3:02 PM EST

Maxine Waters, D-CA 35th

Ms. WATERS. I have an amendment at the desk.

The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 6 offered by Ms. Waters:

Page 125, line 6, insert ``(including projects funded under section 6002 of division B of this Act)'' after ``sectors''.

[Time: 14:45]

The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 92, the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California.

3:02 PM EST

Larry Kissell, D-NC 8th

Mr. KISSELL. Mr. Chairman, the Berry Amendment has been in effect for over 60 years and has allowed the Department of Defense to purchase uniforms and other textile apparels as needed for our military to be made and manufactured here in the United States.

We know that textiles has brought forth the industrial revolution to the United States from its very beginnings, but not any industry has been hurt any more than textile has in the last few years in terms of lost employment.

Over 60,000 jobs have been lost throughout the Nation in the last year; over 8,000 of those jobs in my home State of North Carolina, over 44 factories have closed. We have thousands of Americans that are ready, willing and able to work, and we're being asked to consider a recovery and reinvestment program to put Americans to work.

This amendment would simply extend the Berry Act to be able to have Homeland Security to purchase uniforms for the TSA to be made in the United States. It would accomplish what we're looking for in the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it would put Americans to work, and furthermore, it would keep Americans working.

We know that we have lost so many jobs in this area. We have the people that are ready, willing and able to work. I worked in textiles for 27 years. I watched the jobs leave and good people be left wondering where their meals are coming from and how they're going to take care of their families. This is an opportunity to put Americans to work and keep them at work. And what could be better than using our money, our taxpayers' money for that purpose and to put uniforms on the people that serve

us?

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

3:05 PM EST

Lynn A. Westmoreland, R-GA 3rd

Mr. WESTMORELAND. Mr. Kissell, I would yield to you. Do you think it's wise for your constituents that you're trying to help to spend $225,000 per job that pays $50,000?

3:05 PM EST

Lynn A. Westmoreland, R-GA 3rd

Mr. WESTMORELAND. Mr. Kissell, do you think it's worth your constituents saying that your district would pay $2 billion to create the amount of jobs----

The CHAIR. The gentleman's time has expired.

3:05 PM EST

Lynn A. Westmoreland, R-GA 3rd

Mr. WESTMORELAND. Mr. Kissell, do you think it's worth your constituents saying that your district would pay $2 billion to create the amount of jobs----

The CHAIR. The gentleman's time has expired.

3:05 PM EST

David E. Price, D-NC 4th

Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment of my North Carolina colleague, Mr. Kissell. It would apply to the Department of Homeland Security purchasing rules similar to those required of the Defense Department under the Berry Amendment, requiring DHS to purchase clothing and other textile products grown, reprocessed, reused or produced in the U.S. and its possessions.

The proposed amendment would give the Secretary of Homeland Security some flexibility to waive the domestic source requirements in cases where there are inadequate domestic sources to meet the Department's needs. The amendment also makes clear that it would not apply when inconsistent with U.S. obligations under international agreements.

I, nevertheless, have some reservations about how the amendment might restrict the Department in carrying out its Homeland Security mission. The Department is already subject to ``buy American'' requirements. This amendment would go significantly further in requiring 100 percent U.S. content of products, a target that could be impractical or unreasonably costly in some circumstances.

However, I appreciate my colleague's intentions with this amendment. I will be happy to support the amendment with the understanding that some modifications may be required to ensure that it does not pose an undue burden on the Department and it does not compromise the ability of the Department to carry out its Homeland Security mission. I look forward to working with the gentleman to make any needed refinements going forward.

3:07 PM EST

David E. Price, D-NC 4th

Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment of my North Carolina colleague, Mr. Kissell. It would apply to the Department of Homeland Security purchasing rules similar to those required of the Defense Department under the Berry Amendment, requiring DHS to purchase clothing and other textile products grown, reprocessed, reused or produced in the U.S. and its possessions.

The proposed amendment would give the Secretary of Homeland Security some flexibility to waive the domestic source requirements in cases where there are inadequate domestic sources to meet the Department's needs. The amendment also makes clear that it would not apply when inconsistent with U.S. obligations under international agreements.

I, nevertheless, have some reservations about how the amendment might restrict the Department in carrying out its Homeland Security mission. The Department is already subject to ``buy American'' requirements. This amendment would go significantly further in requiring 100 percent U.S. content of products, a target that could be impractical or unreasonably costly in some circumstances.

However, I appreciate my colleague's intentions with this amendment. I will be happy to support the amendment with the understanding that some modifications may be required to ensure that it does not pose an undue burden on the Department and it does not compromise the ability of the Department to carry out its Homeland Security mission. I look forward to working with the gentleman to make any needed refinements going forward.

3:07 PM EST

Tim Murphy, R-PA 18th

Mr. TIM MURPHY of Pennsylvania. In this $835 billion bill being described as a ``jobs'' bill, it's good to see Representative Kissell was able to offer this amendment to ensure American cloth is used for these uniforms. His arguments are compelling that we should support U.S. jobs.

I offered a similar amendment to the health information technology portion; $20 billion spending there. It was stripped out after the Energy and Commerce Committee passed it unanimously and then rejected by the Rules Committee.

This bill also has a lot of other spending which is not protected for U.S. jobs; $600 million for cars--no guarantee they're U.S. cars; $400 million for fuel-efficient buses. Guarantees for Americans? Not so much. How about $871 million for computers at the State Department, Agriculture and States? No. Nine hundred million for a new computing center for the Social Security Administration? Not there. Two hundred million for scientific equipment for the U.S. Geological Survey? Nope. Five hundred

million for new detection systems for the Department of Homeland Security? Absent. How about $6.5 billion for broadband? No guarantee made in the USA. How about $7.7 billion for Federal building construction? Not there.

If this is an American jobs bill, shouldn't we have included ``buy American'' clauses for these other areas as well? It's disappointing and frustrating that what happened with this bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee was actively removed, and then it was refused by the Rules Committee.

I'm glad that we're going to be supporting American textiles. I'm happy we're going to be supporting American steel. In a jobs bill, I'm frustrated that there are no guarantees in here that so many of these other jobs aren't going to happen in the United States.

I worry that of these billions of dollars being spent, much of these parts for computers, services and materials are going to be made overseas. That's not about American jobs.

3:09 PM EST

Howard Coble, R-NC 6th

Mr. COBLE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment will immediately help textile and apparel companies because it will cover all uniforms purchased by the Transportation Security Administration employees.

The program can easily be expanded by the Obama administration to cover FEMA, U.S. Customs, Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration Service, nearly 100,000 uniformed employees in all.

And as an aside, my friend from North Carolina has already mentioned it, but the apparel and textile sector has been plagued as a result of the dismal economic climate that we face now. They've lost over 60,000 jobs during the last 12 months. North Carolina alone has lost 8,000 textile and apparel jobs. Forty-four textile plants in America were closed during the past year, 14 in North Carolina.

And not unlike my friend, Mr. Kissell, I, too, come from a textile family. My mama was a textile worker; sewed pockets in overalls at the old Blue Bell plant in Greensboro. So I know the significance of a textile check subsidizing the family income.

I urge support of this amendment, and I urge my colleagues to support it as well.