12:38 PM EDT

Dan Newhouse, R-WA 4th

Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Polis), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only.

GENERAL LEAVE

12:39 PM EDT

Dan Newhouse, R-WA 4th

Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the Rules Committee met and reported a rule, H. Res. 271, providing for consideration of three important bills.

This rule provides for consideration of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 and the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 2016 under structured rules, and the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015 under a closed rule. It is important to note that this combined rule allows for separate consideration of each bill. This House will separately debate and consider these important issues.

The Legislative Branch Appropriations bill is traditionally considered under a structured amendment process, and that practice is continued today.

The America COMPETES Act makes a dozen amendments in order, with more than half--eight amendments--coming from Democratic sponsors.

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1806 is a fiscally responsible proscience bill that reauthorizes civilian research programs at the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The bill keeps our Nation competitive on the global stage and works to refocus the Federal Government's primary scientific role to fund basic research. This reprioritization of basic research will help ensure future U.S. economic competitiveness and security and will spur additional private sector technological innovation, which is crucial to the United States remaining a world leader in scientific and technological advances.

This bill keeps overall funding for these programs equal to the fiscal year 2015 appropriated levels and is consistent with the caps set by the Budget Control Act, prioritizing taxpayer investment in basic research without increasing overall Federal spending.

The emphasis this legislation places on Federal investment and research in the physical sciences and engineering helps to develop and advance knowledge and technologies used in fields by scientists who are dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans.

I have seen firsthand the importance of these investments while visiting the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of our 17 national labs, which I am proud to represent in my district, Washington's Fourth District.

The work being done at PNNL and at the national labs and research universities all across the country is critical to our country's future, and the prioritizations and reforms on this bill will enhance the work being done to the benefit of all Americans.

Additionally, H.R. 1806 reduces by $1 billion the administration's large and unjustified program, such as late stage commercialization, which picks winners and losers that compete with the private sector.

We must be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, and this legislation will prevent duplicative and wasteful research activities by requiring the Department of Energy to certify that the work being done is original and has not already been conducted by another Federal agency.

Overall, the America COMPETES Act will reestablish the priority of basic research in the core physical sciences and biology in the Nation's civilian science agencies. This bill sets the right priorities for our Nation's civilian research and will promote U.S. innovation, ingenuity, and competitiveness, all without increasing our national debt or deficit.

This rule also provides for consideration of H.R. 2250, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 2016. This legislation provides funding for all operations of the United States House of Representatives, the U.S. Capitol complex, the Capitol Police, the Congressional Budget Office, and the many other agencies that are so important to the day-to-day functions of Congress.

H.R. 2250 provides the legislative branch with $3.3 billion in fiscal year 2016--the same amount as fiscal year 2014, as well as fiscal year 2015--continuing this Chamber's commitment to leading by example during these times of huge deficits and out-of-control debt.

The activities this bill funds are critical to the operations of the Capitol complex, which must be protected, cared for, and maintained. Visitors from my district in central Washington, as well as visitors from across the country and throughout the world, travel countless miles to visit this remarkable institution, which is a symbol of democracy and freedom for so many.

For these and many other reasons, we must ensure that the Capitol remains in this pristine condition and is able to withstand the test of time so that many future generations are able to visit this truly unique and historic place.

[Time: 12:45]

Finally, this rule provides for the consideration of H.R. 2353, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015.

H.R. 2353 will extend the highway trust fund's expenditure authority for 2 months--from May 31 to July 31. It will also provide an extension for many important Federal highway and public transportation programs, such as the motor carrier and highway safety programs as well as the hazardous materials transportation program, through July 31.

Last August, Congress passed and the President signed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, which was intended to provide enough funding for the highway trust fund to remain solvent through May 31 of this year. However, the funding is now lasting longer than was originally predicted, and this bill will extend the trust fund's expenditure authority so that transportation spending is able to continue through July while Congress works to find a solution that will ensure the trust fund

remains solvent for years to come. A constructive dialogue in Congress is needed on this issue, one that will give States the certainty they need to build the roads, the bridges, [Page: H3323]

and other infrastructure that our communities and our economy need to thrive in the 21st century.

Mr. Speaker, this is a good, straightforward rule. I support its adoption, and I urge my colleagues to support the rule and the underlying bills.

I reserve the balance of my time.

12:46 PM EDT

Jared Polis, D-CO 2nd

Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I thank the gentleman from Washington for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the rule and the underlying bills.

We should be celebrating today the start of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals expansion and the Deferred Action for Parents of American Citizens program that President Obama launched in light of the continued failure of this Congress to finally fix our broken immigration system. This Congress hasn't brought forth a single immigration bill, not secured our border, not ensured that employers follow our law and only employ legal American workers; but, rather, at every opportunity, it has

sought to thwart the executive branch, doing what they can with the powers they have under our U.S. Constitution to restore the rule of law without the help of this body.

These three bills before us today are yet another way of kicking the ball down the road and refusing to address our broken immigration system, a problem that will continue to get worse until Congress steps up and solves it.

I hope that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program's expansion, known as DACA--already a great success with additional success along the way with the new expansion--and the Deferred Action for Parents of American Citizens program, or DAPA, are soon unclogged by the courts to at least reduce the size of this sometimes insurmountable problem that Congress continues to refuse to tackle. That is the alternative.

If Congress continues to bring up three bills every week and if none of them are about border security and none of them are about immigration, do you know what? Instead of there being 10 million people here illegally, there are going to be 15 or 20 million here 10 years. That is exactly where this Republican Congress is leading us--towards an America where, someday, there might be more people here illegally than there are here legally. Think about that, Mr. Speaker.

This first bill that we are considering before us today is not immigration reform. It is, instead, a 2-month extension of the current surface transportation authorization. Our transportation system is the lifeblood of our country. It dictates our ability to move and manage not only people but information, ideas, products, industries, commerce, jobs. By failing to pass a long-term transportation reauthorization, which will ensure the security of our highways and transit systems for more than 60

days, we are putting our Nation's economic lifeblood in jeopardy.

The second bill we will see before us today is not immigration reform. The second bill, instead, is a partisan attempt to inject the ideological priorities of my Republican colleagues into education and research, priorities that are opposed by the very titans of research for whom this bill is ostensibly designed. I will talk more about that in a moment.

Of the third bill before us today, I am hopeful. Is it immigration reform? I ask the gentleman from Washington: Is the third bill before us today immigration reform? I am happy to yield to the gentleman for an answer.

In reclaiming my time, he is speechless. He is speechless because he knows the truth: the third bill is not immigration reform. The third bill is actually the funding bill for the legislative branch of government. Maybe if the legislative branch of government were actually doing its job we would have an immigration reform bill before us; but, no, my colleague from Washington is speechless because he knows as well as I do that this is not immigration reform, that it is, instead, a funding bill

for Members of Congress' salaries and the salaries of our staffs. I guess that is more important than securing our border. I guess that is more important to the Republicans than restoring the rule of law.

Let me get into these three bills.

The Surface Transportation Act would extend the authority of the government to fund our highways for 2 months--only for 2 months. What that means is we risk wasting $51 billion and, in jeopardizing that funding, risk over 660,000 jobs by failing to do a long-term authorization of the highway trust fund.

We all have an interest in this. Any one of us can talk about the importance of transportation in our districts. If you have ever been to Colorado, you will know that there is one major artery to get to our world-class ski facilities and unparalleled 14,000 peaks from the metro area--Highway 70. If you have ever taken it, particularly on a Friday, or have come back on

a Sunday, you might very well have sat in your car at a dead stop. If you have been to Fort Collins, which is the largest city in my district and is home to one of our great universities, Colorado State University, you might have found similar circumstances around the long rush hour on Highway 25 north. Waiting 45 minutes in traffic to go 5 or 10 miles is something my constituents do every day--doubling, tripling, quadrupling their commuting time.

These stories aren't unique to Colorado. They aren't unique to my district. I will bet every Member of Congress can share the importance of transportation in their districts. That is why, ostensibly, every Member of Congress says, ``We want transportation. We support roads.''

There are no Republican roads and Democratic roads. There are roads. Yet, by continuing to fail to provide a long-term funding structure for them, we are playing games with the livelihoods of the American people, hurting our own economic lifeblood, wasting people's time as they are sitting in traffic, throwing into jeopardy the status of the jobs of contractors and subcontractors, and risking lives by continuing to repair our necessary bridges and infrastructure that have accumulated safety deficits.

I urge my colleagues to consider the irresponsibility inherent in this punt.

I would also like to talk about the America COMPETES Act. Now, the original genesis of this bill, which was passed in 2007, was to help America compete in an increasingly global environment across the sciences and to ensure our innovative spirit.

My district is a hub for scientific research, and we are excited to have the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University, NOAA, NREL, and NCAR. Research that is done in Colorado has ramifications and positive effects across the country, like our space weather lab in Boulder, which helps make sure that air traffic controllers and pilots have access to up-to-the-minute information about solar flares that could alter their trajectories in realtime.

This bill, instead of continuing the bipartisan legacy that the original COMPETES Act sets out or instead of replacing our broken immigration system with one that works for our country, seems to cherry-pick winners based on ideology and overturns the historic priorities of the bill. Why else would the dean of Research at CU-Boulder oppose this bill? Why else would our widely respected Secretary of Energy oppose this bill? Dozens of the largest scientific organizations and coalitions--this is

supposed to be a science bill--are saying, ``Don't give us this bill. It will hurt science in our country.'' How does that even make any sense?

The efforts of the Republicans to hijack this legislation for ideological interests are utterly transparent. Scientists are saying, ``Go home Federal Government. Don't help us with this bill.'' Again, in yet another instance of Federal overreach, the Republicans are imposing their versions of science on those in the field who are doing work.

Finally, this rule brings forth H.R. 2250, also a bill that is not immigration reform. It does nothing to secure our border, but it does make sure that Members of Congress get paid. I am sure Republicans can go home happy about that. It makes sure our hard-working staff gets paid, the committees get paid, and the buildings get repaired.

No, I am not against those things. Those are fine things. If we had an all-volunteer legislature, we probably [Page: H3324]

wouldn't have the fine caliber of statesmen we have tackling our national problems here today. But it is not immigration reform, Mr. Speaker. It doesn't secure our border, and it will only continue to increase the number of people who are here illegally in our country while Congress continues to punt and to undermine the efforts of the President

to do what he can with the powers he has through DACA and DAPA, which were scheduled to start today.

I do want to point out that the underlying draft of this Legislative Branch Appropriations Act is another example of the failure to address many of the needs of our country. There was an effort by my colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz to put forward an amendment to ensure that House cafeteria workers receive a living wage. You would think we would want to be an example of a model employer. I would hope that we, as custodians of the U.S. Capitol, would take some pride in that we are a

model employer; we are a little microcosm of what employers should do, best practices. But there is a Senate employee who is homeless because, on the salary he gets, he can't even afford to rent here in Washington. People who work every day here in the Nation's Capital are living in poverty.

I think that we can do better as a model employer. If this were my company, I would take no pride in that. I would like to think that this is our company. It is the United States of America, and we are the board. Let's have employment policies that we as employers can be proud of.

I urge my colleagues to vote against the rule and to, instead, bring to the floor immigration reform or better versions of these bills: a science bill that, maybe, scientists support, maybe; or a transportation bill that maybe funds our highways for more than 2 months so that people can plan. It is time we begin working for the American people, not against them.

I reserve the balance of my time.

12:56 PM EDT

Dan Newhouse, R-WA 4th

Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I share the gentleman from Colorado's opinion that the issue of immigration reform is huge, that it is one of the biggest issues facing this country today. I agree that we need to give it adequate debate and time and consideration; although, today is not the day.

Mr. Speaker, we recently heard from colleagues on the other side of the aisle that combining multiple bills in a single rule can lead to fragmented and confusing debate.

In an effort to refocus our debate today, I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith), the distinguished chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

12:56 PM EDT

Dan Newhouse, R-WA 4th

Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I share the gentleman from Colorado's opinion that the issue of immigration reform is huge, that it is one of the biggest issues facing this country today. I agree that we need to give it adequate debate and time and consideration; although, today is not the day.

Mr. Speaker, we recently heard from colleagues on the other side of the aisle that combining multiple bills in a single rule can lead to fragmented and confusing debate.

In an effort to refocus our debate today, I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith), the distinguished chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

12:57 PM EDT

Lamar S. Smith, R-TX 21st

Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Washington for yielding me time, and who is a former member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee himself.

H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, is a pro-science, fiscally responsible bill that sets America on a path to remain the world's leader in innovation. This bill reauthorizes civilian research programs at the National Science Foundation, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, at the Department of Energy, and at the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Since January, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has held numerous hearings that have provided input into this bill. This includes budget hearings with the NSF Director, the Acting NIST Director, the Secretary of Energy, and the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. But our consideration of the provisions in this bill began long before last year.

In the last Congress, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee held numerous hearings on the topics addressed by this bill as well, and many of the provisions in the bill were debated during the Science, Space, and Technology Committee's consideration of the first act last Congress, which the Science, Space, and Technology Committee passed in May.

Title I of the bill reauthorizes the National Science Foundation for 2 years and provides a 4.3 percent increase for research and related activities. The bill prioritizes funding for the directors of biology, computer science, engineering, and mathematics and physical sciences, and it recognizes the need to make strategic investments in basic R&D for the U.S. to remain the global leader in science and innovation.

The bill reprioritizes research spending at the National Science Foundation by reducing funding for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Directorate and Geosciences. The bill, instead, focuses funds on the physical sciences from which there are almost all of the scientific breakthroughs that drive new technology, new businesses, industries, and job creation and that spurs innovation.

Tight Federal budget constraints require all taxpayers' dollars to be spent on high-value science in the national interest. Unfortunately, the National Science Foundation has funded a number of projects that do not meet the highest standards of scientific merit--from climate change musicals, to evaluating animal photographs in National Geographic, to studying human-set fires in New Zealand in the 1800s--and there are dozens of other examples.

[Time: 13:00]

The bill ensures accountability by restoring the original intent of the 1950 NSF Act and requiring that all grants serve the national interest.

Title II represents the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology's commitment to enhancing STEM education programs. A healthy and viable STEM workforce is critical to American industries and ensures our future economic prosperity. The definition of STEM is expanded to include computer science, which connects all STEM subjects.

Title III includes three bipartisan bills the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology approved in March. Those bills--H.R. 1119, the Research and Development Efficiency Act; H.R. 1156, the International Science and Technology Cooperation Act of 2015; and H.R. 1162, the Science Prize Competitions Act--passed the committee by voice vote. Two of these bills were sponsored by Democrats.

Title IV supports the important measurement standards and technology work taking place at the National Institute for Standards and Technology laboratories, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, and the recently authorized Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

Title V reauthorizes the Department of Energy Office of Science for 2 years at a 5.4 percent increase over fiscal year 2015. It prioritizes basic research that enables researchers in all 50 States to have access to world-class user facilities, including supercomputers and high-intensity light sources. This bill also prevents duplication and requires DOE to certify that its climate science work is unique and not being undertaken by other Federal agencies.

Title VI reauthorizes the DOE applied research and development programs and activities for fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017.

H.R. 1806 refocuses some spending on late-stage commercialization efforts within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to research and development efforts.

Title VII proposes to cut red tape and bureaucracy in the DOE technology transfer process. Currently, the private sector has little incentive to build reactor prototypes due to regulatory uncertainty from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

H.R. 1806 sets the right priorities for Federal civilian research, which enhances innovation and U.S. competitiveness without adding to the Federal deficit and debt. I encourage all my colleagues to support this bill.

1:02 PM EDT

Jared Polis, D-CO 2nd

Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I was told the gentleman from Washington shares a desire to address the broken immigration system. I know the chair of the Committee on Rules, Mr. Sessions, has indicated similarly. Just as I have posed to Mr. Sessions in the past, I would like to pose to the gentleman from Washington if he has a timeframe for when we can expect immigration legislation here on the floor of the House.

I would be happy to yield to the gentleman from Washington to answer that.

Well, sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer), a [Page: H3325]

member of the Committee on Ways and Means.

1:03 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy in yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, I want to speak to just one aspect on the floor of this rule. My colleague from Washington made a statement that we are dealing with a 2-month extension because we found some extra money to let it last longer.

No, the reason that we are having a 2-month extension is because we have not been able to resolve this problem. I made the remarks on the floor of the House last summer that extending it to May is not going to get us anyplace, and we would be right back in the same spot. I could dust off the same speech.

What is happening is that you have a little tiny bit of give, but it doesn't mean that we have enough money and that there aren't consequences. There are States across the country, because of the uncertainty of the Republican funding approach, that are already cutting back on construction projects this summer.

This will be the 33rd short-term funding extension. It is a symbol of the failure of my Republican colleagues to do anything in the 55 months that they have been in charge to deal with transportation funding. They have never even had a hearing on transportation finance.

Now, I will say that over the last 22 years there have been some bipartisan failures to step up to it. Ironically, the solution is clear, thoroughly studied, and broadly supported: raise the gas tax for the first time since 1993.

The Republican leadership doesn't have to do anything extraordinary, just allow the Committee on Ways and Means to follow regular order. Have some serious committee hearings. Listen to the experts. Invite in the stakeholders that build, that maintain, and use our transportation system. Let's have at the witness dais heads of the AFL-CIO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce--who agree we should raise the gas tax--the head of transit, the American Trucking Association, AAA, bicyclists.

They could refer back to great Republican leaders of the past. Dwight Eisenhower established the gas tax to fund the Interstate Highway System. Ronald Reagan, the conservative icon, called Congress back in November of 1982 to more than double the gas tax, which Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill did.

In fact, my Republican friends could involve Republican leaders today. Six Republican States have raised the gas tax already this year: Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, South Dakota, Georgia.

1:03 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy in yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, I want to speak to just one aspect on the floor of this rule. My colleague from Washington made a statement that we are dealing with a 2-month extension because we found some extra money to let it last longer.

No, the reason that we are having a 2-month extension is because we have not been able to resolve this problem. I made the remarks on the floor of the House last summer that extending it to May is not going to get us anyplace, and we would be right back in the same spot. I could dust off the same speech.

What is happening is that you have a little tiny bit of give, but it doesn't mean that we have enough money and that there aren't consequences. There are States across the country, because of the uncertainty of the Republican funding approach, that are already cutting back on construction projects this summer.

This will be the 33rd short-term funding extension. It is a symbol of the failure of my Republican colleagues to do anything in the 55 months that they have been in charge to deal with transportation funding. They have never even had a hearing on transportation finance.

Now, I will say that over the last 22 years there have been some bipartisan failures to step up to it. Ironically, the solution is clear, thoroughly studied, and broadly supported: raise the gas tax for the first time since 1993.

The Republican leadership doesn't have to do anything extraordinary, just allow the Committee on Ways and Means to follow regular order. Have some serious committee hearings. Listen to the experts. Invite in the stakeholders that build, that maintain, and use our transportation system. Let's have at the witness dais heads of the AFL-CIO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce--who agree we should raise the gas tax--the head of transit, the American Trucking Association, AAA, bicyclists.

They could refer back to great Republican leaders of the past. Dwight Eisenhower established the gas tax to fund the Interstate Highway System. Ronald Reagan, the conservative icon, called Congress back in November of 1982 to more than double the gas tax, which Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill did.

In fact, my Republican friends could involve Republican leaders today. Six Republican States have raised the gas tax already this year: Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, South Dakota, Georgia.

1:06 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. Not exactly liberal bastions.

This is something that we can and should do. Let's step up, solve this problem, avoid this continual uncertainty for people around the country. They deserve better.

1:07 PM EDT

Dan Newhouse, R-WA 4th

Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, just a note to my colleague from Colorado, I agree that this is an important issue that he keeps bringing up of immigration, and I will certainly ask my chairman for any timeframe, and I will look forward to working with him and all my colleagues on solving this important issue.

But today we are talking about highways. We are talking about science. We are talking about keeping this place running smoothly.

To get us back on subject, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Weber).

1:07 PM EDT

Randy Weber, R-TX 14th

Mr. WEBER of Texas. I thank the gentleman from Washington for yielding me the time. I am glad to hear I am getting us back on subject.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the rule on H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015. This is fiscally responsible legislation that cuts wasteful government spending and prioritizes innovative scientific research and development.

A key reform included in the America COMPETES Act is reining in spending at the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or EERE. EERE's budget has grown by almost 60 percent in the last decade. President Obama's fiscal year 2016 budget request for EERE is over $2.7 billion, with a B, which is a requested increase of another $800 million over last fiscal year.

The Department of Energy's approach to energy research and development has also become more and more unbalanced with the EERE's continued growth. In fact, the President's proposed budget for EERE R&D is more than double the budgets for nuclear, fossil, and electricity R&D combined. In addition, the work prioritized by EERE is far too focused on increasing the use of today's existing technology. Many EERE programs are focused on reducing market barriers for existing technology or funding R&D activities

already prioritized by the private sector, not conducting the fundamental research to build towards future breakthroughs.

With our national debt at $18 trillion and rising, and spending caps guiding budgets on everything from energy to national defense, Congress cannot rubberstamp this kind of out-of-control spending. It is time to adjust the Department of Energy's budget to reality.

The America COMPETES Act refocuses Federal investment on energy research and development, not deployment of today's technology. By funding the basic research and development prioritized in the America COMPETES Act, the Department of Energy can build a foundation for the private sector to bring innovative energy technology to the market and thereby grow the American economy.

So I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this rule and ``yes'' on H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015.

1:07 PM EDT

Randy Weber, R-TX 14th

Mr. WEBER of Texas. I thank the gentleman from Washington for yielding me the time. I am glad to hear I am getting us back on subject.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the rule on H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015. This is fiscally responsible legislation that cuts wasteful government spending and prioritizes innovative scientific research and development.

A key reform included in the America COMPETES Act is reining in spending at the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or EERE. EERE's budget has grown by almost 60 percent in the last decade. President Obama's fiscal year 2016 budget request for EERE is over $2.7 billion, with a B, which is a requested increase of another $800 million over last fiscal year.

The Department of Energy's approach to energy research and development has also become more and more unbalanced with the EERE's continued growth. In fact, the President's proposed budget for EERE R&D is more than double the budgets for nuclear, fossil, and electricity R&D combined. In addition, the work prioritized by EERE is far too focused on increasing the use of today's existing technology. Many EERE programs are focused on reducing market barriers for existing technology or funding R&D activities

already prioritized by the private sector, not conducting the fundamental research to build towards future breakthroughs.

With our national debt at $18 trillion and rising, and spending caps guiding budgets on everything from energy to national defense, Congress cannot rubberstamp this kind of out-of-control spending. It is time to adjust the Department of Energy's budget to reality.

The America COMPETES Act refocuses Federal investment on energy research and development, not deployment of today's technology. By funding the basic research and development prioritized in the America COMPETES Act, the Department of Energy can build a foundation for the private sector to bring innovative energy technology to the market and thereby grow the American economy.

So I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this rule and ``yes'' on H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015.

1:10 PM EDT

Donna F. Edwards, D-MD 4th

Ms. EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today both as a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

I can't think of a worse rule, frankly, that we could bring to the floor. We could have had bipartisan cooperation on America COMPETES so that we can invest in our science and our research and our technology, and yet that is not what is happening here today.

As to the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, it doesn't allow for any amendments to the legislation that would fix and fund our Nation's crumbling infrastructure with predictability, stability, and for the long term. The highway trust fund and the current surface transportation authorization, as we know, are set to expire on May 31, leaving just 3 legislative days to extend it or 4,000 transportation workers will be laid off and work would stop on Federal highway programs all across the

country right in the middle of prime construction and building season.

Now, the responsible among us know that we can't walk away from the highway trust fund. Millions of jobs and thousands of businesses hang in the balance. But we also know that what is before us today is the least most responsible way to fund our infrastructure--2 months at a time. Can you believe it? Two months at a time, Mr. Speaker; no long-term projects, no opportunity for planning, no relief for workers, and at another pivotal moment in the construction season.

As a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, today I am joining Ranking Member DeFazio and Eleanor Holmes Norton in introducing the GROW AMERICA Act on behalf of the administration. This bill would serve us well to provide $478 billion over 6 years for our highways, bridges, transit, rail, and highway safety programs. This long-term and robust funding bill is a 45 percent increase over our current spending on our tatterdemalion and crumbling infrastructure.

It is the type of plan that we have to ensure that our major-league economy does not have the infrastructure that wouldn't even fit children playing T-ball.

While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle twiddle their thumbs 2 months at a time, America is falling apart. Once one of the leaders in the world in quality infrastructure, we are now number 16, according to the World Economic Forum. According to the American Society of Engineers, the overall assessment of our Nation's infrastructure ranks with a whopping D-plus. [Page: H3326]

Now look at my home State of Maryland: 5,305 bridges are deficient; they are falling apart. That is 27 percent of the bridges in our State. Just a few months ago, one of my constituents was driving along Suitland Parkway, minding her own business, when a chunk of cement fell and hit her car hood because the bridge was in disrepair.

Though it is not my preference, we have to extend the highway trust fund today, and I challenge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to use this time to go through a bipartisan negotiation on how to pay for our long-term and fully funded investments to construct and rebuild our roads, bridges, transit, and rail infrastructure.

Thirty-four extensions of the highway trust fund, 52 votes against ACA. Come on, let's get serious. Move away from the kids' table; get to the grownup table and fund our highway transportation and infrastructure.

1:10 PM EDT

Donna F. Edwards, D-MD 4th

Ms. EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today both as a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

I can't think of a worse rule, frankly, that we could bring to the floor. We could have had bipartisan cooperation on America COMPETES so that we can invest in our science and our research and our technology, and yet that is not what is happening here today.

As to the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, it doesn't allow for any amendments to the legislation that would fix and fund our Nation's crumbling infrastructure with predictability, stability, and for the long term. The highway trust fund and the current surface transportation authorization, as we know, are set to expire on May 31, leaving just 3 legislative days to extend it or 4,000 transportation workers will be laid off and work would stop on Federal highway programs all across the

country right in the middle of prime construction and building season.

Now, the responsible among us know that we can't walk away from the highway trust fund. Millions of jobs and thousands of businesses hang in the balance. But we also know that what is before us today is the least most responsible way to fund our infrastructure--2 months at a time. Can you believe it? Two months at a time, Mr. Speaker; no long-term projects, no opportunity for planning, no relief for workers, and at another pivotal moment in the construction season.

As a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, today I am joining Ranking Member DeFazio and Eleanor Holmes Norton in introducing the GROW AMERICA Act on behalf of the administration. This bill would serve us well to provide $478 billion over 6 years for our highways, bridges, transit, rail, and highway safety programs. This long-term and robust funding bill is a 45 percent increase over our current spending on our tatterdemalion and crumbling infrastructure.

It is the type of plan that we have to ensure that our major-league economy does not have the infrastructure that wouldn't even fit children playing T-ball.

While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle twiddle their thumbs 2 months at a time, America is falling apart. Once one of the leaders in the world in quality infrastructure, we are now number 16, according to the World Economic Forum. According to the American Society of Engineers, the overall assessment of our Nation's infrastructure ranks with a whopping D-plus. [Page: H3326]

Now look at my home State of Maryland: 5,305 bridges are deficient; they are falling apart. That is 27 percent of the bridges in our State. Just a few months ago, one of my constituents was driving along Suitland Parkway, minding her own business, when a chunk of cement fell and hit her car hood because the bridge was in disrepair.

Though it is not my preference, we have to extend the highway trust fund today, and I challenge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to use this time to go through a bipartisan negotiation on how to pay for our long-term and fully funded investments to construct and rebuild our roads, bridges, transit, and rail infrastructure.

Thirty-four extensions of the highway trust fund, 52 votes against ACA. Come on, let's get serious. Move away from the kids' table; get to the grownup table and fund our highway transportation and infrastructure.

1:14 PM EDT

Jared Polis, D-CO 2nd

Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, the reason you hear so many people talking about different topics is there are three completely unrelated topics in this single rule. There is the funding for all of the legislative salaries and the people who work in this building, that is one bill; another one funds roads, but only for 2 months, across the whole country; and the other one is the one that they say is for science but all the scientists oppose. So that is why it is so confusing. There are three completely

unrelated bills in here, none of which do a thing about illegal immigration.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Welch), a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

[Time: 13:15]

1:14 PM EDT

Peter Welch, D-VT

Mr. WELCH. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, we need a surface transportation bill, but the last thing in the world we need is this bill, a 2-month extension.

If this short-term plan was a necessary step to get us to a long-term bill, that would make some sense; but, as speakers have noted, this is the 33rd time in the past 5 years where Congress has failed to provide long-term and sustainable funding for our surface transportation needs. This is a habit; it is not a plan.

Mr. Speaker, this bill follows on the heels of the bill we passed 9 months ago, and that was a 9-month extension of surface transportation paid for by ``pension smoothing.'' You can't make that up.

We lowered the obligation corporations pay to pensions in order to put money in the highway transportation fund. We created a pothole in pensions to fix potholes in the highways; it makes no sense, but now, we are here on a 2-month plan--a good job, Congress.

We were given some assurances that we would have a long-term bill. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, there are good long-term plans out there. Congressman Renacci has a plan, the President has a plan, as do Congressman Delaney and Congressman Blumenauer. There are policies out there. We don't need a policy debate. We need a decision.

The reality is we have got to make Congress work, do its job, and pass a long-term funding bill that is going to allow this country to modernize its airports, fix its bridges, make its railroads safer, and dredge our ports deeper.

We have to bring our 20th century infrastructure into the 21st century, and the only way we are going to get that done is by stepping up to the responsibility that we have to pass a long-term funding plan.

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated to the Speaker himself that it is a tough job putting a bill on the floor. It always is tough when Congress has to pull the trigger on what that revenue source is going to be.

I will support any plan that is reasonable and sustainable. The only plan I won't support is no revenue plan at all.

1:17 PM EDT

Derek Kilmer, D-WA 6th

Mr. KILMER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the good gentleman from Colorado for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, prior to coming to Congress, I worked at the Economic Development Board for Tacoma, and in my office, I had a sign that said: ``We are competing with everyone, everywhere, every day, forever.''

That sentiment was echoed in a report by the National Academies last decade called, ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm,'' which was the main influence behind the bipartisan America COMPETES Act. The report provided us with a pathway on how to increase American competitiveness so that we don't fall behind our global competitors.

Its finding were stark. The report told us that, if we are going to compete as a nation, if we want innovation to happen here in America, if we want jobs to be created here in America, we need to make significant investments in basic research and double the funding dedicated toward research and development. That is from that report.

That is not what we are doing here today. In fact, funding for basic research in the bill that we are currently debating fails to keep up with the rate of inflation. It fails to live up to the standards set forth in that bipartisan report.

When this bill was first considered in the Science, Space, and Technology Committee last Congress, a group of my fellow members of the New Democratic Coalition developed a set of principles we thought should guide a reauthorization of America COMPETES legislation.

These principles included increasing funding for basic research, stabilizing funding for research and development, and supporting policies that spark innovation.

We were disappointed when the FIRST Act strayed away from these policies and are disappointed this America COMPETES legislation fails to make investments needed for America to remain competitive in the 21st century.

The amendment I introduced, along with my colleagues, does not call for doubling the funding for research and development in the underlying bill or put funding on pace with what was outlined in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' The amendment we put forward was a compromise. Unfortunately, this amendment was made out of order and not brought to the floor for consideration.

Mr. Speaker, if we fail to make critical investments in research and innovation, America will fall behind. Let's take up a bill that lives up to the spirit of bipartisanship and the goals laid out in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' Let's compete everywhere, every day, forever.

1:17 PM EDT

Derek Kilmer, D-WA 6th

Mr. KILMER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the good gentleman from Colorado for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, prior to coming to Congress, I worked at the Economic Development Board for Tacoma, and in my office, I had a sign that said: ``We are competing with everyone, everywhere, every day, forever.''

That sentiment was echoed in a report by the National Academies last decade called, ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm,'' which was the main influence behind the bipartisan America COMPETES Act. The report provided us with a pathway on how to increase American competitiveness so that we don't fall behind our global competitors.

Its finding were stark. The report told us that, if we are going to compete as a nation, if we want innovation to happen here in America, if we want jobs to be created here in America, we need to make significant investments in basic research and double the funding dedicated toward research and development. That is from that report.

That is not what we are doing here today. In fact, funding for basic research in the bill that we are currently debating fails to keep up with the rate of inflation. It fails to live up to the standards set forth in that bipartisan report.

When this bill was first considered in the Science, Space, and Technology Committee last Congress, a group of my fellow members of the New Democratic Coalition developed a set of principles we thought should guide a reauthorization of America COMPETES legislation.

These principles included increasing funding for basic research, stabilizing funding for research and development, and supporting policies that spark innovation.

We were disappointed when the FIRST Act strayed away from these policies and are disappointed this America COMPETES legislation fails to make investments needed for America to remain competitive in the 21st century.

The amendment I introduced, along with my colleagues, does not call for doubling the funding for research and development in the underlying bill or put funding on pace with what was outlined in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' The amendment we put forward was a compromise. Unfortunately, this amendment was made out of order and not brought to the floor for consideration.

Mr. Speaker, if we fail to make critical investments in research and innovation, America will fall behind. Let's take up a bill that lives up to the spirit of bipartisanship and the goals laid out in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' Let's compete everywhere, every day, forever.

1:17 PM EDT

Derek Kilmer, D-WA 6th

Mr. KILMER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the good gentleman from Colorado for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, prior to coming to Congress, I worked at the Economic Development Board for Tacoma, and in my office, I had a sign that said: ``We are competing with everyone, everywhere, every day, forever.''

That sentiment was echoed in a report by the National Academies last decade called, ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm,'' which was the main influence behind the bipartisan America COMPETES Act. The report provided us with a pathway on how to increase American competitiveness so that we don't fall behind our global competitors.

Its finding were stark. The report told us that, if we are going to compete as a nation, if we want innovation to happen here in America, if we want jobs to be created here in America, we need to make significant investments in basic research and double the funding dedicated toward research and development. That is from that report.

That is not what we are doing here today. In fact, funding for basic research in the bill that we are currently debating fails to keep up with the rate of inflation. It fails to live up to the standards set forth in that bipartisan report.

When this bill was first considered in the Science, Space, and Technology Committee last Congress, a group of my fellow members of the New Democratic Coalition developed a set of principles we thought should guide a reauthorization of America COMPETES legislation.

These principles included increasing funding for basic research, stabilizing funding for research and development, and supporting policies that spark innovation.

We were disappointed when the FIRST Act strayed away from these policies and are disappointed this America COMPETES legislation fails to make investments needed for America to remain competitive in the 21st century.

The amendment I introduced, along with my colleagues, does not call for doubling the funding for research and development in the underlying bill or put funding on pace with what was outlined in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' The amendment we put forward was a compromise. Unfortunately, this amendment was made out of order and not brought to the floor for consideration.

Mr. Speaker, if we fail to make critical investments in research and innovation, America will fall behind. Let's take up a bill that lives up to the spirit of bipartisanship and the goals laid out in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' Let's compete everywhere, every day, forever.

1:17 PM EDT

Derek Kilmer, D-WA 6th

Mr. KILMER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the good gentleman from Colorado for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, prior to coming to Congress, I worked at the Economic Development Board for Tacoma, and in my office, I had a sign that said: ``We are competing with everyone, everywhere, every day, forever.''

That sentiment was echoed in a report by the National Academies last decade called, ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm,'' which was the main influence behind the bipartisan America COMPETES Act. The report provided us with a pathway on how to increase American competitiveness so that we don't fall behind our global competitors.

Its finding were stark. The report told us that, if we are going to compete as a nation, if we want innovation to happen here in America, if we want jobs to be created here in America, we need to make significant investments in basic research and double the funding dedicated toward research and development. That is from that report.

That is not what we are doing here today. In fact, funding for basic research in the bill that we are currently debating fails to keep up with the rate of inflation. It fails to live up to the standards set forth in that bipartisan report.

When this bill was first considered in the Science, Space, and Technology Committee last Congress, a group of my fellow members of the New Democratic Coalition developed a set of principles we thought should guide a reauthorization of America COMPETES legislation.

These principles included increasing funding for basic research, stabilizing funding for research and development, and supporting policies that spark innovation.

We were disappointed when the FIRST Act strayed away from these policies and are disappointed this America COMPETES legislation fails to make investments needed for America to remain competitive in the 21st century.

The amendment I introduced, along with my colleagues, does not call for doubling the funding for research and development in the underlying bill or put funding on pace with what was outlined in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' The amendment we put forward was a compromise. Unfortunately, this amendment was made out of order and not brought to the floor for consideration.

Mr. Speaker, if we fail to make critical investments in research and innovation, America will fall behind. Let's take up a bill that lives up to the spirit of bipartisanship and the goals laid out in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' Let's compete everywhere, every day, forever.

1:17 PM EDT

Derek Kilmer, D-WA 6th

Mr. KILMER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the good gentleman from Colorado for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, prior to coming to Congress, I worked at the Economic Development Board for Tacoma, and in my office, I had a sign that said: ``We are competing with everyone, everywhere, every day, forever.''

That sentiment was echoed in a report by the National Academies last decade called, ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm,'' which was the main influence behind the bipartisan America COMPETES Act. The report provided us with a pathway on how to increase American competitiveness so that we don't fall behind our global competitors.

Its finding were stark. The report told us that, if we are going to compete as a nation, if we want innovation to happen here in America, if we want jobs to be created here in America, we need to make significant investments in basic research and double the funding dedicated toward research and development. That is from that report.

That is not what we are doing here today. In fact, funding for basic research in the bill that we are currently debating fails to keep up with the rate of inflation. It fails to live up to the standards set forth in that bipartisan report.

When this bill was first considered in the Science, Space, and Technology Committee last Congress, a group of my fellow members of the New Democratic Coalition developed a set of principles we thought should guide a reauthorization of America COMPETES legislation.

These principles included increasing funding for basic research, stabilizing funding for research and development, and supporting policies that spark innovation.

We were disappointed when the FIRST Act strayed away from these policies and are disappointed this America COMPETES legislation fails to make investments needed for America to remain competitive in the 21st century.

The amendment I introduced, along with my colleagues, does not call for doubling the funding for research and development in the underlying bill or put funding on pace with what was outlined in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' The amendment we put forward was a compromise. Unfortunately, this amendment was made out of order and not brought to the floor for consideration.

Mr. Speaker, if we fail to make critical investments in research and innovation, America will fall behind. Let's take up a bill that lives up to the spirit of bipartisanship and the goals laid out in ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm.'' Let's compete everywhere, every day, forever.

1:20 PM EDT

Scott Peters, D-CA 52nd

Mr. PETERS. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, our country, as Mr. Kilmer pointed out, is facing an ever-increasing global competition for scientific research. We can't afford to cede the leading edge we have built up in innovation to other countries, but the current level of funding in the underlying COMPETES bill does not provide adequate and constant funding for our basic scientific endeavors.

It cuts energy efficiency and renewable energy by 37 percent, cuts electric grid reliability research by 30 percent, and cuts the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA-E, by 50 percent.

These levels will not maintain strong foundations for basic scientific research and will make it even harder for us to retain young scientists in the United States. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a world leader in ocean research, has noted the harmful cuts to the geoscientist program, which is used to improve prediction for events, including earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, drought, and solar storms. At a time of increasingly extreme weather, we should be investing in research,

not cutting it.

Unfortunately, the amendment offered by Mr. Kilmer, Ms. Esty, and me to increase funding by a small but significant 3.5 percent was not even given [Page: H3327]

a chance to have a vote here on the House floor.

I ask my colleagues to oppose this rule and to stand up for America's scientists and our competitiveness.

1:20 PM EDT

Scott Peters, D-CA 52nd

Mr. PETERS. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, our country, as Mr. Kilmer pointed out, is facing an ever-increasing global competition for scientific research. We can't afford to cede the leading edge we have built up in innovation to other countries, but the current level of funding in the underlying COMPETES bill does not provide adequate and constant funding for our basic scientific endeavors.

It cuts energy efficiency and renewable energy by 37 percent, cuts electric grid reliability research by 30 percent, and cuts the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA-E, by 50 percent.

These levels will not maintain strong foundations for basic scientific research and will make it even harder for us to retain young scientists in the United States. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a world leader in ocean research, has noted the harmful cuts to the geoscientist program, which is used to improve prediction for events, including earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, drought, and solar storms. At a time of increasingly extreme weather, we should be investing in research,

not cutting it.

Unfortunately, the amendment offered by Mr. Kilmer, Ms. Esty, and me to increase funding by a small but significant 3.5 percent was not even given [Page: H3327]

a chance to have a vote here on the House floor.

I ask my colleagues to oppose this rule and to stand up for America's scientists and our competitiveness.

1:22 PM EDT

Carolyn Maloney, D-NY 12th

Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. I want to thank the gentleman from the great State of Colorado for yielding and for his leadership on the Rules Committee and on so many other important issues before this Congress.

Mr. Speaker, the highway trust fund, which finances highway and transportation projects all across this

country, is set to expire at the end of this month. It is coming right up. Passing a short-term fix is necessary because the Republicans have ignored our Nation's transportation needs for the past 10 months, since the last short-term extension was passed.

We don't need a short-term extension. We need long-term planning and investment in our infrastructure. The sad reality is that the United States is not investing nearly enough in its infrastructure. As a share of gross domestic product, we invest about one-half of what Europe does. We invest only one-quarter of what China does.

As you look at this chart, it shows the amount of road traffic volume is up 297 percent; yet the public spending on road maintenance is so much lower, 125 percent. It is nearly 2.5 times faster that we are spending--and having volume go up--but we are not investing in our infrastructure to keep up with this volume.

One out of every four bridges is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete in the United States. We have had two bridges with cars on them that literally collapsed in recent history.

The question of whether to fix our infrastructure is not about the money. We are already spending the money, fixing our cars when they hit yet another pothole or wasting our time sitting in traffic. Why don't we have high-speed rail like the rest of the world?

Let's save ourselves some time and money by investing wisely to support our transportation infrastructure through the highway trust fund.

1:22 PM EDT

Carolyn Maloney, D-NY 12th

Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. I want to thank the gentleman from the great State of Colorado for yielding and for his leadership on the Rules Committee and on so many other important issues before this Congress.

Mr. Speaker, the highway trust fund, which finances highway and transportation projects all across this

country, is set to expire at the end of this month. It is coming right up. Passing a short-term fix is necessary because the Republicans have ignored our Nation's transportation needs for the past 10 months, since the last short-term extension was passed.

We don't need a short-term extension. We need long-term planning and investment in our infrastructure. The sad reality is that the United States is not investing nearly enough in its infrastructure. As a share of gross domestic product, we invest about one-half of what Europe does. We invest only one-quarter of what China does.

As you look at this chart, it shows the amount of road traffic volume is up 297 percent; yet the public spending on road maintenance is so much lower, 125 percent. It is nearly 2.5 times faster that we are spending--and having volume go up--but we are not investing in our infrastructure to keep up with this volume.

One out of every four bridges is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete in the United States. We have had two bridges with cars on them that literally collapsed in recent history.

The question of whether to fix our infrastructure is not about the money. We are already spending the money, fixing our cars when they hit yet another pothole or wasting our time sitting in traffic. Why don't we have high-speed rail like the rest of the world?

Let's save ourselves some time and money by investing wisely to support our transportation infrastructure through the highway trust fund.

1:24 PM EDT

Jared Polis, D-CO 2nd

Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, this rule under this debate covers three significant but entirely unrelated bills. That is why you are hearing people discuss highway funding; you are hearing people discuss the legislative branch, and you are hearing people discuss science.

On the day that DACA expansion and DAPA were scheduled to go into effect to make sure people here illegally can pay a fine, get right with the law, and be employed legally, rather than illegally, we are doing nothing relating to restoring the rule of law and securing our borders or anything to address our broken immigration system.

We are making sure that Members of Congress and our staffs get paid. That is not the wrong thing. Our hard-working men and women who work here should get paid. It is a question of priorities. I would like to see us do something about the 10 or 12 million people here illegally before we start paying ourselves and our staff.

What about the highway trust fund? Again, this is an example of Congress kicking the ball down the road 2 months here, 2 months there, a month here, a month there. All the contractors and subcontractors don't even know how to present bids when they don't know whether a yearlong or 2-year project will be funded for more than 2 months. Taxpayers wind up paying more for the same amount of work because we lack the certainty.

Then there is the COMPETES Act--the science bill--which targets certain kinds of science which apparently Republicans don't like--for instance, the physical sciences and the geological sciences.

Handicapping the physical sciences hurts our ability to recognize the causes of things like wildfires and floods that affect my district in Colorado, foresee patterns leading to events like the great Western drought in California. It seems like, if anything, there should be a focus on a very relevant form of science that impacts quality of life every day.

They also apparently don't like, for political reasons, the social sciences. Again, going after the social sciences would harm our ability to adapt for historic storms like Hurricane Sandy or the flood in New Orleans with Katrina and mitigate against floods like those in Colorado.

There is an interface between the physical sciences and people, and that is the work of the social science programs: how public health looks, how flood evacuations look, how disease control looks.

These are important considerations and should not be politicized by this body, which is why not only I oppose this bill, but dozens of the largest scientific associations and coalitions oppose this bill that ostensibly is for the cause of science.

Having all these bills under this rule is what we call a grab-bag approach, just jamming unrelated legislation into ineffective packages that seem to confuse and muddle the meaningful debate that needs to occur.

Since 2011, when Republicans won the majority of the House, this practice of jamming several unrelated bills together into one rule has increased by 400 percent. This rule is an example of that, and it is why the American people suffer from the somewhat disjointed debate around it--one person talks about highways; another counters a point about science; another talks about the legislative branch. It is because they are all in here. This is a Christmas tree bill.

Now, if it had immigration reform in it, I would support this Christmas tree. I could swallow the others if that was in here. I offered that to the gentleman from Washington, but unfortunately, it is not, Mr. Speaker.

In fact, the very people that should be benefiting from the bills we are reviewing today, like scientists, are actually opposing the bills. That should be a signal that this body is not understanding or heeding the needs of the American people.

We can reject this rule. We can tell Congress to get back on course. We can tell Congress to do a long-term reauthorization of transportation funding. We can tell Congress to pass a COMPETES Act that actually fosters innovation and makes America more competitive and a legislative branch appropriations bill that furthers the ability of this body to deliberate and be a model employer for those who work here.

How do we do that, Mr. Speaker? We do that by rejecting this rule.

If we can bring down this grab-bag, Christmas tree rule, we can set this Congress right.

I urge a ``no'' vote, and I yield back the balance of my time.

[Time: 13:30]

1:25 PM EDT

Jared Polis, D-CO 2nd

Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, this rule under this debate covers three significant but entirely unrelated bills. That is why you are hearing people discuss highway funding; you are hearing people discuss the legislative branch, and you are hearing people discuss science.

On the day that DACA expansion and DAPA were scheduled to go into effect to make sure people here illegally can pay a fine, get right with the law, and be employed legally, rather than illegally, we are doing nothing relating to restoring the rule of law and securing our borders or anything to address our broken immigration system.

We are making sure that Members of Congress and our staffs get paid. That is not the wrong thing. Our hard-working men and women who work here should get paid. It is a question of priorities. I would like to see us do something about the 10 or 12 million people here illegally before we start paying ourselves and our staff.

What about the highway trust fund? Again, this is an example of Congress kicking the ball down the road 2 months here, 2 months there, a month here, a month there. All the contractors and subcontractors don't even know how to present bids when they don't know whether a yearlong or 2-year project will be funded for more than 2 months. Taxpayers wind up paying more for the same amount of work because we lack the certainty.

Then there is the COMPETES Act--the science bill--which targets certain kinds of science which apparently Republicans don't like--for instance, the physical sciences and the geological sciences.

Handicapping the physical sciences hurts our ability to recognize the causes of things like wildfires and floods that affect my district in Colorado, foresee patterns leading to events like the great Western drought in California. It seems like, if anything, there should be a focus on a very relevant form of science that impacts quality of life every day.

They also apparently don't like, for political reasons, the social sciences. Again, going after the social sciences would harm our ability to adapt for historic storms like Hurricane Sandy or the flood in New Orleans with Katrina and mitigate against floods like those in Colorado.

There is an interface between the physical sciences and people, and that is the work of the social science programs: how public health looks, how flood evacuations look, how disease control looks.

These are important considerations and should not be politicized by this body, which is why not only I oppose this bill, but dozens of the largest scientific associations and coalitions oppose this bill that ostensibly is for the cause of science.

Having all these bills under this rule is what we call a grab-bag approach, just jamming unrelated legislation into ineffective packages that seem to confuse and muddle the meaningful debate that needs to occur.

Since 2011, when Republicans won the majority of the House, this practice of jamming several unrelated bills together into one rule has increased by 400 percent. This rule is an example of that, and it is why the American people suffer from the somewhat disjointed debate around it--one person talks about highways; another counters a point about science; another talks about the legislative branch. It is because they are all in here. This is a Christmas tree bill.

Now, if it had immigration reform in it, I would support this Christmas tree. I could swallow the others if that was in here. I offered that to the gentleman from Washington, but unfortunately, it is not, Mr. Speaker.

In fact, the very people that should be benefiting from the bills we are reviewing today, like scientists, are actually opposing the bills. That should be a signal that this body is not understanding or heeding the needs of the American people.

We can reject this rule. We can tell Congress to get back on course. We can tell Congress to do a long-term reauthorization of transportation funding. We can tell Congress to pass a COMPETES Act that actually fosters innovation and makes America more competitive and a legislative branch appropriations bill that furthers the ability of this body to deliberate and be a model employer for those who work here.

How do we do that, Mr. Speaker? We do that by rejecting this rule.

If we can bring down this grab-bag, Christmas tree rule, we can set this Congress right.

I urge a ``no'' vote, and I yield back the balance of my time.

[Time: 13:30]

1:25 PM EDT

Jared Polis, D-CO 2nd

Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, this rule under this debate covers three significant but entirely unrelated bills. That is why you are hearing people discuss highway funding; you are hearing people discuss the legislative branch, and you are hearing people discuss science.

On the day that DACA expansion and DAPA were scheduled to go into effect to make sure people here illegally can pay a fine, get right with the law, and be employed legally, rather than illegally, we are doing nothing relating to restoring the rule of law and securing our borders or anything to address our broken immigration system.

We are making sure that Members of Congress and our staffs get paid. That is not the wrong thing. Our hard-working men and women who work here should get paid. It is a question of priorities. I would like to see us do something about the 10 or 12 million people here illegally before we start paying ourselves and our staff.

What about the highway trust fund? Again, this is an example of Congress kicking the ball down the road 2 months here, 2 months there, a month here, a month there. All the contractors and subcontractors don't even know how to present bids when they don't know whether a yearlong or 2-year project will be funded for more than 2 months. Taxpayers wind up paying more for the same amount of work because we lack the certainty.

Then there is the COMPETES Act--the science bill--which targets certain kinds of science which apparently Republicans don't like--for instance, the physical sciences and the geological sciences.

Handicapping the physical sciences hurts our ability to recognize the causes of things like wildfires and floods that affect my district in Colorado, foresee patterns leading to events like the great Western drought in California. It seems like, if anything, there should be a focus on a very relevant form of science that impacts quality of life every day.

They also apparently don't like, for political reasons, the social sciences. Again, going after the social sciences would harm our ability to adapt for historic storms like Hurricane Sandy or the flood in New Orleans with Katrina and mitigate against floods like those in Colorado.

There is an interface between the physical sciences and people, and that is the work of the social science programs: how public health looks, how flood evacuations look, how disease control looks.

These are important considerations and should not be politicized by this body, which is why not only I oppose this bill, but dozens of the largest scientific associations and coalitions oppose this bill that ostensibly is for the cause of science.

Having all these bills under this rule is what we call a grab-bag approach, just jamming unrelated legislation into ineffective packages that seem to confuse and muddle the meaningful debate that needs to occur.

Since 2011, when Republicans won the majority of the House, this practice of jamming several unrelated bills together into one rule has increased by 400 percent. This rule is an example of that, and it is why the American people suffer from the somewhat disjointed debate around it--one person talks about highways; another counters a point about science; another talks about the legislative branch. It is because they are all in here. This is a Christmas tree bill.

Now, if it had immigration reform in it, I would support this Christmas tree. I could swallow the others if that was in here. I offered that to the gentleman from Washington, but unfortunately, it is not, Mr. Speaker.

In fact, the very people that should be benefiting from the bills we are reviewing today, like scientists, are actually opposing the bills. That should be a signal that this body is not understanding or heeding the needs of the American people.

We can reject this rule. We can tell Congress to get back on course. We can tell Congress to do a long-term reauthorization of transportation funding. We can tell Congress to pass a COMPETES Act that actually fosters innovation and makes America more competitive and a legislative branch appropriations bill that furthers the ability of this body to deliberate and be a model employer for those who work here.

How do we do that, Mr. Speaker? We do that by rejecting this rule.

If we can bring down this grab-bag, Christmas tree rule, we can set this Congress right.

I urge a ``no'' vote, and I yield back the balance of my time.

[Time: 13:30]