ENGINEERING BIOLOGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2019; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 196
(House of Representatives - December 09, 2019)

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[Pages H9356-H9359]
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        ENGINEERING BIOLOGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2019

  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 4373) to provide for a coordinated Federal research 
initiative to ensure continued United States leadership in engineering 
biology, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 4373

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Engineering Biology Research 
     and Development Act of 2019''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       The Congress makes the following findings:
       (1) Cellular and molecular processes may be used, mimicked, 
     or redesigned to develop new products, processes, and systems 
     that improve societal well-being, strengthen national 
     security, and contribute to the economy.
       (2) Engineering biology relies on a workforce with a 
     diverse and unique set of skills combining the biological, 
     physical, chemical, and information sciences and engineering.
       (3) Long-term research and development is necessary to 
     create breakthroughs in engineering biology. Such research 
     and development requires government investment as many of the 
     benefits are too distant or uncertain for industry to support 
     alone.
       (4) Research is necessary to inform evidence-based 
     governance of engineering biology and to support the growth 
     of the engineering biology industry.
       (5) The Federal Government can play an important role by 
     facilitating the development of tools and technologies to 
     further advance engineering biology, including user 
     facilities, by facilitating public-private partnerships, by 
     supporting risk research, and by facilitating the commercial 
     application in the United States of research funded by the 
     Federal Government.
       (5) The United States led the development of the science 
     and engineering techniques that created the field of 
     engineering biology, but due to increasing international 
     competition, the United States is at risk of losing its 
     competitive advantage if does not invest the necessary 
     resources and have a national strategy.
       (6) A National Engineering Biology Initiative can serve to 
     establish new research directions and technology goals, 
     improve interagency coordination and planning processes, 
     drive technology transfer to the private sector, and help 
     ensure optimal returns on the Federal investment.

     SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) Biomanufacturing.--The term ``biomanufacturing'' means 
     the utilization of biological systems to develop new and 
     advance existing products, tools, and processes at commercial 
     scale.
       (2) Engineering biology.--The term ``engineering biology'' 
     means the application of engineering design principles and 
     practices to biological systems, including molecular and 
     cellular systems, to advance fundamental understanding of 
     complex natural systems and to enable novel or optimize 
     functions and capabilities.
       (3) Initiative.--The term ``Initiative'' means the National 
     Engineering Biology Research and Development Initiative 
     established under section 4.
       (4) Omics.--The term ``omics'' refers to the collective 
     technologies used to explore the roles, relationships, and 
     actions of the various types of molecules that make up the 
     cells of an organism.

     SEC. 4. NATIONAL ENGINEERING BIOLOGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 
                   INITIATIVE.

       (a) In General.--The President, acting through the Office 
     of Science and Technology Policy, shall implement a National 
     Engineering Biology Research and Development Initiative to 
     advance societal well-being, national security, 
     sustainability, and economic productivity and competitiveness 
     through--
       (1) advancing areas of research at the intersection of the 
     biological, physical, chemical, and information sciences and 
     engineering to accelerate scientific understanding and 
     technological innovation in engineering biology;
       (2) advancing areas of biomanufacturing research to 
     optimize, standardize, scale, and deliver new products and 
     solutions;
       (3) supporting social and behavioral sciences and economics 
     research that advances the field of engineering biology and

[[Page H9357]]

     contributes to the development and public understanding of 
     new products, processes, and technologies;
       (4) supporting risk research, including under subsection 
     (d);
       (5) supporting the development of novel tools and 
     technologies to accelerate scientific understanding and 
     technological innovation in engineering biology;
       (6) expanding the number of researchers, educators, and 
     students with engineering biology training, including from 
     traditionally underserved populations;
       (7) accelerating the translation and commercialization of 
     engineering biology research and development by the private 
     sector; and
       (8) improving the interagency planning and coordination of 
     Federal Government activities related to engineering biology.
       (b) Initiative Activities.--The activities of the 
     Initiative shall include--
       (1) sustained support for engineering biology research and 
     development through--
       (A) grants to individual investigators and teams of 
     investigators, including interdisciplinary teams;
       (B) projects funded under joint solicitations by a 
     collaboration of no fewer than two agencies participating in 
     the Initiative; and
       (C) interdisciplinary research centers that are organized 
     to investigate basic research questions, carry out technology 
     development and demonstration activities, and increase 
     understanding of how to scale up engineering biology 
     processes, including biomanufacturing;
       (2) sustained support for databases and related tools, 
     including--
       (A) support for curated genomics, epigenomics, and all 
     other relevant omics databases, including plant and microbial 
     databases, that are available to researchers to carry out 
     engineering biology research;
       (B) development of standards for such databases, including 
     for curation, interoperability, and protection of privacy and 
     security; and
       (C) support for the development of computational tools, 
     including artificial intelligence tools, that can accelerate 
     research and innovation using such databases; and
       (D) an inventory and assessment of all Federal government 
     omics databases to identify opportunities for consolidation 
     and inform investment in such databases as critical 
     infrastructure for the engineering biology research 
     enterprise;
       (3) sustained support for the development, optimization, 
     and validation of novel tools and technologies to enable the 
     dynamic study of molecular processes in situ, including 
     through grants to investigators at institutions of higher 
     education and other nonprofit research institutions, and 
     through the Small Business Innovation Research Program and 
     the Small Business Technology Transfer Program, as described 
     in section 9 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 638);
       (4) education and training of undergraduate and graduate 
     students in engineering biology, in biomanufacturing, in 
     bioprocess engineering, and in areas of computational science 
     applied to engineering biology;
       (5) activities to develop robust mechanisms for tracking 
     and quantifying the outputs and economic benefits of 
     engineering biology; and
       (6) activities to accelerate the translation and 
     commercialization of new products, processes, and 
     technologies by--
       (A) identifying precompetitive research opportunities;
       (B) facilitating public-private partnerships in engineering 
     biology research and development;
       (C) connecting researchers, graduate students, and 
     postdoctoral fellows with entrepreneurship education and 
     training opportunities; and
       (D) supporting proof of concept activities and the 
     formation of startup companies including through programs 
     such as the Small Business Innovation Research Program and 
     the Small Business Technology Transfer Program.
       (c) Expanding Participation.--The Initiative shall include, 
     to the maximum extent practicable, outreach to primarily 
     undergraduate and minority-serving institutions about 
     Initiative opportunities, and shall encourage the development 
     of research collaborations between research-intensive 
     universities and primarily undergraduate and minority-serving 
     institutions.
       (d) Ethical, Legal, Environmental, Safety, Security, and 
     Societal Issues.--Initiative activities shall take into 
     account ethical, legal, environmental, safety, security, and 
     other appropriate societal issues by--
       (1) supporting research, including in the social sciences, 
     and other activities addressing ethical, legal, 
     environmental, and other appropriate societal issues related 
     to engineering biology, including integrating research on 
     such topics with the research and development in engineering 
     biology, and ensuring that the results of such research are 
     widely disseminated, including through interdisciplinary 
     engineering biology research centers described in subsection 
     (b)(1);
       (2) supporting research and other activities related to the 
     safety and security implications of engineering biology, 
     including outreach to increase awareness among federally-
     funded researchers at institutions of higher education about 
     potential safety and security implications of engineering 
     biology research, as appropriate;
       (3) ensuring that input from Federal and non-Federal 
     experts on the ethical, legal, environmental, security, and 
     other appropriate societal issues related to engineering 
     biology is integrated into the Initiative; and
       (4) ensuring, through the agencies and departments that 
     participate in the Initiative, that public input and outreach 
     are integrated into the Initiative by the convening of 
     regular and ongoing public discussions through mechanisms 
     such as workshops, consensus conferences, and educational 
     events, as appropriate.

     SEC. 5. INITIATIVE COORDINATION.

       (a) Interagency Committee.--The President, acting through 
     the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shall designate 
     an interagency committee to coordinate engineering biology, 
     which shall be co-chaired by the Office of Science and 
     Technology Policy, and include representatives from the 
     National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the 
     National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National 
     Institute of Standards and Technology, the Environmental 
     Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, the 
     National Institutes of Health, the Bureau of Economic 
     Analysis, and any other agency that the President considers 
     appropriate (in this section referred to as the ``interagency 
     committee''). The Director of the Office of Science and 
     Technology Policy shall select an additional co-chairperson 
     from among the members of the Interagency Committee. The 
     Interagency Committee shall oversee the planning, management, 
     and coordination of the Initiative. The Interagency Committee 
     shall--
       (1) provide for interagency coordination of Federal 
     engineering biology research, development, and other 
     activities undertaken pursuant to the Initiative;
       (2) establish and periodically update goals and priorities 
     for the Initiative;
       (3) develop, not later than 12 months after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, and update every 3 years, a strategic 
     plan that--
       (A) guides the activities of the Initiative for purposes of 
     meeting the goals and priorities established under (and 
     updated pursuant to) paragraph (2); and
       (B) describes--
       (i) the Initiative's support for long-term funding for 
     interdisciplinary engineering biology research and 
     development;
       (ii) the Initiative's support for education and public 
     outreach activities;
       (iii) the Initiative's support for research and other 
     activities on ethical, legal, environmental, safety, 
     security, and other appropriate societal issues related to 
     engineering biology;
       (iv) how the Initiative will move results out of the 
     laboratory and into application for the benefit of society 
     and United States competitiveness; and
       (v) how the Initiative will measure and track the 
     contributions of engineering biology to United States 
     economic growth and other societal indicators;
       (4) develop a national genomic sequencing strategy to 
     ensure engineering biology research fully leverages plant, 
     animal, and microbe biodiversity to enhance long-term 
     innovation and competitiveness in engineering biology in the 
     United States;
       (5) propose an annually coordinated interagency budget for 
     the Initiative that is intended to ensure--
       (A) the maintenance of a robust engineering biology 
     research and development portfolio; and
       (B) that the balance of funding across the Initiative is 
     sufficient to meet the goals and priorities established for 
     the Program;
       (6) develop a plan to utilize Federal programs, such as the 
     Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small 
     Business Technology Transfer Program as described in section 
     9 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 638), in support of 
     the activities described in section 4(b)(3); and
       (7) in carrying out this section, take into consideration 
     the recommendations of the advisory committee established 
     under section 6, the results of the workshop convened under 
     section 7, existing reports on related topics, and the views 
     of academic, State, industry, and other appropriate groups.
       (b) Annual Report.--Beginning with fiscal year 2020, not 
     later than 90 days after submission of the President's annual 
     budget request and each fiscal year thereafter, the 
     interagency committee shall prepare and submit to the 
     Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
     Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
     Transportation of the Senate a report that includes--
       (1) a summarized agency budget in support of the Initiative 
     for the fiscal year to which such budget request applies, and 
     for the then current fiscal year, including a breakout of 
     spending for each agency participating in the Program and for 
     the development and acquisition of any research facilities 
     and instrumentation; and
       (2) an assessment of how Federal agencies are implementing 
     the plan described in subsection (a)(3), and a description of 
     the amount and number of awards made under the Small Business 
     Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology 
     Transfer Program (as described in section 9 of the Small 
     Business Act (15 U.S.C. 638)) in support of the Initiative.
       (c) Initiative Office.--
       (1) In general.--The President shall establish an 
     Initiative Coordination Office, with a Director and full-time 
     staff, which shall--
       (A) provide technical and administrative support to the 
     interagency committee and

[[Page H9358]]

     the advisory committee established under section 6;
       (B) serve as the point of contact on Federal engineering 
     biology activities for government organizations, academia, 
     industry, professional societies, State governments, 
     interested citizen groups, and others to exchange technical 
     and programmatic information;
       (C) oversee interagency coordination of the Initiative, 
     including by encouraging and supporting joint agency 
     solicitation and selection of applications for funding of 
     activities under the Initiative;
       (D) conduct public outreach, including dissemination of 
     findings and recommendations of the advisory committee 
     established under section 6, as appropriate; and
       (E) promote access to, and early application of, the 
     technologies, innovations, and expertise derived from 
     Initiative activities to agency missions and systems across 
     the Federal Government, and to United States industry, 
     including startup companies.
       (2) Funding.--The Director of the Office of Science and 
     Technology Policy shall develop an estimate of the funds 
     necessary to carry out the activities of the Initiative 
     Coordination Office, including an estimate of how much each 
     participating agency described in subsection (a) will 
     contribute to such funds, and submit such estimate to 
     Congress no later than 90 days after the enactment of this 
     Act.
       (3) Termination.--The Initiative Coordination Office 
     established under this subsection shall terminate on the date 
     that is 10 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
     unless a determination is made by the President that such 
     Office is necessary to meet the economic or national security 
     goals of the Program.

     SEC. 6. ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

       (a) In General.--The President, acting through the Office 
     of Science and Technology Policy, shall designate or 
     establish an advisory committee on engineering biology 
     research and development (in this section referred to as the 
     ``advisory committee'') to be composed of not fewer than 12 
     members, including representatives of research and academic 
     institutions, industry, and nongovernmental entities, who are 
     qualified to provide advice on the Initiative.
       (b) Assessment.--The advisory committee shall assess--
       (1) the current state of United States competitiveness in 
     engineering biology, including the scope and scale of United 
     States investments in engineering biology research and 
     development in the international context;
       (2) current market barriers to commercialization of 
     engineering biology products, processes, and tools in the 
     United States;
       (3) progress made in implementing the Initiative;
       (4) the need to revise the Initiative;
       (5) the balance of activities and funding across the 
     Initiative;
       (6) whether the strategic plan developed or updated by the 
     interagency committee established under section 5 is helping 
     to maintain United States leadership in engineering biology;
       (7) the management, coordination, implementation, and 
     activities of the Initiative; and
       (8) whether ethical, legal, environmental, safety, 
     security, and other appropriate societal issues are 
     adequately addressed by the Initiative.
       (c) Reports.--Beginning not later than 2 years after the 
     date of enactment of this Act, and not less frequently than 
     once every 3 years thereafter, the advisory committee shall 
     submit to the President, the Committee on Science, Space, and 
     Technology of the House of Representatives, and the Committee 
     on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, a 
     report on--
       (1) the findings of the advisory committee's assessment 
     under subsection (b); and
       (2) the advisory committee's recommendations for ways to 
     improve the Initiative.
       (d) Application of Federal Advisory Committee Act.--Section 
     14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) 
     shall not apply to the Advisory Committee.

     SEC. 7. EXTERNAL REVIEW OF ETHICAL, LEGAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND 
                   SOCIETAL ISSUES.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 6 months after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Director of the National Science 
     Foundation shall enter into an agreement with the National 
     Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a 
     review, and make recommendations with respect to, the 
     ethical, legal, environmental, and other appropriate societal 
     issues related to engineering biology research and 
     development. The review shall include--
       (1) an assessment of the current research on such issues;
       (2) a description of the research gaps relating to such 
     issues;
       (3) recommendations on how the Initiative can address the 
     research needs identified pursuant to paragraph (2); and
       (4) recommendations on how engineering biology researchers 
     can best incorporate considerations of ethical, legal, 
     environmental, and other societal issues into the development 
     of research proposals and the conduct of research.
       (b) Report to Congress.--The agreement entered into under 
     subsection (a) shall require the National Academy of 
     Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to, not later than 2 
     years after the date of the enactment of this Act--
       (1) submit to the Committee on Science, Space, and 
     Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
     on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a 
     report containing the findings and recommendations of the 
     review conducted under subsection (a); and
       (2) make a copy of such report available on a publicly 
     accessible website.

     SEC. 8. AGENCY ACTIVITIES.

       (a) National Science Foundation.--As part of the 
     Initiative, the National Science Foundation shall--
       (1) support basic research in engineering biology through 
     individual grants and through interdisciplinary research 
     centers;
       (2) support research on the environmental, legal, and 
     social implications of engineering biology;
       (3) provide support for research instrumentation for 
     engineering biology disciplines, including support for 
     research, development, optimization and validation of novel 
     technologies to enable the dynamic study of molecular 
     processes in situ;
       (4) support curriculum development and research experiences 
     for secondary, undergraduate, and graduate students in 
     engineering biology and biomanufacturing; and
       (5) award grants, on a competitive basis, to enable 
     institutions to support graduate students and postdoctoral 
     fellows who perform some of their engineering biology 
     research in an industry setting.
       (b) Department of Commerce.--As part of the Initiative, the 
     Director of the National Institute of Standards and 
     Technology shall--
       (1) establish a bioscience research program to advance the 
     development of standard reference materials and measurements 
     and to create new data tools, techniques, and processes 
     necessary to advance engineering biology and 
     biomanufacturing;
       (2) provide access to user facilities with advanced or 
     unique equipment, services, materials, and other resources to 
     industry, institutions of higher education, nonprofit 
     organizations, and government agencies to perform research 
     and testing; and
       (3) provide technical expertise to inform the potential 
     development of guidelines or safeguards for new products, 
     processes, and systems of engineering biology.
       (c) Department of Energy.--As part of the Initiative, the 
     Secretary of Energy shall--
       (1) conduct and support research, development, 
     demonstration, and commercial application activities in 
     engineering biology, including in the areas of synthetic 
     biology, advanced biofuel development, biobased materials, 
     and environmental remediation;
       (2) support the development, optimization and validation of 
     novel, scalable tools and technologies to enable the dynamic 
     study of molecular processes in situ; and
       (3) provide access to user facilities with advanced or 
     unique equipment, services, materials, and other resources, 
     as appropriate, to industry, institutions of higher 
     education, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies 
     to perform research and testing.
       (d) National Aeronautics and Space Administration.--As part 
     of the Initiative, the National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration shall--
       (1) conduct and support basic and applied research in 
     engineering biology, including in synthetic biology, and 
     related to Earth and space sciences, aeronautics, space 
     technology, and space exploration and experimentation, 
     consistent with the priorities established in the National 
     Academies' decadal surveys; and
       (2) award grants, on a competitive basis, that enable 
     institutions to support graduate students and postdoctoral 
     fellows who perform some of their engineering biology 
     research in an industry setting.
       (e) Environmental Protection Agency.--As part of the 
     Initiative, the Environmental Protection Agency shall support 
     research on how products, processes, and systems of 
     engineering biology will affect or can protect the 
     environment.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Johnson) and the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Lucas) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.


                             General Leave

  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks 
and to include extraneous materials on H.R. 4373, the bill under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  I rise today in support of H.R. 4373, the Engineering Biology 
Research and Development Act of 2019.
  I want to thank Ranking Member Lucas for joining me in introducing 
this legislation.
  The term ``engineering biology'' means the application of engineering

[[Page H9359]]

design, principles, and practices to biological systems to advance 
fundamental understanding of complex natural systems and to enable 
novel functions and capabilities.
  Engineering biology research is used in microbes and plants to grow 
food more resilient to climate change, reduce our dependency on fossil 
fuels, and make more effective drugs to treat human diseases. Some 
researchers are even engineering microbes for environmental cleanup. 
These are some of our Nation's and world's greatest challenges, and 
engineering biology is one of our greatest tools.
  The economy of the 21st century will be driven by the bioeconomy. 
Other countries are making significant investments in engineering 
biology research and development. We must recognize that U.S. 
leadership is not just about growing our economy and ensuring that our 
Nation benefits from the products of engineering biology; it is also 
about leading responsibly.
  As China accelerates its own investments and the tools of engineering 
biology are increasingly cheap and accessible to individuals 
everywhere, we must also be mindful of the security implications. The 
potential for misuse of this technology to cause harm makes more urgent 
our need to invest strategically in engineering biology research today.
  Along with authorizing a Federal engineering biology research 
initiative, this bill would also establish a framework for greater 
coordination of Federal investments in engineering biology; require a 
national strategy for those investments; expand public-private 
partnerships; focus on the education and training for the next 
generation of engineering biology researchers; and address any 
potential ethical, security, and societal issues associated with 
engineering biology research.
  It is past time for the United States to recognize the significance 
of this emerging research area to our economic and national security.
  I was disappointed by the lack of such recognition in this 
administration's last budget request but hopeful to see the tide 
turning with the convening of a recent White House summit on the 
bioeconomy.
  I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the 
aisle and with the administration to ensure that the United States will 
not lose its leadership position in this area.
  H.R. 4373 is an important bill, and I urge my colleagues to support 
it.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in support of H.R. 4373, the Engineering Biology Research and 
Development Act of 2019.
  I was proud to join Chairwoman Johnson, as well as Representatives 
Jim Sensenbrenner and Zoe Lofgren, in introducing this bill.
  The U.S. was a key driver in biological innovation in the 20th 
century, but there is increasing global competition. Other countries 
recognize the benefits of biotech technology and are striving to 
capture its potential through new investments and friendly regulations.
  H.R. 4373 promotes a national research strategy around engineering 
biology to ensure that the U.S. remains the global leader in biology 
and biotechnology.
  New gene editing techniques like CRISPR and the advancement of rapid 
gene sequencing are driving innovation in agriculture, medicine, 
energy, and manufacturing. We must keep pace and set a research and 
regulatory framework that supports innovation and creates a marketplace 
for new ideas and projects, while setting the safety and ethical 
standards for the world to follow.
  H.R. 4373 establishes a national engineering biology research and 
development initiative to provide interagency research coordination and 
develop a 3-year strategic plan.
  The bill also authorizes research at the agencies under the Science 
Committee's jurisdiction, including the National Science Foundation, 
the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department 
of Energy.
  Last month, the White House convened a summit with the Nation's 
foremost bioeconomy leaders from industry, academia, and government to 
discuss how to maintain America's leadership in biology for our 
economic and national security. I hope that summit, along with this 
legislation, will build momentum for a serious national public-private 
effort to advance and protect the U.S. bioeconomy.
  I urge my colleagues to support this good, bipartisan bill.
  I would note to the chairwoman that I have no additional speakers, 
and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I have no requests for time, and 
if the gentleman is ready to close, then I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  In both the Agriculture Committee and the Science Committee, we have 
discussed biotechnology research and regulation for years, but I can't 
remember a more exciting or challenging time for the field than today. 
H.R. 4373 will set a national agenda to advance innovation and help us 
meet those challenges.

  I appreciate the chairwoman and her staff for working with us and the 
biology stakeholder community to produce a good, bipartisan bill. I ask 
my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my 
time.
  I wish to express my appreciation for Mr. Sensenbrenner, Mr. Lucas, 
Ms. Lofgren, and myself, and I have no further requests for time.
  I would simply urge the passage of this bill, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Johnson) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 4373, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________