7:12 PM EDT
Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. I thank the gentlelady.

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

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

7:12 PM EDT
Laura Richardson, D-CA 37th

Ms. RICHARDSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me to speak on Richardson amendment No. 2.

This amendment would direct $5 million for clean air grants, which were cut by nearly 15 percent in the current legislation.

Air pollution is a national problem. According to the EPA, approximately 127 million people live in counties that exceed at least one of the health-based national ambient air quality standards in 2008. New health-based standards for ozone will likely increase this number.

Mr. Chairman, I represent a region that's home to the largest port complex in the Nation and consists of some [Page: H5638]

of the busiest freeways and railways in the country. However, the area also suffers from poor air quality, which has led to much higher rates of asthma and cancer than the current national average.

Exposure to dirty air causes tens of thousands of premature deaths each year and results in serious health problems, such as the aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, difficulty breathing, increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, adverse effects on learning, memory, IQ, and behavior, as well as cancer.

Improvements in air quality lead to greater productivity, fewer sick days, and less money spent on health care to address air pollution-related problems. State and local air pollution control agencies have the primary responsibility to implement our Nation's clean air programs that are required by the Clean Air Act. However, due to this current recession, State and local governments are increasingly strapped for resources and are finding it ever more difficult to carry the Federal Government's

share of funding this responsibility.

Because of the continuing adverse impacts of this recession on State and localities, air agencies will continue to make more painful decisions, such as reducing or cutting air programs that protect our public health. So in other words, we took 10 steps forward and now we're taking 20 back.

Mr. Chairman, I have seen firsthand that clean air grants are effective, when you consider, in an area of mine that's home to 16.8 million people and is one of the smoggiest areas in the Nation, the South Coast Air Quality Management District is one of the air pollution control agencies for Orange County and Los Angeles urban areas, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties as well. Clean air agencies also assist companies in being able to help them to comply with Clean Air Act regulations. This

assistance has allowed many businesses to expand and to create jobs.

Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support clean air, support public health, and support American jobs. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

7:16 PM EDT
Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, a good friend of mine from Virginia once said that he would hear this on the floor, and I guess this is probably the first time that he's going to hear it; that is, the gentlelady makes a good point. But given the allocation that we have and the low funding level, frankly, we just don't have the money to do what she's requesting.

Her offset is to take money out of the Capital Improvement and Maintenance program. That's a program that has already been cut by $94 million in this bill. We've had to make some tough decisions. And while we haven't eliminated the funding for this, obviously, we just don't have that kind of money to put back into it.

Every program is going to have to suffer some cuts. I don't think we should be taking money out of the Capital Improvement and Maintenance program allocation that has already been cut by nearly $100 million. So I would oppose the gentlelady's amendment and hope my colleagues will oppose it also.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Richardson).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

7:17 PM EDT
Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, a good friend of mine from Virginia once said that he would hear this on the floor, and I guess this is probably the first time that he's going to hear it; that is, the gentlelady makes a good point. But given the allocation that we have and the low funding level, frankly, we just don't have the money to do what she's requesting.

Her offset is to take money out of the Capital Improvement and Maintenance program. That's a program that has already been cut by $94 million in this bill. We've had to make some tough decisions. And while we haven't eliminated the funding for this, obviously, we just don't have that kind of money to put back into it.

Every program is going to have to suffer some cuts. I don't think we should be taking money out of the Capital Improvement and Maintenance program allocation that has already been cut by nearly $100 million. So I would oppose the gentlelady's amendment and hope my colleagues will oppose it also.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Richardson).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

7:17 PM EDT
Laura Richardson, D-CA 37th

Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from California will be postponed.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING CHAIR

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, proceedings will now resume on those amendments on which further proceedings were postponed, in the following order:

The first amendment by Mr. Dicks of Washington.

The second amendment by Mr. Dicks of Washington.

The amendments en bloc by Mr. LaTourette of Ohio.

Amendment No. 39 by Mr. Pompeo of Kansas.

Amendment No. 23 by Ms. Richardson of California.

The Chair will reduce to 5 minutes the time for any electronic vote after the first vote in this series.

AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR.

DICKS

The Acting CHAIR. The unfinished business is the demand for a recorded vote on the first amendment offered by the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote.

The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.

The Clerk redesignated the amendment.

RECORDED VOTE

The Acting CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 174, noes 237, not voting 21, as follows:

[Roll No. 658]

AYES--174

Ackerman

Andrews

Baca

Baldwin

Barrow

Bass (CA)

Becerra

Berkley

Berman

Bishop (NY)

Blumenauer

Boswell

Brady (PA)

Braley (IA)

Brown (FL)

Butterfield

Capps

Capuano

Carnahan

Carney

Carson (IN)

Castor (FL)

Chu

Cicilline

Clarke (MI)

Clarke (NY)

Clay

Cleaver

Clyburn

Cohen

Connolly (VA)

Conyers

Cooper

Costa

Costello

Courtney

Crowley

Cuellar

Cummings

Davis (CA)

Davis (IL)

DeFazio

DeGette

DeLauro

Deutch

Dicks

Dingell

Doggett

Donnelly (IN)

Doyle

Edwards

Ellison

Engel

Eshoo

Farr

Fattah

Filner

Fitzpatrick

Frank (MA)

Fudge

Garamendi

Gonzalez

Green, Al

Grijalva

Gutierrez

Hahn

Hanabusa

Hastings (FL)

Heinrich

Higgins

Himes

Hinojosa

Hirono

Hochul

Holden

Holt

Hoyer

Inslee

Israel

Jackson (IL)

Jackson Lee (TX)

Johnson (GA)

Johnson, E. B.

Kaptur

Keating

Kildee

Kind

Kissell

Kucinich

Langevin

Larsen (WA)

Larson (CT)

Lee (CA)

Levin

Lewis (GA)

Lipinski

Loebsack

Lofgren, Zoe

Lujan

Lynch

Maloney

Markey

Matheson

Matsui

McCarthy (NY)

McCollum

McDermott

McGovern

McIntyre

McNerney

Meeks

Michaud

Miller (NC)

Miller, George

Moore

Moran

Murphy (CT)

Nadler

Napolitano

Neal

Olver

Owens

Pallone

Pascrell

Pastor (AZ)

Payne

Pelosi

Perlmutter

Peters

Pingree (ME)

Polis

Price (NC)

Quigley

Rahall

Rangel

Reichert

Reyes

Richardson

Rothman (NJ)

Roybal-Allard

Ryan (OH)

Sanchez, Linda T.

Sanchez, Loretta

Sarbanes

Schakowsky

Schiff

Schwartz

Scott (VA)

Scott, David

Serrano

Sewell

Sherman

Sires

Slaughter

Smith (WA)

Speier

Stark

Thompson (CA)

Thompson (MS)

Tierney

Tonko

Towns

Tsongas

Van Hollen

Visclosky

Walz (MN)

Wasserman Schultz

Waters

Watt

Waxman

Welch

Wilson (FL)

Woolsey

Yarmuth

NOES--237

Adams

Aderholt

Akin

Alexander

Altmire

Amash

Bachus

Barletta

Bartlett

Barton (TX)

Bass (NH)

Benishek

Berg

Biggert

Bilbray

Bilirakis

Bishop (UT)

Black

Blackburn

Bonner

Bono Mack

Boren

Boustany

Brady (TX)

Brooks

Buchanan

Bucshon

Buerkle

Burgess

Burton (IN)

Calvert

Camp

Campbell

Canseco

Cantor

Capito

Cardoza

Carter

Chabot

Chaffetz

Coble

Coffman (CO)

Cole

Conaway

Cravaack

Crawford

Crenshaw

Critz

Culberson

Davis (KY)

Denham

Dent

DesJarlais

Diaz-Balart

Dold

Dreier

Duffy

Duncan (SC)

Duncan (TN)

Ellmers

Emerson

Farenthold

Fincher

Flake

Fleischmann

Fleming

Flores

Forbes

Fortenberry

Foxx

Franks (AZ)

Frelinghuysen

Gallegly

Gardner

Garrett

Gerlach

Gibbs

Gibson

Gingrey (GA)

Gohmert

Goodlatte

Gosar

Gowdy

Granger

Graves (GA)

Graves (MO)

Green, Gene

Griffin (AR)

Griffith (VA)

Grimm

Guinta

Guthrie

Hall

Hanna

Harper

Hartzler

Hastings (WA)

Hayworth

Heck

Hensarling

Herger

Herrera Beutler

Huelskamp

Huizenga (MI)

Hultgren

Hunter

Hurt

Issa

Jenkins

Johnson (IL)

Johnson (OH)

Johnson, Sam

Jones

Jordan

Kelly

King (IA)

King (NY)

Kingston

Kinzinger (IL)

Kline

Labrador

Lamborn

Lance

Landry

Lankford

Latham

LaTourette

Latta

Lewis (CA)

LoBiondo

Long

Lucas

Luetkemeyer

Lummis

Lungren, Daniel E.

Mack

Manzullo

Marchant

Marino

McCarthy (CA)

McCaul

McClintock

McHenry

McKeon

McKinley

McMorris Rodgers

Meehan

Mica

Miller (FL)

Miller (MI)

Miller, Gary

Mulvaney

Murphy (PA)

Myrick

Neugebauer

Noem

Nugent

Nunes

Nunnelee

Olson

Palazzo

Paul

Paulsen

Pearce

Pence

Peterson

Petri

Pitts

Platts

Poe (TX)

Pompeo

Posey

Price (GA)

Quayle

Reed

Rehberg

Renacci

Ribble

Rigell

Rivera

Roby

Roe (TN)

Rogers (AL)

Rogers (KY)

Rohrabacher

Rokita

Rooney

Ros-Lehtinen

Roskam

Ross (AR)

Ross (FL)

Royce

Runyan

Ryan (WI)

Scalise

Schilling

Schmidt

Schweikert

Scott (SC)

Scott, Austin

Sensenbrenner

Sessions

Shimkus

Shuler

Shuster

Simpson

Smith (NE)

Smith (NJ)

Smith (TX)

Southerland

Stearns

Stivers

Stutzman

Sullivan

Sutton

Terry

Thompson (PA)

Thornberry

Tipton

Turner

Upton

Walberg

Walden

Walsh (IL)

Webster

West

Westmoreland

Whitfield

Wilson (SC)

Wittman

Wolf

Womack

Woodall

Yoder

Young (AK)

Young (FL)

Young (IN)

NOT VOTING--21

Austria

Bachmann

Bishop (GA)

Broun (GA)

Cassidy

Chandler

Giffords

Harris

Hinchey

Honda

Lowey

McCotter

Richmond

Rogers (MI)

Ruppersberger

Rush

Schock

Schrader

Tiberi

Velazquez

Wu

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING CHAIR

The Acting CHAIR (during the vote). There are 2 minutes remaining in this vote.

[Time: 18:29]

Mr. BARTON of Texas, Ms. SUTTON, and Mr. ROONEY changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''

Mr. CARNEY changed his vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Stated against:

7:17 PM EDT
Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX 18th

Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.

7:17 PM EDT
Donna F. Edwards, D-MD 4th

Ms. EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, I didn't think I would be down here this evening debating the Interior-EPA appropriations bill, in part because of the number of hours that we have spent in this Chamber on this bill when we actually should be facing the Nation's debt ceiling, giving the President a clean debt ceiling and moving forward with rebuilding our economy and creating jobs. Instead, we're debating yet another flawed bill. It is the biggest assault on clean air, clean water, the endangered species,

and public lands that we've seen in our Nation's history.

The bill's unprecedented funding cuts and polluter riders to benefit rich and often reckless mining and oil companies will cripple the EPA's employees, health professionals, and scientists' ability to do their job protecting our Nation and its public health.

Rather than celebrating the advancements that we've made over the last 40 years in air and water quality, instead, these Republican ``riders to ruin'' are driving us back to the sixties, a time when Rachel Carson wrote ``Silent Spring'' to awaken the American public to the man-made impacts on the environment. And I just want to take a few moments to discuss a couple of them. There are so many that it's a tough challenge, these Republican ``riders to ruin.''

The bill would prohibit funding for the Endangered Species Act listings. Hundreds of animals have been protected under the Endangered Species Act. The bill would eliminate the protection that leads to the repopulation and revitalization of bald eagle populations in our Nation. And for all the flag pins that we wear, we're about ready to decimate the very act that protects our Nation's symbol, the bald eagle.

Among other things, the bill also strikes out at ending regulations to expand the storm water discharge program under the Clean Water Act. The program prevents harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into our water systems. And as our cities and urbanized areas grow, storm water runoff can become a threat if we're not able to better manage the discharge waters and possible impact of toxins and pollutants.

And here we are, something I can hardly believe. I recall taking my son to the Grand Canyon and camping along the side of the south rim many years ago. What are we going to do now? We can pitch our tents next to the uranium mines at the Grand Canyon. This is insane.

[Time: 19:20]

For the 5 million visitors a year who visit the Grand Canyon, we're going to jeopardize the water quality of our Nation's most important rivers. I can't imagine families visiting the Grand Canyon. I can't imagine future generations pitching their tent next to the Grand Canyon, next to a uranium mine, because of this senseless legislation.

It almost makes you breathless to wonder why it is that we've decided that the Federal Government doesn't have a role anymore in protecting our water and our land and our air and our air quality. The majority is pushing a bill on the floor that blocks Clean Air Act regulations of fine particles and soot and delays the EPA from limiting toxic mercury pollution from power plants. Why don't we just break up all our thermometers and dump them in the water?

I'm not sure who these riders are meant to help, but I know that they don't help children in communities in my district and across the country who are vulnerable to air pollution. Thirty percent of childhood asthma is due to environmental exposures, costing the Nation $2 billion per year. These riders add to the arsenal. They just add to the arsenal. Low-income and minority children experience more doctor visits and hospitalization due to asthma than the general population and three times the

rate of white Americans.

This is a really sad day, but it's most especially sad because we should be doing the Nation's business. Today, we watched the stock market plummet because of the uncertainty that we've created in this body because of the recalcitrance of the Republican majority. I know that we have to do this horrible EPA appropriations bill, but what we need to do is fix this Nation's economy, get people back to work building our roads and our bridges and our infrastructure, and protecting our national parks.

Instead, we're engaged in the silliness of trying to play dice and chicken with the American economy. [Page: H5639]

It's a really sad day for the American public. Just a really sad day.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

7:22 PM EDT
Donna M. Christensen, D-VI

Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word. [Page: H5627]

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from the Virgin Islands is recognized for 5 minutes.

7:22 PM EDT
Susan Davis, D-CA 53rd

Mrs. DAVIS of California. Thank you.

The majority has been saying how concerned they are about future generations, that we shouldn't be overburdening them with our debt. I wholeheartedly agree. That's why I'm disappointed that, instead of addressing the urgent debt crisis, we are on the floor debating a bill that will gut pollution controls and public health protections in order to boost profits, the profits of America's biggest polluters, the last people who probably need a hand right now.

This bill does a number of things, Mr. Chairman. It blocks even modest pollution control standards that could mitigate climate change; the bill also erases 40 years of Federal laws that protect clean air, water, lands and wildlife; and it cripples the budgets of the Federal agencies we've charged with protecting our constituents.

As a mother and grandmother, I'm appalled that this bill signals a willingness to leave our families a more unhealthy environment than we have today. Isn't the idea always to leave things better than we found them?

Instead of protecting our citizens and shorelines, this bill exempts oil companies from complying with the Clean Air Act for offshore drilling.

Instead of protecting our drinking water and waterways, it cuts nearly $1 billion in funding for the clean water State revolving funds and will, if enacted, compromise the ability to address urban stormwater runoff, one of San Diego's greatest environmental threats.

And instead of supporting a cleaner, more efficient auto industry, it blocks an improved fuel efficiency standard, jeopardizing a process projected to create up to 700,000 new green jobs, cut fuel costs and save 2.4 million barrels of oil every day by 2030.

It's alarming, Mr. Chairman, that my colleagues who speak so passionately about giving the next generations a clean financial slate would so carelessly leave them a dirty planet. I suspect that the grandchildren of some oil company executives can always jet off to pristine resorts, but quite frankly that's not the situation for most of my constituents. The grandchildren of the 85 percent of Americans who just told The Washington Post/ABC News poll that they are, quote, just getting by or falling

behind will be stuck paying high gas prices and worrying about their jobs and worrying about their health.

We should be leaving our children and our grandchildren a chance at the American Dream of middle class prosperity and a legacy of environmental responsibility and stewardship, not one of reckless disregard.

I strongly urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this bill and getting back to bridging the debt divide so our constituents can focus on their own jobs rather than being concerned about whether we're doing ours.

I yield back the balance of my time.

7:26 PM EDT
Jackie Speier, D-CA 12th

Ms. SPEIER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

In some respects, I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. Can anyone explain, when we are 144 hours from crossing the brink, from going over the ledge, to have this country come to a screeching halt financially, tell me why we are debating the appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior? Why aren't we dealing with what the American people want us to be dealing with right now, and that is the debt limit, raising the ceiling on the debt limit? But, no, we're going to spend hundreds of

hours here over the next couple of days talking about the Interior appropriations bill.

Let me tell you what I'm hearing from my constituents, and maybe my colleagues on the other side of the aisle aren't getting phone calls from their constituents, but I am, and let me tell you what I'm hearing.

One woman wrote me and said:

``My mom is 79 years old, worked all her life in a factory and retired. Her pension was handed to her on her very last day of work, $25,000. The plant closed, moved the work to Mexico, and her husband died 8 years later. That $25,000 didn't last long. Now her only source of income is Social Security. She lives in a senior retirement center that she loves. Last Thursday, she and my aunt, who is 83 and also widowed, called me to pick them up and take them to the bank. They were going to withdraw

from their savings money to pay their rent, as they, along with all of the other seniors they live with in that retirement center, are convinced they will not get their Social Security checks come August 1. My mom has a doctor's appointment on August 5, and she wonders if the doctor will continue to see her if the government doesn't pay for Medicare.

``I care deeply about them. I know for a fact that my mom is losing sleep over this. Last week, I thought she was foolish. This week, I'm beginning to think that I'm the fool. How do you look your mom and your aunt in the eye and say with great certainty that the U.S. Government will send them their Social Security?''

That was just one letter I received, and I've gotten lots of phone calls. A 52-year-old woman who's self-employed as a court reporter paid $13,000 into the Social Security system last year and she's calling me saying, ``What are you all doing? The interest rate on my mortgage is going to go up. Interest rates on my credit cards are going to go up. Why aren't you fixing this problem?''

No, we're standing here talking about the Interior appropriation budget.

A woman from Daly City, 68 years old, previously suffered a stroke, has had seizures and relies on Medicare to treat her rheumatoid arthritis. Her husband, a cab driver, will turn 70 in December, at which point he will go on Social Security and hopefully go from working 5 to 6 hours a day to maybe 4 hours. If he loses his Social Security, he will probably have to work longer hours again.

[Time: 19:30]

They're all anguished. They all want us to do our job. They want us to lift this debt ceiling, protect Social Security and Medicare, and fix our attitude that we have here that somehow it's okay to just stall. It's okay to just try and make points, make political points while they're all wringing their hands and while they're taking money out of their savings accounts because they can't pay their rent if they don't get their Social Security check come August 1.

Well, for my colleagues who maybe haven't heard from their constituents, I want the American people to call this telephone number. Call this telephone number and call your Member of Congress and tell them what you think we should be doing. Should we be debating the Interior appropriation bill right now, or should we be fixing this debt limit? A debt limit, I might add, which virtually every economist of every political stripe has said: You have to lift it. President Ronald Reagan said: It has

to be lifted.

Why should Congress always take us to the brink before they act? It's time for us to be responsible.

I yield back the balance of my time.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING CHAIR

The Acting CHAIR. The Chair would remind all Members to address their remarks to the Chair and not to the television audience.

7:31 PM EDT
John Garamendi, D-CA 10th

Mr. GARAMENDI. I want to thank my colleague from California for reminding all of us that there are consequences for what we do here. This current wholly manufactured debt crisis has people very, very nervous.

The women that Ms. Speier talked about, concerned and nervous about their Social Security checks, whether they will be able to get their medical care, and today's Wall Street Journal, the first five items on what's news, various businesses around the world and financial institutions being prepared for the first time ever in America's history that our debt may not be worth a hoot. It may be worthless, that [Page: H5640]

we're going to default. This is a totally

manufactured, unnecessary crisis. We didn't have to be here.

I want us all to step back a little ways, step back to December 2010, when we had another manufactured crisis. It came time to fund the Federal Government and to deal with some issues having to do with unemployment. And the Republicans in the Senate held us hostage and demanded that we extend the high-end Bush tax cuts, which created a $700 billion deficit. We went ahead and did that, and rolled the issue forward 3 months so that in February we would have yet another crisis, the funding or the

shutdown of the Federal Government.

Yet again another opportunity for our Republican colleagues to create a crisis so that they could use it to force onto the American public their policies, which became very evident what they wanted to do. They wanted to reconfigure the entire American scene. They wanted to roll back Social Security. They wanted to end Medicare for all Americans who are not yet 55 years of age. They wanted to end the programs to support higher education, to reduce research, to reduce funding for food safety programs.

They used these manufactured crises to shut down a government.

And yet here we are again with the debt limit, first discussed back in May, and then because of the Treasury Department's ability to continue paying bills, we are now up against the final deadline of August 2. Yet again a totally manufactured unnecessary crisis.

Previously, Ronald Reagan said: Don't do this. Do not put the good faith and credit of the American government on the line. He told the Republicans, his Republicans back in the 1980s, honor the debt. This is not about new spending, this is about spending going back a century. This is about the American bills that were paid or not paid years ago, and that's our debt today.

We don't need to do this. There are options. We're putting forth, as we did earlier, a clean debt limit increase. Get us past this. We are also looking at the opportunity for the President to invoke the 14th Amendment, the fourth clause of the 14th Amendment, that says America will honor its debts. I believe he has the power, issuing an Executive order to the Treasury Department: pay our debts. This is something that is fundamental for America, and we must do it.

Put aside this manufactured crisis. It didn't need to be real, but it has become all too real in these last few days as our Republican colleagues are unable to get their act together, even to put forth a proposal that would eviscerate necessary programs. Can't even do that.

The President has called for a balanced approach, one of taxes, raising the taxes that should have been raised back in December and eliminate some $700 billion of this problem, but let's do it now. Let's go after the oil companies that are receiving our tax money at the very same time that over the last decade they have created nearly a trillion dollars of profit. They don't need our tax money. The poor in America, the senior citizens in America, they are the ones that need help.

I yield back the balance of my time.