8:14 PM EDT

Joe Heck, R-NV 3rd

Mr. HECK. Mr. Chairman, Thomas Jefferson said: ``Laws and institutions must go hand-in-hand with the progress of the human mind.''

As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.

Almost 30 years have elapsed since this Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act; and over that time, technology and scientific knowledge have evolved and, indeed, new discoveries made, truths discovered, and opinions changed.

But for some reason, Congress still clings to technology from a bygone era to address today's nuclear waste issues.

The fact is, sticking our country's nuclear waste in a hole in the ground for long-term storage is a 20th-century solution. Instead, we should encourage the use of a 21st-century technology.

My amendment redirects money from the nuclear waste fund and designated from Yucca Mountain licensing and waste storage into the development of a 21st-century solution, a fuel recycling and accelerated transmutation program. This program would significantly reduce the toxicity of nuclear waste and retrieve additional energy from the material through radio chemistry and subcritical transmutation using accelerator technology.

Perhaps more important for Nevada, the site of Yucca Mountain and the State with the highest unemployment rate in the country, is the fact that this 21st-century solution has the potential to create in a single generation no less than 10,000 new direct research and development jobs utilizing existing regional technology capabilities.

My amendment also provides continued oversight funding for the State of Nevada and the affected units of local government as they have received resources to oversee the Yucca program since its inception. Even during the most recent continuing resolution passed by this body only a few short months ago, funding through the Department of Energy continued to provide these resources.

The U.S. continues falling behind developed and developing countries in fully funding and implementing these types of projects, 21st-century solutions that are critical to maintaining our Nation's economic and technological superiority.

I urge my colleagues to embrace the future of nuclear waste disposal and support this amendment so that this institution may go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind and with the change of circumstances this institution also advances to keep pace with the times.

I yield back the balance of my time.

8:17 PM EDT

Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ 11th

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I oppose the amendment, but certainly I recognize Dr. Heck's leadership on this issue, and I know of what he speaks and how proud he is of his State and how determined he is relative to the Yucca Mountain project.

I just want you to know, having been to that site at one point in time and seeing the substantial investment there, of course, from many other people's perspective, including mine, that substantial investment at some point ought to be realized.

So, understandably, we appreciate and understand where you are coming from, and we respect your dedication to your own State's welfare.

Mr. Chairman, I do rise to oppose the amendment. This amendment attempts to secure additional funding for the State of Nevada. It also attempts to stipulate policies for research and development for the back end of the fuel cycle, which should properly be authorized before they are funded from this account.

This committee and Members, and many Members, have taken a strong position against the administration's Yucca Mountain policy that's well known.

The future of our nuclear waste policy, of course, deserves more consideration than this amendment and perhaps this evening would afford.

I yield back the balance of my time.

[Time: 20:20]

POINT OF ORDER

8:19 PM EDT

Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ 11th

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I make a point of order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation on an appropriations bill. Therefore, it 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.''

The amendment gives affirmative direction in effect.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

The gentleman from Nevada is recognized.

8:20 PM EDT

Joe Heck, R-NV 3rd

Mr. HECK. Mr. Chairman, I would respectfully request that during your deliberation on the point of order that you consider the fact that in the second session of the 111th Congress, a similar provision was passed by this body in H.R. 5866.

The Acting CHAIR. The Chair is prepared to 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.

8:20 PM EDT

Joe Heck, R-NV 3rd

Mr. HECK. Mr. Chairman, I would respectfully request that during your deliberation on the point of order that you consider the fact that in the second session of the 111th Congress, a similar provision was passed by this body in H.R. 5866.

The Acting CHAIR. The Chair is prepared to 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.