8:20 PM EDT

James Lankford, R-OK 5th

Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is about eliminating the wasteful duplication in our Federal Government, specifically dealing with the Council on Environmental Quality. This amendment would eliminate the funding for the Council on Environmental Quality and transfer the savings to the spending reduction account. This amendment will result in about a $2.7 million taxpayer savings.

Specifically, the Council on Environmental Quality, if people aren't familiar with it, is a council of one person with a budget typically around $3 million. Throughout the council's 40-year history, it really has done little to demonstrate additional responsibilities other than what already is being accomplished by the Environmental Protection Agency and NOAA itself. Former Presidents, including President Carter and President Reagan, have proposed reducing the budget for this [Page:

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council. This council blatantly duplicates the efforts of other Federal agencies, as I already mentioned, the Environmental Protection Agency and NOAA, who are doing an excellent job in these same areas.

This an opportunity to be able to reduce unnecessary waste, duplication, and streamline the bureaucracy and improve agency services to Americans who fund these agencies.

At this critical point in our Nation's history, I recommend that we need to eliminate agencies like this and be able to combine them with existing agencies.

I yield back the balance of my time.

8:21 PM EDT

Jim Moran, D-VA 8th

Mr. MORAN. Mr. Chairman, this is an organization that was established by President Nixon. It was Bill Ruckleshaus who was the first head of it. What it does is to coordinate the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act. That act, as I recall, goes back to 1976. 1969. It was President Nixon that put it into effect.

The Council on Environmental Quality does the National Environmental Policy Act reviews, and it's a critical function. In addition to that, it coordinates the environmental programs throughout the Federal Government. If you didn't have CEQ, you'd have to invent it. I know if we didn't have it, we'd be creating it in this appropriations bill because this appropriations bill is replete with requests to the administration to coordinate environmental programs, particularly those related to climate

change to avoid duplication. Well, that's the role of CEQ.

The Council of Environmental Quality is very inadequately funded. It's a relative handful of people. So the only thing that I can interpret from this amendment is that it's meant to be punitive. You're hardly saving any money, and what you're doing is eliminating the White House's ability to coordinate environmental programs to continue the same tradition that we have had since Richard Nixon. It's now been 40 years, and no one up till now has thought that the Council on Environmental Quality

was not performing an important and valuable function.

I'm surprised that the gentleman would offer the amendment, but I would certainly oppose it. It's one of these things that you're only going to realize the full value of when it's gone. And though the small amount of money to save, this is an organization that, person for person, probably does as much as any other people, even in EPA or any of the other agencies of the government in terms of maintaining a consistent, focused policy on the environment.

I would really hope that this amendment would be soundly defeated. It was funded in the bill. There was no criticism registered in the report with regard to the Council on Environmental Quality.

I know they have been reaching out. They're more than happy to go to any Member's office. They're one of the people that, when you have local issues or State issues, they will respond. They'll explain the intent and purpose of the National Environmental Policy Act. And they want to ensure that the administration's actions are consistent with congressional intent.

This is not the kind of constructive amendment that we would expect to see, and I would really hope that this body would reject it. But I'm stunned that this amendment would have been offered.

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

8:26 PM EDT

Betty McCollum, D-MN 4th

Ms. McCOLLUM. I also oppose the gentleman's amendment.

Let me just give you a little more background on what the Council on Environmental Quality does. Its focus is to make government more efficient and more effective, and it does this by interagency working groups and coordination with EEOP and CEQ. And it balances the competing positions, sometimes, even within government coordination. In other words, it makes everybody come around the table and figure out how do we do this the most effectively for the American people.

It brings, as Ranking Member Moran pointed out, Federal agencies, State and local governments to the table too to say how can we be most effective collaboratively in making our environment work better for America.

Let me give you an example of one of the projects that they're working on, and it's solar energy. Solar energy is booming here in the United States; and if we get solar energy technology right, we will be the leaders for the next generation in how we can have energy efficiency, energy independence through renewable energy.

The Solar Energy Industries Association works with this council. And in the first quarter, the solar industry installed 252 megawatts of new solar electric capacity, 66 percent growth from the same timeframe from 2010. That's 3,000 megawatts of solar electric installed in the United States. That's enough to power 600,000 homes.

They worked with the manufacturing sector, the solar power sector. They worked together, and they caused this 33 percent jump in panel production. With the growth of solar energy, thousands of jobs have been created. In fact, solar energy creates more jobs per megawatt than any other energy source. And according to the Solar Foundation's National Solar Job Census, 93,000 Americans were employed in the U.S. solar industry.

The reason why I bring this up is that not only are they helping to bring everybody around the table to figure out how to move America forward with this; the next thing they do is they work, as I said, with inter-government agencies. So they worked with the Department of Energy to issue loan guarantees for solar projects and manufacturing facilities. That's going to create 26,000 jobs.

They worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs to announce that they will be installing solar panels in their systems in five VA Medical Centers, one in Oklahoma; Temple, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; and in California. Prior to this announcement, the VA had also been awarded dollars for other solar panels in their facilities, and they're seeing that they are being able to control costs and do good things for the environment.

The Department of the Interior has approved solar permits for solar-powered products on public lands that will provide enough energy for 730,000 homes.

The Department of Agriculture actively promotes the deployment of solar energy on farms and ranches working with people and folks out in the private sector. So the list goes on and on.

[Time: 20:30]

Coordination is often the key to efficiency. And so I just really think that the Council on Environmental Quality provides America a way forward in making sure that our agencies are talking and being effective with one another when it comes to collaboration on environmental issues. It also reaches out to the local governments, but more importantly, it works in the private sector to create opportunities for jobs.

I yield back the balance of my time.

8:30 PM EDT

James Lankford, R-OK 5th

Mr. LANKFORD. This was a wonderful description that I'm hearing of the responsibility of the Council on Environmental Quality. The problem with it is it's the same responsibilities that EPA has, that the Department of Energy has, that NOAA has. These are executive agencies as well, and to say that you have to create a new executive agency to watch over this executive agency is one of those prime examples of why it's so difficult to be able to combine agencies for efficiency.

We have multiple bureaucracies that are standing out there combining and doing similar functions, and it would save us money. Yes, this is a very small agency, but it's another one of those prime examples why the executive branch has all these multiple agencies doing the same thing, and we have to be able to find ways to be able to combine these. [Page: H5649]

I understand that we're creating jobs per megawatt in the middle of this, but the reality of this is we've got to be able to find ways to be able to save money.

8:31 PM EDT

Cynthia Lummis, R-WY

Mrs. LUMMIS. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I will point out that the underlying bill reduces CEQ to 2006 levels and caps their full-time equivalence, or their employees, at 2006 levels. So that means that they will have a reduction in force. They will lose three employees.

I might also point out that when I was the general counsel for the Governor in my State, I also ran the Natural Resources Subcabinet. We were actually, at the State level, the mirror image, where I was, of what CEQ does. We were in the position of responding to NEPA documents that were sent to us by the Federal Government from Federal agencies. And as a State, we were attempting to coordinate our responses to NEPA documents for various State agencies--the agency that regulates water, the agency

that looks after State land, the agency that does environmental quality in Wyoming, the agency that does State forests, and on and on. And so our Natural Resources Subcabinet was the State equivalent and mirror imagine in the responding avenue to what CEQ is in Washington.

Now, let me give you an example of some of the things that CEQ has coordinated here in Washington and why it makes sense.

We have seen in this debate, earlier, that fighting Asian carp is a priority for the Great Lakes region. Over the past 1 1/2 years, CEQ has brought all the Federal agencies together with the Great Lakes States to combine efforts to fight this invasive specie. So they have coordinated on an interagency, intergovernmental framework. And without the framework, it's hard to pull the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Interior, EPA, and these groups together with the States to have a shared

response to a multi-State, multijurisdiction, multilevel of government issue like the Asian carp. That is something I believe that makes it appropriate for CEQ's existence to continue.

I understand the frustrations that some people have with it, but, quite frankly, that type of coordination I think could, when managed properly, allow the Federal Government to speak with one voice where their own disparate agencies have different mission statements. So that type of coordination is important.

Mr. Chairman, for those reasons, and for the cuts that have already been undertaken in this bill, I do rise to oppose the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

8:34 PM EDT

Jeff Flake, R-AZ 6th

Mr. FLAKE. I rise in support of the gentleman's amendment.

I didn't plan on speaking, but I couldn't help after hearing the comments, and I would gladly yield 30 seconds to the gentlelady if she wants to explain further.

I have never heard this used as a measurement before, as a positive measurement, the number of jobs per megawatt for solar power.

Now, I'm from Arizona. I like solar power. It's great. But since when are we using, as a positive, the number of jobs it takes to create a megawatt? Will it be seen as a positive in the future if it takes more jobs to create a megawatt? Is that a good thing for the economy? Is that a jobs program of some type? I mean, it just baffles me sometimes at the arguments that are made as to why we should keep programs like this going and keep spending.

I would be glad to yield time to the gentlelady if she wants to explain that further.

8:35 PM EDT

Betty McCollum, D-MN 4th

Ms. McCOLLUM. I thank the gentleman.

The point is is that we are creating jobs using less energy, and when we do that, we save energy. But these jobs that are being created are improving our economy, our ability to compete internationally. And these jobs use less energy. So we're not investing in nuclear power plants and we're not investing in coal burning, which leads to--I kind of figured you would want your time back.

8:36 PM EDT

Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

What the amendment does is create the 30 percent language that we've had in the past, which is a floor, and makes it a ceiling rather than a floor.

The EPA's Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds provide grants to States to capitalize on their revolving loan fund programs. These programs offer low-interest loans to communities for projects included on a State's Intended Use Plan. These low-interest loans are usually below market rates and are used to finance water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

Many small and disadvantaged communities with a low income base can hardly afford to apply for these loans even with the low-interest rates. Therefore, this provision in the base text, which we have had for a few years, would offer zero-interest loans, which are loans that forgive a portion of the principal, or grants, to these disadvantaged communities that would otherwise be unable to afford a standard SRF loan. The provision provides some relief to small communities across the Nation that

are tirelessly working to provide clean and safe drinking water to their residents and bring construction jobs to their communities, all at the same time as they balance their books.

Given the huge infrastructure needs facing this Nation and the crumbling water and wastewater infrastructure, we should be providing more of this assistance, not less. So, while I appreciate my colleague's amendment and share his interest in preserving the viability of the SRFs, I do not support this amendment, and I would urge a ``no'' vote.

I would just say, we've talked about this in the subcommittee for a number of years. One of the real problems we have is we have these State revolving loan funds. We put the money out there, and there are a lot of communities that can't even afford the loans, so it doesn't help them rebuild their water systems or the wastewater treatment facilities. With the standards that we have with arsenic and other things, I have a lot of small communities in Idaho, and it doesn't help them that they have

a State revolving loan fund, because they can't afford it. What this does is help them through that to meet some of the clean water standards that they have to meet.

As I said, what we've carried in the bill before us is that a minimum of 30 percent, or a floor of 30 percent, of those funds have to be used for those types of things. What the gentleman's amendment would do would make that a ceiling in which you could only use 30 percent of that. I oppose the amendment, and hope my colleagues would also.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Lankford).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

8:36 PM EDT

Laura Richardson, D-CA 37th

Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from California will be postponed.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING CHAIR

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, proceedings will now resume on those amendments on which further proceedings were postponed, in the following order:

The first amendment by Mr. Dicks of Washington.

The second amendment by Mr. Dicks of Washington.

The amendments en bloc by Mr. LaTourette of Ohio.

Amendment No. 39 by Mr. Pompeo of Kansas.

Amendment No. 23 by Ms. Richardson of California.

The Chair will reduce to 5 minutes the time for any electronic vote after the first vote in this series.

AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR.

DICKS

The Acting CHAIR. The unfinished business is the demand for a recorded vote on the first amendment offered by the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote.

The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.

The Clerk redesignated the amendment.

RECORDED VOTE

The Acting CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 174, noes 237, not voting 21, as follows:

[Roll No. 658]

AYES--174

Ackerman

Andrews

Baca

Baldwin

Barrow

Bass (CA)

Becerra

Berkley

Berman

Bishop (NY)

Blumenauer

Boswell

Brady (PA)

Braley (IA)

Brown (FL)

Butterfield

Capps

Capuano

Carnahan

Carney

Carson (IN)

Castor (FL)

Chu

Cicilline

Clarke (MI)

Clarke (NY)

Clay

Cleaver

Clyburn

Cohen

Connolly (VA)

Conyers

Cooper

Costa

Costello

Courtney

Crowley

Cuellar

Cummings

Davis (CA)

Davis (IL)

DeFazio

DeGette

DeLauro

Deutch

Dicks

Dingell

Doggett

Donnelly (IN)

Doyle

Edwards

Ellison

Engel

Eshoo

Farr

Fattah

Filner

Fitzpatrick

Frank (MA)

Fudge

Garamendi

Gonzalez

Green, Al

Grijalva

Gutierrez

Hahn

Hanabusa

Hastings (FL)

Heinrich

Higgins

Himes

Hinojosa

Hirono

Hochul

Holden

Holt

Hoyer

Inslee

Israel

Jackson (IL)

Jackson Lee (TX)

Johnson (GA)

Johnson, E. B.

Kaptur

Keating

Kildee

Kind

Kissell

Kucinich

Langevin

Larsen (WA)

Larson (CT)

Lee (CA)

Levin

Lewis (GA)

Lipinski

Loebsack

Lofgren, Zoe

Lujan

Lynch

Maloney

Markey

Matheson

Matsui

McCarthy (NY)

McCollum

McDermott

McGovern

McIntyre

McNerney

Meeks

Michaud

Miller (NC)

Miller, George

Moore

Moran

Murphy (CT)

Nadler

Napolitano

Neal

Olver

Owens

Pallone

Pascrell

Pastor (AZ)

Payne

Pelosi

Perlmutter

Peters

Pingree (ME)

Polis

Price (NC)

Quigley

Rahall

Rangel

Reichert

Reyes

Richardson

Rothman (NJ)

Roybal-Allard

Ryan (OH)

Sanchez, Linda T.

Sanchez, Loretta

Sarbanes

Schakowsky

Schiff

Schwartz

Scott (VA)

Scott, David

Serrano

Sewell

Sherman

Sires

Slaughter

Smith (WA)

Speier

Stark

Thompson (CA)

Thompson (MS)

Tierney

Tonko

Towns

Tsongas

Van Hollen

Visclosky

Walz (MN)

Wasserman Schultz

Waters

Watt

Waxman

Welch

Wilson (FL)

Woolsey

Yarmuth

NOES--237

Adams

Aderholt

Akin

Alexander

Altmire

Amash

Bachus

Barletta

Bartlett

Barton (TX)

Bass (NH)

Benishek

Berg

Biggert

Bilbray

Bilirakis

Bishop (UT)

Black

Blackburn

Bonner

Bono Mack

Boren

Boustany

Brady (TX)

Brooks

Buchanan

Bucshon

Buerkle

Burgess

Burton (IN)

Calvert

Camp

Campbell

Canseco

Cantor

Capito

Cardoza

Carter

Chabot

Chaffetz

Coble

Coffman (CO)

Cole

Conaway

Cravaack

Crawford

Crenshaw

Critz

Culberson

Davis (KY)

Denham

Dent

DesJarlais

Diaz-Balart

Dold

Dreier

Duffy

Duncan (SC)

Duncan (TN)

Ellmers

Emerson

Farenthold

Fincher

Flake

Fleischmann

Fleming

Flores

Forbes

Fortenberry

Foxx

Franks (AZ)

Frelinghuysen

Gallegly

Gardner

Garrett

Gerlach

Gibbs

Gibson

Gingrey (GA)

Gohmert

Goodlatte

Gosar

Gowdy

Granger

Graves (GA)

Graves (MO)

Green, Gene

Griffin (AR)

Griffith (VA)

Grimm

Guinta

Guthrie

Hall

Hanna

Harper

Hartzler

Hastings (WA)

Hayworth

Heck

Hensarling

Herger

Herrera Beutler

Huelskamp

Huizenga (MI)

Hultgren

Hunter

Hurt

Issa

Jenkins

Johnson (IL)

Johnson (OH)

Johnson, Sam

Jones

Jordan

Kelly

King (IA)

King (NY)

Kingston

Kinzinger (IL)

Kline

Labrador

Lamborn

Lance

Landry

Lankford

Latham

LaTourette

Latta

Lewis (CA)

LoBiondo

Long

Lucas

Luetkemeyer

Lummis

Lungren, Daniel E.

Mack

Manzullo

Marchant

Marino

McCarthy (CA)

McCaul

McClintock

McHenry

McKeon

McKinley

McMorris Rodgers

Meehan

Mica

Miller (FL)

Miller (MI)

Miller, Gary

Mulvaney

Murphy (PA)

Myrick

Neugebauer

Noem

Nugent

Nunes

Nunnelee

Olson

Palazzo

Paul

Paulsen

Pearce

Pence

Peterson

Petri

Pitts

Platts

Poe (TX)

Pompeo

Posey

Price (GA)

Quayle

Reed

Rehberg

Renacci

Ribble

Rigell

Rivera

Roby

Roe (TN)

Rogers (AL)

Rogers (KY)

Rohrabacher

Rokita

Rooney

Ros-Lehtinen

Roskam

Ross (AR)

Ross (FL)

Royce

Runyan

Ryan (WI)

Scalise

Schilling

Schmidt

Schweikert

Scott (SC)

Scott, Austin

Sensenbrenner

Sessions

Shimkus

Shuler

Shuster

Simpson

Smith (NE)

Smith (NJ)

Smith (TX)

Southerland

Stearns

Stivers

Stutzman

Sullivan

Sutton

Terry

Thompson (PA)

Thornberry

Tipton

Turner

Upton

Walberg

Walden

Walsh (IL)

Webster

West

Westmoreland

Whitfield

Wilson (SC)

Wittman

Wolf

Womack

Woodall

Yoder

Young (AK)

Young (FL)

Young (IN)

NOT VOTING--21

Austria

Bachmann

Bishop (GA)

Broun (GA)

Cassidy

Chandler

Giffords

Harris

Hinchey

Honda

Lowey

McCotter

Richmond

Rogers (MI)

Ruppersberger

Rush

Schock

Schrader

Tiberi

Velazquez

Wu

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING CHAIR

The Acting CHAIR (during the vote). There are 2 minutes remaining in this vote.

[Time: 18:29]

Mr. BARTON of Texas, Ms. SUTTON, and Mr. ROONEY changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''

Mr. CARNEY changed his vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Stated against:

8:37 PM EDT

Paul C. Broun Jr., M.D., R-GA 10th

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would revert the Smithsonian funding back to the fiscal year 2008 levels. This is simply asking the Smithsonian to tighten their belts, to pull their weight, just like other agencies and departments within the Federal Government are having to do.

Mr. Chairman, this country is broke. We have spent all the money in our bank and then some. We have to prioritize where we can afford to spend money and where we simply cannot afford to. I believe asking the Smithsonian to simply scale back their spending to levels of 2008 is more than reasonable. I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.