11:12 AM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, the continuing resolution before us extends current spending levels for a week, until November 5. That is one week from tomorrow.

The current rates, as contained in the original continuing resolution, are continued for the five bills which have not been signed into law. And, of course, for those eight that have been signed into law, the funding levels in those bills are the controlling elements.

There are two technical provisions for two anomalies which need to be adjusted in the continuing resolution, the waiver of the quorum requirement for the Export-Import Bank, and adjusted funding rate for the census.

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that this is acceptable to the President, that he is willing to support this and to sign this continuing resolution, and I would hope that we could expedite this matter.

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

[Time: 11:15]

11:12 AM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, the continuing resolution before us extends current spending levels for a week, until November 5. That is one week from tomorrow.

The current rates, as contained in the original continuing resolution, are continued for the five bills which have not been signed into law. And, of course, for those eight that have been signed into law, the funding levels in those bills are the controlling elements.

There are two technical provisions for two anomalies which need to be adjusted in the continuing resolution, the waiver of the quorum requirement for the Export-Import Bank, and adjusted funding rate for the census.

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that this is acceptable to the President, that he is willing to support this and to sign this continuing resolution, and I would hope that we could expedite this matter.

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

[Time: 11:15]

11:15 AM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. YOUNG), the distinguished chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, is correct; the President will sign this third continuing resolution.

He should not have to. I would have hoped that we would have been done by now. But we all, I think, understand why.

My problem is that, right after this continuing resolution, we are going to [Page: H11076]

be dealing with about a 3-hour charade. I need to discuss that in the context of this continuing resolution.

After this continuing resolution is disposed of, we will be bringing to the House floor a so-called conference report on the Labor, Health, Education appropriation bill.

The problem is that that conference took place on a bill that never even saw the light of day on the floor of this House. And under the rules of the Congress, we are not supposed to have a conference until both Houses have been able to vote on the bill.

Now, the bill that comes out is an important bill. The problem with that bill is not really, in the end, the funding level. We could resolve our remaining dollar differences in that bill in about 3 hours if we are given the opportunity to do so. But the problem is that the debate on this bill and the bill to follow today will, in my view, symbolize how political debate in this House has been trivialized and used to obscure rather than reveal the truth.

Next year we enter a new century; we enter a new millennium. We were sent here to make certain that we make the big decisions that will preserve the security of our country and strengthen the prosperity of our country for the next decade and for the next generation. Instead, we will be treated to a 3-hour, cheap, phony, manipulated debate about Social Security.

Now, how did this all happen? In January, the President stood right here behind me, and he asked the Congress to pass legislation that would extend the solvency of Social Security for today's generation and tomorrow's. He asked us to strengthen Medicare and provide coverage for prescription drugs under Medicare. He asked us to pass a budget that would help communities to rebuild falling-down schools, reduce class size by providing 100,000 new teachers, equip every school with modern technology.

He asked us to protect the environment. He asked us to help him provide more police on our streets.

This bill, the last appropriations bill for the year that will shortly follow, does none of those things. Instead of listening to what the President asked for, instead of trying to resolve those problems, our majority friends, our Republican friends on the other side of the aisle spent the last 8 months trying to pass a tax cut package which gave 70 percent of the benefits to the wealthiest 5 percent of people in this country making above $100,000 a year. That tax package ate up virtually every

dollar in sight that could have been used to strengthen Social Security and to strengthen Medicare.

In fact, our Republican friends at one point were willing to cut virtually every program in the Labor, Health, and Education bill by almost 30 percent in order to make that tax package happen.

Now, after it did not sell, and after our friends on the Republican side have seen their numbers drop in the polls, we now have a very troubling situation. They have passed through this House a series of appropriation bills, four appropriation bills, which spend almost $30 billion more than the President asked us to spend.

The chairman of the committee himself said that the defense bill alone was $16 billion above what the President had asked for. But now after that has been done, we now have our Republican friends saying, Oh, guess what, folks? We cannot fund the President's education and health and crime fighting and environmental priorities without spending the Social Security surplus.

There are three problems with that, to be blunt about it. The first is that it is a phony issue. Not one dollar in the President's request or in any bill that we support on this side of the aisle will reduce the balance in the Social Security Trust Fund by one dollar.

Second, it is a joke for our Republican friends to cry crocodile tears about protecting Social Security. This is the party that tried to kill Social Security when it was born. They have tried to turn it over to the insurance companies for 30 years and privatize it. They have been willing to put an unaffordable tax cut ahead of fixing up Social Security and Medicare. And this is a party which is led by their leader, who said that Social Security should be phased out and that in a free society

there should be no room for a program like Medicare.

For us to believe that a party with that track record suddenly stands as the only hope for Social Security recipients is to make Jay Leno look bad.

The third problem with the argument is that our Republican friends, despite their assertions to the contrary, have already spent billions of dollars out of the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for other things this year. At one point they had spent up to $27 billion out of that Social Security Trust Fund.

To hide that fact, what did they do? First they simply adopted a budget technique which hid $18 billion so it could not be counted. That still left them with a $9 billion hole. And so, what have they done? In the bill that they are bringing to the floor today, they did not take out all the pork that was put in appropriation bills. They did not take out the famous billion dollar ship that was nailed into the defense bill by the majority leader in the other body.

No, they did not do that. They did not take out any of the hundreds of projects that were put in those bills. Instead, they pretend that they are imposing a harmless 1 percent across-the-board cut in programs.

Well, what does that harmless 1 percent do? Well, for one thing, it cripples the Social Security Administration because it forces them to cut back on the number of people that we use to ferret out fraudulent claims in Social Security and Medicare and people who also try to get legitimate checks cut to the people who legitimately deserve those programs.

They are cutting millions of dollars out of veterans' health care under their proposal. And they are in the process also creating a colossal disruption of medical research. They are virtually shutting down all new grants to scientists in this country who go to the National Institutes of Health to get funding to do research on cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's disease, you name it.

What they do is they pretend that they are going to give them a couple of billion dollars more money, but then they say that they cannot spend it for an entire year. And they do it all for budgetary reasons.

Well, I want to say, make no mistake about it, this is not just a budgetary gimmick. There will be people who will die because of that delayed medical research. Anybody who understands how the research programs in this country work understands that.

And all of this is to pretend that they have not spent any of the Social Security surplus. That whole issue is a false issue to begin with. For a generation, this Congress has taken surpluses in the Social Security account, it has put Federal notes in that Social Security account, and it has used that money for other purposes.

And now next year what do we face? Instead of having 100 percent of that money being used for other purposes, as it was for 30 years, what we have instead, under a worst-case scenario, is that 80 percent of that money instead is going to be used to pay down the national debt.

Only the folks running this House could turn that kind of major progress into a political crisis. They ought to be ashamed of themselves for doing that.

The fact is, if they really want to strengthen Social Security, they will quit playing games with it; and what they will do is recognize that the best thing they can do, along with paying down debt, the best thing that they can do is make the kind of investments we need in Generation X for their education and for their job training so we can raise the income that they will earn so they will have decent salaries and can pay more into Social Security in order to extend the strength and the life

of that Social Security fund.

That is what we would say if this issue was being dealt with honestly on the floor. But it is let's-pretend time, and so we cannot get to the truth,

I guess.

So, Mr. Speaker, what I guess I would say to my majority friends on the Republican side of the aisle is simply this: if they have the votes, pass this turkey, get it on to the President, let him veto it, let us clear the air, and then let us really sit down and do business. If we could get the political bull gravy out of this debate, we could solve all of the remaining dollar problems in about 3 days.

We are not that far apart. The gap in dollars that separate us is not nearly as large as the credibility gap that [Page: H11077]

they have developed in the way that the majority has handled this issue.

There are only four ways to get a budget. The first is, if they really want to protect Social Security, we can go back and we can cut out a lot of the excess spending that they have included in some of the previously passed appropriation bills. If they want to do that, I will work with them on that. If they do not want to do that, I am not going to argue.

Second thing they could do then is simply say, Okay, we are going to take a look at some of the President's revenue sources, such as his proposal to try to discourage the use of tobacco by young people, which would bring some additional revenue into the Treasury. I do not much like that, but I would rather support that than to lie. And that is what is happening now.

The third thing they can do if they want to pass a budget is simply get real and to simply adjust the spending caps which we are operating under to reflect what we are actually spending rather than what we pretend we are spending. I know the gentleman from Florida (Mr. YOUNG) has urged the same solution. I agree with him on that.

They can get my support on any of those three options. The one option I do not want to support is the one that the House continues to pursue at this moment, which is to stay in Let's-pretend land and to hide everything that we are doing through all of these fancy budgetary devices.

This chart shows what they are doing to the National Institutes of Health. The blue graph shows what amount of money was provided by the National Institutes of Health to medical researchers in each month last year as those contracts were signed in an orderly fashion.

Under this bill that they are bringing to the floor today, they are telling the National Institutes of Health that, even though they are going to give them more money, they are not going to let them spend it for an entire year and then; in the last 2 days, they are supposed to put out a huge percentage of their own budget.

[Time: 11:30]

That is irresponsible. It is a financial gimmick. It does not serve any purpose but to cover somebody's political tail, and it will hurt our efforts to find cures for every major disease that plagues mankind.

So I would say simply, there are a lot of good people on both sides of the aisle, and sooner or later they have to be unleashed so that we can sit down, work out a rational compromise on these bills, and get this Congress out of town before it does any more damage to its reputation.

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

11:33 AM EDT

Hal Rogers, R-KY 5th

Mr. ROGERS. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, we heard it for the first time or at least I did publicly from the gentleman from Wisconsin a few minutes ago when he spoke in the well. We have heard it privately from that side of the aisle for a long time now but we heard it publicly here, when the gentleman said, yes, we have spent out of the Social Security surplus for 30 years, when the gentleman's party controlled this Congress. And he said now you folks want to not spend the Social Security moneys for general government purposes,

and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves, he said.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I am not ashamed of myself at all. I am extremely proud that our party, for the first time in more than 30 years, is saying to that party no, you cannot spend any more from the Social Security trust fund. That is for our elderly, and you can live on the tax moneys that come into the general treasury, and that is what this party is attempting to do. And so we heard it for the first time here. Get the transcript and read it. Publish it in the newspapers. That party stands for

blowing the Social Security trust fund for anything and everything, and they have, as the gentleman said, for 30 years at least. And our party now says no more. The Social Security moneys that hardworking Americans pay into this government system shall be used only for the purposes for which it was paid, and that is to provide

for the care of the elderly when they reach that retirement age. And our party has laid down the line, no more raiding Social Security, leave it alone, it is for our elderly. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for suggesting the continuation of that kind of a policy of using Social Security for every other purpose.

11:33 AM EDT

Hal Rogers, R-KY 5th

Mr. ROGERS. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, we heard it for the first time or at least I did publicly from the gentleman from Wisconsin a few minutes ago when he spoke in the well. We have heard it privately from that side of the aisle for a long time now but we heard it publicly here, when the gentleman said, yes, we have spent out of the Social Security surplus for 30 years, when the gentleman's party controlled this Congress. And he said now you folks want to not spend the Social Security moneys for general government purposes,

and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves, he said.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I am not ashamed of myself at all. I am extremely proud that our party, for the first time in more than 30 years, is saying to that party no, you cannot spend any more from the Social Security trust fund. That is for our elderly, and you can live on the tax moneys that come into the general treasury, and that is what this party is attempting to do. And so we heard it for the first time here. Get the transcript and read it. Publish it in the newspapers. That party stands for

blowing the Social Security trust fund for anything and everything, and they have, as the gentleman said, for 30 years at least. And our party now says no more. The Social Security moneys that hardworking Americans pay into this government system shall be used only for the purposes for which it was paid, and that is to provide

for the care of the elderly when they reach that retirement age. And our party has laid down the line, no more raiding Social Security, leave it alone, it is for our elderly. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for suggesting the continuation of that kind of a policy of using Social Security for every other purpose.

11:33 AM EDT

Hal Rogers, R-KY 5th

Mr. ROGERS. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, we heard it for the first time or at least I did publicly from the gentleman from Wisconsin a few minutes ago when he spoke in the well. We have heard it privately from that side of the aisle for a long time now but we heard it publicly here, when the gentleman said, yes, we have spent out of the Social Security surplus for 30 years, when the gentleman's party controlled this Congress. And he said now you folks want to not spend the Social Security moneys for general government purposes,

and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves, he said.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I am not ashamed of myself at all. I am extremely proud that our party, for the first time in more than 30 years, is saying to that party no, you cannot spend any more from the Social Security trust fund. That is for our elderly, and you can live on the tax moneys that come into the general treasury, and that is what this party is attempting to do. And so we heard it for the first time here. Get the transcript and read it. Publish it in the newspapers. That party stands for

blowing the Social Security trust fund for anything and everything, and they have, as the gentleman said, for 30 years at least. And our party now says no more. The Social Security moneys that hardworking Americans pay into this government system shall be used only for the purposes for which it was paid, and that is to provide

for the care of the elderly when they reach that retirement age. And our party has laid down the line, no more raiding Social Security, leave it alone, it is for our elderly. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for suggesting the continuation of that kind of a policy of using Social Security for every other purpose.

11:35 AM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute. Despite what we have just heard from the past two speakers, the Congressional Budget Office this morning has indicated that you are spending this year $17 billion out of Social Security. What I said on the floor is that you should be ashamed for denying the truth. That is what you ought to be ashamed of.

The second thing I would point out to the gentleman is that whatever money was spent out of Social Security by Democratic Congresses was less than we were asked to spend by President Bush and President Reagan in all 12 years they were in office except for 1 year. In 11 out of the 12 years, we were asked to spend more out of Social Security by President Bush and President Reagan than the Congress agreed to do.

So let us keep the facts straight. If you are going to quote me, quote me right. I am not attacking your actions. I am attacking the hypocrisy that I so often see in this House.

11:35 AM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute. Despite what we have just heard from the past two speakers, the Congressional Budget Office this morning has indicated that you are spending this year $17 billion out of Social Security. What I said on the floor is that you should be ashamed for denying the truth. That is what you ought to be ashamed of.

The second thing I would point out to the gentleman is that whatever money was spent out of Social Security by Democratic Congresses was less than we were asked to spend by President Bush and President Reagan in all 12 years they were in office except for 1 year. In 11 out of the 12 years, we were asked to spend more out of Social Security by President Bush and President Reagan than the Congress agreed to do.

So let us keep the facts straight. If you are going to quote me, quote me right. I am not attacking your actions. I am attacking the hypocrisy that I so often see in this House.

11:37 AM EDT

Jack Kingston, R-GA 1st

Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding time. [Page: H11078]

Mr. Speaker, first of all let me say why are we here. I would say probably for three real reasons. Number one, in response to the American people in 1997 to get our fiscal house in order, we passed a bipartisan budget agreement. I did not support it. I know the gentleman from Wisconsin and many others did not but over 300 Democrats and Republicans joined with the White House to pass this agreement to give us a road for budget restraint in the next couple of years. That is number one.

Number two, we have said as recently as last week, no new taxes. On a vote of 419-0, Democrats and Republicans rejected President Clinton's proposals to increase taxes. And number three, despite the fact that the President said in his State of the Union address that we should only preserve 62 percent of the Social Security trust fund, we on the Republican side have insisted on 100 percent, and now many of the Democrats have said, let us protect 100 percent of the Social Security trust fund.

So with these three principles colliding, what we are trying to do is balance the budget by reducing spending by about one cent on the dollar. It is not that hard to do. If you look back at the principles, here is what the White House said about the Republican plan: The key goal is to not spend Social Security surplus. That is right from the mouth of Chief of Staff John Podesta at the White House.

This chart, Mr. Speaker, shows that under Democrat control and under Republican control up until this year, we have been spending Social Security surplus. But this year on this chart, we have not. We do not want to back off that commitment. I think it is very important.

And the way to not do that is this simple, shown in this chart. We are going to spend out of a dollar 99 cents and we are going to save one cent. Where can you get some of this money? Look at it in practical examples. The President went to Africa last year. One thousand three hundred Federal employees went with him at a price tag of $42.8 million. Under this proposal, 13 of them would have to stay at home. He went to China, $18.8 million, 800 Federal employees. Under this plan, eight of them

would have to stay at home. Ben & Jerry's, the delicious and successful ice cream company, gets a Federal subsidy of $800,000 to sell ice cream overseas. Under this proposal, they would get less, and who knows, maybe they would have to do it the old-fashioned way and pay for it themselves.

Under this proposal we may want to look at the FDA cheese inspection program because the FDA inspects cheese pizza but the USDA, the Department of Agriculture, inspects pepperoni pizza. I do not know, maybe they could get together. That might be an example of cutting out government waste.

Here in Washington, D.C., one of the cronies of the city council was awarded a $6.6 million contract for job placement. One year later after being asked to place 1500 people, 30 people had been placed.

Those are just a couple of examples. That is all we are saying. If we can do that, we can keep from raiding Social Security or increasing taxes.

11:37 AM EDT

Jack Kingston, R-GA 1st

Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding time. [Page: H11078]

Mr. Speaker, first of all let me say why are we here. I would say probably for three real reasons. Number one, in response to the American people in 1997 to get our fiscal house in order, we passed a bipartisan budget agreement. I did not support it. I know the gentleman from Wisconsin and many others did not but over 300 Democrats and Republicans joined with the White House to pass this agreement to give us a road for budget restraint in the next couple of years. That is number one.

Number two, we have said as recently as last week, no new taxes. On a vote of 419-0, Democrats and Republicans rejected President Clinton's proposals to increase taxes. And number three, despite the fact that the President said in his State of the Union address that we should only preserve 62 percent of the Social Security trust fund, we on the Republican side have insisted on 100 percent, and now many of the Democrats have said, let us protect 100 percent of the Social Security trust fund.

So with these three principles colliding, what we are trying to do is balance the budget by reducing spending by about one cent on the dollar. It is not that hard to do. If you look back at the principles, here is what the White House said about the Republican plan: The key goal is to not spend Social Security surplus. That is right from the mouth of Chief of Staff John Podesta at the White House.

This chart, Mr. Speaker, shows that under Democrat control and under Republican control up until this year, we have been spending Social Security surplus. But this year on this chart, we have not. We do not want to back off that commitment. I think it is very important.

And the way to not do that is this simple, shown in this chart. We are going to spend out of a dollar 99 cents and we are going to save one cent. Where can you get some of this money? Look at it in practical examples. The President went to Africa last year. One thousand three hundred Federal employees went with him at a price tag of $42.8 million. Under this proposal, 13 of them would have to stay at home. He went to China, $18.8 million, 800 Federal employees. Under this plan, eight of them

would have to stay at home. Ben & Jerry's, the delicious and successful ice cream company, gets a Federal subsidy of $800,000 to sell ice cream overseas. Under this proposal, they would get less, and who knows, maybe they would have to do it the old-fashioned way and pay for it themselves.

Under this proposal we may want to look at the FDA cheese inspection program because the FDA inspects cheese pizza but the USDA, the Department of Agriculture, inspects pepperoni pizza. I do not know, maybe they could get together. That might be an example of cutting out government waste.

Here in Washington, D.C., one of the cronies of the city council was awarded a $6.6 million contract for job placement. One year later after being asked to place 1500 people, 30 people had been placed.

Those are just a couple of examples. That is all we are saying. If we can do that, we can keep from raiding Social Security or increasing taxes.

11:41 AM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

Mr. Speaker, let me again repeat the facts to counter the fiction that we have just heard. Despite the fact that our majority party friends have taken $12 billion of education money and slipped it one day over into the next fiscal year so they could hide it in this year, despite the fact that they have taken almost $4 billion at the National Institutes of Health and squeezed that spending just over the line into the next fiscal year, it will still be spent, still come out of Social Security,

just next year's Social Security money, despite the fact that they have simply ordered the accountants to not count $13 billion in spending that they do at the Department of Defense, despite all of that, we have a letter from the Congressional Budget Office this morning that indicates that you are still spending $17 billion worth of Social Security this year. Now, get off the baloney, get back to the facts and let us resolve our differences in an honest way.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Missouri (Mr. CLAY), ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

11:41 AM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

Mr. Speaker, let me again repeat the facts to counter the fiction that we have just heard. Despite the fact that our majority party friends have taken $12 billion of education money and slipped it one day over into the next fiscal year so they could hide it in this year, despite the fact that they have taken almost $4 billion at the National Institutes of Health and squeezed that spending just over the line into the next fiscal year, it will still be spent, still come out of Social Security,

just next year's Social Security money, despite the fact that they have simply ordered the accountants to not count $13 billion in spending that they do at the Department of Defense, despite all of that, we have a letter from the Congressional Budget Office this morning that indicates that you are still spending $17 billion worth of Social Security this year. Now, get off the baloney, get back to the facts and let us resolve our differences in an honest way.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Missouri (Mr. CLAY), ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

11:42 AM EDT

Bill Clay Sr., D-MO 1st

Mr. CLAY. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, if the Republican leadership had done its job instead of playing politics with appropriations for vital government services, I would not be here this morning to speak on this unnecessary continuing resolution and to oppose H.R. 3064, which includes the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Act, because if passed it would make drastic cuts in programs that are vitally important to Americans, especially to those most in need of the Federal Government's assistance and protection.

Fortunately, Mr. Speaker, this ill-conceived and sensitive bill faces swift death at the hands of a veto by the President. Many of the important initiatives proposed by the President to improve our schools and to prepare our children for the 21st century have either been eliminated or underfunded. The bill that we will be considering after this guts the Clinton-Clay plan to hire 100,000 new teachers and reduce class sizes in the early grades. Instead, it diverts $1.2 billion to a block grant

that requires no real accountability and would permit spending public money to send children to private schools.

Mr. Speaker, last week this body overwhelmingly defeated the Republican majority leader's ill-advised attempt to authorize vouchers for private and public schools. Now the same misguided leadership is attempting a backdoor enactment of the same raid on public funds. The cuts in H.R. 3064 are devastating. The Republicans' bill cuts $26 million from the President's funding request to improve the reading skills of 100,000 students as proposed in the Reading Excellence Act. The Republicans' bill

denies $60 million of the President's funding request for Gear Up, thus preventing 131,000 low-income students from receiving mentoring, counseling and tutoring services intended to help them prepare for college.

[Time: 11:45]

The bill provides $300 billion less than the President requested for after-school enrichment centers, thereby funding 3,400 fewer centers; and after selling our children and teachers short, the Republicans' bill also reflects the same legislative assault on workers. The bill would undermine worker protection programs by cutting $18 million from the President's request for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Funding for the Labor Relations Board is cut by $10 million below the President's

request, which will result in total gridlock in resolving labor-management disputes.

Mr. Speaker, I recommend that we defeat the bill that comes after this continuing resolution.

11:45 AM EDT

John Edward Porter, R-IL 10th

Mr. PORTER. Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. CLAY) and what he had to say about education funding; and, Mr. Speaker, he is way off the mark. This bill does better than the President in his budget, which was a political document in the extreme.

It does better than the President on education funding by over $300 million, and to say that Republicans are not committed to education is simply wrong. Our commitment is just as strong or stronger than that on the other side of the aisle; but we do not believe, and the reason the gentleman referred to accounts that he said were not plussed up as the President suggested, we do not believe that public education ought to be directed by Washington. The very genius of public education in our country

is that it is not directed by Washington; it is directed by our school districts and our States, where the primary responsibility lies.

We put a great deal of money into primary and secondary education, and we put a great deal of money, more than the President has suggested in both areas, into college student financial assistance so that young people have a chance to get a higher education. We put in $679 million more than the President in his budget request in special education for handicapped kids. We put $45 million over last year and $15 million over the [Page: H11079]

President's request in

the Trio program so that minority young people have a chance to get a higher education. We funded impact aid, a Federal responsibility, for more than the President.

In line item after line item in this bill we do better than the President, and we give more flexibility to the local school districts and States.

11:46 AM EDT

John Edward Porter, R-IL 10th

Mr. PORTER. Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. CLAY) and what he had to say about education funding; and, Mr. Speaker, he is way off the mark. This bill does better than the President in his budget, which was a political document in the extreme.

It does better than the President on education funding by over $300 million, and to say that Republicans are not committed to education is simply wrong. Our commitment is just as strong or stronger than that on the other side of the aisle; but we do not believe, and the reason the gentleman referred to accounts that he said were not plussed up as the President suggested, we do not believe that public education ought to be directed by Washington. The very genius of public education in our country

is that it is not directed by Washington; it is directed by our school districts and our States, where the primary responsibility lies.

We put a great deal of money into primary and secondary education, and we put a great deal of money, more than the President has suggested in both areas, into college student financial assistance so that young people have a chance to get a higher education. We put in $679 million more than the President in his budget request in special education for handicapped kids. We put $45 million over last year and $15 million over the [Page: H11079]

President's request in

the Trio program so that minority young people have a chance to get a higher education. We funded impact aid, a Federal responsibility, for more than the President.

In line item after line item in this bill we do better than the President, and we give more flexibility to the local school districts and States.

11:46 AM EDT

John Edward Porter, R-IL 10th

Mr. PORTER. Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. CLAY) and what he had to say about education funding; and, Mr. Speaker, he is way off the mark. This bill does better than the President in his budget, which was a political document in the extreme.

It does better than the President on education funding by over $300 million, and to say that Republicans are not committed to education is simply wrong. Our commitment is just as strong or stronger than that on the other side of the aisle; but we do not believe, and the reason the gentleman referred to accounts that he said were not plussed up as the President suggested, we do not believe that public education ought to be directed by Washington. The very genius of public education in our country

is that it is not directed by Washington; it is directed by our school districts and our States, where the primary responsibility lies.

We put a great deal of money into primary and secondary education, and we put a great deal of money, more than the President has suggested in both areas, into college student financial assistance so that young people have a chance to get a higher education. We put in $679 million more than the President in his budget request in special education for handicapped kids. We put $45 million over last year and $15 million over the [Page: H11079]

President's request in

the Trio program so that minority young people have a chance to get a higher education. We funded impact aid, a Federal responsibility, for more than the President.

In line item after line item in this bill we do better than the President, and we give more flexibility to the local school districts and States.

11:48 AM EDT

Lloyd Doggett, D-TX 10th

Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me.

As my colleagues know, this Congress is quickly running out of Federal buildings to name around the country. It has about commemorated everything that could be commemorated, and since these uncontested measures represent the principal legislative product of this Republican do-nothing Congress, it is appropriate that this legislation would be before us today as really only another of these uncontested commemorative resolutions. It commemorates failure. It deserves a name: The Republican Congressional

Failure Act of 1999.

As late as September 19, the Speaker, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. HASTERT), told the country that ``by the first of October we will have all of the appropriation bills passed out of the House and the Senate,'' and here we are, nearing November 1, not October 1, and one of those very important bills has never even been presented to the House for consideration, much less the Senate or the President of the United States for his consideration.

We will have later today that bill finally come before us, and it is clear that the reason for the delay of that bill; now that we have it, is that it has failure written all over it. This legislation funds all of our Federal commitment to public education in this country, funds all of our major health research for all the very dreaded diseases that touch families throughout this country; and yet here we are a month after the conclusion of the fiscal year for which it was supposed to have been

approved, and it has never even been debated on the floor of the House.

This is a measure that touches every family, one way or another, throughout the United States. Like the other parts of the Republican legislative agenda, this bill fails to add one single dollar to strengthen Social Security, and it also fails to meet the standard of the rhetoric we have heard about Social Security here this morning. I have a letter that the Congressional Budget Office sent this morning, October 28, to Speaker J. DENNIS HASTERT. The Congressional Budget Office says, and

I quote:

Outlays from congressional action on appropriation legislation including the latest action on all 13 appropriation bills would also exceed the discretionary caps (those are the ones put in place to assure a balanced budget) by more than CBO's baseline estimate of the on-budget surplus. After taking that surplus into account, the Congressional Budget Office projects an on-budget deficit of about $17 billion.

That is $17 billion directly out of Social Security Trust Fund monies. To say that they are not using Social Security monies for non-Social Security purposes is flat wrong, and the evidence is here from the Republican Congressional Budget Office to demonstrate it. This bill and the legislative program of which it is a part fails to get prescription drugs to seniors, fails to ferret out waste. It is late, and it is wrong for America. This bill should be rejected, and another stop gap continuing

resolution undoubtedly will be presented to this House, because of the same failures that have characterized the first 10 months of this year.

11:52 AM EDT

Sonny Callahan, R-AL 1st

Mr. CALLAHAN. I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me.

Mr. Speaker, I love this House. Witness the ceremony yesterday afternoon where we honored former President Ford and Betty Ford and the comments that were made there about the respect this institution has had over past decades.

But are we so naive or so stupid, Mr. Speaker, that we think the American people cannot see what we are doing here? Is there anybody in this body who thinks they are fooling the American people by saying we are going to destroy the Social Security Trust Fund? Of course we are not. The only thing we have to argue is history, and history says for 40 years until 1993 that the majority party during those years was spending much of the Social Security Trust Fund.

And now we are here today with a balanced budget talking about whether we might dip into the Social Security Trust Fund by $10 or $15 billion, which we are not, but the American people are not that naive. The American people are truly appreciative of the fact that during the last 3 years we have balanced the budget. What a wonderful argument it is to develop today, saying we are not going to spend all of the Social Security Trust Fund. Maybe CBO or some other organization might score some of

the things we pass here today as a possible invasion of the trust fund, which I do not think it is. But the American people are not easily fooled. The American people know exactly what we are talking about when we have debates such as this which is nothing but demagoguery.

Mr. Speaker, I am just as guilty as any of my colleagues. I stood on this floor the other day and demagogued the President of the United States for taking 1,700 people to Africa and spending $47 million of the taxpayers' money on that trip. We do all of that, but let us not think for 1 minute that the American people are so naive as to think, Mr. Speaker, that anybody in any party would deliberately do anything to the detriment of the Social Security Trust Fund.

We have to look at where we were when we, the majority, took control of this House 5 years ago and where we are today, and it is as simple as that. The chairman of my committee (Mr. YOUNG) has the most compelling chart of all of the charts that have ever been presented on this issue to the House, and it shows what was happening before the Republican party took control of this House, and it is so glaring that the amount of money that we are now saving for the Social Security Trust Fund

is a result of what we have done in this body.

So we can have all this fun we want, and we can engage in all this rhetoric, and we can demagogue, and we can stand up and we can say these bad things about each other. The real fact is the American people are no fools. We have balanced the budget, we have saved Social Security, and it is because of the programs that we have implemented in the last 4 years.

11:52 AM EDT

Sonny Callahan, R-AL 1st

Mr. CALLAHAN. I thank the gentleman for yielding this time to me.

Mr. Speaker, I love this House. Witness the ceremony yesterday afternoon where we honored former President Ford and Betty Ford and the comments that were made there about the respect this institution has had over past decades.

But are we so naive or so stupid, Mr. Speaker, that we think the American people cannot see what we are doing here? Is there anybody in this body who thinks they are fooling the American people by saying we are going to destroy the Social Security Trust Fund? Of course we are not. The only thing we have to argue is history, and history says for 40 years until 1993 that the majority party during those years was spending much of the Social Security Trust Fund.

And now we are here today with a balanced budget talking about whether we might dip into the Social Security Trust Fund by $10 or $15 billion, which we are not, but the American people are not that naive. The American people are truly appreciative of the fact that during the last 3 years we have balanced the budget. What a wonderful argument it is to develop today, saying we are not going to spend all of the Social Security Trust Fund. Maybe CBO or some other organization might score some of

the things we pass here today as a possible invasion of the trust fund, which I do not think it is. But the American people are not easily fooled. The American people know exactly what we are talking about when we have debates such as this which is nothing but demagoguery.

Mr. Speaker, I am just as guilty as any of my colleagues. I stood on this floor the other day and demagogued the President of the United States for taking 1,700 people to Africa and spending $47 million of the taxpayers' money on that trip. We do all of that, but let us not think for 1 minute that the American people are so naive as to think, Mr. Speaker, that anybody in any party would deliberately do anything to the detriment of the Social Security Trust Fund.

We have to look at where we were when we, the majority, took control of this House 5 years ago and where we are today, and it is as simple as that. The chairman of my committee (Mr. YOUNG) has the most compelling chart of all of the charts that have ever been presented on this issue to the House, and it shows what was happening before the Republican party took control of this House, and it is so glaring that the amount of money that we are now saving for the Social Security Trust Fund

is a result of what we have done in this body.

So we can have all this fun we want, and we can engage in all this rhetoric, and we can demagogue, and we can stand up and we can say these bad things about each other. The real fact is the American people are no fools. We have balanced the budget, we have saved Social Security, and it is because of the programs that we have implemented in the last 4 years.

11:56 AM EDT

John M Spratt Jr., D-SC 5th

Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, a continuing resolution is a confession of failure on the part of Congress. It is a confession by Congress that it has not done its job, so is the appropriation bill that follows this continuing resolution.

We were elected to use our judgment, our experience, to use our discretion to get the best value out of the American taxpayers' money. What do we do with an across-the-board cut? It is nothing less than abdication of the judgment that we were elected to use. It whacks the budget across the board by 1 percent, cutting the good with the bad.

Now that may sound minimal. One percent sounds trivial. But if it is minimal, why not go back through these 13 bills and do it using discretionary judgment, picking out things that have been larded into these bills, Member adds, and we can start with Senator LOTT's helicopter landing ship, just one of many things that cost several hundred million dollars that we can do without. The Navy said so, did not want it, did not ask for it.

One percent is not minimal if someone is one of the people who have been hurt by the cut. As my colleagues know, we have spent the better part of this year, this past year, trying to get veterans health care up to the level that the Committee on Veterans' Affairs itself says we need to fund it at in order to keep our promises made to the men and women who served our country particularly in time of war, and if [Page: H11080]

there are any promises we ought to keep;

we ought to keep the promises we made to our veterans.

What does this bill do? We have got the veterans' health care up by 1.5, $1.7 million; it whacks it $200 million. That is health care veterans will not be able to get if this bill were to become law.

We spent last year, the whole past year, trying to get funding for our men and women in uniform, our Armed Services, up to the level where they want to stay in the service and encourage others to join the service because recruitment and retention are off, both badly.

What does this bill do? The appropriations bill that will come after this continuing resolution will whack our men in uniform to the tune of 28,000 men and women on active duty who will have to be involuntarily separated, removed from service. What in the world will that do to morale when we are trying to encourage retention and recruitment?

Kicked out of the service, mindless across-the-board cuts. General Shelton summed up the effects yesterday when he said a 1 percent across-the-board would be devastating to our national defense. But that is what we are proposing here today.

All of this mindless carnage to the budget is being done in the name of holding Social Security surplus harmless, and it is a worthy goal; but I suggest to my colleagues in truth this is not the real goal. The real goal is to send these 13 appropriation bills to the President, have them veto several of them, and then we will be able to say he is responsible for our having to borrow this year from Social Security.

Well, Mr. Speaker, that dog will not hunt.

[Time: 12:00]

Do not take my word for it. Listen to what CBO says this morning just off the press in its summary of 12 bills that this Republican majority and this House and the Senate have passed, the last to come, Labor-HHS. It summed them all up, and here is the summary right here on this chart in the simplest possible terms for people to understand.

The appropriations spending cap for this year in July was $580 billion. At that level, CBO said we would have a surplus this year of $14 billion, $14.4 to be exact. So that means if you spend $594 billion, the cap on appropriations, plus the on-budget surplus, you can stay out of Social Security. But CBO says today, looking at all 13 appropriation bills, that they spend altogether $611 billion. Simple arithmetic says, therefore, these bills to date are $17 billion already into the Social Security

trust fund, $17 billion already into the Social Security surplus, because these bills to date spend $611 billion as opposed to a spending ceiling of $594 billion if you want to stay out of Social Security.

There it is in simple form. In more complicated form I have a letter here dated October 28, 1999, from Dr. Crippen, who is the Director of CBO, which I would like to insert in the RECORD. It sets it straight. It spells it out. You are already $17.1 billion into Social Security. That is the bottom line, no way around it.

Let us vote down the Labor-HHS bill so we can get down to reality and get down to budgeting, rather than blaming, which is what the people elected us to do.

Mr. Speaker, I include the following for the RECORD:

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE,

U.S. CONGRESS,

Washington, DC, October 28, 1999.

Hon. J. DENNIS HASTERT,

Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. SPEAKER: As you requested in your letter of October 27, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated the on-budget deficit for fiscal year 2000, incorporating appropriation action to date.

CBO's estimates are based on appropriation bills that have been signed by the President and, for those that have not yet been enacted into law, on the most recent conference agreements. The enclosed table provides CBO's estimate of how those bills would affect the on-budget surplus for fiscal year 2000. As you requested, the table displays the impact on that estimate of the adjustments made to CBO's figures for Congressional scorekeeping purposes--with the exception of the adjustment made for

contingent emergencies.

In response to numerous questions about the on-budget deficit and related matters, CBO has prepared a memorandum entitled Discretionary Spending Caps, Deficits, and the Social Security Surplus, which provides some context for addressing the budgetary issues you have raised. A copy of that memorandum is enclosed.

If you wish further information, we will be pleased to provide it.

Sincerely,

Dan L. Crippen,

Director.

Enclosures:

TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY IMPACT OF CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACTION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000, AS OF OCTOBER 27, 1999[In billions of dollars]

Budget authority

Outlays

Discretionary Appropriations (By bill): \1\

Agriculture

22.7

22.7

Commerce, Justice, State, the judiciary

37.2

36.3

Defense

269.4

267.8

District of Columbia

0.4

0.4

Energy and water

21.3

21.0

Foreign operations

12.7

13.3

Interior

14.4

14.7

Labor, HHS, Education \2\

84.6

83.4

Legislative

2.5

2.5

Military construction

8.4

8.8

Transportation

13.6

44.7

Treasury and general government

13.7

14.7

Veterans, HUD, independent agencies

71.9

83.7

Subtotal \1\

572.9

614.1

Across-the-board reduction of 0.97 percent

-5.7

-3.5

Savings from additional collections of defaulted student loans

-0.1

-0.1

Total \1\

567.1

610.5

CBO's July 1999 Baseline Estimate of Discretionary Appropriations

539.3

579.8

Difference (Total appropriations minus baseline estimate)

27.8

30.7

Additional Interest Costs Resulting from Higher Appropriations

n.a.

0.8

Total Change from Baseline

n.a.

31.5

CBO's July 1999 Baseline Estimate of On-Budget Surplus

n.a.

14.4

CBO's Estimate of the On-Budget Deficit (-) Reflecting Appropriation Action to Date \2\

n.a.

-17.1

Congressional Scorekeeping Adjustments \2\

3.4

18.1

Projected On-Budget Surplus Under Congressional Scoring

n.a.

1.0

\1\ CBO estimates, excluding scorekeeping adjustments.

\2\ Reductions applied to CBO's estimates for Congressional scorekeeping purposes; not included in any of the figures above. Includes $0.4 billion in debt service savings, but does not include $1.6 billion in adjustments for contingent emergencies.

SOURCE: Congresisonal Budget Office.

NOTE: HHS=Department of Health and Human Services; HUD=Department of Housing and Urban Development; n.a.=not applicable.

Discretionary Spending Caps, Deficits, and the Social Security Trust Funds

October 28, 1999

The current budget debate centers around two distinct objectives. The first is adherence to the statutory caps on discretionary spending specified in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA). The BBA extends an accounting framework for discretionary spending and requires across-the-board cuts (sequestration) if the caps are exceeded. The executive branch alone determines whether a sequestration is needed and, if so, executes it.

The second objective is avoiding an on-budget deficit--that is, avoiding the need to borrow from the Social Security trust funds to finance non-Social Security spending. Whether that objective is met depends on the total amount of revenues and spending in the rest of the budget. No enforcement mechanism, such as sequestration, exists to ensure the attainment of that goal.

Those two objectives are related but are not identical, and actions taken to achieve one of them would not necessarily increase the likelihood of achieving the other. In addition, confusion exists about the relationship between on-budget deficits and the Social Security surplus. In response to numerous questions, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has prepared this memorandum to provide some context for addressing those issues.

LIMITS OF BUDGET ESTIMATES

It is important to keep in mind that at this stage in the budget process, all of the numbers being presented are estimates of outcomes over the next 12 months. Even without future Congressional action, at this time next year, current estimates of total revenues and outlays will probably have proved to be too high or too low by significant amounts. Fourteen months ago, for example, CBO predicted an on-budget deficit of $37 billion for fiscal year 1999. (The spending and income of the Social Security

trust funds and the Postal Service are defined by law as off-budget. All other spending and income of the government are on-budget.) In fact, the on-budget accounts were virtually in balance that year, recording a deficit of only $1 billion.

At present, the primary focus of the budget debate is the outlays that will occur in fiscal year 2000 as a result of discretionary appropriations of budget authority. On that score--estimating the outlays from discretionary budget authority--CBO has an admirable track record. Between 1993 and 1998, its projections of appropriated spending each year differed from actual outlays by an average of just $2 billion, or 0.4 percent (disregarding whether the difference was above or below actual spending).

However, for the remainder of the budget (revenues and mandatory spending), CBO's projections--along with those of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other [Page: H11081]

forecasters--have not been as accurate. With total federal revenues and outlays in the vicinity of $1.8 trillion each year and a national economy of $9 trillion, even small variations from the forecasts for economic variables, tax revenues, or mandatory spending can lead to changes in

the surplus or deficit of tens of billions of dollars. For fiscal year 2000, if revenues and outlays differ from CBO's estimates by as little as 1 percent, the on-budget surplus could be $36 billion higher or lower. Thus, the on-budget surplus for 2000 could differ substantially from CBO's baseline projection of $14 billion, even if the two objectives mentioned above are met.

DISCRETIONARY SPENDING CAPS

The caps on discretionary spending are moving targets rather than permanently fixed values. The caps can be adjusted upward to account for funding designated as emergency requirements and for certain other, generally small, items. OMB, which is responsible for determining compliance with the caps, may also make adjustments to reflect changes in budgetary concepts and definitions. As a result of those various types of changes, the caps on discretionary outlays for 2000 have increased from a total

of $564.3 billion (as initially set in the Balanced Budget Act) to $575.8 billion (as specified in OMB's Sequestration Update Report, issued on August 25, 1999).

Adherence to the caps is enforced through sequestration, which involves across-the-board cuts in funding for discretionary programs. After this session of Congress ends, OMB will determine whether a sequestration is required on the basis of its estimates of the discretionary caps as adjusted and of the spending that will result from appropriation actions. CBO produces estimates of both the caps and spending, but for the sequestration process, those estimates are purely advisory.

In CBO's view, the President's most recent budget request and House and Senate appropriation action to date all exceed the outlay caps for 2000 by similar amounts. CBO estimates that discretionary outlays from the policies of the President's Mid-Session Review would exceed CBO's July 1 estimate of the caps by $35 billion. The Administration, by contrast, asserts that those policies would adhere to the caps--in part because it estimates lower outlays from the policies and in part because it has

proposed a number of offsets (such as tobacco taxes and Medicare savings) that CBO believes cannot be used to offset discretionary spending under the

provisions of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended.

CBO estimates that Congressional appropriation action, as of October 27, also exceeds its July 1 estimate of the outlay caps--by a total of about $31 billion. But even though estimated outlays exceed the caps, a sequestration may not occur. A significant part of the overage--about $26 billion--results from spending that has been designated as emergency requirements. If the President concurs with the designation, that spending will result in corresponding upward adjustments to the caps.

In addition, OMB's estimates of outlays are lower than CBO's especially for defense spending--and OMB's estimates are the ones that determine the need for a sequestration. Indeed, the budget committees' scoring of the appropriation bills includes scorekeeping adjustments intended to approximate the Administration's outlays estimates. Depending on the funding levels established in the appropriation bills that have not yet been enacted, the combination of emergency designations and lower outlays

estimates may be enough for OMB to determine that a sequestration is not required.

ON-BUDGET SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS

The second budget issue that has received much attention lately is whether an on-budget surplus will result in fiscal year 2000. Whether discretionary spending adheres to the statutory caps, as determined by OMB, can affect whether the government ultimately achieves an on-budget surplus, but the first does not guarantee the second. It is possible to exceed the caps and still have an on-budget surplus; conversely, it is possible to adhere to the caps and still have an on-budget deficit. (The sequestration

procedures are aimed at holding spending under the caps, not necessarily at avoiding on-budget deficits.)

Two major factors can account for those different outcomes: spending for which the caps are adjusted and estimating errors. Although the caps may be increased for spending designated as emergency requirements, such spending still counts toward determining the on-budget surplus or deficit. Thus, appropriating emergency funds is not a violation of the caps, but it will result in additional outlays that will lessen or eliminate an on-budget surplus.

Estimating errors can have a similar result. If the estimates of outlays used to determine compliance with the caps are too low, spending may appear to fall within the statutory limits when, in reality, it will exceed them. The use of OMB estimates--or scorekeeping adjustments that approximate them--creates such a possibility, particularly because the Administration has routinely underestimate defense spending in recent years.

CBO's current estimates indicate that there is some room to exceed the spending implied by the discretionary caps while still maintaining an on-budget surplus. In its summer update of the baseline, CBO projects an on-budget surplus of $14 billion for 2000, assuming that discretionary outlays would be about $580 billion (CBO's estimate of the discretionary caps at that time). If those projections are accurate, discretionary spending could exceed CBO's estimate of the caps by up to $14 billion

without causing an on-budget deficit.

Both the President's budget proposals and Congressional action would result in discretionary spending that, by CBO's estimates, would exceed the caps by more than $14 billion and thus result in an on-budget deficit for 2000. CBO estimates that the President's budget, if enacted in full, would result in an on-budget deficit of $7 billion. That number is considerably lower than the amount by which this budget would exceed the spending caps because of his proposals to offset total outlays with revenue

increases and Medicare reductions. However, the President's budget does not include provisions for some of the emergency appropriations that have been enacted. For example, the emergency agriculture package will add approximately $8 billion to outlays. Including that sum, the on-budget deficit for 2000 under the President's proposals would increase to $15 billion even it the offsets were enacted.

Outlays from Congressional action on appropriation legislation, including the latest action on all 13 regular appropriation bills, would also exceed the discretionary caps by more than CBO's baseline estimate of the on-budget surplus. After taking that surplus into account, CBO projects an on-budget deficit of about $17 billion (see Table 1).

THE SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS

The current off-budget surplus is much larger than any on-budget surplus projected for the near future. The Social Security trust funds account for virtually all of that off-budget surplus. (The net income or spending of the Postal Service is quite small in comparison.)

Income credited to the Social Security trust funds (from tax revenues and interest on the funds' holdings of Treasury securities) exceeded spending for Social Security benefits and administrative costs by about $125 billion in fiscal year 1999. CBO expects that, under current law, the Social Security surplus will grow to $147 billion in 2000. What happens to that money?

TABLE 1. ESTIMATED BUDGETARY IMPACT OF CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACTION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000, AS OF OCTOBER 27, 1999[In billions of dollars]

Budget authority

Outlays

Discretionary Appropriations (By bill): \1\

Agriculture

22.7

22.7

Commerce, Justice, State, the judiciary

37.2

36.3

Defense

269.4

267.8

District of Columbia

0.4

0.4

Energy and water

21.3

21.0

Foreign operations

12.7

13.3

Interior

14.4

14.7

Labor, HHS, Education \2\

84.6

83.4

Legislative

2.5

2.5

Military construction

8.4

8.8

Transportation

13.6

44.7

Treasury and general government

13.7

14.7

Veterans, HUD, independent agencies

71.9

83.7

Subtotal \1\

572.9

614.1

Across-the-board reduction of 0.97 percent

-5.7

-3.5

Savings from additional collections of defaulted student loans

-0.1

-0.1

Total \1\

567.1

610.5

CBO's July 1999 Baseline Estimate of Discretionary Appropriations

539.3

579.8

Difference (Total appropriations minus baseline estimate)

27.8

30.7

Additional Interest Costs Resulting from Higher Appropriations

n.a.

0.8

Total Change from Baseline

n.a.

31.5

CBO's July 1999 Baseline Estimate of the On-Budget Surplus

n.a

14.4

CBO's Estimate of the On-Budget Deficit (-) Reflecting Appropriation Action to Date \1\

n.a.

-17.1

Memorandum:

Emergency Designations \2\

27.2

25.8

Congressional Scorekeeping Adjustment \3\

3.4

19.3

\1\ CBO estimates, excluding scorekeeping adjustments.

\2\ Included in the appropriation figures above.

\3\ Reductions applied to CBO's estimates for Congressional scorekeeping purposes; not included in any of the figures above.

Source: Congressional Budget Office.

Note: HHS = Department of Health and Human Services; HUD = Department of Housing and Urban Development; n.a. = not applicable.

That surplus is invested in Treasury securities and earns interest for the trust funds. The cash that the Treasury receives in return for those securities can be used in two ways. If the revenues and expenses of the rest of the government (other than Social Security) are in balance, the cash generated by the Social Security surplus is used to reduce federal borrowing from the public--that is, to pay down the debt. Alternatively, if the budget of the rest of the government is in deficit, some

of the cash generated by the Social Security surplus is used to pay other expenses of the government and to avoid the need to borrow from the public to support that spending. In either case, the balances credited to the Social Security trust funds and the government's legal obligation to pay Social Security benefits are unaffected.

Surpluses, both on-budget and off-budget, nevertheless have significant benefits because they allow the government to reduce debt held by the public. Such debt reduction cuts the government's interest costs, adding further to the surplus or providing more resources to be used for other purposes. In the long run, substantial reductions in federal debt held by the public can add significantly to national saving, thus enhancing economic growth and better equipping the nation to bear the economic

and budgetary burdens imposed by the aging of the baby-boom generation.

11:56 AM EDT

John M Spratt Jr., D-SC 5th

Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, a continuing resolution is a confession of failure on the part of Congress. It is a confession by Congress that it has not done its job, so is the appropriation bill that follows this continuing resolution.

We were elected to use our judgment, our experience, to use our discretion to get the best value out of the American taxpayers' money. What do we do with an across-the-board cut? It is nothing less than abdication of the judgment that we were elected to use. It whacks the budget across the board by 1 percent, cutting the good with the bad.

Now that may sound minimal. One percent sounds trivial. But if it is minimal, why not go back through these 13 bills and do it using discretionary judgment, picking out things that have been larded into these bills, Member adds, and we can start with Senator LOTT's helicopter landing ship, just one of many things that cost several hundred million dollars that we can do without. The Navy said so, did not want it, did not ask for it.

One percent is not minimal if someone is one of the people who have been hurt by the cut. As my colleagues know, we have spent the better part of this year, this past year, trying to get veterans health care up to the level that the Committee on Veterans' Affairs itself says we need to fund it at in order to keep our promises made to the men and women who served our country particularly in time of war, and if [Page: H11080]

there are any promises we ought to keep;

we ought to keep the promises we made to our veterans.

What does this bill do? We have got the veterans' health care up by 1.5, $1.7 million; it whacks it $200 million. That is health care veterans will not be able to get if this bill were to become law.

We spent last year, the whole past year, trying to get funding for our men and women in uniform, our Armed Services, up to the level where they want to stay in the service and encourage others to join the service because recruitment and retention are off, both badly.

What does this bill do? The appropriations bill that will come after this continuing resolution will whack our men in uniform to the tune of 28,000 men and women on active duty who will have to be involuntarily separated, removed from service. What in the world will that do to morale when we are trying to encourage retention and recruitment?

Kicked out of the service, mindless across-the-board cuts. General Shelton summed up the effects yesterday when he said a 1 percent across-the-board would be devastating to our national defense. But that is what we are proposing here today.

All of this mindless carnage to the budget is being done in the name of holding Social Security surplus harmless, and it is a worthy goal; but I suggest to my colleagues in truth this is not the real goal. The real goal is to send these 13 appropriation bills to the President, have them veto several of them, and then we will be able to say he is responsible for our having to borrow this year from Social Security.

Well, Mr. Speaker, that dog will not hunt.

[Time: 12:00]

Do not take my word for it. Listen to what CBO says this morning just off the press in its summary of 12 bills that this Republican majority and this House and the Senate have passed, the last to come, Labor-HHS. It summed them all up, and here is the summary right here on this chart in the simplest possible terms for people to understand.

The appropriations spending cap for this year in July was $580 billion. At that level, CBO said we would have a surplus this year of $14 billion, $14.4 to be exact. So that means if you spend $594 billion, the cap on appropriations, plus the on-budget surplus, you can stay out of Social Security. But CBO says today, looking at all 13 appropriation bills, that they spend altogether $611 billion. Simple arithmetic says, therefore, these bills to date are $17 billion already into the Social Security

trust fund, $17 billion already into the Social Security surplus, because these bills to date spend $611 billion as opposed to a spending ceiling of $594 billion if you want to stay out of Social Security.

There it is in simple form. In more complicated form I have a letter here dated October 28, 1999, from Dr. Crippen, who is the Director of CBO, which I would like to insert in the RECORD. It sets it straight. It spells it out. You are already $17.1 billion into Social Security. That is the bottom line, no way around it.

Let us vote down the Labor-HHS bill so we can get down to reality and get down to budgeting, rather than blaming, which is what the people elected us to do.

Mr. Speaker, I include the following for the RECORD:

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE,

U.S. CONGRESS,

Washington, DC, October 28, 1999.

Hon. J. DENNIS HASTERT,

Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. SPEAKER: As you requested in your letter of October 27, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated the on-budget deficit for fiscal year 2000, incorporating appropriation action to date.

CBO's estimates are based on appropriation bills that have been signed by the President and, for those that have not yet been enacted into law, on the most recent conference agreements. The enclosed table provides CBO's estimate of how those bills would affect the on-budget surplus for fiscal year 2000. As you requested, the table displays the impact on that estimate of the adjustments made to CBO's figures for Congressional scorekeeping purposes--with the exception of the adjustment made for

contingent emergencies.

In response to numerous questions about the on-budget deficit and related matters, CBO has prepared a memorandum entitled Discretionary Spending Caps, Deficits, and the Social Security Surplus, which provides some context for addressing the budgetary issues you have raised. A copy of that memorandum is enclosed.

If you wish further information, we will be pleased to provide it.

Sincerely,

Dan L. Crippen,

Director.

Enclosures:

TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY IMPACT OF CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACTION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000, AS OF OCTOBER 27, 1999[In billions of dollars]

Budget authority

Outlays

Discretionary Appropriations (By bill): \1\

Agriculture

22.7

22.7

Commerce, Justice, State, the judiciary

37.2

36.3

Defense

269.4

267.8

District of Columbia

0.4

0.4

Energy and water

21.3

21.0

Foreign operations

12.7

13.3

Interior

14.4

14.7

Labor, HHS, Education \2\

84.6

83.4

Legislative

2.5

2.5

Military construction

8.4

8.8

Transportation

13.6

44.7

Treasury and general government

13.7

14.7

Veterans, HUD, independent agencies

71.9

83.7

Subtotal \1\

572.9

614.1

Across-the-board reduction of 0.97 percent

-5.7

-3.5

Savings from additional collections of defaulted student loans

-0.1

-0.1

Total \1\

567.1

610.5

CBO's July 1999 Baseline Estimate of Discretionary Appropriations

539.3

579.8

Difference (Total appropriations minus baseline estimate)

27.8

30.7

Additional Interest Costs Resulting from Higher Appropriations

n.a.

0.8

Total Change from Baseline

n.a.

31.5

CBO's July 1999 Baseline Estimate of On-Budget Surplus

n.a.

14.4

CBO's Estimate of the On-Budget Deficit (-) Reflecting Appropriation Action to Date \2\

n.a.

-17.1

Congressional Scorekeeping Adjustments \2\

3.4

18.1

Projected On-Budget Surplus Under Congressional Scoring

n.a.

1.0

\1\ CBO estimates, excluding scorekeeping adjustments.

\2\ Reductions applied to CBO's estimates for Congressional scorekeeping purposes; not included in any of the figures above. Includes $0.4 billion in debt service savings, but does not include $1.6 billion in adjustments for contingent emergencies.

SOURCE: Congresisonal Budget Office.

NOTE: HHS=Department of Health and Human Services; HUD=Department of Housing and Urban Development; n.a.=not applicable.

Discretionary Spending Caps, Deficits, and the Social Security Trust Funds

October 28, 1999

The current budget debate centers around two distinct objectives. The first is adherence to the statutory caps on discretionary spending specified in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA). The BBA extends an accounting framework for discretionary spending and requires across-the-board cuts (sequestration) if the caps are exceeded. The executive branch alone determines whether a sequestration is needed and, if so, executes it.

The second objective is avoiding an on-budget deficit--that is, avoiding the need to borrow from the Social Security trust funds to finance non-Social Security spending. Whether that objective is met depends on the total amount of revenues and spending in the rest of the budget. No enforcement mechanism, such as sequestration, exists to ensure the attainment of that goal.

Those two objectives are related but are not identical, and actions taken to achieve one of them would not necessarily increase the likelihood of achieving the other. In addition, confusion exists about the relationship between on-budget deficits and the Social Security surplus. In response to numerous questions, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has prepared this memorandum to provide some context for addressing those issues.

LIMITS OF BUDGET ESTIMATES

It is important to keep in mind that at this stage in the budget process, all of the numbers being presented are estimates of outcomes over the next 12 months. Even without future Congressional action, at this time next year, current estimates of total revenues and outlays will probably have proved to be too high or too low by significant amounts. Fourteen months ago, for example, CBO predicted an on-budget deficit of $37 billion for fiscal year 1999. (The spending and income of the Social Security

trust funds and the Postal Service are defined by law as off-budget. All other spending and income of the government are on-budget.) In fact, the on-budget accounts were virtually in balance that year, recording a deficit of only $1 billion.

At present, the primary focus of the budget debate is the outlays that will occur in fiscal year 2000 as a result of discretionary appropriations of budget authority. On that score--estimating the outlays from discretionary budget authority--CBO has an admirable track record. Between 1993 and 1998, its projections of appropriated spending each year differed from actual outlays by an average of just $2 billion, or 0.4 percent (disregarding whether the difference was above or below actual spending).

However, for the remainder of the budget (revenues and mandatory spending), CBO's projections--along with those of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other [Page: H11081]

forecasters--have not been as accurate. With total federal revenues and outlays in the vicinity of $1.8 trillion each year and a national economy of $9 trillion, even small variations from the forecasts for economic variables, tax revenues, or mandatory spending can lead to changes in

the surplus or deficit of tens of billions of dollars. For fiscal year 2000, if revenues and outlays differ from CBO's estimates by as little as 1 percent, the on-budget surplus could be $36 billion higher or lower. Thus, the on-budget surplus for 2000 could differ substantially from CBO's baseline projection of $14 billion, even if the two objectives mentioned above are met.

DISCRETIONARY SPENDING CAPS

The caps on discretionary spending are moving targets rather than permanently fixed values. The caps can be adjusted upward to account for funding designated as emergency requirements and for certain other, generally small, items. OMB, which is responsible for determining compliance with the caps, may also make adjustments to reflect changes in budgetary concepts and definitions. As a result of those various types of changes, the caps on discretionary outlays for 2000 have increased from a total

of $564.3 billion (as initially set in the Balanced Budget Act) to $575.8 billion (as specified in OMB's Sequestration Update Report, issued on August 25, 1999).

Adherence to the caps is enforced through sequestration, which involves across-the-board cuts in funding for discretionary programs. After this session of Congress ends, OMB will determine whether a sequestration is required on the basis of its estimates of the discretionary caps as adjusted and of the spending that will result from appropriation actions. CBO produces estimates of both the caps and spending, but for the sequestration process, those estimates are purely advisory.

In CBO's view, the President's most recent budget request and House and Senate appropriation action to date all exceed the outlay caps for 2000 by similar amounts. CBO estimates that discretionary outlays from the policies of the President's Mid-Session Review would exceed CBO's July 1 estimate of the caps by $35 billion. The Administration, by contrast, asserts that those policies would adhere to the caps--in part because it estimates lower outlays from the policies and in part because it has

proposed a number of offsets (such as tobacco taxes and Medicare savings) that CBO believes cannot be used to offset discretionary spending under the

provisions of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended.

CBO estimates that Congressional appropriation action, as of October 27, also exceeds its July 1 estimate of the outlay caps--by a total of about $31 billion. But even though estimated outlays exceed the caps, a sequestration may not occur. A significant part of the overage--about $26 billion--results from spending that has been designated as emergency requirements. If the President concurs with the designation, that spending will result in corresponding upward adjustments to the caps.

In addition, OMB's estimates of outlays are lower than CBO's especially for defense spending--and OMB's estimates are the ones that determine the need for a sequestration. Indeed, the budget committees' scoring of the appropriation bills includes scorekeeping adjustments intended to approximate the Administration's outlays estimates. Depending on the funding levels established in the appropriation bills that have not yet been enacted, the combination of emergency designations and lower outlays

estimates may be enough for OMB to determine that a sequestration is not required.

ON-BUDGET SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS

The second budget issue that has received much attention lately is whether an on-budget surplus will result in fiscal year 2000. Whether discretionary spending adheres to the statutory caps, as determined by OMB, can affect whether the government ultimately achieves an on-budget surplus, but the first does not guarantee the second. It is possible to exceed the caps and still have an on-budget surplus; conversely, it is possible to adhere to the caps and still have an on-budget deficit. (The sequestration

procedures are aimed at holding spending under the caps, not necessarily at avoiding on-budget deficits.)

Two major factors can account for those different outcomes: spending for which the caps are adjusted and estimating errors. Although the caps may be increased for spending designated as emergency requirements, such spending still counts toward determining the on-budget surplus or deficit. Thus, appropriating emergency funds is not a violation of the caps, but it will result in additional outlays that will lessen or eliminate an on-budget surplus.

Estimating errors can have a similar result. If the estimates of outlays used to determine compliance with the caps are too low, spending may appear to fall within the statutory limits when, in reality, it will exceed them. The use of OMB estimates--or scorekeeping adjustments that approximate them--creates such a possibility, particularly because the Administration has routinely underestimate defense spending in recent years.

CBO's current estimates indicate that there is some room to exceed the spending implied by the discretionary caps while still maintaining an on-budget surplus. In its summer update of the baseline, CBO projects an on-budget surplus of $14 billion for 2000, assuming that discretionary outlays would be about $580 billion (CBO's estimate of the discretionary caps at that time). If those projections are accurate, discretionary spending could exceed CBO's estimate of the caps by up to $14 billion

without causing an on-budget deficit.

Both the President's budget proposals and Congressional action would result in discretionary spending that, by CBO's estimates, would exceed the caps by more than $14 billion and thus result in an on-budget deficit for 2000. CBO estimates that the President's budget, if enacted in full, would result in an on-budget deficit of $7 billion. That number is considerably lower than the amount by which this budget would exceed the spending caps because of his proposals to offset total outlays with revenue

increases and Medicare reductions. However, the President's budget does not include provisions for some of the emergency appropriations that have been enacted. For example, the emergency agriculture package will add approximately $8 billion to outlays. Including that sum, the on-budget deficit for 2000 under the President's proposals would increase to $15 billion even it the offsets were enacted.

Outlays from Congressional action on appropriation legislation, including the latest action on all 13 regular appropriation bills, would also exceed the discretionary caps by more than CBO's baseline estimate of the on-budget surplus. After taking that surplus into account, CBO projects an on-budget deficit of about $17 billion (see Table 1).

THE SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS

The current off-budget surplus is much larger than any on-budget surplus projected for the near future. The Social Security trust funds account for virtually all of that off-budget surplus. (The net income or spending of the Postal Service is quite small in comparison.)

Income credited to the Social Security trust funds (from tax revenues and interest on the funds' holdings of Treasury securities) exceeded spending for Social Security benefits and administrative costs by about $125 billion in fiscal year 1999. CBO expects that, under current law, the Social Security surplus will grow to $147 billion in 2000. What happens to that money?

TABLE 1. ESTIMATED BUDGETARY IMPACT OF CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACTION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000, AS OF OCTOBER 27, 1999[In billions of dollars]

Budget authority

Outlays

Discretionary Appropriations (By bill): \1\

Agriculture

22.7

22.7

Commerce, Justice, State, the judiciary

37.2

36.3

Defense

269.4

267.8

District of Columbia

0.4

0.4

Energy and water

21.3

21.0

Foreign operations

12.7

13.3

Interior

14.4

14.7

Labor, HHS, Education \2\

84.6

83.4

Legislative

2.5

2.5

Military construction

8.4

8.8

Transportation

13.6

44.7

Treasury and general government

13.7

14.7

Veterans, HUD, independent agencies

71.9

83.7

Subtotal \1\

572.9

614.1

Across-the-board reduction of 0.97 percent

-5.7

-3.5

Savings from additional collections of defaulted student loans

-0.1

-0.1

Total \1\

567.1

610.5

CBO's July 1999 Baseline Estimate of Discretionary Appropriations

539.3

579.8

Difference (Total appropriations minus baseline estimate)

27.8

30.7

Additional Interest Costs Resulting from Higher Appropriations

n.a.

0.8

Total Change from Baseline

n.a.

31.5

CBO's July 1999 Baseline Estimate of the On-Budget Surplus

n.a

14.4

CBO's Estimate of the On-Budget Deficit (-) Reflecting Appropriation Action to Date \1\

n.a.

-17.1

Memorandum:

Emergency Designations \2\

27.2

25.8

Congressional Scorekeeping Adjustment \3\

3.4

19.3

\1\ CBO estimates, excluding scorekeeping adjustments.

\2\ Included in the appropriation figures above.

\3\ Reductions applied to CBO's estimates for Congressional scorekeeping purposes; not included in any of the figures above.

Source: Congressional Budget Office.

Note: HHS = Department of Health and Human Services; HUD = Department of Housing and Urban Development; n.a. = not applicable.

That surplus is invested in Treasury securities and earns interest for the trust funds. The cash that the Treasury receives in return for those securities can be used in two ways. If the revenues and expenses of the rest of the government (other than Social Security) are in balance, the cash generated by the Social Security surplus is used to reduce federal borrowing from the public--that is, to pay down the debt. Alternatively, if the budget of the rest of the government is in deficit, some

of the cash generated by the Social Security surplus is used to pay other expenses of the government and to avoid the need to borrow from the public to support that spending. In either case, the balances credited to the Social Security trust funds and the government's legal obligation to pay Social Security benefits are unaffected.

Surpluses, both on-budget and off-budget, nevertheless have significant benefits because they allow the government to reduce debt held by the public. Such debt reduction cuts the government's interest costs, adding further to the surplus or providing more resources to be used for other purposes. In the long run, substantial reductions in federal debt held by the public can add significantly to national saving, thus enhancing economic growth and better equipping the nation to bear the economic

and budgetary burdens imposed by the aging of the baby-boom generation.

12:01 PM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. [Page: H11082]

Mr. Speaker, I know there is a little confusion here today about which bill we are considering. We are considering actually a continuing resolution, and we are not continuing the several bills that the gentleman who just spoke had referred to, but he made a couple of comments that I think we cannot allow to go unchallenged.

First, he talked about veterans health care. What our colleagues on both sides of the aisle ought to realize is that in the bill that we presented for veterans health care, we increased the President's budget request for veterans health care by $1.7 billion. We increased veterans health care over the President's budget, contrary to what the gentleman in the well had just said.

Then he talked about cuts in salaries. No salaries will be cut by the language in the next bill that we consider, nor this bill, and this bill does not cut anybody's salary. The CR does not cut anything. The next bill does not cut anybody's salaries, except Members of Congress. So I am not sure where all these confusing statistics are coming from.

Then there is one more item that supposedly comes from the Congressional Budget Office. What the Members on the other side, who are referring to Mr. Crippen's papers, failed to go to is the next two lines. The next two lines say ``Congressional scorekeeping adjustments, $18.1 billion,'' which brings us to an on-budget surplus of $1 billion, according to Mr. Crippen, who they are quoting in their debate.

Here is the paper from the Congressional Budget Office. It says using the scorekeeping adjustments, we have saved $18.1 billion.

So, Mr. Speaker, I realize there is some confusion here as to which bill we are considering. We are considering a continuing resolution, and I think everybody supports it, including the President of the United States. We are debating a number of other bills.

We will, after we pass the CR, get to the actual bill, the conference report on the District of Columbia and the Labor-Health and Human Services appropriations bill, but that is not what is the issue before us at this time.

Mr. Speaker, I want to compliment the chart makers on both sides. While we have used a lot of charts today, and I am going to use one in my final presentation that I think is a great chart, we have really improved our ability to present charts, and I compliment both sides for that.

12:04 PM EDT

Jerry Lewis, R-CA 40th

Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the chairman yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I did not intend to speak during this discussion on the bill that is before us, but the comments made by the last speaker are of concern to me as well, for in those comments he presumed in the next bill there may be some across-the-board cut that could affect the bill we have recently had the President sign, the bill funding national defense.

Indeed, it is conceivable that if the House does adopt and there is signed into law an across-the-board provision that affects all accounts, that defense could be affected, and that does concern me a lot. But I must tell you, Mr. Speaker, it concerns me most because of the condition we find our national services in today.

There is little doubt that the bill the President signed is a breath of fresh air in terms of returning to recognizing the priority needed for national defense. But indeed the reason we need to be concerned is because of the actions of past Congresses.

Since I have been in the Congress, we have reduced our annual expenditures for national expense in amounts of almost $150 billion. If indeed we have had a problem funding our personnel, keeping our forces and numbers and strength that is required, it is because of that past history of a lack of support of the former majority of our national defense systems.

I am very concerned about the discussion that is going forward. But, in the meantime, I think the public should understand what this discussion is actually all about as it relates to national defense.

12:06 PM EDT

John M Spratt Jr., D-SC 5th

Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, my friend, whom I greatly respect, the chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, has just said that I left out a line. There is a line on Dr. Crippen's chart. It comes at the bottom of the page after CBO has scored this budget and says it is $17 billion into Social Security. That line says ``if you use Congressional scorekeeping.''

Well, CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, is our budget office. We have hired them to do it. Their record for scorekeeping is pretty impeccable. Over the last 10 years they have only been 0.4 percent wrong, plus or minus $2 billion dollars, for the past 15 years in scoring discretionary spending.

What they are saying is, ``Do not use their scorekeeping; use our arbitrary scorekeeping. We will borrow this from OMB, and this from CBO, whatever best serves our purposes.''

The best, consistent and proper way to score the budget before us is to use CBO. Their track record is good. We have always used them in the past. If you use CBO, you are $17 billion into Social Security.

12:07 PM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I would concede to the gentleman that we are using and cooperating with the President's Office of Management and Budget in this issue of scoring, so I wanted them to know that.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to my distinguished colleague, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. PETERSON), a member of the Committee on Appropriations.

12:07 PM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I would concede to the gentleman that we are using and cooperating with the President's Office of Management and Budget in this issue of scoring, so I wanted them to know that.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to my distinguished colleague, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. PETERSON), a member of the Committee on Appropriations.

12:07 PM EDT

John E. Peterson, R-PA 5th

Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to go back a little bit to an issue raised a little while ago that questioned the Republicans' commitment to the National Institutes of Health that was not answered, and I think it should be.

In 1998, I think, the Republican Conference put an initiative of plussing up the National Institutes of Health that is appropriate for the research that needs to be done in this country, and to question our credibility on supporting NIH I think was uncalled for.

Now, why are we here today debating a continuing resolution? Why? I think we heard the discussion. Because we are trying to get it right. We are trying to pass a budget for the first time without using the Social Security surplus, and that is not easy. It may take a little longer, but the American people are going to be very well served if we break this practice.

Now, I think we heard today from the gentleman from Wisconsin the difference. If we look at the record and read it, if I heard the gentleman correctly, he said, ``You know, we could do this rather easily,'' and I am trying to be accurate in what I heard, ``we could do this rather easily because historically we were spending 100 percent, borrowing it, putting the notes in the drawer and spending it. If we would agree to spend 80 percent to pay down debt and use 20 percent to fund government programs,

we could get this done real quick.''

Mr. Speaker, that is true. That was a very accurate statement. This would be over with. We would be home, Congress would be done, the President would have signed the bills.

We are trying to get it right. It has been difficult to suddenly take $100-some billion out of this process and say we are going to do it without that. That is the argument that is going on, and if we read the RECORD of this morning's discussion on the continuing resolution, there is a very valid argument of why we are having a difficult time, because we have not agreed to take 20 percent, borrow it, spend it. We are trying to have 100 percent of the Social Security trust fund set aside

and not spent for general government purposes, and that has made it difficult.

12:10 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.

Mr. Speaker, let me again correct the gentleman. When I described the 80 percent, I said if you assume worst case scenario, which is the Republican actions on the budget so far, that you [Page: H11083]

would have that 80 percent--20 percent split. So if you want to know why that is so bad, do not ascribe it to me. You are the folks who have already passed bills that have produced that reality, once you start telling the public what the actual facts are, rather than

hiding almost $18 billion in spending.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver).

12:10 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.

Mr. Speaker, let me again correct the gentleman. When I described the 80 percent, I said if you assume worst case scenario, which is the Republican actions on the budget so far, that you [Page: H11083]

would have that 80 percent--20 percent split. So if you want to know why that is so bad, do not ascribe it to me. You are the folks who have already passed bills that have produced that reality, once you start telling the public what the actual facts are, rather than

hiding almost $18 billion in spending.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver).

12:11 PM EDT

John W. Olver, D-MA 1st

Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, here we are, 29 days past the day that started the fiscal year 2000. Only 8 of 13 bills have been passed, so here we are debating another continuing resolution to get us one week deeper into the process, and a week from now we will end up here debating still another continuing resolution.

For weeks now the Republicans have accused Democrats of spending the Social Security surplus on this year's budget. Now, give us a break. The Republicans are in the majority here. Democrats cannot pass a budget at all. We cannot spend a single penny of the budget. The Republican majority has passed appropriations bills, one right after the other, with accounting gimmicks that call for routine items becoming emergencies and putting future expenditures past the end of the fiscal year so it appears

in next year's accounts.

The Office of Management and Budget says you have been spending Social Security money, your own Congressional Budget Office says that you have been spending Social Security money, $17 billion by the latest count, but the Republican leaders, one after another, proclaim they are not spending a single dollar of the Social Security surplus.

Well, every propaganda campaign depends on convincing people you are doing exactly the opposite of what you are actually doing, and this is a propaganda campaign. The big lie, repeated again, and again, and again.

It really does not matter, because a year from now, by election time, one year from now, every American will know exactly how much money has been spent from the Social Security surplus, and it will be impossible to hide it or lie about it any longer. But, more importantly, is the fact that in all of this year the Republican majority has deliberately refused to extend the life of the Social Security system by so much as a single day. They have deliberately refused to extend the solvency of the

Medicare program by so much as a single day. There is not a whimper of dispute on either of those facts.

They have refused to put the interest saved by paying down America's debt into the Social Security trust fund, which alone would extend Social Security by 15 years, so that people over the age of 30 would be able to know that they have Social Security good for them into at least the year 2050. And they have refused to extend the solvency of the Medicare program beyond the 15 years the present law assures.

At the same time, they have refused to expand the Medicare program to provide for a prescription drug benefit for our senior citizens. In fact, they passed earlier this year a disastrous tax bill which would have made it impossible to extend the life of either Social Security or Medicare. Both would have died a slow death by strangulation. Fortunately, the President vetoed that bill.

[Time: 12:15]

12:14 PM EDT

Eugene Shaw Jr., R-FL 22nd

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding this time to me.

I think everyone on the Committee on Appropriations knows that social security comes under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means, and I have been sitting here listening to Member after Member coming down and talking about how the appropriation process is not extending the life of social security for even one day.

Mr. Speaker, this committee has no jurisdiction with regard to social security. If we do not solve the problem of social security, it will become a problem in about 2014, because we will be looking for appropriations to put money into the social security trust fund to pay off the Treasury bills that are in the trust fund to keep the benefits flowing.

That is my greatest concern, and I think this should be America's greatest nightmare at this particular time. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the appropriations process. We have to leave this to another day. We have to work together to solve this problem.

If we start putting cash into the social security trust fund now, through the appropriation process under the law governing the social security trust fund, that money just comes right out the other end and is converted into Treasury bills. It does not in any way affect the solvency of the social security trust fund and as far as what date is it going to have to go out and tap into the taxpayers to get some money to take care of its obligations and the benefits.

I even saw a member of the Committee on Ways and Means on the minority side get up and start talking about how this does not extend the life of social security. Mr. Speaker, the Committee on Appropriations does not have jurisdiction over social security.

12:15 PM EDT

Eugene Shaw Jr., R-FL 22nd

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding this time to me.

I think everyone on the Committee on Appropriations knows that social security comes under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means, and I have been sitting here listening to Member after Member coming down and talking about how the appropriation process is not extending the life of social security for even one day.

Mr. Speaker, this committee has no jurisdiction with regard to social security. If we do not solve the problem of social security, it will become a problem in about 2014, because we will be looking for appropriations to put money into the social security trust fund to pay off the Treasury bills that are in the trust fund to keep the benefits flowing.

That is my greatest concern, and I think this should be America's greatest nightmare at this particular time. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the appropriations process. We have to leave this to another day. We have to work together to solve this problem.

If we start putting cash into the social security trust fund now, through the appropriation process under the law governing the social security trust fund, that money just comes right out the other end and is converted into Treasury bills. It does not in any way affect the solvency of the social security trust fund and as far as what date is it going to have to go out and tap into the taxpayers to get some money to take care of its obligations and the benefits.

I even saw a member of the Committee on Ways and Means on the minority side get up and start talking about how this does not extend the life of social security. Mr. Speaker, the Committee on Appropriations does not have jurisdiction over social security.

12:15 PM EDT

Eugene Shaw Jr., R-FL 22nd

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding this time to me.

I think everyone on the Committee on Appropriations knows that social security comes under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means, and I have been sitting here listening to Member after Member coming down and talking about how the appropriation process is not extending the life of social security for even one day.

Mr. Speaker, this committee has no jurisdiction with regard to social security. If we do not solve the problem of social security, it will become a problem in about 2014, because we will be looking for appropriations to put money into the social security trust fund to pay off the Treasury bills that are in the trust fund to keep the benefits flowing.

That is my greatest concern, and I think this should be America's greatest nightmare at this particular time. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the appropriations process. We have to leave this to another day. We have to work together to solve this problem.

If we start putting cash into the social security trust fund now, through the appropriation process under the law governing the social security trust fund, that money just comes right out the other end and is converted into Treasury bills. It does not in any way affect the solvency of the social security trust fund and as far as what date is it going to have to go out and tap into the taxpayers to get some money to take care of its obligations and the benefits.

I even saw a member of the Committee on Ways and Means on the minority side get up and start talking about how this does not extend the life of social security. Mr. Speaker, the Committee on Appropriations does not have jurisdiction over social security.

12:15 PM EDT

Eugene Shaw Jr., R-FL 22nd

Mr. SHAW. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding this time to me.

I think everyone on the Committee on Appropriations knows that social security comes under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means, and I have been sitting here listening to Member after Member coming down and talking about how the appropriation process is not extending the life of social security for even one day.

Mr. Speaker, this committee has no jurisdiction with regard to social security. If we do not solve the problem of social security, it will become a problem in about 2014, because we will be looking for appropriations to put money into the social security trust fund to pay off the Treasury bills that are in the trust fund to keep the benefits flowing.

That is my greatest concern, and I think this should be America's greatest nightmare at this particular time. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the appropriations process. We have to leave this to another day. We have to work together to solve this problem.

If we start putting cash into the social security trust fund now, through the appropriation process under the law governing the social security trust fund, that money just comes right out the other end and is converted into Treasury bills. It does not in any way affect the solvency of the social security trust fund and as far as what date is it going to have to go out and tap into the taxpayers to get some money to take care of its obligations and the benefits.

I even saw a member of the Committee on Ways and Means on the minority side get up and start talking about how this does not extend the life of social security. Mr. Speaker, the Committee on Appropriations does not have jurisdiction over social security.

12:17 PM EDT

Eugene Shaw Jr., R-FL 22nd

Mr. SHAW. Reclaiming my time, I would like to ask the gentleman two questions. One, exactly what does the gentleman expect the Committee on Appropriations to do to extend the life of social security in a bill this year?

12:17 PM EDT

Eugene Shaw Jr., R-FL 22nd

Mr. SHAW. Reclaiming my time, I would like to ask the gentleman two questions. One, exactly what does the gentleman expect the Committee on Appropriations to do to extend the life of social security in a bill this year?

12:18 PM EDT

Eugene Shaw Jr., R-FL 22nd

Mr. SHAW. If the gentleman would let me explain to him, and if he was listening, he would know that I said the buck stops at the Committee on Ways and Means, not the Committee on Appropriations. It is a Committee on Ways and Means responsibility to do this. We need to do it with a plan that is going to save social security for all times.

12:18 PM EDT

Allen Boyd, D-FL 2nd

Mr. BOYD. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman from Wisconsin yielding time to me.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to enter into the fray behind my friend, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. SHAW). I want to say that the rhetoric on social security has reached a new level for the time I have been here, a short 3 years.

The gentleman from Florida is right, nothing that we will do here today or in the next month will change, and I think the American people know and I know every Member of this body knows, nothing will change the fact that every social security recipient will get their paycheck on time, with full benefits, at least until the year 2034.

I want to remind Members, though, that what the Committee on Ways and Means has done over the last 8 months under the leadership of the Republican majority is focus on an $800 billion tax cut, rather than a structural reform for social security. I think many of us feel like we ought to set some money aside so when we address the structural reform, we will have that money to be able to pay for it.

I want to talk to the Members about the cuts, if I might, the across-the- [Page: H11084]

board cuts. I want to tell a very personal story. I got word earlier this week that last Thursday a young lieutenant commander in the Navy who happens to be a cousin of mine, Lieutenant Commander Raymond Worthington, flying off the U.S.S. Eisenhower, lost power on both engines as he began to take off, and the nose turned down into the water and he and his back seat ejected,

and obviously were rescued and safe, but the plane was destroyed.

I tell that story because his mother, for the 3 years I have been in Congress, has been hounding me about the age of F-14s and the availability of spare parts, and the shortage of mechanics and people who keep these F-14s running and in good shape.

I want to tell the Members, this across-the-board cut will cut $1 billion out of the operations and maintenance account of the Department of Defense. It will make it harder for Lieutenant Commander Raymond Worthington and his cohorts to get the maintenance and spare parts they need.

I want to tell the Members also what else these across-the-board cuts do. They take approximately $200 million out of veterans' health care, something that we all agree has been underfunded for many, many, many years. That is very wrong, and I would hope that this Congress, this House, would reject those across-the-board cuts.

12:18 PM EDT

Allen Boyd, D-FL 2nd

Mr. BOYD. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman from Wisconsin yielding time to me.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to enter into the fray behind my friend, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. SHAW). I want to say that the rhetoric on social security has reached a new level for the time I have been here, a short 3 years.

The gentleman from Florida is right, nothing that we will do here today or in the next month will change, and I think the American people know and I know every Member of this body knows, nothing will change the fact that every social security recipient will get their paycheck on time, with full benefits, at least until the year 2034.

I want to remind Members, though, that what the Committee on Ways and Means has done over the last 8 months under the leadership of the Republican majority is focus on an $800 billion tax cut, rather than a structural reform for social security. I think many of us feel like we ought to set some money aside so when we address the structural reform, we will have that money to be able to pay for it.

I want to talk to the Members about the cuts, if I might, the across-the- [Page: H11084]

board cuts. I want to tell a very personal story. I got word earlier this week that last Thursday a young lieutenant commander in the Navy who happens to be a cousin of mine, Lieutenant Commander Raymond Worthington, flying off the U.S.S. Eisenhower, lost power on both engines as he began to take off, and the nose turned down into the water and he and his back seat ejected,

and obviously were rescued and safe, but the plane was destroyed.

I tell that story because his mother, for the 3 years I have been in Congress, has been hounding me about the age of F-14s and the availability of spare parts, and the shortage of mechanics and people who keep these F-14s running and in good shape.

I want to tell the Members, this across-the-board cut will cut $1 billion out of the operations and maintenance account of the Department of Defense. It will make it harder for Lieutenant Commander Raymond Worthington and his cohorts to get the maintenance and spare parts they need.

I want to tell the Members also what else these across-the-board cuts do. They take approximately $200 million out of veterans' health care, something that we all agree has been underfunded for many, many, many years. That is very wrong, and I would hope that this Congress, this House, would reject those across-the-board cuts.

12:18 PM EDT

Allen Boyd, D-FL 2nd

Mr. BOYD. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman from Wisconsin yielding time to me.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to enter into the fray behind my friend, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. SHAW). I want to say that the rhetoric on social security has reached a new level for the time I have been here, a short 3 years.

The gentleman from Florida is right, nothing that we will do here today or in the next month will change, and I think the American people know and I know every Member of this body knows, nothing will change the fact that every social security recipient will get their paycheck on time, with full benefits, at least until the year 2034.

I want to remind Members, though, that what the Committee on Ways and Means has done over the last 8 months under the leadership of the Republican majority is focus on an $800 billion tax cut, rather than a structural reform for social security. I think many of us feel like we ought to set some money aside so when we address the structural reform, we will have that money to be able to pay for it.

I want to talk to the Members about the cuts, if I might, the across-the- [Page: H11084]

board cuts. I want to tell a very personal story. I got word earlier this week that last Thursday a young lieutenant commander in the Navy who happens to be a cousin of mine, Lieutenant Commander Raymond Worthington, flying off the U.S.S. Eisenhower, lost power on both engines as he began to take off, and the nose turned down into the water and he and his back seat ejected,

and obviously were rescued and safe, but the plane was destroyed.

I tell that story because his mother, for the 3 years I have been in Congress, has been hounding me about the age of F-14s and the availability of spare parts, and the shortage of mechanics and people who keep these F-14s running and in good shape.

I want to tell the Members, this across-the-board cut will cut $1 billion out of the operations and maintenance account of the Department of Defense. It will make it harder for Lieutenant Commander Raymond Worthington and his cohorts to get the maintenance and spare parts they need.

I want to tell the Members also what else these across-the-board cuts do. They take approximately $200 million out of veterans' health care, something that we all agree has been underfunded for many, many, many years. That is very wrong, and I would hope that this Congress, this House, would reject those across-the-board cuts.

12:18 PM EDT

Allen Boyd, D-FL 2nd

Mr. BOYD. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman from Wisconsin yielding time to me.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to enter into the fray behind my friend, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. SHAW). I want to say that the rhetoric on social security has reached a new level for the time I have been here, a short 3 years.

The gentleman from Florida is right, nothing that we will do here today or in the next month will change, and I think the American people know and I know every Member of this body knows, nothing will change the fact that every social security recipient will get their paycheck on time, with full benefits, at least until the year 2034.

I want to remind Members, though, that what the Committee on Ways and Means has done over the last 8 months under the leadership of the Republican majority is focus on an $800 billion tax cut, rather than a structural reform for social security. I think many of us feel like we ought to set some money aside so when we address the structural reform, we will have that money to be able to pay for it.

I want to talk to the Members about the cuts, if I might, the across-the- [Page: H11084]

board cuts. I want to tell a very personal story. I got word earlier this week that last Thursday a young lieutenant commander in the Navy who happens to be a cousin of mine, Lieutenant Commander Raymond Worthington, flying off the U.S.S. Eisenhower, lost power on both engines as he began to take off, and the nose turned down into the water and he and his back seat ejected,

and obviously were rescued and safe, but the plane was destroyed.

I tell that story because his mother, for the 3 years I have been in Congress, has been hounding me about the age of F-14s and the availability of spare parts, and the shortage of mechanics and people who keep these F-14s running and in good shape.

I want to tell the Members, this across-the-board cut will cut $1 billion out of the operations and maintenance account of the Department of Defense. It will make it harder for Lieutenant Commander Raymond Worthington and his cohorts to get the maintenance and spare parts they need.

I want to tell the Members also what else these across-the-board cuts do. They take approximately $200 million out of veterans' health care, something that we all agree has been underfunded for many, many, many years. That is very wrong, and I would hope that this Congress, this House, would reject those across-the-board cuts.

12:21 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, just two points in closing. With respect to veterans' health care, everyone has said that the original budget request was inadequate. We all agree on that.

On this side of the aisle, during consideration of the Veterans Department budget we asked that $2.4 billion be made available for veterans health. The committee chose to provide $1.7 billion, instead. Now, the action that is coming today on the part of the majority party will cut an additional $200 million out of that $1.7 billion. We do not think they ought to do that.

Secondly, we have heard a lot of people give some lurid examples of waste, fraud and abuse. They said, we can easily get at that if we pass this 1 percent cut. The problem is that the way the 1 percent cut is designed, we cannot get at any of that waste, fraud, and abuse. We also cannot get at any congressional Members' pork projects, any of the earmarks.

One example, in the VA-HUD report on page 95, we will find a list of 444 earmarked items. The problem is that none of those items can be eliminated under this proposal before us today. All we can do is take 1 percent out of them.

I will place all of those items in the RECORD so people can see what I mean. I am not suggesting that some of these projects are not perfectly legitimate. I am saying that it is a fraud when Members come to the floor and bring up these lurid examples, mostly from 5 and 7 years ago, and say, ``oh, we should cut this out,'' when in fact the way they have drafted this provision prevents the administrators from being able to cut out that which they object to.

Mr. Speaker, I would simply say, in the time remaining, I recognize the gentleman from Florida has done everything that he can in order to keep this issue on the merits. I recognize he has done everything he can to try to see that we handled these issues in a responsible way. I think there have been considerable problems above his pay grade that have prevented us from doing that. I know if he were left to his own instincts, we would have a far different product here today. Again, I appreciate

the opportunity I have had to work with the gentleman.

12:21 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, just two points in closing. With respect to veterans' health care, everyone has said that the original budget request was inadequate. We all agree on that.

On this side of the aisle, during consideration of the Veterans Department budget we asked that $2.4 billion be made available for veterans health. The committee chose to provide $1.7 billion, instead. Now, the action that is coming today on the part of the majority party will cut an additional $200 million out of that $1.7 billion. We do not think they ought to do that.

Secondly, we have heard a lot of people give some lurid examples of waste, fraud and abuse. They said, we can easily get at that if we pass this 1 percent cut. The problem is that the way the 1 percent cut is designed, we cannot get at any of that waste, fraud, and abuse. We also cannot get at any congressional Members' pork projects, any of the earmarks.

One example, in the VA-HUD report on page 95, we will find a list of 444 earmarked items. The problem is that none of those items can be eliminated under this proposal before us today. All we can do is take 1 percent out of them.

I will place all of those items in the RECORD so people can see what I mean. I am not suggesting that some of these projects are not perfectly legitimate. I am saying that it is a fraud when Members come to the floor and bring up these lurid examples, mostly from 5 and 7 years ago, and say, ``oh, we should cut this out,'' when in fact the way they have drafted this provision prevents the administrators from being able to cut out that which they object to.

Mr. Speaker, I would simply say, in the time remaining, I recognize the gentleman from Florida has done everything that he can in order to keep this issue on the merits. I recognize he has done everything he can to try to see that we handled these issues in a responsible way. I think there have been considerable problems above his pay grade that have prevented us from doing that. I know if he were left to his own instincts, we would have a far different product here today. Again, I appreciate

the opportunity I have had to work with the gentleman.

12:24 PM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, I compliment both sides of the debate for their chartsmanship, because we have produced some nice-looking charts. This one that I am going to refer to today has a lot of writing on it. Members may not be able to see it too well, but I will refer to it.

I wanted to say to my friend, the gentleman from South Carolina, who said that we cannot get our job done, I want the Members of the Congress to know that we are getting our job done. When we pass the next bill today, we will have sent all 13 appropriation bills to the President, along with the two supplementals that the President had asked for. We are doing it without a massive omnibus appropriations bill like we saw last year, and that most all of us pledged not to let happen again.

I want to thank my friend, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. OBEY). While we have had some fairly strong political differences, and we have had different approaches to our positions, the fact is that we have worked together very well, and we have cooperated with each other in order to get the job done.

Let me tell the Members how the job has been done. If we look at this chart, there are 30 items on this chart that the Committee on Appropriations will have done at the end of this day, 30 items. I challenge any other committee in the House or the Senate to have produced 30 measures to bring before their body for votes.

Let us just take a look at it: the Kosovo emergency supplemental; the Hurricane Mitch supplemental; the conference report on the two supplementals; the Agricultural Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Agriculture bill; the Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations bill; the conference report on Commerce-Justice-State; the Defense Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Defense Appropriations bill; the District of Columbia Appropriations bill No. 1; the conference report on

the D.C. bill No. 1; the District of Columbia bill No. 2; the Energy and Water bill; the conference report on Energy and Water; the Foreign Operations appropriations bill; the conference report on the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill; the Interior Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Interior Appropriations bill; the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill; the Military Construction Appropriations bill; the conference

report on the Military Construction Appropriations bill; the Transportation Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Transportation Appropriations bill; the Treasury-Postal Service Appropriations bill; the conference report on that bill; the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations bill; the conference report on the VA bill; the steel, oil, and gas loan program issue that came to us from the Senate; and today, then, item No. 30, the conference report on D.C. No. 2 and Labor-HHS.

So the Committee on Appropriations, while we have had political differences, has worked well together to produce these items. They all will have been on the President's desk by the end of this week. The President will probably veto the last five bills. He has signed the first eight, which I think is a major accomplishment. There are five bills that we expect will be vetoed.

We need to have this last bill on the President's desk so that then we can deal with the President's vetos specifically. Once he vetoes the bill, he sends that message back to us and he tells us why he rejects that bill. That gives us somewhere to start in the final negotiations to find how we can rewrite those bills to get them signed by the President.

So contrary to those who say we cannot get our job done, the Committee on Appropriations is and has been getting its job done. I think the appropriators on both sides of the aisle, while maybe not totally supportive of everything in all of these bills, ought to be rather proud of the record they have established here. Again, I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. OBEY) for helping us move these bills.

I want to say a word about our leadership. Our leadership has come in for some criticism because they have involved themselves in appropriations issues on occasion.

[Time: 12:30]

Well, that is the role of the leadership. They have a right to do that.

I have to tell our Members that, when I, as speaking from the Committee on Appropriations, presented a problem or had a discussion, I found great support for the strategies that we were suggesting, for the policies that we were suggesting. Our leadership supported us every way they could. Did they have input? Of course they did. That is why we elect leaders, to have something to say about the outcome of the legislative process.

So all in all, despite being miles apart on political rhetoric, we are fairly close together on getting our job [Page: H11085]

done. I am proud of the Members of the Committee on Appropriations on both sides. While I may disagree with some of them, especially on that side, I am very proud of the fact that we have been able to produce 30 separate appropriations issues and passed all of them but one, and we are going to pass that one today.

I would also like to add that, up until today and all the votes that we have had on appropriations bills, we have received 8,702 aye votes to 3,514 no votes. That is almost three to one ayes. So the House, in my opinion, has shown great support for the work product of the Committee on Appropriations. I am very, very proud of that record. I hope that all of the members on the Committee on Appropriations on both sides share that pride, because we are getting our job done.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

12:24 PM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, I compliment both sides of the debate for their chartsmanship, because we have produced some nice-looking charts. This one that I am going to refer to today has a lot of writing on it. Members may not be able to see it too well, but I will refer to it.

I wanted to say to my friend, the gentleman from South Carolina, who said that we cannot get our job done, I want the Members of the Congress to know that we are getting our job done. When we pass the next bill today, we will have sent all 13 appropriation bills to the President, along with the two supplementals that the President had asked for. We are doing it without a massive omnibus appropriations bill like we saw last year, and that most all of us pledged not to let happen again.

I want to thank my friend, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. OBEY). While we have had some fairly strong political differences, and we have had different approaches to our positions, the fact is that we have worked together very well, and we have cooperated with each other in order to get the job done.

Let me tell the Members how the job has been done. If we look at this chart, there are 30 items on this chart that the Committee on Appropriations will have done at the end of this day, 30 items. I challenge any other committee in the House or the Senate to have produced 30 measures to bring before their body for votes.

Let us just take a look at it: the Kosovo emergency supplemental; the Hurricane Mitch supplemental; the conference report on the two supplementals; the Agricultural Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Agriculture bill; the Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations bill; the conference report on Commerce-Justice-State; the Defense Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Defense Appropriations bill; the District of Columbia Appropriations bill No. 1; the conference report on

the D.C. bill No. 1; the District of Columbia bill No. 2; the Energy and Water bill; the conference report on Energy and Water; the Foreign Operations appropriations bill; the conference report on the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill; the Interior Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Interior Appropriations bill; the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill; the Military Construction Appropriations bill; the conference

report on the Military Construction Appropriations bill; the Transportation Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Transportation Appropriations bill; the Treasury-Postal Service Appropriations bill; the conference report on that bill; the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations bill; the conference report on the VA bill; the steel, oil, and gas loan program issue that came to us from the Senate; and today, then, item No. 30, the conference report on D.C. No. 2 and Labor-HHS.

So the Committee on Appropriations, while we have had political differences, has worked well together to produce these items. They all will have been on the President's desk by the end of this week. The President will probably veto the last five bills. He has signed the first eight, which I think is a major accomplishment. There are five bills that we expect will be vetoed.

We need to have this last bill on the President's desk so that then we can deal with the President's vetos specifically. Once he vetoes the bill, he sends that message back to us and he tells us why he rejects that bill. That gives us somewhere to start in the final negotiations to find how we can rewrite those bills to get them signed by the President.

So contrary to those who say we cannot get our job done, the Committee on Appropriations is and has been getting its job done. I think the appropriators on both sides of the aisle, while maybe not totally supportive of everything in all of these bills, ought to be rather proud of the record they have established here. Again, I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. OBEY) for helping us move these bills.

I want to say a word about our leadership. Our leadership has come in for some criticism because they have involved themselves in appropriations issues on occasion.

[Time: 12:30]

Well, that is the role of the leadership. They have a right to do that.

I have to tell our Members that, when I, as speaking from the Committee on Appropriations, presented a problem or had a discussion, I found great support for the strategies that we were suggesting, for the policies that we were suggesting. Our leadership supported us every way they could. Did they have input? Of course they did. That is why we elect leaders, to have something to say about the outcome of the legislative process.

So all in all, despite being miles apart on political rhetoric, we are fairly close together on getting our job [Page: H11085]

done. I am proud of the Members of the Committee on Appropriations on both sides. While I may disagree with some of them, especially on that side, I am very proud of the fact that we have been able to produce 30 separate appropriations issues and passed all of them but one, and we are going to pass that one today.

I would also like to add that, up until today and all the votes that we have had on appropriations bills, we have received 8,702 aye votes to 3,514 no votes. That is almost three to one ayes. So the House, in my opinion, has shown great support for the work product of the Committee on Appropriations. I am very, very proud of that record. I hope that all of the members on the Committee on Appropriations on both sides share that pride, because we are getting our job done.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

12:24 PM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, I compliment both sides of the debate for their chartsmanship, because we have produced some nice-looking charts. This one that I am going to refer to today has a lot of writing on it. Members may not be able to see it too well, but I will refer to it.

I wanted to say to my friend, the gentleman from South Carolina, who said that we cannot get our job done, I want the Members of the Congress to know that we are getting our job done. When we pass the next bill today, we will have sent all 13 appropriation bills to the President, along with the two supplementals that the President had asked for. We are doing it without a massive omnibus appropriations bill like we saw last year, and that most all of us pledged not to let happen again.

I want to thank my friend, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. OBEY). While we have had some fairly strong political differences, and we have had different approaches to our positions, the fact is that we have worked together very well, and we have cooperated with each other in order to get the job done.

Let me tell the Members how the job has been done. If we look at this chart, there are 30 items on this chart that the Committee on Appropriations will have done at the end of this day, 30 items. I challenge any other committee in the House or the Senate to have produced 30 measures to bring before their body for votes.

Let us just take a look at it: the Kosovo emergency supplemental; the Hurricane Mitch supplemental; the conference report on the two supplementals; the Agricultural Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Agriculture bill; the Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations bill; the conference report on Commerce-Justice-State; the Defense Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Defense Appropriations bill; the District of Columbia Appropriations bill No. 1; the conference report on

the D.C. bill No. 1; the District of Columbia bill No. 2; the Energy and Water bill; the conference report on Energy and Water; the Foreign Operations appropriations bill; the conference report on the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill; the Interior Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Interior Appropriations bill; the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill; the Military Construction Appropriations bill; the conference

report on the Military Construction Appropriations bill; the Transportation Appropriations bill; the conference report on the Transportation Appropriations bill; the Treasury-Postal Service Appropriations bill; the conference report on that bill; the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations bill; the conference report on the VA bill; the steel, oil, and gas loan program issue that came to us from the Senate; and today, then, item No. 30, the conference report on D.C. No. 2 and Labor-HHS.

So the Committee on Appropriations, while we have had political differences, has worked well together to produce these items. They all will have been on the President's desk by the end of this week. The President will probably veto the last five bills. He has signed the first eight, which I think is a major accomplishment. There are five bills that we expect will be vetoed.

We need to have this last bill on the President's desk so that then we can deal with the President's vetos specifically. Once he vetoes the bill, he sends that message back to us and he tells us why he rejects that bill. That gives us somewhere to start in the final negotiations to find how we can rewrite those bills to get them signed by the President.

So contrary to those who say we cannot get our job done, the Committee on Appropriations is and has been getting its job done. I think the appropriators on both sides of the aisle, while maybe not totally supportive of everything in all of these bills, ought to be rather proud of the record they have established here. Again, I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. OBEY) for helping us move these bills.

I want to say a word about our leadership. Our leadership has come in for some criticism because they have involved themselves in appropriations issues on occasion.

[Time: 12:30]

Well, that is the role of the leadership. They have a right to do that.

I have to tell our Members that, when I, as speaking from the Committee on Appropriations, presented a problem or had a discussion, I found great support for the strategies that we were suggesting, for the policies that we were suggesting. Our leadership supported us every way they could. Did they have input? Of course they did. That is why we elect leaders, to have something to say about the outcome of the legislative process.

So all in all, despite being miles apart on political rhetoric, we are fairly close together on getting our job [Page: H11085]

done. I am proud of the Members of the Committee on Appropriations on both sides. While I may disagree with some of them, especially on that side, I am very proud of the fact that we have been able to produce 30 separate appropriations issues and passed all of them but one, and we are going to pass that one today.

I would also like to add that, up until today and all the votes that we have had on appropriations bills, we have received 8,702 aye votes to 3,514 no votes. That is almost three to one ayes. So the House, in my opinion, has shown great support for the work product of the Committee on Appropriations. I am very, very proud of that record. I hope that all of the members on the Committee on Appropriations on both sides share that pride, because we are getting our job done.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.