Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the recognition. I would close by indicating that there has been discussion about the burden that this act imposes upon small businesses. And I would, again, wish to contradict that.
I also believe that the administrative requirements of the act are critical to prevent a fraud against government agencies. First, to comply with the IRS and overtime regulations, all law-abiding contractors must retain records on hours worked, wages, and benefits. Second, electronic transmission of data has streamlined reporting. Third, the integrity of the whole program relies on this reporting to avoid kickbacks, misclassification of workers, and cheating under the Davis-Bacon Act. It is important
to remember that Federal overtime law, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, requires all employers--not just those that must comply with Davis-Bacon--to keep records.
So, again, I would ask that my colleagues oppose the gentleman's amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Westmoreland). The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar).
The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes appeared to have it.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.
The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
Mr. DENHAM. I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
Mr. Chair, the underlying bill has already removed the funding for a program that is failing to show any positive results and has done more harm than good. The San Joaquin River Restoration Program continues to push forward on an ill-advised path of wasting water out to the ocean under the guise of saving salmon. What this amendment does is to prohibit the premature reintroduction of an endangered species into an uninhabitable [Page: H5065]
river, a river biologists
say is not ready for salmon, a program that is supposed to occur after the construction of fish screens and the completion of an environmental study, neither of which is complete.
All Central Valley salmon runs are struggling to regain healthy numbers. This amendment ensures that bureaucrats don't purposely reduce the numbers of available salmon in other streams to plant them into the San Joaquin system and further threaten or endanger current runs. The Bureau of Reclamation needs to be provided with more time to complete the environmental studies and build the infrastructure required by the San Joaquin River Restoration Program before this river can sustain a salmon run.
Finally, even the National Marine Fisheries Services has doubts about the success of reintroduction. Contained within the final draft of their Reintroduction Strategies, NMFS expressed concerns that the San Joaquin River Restoration Program will not complete necessary channel improvements for a successful reintroduction.
Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to the amendment offered by my colleague from California. In 2009, Congress ratified the San Joaquin Settlement Act, which ended 18 years of litigation in the Central Valley of California over water. The agreement was supported by the previous administration and California's then-Republican Governor Schwarzenegger.
The Federal authorizing legislation was initially cosponsored by Congressman Pombo in the House and Senator Feinstein in the Senate. The underlying bill zeroes the $9 million request for the San Joaquin River Restoration Fund and rescinds $66 million in mandatory funds for these activities.
As we stand on the House floor today, we are undermining this agreement, which, if it were to stand, that is the amendment, will land this case simply back into court. If the court is forced to take over river restoration, the Friant water users would be at risk of losing over 20 years of water supply certainty provided by the settlement. The amendment, I believe, is an attempt to end the broadly supported and bipartisan effort to restore the river, while also improving water supply management,
flood protection, and water quality.
The amendment is piling on, if you would, given that the vast majority of funding for the settlement has been cut. There is no need to eliminate all funding just to ensure water attorneys can make a few more boat payments.
As I said at the outset, I strongly oppose the gentleman's amendment.
I reserve the balance of my time.