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Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act Of 2004

Pursuant to House Resolution 706 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 3598.

Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 3598) to establish an interagency committee to coordinate Federal manufacturing research and development efforts in manufacturing, strengthen existing programs to assist manufacturing innovation and education, and expand outreach programs for small and medium-sized manufacturers, and for other purposes, with Mr. Terry in the chair.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as having been read the first time.

Under the rule, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) and the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) each will control 30 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert).

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased to be able to bring this bill before the House today, and I want to thank the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, Standards, and Technology of the Committee on Science for his insight and persistence in introducing this bill and refining it to the point that it can be signed into law.

Let me tell you what this bill is all about. It is about my favorite four letter word; and do not get nervous, it is a four letter word that you can use in polite company and on the floor of the people's House. This is a jobs bill. The programs that we reauthorize and create in this bill will enable American manufacturers to create and retain good, high-paying jobs in the United States of America.

Other than ensuring national security, this Congress has no task more important than promoting job creation and retention; that is, ensuring economic security.

I can say this is a jobs bill without fear of contradiction. Most of the programs in this bill are not new experiments. We are reauthorizing programs that have a proven track record of saving and creating jobs. What is more important?

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which I and others helped create back in the 1980s, has helped countless small manufacturers by giving them the knowledge they need to use the latest technology and manufacturing processes. A survey of just one-third of MEP customers found that they had created or saved more than 35,000 jobs, and that is just one-third of the customers, thanks to this program. And the MEP centers help more than 18,000 small companies each and every year.

I do not need to look any further than my own congressional district to see the good this program has done, and I am sure that is true of every Member of this House. To take just one evocative example from upstate New York, our local MEP center helped an olive oil manufacturer reorganize its factory floor in a way that enabled it to remain competitive in a highly competitive business and stay in business, preserving jobs. And MEP centers have greased the wheels of commerce all across this great Nation of ours.

This bill also reauthorizes the internal laboratories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, the Nation's oldest federal laboratory, a home to Nobel Laureates, and the Federal lab most focused on the problems of industry, including manufacturing.

I want to thank the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Udall) for the amendment that added the NIST authorization to this bill. I have to admit, as my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will no doubt point out, that Congress has underfunded these programs in recent years, over my objections, I would add. But this bill commits us to ensuring that the MEP programs and NIST's laboratories remain healthy so that they can help American manufacturers remain healthy.

I should add that the appropriators are already following through on the headway we are making in this bill. The Commerce appropriation we approved yesterday includes $106 million for MEP and a healthy increase for NIST laboratories. I congratulate the appropriators, and I congratulate my colleagues in the House for passing that bill just yesterday.

This bill, this jobs bill, will keep those programs on a healthy path in the future. The bill authorizes increases in the Manufacturing Extension Partnership so that in fiscal year 2008, MEP centers should be receiving 14 percent more than we hope they will receive next year, and that is more than a 200 percent jump from the $39 million in fiscal year 2004.

But this bill does more than just reauthorize old programs, although that alone would boost American manufacturing. The bill creates several new programs: A new grant program for the MEP centers, to help them design new ways to assist businesses; a new grant program to encourage businesses and universities to work together to solve industrial problems through applied research; and a new fellowship program to entice both graduate students and senior researchers into conducting research in the manufacturing sciences.

This is a good bill. It is a bill designed to help manufacturers, it is a bill designed to help small businesses. In short, this entire bill is based on a simple principle: You cannot get ahead by standing still. This bill will help our manufacturers get ahead by enabling them to take advantage of the latest research, the latest technology and the latest ideas about how to organize manufacturing, and all that will translate into jobs.

Now, we will be hearing an animated debate over the next hour or so on amendments to this bill. That debate should not obscure the fundamental bipartisan agreement on the importance of this measure. The gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) pointed out in the Committee on Rules how necessary and sound this bill is. The gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Udall) pointed out on the floor in yesterday's debate how necessary and sound this bill is, while pointing, quite rightly, to his own significant contribution to it.

The issue we will be debating with some of the amendments is whether we should do even more with this bill. I say ``with this bill,'' because, of course, we should be doing more overall. There are programs in other agencies that help manufacturers. There are other steps unrelated to research that we can take and have taken to help manufacturers. But we should not weigh down this bill because we can do even more in other arenas.

Our manufacturers need the help this bill will provide, and they need it now. Let us move ahead with this portion of our jobs agenda, and then we can turn our attention to other matters.

I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3598 in its current form, which can be signed into law. And that is what we need, legislation that can be signed into law.

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

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today to talk about an unfortunate missed opportunity. We are debating H.R. 3598, the Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act, a bill designed to help our manufacturing sector. In the end, I will vote for this bill, but it is a shell of what could have been accomplished had we worked together in a bipartisan fashion.

I think we can all agree that our manufacturing sector has been hard hit during the past 4 years. Exports had their largest drop in 50 years, more than 2.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost, and the manufacturing recovery has been the slowest on record. Last month, we lost another 11,000 manufacturing jobs.

While H.R. 3598 is a small step in the right direction, it is hardly the comprehensive manufacturing bill that could have been produced by the Committee on Science or by this House. The bill does little beyond authorizing modest funding for the manufacturing extension partnership program, MEP. I strongly support the MEP, but should not be the only Federal program that assists and supports our manufacturing sector.

During the Committee on Science's markup, Democratic Members offered a series of amendments designed to strengthening the bill. Most of these amendments were defeated on a party-line vote. Our chairman reluctantly opposed the amendments, not on substantive grounds, but because of administration objections.

In fact, through a series of negotiations, in which the minority was not invited to participate, the White House whittled H.R. 3598, as introduced by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), down to the bare bones MEP authorization we see today.

The original bill presented by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) included the creation of an Undersecretary For Manufacturing and Technology. Now it is gone. The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) originally included $514 million for the MEP program, which, after unilateral negotiations with the administration, was cut by $60 million. The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) originally included $192 million in research activities related to manufacturing, which, after unilateral negotiations with the administration, was slashed to $55.6 million.

The bill before us today shows that this administration just does not get it. We would have liked to have offered several amendments to restore the cuts that the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) made to his own bill at the behest of the administration. However, many of our amendments were not made in order by the Committee on Rules.

Today, I and some of my colleagues on the Committee on Science will be offering a few amendments that were actually made in order by the Committee on Rules. But let me give you an example of an amendment that was not made in order by the Committee on Rules.

First, the amendment offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Honda) to provide an authorization for the Advanced Technology Program, ATP. Yesterday, during the debate on the rule, the gentleman from New York (Chairman Boehlert) said that this amendment was not made in order because the Advanced Technology Program really is not a manufacturing-oriented program.

That is just not the case. Almost 40 percent of ATP funds currently support manufacturing projects. The rest of the ATP funds support the development of new technologies, technologies that will create the manufacturing industries of the future.

New chip technologies will result in new chip manufacturing factories and more jobs for Americans. The administration's own analysis for ATP shows that the benefits from just a few of the ATP projects reviewed to date are projected to exceed $17 billion. ATP supports our current manufacturing base and supports the development of our future manufacturing base.

So H.R. 3598 represents a bit of the pie, but not the whole pie. Some groups reluctantly support this bill, figuring that it is better to get something rather than nothing at all. While this may be true at times, it is not the right thing to do in this case.

Manufacturing is just too important to the economic health of our Nation. It is also often forgotten that the manufacturing multiplier effect creates 8 million additional jobs in other sectors. We need to do our best not only to maintain, but also to strengthening our manufacturing base, and to keep these high-paying jobs here at home.

Mr. Chairman, I will say that we have missed a great opportunity to support our manufacturing community and our constituents who work in the manufacturing fields. I hope that by passing our amendments to H.R. 3598 today, we can come together in a bipartisan way to strengthen this bill, to help our workers and our firms.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, let me just say that in the last 3\1/2\ years, we have lost 2.5 million jobs. Millions more Americans are concerned about losing their job. They deserve better than half a loaf. They deserve better than saying we will get to you later. They deserve better than to say we are afraid to do the right thing, because the administration does not like it.

We are an equal branch of the Federal Government. We need to stand up on our own legs today and demonstrate that, and do the right thing for our manufacturing sector in this Nation.

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

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 7 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), the distinguished chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, Standards, and Technology.

Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman for yielding me time.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 3598, the Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act. The goal of my legislation is simple: It is to help small and medium-sized manufacturers better compete in the global marketplace. Why is this necessary? Because manufacturing is in trouble in the United States.

You have heard the figures of the over a million jobs lost in manufacturing in the past few years. At the same time, the funding has been cut for this particular program.

Like communities all over the United States, industries in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, face countless challenges. Globalization is rapidly changing the way business is done, and our small and medium-sized firms are particularly vulnerable to these changes.

Many are literally fighting for survival.

I asked them what I could do to help. In talking to manufacturers in my district, one thing was clear. They all said the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program was a tremendously important program in helping them remain competitive.

The MEP program has roughly 60 centers and 400 satellite offices throughout the country. These centers provide small manufacturers with tools and assistance to help increase productivity and efficiency.

As an example, the Michigan MEP regional office in Grand Rapids, known as the Right Place Program, helped the family-owned Wolverine Coil Spring Company to develop a more efficient packaging and auditing system that cut in half the wait time for delivery of finished products.

Unfortunately, Congress cut funding for the MEP program from $106 million in fiscal year 2003 to $39 million in 2004. This limited funding caused many centers to lay off people and cut back their services at a time when businesses needed them most.

Another major concern raised by my constituents was technological advances by other countries. For our firms to compete today and in the future, I was told we need more research and development into how to manufacture products better, faster, and cheaper. I also learned that we need to provide a way for manufacturers to learn quickly about the latest advances from the research community.

With these thoughts in mind, I developed H.R. 3598, the Manufacturing Technology and Competitiveness Act. This bill specifically will establish an interagency committee and external advisory committee on manufacturing research and development to ensure that Federal agencies will coordinate their programs related to manufacturing R&D and target them on concerns that matter most to industry. It will also help industry improve manufacturing processes and technology by establishing a pilot grant program that would fund joint efforts by universities and industry to solve challenges in manufacturing technology. It would also train more students and senior researchers in the manufacturing sciences by establishing post-doctoral and senior research fellowships at the National Institute for Standards and Technology. In addition, it would authorize the MEP program at $110 million to ensure all centers remain open.

Let me just offer a comparison to show that this is certainly a perfectly acceptable amount of funding. If we compare it to the Agriculture Extension Service, which everyone agrees has worked very, very well for a very long time, to the extent that what is discovered in the lab one year is used out in the fields the next year, we find the Cooperative Extension Service of the Agriculture Department is funded at over $440 million per year, four times what we are suggesting for the MEP program. At the same time, in agriculture, we have just 1.5 percent of the American workforce. Manufacturing has approximately 14 percent of the workforce. Clearly, we need a program such as MEP so that we can do for manufacturing what for years we have done for agriculture.

The bill also provides new ways to help small and medium-sized manufacturers by establishing a competitive grant program for MEP centers. And it authorizes the laboratory programs at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, which provides critical research and standards for most of our industries.

This legislation has received widespread and bipartisan support. The National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Small Manufacturing Coalition, and the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing, just to name a few, all support this legislation. I have also worked with the administration to ensure the bill can be passed into law and will receive the President's signature.

Mr. Chairman, this is the key point I want everyone to understand: I wanted to develop legislation that would help our manufacturers and that could make it through the entire congressional and administrative process to become law. Our manufacturers need our help and support now. Some of my colleagues are going to offer amendments that would seriously jeopardize the bill from passing into law.

One such amendment will be offered by my colleague, the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon). His amendment would increase the authorization of MEP by an additional $90 million over the next 4 years and increase the amount the Federal Government contributes to the program from one-third to one-half. While well intentioned, this amendment will upset the delicate balance of support for full funding of the MEP program and could lead to some centers receiving less money. We are back on the right track with the fiscal year 2005 Commerce, Justice, State appropriations bill which passed the House yesterday with $106 million included for MEP, and I do not want to jeopardize the commitments made to achieve this funding level.

I acknowledge the hard work of my colleague, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf), and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) for their help on getting this appropriation.

As I said from the beginning, my goal was to develop and pass into law legislation that would help our small manufacturers better compete in the global marketplace, and H.R. 3598 does just that.

I want to conclude by thanking the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Udall), the ranking member of my subcommittee, and the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon), the ranking member of the full committee, for their help and input throughout this process. I especially want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert), the esteemed chairman of the Committee on Science, who has done an outstanding job on that committee; and I thank him for his unwavering commitment to move this legislation through the Congress and be signed into law.

Mr. Chairman, I strongly urge everyone to support small and medium-sized manufacturers by supporting H.R. 3598.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).

Rep. Rosa DeLauro

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Mr. Chairman, with 2.5 million manufacturing jobs lost in 3 years, including 40,000 in my State of Connecticut, many outsourced to other countries like China and Singapore, we all understand that steps must be taken to revive what is the very backbone of America's economy. Reauthorizing the valuable Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a critical program that supports high-risk, early-stage research and development, is certainly a part of that effort.

If we are going to help manufacturers become more productive and innovative, if we are going to boost sales and invest in modernization and employment, a strong reauthorization of the MEP program is critical.

But none of us are under any illusion that this program alone will revive the struggling sector; and, frankly, the other provisions in this bill are little more than a Band-Aid for an economic sector that is bleeding jobs. What our manufacturers need from this body is not window dressing; what they need is a bold vision, one that makes our Federal Tax Code work for, and not against, our manufacturers.

American companies should not have to resort to transferring jobs to countries where workers make less and have fewer benefits just to stay competitive. We should encourage good corporate citizenship and incentivize work done right here on our shores. We should ban the use of taxpayer dollars to outsource or take offshore work formerly done in the United States. We should get serious about making our trading partners live up to their obligations under the World Trade Organization, and we should reform our nonimmigrant visa programs that allow companies to displace American workers by bringing foreign workers in at lower wages, and we should prohibit companies that move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying American taxes from receiving any Federal contracts. That is what we should be doing to keep this country competitive, but we are not.

While I am glad the administration has finally agreed to support the MEP program at the levels that we supported 2 years ago, I believe we have missed a real opportunity to do something meaningful on behalf of all of our manufacturers, whether they be large or small. That is what the task of this body ought to be, rather than just putting off what we ought to do for manufacturers in this country.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Mrs. Johnson), a real leader in the effort to protect domestic manufacturing.

Rep. Nancy Lee Johnson

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong and enthusiastic support of this bill and congratulate the gentleman from New York (Chairman Boehlert) and my colleague, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), in the development of this legislation.

Indeed, small and medium-sized manufacturers are the unsung heroes of America's strong economy. All of our large multinational firms depend on the strong, vibrant, and productive domestic manufacturing sector. Their ability to compete in a global economy is tied to our home-grown, small and medium-sized manufacturing firms.

The Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act will reauthorize the MEP program, which is the most successful Federal program supporting manufacturing. When America was an agricultural economy, we built land grant universities explicitly to provide the knowledge base necessary to assure continuous product development, continuous improvements in quality, and continuous improvements in productivity in the agricultural sector. That partnership between government and the private sector is well developed in agriculture and is successful.

What this bill does is to broaden the partnership between manufacturing and government to assure the continual improvement of product and process to assure the competitiveness of manufacturing in a global economy.

Not only does this bill reauthorize the MEP program, the bill also ensures that all Federal programs dealing with manufacturing will coordinate their activities so we will get the most bang for the buck and the small manufacturer will be most able to take advantage of Federal support where appropriate. It will also fund a program that will improve collaboration with researchers and industry.

We need to foster stronger relationships between the research community and the business community to strengthen manufacturing in a period in which changes in technology, in process, and in management capability are occurring at a historic pace.

In my home State, the MEP program funds CONNSTEP, a public-private partnership that has created 1,300 jobs just in 2003. CONNSTEP provides a hand up for small manufacturers by giving them access to advances in technology and management techniques. Most importantly, it is a cost-effective partnership. For every one dollar in government investment, CONNSTEP creates $4 in tax revenue.

America's free market philosophy has allowed us to be leaders in the global economy. However, we can never forget that our competitors in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere have a long history of using the powers and resources of the state to bolster their companies.

Our companies, large and small, have demonstrated time and time again that they are the best because they are innovative and highly adaptable.

This bill, by my esteemed colleagues, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert), modernize the public-private partnership that in our country strengthens our manufacturing sector, but does it in a way that respects their independence, their ingenuity, vitality, and responsibility to be competitive. This bill will help our companies live up to the lofty goals of our economy, and I urge its support.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Honda).

Rep. Michael M. Honda

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Mr. Chairman, I am disappointed that the Committee on Science has missed a golden opportunity to fashion a meaningful bipartisan manufacturing bill. The bill we are debating does little, other than providing an authorization for the Manufacturing Extension Program.

As much as I appreciate the MEP, a program President Bush has repeatedly tried to shut down, by the way, pretending that authorizing this single program is the only worthwhile step that can be taken to help our manufacturing sector shows a lack of imagination and political will.

I do not have time to cover all of the good amendments that Democrats offered in the committee, but I would like to discuss my amendment to authorize funding for the Advanced Technology Program, which was not made in order for the floor.

During the debate on the rule for consideration of this bill, it was said that this amendment should not be allowed because this bill was only supposed to be about Federal programs that were dedicated to manufacturing. But according to its statute, ATP was created ``for the purpose of assisting United States businesses in creating and applying the generic technology and research results necessary to, one, commercialize significant new scientific discoveries and technologies rapidly; and, two, refine manufacturing technologies.''

Mr. Chairman, ATP does provide significant support for manufacturing. In 43 competitions held between 1990 and 2004, 39 percent of the awards involve either direct or indirect development of advanced manufacturing technologies. ATP does this by helping small businesses, small companies. Over 85 percent of all manufacturing technical awards go to small companies, and average employment growth of small company projects is over 180 percent.

In light of these facts, I tried to offer an amendment to authorize money for ATP at $169 million per year for fiscal years 2005 through 2008 and focus the funding on manufacturing projects.

I am not alone in my support for ATP. The Committee on Science's 2004 Views and Estimates on the budget supported funding ATP at the same level in my amendment.

In fact, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) both testified before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State of the Committee on Appropriations that ATP is ``necessary to help provide the edge that U.S. manufacturers need to compete in the global economy.''

Many associations support this. Let me close by saying I am disappointed that we are missing this opportunity to deal comprehensively with the long-festering problems of the U.S. manufacturing base. Unfortunately, because the Bush administration told the committee Republicans in negotiations that did not involve committee Democrats, that the President would not sign the bill if it did anything bold. And today we will be approving a bill that is not all it can be.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Hoekstra).

Rep. Peter Hoekstra

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman of the Committee on Science for yielding me time, and I congratulate him and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) for his work on this legislation in bringing it to the floor today.

It is absolutely critical that we pass this legislation and to provide some assistance back to our manufacturing sector. The administration in its report ``Manufacturing in America, A Comprehensive Strategy To Address the Challenges to U.S. Manufacturers,'' highlighted the need for investment and innovation through enhanced partnerships for the transfer of technology and support for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, the MEP program.

The U.S. has an excellent research foundation from which to develop manufacturing technology, but this process and the people that do technology transfer, they need help.

Manufacturing in America faces stiff challenges. The challenges today come from the nature of the competition. It is now a global economy. Competitors across the world are responding quicker, faster and more effectively to the needs of their customers. We need to help provide our manufacturers with the tools to compete. One of those tools is technology and innovation. The MEP program is that type of a program.

In west Michigan, this has been a very, very successful program. In Michigan, the MEP program has worked with over 587 small and medium-sized manufacturing firms throughout the State. In their 13-year history, they have worked with 25 percent of all small and medium sized manufacturers in Michigan. This assistance increased and retained sales in amounts over $70 million in just 2002. This assistance also aided in the creation or retention of over 800 jobs that would not have otherwise occurred.

I know this bill does not solve all of the issues or do everything that this Congress would like to do, specifically an amendment that was proposed by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Emanuel) which would have fully funded the Jobs for the 21 Century Initiative, a program initiated by the President.

I look forward to working with my colleague to pass that legislation and do it through the Committee on Labor which has jurisdiction over that legislation.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson).

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

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Mr. Chairman, let me thank our leaders on the committee and our esteemed ranking member of the full committee.

I rise today and speak in support of my colleagues and the gentleman from Tennessee's (Mr. Gordon) amendment to the Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act of 2004.

The Gordon amendment provides a robust MEP program authorized for fiscal year 2005 to 2008; 10 percent above the fiscal year 2004 total; in fiscal year 2005, $116 million and 10 percent per year increases. This compares with approximately a 4 percent increase per year in the base bill. The amendment also adjusts the current one-third Federal cost-share for 6 years and older MEP centers to be as much as one-half in the fiscal year 2005 only.

Unfortunately, when this bill was marked up in committee, this amendment along with all of the amendments that were offered by the Democratic side were voted down. Not because of the merit but because apparently they said the White House had indicated that they would not sign the bill if they did not do it the way they wanted them to do it. But let me assure you that we have lost so many manufacturing jobs.

In Texas alone, we have lost 178,000 since 2001 and overall 8.2 million throughout the country. And you can look at there chart and see all the jobs lost. Every State has lost many jobs. This is the area which we are talking about, manufacturing. And this is also where we need to give attention most.

We are not going to get the manufacturing jobs back that have left this country but we do have to create more. Any country without a manufacturing base will never have a stable economy, and the only way we are going to get it is to do the research, involve the small companies involved.

Let me conclude by saying that when we have this many people, 8.2 million Americans without employment, which accounts for 5.6 percent and over 10 percent African Americans are jobless, we have to give attention to this manufacturing. I do not know what we are going to do instead of it, but I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that we are missing the boat when it comes to making sure that Americans will have jobs in the future.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today to speak in support of my colleague's, Mr. Gordon's amendment to the Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act of 2004.

The Gordon amendment provides a robust MEP program authorization for FY 2005-2008 (10 percent above FY 2004 totals in FY 2005 ($116 million) and 10 percent per year increases for FY 2006-2008). This compares with an approximately 4 percent increase per year in the base bill. The amendment also adjusts the current one-third federal cost-share for 6-year and older MEP Centers to be as much as one-half in fiscal year 2005 only. Unfortunately, when this bill was marked up in the Committee, this amendment, along with the vast majority of amendments from the Democratic side of the committee voted down.

This language is a necessary addition to the manufacturing bill because it provides a decent level of MEP authorization--essentially a small increase in FY 2005 and $5 million per year more for FY 2006-2008.

This is certainly an improvement on the Bush administration's efforts to kill the program, but we can do better.

MEP's services continue to be under-utilized because of a lack of resources. A recent study by the National Association of Public Administrators found that small manufacturers are underserved by the

Given the tremendous leverage generated among small businesses by the program, its funding should be ramped up toward a doubling over the next 6-7 years.

In FY 2004, because of the Bush administration's budget proposal and the actions of the Republican Congress, the MEP program was only provided with one-third ($39 million) of the funding necessary to maintain the existing network of MEP Centers (full funding would be $106 million).

According to the Modernization Forum (the umbrella group of state MEP Centers), as of April, MEP Centers will have closed 58 regional offices and reduced staffing by 15 percent. If no additional funds are provided in FY 2005, 16 states may close their MEP Centers. Overall, the MEP Centers could reduce their staff by 50 percent and close half of their regional offices.

Another impact of the current funding shortfall is that Centers are focusing on larger manufacturers that can afford large dollar projects, raising rates beyond the reach of many small manufacturers, and serving few small manufacturers overall. This is a very important addition, especially at a time when over 8.2 million Americans are without employment, which accounts for 5.6 percent, and over 10% of African Americans are currently jobless.

Manufacturing had long been the engine that drove the American economy. Much of manufacturing is still in recession even as the rest of the economy moves forward.

As we debate this bill on the House floor today, I am hopeful that we can reach constructive consensus on many of the amendments being offered today.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Pennsylvania (Ms. Hart) who is a valued member of the committee and a leader in enhancing the domestic manufacturing sector's ability to compete in a global marketplace.

Rep. Melissa A. Hart

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for those kind words and thank him for moving this legislation.

The Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act is extremely important not only nationally, but for our competitiveness in the world. Western Pennsylvania, where I am from, has a long history of manufacturing and I support the programs that help our manufacturers to remain competitive.

H.R. 3598 supports small and medium-sized manufacturers. It helps them to improve their manufacturing processes. It also helps to improve their technology by establishing a pilot program to fund collaborations between universities and industries, that is our employers, to solve problems in manufacturing technology that companies and universities have not been able to solve on their own.

This legislation also ensures that Federal agencies will coordinate their programs related to manufacturing R&D and target them towards the concerns that matter most to industry by establishing an interagency committee on manufacturing research and development and an advisory committee of representatives from outside the Federal Government.

We have a shortage in this country of scientists and engineers. This bill will help train more students and senior researchers in the manufacturing sciences by establishing post-doctoral and senior research fellowships at NIST. This will help us fill that gap.

One provision in particular that I have been working on with my colleagues to secure funding for is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program. We will reauthorize and improve MEP by passing this bill. We will help manufacturers to improve their processes, reduce waste, and train workers to become more efficient. MEP receives a third of its funding from the Federal Government, a third from the States, and a third from fees charged to those small manufacturers who participate. There are 60 MEP centers and 400 satellite institutions throughout the Nation. These programs make it possible for even the smallest firms to tap into the expertise of knowledgeable manufacturing and business specialists.

Each center, such as Catalyst Connection Pittsburgh, works directly with the manufacturers to provide expertise and service tailored most to their critical needs.

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentleman bringing up this bill. I understand it will help our manufacturers be globally competitive, that will help us maintain our manufacturing sector and have it grow in the future.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Emanuel).

Rep. Rahm Emanuel

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Mr. Chairman, I thank gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) for yielding me time.

Since 2001 the country has lost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs. Now, I offered an amendment which was President Bush's 21st Century Job Initiative in an act of bipartisanship. Let me quote what he said on April 5 when he introduced his initiative. ``We are not training enough people to fill the jobs for the 21st century. There is a skills gap,'' the President says, ``and if we do not adjust quickly, if we do not use our community colleges, we are going to have a shortage of skilled workers in the decades to come.''

Now, when you were designing this bill, you did not include the President's initiative on the 21st Century for manufacturing jobs, so I offered it as an amendment. What does the Committee on Rules do? They knock it down and said, forget it.

I do not know how many times you are going to show disrespect to the President of the United States when he is trying to help with manufacturing jobs. He did not come up here and lobby for it, though. He did not send anybody here to lobby for his initiative, so I do not really so much think that you are showing disrespect because why should you include something the President does not care about? But it makes sense. Every budget he has proposed, he has tried to eliminate the manufacturing extension program, and we have resulted in 2.7 million jobs lost.

On top of that, when the President's economic advisor issued a report, he wanted to redefine flipping hamburgers as a manufacturing job. That is one way America can regain the manufacturing jobs we lost in America. Redefine them. No disrespect to the hamburger flippers in America, but I think there is something critically important about training workers using community colleges to, in fact, add and increase 100,000 workers, as the President of the United States said, in the high technology area of manufacturing. But this bill does not include it.

I still will support this bill because I do not believe in making the perfect the enemy of the good, or in this case, the good the enemy of the adequate. And that is all this bill will try to do, adequately tread water.

The fact is we have lost jobs over the last 3 years in manufacturing, 2.7 million of them, and the result has been because of basic attitude towards the manufacturing sector of benign neglect. The net result is Americans have lost their jobs, their health care, their retirement and their kids' college education because of it. I tried to offer the President's own initiative for the 21st century, and we will lose those jobs because we are not doing what we should be doing in a bipartisan fashion.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Smith), the distinguished chairman of the Committee on Research and the Committee on Science.

Rep. Nick Smith

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Mr. Chairman, this bill, H.R. 3598, will ensure that the Federal agencies will coordinate their programs. That is important. It expands the effort to have more students be trained in the manufacturing science. That is important. It ups the authorization amount for the MEP program.

Yesterday we passed a bill that increased the appropriations for that program, the Manufacturing Extension Program. I will just urge every small and medium-sized manufacturer in this country, everyone that knows somebody that works in that kind of industry, to take advantage of this program.

Look, you are getting expert advice for one-third of what it is otherwise going to cost you as a manufacturer for expert advice. The State provides one-third, the feds under our program provides one-third, that leaves one-third for the participating manufacturers. Use the program.

If you know somebody that is in the manufacturing arena, tell them to go to the Web site. Type in MEP and NIST and let a search engine find it. If you want the details, it is <a href="http://www.">www.</a>MEP.NIST.gov/state-affairs. It is a good program. Use it.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee), a leader on the Committee on Science. Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I know full well the ranking member's commitment to job creation and knowing my good friend, the chairman, I also realize his commitment not only to the Committee on Science but also to creating opportunities for Americans; and I thank the ranking member and the subcommittee Chair, subcommittee ranking member also for their leadership.

But let me tell you why we are on the floor today as I support this legislation, obviously a bill that my good friend, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Udall), first introduced to the United States Congress, because we are bleeding manufacturing jobs. We are losing them, and we are losing the ability to produce.

There are many things that America is all about, including our wonderful democratic principles, our courage; but we are producers, we manufacture. And my friends, if you look at this, you will understand why we are at the bottom of the heap on job creation and producing; and I think that we need more than this legislation on the floor of the House today. We know in Texas alone we are number two in the worst job loss in America, but it continues across the Nation. East coast, west coast, Midwest, South, Northwest, all of these States, 2.5 million jobs that we have lost.

So, frankly, what I am arguing for today is that we realize that we need a more expansive commitment to creating jobs, the elimination, if you will, of outsourcing so we can create jobs, the idea that we are given to do things with our hands and minds so that we can produce. Agricultural production is one thing, but building things is another; and that is how we built great cities in the Midwest when we had steel factories producing steel and producing cars.

And so what I am asking for is that we do more than what this legislation says and that we enhance the creation of manufacturing jobs and that the President support and stand with us.

Let me also say we have all supported the MEPs. I am glad to hear my colleagues on the other side of the aisle support the MEPs. If you support MEP centers, then support the Jackson-Lee amendment which will preclude the closing of MEPs because under the present structure of the bill, all of our manufacturing partnership programs will be cancelled out because we will be recompeting.

I ask my colleagues to support my amendment ultimately, but also to work with us to better create manufacturing jobs.

I will support H.R. 3598, the Manufacturing Technology Bill, because it is basically inoffensive. This bill started as a bold initiative from my colleague from Colorado Mr. Udall. I wish we could have kept it stronger, and done more to make jobs for our struggling manufacturing sector. However, I do commend my colleagues from the Science Committee, Mr. Ehlers, and Chairman Boehlert for their leadership in pushing for some relief and stimulus for our sagging manufacturing sector.

The United States economy lost 2.5 million manufacturing jobs between January 2001 and January 2004. Although there have been some recent signs of movement in the job markets, too many people are still struggling with unemployment or underemployment. Texas was the second hardest hit of all States--losing over 45,000 jobs between August 2001 and August 2002.

Science and technology are truly the keys that will open the economy and careers of the future. Not only can technology develop products of the future--it can also be used to make making those products more efficient and cost-effective. That makes our businesses more competitive in the world market as they take market share, demand rises, and jobs are created. A solid manufacturing base is the bedrock of any strong economy. America has one of the greatest, hardest-working workforces in the world. The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in America. Small Federal investments and seed monies can be catalytic, and unleash the enormous potential of our manufacturing sector.

I know budgets are tight, due to fiscal mismanagement and a violent and expensive foreign policy. But we should not quit making smart investments in the future of our economy. That would be ``penny wise but a pound foolish.'' We should be investing, not only in traditional manufacturing jobs, but also in alternative energy sources like windmills and geothermal and solar panels and fuel cells. These are the fuels and jobs of the future. This bill seems to be being expedited to make the newspapers by election time. I think if we had all worked together, we could have made this a more powerful Act, and still could have shown the voters what the 108th Congress is capable of.

Regardless, there are some good provisions of this bill. H.R. 3598 would establish an Interagency Committee on Manufacturing Research and Development to coordinate Federal manufacturing R&D efforts, and an advisory committee to guide those efforts. The interagency committee would prepare a strategic plan for manufacturing R&D, produce a coordinated intergency budget, and write an annual report on the Federal programs involved in manufacturing R&D. The President may designate existing bodies to serve as the committees.

It will establish a 3-year cost-shared, collaborative manufacturing R&D pilot grant program at NIST. It will establish a post-doctoral and senior research fellowship program in manufacturing sciences at NIST.

H.R. 3598 will reauthorize the MEP program and create an additional competitive grant program from which MEP centers can obtain supplemental funding for manufacturing-related projects.

Finally, the bill will authorize funding for NIST's Scientific, Technical, and Research Services account, the Baldrige Quality Award program, and the Construction and Maintenance account. H.R. 3598 would also establish a standards education grant program at NIST and authorize funding for it at $773,000 in FY 2005, increasing to $844,000 in FY 2008.

I will be offering an amendment later that will make these efforts stronger by protecting one of the most effective tools in the Federal manufacturing toolbox--the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program--from a wasteful recompetition, aimed at scaling back this vital program.

I hope my colleagues will support it, and support the underlying bill.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Flake).

Sen. Jeff Flake

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

I stand today, I guess, as a pig at a wedding here between those who want to fund the program that probably ought to be defunded and those who want to fund it more than it is being funded at current.

The President said that we ought to hold the line at about $35 million. The OMB analyzed the MEP and said, ``Ultimately firms should be willing to pay for the cost of services that contribute to profitability if they determine the services are worth it.''

That is what we as Republicans ought to stand for, and instead we are saying let us help them out some more. For those who do not believe this is corporate welfare, I would suggest that you do go to the Web site, which says MEP is a nationwide network of not-for-profit centers in over 400 locations nationwide whose sole purpose is to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with the help they need to succeed.

Well, I would suggest that if a business is having trouble succeeding, it is probably because there is not a market for its good or services or its competitors are doing it better.

Now, is it our role as government to actually try to go in and help them out? I would say yes, but we ought to do it by little more of what the gentleman suggested was benign neglect. I think our small and medium-sized businesses out there are crying for a little benign neglect when it comes to government in terms of lesser taxes and less regulation. Let us give them more of what we have been over the past couple of years, which is lower taxes, less regulation, and let them compete on their own.

Now, I come from Arizona where we are long-suffering in terms of professional football. The Cardinals had fewer rushing touchdowns last year than they have in years past. What are we to do? Dispatch a government team or a bunch of experts to tell them how they can have more rushing touchdowns and compete a little more, put a little more fannies in the seats? I do not think we are going to do that, but reading this, I think, What is next? If we are going to do it for manufacturing, why not professional sports?

I would say it is time to back away. Government's role is to provide a conducive regulatory and tax environment and then please stay out of the way, particularly in times of human deficits, $400 billion deficit this year, and we are increasing spending on this program. I would urge a rejection of the bill.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey).

Rep. Lynn Woolsey

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Mr. Chairman, we have lost over 2.5 million jobs, manufacturing jobs, under this administration. Actually, we have lost 2.7 million jobs. I guess we should not be surprised, considering that the President's economic report suggested fixing the job-loss problem by reclassifying fast-food jobs as manufacturing jobs and by nominating the exporter of U.S. jobs, Anthony Raimondo, as the new manufacturing czar. And he just did that 4 months ago.

Obviously, this administration does not get it, and neither does the leadership in the House. Why else would Republicans bring up a bill that would increase tax breaks for multinational corporations that ship jobs abroad? And why else would the President's chief economist endorse outsourcing as a long-term benefit for jobless Americans?

Well, obviously I believe that we need to be doing a lot more to encourage an increase in the number of manufacturing jobs in our country, but I am glad that after ignoring the country's manufacturing crisis for the last 3 years, we are here today taking a small step forward to reauthorize the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships. I am just sorry that we are not doing more.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Udall). Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Chairman, I have got to tell you I am disappointed with this bill, but I do have to also tell you I support it, because it does more for our manufacturing sector than the administration is doing now. As my colleague, the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee), mentioned, the essence of the bill is a version of legislation I introduced last year, the America Manufacturing Works Act; but unlike my bill, this bill does little more than provide an authorization for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. We could have and should have done so much more, such as authorizing the widely supported ATP program, strengthening the MEP program, which we are discussing now, authorizing an independent study on outsourcing and bolstering our manufacturing workforce education, among many other things.

Still, though, reauthorizing MEP is critical. It is one of the most successful Federal-State partnerships in government; and at a time when our manufacturing base is threatened, it makes no sense to eliminate a program that helps small and mid-sized American manufacturers modernize in order to compete in the demanding global marketplace they face.

Whether for reasons of substance or politics, this administration has finally recognized that eliminating MEP is a bad idea. Now, of course we will not know how sincere they are until we see the proposed funding levels for fiscal year 2006. But today this House has an opportunity to save this important program.

The Chairman, my good friend from New York, mentioned the reauthorization of the funding for NIST core laboratory programs; and this is important because as he knows and we all know, NIST worked to set standards and put measurement activities together to directly support the U.S.'s manufacturing base.

I am troubled, and I know the chairman knows I am, that we have refused to include specific amounts for the construction funding at NIST's Boulder campus, and in the past he has indicated his support for construction funds; and I hope that as we move forward he and I can work together so that such language translates into something meaningful.

In conclusion, as I did say, I support this bill. I believe it is a modest and narrow effort to support this country's manufacturing base. We have much more work to do, but this is a first step; and I urge its passage today.

I thank the gentleman for yielding me the time.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin).

(Mr. LEVIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Rep. Sander M. Levin

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Mr. Chairman, I do not have the privilege of being a member of this committee, so maybe I can be blunt, though, I have affection for the Chair and my friend, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers). But when I look at these figures on the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP), I think it is pretty clear what is happening here, and that is, we have an election-year conversion by the House majority to really cover a President who is still asleep at the switch on manufacturing.

We have lost, as has been said here, 2.7 million manufacturing jobs; but while this was happening, what did the House do and the Congress do last year? It cut the MEP by almost 63 percent, almost 63 percent. Now the majority comes back here and says let us restore the cut. That is the conversion.

As to where the President is, despite this mammoth loss of jobs, he proposed in 2003, $12.9 million essentially to phase out MEP. He repeats that in 2004, phase it out essentially. Then 2005, with all of this loss of manufacturing, the President's request is $39 million for MEP. That shows a lack of concern about what has been happening to manufacturing in my State and in this Nation.

Then the suggestion was, have an assistant Secretary for manufacturing. We said it was shuffling chairs. They did nothing to fill that shuffling of chairs for 6 months, and then they appoint somebody else who cannot be confirmed, and now they appoint somebody else and we are still waiting for confirmation.

No, this country needs leadership that is committed to manufacturing in the United States. I hope we will adopt the Gordon amendment. It would be a step forward.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Stupak).

Rep. Bart Stupak

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Chairman, I commend the committee for trying to do something to change the way we address the manufacturing needs in this Nation. We have many challenges facing the manufacturing sector today. With this bill, it is a start; but I am really disappointed that the bill continues to take the business-as-usual approach.

This is not a time for business as usual. We have lost, as my colleagues can see, throughout this country about 2.8 million manufacturing jobs since President Bush took office. In Michigan, like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina, we have lost manufacturing jobs under this administration.

This legislation is only a drop in the bucket as to what we need. It cannot be the President's business-as-usual when it comes to manufacturing jobs.

I urge this administration, and we have written to Secretary Evans, we have written to the President, we have urged them to change course and support real action now to help our U.S. manufacturers. The administration must change course and respond to the skyrocketing health care costs with a prescription drug card benefit that supports employer-provided coverage; address the employer/employee pension issues so that employers can contribute the appropriate amount to the pension funds, freeing up resources for investment, hiring, and wage increases; take action to level the international playing field on these so-called trade agreements we have. They are not fair, but they are certainly free and giving away our jobs.

We urge the President and this administration to support partnerships with the States, businesses and employees which promote research and development, future technologies and a trained workforce. Until we do this, as we Democrats have been advocating for some time, this bill will only be a drop in the bucket to support our U.S. manufacturing.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Gingrey), a valued member of the committee.

Rep. Phil Gingrey

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman for yielding me the time.

Mr. Chairman, my colleague on this side of the aisle and my teammate on the Republican congressional baseball team was just in the well, and I think he was speaking against this bill and making an analogy between professional sports teams. I think he mentioned the football team in Arizona and that if we are going to support the manufacturers, we might as well be for supporting professional sports. With all due respect to the gentleman from Arizona, I think the manufacturing sector in this country is a lot more important than any professional sports team.

H.R. 3598 supports small and medium-sized manufacturers by reauthorizing and improving the highly successful Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, MEP. This program helps businesses improve manufacturing processes, reduce waste, and train workers on how to use new equipment. MEP receives one-third of its funding from the Federal Government, one-third from the States, and one-third actually from fees charged to participating small businesses, small manufacturers.

There are 60 MEP centers and 400 satellite institutions throughout the country.

But, Mr. Chairman, let me talk briefly about Georgia. The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership consists of 19 regional offices, four of which are in my district, the 11th District of Georgia, Carrollton, Cartersville, Newman, and Rome, Georgia. It is lead by the Economic Development Institute at my alma mata, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech.

The MEP program has a proven track record. It works directly with local manufacturers to help them improve manufacturing processes, train workers, improve business practices, and apply information technology to their companies. Solutions are offered through a combination of direct assistance from center staff and outside experts.

The Rome-Floyd Recycling Center, Mr. Chairman, is a perfect example. They were struggling, about to go under. But when the MEP program came and helped them and brought in engineers and showed them how to process that recycling and streamline that operation, they began making money and employing people right in my district.

In Georgia, during 2002, MEP assistance helped companies retain or create more than 1,300 jobs, invest more than $33 million, and cut $13 million in unnecessary costs and increase or retain $61 million in sales.

Mr. Chairman, H.R. 3598 and its authorization of returning funding levels for MEPs back to an effective level will greatly influence the retention and creation of manufacturing jobs throughout Georgia and the Nation. Let us support this good legislation on behalf of the distressed manufacturing sector.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Miller), an active member of the Committee on Science.

Rep. Brad Miller

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Tennessee for yielding me this time, and I agree that this is a bill with disappointingly modest ambitions, but one that we must support today.

Many Members have talked about manufacturing job losses in the country. In North Carolina, it is 150,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 3 years. It has cut into the backbone of the traditional basis of the North Carolina economy. There have been textile industry jobs, tobacco jobs, furniture jobs, the jobs that North Carolinians have depended on to support themselves and their families.

I have talked to a lot of workers who have lost their jobs. They are very realistic. They do not ask how are we are going to bring those jobs back. They know those jobs are gone forever. The employers have not simply cut a shift, they have closed the factory. It is padlocked and the equipment sold. The employees have either gone overseas or they are just flat out of business. Their question, instead, is where are the new jobs going to come from and what are we doing to bring new jobs here? And my answer is: We are not doing nearly enough. We are not doing nearly enough.

They know that service sector jobs will be no answer. We cannot prosper as a service economy. We cannot simply cut each other's hair or sell each other insurance or give each other golf lessons. We have to make things. The heart and soul of our economy is manufacturing. It is the basis upon which our economy exists. It is the basis of our prosperity and we are not doing nearly enough to protect it.

Let me tell you what the Manufacturing Extension Partnership has done in our State. In 2002, there was an independent Federal survey of the MEP program, which is called the Industrial Extension Service in North Carolina. As a result of the help, the service, the advice that the Industrial Extension Services gave to some 367 employers that year, they achieved $85.6 million in savings as a result of the efficiencies they were able to achieve. As a result of that, North Carolina was able to save 1,119 jobs and create 193 new ones.

Mr. Chairman, the Industrial Extension Service, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, is something we should be doing better by, not cutting.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have remaining?

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). The gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) has 3 minutes remaining, and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) has 2\1/2\ minutes remaining.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time to close, then. And let me just respond very quickly to a statement that the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Flake) made in the well of the House earlier. And I think it was a very honest statement on his part about his feelings, and I think it reflects that of the administration and, really, of the majority of the Republicans over the last 3 years, and that is, let the strong survive and the weak will move aside, and that is the best thing we can do for our economy. Well, unfortunately, the strong are surviving, but they are surviving by or prospering by sending jobs offshore.

So let me say what MEP really is about, for the 99 percent of America who do not know what these initials stands for. Right now, small- and medium-sized manufacturing businesses cannot afford to have full-time experts, specialists, and technicians on their staff like the big guys can. So what MEP does, it is a State-based program that allows these small- and medium-sized manufacturers to combine their resources and go to the State and get some help on a project here, a project there, where they could not afford to have that full-time expert. It makes them more productive, it allows them to be more competitive internationally, it creates additional jobs, and it returns many, many, many more dollars to the Federal Government than is sent out.

Also, let me explain the leveraging that goes on here. The money that the Federal Government puts into the MEP program is matched by the State. And States that are hard-pressed now are glad to get whatever money they can. So the Federal Government puts up one-third, the State puts up one-third, and then the local manufacturer puts up one-third, because they think it is that important. Together, they are then able to pool their resources and have this additional expertise to make our country more productive.

That is what the MEP is all about, and that is why we want to see MEP not done away, as the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Flake) honestly suggested, but it should be expanded to help our country be more productive.

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

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and before I actually close, let me thank all of the staff who worked so hard on this over the past year: Olwen Huzley, Eric Webster, Amy Carroll, David Goldston on the committee staff; and Cameron Wilson on the staff of the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), who, happily, could not be with us today because of the birth of Nolan Eric Wilson. We wish Nolan, Cameron and Laura Wilson our very best. Our staff finds many ways to contribute to the Nation's future.

And, Mr. Chairman, let me thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. We have worked in a bipartisan fashion to create a good bill. There are some differences over the level of funding, but I will say that we are on the same wavelength with respect to our admiration and affection for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and we can proudly go forward with the committee's bill.

That is what this bill is all about. It is about jobs, it is about helping the manufacturing sector. And to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Flake) I would point out, if manufacturing in America was subsidized to the extent that government subsidized professional sports is, they would be in heaven.

H.R. 3598 will help ensure that our Nation has good, high-paying, productive manufacturing jobs for years to come, and I urge its adoption.

Rep. Ron Kind

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Mr. Chairman, America's manufacturing sector has been in crisis for the past 4 years with over 2.7 million quality jobs lost, including 80,000 in my home state of Wisconsin. Congress must act to stem this trend and invest in programs that help our Nation's manufacturers compete and grow in the global economy.

Throughout the Third Congressional District, I have been meeting with local business owners, workers, educators, and government officials to discuss economic challenges facing Wisconsin to determine what can be done to help Wisconsin businesses grow. As a member of the Congressional Manufacturing Task Force, I have focused on how the federal government can most effectively help small- and medium-sized manufacturers compete and grow. There are no easy answers to this problem, but through good investments and smart practices, the federal government can better assist American companies and help America keep its economic edge.

One of the most successful programs helping manufacturers throughout the Nation is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program within the Department of Commerce's National Institutes of Standards and Technology. Through a national network of manufacturing extension centers, MEP is designed to benefit domestic manufacturers by providing expertise and services tailored to their most critical needs. This includes assistance in process improvements, worker training, and information technology applications. In Wisconsin, MEP has served over 110 firms.

To strengthen this program, I support an amendment offered by Representative Gordon to increase the authorization limit for MEP and help states match funding so more businesses can benefit. With our manufacturing sector suffering, it is important that we build on the successes of the MEP program.

In addition, I support the amendment offered by Representative Jackson-Lee to halt a misguided proposal by the Administration to ``recompete'' MEP centers. Recompetition of MEP centers could destroy the effective national system of centers established over the past 14 years. This could result in fewer projects initiated and consumes valuable resources that could be used to help American businesses.

Mr. Chairman, it is important that we step up and help manufacturers in real, measurable ways. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue to invest in small- and medium-sized businesses.

Rep. Michael N. Castle

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Mr. Chairman, I rise today to strongly support this legislation. The Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership (DEMEP) has been part of the national MEP program since 1994 and in 1999 it entered into a partnership with the Delaware Chamber of Commerce, the Delaware State Technical and Community College, and the Delaware Economic Development Office.

The Federal funding they receive through the national MEP program has helped them to develop the resources to be able to reach the small and medium-sized manufacturers in their delivery area.

Delaware MEP has 3 locations in Delaware and is currently assisting 1,100 Delaware manufacturers. Delaware MEP is showing a greater than 8 to 1 impact in terms of economic impact per every Federal dollar spent. The manufacturing sector in Delaware is dealing with the same burdens that are affecting all U.S. manufacturers--among them are the rising costs of labor, health care, energy, and regulatory costs. These obstacles contributed to the October 2003 statistics shared by the Delaware Department of Labor that measured 3,900 manufacturing jobs lost in the last 12 months. The Delaware MEP exists to strengthen local manufacturers by assisting them in dealing with these issues.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Delaware MEP, a strong Federal, State, and industry partnership. For 10 years, they have successfully strengthened competitiveness, improved productivity, and increased profits for Delaware manufacturers by guiding them in the implementation of best practices.

Programs such as Lean Manufacturing and Quality Management Systems have helped companies record significant improvements in productivity and profitability. ILC Dover, Inc., a manufacturer of protective equipment and engineered inflatables for NASA shuttle astronauts and other industrial customers, reported production improvements gains of 41 percent in 6 months from use of the Lean Manufacturing program.

Many other Delaware manufacturers have increased their productivity and decreased waste, thanks to this program. Allied Precision Inc., a Newark-based manufacturer of precision components for the aerospace, automotive, and military industries, risked losing a major client unless they adopted international standards of quality. They turned to the Delaware MEP quality management program for assistance to meet those standards and were able to gain international registration for meeting those standards and are now competing for and being awarded foreign contracts.

The Delaware MEP will continue to access its many local, regional and national resources to bring innovative programs to Delaware manufacturers to serve their competitive needs and help companies compete and prosper.

Mr. Chairman, this bill will be a key driver in supporting the Delaware and the U.S. manufacturing sectors and help them create jobs to further strengthen our economy. Support this legislation.

Rep. Michael M. Honda

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Mr. Chairman, I am disappointed that the Science Committee has missed a golden opportunity to fashion a meaningful, bipartisan manufacturing bill. The bill we are debating does little other than providing an authorization for the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP). As much as I appreciate MEP, a program President Bush has repeatedly tried to shut down by the way, pretending that authorizing this single program is the only worthwhile step that can be taken to help our manufacturing sector shows a lack of imagination and political will.

I don't have time to cover all of the good amendments that Democrats offered in Committee, but I would like to discuss my amendment to authorize funding for the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), which was not made in order for floor consideration. During debate on the Rule for consideration of this bill, it was said that this amendment should not have been allowed because this bill was only supposed to be about Federal programs that were dedicated to manufacturing. But according to its statute, ATP was created ``for the purpose of assisting United States businesses in creating and applying the generic technology and research results necessary to (1) commercialize significant new scientific discoveries and technologies rapidly and (2) refine manufacturing technologies. And ATP does provide significant support for manufacturing. In 43 competitions held between 1990 and 2004, 39 percent of the awards involve either direct or indirect developments of advanced manufacturing technologies. ATP does this by helping small companies--over 85 percent of all manufacturing technical awards go to small companies, and average employment growth of small company projects is over 180 percent.

In light of these facts, I tried to offer an amendment to authorize funding for ATP at $169 million per year for fiscal years 2005 through 2008, and focus the funding on manufacturing projects. I am not alone in my support for ATP--the Science Committee's 2004 Views and Estimates on the Budget supported funding ATP at the level in my amendment. In fact, Chairman Boehlert and Chairman Ehlers both testified before the Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations subcommittee that ATP is ``necessary to help provide the edge that U.S. manufacturers need to compete in the global economy.'' Many outside groups have expressed support for ATP, including the Electronics Industries Alliance, the International Economic Development Council, ASTRA (The Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America), the Council on Competitiveness, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and its Coalition for the Future of Manufacturing.

One of the members of the Majority on the Rules Committee said that we should be taking guidance from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) as we consider this bill. Well, I did, and they said we need to fund ATP. But apparently the Rules Committee wasn't listening to NAM when they prevented me from offering my amendment.

I am going to support the underlying bill, because it is not objectionable. But I am disappointed that we are missing this opportunity to deal comprehensively with the long-festering problems of the U.S. manufacturing base.

Outside experts have told us that the future of American manufacturing lies in our ability to promote risk taking. We should be doing a little risk taking ourselves here today and investing in the innovation that will be needed to preserve the future of American manufacturing. Unfortunately, because the Bush Administration told the committee Republicans in negotiations that did not involve committee Democrats that the President would not sign the bill if it did anything bold, today we will be approving a bill that is not all that it could be.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. All time for general debate has expired. Pursuant to the rule, the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the bill shall be considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the 5-minute rule, and shall be considered read.

The text of the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute is as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the ``Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act of 2004''.

(a) Interagency Committee.-- (1) Establishment.--The President shall establish or designate an interagency committee on manufacturing research and development, which shall include representatives from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and any other agency that the President may designate. The Interagency Committee shall be chaired by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology. (2) Functions.--The Interagency Committee shall be responsible for the planning and coordination of Federal efforts in manufacturing research and development through-- (A) establishing goals and priorities for manufacturing research and development, including the strengthening of United States manufacturing through the support and coordination of Federal manufacturing research, development, technology transfer, standards, and technical training; (B) developing, within 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, and updating every 3 years for delivery with the President's annual budget request to Congress, a strategic plan, to be transmitted to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, for manufacturing research and development that includes an analysis of the research, development, technology transfer, standards, technical training, and integration needs of the manufacturing sector important to ensuring and maintaining United States competitiveness; (C) proposing an annual coordinated interagency budget for manufacturing research and development to the Office of Management and Budget; and (D) developing and transmitting to Congress an annual report on the Federal programs involved in manufacturing research, development, technical training, standards, and integration, their funding levels, and their impacts on United States manufacturing competitiveness, including the identification and analysis of the manufacturing research and development problems that require additional attention, and recommendations of how Federal programs should address those problems. (3) Recommendations and views.--In carrying out its functions under paragraph (2), the Interagency Committee shall consider the recommendations of the Advisory Committee and the views of academic, State, industry, and other entities involved in manufacturing research and development. (b) Advisory Committee.-- (1) Establishment.--Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall establish or designate an advisory committee to provide advice and information to the Interagency Committee. (2) Recommendations.--The Advisory Committee shall assist the Interagency Committee by providing it with recommendations on-- (A) the goals and priorities for manufacturing research and development; (B) the strategic plan, including proposals on how to strengthen research and development to help manufacturing; and (C) other issues it considers appropriate. (3) Report.--The Advisory Committee shall provide an annual report to the Interagency Committee and the Congress that shall assess-- (A) the progress made in implementing the strategic plan and challenges to this progress; (B) the effectiveness of activities under the strategic plan in improving United States manufacturing competitiveness; (C) the need to revise the goals and priorities established by the Interagency Committee; and (D) new and emerging problems and opportunities affecting the manufacturing research community, research infrastructure, and the measurement and statistical analysis of manufacturing that may need to be considered by the Interagency Committee. (4) Federal advisory committee act application.--Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act shall not apply to the Advisory Committee.

(1) by redesignating the first section 32 as section 34 and moving it to the end of the Act; and (2) by inserting before the section moved by paragraph (1) the following new section:

Section 18 of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278g-1) is amended-- (1) by inserting ``(a) In General.--'' before ``The Director is authorized''; and (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection: ``(b) Manufacturing Fellowship Program.-- ``(1) Establishment.--To promote the development of a robust research community working at the leading edge of manufacturing sciences, the Director shall establish a program to award-- ``(A) postdoctoral research fellowships at the Institute for research activities related to manufacturing sciences; and ``(B) senior research fellowships to established researchers in industry or at institutions of higher education who wish to pursue studies related to the manufacturing sciences at the Institute. ``(2) Applications.--To be eligible for an award under this subsection, an individual shall submit an application to the Director at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Director may require. ``(3) Stipend levels.--Under this section, the Director shall provide stipends for postdoctoral research fellowships at a level consistent with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program, and senior research fellowships at levels consistent with support for a faculty member in a sabbatical position.''.

(a) Manufacturing Center Evaluation.--Section 25(c)(5) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(c)(5)) is amended by inserting ``A Center that has not received a positive evaluation by the evaluation panel shall be notified by the panel of the deficiencies in its performance and may be placed on probation for one year, after which time the panel may reevaluate the Center. If the Center has not addressed the deficiencies identified by the panel, or shown a significant improvement in its performance, the Director may conduct a new competition to select an operator for the Center or may close the Center.'' after ``sixth year at declining levels.''. (b) Manufacturing Extension Center Competitive Grant Program.--Section 25 of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278k) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: ``(e) Competitive Grant Program.-- ``(1) Establishment.--The Director shall establish, within the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program under this section and section 26 of this Act, a program of competitive awards among participants described in paragraph (2) for the purposes described in paragraph (3). ``(2) Participants.--Participants receiving awards under this subsection shall be the Centers, or a consortium of such Centers. ``(3) Purpose.--The purpose of the program under this subsection is to develop projects to solve new or emerging manufacturing problems as determined by the Director, in consultation with the Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership National Advisory Board, and small and medium-sized manufacturers. One or more themes for the competition may be identified, which may vary from year to year, depending on the needs of manufacturers and the success of previous competitions. These themes shall be related to projects associated with manufacturing extension activities, including supply chain integration and quality management, or extend beyond these traditional areas. ``(4) Applications.--Applications for awards under this subsection shall be submitted in such manner, at such time, and containing such information as the Director shall require, in consultation with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership National Advisory Board. ``(5) Selection.--Awards under this subsection shall be peer reviewed and competitively awarded. The Director shall select proposals to receive awards-- ``(A) that utilize innovative or collaborative approaches to solving the problem described in the competition; ``(B) that will improve the competitiveness of industries in the region in which the Center or Centers are located; and ``(C) that will contribute to the long-term economic stability of that region. ``(6) Program contribution.--Recipients of awards under this subsection shall not be required to provide a matching contribution.''.

(a) Laboratory Activities.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce for the scientific and technical research and services laboratory activities of the National Institute of Standards and Technology-- (1) $425,688,000 for fiscal year 2005, of which-- (A) $55,777,000 shall be for Electronics and Electrical Engineering; (B) $29,584,000 shall be for Manufacturing Engineering; (C) $50,142,000 shall be for Chemical Science and Technology; (D) $42,240,000 shall be for Physics; (E) $62,724,000 shall be for Material Science and Engineering; (F) $23,594,000 shall be for Building and Fire Research; (G) $60,660,000 shall be for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, of which $2,800,000 shall be for activities in support of the Help America Vote Act of 2002; (H) $17,445,000 shall be for Technical Assistance; and (I) $78,102,000 shall be for Research Support Activities; (2) $446,951,000 for fiscal year 2006; (3) $469,299,000 for fiscal year 2007; and (4) $492,764,000 for fiscal year 2008. (b) Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program under section 17 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3711a)-- (1) $5,400,000 for fiscal year 2005; (2) $5,535,000 for fiscal year 2006; (3) $5,674,000 for fiscal year 2007; and (4) $5,815,000 for fiscal year 2008. (c) Construction and Maintenance.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce for construction and maintenance of facilities of the National Institute of Standards and Technology such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2008.

(a) Program Authorized.--(1) As part of the Teacher Science and Technology Enhancement Institute Program, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall carry out a Standards Education program to award grants to institutions of higher education to support efforts by such institutions to develop curricula on the role of standards in the fields of engineering, business, science, and economics. The curricula should address topics such as-- (A) development of technical standards; (B) demonstrating conformity to standards; (C) intellectual property and antitrust issues; (D) standardization as a key element of business strategy; (E) survey of organizations that develop standards; (F) the standards life cycle; (G) case studies in effective standardization; (H) managing standardization activities; and (I) managing organizations that develop standards. (2) Grants shall be awarded under this section on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis and shall require cost- sharing from non-Federal sources. (b) Selection Process.--(1) An institution of higher education seeking funding under this section shall submit an application to the Director at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Director may require. The application shall include at a minimum-- (A) a description of the content and schedule for adoption of the proposed curricula in the courses of study offered by the applicant; and (B) a description of the source and amount of cost-sharing to be provided. (2) In evaluating the applications submitted under paragraph (1) the Director shall consider, at a minimum-- (A) the level of commitment demonstrated by the applicant in carrying out and sustaining lasting curricula changes in accordance with subsection (a)(1); and (B) the amount of cost-sharing provided. (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce for the Teacher Science and Technology Enhancement Institute program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology-- (1) $773,000 for fiscal year 2005; (2) $796,000 for fiscal year 2006; (3) $820,000 for fiscal year 2007; and (4) $844,000 for fiscal year 2008.

(a) Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce, or other appropriate Federal agencies, for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program under sections 25 and 26 of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278k and 278l)-- (1) $110,000,000 for fiscal year 2005, of which not more than $4,000,000 shall be for the competitive grant program under section 25(e) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(e)); (2) $115,000,000 for fiscal year 2006, of which not more than $4,100,000 shall be for the competitive grant program under section 25(e) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(e)); (3) $120,000,000 for fiscal year 2007, of which not more than $4,200,000 shall be for the competitive grant program under section 25(e) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(e)); and (4) $125,000,000 for fiscal year 2008, of which not more than $4,300,000 shall be for the competitive grant program under section 25(e) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(e)).

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. No amendment to the committee amendment is in order excepted those printed in House Report 108-589. Each amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.

It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in House report 108-589.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 1 offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas: In section 8(a), strike ``In any fiscal year for which appropriations are $106,000,000 or greater, none'' and insert ``None''.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 706, the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) each will control 5 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas.)

(Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I want to thank again the ranking member for his leadership as well as the chairman. In many instances, we have come to this floor in a bipartisan manner.

Let me say to my colleagues that I frankly believe most of my argument has already been made by the Members on the floor. If I might cite my good friend, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Gingrey), he said MEPs have a proven track record. They have helped save 1,300 jobs and they have helped reinstate or boost up some $61 million.

If we look at a map, we will see that MEPs, that is centers that help create manufacturing jobs, are spread throughout the Nation. I hold up for you four or five pages of MEP centers around the Nation. This must mean that they are important to us. But, unfortunately, this legislation suggests something other than that. Because what this legislation asks these centers to do is to recompete.

Now, in terms of productivity, that means we are wasting time on paperwork when it has already been established that these are efficient, effective centers that help create American jobs. All centers have already successfully competed for funding. Furthermore, according to an existing Public Law and NIST regulations, they are reviewed for performance every 2 years. The administration now wants to make all centers, regardless of past performance, reapply and recompete for funding. This is redundant and it is a waste of time.

Ask any small business whether or not they want to have a center in their locale stop work for 45 to 60 days to fool around with what they already do, which is a competitive, accurate and very detailed review every 2 years, while that small business's doors are being closed.

The administration wants to use recompetition to lock the program in to last year's low funding. What that mean, my colleagues? According to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Gingrey) it means those with a proven track record, those that have already proven to be effective, and those centers, according to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon), whose excellent assistance is very much valued, it means we are targeting them for closing. This will just continue the downward trend of the loss of manufacturing jobs.

As I said, under current law, the centers are reviewed every 2 years. They are located all over the Nation. And, in fact, rescissions in 4 of the past 5 years have lowered the amount of money we have appropriated. So what is in the bill does not work. My good friend, the chairman, has put in $106 million and says we do not have to recompete. Well, my colleagues, we have no guarantee it will be $106 million, and, before we know it, we will be closing these centers all over the country.

Let me cite for a moment what happened in Texas with the Texas Manufacturing Extension Center. Following a tour of Garrett's manufacturing facility, that is a place in Texas, we found out that they had problems. Imagine, if you will, with the work of the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, we put that Garrett Company right back on its feet, and I am delighted to report that they have increased their production between 2001 and 2003 and they reduced their required floor space by 33 percent. They are producing jobs, making things with their hands and their minds. That is what these centers help us do.

I offer this amendment because it strikes this recompetition, because recompetition, my colleagues, means closing down these centers and losing manufacturing jobs.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon), the distinguished ranking member.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Jackson-Lee amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I know our chairman, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert), strongly supports the MEP program, but he also knows that this administration does not. In the last 3 years, they have tried to close down the MEP program. The Jackson-Lee amendment simply stops the administration from doing administratively what they have not been able to do legislatively.

I ask my colleagues to support this amendment and to keep a strong MEP program.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time, and I thank the distinguished ranking member.

Let me just say that I am prepared to support this legislation. As I indicated, it is a partnership between the bill offered by the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Udall), which would have flourished more, but we recognize and respect what has been attempted here. I wish we could work in a bipartisan way on this, but I am not going to stand by, and I do not think any Member should stand by, and as our ranking member said, do a back-door closing of these centers which are valuable in creating jobs.

Mr. Chairman, every one of us can cite examples of the value of this program. And I just want to remind my colleagues that if they allow this engagement in recompetition, they will be engaged in a shutdown of centers in their communities. But, more importantly, they are going to shut them down for 60 days while small businesses and manufacturing companies need them.

We can adhere to a system that works, the 2-year review, and I will cite the gentleman from Georgia once again. This program has a proven track record and we do not need to have a recompetition. I ask for support of the Jackson-Lee amendment.

Mr. Chairman, my amendment will ensure that already-tight funding of the vital Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program is not wasted on an unnecessary ``re-competition'' process. MEP has proven itself to be one of the most sound investments we have made in our manufacturing sector.

In all of our districts, there are many small businesses that have gone to MEP centers, and taken advantage of the federal seed monies, and state/local partnerships--to make their businesses more productive and competitive--ultimately making more jobs for our constituents. Members of the House and Senate, from both sides of the aisle, have realized that cutting funding of the MEP programs last year was not smart considering our still-struggling manufacturing sector. I am pleased to hear that there are plans to reinstate the MEP with full funding; however, it seems that the Administration is trying to lock us in to the inappropriately low funding-levels.

The U.S. Department of Commerce CFO sent a letter to Chairman Judd Gregg of the Senate Appropriations Committee in May of this year, explaining that the Administration plans to force all MEP centers--regardless of how well they are performing--to re-compete for funding to make it easier to scale back the number of MEP centers. However, MEP grants are already awarded on a highly-competitive basis, and ongoing funding is already subject to continual review.

Currently, P.L. 100-418 (passed on August 23, 1988) requires each Center to be evaluated during the third and sixth years and every two years thereafter by a panel of experts. Moreover, Section 290.8 (Reviews of Centers), Part 290, Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations mandates the conduct of periodic year reviews of Centers by a Merit Review Panel.

NIST has established specific guidelines, ``The MEP Periodic Panel Reviews: Purpose and Overview.'' The purpose of this NIST review is to: 1) Ensure Program Accountability, 2) Promote Continuous Improvement; and 3) Contribute to Intra-MEP System Knowledge Sharing. The guidelines go as far to state, ``The results of the review process should provide NIST MEP with information needed to help with the decision as to whether to continue Federal funding for the reviewed Center.'' In the case of a negative review, there may be another Follow-up Review that would be in addition to any regularly scheduled Panel or Annual Review.

Given the rigor of the current review process, I'm not certain what this section is trying to fix. This Committee has held no hearings on the MEP Center review process, nor has any Member brought this issue up with the administration representatives during any hearings we have had. I would note that as recently as our budget hearing which included Phil Bond, Undersecretary for Technology, who has responsibility for MEP, not one Member questioned Undersecretary Bond about the MEP review process or perceived problems with it.

Re-competition fixes a problem that doesn't exist. It seems that it is simply enabling the long-term goal of the Administration to scale back this program, and ultimately to zero-it-out. When our economy is struggling to get back on track, and so many American workers remain either unemployed or underemployed, this is the wrong time to cut a program so valuable for stimulating productivity in our small businesses and industries.

The Department of Commerce's recent suggestion that all centers throughout the country face re-competition will destroy an effective national infrastructure that has taken 14 years to build and will reduce services to manufacturers.

Officials from the MEP center in Texas have explained that having to re-compete will cause them to halt services for 45-60 days so that their small over-burdened staff can evaluate needs and complete applications. If we start to tinker with this successful program, manufacturers and MEP Centers will be reluctant to initiate projects for fear that Centers may not exist to complete projects. This break in productivity will waste taxpayer dollars and serve no one.

MEP is widely recognized for its effectiveness and efficiency. It has been recognized by the National Academy of Public Administration, was a finalist for Harvard University's Innovations in American Government award, and fared well in OMB's PART analysis.

The people of Texas have seen the benefits of the MEP program. Just one example is Garrett Metal Detectors of Garland, Texas, manufacturers of security and hobby metal detectors. There was tremendous demand for metal detectors after the 9/11 attacks, but their small business couldn't compete in the world market. So, they came to the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC). Following a tour of Garrett's manufacturing facilities, TMAC identified major improvement strategies for the Company's production assembly. The Garrett/TMAC team significantly improved product flow and implemented Lean Manufacturing techniques. Overall production increased 35% between 2001 and 2003, as they reduced required floor space by 33%. This extra efficiency enabled them to become a leader in the field and to increase their work force by one-third. And we are all safer for it--all for a very small initial federal investment of less than $17,000.

In the Science Committee mark-up, I offered an amendment that would have blocked the use of appropriated funds for a general re-competition of MEP Centers. It seemed that Chairman Boehlert agreed with the sentiment, but he modified my amendment by blocking re-competition as long as funding is at least $106 million. He argued that appropriators are planning on funding MEP at $106 million, implying that his amendment would thus prevent a wasteful and unnecessary re-competition for 2005. However, if across-the-board cuts are applied again this year as predicted--even if only 0.1 or 0.2%--funding will fall below $106 million and could trigger a re-competition that no one in Congress seems to be arguing for. Besides, putting in any re-competition cut-off line, or trigger, is a mistake. When funding is low, it makes even less sense to waste money and resources on re-competition.

Most of our MEP centers are performing admirably, making small businesses more competitive and creating jobs, with small federal investments. Those that are not are already subject to review and de-funding. Let's not waste taxpayer dollars hampering this important program. I hope you will support this amendment.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment was defeated in committee because, quite frankly, it is not a particularly good idea.

This amendment sounds great on the surface. It says let us not let the administration have a competition in which all of the MEP centers compete against each other to see who stays in business. Such a general competition sounds like a hostile act which should be prevented. If there is enough money to fund all of the centers, as we hope there will be, then a recompetition would be a hostile act. But what if Congress fails to appropriate sufficient funding for all of the centers. How is any administration supposed to decide which centers should continue?

It makes no sense at all to prevent a recompetition if there is not enough money for all of the centers to function effectively.

If the gentlewoman's amendment passed and funding became low, the administration would simply have to reduce funding to any center which would prevent all of them from doing their jobs well. That simply makes no sense.

In committee, we thought what the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) might be trying to do was to prevent successful centers from being closed even when funding was adequate, so we added language to the bill that says the administration cannot recompete the centers if funding is at or above $106 million, what everyone considers the minimum necessary to keep all of the existing centers operating well, and the level that the House approved in the Commerce appropriation bill within the past 24 hours. So they have the message. We sent it, they received it. They acted favorably on it.

So this bill already protects the centers from any hostile recompetition if funding is sufficient to fund all of them. The bill will prevent any spurious efforts to close centers, so I am truly baffled about what the gentlewoman is trying to accomplish here.

The way to avoid a recompetition is to provide full funding which this bill authorizes. But if we fail to provide the promised funding, all this amendment would do is force all of the centers to function less efficiently because none would have enough money to do their job. This amendment creates problems without solving any. I urge its defeat.

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

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).

The question was taken; and the Chairman pro tempore announced that the noes appeared to have it.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) will be postponed.

It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 printed in House Report 108-589.

Rep. John B. Larson

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Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 2 offered by Mr. Larson of Connecticut: In section 2(a)(1), strike ``Commerce for Technology'' and insert ``Commerce for Manufacturing and Technology''. Redesignate section 8 as section 9. After section 7, insert the following new section:

Section 5 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3704) is amended to read as follows:

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 706, the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Larson) and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) each will control 5 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Larson).

Rep. John B. Larson

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

(Mr. LARSON of Connecticut asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Rep. John B. Larson

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Mr. Chairman, I would like to join in thanking both the ranking member and the distinguished chairs for the hard work which has been put forward on this bill. I just think we need an administration worthy of their ideas.

As we look at this particular bill, I want to go into the genesis of this thought. As the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) has pointed out in his opening remarks, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) initially included this in his approach to the administration. It is strongly needed.

At a Chamber of Commerce meeting in my district between the communities of Bristol, Berlin and Southington, they talked at great length. In fact, if I closed my eyes, I was astonished, it seemed like I was at an AFL-CIO meeting, and yet they were talking about the concerns that small manufacturers have today and the need to have a strong voice within the Department of Commerce.

They wondered out loud how is it in this great country of ours we can have a Department of Agriculture and not have a department of manufacturing, and not have at least an under secretary who is going to speak out on their behalf. Candidly, they would say to me after the meeting, when we first saw labor being outsourced, when we first saw what was happening to labor, we kind of looked the other way, never thinking we would be next. Now we know it is happening to us, and now we need to have a strong voice in Congress and the administration.

The gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Flake) said before he hoped what we could achieve is something in the area of benign neglect. Would it be it was just benign neglect. What we have in this case is outright negligence on the part of Congress by not dealing with these issues; and if I dare say, plain indifference on the part of this administration to the problems that individuals are facing.

It is because of that indifference, indifference to the labor force, indifference to the small manufacturers, indifference to the working people and the hard work which has been put forth on behalf of these individuals and the loss of jobs in this country that we put forward this amendment.

This amendment simply states very clearly to create an under secretary within the Department of Commerce so we can refocus once begin the great energies and harness the great engine of industry here in this country. In doing so, we did so within existing resources. We did so knowing that we did not want to have another assistant to the assistant to the assistant and mix that with service sector industries. We wanted what the manufacturers wanted, an under secretary who would focus on the area of technology.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).

Rep. Rosa DeLauro

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Mr. Chairman, I believe there is a real need for a manufacturing czar. The administration has said it much, but one would never know it from the underlying bill. They have created a position not of real authority and substance, but rather a marginal position in the trade agency, and this administration has shown its hand by doing this.

The National Coalition For Advanced Manufacturing has said this position should focus solely on manufacturing. It should be an under secretary position within the Department of Commerce. Instead, the administration has named an assistant secretary for manufacturing and services within the International Trade Administration, an agency that does not have the range of expertise to address the issues before our manufacturers. As if to prove they are not serious about this position, the administration proposes no funding to support it.

Mr. Chairman, what we should be doing is creating a manufacturing and technology administration that provides a comprehensive approach, and sends a signal that Congress takes this crisis seriously.

Mr. Chairman, 8.2 million workers are unemployed in this country right now. They face rising health care costs, rising college tuition, and rising gas prices. What could possibly be more important than revitalizing one of the backbones of our economy? Nothing, Mr. Chairman. Support the Larson amendments.

Rep. John B. Larson

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

Mr. Chairman, I would just close by saying that this accounts for more than 17 percent of our Nation's GDP, it provides for 71 percent of our exports, and funds 67 percent of our Nation's R&D investments. That is what we are talking about when we are addressing this issue of manufacturing. Roosevelt said it best about this administration, ``They are frozen in the ice of their own indifference,'' indifference towards working people and indifference towards the small manufacturers of this country.

Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I am afraid I have not provided a built-in cheering and applause section, but I believe my ideas are probably worth more applause.

What the gentleman proposes is not a bad idea. I had proposed this myself some time ago, and not only in this department but also in the Energy Department I have worked on a similar proposal. The administration at the same time has advanced a proposal to reduce the number of under secretaries and does not support the development of new under secretaries.

But what the administration did in response to our request to create this under secretary for manufacturing in the Department of Commerce, the administration heeded these calls and it created a new assistant secretary for manufacturing and took other steps to create a focus on manufacturing in the department, such as creating a manufacturers' council which met just 2 weeks ago. They had their initial meeting. I was present at that meeting, and I was impressed with the quality of the appointees, and I am delighted that the President and the administration took these steps.

So I think it is really time to declare victory and go home on this issue because we basically got what we asked for. If instead the Larson amendment were adopted at this point, and if it passed through the Senate and were signed into law, it would force the administration to reorganize yet again. I think that would be counterproductive at that point. I am quite willing to live with the assistant secretary for a time and make sure it works out. If it does not work out, in a few years, we will resurrect the under secretary proposal.

In addition, I object to the reorganization the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Larson) has proposed. I do not think it is the best way to proceed because it would add to the bureaucracy that sits on top of NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, when in fact, our goal should be to get NIST out from under the burden of overmanagement. We would like it to have as much of its own funding as possible, as much latitude as possible, and control its own destiny through its own management structure. So I certainly object to that provision in the Larson amendment regardless of the rest of it.

I could go on regarding several other points, but I know there are many people anxious to have this debate ended soon and have the opportunity to go home and be with their families for the weekend. Let me close by saying I urge the defeat of this amendment.

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

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Larson).

The question was taken; and the Chairman pro tempore announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Larson) will be postponed.

It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 printed in House Report 108-589.

Rep. John E. Peterson

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Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No 3 offered by Mr. Peterson of Pennsylvania: Page 10, line 21, strike ``subsection'' and insert ``subsections''. Page 12, after line 17, insert the following: ``(f) Audits.--A center that receives assistance under this section shall submit annual audits to the Secretary in accordance with Office of Management and Budget Circular A- 133 and shall make such audits available to the public on request.''.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 706, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Peterson) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Peterson).

Rep. John E. Peterson

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today to first thank the members of this committee, the gentleman from New York (Chairman Boehlert), the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), and the ranking member, the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) for their good work at not only reauthorizing this program, but restrengthening this program. I think it is vital at this time that we do that; but I think also if programs are going to serve us well, it is important that they are accountable, that they are accountable to the public they serve.

Currently in law, they have to have audited budgets that go back to the State and Federal agency that fund them. But I have had the unfortunate situation of having one of these agencies who, when members of the community or the press asked for a copy of their audited budget, they were told that they were a 501(c)(3) not for profit and they were private. This was private business.

Mr. Chairman, when programs are funded with Federal dollars, with State tax dollars, they are public programs. In my view, accountability can be obtained from Federal and State oversight, but real accountability comes when the people they service and press and interested citizens locally have the ability to look and evaluate their records.

My amendment simply says, it clarifies and ensures these audits are available to OMB, but they are also available to the public and press upon request. I think that is important in making sure that these programs are efficient, that they are well-run, and they are on the right priorities, that they are serving the right part of the manufacturing community, and that our other economic development agencies have the ability to work closely with them and ensure that we get the biggest bang for the buck.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Rep. John E. Peterson

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I yield to the gentleman from New York.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I wanted to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Peterson) for working with us on this amendment. The amendment very sensibly codifies existing procedures to ensure just what the gentleman wants to do. Taxpayer money is not wasted. We accept the amendment.

Rep. John E. Peterson

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman very much and congratulate him for his good work.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition, although I do not oppose this amendment.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Tennessee?

There was no objection.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, in the spirit of bipartisanship, I want to accept this modest amendment to a modest bill that makes a modest improvement.

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

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Peterson).

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). It is now in order to consider amendment No. 4 printed in House Report 108-589.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Chairman pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 4 offered by Mr. Gordon: Redesignate section 8 as section 9. After section 7, insert the following new section:

(a) Manufacturing Technology Center Cost Sharing.--Section 25(c)(5) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(c)(5)) is amended by inserting ``, except that for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2008 such funding may be as much as a one half of such costs'' after ``Center under the program''. (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce, or other appropriate Federal agencies, for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program under sections 25 and 26 of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278k and 278l)-- (1) $120,600,000 for fiscal year 2005, of which not more than $4,000,000 shall be for the competitive grant program under section 25(e) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(e)); (2) $132,400,000 for fiscal year 2006, of which not more than $4,100,000 shall be for the competitive grant program under section 25(e) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(e)); (3) $145,300,000 for fiscal year 2007, of which not more than $4,200,000 shall be for the competitive grant program under section 25(e) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(e)); and (4) $159,500,000 for fiscal year 2008, of which not more than $4,300,000 shall be for the competitive grant program under section 25(e) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 278k(e)).

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 706, the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) and a Member opposed each will control 10 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon).

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, this is a very straightforward amendment. My amendment increases funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program by 10 percent a year, starting in fiscal year 2005, continuing through fiscal year 2008. In addition, it provides the administration with greater flexibility in determining the Federal cost-share of the MEP centers.

This is a much-needed amendment. Last year through the combined actions of the administration and this Congress, MEP was essentially gutted with a two-thirds funding cut. While I am pleased that the Commerce appropriations bill passed on the floor yesterday provided MEP with $106 million, we can and should do better for MEP both this year and the future.

From 2000 to 2003, the MEP was held level at about $105 million. These numbers are down from the $127 million in fiscal year 1999. Over this period there has been no adjustment for inflation during a time when, in the face of fierce international competition, small manufacturers are closing at a record pace across our country.

Study after study has shown that small manufacturers are underserved by MEP. There just is not enough funding for MEP to reach out to help all the small manufacturers who need their assistance. My amendment would correct this situation.

I would also like to point out that H.R. 3598 as introduced by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) late last year contained significantly more funding for MEP, $60 million more than what is on the floor today. I think the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) got it right the first time before he began negotiating with the administration and moved backwards.

My amendment also allows for flexibility in the Federal cost-sharing for MEP. Currently the Federal cost-share can be no more than one third of the center's total cost. This amendment would allow the Federal cost-share to be up to one half of the center's total cost. The size of the cost-share will be determined by the administration. The National Association of Public Administrators at the administration's request recently completed a 2-year study of the MEP. One of the recommendations was to allow more flexibility in the Federal cost-sharing. My amendment does just that.

The Modernization Forum, the umbrella group representing MEP centers, has said that my amendment would benefit the MEP centers. However, they are under the impression that the acceptance of this amendment would jeopardize passage of the bill.

Do we really believe the President would veto this bill because of a provision which simply endorses a small increase in MEP funding? I would remind my colleagues that this House frequently adopts bills or amendments that the White House opposes. That is why we have separation of powers in our Constitution, so that we can reach judgments independent of those mandated by the White House. Just yesterday the House passed the Manzullo amendment, allocating more needed funding for the Small Business Administration by a margin of 281 to 137. And I remind the Members that the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) and 13 of the 24 House Committee on Science Republicans voted ``yes.'' The majority of the House which supported the Manzullo amendment did not seem to be concerned about endangering the passage of the bill.

The argument that my amendment would doom this bill is a red herring. The real reason that the majority opposes this amendment is pretty obvious. The administration is unwilling to admit that it has systematically tried to ruin the MEP program, and it refuses to support realistic levels of funding that the MEP needs to support our Nation's small manufacturers.

I am asking the Members today to do the right thing and vote ``yes'' on an amendment that sends a strong signal that this treatment must stop and that puts the MEP on the right track.

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

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I rise to claim the time in opposition to the amendment.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) is recognized for 10 minutes.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in opposition to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon), my good friend. I would say that, in an ideal world, this would be a good amendment. I would define an ideal world as one in which money was unlimited. In short, it is a world very different from the one in which we live.

This amendment would add $88 million in additional spending to the bill. That is just not realistic in this budget environment. And quite rightly, the administration is not going to support a bill that adds that much more money. So what this amendment would do is kill the bill. If we truly want to help manufacturers, we need to defeat this amendment. And let me emphasize once again that this bill already contains a significant increase for the MEP program, an increase of more than 200 percent from current levels. So this is hardly a parsimonious bill. The additional money the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) is proposing would be nice, but it is not critical to the success of the MEP program. The money that is already in the bill is critical, a 200 percent increase; and we should be doing what we can to ensure that this bill becomes law.

In addition to adding money, the gentleman from Tennessee's (Mr. Gordon) amendment would increase the Federal share of the MEP centers' budgets. I know that the MEP centers have not had the best year, but I do not think that increasing the share from the Federal Government is necessarily a good idea. Let me remind my colleagues that the original version of the MEP centers was that they would not receive any money after their 6th year.

The current MEP formula involves a true partnership between the Federal Government, the States, and the MEP's clients. That is a good partnership that ensures that MEPs are truly providing valiant services. I do not think we should tinker with a successful formula.

So I urge defeat of this amendment. The base bill already provides the money the MEP centers need most through a formula that ensures that the centers will continue to be responsive to their States and, most importantly, to the customers that they are trying to help. This amendment would sink the bill, a pretty high price to pay for an amendment that does not provide anything that is necessary and that tinkers with a recipe that has led to MEP's success, and I urge its defeat.

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

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Stupak).

Rep. Bart Stupak

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

I rise in strong support of the Gordon amendment that would increase funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.

The MEP program has successfully helped small manufacturers to modernize and stay competitive in the global marketplace. I do not believe that the administration would veto a whole bill based upon the fine amendment of the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon).

For example, I know that MEP has directly helped a number of companies in my district including Jacquart Fabric Products with 100 workers in Ironwood and Horner Flooring Company, which employs 100 people in Dollar Bay, Michigan.

At a time when millions of manufacturing jobs are being lost, we need to fully fund the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, not continually undercutting this valuable program which the administration insists on doing every year.

The program is currently authorized at $106 million, but the President only asked for a mere $39 million in fiscal year 2005. $39 million for MEP will cost the U.S. tens of thousands more manufacturing jobs. This is not what we need in this country.

These programs help small manufacturers with everything from plant modernization to employee training. Also, if the majority is really serious about helping manufacturers, it would fund MEP in this bill at the necessary authorization level instead of flat-funding it.

The gentleman from Tennessee's (Mr. Gordon) amendment, however, recognizes the need for additional resources and calls for $129 million in fiscal year 2005 followed by a 10 percent yearly increase through fiscal 2008. This is not a time to shortchange American manufacturers when they need it most. Support the Gordon amendment.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers).

Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers

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Mr. Chairman, I must rise in opposition to the amendment being offered by the gentleman from Tennessee.

There are two reasons. First of all, it increases the MEP authorization by a considerable amount above the levels that are likely to succeed in the House and the Senate and through the administration; and we simply cannot, given the budget situation this year, increase the level that much and have any expectation that the appropriations will match that.

Furthermore, the second reason is that the Gordon amendment will increase the Federal share of money for the centers; and given the shortage of money that we have this year, we want to maximize the use of the funds that we do have available and certainly do not want to add to the Federal burden, particularly because there might be some danger that the States will simply say, well, if the Federal Government has more money to give, we are going to reduce our share because, as we know, every State of this Union is facing severe financial difficulties. We certainly do not want to try to change the formula, first of all, because we do not have the money to do it and pay more and, secondly, because of the fear that the States may use this as an opportunity to reduce their share.

So I oppose the Gordon amendment; and perhaps when better times come and we have a better budget situation, it will be entirely appropriate to increase the authorization levels and also the funding levels, and it would be my dream that that happens. But it is not going to happen this year or next fiscal year, and I doubt very much it will happen during the lifetime of this authorization.

So I urge the defeat of the Gordon amendment, and I urge all my colleagues to support our efforts to defeat it.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Ryan).

Rep. Tim Ryan

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time for this opportunity on this phenomenal amendment.

I come from the great State of Ohio that has been getting blistered as far as losing manufacturing jobs, and I think this amendment should not be 10 percent. This amendment should be 100 percent. This bill should be doubled and tripled. These are investments that we need to make in this country. We need to invest in the manufacturing sector of this country. And I think we have done a real disservice over the past few years in this Chamber with the political rhetoric that makes it sound like the government does not do anything well, that government investment does not work, and that the government needs to get out and let the free market work.

But when we look at the history of this country, when we look at Eli Whitney, when we look at Samuel Morris, when we look at RCA, and when we look at the Wright Brothers, all of these began with the Federal Government stepping in and making an investment. We are good at this. We are good at this. And we need to keep going.

And we are not playing in a free market. When we have to compete with China with no labor laws, no environmental laws, no human rights, how can we compete? China is doing programs like this. Taiwan is doing programs like this. Japan, Europe. The United States is trying to establish a rules-based system, and every other country is playing to win, and it is time the United States Government plays to win.

And I am sick and tired of hearing how we do not have any money in this Congress. We do not have money because we are giving billions away in tax cuts and we are losing the manufacturing war, and we need to start making these investments.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg).

Rep. Joseph K. Knollenberg

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Boehlert) for sitting in the chair, and I also want to thank the gentleman from Michigan for being so involved in this whole process.

Mr. Chairman, as a strong supporter of MEP, I have come to the floor to urge a vote against this amendment. I am for MEP, but I am against this amendment.

Let me tell the Members why. I am against it because funding MEP at $106 million, which is the level of funding the program has provided in H.R. 4754, the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2005, is exactly what we want. Just yesterday the House of the Representatives passed the CJS by an overwhelming margin, 397 to 18. The $106 million level is the point at which all MEP centers will continue to provide their valuable service to our Nation's manufacturers.

Additionally, the bill before us today already authorizes significantly increased funding for the MEP program. In fact, the legislation already increases MEP funding by more than 200 percent compared to the current fiscal year 2004 level.

Furthermore, the amendment offered by the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) would allow the Federal-State-private network match to increase from one-third to one-half. An increase to a one-half match would jeopardize the MEP network and increase its vulnerability.

The one-third match has been in place for many years, and centers have long known that they cannot rely exclusively on Federal funds. This one-third match from the Federal Government, State governments and the private sector, is critical to maintaining the balanced program well into future.

Mr. Chairman, I oppose the Gordon amendment, and urge my colleagues to vote no.

In closing, let me again commend the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) for his leadership in bringing this to the floor. He has been an outstanding champion on this bill and a great example.

I urge a no vote on the Gordon amendment.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the ranking member for yielding me time.

Mr. Chairman, I have listened to my friends on the other side of the aisle, including the chairman, and they seem to be confused, particularly when they speak in opposition to amendments offered by Democrats that, by and large and overall, do nothing but strengthen the MEPs and make them stronger.

Just a few minutes ago, we, in a collegial and respective manner, accepted the amendment of the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Peterson) because that too would strengthen MEPs.

Let us put the facts on the table. The Gordon amendment is necessary. It keeps the MEPs, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers, from closing across the Nation, frankly.

Do you know that what is done by the administration is that the 200 percent increase is on $39 million? My friends who are on the floor talking about how great the MEPs are, when you vote against the Gordon amendment, if you do that, you are voting to close that. If you vote against the Larson Amendment or the Jackson-Lee amendment, you are voting to close these things down.

Is it not interesting that we would suggest that the amendment that I offered did not make any sense? Well, I tell you, if we cut the NIH by $1 million next year, would it make any sense for us to recompete every medical research lab in the country? No, it would not.

The amendment offered by the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) gives full funding where it should be. He acknowledges the fact in a reasonable and responsible manner that we need to increase by a modest $5 million per year for FY 2006 and 2008, and this is an improvement on the Bush administration's effort to kill the program. But, of course, we can do better, and he goes on to provide extra incentives for this program.

I simply ask my colleagues to support the Gordon amendment and all the Democratic amendments, because that means you are for keeping the MEP centers and building manufacturing jobs.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest).

Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Chairman, the issue here is not about the manufacturing extension program, the issue is about the dollars. When we talk about the issue of dollars, we talk about the practicality of the limited resources in the Federal Government that are distributed over a wide range of areas.

All of us collectively agree that the Manufacturing Extension Program is fundamental, it is good, so our argument is, let us make sure that we get this bill passed. It is $470 million over 4 years, a 200 percent increase.

It will increase the ability for production, for efficiency in energy costs, for marketing strategies, for new technologies. It will dramatically increase the base of the manufacturing sector in this country by pulling together the collective ingenuity of partnerships from the Federal Government, one is one-third, the State government, which is one-third, and fees, which is one-third.

So I urge my colleagues, let us vote to ensure that we have a program that is reality, and not have a program in hopes of having a program, but in fact does not actually pass.

So I reluctantly urge my colleagues to vote against the Democratic amendments and vote for the base bill.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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

Mr. Chairman, in closing, let me just say without a doubt my friend, the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman Ehlers) and the gentleman from New York (Chairman Boehlert) support the MEP program. They have been champions for the MEP program. Probably we would not have the program right now if it had not been for their help and leadership, so I do clearly acknowledge that.

But it is simply not a credible argument to say that they must oppose this amendment because this $60 million increase, which is pretty much in line with what the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) originally proposed, would bring down this bill because the administration thinks it is too much, when yesterday they both, as well as many other Members sitting here in the Chamber, Republican Members, voted for almost a $80 million increase, against the administration's wishes, in a much-needed Small Business Administration program. So it is just not a credible argument.

We most all agree that the MEP is a good program. Let us try to fund it at least in a way that it can be efficient. As we mentioned earlier, for every $1 that the Federal Government puts in, it is matched by $1 more from the State and $1 additional from the private sector. That is good leverage, that is good business, and it is also a vote for the American worker.

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

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 15 seconds to the distinguished gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers).

Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Chairman, I simply wanted to thank my colleague the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg) for coming to the floor to indicate his support for this bill, and especially to thank him for his hard work on the Committee on Appropriations in getting the $106 million funding for this year.

I also want to join in thanking the staff, Eric Webster, Olwen Huxley and David Goldston, who have worked so hard on this bill, as well as my staff member, Cameron Wilson. They have done yeoman work, and I deeply appreciate it.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, in closing, just let me say that this bill will prevent centers from closing. This bill will prevent centers from closing, without any amendments. I urge defeat of the Gordon amendment.

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

THE CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon).

The question was taken; and the Chairman pro tempore announced that the noes appeared to have it.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, this vote on Amendment No. 4 by Mr. Gordon will be followed by 5 minute votes on amendments on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order: Amendment No. 1 by Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas, Amendment No. 2 by Mr. Larson of Connecticut.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 170, noes 192, not voting 71, as follows:

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. Simpson) (during the vote). Members are advised 2 minutes remain in this vote.

Messrs. TURNER of Ohio, TIAHRT and NETHERCUTT changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''

Messrs. HONDA and DeFAZIO changed their vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Stated for: Mr. PASTOR. Mr. Chairman, on rollcall No. 355, had I been present, I would have voted ``aye.''

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) 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.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. This will be a 5-minute vote.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 166, noes 197, not voting 70, as follows:

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (during the vote). Members are advised 2 minutes remain in this vote.

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Larson) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the ayes prevailed by voice vote.

The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.

The Clerk redesignated the amendment.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. This will be a 5-minute vote.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 170, noes 189, not voting 74, as follows:

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore (during the vote). Members are advised that there are 2 minutes remaining in this vote.

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Stated against:

Rep. Steve King

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Mr. Chairman, on rollcall No. 357, had I been present, I would have voted ``no.''

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Are there any further amendments?

The question is on the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.

The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Under the rule, the Committee rises.

Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Petri) having assumed the chair, Mr. Simpson, Chairman pro tempore of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 3598) to establish an interagency committee to coordinate Federal manufacturing research and development efforts in manufacturing, strengthen existing programs to assist manufacturing innovation and education, and expand outreach programs for small and medium-sized manufacturers, and for other purposes, pursuant to House Resolution 706, he reported the bill back to the House with an amendment adopted by the Committee of the Whole.

Under the rule, the previous question is ordered.

Is a separate vote demanded on the amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute adopted by the Committee of the Whole? If not, the question is on the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute.

The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute was agreed to.

The question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill.

The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was read the third time.

Rep. Jerry F. Costello

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Mr. Speaker, I offer a motion to recommit.

Is the gentleman opposed to the bill?

Rep. Jerry F. Costello

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I am, Mr. Speaker, in its present form.

The Clerk will report the motion to recommit.

The Clerk read as follows:

Mr. Costello moves to recommit the bill H.R. 3598 to the Committee on Science with instructions to report the same back to the House forthwith with the following amendment:

(a) Study.--Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology shall enter into a contract with the RAND Corporation, or a similar organization, for a study, as relates to the manufacturing sector including manufacturing research and technology, assessing-- (1) the nature and number of United States manufacturing and professional jobs moving outside the United States; (2) the nature and number of jobs that have been moved outside the United States to support exports to the United States market; (3) reemployment prospects for United States workers displaced by United States manufacturing and professional jobs moving outside the United States; (4) the number of nonimmigrant alien H-1B and L-1 visas that have been issued, and what jobs they are being used for; (5) the nature and number of jobs created in the United States by foreign investment in the United States; (6) the nature and number of jobs moved outside the United States that are supported by Federal contractors and subcontractors; and (7) the effects that the movement of United States manufacturing and professional jobs outside the United States is having on student career choices. (b) Report to Congress.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology shall transmit to the Congress a report on the results of the study conducted under subsection (a). (c) Policy Recommendations.--Not later than 4 months after the transmittal of the report under subsection (b), the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology shall transmit to the Congress policy recommendations based on the findings of the study conducted under subsection (a).

Mr. COSTELLO (during the reading). Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the motion to recommit be considered as read and printed in the Record.

Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Illinois?

There was no objection.

The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Costello) and a Member opposed each will be recognized for 5 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Costello).

Rep. Jerry F. Costello

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

Mr. Speaker, my motion to recommit would send this legislation back to the Committee on Science with instructions to immediately report the bill back to the House with a provision requiring the Department of Commerce to complete an independent study on the short and long term effects of the outsourcing of jobs from the United States to other countries.

Mr. Speaker, since the year 2000 the United States has lost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs, of which 500,000 jobs were in high tech industries such as telecommunications and electronics. Since the year 2000, almost 650,000 jobs have disappeared in high tech service industries. In 48 of the 50 States, jobs in high-paying industries have been replaced with lower paying jobs.

A survey taken in March of this year of 216 CFOs found that 27 percent of those CFOs plan to send more jobs offshore this year. The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Business Week and others have recently published articles that point to the fact that we lack sufficient and accurate data and information in order to determine the short- and long-term effects of offshoring. There are some in the Bush administration who have said that offshoring is a good thing and it is good for the U.S. economy.

Others say that it is bad for our country. My motion would require an independent study to provide exactly the information and data that we now lack to lay out a plan to address this critical problem.

I offered this amendment in the Committee on Science at our markup. Unfortunately, it was voted down on a party-line vote. I was told at the time that the majority had a problem with jurisdiction issues, that other committees may, in fact, claim jurisdiction. I went to the Committee on Rules. The Committee on Rules refused to allow a vote on my amendment.

My amendment would simply require an independent study of the outsourcing problem which is a problem for each congressional district in every State in the United States. This administration and future administrations, this Congress and future Congresses, and the American people deserve the facts about outsourcing so we can prepare to deal with the problems both short and long term.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Rep. Jerry F. Costello

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I yield to the gentleman from Tennessee, the ranking member of the Committee on Science.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Speaker, am I correct in saying that all the gentleman is asking for in his motion is that the administration conduct an independent study to gather data on offshoring of jobs and then to make some policy recommendations to the Congress on how we can jointly address this growing problem?

Rep. Jerry F. Costello

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The gentleman is correct.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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If the gentleman would continue to yield, is it true that if this motion is adopted, there would be no delay because the House could immediately reconsider the bill?

Rep. Jerry F. Costello

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Again, the gentleman is correct.

Rep. Bart Gordon

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Mr. Speaker, so a ``yes'' vote on the gentleman's motion is a vote to consider an independent study of offshoring and a ``no'' vote against the gentleman's motion is to reject a study by the Commerce Department on offshoring and recommendations for correcting the problem?

Rep. Jerry F. Costello

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Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, the gentleman is correct.

Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert

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Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the motion. This motion sounds good on the surface, but it is both misguided and unnecessary.

I have to say I am a little bit surprised to see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle get so excited over a study.

Outsourcing, they say correctly, is a major problem and their solution, a study. They are going to accuse us of foot dragging, not doing enough to keep and create jobs here at home, and as an alternative, they offer a study?

We have a bill before us that takes real, proven, practical and immediate steps to help American manufacturers. Is the other side arguing that the one thing it lacks is a study? That is political nonsense.

It is even worse, really, because if my colleagues across the aisle had done their homework, they would have discovered that the House has already approved a study on outsourcing and even has provided money for it and is part of a bill that will not get held up over other issues. We did not do this so long ago that they might have forgotten. The House approved the bill just yesterday.

The Commerce appropriation bill includes $2 million for the National Academy of Public Administration, an independent, nongovernment body, to conduct a study. That is important. The entire House is already on record in not only supporting an independent study of offshoring but actually funding it. So we back up our words with deeds.

Let us not encumber this bill with an unnecessary and duplicative study. Let us pass the bill and take real steps to help American manufacturers.

Rep. Tom Petri

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Without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit.

There was no objection.

The question is on the motion to recommit.

The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the noes appeared to have it.

Rep. Jerry F. Costello

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Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.

A recorded vote was ordered.

Pursuant to clause 8 and 9 of rule XX, this 15-minute vote on the motion to recommit will be followed by a 5-minute vote, if ordered, on passage of the bill and on the Speaker's approval of the Journal.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 171, noes 193, not voting 69, as follows:

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Petri) (during the vote). There are 2 minutes remaining in this vote.

DUNCAN changed their vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''

So the motion to recommit was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Stated for: Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I missed rollcall No. 358, because of an interview on a network. If I had been present I would have voted ``aye.''

Rep. Jim McGovern

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Mr. Speaker, I was unavoidably detained on rollcall vote Nos. 355-358. If I were present, I would have voted: ``Yes'' on rollcall vote No. 355 (the Gordon Amendment); ``yes'' on rollcall vote No. 356 (the Jackson-Lee Amendment); ``yes'' on rollcall vote No. 357 (the Larson Amendment); ``yes'' on rollcall vote No. 358 (the Motion to Recommit).

Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

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Mr. Speaker, personal reasons will prevent me from being present for legislative business scheduled after 2 p.m. today, Friday, July 9, 2004. Had I been present, I would have voted ``aye'' on the amendment offered by Mr. Gordon (rollcall No. 355); ``yes'' on the amendment offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee (rollcall No. 356); ``aye'' on the amendment offered by Mr. Larson (rollcall No. 357); ``aye'' on the motion to recommit the bill H.R. 3598 (rollcall No. 358).

The question is on the passage of the bill.

The bill was passed.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.