PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 2936, RESILIENT FEDERAL FORESTS ACT OF 2017
(House of Representatives - November 01, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 177 (Wednesday, November 1, 2017)]
[Pages H8309-H8318]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 2936, RESILIENT FEDERAL FORESTS ACT 
                                OF 2017

  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I 
call up House Resolution 595 and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 595

       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. 2936) to expedite under the National 
     Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and improve forest 
     management activities on National Forest System lands, on 
     public lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land 
     Management, and on Tribal lands to return resilience to 
     overgrown, fire-prone forested lands, 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 amendments 
     specified in this resolution and shall not exceed one hour 
     equally divided among and controlled by the chair and ranking 
     minority member of the Committee on Agriculture and the chair 
     and ranking minority member of the Committee on Natural 
     Resources. After general debate the bill shall be considered 
     for amendment under the five-minute rule. In lieu of the 
     amendments in the nature of a substitute recommended by the 
     Committees on Agriculture and Natural Resources 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 115-36. 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.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Washington is recognized 
for 1 hour.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield 
the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings), 
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. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Washington?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, just yesterday, the Rules 
Committee met and reported a rule, House Resolution 595, providing for 
consideration of an important piece of legislation, H.R. 2936, the 
Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017.
  The rule provides for consideration of H.R. 2936 under a structured 
rule, with four Democratic amendments made in order and two bipartisan 
amendments and one Republican-led amendment made in order.
  Mr. Speaker, this rule provides for consideration of H.R. 2936, the 
Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, a bill that is critically 
important to my district in central Washington State and to rural, 
forested districts like it across the United States who continue to 
face devastation from catastrophic wildfires as we have seen, just this 
last year, a great example of.
  This bipartisan, comprehensive legislation is aimed at addressing the 
disastrous consequences of wildfires by utilizing the tools the Forest 
Service and other agencies have to reduce the threats posed by these 
wildfires, by insects, by disease infestation, and by dangerous old 
forest overgrowth that serves as a literal tinderbox for wildfires. 
This legislation will expedite and improve forest management activities 
in Federal forests to counteract these threats.
  This legislation, spearheaded by my friend and colleague from 
Arkansas, Representative Bruce Westerman, who is a trained forester 
himself, is comprised of a truly comprehensive effort developed here in 
the people's House. It is bipartisan. This bipartisan support 
demonstrates that the threat of catastrophic wildfires does not just 
impact a red or a blue district, but, rather, it poses a threat to 
communities across the United States.

[[Page H8310]]

  


                              {time}  1230

  H.R. 2936 would provide Federal land management agencies immediate 
tools to increase the pace and the scale of forest management projects 
to dramatically improve the health and resiliency of our national 
forests, ensuring robust protection of the environment. Active 
management leads to healthier forests. It is that simple.
  This legislation also allows expedited review for collaborative 
projects in Federal forests and removes incentives for special interest 
groups to file frivolous lawsuits. By requiring litigants opposing 
active management projects to propose an alternative management option, 
we can instill accountability into a system that is wrought with 
litigation.
  Additionally, the legislation bolsters locally led forest management 
and hazardous fuel reduction projects to improve forest health.
  By engaging local stakeholders, we can lessen the severity and the 
costs of wildfires, while protecting the communities and the 
environment.
  Mr. Speaker, another major component of our Nation's wildfire crisis 
is the broken system with which we fund firefighting suppression. When 
these firefighting costs exceed the existing budget, the U.S. Forest 
Service transfers funds from other vital forest management program 
accounts in order to pay for wildfire suppression. I and a lot of other 
people in this Chamber have been outspoken critics of this dangerous 
broken cycle known as fire borrowing. That also is a very bipartisan 
position that is taken. H.R. 2936 provides a major step forward in 
ending this cycle. By raiding accounts that provide for forest 
management programs which help prevent wildfires, we tie one hand 
behind our back in an effort to both prevent and suppress these 
catastrophic wildfires. This legislation will help to put an end to 
this longstanding problem.
  Mr. Speaker, my constituents know as well as anyone the immense 
threat that wildfires pose to local communities. In just the past 4 
years, the fourth district of my State, my district, has seen the two 
largest fires in Washington State's history. We have lost hundreds of 
homes and businesses and structures. My constituents are still 
struggling to recover from the Carlton Complex Fire of 2014 and the 
Okanogan Complex Fire of 2015. We lost three firefighters that year. 
That truly is a high cost.
  Active forest management is a matter of saving lives and livelihoods, 
of protecting our communities, and ensuring our constituents' health 
and safety, which is why I am proud to support this rule and the 
underlying legislation that it represents today.
  Mr. Speaker, as I have often said, we cannot continue to limp from 
one devastating fire season to the next. We must take significant steps 
toward reforestation, rehabilitation, and overall forest management. 
This legislation will allow us to do just that. We must begin to 
prevent, to suppress, to mitigate the threat of catastrophic wildfires, 
and the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017 will be a momentous 
opportunity to turn around our diseased and overgrown Federal forests. 
This legislation is essential and desperately needed to change the 
current path of forest management on public lands. It is outdated, 
unsustainable, and dangerous.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a straightforward rule allowing for 
consideration of this critical piece of legislation that will help 
protect our rural communities and ensure that we are prepared to 
respond to devastating and catastrophic wildfires that have plagued 
many areas of our country in the last few years.
  Mr. Speaker, I support the rule's adoption, I urge my colleagues to 
support both the rule and the underlying bill.
  Mr. Speaker, before I yield to my colleague from Florida, I would 
like to share one last note. Just a few weeks ago, the new chief of the 
U.S. Forest Service, Tony Tooke, came to Capitol Hill and briefed some 
of my colleagues, including me, regarding this year's devastating 
wildfire season.
  He reported to us that over 8 million acres, just this year, have 
burned. We have also lost dozens of lives, thousands of homes. Chief 
Tooke left us with the stark fact that while more than 8 million acres 
burned this year, another 80 million acres across the United States are 
at high risk of catching fire--80 million acres. Mr. Speaker, if that 
does not show how dire this problem is, then I certainly can't tell you 
what does.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, before beginning my remarks, I would offer condolences 
to the grieving families who lost loved ones in yesterday's terrorist 
attack in New York City, and to have the people of New York know--and I 
know I speak for all of us, and there will be a more appropriate 
recognition at a time in the future, I am sure, but to have them know 
that all of us grieve with them and are concerned not only for those 
who lost their lives, but to assist in preventing measures of this type 
in the future.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Washington for yielding to me the 
customary 30 minutes for debate.
  This bill is a sweeping attack on responsible forest management 
policy that upends key environmental safeguards, limits public 
participation in land management decisions, and prioritizes commercial 
timber harvest over transparent, science-based management. In other 
words, this is business as usual for this Republican majority when it 
comes to protecting our environment.
  A footnote right there, my friend from the State of Washington does 
highlight, rightly, concerns not only for his congressional district, 
but areas throughout the country that have experienced wildfires.
  Many of us have talked about this in conjunction with other disasters 
and a need for this Congress to be able to address the shortfall in 
funding for such important measures.
  During this Congress alone, my Republican friends have brought to the 
floor bills that undermine the ability of the Environmental Protection 
Agency to issue independent and objective scientific conclusions, 
weaken regulations of pesticides, and repeal rulemakings aimed at 
effective, science-based management of public lands, just to name a few 
things.

  Repeatedly, my Republican friends ignore science and attack 
environmental protections all in an all-too-obvious attempt to help 
commercial interests over sound conservation policy. This focus not 
only undermines our public lands, but it also harms the health and 
safety of the American people.
  This bill continues the assault on our Nation's environmental 
protections, and it may be one of the most irresponsible examples yet.
  Under the guise of responding to the recent tragic wildfires in 
California and elsewhere in this Nation, this legislation attacks the 
National Environmental Policy Act, known as NEPA, which requires 
Federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their actions.
  The bill also attacks the Endangered Species Act by requiring 
redundant and unnecessary reporting requirements. It blocks access to 
the courts and limits recovery in environmental justice cases. Just for 
good measure, this bill effectively overturns President Obama's 
administration's monument expansion.
  The bill does little to fix the true problem of wildfire management, 
namely the chronic underfunding of wildfire management. Any serious 
proposal must address the constant funding shortages at the U.S. Forest 
Service by increasing the amount of Federal funding available for 
wildfire suppression. A successful solution needs to provide advanced 
access to emergency funding.
  Unfortunately, today's legislation does no such thing. Yesterday, the 
administration offered its statement of administration policy, and, at 
best, it is tepid. It says, ``The administration appreciates the intent 
of H.R. 2936 . . . and is supportive of land management reforms like 
those outlined in the legislation,'' and then comes the however. ``The 
administration, however, has concerns about the legislation's revisions 
to the Stafford Act, which would force competition for funding between 
wildfires on Federal land and other disasters already covered by the 
Stafford Act, including hurricanes.''
  It goes on to say, `` . . . the administration supports a separate, 
annual cap

[[Page H8311]]

adjustment for wildfire suppression operations, which will resolve 
concerns about the sufficiency of funds for wildfire suppression and 
avoid unnecessary competition for Stafford Act funds.''
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record the Statement of Administration 
Policy.

                   Statement Of Administration Policy


H.R. 2936--Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017--Rep. Westerman R-AR, 
                             and cosponsors

       The Administration strongly believes that funding for 
     wildland fire management must be addressed in order to enable 
     the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to 
     better manage the Nation's forests and other public lands. 
     The Administration's second disaster funding request, 
     submitted to Congress on October 4, 2017, underscored this 
     belief. The request also noted the Administration's belief 
     that land management reforms are critical to solving the 
     problem of ``fire borrowing''--taking funds from forest 
     management programs to cover fire costs that exceed 
     appropriations--in a comprehensive manner, rather than 
     through a funding-only appropriations approach.
       The Administration appreciates the intent of H.R. 2936, the 
     Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, and is supportive of 
     land management reforms like those outlined in the 
     legislation. The Administration, however, has concerns about 
     the legislation's revisions to the Stafford Act, which would 
     force competition for funding between wildfires on Federal 
     land and other disasters already covered by the Stafford Act, 
     including hurricanes.
     Wildland Fire Management Funding
       Last year, Federal wildfire suppression spending reached 
     $2.9 billion, an amount that signals clearly the need for 
     Congress to address the rising cost of fire suppression 
     operations. The dependence on ``fire borrowing'' to cover 
     funding shortfalls in times of severe wildfire impedes the 
     missions of our land management agencies, including by taking 
     critical funding from programs that help reduce the risk of 
     catastrophic fire, restore and maintain healthy functioning 
     ecosystems, and yield timber production.
       The Administration, however, has concerns with re-purposing 
     the Stafford Act to address wildfires. The purpose of the 
     Stafford Act is to assist State, local, tribal, and 
     territorial (SLTT) governments that become overwhelmed when 
     responding to and recovering from natural disasters affecting 
     their jurisdictions. H.R. 2936 would modify the Stafford Act 
     by creating a new type of disaster declaration to address the 
     cost of wildfire suppression on Federal land, thereby 
     changing long-standing principles governing Federal support 
     to SLTT governments. As we have seen in this year's historic 
     Atlantic hurricane season, the Federal Emergency Management 
     Agency (FEMA) must continue to be focused on its existing 
     mission, and the Stafford Act's Disaster Relief Fund must 
     remain dedicated solely to that mission.
       Instead of the approach outlined in H.R. 2936, the 
     Administration supports a separate, annual cap adjustment for 
     wildfire suppression operations, which will resolve concerns 
     about the sufficiency of funds for wildfire suppression and 
     avoid unnecessary competition for Stafford Act funds.
     Improving Forest Management
       The Administration appreciates H.R. 2936's recognition that 
     fixing the funding component of fire borrowing will not, on 
     its own, stop the worsening trend of catastrophic wildfires. 
     Meaningful forest management reforms to strengthen our 
     ability to restore the Nation's forests and improve their 
     resilience to destructive wildfires must be a part of any 
     permanent solution. H.R. 2936's provisions that expedite 
     environmental approval for proactive forest management, 
     including hazardous fuel reduction and post-fire timber 
     salvage and reforestation actions, are important steps 
     forward. The Administration supports and will continue to 
     work with Congress on the details of the forest management 
     reform proposals.
       Although the Administration has concerns with H.R. 2936's 
     modifications to the Stafford Act, the Administration will 
     continue working with Congress to enact a sustainable 
     solution to ``fire borrowing'' that does not adversely affect 
     FEMA's critical disaster relief funding and that recognizes 
     the need for a comprehensive solution to the problem of 
     wildfires.

  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, the bill does little to 
fix the true problem of wildfire management. Any serious proposal, as I 
have said, must address the constant funding shortages, and that is 
what, among other things, the administration suggested.
  Mr. Speaker, this year has been a wake-up call. We must do more to 
respond to the natural disasters that face our Nation. After three 
major hurricanes and devastating wildfires in my friend from 
Washington's State, in California, in Montana, and even in the 
Everglades of Florida we have experienced some wildfires, albeit not at 
the magnitude of loss of life or property as existed in some of the 
others, our resources and agencies are stretched to the brink.
  Weeks after the storms, millions of people across the Virgin Islands 
and Puerto Rico are without power and without reliable access to clean 
drinking water. FEMA Administrator Brock Long testified just yesterday 
that the response to these storms and wildfires and other disasters--we 
have had tornadoes that have come along as well--is costing the Federal 
Government $200 million a day.
  Mr. Speaker, I understand that the Office of Management and Budget is 
currently working to send a proposal to Congress for a third 
supplemental spending package to address the recovery needs in the 
affected areas. I urge them and my colleagues here in Congress to act 
swiftly to provide the resources that so many people desperately need. 
In the meantime, what have we gotten from Republicans? Bipartisanship? 
Sound science-based proposals? No. Instead, the Republican majority has 
ignored bipartisanship, and, yesterday, in the Rules Committee, a 
bipartisan measure was offered that was a thoughtful proposal on this 
topic, and was rejected, and presented this bill that we have here now 
that doesn't address the real issues facing public land and wildfire 
management, but, rather, guts environmental protection and overturns 
President Obama's monument expansion.

                              {time}  1245

  Mr. Speaker, this is business as usual for House Republicans. But if 
we are going to seriously address natural disasters and how we respond 
to them, I encourage my friends on the other side of the aisle to put 
aside their partisanship, reconsider their denial of climate change and 
its effects on our environment, and join Democrats in working together 
to address this and other important issues faced by all Americans.
  There were two amendments that were offered yesterday by my 
colleagues from California. Both of those amendments were not made in 
order. I don't think it is right when people offer legislation, 
particularly those that have just been damaged, as our colleagues, 
Congressmen Thompson and Matsui, and others in the northern California 
region. They at least should have had an opportunity to offer up their 
amendment and have it voted against if people felt so here in this 
body.
  I would hope, in the future, we would make a correction of that kind 
of undertaking. I would hope all Members of this body would have an 
opportunity to present their ideas on any legislation, and something as 
important as this could have allowed for an open rule, rather than for 
partisan activity to reign supreme.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I would just note that the admonition of 
my friend from Florida, that to bring bipartisan proposals forward, 
this absolutely is a bipartisan bill; support from both sides of the 
aisle, because, as I said in my opening comments, these kind of fires 
know no political boundaries, know no political lines. So I am very 
happy to report that we have a strong bipartisan effort right here in 
front of us.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from the Maine (Mr. 
Poliquin).
  Mr. POLIQUIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the rule and the 
underlying bill, Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017.
  I do thank the gentleman from Washington State for this time. I urge 
all Members, Republicans and Democrats, to support the rule and the 
underlying bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to focus my remarks on one specific and very 
important section of the underlying bill. This pertains to allowing 
young men and young women the opportunity to work and to learn the 
family trade of logging.
  Now, logging is a very big business in the State of Maine. About 90 
percent of our State, Mr. Speaker, is forested, and we have generations 
and traditions of logging in the State of Maine. Logging is often a 
family-run business where the practice and the technique of harvesting 
and then transporting saw logs to mills are passed down from one 
generation to another.
  Now, H.R. 2936 brings Federal regulations in line with this new 
technology and new standards of safety by allowing family-owned logging 
businesses

[[Page H8312]]

the ability to train 16- and 17-year-olds under very close supervision 
of their parents.
  We need to make certain, Mr. Speaker, that the next generation of 
loggers are able to learn what they need to know, how to run these 
family-run businesses, including the operation and maintenance of their 
equipment. We do this, please, by supporting the Resilient Federal 
Forests Act of 2017.
  This bill, Mr. Speaker, will ensure that the long-term health of the 
logging business industry is supported and can continue from one 
generation to another.
  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  If we defeat the previous question, I am going to offer an amendment 
to the rule to bring up H.R. 3440, the Dream Act. This bipartisan, 
bicameral legislation would help thousands of young people who are 
Americans in every way except on paper.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my 
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 Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I might add, attendant to this, on 
yesterday, my colleagues, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Carlos Curbelo, 
Frederica Wilson, and myself, introduced legislation calling for giving 
300,000 migrants in this country, from a variety of countries, an 
opportunity for permanent residence--those from El Salvador, Haiti, 
Honduras, and Nicaragua.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from New Mexico 
(Ms. Michelle Lujan Grisham), my good friend, to speak to the issue 
that I just talked about, the Dream Act.
  Ms. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, it has been 57 
days since the President abruptly and irresponsibly terminated the DACA 
program.
  For 57 days, students have been panicked about how much longer they 
can go to school. Brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, are terrified 
that they might lose their loved ones any minute. Parents are afraid to 
take their children to the hospital or to school, and breadwinners 
don't know whether they will be able to continue to earn a paycheck to 
support themselves and their families.
  For 57 days, the Republican-controlled Congress has been silent, 
doing nothing to provide certainty for 800,000 American DREAMers who 
are caught up in Congressional dysfunction. Without a permanent 
legislative fix, these young Americans, like Maritza from Texas, will 
be at risk of detention and deportation.
  Maritza works part time to help her pay for college so she can pursue 
her dream career in journalism after graduation. Over months, she and 
her family saved up $1,000 to pay for an attorney and the DACA program 
application fee. All she needed was her school to provide her records 
so she could finish her application.
  But then Hurricane Harvey hit and flooded her family's home in east 
Houston and shut down school for 2 weeks. While Maritza and her mother 
were recovering from Harvey's devastation, they were the victims 
of another disaster, but this one was created by their own government.

  They watched Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce on live TV that 
the Trump administration was ending DACA and cutting off new 
applications for young immigrants just like her. The devastating news 
crushed Maritza and her family. Now they and countless others have 
waited 57 days for us to fix it.
  Today we have the opportunity to uphold our values and to pass the 
Dream Act so that these young Americans aren't waiting in fear any 
longer.
  Mr. Speaker, there is a quote directly above your chair from Daniel 
Webster imploring us to do ``something worthy to be remembered.''
  So how will we be remembered? Will the Republican-controlled Congress 
continue to sit here and passively accept the Trump administration's 
cowardly decision to eliminate protections for countless DREAMers 
across the country? Or do we want to do something about it?
  We have an opportunity to protect our neighbors, coworkers, 
classmates, friends, constituents, and members of our military who have 
done everything to try to contribute to this great country. One vote 
would change the lives of nearly 800,000 Americans forever. One vote 
would allow them to pursue the American Dream, to go to school, to 
continue to work, to buy a house, or to start a business.
  Mr. Speaker, isn't that why we were sent here? Wouldn't that be 
something worthy to be remembered?
  I ask my colleagues to vote against the previous question so that we 
can immediately bring the Dream Act to the floor and provide certainty 
for Americans like Maritza, who want to continue to work, learn, and 
live in the country that they love, the only country they have ever 
known. We cannot afford to wait another day.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, we do deal with a lot of important issues 
on this floor. Today we are talking about something that, in this 
country, people are losing property, we are losing our natural 
resources, and, certainly, people are losing their lives.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from North Carolina 
(Ms. Foxx) to talk further on this important topic.
  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the rule and the bill for 
which it was made, the Resilient Federal Forests Act. The rule makes in 
order several needed amendments, but, more importantly, it allows for 
much-needed debate and consideration of a bipartisan bill to address 
the growing economic and environmental threats posed by catastrophic 
wildfires.
  This bill will give Federal agencies immediate tools to increase the 
effectiveness of our forest management projects while preserving 
environmental protections.
  While of immense benefit to preserving our national parks, the bill 
also supports the private sector by addressing obstructionist 
litigation against management activity, and rewarding collaboration by 
local governments and local stakeholders when they work together to 
foster more effective management projects.
  Mr. Speaker, North Carolina's Fifth District is home to pristine 
national parks, including the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, otherwise 
known as America's favorite drive.
  I am an unwavering supporter of our Nation's national parks, and I 
look forward to equipping better our park managers to protect our 
forests from wildfires and other threats to their environmental 
integrity.
  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, through you, I would advise my good friend 
from Washington that I have no further speakers and I will be prepared 
to close whenever he is. Until such time, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Westerman), the prime sponsor of the bill in question 
today.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Washington 
State for not only yielding me this time and for his good work on the 
Rules Committee, but for his support of my bill, H.R. 2936, the 
Resilient Federal Forests Act.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak right now not only as a Member of 
the United States House of Representatives, but also as a forester, 
educated at this country's first forestry school, licensed by my home 
State by exam to practice forestry. If there is an issue that I 
understand that comes before this Congress, it is our forests.
  As I listen to accusations from across the aisle, I trust my 
colleagues are not intentionally trying to mislead, but they seem to 
know so much about just what isn't so. This is a bipartisan bill with 
Democratic cosponsors and it is based on sound scientific management.
  Mr. Speaker, we are on the floor today to debate a rule and, as you 
know, this rule is part of the process of the House of Representatives 
that will conclude later this afternoon with votes not only on this 
rule, but eventually on the underlying legislation.
  The process of moving this bill through the House began earlier this 
year, as I and a number of Members representing multiple committees 
talked about and debated different ideas and what we hoped for in a 
final piece of legislation. After hundreds of meetings with 
stakeholders on all sides of this issue, on both sides of the aisle,

[[Page H8313]]

and countless hours of work by Members and staff alike, I believe that 
the House stands ready to vote to improve the condition of our national 
forest land.
  However, the hard work of everyone involved will be for naught if the 
Senate fails to act. For that reason, I encourage our colleagues in the 
Senate to take up this legislation, debate it, offer solutions, and act 
to make a difference on our national forests and our rural communities.
  Mr. Speaker, let's be clear. Our national forests are in the poorest 
condition this Nation has ever seen, and will continue to degrade if we 
fail to act and complete the work that has started here. However, I 
believe that we have reason to be encouraged. The Senate Environment 
and Public Works Committee recently held a hearing on a discussion 
draft that includes similar forest management provisions as H.R. 2936, 
and I know the other committees of jurisdiction are working on forest 
reform legislation as well.

                              {time}  1300

  This is not only a forest health issue; it is a public health issue 
that demands action. Shame on us if we continue to stand idly by and 
watch our treasured national forests go up in smoke while people suffer 
and die. I stand here today to encourage the House to adopt this rule 
and pass this bill, therefore allowing the United States Senate to take 
up the legislation, or, at the very least, something similar to it. 
Pass it and allow us to meet at conference and work out the 
differences. Let us present a workable solution to the President for 
his signature.
  This year, more than 8.8 million acres of wildfire burned, as has 
been pointed out, and there is an additional 80 million acres on the 
verge of spawning more catastrophic wildfires. How many more acres must 
burn? How many more lives must be lost?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Arkansas.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, how many more dreams will be ruined 
before we come together to address this critical issue?
  Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption of the rule.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield 2 minutes to 
the gentlewoman from Wyoming (Ms. Cheney).
  Ms. CHENEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues, Mr. Newhouse, from 
the Rules Committee, as well as Mr. Westerman, for their work on this 
bill.
  I rise in support, Mr. Speaker, of the rule for consideration of H.R. 
2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act, a bill that will help address 
the wildfire crisis that is plaguing our Nation as well as begin the 
very important process of restoring the health of our forests.
  As you know, Mr. Speaker, this has been one of the largest wildfire 
years in our Nation's history. We have seen livelihoods across the West 
threatened and seen the lives of our brave firefighters put in harm's 
way. These fires are deadly, and, tragically, more than 40 people lost 
their lives when fast-moving wildfires swept through northern 
California just a few weeks ago.
  Mr. Speaker, we have particularly felt the effects in my State of 
Wyoming, where we find ourselves in an absolutely indefensible 
situation. Fires are being caused and worsened by Federal 
mismanagement. Eight years of Federal policy opposing proven methods of 
forest management and, instead, focusing on efforts to prevent all 
human use of our forests have done significant damage.
  This damage is not just to the forests that we have had to watch 
burn, Mr. Speaker, but we have also seen tremendous damage to our water 
in postfire situations where the water is contaminated with ash; 
significant damage to wildlife habitat, the health of our forests, to 
property, and, most importantly, Mr. Speaker, to human life.
  Under the bad policies and the mismanagement from the Federal 
Government, we have seen our forests become overgrown, accumulating 
unsafe levels of hazardous biofuels that have become an absolute 
tinderbox for these fires. We must take action now.
  This bill, as my colleagues have pointed out, is a bipartisan effort 
to begin to take the steps we know will help reduce hazardous fuels and 
improve the management of our forests. We must also act, Mr. Speaker, 
as a Congress, to fix the fire-borrowing issue. The Resilient Federal 
Forests Act takes a significant step toward ending the practice of fire 
borrowing, and simplifies the process for implementing proper, 
effective forest management strategies.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge, therefore, the adoption of the rule and the 
underlying bill.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Calvert), the chairman of the Appropriations 
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, to 
demonstrate the importance of this particular piece of legislation to 
the whole country.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the rule for H.R. 2936, the 
Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017. This bill is a commonsense, 
thoughtful approach to restore our forests and minimize forest fire 
risk.
  First and foremost, I thank Representative Westerman for 
understanding the need for these vital reforms. He has been a great 
partner to work with and has a keen understanding of how to restore our 
forests.
  This bill contains a number of needed reforms, but, in particular, 
H.R. 2936 will put an end to obstructionist litigation that has been 
paralyzing the ability of the Forest Service to manage their own land 
for years.
  The legislation creates an arbitration pilot program that requires 
anyone suing to block a forest management activity to produce an 
alternative solution, providing effective resolutions to problems 
rather than frivolous litigant activity. The bill also puts a limit on 
the amount of taxpayer dollars that can go to pay legal fees of 
obstructionist groups when they sue to stop management.
  It seems that every year we have a longer, more devastating fire 
season. In my home State of California this year, it has been 
particularly devastating in both lives and land lost. These fires 
demand that we act, and we need to act now, to fix our forest 
management.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman for his leadership on this 
issue.
  One last thing: Go Dodgers.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, most all Western States were impacted in 
one way or another by catastrophic fires this summer. Particularly hard 
hit was the great State of Oregon.
  I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Walden), the 
chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from the Rules 
Committee, my colleague from across the river in Washington State. My 
apologies to Washingtonians because one of our fires, the Eagle Creek 
fire, actually spotted across the mighty Columbia River, set fire to 
part of the forests in Washington State down near Stevenson. 
Fortunately, that fire was extinguished. The one on the Oregon side was 
terribly dangerous, man-caused, human-caused. It blew out 14 miles in 
one night headed toward Portland.

  These are monster fires. We lost 678,000 acres this year to forest 
fires in my great State of Oregon. It is about two-thirds of the entire 
size of the State of Rhode Island. It is enormous. This is happening 
year after year, and the consequences are extraordinary.
  Smoke chokes our airsheds. Schools literally had to shut down and 
send kids home because it was too smoky to have them inside the school. 
The 30th anniversary of Cycle Oregon was canceled. That is a major 
annual bicycle ride that occurs; 30 years, the 30th anniversary, 
canceled. They couldn't find a way to pull it off. The Shakespeare 
Festival down in Ashland, nine performances had to be canceled; 
$400,000, Mr. Speaker, just in ticket receipts that had to be foregone. 
I am told they had to lay off people as a result.
  When you think about not only the lost forests--this is what a forest 
looks like after it is burned--the ground is often sterilized. You 
can't even go back and replant for a year or two in some cases because 
there is no soil left.
  The impacts are enormous on our environment. Those of us who are 
concerned about the environment, about carbon emissions into the 
atmosphere,

[[Page H8314]]

in 2015, when a like amount was burned in Oregon, the Forest Service 
estimated the blazes emitted more than 90,000 tons of fine particulates 
and 14.2 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That is 
equivalent to more than 3 million cars; 3 million cars.
  The cause of these increasingly catastrophic fires, as Dr. John 
Bailey of the Oregon State University's College of Forestry pointed out 
during a hearing earlier this month in our Energy and Commerce 
Committee, in some cases, the forest landscapes in my part of Oregon, 
eastern Oregon that would have historically held about 20 trees per 
acre, have more than 1,000 trees growing there today.
  You see, we have stopped management. In many cases, we have stopped 
fire. The forests continue to grow, and die, and build, and get more 
dense, and so when fire does strike, it is with devastating 
consequence.
  My friend from Florida, and he is my friend, when he gets 
thunderstorms in Florida in the summer, he gets a lot of rain with it, 
I bet. If we have thunderstorms in Oregon, we don't get the rain. We 
went nearly 90 days without any rain, but we still got lightning. The 
lightning torches these forests and starts a lot of these blazes.
  A 2014 study in California by the Nature Conservancy, Forest Service, 
and others found that these types of projects can reduce the intensity 
of fires up to 70 percent.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Poe of Texas). The time of the gentleman 
has expired.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Oregon.
  Mr. WALDEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. My intensity of this 
issue is almost that of the fires we fight.
  We can reduce the size and intensity of fires by 70 percent if we do 
the kinds of projects that thin out the forest, better manage, and be 
better stewards of our public Federal forests that are contemplated as 
a result of this legislation.
  In Oregon, this bill would take away an arbitrary prohibition on 
harvesting trees over 21 inches in diameter that has tied the hands of 
our forest managers. We would clarify timber production mandates of the 
unique Oregon-California lands in southern and western Oregon to live 
with the underlying statute and actually have it enforced.
  When fires do happen, we would exchange this for a new, healthy 
forest that would grow green trees that sequester carbon and restore a 
landscape that we in the West so enjoy.
  It is long past time to fix our broken forest policy. I commend the 
Rules Committee for bringing this bill forward, and I commend Mr. 
Westerman, Mr. Bishop, and others who have worked on this on both sides 
of the aisle to help us stop the fires that ravage, and kill, and 
destroy, and to help us have healthy, green forests.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. 
I thank the gentleman from Oregon for his passionate words about the 
impact of catastrophic fires in his State.
  He is right. The fire from Oregon did jump the Columbia River into 
Washington, but that is not the only thing that they shared with us 
this summer. My own community, the Yakima Valley, was filled with smoke 
for probably 6 weeks this summer, causing all kinds of health issues 
for the citizens of central Washington, not just from Oregon, but smoke 
also from as far away as Montana and Idaho, and other parts of the 
Northwest.
  In fact, I was just handed a news article, I would like to note, from 
the Methow Valley News, which if you have never been to the Methow 
Valley, it is one of the most pristine, beautiful places on the face of 
the Earth. They are talking about the quality of air in the Methow 
Valley in the community of Twisp.
  The air pollution in Twisp, Washington, is considered among the worst 
in the State, if you can imagine that, in some of the most beautiful, 
clean, pristine areas that you can imagine. The air quality, largely 
due to these catastrophic fires year round, has been impacted 
negatively. That is something that, thanks to the Methow Valley News, 
they are making very clear to all of us that we need to do something to 
address this particularly important issue.
  I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Washington 
(Mrs. McMorris Rodgers), my neighbor to the east, the Congressperson 
from the Fifth Congressional District of the State of Washington.
  Mrs. McMORRIS RODGERS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding and for his leadership on this very important issue.

  I am pleased to see this legislation, the Resilient Federal Forests 
Act coming to the floor today. I also want to express appreciation to 
Representative Westerman for his leadership through the years on this 
issue. In recent years, in my home State, as has been mentioned, in 
Washington State, we have seen larger and larger devastating wildfires, 
breaking all of the records, and it seems like every year they just get 
larger and larger, and more devastating.
  They impact people's health. It is not unusual now for air quality 
warnings to be in eastern Washington, not just for days, but weeks at 
end, where it really does impact people's health. It jeopardizes our 
safety--the stories of people who are caught in the midst of these 
fires--and it is destroying our environment.
  We like to think of our forests as being green and healthy stands of 
trees, but, unfortunately, today, when you look at these forests, 
millions of acres, millions and millions of acres within the U.S. 
Forest Service are actually diseased, dying, bug-infested trees.
  I had the opportunity to meet with the chief of the Forest Service 
just last week, and he said that he estimated 80 million out of the 198 
million acres that the U.S. Forest Service owns needs treatment.
  The Forest Service has warned us for years that the forests are in 
terrible shape. It is really a result of decades of overregulation and 
frivolous lawsuits that have hindered forest management, and we are 
paying the price.
  I represent the Colville National Forest which is about a million-
acre forest. It is really the engine of our economy in the Northwest. 
Because what happens in the Colville National Forest determines whether 
or not we have Vaagen Brothers Lumber, or 49 Degrees North Ski & 
Snowboard Resort, or the biomass facility that Avista runs, converting 
wood waste into electricity.
  This is all providing jobs, energy, recreational opportunities, yet 
mills have been closed, and jobs have been lost. It is unacceptable. It 
is time to pass the Resilient Federal Forests Act legislation.

                              {time}  1315

  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the good gentlewoman from 
Washington State for her remarks.
  Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Washington has 3\1/4\ 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I just want to quickly show this is an example of some 
of the fire damage. If you can see that, this is from the Carlton 
Complex Fire that happened 3 years ago in my district in central 
Washington, taken just yesterday.
  The Carlton Complex burned through State, private, and Federal lands. 
So you can see that these dead, fire-damaged trees have not been 
logged, they have not been removed, and what they do is provide the 
kindling for the next catastrophic fire.
  So that is what we are talking about here, not disarming local 
communities but actually arming them and giving them the ability and 
the tools that they need in order to prevent these catastrophic fires.
  I would invite the good gentleman from Florida to come with me to 
witness firsthand the devastation and the potential devastation that we 
have and to really understand the nature of the issue. I would 
reciprocate with a visit to his State to see the damage done by the 
devastating hurricanes as well.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I advise my friend that I am prepared to close. I have 
no additional speakers, and I will go forward with your permission.
  In the wake of the worst wildfires, as have been mentioned here by so 
many

[[Page H8315]]

of our colleagues, that the U.S. has experienced in quite a while, 
House Republicans, however, have responded by bringing to the floor, 
really, a tired bill passed last Congress that went nowhere in the 
Senate, a bill that does not fix the true problem of chronically 
underfunding wildfire prevention but, instead, doubles down in creating 
an unworkable system for wildfire suppression funding, a bill that 
rolls back environmental protection and limits access to the courts.
  It is dismaying to see the response to natural disasters in this 
country hinge on the same thing so many other important debates do: 
partisanship and ignoring facts and science.
  Despite a year in which we have seen historic hurricanes and 
wildfires, my Republican colleagues have yet again resorted to 
continuing to push policies that repeal environmental regulations, all 
the while denying the effects climate change is having on our 
communities and our country's economy.
  My friend from Oregon, a moment ago--and he is my friend--spoke about 
the thunderstorms that we receive in Florida. In his version, it is 
accompanied by rain, and that is true a lot. But we, too, have droughts 
in Florida, and Florida is known as the lightning capital of the world. 
Very occasionally, particularly in central Florida and in the 
Everglades, those lightning strikes produce wildfires in the 
congressional district that I serve and many others. Our response to 
these events needs to improve, and it needs to happen quickly.
  These disasters do not recognize congressional districts. These 
disasters do not target one area of our country over another and do not 
care about Republican or Democratic partisan gamesmanship. If we are 
going to adequately respond to the needs of millions of American 
citizens in the wake of these and future storms and future wildfires, 
we need to be advocating for sound policies based on science. This is 
the only way to protect future generations.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``no'' vote on the rule and the underlying 
legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the remainder of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record the newspaper article from the 
Methow Valley News, dated October 27.

              [From the Methow Valley News, Oct. 27, 2017]

              Smoke Is a Year-Round Problem in the Valley

                           (By Ann McCreary)

       Autumn in the Methow Valley brings cool, crisp weather, 
     bright days and colorful foliage. And smoke. Just like every 
     other season of the year.
       The Methow Valley's clean, clear air--one of its key 
     attractions--is anything but clean and clear for extended 
     periods of the year. In fact, the Methow Valley has four 
     seasons of smoke, said Liz Walker, head of the Methow Valley 
     Clean Air Project.
       And it is not insignificant amounts of smoke, Walker said. 
     Air pollution in Twisp is among the worst in the state, based 
     on data from the Washington Department of Ecology.
       Each season in the Methow Valley brings its own source of 
     air pollution. In recent years, the all-too-familiar pall of 
     wildfire smoke has hung over the valley for days or weeks 
     during summer. As wildfires are put out by cooler, wet 
     weather of fall, the valley enters another phase of smoke 
     produced by prescribed burning in national forests, outdoor 
     burn piles and wood stoves for home heating.
       In spring, prescribed burning begins again, as well as more 
     burn piles. ``Maybe a respite in June and early July, and 
     then wildfire season will be upon us,'' Walker said.
       Although wildfire season can bring health-threatening 
     amounts of smoke to the valley, like last summer's Diamond 
     Creek Fire, poor air quality is a real concern in winter as 
     well, Walker said. ``We're susceptible to inversions and 
     stagnation in the winter months'' that trap wood stove smoke 
     on the valley floor, she said.
       Smoke is the air pollutant of greatest concern in the 
     Methow Valley, and is monitored by the Department of Ecology. 
     It is known as PM2.5, which means particulate matter that is 
     2.5 microns or smaller. These tiny particles are most 
     frequently caused by incomplete combustion, and can stay 
     airborne and can travel long distances, increasing the 
     likelihood that humans and animals will inhale them.
       Data collected by a Department of Ecology air monitor in 
     Twisp ranked air quality at that site among the eight most-
     polluted places in the state in 2016, Walker said. ``By 
     several of the measures the Department of Ecology uses to 
     look at PM2.5 pollution reported at air quality monitors 
     across the state, Twisp ranks among the worst in air 
     pollution--worse than metro Seattle or Tacoma. This is even 
     after PM2.5 from wildfire smoke is subtracted out,'' Walker 
     said.
       There was insufficient data from the air pollution monitor 
     in Winthrop to assess air quality there last year, ``but it 
     is typically only slightly better than Twisp,'' Walker said.


                              Public cost

       ``Our valley cares a lot about this, and we're working 
     together to improve it. There's a real public health cost to 
     air pollution. Anyone who has sat around a campfire, or gone 
     for a strenuous hike on a smoky day has had a firsthand 
     lesson in the toxicity of smoke,'' Walker said.
       Walker's concern about health impacts come from her 
     training as an environmental health toxicologist. Harmful 
     effects range from the inability to exercise outdoors, to 
     respiratory distress and infections, to increased risk of 
     cancer.
       ``For vulnerable populations--babies, children, pregnant 
     women, elders, and anyone with heart or lung issues--bad air 
     days can mean serious health repercussions. For everyone, 
     chronic exposure to high levels of PM2.5 can potentially 
     trigger or exacerbate conditions such as headaches, asthma, 
     bronchitis and cardiovascular disease.''
       There are economic costs of air pollution in the Methow 
     Valley as well, she said. ``We're a tourist economy, 
     dependent on the natural beauty of the valley,'' Walker said.
       The Methow Valley Clean Air Project was launched in 2015 by 
     Raleigh Bowden, a local physician, after she saw people 
     suffering health effects of poor winter air quality, Walker 
     said. A key goal of the project is improving air quality 
     during the home heating season, October through March.
       ``Due to our valley's frequent winter inversions, smoke 
     from woodstoves and outdoor burning pollutes our air to 
     frequently unhealthy levels,'' Walker said. ``We've focused 
     on the home heating season because this is when we can make 
     behavioral changes to improve our air quality. This is a 
     controllable source of pollution, as contrasted with 
     pollution from wildfires.''
       The Clean Air Project outlines measures residents can take 
     to reduce pollution from wood stoves, including: Properly 
     season wood so that it is dry and burns cleaner; clean 
     chimneys yearly; build small, hot fires and don't damp them 
     down; comply with burn bans; upgrade to certified stoves or a 
     wood-burning alternative; weatherize homes.
       The organization is also working to reduce outdoor burning 
     of yard waste and provide alternatives, including 
     ``vegetation drives'' sponsored by the Clean Air Project, 
     Walker said.


                           Successful drives

       Vgetation drives, supported by grants and partnerships, 
     were held in the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017, and another 
     drive is scheduled next spring. Past drives have collected 
     about 20 tons of vegetation, which prevented hundreds or 
     thousands of hours of smoke, Walker said.
       The yard waste was dropped off by residents and hauled to 
     the county landfill during the first drive, conducted over 
     two days. During the second drive, conducted over eight days 
     in partnership with the Town of Twisp, residents delivered 
     vegetation to a site near the Twisp wastewater treatment 
     plant, where it was chipped and offered free for landscaping 
     and mulching.
       ``The most unusual community participant brought his load 
     strapped to the back of his bicycle--now that's commitment to 
     clean air!'' Walker said.
       The Clean Air Project also partnered this year with the 
     Pine Forest Homeowners Association to provide support for 
     chipping branches and slash created when underbrush and trees 
     were thinned and limbed as part of Pine Forest's ongoing 
     Firewise efforts. The debris would otherwise have been 
     burned.
       Next spring's vegetation drive will be conducted in 
     partnership with the Okanogan Conservation District, Walker 
     said. She suggested that residents who have been accumulating 
     yard waste cover their piles this fall instead of burning 
     them, and haul them to the vegetation drive in the spring to 
     be chipped.
       Walker acknowledged that it takes extra effort, and a 
     different mindset, to participate in a vegetation drive 
     rather than burn yard waste. ``It's hard. Our valley is long. 
     It requires a truck, loading it up and hauling it in,'' she 
     said. ``People have been outdoor burning in the valley 
     forever. It's how you get rid of your stuff when you live out 
     in the country.''
       However, Walker said, many valley residents have been 
     supportive of the vegetation drives. ``People really 
     appreciate this as an option. They don't want to impact the 
     health of families and the community,'' she said.
       For people who want to continue the longstanding local 
     tradition of burning yard waste, the Clean Air Project 
     suggests ``best practices for burning outdoors in the most 
     safe and clean way,'' Walker said.
       ``Make sure the pile is as bone dry as possible. Make sure 
     you know what is a good day, with good ventilation, but not 
     too much wind. We've interacted with Fire District 6 and 
     smokejumpers. There are lots of folks with tons of knowledge 
     about how to build a hot, clean pile,'' she said.
       The Clean Air Project is overseen by a volunteer advisory 
     group. The Methow Valley Citizens' Council is fiscal sponsor 
     for the organization. More information is available on the 
     Methow Valley Clean Air Project Facebook page.


[[Page H8316]]


  

  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend from Florida for 
today's debate.
  The issue of proactive management of our Nation's Federal forests is 
critically important to the future and economic well-being of our whole 
country as well as to the health of our Federal lands and safety of our 
rural communities.
  Let me say that, if you have never been through a rural community 
that has had to face the devastation of a catastrophic fire, you are 
welcome to come to the State of Washington and see firsthand exactly 
the kind of damage that these fires can do.
  This is of the highest priority, and I urge all my colleagues to 
support this rule as well as the underlying bill in order to combat 
these catastrophic wildfires and reform the way in which we manage our 
forests.
  This rule provides for consideration of H.R. 2936, the Resilient 
Federal Forests Act of 2017. This is bipartisan, it is comprehensive, 
and it aims at addressing the disastrous consequences of catastrophic 
wildfires by utilizing the tools the Forest Service and other agencies 
have to reduce the threats posed by these fires, by insects, by disease 
infestation, and by dangerous old forest overgrowth.
  As I said, my district in central Washington and millions of acres 
across our great country continue to face this threat. We must take 
steps to prevent and address these fires, which this bill will do by 
reforming the way we prepare for, respond to, and fund wildfire 
response and mitigation efforts. These threats will only continue to 
worsen not only for my constituents, but for people all around the 
country.
  We are recognizing sustained drought conditions. Mismanagement and 
failure to conduct maintenance of our forests on Federal lands will 
continue to plague this issue. The underlying legislation is essential 
and desperately needed to change the outdated, unsustainable, and 
untimely dangerous system of Federal forest management on these lands.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a straightforward rule allowing for 
consideration of a critical piece of legislation that will help protect 
our rural communities and ensure we are prepared to respond to these 
devastating, catastrophic fires.
  I appreciate the discussion we have had today. I believe that this is 
a critical measure, and I urge my colleagues to support House 
Resolution 595 and the underlying legislation.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Hastings is as follows:

          An Amendment to H. Res. 595 Offered by Mr. Hastings

       At the end of the resolution, add the following new 
     sections:
       Sec. 2. 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. 
     3440) to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment 
     of status of certain individuals who are long-term United 
     States residents and who entered the United States as 
     children 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 the Judiciary. 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. 3. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 3440.
                                  ____


        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. NEWHOUSE. 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. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XX, the Chair 
will reduce to 5 minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on 
the question of adoption of the resolution.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 232, 
nays 184, not voting 16, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 592]

                               YEAS--232

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Arrington
     Babin
     Bacon
     Banks (IN)
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Bergman
     Biggs
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Budd
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Cheney
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (NY)
     Comer
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Cook
     Costello (PA)
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Davidson
     Davis, Rodney
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     Diaz-Balart
     Donovan
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Dunn
     Emmer
     Estes (KS)
     Farenthold
     Faso
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Flores
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gaetz
     Gallagher
     Garrett
     Gianforte
     Gibbs
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guthrie
     Handel
     Harper
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Higgins (LA)
     Holding
     Hollingsworth
     Hudson
     Huizenga

[[Page H8317]]


     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (LA)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones
     Jordan
     Joyce (OH)
     Katko
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger
     Knight
     Kustoff (TN)
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     Lewis (MN)
     LoBiondo
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Marshall
     Massie
     Mast
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mitchell
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Norman
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Pittenger
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Posey
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Rice (SC)
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney, Francis
     Rooney, Thomas J.
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce (CA)
     Russell
     Rutherford
     Sanford
     Scalise
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smucker
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Stivers
     Taylor
     Tenney
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Zeldin

                               NAYS--184

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Bass
     Beatty
     Bera
     Beyer
     Bishop (GA)
     Blumenauer
     Blunt Rochester
     Bonamici
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (MD)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capuano
     Carbajal
     Cardenas
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Cohen
     Connolly
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Correa
     Costa
     Courtney
     Crist
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeFazio
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     Demings
     DeSaulnier
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Ellison
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Espaillat
     Esty (CT)
     Evans
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Gonzalez (TX)
     Gottheimer
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hanabusa
     Hastings
     Heck
     Higgins (NY)
     Himes
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Jayapal
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Kennedy
     Khanna
     Kihuen
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Kind
     Krishnamoorthi
     Kuster (NH)
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lawson (FL)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan Grisham, M.
     Lujan, Ben Ray
     Lynch
     Maloney, Carolyn B.
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McEachin
     McGovern
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Meng
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Halleran
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Panetta
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Raskin
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Rosen
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schneider
     Schrader
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Soto
     Speier
     Suozzi
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters, Maxine
     Watson Coleman
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                             NOT VOTING--16

     Barragan
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Clyburn
     Cummings
     DeGette
     DesJarlais
     Garamendi
     Gomez
     Hill
     Jackson Lee
     Nadler
     Perry
     Pocan
     Polis
     Smith (NE)

                              {time}  1345

  Messrs. BROWN of Maryland and LARSON of Connecticut changed their 
vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Mr. JONES changed his vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
  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. HASTINGS. 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 232, 
noes 184, not voting 16, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 593]

                               AYES--232

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Arrington
     Babin
     Bacon
     Banks (IN)
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Bergman
     Biggs
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Budd
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Cheney
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Comer
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Cook
     Costello (PA)
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Davidson
     Davis, Rodney
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     Diaz-Balart
     Donovan
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Dunn
     Emmer
     Estes (KS)
     Farenthold
     Faso
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Flores
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gaetz
     Gallagher
     Garrett
     Gianforte
     Gibbs
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guthrie
     Handel
     Harper
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Higgins (LA)
     Holding
     Hollingsworth
     Hudson
     Huizenga
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (LA)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones
     Jordan
     Joyce (OH)
     Katko
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger
     Knight
     Kustoff (TN)
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     Lewis (MN)
     LoBiondo
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Marshall
     Massie
     Mast
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mitchell
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Norman
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Pittenger
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Posey
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Rice (SC)
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney, Francis
     Rooney, Thomas J.
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce (CA)
     Russell
     Rutherford
     Sanford
     Scalise
     Schrader
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smucker
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Stivers
     Taylor
     Tenney
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Zeldin

                               NOES--184

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Bass
     Beatty
     Bera
     Beyer
     Bishop (GA)
     Blumenauer
     Blunt Rochester
     Bonamici
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (MD)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capuano
     Carbajal
     Cardenas
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Cohen
     Connolly
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Correa
     Costa
     Courtney
     Crist
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeFazio
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     Demings
     DeSaulnier
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Ellison
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Espaillat
     Esty (CT)
     Evans
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Gonzalez (TX)
     Gottheimer
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hanabusa
     Hastings
     Heck
     Higgins (NY)
     Himes
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Jackson Lee
     Jayapal
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Kennedy
     Khanna
     Kihuen
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Kind
     Krishnamoorthi
     Kuster (NH)
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lawson (FL)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan Grisham, M.
     Lujan, Ben Ray
     Lynch
     Maloney, Carolyn B.
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McEachin
     McGovern
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Meng
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Halleran
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Panetta
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Raskin
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Rosen
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schneider
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Soto
     Speier
     Suozzi
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters, Maxine
     Watson Coleman
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

[[Page H8318]]


  


                             NOT VOTING--16

     Barragan
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Clyburn
     Collins (NY)
     Cummings
     DeGette
     DesJarlais
     Garamendi
     Gomez
     Hill
     Nadler
     Perry
     Pocan
     Polis
     Smith (NE)


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

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

                              {time}  1353

  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.


                          PERSONAL EXPLANATION

  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I was unavoidably detained. Had I been 
present, I would have voted ``Yea'' on rollcall No. 592, and ``Yea'' on 
rollcall No. 593.

                          ____________________