DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2020; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 99
(House of Representatives - June 13, 2019)

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  DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND 
               RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2020

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Kelly of Illinois). Pursuant to House 
Resolution 431 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state

[[Page H4633]]

of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, H.R. 2740.
  Will the gentlewoman from Texas (Mrs. Fletcher) kindly take the 
chair.

                              {time}  0912


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the further consideration of 
the bill (H.R. 2740) making appropriations for the Departments of 
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies 
for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020, and for other purposes, 
with Mrs. Fletcher (Acting Chair) in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose on Thursday, 
June 13, 2019, a request for a recorded vote on amendment No. 71 
printed in House Report 116-109 offered by the gentlewoman from 
Massachusetts (Ms. Pressley) had been postponed.
  The Chair understands that amendment Nos. 72 and 73 will not be 
offered.

                              {time}  0915


               Amendment No. 74 Offered by Ms. Spanberger

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 74 
printed in part B of House Report 116-109.
  Ms. SPANBERGER. Madam Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 51, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $3,000,000)''.
       Page 90, line 6, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $3,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 431, the gentlewoman 
from Virginia (Ms. Spanberger) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Virginia.
  Ms. SPANBERGER. Madam Chair, my amendment to H.R. 2740 increases 
funding toward colorectal cancer screening and prevention.
  Right now, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer 
death in the United States. This year alone, more than 50,000 people 
across the country are expected to die from this disease. One out of 20 
Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer during their 
lifetime.
  When I hear these statistics, I think of more than just the numbers. 
I think of the families and the lives that are impacted. I think of my 
own mother-in-law who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer years ago 
and remains cancer-free to this day. I think of my dear friend Peg--a 
teacher, an advocate, and a fighter--who, when faced with her own 
devastating diagnosis, committed herself to educating others about this 
disease and the benefit of screenings.
  With so many Americans like Peg and my mother-in-law diagnosed with 
colorectal cancer each year, Congress needs to support prevention 
efforts. Over the last few years, funding for the groundbreaking 
Colorectal Cancer Control Program has remained the same.
  This year, I thank the Appropriations Committee for recognizing this 
problem. By bringing attention to the increasing rate of colorectal 
cancer among younger adults, we are sharing the gift of research and 
promoting the spread of 21st-century prevention.
  My amendment would strengthen the Appropriations Committee's efforts 
by providing $3 million in additional funding for colorectal cancer 
research under the Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health 
Promotion Program.
  In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health significantly benefits 
from this program and uses these funds to provide early screenings 
across the Commonwealth.
  If this critical amendment passes, the House would provide a major 
increase and much-needed funding for colorectal cancer screening and 
control under the CDC. This increased support means more necessary 
screenings, more evidence-based interventions, and a path toward more 
lives saved, especially among some of our country's most vulnerable 
patients.
  Studies indicate that as many as 60 percent of colorectal cancer 
deaths could be prevented with screening, but the number of colorectal 
cancer screenings has remained level since 2010. Clearly, we are 
overdue for progress in this fight.
  By making a vigorous effort to increase the numbers of screenings, we 
will be able to catch abnormal growths before they turn into cancer, 
and we can catch colorectal cancer early when treatment is more 
effective.
  As we fight for additional vital funding for the CRCCP, we are 
allowing prevention and education initiatives to reach more Americans. 
That gives more families the opportunity to live cancer-free.
  We have a rare opportunity to build a coalition in this battle. 
Across the country, more than 1,700 organizations have committed to 
defeating colorectal cancer as a public health crisis. Together, they 
have committed to the goal of 80 percent screened in the coming years.
  Congress needs to join this effort, and my amendment can and should 
be part of that fight.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Maryland is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SPANBERGER. Madam Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Madam Chair, I rise in support of this amendment.
  I would note that the underlying bill that we are considering today 
includes a $2 million increase for a total funding level of $45 million 
for colorectal cancer prevention activities at the CDC. Given the 
increasing rate of colorectal cancer among younger adults, I am pleased 
to support further expansion of CDC's efforts.
  As a survivor of ovarian cancer, I thank the gentlewoman for raising 
the issue of colorectal cancer and the importance of cancer screenings.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
  I know we will have a discussion here, Madam Chair, about where the 
dollars are coming from, but I would like to remind the gentleman from 
Maryland that, last evening, the minority voted overwhelmingly for a 14 
percent cut across the board, which, in fact, would have cut the 
general departmental management by 14 percent, so I find this line of 
opposition to be somewhat disingenuous.
  Ms. SPANBERGER. Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, here we go again. Obviously, we took a 5-
hour break, but now we are back to not making priorities.
  The bottom line is, now we are up to $27 million out of this basket 
of money that the Secretary has to manage a Department that is actually 
increasing in size and increasing in complexity.
  This is a very worthy cause, and there is no question in anyone's 
mind, I hope, that colon cancer screening, for instance, is essential. 
Every American who falls within the guidelines should be encouraged to 
undergo the screening, but we have to set priorities.
  If we are going to increase further the funding into that program--
because as we heard from the subcommittee chair, we have already 
increased the funding--if we are going to increase it further, we have 
to look somewhere to decrease funding. That is not a magical pot of 
money that is endless. Literally, it is true that, sooner or later, the 
Secretary is going to have to take out loans to pay salaries in his 
Department because we will have drained the entire amount.
  Again, since the last vote series, which we had 1 a.m. eastern time--
it is now 9:20 eastern time--since then, we have drained that fund by 
$27 million. A lot of it transferred for good projects, but that is not 
the way we should be doing business here.
  When families in my district have a priority, they set a new 
priority. They say this family needs this a lot right now. They look 
into their budget and ask what they are not going to spend on. That is 
what we ought to be doing.
  If this is so essential, Madam Chair, I would suggest some other 
program, not a magical pot of money that some people believe has no 
bottom.
  Again, the Secretary has to run an increasingly complex Department. 
The bottom line is that we have now drained, if all the amendments pass

[[Page H4634]]

that we have discussed since 1 a.m., $27 million out of the fund. This 
is not the way we ought to do business.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SPANBERGER. Madam Chair, I have trouble with that argument from 
my colleague across the aisle when, last night, he voted for a 14 
percent cut across the board to this pot of money, which he refers to 
as a ``magical'' pot of money.
  I think it is incredibly important that when we are looking at 
priorities, priorities such as prevention, priorities such as early 
detection related to such a disease that kills so many Americans, where 
prevention and early screenings are vital to survival levels, it is 
incredibly important that we prioritize screenings and invest. This 
amendment stipulates $3 million toward this vital, vital effort.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, we are showing the American people right now 
that we live in fantasy land.
  The bottom line is, the amendment that I and many of my colleagues 
voted for last night merely restores this bill to the current state of 
law. It makes it comply with the Budget Control Act. I didn't vote for 
the Budget Control Act, but it is the law of the land.
  We can pretend it is not. That is the difference between us and the 
people in my district. They don't have Monopoly money to play with. 
They can't pretend that the law isn't the law. They can't pretend that 
they can invent money in their families. They have to follow the laws. 
They have to follow their budgets. But I guess that is just not true.
  This is why Congress has a 9 percent approval rating. The people 
watching us today, the millions of people watching us--there are maybe 
several hundred thousand watching us today--are watching promises being 
made that can't be kept, promises being made that take money out of not 
this generation but the next generation and the generation following.
  Again, this is a worthy cause. But the bottom line is, last year, 
when the majority was in the minority, every single member in the 
Appropriations Committee voted against funding this program when it 
left the committee, every single majority member when they were in the 
minority.
  I get how this game is being played. I get it. We have to restore 
fiscal discipline, the same fiscal discipline every family in our 
districts has. If you set a priority and you decide this is necessary 
to spend on, you find something that is not necessary to spend on.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SPANBERGER. Madam Chair, I would like to note, for the Record, 
that I am new to Congress, elected in November, so I was not here last 
year or last Congress during the tax bill cycle. Given that my 
colleague across the aisle was, I find the lectures about fiscal 
discipline to be very challenging to take when we are discussing 
Monopoly money, fantasy land money, and taking money from the next 
generation.
  I know a great deal about the challenges that ride on the fact that 
we have increased our debt year after year, and I find it very 
difficult to listen to lectures about this from a colleague who, in 
fact, voted to balloon the deficit.
  This is about prevention and screening. This is about the health of 
Americans. This is about being proactive in our spending.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, parliamentary inquiry.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. HARRIS. Is any time remaining on the other side because the 
gentlewoman moved to reserve her time?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Maryland controls the only time 
remaining.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, I am a physician. I have taken care of 
people for 35 years. I am not sure I should be lectured, Madam Chair, 
on the proper way to take care of people in this country with regard to 
their health.
  I understand the attraction of maybe bringing a tax bill into this. I 
am not sure why the proponents can't leave this as a discussion of 
funding health.
  The bottom line is, this is an important subject, no question about 
it.
  Madam Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Virginia (Ms. Spanberger).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. BUDD. Madam Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Virginia 
will be postponed.


                Amendment No. 75 Offered by Mr. Delgado

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 75 
printed in part B of House Report 116-109.
  Mr. DELGADO. Madam Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 90, line 6, after the dollar amount $474,169,000, 
     insert ``(reduced by $1,000,000)''.
       Page 51, line 1, after the dollar amount $592,622,000, 
     insert ``(increased by $1,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 431, the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Delgado) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. DELGADO. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Chair, upstate New York and communities across the country are 
experiencing an unprecedented increase in Lyme disease and tick-borne 
diseases. At all 14 of the townhalls that I have held in my district 
this term, folks asked me what Congress is doing about Lyme disease.
  Today, I am offering an amendment to better understand and prevent 
this disease. The amendment adds $1 million in critical CDC funding for 
the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme disease.
  This package of appropriations bills makes critical investments in 
our priorities. But as temperatures rise and families spend more time 
outside, we must invest more in treating and preventing Lyme.
  Lyme disease is a devastating disease that can often go undetected as 
it travels through ticks, tiny bugs that reside in dense forests and 
rural areas, areas found all across my district in upstate New York.
  While most Lyme disease patients who are diagnosed and treated early 
can fully recover, 10 to 20 percent of patients suffer from persistent 
symptoms, which, for some, are chronic and disabling.
  These numbers are even more startling as we consider that, over the 
last 25 years, Lyme disease has increased by over 300 percent in the 
northeastern States. In 2017, there were 3,502 confirmed cases of tick-
borne Lyme in New York State alone.
  Madam Chair, I have 5-year-old twin boys. Whenever I do bath time, I 
have to check for ticks. There have been a few scary moments where I 
have actually had to pull ticks off my little boys. It is a frightening 
experience.
  Parents, myself included, are sending their children into their 
backyard or local park with fears that they can return with a chronic 
lifelong and potentially disabling disease.

                              {time}  0930

  But this is just not a medical or moral issue. Lyme disease is 
costing our economy. How much money are the American people spending on 
this disease as we still know so little about it?
  Studies indicate that Lyme disease costs approximately $1.3 billion 
each year in direct medical costs alone in the United States. The 
American people are spending $1.3 billion on the symptoms of a disease 
rather than investing in medical research to treat and prevent it.
  This figure doesn't even address the opportunity cost of failing to 
act to address Lyme disease in our communities. How will our local 
economy attract tourists when people can get sick? What is the cost of 
keeping children cooped up inside rather than enjoying the outdoors for 
fear of tick-borne illnesses?

[[Page H4635]]

  Upstate New Yorkers and communities struggling with tick populations 
need medical solutions now to stop this disease in its tracks. Prompt 
diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases are crucial to prevent 
long-term complications.
  Today, available diagnostic tests can be inaccurate and complex to 
interpret, especially during the earliest stage of infection when 
treatment is most effective. My amendment offers trying to better 
understand the disease and allowing for research to develop a more 
effective treatment of the disease.
  Unlike in other infectious disease settings, tests to directly 
measure the presence of the infecting organism are not available for 
Lyme disease. This leaves physicians without the tools needed to 
diagnose; and without an accurate diagnosis, it is challenging for 
physicians to provide early treatment.
  The disease requires specialized treatments, which requires real 
investments in research to better manage and prevent the disease. Madam 
Chair, the time to invest is now. Indeed, the National Science 
Foundation has declared that Lyme disease is an emerging global 
pandemic due to climate change.
  Madam Chair, I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, I claim the time in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Maryland is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DELGADO. Madam Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Madam Chair, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
rise in support of his amendment.
  I commend the gentleman's efforts to highlight Lyme disease, which, 
unfortunately, has spread to many States due to climate change. The 
geographic area in which ticks can survive is increasing as milder 
winters result in fewer disease-carrying ticks dying during the winter.
  I am proud that our bill includes a $1 million increase, for a total 
funding level of $13 million for the CDC to intensify efforts to 
develop better diagnostics and to bolster critical prevention and 
surveillance networks. This amendment would provide an additional $1 
million increase.
  Madam Chair, I thank the gentleman for offering this amendment, and I 
urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.''
  I might also add that, last evening, the fiscal year 2020 House bill 
we spoke about provides $193 million for the Secretary of HHS' 
administrative budget. Yet, last night, Republicans, including my 
colleague, voted to cut that budget by 14 percent, which would have cut 
the Secretary's budget by $27 million.
  So the argument that is being made is a fantasy and really somewhat 
disingenuous.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York's time is expired.
  The gentleman from Maryland is recognized.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, what is disingenuous is trying to make an 
argument that somehow this bill falls within current statute.
  The Budget Control Act is the controlling statutory authority, and 
this bill is 14 percent above the Budget Control Act.
  Now, most people might think a move to restore the congressional 
action to lawfulness is actually a good thing. In fact, maybe Americans 
watching who have to live by a budget in their households actually 
wonder why we can't do it here. They look at a trillion-dollar deficit 
and they say: Wait a minute. I can't do that in my household. Why does 
Congress do it to the country?
  The gentlewoman from Connecticut, the gentleman from New York, they 
share something in common with Maryland: We are where Lyme disease is 
endemic. No question about it, it is a problem.
  My problem is not with CDC dealing with Lyme disease. With this 
amendment, we are now up to $28 million taken from the same source. 
This pretend bottomless fund that all we have to do is we can draw all 
we need out of this fund is not the way budgeting works. It is not the 
way budgeting works in any family. It is not the way budgeting should 
work here on Capitol Hill.
  And, again, I remind my colleagues, people look at how Congress 
operates in wonder--not awe, wonder. They figure: Why can't Congress 
run the country like I have to run my household?
  It is because we don't choose priorities here. We say this is 
important, and it is, but we fail to do what all the families in 
America do when they decide something is more important. They choose 
something that is less important and forgo spending money on that.
  So that is the deficit in this amendment. This amendment is a worthy 
cause. Lyme disease is a terrible disease, as the gentleman from New 
York knows. We are not even sure how to diagnose it. Chronic Lyme 
disease is an enigma to scientists and to medicine. It should be a 
priority. But coupled with that priority is finding something else that 
is of lower priority and deciding not to spend as much there and to 
spend more here.
  So that is why, reluctantly, I urge the body, if they pass the other 
amendments that we have chosen--that is, considered since 1 a.m., the 
last time we met--this would make $28 million out of that mythical 
bottomless fund that all these good ideas are funded from.
  Madam Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Delgado).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. BUDD. Madam Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment No. 76 Offered by Mr. Crow

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 76 
printed in part B of House Report 116-109.
  Mr. CROW. Madam Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 121, line 23, after the first dollar amount, insert 
     ``(reduced by $5,000,000) (increased by $5,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 431, the gentleman 
from Colorado (Mr. Crow) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Colorado.
  Mr. CROW. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Chair, I rise today to offer an amendment supporting an 
additional $5 million appropriation for Project SERV.
  Project SERV and programs like it provide mental health resources to 
students and extend critical support in the wake of tragedies, such as 
school shootings like the one that took place at STEM School in my 
district.
  By increasing funding, we can increase our ability to address the 
mental health among our precious population: our children.
  The underlying bill doubles the amount of funding for Project SERV to 
$10 million. Moreover, additional funding was provided in the disaster 
supplemental that I was proud to vote for in May.
  I thank the chairman, ranking member, and the members of the 
committee for their hard work to ensure that this program is properly 
funded.
  With my amendment, I hope that we can continue to scale Project SERV 
and mental health programs like it so that we can ensure that every 
student gets the help that they deserve.
  In the time since the STEM School shooting in my district, I have had 
the privilege to meet with several students and their families. Their 
courage and thoughtfulness is unparalleled.
  We discussed and reflected on ways that we in this body can help 
students, in a bipartisan manner, to cope with crisis: What can we do? 
How do we restart the learning process? How do we prevent future 
tragedies?
  The common denominators were expanding mental health curriculum in 
schools; grief counseling; helping students, teachers, administrators, 
and their families recover. It was something that we came together and 
found

[[Page H4636]]

some bipartisan consensus on in the discussions that I have had.
  Experts can attest shootings and other school tragedies take a 
terrible toll on our students, causing sleep disorders, anxiety, and 
even PTS. We need programs like Project SERV. We need to ensure that 
our children have access to mental health services they need in order 
to recover, in order to focus on their studies, in order to make sure 
tragedies like this never happen again. And we need to scale this 
program and those like it to make sure that this happens at a much 
larger and national scale.
  Madam Chair, I urge my colleagues to support my amendment, and I 
yield as much time as she may consume to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Madam Chair, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
rise in support of this amendment and the Project School Emergency 
Response to Violence, Project SERV, program.
  The program provides counseling and referral to mental health 
services, as well as other education-related services, to school 
districts, colleges, and universities in which the learning environment 
has been disrupted by a violent or traumatic crisis.
  To strengthen this critical program, the underlying bill increases 
the set-aside within the School Safety National Activities program by 
$5 million over the 2019 enacted level.
  I appreciate that the amendment is drawing attention to this 
important program, and I am happy to support it.
  Mr. CROW. Madam Chair, I am prepared to close, and I yield myself the 
balance of my time.
  Madam Chair, we have an obligation to take care of our students, 
teachers, and school administrators after horrific tragedies. We must 
ensure that they can grieve, heal, return to school, and focus on 
learning and moving forward with their lives, all the while feeling 
safe doing so.
  I look forward to working with the distinguished chairwoman, 
appropriators, and members of the authorizing committee to support 
Project SERV and programs like it in the months and years ahead.
  Madam Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Crow).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. BUDD. Madam Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Colorado 
will be postponed.


                Amendment No. 77 Offered by Ms. Houlahan

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 77 
printed in part B of House Report 116-109.
  Ms. HOULAHAN. Madam Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 117, line 8, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $1,000,000) (reduced by $1,000,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 431, the gentlewoman 
from Pennsylvania (Ms. Houlahan) and a Member opposed each will control 
5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania.
  Ms. HOULAHAN. Madam Chair, I rise today in support of my amendment to 
H.R. 2740, which advocates for funding for the Department of 
Education's comprehensive literacy development grants.
  The LEARN Program provides competitive grants to States to help local 
educational agencies develop comprehensive literacy plans to ensure 
high-quality instruction and evidence-based intervention strategies for 
all students from birth through grade 12.
  This program is the only Federal funding stream to support these 
statewide efforts. This funding allows local school districts to 
support high-quality professional development for teachers, teacher 
leaders, principals, and specialized instructional support personnel to 
improve literacy instruction for struggling readers and writers, 
including English language learners and students with disabilities.
  The state of literacy in our country is alarming. Before coming to 
Congress, I taught high school chemistry, and what I found was that 
most of my high school students couldn't read above a third or fourth 
grade level.
  How could my students learn chemistry if they couldn't read? How 
could they expect to, later in life, be able to pursue a quality and 
rewarding life?
  It was a wake-up call for me, and I spent the next 4 years, as a 
consequence, building a nonprofit that focused on early childhood 
literacy in our most disadvantaged communities.
  According to the National Institute of Literacy, approximately 32 
million adults in the U.S. cannot read. The Organization for Economic 
Cooperation and Development found that half of U.S. adults cannot read 
a book written at an eighth grade level.
  The fight for a more literate America is crucial, and we must 
acknowledge that low literacy more dramatically affects communities of 
color.
  On the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, in 
the 12th grade reading level assessments, 46 percent of White students 
scored at or above proficient, while only 25 percent of Latino and 17 
percent of Black students scored proficient. In essence, the fight for 
literacy is a fight for a fairer country, for a more level playing 
field.
  How can we expect young Americans from every race, gender, and 
socioeconomic background to be ready for our workforce?

                              {time}  0945

  How can we be living up to the notion that every American deserves a 
shot at the American Dream if we are not aggressively fighting to 
ensure that they have the most fundamental ability to read.
  Our inaction is costing us all. The National Council for Adult 
Learning estimates that low literacy costs our country $225 billion 
each year in nonproductivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax 
revenue due to unemployment.
  The American Journal of Public Health found that in excess of $230 
billion a year in healthcare costs is linked to low adult literacy. Our 
inaction on literacy is costing us nearly $500 billion a year. I 
believe, and I am sure that many of my colleagues on both sides of the 
aisle believe, that every American child deserves his or her shot at 
the American Dream, at the ability to get a quality education, and to 
make a living wage to support themselves and their families.
  We are denying millions of people their shot and their promise in 
this country by refusing to more aggressively advocate for and fund 
programs that do the critical work of increasing our literacy levels.
  I am thankful that my amendment is being considered. I think it is an 
important first step in the long overdue fight for a more literate and, 
by extension, a more fair America. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chairwoman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Maryland is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. HOULAHAN. Madam Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Madam Chairwoman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  I rise in support of this amendment and of Comprehensive Literacy 
Development grants, which help States and school districts provide 
evidence-based literacy instruction for disadvantaged students from 
birth through grade 12.
  Literacy is a mark of a civilized society, and it is one of the most 
important predictors of a student's success. To further advance 
literacy skills for students across the country, the underlying bill 
provides $195 million for Comprehensive Literacy Development grants, a 
$5 million increase over the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
  I might add that the Trump administration cut this program, literacy, 
and they also cut the innovative approaches to literacy, again, which 
we have increased by $2 million. It may mean that they don't understand 
that literacy is a mark of a civilized society. I appreciate that the 
amendment is drawing attention to the importance of this program, and I 
am happy to support it.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chairwoman, the Trump administration followed the

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law. I know that for Congress here, we don't really like to follow the 
law. We think we make it for everybody else, and we don't have to 
follow it. In fact, the bill we are discussing today doesn't follow the 
Budget Control Act. It pretends that the law doesn't exist.
  Now, the Trump administration did the appropriate thing and said: You 
know what? The law does exist. The reason why we get into trouble, and 
why America looks at what Congress does, the profligate spending that 
we have, the trillion-dollar deficits, and the $22 trillion debt is 
because in some cases like this, we just don't follow the law. The 
President says: No, we should return to the law.
  If the Congress thinks we ought to spend more, then pass a bill that 
changes the Budget Control Act. But, Madam Chairwoman, I would suggest 
that if the President had not followed the law, the complaint would be: 
The President is not following the law. You are damned if you do. You 
are damned if you don't.
  The President follows the Budget Control Act, submits a budget 
consistent with that, and then gets blamed by the majority for 
following the law, not playing make-believe budgets.
  Madam Chairwoman, our families can't do make-believe budgets. They 
have a certain amount of money and they have to stay within that 
budget. But I guess we are Congress. We are different. We can make 
believe.
  This is why we have a 9 percent approval rating, because Americans 
look at what we do here in Congress and say: This isn't the real world.
  This education is important. There is no question about it, but we 
have to place priorities. I reluctantly oppose the amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. HOULAHAN. Madam Chairwoman, I am nearly speechless with the 
conversation that I have just heard where we are talking about the most 
fundamental of things that we need, the equipment that we need to be 
functioning in our society, that skill of literacy, that we are 
thinking somehow that this is a checkbook balance situation rather than 
an investment in a child, an investment in a family, an investment in a 
future.
  If we are talking about the need to imagine, we have to give people 
the skills so that they may imagine. Imagine the life that they will be 
able to have when they are able to read a street sign; when they are 
able to read to their child; when they are able to read their driver's 
test. These are things that we should not deny anyone. These are 
fundamental things that we absolutely have to provide to every single 
citizen in our economy.
  If we are not providing education and literacy, what good is this 
Nation? I will conclude by saying that I came here to Congress and I 
stand on this floor, the daughter of a refugee from Poland. He came 
here with nothing as a 5 year old. He came here with no literacy 
skills, and a generation later, I am standing here in front of you 
because my father had the opportunity to learn to read.
  My father had the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, and 70 
years later, I stand here in front of you because that is the promise 
that our Nation makes to all of us and the investment that our Nation 
makes in every one of us.

  I very much appreciate the opportunity to speak about something that 
I am deeply passionate about. I am confident that the vast majority of 
our Nation is deeply passionate about this, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chairwoman, may I inquire how much time I have 
remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Maryland has 3 minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. HARRIS. Madam Chairwoman, I won't take 3 minutes. We obviously 
have a lot of work to do this morning and did a lot of work last night.
  Part of the American Dream--and my parents as well came to this 
country--and it is amazing that the children of immigrants can sit on 
this floor, but they came to this country because there is a rule of 
law in this country.
  The law right now says, under the Budget Control Act, that we should 
be spending much less than this bill suggests overall. The Trump 
administration proposed spending within the law. Now, that law is not a 
Trump administration law. That law was actually signed by the last 
President with the majority controlling the Senate. It was a bipartisan 
agreement, the Budget Control Act.
  But again, we pretend that it just doesn't exist. This is part of the 
problem. Americans look at us and say: Wait a minute. You expect us to 
live by the law? In fact, you insist that we live by the law, and now 
talk about imagination, this is really imaginary because we are 
presenting a proposal here today that spends tens and tens of billions 
of dollars more than the law says we are authorized to spend. That is 
astounding.
  No wonder we have a 9 percent approval rating. I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Pennsylvania (Ms. Houlahan).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. BUDD. Madam Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from 
Pennsylvania will be postponed.
  Ms. DeLAURO. Madam Chair, I move that the committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Pascrell) having assumed the chair, Mrs. Fletcher, Acting Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2740) 
making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human 
Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year 
ending September 30, 2020, and for other purposes, had come to no 
resolution thereon.

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