12:50 PM EDT

Steve Stivers, R-OH 15th

Mr. STIVERS. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings), 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

12:50 PM EDT

Steve Stivers, R-OH 15th

Mr. STIVERS. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings), 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

12:50 PM EDT

Steve Stivers, R-OH 15th

Mr. STIVERS. Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, the Rules Committee met and reported a rule for two bills--H.R. 2262, the SPACE Act of 2015, and H.R. 880, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015. House Resolution 273 provides for a structured rule for the consideration of H.R. 2262 and a closed rule for the consideration of H.R. 880.

The resolution provides for 1 hour of debate, equally divided between the chair and the ranking minority member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, for H.R. 2262, and 1 hour of debate, equally divided between the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Ways and Means, for H.R. 880.

The resolution also provides for the consideration of seven amendments to H.R. 2262, and it provides for a motion to recommit for each bill. In addition, the rule provides for the normal recess authorities to allow the chair to manage pro forma sessions; it provides for the Committee on Appropriations to have the opportunity to file reports during the district work period; and it provides for suspension authority for Thursday to provide flexibility on the last day prior to the district work period.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the resolution and the underlying legislation.

Both of these bills represent critical investments in science and technological innovation. On the floor this week, we have debated and passed several pieces of legislation to encourage the research and development of new technologies and ideas, moving our economy and our country forward and cementing our place in the world as the leader in scientific discovery.

These discoveries and the research they require will promote and create high-tech, high-paying jobs that can have untold benefits to our economy, benefiting all Americans. The rule and the underlying legislation we have under consideration today continues that objective, and I look forward to discussing these critical issues with our colleagues here in the House.

H.R. 2262, the SPACE Act of 2015, is a package of four bills that will update the Commercial Space Launch Act. H.R. 2262, the SPACE Act, as introduced by the majority leader, the gentleman from California (Mr. McCarthy), will facilitate a progrowth environment for the commercial space industry by encouraging private sector investment and by creating a more stable and predictable regulatory environment.

H.R. 1508, the Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act, introduced by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Posey), will promote the development of a United States commercial space resource exploration and utilization industry, and it will increase the exploration and utilization of resources in outer space.

H.R. 2261, the Commercial Remote Sensing Act, introduced by the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Bridenstine), will facilitate the continued development of the commercial remote sensing industry and protect our national security.

Finally, H.R. 2263, the Office of Space Commerce Act, proposed by the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher), will rename the Office of Space Commercialization to the Office of Space Commerce, and it will seek to foster the conditions for the economic and technological growth of the United States space commerce industry.

This package of bills will ensure American leadership in space by fostering a strong and vibrant commercial space industry. Without this legislation, the commercial space industry may face a myriad of regulatory hurdles that would threaten America's continued exceptionalism in space exploration.

The other underlying bill in this rule, H.R. 880, addresses the research and development tax credit. In 1981, President Reagan signed into law a critical research and development tax credit, but Washington has let it expire and then has renewed it over a dozen times since then.

As we discussed last month as to our tax credits, Mr. Speaker, the R&D tax credit was included in the package of retroactive bills and extenders that was signed by the President on December 19 of last year, providing just 7 business days of certainty for businesses seeking to utilize this provision of our Tax Code. It, along with all of the others that expired again on December 31 of last year, currently remain expired. The temporary nature of the now expired research credit limits its effectiveness,

which prevents some businesses from having certainty on long-term investments in U.S.-based research and development.

More research and development means more innovation, greater economic growth, and more American [Page: H3405]

jobs. In 2012, American companies invested $302 billion in research and development. As of 2011, 1.47 million Americans worked directly in research and development. Increased certainty, combined with the simplification of our Tax Code, would lead to more research and more American jobs.

Investment in research and development is the key to America remaining the world's leader in innovation. The percentage of patents awarded by the U.S. Patent Office has increased each year, but the share awarded to U.S. innovators has declined. In the year 2000, 54 percent of the patents awarded were of American origin. By 2014, the number fell to 48 percent. From 2001 to 2011, America's share of global research and development declined from 37 percent to just 30 percent.

By making the research credit permanent, researchers can stop worrying about whether Congress is going to extend the tax credit and can, instead, focus on new discoveries that will help fuel our economy and grow jobs.

I look forward to debating these bills with our House colleagues, and I urge support for the rule and the underlying legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

12:57 PM EDT

Alcee L. Hastings, D-FL 20th

Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I thank the gentleman from Ohio for yielding me the customary 30 minutes for debate.

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

Before I proceed, I did not speak during the 1 minutes, and I want to also take cognizance of this being the 50th anniversary of Head Start and, additionally, this month of May as being Foster Care Month. Like many Members, I have a young person who has a more than compelling story about foster care--Ke'Onda Johnson from Royal Palm, Florida--who is shadowing me today, and I am delighted that she and other youngsters have this opportunity.

Mr. Speaker, this rule provides for the consideration of H.R. 880, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015, and H.R. 2262, the SPACE Act of 2015--two separate bills, wholly unrelated in content and purpose.

As a first order of business, I believe it is critical that I take a moment to highlight the manner in which we are debating this rule today. The deliberation of multiple, unrelated bills under a single rule is a disturbing trend that has ballooned under Republican leadership and is one that threatens the very foundation of the democratic process. Forcing several pieces of legislation into a single rule not only prevents Members of this Chamber from making informed judgments about the proper

floor procedure for each measure, but it also leads to disjointed and often perplexing debates about an assortment of unconnected issues.

[Time: 13:00]

Votes on the House floor should reflect where Members stand on the specific questions at issue, not on a set of complex and unrelated procedures, some of which they support and others which they oppose.

Indeed, just yesterday, the House considered H. Res. 271, a rule providing for consideration of three measures: the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, and the America COMPETES Reauthorization bill.

The debate on that rule vacillated from surface transportation projects, to funding for the legislative branch, to the prioritization of science research development. Such debate erodes the integrity of House proceedings by creating confusing alternations in subject matter that eliminate the ability to reinforce a line of reasoning or respond to opposing arguments.

The grab-bag approach has skyrocketed since Republicans assumed control of the House in 2011, with a record 49 grab-bag rules reported out during the 113th Congress. Even more disheartening, we are on schedule to shatter this record during the 114th Congress, having already approved an unconscionable 14 of these rules in less than 5 months.

In fairness, the chairman of the Committee on Rules did say, in response to one of my colleagues and myself the day before, that this practice is not likely to continue at its present pace, and I await the opportunity for him to fulfill his view with reference to that matter.

Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today for consideration of yet another grab-bag rule governing two bills of significant importance that, as a result of this rule, will undoubtedly escape the due consideration each deserves.

H.R. 880, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015, would make permanent a tax credit for qualified research expenses that expired at the end of last year. It is my strong belief that Democrats and Republicans, alike, support a tax credit that will help facilitate innovation and foster advancements in research, enabling American companies to grow and prosper. Technological innovation stemming from research and development serves as an important engine to our Nation's economic growth.

My opposition to this piece of legislation, therefore, comes in first part from my Republican colleagues' decision to make this tax credit permanent in what I view as a fiscally irresponsible way.

Mr. Speaker, my Republican friends have long touted themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility. For this reason, I find it a bit insincere that they now seek to implement a tax credit with no offsets for lost revenue. As a result, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that this bill would add almost $182 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years. I have stated time and time again that we cannot continue to provide tax cuts and credits without a mechanism to pay for them. It is comical

to me that my Republican friends claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility while they, in the same breath, advocate a measure that would add nearly $200 billion to the Federal deficit.

In addition to this legislation's reckless budgetary impact, I disagree with the piecemeal approach the majority has taken in making these tax credits permanent. More than 50 tax provisions expired at the end of last year, many of them critical to the middle and working class and, yes, poor families. And yet, instead of addressing the issues facing our Tax Code in a comprehensive, bipartisan way, the majority has decided to leave certain tax credits--ones that would directly improve the lives

of hard-working American families, such as the work opportunity tax credit, the new markets tax credit, and renewable energy tax credit--to an uncertain fate.

The American people expect, and I am sure that they deserve, a Tax Code that supports our shared priorities. Cherry-picking tax credits to extend, and then allowing those credits to dramatically increase the deficit, is, in my view, a step in the wrong direction. It is an unacceptable step away from bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform.

I agree, as most of my colleagues likely do as well, that the research tax credit is critical for American innovation. That is why I am truly disappointed, although not surprised, that my Republican friends have again chosen to place partisan politicking above the needs of our constituents.

This rule also provides for consideration of the SPACE Act of 2015, another piece of once bipartisan legislation that has been distorted into an unrecognizable measure that panders to industry giants without regard for the safety of the American public or of spaceflight passengers.

While the enticement of space travel hovers over the objectives of this legislation, we must address the reality of what this bill seeks to accomplish. First, this bill reads like a laundry list of commercial space launch industry requests, exempting it from needed safety regulations and providing essentially complete immunity for civil lawsuits by removing claims related to commercial space launches from State court and mandating that they be heard in Federal Court, where few appropriate legal

remedies exist. In practice, this measure will immunize commercial space companies from legal liability, even in cases of recklessness or intentional misconduct.

Also troubling, this bill provides tremendous subsidies for insurance coverage--and that is kind of interesting--to protect wealthy recreational spacecraft passengers. Why on earth, and there is no pun intended here, are we spending taxpayer dollars on individuals wealthy enough to travel into space for sport? [Page: H3406]

While it is uncontested that the issues these bills seek to address are important, the partisan way in which they have been presented prevents a robust deliberation, and I therefore oppose both the rule and the underlying bills.

I reserve the balance of my time, Mr. Speaker.

12:57 PM EDT

Alcee L. Hastings, D-FL 20th

Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I thank the gentleman from Ohio for yielding me the customary 30 minutes for debate.

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

Before I proceed, I did not speak during the 1 minutes, and I want to also take cognizance of this being the 50th anniversary of Head Start and, additionally, this month of May as being Foster Care Month. Like many Members, I have a young person who has a more than compelling story about foster care--Ke'Onda Johnson from Royal Palm, Florida--who is shadowing me today, and I am delighted that she and other youngsters have this opportunity.

Mr. Speaker, this rule provides for the consideration of H.R. 880, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015, and H.R. 2262, the SPACE Act of 2015--two separate bills, wholly unrelated in content and purpose.

As a first order of business, I believe it is critical that I take a moment to highlight the manner in which we are debating this rule today. The deliberation of multiple, unrelated bills under a single rule is a disturbing trend that has ballooned under Republican leadership and is one that threatens the very foundation of the democratic process. Forcing several pieces of legislation into a single rule not only prevents Members of this Chamber from making informed judgments about the proper

floor procedure for each measure, but it also leads to disjointed and often perplexing debates about an assortment of unconnected issues.

[Time: 13:00]

Votes on the House floor should reflect where Members stand on the specific questions at issue, not on a set of complex and unrelated procedures, some of which they support and others which they oppose.

Indeed, just yesterday, the House considered H. Res. 271, a rule providing for consideration of three measures: the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, and the America COMPETES Reauthorization bill.

The debate on that rule vacillated from surface transportation projects, to funding for the legislative branch, to the prioritization of science research development. Such debate erodes the integrity of House proceedings by creating confusing alternations in subject matter that eliminate the ability to reinforce a line of reasoning or respond to opposing arguments.

The grab-bag approach has skyrocketed since Republicans assumed control of the House in 2011, with a record 49 grab-bag rules reported out during the 113th Congress. Even more disheartening, we are on schedule to shatter this record during the 114th Congress, having already approved an unconscionable 14 of these rules in less than 5 months.

In fairness, the chairman of the Committee on Rules did say, in response to one of my colleagues and myself the day before, that this practice is not likely to continue at its present pace, and I await the opportunity for him to fulfill his view with reference to that matter.

Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today for consideration of yet another grab-bag rule governing two bills of significant importance that, as a result of this rule, will undoubtedly escape the due consideration each deserves.

H.R. 880, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015, would make permanent a tax credit for qualified research expenses that expired at the end of last year. It is my strong belief that Democrats and Republicans, alike, support a tax credit that will help facilitate innovation and foster advancements in research, enabling American companies to grow and prosper. Technological innovation stemming from research and development serves as an important engine to our Nation's economic growth.

My opposition to this piece of legislation, therefore, comes in first part from my Republican colleagues' decision to make this tax credit permanent in what I view as a fiscally irresponsible way.

Mr. Speaker, my Republican friends have long touted themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility. For this reason, I find it a bit insincere that they now seek to implement a tax credit with no offsets for lost revenue. As a result, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that this bill would add almost $182 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years. I have stated time and time again that we cannot continue to provide tax cuts and credits without a mechanism to pay for them. It is comical

to me that my Republican friends claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility while they, in the same breath, advocate a measure that would add nearly $200 billion to the Federal deficit.

In addition to this legislation's reckless budgetary impact, I disagree with the piecemeal approach the majority has taken in making these tax credits permanent. More than 50 tax provisions expired at the end of last year, many of them critical to the middle and working class and, yes, poor families. And yet, instead of addressing the issues facing our Tax Code in a comprehensive, bipartisan way, the majority has decided to leave certain tax credits--ones that would directly improve the lives

of hard-working American families, such as the work opportunity tax credit, the new markets tax credit, and renewable energy tax credit--to an uncertain fate.

The American people expect, and I am sure that they deserve, a Tax Code that supports our shared priorities. Cherry-picking tax credits to extend, and then allowing those credits to dramatically increase the deficit, is, in my view, a step in the wrong direction. It is an unacceptable step away from bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform.

I agree, as most of my colleagues likely do as well, that the research tax credit is critical for American innovation. That is why I am truly disappointed, although not surprised, that my Republican friends have again chosen to place partisan politicking above the needs of our constituents.

This rule also provides for consideration of the SPACE Act of 2015, another piece of once bipartisan legislation that has been distorted into an unrecognizable measure that panders to industry giants without regard for the safety of the American public or of spaceflight passengers.

While the enticement of space travel hovers over the objectives of this legislation, we must address the reality of what this bill seeks to accomplish. First, this bill reads like a laundry list of commercial space launch industry requests, exempting it from needed safety regulations and providing essentially complete immunity for civil lawsuits by removing claims related to commercial space launches from State court and mandating that they be heard in Federal Court, where few appropriate legal

remedies exist. In practice, this measure will immunize commercial space companies from legal liability, even in cases of recklessness or intentional misconduct.

Also troubling, this bill provides tremendous subsidies for insurance coverage--and that is kind of interesting--to protect wealthy recreational spacecraft passengers. Why on earth, and there is no pun intended here, are we spending taxpayer dollars on individuals wealthy enough to travel into space for sport? [Page: H3406]

While it is uncontested that the issues these bills seek to address are important, the partisan way in which they have been presented prevents a robust deliberation, and I therefore oppose both the rule and the underlying bills.

I reserve the balance of my time, Mr. Speaker.

1:08 PM EDT

Steve Stivers, R-OH 15th

Mr. STIVERS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to some of the comments of the gentleman from Florida and remind him that each bill will be separately debated and that, obviously, this combined rule is a floor time management technique that the chairman of the Committee on Rules yesterday said was an aberration. I take him at his word; and I think it is important to note that, during Democratic majorities, this was certainly not an unheard-of practice, either.

I do want to make sure that I reiterate that every bill will be separately debated; and I would remind the gentleman that, during the time we have to debate the rule, if we actually stick to the topics related to the bills and the rules, it will help us manage our floor time even better.

With that, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Posey).

1:08 PM EDT

Steve Stivers, R-OH 15th

Mr. STIVERS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to some of the comments of the gentleman from Florida and remind him that each bill will be separately debated and that, obviously, this combined rule is a floor time management technique that the chairman of the Committee on Rules yesterday said was an aberration. I take him at his word; and I think it is important to note that, during Democratic majorities, this was certainly not an unheard-of practice, either.

I do want to make sure that I reiterate that every bill will be separately debated; and I would remind the gentleman that, during the time we have to debate the rule, if we actually stick to the topics related to the bills and the rules, it will help us manage our floor time even better.

With that, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Posey).

1:09 PM EDT

Bill Posey, R-FL 8th

Mr. POSEY. I thank the gentleman from Ohio for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the rule and the underlying legislation.

Despite some of the comments we have heard from across the aisle this morning, I remember my first 2 years, my first term here, and not one time was I allowed to even file a single amendment to a single bill here.

All the rules were closed, and it was run like a king would run a kingdom, not a democratic republic. Here, today, I think the other side has already filed seven amendments on one of these bills. That is seven times more than I ever got to dream about filing when you ran this place.

Another great thing about this bill, you actually get to read it before we pass it. We have done all our bills like that since we have taken control. You actually get to read the bills before they are passed. When you all were in the majority, we had to pass them before you read them. I think you remember the famous quote.

You refer to this as a grab bag. The only grab bag I see here is the litany of totally unrelated subjects rattled off, as if they somehow related to this bill. I mean, that doesn't pass the straight face test.

Now to the bill. I would like to thank the majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and Chairman Lamar Smith for their hard work on the SPACE Act. The SPACE Act will help ensure American leadership in space, facilitating the growth and stability of the commercial space industry. This is an important, historic, and exciting piece of legislation.

This legislation includes many important provisions to update our laws and the oversight of the commercial space industry, including title 2 of the Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act--historic, bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced with my colleague from the State of Washington, Derek Kilmer.

I appreciate the support H.R. 1508, incorporated herein, has received from many members of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the thorough work and research of Senators Patty Murray and Marco Rubio, who introduced identical legislation in the United States Senate.

The SPACE Act also includes a provision which would streamline regulations and encourage cooperation between government agencies' commercial space activities to eliminate red tape and bureaucracy that are impeding development of America's commercial space industry.

The Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other agencies are all involved in overseeing many commercial space launches, and sometimes there are duplicative measures that could be streamlined, cutting costs to both the Federal Government and commercial companies and making the United States companies more competitive in the global marketplace.

Let me add that this bill includes a provision requiring the FAA to provide direction for space support vehicles, also known as experimental aircraft. Unfortunately, for too long, the FAA has held off providing direction by means of a regulatory framework for these endeavors to safely support the United States commercial space endeavors. In Florida, there is such an entity, approved by NASA and operating out of the Kennedy Space Center, which the FAA grounded because they use experimental aircraft.

This is a testament that FAA needs serious reform and needs to be brought into the 21st century.

In short, the SPACE Act is a critical piece of legislation to the future of our commercial space industry, and it is important to our space exploration efforts as well.

I thank my colleagues again for their work on the SPACE Act and urge all Members to support the rule today and passage of this important legislation.

1:09 PM EDT

Bill Posey, R-FL 8th

Mr. POSEY. I thank the gentleman from Ohio for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the rule and the underlying legislation.

Despite some of the comments we have heard from across the aisle this morning, I remember my first 2 years, my first term here, and not one time was I allowed to even file a single amendment to a single bill here.

All the rules were closed, and it was run like a king would run a kingdom, not a democratic republic. Here, today, I think the other side has already filed seven amendments on one of these bills. That is seven times more than I ever got to dream about filing when you ran this place.

Another great thing about this bill, you actually get to read it before we pass it. We have done all our bills like that since we have taken control. You actually get to read the bills before they are passed. When you all were in the majority, we had to pass them before you read them. I think you remember the famous quote.

You refer to this as a grab bag. The only grab bag I see here is the litany of totally unrelated subjects rattled off, as if they somehow related to this bill. I mean, that doesn't pass the straight face test.

Now to the bill. I would like to thank the majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and Chairman Lamar Smith for their hard work on the SPACE Act. The SPACE Act will help ensure American leadership in space, facilitating the growth and stability of the commercial space industry. This is an important, historic, and exciting piece of legislation.

This legislation includes many important provisions to update our laws and the oversight of the commercial space industry, including title 2 of the Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act--historic, bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced with my colleague from the State of Washington, Derek Kilmer.

I appreciate the support H.R. 1508, incorporated herein, has received from many members of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the thorough work and research of Senators Patty Murray and Marco Rubio, who introduced identical legislation in the United States Senate.

The SPACE Act also includes a provision which would streamline regulations and encourage cooperation between government agencies' commercial space activities to eliminate red tape and bureaucracy that are impeding development of America's commercial space industry.

The Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other agencies are all involved in overseeing many commercial space launches, and sometimes there are duplicative measures that could be streamlined, cutting costs to both the Federal Government and commercial companies and making the United States companies more competitive in the global marketplace.

Let me add that this bill includes a provision requiring the FAA to provide direction for space support vehicles, also known as experimental aircraft. Unfortunately, for too long, the FAA has held off providing direction by means of a regulatory framework for these endeavors to safely support the United States commercial space endeavors. In Florida, there is such an entity, approved by NASA and operating out of the Kennedy Space Center, which the FAA grounded because they use experimental aircraft.

This is a testament that FAA needs serious reform and needs to be brought into the 21st century.

In short, the SPACE Act is a critical piece of legislation to the future of our commercial space industry, and it is important to our space exploration efforts as well.

I thank my colleagues again for their work on the SPACE Act and urge all Members to support the rule today and passage of this important legislation.

1:14 PM EDT

Sander Levin, D-MI 12th

Mr. LEVIN. I thank Mr. Hastings for yielding me the time.

Mr. Speaker, this debate is not about support for the R&D credit. Democrats have a long track record of supporting the R&D tax credit. Indeed, I have often been the author of legislation to strengthen it.

This debate, purely and simply, is about fiscal responsibility, about taking one tax provision and making it permanent without paying one dime for it.

When former Chairman Camp unveiled a tax reform proposal last year, he undertook a comprehensive consideration of the more than 50 tax provisions that expired at the end of last year, but in a fiscally responsible manner.

[Time: 13:15]

This bill does just the opposite. It continues a helter-skelter approach toward tax extenders, without any regard whatsoever for paying the hundreds of billions of dollars they cost to make them permanent.

Last year, Ways and Means Republicans passed 14 permanent extensions at a cost of $825 billion. They went nowhere because the President has made clear his opposition to this approach.

With this bill, this year's price tag has reached $586.3 billion. It is particularly glaring that the majority is passing unpaid-for tax cuts the very same week that they once again put off a long-term extension of highway funding because they are unable to find a revenue stream.

There is no lack of support for the R&D credit among us Democrats. It is the approach Republicans are taking that we oppose and strongly so. It is fiscally irresponsible indeed, and it would leave behind vital provisions that help hard-working American families, like the expansion of the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, and the American opportunity tax credit.

We stand ready to work with the majority on tax reform and on a long-term extension of highway funding. Today's R&D bill is tax reform in reverse. It makes talk of fiscal responsibility hypocrisy and creates another big financial pothole standing in the way of long-term highway funding.

Vote ``no'' on this rule, and vote ``no'' on the bill relating to R&D tax credits.

1:14 PM EDT

Sander Levin, D-MI 12th

Mr. LEVIN. I thank Mr. Hastings for yielding me the time.

Mr. Speaker, this debate is not about support for the R&D credit. Democrats have a long track record of supporting the R&D tax credit. Indeed, I have often been the author of legislation to strengthen it.

This debate, purely and simply, is about fiscal responsibility, about taking one tax provision and making it permanent without paying one dime for it.

When former Chairman Camp unveiled a tax reform proposal last year, he undertook a comprehensive consideration of the more than 50 tax provisions that expired at the end of last year, but in a fiscally responsible manner.

[Time: 13:15]

This bill does just the opposite. It continues a helter-skelter approach toward tax extenders, without any regard whatsoever for paying the hundreds of billions of dollars they cost to make them permanent.

Last year, Ways and Means Republicans passed 14 permanent extensions at a cost of $825 billion. They went nowhere because the President has made clear his opposition to this approach.

With this bill, this year's price tag has reached $586.3 billion. It is particularly glaring that the majority is passing unpaid-for tax cuts the very same week that they once again put off a long-term extension of highway funding because they are unable to find a revenue stream.

There is no lack of support for the R&D credit among us Democrats. It is the approach Republicans are taking that we oppose and strongly so. It is fiscally irresponsible indeed, and it would leave behind vital provisions that help hard-working American families, like the expansion of the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, and the American opportunity tax credit.

We stand ready to work with the majority on tax reform and on a long-term extension of highway funding. Today's R&D bill is tax reform in reverse. It makes talk of fiscal responsibility hypocrisy and creates another big financial pothole standing in the way of long-term highway funding.

Vote ``no'' on this rule, and vote ``no'' on the bill relating to R&D tax credits.

1:17 PM EDT

Alcee L. Hastings, D-FL 20th

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

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I stand steadfastly against not only the way in which we have been conducting business with regard to the way we report out rules, but also to both underlying bills for their partisan posturing and failure to address the important issues facing the middle class in this country.

We cannot continue to provide tax credits without establishing a revenue offset, enact tax policies that favor a partisan agenda and push us further away from needed comprehensive tax reform, or offer legislative gifts to industry giants at the expense of the American public. [Page: H3407]

Mr. Speaker, Memorial Day is next Monday. If we defeat the previous question, I am going to offer an amendment to the rule to bring up Representative Brownley's Help Hire Our Heroes Act, H.R. 607.

H.R. 607 would reauthorize the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, which expired in March 2014. That program paid for veterans to get training for high-demand occupations, and during its 3 years in existence, it helped more than 76,000 veterans.

Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately prior to the vote on the previous question.

1:17 PM EDT

Alcee L. Hastings, D-FL 20th

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

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I stand steadfastly against not only the way in which we have been conducting business with regard to the way we report out rules, but also to both underlying bills for their partisan posturing and failure to address the important issues facing the middle class in this country.

We cannot continue to provide tax credits without establishing a revenue offset, enact tax policies that favor a partisan agenda and push us further away from needed comprehensive tax reform, or offer legislative gifts to industry giants at the expense of the American public. [Page: H3407]

Mr. Speaker, Memorial Day is next Monday. If we defeat the previous question, I am going to offer an amendment to the rule to bring up Representative Brownley's Help Hire Our Heroes Act, H.R. 607.

H.R. 607 would reauthorize the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, which expired in March 2014. That program paid for veterans to get training for high-demand occupations, and during its 3 years in existence, it helped more than 76,000 veterans.

Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately prior to the vote on the previous question.

1:19 PM EDT

Steve Stivers, R-OH 15th

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

I appreciate the remarks of the gentleman from Florida, but I would like to respond to a few of the comments.

The R&D tax credit has been overwhelmingly supported for the last 16 extensions, the last time garnering 378 votes. Only 46 Members voted against the R&D tax credit.

The R&D tax credit will be passed again. In fact, the gentleman from Michigan admitted, Mr. Speaker, that the vast majority of Democrats will vote to extend the R&D tax credit. In fact, they will do it every year for the next 10 years, like they have the last few years. When it is done every year, they don't insist it is paid for.

If you will do it for 10 years in a row without paying for it--the entire budget window--why don't we just all create some certainty for our businesses so we can invest in high-tech jobs and growing our economy, Mr. Speaker?

Let's create certainty for the American people. Let's pass the bill. Let's pass the rule. Let's pass the previous question.

I think, unfortunately, the arguments from the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Speaker, really encourage cliff politics--high-stakes, expiring legislation that the American people don't want. The American people want us to create certainty. They want us to support jobs. They want us to support our technological innovation in this country, Mr. Speaker.

I would urge my colleagues to support the rule and support the underlying bills, Mr. Speaker.

1:19 PM EDT

Steve Stivers, R-OH 15th

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

I appreciate the remarks of the gentleman from Florida, but I would like to respond to a few of the comments.

The R&D tax credit has been overwhelmingly supported for the last 16 extensions, the last time garnering 378 votes. Only 46 Members voted against the R&D tax credit.

The R&D tax credit will be passed again. In fact, the gentleman from Michigan admitted, Mr. Speaker, that the vast majority of Democrats will vote to extend the R&D tax credit. In fact, they will do it every year for the next 10 years, like they have the last few years. When it is done every year, they don't insist it is paid for.

If you will do it for 10 years in a row without paying for it--the entire budget window--why don't we just all create some certainty for our businesses so we can invest in high-tech jobs and growing our economy, Mr. Speaker?

Let's create certainty for the American people. Let's pass the bill. Let's pass the rule. Let's pass the previous question.

I think, unfortunately, the arguments from the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Speaker, really encourage cliff politics--high-stakes, expiring legislation that the American people don't want. The American people want us to create certainty. They want us to support jobs. They want us to support our technological innovation in this country, Mr. Speaker.

I would urge my colleagues to support the rule and support the underlying bills, Mr. Speaker.