PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4890, BAN ON IRS BONUSES UNTIL SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY DEVELOPS COMPREHENSIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE STRATEGY, AND PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 3724, ENSURING...
(House of Representatives - April 19, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 60 (Tuesday, April 19, 2016)]
[Pages H1819-H1824]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4890, BAN ON IRS BONUSES UNTIL 
   SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY DEVELOPS COMPREHENSIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE 
   STRATEGY, AND PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 3724, ENSURING 
               INTEGRITY IN THE IRS WORKFORCE ACT OF 2015

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on 
Rules, I call up House Resolution 688 and ask for its immediate 
consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 688

       Resolved, That at any time after adoption of this 
     resolution the Speaker may, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule 
     XVIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the 
     Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of 
     the bill (H.R. 4890) to impose a ban on the payment of 
     bonuses to employees of the Internal Revenue Service until 
     the Secretary of the Treasury develops and implements a 
     comprehensive customer service strategy. The first reading of 
     the bill shall be dispensed with. All points of order against 
     consideration of the bill are waived. General debate shall be 
     confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally 
     divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
     member of the Committee on Ways and Means. After general 
     debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 
     five-minute rule. In lieu of the amendment in the nature of a 
     substitute recommended by the Committee on Ways and Means now 
     printed in the bill, it shall be in order to consider as an 
     original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-
     minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute 
     consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 114-49. That 
     amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered 
     as read. All points of order against that amendment in the 
     nature of a substitute are waived. No amendment to that 
     amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order 
     except those printed in the report of the Committee on Rules 
     accompanying this resolution. Each such amendment may be 
     offered only in the order printed in the report, may be 
     offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be 
     considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified 
     in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent 
     and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall 
     not be subject to a demand for division of the question in 
     the House or in the Committee of the Whole. All points of 
     order against such amendments are waived. At the conclusion 
     of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee 
     shall rise and report the bill to the House with such 
     amendments as may have been adopted. Any Member may demand a 
     separate vote in the House on any amendment adopted in the 
     Committee of the Whole to the bill or to the amendment in the 
     nature of a substitute made in order as original text. The 
     previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill 
     and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening 
     motion except one motion to recommit with or without 
     instructions.
       Sec. 2.  Upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in 
     order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 3724) to amend 
     the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit the 
     Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service from rehiring 
     any employee of the Internal Revenue Service who was 
     involuntarily separated from service for misconduct. All 
     points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. 
     In lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute 
     recommended by the Committee on Ways and Means now printed in 
     the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute 
     consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 114-48 shall 
     be considered as adopted. The bill, as amended, shall be 
     considered as read. All points of order against provisions in 
     the bill, as amended, are waived. The previous question shall 
     be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any 
     further amendment thereto, to final passage without 
     intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate equally 
     divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
     member of the Committee on Ways and Means; and (2) one motion 
     to recommit with or without instructions.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 
1 hour.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, 
I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. McGovern), pending which I yield myself such time as I may 
consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is 
for the purpose of debate only.


                             General Leave

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on 
House Resolution 688, currently under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Georgia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to bring forward 
this rule on behalf of the Committee on Rules. The rule provides for 
consideration of H.R. 4890, Ban on IRS Bonuses Until Secretary of the 
Treasury Develops Comprehensive Customer Service Strategy, and H.R. 
3724, Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2015.
  For each of these two bills, the rule provides for 1 hour of debate 
equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member 
of the Committee on Ways and Means and also provides a motion to 
recommit. H.R. 4890 will be considered under a structured rule, while 
H.R. 3724 will be considered under a closed rule, as none of the 
amendments submitted were germane.
  Yesterday the Committee on Rules received testimony from members of 
the Committee on Ways and Means. Both pieces of legislation covered by 
this rule were considered and marked up by the Committee on Ways and 
Means and enjoyed discussion before that committee. H.R. 3724 passed 
the committee by a voice vote, and H.R. 4890 was also passed and 
reported by the Committee on Ways and Means.
  It is fitting that the House consider these bills to rein in and 
reform the IRS this week, as Americans across the country have had to 
face tax day yesterday.

[[Page H1820]]

  Our Tax Code is overly burdensome and complex and penalizes 
hardworking Americans. Tax dollars belong in the hands of Americans who 
have earned them, not in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.
  The bills before us today help to rein in the IRS, protect taxpayer 
money, and hold the IRS accountable.
  H.R. 4890, introduced by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Meehan), prohibits the IRS from paying bonuses to employees until it 
creates and submits to Congress a comprehensive strategy to improve 
customer service.
  The IRS' mission is to ``provide America's taxpayers top quality 
service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities. 
. .''
  Unfortunately, the IRS has fallen woefully short of this stated goal. 
The IRS does not have a comprehensive customer service strategy to 
ensure that it is providing effective and efficient service. In fact, 
in fiscal year 2015, only 38 percent of the callers wanting to speak to 
an IRS representative were able to reach one. This is unacceptable.
  No one likes to pay their taxes, but the IRS has a responsibility to 
provide service and assistance to those who are trying to meet the 
burdensome obligation.
  H.R. 4890 makes clear that until the IRS meets its obligation to the 
taxpayers who fund the agency, IRS employees will not get bonuses. To 
me, this is common sense. We should not be rewarding agency employees 
when they are not meeting their mission. H.R. 4890 helps hardworking 
Americans by ensuring that the IRS implements a comprehensive customer 
service strategy.
  H.R. 3724, introduced by the gentlewoman from South Dakota (Mrs. 
Noem), prohibits the IRS Commissioner from rehiring any employee who 
was let go from the agency for misconduct.
  Now, just think about that one for a second. We are in a place with 
the IRS where we have to prohibit by law that agency from rehiring 
people who they have fired for misconduct. No wonder people shake their 
heads.
  I can tell you this--a businessman or woman in Georgia would think 
twice about hiring someone they had to fire, but the IRS, which has 
access to sensitive taxpayer data, is repeatedly doing just that, 
according to the agency's own inspector general.
  In fact, according to Treasury Inspector General for Tax 
Administration, the IRS rehired 141 former employees who had been 
removed from service for issues ranging from falsification of official 
forms to abuse of IRS leave and property policies.

                              {time}  1315

  Americans deserve better. They deserve to know their tax and personal 
information is protected and that those handling it are held 
accountable. It is past time we hold the IRS to a higher standard.
  I would like to thank Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brady, 
Congresswoman Noem, Congressman Meehan, and their staffs for their work 
in bringing together these important reforms.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, 
and I want to thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Collins) for 
yielding me the customary 30 minutes.
  (Mr. McGOVERN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in very strong opposition to this 
rule, which provides for consideration of H.R. 4890, under a structured 
process, and H.R. 3724, under a completely closed process. These two 
pieces of legislation are part of the House majority's effort this week 
to micromanage the IRS and undermine its ability to enforce our tax 
laws.
  This is not a serious attempt at legislating. These bills are press 
releases. Let's be honest. They are press releases for my friends in 
the majority to use on the campaign trail, and they are serving as a 
distraction from the business the Republican leadership has failed to 
act upon.
  Last Friday, House Republicans missed the legally mandated deadline 
for Congress to enact a budget, and it appears as though we are not 
going to see a budget resolution on the floor this week--or anytime 
soon. It is pretty sad that Speaker Ryan, a former Budget Committee 
chairman himself, can't get the House to pass a budget.
  In 2011, Speaker Ryan said that failing to enact a budget is a 
``historic failure to fulfill one of the most basic responsibilities of 
governing.'' In 2012, the Speaker went on to say that not passing a 
budget ``has serious consequences for American families.''
  But the extreme budget proposed by the Republican leadership--a 
budget that would end the Medicare guarantee, gut antipoverty programs, 
and demand $6.5 trillion in cuts--was not extreme enough for House 
Republicans, so they can't get a majority within their ranks. This is a 
failure of the majority to do its job, plain and simple.
  Demands by a vocal group of conservative Members to abandon a 
bipartisan agreement reached last year on spending caps has put a 
budget in jeopardy and the promise of regular order for the 
appropriations process out of reach. Don't be surprised if all these 
spending bills get crammed in during a lame duck session after voters 
have cast their ballots and we have this big monstrosity that comes 
before the Congress--nobody knows what is in it--and it gets passed. 
That is the way the business of this House will proceed. I don't think 
that is what the American people want; and if you want to talk about 
what makes the American people shake their heads, it is that.
  Forgive me if I find it ironic that we are here today telling the IRS 
how to do its job while this Republican majority can't even do its job 
of passing a budget and fulfilling its most basic responsibility of 
governing.
  So if my Republican friends don't want to pass a budget, there are 
other important things we can do besides these message bills that are 
going nowhere:
  Negotiations have stalled on legislation to help Puerto Rico avoid a 
default. We could do that.
  A bill to provide aid to families in Flint, Michigan, has not reached 
the floor for a vote. Clearly, I think everybody in this country was 
horrified when they learned of the fact that the residents of Flint, 
Michigan, were being poisoned by the water that was coming out of their 
faucets. We could do something about that, but we are not.
  A bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the 
U.S. Senate has been blocked by the leadership in this House for the 
past 3 years. We could actually fix our immigration laws rather than 
just complain about them, but we are not going to do that, I guess, 
either.
  I might also suggest to my friends that, if they need bills to 
consider on the floor, we could respond to the thousands and thousands 
of constituents from all over the country that have been rallying at 
the Capitol during the past week as part of the Democracy Spring and 
Democracy Awakening movements and take up legislation to reform our 
campaign finance system. Let's do something about getting the money out 
of politics. Let's remove the influence that special interests have on 
congressional elections--and all elections--because of our broken 
campaign finance laws. We could do that, but we are not. We are doing 
messaging bills that are going nowhere.
  We could join millions of our constituents and people across the 
globe in celebrating Earth Day by considering climate change 
legislation. I know that may be a heavy lift on my Republican friends, 
because a big chunk of the Republican Conference doesn't even believe 
that climate change is an issue.
  We could do tax reform. Let's simplify the Tax Code. Let's remove all 
these loopholes that allow big corporations to escape paying taxes 
while regular, hardworking people have to pay taxes. Let's do tax 
reform. That would be a good thing to do during this week, but we are 
not going to do that.
  And perhaps we can maybe debate an AUMF, an Authorization for Use of 
Military Force, something that I have been urging this place to do for 
a long, long time now. Yesterday, the Pentagon announced hundreds more 
U.S. forces will be deployed in Iraq. We are getting sucked into this 
war even more deeply. I think people are tired of endless wars. Our 
troops are expected to perform their responsibilities when we send them 
to places like Iraq and Syria, but why aren't we expected to do our job 
and actually debate these

[[Page H1821]]

issues and vote on them? Instead, we are silent; we are indifferent.
  So we have a lot that we can do. Unfortunately, we are not doing any 
of those things. This place is becoming a Chamber where trivial issues 
are debated passionately and important ones not at all. We need to do 
better, and we need to start coming together and figuring out how to 
solve some of these problems.
  H.R. 3724, which is unnecessary at best, prohibits the IRS 
Commissioner from rehiring any former employee that was terminated for 
misconduct, even though there are already processes in place to ensure 
employees with significant performance or conduct problems are not 
rehired. This legislation is not even necessary.
  H.R. 4890 prevents the Treasury Department from paying bonuses to IRS 
employees until the Secretary submits to Congress a customer service 
strategy that has been approved by the Treasury Inspector General for 
Tax Administration. Again, an added layer of bureaucracy.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter sent to all Members of 
Congress from The National Treasury Employees Union, which is opposed 
to H.R. 4890 and a number of the other bills that we are debating here 
today.

                                                      The National


                                     Treasury Employees Union,

                                                   April 12, 2016.
       Dear Representative: As President of the National Treasury 
     Employees Union (NTEU), representing over 150,000 federal 
     employees in 31 agencies, including the men and women at the 
     IRS, I am writing to express opposition to several bills 
     scheduled to be considered by the House Committee on Ways and 
     Means on April 13. NTEU believes all of these bills would 
     weaken IRS' ability to carry out their taxpayer service and 
     enforcement missions, and undermine efforts to retain 
     dedicated and experienced employees.
       H.R. 4885, the ``IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending 
     (OWES) Act of 2016,'' would require IRS collected user fees 
     to be deposited in the general fund of the U.S. Treasury and 
     would prevent the IRS from spending the user fees ``unless 
     provided by an appropriations act.'' NTEU strongly opposes 
     eliminating IRS' ability to use the user fees that it 
     collects, as provided by law. The IRS charges user fees for 
     various services: to assist taxpayers in complying with their 
     tax liabilities; to clarify the application of the tax code 
     to particular circumstances; and to ensure the quality of 
     paid preparers of tax returns, among others. While user fees 
     have historically been used, in large part, to fund 
     traditional taxpayer service activities, recent budget cuts 
     in excess of $900 million since Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 have 
     forced the IRS to reallocate a greater portion of these user 
     fees to implement a number of significant legislative 
     mandates, nearly all of which came with no additional 
     funding. These include the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 
     Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA), and the Achieving 
     a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.
       While proponents of this legislation claim the bill is 
     simply an attempt to ensure proper congressional oversight of 
     the IRS, in reality these measures are designed to undermine 
     and weaken the IRS's ability to enforce enacted laws. While 
     NTEU takes no position as to whether any particular tax 
     statutory provisions remain or are repealed, NTEU believes it 
     is important to remember that the IRS, and its personnel, are 
     charged with implementing each and every tax law passed by 
     Congress, including the ACA. Therefore, it is imperative that 
     the IRS be provided with the resources necessary to carry out 
     its responsibilities under the law, and to retain the 
     flexibility to allocate user fee revenues as necessary to do 
     so.
       Prohibiting the IRS from accessing the roughly $400 million 
     in user fees it collects each year is effectively an 
     immediate cut of $400 million to its budget, and will simply 
     force the IRS to divert resources from other critical 
     taxpayer service and enforcement programs to carry out its 
     statutory mandates.
       NTEU also urges you to oppose H.R. 1206, the ``No Hires for 
     the Delinquent IRS Act'' which would prohibit the hiring of 
     additional IRS employees until the Secretary of the Treasury 
     certifies that no employee of the IRS has a seriously 
     delinquent tax debt.
       While NTEU believes that each and every IRS employee should 
     pay their taxes in full and on time, we have serious concerns 
     about how the bill defines a seriously delinquent tax debt, 
     and believe basing IRS' ability to hire additional personnel 
     on such an uncertain standard is unjustified, and will only 
     further undermine its ability to meet its taxpayer service 
     and enforcement missions.
       Under H.R. 1206, a tax debt is considered ``seriously 
     delinquent'' by the filing of a notice of a federal tax lien 
     (NFTL). Unfortunately, using notice of a lien as an 
     indication a debt is seriously delinquent is inappropriate 
     since it is not a final determination of tax liability. 
     Section 6321 of the Internal Revenue Code establishes that a 
     lien can be filed immediately upon the assessment of tax. In 
     many instances, the IRS may file an NFTL to simply secure the 
     government's future potential interest and establish its 
     priority as a possible creditor in competition with other 
     creditors. Therefore, the filing of the NFTL is not a true 
     indication that a tax debt is ``seriously delinquent.''
       In addition, it is unclear why this legislation is even 
     necessary. The bill specifically singles out the tax status 
     of employees at the IRS who have an overall tax compliance 
     rate of over 99%, the highest in the federal government, and 
     a much higher compliance rate than the general public. 
     Furthermore, for those employees at the IRS that do have tax 
     debts, the existing Federal Payment Levy Program already 
     allows the IRS to levy federal salaries to recover federal 
     tax debts.
       We also believe restricting the IRS' ability to hire 
     qualified applicants based upon an uncertain tax status 
     standard of its employees is misguided, and will simply 
     further impede its ability to provide quality services to 
     American taxpayers. The IRS workforce has been reduced by 
     more than 15,000 employees over the past five years, 
     including many front-line customer service and enforcement 
     personnel. Therefore, it is critical that the IRS have the 
     ability to hire additional personnel to provide the services 
     taxpayers expect and to implement the laws passed by 
     Congress.
       Finally, NTEU urges you to oppose H.R. 4890 which would 
     prohibit the IRS from paying performance awards to its 
     employees until the Secretary of the Treasury develops and 
     implements a comprehensive customer service strategy. NTEU 
     believes this legislation is unnecessary, and will only serve 
     to undermine IRS efforts to retain experienced employees that 
     provide many of the critical taxpayer services. In fact, the 
     IRS has already recently provided a detailed and 
     comprehensive strategy to improve taxpayer services, and in 
     particular, the phone level of service, as part of its FY 
     2017 budget request. However, implementation of this strategy 
     will require a commitment by Congress to provide the IRS with 
     the necessary resources and staffing. If members are serious 
     about helping the IRS meet its mission of providing taxpayers 
     with top quality service in a timely manner, Congress will 
     fund the Administration's FY 2017 IRS budget request.
       Furthermore, this measure is unfairly punitive to hard-
     working front-line employees who are not responsible for 
     developing or implementing agency-wide policies and 
     strategies, and who have already experienced significant pay 
     hardships in recent years--stemming from the three-year pay 
     freeze and furlough days, followed by three years of 
     minuscule pay increases, and performance awards below one 
     percent of their salaries. Like all federal agencies and 
     effective employers, the IRS must be able to properly 
     compensate its workforce, particularly at a time of a healthy 
     job market, and to distinguish and reward higher performing 
     employees.
       For these reasons, we strongly urge you to oppose these 
     bills during committee consideration on Wednesday, April 13. 
     Please contact Matt Socicnat of my staff if you have any 
     questions.
           Sincerely,
                                               Anthony M. Reardon,
                                               National President.

  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, if the majority is concerned with customer 
service at the IRS, we should be considering appropriations legislation 
to fully fund the administration's budget request for the agency. IRS 
funding has been slashed by nearly $1 billion since 2010, and as a 
result, the IRS had to cut 12,000 jobs, reduce employee training, and 
delay technology updates. So while I understand that my friends on the 
other side of the aisle don't like the IRS, it is their demands for 
steep funding cuts that have led directly to a degradation of customer 
service during the past several years.
  Furthermore, the IRS has already developed and has begun to implement 
a strategy to improve taxpayer services, and here is the deal, Mr. 
Speaker. If this were really an issue, we could have brought this up at 
any time. We could come together and try to see whether we can work on 
bipartisan legislation, but instead, we bring up legislation attacking 
the IRS during the week that people have to pay their taxes. You don't 
have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this is all about 
messaging and not about substance.
  I think that people in this country are really sick and tired of the 
performance of this Congress--or the lack of performance of this 
Congress. We have a lot of challenges that we need to confront; we have 
a lot of problems that we need to solve; and rather than doing this, we 
ought to be doing the people's business. We ought to be legislating in 
a serious way and leave these press releases and these messaging bills 
for the Republican congressional campaign committee. It is beneath, I 
think, the standards that this Congress should uphold.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. I reserve the balance of my time to close.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time. We

[[Page H1822]]

have no speakers because everybody is so interested in this legislation 
that I think they would prefer to stay in their offices.
  Let me just say, Mr. Speaker, I am going to urge my colleagues to 
defeat the previous question. If we do, I will offer an amendment to 
the rule to bring up Mr. Van Hollen's bill that would restrict American 
companies' use of so-called tax inversions to shrink their tax 
obligations by hiding money in foreign countries. The bill would direct 
the money toward repairing our crumbling infrastructure.
  That is exactly the type of legislation we ought to be debating here: 
something that is meaningful to the American people and to get American 
corporations that are trying to not pay their fair share to pay their 
fair share and to invest in repairing our crumbling infrastructure, 
whether it be water infrastructure that we see in such disrepair in 
places like Flint, Michigan, or our roads and bridges. Where I come 
from in Massachusetts, we have bridges that are older than most of your 
States, and they need repair.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the 
amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately 
prior to the vote on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Massachusetts?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. McGOVERN. I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' and defeat the 
previous question and to vote ``no'' on the rule.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I believe there is probably going to be debate on these bills this 
week on the House floor. But also, there are certain times when you 
just understand the bills are, as I say from my part of the world, just 
common sense, and we just need to get to them.
  It is amazing that we actually have to tell the IRS to not rehire 
people that they fired for misconduct. That is just an amazing idea. 
There are a lot of things that need to go on over there, the least of 
which is to give them more money which they have shown, repeatedly over 
the past few years, that they use to target groups that they don't 
like.
  So that is not the reason that they are problematic. There are other 
issues there that need to be dealt with.
  As I said before, our tax system is out of control. Americans deserve 
to keep their hard-earned dollars. While I would like to dismantle the 
IRS--I am more of a fair tax proponent--while it exists, we must rein 
it in and hold it accountable.
  This rule provides for consideration of legislation that will protect 
taxpayers. It takes important steps toward ensuring that the IRS is not 
abusing taxpayer dollars. For that reason I urge my colleagues to 
support this rule and H.R. 4890 and H.R. 3724.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. McGovern is as follows:

          An Amendment to H. Res. 688 Offered By Mr. McGovern

       At the end of the resolution, add the following new 
     sections:
       Sec. 3. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution the 
     Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare 
     the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on 
     the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 
     3064) to authorize highway infrastructure and safety, 
     transit, motor carrier, rail, and other surface 
     transportation programs, and for other purposes. The first 
     reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points of 
     order against consideration of the bill are waived. General 
     debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one 
     hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking 
     minority member of the Committee on Transportation and 
     Infrastructure. After general debate the bill shall be 
     considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. All 
     points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. At 
     the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the 
     Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with 
     such amendments as may have been adopted. The previous 
     question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and 
     amendments thereto to final passage without intervening 
     motion except one motion to recommit with or without 
     instructions. If the Committee of the Whole rises and reports 
     that it has come to no resolution on the bill, then on the 
     next legislative day the House shall, immediately after the 
     third daily order of business under clause 1 of rule XIV, 
     resolve into the Committee of the Whole for further 
     consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 4. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 3064.
                                  ____


        The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means

       This vote, the vote on whether to order the previous 
     question on a special rule, is not merely a procedural vote. 
     A vote against ordering the previous question is a vote 
     against the Republican majority agenda and a vote to allow 
     the Democratic minority to offer an alternative plan. It is a 
     vote about what the House should be debating.
       Mr. Clarence Cannon's Precedents of the House of 
     Representatives (VI, 308-311), describes the vote on the 
     previous question on the rule as ``a motion to direct or 
     control the consideration of the subject before the House 
     being made by the Member in charge.'' To defeat the previous 
     question is to give the opposition a chance to decide the 
     subject before the House. Cannon cites the Speaker's ruling 
     of January 13, 1920, to the effect that ``the refusal of the 
     House to sustain the demand for the previous question passes 
     the control of the resolution to the opposition'' in order to 
     offer an amendment. On March 15, 1909, a member of the 
     majority party offered a rule resolution. The House defeated 
     the previous question and a member of the opposition rose to 
     a parliamentary inquiry, asking who was entitled to 
     recognition. Speaker Joseph G. Cannon (R-Illinois) said: 
     ``The previous question having been refused, the gentleman 
     from New York, Mr. Fitzgerald, who had asked the gentleman to 
     yield to him for an amendment, is entitled to the first 
     recognition.''
       The Republican majority may say ``the vote on the previous 
     question is simply a vote on whether to proceed to an 
     immediate vote on adopting the resolution . . . [and] has no 
     substantive legislative or policy implications whatsoever.'' 
     But that is not what they have always said. Listen to the 
     Republican Leadership Manual on the Legislative Process in 
     the United States House of Representatives, (6th edition, 
     page 135). Here's how the Republicans describe the previous 
     question vote in their own manual: ``Although it is generally 
     not possible to amend the rule because the majority Member 
     controlling the time will not yield for the purpose of 
     offering an amendment, the same result may be achieved by 
     voting down the previous question on the rule. . . . When the 
     motion for the previous question is defeated, control of the 
     time passes to the Member who led the opposition to ordering 
     the previous question. That Member, because he then controls 
     the time, may offer an amendment to the rule, or yield for 
     the purpose of amendment.''
       In Deschler's Procedure in the U.S. House of 
     Representatives, the subchapter titled ``Amending Special 
     Rules'' states: ``a refusal to order the previous question on 
     such a rule [a special rule reported from the Committee on 
     Rules] opens the resolution to amendment and further 
     debate.'' (Chapter 21, section 21.2) Section 21.3 continues: 
     ``Upon rejection of the motion for the previous question on a 
     resolution reported from the Committee on Rules, control 
     shifts to the Member leading the opposition to the previous 
     question, who may offer a proper amendment or motion and who 
     controls the time for debate thereon.''
       Clearly, the vote on the previous question on a rule does 
     have substantive policy implications. It is one of the only 
     available tools for those who oppose the Republican 
     majority's agenda and allows those with alternative views the 
     opportunity to offer an alternative plan.

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time, and I move the previous question on the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on ordering the previous 
question.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 and clause 9 of rule 
XX, this 15-minute vote on ordering the previous question on H.R. 688 
will be followed by 5-minute votes on adoption of H.R. 688, if ordered; 
ordering the previous question on H.R. 687; and adoption of H.R. 687, 
if ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 240, 
nays 172, not voting 21, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 155]

                               YEAS--240

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Babin
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Benishek
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Boustany
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Chaffetz
     Clawson (FL)
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Cook
     Costello (PA)
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Crenshaw
     Culberson

[[Page H1823]]


     Curbelo (FL)
     Davis, Rodney
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Diaz-Balart
     Donovan
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Ellmers (NC)
     Emmer (MN)
     Farenthold
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Fleming
     Flores
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gibbs
     Gibson
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guinta
     Guthrie
     Hanna
     Hardy
     Harper
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Heck (NV)
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Hill
     Holding
     Hudson
     Huelskamp
     Huizenga (MI)
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd (TX)
     Hurt (VA)
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jolly
     Jones
     Jordan
     Joyce
     Katko
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger (IL)
     Kline
     Knight
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     LoBiondo
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     Lummis
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Massie
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Mulvaney
     Murphy (PA)
     Neugebauer
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Nugent
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Perry
     Pittenger
     Pitts
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Pompeo
     Posey
     Price, Tom
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Ribble
     Rice (SC)
     Rigell
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney (FL)
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce
     Russell
     Salmon
     Sanford
     Scalise
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Stivers
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Young (IN)
     Zeldin
     Zinke

                               NAYS--172

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Ashford
     Beatty
     Bera
     Bishop (GA)
     Bonamici
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (FL)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardenas
     Carney
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Connolly
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Costa
     Courtney
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Duckworth
     Ellison
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Esty
     Farr
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Graham
     Grayson
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hahn
     Hastings
     Heck (WA)
     Higgins
     Himes
     Honda
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Israel
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Kind
     Kirkpatrick
     Kuster
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan, Ben Ray (NM)
     Lynch
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Pocan
     Polis
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Rangel
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Ruppersberger
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schrader
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Sherman
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Speier
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takai
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Watson Coleman
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                             NOT VOTING--21

     Bass
     Becerra
     Beyer
     Blumenauer
     Collins (NY)
     DeSaulnier
     Dold
     Edwards
     Fattah
     Fincher
     Garrett
     Hinojosa
     Jackson Lee
     Johnson, E. B.
     Lujan Grisham (NM)
     Maloney, Carolyn
     Meng
     Rush
     Stutzman
     Van Hollen
     Waters, Maxine

                              {time}  1352

  Mr. THOMPSON of California changed his vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  So the previous question was ordered.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the resolution.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. This is a 5-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 242, 
noes 172, not voting 19, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 156]

                               AYES--242

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Babin
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Benishek
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Boustany
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Chaffetz
     Clawson (FL)
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Cook
     Cooper
     Costa
     Costello (PA)
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Crenshaw
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Davis, Rodney
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Diaz-Balart
     Donovan
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Ellmers (NC)
     Emmer (MN)
     Farenthold
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Fleming
     Flores
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gibbs
     Gibson
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guinta
     Guthrie
     Hanna
     Hardy
     Harper
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Heck (NV)
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Hill
     Holding
     Hudson
     Huelskamp
     Huizenga (MI)
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd (TX)
     Hurt (VA)
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jolly
     Jones
     Jordan
     Joyce
     Katko
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger (IL)
     Kline
     Knight
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     LoBiondo
     Long
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     Lummis
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Massie
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Mulvaney
     Murphy (PA)
     Neugebauer
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Nugent
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Perry
     Pittenger
     Pitts
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Pompeo
     Posey
     Price, Tom
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Ribble
     Rice (SC)
     Rigell
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney (FL)
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce
     Russell
     Salmon
     Sanford
     Scalise
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sinema
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Stivers
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Young (IN)
     Zeldin
     Zinke

                               NOES--172

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Ashford
     Bass
     Beatty
     Becerra
     Bera
     Bishop (GA)
     Bonamici
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (FL)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardenas
     Carney
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Connolly
     Conyers
     Courtney
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     DeSaulnier
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Duckworth
     Ellison
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Esty
     Farr
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Graham
     Grayson
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hahn
     Hastings
     Heck (WA)
     Higgins
     Himes
     Honda
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Israel
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Kind
     Kirkpatrick
     Kuster
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan, Ben Ray (NM)
     Lynch
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Pocan
     Polis
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Rangel
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Ruppersberger
     Ryan (OH)

[[Page H1824]]


     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schrader
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Sherman
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Speier
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takai
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Watson Coleman
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                             NOT VOTING--19

     Beyer
     Blumenauer
     Collins (NY)
     Dold
     Edwards
     Fattah
     Fincher
     Garrett
     Hinojosa
     Jackson Lee
     Johnson, E. B.
     Loudermilk
     Lujan Grisham (NM)
     Maloney, Carolyn
     Meng
     Rush
     Stutzman
     Van Hollen
     Waters, Maxine


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (during the vote). There are 2 minutes 
remaining.

                              {time}  1359

  So the resolution was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________