5:00 PM EDT

Betty McCollum, D-MN 4th

Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word to speak against the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 minutes.

5:00 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chair, my amendment would simply highlight the longstanding role of EPA in supporting the education of our Nation's top environmental scientists by inserting the word ``fellowships'' after research and development in the Science and Technology Account. EPA currently awards the fellowships, and thus my amendment has no scoring impact and does not authorize a new activity.

I realize that my Republican colleagues will surely not agree to this amendment, but they have to agree that science is the underpinning of great and good environmental policy. As the scientific arm of EPA, the Office of Research and Development supports world-class research and development activities to protect man's health and the environment. Supporting the next generation of scientists and engineers through fellowships is just one way the government supports the kind of critically important

research that private industry and academia alone cannot and will not do.

With no real justification or detail, the committee's report language for this bill specifies that funds are not provided for the fellowship programs, amounting to a substantial $17 million loss to this field. Lab equipment cannot operate itself. They cannot publish important papers or make groundbreaking discoveries, which creates jobs. That requires people. And EPA has a history of fostering some of the Nation's top young researchers that have gone on to apply their talents across government,

academia, and industry. For instance, since 1995, EPA has awarded approximately 1,500 STAR fellowships.

Turning our backs on the next generation of academic researchers, governments scientists, science educators, and environmental engineers all but ensures that we are doomed to make bad, uninformed environmental decisions for the future.

I realize the gentleman's point of order. I do not agree with it. But I'm sure he will be upheld by the Parliamentarian. So I simply would ask that if we could work together to try to preserve some of this talent that we have already put in place and some of the equipment that's already in place to continue groundbreaking research, that is going to be one of the few ways that we're going to develop good sound jobs for the future.

I yield back the balance of my time.

POINT OF ORDER

5:03 PM EDT

Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, while I appreciate what the gentlelady is trying to do, and actually agree with what she's trying to do, I must insist on my point of order against the amendment because it provides an appropriation for an unauthorized program and therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI. Clause 2 of rule XXI states in pertinent part:

``An appropriation may not be in order as an amendment for an expenditure not previously authorized by law.''

Mr. Chairman, the amendment proposes to appropriate funds for an earmark that is not authorized. The amendment therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

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

5:03 PM EDT

Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, while I appreciate what the gentlelady is trying to do, and actually agree with what she's trying to do, I must insist on my point of order against the amendment because it provides an appropriation for an unauthorized program and therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI. Clause 2 of rule XXI states in pertinent part:

``An appropriation may not be in order as an amendment for an expenditure not previously authorized by law.''

Mr. Chairman, the amendment proposes to appropriate funds for an earmark that is not authorized. The amendment therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

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

5:03 PM EDT

Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, while I appreciate what the gentlelady is trying to do, and actually agree with what she's trying to do, I must insist on my point of order against the amendment because it provides an appropriation for an unauthorized program and therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI. Clause 2 of rule XXI states in pertinent part:

``An appropriation may not be in order as an amendment for an expenditure not previously authorized by law.''

Mr. Chairman, the amendment proposes to appropriate funds for an earmark that is not authorized. The amendment therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

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

5:04 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I accept that point of order, but I would like to appeal to the chairman of this committee to work with us and see if we can't preserve some of the investments we've already made and some of the talent that is in place.

The Acting CHAIR. The Chair is prepared to rule.

The amendment expands the eligible uses of appropriations in the pending paragraph to include ``fellowships.'' As such, it proposes to appropriate for that purpose.

The proponent of an item of appropriation carries the burden of persuasion on the question of whether it is supported by an authorization in law.

Having reviewed the amendment and entertained argument on the point of order, the Chair is unable to conclude that the item of appropriation in question is authorized in law.

The Chair is therefore constrained to sustain the point of order under clause 2(a) of rule XXI.

5:04 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I accept that point of order, but I would like to appeal to the chairman of this committee to work with us and see if we can't preserve some of the investments we've already made and some of the talent that is in place.

The Acting CHAIR. The Chair is prepared to rule.

The amendment expands the eligible uses of appropriations in the pending paragraph to include ``fellowships.'' As such, it proposes to appropriate for that purpose.

The proponent of an item of appropriation carries the burden of persuasion on the question of whether it is supported by an authorization in law.

Having reviewed the amendment and entertained argument on the point of order, the Chair is unable to conclude that the item of appropriation in question is authorized in law.

The Chair is therefore constrained to sustain the point of order under clause 2(a) of rule XXI.

5:05 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, as somebody who has spent many, many years working in my community and around the country on the promotion of livable communities, I am [Page: H5626]

frankly mystified to see included in this bill an end to the program that provides technical assistance and guidance to communities who are looking for ways to increase economic development, plan for economic growth, and make their communities safer, healthier, and more economically secure.

It is mystifying.

The EPA Office of Sustainable Communities was established to provide a resource for communities that need technical assistance to plan for economic growth, to deal with development, to account for a changing population and the demographics, to expand their economic development options, and make communities more attractive to business and local citizens.

Mr. Chairman, there are hundreds of examples from across the country about the work that the Office of Sustainable Communities has accomplished. Some of the most important projects were situations where the Office of Smart Growth has helped in brownfield redevelopment. These are very complicated problems for local communities where they help turn unusable, polluted land into land that's ready for development. This helps create housing and business opportunities and provide cities with an important

foundation for planning future growth. This is precisely the sort of thing that we should be doing to help communities leverage resources and prepare for the future.

In Iowa City, Iowa, the Office of Smart Growth recently approved a grant to redo their downtown riverfront area after the 2008 flood devastated that community. With the help of EPA, they created a plan with input and support from local elected officials, business leaders, and local residents that's helped regenerate the downtown business area while preserving green space and recreational areas for families who are moving into the newly redeveloped residential buildings. Closer to my side of the

continent, just picking at random, the communities of Driggs and Victor in Idaho received a Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Grant to help analyze the barriers and opportunities of infill development in support of downtown revitalization efforts. This small Federal investment helped communities take advantage of public-private partnerships and redevelopment opportunities that helped revitalize these small rural towns.

Hundreds of other communities across the country have received similar assistance under the Smart Growth Program. But these cooperative efforts would come to an end under this House legislation. The services offered by EPA's Sustainable Communities Office are in high demand. They've been able to assist only 9 percent of the communities that are interested, due to existing budget constraints.

In addition to their technical assistance work, the Office of Sustainable Communities is engaged in a partnership that we all should be supporting and encouraging between HUD, the Department of Transportation, and EPA. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities enables these three Departments to work together to ensure that Federal funds work in conjunction with each other, break down the silos that frustrate us all to ensure that the Federal funds are spent as efficiently as possible and eliminate

duplicative processes.

Despite the obvious connections between housing, transportation, and land use, we all know and have been frustrated that in the past the three agencies have not always worked well together as we would like. But Secretaries Donovan, our former colleague LaHood, Administrator Jackson, and the agency have spent these last 2 years cutting down the redtape and coordinating to meet multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives while also cutting redtape and working to partner better with

local communities. The EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities helps fill a critical need by providing assistance and support to local communities.

[Time: 17:10]

I find it ridiculous that at a time when this type of help is needed more than ever, when there is nary a Member of Congress who hasn't been frustrated about the lack of coordination and implementation, that the House is now considering ending critical support to communities looking for ways to jump-start their own economic recovery, looking to improve the quality of life for their communities by making the Federal Government a better partner. This is something for which there should be no geographic,

regional, partisan or ideological divide. This is an outstanding program. It deserves to be supported, and I hope, as this bill works its way through the process, that we find a way to retain this valuable service.

I yield back the balance of my time.

5:11 PM EDT

Mazie Hirono, D-HI 2nd

Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Chairman, beside me is a picture of the Cuyahoga River in 1952. The river is on fire.

The reason for this fire is that the river was heavily contaminated with flammable industrial waste. This water was dangerous to drink, needless to say, and to swim in. Fish and wildlife could not survive here. Flooding in this river would have spread pollution onto the shore and into neighborhoods. In short, this pollution was dangerous for the health of the people and the communities that depended on this river.

It was incidents like these that helped raise public awareness of the dangers of water pollution. Ultimately, that awareness became government action, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, in 1970 and of the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972.

The EPA's purpose is simple: to protect human health and the environment. It does this by ensuring minimum standards for water quality nationwide while acting as a referee between the States.

Despite this important mission, this bill slashes the EPA's budget by 18 percent from current levels, so of course I rise to speak against this underlying bill. It also includes a number of riders that will prevent the EPA from carrying out the duties it is already legally required to perform. I don't know why the majority is so keen on undermining the vital mission of the EPA. I hear them talk a lot about the costs of certain EPA regulations; but what about the cost of getting rid of these regulations?

One serious cost that would go up is the cost of public health. The impact of polluting our air and water isn't a speculative matter. We know that it will make people and communities sick. More mercury in the air we breathe means more deaths and debilitating illnesses. More water pollution means families and communities will be subjected to a variety of health risks. In short, more pollution means rapidly escalating health care costs.

Another cost is the cost to our environment. Our rivers, coastlines and wetlands are the places that we take our children to experience the wonders of our country. This is where their interests in the natural sciences and the outdoors are kindled. Polluted waters and coastlines mean less wildlife, poorer fishing and a lot less beauty in this world. We have to remember that we are merely stewards of our natural resources and that the cost of polluting those resources isn't only borne now; it will

be borne by future generations.

Finally, the EPA helps to ensure a fair playing field for businesses. This helps keep their long-term costs manageable. It's a simple fact that a few dollars in prevention is far, far cheaper than expensive cleanup costs later. For those who disagree or question that, I encourage you to contact BP Oil. That company will--and should--be paying for their damage for years to come.

So those are the costs the EPA helps to mitigate. That's why we need the EPA. We need a referee that is empowered to make sure that everyone plays by the rules and protects our natural resources. If we pass this bill, we are essentially ejecting the referee from the game of calling out misconduct on certain players, which will only encourage more misbehavior in the future.

Take a look at this picture. Is that what we want?

This bill is so flawed, there is little hope for it. I hope that my colleagues will reevaluate their approach to this legislation, will pull it from the floor and go back to the drawing board.

I yield back the balance of my time.

5:11 PM EDT

Mazie Hirono, D-HI 2nd

Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Chairman, beside me is a picture of the Cuyahoga River in 1952. The river is on fire.

The reason for this fire is that the river was heavily contaminated with flammable industrial waste. This water was dangerous to drink, needless to say, and to swim in. Fish and wildlife could not survive here. Flooding in this river would have spread pollution onto the shore and into neighborhoods. In short, this pollution was dangerous for the health of the people and the communities that depended on this river.

It was incidents like these that helped raise public awareness of the dangers of water pollution. Ultimately, that awareness became government action, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, in 1970 and of the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972.

The EPA's purpose is simple: to protect human health and the environment. It does this by ensuring minimum standards for water quality nationwide while acting as a referee between the States.

Despite this important mission, this bill slashes the EPA's budget by 18 percent from current levels, so of course I rise to speak against this underlying bill. It also includes a number of riders that will prevent the EPA from carrying out the duties it is already legally required to perform. I don't know why the majority is so keen on undermining the vital mission of the EPA. I hear them talk a lot about the costs of certain EPA regulations; but what about the cost of getting rid of these regulations?

One serious cost that would go up is the cost of public health. The impact of polluting our air and water isn't a speculative matter. We know that it will make people and communities sick. More mercury in the air we breathe means more deaths and debilitating illnesses. More water pollution means families and communities will be subjected to a variety of health risks. In short, more pollution means rapidly escalating health care costs.

Another cost is the cost to our environment. Our rivers, coastlines and wetlands are the places that we take our children to experience the wonders of our country. This is where their interests in the natural sciences and the outdoors are kindled. Polluted waters and coastlines mean less wildlife, poorer fishing and a lot less beauty in this world. We have to remember that we are merely stewards of our natural resources and that the cost of polluting those resources isn't only borne now; it will

be borne by future generations.

Finally, the EPA helps to ensure a fair playing field for businesses. This helps keep their long-term costs manageable. It's a simple fact that a few dollars in prevention is far, far cheaper than expensive cleanup costs later. For those who disagree or question that, I encourage you to contact BP Oil. That company will--and should--be paying for their damage for years to come.

So those are the costs the EPA helps to mitigate. That's why we need the EPA. We need a referee that is empowered to make sure that everyone plays by the rules and protects our natural resources. If we pass this bill, we are essentially ejecting the referee from the game of calling out misconduct on certain players, which will only encourage more misbehavior in the future.

Take a look at this picture. Is that what we want?

This bill is so flawed, there is little hope for it. I hope that my colleagues will reevaluate their approach to this legislation, will pull it from the floor and go back to the drawing board.

I yield back the balance of my time.

5:15 PM EDT

Donna Christian-Christensen, D-VI

Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. We should be here today passing a clean debt ceiling and creating jobs; but in these challenging times of high deficits and a fragile economy, when it is critical that our limited spending priorities be focused on programs that can achieve results and encourage the creation of jobs and economic growth, the majority is, instead, bringing an unprecedented attempt to gut pollution controls and public health protections in order to give bigger profits to Big Oil and other special

interest polluters.

By attaching more than three dozen policy riders to H.R. 2584, the House GOP is attempting to use a spending bill to make backdoor changes to 40 years of important Federal laws.

H.R. 2584 makes drastic spending cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, as you've just heard, and to the Department of the Interior. It fuels a multi-front assault on America's air, water, lands, wildlife, and public health; and it severely undermines the environmental integrity of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. In doing so, this legislation cripples the budgets of key Federal agencies charged with protecting American citizens and natural resources.

The bill is laden with contradictions and regressive reforms:

It slashes funding to the Environmental Protection Agency by $1.8 billion, yet restores $55 million in oil and gas subsidies;

It dramatically cuts the U.S. Fish and Wildlife budget by 30 percent;

It zeros out funding to list new endangered species;

It reduces the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration budget by 18 percent from the President's 2012 budget and wholly eliminates funding for NOAA's climate service;

It cuts the Land and Water Conservation Fund by 80 percent--a program that has been critical to my district of the U.S. Virgin Islands and to everyone's districts. H.R. 2584 renders this program's funding to its lowest level in history;

It cuts $19.7 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities, threatening support for teachers, community colleges, museums, libraries, and archives of important historic documents and many others, as well as the preservation projects that enhance local economies and create jobs.

Another program that is affected is one that's near and dear to my community. That's the National Heritage Area program. I have recently introduced a bill to create a National Heritage Area on the island of St. Croix, which we have been looking forward to, not only to preserve and protect some of our local historical treasures, but as a badly needed economic development tool that would create jobs. National Heritage Areas are some of the most effective public-private partnerships for resource

conservation and heritage tourism supported by the Federal Government. National Heritage Areas have matched every dollar of Federal support with $5.50 of other public and private funding, demonstrating a high yield of return on Federal resources.

I am appalled that this bill puts so much energy into tearing down America's foundational environmental protections, especially as the Representative of a place with some of the highest greenhouse gas emissions per square mile in the country. Instead of working on the bigger looming issue of our deficit crisis, this bill flies in the face of decades of bipartisan support for the protection of public health and environmental issues.

It does not put the American people first as it should. It further endangers them by allowing for more dangerous air pollution. It does not clean up urban and other critical waterways. It threatens clean water that millions of our constituents depend on. It shuts the door on endangered species, and ties the hands of our Federal agencies.

As leaders, we should not advance a budget that eliminates critical protections that our constituents so desperately need. We should not turn a blind eye to corporate polluters while holding the right of our future generations to clean health and a clean environment hostage just as the leadership is holding the well-being of the poor and middle class Americans and the economic security of our country hostage to an absolutely necessary lifting of this debt ceiling.

[Time: 17:20]

I urge all of my colleagues to vote against the fiscal year 2012 Interior and Environmental appropriations bill and any antienvironment and antipublic health and anti-American amendments that may be offered.

I yield back the balance of my time.

5:20 PM EDT

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this bill which guts longstanding environmental policy. Unfortunately, this is not the only thing that's wrong with America today.

Once again, Speaker Boehner and the GOP are putting the needs of a few right-wing Members of Congress ahead of ordinary, hardworking, everyday Americans, many of whom lit up the phone lines yesterday in record numbers to express their disgust with Republican intransigence that's holding our Nation and international markets hostage. Not only did they call in record numbers, but 50 to 60 people came to my district office yesterday to show their support for a balanced approach to solving

this debt ceiling issue. I also received a petition with over 1,500 names begging that we protect Social Security.

But still, against the urgent pleas of international financial institutions, Wall Street executives, and millions of Americans who can ill-afford any reduction in their ability to borrow or an increase in interest rates for a car, home, or student loan, Republicans continue to show contempt for the American people by saying ``no'' to increasing the debt ceiling.

Do you realize out there how many of us have adjustable rate mortgages on our primary residence? Can you imagine what will happen if this Nation defaults on its obligations to pay its debt and, as a result, interest rates go up? That means your adjustable rate mortgage, my adjustable rate mortgage rate goes up. Could I stand to pay $1,000 extra or $2,000 extra per month on my mortgage because interest rates went up because we didn't do what we should have done here, which is to increase the debt

ceiling, something we've done 21 times, I believe, over the last several--we did 18 times with Ronald Reagan as President?

But we can't afford not to deal with this debt ceiling issue.

Mr. Chairman, The Washington Post reports that House Republicans watched a movie together about bank robbers to motivate members of their caucus to stand firm in their solidarity against raising the debt ceiling. What kind of example does this set for the American people? What would they say if they knew that there is a concerted effort by Republicans not only to prevent an increase in the debt ceiling, but to impede economic progress, slow or stop job creation, cause the loss of 700,000 jobs,

with the passage of cut, cap, and kill?

What about our seniors, our veterans, our students? What about our credit rating in this country?

Mr. Chairman, just like bank robbers, it appears that Republicans seek to threaten society as a whole, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Republicans have now taken hostage of the U.S. economy, threatening the livelihoods and well-being of Americans, young and old, rich and poor. They can see the hands of the clock ticking, precious seconds, minutes, and hours wasted.

Speaker Boehner and his cohorts say ``no'' to the President's request for reasonable compromise, ``no'' to the desperate pleas of businesses begging for a sense of certainty about the debt ceiling, and ``no'' to the American people who have shouted at the top of their lungs for shared sacrifice in these budget negotiations.

Well, Mr. Speaker, if Republicans are looking for some additional inspiration in the debt ceiling negotiations, I'd recommend that they watch ``Saving Private Ryan.'' It's about a man who makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of his fellow Americans. He was not a survival-of-the-fittest-type guy, you're on your own.

We're all in this together.

With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.