Mr. FARENTHOLD. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 1233) to amend chapter 22 of title 44, United States Code, popularly known as the Presidential Records Act, to establish procedures for the consideration of claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure of Presidential records, and for other purposes, as amended.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The text of the bill is as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
(a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014''.
(b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
Sec..1..Short title; table of contents.
Sec..3..National Archives and Records Administration.
Sec..4..Records management by Federal agencies.
Sec..5..Disposal of records.
Sec..6..Procedures to prevent unauthorized removal of classified records from National Archives.
Sec..7..Repeal of provisions related to the National Study Commission on Records and Documents of Federal Officials.
Sec..9..Records management by the Archivist.
Sec..10..Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging account.
SEC. 2. PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS.
(a) Procedures for Consideration of Claims of Constitutionally Based Privilege Against Disclosure.--
(1) AMENDMENT.--Chapter 22 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
``§2208. Claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure
``(a)(1) When the Archivist determines under this chapter to make available to the [Page: H203]
public any Presidential record that has not previously been made available to the public, the Archivist shall--
``(A) promptly provide notice of such determination to--
``(i) the former President during whose term of office the record was created; and
``(ii) the incumbent President; and
``(B) make the notice available to the public.
``(2) The notice under paragraph (1)--
``(A) shall be in writing; and
``(B) shall include such information as may be prescribed in regulations issued by the Archivist.
``(3)(A) Upon the expiration of the 60-day period (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) beginning on the date the Archivist provides notice under paragraph (1)(A), the Archivist shall make available to the public the Presidential record covered by the notice, except any record (or reasonably segregable part of a record) with respect to which the Archivist receives from a former President or the incumbent President notification of a claim of constitutionally based privilege
against disclosure under subsection (b).
``(B) A former President or the incumbent President may extend the period under subparagraph (A) once for not more than 30 additional days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) by filing with the Archivist a statement that such an extension is necessary to allow an adequate review of the record.
``(C) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A) and (B), if the 60-day period under subparagraph (A), or any extension of that period under subparagraph (B), would otherwise expire during the 6-month period after the incumbent President first takes office, then that 60-day period or extension, respectively, shall expire at the end of that 6-month period.
``(b)(1) For purposes of this section, the decision to assert any claim of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure of a Presidential record (or reasonably segregable part of a record) must be made personally by a former President or the incumbent President, as applicable.
``(2) A former President or the incumbent President shall notify the Archivist, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate of a privilege claim under paragraph (1) on the same day that the claim is asserted under such paragraph.
``(c)(1) If a claim of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure of a Presidential record (or reasonably segregable part of a record) is asserted under subsection (b) by a former President, the Archivist shall consult with the incumbent President, as soon as practicable during the period specified in paragraph (2)(A), to determine whether the incumbent President will uphold the claim asserted by the former President.
``(2)(A) Not later than the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date of which the Archivist receives notification from a former President of the assertion of a claim of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure, the Archivist shall provide notice to the former President and the public of the decision of the incumbent President under paragraph (1) regarding the claim.
``(B) If the incumbent President upholds the claim of privilege asserted by the former President, the Archivist shall not make the Presidential record (or reasonably segregable part of a record) subject to the claim publicly available unless--
``(i) the incumbent President withdraws the decision upholding the claim of privilege asserted by the former President; or
``(ii) the Archivist is otherwise directed by a final court order that is not subject to appeal.
``(C) If the incumbent President determines not to uphold the claim of privilege asserted by the former President, or fails to make the determination under paragraph (1) before the end of the period specified in subparagraph (A), the Archivist shall release the Presidential record subject to the claim at the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date on which the Archivist received notification of the claim, unless otherwise directed by a court order in an action initiated by the former
President under section 2204(e) of this title or by a court order in another action in any Federal court.
``(d) The Archivist shall not make publicly available a Presidential record (or reasonably segregable part of a record) that is subject to a privilege claim asserted by the incumbent President unless--
``(1) the incumbent President withdraws the privilege claim; or
``(2) the Archivist is otherwise directed by a final court order that is not subject to appeal.
``(e) The Archivist shall adjust any otherwise applicable time period under this section as necessary to comply with the return date of any congressional subpoena, judicial subpoena, or judicial process.''.
(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.--(A) Section 2204(d) of title 44, United States Code, is amended by inserting ``, except section 2208,'' after ``chapter''.
(B) Section 2205 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(i) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking ``section 2204'' and inserting ``sections 2204 and 2208 of this title''; and
(ii) in paragraph (2)(A), by striking ``subpena'' and inserting ``subpoena''.
(C) Section 2207 of title 44, United States Code, is amended in the second sentence by inserting ``, except section 2208,'' after ``chapter''.
(3) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.--The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 22 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
``2208. Claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure.''.
(4) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.--Nothing in the amendment made by paragraph (2)(C) shall be construed to--
(A) affect the requirement of section 2207 of title 44, United States Code, that Vice Presidential records shall be subject to chapter 22 of that title in the same manner as Presidential records; or
(B) affect any claim of constitutionally based privilege by a President or former President with respect to a Vice Presidential record.
(b) Definitions.--Section 2201 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in paragraph (1)--
(A) by striking ``memorandums'' and inserting ``memoranda'';
(B) by striking ``audio, audiovisual'' and inserting ``audio and visual records''; and
(C) by inserting ``, whether in analog, digital, or any other form'' after ``mechanical recordations''; and
(2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``advise and assist'' and inserting ``advise or assist''.
(c) Management and Custody of Presidential Records.--Section 2203 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in subsection (a), by striking ``maintained'' and inserting ``preserved and maintained'';
(2) in subsection (b), by striking ``advise and assist'' and inserting ``advise or assist'';
(3) by redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (g);
(4) by inserting after subsection (e) the following new subsection:
``(f) During a President's term of office, the Archivist may maintain and preserve Presidential records on behalf of the President, including records in digital or electronic form. The President shall remain exclusively responsible for custody, control, and access to such Presidential records. The Archivist may not disclose any such records, except under direction of the President, until the conclusion of a President's term of office, if a President serves consecutive terms upon the conclusion
of the last term, or such other period provided for under section 2204 of this title.''; and
(5) in subsection (g)(1), as so redesignated, by striking ``Act'' and inserting ``chapter''.
(d) Restrictions on Access to Presidential Records.--Section 2204 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
``(f) The Archivist shall not make available any original Presidential records to any individual claiming access to any Presidential record as a designated representative under section 2205(3) of this title if that individual has been convicted of a crime relating to the review, retention, removal, or destruction of records of the Archives.''.
(e) Disclosure Requirement for Official Business Conducted Using Non-official Electronic Messaging Account.--
(1) AMENDMENT.--Chapter 22 of title 44, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a)(1), is further amended by adding at the end the following new section:``§2209. Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging accounts
``(a) In General.--An officer or employee of an executive agency may not create or send a Presidential record using a non-official electronic messaging account unless such officer or employee--
``(1) copies an official electronic messaging account of the officer or employee in the original creation or transmission of the Presidential record; or
``(2) forwards a complete copy of the Presidential record to an official electronic messaging account of the officer or employee within five days after the original creation or transmission of the Presidential record.
``(b) Adverse Actions.--The intentional violation of subsection (a) (including any rules, regulations, or other implementing guidelines), as determined by the appropriate supervisor, shall be a basis for disciplinary action in accordance with subchapter I, II, or V of chapter 75 of title 5, as the case may be.
``(c) Definitions.--In this section:
``(1) ELECTRONIC MESSAGES.--The term `electronic messages' means electronic mail and other electronic messaging systems that are used for purposes of communicating between individuals.
``(2) ELECTRONIC MESSAGING ACCOUNT.--The term `electronic messaging account' means any account that sends electronic messages.
``(3) EXECUTIVE AGENCY.--The term `executive agency' has the meaning given that term in section 105 of title 5.''.
(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.--The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 22 of title 44, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a)(3), is further amended by adding at the end the following new item:
``2209. Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging accounts.''
SEC. 3. NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION.
(a) Acceptance of Records for Historical Preservation.--Section 2107 of title 44, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: [Page: H204]
``§2107. Acceptance of records for historical preservation
``(a) In General.--When it appears to the Archivist to be in the public interest, the Archivist may--
``(1) accept for deposit with the National Archives of the United States the records of a Federal agency, the Congress, the Architect of the Capitol, or the Supreme Court determined by the Archivist to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the United States Government;
``(2) direct and effect the transfer of records of a Federal agency determined by the Archivist to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the United States Government to the National Archives of the United States, as soon as practicable, and at a time mutually agreed upon by the Archivist and the head of that Federal agency not later than thirty years after such records were created or received by that agency, unless the head of such agency has certified
in writing to the Archivist that such records must be retained in the custody of such agency for use in the conduct of the regular business of the agency;
``(3) direct and effect, with the approval of the head of the originating Federal agency, or if the existence of the agency has been terminated, with the approval of the head of that agency's successor in function, if any, the transfer of records, deposited or approved for deposit with the National Archives of the United States to public or educational institutions or associations; title to the records to remain vested in the United States unless otherwise authorized by Congress; and
``(4) transfer materials from private sources authorized to be received by the Archivist by section 2111 of this title.
``(b) Early Transfer of Records.--The Archivist--
``(1) in consultation with the head of the originating Federal agency, is authorized to accept a copy of the records described in subsection (a)(2) that have been in existence for less than thirty years; and
``(2) may not disclose any such records until the expiration of--
``(A) the thirty-year period described in paragraph (1);
``(B) any longer period established by the Archivist by order; or
``(C) any shorter period agreed to by the originating Federal agency.''.
(b) Material Accepted for Deposit.--Section 2111 of title 44, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:``§2111. Material accepted for deposit
``(a) In General.--When the Archivist considers it to be in the public interest the Archivist may accept for deposit--
``(1) the papers and other historical materials of a President or former President of the United States, or other official or former official of the Government, and other papers relating to and contemporary with a President or former President of the United States, subject to restrictions agreeable to the Archivist as to their use; and
``(2) recorded information (as such term is defined in section 3301(a)(2) of this title) from private sources that are appropriate for preservation by the Government as evidence of its organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and transactions.
``(b) Exception.--This section shall not apply in the case of any Presidential records which are subject to the provisions of chapter 22 of this title.''.
(c) Preservation of Audio and Visual Records.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--Section 2114 of title 44, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:``§2114. Preservation of audio and visual records
``The Archivist may make and preserve audio and visual records, including motion-picture films, still photographs, and sound recordings, in analog, digital, or any other form, pertaining to and illustrative of the historical development of the United States Government and its activities, and provide for preparing, editing, titling, scoring, processing, duplicating, reproducing, exhibiting, and releasing for non-profit educational purposes, motion-picture films, still photographs, and sound recordings
in the Archivist's custody.''.
(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.--The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 21 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by striking the item for section 2114 and inserting the following:
``2114. Preservation of audio and visual records.''.
(d) Legal Status of Reproductions; Official Seal; Fees for Copies and Reproductions.--Section 2116(a) of title 44, United States Code, is amended by inserting ``digital,'' after ``microphotographic,'', each place it appears.
SEC. 4. RECORDS MANAGEMENT BY FEDERAL AGENCIES.
Section 3106 of title 44, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:``§3106. Unlawful removal, destruction of records
``(a) Federal Agency Notification.--The head of each Federal agency shall notify the Archivist of any actual, impending, or threatened unlawful removal, defacing, alteration, corruption, deletion, erasure, or other destruction of records in the custody of the agency, and with the assistance of the Archivist shall initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of records the head of the Federal agency knows or has reason to believe have been unlawfully removed from that
agency, or from another Federal agency whose records have been transferred to the legal custody of that Federal agency.
``(b) Archivist Notification.--In any case in which the head of a Federal agency does not initiate an action for such recovery or other redress within a reasonable period of time after being notified of any such unlawful action described in subsection (a), or is participating in, or believed to be participating in any such unlawful action, the Archivist shall request the Attorney General to initiate such an action, and shall notify the Congress when such a request has been made.''.
SEC. 5. DISPOSAL OF RECORDS.
(a) Definition of Records.--Section 3301 of title 44, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:``§3301. Definition of records
``(a) Records Defined.--
``(1) IN GENERAL.--As used in this chapter, the term `records'--
``(A) includes all recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, made or received by a Federal agency under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the United States Government or because of the informational value of data in them; and
``(B) does not include--
``(i) library and museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes; or
``(ii) duplicate copies of records preserved only for convenience.
``(2) RECORDED INFORMATION DEFINED.--For purposes of paragraph (1), the term `recorded information' includes all traditional forms of records, regardless of physical form or characteristics, including information created, manipulated, communicated, or stored in digital or electronic form.
``(b) Determination of Definition.--The Archivist's determination whether recorded information, regardless of whether it exists in physical, digital, or electronic form, is a record as defined in subsection (a) shall be binding on all Federal agencies.''.
(b) Regulations Covering Lists of Records for Disposal, Procedure for Disposal, and Standards for Reproduction.--Section 3302(3) of title 44, United States Code, is amended by striking ``photographic or microphotographic processes'' and inserting ``photographic, microphotographic, or digital processes''.
(c) Lists and Schedules of Records To Be Submitted to the Archivist by Head of Each Government Agency.--Section 3303(1) of title 44, United States Code, is amended by striking ``photographed or microphotographed'' and inserting ``photographed, microphotographed, or digitized''.
(d) Examination by Archivist of Lists and Schedules of Records Lacking Preservation Value; Disposal of Records.--Section 3303a(c) of title 44, United States Code, is amended by striking ``the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate and the Committee on House Oversight of the House of Representatives'' and inserting ``the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate''.
(e) Photographs or Microphotographs of Records Considered as Originals; Certified Reproductions Admissible in Evidence.--Section 3312 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in the first sentence, by striking ``Photographs or microphotographs of records'' and inserting ``Photographs, microphotographs of records, or digitized records''; and
(2) in the second sentence, by striking ``photographs or microphotographs'' and inserting ``photographs, microphotographs, or digitized records'', each place it appears.
SEC. 6. PROCEDURES TO PREVENT UNAUTHORIZED REMOVAL OF CLASSIFIED RECORDS FROM NATIONAL ARCHIVES.
(a) Classified Records.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Archivist shall prescribe internal procedures to prevent the unauthorized removal of classified records from the National Archives and Records Administration or the destruction or damage of such records, including when such records are accessed or searched electronically. Such procedures shall include, at a minimum, the following prohibitions:
(1) An individual, other than covered personnel, may not view classified records in any room that is not secure, except in the presence of National Archives and Records Administration personnel or under video surveillance.
(2) An individual, other than covered personnel, may not be left alone with classified records, unless that individual is under video surveillance.
(3) An individual, other than covered personnel, may not review classified records while possessing any cellular phone, electronic personal communication device, or any other devices capable of photographing, recording, or transferring images or content.
(4) An individual seeking access to review classified records, as a precondition to such [Page: H205]
access, must consent to a search of their belongings upon conclusion of their records review.
(5) All notes and other writings prepared by an individual, other than covered personnel, during the course of a review of classified records shall be retained by the National Archives and Records Administration in a secure facility until such notes and other writings are determined to be unclassified, are declassified, or are securely transferred to another secure facility.
(b) Definitions.--In this section:
(1) COVERED PERSONNEL.--The term ``covered personnel'' means any individual--
(A) who has an appropriate and necessary reason for accessing classified records, as determined by the Archivist; and
(B) who is either--
(i) an officer or employee of the United States Government with appropriate security clearances; or
(ii) any personnel with appropriate security clearances of a Federal contractor authorized in writing to act for purposes of this section by an officer or employee of the United States Government.
(2) RECORDS.--The term ``records'' has the meaning given that term under section 3301 of title 44, United States Code.
SEC. 7. REPEAL OF PROVISIONS RELATED TO THE NATIONAL STUDY COMMISSION ON RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS OF FEDERAL OFFICIALS.
(a) In General.--Sections 3315 through 3324 of title 44, United States Code, are repealed.
(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 33 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by striking the items relating to sections 3315 through 3324.
SEC. 8. PRONOUN AMENDMENTS.
Title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in section 2116(c), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the Archivist's'';
(2) in section 2201(2), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the President's'', each place it appears;
(3) in section 2203--
(A) in subsection (a), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the President's'';
(B) in subsection (b), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the President's'';
(C) in subsection (c)--
(i) in the matter preceding paragraph (1)--
(I) by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the President's''; and
(II) by striking ``those of his Presidential records'' and inserting ``those Presidential records of such President''; and
(ii) in paragraph (2), by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the Archivist'';
(D) in subsection (d), by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the Archivist'';
(E) in subsection (e), by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the Archivist''; and
(F) in subsection (g), as so redesignated, by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the Archivist'';
(4) in section 2204--
(A) in subsection (a)--
(i) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``a President's''; and
(ii) in paragraph (5), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the President's''; and
(B) in subsection (b)--
(i) in paragraph (1)(B), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the President's''; and
(ii) in paragraph (3)--
(I) by striking ``his''the first place it appears and inserting ``the Archivist's''; and
(II) by striking ``his designee'' and inserting ``the Archivist's designee'';
(5) in section 2205--
(A) in paragraph (2)(B), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the incumbent President's''; and
(B) in paragraph (3), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the former President's'';
(6) in section 2901(11), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the Archivist's'';
(7) in section 2904(c)(6), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the Archivist's'';
(8) in section 2905(a)--
(A) by striking ``He'' and inserting ``The Archivist''; and
(B) by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the Archivist's'';
(9) in section 3103, by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the head of such agency'';
(10) in section 3104--
(A) by striking ``his''the first place it appears and inserting ``such official's''; and
(B) by striking ``him or his'' and inserting ``such official or such official's'';
(11) in section 3105, by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the head of such agency'';
(12) in section 3302(1), by striking ``him'' and inserting ``the Archivist''; and
(13) in section 3303a--
(A) in subsection (a)--
(i) by striking ``him'' and inserting ``the Archivist'', each place it appears; and
(ii) by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the Archivist'';
(B) in subsection (c), by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the Archivist'';
(C) in subsection (e), by striking ``his'' and inserting ``the Archivist's''; and
(D) in subsection (f), by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the Archivist''.
SEC. 9. RECORDS MANAGEMENT BY THE ARCHIVIST.
(a) Objectives of Records Management.--Section 2902 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in paragraph (4), by striking ``creation and of records maintenance and use'' and inserting ``creation, maintenance, transfer, and use'';
(2) in paragraph (6), by inserting after ``Federal paperwork'' the following: ``and the transfer of records from Federal agencies to the National Archives of the United States in digital or electronic form to the greatest extent possible''; and
(3) in paragraph (7), by striking ``the Administrator or''.
(b) Records Centers and Centralized Microfilming Services.--
(1) AMENDMENT.--Section 2907 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(A) in the section heading by inserting
``or digitization'' after ``microfilming''; and
(B) by inserting ``or digitization'' after ``microfilming''.
(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.--The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 29 of title 44, United States Code, is amended in the item relating to section 2907 by inserting ``or digitization'' after ``microfilming''.
(c) General Responsibilities for Records Management.--Section 2904 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in subsection (b), by striking ``The Administrator'' and inserting ``The Archivist'';
(2) in subsection (c)--
(A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1)--
(i) by striking ``their'' and inserting ``the'';
(ii) by striking ``subsection (a) or (b), respectively'' and inserting ``subsections (a) and (b)'';
(iii) by striking ``and the Administrator''; and
(iv) by striking ``each''; and
(B) in paragraph (8), by striking ``or the Administrator (as the case may be)''; and
(3) subsection (d) is amended to read as follows:
``(d) The Archivist shall promulgate regulations requiring all Federal agencies to transfer all digital or electronic records to the National Archives of the United States in digital or electronic form to the greatest extent possible.''.
(d) Inspection of Agency Records.--Section 2906 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in subsection (a)--
(A) in paragraph (1)--
(i) by striking ``their respective'' and inserting ``the'';
(ii) by striking ``the Administrator of General Services and'';
(iii) by striking ``designee of either'' and inserting ``the Archivist's designee'';
(iv) by striking ``solely''; and
(v) by inserting after ``for the improvement of records management practices and programs'' the following: ``and for determining whether the records of Federal agencies have sufficient value to warrant continued preservation or lack sufficient value to justify continued preservation'';
(B) in paragraph (2)--
(i) by striking ``the Administrator and''; and
(ii) by striking the second sentence; and
(C) in paragraph (3)--
(i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A)--
(I) by striking ``the Administrator or''; and
(II) by striking ``designee of either'' and inserting ``Archivist's designee''; and
(ii) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``the Administrator, the Archivist,'' and inserting ``the Archivist''; and
(2) in subsection (b)--
(A) by striking ``the Administrator and''; and
(B) by striking ``designee of either'' and inserting ``Archivist's designee''.
(e) Reports; Correction of Violations.--Section 2115 of title 44, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in subsection (a)--
(A) by striking ``their respective'' and inserting ``the'';
(B) by striking ``and the Administrator''; and
(C) by striking ``each''; and
(2) in subsection (b)--
(A) by striking ``either'';
(B) by striking ``or the Administrator'', each place it appears; and
(C) by striking ``inaugurated'' and inserting ``demonstrably commenced''.
(f) Records Management by the Archivist.--.
(1) AMENDMENT.--The heading for chapter 29 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by striking ``AND BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES''.
(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.--The table of chapters at the beginning of title 44, United States Code, is amended in the item related to chapter 29 by striking ``and by the Administrator of General Services''.
(g) Establishment of Program of Management.--Section 3102(2) of title 44, United States Code, is amended by striking ``the Administrator of General Services and''.
SEC. 10. DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS CONDUCTED USING NON-OFFICIAL ELECTRONIC MESSAGING ACCOUNT.
(a) Amendment.--Chapter 29 of title 44, United States Code is amended by adding at the end the following new section:``§2911. Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging accounts
``(a) In General.--An officer or employee of an executive agency may not create or send a record using a non-official electronic messaging account unless such officer or employee--
``(1) copies an official electronic messaging account of the officer or employee in the original creation or transmission of the record; or
``(2) forwards a complete copy of the record to an official electronic messaging account [Page: H206]
of the officer or employee within five days after the original creation or transmission of the record.
``(b) Adverse Actions.--The intentional violation of subsection (a) (including any rules, regulations, or other implementing guidelines), as determined by the appropriate supervisor, shall be a basis for disciplinary action in accordance with subchapter I, II, or V of chapter 75 of title 5, as the case may be.
``(c) Definitions.--In this section:
``(1) ELECTRONIC MESSAGES.--The term `electronic messages' means electronic mail and other electronic messaging systems that are used for purposes of communicating between individuals.
``(2) ELECTRONIC MESSAGING ACCOUNT.--The term `electronic messaging account' means any account that sends electronic messages.
``(3) EXECUTIVE AGENCY.--The term `executive agency' has the meaning given that term in section 105 of title 5.''.
(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 29 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
``2911. Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging accounts''.
Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, as a father of a Purple Heart wounded warrior and father-in-law of a recently discharged soldier, my promise is to serve and advocate for those who serve this country. Our troops have earned our support not just during their service, but after they return to civilian life.
I am proud to support the COLAs for medically retired Armed Forces personnel and survivors, particularly doing away with the 1 percent reduction that has been put in place. This will be considered in the House later this week under the Consolidated Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2014.
Also included in this legislation is a 1 percent pay raise for our troops, as well as funding and guidance for the Department of Defense to support our warfighters overseas and our military and humanitarian missions around the globe.
Our military must remain strong to enforce the peace, and the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines that make this happen must always be the best trained and equipped force in the world.
Mr. Speaker, let's continue to serve those who serve in uniform. Our American heroes deserve as much.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, somewhere in America a young child will not be able to see their immigrant parents come home this evening. In every State in the Union, there are individuals that are undocumented that simply want an opportunity to work and dream here in America.
I am in the midst of a 1-day fast to encourage the passage of reasonable, sensible, comprehensive immigration reform. Yesterday, 119 Houstonians stood with me to commit to fasting until this bill of comprehensive immigration reform is passed: border security; earned access to citizenship; elements of paying fines; elements of doing charitable work; ensuring that the arts and businesses come together and have the resources and talent that they need; and creating jobs.
In Texas, there are 400,000 immigrants with some billion-plus dollars. Removing that would have a terrible impact on the economy. Passing comprehensive immigration reform is not only economically sound, but it is the [Page: H209]
humane, dignified thing to do. This Congress must come together, Republicans and Democrats, and give dignity to those soldiers and others who simply want an opportunity to serve and be part of the American Dream.
Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, a large number of Spanish-speaking Americans live in my congressional district. They recently brought to my attention the new 2-month-late Obama enrollment Web site: cuidadodesalud.gov. Here it is right here on the Web site. But in English that translates to: ``cautionofhealth.gov.'' Sounds like a warning to me.
Only the government could be so incompetent to get the title of the Web site wrong. This site is riddled with embarrassing computerized English-to-Spanish translations. Some things are in Spanish, some things are in English, and some things are in Spanglish. This incompetence is insulting and confusing to Americans who speak only Spanish.
Ironically, the Web site does tell the truth: people should be cautious about government health care. The name of the Web site should be officially changed to ``Caution:ObamaCare.''
It is hard enough to sign up for ObamaCare. If the government decides to have a Spanish ObamaCare Web site, you would think the government and its vast resources could at least have a Spanish Web site in accurate Spanish.
And that's just the way it is.
Mr. GARCIA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, and I urge my colleagues to join me in working to reduce this invasive crime.
Floridians suffer from some of the highest rates of identity theft in the country, with over 70,000 people filing complaints of identity theft last year. Whether they shop at neighborhood mom-and-pop stores or large retailers, Americans deserve to buy what they need without living in fear of having given away private information or being compromised.
That is why I introduced the Safe ID Act, in order to address the growing problem of identity theft and tax fraud.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and other commonsense efforts to stop this heinous crime.
Mr. FOSTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the career of Mr. Daniel Lehman and his outstanding contributions to our Nation's scientific community.
By developing and implementing project peer review and evaluation processes for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, he has had a profound impact on many large-scale scientific construction projects, helping to complete them on time and on budget.
Known as ``Lehman Reviews,'' his processes have been recognized and copied worldwide as a best practice for managing large and complex scientific construction projects.
During over 30 years of Federal service, until his retirement on January 3, 2014, his dedication to excellence and proactive approach shepherded many scientific facilities to successful construction and operation.
His passion, devotion, and commitment to improving the management culture of highly complex projects has made a tremendous impact on the vitality, perception, and future of the Office of Science programs.
Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring Mr. Daniel Lehman for his inspiring leadership and outstanding contributions to our Nation's scientific programs.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Speaker, it is good to be back on the floor once again as we have for most every week to talk about jobs in America, to talk about the unemployed, to talk about those who are less fortunate and those who need a strong Federal program to create jobs.
I often start with this because it is kind of the compass, the touchstone of what, at least, I would like to think we ought to be doing.
This is from Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This is actually on one of the marble slabs at his memorial here in Washington, D.C. It reads this way:
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
All across America today there are far too many that have too little. A couple of weeks ago, I did a jobs fair in Fairfield, California. It was about 38 degrees outside that day, and we had just under 1,000 people come to that jobs fair--there were about 50 employers--and maybe 50-70 people actually got jobs.
This is a picture of the men and women that were lined up waiting to get in to have a very quick interview with one or more of those 50 potential employers.
I have used this photo before here on the floor to point out the need for a jobs program here in America. The President 2 years ago in his State of the Union put forth a proposal. It had several elements--and we will probably cover some of those today--but it has not been enacted. The Republican leadership in this House has refused to pass even one of those jobs programs. There was infrastructure, education, reeducation; there were programs to provide for the opportunity for men and women to
get jobs here in the United States.
But I was looking at this photo just today and I said, I am going to use this again, because in this photo approximately half of the people lined up, 1,000, just under 1,000 were women. It caused me to think about another program that the Democratic minority here in the House has been working on for some time, that is, the issue of women in the American economy.
I know that in my own district there is this issue of equal pay for equal work. A woman doing stenography work next to a man doing stenography work would be paid 85 cents while the man is paid $1. So it is 85 cents when a man would have the same job, same skill set, same tenure, would get $1. That is wrong. It is one of the issues we want to address.
Also we know that many of the women that are searching for work here are going to be finding minimum-wage jobs. Now, California is different. We have already passed a minimum-wage law in California that in another year and a half will be $10 plus a little. But the national is still at $7-plus; way, way under what anybody working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year could possibly support a family on. So the minimum wage is another issue for women, as it is for men; but I dare say more so for women
than for men.
There is a multitude of issues that we need to consider as we talk about jobs, employment, increasing the employment opportunities in the United States for these people; men and women, and particularly women, that are lined up wanting to get a job.
Joining me tonight is an extraordinary group of people who have been working on this issue of women and jobs, employment, equal employment opportunities, daycare, family care programs.
I would like to start with Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, who has been one of the leaders throughout this entire Nation, often seen on television speaking to this issue and the issue of opportunity in America.
JAN, would you care to start us off on this 1-hour and talking about women and jobs. [Page: H210]
Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Thank you, Representative Garamendi, for coming to the floor and talking about the community. And it really is ``the economy stupid'' for most Americans who feel a sense of growing insecurity. Wages haven't gone up for decades.
But the leader, our leader, Nancy Pelosi of our leadership, has launched a campaign on behalf of women in America saying, when women win, America wins, and highlighting the issues that really affect women day to day, calling for things like affordable child care, an increase in the minimum wage, paid leave, which it turns out is a major priority of women.
I see you have got a sign there.
Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. No. Why don't we just turn our attention to that sign.
Ending the gender pay gap, which actually is 77 cents to the dollar that men earn; paid sick leave; permanent child tax credit; improve diagnosis and care for Alzheimer's patients; and on and on.
But we have been bolstered by an incredible new effort that has turned into a remarkable book called: ``The Shriver Report.'' It is a co-effort, and it is a study by Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress called: ``A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink.''
The idea here is to give a voice to women. It has got all the facts and figures one would want; but it also has the stories, the actual voice of women who feel so pressured by this economy, but also feel that their voices aren't being heard.
It is a really important book. I wanted to read on the back there are kind of some of these ``wow'' facts that are there that everyone should keep in mind about the status of women in our economy:
One in three women in America is living in poverty or teetering on its brink. That's 42 million women plus the 28 million children who depend on them.
The second bullet:
The American family has changed. Today, only one in five families has a homemaker mom and working dad. Two out of three families depend on the wages of working moms who are struggling to balance caregiving and breadwinning.
The average woman continues to be paid 77 cents for every dollar the average man earns. The average African American woman earns only 64 cents and the average Latina only 55 compared to White men.
The fourth bullet:
Closing the wage gap between men and women would cut the poverty rate in half for working women and their families and would add nearly half a trillion dollars to the national economy.
Women are nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers, and a vast majority of these workers receive no paid sick days. Not one.
When they did a survey of what is the number one thing that you want, women said: sick days for themselves and to go home and take care of their children.
More than half of the babies born to women under the age of 30 are born to unmarried mothers, most of them White.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans and 85 percent of millennials believe that government should adapt to the reality of single-parent families and use its resources to help children and mothers succeed, regardless of family status.
So the American people, two-thirds say government does, in fact, have a role.
An overwhelming 96 percent of single mothers say paid leave is a workplace policy that would help them most, and nearly 80 percent of all Americans say the government should expand access to high-quality, affordable child care.
That is a worry that so many mothers have every single day.
Nine, women living on the brink overwhelmingly regret not making education a bigger priority.
Ten, the trauma and chronic stress of poverty are toxic to children, making them two-and-a-half times more likely to suffer as adults from COPD, hepatitis, and depression.
So actually, poverty is dangerous to the health of children as they grow into adulthood in very dramatic and particular ways.
And so when we think about poverty in America, when we think about extending unemployment benefits, when we talk about the SNAP program, and when we push to raise the minimum wage, one of the important lenses to look through is how is it affecting the women, one-third of whom are on the brink or actually living in poverty.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Those statistics are a wake-up call for America. More than half the population are female, and yet our policies are not women-friendly policies. Our laws are not women-friendly laws, and we need to change that.
I would like now to yield to my colleague from California, Janice Hahn, a longtime city councilwoman in the City of Los Angeles, a woman who knows these issues from her experience representing the communities in that area and now an outstanding Member of the Congress.
Ms. HAHN. Thank you. I appreciate you taking this first hour tonight to focus on women and jobs. It is certainly an issue that we women are very aware of and have worked on a lot in our jobs, in our districts, in our homes, but it is nice when our men are enlightened.
Mr. GARAMENDI. If I might interrupt for a moment.
I am highly motivated. My wife of almost 48 years now and my five daughters keep my constantly abreast of this issue.
Ms. HAHN. Good for them.
I think, as Jan Schakowsky talked about, Nancy Pelosi and Rosa DeLauro, we have had this incredible campaign called When Women Succeed, America Succeeds. The point is it is good to help women in this country because this will really help America to succeed. And we no longer have the kind of families that many of us watched on television in the fifties. In fact, the American family has permanently changed, and women head up more families on their own. More than half
of the babies born to women ages 30 and younger are born to unmarried women--by the way, most of them White.
We have got women who are heading their families. We have got women who are trying to take care of their families. They are now the sole breadwinners in their family. They are not necessarily the second income or the income that helps out with the man having the major income.
The statistic, I think, out of the Shriver Report that was really eye-opening for me, when we talk about the minimum wage, is that two-thirds of the workers who earned a minimum wage in this country are women. And if we could raise this minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, how many more women that would lift out of poverty. And not just the women, their families. We have too many families, children, who are living on the brink, and this is so important.
To talk about women wanting sick days, it is unbelievable to me how many women who work in these minimum wage jobs don't get sick days. Do you know how many women have the painful choice of either putting their sick child on the bus to go to school or staying home and losing a day's wages to take care of their sick child because we don't have the kind of child care in this country that can accommodate children who are not well enough to go to school? We have women choosing between missing a day's
work--possibly if they have too many of those, they are going to lose their job--or putting a sick child on the bus to go to school.
We need to raise the minimum wage. We need to have affordable child care. We need to make sure that women have sick days that they can use either for themselves--mostly it is never for yourself when you are a mother. You forgo being sick as a mother and you spend those days for your children.
How many women are taking care of their parents? Even though many women have brothers in the family, it usually falls to the woman to take care of her parents when they become ill or need help being taken care of. We have got to really focus on women making sure they have good jobs.
By the way, our women veterans--our women veterans in this country--have the highest unemployment rate. That is terrible to think that our women who have put their lives on the line for this country come home and [Page: H211]
cannot find good jobs to take care of themselves or their families.
I am glad we are doing this tonight. I think it is an important message. I think the Shriver Report that was just released really sheds light on how many women in this country are near or on the brink of living in poverty.
Thank you for doing this tonight.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Representative Hahn, thank you so very, very much.
This chart here, When Women Succeed, America Succeeds, picks up a handful of the bills that have been introduced by the Democratic Caucus, many of these bills by women, a few men along the way. These are the kinds of things that we really ought to be dealing with here as we move--or, unfortunately, fail to move--legislation.
Paycheck fairness, this is the issue of that 77 percent in California, my district being about 85 percent.
The minimum wage, which we talked about here. The issue you raised Representative Hahn about paid sick leave and the problems that occur. Make permanent the child tax credit, which is exceedingly important in providing that income necessary to support the kid. The education issues, and I notice one of my colleagues, Mike Honda, will talk about that in a few moments.
I would like now--and we will pick up the rest. This one down here is one really at the bottom, Alzheimer's, and you mentioned this. The children are now taking care of their parents. Of course, the children are now in their fifties, sixties, and the parents are in their seventies and eighties and beyond. And this issue of Alzheimer's, an overwhelming tidal wave is coming on us.
I know in our own home, the last 2 years of my wife's mother's life was spent in our home. She and I, my wife had night care taking care of her. Fortunately, we were able to have day care come in. This is a huge, growing issue, one in which we need to find ways to support the children taking care of their parents in their homes.
I would like now to turn to another colleague from Ohio, one who has often joined me here on the floor. And thank you so very, very much, Marcy, for joining us, MARCY KAPTUR, who has a great deal to do with the appropriations process. Congratulations on the omnibus bill just coming up.
Ms. KAPTUR. Thank you, Congressman Garamendi. Thank you for bringing us together as you so often do. We are so fortunate that you are here and bringing us together as voices from the heart of America here in our Nation's Capital to talk about what is on the minds of the vast majority of the American people, and that
relates to their family life, how they are going to survive in this economy.
In listening to the statistics that Congresswomen SCHAKOWSKY and HAHN were relating, what has happened to family life in this country, because many times if you read articles, you see families can't hold it together. Why? Because of money, because of their inability to hold the household together because the jobs just vaporized. And when you have trade deficits for 30 years in our country, and we have an average of 15 factories closing every day, jobs vaporize. It doesn't matter
where you live--whether it is Ohio, California, Florida, New York--American people have felt directly the impact of this global economy, and many times they can't hold the social unit of the family together.
Many, many of the women who are supporting their children now have done so because of fallout in the economy. What you say about the gender pay gap is absolutely there.
I was very surprised to learn in Ohio, as a result of a study done by Progress Ohio, that, in fact, one of the major companies, I think the largest company in our country, Walmart, employs about 4,500 people in Ohio. And of their employees, those employees that work for minimum wage, or probably less if they are part-time, they apply for food stamps, for SNAP assistance. So they are trying to support their families. Just those in Ohio are using $23 million in Federal food support because they
can't earn enough to feed their families. And this type of corporate behavior is repeated over and over and over again, so essentially what is happening is the Federal Government ends up subsidizing low wages because the workers can't earn enough to support their families.
I am fortunate enough to come from a working class family. Our mother worked; our grandmother worked. Thank God for Franklin Roosevelt, because I think what our family has lived represents the story of a vast numbers of Americans.
Our grandmother could hardly speak English. She worked in hotels, in kitchens, peeling carrots and potatoes and so forth, washing dishes, paid the immigrant workers the very least. And then her husband always out of work, taking in tenants in their home. And they lived in 13 different places because they could never manage to own anything, trying to just hold it together with a sick daughter and a husband who often lost his job. So that was Grandma on one side of the family.
Then our mother, who became the sole support of her parents--and five children in that family--working at age 13, going across town to clean homes and so forth, it wasn't until the Democrats under Roosevelt passed the minimum wage that she began earning something more than she earned before.
Do you know what happened in the first place she worked, which was a little luncheonette on Broadway in Toledo, Ohio? When the minimum wage was passed initially, her boss, who wasn't such a nice guy, would cash her check and then pocket the difference between what she used to earn and what she then earned in the workplace. That was before we had the Department of Labor fully developed and we had inspectors on the job and so forth.
This is what American working women have dealt with for generations. And so I have to say, I am so proud I am standing on the shoulders of families like my own to be a voice for these women and these families whose economic struggle is excruciating. It is excruciating. Many of them don't have cars.
Our own mother, she was brilliant. She should be here, not me. She never got her high school equivalency until after she went on Social Security. And there were two things she had in her billfold when she died. One was her library card because she was brilliant, but the other one was her Social Security and Medicare card--because of Democrats. Because of Democrats, she could die with dignity.
I think about the families across this country, and I am so proud to be a voice for them here. I want to thank you very much for standing up for a raise in the minimum wage so that people who are struggling out there don't have to be on food stamps and EBT coupons because they are trying to earn their way forward. They should earn a decent wage, that working family life, paid sick leave.
I took care of our mother when she was ill. I know how hard it was to try to work and to care for someone who was so ill.
I just left a funeral home over the weekend in Ohio where a former county engineer, George Wilson, lost his beautiful wife, Pat, to Alzheimer's. And what were you saying, Congressman Garamendi, what this took for that family and that working daughter to try to hold everything together. It is such a cruel illness. So any help for caregivers across this country, for making caregiving a profession where you earn a decent wage, however we figure out how to do that, we are going to need it
in the coming years.
So I support my colleagues in their efforts to raise the minimum wage, to close the gender pay gap, to make sure that there is paid leave, to make sure that we work as a society to find ways to care for those who are ill. I know that with men such as yourself and those who are on the floor this evening, and with women who have now been educated and able to fully participate in this society and to express the needs from coast-to-coast, we will change this country for the better.
Thank you so very much for coming down here this evening. I agree with you that when women succeed, America succeeds, but we can't do it without our men.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Thank you so very much for your work on the appropriations and pushing these issues along.
Representative Mike Honda from California has been working on the issues of education for many, many [Page: H212]
years and has some insights into how this issue of women and equality are taken up in the educational area.
Mr. Honda, if you would like to proceed.
Mr. HONDA. Thank you, Congressman Garamendi, for putting these evening discussions on the board here.
I want to also rise to join you and other colleagues of mine in commemorating the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's declaration of the war on poverty, and, as you had mentioned, President Franklin Roosevelt's effort to close the income gap. The inequities that we have faced and we are still facing are growing even larger today because of the gender pay gap, because of the unpaid portions where people have to leave their work in order to take care of their children or their families.
Also, to be able to address the child care issues that became very prominent in the seventies, when both parents started to work and wondered how they were going to be addressing child care.
Also, we have the caregiver support, where adult children are taking care of their parents. We are seeing that this is a necessity that has crept up on our society and our community, almost very quietly, and become an issue because of different kinds of situations our parents are facing, not only because of the physical illness but because of the mental health illness that they have faced.
So all these things play a part in drawing down the resources of middle-income families trying to take care of their own responsibilities, raising their own family, and also the responsibility of their parents who are aging.
In the area of universal pre-K education and early childhood education, both President Roosevelt and Johnson knew that education is an important tool in this war on poverty and closing the income inequity gap.
Last week, I read an article in the Lexington-Herald Leader about two schools in east Kentucky, just hours apart from each other--Anchorage and Barbourville, two communities of about 3,000 in population.
The median household income in Anchorage is more than 3.5 times larger than the median income of that of Barbourville. Yet Barbourville spends only $8,000 per student, while Anchorage spends approximately $20,000 per student. Equal size population, only a couple hours apart.
The question comes up: Why is it that this country, our communities, continue to refuse to recognize the inequities in funding in our public schools? Why is that?
The quality of education that our children receive should not be dependent on or determined by the ZIP Code in which they live or in which they were born. Each and every child should receive support according to their needs, not according to the ZIP Code in which they reside--each and every child.
In the fifties, when we realized that the States were responsible for education, we interpreted it as the States' constitutional responsibility to move forward on education, and we found that some States had a principle of separate but equal. In the fifties, we realized that that was not supportable, not constitutional, and this became an issue in our current time when we were able to bring this issue to the living rooms of our country through technology--television. Upon this country and the
States becoming more aware of what was going on, on a Federal level we moved the communities to correct this inequity, the unconstitutionality of separate but equal in our education systems and other policies in our different communities and different States.
Today, we have come to a point where we understand that equal opportunity for all children is a necessary principle, but I think, having studied education a little bit more, we should refine that principle into another principle, to wit: each and every child should receive support according to their needs, not according to the ZIP Codes or the median income of their parents.
One of the more important steps to accomplish this and achieve equity in funding for our youngsters in the preschool and early childhood education arena is to fully fund Head Start for each and every child. So we must encourage States to adopt a more equitable funding formula to ensure that each and every child receives the necessary financial and human resources required.
President Obama declared that he has an initiative that addresses universal preschool education. The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, passed a bond that said that we want more equitable funding for children in the State of California. We passed a bond that increased the funding for education to achieve more equitable funding for each and every child. It is the first step. It is the right direction, but we have miles and miles to go.
This journey for equitable funding for each and every child is a journey that we must continue and start now, in order to achieve the civil rights of each and every child in this country.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Representative Honda, thank you so very much.
Among the many pieces of legislation that the Democratic Caucus has put forward on this issue of when women succeed, America succeeds is the issue of universal pre-K. Head Start is one part of that. There are many other kinds of programs, but it is absolutely clear that if we have universal educational opportunities before kindergarten and beyond that the chance of a kid making it in this economy is going to be substantially greater.
This is just part of the agenda over the next several months. We will be talking about the remaining portions of the agenda that we are putting forth.
We know that if this Nation is to succeed, we better make sure that the majority of our population, the women in our society--girls young and old--have every opportunity to succeed. There are barriers, some legal, some historic, and some custom, that make it very difficult for women to have an equal chance in our economy.
So we are going to address those. We would like to have the Republican side of the House work with us on those issues. We know that one of the major parts of that is the minimum wage issue. That is front and center.
I would like now to turn to my colleague from New York, who has joined me all so often, but never quite enough, on the floor.
Representative Tonko, you have been on this issue of economic development for so long. I think it is almost 4 years now we have been dealing with this, not every week, but often talking about jobs in America, economic
growth, and what we can do.
Why don't you pick it up and carry the ball for a while, and then we will see where we are.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Tonko, I knew that I would enjoy listening to you. The passion, the knowledge, the intensity that you bring to this issue is critically important. You have worked at these issues for a long time, and I want to talk, just wrap up the unemployment insurance issue with going back to where I started here some time ago.
Again, in early December, a jobs fair in Fairfield, California, nearly 1,000 people came to it, 50 employers. More than half of the people in this line are women. I could probably go down through this line. I remember a conversation with a couple of the women here, and they were on unemployment insurance.
Now, unemployment insurance actually started with the New Deal. It was part of the effort to deal with poverty in America, and it was an insurance program, a program into which the employer and the employee pay for insurance for the employee should there be a layoff, should they be unemployed, should that individual be unemployed. It is an insurance program. It is not a welfare program. It is an insurance program.
But if I were to go back down this line and talk to each one of these individuals, probably, maybe, 15 percent of them have lost their unemployment insurance because the House of Representatives has refused to extend the long-term unemployment insurance.
So where are they today? [Page: H214]
They are without a job because, as you said, Mr. Tonko, for every job available in America today, there are three people looking for that job. So two are going to go without the employment.
Minimum wage doesn't count because they yet don't have a job. We need to develop a jobs program, and we need to extend that unemployment because these women are mothers of children that now have a family with no income, no unemployment insurance.
The food stamps, the proposal on this floor by our colleagues was to cut the food stamp program by $40 billion. So where will the food come from? Not from SNAP, which is the new name for the food stamp program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. That is going to be cut.
Hunger in America among children--one in four children go hungry, and we are adding to it. We are adding to that number today by the refusal to extend the unemployment insurance.
Some 72,000 people will lose their long-term unemployment insurance each month as this rolls along--each week.
Thank you, Mr. Tonko. You are welcome to interrupt me whenever, and we can have a dialogue here. So thanks for the lipreading.
Each week 72,000 people. At the end of the year, another 3 1/2 million will have lost their unemployment insurance. Will they have a job? They could have a better opportunity for a job if we carried out the President's jobs program.
I think we have got about 10 minutes or so. Let's spend some time on that.
I am going to put up one of my favorite and often-used charts here. Mr. Tonko, you will recognize this.
Mr. GARAMENDI. It is the Make It in America chart. It is the revitalization of manufacturing in the United States. And I could probably give your speech on the industrialization of the State of New York. I will let you do it, however.
But these are the issues that we think are critical. We have spent most of this night talking about this one--labor. Last week I said we would pick this up, and we are, and particularly focused on women in the labor force. But here it is, trade policies, international trade.
I gave a speech this morning on the maritime industry, the decline of the maritime industry, the necessity of maintaining it. We are a maritime Nation.
We have oceans surrounding us, whether it is the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, or the Atlantic Ocean.
So it is trade issues.
Tax policies, why do we continue to subsidize the wealthiest industries in this world? The oil industry, why do we continue to subsidize the oil industry? Energy policy. Fortunately, we are having a good run on the energy issues, and we will come back and talk about that.
Mr. Honda talked about educational policy, research and infrastructure. These are the elements of the Make It In America agenda. And when we use our tax money to buy American-made equipment, really good things happen. Americans go to work.
In my district, or just on the edge of my district, in Sacramento, Siemens, that huge German manufacturing company, opened a manufacturing plant to build 100 percent American-made locomotives for the first time in generations because, in the stimulus bill, a sentence was added to the support for Amtrak, and that sentence said these locomotives will be 100 percent American-made.
A German company said, oh, $600, $700 million contract, we will make them in America. And so all across this Nation, manufacturing companies are now participating in the construction of 100 percent American-made locomotives using American taxpayer money.
That is the key here. Mr. Tonko, I know you get really excited about this issue, as you were about poverty and equality in America just a moment ago. Why don't you pick this up and carry it for a while?
Mr. TONKO. Sure. And I thank, again, the gentleman from California for yielding.
The Make It In America program, the concept of that, is a very strong domestic agenda. In and of itself, it has great merit. But let's put that into the context of the bigger picture, and that is the international sweepstakes for the economy, for landing jobs.
Many of us can recall the global race on space in the sixties, and it was critical to win that race. We had come off a failing moment with Sputnik, dusted off our backside and said never again.
So this Nation committed, with passionate resolve, that we would win that global race on space. That was just two nations, U.S. vs. USSR. Who would land on that Moon, stake their flag first? We were determined it was going to be the United States. And a rather youthful President led the Nation, again, with passionate resolve, so that we had dollars for training, for research, for education, for equipment, and we were going to win that race, and we did.
In my first year in Congress, in 2009, we celebrated the 40th anniversary. Neil Armstrong was here to shake the hands of many Members of Congress, thanking him for the poetry of the moment in that July of 1969. It was more than the one small step for man, one giant step for mankind, the poetry of the moment. It was the unleashing of untold amounts of technology that impacted communications, energy generation, health care. Across the gamut of job creation, technology entered in.
Fast-forward to today. A rather youthful President is asking again that we embrace, with passion, our entry into a global race, this time on innovation and clean energy and high tech. But this time, dozens of competitors.
So Make It In America is noble in and of its own right, but it is critical when we place it into the bigger picture of a global race on innovation. And it is not our choice to determine if we are going to enter the race. Our choice ought to be how prepared, how strong, how competitive will we be as we enter that race.
That requires education, higher education, skills development, energy costs, innovation of all sorts. That comes with the passion of reform. So we need an agenda like that presented with Make It In America that addresses the needs of the workers, that speaks to the empowerment that comes with research which equals jobs. For us to have that pioneer spirit, which I believe is in the DNA of America and her workers, we need to embrace that pioneer spirit and move forward.
Now, Representative Garamendi is going to joke that I always talk about the donor area that the 20th Congressional District of New York is and was to the development of the Industrial Revolution in this Nation. But the Erie Canal made a port out of a little town called New York, and then developed into the birthing of a necklace of communities called mill towns that became the epicenters of invention and innovation.
We need that same spirit to be embraced today with this out-of-the-box thinking, where we can bring about the best of America and provide hope for workers, for families across this Nation, and do it in a way that allows us to win this given race, this global race on innovation.
Whoever wins this race, as the President, President Obama, has been quoted oftentimes, will be the kingpin of the international economy. That is an important assignment to this House, the House of Representatives. It is an important assignment to Congress. It is an important challenge to all of us, as Americans, to commit to that agenda of investing, investing in America so that our best days lie ahead. I am convinced that with this sort of progressive thinking, our best days lie ahead, and that
we deliver hope to the doorsteps of individuals and families across this Nation with a vision of how we can win this next quarter of global competition.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Representative Tonko, once again, you have laid it out very, very clearly, the challenge that we have. There are 435 of us here in the House of Representatives. I think we are a little lower than that because of some retirements, but let's just say 435, and 100 Members of Congress. Together with the President, we set the national policy. We set the national agenda. And frankly, at the moment, the agenda is one that has stalled out. Really, we have been prevented from pushing
forward an aggressive agenda such as you have described. Those elements, research, education, manufacturing, infrastructure, the role of labor, particularly the role of women [Page: H215]
in the labor force, those issues are roadblocked.
There is a stop sign that has been put up here in the House of Representatives that basically says we shouldn't do any of that, that government has no role in any of those issues. I would challenge that philosophy. I would challenge that philosophy with the Founding Fathers.
Our colleagues on the right often talk about we ought to do what the Founding Fathers did. Well, one of the things that George Washington, one of the Founding Fathers, did was to turn to Alexander Hamilton and say, Develop a strategy for American manufacturing, for building the American economy. So Hamilton went off, probably talked to a few people, and came back with a lengthy report, which you would never see nowadays, which was like 30 pages. And in that document, he laid out a strategy for
building the American economy.
Interestingly, guess what he talked about. He talked about trade. He talked about infrastructure. Among the infrastructure that was specifically in the plan that Hamilton presented to George Washington, who then presented it to the Congress, was canals. And shortly thereafter, about 30 years later, the Erie Canal.
Here in Washington, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the canal on the Potomac River. It also talked about roads. It talked about ports. Those were the infrastructure projects of the day. The Constitution, by the way, says that the Federal Government must maintain and build postal roads. Infrastructure, we talk about that nearly all the time we are here.
Research. At that period of time, Thomas Jefferson--not exactly in league with the representatives from New England, but nonetheless--was pushing forward the research agenda and the education agenda. Go back to the Founding Fathers, pick up those elements of economic growth that they put on the American agenda in the very earliest days of this Nation, and carry those forward.
We are not a shy country; but if one would look at the policies emanating from the Congress today, you would think that we are a country that does not envision the necessity of grabbing the strength of the past and using those elements that have created the economic growth and pushing them forward.
We can, and we must, do this. And as we do it, I want to go back to where we started today's discussion, and that is, we started this discussion with the role of women in our economy. 77 cents. Equal pay? No, no. A man will earn $1; and a woman at the same job, same skill sets, same tenure on the job will earn 77 cents across this Nation. In my own district, it is 85 cents.
A woman working full time at minimum wage cannot earn enough money in this Nation to feed her child and pay the rent. A woman in this Nation with a child, she has a job, the child gets sick: she is faced with a dilemma.
We need to address these issues; and we must keep in mind the Make It In America agenda, the jobs agenda that we push forward; and we must always remember that when women succeed, America will succeed.
And with that, I thank my colleagues Mr. Tonko, Mr. Honda, the three women that joined us earlier, Ms. Kaptur, Ms. Hahn, and Ms. Schakowsky, for bringing this message to the American people and to our colleagues here on the floor.
And I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Tonko) to wrap up.
Mr. TONKO. I will just indicate that not far from the 20th Congressional District in upstate New York is the Women's Hall of Fame. And just recently, our leader, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, was inducted into that hall of fame. We think of the stories of women in the chronicles of American history, the women who embraced sacrifice and struggled to make a difference. Think of what happens when we empower the inexorable outcomes that they have journeyed through over the course of our
history. Think of the empowerment that comes. So with the vision of progressive orders of reform, our best days lie ahead; and we can deliver that hope that we are challenged to deliver.
So it has been tremendous speaking with you and our colleagues on the floor here this evening. Let's move forward and provide that hope to America's working families.
Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, our subject here tonight is about California's high-speed rail project, a project that was voted in in 2008 by the voters of California with approximately $9 billion worth of bonds to help fund what would be a project that would seek outside private investment as well, a project that would link San Francisco to Los Angeles with possible additional spurs to Sacramento and San Diego. It has run into large funding problems and such. So the subject of our time tonight
is that we see that there are huge problems with the funding and where will the funding come from.
I have my colleagues here from California, as well, who would like to speak on this subject. First of all, I would like to yield to my good friend and colleague from the north San Joaquin Valley, Congressman Jeff Denham, who has been a leader on this issue here in Congress as well as chairs the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which deals directly with rail and this issue. So, Congressman Denham, I would love to hear from you tonight.
Mr. DENHAM. I thank the gentleman from California.
I, as many other Californians at one time, supported the California high-speed rail project. It was initially supposed to be a $33 billion project with equal amounts coming not only from the California taxpayers, in the form of a bond, but also private investors and the Federal Government.
Yet this $33 billion project has ballooned up to $100 billion. So what do they do for cost controls? They cut off the very legs that Mr. LaMalfa talked about, the section going to Sacramento, the section going to San Diego; but, still, it is a $68 billion project with a more than $26 billion hole just in the first initial operating segment alone.
Tomorrow, as chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, we will be discussing a review of the challenges facing California's high-speed rail.
I want to reiterate I believe that high-speed rail is our future. I believe that as a growing economy, with more trucks and goods movement on the road, with more goods movement on rail that we have to look at alternative opportunities to move people. High-speed rail is one of those opportunities.
But in Florida, a project that is being done by private investors will have no ongoing subsidy. They need no Federal dollars. Texas will have its own high-speed rail system, again, with private dollars, no ongoing subsidy. Yet here in California, you have a $68 billion project with no private investor, with huge subsidies and overruns, and a project that cannot even get out of the initial gate.
So where we are today: California has no money to meet its Federal obligation. On November 14, we had a court decision that came back and said that they cannot spend the $9.95 billion that was approved by voters because they had failed to complete a full business plan. So with no dollars available, the Governor came out this week and said that we are going to use $250 million of the cap-and-trade dollars, cap-and-trade dollars that were supposed to be used for environmentally friendly projects.
Yet this project is going to be a net polluter, a net polluter for at least the next 30 years. So how he could come up with a legality of using these cap-and-trade dollars I think is in question.
But I think a bigger issue is a timing issue: $180 million is due April 1. The Antideficiency Act says that the State has to have its first set of matches, and that 50/50 match is due April 1. Yet the legislature is not even going to vote on this new budget and this theoretical $250 million in funds until, at the earliest, late June. California budgets usually come in in August, and I think it [Page: H216]
is a real question on whether liberals and conservatives can
agree on whether or not this environmental money will be used on high-speed rail.
But specifically on the operating segment, itself, the judge has said not only that they need to come up with the money on this initial construction segment, which stops in Bakersfield--so now we are going to have two sets of rail that stop in Bakersfield, and then you have to get on a bus to get across the Tehachapis. But they don't even have the funding for the initial operating section, which goes all the way to Palmdale. You won't be able to get the speed that they need going around, instead
of through, the Tehachapis; and they have a $20 billion funding gap in that first segment.
So some real questions: Are they going to meet the timeline of April 1? Is using the cap-and-trade dollars actually legal? And, third, this huge funding gap, where does that money come from? I think the Federal taxpayers across the Nation need to be asking the question, If you are going to subsidize all of California's high-speed rail projects, where do the matching dollars come from? If they could use the $9.95 billion, it is still not enough money. So if California can't come up with the Federal
match, what are the teeth that the Federal Government has to be able to hold California up to that Federal obligation?
We have some real questions that are going to be coming out tomorrow. The FRA has altered its approach. Once they realized that they couldn't do a 50/50 match, they went to a tapered match. That means that the Federal Government is going to come in with their money first, and then, hopefully, someday the State will come up with its matching dollars in a tapered manner. That tapered manner is coming through April 1. That is when that first $180 million is obligated.
But I think the real question is, Who is making these decisions? Did this go all the way up to the President? Was the past Department of Transportation Secretary or the new Department of Transportation Secretary involved in this decision? And if California can't come up with this tapered match, will they, once again, adjust this outside of Congress a second time?
So we have some real questions on what those legalities are. The next question would be the contingencies. What are the contingencies for the Federal Government to recoup its taxpayer dollars if California defaults on its obligations?
We have some real priorities in California. And as the Central Valley continues to suffer with a drought, as our schools continue to lag behind, as our public safety dollars continue to get robbed, is this the best use of our money? And should we be investing in something that, unlike Texas and Florida, has no private investors, has no State match, has a lot of funding questions that need to be answered before we move forward?
Mr. LaMALFA. Thank you, Congressman Denham.
Indeed, the more time that goes by on this issue, the more problems and flaws are exposed in this. This is a measure that passed in 2008, was put in front of the voters, known as ``Prop 1(a)'' at the time that passed by a 52-48 margin. I think the voters were sold something completely different than what we are actually seeing as Californians in the project.
Congressman Denham mentioned that the price has ballooned from approximately what people saw on the ballot, $33 billion for that initial San Francisco to L.A. segment; and just 1 year later, it was revised up after the voters had voted on it to $42 billion. And then we saw that the Sacramento segments, the San Diego segments were dropped off as even options.
Interestingly, we have all been in the State legislature--Congressman Denham and myself and another gentleman who will be speaking here in a moment--and we saw these numbers go past us at a time. And at a hearing that was held in the California State Senate in November of 2011, it was finally exposed that their numbers were way off, and they admitted that the project that voters expected would be right near $100 billion to do the San Francisco to Los Angeles segment if it was going to
be truly a high-speed rail from port to port. And also during that time, in order to build up and say what an economic boom it would be, they were advertising that 1 million jobs would be created by this.
We pinned them down in that Senate hearing that it wasn't really 1 million jobs. It was a term called 1 million job years, which really translates out to perhaps 20,000 jobs of building the entire system. So we have seen a lot of very creative--I would say phony--numbers on costs, on benefits, and even some of the very highly optimistic ridership numbers as well.
So, Congressman Denham, what does that mean in your district here as far as what you really think the jobs would translate out to? And then what are some of the impacts on the property involved, as well?
Mr. DENHAM. Well, certainly, one of the big concerns right now is where are these jobs? These were stimulus dollars that were supposed to be ready for shovel-ready projects 5 years ago--5 years ago--and still not one shovel is in the ground. Not one job is created. Now, unlike Texas and Florida that are creating jobs, that are putting the infrastructure in, certainly in California they could come up with a better plan. They could go along the I-5 corridor. They could use the existing rail corridor
that has been abandoned. There are other opportunities if they truly want to cut costs. But if they don't want to change, they don't want to revise their budget and they have no private investor, the question still remains, what obligation do you have to go back to the California taxpayer? You are obligating the California taxpayer for nearly $10 billion, and you are not fulfilling the Prop 1A guarantee that they voted on.
So, at a certain point, I believe that we have to force the California High-Speed Rail Authority to go back to the voters and seek approval. Change your plans. Go back to the voters and let the voters decide.
Mr. LaMALFA. Indeed, I attempted that in 2012 with legislation at the time called SB 95 in California to place that back in front of the voters, give people the option, now that they have more information, to say do they really want to go through with this with California's other issues. You mentioned, Mr. Denham, the challenges we have had with water supply. Even our Governor is saying that this is a huge priority and a huge problem for California to face in 2014, and yet we
have a very difficult time allocating a few billion dollars to enhance our water storage in California and instead are faced with this.
What would that mean for jobs in the valley if we are able to turn the water, turn the tap back on to agriculture at a fraction of the price of high-speed rail?
I yield to my friend.
Mr. DENHAM. It would be a fraction of the price, tens of thousands of jobs that would be lost of seeing farmland that goes by without being planted this year.
We have a huge drought. There are huge issues. And what everybody is trying to say is a high-speed rail--keep in mind, this initial segment, this initial operating segment which has a $20 billion funding gap, is not going to be electrified. It will not be high-speed. By their numbers, by their plan, this is another set of track that will not be electrified, that will run as it is being run today, with a $20 billion gap. So even if you came up with the entire $32 billion of this initial segment,
we are still stuck in the same situation that we are. We are just that much further in the hole.
Now, I know some of my colleagues would say, well, just spend the money as quickly as you can. Let's just spend some of it, and like other projects, once you have started it, some day the money will come. I don't think we can deal with that type of pie-in-the-sky rhetoric. I believe we have got to have a full funding plan that makes sense, one that has a private investor that was promised to us.
We have heard several times that, if you just write the legislation, we will have a private investor; if you just put it on the ballot and approve it by the legislature before it actually goes to the voters, we will have private investors that will sign on to this. Then it was right after the ballot passed, we have nearly $10 billion committed to by the taxpayers, for sure we are going to have a private investor now. [Page: H217]
Five years later, after the Federal Government has come up with several billion dollars, after the voters are now on the hook for $10 billion, and still today there is no private investor. You would be a fool to invest in this. This isn't Florida's project. This isn't Texas' project. This is a project with a huge funding gap that still is not going to be electrified--by their plan.
Mr. LaMALFA. Indeed, when we look at the project in totality here, what ended up being $100 billion to be legal under Proposition 1A, to have a true high-speed rail--which is required--to go from San Francisco to L.A. at a high speed, 2 hours and 40 minutes, a $100 billion project was revised now down to a $68 billion project, which does not include high-speed all the way to San Francisco in the north. It would stop at the San Jose area, and then you are required to use local transportation,
local light rail, what have you, to get all the way up to San Francisco. And at the southern end, you have, in L.A. County, it doesn't go to downtown Los Angeles under the new plan. It would stop somewhere in the north, remote north L.A. County portion. So it isn't truly high-speed rail anymore.
As you mentioned, too, Mr. Denham, on that, if they take the Palmdale route, they probably can't even sustain those speeds. So it is illegal on that count that it probably can't make a 2-hour-and-40-minute ride. And with that, you have three different segments. So if you have to buy three different tickets, I don't know how the customers are being suited by three different stops like that, as well.
We were told back in the day that the price of a ticket would somehow be tied to 85 percent of what an airline ticket was to go from north to south or south to north; and a real estimate, if this were self-sustaining, it would be somewhere maybe triple of that.
So the impacts of that, again, California agriculturally with water supply is struggling this year. So for a fraction of the amount of money it would take to bolster California's storage, we are going to spend perhaps what would have been $100 billion--in the revised number, $68 billion--to do an illegal Prop 1A version from south San Jose to north Los Angeles. That is a $55 billion gap on the entire project right there.
We can only point to $13 billion worth of funding, the 9.9 from the bond. Bonds have consequences. They have to be paid back by an already financially strapped State. As well, the 3.5 billion or so that is promised from the Federal Government under the 2009 stimulus has strings, too. It has an expiration period.
Please embellish on that a little bit, Mr. Denham, because we know there are some very important deadlines coming on that as well, if we can.
Mr. DENHAM. There are important deadlines. Again, this is part of the Antideficiency Act that says the 50/50 match now is coming due for the State. So April 1, $180 million is due. The question for the Governor is: Where is that money going to come from? We can't just continue to change deadlines. And the question to the administration is: Are you going to continue to allow California not to guarantee its matching funds? It is going against the Antideficiency Act, the reason that is put into
Mr. LaMALFA. California just passed a recent tax known as Prop 30 last year, 2012, that was going to pay for a whole lot of things, go for a lot of different measures with perhaps schools and other infrastructure. We had talked about cap-and-trade. You can even point to truck fees, that they are all now trying to be shifted towards high-speed rail instead of other priorities. I wonder if that is what the voters' intentions were on Prop 30 or on their truck fees or weight fees, et cetera.
So I think there has been a lot of deception around this, again, on cost and on ridership. As I mentioned a minute ago, if it has been revised down to a $68 billion plan, we can only point to, for sure, approximately $13 billion from Fed stimulus and the State bond. Where does the other $55 billion go to build what is really an illegal plan? Where is it going to come from?
Mr. Denham, you mentioned we haven't seen the private-sector money from anywhere, yet you can point to, recently, a proposal came out for an east coast plan to build a maglev, magnetic levitation train, that would link east coast urban centers, and there are already interested investors from Japan on that with much more modern technology. You can say that rail isn't new technology because it is wheels still running on a steel rail. And in California, which is supposed to lead the way
in technology and innovation, we are really not leading on this at all.
So what do you see as far as the problems with that bigger funding gap? And then, bringing that back, what is that going to do for our economy?
Mr. DENHAM. Well, certainly, we are falling way behind the rest of the world. Other technologies are starting to flourish in other parts of the world, yet here this project will take at least 30 years but, more likely, 50 to 60 based on where they are currently standing on the project. So this is something that will be far outdated technology if it ever gets completed.
But the real question is on the funding. Where is the commitment? This President certainly could look for or come up with other money. He could propose other money to fulfill this project. Not even Democrats will support that. That is not a Republican issue. This is an issue across the Nation saying, why would we come up with money, when we are starved across the Nation, to throw at a project in California that is being mismanaged?
I think that there are real questions there not only for the administration but private investors that are not willing to sink money into a failing project. They don't know what they are on the hook for. They don't know how long of a commute this will be or what the ridership numbers will ever be.
Even by this entire plan, there are too many stops. Whether you talk to the Rail Authority or whether you talk to investors around the world, with that many stops in those locations, you will never get to the 220-miles-per-hour speed, and you will never get to 2 hours and 40 minutes.
This thing is full of holes. It makes no sense for voters, and voters should have a say-so on whether or not they are going to commit any initial money or any further money as we move forward. This is about our future, not yours and mine, but our kids, our grandkids, and the type of debt that we saddle them with. At a certain point, I think that not only Californians, but Americans, need to wake up and say whether or not this is a project that deserves an investment.
Can we do things smarter? Can we do things like Florida and Texas? I don't think Florida and Texas are going to be alone. I think there will be other States that step up and find ways to do high-speed rail and find ways to make a commonsense solution in their States.
But in this State, this project is flawed. It is initially flawed by $20 billion, but certainly by more than $55 billion if we decide to move forward. At a certain point, you have to ask, how much is enough? I would say that now is enough.
Mr. LaMALFA. Indeed, when the stimulus money first started coming available, there were other States that applied for high-speed rail money, such as Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin. I believe that after they looked at their numbers, ran the figures on projects that were eligible for that stimulus money, they turned that money back and went back into this pool. Of course, California said it wants it; but interestingly, it would have been a much smaller portion had California been sharing
with those other States what Federal money would have come to the State. So the other ones said, We have looked at the numbers, and we are turning that money back in.
I think we ought to apply some of the same logic as the other States looked at when they had Federal money available, eligible funds, that they indeed turned back.
So I really appreciate your leadership on this, Congressman Denham, and we will be doing a lot more to make sure this is held accountable to the public here. I look forward to your hearing tomorrow on this matter.
Mr. LaMALFA. We are also joined by a colleague from the lower San Joaquin Valley area of the State for whom this issue is very important, very key to his district as well, on the impact of the [Page: H218]
rail route as well as the economy, as well as what it means for the taxpayers of the State and the entire country. Indeed, this has an effect on national taxpayers and the budget as well. So people in other 49 States are looking at what is going on here
and saying, Why is our Federal money going into something that can't possibly work out?
And so I know we are all willing to help people in other States with sensible infrastructure projects. That is the way it works in this country with our interstate system that President Eisenhower had the vision for back in the day. And yes, there might have been naysayers there, but you could actually point to positive results in something that works long term and other infrastructure projects that were invested in, but this one here, the numbers just don't run.
So my colleague, David Valadao from the valley, has got very great concerns and has been very strong in leading in his area too, as well, on what are the impacts going to be, what are the costs.
I would like to yield to Congressman David Valadao.
Mr. VALADAO. I thank the gentleman rice farmer from northern California for the opportunity to speak here today.
Where do you start with something like this? I grew up a dairy farmer in Kings County and continue to be a dairy farmer in Kings County to this day. I spent my first 2 years in elected office in the California State Legislature on a budget subcommittee and watched as this project moved along; and right before election when this was passed back in '08 and up until my election in 2010, the project didn't seem that bad. It seemed like something that was just voted on and put on the shelf and they
would continue to build on it. Then, at the last minute, some money showed up and it basically put this project in high gear, and the project wasn't ready for it.
As the Congressman from the northern part of the valley mentioned earlier, there is no real plan. When you show up at the last minute and say, ``Here. Here is some money. Start building right away,'' as if it is shovel ready, it set this project up for a really, really tough time.
What we are facing now today, we see a train system being built, a high-speed rail, and like was mentioned earlier, older technology. Forty years ago, rail with wheels was the technology. Now maglev is the new technology. So to see a project that is starting today with technology that is already 40 years old that probably won't be running for another 30 years, I think we are setting ourselves up for failure.
When you look at what else has been going on with this project, as far as what the opportunities are, when you look at my district specifically, California District 21, you have got communities like Hanford, Corcoran, Wasco, who all rely on a system that we have today, Amtrak. Amtrak doesn't really pay its bills, but it gets people from A to B, and it serves its purpose. You have got a system there where people who live in those communities are able to get to the doctor in Fresno or get to the
doctor in Bakersfield or get to work, but a small, commuter train that gets them where they need to be for relatively low cost.
You look at high-speed rail, and as the map that was up on the screen earlier showed, what we have there is a track that will basically pass from Hanford, if Hanford ever gets built, but for sure Fresno to Bakersfield, and it leaves all of the people in California 21 basically out to dry. That is sad. I mean, when you see a project that was supposed to help those less fortunate, or those people who need it the most, you have a project now that is actually going to hurt them and put potentially
at risk what they have today, Amtrak, their mode of transportation.
Because this project lacks so much money, that is why it puts us in that position. We have a system in place that is built on someone else's train tracks. It is on Burlington Northern's train tracks in my area, and I am sure it is on other tracks in other parts of the State, but if the project that they have today starts to move forward and they run out of money like we expect them to do, part of the plan is to move Amtrak over there. So what happens to those stations in my district? That is
just one of the issues I see.
In California 21, like I mentioned earlier, and a good portion of the valley, we face a water shortage, a drought. Some of that is natural, but a lot of that is regulatory. We have also got a severe lack of infrastructure to deliver water. We have Tempered Flats and we have Pikes Reservoir, we have a lot of infrastructure that needs to be built, and that is infrastructure that would benefit not just California but the whole State in general.
When you look at a project like high-speed rail, if that project was to go forward and be built, you would have a high-speed rail that most people couldn't afford to ride.
If you build water infrastructure, you now have water to grow products, water to feed families, water for our communities, and once you have that, you start to grow crops and produce product. You start to improve an economy and produce a product that you actually can sell and bring dollars back into your community. That, in my opinion, makes a lot more sense.
Education. California has struggled with funding for education for years. We have seen plenty of programs that were cut out or cut back or just flat out gotten rid of. If you have a project like high-speed rail spending money when they are not prepared for it, when we should be investing in our future, education, making sure our kids have the best opportunities, the best foundation to bring, to improve our economy, to be good, productive members of our society and to make a real difference--I
think education should be our first priority.
You look at everything we could be spending money on. Right now in California, we have been letting prisoners out of prisons because we don't have enough money to build facilities for them and to keep some of the community correctional facilities open. There is a lot going on, and we have to be spending money on a project like this when we should be focusing on something that helps keep our communities safe.
Those are all things that we should be paying attention to that we are not because of this project. They are in a hurry to build this project right now because they say it creates jobs, but, like was pointed out earlier, those numbers are all bogus. They were pushed up. They were not honest numbers. We are starting to see this project that will put our children and grandchildren into debt for a long time for a small amount of jobs that we really can't account for and we can't ensure will be our
own community jobs.
So this is something that has had me concerned my whole time in the legislature, and I have talked about it for a long time. It is something that I am going to continue to fight. It needs to be talked about and pushed out there.
The more people who get involved--you take groups like my Kings County group of residents who have sued the State and sued the Federal Government over this project. When they first got involved, they looked at this project and said this is going to affect our families and homes, let's fight it. Once they started getting into the details and saw where the funding was coming from, or the lack of funding, the amount of deceit that goes into this project just to get it rammed down our throats, they
decided to keep fighting no matter what, even though the alignment was moved off their property across town to another part of town. The high-speed rail people thought all of these people will back off now because it doesn't affect them personally, but once they knew what was really in this project, they thought there is no way we can let this fight go. So the group actually grew.
Now that the new constituents were affected by the new alignment, the new guys joined with the old guys and the group grew. Now they have moved the alignment back. The first group is continuing to fight, and the second group is in it as well. It is just amazing how the more you get to know about this project and how it is being pushed and how it is being run, the more you want to fight it, and the more you want to shut this thing down.
Just to close, California high-speed rail comes at a tremendous cost to taxpayers while delivering no benefit to my constituents. This project will destroy homes and businesses throughout [Page: H219]
California's 21st Congressional District and divert precious tax dollars away from water infrastructure, public safety, and education.
I will continue to uphold my promise to my constituents and do whatever I have in my power to stop this project as fast as possible.
Mr. LaMALFA. One question: a commission, a board in California, recently moved to the three-person board to authorize the rail authority to start condemning property under eminent domain. Of course, there is going to be a lot of resistance. Kings County is a hot bed of resistance to this project. The eminent domain procedures are not easy or cheap to get through a court process. They are already moved to condemn two pieces of property, I believe, in Fresno County, and I believe there
are at least 380 that may have to go through this process. How do your constituents feel about the forced taking of land and an alignment that doesn't make a lot of sense and some of the infrastructure that might be lost in these communities?
Mr. VALADAO. Over the years, there have been a lot of things built in the valley--freeways, just different
things that obviously needed to be built for the good of the State. Farmers, and constituents in general, if they understand why it is being taken and it makes sense for the State, usually it is an easy deal.
But once they get involved in the details of this project and start to see how they are being treated themselves and how the project is going to end up looking, because it is pretty apparent with the lack of funding and with the rest of the Federal Government looking at this project and understanding that it is pretty much ruined now because of the management, they are not happy. They are fighting this thing tooth and nail.
When it comes down to their own personal property, obviously they are offended with some of the prices and some of the numbers they are seeing. If they owned the property or if their family owned it, if it is a generational thing, or just in general an eyesore running alongside their home, affecting how they drive to work or how they move around the district in general, it is just offensive to many of them, depending on the different route or how you want to approach it.
Mr. VALADAO. We have a rendering plant that is right in the middle of the alignment as the alignment is today. Obviously, the alignment moves on a weekly basis, but the rendering plant has been in the alignment twice now. The first time, and we are back in there again.
As far as permitting for a new rendering plant, back in 2006 during the heat wave, we struggled in the Central Valley to handle the amount of animals that were needing to be processed at that time. Permitting for a new facility was nearly impossible, and we were never able to upgrade or expand the facilities. So to actually build a new one today I would say is nearly impossible.
Mr. LaMALFA. Is the high-speed rail authority guaranteeing to help or see through as part of the environmental documents to help make sure this is replaced or other infrastructure is replaced? There are dairies in line. Again, in California, securing a permit for a new dairy has become nearly an impossibility, as my colleague in the dairy industry would probably report. So there are a lot of people weighing in on that. Relocating the dairy, these are facilities and lands that have been
for generations of families that have been there. Is anything being taken into account on the authority helping with these processes as part of the impact they are having?
Mr. VALADAO. We have no guarantees on any of that. Some of the things that affect some of our constituents, somebody that has a restaurant and the high-speed rail goes through their property, they go in and give them what they assume is the value of that, but no one takes into account replacement value. Or they bought their first home when prices were high, and now prices have come down, and now it is an opportunity for high-speed rail to come in and offer them market price, which basically leaves
that person homeless and in debt. So there are a lot of situations.
We have farmers with long-term leases on property who do not own the property, but own the permanent crop on top of that. High-speed rail hasn't taken into account the value of that crop on top. People will invest $10,000 to $15,000 an acre to get trees planted, and if they are only buying the land for the value of the land but not what is on top of that land, that obviously will put a lot of people upside down in a really bad position and affect a lot of jobs.
One of the biggest economic drivers in the valley, and in California, we export a lot of agricultural products. That brings a lot of dollars in. That will have an impact on our economy as well.
Mr. LaMALFA. Indeed. We are both from long time farming families. I think when you are a farmer, or any business that is multi-generational, but especially on the land, you develop a bond. You develop a love of the land that you don't really put a price on. I think most farmers will farm until they can't farm any more, either due to age or regulations taking it away from them, or whatever. So how do you put a price on my family, raising the fifth generation, and you and your neighbors,
you have multi-generations as well. How do you put a market price on your legacy? Someone is coming in from Sacramento or Washington saying we think it is worth that. It may be worth infinitely more to you and your family and the generations behind you. How do you quantify that?
Mr. VALADAO. Well, you can't. When it is a project necessary for the benefit of the country, benefit of the State, one that actually makes sense with a good plan behind it, it is a little easier to swallow, but when you see this project in general and how big of a disaster it has been and how little information has been out to the public, how they plan on funding it, how they plan on moving forward, if people are going to be able to actually afford to ride this thing, it makes it that much worse.
This is important. I mean, when you look at how hard some people have worked to build their homes and build their farms and companies, we have restaurants and we have a little bit of everything that is being affected by this. When you see their blood, sweat and tears, you can't put a price on that.
Mr. LaMALFA. Certainly. Eminent domain is something that governments should use very reluctantly, very rarely, and only when there is no other option available. My farm has been affected by that as well with the large towers, the power lines that move basically from hydroelectric projects in the northeast part of the State down to the San Francisco Bay area. It is something that affects our fields, but it is part of the greater good. Our tractors have to drive around those now and figure
out how to still keep straight lines going through towers running at an angle, and you have ag aircraft that have to tangle with avoiding wires and flying over the towers at 200 feet and trying to drop seed or fertilizer, things like that. So we get some pretty strange streaks in our fields because of that infrastructure, but it is important. We want the folks in the Bay area to have that.
Eminent domain isn't always very fair. What I am seeing here is the promises, if there are any promises made by the high-speed rail authority, to truly keep people whole on this and give them options, and as you mentioned, the alignment changes frequently. We are not even sure if they have a full 520-mile alignment decided yet. They could have gone for a more low-impact route, perhaps putting it down the middle of Interstate 5 or adjacent to it, using parts of 99, perhaps.
Mr. VALADAO. Or maybe fill in gaps where Amtrak doesn't serve today. Currently, if you want to go from Bakersfield to L.A., you get on a bus. There is no connection there. That would have been a great place to start this project.
That is one of the arguments we have. When you have got a project of this size and such a percentage of the [Page: H220]
money that is needed to build this project, you can see the failure coming. But you have to make sure that whatever resources are spent are spent in a way that benefits the overall majority of the people.
Right now, if you are riding Amtrak from Fresno to L.A. and you get off at Bakersfield and you get on that Greyhound bus and ride over the hill, I am sure Greyhound does a great job, but that would be a great place to fill in the hole and build a rail, and build it up to today's standards and put something in place that we can build on in the future that makes sense.
Mr. LaMALFA. Certainly you can make an argument that the first places you should look are the urban areas where you can have the potential ridership. Here on the east coast, you have a lot of ridership between Washington, D.C., on up all the way to Boston. I don't know about the financial viability of that, but at least you can make a case there. Here, as was reported just a couple of years ago, they wanted to start in the Valley because, as was quoted, they had the least amount of resistance
to building the rail starting in the rural Valley as opposed to what it was going to take to run through the South Bay area, places like Palo Alto and others, that some people are feverishly opposed to what that would do and what that infrastructure tends to bring to high-value communities like that as well.
But, again, the promise lies in the Central Valley for us in what we do well already. My portion in northern Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, these are strong agricultural areas.
I am wondering--and maybe you can touch on this as well--we have had different ideas for water projects that for a fraction of the money we are talking about with the high-speed rail system, how far could we go to do one or two water storage projects and what would that mean for especially communities like you have down there that have seen a huge economic impact with the cutoff of water due to the delta smelt and those other problems? What would that mean in real jobs for the people that have
the skills and education level that likely aren't going to be working on a high-speed rail project, but have a strong background in agriculture? What do you see that doing to help your area?
Mr. VALADAO. Well, when we look at a company that wants to invest in the Valley, if they are in agriculture, obviously they are attracted to the area for those reasons. But if they are looking for an affordable place that makes sense between L.A. and San Francisco because of access to larger populations, they look at the Central Valley, but they also want to make sure that there is security there. If you are going to build a company, you are going to make sure it is in a great place for your
I think the focus should be right now making sure that people have affordable energy to live there because obviously it gets hot in the summer, and the water situation. Are you going to move your family into an area where the water isn't safe to drink, which is commonplace in some of those communities that we have been fighting for funding for some of the water treatment facilities that are so necessary.
Then when you get into the infrastructure itself, if you are going to build a plant or anything or a processing facility for the type of commodities we grow, water is a necessity. It starts from growing the crop, to cleaning the crop, to making sure that the facilities are up to code and that we've got some treatment in place and that we have a product that we can sell and bring dollars to those communities.
That is how you create jobs, that is the right way to do it, and that is something that we should be focusing on and investing our limited resources on today. Obviously, we have been making some really tough decisions in the last few months over spending and budgets and everything else that we have got going on. Not just on the national level, but at the State level there are going to be some tough decisions as well.
Those decisions should be based on priorities, and those priorities should be making sure we have the resources, and resources today means water. Water is the number one priority, and that is where it should be focused at.
Mr. LaMALFA. I think everybody in California in the midst of this drought probably find agreement with that. Our own Governor was underlying that in a speech the other day, and yet still so wedded to this high-speed rail project, which the funding for is highly questionable. Indeed, a judge handed down a decision the other day ordering California not to spend any of the State bond money because it wouldn't be legal to do so under the lack of a plan they have.
We both served in the State legislature. And is California's financial situation such that it can get out there on its own somehow with new funding? If the Federal money falls short or no private investment comes out, where will it come from?
Mr. VALADAO. Well, we have got a lot of priorities here in Washington, D.C. The different Members from different parts of the State are not looking at California's high-speed rail project the way it is being rolled out today and thinking that is a good place to invest the resources that the taxpayers in their district want to see them spend the money on.
It is not going to be an easy lift. As this project seems to move forward and the press gets worse and worse, and when you've got judges involved saying that they are not following the letter of the law, what was asked of the voters when they voted for it, it just makes it that much harder to come up with the rest of the money they are going to need to finish this project.
So to get it started, just to build a big berm, or maybe even a berm with some metal on top to hopefully throw some older-style Amtrak trains on top, doesn't make a lot of sense, especially when you are going to cut off communities that need it today, need what we have got in place today and not put that in jeopardy.
Mr. LaMALFA. What doesn't get talked about much are different impacts like the high-speed rail. In order to sustain a high-speed, you have got to build a very long elliptical form in order to make turns with a train going 220 miles per hour. It is kind of like the angled towers running at angled lines on my property that we farm. It doesn't fit in real well with a grid that is set up on straight lines and squares like that.
So when an elliptical-shaped rail comes through your community through agricultural zones, as well as high-speed rail having to cut off all the crossings, can you build enough overpasses to not stop the flow of traffic, whether that is cars or trucks or even a farmer on a tractor who now may have to drive his tractor instead of just across 6 miles down the road and back up to get around. I mean, there are a lot of impacts that are really not meeting the eye here when you line them out.
Mr. VALADAO. Like I mentioned earlier, when this project was started, it was started as a long-term project; but then $3 billion showed up from the Federal Government and the project managers basically said put this thing in high gear, start breaking ground.
You have got a project of this type that affects so many people in so many different communities--how they
travel around their homes to work, around their farms, around their businesses, transporting products between warehouses and processing facilities. You have so much going on, and you have got this project now that is going to disrupt all of that just because they have got a timeline that they have got to spend.
The timeline is really on a small portion of it. We are talking a couple percentages of the total cost of the project. It is not worth risking a project of this size over such a small amount of money.
That is probably one of the worst things that has happened to this project since its inception. It could have been something great. It could have been a project that could have made a big difference if it was given the time to be designed and planned in a way that benefited the State, didn't burden the State with debt forever, and actually helped the constituents of that State.
It is too bad this project has gone down the path it has; but, again, we are going to try to stop this thing so that this doesn't happen and doesn't affect our communities.
Mr. LaMALFA. Well, indeed, it does appear that they are hell-bent on [Page: H221]
spending that approximately $3.5 billion that has Federal deadlines on it in order to get the project started; and then at that point, well, we are invested in the project, we can't stop now, even though the judge ruled it is illegal to spend the State dollars because it is not fulfilling the plan. So, indeed, big impact on the Valley and on taxpayers.
Mr. Valadao, I really appreciate your time and your leadership on this here tonight. Let's keep putting the message out that there are better ways. Most anything might be better than investing in this at this point. So I thank you for your help here tonight.
Mr. LaMALFA. So, indeed, the investors that were supposed to come in, private investment for what had been billed to voters as a $33 billion project, up to $45 billion if you built the San Diego and Sacramento link, they have not materialized. When you see that the price for a time went up to $98.5 billion--hence California's Senate bill 985--it scared everybody away from this.
You see, in a Baltimore to Washington proposal to do a maglev project here locally that has outside investors that want to come in on that, nobody is touching California's high-speed rail.
So in the absence of this outside investment, California has moved in many different ways to try and find other pots of money. The Governor plans on diverting truck weight fees that are collected from commercial truckers away from repairing California's aging roads.
Just try and drive in the right-hand lane of any freeway--I get to enjoy Interstate 5 a lot--and see what the condition of that road is. Some areas have been repaired. Caltrans had a pretty good year last year. Other areas it is still pretty rough. Interstate 80, near Sacramento, they are doing repairs now; but the potholes on that were pretty bad.
Yet we are seeing the effort by the State to shift funding away from repairing roads that everybody uses versus a project that maybe few can afford to actually use. My colleagues from the Valley here would probably tell you that there is not going to be a whole lot of people that jump on high-speed rail to ride from Bakersfield to Fresno because it doesn't make any sense for them.
The promise of a low-cost ticket being 85 percent initially of an airline ticket from L.A. to San Francisco or vice versa, how can that be met without having the tickets subsidized at these costs? $85 we were told, $90. It was revised later maybe $120 when we had a hearing about it. Try $300 if it is not going to be underwritten by the taxpayers for ridership on this.
How many people are going to spend $300 on that trip? Other than those that might do it for the novelty of the train ride from north to south or south to north. We saw pie-in-the-sky numbers on what the amount of ridership would be, numbers that at one time were greater than the entirety of Amtrak across the 48 continental States. They have had to revise them down to some other vague number.
So there is not a lot of trust in anything being put forward by the California High-Speed Rail Authority on costs, on ridership, on impact, promises made or not made to those that are impacted in the line of many different proposals of where the route is. Yet they are still trying to move forward and start condemning people's property, at who-knows-what price of reimbursement, in order to spend as quickly as they can this $3 billion-plus of Federal stimulus money put in place almost 5 years ago.
It is really looking more like a fraudulent enterprise from what the voters saw in 2008 to now. Indeed, polling out there shows that now that people have heard about this the last couple of years and what it really means and the other choices they have to make on schools, on water, on their actual highways, that they have a whole lot of different opinion on it. A lot of editorial pages around the State are saying at the very least if you are not going to stop it, you should put it back on the
I attempted that in 2012. The mood wasn't there in the State legislature to do that. My former colleague there that I served with, Assemblyman Jeff Gorell from the Santa Barbara area, he is putting forward legislation to put it back on the ballot and re-vote the rail. So I hope that catches fire and that the legislature will look at this project and decide maybe that would be worth a vote of the people of California to decide if this is still a priority at these prices.
So Assemblyman Gorell has got a pretty big task to put that in front of the legislature and achieve the votes. But interestingly--still talking State politics here--but in the State Senate, to put forward the first segment of funding in late 2012, it received the bare majority of votes to fund that. In our California State Senate, there are 40 Members. They have got a vote of 21-19. All the Republicans voted ``no'' and four of the Democrats, who up to that point had been pretty favorable on high-speed
rail. It barely got out of the State Senate floor.
I think that is saying a lot, that the opinions have changed, certainly amongst the voters. Now we just have to put the State legislature in a figurative headlock and get them to think about it and do that.
So I hope Assemblyman Gorell is successful in this measure because it would be proper to put this back in front of the voters and ask them again: would you rather have this or water projects, highway projects, school projects, any number of things that could be done to help move California forward instead of this boondoggle that has no way of paying for itself or sustaining itself?
We see, again, with the court handing down a ruling, that the plan is diverted so far from what was initially voted on and approved by the voters that it is now illegal. Why should State government be doing things that are illegal? Because they are right now in such a hurry to get the money spent, the Federal money. If the Federal money was to stop, the State money also has to. They both have to have a match with each other; but if there is not the match happening, then there are giant legal
Congressman Denham mentioned a while ago: What is the payback procedure if Federal money is misspent, improperly spent? Because California had the capacity to do that if it doesn't meet its timelines, it doesn't meet the goals, it doesn't meet the tenets laid out in proposition 1(a). It would be in a true high-speed rail system all the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which so far that plan is not. You have to ride three different train types to accomplish that under this current
Now we know the folks in the Bay Area and parts of Los Angeles are interested in seeing some of their tracks electrified as beneficiaries of some of the money that will be coming from this. I get that, I understand that. That probably would be a benefit for them, some upgrades in their local infrastructure. I don't know why you could not support that separately from this. If it helps to get Caltrain in the Bay Area electrified, then that should be a separate question, a separate set of funding,
because right now this is illegal.
The people in the Bay Area do not want to be part of an illegal project, likely, and maybe perhaps lose that funding they are depending on to electrify and upgrade their system. I don't think so. That is a lot of money when it gets around to doing that above what is going on in the valley, with the condemnation of the land, and building in an area where they said would have the least amount of resistance for the project, let alone the Bay Area and perhaps parts of north L.A. County.
So it is very problematic. It is really time, as I proposed back in my senate days, to slow down the project and really get some real numbers. That was my first bill in the State Senate, SB 22. It was a no spending, no doing anything, until we have fully vetted and thought out a plan.
Honestly, this reminds me of ObamaCare. I have been calling this around my neighbors ObamaCare, Jr., because it is so poorly thought out; and the plan for funding it looks largely the same, pie in the sky. Investors won't touch it. Federal Government, are they going to come in and bridge the gap of the other $55 billion that is missing, if we believe a $68 billion plan, or on up to the approximately 100, let alone the inflation things that might drive a real project all the way to $150 billion?
All for what? [Page: H222]
What could really be seen as an outdated technology and something that a lot of people can't afford to assess, nor even make sense for them to use in short segments within the valley. Yes, it may make sense possibly if you had a fast train that could go all the way from San Francisco to L.A. and complete that.
One of the things brought up is that in order for the project to be technically legal, they would only have to send one train per day in each direction at full, nonstop length. They would have other trains perhaps that are making all these stops, stopping at every little burg along the way. That is not high-speed rail. That is glorified Amtrak, glorified local commuters. That is not the intent of voters or anybody on this measure, or for that funding which is scarce money these days in California.
The huge problems we have in trying to get a budget done and move eventually towards the balance in our Federal budget, it isn't a priority that we should be doing.
So, Mr. Speaker, I just want to note that again Congressman Denham will be having a hearing tomorrow in his Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on rail that will be at 10 a.m. in Washington time, developing more on this situation. So I would invite you to participate, or watch that, and expose what really needs to happen with Federal funding as well as maybe perhaps the people in California have an opportunity to weigh in on Assemblyman Gorell's proposal to have this back
on the ballot and maybe perhaps shift our scarce funds to other things.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the time here tonight, and I yield back the balance of my time.