4:57 PM EDT

Mike Kelly, R-PA 3rd

Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, my amendment increases the authorized funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership by $5 million and it offsets it by decreasing the authorized funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by $5 million, for level funding.

If our goal is to create and retain more American jobs, there is no better program to fund that than the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, with centers in every single State, for every $1 of Federal investment, this public-private partnership generates nearly $21 in new sales. As a result, this translates into $2.5 billion annually. For every $2,001 of Federal investment, MEP creates or retains one American manufacturing job.

The MEP programs provides our Nation's nearly 350,000 small manufacturers with services and access to resources that enhance growth, improve productivity, and expand capacity. This program is a win-win for our hard-working American taxpayers. Few, if any, other Federal programs can claim such a good return on our taxpayers' investment.

Considering this amendment authorizes the program at $130 million that helps small American manufacturers directly and at a 50 percent cost share, this gives taxpayers more bang for their buck.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has a total budget of over $1 billion, so moving $5 million to this valuable program for small businesses is simply good economic policy.

This program is not a government handout. Instead, it requires small manufacturers who partner with their local MEP to have skin in the game with a 50 percent cost share. That is good for our taxpayers; it is good for manufacturing sectors, and it is good for American jobs.

Since 1988, MEP has worked with nearly 80,000 American manufacturers, leading to $88 billion in sales and 14 billion in cost savings. It has helped create more than 729,000 American jobs.

Last year alone, MEP projects created or retained nearly 64,000 American jobs, generated more than $6.7 billion in new and retained sales, and provided cost savings of more than $1.1 billion to small American manufacturers.

[Time: 17:00]

With the average small- and mid-size American manufacturing employee earning more than $77,000 a year in pay and benefits, these are exactly the types of jobs that policymakers need to be encouraging. And at a time when our economy is starting to recover, the MEP's work is crucial in helping America's small manufacturers be stronger long-term competitors, both domestically and internationally.

In turn, this will allow them to create good-paying, high-skilled jobs for America's workers across the country. A growing manufacturing sector in America means more well-paying jobs for low- to moderate-income American families, reduced trade deficit and a robust economy, and a flourishing innovation sector which can drive future growth.

By supporting this amendment, Congress will be sending a clear signal to our small American manufacturers and our job creators that they will continue to play a vital role in the reinvigoration of our economy.

MEP is currently appropriated at $130 million, and this amendment would simply ensure that this popular, bipartisan program continues to be authorized at its current funding level.

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

5:00 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, it is not surprising that the Biological and Environmental Research program at DOE is targeted with harmful provisions in this bill. It is targeted because the program is a leader in advancing our understanding of the causes and impacts of climate change.

Hiding our heads in the sand will not solve anything, and it certainly won't stop the Earth from warming. Allowing partisan politics to skew the scientific understanding of climate change is cynical and shortsighted.

It is especially cynical considering that in the majority's own bill, they state that climate change is happening. They just had to take the statement out that it is caused by human beings.

The gentleman from California's amendment would simply strike those harmful provisions so that scientists supported by BER can continue their important work without political interference.

I urge my colleagues to support this important amendment.

5:00 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I strongly support the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, or the MEP, at NIST. Since its establishment in 1988, the MEP program has generated billions of dollars in new sales; it has saved MEP clients billions of dollars; and it has helped create more than 700,000 jobs.

However, I cannot support this amendment because it increases the authorization for MEP by decreasing the authorization for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy. EERE conducts important research on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, including critical advance manufacturing initiatives.

Unfortunately, EERE has become a favorite target for my friends on the other side of the aisle. The underlying bill cuts this office by almost 30 percent, and this amendment would make that cut even larger.

I supported an amendment that would have increased MEP authorization to $141 million for fiscal year 2016, at the President's request, without cutting EERE. But the amendment was not made in order.

I strongly believe in MEP and want to see this funding level increased. I think it is important to note that this bill is an authorization bill, not an appropriations bill. In authorization bills, Congress should be deciding authorization levels by determining what the program needs to accomplish its responsibilities.

Notwithstanding current Republican protocols, authorization bills should not have the same constraints as appropriation bills, including needing to offset any increases. This is a bizarre approach to legislating.

Because of the unnecessary cut to EERE, I cannot support this amendment, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject the false notion of needing to offset authorizations.

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

5:01 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I strongly support the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, or the MEP, at NIST. Since its establishment in 1988, the MEP program has generated billions of dollars in new sales; it has saved MEP clients billions of dollars; and it has helped create more than 700,000 jobs.

However, I cannot support this amendment because it increases the authorization for MEP by decreasing the authorization for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy. EERE conducts important research on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, including critical advance manufacturing initiatives.

Unfortunately, EERE has become a favorite target for my friends on the other side of the aisle. The underlying bill cuts this office by almost 30 percent, and this amendment would make that cut even larger.

I supported an amendment that would have increased MEP authorization to $141 million for fiscal year 2016, at the President's request, without cutting EERE. But the amendment was not made in order.

I strongly believe in MEP and want to see this funding level increased. I think it is important to note that this bill is an authorization bill, not an appropriations bill. In authorization bills, Congress should be deciding authorization levels by determining what the program needs to accomplish its responsibilities.

Notwithstanding current Republican protocols, authorization bills should not have the same constraints as appropriation bills, including needing to offset any increases. This is a bizarre approach to legislating.

Because of the unnecessary cut to EERE, I cannot support this amendment, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject the false notion of needing to offset authorizations.

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

5:01 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I strongly support the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, or the MEP, at NIST. Since its establishment in 1988, the MEP program has generated billions of dollars in new sales; it has saved MEP clients billions of dollars; and it has helped create more than 700,000 jobs.

However, I cannot support this amendment because it increases the authorization for MEP by decreasing the authorization for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy. EERE conducts important research on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, including critical advance manufacturing initiatives.

Unfortunately, EERE has become a favorite target for my friends on the other side of the aisle. The underlying bill cuts this office by almost 30 percent, and this amendment would make that cut even larger.

I supported an amendment that would have increased MEP authorization to $141 million for fiscal year 2016, at the President's request, without cutting EERE. But the amendment was not made in order.

I strongly believe in MEP and want to see this funding level increased. I think it is important to note that this bill is an authorization bill, not an appropriations bill. In authorization bills, Congress should be deciding authorization levels by determining what the program needs to accomplish its responsibilities.

Notwithstanding current Republican protocols, authorization bills should not have the same constraints as appropriation bills, including needing to offset any increases. This is a bizarre approach to legislating.

Because of the unnecessary cut to EERE, I cannot support this amendment, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject the false notion of needing to offset authorizations.

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

5:03 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, it is not surprising that the Biological and Environmental Research program at DOE is targeted with harmful provisions in this bill. It is targeted because the program is a leader in advancing our understanding of the causes and impacts of climate change.

Hiding our heads in the sand will not solve anything, and it certainly won't stop the Earth from warming. Allowing partisan politics to skew the scientific understanding of climate change is cynical and shortsighted.

It is especially cynical considering that in the majority's own bill, they state that climate change is happening. They just had to take the statement out that it is caused by human beings.

The gentleman from California's amendment would simply strike those harmful provisions so that scientists supported by BER can continue their important work without political interference.

I urge my colleagues to support this important amendment.

5:03 PM EDT

Lamar S. Smith, R-TX 21st

Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania for yielding me this time.

I just simply want to say that I believe his amendment restores current funding levels for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology while offsetting those costs. It is a great amendment, and I urge my colleagues to support it.

5:03 PM EDT

Lamar S. Smith, R-TX 21st

Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania for yielding me this time.

I just simply want to say that I believe his amendment restores current funding levels for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology while offsetting those costs. It is a great amendment, and I urge my colleagues to support it.

5:03 PM EDT

Mike Kelly, R-PA 3rd

Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I would just remark that if we are really trying to create jobs, if we are really trying to boost our economy, if we are really trying to do all these things, if we are really trying to help small manufacturers, I don't think that asking to transfer $15 million out of a $1 billion allotment is going to really have that much effect on that.

This is not turning our back on some of the issues that you have, but this is looking forward to the future and saying we have got to help these people move forward.

This is not a government handout. This is not a free amount of money. This is a 50 percent match. There are very few programs in our government that require that.

This is something that just makes sense for America. It makes sense for all those folks that I represent and you represent back home.

I have got to tell you something. Back in Western Pennsylvania, where I live, in Pennsylvania's Third District, every morning, moms and dads get up and they throw their feet out over their bed and they go to work so that they can put a roof over the head for their children, food on their table, clothes on their back, and a promise for the future.

This is a small investment. All we are doing is keeping it at $130 million. And in a government that spends trillions of dollars every year, I don't know why we would quibble over $5 million because it is going to help job creation and job retention. It allows us to compete in a global market in a way that we actually win. [Page: H3454]

We don't have to get political about this. What I want to do is, I want to think about all the people we represent and where those dollars go because every single dollar belongs to the American taxpayer.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is reminded to address all of his remarks to the Chair and not to other Members of the House.

5:04 PM EDT

Mike Kelly, R-PA 3rd

Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I would just remark that if we are really trying to create jobs, if we are really trying to boost our economy, if we are really trying to do all these things, if we are really trying to help small manufacturers, I don't think that asking to transfer $15 million out of a $1 billion allotment is going to really have that much effect on that.

This is not turning our back on some of the issues that you have, but this is looking forward to the future and saying we have got to help these people move forward.

This is not a government handout. This is not a free amount of money. This is a 50 percent match. There are very few programs in our government that require that.

This is something that just makes sense for America. It makes sense for all those folks that I represent and you represent back home.

I have got to tell you something. Back in Western Pennsylvania, where I live, in Pennsylvania's Third District, every morning, moms and dads get up and they throw their feet out over their bed and they go to work so that they can put a roof over the head for their children, food on their table, clothes on their back, and a promise for the future.

This is a small investment. All we are doing is keeping it at $130 million. And in a government that spends trillions of dollars every year, I don't know why we would quibble over $5 million because it is going to help job creation and job retention. It allows us to compete in a global market in a way that we actually win. [Page: H3454]

We don't have to get political about this. What I want to do is, I want to think about all the people we represent and where those dollars go because every single dollar belongs to the American taxpayer.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is reminded to address all of his remarks to the Chair and not to other Members of the House.

5:04 PM EDT

Mike Kelly, R-PA 3rd

Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I would just remark that if we are really trying to create jobs, if we are really trying to boost our economy, if we are really trying to do all these things, if we are really trying to help small manufacturers, I don't think that asking to transfer $15 million out of a $1 billion allotment is going to really have that much effect on that.

This is not turning our back on some of the issues that you have, but this is looking forward to the future and saying we have got to help these people move forward.

This is not a government handout. This is not a free amount of money. This is a 50 percent match. There are very few programs in our government that require that.

This is something that just makes sense for America. It makes sense for all those folks that I represent and you represent back home.

I have got to tell you something. Back in Western Pennsylvania, where I live, in Pennsylvania's Third District, every morning, moms and dads get up and they throw their feet out over their bed and they go to work so that they can put a roof over the head for their children, food on their table, clothes on their back, and a promise for the future.

This is a small investment. All we are doing is keeping it at $130 million. And in a government that spends trillions of dollars every year, I don't know why we would quibble over $5 million because it is going to help job creation and job retention. It allows us to compete in a global market in a way that we actually win. [Page: H3454]

We don't have to get political about this. What I want to do is, I want to think about all the people we represent and where those dollars go because every single dollar belongs to the American taxpayer.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is reminded to address all of his remarks to the Chair and not to other Members of the House.

5:04 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, it is not surprising that the Biological and Environmental Research program at DOE is targeted with harmful provisions in this bill. It is targeted because the program is a leader in advancing our understanding of the causes and impacts of climate change.

Hiding our heads in the sand will not solve anything, and it certainly won't stop the Earth from warming. Allowing partisan politics to skew the scientific understanding of climate change is cynical and shortsighted.

It is especially cynical considering that in the majority's own bill, they state that climate change is happening. They just had to take the statement out that it is caused by human beings.

The gentleman from California's amendment would simply strike those harmful provisions so that scientists supported by BER can continue their important work without political interference.

I urge my colleagues to support this important amendment.

5:05 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate those remarks. He is describing my constituents as well. And if we had done as requested by the President, we would have left the authorization levels at the level he is trying to bring it to, and it would not have taken away from the other part of the research that is needed so badly in the other areas.

I do not oppose what he is trying to do. What I oppose is how he is trying to do it. And for that, I still oppose the total amount because it is not treating the other program fairly.

It is not that I oppose MEP. My constituents are no different than yours. They get up every day to work hard and need opportunities. I am sure many of yours get more opportunities than some of mine. And so I agree with that totally.

I agreed with the President's level of recommendation of where he wants to take it. What I disagree with is he is taking it out of another area when it is not necessary.

We are not appropriations. We are to recommend authorizations. We can do the authorization for his level without taking away from an area they don't like.

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

The Acting CHAIR. Members are advised to address their remarks to the Chair and not to each other.

The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Kelly).

The amendment was agreed to.

AMENDMENT NO. 8 OFFERED BY MR.

LOWENTHAL

The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 8 printed in part A of House Report 114-120.