just to try to cripple the bill completely, and it serves no purpose 
other than to be able to say that you cut it.
  Now, it would be nice to see if these kinds of things were mean, what 
happened on the military budget every so often, but we are not going to 
see that. We are only going to see it on bills like this one, which 
really services a lot of people. I think that the chairman is right. I 
join him in opposing this amendment, and I hope that it will be 
defeated.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I do appreciate the work that the 
chairman has done on this bill, and our Appropriations Committee is to 
be commended.
  I think we do have to recognize Washington has a spending problem. 
They don't have a revenue problem. They have got a spending and a 
priority problem. We see it every single day.
  What I am asking is to engage those rank-and-file employees, have 
them find 1 penny on the dollar out of their appropriations that they 
could save in order to get this burden of debt off the backs of our 
children and grandchildren--one penny on the dollar. It has worked in 
the States. It works in our county and city governments. People like 
that and appreciate that you push for better stewardship, and it is the 
right thing for us to do as we watch the debt totals climb, skyrocket, 
and explode.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Tennessee 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment Offered by Mrs. Blackburn

  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used to provide funds from the Hardest Hit Fund program 
     established by the Secretary of the Treasury under title I of 
     the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (12 U.S.C. 
     5211 et seq.) to any State or local government for the 
     purpose of funding pension obligations of such State or local 
     government.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentlewoman 
from Tennessee and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Tennessee.

                              {time}  1945

  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer an amendment that would 
prevent the Federal Government from bailing out public pensioners in 
cities such as Detroit and Chicago.
  We have been reading for the past several months that the Obama 
administration has been in talks with the city of Detroit to transfer 
$100 million to the city.
  According to an April 16, 2014, article from the Detroit Free Press, 
the administration has looked to transfer $100 million from the Hardest 
Hit Fund to shore up Detroit's unfunded pension liability. The Hardest 
Hit Fund was created by the Obama administration in 2010 with money 
from the 2008 stimulus package. The money is meant to help States that 
have been adversely affected by the housing downturn, and that is 
according, again, to the Detroit Free Press.
  The article adds that:

       The $100 million in Federal money was discussed Tuesday 
     night in breakneck negotiations that resulted in a tentative 
     deal to reduce pension cuts for the city's retired general 
     workforce.

  Mr. Chairman, I refuse to let Federal taxpayers be on the hook for 
unfunded pension liabilities made by Big Labor organizations. Cities 
such as Detroit, Chicago, and others where Big Labor has created 
extremely generous retirement benefits for public service workers are 
going to have to find their way out of the mess that they have created.
  Now, it is my understanding that the city of Detroit has reached an 
agreement with the State of Michigan to shore up Detroit's unfunded 
pension liability for the time being. However, it does not foreclose 
this as a possibility to occur in the future for Detroit or any other 
city where Big Labor agreements have caused financial destruction.
  According to an April 7, 2014, article from chicagobusiness.com, 
Chicago's unfunded pension liability stands at $19.5 billion. A 
February 20, 2013, article in Forbes notes that Federal bailouts of 
State pension funds ``would implicitly encourage States to keep 
spending and doling out entitlements, as doing so is popular for 
politicians, even if unsustainable.'' The article adds that this is 
especially true in liberal-leaning areas where public-sector labor 
unions have a lot of control.
  Mr. Chairman, we must foreclose the administration's bailout of Big 
Labor as a possibility. I refuse to stand by and watch hardworking 
taxpayers be on the hook for the irresponsible decisions of liberal, 
Big Labor groups.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Will the gentlewoman yield?
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I just want to agree with you that I don't think that 
taxpayers should bail out Detroit's pension shortfall or any other 
city's shortfall. So I want you to know that I support your amendment.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. I appreciate that. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, this is really a mean amendment to single 
out one city, one city that is hurting; to single out labor when, in 
fact, it is not labor, but it is the people that have those pension 
plans and now may not have a pension plan, to single them out.
  With all due respect to the gentlewoman, I am sure there have been 
many instances throughout history and in recent years when your area, 
your State, has been helped by Federal dollars when it was hurting, and 
we all got together and did that, be it a flood, be it a fire, be it a 
natural disaster. Whatever it may be, we came together to help. Detroit 
has its problems, and Detroit might have made some mistakes. But to 
single it out in an amendment and to say that we cannot help in any 
way, shape, or form is really mean, mean-spirited and wrong.
  It may look good to single an urban center out. It may look good to 
single out a place that is hurting. But that is not the American way. 
The American way, I can tell you, as a New Yorker, when New York was 
hurting, people came to its aid. When we were attacked, we came to its 
aid.
  Sure, this is different, but Detroit, it's hurting right now. And to 
single it out on this House floor at 10 minutes to 8, at this time, to 
single it out as not being worthy of Federal help, is really just 
wrong. And then to take the opportunity to attack organized labor by 
suggesting that somehow they are to blame and therefore they should not 
get any help is also mean-spirited.
  So I have seen, in the time that I have been here, difficult 
amendments. But this one is one that really takes the cake. Mr. 
Chairman, Republicans

[[Page H6280]]

have supported bailing out banks and financial institutions that were 
deemed too large to fail. We were all for saving the auto industry, and 
I was for it, too. We were all for making sure that big institutions 
did not fail. And while I questioned it, many of us went along with it. 
And here to single out Detroit at its worst moment when it is hurting 
like no city has hurt in a long time is just the wrong thing to do.
  If this is what the gentlewoman wants to do, I guess there is no way 
to stop her, but I would really wish that she would take a moment to 
think about this before she goes any further with this.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I find the gentleman's choice of words 
so interesting. I think he used ``mean'' and ``mean-spirited'' several 
times.
  Let me tell you what is mean-spirited. Mean-spirited is looking at 
future generations and saying, you didn't want this, you didn't ask for 
it, but guess what? You have got a $17 trillion bill on your head. 
Right now, the birth tax for every child born in this country is 
$54,000. Is that good? Of course not. Is that mean-spirited? You bet it 
is. You are saying you owe this money like it or not because Washington 
can't get its spending habits under control. Washington is spending 
money it does not have to pay for programs that my grandkids do not 
want.
  You are saying it is not the American way. Let me tell you something. 
Using borrowed money to pay for debts that have not been created by 
this government is not the way we do business.
  I would remind you of a Congressman from Tennessee who stood on this 
floor at one point in history, and he reminded the body that this was 
not their money to give. It is the taxpayers' money. That Member of 
Congress was Davy Crockett.
  This is the taxpayers' money. They expect us to be good stewards. 
Bailing out cities that have not been good stewards of their money is 
not what this body should be doing with Federal tax dollars that come 
into our coffers.
  With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Tennessee 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment Offered by Mrs. Blackburn

  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk. It is 
amendment 080.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available in this Act to 
     the Federal Communications Commission may be used, with 
     respect to the States of Alabama, Arkansas, California, 
     Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, 
     Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South 
     Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and 
     Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own 
     State laws with respect to the provision of broadband 
     Internet access service (as defined in section 8.11 of title 
     47, Code of Federal Regulations) by the State or a 
     municipality or other political subdivision of the State.

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I would like to reserve a point of order 
mainly because we haven't seen this text or the amendment until this 
very moment. In fact, we still haven't seen it.
  The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentlewoman from Tennessee and 
a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Tennessee.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, my amendment seeks to prohibit any 
taxpayer funds from being used by the Federal Communications 
Commission, the FCC, to preempt State municipal broadband laws.
  In other words, we don't need unelected Federal agency bureaucrats in 
Washington telling our States what they can and can't do with respect 
to protecting their limited taxpayer dollars in private enterprises.
  As a former State senator from Tennessee, I strongly believe in 
states' rights. I know that is an issue that is important to many of my 
colleagues in this Chamber. And that is why I found it deeply troubling 
that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has repeatedly stated this past year that 
he intends to preempt states' rights when it comes to the role of state 
policy over municipal broadband.
  Chairman Wheeler's statements posed a direct challenge on the 
constitutionality of States' sovereign functions. It wrongly assumes 
Washington knows what is best and forgets that the right answer doesn't 
always come from the top down.
  Mr. Chairman, 20 States across our country have held public debates 
and enacted laws that limit municipal broadband to varying degrees. 
These State legislatures and Governors have not only listened but have 
responded to the voices of their constituents. They are closer to the 
people than the chairman of the FCC. They are accountable to their 
voters.
  Mr. Chairman, States have spoken and said that we should be careful 
and deliberate in how we allow public entry into our vibrant 
communications marketplace, a sector of our economy that invests tens 
of billions of dollars each year, accounts for tens of thousands of 
jobs, and serves millions of consumers.
  Municipal broadband projects have had a mixed bag of results. There 
have been some successes and also some spectacular failures that have 
left taxpayers on the hook. For example, look at the failed UTOPIA 
project that has created massive disruption and is challenging 
taxpayers. In fact, it was recently reported that the ``residents of 11 
Utah cities would be billed as much as $20 a month as part of a plan to 
salvage the State's once-heralded UTOPIA fiber optic network.''
  That doesn't sound like a model the Federal Government needs to force 
against the wishes of State-elected officials. That doesn't sound like 
competition, and it sounds like another Federal bailout waiting to 
happen.
  State governments across the country understand and are more 
attentive to the needs of the American people than unelected Federal 
bureaucrats in Washington. That is why this past June I was joined by 
59 of our colleagues in sending a letter to Chairman Wheeler stating 
our concerns and requesting a response to a list of questions, 
questions that we are still waiting for him to respond to. The U.S. 
Senate also sent a letter to the FCC on this issue, and they are, 
likewise, waiting for a response. It seems the FCC is content to tell 
our States how they will manage their sovereign economic affairs, but 
they won't answer to the Congress who is responsible for exercising 
oversight of the agency.
  Inserting the FCC into our State's economic and fiscal affairs sets a 
dangerous precedent and violates State sovereignty in a manner that 
warrants deeper examination. This Congress cannot sit idly by and let 
an independent agency trample on our states' rights. This is an issue 
that should be left to our States, and if it comes to a point where we 
need a national standard, then that debate should be held by Congress, 
not the FCC, and should be done with the participation of the American 
people. I urge adoption, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. First, I wish to withdraw my point of order, Mr. 
Chairman.
  The Acting CHAIR. The point of order is withdrawn.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. I do have, and I know it comes at a different time, but 
I do have letters from different groups opposing the amendment from the 
National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, National 
Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, including the 
gentleman who gets credit for inventing the Internet, and I am not 
talking about Vice President Gore, I am speaking about someone else.


[[Page H6281]]


         National League of Cities, National Association of 
           Counties, National Association of Telecommunications 
           Officers and Advisors
                                                    July 15, 2014.
     U.S. House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: The National League of Cities (NLC), 
     the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the National 
     Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors 
     (NATOA) strongly urges you to oppose any amendment to HR 5016 
     that would hamstring the Federal Communications Commission 
     (FCC) from taking any action on--indeed, even discussing--the 
     issue of state laws that prohibit or restrict public and 
     public/private broadband projects. It is clear that such laws 
     harm both the public and private sectors, stifle economic 
     growth, prevent the creation or retention of thousands of 
     jobs, and hamper work force development.
       The United States must compete in a global economy in which 
     affordable access to advanced communications networks is 
     playing an increasingly significant role. As the FCC noted in 
     challenging broadband providers and state and municipal 
     community leaders to come together to develop at least one 
     gigabit community in all 50 states by 2015: ``The U.S. needs 
     a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that 
     innovators can develop next-generation applications and 
     services that will drive economic growth and global 
     competitiveness.'' This is especially true in rural America.
       The private sector alone cannot enable the United States to 
     take full advantage of the opportunities that advanced 
     communications networks can create in virtually every area of 
     life. As a result, federal, state, and local efforts are 
     taking place across the Nation to deploy both private and 
     public broadband infrastructure to stimulate and support 
     economic development and job creation, especially in 
     economically distressed areas. But such efforts are being 
     thwarted in some areas by State laws that prohibit or 
     restrict municipalities from working with private broadband 
     providers, or developing themselves, if necessary, the 
     advanced broadband infrastructure that will stimulate local 
     businesses development, foster work force retraining, and 
     boost employment in economically underachieving areas.
       Consistent with these expressions of national unity, public 
     entities across America are ready, willing, and able to do 
     their share to bring affordable high-capacity broadband 
     connectivity to all Americans. State barriers to public 
     broadband are counterproductive to the achievement of these 
     goals. Efforts to strip funding from the FCC to even discuss 
     this issue, let alone take action, are misplaced and wrong. 
     Please oppose any amendment to HR 5016 or any other measure 
     that could significantly impair community broadband 
     deployments or public/private partnerships.
           Sincerely,
     National League of Cities,
     National Association of Counties,
     National Association of Telecommunications Officers and 
     Advisors.
                                  ____


                  Preserving a Free and Open Internet

       Whereas, since its inception, the Internet has existed 
     based on principles of freedom and openness, core values that 
     have made it the most powerful communication medium ever 
     known; and
       Whereas, the FCC is currently debating how to enshrine 
     these Open Internet Principles into 21st century regulation; 
     and
       Whereas, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. in 
     2010 determined that the long-observed Open Internet 
     Principles of nondiscrimination, nonblocking, and 
     transparency, described below, should not be declared in an 
     FCC Policy Statement, but instead should be enshrined in a 
     formal rulemaking seeking to reinstate those principles; and
       Whereas, the FCC issued its Open Internet Order, 
     reinstating these rules for preserving a free and open 
     internet, on December 23, 2010, formalizing the three basic 
     protections: transparency, no blocking of lawful content and 
     no unreasonable discrimination of network traffic; and these 
     rules were made effective November 20, 2011; and
       Whereas, these rules enshrine the values of what is 
     commonly referred to as net neutrality; and
       Whereas, the first principle of the Open Internet Order 
     states that fixed and mobile broadband providers must 
     publicly disclose accurate information regarding network 
     management practices, performance characteristics, and 
     commercial terms of their broadband services; and
       Whereas, the second principle states that fixed broadband 
     providers may not block lawful content, applications, 
     services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers 
     may not block lawful websites, or block applications that 
     compete with their voice or video telephony services; and
       Whereas, the third principle states that unreasonable 
     discrimination shall not be permitted, that fixed broadband 
     providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting 
     lawful network traffic; and
       Whereas, these principles, applied with the complementary 
     principle of reasonable network management, guarantee that 
     the freedom and openness that previously enabled the internet 
     to flourish as an engine for creativity and commerce under 
     the protection of the original policy statement will 
     continue, providing greater certainty and predictability to 
     citizens, consumers, innovators, investors, and broadband 
     providers, while retaining the flexibility providers need to 
     effectively manage their networks; and
       Whereas, since the beginning of the internet, broadband 
     Internet access services have continued to invest in a single 
     infrastructure which has increased average speeds for all 
     users across our nation, without resorting to the practice of 
     prioritization for users who can afford to pay the most; and
       Whereas, online companies, or edge providers, have also 
     invested in new innovative products and services that have 
     driven economic growth and consumer demand for improved 
     internet services and faster speeds from broadband internet 
     access providers; and
       Whereas, the dual investment of broadband Internet access 
     service providers and edge providers has fostered a virtuous 
     cycle of investment and innovation online; and
       Whereas, two key rules of the three rules comprising the 
     Open Internet Order, one pertaining to no blocking and 
     another pertaining to no unreasonable discrimination, were 
     again vacated on January 14, 2014 by the U.S. Court of 
     Appeals in Washington, D.C. in the Verizon Communications 
     Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission (2014), ruling that 
     the FCC has no authority to enforce these rules; and
       Whereas, the FCC on May 15, 2014, voted 3-2 to open the 
     process of public comment on their proposed net neutrality 
     rules that could in some circumstances allow paid 
     prioritization of internet traffic based on a commercially 
     reasonable standard; and
       Whereas, paid prioritization under a commercially 
     reasonable standard allows paid prioritization that has 
     heretofore been understood to be unjust and unreasonable; and
       Whereas, unreasonable paid prioritization is antithetical 
     to a neutral Internet, and nondiscrimination is an inherent 
     and indivisible characteristic of net neutrality; and
       Whereas, all data on the Internet should be treated 
     equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by 
     user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached 
     equipment, and modes of communication; and
       Whereas, innovation relies on a free and open Internet that 
     does not allow individual arrangements for priority treatment 
     over broadband Internet access service; and
       Whereas, preventing access to any lawful websites, slowing 
     speeds for services, or redirecting users from one website to 
     a competing website creates asymmetrical access which is 
     antithetical to an Open Internet; and
       Whereas, startups are the engine of an innovation economy, 
     yet may not have the cash flow to pay for paid 
     prioritization, and will therefore be unable to compete with 
     large companies to deliver content to customers, impeding 
     startup growth, thus limiting economic development and the 
     creation of jobs: Now therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the US Conference of Mayors supports a free 
     and open internet as outlined in the FCC's original Open 
     Internet Order; and be it further
       Resolved, That the US Conference of Mayors supports 
     comprehensive nondiscrimination as a key principle for any 
     FCC rulemaking; and be it further
       Resolved, That the US Conference of Mayors supports 
     securing a commitment to transparency and the free flow of 
     information over the internet, including no blocking of 
     lawful websites and no unreasonable discrimination of lawful 
     network traffic; and be it further
       Resolved, That the US Conference of Mayors calls on the 
     White House to offer their support of these principles; and 
     be it further
       Resolved, That the US Conference of Mayors calls on 
     Congress to offer their support of these principles and if 
     necessary use their lawmaking power to enshrine access to a 
     free and open Internet and give the FCC a clear mandate; and 
     be it further
       Resolved, That the US Conference of Mayors recommends that 
     the FCC preempt state barriers to municipal broadband service 
     as a significant limitation to competition in the provision 
     of Internet access.
                                  ____



                           Coalition for Local Internet Choice

                                    Washington, DC, July 15, 2014.
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: The Coalition for Local Internet 
     Choice has heard that Rep. Marsha Blackburn is planning to 
     propose an amendment to House Appropriation bill H.R. 5016. 
     The amendment would preclude the Federal Communications 
     Commission from using its appropriated funds to take any 
     action that would preempt a State law governing whether or to 
     what extent the State or a municipality or other political 
     sub-division of the State may provide broadband Internet 
     access service. The Coalition urges you to oppose any such 
     amendment.
       As Congress and the Commission have often recognized, 
     ensuring that all Americans have reasonable and timely access 
     to advanced telecommunications capabilities, particularly in 
     rural and other high-cost areas, is ``the great 
     infrastructure challenge of our time.'' Toward this end, 
     Congress has assigned the Commission a central role in 
     defining the relevant terms and standards and in identifying 
     and removing barriers to broadband investment and 
     competition. While preemption of State barriers to

[[Page H6282]]

     broadband investment and competition should be used rarely, 
     in only the clearest of cases, it should not be ruled out 
     categorically in all cases, as the Blackburn amendment would 
     do.
       Our Coalition was established to support local choice in 
     acquiring advanced communications capabilities. Our members 
     believe that communities should be free to decide to work 
     with willing incumbents, enter into public-private 
     partnerships, develop their own networks, if necessary, or do 
     whatever else may work for their citizens, businesses, and 
     institutions. Where communities have been free to do this, we 
     have seen robust economic development enhanced educational 
     and occupational opportunity, access to more affordable 
     modern health care, improved public safety, greater energy 
     efficiency and environmental protection, and much more that 
     has contributed to a high quality of life. In contrast, where 
     state barriers to community broadband initiatives and public-
     private partnerships exist, both the public and private 
     sectors, particularly high-technology companies, are failing 
     to meet their potential.
       At this critical time in our country's history, we should 
     not preclude or inhibit any potentially successful strategy 
     that will enable our communities and America as a whole to 
     thrive in the emerging knowledge-based global economy. Nor 
     can we afford to take off the table any approach that may be 
     necessary in certain cases to remove barriers to broadband 
     investment and competition.
           Sincerely,
                                                     Joanne Hovis,
                                    Chief Executive Officer, CLIC.

  Mr. SERRANO. Whatever happened to localism or local control? This 
amendment means the Federal Government will tell every local citizen, 
mayor, and county council member that they may not act in their own 
best interests.
  Any such amendment is an attack on the rights of individual citizens 
speaking through their local leaders to determine if their broadband 
needs are being met.
  Congresswoman Blackburn only has to drive an hour and a half down 
Interstate 24 to Chattanooga to see where the city-owned electric 
utility owns a broadband network. It charges $70 per month, enough to 
cover expenses but affordable enough to attract businesses.

                              {time}  2000

  Her State passed a bill to prevent nearby towns from joining 
Chattanooga and to block other communities from doing themselves. 
Companies have moved jobs or expanded in Chattanooga after learning 
that the minimum connection speed on the city-owned network was faster 
than the maximum they had available at headquarters.
  Preemption will not force anyone to do anything that the 
municipalities alone don't want to do. This is not about forcing States 
to do anything, but instead stopping States from choking grassroots 
competition and stopping States from blocking faster networks or new 
networks where none exist.
  It may sound one way, but it is a total different interpretation that 
we have, and this amendment could really hurt--in fact, may even hurt 
the efforts that she claims she wants to put forth.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I think it is important to note that 
what this amendment does is to allow those citizens in those cities, in 
those States that have made this decision--this is how they want to 
handle broadband--to do it.
  It gives the power to them. It keeps bureaucrats, sitting at the FCC, 
from making these decisions and overriding the wishes of our States and 
of those cities that are located therein. I urge adoption of the 
amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, it is interesting to note that Chairman 
Upton has legislation and has spoken out on this issue, and the whole 
issue here is to allow cities to do what they need to do without having 
the major cable companies and so on lobby the States and stop them from 
doing so.
  Broadband is something that we need to expand--that may sound like a 
pun--to make it broader, not to make it limited. It should be available 
everywhere, and it should be available in every possible place--rural, 
suburban, inner city, in homes, in schools.
  We have to build the infrastructure to make that happen. Again, I 
repeat, I really think that her intent is not being met by her 
amendment, and that is why I oppose it and hope we would all oppose it.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Tennessee 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment Offered by Mrs. Blackburn

  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I have one final amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to 
     finalize, implement, or enforce the proposed rule entitled 
     ``Voluntary Remedial Actions and Guidelines for Voluntary 
     Recall Notices'' (CPSC Docket No. CPSC-2013-0040).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 661, the gentlewoman 
from Tennessee and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Tennessee.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would prohibit funds for 
the voluntary recall proposed rule at the Consumer Product Safety 
Commission and would prevent them from moving forward with a rule that 
would cripple the highly successful voluntary recall program that is 
currently in place.
  For nearly 40 years, the CPSC and manufacturers and retailers, big 
and small, have partnered to ensure that the system of voluntary 
recalls is effectively reducing the safety risks that are posed to the 
public.
  In fact, the CPSC recently highlighted the success of the program, 
noting that 90 percent of the recalls through the award-winning Fast 
Track program are implemented within 20 days. The Fast Track program 
was created by former CPSC Chairman Ann Brown to greatly reduce the 
amount of time it takes recalls to be implemented.
  Instead of working to increase the efficiency of its programs, the 
CPSC's proposed rule change effectively kills its most successful 
program. On May 30, Ann Brown, a Democratic former Chairman appointed 
by President Clinton, sent a letter to the Energy and Commerce 
Committee expressing deep concerns over the impacts of the Commission's 
proposed rule.
  Concerning the substantive provisions of the proposal, former 
Chairman Brown stated:

       A Fast Track procedure would be rendered impossible under 
     these circumstances.

  The success of this Fast Track program is based on the shared 
commitment of the Commission and the private sector to remove harmful 
products from the marketplace.
  The Commission, however, now seeks to transform the voluntary recall 
process into a legal negotiation equivalent to a settlement agreement. 
The proposed substantive changes would require companies seeking to 
implement a recall to hire an attorney to negotiate binding and 
enforceable terms with the CPSC staff.
  This places significant burdens on small businesses that use the Fast 
Track program because the program allows them to work with the 
Commission staff without having to pay expensive legal fees. The CPSC 
should not discourage companies from working closely, efficiently, and 
effectively with the CPSC when potential hazards or defects are 
identified.
  As the letter from former CPSC Chairman Brown shows, this is not a 
political issue. Senators from Pennsylvania--Casey and Toomey, a 
Democrat and Republican, respectively--submitted a letter in January 
for the docket, raising concerns about the proposed changes.
  Senator King sent the Commission a letter in March expressing similar 
concerns, and I include these letters, Mr. Chairman, from former 
Chairman Brown and from the Senators into the Record.


[[Page H6283]]




                                                    Ann Brown,

                             Palm Beach Gardens, FL, May 30, 2014.
     Hon. Fred S. Upton,
     Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Henry A. Waxman,
     Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Energy and Commerce, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Minority Member Waxman, I 
     had the privilege of serving as Chairman of the U.S. Consumer 
     Product Safety Commission from March 1994 until November 1, 
     2001. During my time as Chairman, we prevented numerous 
     deaths and injuries through enforcement actions, product 
     recalls and working with consumers, consumer groups and firms 
     regulated by the Commission. Product safety is best 
     accomplished when government, Industry and consumers work 
     together.
       Under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), 
     manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer 
     products must report certain potential product hazards to the 
     Commission. They must report immediately if they obtain 
     information which reasonably supports the conclusion that a 
     product (1) fails to comply with certain mandatory or 
     voluntary standards, (2) contains a defect which could create 
     a substantial product hazard, or (3) creates an unreasonable 
     risk of serious injury or death.
       If the Commission believes that a product presents a 
     substantial product hazard to the public, it may pursue 
     corrective action. Early in my Chairmanship, I learned that 
     some number of companies were offering to conduct product 
     recalls but because of entrenched procedures, those firms 
     were not allowed to proceed with a recall until the CPSC 
     staff performed a technical evaluation of the product 
     involved, agreed that there was a product safety problem by 
     making a ``Preliminary Determination'' (PD) of hazard, and 
     then sent a letter to the firm advising it of the preliminary 
     determination of hazard and requesting a product recall.
       This process could and often did take many months-months 
     without a recall, months where consumers were at risk, even 
     though the firm was ready, willing and able to proceed with a 
     recall at the time of its report. We changed this 
     bureaucratic process early in my tenure as Chairman by 
     creating the Fast Track Product Recall program in August 
     1995.
       Originally called the ``No PD'' program, firms who reported 
     to CPSC, identified a product safety problem, agreed to and 
     initiated a recall within 20 working days of their report, no 
     longer required a staff technical evaluation of the problem 
     reported. Rather than performing a technical evaluation to 
     confirm the product problem reported upon, the CPSC staff 
     evaluated the remedy proposed to assure that it adequately 
     addressed the problem identified and spent time working with 
     the firm on conducting the product recall.
       The Commission made this Fast Track program permanent on 
     March 27, 1997, and it has been hugely successful. More than 
     one-half of all CPSC recalls are now conducted through the 
     Fast Track Program. Recalls conducted through this program 
     benefit consumers, the recalling firm and the CPSC. Recalls 
     are announced faster better protecting consumers from injury. 
     Recalling firms do not receive a letter stating that the CPSC 
     staff has preliminarily determined their product is a 
     substantial product hazard. And the government spend less 
     resources investigating a product that a company has already 
     agreed should be recalled.
       The CPSC staff received a ``Hammer'' Award from Vice 
     President Albert Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing 
     Government for the Fast Track Product Recall Program. This 
     award honored federal employees for significant improvements 
     to customer service and for making the government work more 
     efficiently. Also in 1998, the Fast Track Program was named a 
     winner of the prestigious Innovations in American Government 
     award, an awards program of the Ford Foundation and Harvard 
     University, administered by Harvard University's John F. 
     Kennedy School of Government in partnership with the Council 
     for Excellence in Government.
       Now this award winning program appears to face the risk of 
     being unintentionally undermined by a rule proposed by the 
     CPSC in November 2013 that is Intended to enhance voluntary 
     recalls by setting forth principles and guidelines for the 
     content and form of voluntary recall notices that firms 
     provide as part of corrective action plans. One of the CPSC's 
     proposals is to prohibit firms desiring to conduct a 
     voluntary recall from disclaiming that there is a hazard 
     presented by their product unless the Commission agrees to 
     the disclaimer. I am concerned that this proposal if adopted 
     could undermine the efficacy of the Fast Track program. 
     Another proposal would classify a voluntary Corrective Action 
     Plan (CAP) as ``legally binding'' thus transforming a CAP 
     into a Consent Decree, potentially delaying an otherwise 
     effective recall weeks or even months due to haggling over 
     legalities. A Fast Track procedure would be rendered 
     impossible under these circumstances.
       CPSC urges firms to err on the side of caution by reporting 
     potential product safety problems and conducting recalls. It 
     is my understanding that virtually every firm that reports 
     under the CPSC mandatory reporting requirement and requests 
     to participate in a Fast Track recall, asserts that their 
     product does not present a substantial product hazard, but 
     nonetheless they wish to conduct a recall. If reporting firms 
     are not allowed to make this disclaimer, they have no 
     incentive to participate in the Fast Track Program.
       Not making the disclaimer may be perceived in product 
     liability litigation as akin to admitting that the product 
     reported on is a substantial product hazard. If so, reporting 
     firms might just as well report to CPSC, not offer to conduct 
     a recall, and take the chance that the CPSC staff might 
     conclude their product is not a substantial product hazard 
     and that no recall is necessary.
       If this occurs, recalls would be delayed, CPSC would be 
     required to use substantial technical resources to evaluate 
     products so that the staff can determine whether to make a 
     preliminary determination of hazard, and consumers are left 
     unprotected potentially for many months.
       I respectfully request that the Committee urge the 
     Commission to consider its proposed rule carefully and to 
     assure that it does not adversely affect CPSC's Fast Track 
     Product Recall Program.
           Sincerely,
     Ann Brown.
                                  ____



                                         United States Senate,

                                 Washington, DC, January 30, 2014.
     Re Proposed Rulemaking on Voluntary Product Recalls

     Robert S. Adler,
     Acting Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 
         Bethesda, MD.
       Dear Chairman Adler: We have recently become aware of a 
     proposed rule by the Consumer Product Safety Commission 
     (CPSC) that could greatly increase the cost and complexity of 
     recalling harmful consumer products.
       As you know, the agency currently operates a ``Fast Track'' 
     program that is well regarded and has a history of success. 
     Since its inception in 1997, the program has allowed 
     companies to recall products when they have reason to believe 
     their products will harm consumers. The vast majority of 
     companies across the nation comply with the program, and 
     companies in Pennsylvania often initiate product recalls as a 
     precautionary measure, even where there is no evidence of 
     injury to consumers. As the CPSC itself points out, the 
     advantage of its award-winning program is that it permits 
     companies to remove potentially hazardous products from the 
     marketplace as quickly and efficiently as possible, without 
     requiring CPSC staff to make a preliminary determination that 
     the product is hazardous. Because the program makes recalls 
     voluntary and utilizes standard-form documents that can be 
     expeditiously reviewed and executed, product recalls occur 
     rapidly and efficiently.
       Unfortunately, the proposed changes seem to jeopardize the 
     efficacy of the existing process, which could increase the 
     risk of harm to consumers. The proposed rule makes 
     ``voluntary'' product recall Action Plans legally binding and 
     requires companies to state with specificity each instance in 
     which a product causes harm. We worry that these changes may 
     discourage companies from initiating precautionary recalls 
     and increase compliance and administrative costs. Companies 
     that recall products will have to utilize lawyers to 
     negotiate their ``legally binding'' documents and will 
     involve upper corporate management to approve forward-looking 
     obligations. Similarly, the CPSC will have to devote more 
     time and personnel to negotiating recall documents and may be 
     subject to litigation to determine whether a particular 
     product is hazardous. Given these issues, we are concerned 
     that the proposed change could ultimately keep harmful 
     products on store shelves for longer periods of time, and 
     thus increase the risk of harm to consumers.
       Given the longstanding success of the Fast Track program, 
     and the paramount importance of maintaining effective 
     procedures for recalling dangerous products, we encourage the 
     Commission to very carefully consider any changes it seeks to 
     make to its Fast Track recall program.
           Sincerely,
                                             Robert P. Casey, Jr.,
                                            United States Senator.
                                                Patrick J. Toomey,
     United States Senator.
                                  ____



                                         United States Senate,

                                   Washington, DC, March 21, 2014.
     Hon. Robert S. Adler,
     Acting Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 
         Bethesda, MD.
       Dear Chairman Adler: I write today to communicate serious 
     reservations about the rulemaking being conducted by the 
     Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding remedial 
     actions and guidelines for voluntary recall notices. While 
     framed as ``interpretive'' guidance, the CPSC's proposed rule 
     makes substantial changes to current practice surrounding 
     voluntary recalls--changes that could result in significant 
     compliance burdens for businesses wishing to voluntarily 
     recall a product.
       The CPSC currently has in place a highly successful ``Fast 
     Track'' process that enables a company to make use of an 
     expedited process, in consultation with the CPSC, to recall a 
     defective product. This innovative program eases regulatory 
     requirements and enables businesses to work with the CPSC to 
     get defective products off store shelves within days, rather 
     than the weeks and months a normal recall process might take. 
     The ``Fast Track'' program demonstrates a smart blend of 
     strong consumer protections and ease of business compliance, 
     creating an environment that encourages businesses to report

[[Page H6284]]

     defective products and quickly remove them from circulation.
       The proposed rule under consideration would make 
     substantial changes to the ``Fast Track'' program and could 
     threaten the incentives for businesses to undertake voluntary 
     recalls, as well as substantially increase the cost of 
     completing the process. Most significantly, the proposed rule 
     makes the corrective action plans in voluntary recall 
     agreements legally binding, which could dramatically shift 
     the incentive structure for businesses to report incidences 
     of defective products. Making a plan legally binding will 
     slow down the voluntary recall process, leaving consumers at 
     risk for a longer period of time as the plans will first need 
     to be subject to detailed review by legal counsel.
       The proposed rule would also allow the CPSC to require the 
     adoption of a compliance program as a component of corrective 
     action plans. This requirement--if not properly calibrated--
     could introduce further delays in the voluntary recall 
     process, even when a business has no history of recalls or 
     violations. Thus, in the midst of working with the CPSC on 
     the parameters of a voluntary recall agreement, a business 
     might also have to negotiate the parameters of a compliance 
     program and provide description of said program in the recall 
     announcement.
       While Section 214 of the Consumer Product Safety 
     Improvement Act of 2008 required the CPSC to establish 
     requirements for mandatory recall notices, the statute bears 
     no mention of establishing similar requirements for voluntary 
     recalls. I understand that the CPSC bases its authority to 
     establish guidelines from language in a House committee 
     report, but I am not convinced that the proposed rule's 
     sweeping changes to the existing voluntary recall process is 
     congruent with either the intent of the statute or the 
     language in the committee report.
       Existing regulations require companies initiating a 
     voluntary recall to propose and implement a formal corrective 
     action plan, but these plans were never intended to be 
     legally binding. Part 1115.20 of title 16 of the Code of 
     Federal Regulations describes a corrective action plan as 
     ``[a] document, signed by a subject firm, which sets forth 
     the remedial action which the firm will voluntarily undertake 
     to protect the public, but which has no legally binding 
     effect.'' In effect, the regulations expressly prohibited the 
     Commission from making these agreements legally binding in 
     order to encourage--not deter--businesses to recall defective 
     products. The CPSC's proposed rules may have the opposite of 
     the intended effect--and, at the very least, could 
     substantially delay the timely distribution of product safety 
     information to the public.
       Make no mistake: I have long been an advocate for strong 
     regulations that protect public health, safety, and the 
     environment. However, I also believe that we must regulate in 
     a manner that is sensitive to the burdens placed on 
     individuals and businesses. My opinion is that the CPSC's 
     proposed rule may go too far--and may have the unintended 
     consequence of delaying the recall process and extending the 
     period of time in which defective items remain in 
     circulation.
       I urge the Commission to take my comments into 
     consideration. The proposed rule could have a widespread and 
     indiscriminate effect on voluntary recalls, and I ask the 
     Commission to do its due diligence in fully vetting the 
     impacts on businesses across the country, particularly for 
     those wishing to initiate a voluntary recall as a 
     precautionary measure. For large businesses, who already 
     employ legal counsel and compliance officers, these new 
     requirements will be substantial; for small businesses, they 
     could be crippling.
           Sincerely,
                                               Angus S. King, Jr.,
                                            United States Senator.

  Mrs. BLACKBURN. I also ask that Members of this Chamber recognize 
that the proposed rule change would slow a process meant to be 
conducted with speed and without red tape and would harm a system that 
ensures that consumer products sold in the U.S. are the safest in the 
world.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, there is a contradiction with what the 
gentlewoman says because, on one hand, she doesn't want government 
involved in localities, and on the other hand, she wants to tell 
localities how to act.
  On the other hand, she doesn't want us to tell the Consumer Product 
Safety Commission how to act, so it becomes very confusing. This is an 
issue we should leave to the discretion of the Consumer Product Safety 
Commission. This is not something we should be micromanaging the CPSC 
on.
  Furthermore, it is a proposed rule, and the CPSC is simply reviewing 
comments at this stage, and that is important to note. They are simply 
reviewing comments at this stage. We in this body should let the 
process of issuing rules play out, as is required in law, instead of 
cherry-picking where and when we want to interfere.
  This is simply not an area of overregulation, since no regulation is 
yet in effect, so this amendment is unnecessary. I oppose the 
amendment, and I hope my colleagues will as well.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to 
the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Crenshaw).
  Mr. CRENSHAW. I think the gentlewoman has very well explained the 
amendment. We have a system that has been working well for 40 years, 
and so I don't think we need to make any unnecessary changes, and so I 
urge Members to support her amendment.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman.
  I urge support of this amendment. The program in place at the CPSC 
has worked well. It is supported by both Republicans and Democrats. The 
process they are going through at CPSC is expending a tremendous amount 
of time and money.
  Looking at setting up a system that would force these retailers into 
legal negotiations and settlements is not the way to address this.
  The Fast Track program has been enormously successful. Former 
Chairman Brown worked during the Clinton administration--was appointed 
by President Clinton. They did a great job putting this program 
together. We should leave it in place. I urge a ``yes'' vote.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, this agency is one of the better agencies. 
Every so often, we read about baby seats and blankets and all kinds of 
issues that affect our communities and our daily lives.
  We should stop trying to attack it, as some people do. I just think 
that this is not a good amendment and that it should be defeated.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Tennessee 
will be postponed.
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
LaMalfa) having assumed the chair, Mr. Wenstrup, Acting Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 5016) 
making appropriations for financial services and general government for 
the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes, had 
come to no resolution thereon.

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