9:48 PM EDT

Cedric Richmond, D-LA 2nd

Mr. RICHMOND. Madam Chair, what this amendment would do is, under the provisions of the Stafford Act, the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, there are approximately 160,000 American citizens across this country who, in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Gustav, received disaster benefits through an error by our Federal Emergency Management Agency.

What the government is attempting to do now, almost 5 1/2 , 6 years later, is to go back and recoup those funds which were not gained by any American citizen through fraud or theft or deceit. It was a valid application on their part on which our FEMA agency made a mistake.

Madam Chair, just in these economic times we ought not, as government, go back and penalize citizens 6 years after government made an error that gave them disaster relief funds in the aftermath of the worst natural disaster that we faced in this country's history.

[Time: 21:50]

So what this amendment does is it simply says that the government should not do it and that we will not go back and try to recoup from the 160,000 American citizens that are spread out through Texas, through Louisiana, through Alabama and through Mississippi those funds. That is simply all it does, and I would ask that we support it.

I yield back the balance of my time.

POINT OF ORDER

9:50 PM EDT

Robert T. Aderholt, R-AL 4th

Mr. ADERHOLT. I make a point of order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI. The rule states, in pertinent part, an amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law gives affirmative action in effect.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order? If not, the Chair will rule.

The Chair finds that this amendment includes language imparting direction. The amendment therefore constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule XXI. The point of order is sustained, and the amendment is not in order.

The Clerk will read.

9:50 PM EDT

Robert T. Aderholt, R-AL 4th

Mr. ADERHOLT. I make a point of order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI. The rule states, in pertinent part, an amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law gives affirmative action in effect.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order? If not, the Chair will rule.

The Chair finds that this amendment includes language imparting direction. The amendment therefore constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule XXI. The point of order is sustained, and the amendment is not in order.

The Clerk will read.