2:42 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 5th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased today to present H.R. 4871, the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001. As reported to the floor, this bill contains $14.4 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Department of Treasury, the Executive Office of the President, the Postal Service, and other independent agencies. This represents an increase of $678 million above the current year levels. That is about 5 percent.

Mr. Chairman, in a few moments, I suspect we will hear from some of our colleagues that this bill fails to meet its critical responsibilities for agencies under this subcommittee's jurisdiction. I do not disagree with that. I disagree, however, that we are not meeting our priorities, because we do meet the priorities in this bill.

We do not fund everything, but we meet the priorities. Do we fund everything that was requested by the President? No. But being below the President's request by $2.1 billion does not make this bill or this subcommittee irresponsible. It means we have somewhat different priorities.

Do we provide $225 million to hire an additional 2,835 IRS employees? No. Do we fund seven new courthouses for a cost of $488 million? No, we do not.

The bottom line is this, in putting together this bill, choices had to be made.

Some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have called this bill half empty. I, on the other hand, believe the bill presented here today is more than half full.

Mr. Chairman, the bill before us today provides $4.9 billion for Federal law enforcement, and that supports 30 percent of all Federal law enforcement. This includes funds for the U.S. Customs Service to protect our borders from drugs and other contraband as well as to protect our burgeoning trade; funds for the Secret Service to protect, not only our Nation's dignitaries, but also our currency and our children through their school violence program; and funds for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco

and Firearms to enforce our gun laws.

As my colleagues are aware, one of the greatest challenges with this bill is keeping it free of controversial legislative riders. We seem to have a great talent for attracting controversy for a whole host of reasons.

It is unfortunate that so much time gets spent debating not appropriations matters on this bill. From my perspective, it is even more unfortunate the passage of this measure has nothing to do with the programs and activities that are funded here but rather with legislative items that either are attached or perhaps not attached.

[Time: 14:45]

And what gets lost in the debate is the good things that are accomplished by this bill.

For those who may in the end decide to vote against this measure, let me tell them what they are opposing. They would be opposed to $185 million for ONDCP, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, for that youth media campaign that keeps kids off drugs and helps parents learn how to teach children just to say no.

They would be opposed to $30 million for Drug Free Community Grants, partnerships between community coalitions and the Federal Government for the purpose of reducing drug use.

They would be opposed to $192 million for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Programs, providing assistance to State and local law enforcement in areas most adversely affected by drug trafficking.

They would be opposed to $13 million to keep children out of gangs through the GREAT program that is administered through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

They would be opposed to $76 million for the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative, called YCGII, to take guns out of the hands of our Nation's youth.

They would be opposed to $3.6 million for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, reuniting children with their families and supporting the child exploitation unit.

They would be opposed to $1.7 million for a new program for the Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center, a project designed to prevent targeted violence from occurring in schools by helping schoolteachers and administrators identify problems in advance.

And, yes, $4 million for the Customs Cybersmuggling Center to target international child pornography trafficking and child exploitation via the Internet.

The list I have just shared with my colleagues is a small sampling of what is included in this bill. I could continue. I could tell my colleagues about the $233 million that is in here for Customs Automation, including $105 million for the much-awaited and even more needed Customs information technology modernization program that is known as ACE, and I know that many of my colleagues have a strong interest in this program.

I could also stand here and inform Members about the reporting requirements that we have included regarding the First Lady's use of government aircraft for the Senate campaign, and funding for the National Archives to [Page: H6623]

improve veterans recordkeeping and accessibility or the reforms for the Federal Elections Commission that will help ensure accurate and timely disclosure during the current election cycle or advise my colleagues about improvements in Treasury's

ability to collect Federal debts. But, Mr. Chairman, in the interest of time, I will not list all of the many fiscally responsible or the good government provisions that are included in this bill.

My point is simply this: Does the bill do everything that everyone wants? No. But it is strong on law enforcement, it is tough on drugs, it is supportive of efforts to modernize the Customs Service, provides law enforcement with the resources it needs to enforce our current gun laws and is a good government bill. It is a people's bill. And all this is accomplished in a fiscally responsible manner.

Mr. Chairman, before I conclude my remarks in this general debate, I want to take just a moment to say thank you to the other hard-working members of this subcommittee and to all the others who have worked to help make this, I believe, a better bill.

In particular, I want to extend my appreciation to the ranking member, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER), and to his staff, Scott Nance and Pat Schlueter; the subcommittee staff on our side who are surrounding us here, Michelle Mrdeza, Jeff Ashford, Kurt Dodd, Tammy Hughes, and Doug Burke; and my personal staff, who has worked so hard on this bill, Kevin Messner. Without their work, Mr. Chairman, the bill that we would have here today would be far more imperfect than it is.

Without the work and the cooperation of the distinguished ranking member, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER), I do not believe we would have a bill here. While it is not acceptable to him, and I understand that, it is a bill that we have at least been able to work together on to try to move through this process and get it to where we are. I am very grateful to the gentleman from Maryland for the cooperation that he has shown and for his hard work on this bill, as I have just said.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

2:49 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 8 minutes.

First, Mr. Chairman, let me start by thanking the chairman, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE), for not only his comments but, more importantly, for his chairmanship of this committee, which he chairs in a very responsible and fair manner. Unfortunately, I think too often, Mr. Chairman, the American public gets the impression that all we do is come here and yell and scream at one another and try to make political points. Clearly, while that happens, and it happens perhaps too frequently,

we do have the opportunity of working together constructively, and it is a great privilege for me to work with the gentleman from Arizona, constructively on fashioning this bill. The chairman has had to make some tough decisions within the allocations for this year; and he has done, I think, a good job with insufficient funds.

I would also like to mention the outstanding job that the Chairman's staff director Michelle Mrdeza does, along with her staff of Jeff Ashford, Kurt Dodd, Doug Burke, Kevin Messner and others on the committee.

Mr. Chairman, the 302(b) allocation for this bill is $2.1 billion below the requested level. That is in a bill that has $14 billion of discretionary spending. So it is 17 percent below what the administration believed was necessary to carry out the functions of the agencies in this bill.

By comparison, Mr. Chairman, last year at this time the 302(b) was less than $.5 billion below the President's request. The chairman has decided to fund law enforcement functions at the expense of other general government responsibilities this subcommittee has. Very frankly, I am not sure he had any alternative. For example, Treasury's law enforcement bureaus are funded at or near the administration's request.

That is relevant because it was not a conclusion that the administration's requests were unreasonable, because we have essentially funded them in the law enforcement area. This law enforcement funding includes ATF agents, enough agents to enforce our gun laws; funding to begin development of the U.S. Customs Service Automated Commercial System, while maintaining their current system; and funding to continue the Secret Service workload balancing initiative.

However, the allocation for this bill is not adequate to fund several priorities that are critical to the American people. The chairman knows this, reiterated it today, and reiterated it in our report. As a matter of fact, quoting the bill's report on pages 4 and 5, it says, ``The committee acknowledges that IRS, GSA, and the National Archives have borne the brunt of the restraint on spending found in the bill, requiring denial of requested increases for the upcoming year.''

This is not the only bill, Mr. Chairman, which is short. Several other appropriation bills are already facing veto threats from the President because of spending amounts that are inadequate to carry out the responsibilities assigned by this Congress.

Republicans, very frankly, are using this strategy in order to push their tax cut agenda, from our perspective, one that will cost $175 billion over 5 years and a whopping $1 trillion over 10 years. It has been segmented, and we are considering those individually, but, nevertheless, their overall impact is the same as it would have been last year. It will put a hole in our ability to bring down the debt; put a hole in our ability to make sure that Medicare and Social Security are secure; put

a hole in our ability to fund prescription drugs; and, obviously, as this bill reflects, puts a significant hole in our ability to invest in the responsibilities that we have to the American people.

I might add that I, along with most of my colleagues on this side of the House, supported a tax relief plan for middle-income families that is fiscally responsible. As a matter of fact, I supported the Blue Dog's budget, which would have provided for 25 percent of the surplus for investments, 25 percent for tax cuts, and 50 percent of the surplus applied to budget deficit reduction.

This bill does not do that, however. It underfunds the Internal Revenue Service by $466 million. This level would not even cover mandatory inflation, resulting in a loss of almost 5,000 FTEs all together and the resultant decline in taxpayer service. The bill jeopardizes implementation of the IRS Reform and Restructuring Act, for which all of us voted, and the report of which said that if we were for IRS reform we had to be at the time of budget writing and tax writing.

It also puts at risk successful completion of the 2001 filing season. Customer service would be reduced. And one of the principal items we said in the restructuring act was that we wanted IRS to be customer friendly. Mr. Rossotti, the Director of the IRS, a nonpartisan director, a manager, and a businessman, has said that he cannot do the job we expect given the funds we are providing.

Audit coverage, and this ought to be of concern to every one of us, would decline to all-time record low levels, reducing revenue to the government by up to $2 billion. It would provide for less than a quarter of a percent of audits being applied for returns filed. The modernization of IRS, its computer systems and business practices would be threatened.

No funding, Mr. Chairman, is provided for construction projects requested by the administration. We have a serious crisis going on across the country in terms of our Federal Courthouses. We have spent billions of dollars over the last 10 or 15 years on the war against drugs and crime, resulting in a hefty increase to the judiciary's caseload. To handle these changes, we cannot ignore the need to provide adequate courthouses.

The administration's request to continue the Food and Drug Administration's consolidation project is zeroed out, costing us dollars, time, and effectiveness. This project makes sense fiscally and was supported by the Reagan-Bush and Clinton administrations.

The administration's request for a new Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms headquarters is zeroed out. Not funding this project will prolong the serious security risk for the 1,100 ATF employees working at the current location. All told, GSA estimates failure to fund the administration's request for construction projects under its jurisdiction will [Page: H6624]

cost the taxpayers almost an additional $100 million.

The administration's request to fund the renovation of our National Archives building is zeroed out. None of these things, I think, the chairman wanted to do. First and foremost, the threat of fire in the Archives building is high. Delaying this project will put the lives of visitors and staff at risk and endanger irreplaceable archival records. Delaying this project will also cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in added cost.

Excluding funding for the drug czar's office, the requested increases by the President totaled $20.9 million, of which only $6.4 million is included in the bill, resulting in a 69 percent cut from the requested increase for the executive office accounts. Included in these cuts is $2.5 million for Puerto Rico to hold a referendum to determine the Island's status.

Mr. Chairman, I have other concerns about this bill, including the denial of funding for Treasury's financial management services for computer security and accounting modernization; lack of funding for presidential transition, which is not included at all in this bill, and we know that is going to happen; a 32 percent cut in funding for repairs of Federal buildings. If we do not maintain our buildings, frankly, they will become more expensive. I am concerned as well about the denial of the President's

critical infrastructure protection initiative in the General Services Administration and the Office of Personnel Management; and the lack of additional funding necessary for the Merit Systems Protection Board to carry out its congressionally mandated requirements.

Mr. Chairman, this bill is a good bill as far as it goes. It does not go far enough and, therefore, in this form, I cannot support it.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

2:50 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 8 minutes.

First, Mr. Chairman, let me start by thanking the chairman, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE), for not only his comments but, more importantly, for his chairmanship of this committee, which he chairs in a very responsible and fair manner. Unfortunately, I think too often, Mr. Chairman, the American public gets the impression that all we do is come here and yell and scream at one another and try to make political points. Clearly, while that happens, and it happens perhaps too frequently,

we do have the opportunity of working together constructively, and it is a great privilege for me to work with the gentleman from Arizona, constructively on fashioning this bill. The chairman has had to make some tough decisions within the allocations for this year; and he has done, I think, a good job with insufficient funds.

I would also like to mention the outstanding job that the Chairman's staff director Michelle Mrdeza does, along with her staff of Jeff Ashford, Kurt Dodd, Doug Burke, Kevin Messner and others on the committee.

Mr. Chairman, the 302(b) allocation for this bill is $2.1 billion below the requested level. That is in a bill that has $14 billion of discretionary spending. So it is 17 percent below what the administration believed was necessary to carry out the functions of the agencies in this bill.

By comparison, Mr. Chairman, last year at this time the 302(b) was less than $.5 billion below the President's request. The chairman has decided to fund law enforcement functions at the expense of other general government responsibilities this subcommittee has. Very frankly, I am not sure he had any alternative. For example, Treasury's law enforcement bureaus are funded at or near the administration's request.

That is relevant because it was not a conclusion that the administration's requests were unreasonable, because we have essentially funded them in the law enforcement area. This law enforcement funding includes ATF agents, enough agents to enforce our gun laws; funding to begin development of the U.S. Customs Service Automated Commercial System, while maintaining their current system; and funding to continue the Secret Service workload balancing initiative.

However, the allocation for this bill is not adequate to fund several priorities that are critical to the American people. The chairman knows this, reiterated it today, and reiterated it in our report. As a matter of fact, quoting the bill's report on pages 4 and 5, it says, ``The committee acknowledges that IRS, GSA, and the National Archives have borne the brunt of the restraint on spending found in the bill, requiring denial of requested increases for the upcoming year.''

This is not the only bill, Mr. Chairman, which is short. Several other appropriation bills are already facing veto threats from the President because of spending amounts that are inadequate to carry out the responsibilities assigned by this Congress.

Republicans, very frankly, are using this strategy in order to push their tax cut agenda, from our perspective, one that will cost $175 billion over 5 years and a whopping $1 trillion over 10 years. It has been segmented, and we are considering those individually, but, nevertheless, their overall impact is the same as it would have been last year. It will put a hole in our ability to bring down the debt; put a hole in our ability to make sure that Medicare and Social Security are secure; put

a hole in our ability to fund prescription drugs; and, obviously, as this bill reflects, puts a significant hole in our ability to invest in the responsibilities that we have to the American people.

I might add that I, along with most of my colleagues on this side of the House, supported a tax relief plan for middle-income families that is fiscally responsible. As a matter of fact, I supported the Blue Dog's budget, which would have provided for 25 percent of the surplus for investments, 25 percent for tax cuts, and 50 percent of the surplus applied to budget deficit reduction.

This bill does not do that, however. It underfunds the Internal Revenue Service by $466 million. This level would not even cover mandatory inflation, resulting in a loss of almost 5,000 FTEs all together and the resultant decline in taxpayer service. The bill jeopardizes implementation of the IRS Reform and Restructuring Act, for which all of us voted, and the report of which said that if we were for IRS reform we had to be at the time of budget writing and tax writing.

It also puts at risk successful completion of the 2001 filing season. Customer service would be reduced. And one of the principal items we said in the restructuring act was that we wanted IRS to be customer friendly. Mr. Rossotti, the Director of the IRS, a nonpartisan director, a manager, and a businessman, has said that he cannot do the job we expect given the funds we are providing.

Audit coverage, and this ought to be of concern to every one of us, would decline to all-time record low levels, reducing revenue to the government by up to $2 billion. It would provide for less than a quarter of a percent of audits being applied for returns filed. The modernization of IRS, its computer systems and business practices would be threatened.

No funding, Mr. Chairman, is provided for construction projects requested by the administration. We have a serious crisis going on across the country in terms of our Federal Courthouses. We have spent billions of dollars over the last 10 or 15 years on the war against drugs and crime, resulting in a hefty increase to the judiciary's caseload. To handle these changes, we cannot ignore the need to provide adequate courthouses.

The administration's request to continue the Food and Drug Administration's consolidation project is zeroed out, costing us dollars, time, and effectiveness. This project makes sense fiscally and was supported by the Reagan-Bush and Clinton administrations.

The administration's request for a new Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms headquarters is zeroed out. Not funding this project will prolong the serious security risk for the 1,100 ATF employees working at the current location. All told, GSA estimates failure to fund the administration's request for construction projects under its jurisdiction will [Page: H6624]

cost the taxpayers almost an additional $100 million.

The administration's request to fund the renovation of our National Archives building is zeroed out. None of these things, I think, the chairman wanted to do. First and foremost, the threat of fire in the Archives building is high. Delaying this project will put the lives of visitors and staff at risk and endanger irreplaceable archival records. Delaying this project will also cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in added cost.

Excluding funding for the drug czar's office, the requested increases by the President totaled $20.9 million, of which only $6.4 million is included in the bill, resulting in a 69 percent cut from the requested increase for the executive office accounts. Included in these cuts is $2.5 million for Puerto Rico to hold a referendum to determine the Island's status.

Mr. Chairman, I have other concerns about this bill, including the denial of funding for Treasury's financial management services for computer security and accounting modernization; lack of funding for presidential transition, which is not included at all in this bill, and we know that is going to happen; a 32 percent cut in funding for repairs of Federal buildings. If we do not maintain our buildings, frankly, they will become more expensive. I am concerned as well about the denial of the President's

critical infrastructure protection initiative in the General Services Administration and the Office of Personnel Management; and the lack of additional funding necessary for the Merit Systems Protection Board to carry out its congressionally mandated requirements.

Mr. Chairman, this bill is a good bill as far as it goes. It does not go far enough and, therefore, in this form, I cannot support it.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

2:50 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 8 minutes.

First, Mr. Chairman, let me start by thanking the chairman, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE), for not only his comments but, more importantly, for his chairmanship of this committee, which he chairs in a very responsible and fair manner. Unfortunately, I think too often, Mr. Chairman, the American public gets the impression that all we do is come here and yell and scream at one another and try to make political points. Clearly, while that happens, and it happens perhaps too frequently,

we do have the opportunity of working together constructively, and it is a great privilege for me to work with the gentleman from Arizona, constructively on fashioning this bill. The chairman has had to make some tough decisions within the allocations for this year; and he has done, I think, a good job with insufficient funds.

I would also like to mention the outstanding job that the Chairman's staff director Michelle Mrdeza does, along with her staff of Jeff Ashford, Kurt Dodd, Doug Burke, Kevin Messner and others on the committee.

Mr. Chairman, the 302(b) allocation for this bill is $2.1 billion below the requested level. That is in a bill that has $14 billion of discretionary spending. So it is 17 percent below what the administration believed was necessary to carry out the functions of the agencies in this bill.

By comparison, Mr. Chairman, last year at this time the 302(b) was less than $.5 billion below the President's request. The chairman has decided to fund law enforcement functions at the expense of other general government responsibilities this subcommittee has. Very frankly, I am not sure he had any alternative. For example, Treasury's law enforcement bureaus are funded at or near the administration's request.

That is relevant because it was not a conclusion that the administration's requests were unreasonable, because we have essentially funded them in the law enforcement area. This law enforcement funding includes ATF agents, enough agents to enforce our gun laws; funding to begin development of the U.S. Customs Service Automated Commercial System, while maintaining their current system; and funding to continue the Secret Service workload balancing initiative.

However, the allocation for this bill is not adequate to fund several priorities that are critical to the American people. The chairman knows this, reiterated it today, and reiterated it in our report. As a matter of fact, quoting the bill's report on pages 4 and 5, it says, ``The committee acknowledges that IRS, GSA, and the National Archives have borne the brunt of the restraint on spending found in the bill, requiring denial of requested increases for the upcoming year.''

This is not the only bill, Mr. Chairman, which is short. Several other appropriation bills are already facing veto threats from the President because of spending amounts that are inadequate to carry out the responsibilities assigned by this Congress.

Republicans, very frankly, are using this strategy in order to push their tax cut agenda, from our perspective, one that will cost $175 billion over 5 years and a whopping $1 trillion over 10 years. It has been segmented, and we are considering those individually, but, nevertheless, their overall impact is the same as it would have been last year. It will put a hole in our ability to bring down the debt; put a hole in our ability to make sure that Medicare and Social Security are secure; put

a hole in our ability to fund prescription drugs; and, obviously, as this bill reflects, puts a significant hole in our ability to invest in the responsibilities that we have to the American people.

I might add that I, along with most of my colleagues on this side of the House, supported a tax relief plan for middle-income families that is fiscally responsible. As a matter of fact, I supported the Blue Dog's budget, which would have provided for 25 percent of the surplus for investments, 25 percent for tax cuts, and 50 percent of the surplus applied to budget deficit reduction.

This bill does not do that, however. It underfunds the Internal Revenue Service by $466 million. This level would not even cover mandatory inflation, resulting in a loss of almost 5,000 FTEs all together and the resultant decline in taxpayer service. The bill jeopardizes implementation of the IRS Reform and Restructuring Act, for which all of us voted, and the report of which said that if we were for IRS reform we had to be at the time of budget writing and tax writing.

It also puts at risk successful completion of the 2001 filing season. Customer service would be reduced. And one of the principal items we said in the restructuring act was that we wanted IRS to be customer friendly. Mr. Rossotti, the Director of the IRS, a nonpartisan director, a manager, and a businessman, has said that he cannot do the job we expect given the funds we are providing.

Audit coverage, and this ought to be of concern to every one of us, would decline to all-time record low levels, reducing revenue to the government by up to $2 billion. It would provide for less than a quarter of a percent of audits being applied for returns filed. The modernization of IRS, its computer systems and business practices would be threatened.

No funding, Mr. Chairman, is provided for construction projects requested by the administration. We have a serious crisis going on across the country in terms of our Federal Courthouses. We have spent billions of dollars over the last 10 or 15 years on the war against drugs and crime, resulting in a hefty increase to the judiciary's caseload. To handle these changes, we cannot ignore the need to provide adequate courthouses.

The administration's request to continue the Food and Drug Administration's consolidation project is zeroed out, costing us dollars, time, and effectiveness. This project makes sense fiscally and was supported by the Reagan-Bush and Clinton administrations.

The administration's request for a new Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms headquarters is zeroed out. Not funding this project will prolong the serious security risk for the 1,100 ATF employees working at the current location. All told, GSA estimates failure to fund the administration's request for construction projects under its jurisdiction will [Page: H6624]

cost the taxpayers almost an additional $100 million.

The administration's request to fund the renovation of our National Archives building is zeroed out. None of these things, I think, the chairman wanted to do. First and foremost, the threat of fire in the Archives building is high. Delaying this project will put the lives of visitors and staff at risk and endanger irreplaceable archival records. Delaying this project will also cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in added cost.

Excluding funding for the drug czar's office, the requested increases by the President totaled $20.9 million, of which only $6.4 million is included in the bill, resulting in a 69 percent cut from the requested increase for the executive office accounts. Included in these cuts is $2.5 million for Puerto Rico to hold a referendum to determine the Island's status.

Mr. Chairman, I have other concerns about this bill, including the denial of funding for Treasury's financial management services for computer security and accounting modernization; lack of funding for presidential transition, which is not included at all in this bill, and we know that is going to happen; a 32 percent cut in funding for repairs of Federal buildings. If we do not maintain our buildings, frankly, they will become more expensive. I am concerned as well about the denial of the President's

critical infrastructure protection initiative in the General Services Administration and the Office of Personnel Management; and the lack of additional funding necessary for the Merit Systems Protection Board to carry out its congressionally mandated requirements.

Mr. Chairman, this bill is a good bill as far as it goes. It does not go far enough and, therefore, in this form, I cannot support it.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

2:50 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 8 minutes.

First, Mr. Chairman, let me start by thanking the chairman, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE), for not only his comments but, more importantly, for his chairmanship of this committee, which he chairs in a very responsible and fair manner. Unfortunately, I think too often, Mr. Chairman, the American public gets the impression that all we do is come here and yell and scream at one another and try to make political points. Clearly, while that happens, and it happens perhaps too frequently,

we do have the opportunity of working together constructively, and it is a great privilege for me to work with the gentleman from Arizona, constructively on fashioning this bill. The chairman has had to make some tough decisions within the allocations for this year; and he has done, I think, a good job with insufficient funds.

I would also like to mention the outstanding job that the Chairman's staff director Michelle Mrdeza does, along with her staff of Jeff Ashford, Kurt Dodd, Doug Burke, Kevin Messner and others on the committee.

Mr. Chairman, the 302(b) allocation for this bill is $2.1 billion below the requested level. That is in a bill that has $14 billion of discretionary spending. So it is 17 percent below what the administration believed was necessary to carry out the functions of the agencies in this bill.

By comparison, Mr. Chairman, last year at this time the 302(b) was less than $.5 billion below the President's request. The chairman has decided to fund law enforcement functions at the expense of other general government responsibilities this subcommittee has. Very frankly, I am not sure he had any alternative. For example, Treasury's law enforcement bureaus are funded at or near the administration's request.

That is relevant because it was not a conclusion that the administration's requests were unreasonable, because we have essentially funded them in the law enforcement area. This law enforcement funding includes ATF agents, enough agents to enforce our gun laws; funding to begin development of the U.S. Customs Service Automated Commercial System, while maintaining their current system; and funding to continue the Secret Service workload balancing initiative.

However, the allocation for this bill is not adequate to fund several priorities that are critical to the American people. The chairman knows this, reiterated it today, and reiterated it in our report. As a matter of fact, quoting the bill's report on pages 4 and 5, it says, ``The committee acknowledges that IRS, GSA, and the National Archives have borne the brunt of the restraint on spending found in the bill, requiring denial of requested increases for the upcoming year.''

This is not the only bill, Mr. Chairman, which is short. Several other appropriation bills are already facing veto threats from the President because of spending amounts that are inadequate to carry out the responsibilities assigned by this Congress.

Republicans, very frankly, are using this strategy in order to push their tax cut agenda, from our perspective, one that will cost $175 billion over 5 years and a whopping $1 trillion over 10 years. It has been segmented, and we are considering those individually, but, nevertheless, their overall impact is the same as it would have been last year. It will put a hole in our ability to bring down the debt; put a hole in our ability to make sure that Medicare and Social Security are secure; put

a hole in our ability to fund prescription drugs; and, obviously, as this bill reflects, puts a significant hole in our ability to invest in the responsibilities that we have to the American people.

I might add that I, along with most of my colleagues on this side of the House, supported a tax relief plan for middle-income families that is fiscally responsible. As a matter of fact, I supported the Blue Dog's budget, which would have provided for 25 percent of the surplus for investments, 25 percent for tax cuts, and 50 percent of the surplus applied to budget deficit reduction.

This bill does not do that, however. It underfunds the Internal Revenue Service by $466 million. This level would not even cover mandatory inflation, resulting in a loss of almost 5,000 FTEs all together and the resultant decline in taxpayer service. The bill jeopardizes implementation of the IRS Reform and Restructuring Act, for which all of us voted, and the report of which said that if we were for IRS reform we had to be at the time of budget writing and tax writing.

It also puts at risk successful completion of the 2001 filing season. Customer service would be reduced. And one of the principal items we said in the restructuring act was that we wanted IRS to be customer friendly. Mr. Rossotti, the Director of the IRS, a nonpartisan director, a manager, and a businessman, has said that he cannot do the job we expect given the funds we are providing.

Audit coverage, and this ought to be of concern to every one of us, would decline to all-time record low levels, reducing revenue to the government by up to $2 billion. It would provide for less than a quarter of a percent of audits being applied for returns filed. The modernization of IRS, its computer systems and business practices would be threatened.

No funding, Mr. Chairman, is provided for construction projects requested by the administration. We have a serious crisis going on across the country in terms of our Federal Courthouses. We have spent billions of dollars over the last 10 or 15 years on the war against drugs and crime, resulting in a hefty increase to the judiciary's caseload. To handle these changes, we cannot ignore the need to provide adequate courthouses.

The administration's request to continue the Food and Drug Administration's consolidation project is zeroed out, costing us dollars, time, and effectiveness. This project makes sense fiscally and was supported by the Reagan-Bush and Clinton administrations.

The administration's request for a new Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms headquarters is zeroed out. Not funding this project will prolong the serious security risk for the 1,100 ATF employees working at the current location. All told, GSA estimates failure to fund the administration's request for construction projects under its jurisdiction will [Page: H6624]

cost the taxpayers almost an additional $100 million.

The administration's request to fund the renovation of our National Archives building is zeroed out. None of these things, I think, the chairman wanted to do. First and foremost, the threat of fire in the Archives building is high. Delaying this project will put the lives of visitors and staff at risk and endanger irreplaceable archival records. Delaying this project will also cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in added cost.

Excluding funding for the drug czar's office, the requested increases by the President totaled $20.9 million, of which only $6.4 million is included in the bill, resulting in a 69 percent cut from the requested increase for the executive office accounts. Included in these cuts is $2.5 million for Puerto Rico to hold a referendum to determine the Island's status.

Mr. Chairman, I have other concerns about this bill, including the denial of funding for Treasury's financial management services for computer security and accounting modernization; lack of funding for presidential transition, which is not included at all in this bill, and we know that is going to happen; a 32 percent cut in funding for repairs of Federal buildings. If we do not maintain our buildings, frankly, they will become more expensive. I am concerned as well about the denial of the President's

critical infrastructure protection initiative in the General Services Administration and the Office of Personnel Management; and the lack of additional funding necessary for the Merit Systems Protection Board to carry out its congressionally mandated requirements.

Mr. Chairman, this bill is a good bill as far as it goes. It does not go far enough and, therefore, in this form, I cannot support it.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

2:59 PM EDT

Tom Davis, R-VA 11th

Mr. DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend for yielding me the time.

Mr. Chairman, I stand in support of the bill as it is currently drawn. It certainly has some shortcomings; but it has got I think some great dividends for the Federal workers, for the Federal complex at Lorton, which will soon be returned back to the Commonwealth of Virginia, several million dollars there for environmental cleanup of that site.

But particularly, I want to address the rollback in the Federal retirement contributions. This was something that was put into operation at the time of the Balanced Budget Act. Federal employees were asked to give up one-half of one percent of their salaries to help the Federal deficit.

We thought at that time it would take several years to balance the Federal budget, and these rollbacks were to come out of effect into the year 2003. As we have seen, the budget has been balanced earlier than it was originally forecast.

As a result of this, we think the Federal employees ought to have their money returned to them in a more timely manner. And this legislation does that. It mirrors legislation that I have introduced and have over a hundred cosponsors in the House. It was introduced by my friend, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER), in committee.

2:59 PM EDT

Tom Davis, R-VA 11th

Mr. DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend for yielding me the time.

Mr. Chairman, I stand in support of the bill as it is currently drawn. It certainly has some shortcomings; but it has got I think some great dividends for the Federal workers, for the Federal complex at Lorton, which will soon be returned back to the Commonwealth of Virginia, several million dollars there for environmental cleanup of that site.

But particularly, I want to address the rollback in the Federal retirement contributions. This was something that was put into operation at the time of the Balanced Budget Act. Federal employees were asked to give up one-half of one percent of their salaries to help the Federal deficit.

We thought at that time it would take several years to balance the Federal budget, and these rollbacks were to come out of effect into the year 2003. As we have seen, the budget has been balanced earlier than it was originally forecast.

As a result of this, we think the Federal employees ought to have their money returned to them in a more timely manner. And this legislation does that. It mirrors legislation that I have introduced and have over a hundred cosponsors in the House. It was introduced by my friend, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER), in committee.

3:00 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I want to congratulate my friend, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. DAVIS), for his leadership on this issue and his effective articulation of the equity of this act that we have taken. I appreciate working with him. He has been very effective, and his leadership has been very important.

3:02 PM EDT

Jo Ann Emerson, R-MO 8th

Mrs. EMERSON. Mr. Chairman, I want to rise today in support of the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government appropriations bill.

I really want to congratulate the chairman and ranking member, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER), and their staffs for the incredibly hard work they have done on getting this bill to the House floor today in not the most easy of circumstances, but they have really shown what teamwork is like and working together across the aisle to try to achieve the best results with resources that are scarce.

I want to also say that this bill goes a long way towards tightening our borders, making our streets safer, and fighting the war on drugs. It takes important steps towards these goals by [Page: H6625]

increasing the budgets of the Customs Service, the Secret Service, and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.

I think the legislation continues to show Congress's strong commitment toward winning the war on drugs. Through the funding of HIDTAs and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, we are making a strong statement that we will not give up on this fight and that we will take any and all steps necessary to make sure that our children and our Nation are drug free.

I just want to say that, coming from a very rural area in southern Missouri, I know firsthand the problems that drugs and specifically methamphetamine can cause for families for a region and for a State. We are currently in the midst of a methamphetamine epidemic, Mr. Speaker. It endangers our children both from its use and from the violence associated with it by endangering our youth; then meth endangers the very future of Missouri and of our very Nation.

I must say that our local law enforcement officials have their hands full and are looking for any additional resources to assist them in stopping the spread of this awful drug.

With 1.1 million acres of the Mark Twain National Forest, I can tell my colleague it is a haven for methamphetamine production. Anything we can do to put funds toward more law enforcement to monitor this area would be very, very helpful.

I really do think the HIDTA program has been a key factor in assisting our law enforcement officials to get this problem under control. I think that this is one of the most important programs that we fund in the Treasury-Postal bill. I would hope that if any additional resources come our way that we could revisit the HIDTA appropriation at some time. And I am hopeful that that will be done.

I again want to thank the chairman for his hard work and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER) for his hard work, and I look forward to working with both of them through the process.

3:05 PM EDT

Jo Ann Emerson, R-MO 8th

Mrs. EMERSON. Mr. Chairman, I want to rise today in support of the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government appropriations bill.

I really want to congratulate the chairman and ranking member, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER), and their staffs for the incredibly hard work they have done on getting this bill to the House floor today in not the most easy of circumstances, but they have really shown what teamwork is like and working together across the aisle to try to achieve the best results with resources that are scarce.

I want to also say that this bill goes a long way towards tightening our borders, making our streets safer, and fighting the war on drugs. It takes important steps towards these goals by [Page: H6625]

increasing the budgets of the Customs Service, the Secret Service, and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.

I think the legislation continues to show Congress's strong commitment toward winning the war on drugs. Through the funding of HIDTAs and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, we are making a strong statement that we will not give up on this fight and that we will take any and all steps necessary to make sure that our children and our Nation are drug free.

I just want to say that, coming from a very rural area in southern Missouri, I know firsthand the problems that drugs and specifically methamphetamine can cause for families for a region and for a State. We are currently in the midst of a methamphetamine epidemic, Mr. Speaker. It endangers our children both from its use and from the violence associated with it by endangering our youth; then meth endangers the very future of Missouri and of our very Nation.

I must say that our local law enforcement officials have their hands full and are looking for any additional resources to assist them in stopping the spread of this awful drug.

With 1.1 million acres of the Mark Twain National Forest, I can tell my colleague it is a haven for methamphetamine production. Anything we can do to put funds toward more law enforcement to monitor this area would be very, very helpful.

I really do think the HIDTA program has been a key factor in assisting our law enforcement officials to get this problem under control. I think that this is one of the most important programs that we fund in the Treasury-Postal bill. I would hope that if any additional resources come our way that we could revisit the HIDTA appropriation at some time. And I am hopeful that that will be done.

I again want to thank the chairman for his hard work and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER) for his hard work, and I look forward to working with both of them through the process.

3:08 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I want to congratulate the gentlewoman for her comments and say, as she knows, I support her. I think the HIDTA program is one of the best programs in our bill, and I look forward to working with her and the chairman and the administration to properly fund it.

3:08 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I want to congratulate the gentlewoman for her comments and say, as she knows, I support her. I think the HIDTA program is one of the best programs in our bill, and I look forward to working with her and the chairman and the administration to properly fund it.

3:08 PM EDT

David Ross Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the time.

Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER) has already indicated some of the reasons for concern on this bill. This bill falls far short of the administration's request in meeting basic community needs for courthouses and the rest.

I also am concerned, as the committee knows, with the nongermane provision which was added to this bill in committee with respect to retirement. That is water over the dam, and I am not going to milk that one any longer. But I would like to raise the same issue I raised in full committee.

We have seen a tremendous drive to privatize virtually everything in this society in the last 20 years, and in some places that is appropriate. But I would like to describe what I see happening in a number of middle-sized towns all over this country where we have a lot of Federal offices that have become fragmented.

In my hometown, for instance, we have a wide variety of Federal offices. We have military recruitment offices. We have Labor Department offices, wage-and-hour division. We have Social Security. We have the Justice Department. You name it.

The problem is that they used to all be located in the same place; and so if you were a constituent not exactly fully attuned to the niceties of the Government's organizational tables, you could still walk into the Federal building and know that somebody could point you to the right floor, the right office and you could get the job done without having to go all over town.

Today, in my hometown and in many others across the country, all of those services are fragmented; and so what happens is, and this does not just happen in Wausau, Wisconsin, it happens all over the country. You can send a senior citizen who may see the VA in one place, they may see the Social Security people in another place, they may see the Labor Department in another place. They have got to criss-cross town half a dozen times before they have figured out who is the lead agency and how you

deal with the problem.

We have had a great deal of talk when we deal with the Labor-Health bill about one-stop service for people who are in need of job training, for instance. I think we ought to try to create a situation where you have one-stop service for everybody who is trying to walk into a government office to try to get some help on a problem they have.

I do not believe we are going to have that unless this Congress forces a reevaluation of the way we provide service to people in this country. It just seems to me that the Congress ought to ask the administration and GSA to review what options are available so that we can begin to pull Government services, at least Federal services, together again in any one place so that people feel a little bit better about their Government tomorrow than they do today because they have a little bit better idea

of where they can go to get some help when they need it.

This is nothing that is very sexy politically; and so it is one of those things that just does not get focused on. But, in my view, if we want to improve the reputation of government at the local level, one of the most important things would be to give people the opportunity to stop in at one place and get their questions answered and get their problems addressed.

So I would simply ask the committee, by the time this bill is produced next year, to work with me and others who are interested in it so that we can begin to get some alternatives for dealing with this fragmentation problem, which leaves people with a more and more sour taste in their mouths each day.

3:08 PM EDT

David Ross Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the time.

Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER) has already indicated some of the reasons for concern on this bill. This bill falls far short of the administration's request in meeting basic community needs for courthouses and the rest.

I also am concerned, as the committee knows, with the nongermane provision which was added to this bill in committee with respect to retirement. That is water over the dam, and I am not going to milk that one any longer. But I would like to raise the same issue I raised in full committee.

We have seen a tremendous drive to privatize virtually everything in this society in the last 20 years, and in some places that is appropriate. But I would like to describe what I see happening in a number of middle-sized towns all over this country where we have a lot of Federal offices that have become fragmented.

In my hometown, for instance, we have a wide variety of Federal offices. We have military recruitment offices. We have Labor Department offices, wage-and-hour division. We have Social Security. We have the Justice Department. You name it.

The problem is that they used to all be located in the same place; and so if you were a constituent not exactly fully attuned to the niceties of the Government's organizational tables, you could still walk into the Federal building and know that somebody could point you to the right floor, the right office and you could get the job done without having to go all over town.

Today, in my hometown and in many others across the country, all of those services are fragmented; and so what happens is, and this does not just happen in Wausau, Wisconsin, it happens all over the country. You can send a senior citizen who may see the VA in one place, they may see the Social Security people in another place, they may see the Labor Department in another place. They have got to criss-cross town half a dozen times before they have figured out who is the lead agency and how you

deal with the problem.

We have had a great deal of talk when we deal with the Labor-Health bill about one-stop service for people who are in need of job training, for instance. I think we ought to try to create a situation where you have one-stop service for everybody who is trying to walk into a government office to try to get some help on a problem they have.

I do not believe we are going to have that unless this Congress forces a reevaluation of the way we provide service to people in this country. It just seems to me that the Congress ought to ask the administration and GSA to review what options are available so that we can begin to pull Government services, at least Federal services, together again in any one place so that people feel a little bit better about their Government tomorrow than they do today because they have a little bit better idea

of where they can go to get some help when they need it.

This is nothing that is very sexy politically; and so it is one of those things that just does not get focused on. But, in my view, if we want to improve the reputation of government at the local level, one of the most important things would be to give people the opportunity to stop in at one place and get their questions answered and get their problems addressed.

So I would simply ask the committee, by the time this bill is produced next year, to work with me and others who are interested in it so that we can begin to get some alternatives for dealing with this fragmentation problem, which leaves people with a more and more sour taste in their mouths each day.

3:16 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds. I want to say before the gentleman leaves the floor, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. WOLF) continues to be one of our ranks who I think is most focused on human rights throughout this world. He takes an extraordinary amount of his own time to visit, to learn and returns to the United States as one of the most powerful and effective voices on behalf of those who are being visited with atrocities and savagery on a regular basis. His voice

is one of the strongest in the international community on behalf of protecting individuals and human rights. I congratulate him and am proud to be his colleague.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from Florida (Mrs. MEEK).

3:17 PM EDT

Carrie Meek, D-FL 17th

Mrs. MEEK of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding time. I would also like to say that as a member of the Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government, I am very proud of the leadership of this subcommittee. I do not think that you will find any two better leaders in the Congress than the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE) and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER). So it is not that we have not had good guidance on this subcommittee. We have

been cut short in the resources which are available to our subcommittee.

I do not think many Members of Congress understand how important this committee is, certainly maybe not the leadership has not really understood that the Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government holds at its very function general government, and being sure that our government is run well and efficiently, and in doing so, that will certainly leverage the amount of money that is given to this subcommittee to work with. With these inadequate resources, they have been well

handled, there are a lot of good things about this bill; and there are several weaknesses about the bill. What we try to do in this subcommittee is to take what we have and do the very best we can.

One of my criticisms of the bill is that we have been very strong on law enforcement; and, of course, I do support law enforcement. I certainly look very strongly to see that we do have an adequate amount of enforcement of the law, that we have very strong customs services and that we protect our borders. That is very crucial to us on the subcommittee.

On the other side of that, I also would like to see our government function more efficiently and with more efficacy when it comes to general government functions, such as a Medicare program, such as Social Security. Think of it, Mr. Chairman. If these functions were not done very well, it would be chaotic to the people we serve. So this subcommittee does need adequate money for administration of these things, not only in personnel but in bricks and mortar as well.

I want the Congress to be more aware of the things that this subcommittee works with. It is not always what happens with the money in this country, but it is the administration of what happens in this committee. We look over the educational administration; we look over all the key government functions. So it is very important. Think of the national security of this country. It is also addressed by this subcommittee.

My plea is that when we begin to divide and give our 302 funds out, we need to think perhaps more strongly of what this committee does and the function it does to keep government going, because if you want to be criticized back in your district, please note that if the Internal Revenue Service is not functioning effectively, the administration of it is skewed and is not doing well, you will get the criticism for it. If Social Security is not administered effectively, you get the criticism. That

is the nuts and bolts of this subcommittee.

The Internal Revenue Service could have gotten a better allotment. I just think we have gotten too inadequate funding in terms of the IRS. That is the place where we need to have it funded and to be sure that the President's budget request which has been strongly gleaned and looked at by the administration and by OMB is more thoroughly looked at.

And, of course, in the area I come from, I am very concerned about fighting drugs and being sure that there is no terrorism. We need more moneys in those particular categories. The committee was not able to fund that as well as I would have liked to see it done. The drug kingpins are still running this country in places that we do not want them to be. We should really enhance the work of the Treasury Department in doing this. I do not think we have done enough of a job to be able to deter this

kind of terrorism. We all look at television all the time, Mr. Chairman; and we see what happens in some of these places where we have allowed terrorism to reign instead of being able to administer these funds correctly.

Last but not least, I want to say that this committee could have been stronger on general government funding and perhaps kept the law enforcement but being sure that general government funds are done much better. Last, I would like to say we need these courthouses which are in the budget. They are not in the budget, but they have been in and out of the budget for the last 2 or 3 years. The judicial caseload of these courthouses will need to be met. We no longer can overlook that by saying we

do not have adequate funds, because the administration of justice is based on a good climate for the judiciary to conduct itself.

3:17 PM EDT

Carrie Meek, D-FL 17th

Mrs. MEEK of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding time. I would also like to say that as a member of the Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government, I am very proud of the leadership of this subcommittee. I do not think that you will find any two better leaders in the Congress than the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE) and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER). So it is not that we have not had good guidance on this subcommittee. We have

been cut short in the resources which are available to our subcommittee.

I do not think many Members of Congress understand how important this committee is, certainly maybe not the leadership has not really understood that the Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government holds at its very function general government, and being sure that our government is run well and efficiently, and in doing so, that will certainly leverage the amount of money that is given to this subcommittee to work with. With these inadequate resources, they have been well

handled, there are a lot of good things about this bill; and there are several weaknesses about the bill. What we try to do in this subcommittee is to take what we have and do the very best we can.

One of my criticisms of the bill is that we have been very strong on law enforcement; and, of course, I do support law enforcement. I certainly look very strongly to see that we do have an adequate amount of enforcement of the law, that we have very strong customs services and that we protect our borders. That is very crucial to us on the subcommittee.

On the other side of that, I also would like to see our government function more efficiently and with more efficacy when it comes to general government functions, such as a Medicare program, such as Social Security. Think of it, Mr. Chairman. If these functions were not done very well, it would be chaotic to the people we serve. So this subcommittee does need adequate money for administration of these things, not only in personnel but in bricks and mortar as well.

I want the Congress to be more aware of the things that this subcommittee works with. It is not always what happens with the money in this country, but it is the administration of what happens in this committee. We look over the educational administration; we look over all the key government functions. So it is very important. Think of the national security of this country. It is also addressed by this subcommittee.

My plea is that when we begin to divide and give our 302 funds out, we need to think perhaps more strongly of what this committee does and the function it does to keep government going, because if you want to be criticized back in your district, please note that if the Internal Revenue Service is not functioning effectively, the administration of it is skewed and is not doing well, you will get the criticism for it. If Social Security is not administered effectively, you get the criticism. That

is the nuts and bolts of this subcommittee.

The Internal Revenue Service could have gotten a better allotment. I just think we have gotten too inadequate funding in terms of the IRS. That is the place where we need to have it funded and to be sure that the President's budget request which has been strongly gleaned and looked at by the administration and by OMB is more thoroughly looked at.

And, of course, in the area I come from, I am very concerned about fighting drugs and being sure that there is no terrorism. We need more moneys in those particular categories. The committee was not able to fund that as well as I would have liked to see it done. The drug kingpins are still running this country in places that we do not want them to be. We should really enhance the work of the Treasury Department in doing this. I do not think we have done enough of a job to be able to deter this

kind of terrorism. We all look at television all the time, Mr. Chairman; and we see what happens in some of these places where we have allowed terrorism to reign instead of being able to administer these funds correctly.

Last but not least, I want to say that this committee could have been stronger on general government funding and perhaps kept the law enforcement but being sure that general government funds are done much better. Last, I would like to say we need these courthouses which are in the budget. They are not in the budget, but they have been in and out of the budget for the last 2 or 3 years. The judicial caseload of these courthouses will need to be met. We no longer can overlook that by saying we

do not have adequate funds, because the administration of justice is based on a good climate for the judiciary to conduct itself.

3:22 PM EDT

Steven Kuykendall, R-CA 36th

Mr. KUYKENDALL. Mr. Chairman, today I rise in strong support of this legislation. The measure includes much-needed funding to modernize the outdated Customs computer system. The current system is so susceptible to failure that when this flow of $2.2 trillion worth of goods is stopped, it costs us about $6 billion a day worth of cargo coming across our borders. $6 billion a day. Many assembly lines slow down or shut down, and retailers and consumers all end up paying the price.

In today's ``just in time'' business environment, a company's warehouse is often a 40-foot container that is carried on a ship or on the back of a truck with trailers. Deliveries to factories and consumers is delayed when that box does not move when it is supposed to. This is how U.S. companies are keeping their inventory costs down to stay competitive. Businesses are using the Internet and information technology to make virtually every aspect of business more efficient. Indeed, the typical business

supply chain, ranging from manufacturing parts and components to finished goods, is just hours long in many cases. Only a few years ago, this supply chain may have extended days or even weeks. But today that is a different story and a failure in the Customs computer system now has crippling consequences. Let me give my colleagues two real-life examples:

The first is General Motors. They literally will shut down a plant and send people home if parts are delayed as much as 3 or 4 hours at a U.S.-Canadian border crossing point. Another one is Caterpillar, one of the country's largest exporters. They are forced to shut down a production line at their plants in Peoria if they cannot get parts in a timely fashion from an overseas distribution point.

Consumers bear the burden when the shelves at Wal-Mart are empty due to a computer failure that occurred thousands of miles away. What will mothers and fathers tell their kids when it is time for back-to-school supplies and clothing to be there, but the shelves are empty because container boxes were not passing through a port on time because of Customs brownouts? Many of these products are time sensitive now, some are even perishable [Page: H6627]

and must reach retail

outlets in a specific time period.

There are also national defense consequences to this computer system. It helps us protect ourselves from the importing of counterfeit or dangerous products. It helps us with the war on drugs by helping tell us where to search for them in the flow of products coming through. It is an integral part of the defense system. You can see when it is going to block bad material, counterfeit material, or drugs.

In my specific district, one-third, one-third of all the trade travels through the Los Angeles region that this Nation does. The combination of the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport make my district one of the most dynamic in the country in terms of Customs activities. Manufacturers throughout the country rely on the goods that move through the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Every shipper, broker, trucker, longshoreman, importer and exporter relies on smoothly operating

ports to make their paycheck. A failure in this system, in this region, will disrupt movement of goods throughout the entire Nation.

Modernizing the United States Customs computer system must remain a high priority. It has national defense consequences. It has economic consequences far beyond the reach of that computer system in and of itself. We must continue our efforts to ensure that a potential disaster is averted because this equipment gets modernized in a timely fashion and the flow of goods and services is maintained. I am pleased that funds were designated in the bill for this Customs modernization and much more is

needed to be done. I urge my colleagues to support the legislation.

3:22 PM EDT

Steven Kuykendall, R-CA 36th

Mr. KUYKENDALL. Mr. Chairman, today I rise in strong support of this legislation. The measure includes much-needed funding to modernize the outdated Customs computer system. The current system is so susceptible to failure that when this flow of $2.2 trillion worth of goods is stopped, it costs us about $6 billion a day worth of cargo coming across our borders. $6 billion a day. Many assembly lines slow down or shut down, and retailers and consumers all end up paying the price.

In today's ``just in time'' business environment, a company's warehouse is often a 40-foot container that is carried on a ship or on the back of a truck with trailers. Deliveries to factories and consumers is delayed when that box does not move when it is supposed to. This is how U.S. companies are keeping their inventory costs down to stay competitive. Businesses are using the Internet and information technology to make virtually every aspect of business more efficient. Indeed, the typical business

supply chain, ranging from manufacturing parts and components to finished goods, is just hours long in many cases. Only a few years ago, this supply chain may have extended days or even weeks. But today that is a different story and a failure in the Customs computer system now has crippling consequences. Let me give my colleagues two real-life examples:

The first is General Motors. They literally will shut down a plant and send people home if parts are delayed as much as 3 or 4 hours at a U.S.-Canadian border crossing point. Another one is Caterpillar, one of the country's largest exporters. They are forced to shut down a production line at their plants in Peoria if they cannot get parts in a timely fashion from an overseas distribution point.

Consumers bear the burden when the shelves at Wal-Mart are empty due to a computer failure that occurred thousands of miles away. What will mothers and fathers tell their kids when it is time for back-to-school supplies and clothing to be there, but the shelves are empty because container boxes were not passing through a port on time because of Customs brownouts? Many of these products are time sensitive now, some are even perishable [Page: H6627]

and must reach retail

outlets in a specific time period.

There are also national defense consequences to this computer system. It helps us protect ourselves from the importing of counterfeit or dangerous products. It helps us with the war on drugs by helping tell us where to search for them in the flow of products coming through. It is an integral part of the defense system. You can see when it is going to block bad material, counterfeit material, or drugs.

In my specific district, one-third, one-third of all the trade travels through the Los Angeles region that this Nation does. The combination of the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport make my district one of the most dynamic in the country in terms of Customs activities. Manufacturers throughout the country rely on the goods that move through the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Every shipper, broker, trucker, longshoreman, importer and exporter relies on smoothly operating

ports to make their paycheck. A failure in this system, in this region, will disrupt movement of goods throughout the entire Nation.

Modernizing the United States Customs computer system must remain a high priority. It has national defense consequences. It has economic consequences far beyond the reach of that computer system in and of itself. We must continue our efforts to ensure that a potential disaster is averted because this equipment gets modernized in a timely fashion and the flow of goods and services is maintained. I am pleased that funds were designated in the bill for this Customs modernization and much more is

needed to be done. I urge my colleagues to support the legislation.

3:26 PM EDT

Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA 33rd

Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD. Mr. Chairman, I regrettably rise in opposition to H.R. 4871. I would have liked to have supported this bill, because I believe the distinguished gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE) crafted the best bill possible under the tight funding constraints that he was given. The bill does, for example, fully fund most of the key law enforcement activities of the bill. However, this bill falls woefully short in other critical areas. As the gentleman from Arizona himself has stated,

this bill is $175 million short of what is needed to maintain the current level of services and activities provided for under our subcommittee's jurisdiction.

For example, the underfunding of the IRS by $466 million completely jeopardizes the ability of the IRS to make the changes necessary to improve services and to protect the rights of American taxpayers as required by law. Another glaring deficiency in the bill is the total lack of funding for the construction of critically needed Federal courthouses. The Federal war on crime and drugs has increased to the breaking point the workload of our Federal courts, resulting in the need for more judges

and court employees. Yet our court facilities have not come close to keeping pace with this growth.

As a Member who represents the Los Angeles Federal Court district, the largest in the Nation, covering seven counties and over 17 million people, I know firsthand the severity of this problem. The Los Angeles court, which is at the top of the GSA and Judiciary's priority list, continues to operate out of the original courthouse built in 1938. The lack of adequate space has forced the court to split its operations between the original facility and one several blocks away, causing long delays,

inefficiencies, and mass confusion to the public. More importantly, the current situation causes security to be insufficient to protect workers and the public.

[Time: 15:30]

Prisoners facing trial, for example, must be transported between the two court facilities by using public corridors and public elevators. In fact, the U.S. Marshals Service documented critical security concerns with the current facilities in Los Angeles, including life-threatening security deficiencies.

These conditions are simply unacceptable. Congress must act to correct these serious security deficiencies before they result in a terrible tragedy.

Finally, from a fiscal perspective, it is irresponsible not to fund these badly needed new courthouses. According to GSA, the delaying funding for new courthouse projects increases costs by an average of 3 percent to 4 percent a year, meaning that the Federal Government will have to pay significantly more for the same projects in years to come.

These are just some of several reasons I cannot support this bill. I sincerely hope that as we move through the process, additional funding will be added to this bill to ensure that our core government functions are adequately funded. Until that time, however, I must regrettably oppose this bill.

3:26 PM EDT

Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA 33rd

Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD. Mr. Chairman, I regrettably rise in opposition to H.R. 4871. I would have liked to have supported this bill, because I believe the distinguished gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE) crafted the best bill possible under the tight funding constraints that he was given. The bill does, for example, fully fund most of the key law enforcement activities of the bill. However, this bill falls woefully short in other critical areas. As the gentleman from Arizona himself has stated,

this bill is $175 million short of what is needed to maintain the current level of services and activities provided for under our subcommittee's jurisdiction.

For example, the underfunding of the IRS by $466 million completely jeopardizes the ability of the IRS to make the changes necessary to improve services and to protect the rights of American taxpayers as required by law. Another glaring deficiency in the bill is the total lack of funding for the construction of critically needed Federal courthouses. The Federal war on crime and drugs has increased to the breaking point the workload of our Federal courts, resulting in the need for more judges

and court employees. Yet our court facilities have not come close to keeping pace with this growth.

As a Member who represents the Los Angeles Federal Court district, the largest in the Nation, covering seven counties and over 17 million people, I know firsthand the severity of this problem. The Los Angeles court, which is at the top of the GSA and Judiciary's priority list, continues to operate out of the original courthouse built in 1938. The lack of adequate space has forced the court to split its operations between the original facility and one several blocks away, causing long delays,

inefficiencies, and mass confusion to the public. More importantly, the current situation causes security to be insufficient to protect workers and the public.

[Time: 15:30]

Prisoners facing trial, for example, must be transported between the two court facilities by using public corridors and public elevators. In fact, the U.S. Marshals Service documented critical security concerns with the current facilities in Los Angeles, including life-threatening security deficiencies.

These conditions are simply unacceptable. Congress must act to correct these serious security deficiencies before they result in a terrible tragedy.

Finally, from a fiscal perspective, it is irresponsible not to fund these badly needed new courthouses. According to GSA, the delaying funding for new courthouse projects increases costs by an average of 3 percent to 4 percent a year, meaning that the Federal Government will have to pay significantly more for the same projects in years to come.

These are just some of several reasons I cannot support this bill. I sincerely hope that as we move through the process, additional funding will be added to this bill to ensure that our core government functions are adequately funded. Until that time, however, I must regrettably oppose this bill.

3:31 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 5th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that on page 1, line 2, after the comma, the following be inserted: ``That the following sums are appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the Treasury Department, the United States Postal Service, the Executive Office of the President, and certain Independent Agencies, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes, namely:''

Mr. Chairman, this vital section was simply left out in preparing the bill.

3:31 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 5th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that on page 1, line 2, after the comma, the following be inserted: ``That the following sums are appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the Treasury Department, the United States Postal Service, the Executive Office of the President, and certain Independent Agencies, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes, namely:''

Mr. Chairman, this vital section was simply left out in preparing the bill.

3:31 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 5th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that on page 1, line 2, after the comma, the following be inserted: ``That the following sums are appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the Treasury Department, the United States Postal Service, the Executive Office of the President, and certain Independent Agencies, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes, namely:''

Mr. Chairman, this vital section was simply left out in preparing the bill.

3:31 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 5th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that on page 1, line 2, after the comma, the following be inserted: ``That the following sums are appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the Treasury Department, the United States Postal Service, the Executive Office of the President, and certain Independent Agencies, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes, namely:''

Mr. Chairman, this vital section was simply left out in preparing the bill.

3:32 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:32 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:32 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:32 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:32 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:32 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:33 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:33 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:33 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:33 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:33 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:33 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:34 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 5th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER) for yielding to me and the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. VELAZQUEZ) for her remarks. I would concur with her, this is an important and a useful program. I would be happy to work with the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER), the ranking minority member, and the Senate to seek funding for this effort in the conference. [Page: H6635]

3:34 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I say to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. VELAZQUEZ), I understand the importance of county money laundering efforts at the State and local level, and the role the grant program plays in those efforts.

As the gentlewoman knows, I supported her amendment on the House floor last year that provided the initial funding for this program, and she has, and will have, my continued support.

I share her concerns about this particular report language, and I will work with her to make sure it gets corrected in the conference report.

Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. VELAZQUEZ).

3:35 PM EDT

Nydia M. Velázquez, D-NY 12th

Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, second, I want to express my concern over language included in the report accompanying the Treasury-Postal appropriations bill. On page 12 of the report, in the section explaining the committee's recommendations for funding the grant program, the committee has included language about the National Money Laundering Strategy and the grant program that I find troubling.

The committee's concerns about adequate program oversight are laudable; however, some of the language used in the report mischaracterizes the intent of the national strategy, the grant program and the authorizing legislation.

Some of the language in this section of the report could be interpreted as calling into question the appropriateness of the grant program for State and local law enforcement officials to combat money laundering. The committee expresses concern that the strategy will focus the fight against money laundering solely in local geographic areas.

I want to respond to that concern and explain the intent of my 1998 legislation and the grant program. Currently, counter-money laundering funding is concentrated at the Federal level. The intent of the authorizing legislation in question, the Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Strategy Act of 1998, is to foster cooperation between State, local, and Federal law enforcement officials.

The purpose of the national strategy required by the law is to focus on corporation and information sharing between the Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies. This cooperation and sharing of information is an integral part of tracing the funds from illegal activities back to the source; that is why, in order for a State and local law enforcement agency to receive a grant under the program, they must demonstrate how they will enter into a working relationship with both Federal law

enforcement agencies and other State and locals to combat money laundering and drug trafficking.

Quite the opposite of focusing money solely at the local level, the intent of this legislation is to make small grants available to State and local law enforcement agencies who have a demonstrated need and an acceptable plan.

Federal law enforcement agents cannot fight money laundering and drug trafficking without the cooperation of the State and local law enforcement officials who are on the streets and know the local players. By the same token, the State and local law enforcement officials can benefit greatly from resources and experience of the Federal agents.

By seeming to encourage a focus only on the Federal level, the language in the report represents their way of thinking about counter-money laundering activities. Mr. Chairman, if the conference committee does not address this issue, we may be taking a giant step backwards in our fight against money laundering and drug trafficking.

Furthermore, I would like a commitment from the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER), the ranking member, that they will work with me and my staff to draft language that addresses the committee's concerns about the program's oversight without mischaracterizing the intent of the national strategy and the State and local grant program.

3:38 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:38 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:39 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:39 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:39 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:39 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:39 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:39 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I will assure the gentlewoman that I will work with her as well and with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) on this issue and want to congratulate her for her leadership and continued careful attention so that this program is carried out as effectively as it possibly can be. I thank the gentlewoman for her contribution.

AMENDMENT NO. 3 OFFERED BY MR. KUCINICH

3:39 PM EDT

Dennis Kucinich, D-OH 10th

Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment to direct the Department of Treasury to report to Congress on the IMF and World Bank's international advocacy of privatization, deregulation, and trade liberalization. Policies such as privatizing government services, reforming bank laws, and reforming labor standards are debated here in the United States, in Congress, and in State legislatures. There is no consensus on whether and in what measure these policies are good for the U.S. economy. Good

arguments can be made on both sides.

I believe that the evidence shows that rapid privatization, deregulation, and trade liberalization when applied to poor countries, have worsened short-term poverty, aggravate economic instability and increased indebtedness. At the appropriate time, I would like to submit for the RECORD reports by the Development Group for Alternative Policies, Friends of the Earth and the Preamble Center which make this point.

Mr. Chairman, but one does not have to agree with me to want the report that I propose. There is no question that the IMF and World Bank are important institutions that have considerable influence, particularly among developing countries.

When those countries seek loans or relief from payment on their debts, they enter into agreements with the IMF and the World Bank in which they pledge to make changes in their economies that the IMF and the World Bank desires.

Every Member of Congress would appreciate knowing the extent to which the IMF and World Bank use that influence, that leverage, to push debtor countries towards privatization, deregulation and trade liberalization.

One way of obtaining this information is through the agreements and documents exchanged between the debtor countries and the IMF and the World Bank. My amendment would direct the Secretary of Treasury to [Page: H6636]

produce a report to Congress on the contents of agreements and documents between the IMF and the debtor countries and the World Bank and the debtor countries. In preparing the report, the Secretary would report all provisions of those agreements and

documents that require countries to privatize State-owned enterprises and public services; lower barriers to imports including basic food products; privatize their public pension or Social Security systems; raise bank interest rates; reform regulations on the environment and national resources; and reform their labor laws and regulations, including legal minimum wages, benefits and the right to strike.

While the objection could be raised that information sought in this request is available in thousands of pages of documents on the Web and elsewhere, there is no easy, centralized location where this information can be found. The government routinely compiles information so that citizenry and Congress can get a better grasp.

All sides of the many debates we have had in this House regarding trade and economic policy would benefit from having an accurate and centralized accounting of such requirements.

Mr. Chairman, I would be pleased to withdraw this amendment and would hope to work with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) to obtain a report from the Secretary of the Treasury.

3:39 PM EDT

Dennis Kucinich, D-OH 10th

Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment to direct the Department of Treasury to report to Congress on the IMF and World Bank's international advocacy of privatization, deregulation, and trade liberalization. Policies such as privatizing government services, reforming bank laws, and reforming labor standards are debated here in the United States, in Congress, and in State legislatures. There is no consensus on whether and in what measure these policies are good for the U.S. economy. Good

arguments can be made on both sides.

I believe that the evidence shows that rapid privatization, deregulation, and trade liberalization when applied to poor countries, have worsened short-term poverty, aggravate economic instability and increased indebtedness. At the appropriate time, I would like to submit for the RECORD reports by the Development Group for Alternative Policies, Friends of the Earth and the Preamble Center which make this point.

Mr. Chairman, but one does not have to agree with me to want the report that I propose. There is no question that the IMF and World Bank are important institutions that have considerable influence, particularly among developing countries.

When those countries seek loans or relief from payment on their debts, they enter into agreements with the IMF and the World Bank in which they pledge to make changes in their economies that the IMF and the World Bank desires.

Every Member of Congress would appreciate knowing the extent to which the IMF and World Bank use that influence, that leverage, to push debtor countries towards privatization, deregulation and trade liberalization.

One way of obtaining this information is through the agreements and documents exchanged between the debtor countries and the IMF and the World Bank. My amendment would direct the Secretary of Treasury to [Page: H6636]

produce a report to Congress on the contents of agreements and documents between the IMF and the debtor countries and the World Bank and the debtor countries. In preparing the report, the Secretary would report all provisions of those agreements and

documents that require countries to privatize State-owned enterprises and public services; lower barriers to imports including basic food products; privatize their public pension or Social Security systems; raise bank interest rates; reform regulations on the environment and national resources; and reform their labor laws and regulations, including legal minimum wages, benefits and the right to strike.

While the objection could be raised that information sought in this request is available in thousands of pages of documents on the Web and elsewhere, there is no easy, centralized location where this information can be found. The government routinely compiles information so that citizenry and Congress can get a better grasp.

All sides of the many debates we have had in this House regarding trade and economic policy would benefit from having an accurate and centralized accounting of such requirements.

Mr. Chairman, I would be pleased to withdraw this amendment and would hope to work with the gentleman from Arizona (Chairman KOLBE) to obtain a report from the Secretary of the Treasury.