9:17 AM EDT

James T. Walsh, R-NY 25th

Mr. WALSH. Mr. Chairman, my response was that this program is not authorized. We expect it to be authorized. If it is not authorized, the money would revert to the States as the rest of the formula for the HOME program already does.

9:18 AM EDT

Barney Frank, D-MA 4th

Mr. FRANK. Mr. Chairman, there is a technical point and a more substantive one. The technical point is this: the gentleman from New York says that if the legislation is not authorized, then the money does go back to the recipient municipalities the way my amendment says.

The problem is that that does not happen in the bill until June 30, 2002, and this appropriation becomes effective on October 1. So from October 1 of 2001 until June 30, the money will be mandated and not available freely. The gentleman said well, he would hope, recognizing it was the President's priority, they would authorize it.

I know that motivates many on the gentleman's side. But the President's priority was not to have the Patients' Bill of Rights of Ganske-Norwood-Dingell, and the President's priority has been a different campaign finance reform.

I am pleased to say from time to time this House constitutionally differs with Presidential priorities, and the argument that something is not a Presidential priority, as my friend from Michigan has said, is not an argument.

So I think if the gentleman concedes that we should not be doing this without authorization, then he has it backwards, because his amendment language says as of October 1, if my amendment does not pass, there is this mandate and the mandate stays in effect for most of the fiscal year. I think that is the wrong way to deal with it.

9:22 AM EDT

Barney Frank, D-MA 4th

Mr. FRANK. Mr. Chairman, first, I would point out the ranking member does not set the committee agenda. The committee has been in existence since January or February. The majority has not brought this item forward for us to debate.

Secondly, I thought the gentlewoman was making my argument. Of course I understand it is already authorized. That is why I do not think we need to force communities to do it. It is fully authorized. Some communities are doing it.

The difference between us is not whether this is not in some places a good idea, but whether Congress should retreat from the notion of a block-granted HOME program with reliance on local judgment and take for the first time the wrong step, I think, of mandating the specifics.

I would be glad to have the committee bring it up, but I do want to point out to the gentlewoman, she is a member of the majority. It is up to them to bring something forward.

The problem is this says the committee and House and Senate. It is not only up to the committee. If we do not [Page: H4730]

get legislation through as of October 1, this gets mandated and the communities cannot enjoy the previous flexibility, and that is what I object to.

9:25 AM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, reserving the right to object, I reserve the right to object only to explain the purpose for this unanimous consent request is to try to help us get an organized schedule today so we can move along expeditiously. This would simply allow these three amendments to be taken up early in the day. They will tend to be the more controversial amendments. We would like to get this process organized.

In addition, I would like to suggest that Members that have amendments that they wish to offer really should let us know what they are quickly, so that we can try to organize the balance of the day so we can complete this legislation.

9:26 AM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I have first a question and then a comment.

If this request is granted, it is my understanding that this in no way affects the rights of other amendments to be offered, even though when we consider some of these amendments we would be moving ahead in the bill.

9:26 AM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I have first a question and then a comment.

If this request is granted, it is my understanding that this in no way affects the rights of other amendments to be offered, even though when we consider some of these amendments we would be moving ahead in the bill.

9:26 AM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I have first a question and then a comment.

If this request is granted, it is my understanding that this in no way affects the rights of other amendments to be offered, even though when we consider some of these amendments we would be moving ahead in the bill.