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Transportation, Housing And Urban Development, And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

Pursuant to House Resolution 604 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the further consideration of the bill,

Will the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Woodall) kindly take the chair.

Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the further consideration of the bill (H.R. 4745) making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes, with Mr. Woodall (Acting Chair) in the chair.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole House rose earlier today, a request for a recorded vote on an amendment offered by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot) had been postponed, and the bill had been read through page 83, line 23.

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

An amendment by Mr. Broun of Georgia.

An amendment by Mr. Chabot of Ohio.

The Chair will reduce to 2 minutes the time for each electronic vote in this series.

The Acting CHAIR. The unfinished business is the demand for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Broun) 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 Acting CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The Acting CHAIR. This will be a 2-minute vote.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 154, noes 248, not voting 29, as follows:

[Roll No. 273] AYES--154 Amash Bachmann Barr Barrow (GA) Barton Benishek Bentivolio Bilirakis Bishop (GA) Black Blackburn Bridenstine Brooks (AL) Brooks (IN) Broun (GA) Buchanan Burgess Byrne Camp Cantor Carter Chabot Chaffetz Coble Coffman Collins (GA) Collins (NY) Conaway Cotton DeSantis DesJarlais Duffy Duncan (SC) Duncan (TN) Farenthold Fincher Fleischmann Fleming Flores Foxx Franks (AZ) Garcia Garrett Gibbs Gingrey (GA) Gohmert Goodlatte Gosar Gowdy Granger Graves (GA) Graves (MO) Guthrie Harris Hartzler Heck (NV) Hensarling Herrera Beutler Holding Hudson Huelskamp Huizenga (MI) Hultgren Hurt Issa Jenkins Johnson (OH) Johnson, Sam Jones Jordan King (IA) Kingston Kline Labrador LaMalfa Lamborn Latta Long Luetkemeyer Lummis Marchant Massie McAllister McCarthy (CA) McCaul McClintock McHenry McMorris Rodgers Meadows Messer Mica Miller (FL) Miller (MI) Mulvaney Neugebauer Noem Nugent Nunes Olson Palazzo Paulsen Pearce Perry Petri Pittenger Pitts Poe (TX) Polis Pompeo Posey Price (GA) Reichert Renacci Ribble Rice (SC) Roe (TN) Rogers (AL) Rohrabacher Rokita Rooney Roskam Ross Royce Ryan (WI) Salmon Sanford Scalise Schweikert Scott, Austin Sensenbrenner Sessions Smith (MO) Smith (NE) Smith (TX) Southerland Stewart Stockman Stutzman Terry Thornberry Tsongas Wagner Walberg Walden Walorski Weber (TX) Wenstrup Westmoreland Williams Wittman Woodall Yoder Yoho Young (IN) NOES--248 Aderholt Amodei Bachus Barber Barletta Bass Beatty Becerra Bera (CA) Bishop (NY) Blumenauer Bonamici Boustany Braley (IA) Brown (FL) Brownley (CA) Bucshon Bustos Calvert Capito Capps Capuano Cardenas Carney Carson (IN) Cartwright Castor (FL) Castro (TX) Chu Cicilline Clarke (NY) Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Cole Connolly Conyers Cook Cooper Costa Courtney Cramer Crawford Crenshaw Crowley Cuellar Culberson Cummings Daines Davis (CA) Davis, Rodney DeFazio DeGette Delaney DeLauro DelBene Denham Diaz-Balart Dingell Doggett Duckworth Edwards Ellmers Engel Enyart Eshoo Esty Farr Fattah Fitzpatrick Forbes Fortenberry Foster Frankel (FL) Frelinghuysen Fudge Gabbard Gallego Garamendi Gardner Gerlach Gibson Grayson Green, Al Green, Gene Griffin (AR) Grijalva Grimm Gutierrez Hahn Hall Hanna Harper Hastings (FL) Hastings (WA) Heck (WA) Higgins Himes Hinojosa Holt Honda Horsford Hoyer Huffman Jeffries Johnson (GA) Johnson, E. B. Jolly Joyce Kaptur Keating Kelly (IL) Kelly (PA) Kennedy Kildee Kilmer Kind King (NY) Kinzinger (IL) Kirkpatrick Kuster Lance Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Latham Lee (CA) Levin Lewis Lipinski LoBiondo Loebsack Lofgren Lowenthal Lowey Lucas Lujan Grisham (NM) Lujan, Ben Ray (NM) Lynch Maffei Maloney, Carolyn Maloney, Sean Marino Matheson Matsui McCarthy (NY) McCollum McDermott McGovern McIntyre McKeon McKinley McNerney Meehan Meeks Meng Michaud Miller, George Moore Moran Mullin Murphy (FL) Murphy (PA) Nadler Napolitano Neal Negrete McLeod Nolan O'Rourke Pallone Pascrell Pastor (AZ) Payne Pelosi Perlmutter Peters (CA) Peterson Pingree (ME) Pocan Price (NC) Quigley Rahall Reed Rigell Roby Rogers (KY) Rogers (MI) Ros-Lehtinen Rothfus Roybal-Allard Ruiz Runyan Ruppersberger Ryan (OH) Sanchez, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Sarbanes Schakowsky Schiff Schneider Schock Schrader Schwartz Scott (VA) Scott, David Serrano Sewell (AL) Shea-Porter Sherman Shimkus Shuster Simpson Sinema Sires Slaughter Smith (WA) Speier Stivers Swalwell (CA) Takano Thompson (CA) Thompson (PA) Tiberi Tierney Tipton Titus Tonko Turner Upton Valadao Van Hollen Vargas Veasey Vela Velazquez Visclosky Walz Wasserman Schultz Waters Waxman Webster (FL) Welch Whitfield Wolf Womack Yarmuth Young (AK) NOT VOTING--29 Bishop (UT) Brady (PA) Brady (TX) Butterfield Campbell Cassidy Clark (MA) Davis, Danny Dent Deutch Doyle Ellison Griffith (VA) Hanabusa Hunter Israel Jackson Lee Lankford Miller, Gary Nunnelee Owens Peters (MI) Rangel Richmond Rush Smith (NJ) Thompson (MS) Wilson (FL) Wilson (SC) Announcement by the Acting Chair

The Acting CHAIR (during the vote). There is 1 minute remaining.

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Stated against:

Mr. Chair, during rollcall vote No. 273 on H.R. 4745, I mistakenly recorded my vote as ``yes'' when I should have voted ``no.''

The Acting CHAIR. The unfinished business is the demand for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot) 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 Acting CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The Acting CHAIR. This will be a 2-minute vote.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 127, noes 279, not voting 25, as follows:

[Roll No. 274] AYES--127 Amash Bachmann Barton Bentivolio Black Blackburn Boustany Bridenstine Brooks (AL) Broun (GA) Burgess Byrne Camp Carter Chabot Chaffetz Coble Collins (GA) Collins (NY) Conaway Cook Cotton Daines DeSantis DesJarlais Duffy Duncan (SC) Farenthold Fincher Fleischmann Fleming Flores Foxx Franks (AZ) Garrett Gibbs Gingrey (GA) Gohmert Goodlatte Gosar Gowdy Granger Graves (GA) Harper Harris Hensarling Holding Hudson Huelskamp Huizenga (MI) Hurt Issa Johnson (OH) Johnson, Sam Jones Jordan King (IA) Kingston Kline Labrador LaMalfa Lamborn Lance Latta Long Luetkemeyer Lummis Marchant Massie McCarthy (CA) McCaul McClintock McHenry McMorris Rodgers Meadows Mica Miller (MI) Mullin Mulvaney Neugebauer Noem Nunes Olson Palazzo Paulsen Perry Petri Pittenger Pitts Poe (TX) Pompeo Posey Price (GA) Ribble Rice (SC) Rogers (AL) Rogers (MI) Rohrabacher Rokita Roskam Royce Ryan (WI) Salmon Sanford Scalise Schweikert Scott, Austin Sensenbrenner Sessions Smith (MO) Smith (NE) Smith (TX) Stewart Stivers Stockman Stutzman Terry Thornberry Tiberi Tipton Walberg Weber (TX) Westmoreland Williams Wittman Woodall Yoho NOES--279 Aderholt Amodei Bachus Barber Barletta Barr Barrow (GA) Bass Beatty Becerra Benishek Bera (CA) Bilirakis Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Blumenauer Bonamici Braley (IA) Brooks (IN) Brown (FL) Brownley (CA) Buchanan Bucshon Bustos Butterfield Calvert Cantor Capito Capps Capuano Cardenas Carney Carson (IN) Cartwright Castor (FL) Castro (TX) Chu Cicilline Clarke (NY) Clay Cleaver Clyburn Coffman Cohen Cole Connolly Conyers Cooper Costa Courtney Cramer Crawford Crenshaw Crowley Cuellar Culberson Cummings Davis (CA) Davis, Rodney DeFazio DeGette Delaney DeLauro DelBene Denham Diaz-Balart Dingell Doggett Duckworth Duncan (TN) Edwards Ellmers Engel Enyart Eshoo Esty Farr Fattah Fitzpatrick Forbes Fortenberry Foster Frankel (FL) Frelinghuysen Fudge Gabbard Gallego Garamendi Garcia Gardner Gerlach Gibson Graves (MO) Grayson Green, Al Green, Gene Griffin (AR) Grijalva Grimm Guthrie Gutierrez Hahn Hall Hanna Hartzler Hastings (FL) Hastings (WA) Heck (NV) Heck (WA) Herrera Beutler Higgins Himes Hinojosa Holt Honda Horsford Hoyer Huffman Hultgren Israel Jeffries Jenkins Johnson (GA) Johnson, E. B. Jolly Joyce Kaptur Keating Kelly (IL) Kelly (PA) Kennedy Kildee Kilmer Kind King (NY) Kinzinger (IL) Kirkpatrick Kuster Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Latham Lee (CA) Levin Lewis Lipinski LoBiondo Loebsack Lofgren Lowenthal Lowey Lucas Lujan Grisham (NM) Lujan, Ben Ray (NM) Lynch Maffei Maloney, Carolyn Maloney, Sean Marino Matheson Matsui McAllister McCarthy (NY) McCollum McDermott McGovern McIntyre McKeon McKinley McNerney Meehan Meeks Meng Messer Michaud Miller (FL) Miller, George Moore Moran Murphy (FL) Murphy (PA) Nadler Napolitano Neal Negrete McLeod Nolan Nugent O'Rourke Pallone Pascrell Pastor (AZ) Payne Pearce Pelosi Perlmutter Peters (CA) Peterson Pingree (ME) Pocan Polis Price (NC) Quigley Rahall Reed Reichert Renacci Rigell Roby Roe (TN) Rogers (KY) Rooney Ros-Lehtinen Ross Rothfus Roybal-Allard Ruiz Runyan Ruppersberger Ryan (OH) Sanchez, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Sarbanes Schakowsky Schiff Schneider Schock Schrader Schwartz Scott (VA) Scott, David Serrano Sewell (AL) Shea-Porter Sherman Shimkus Shuster Simpson Sinema Sires Slaughter Smith (NJ) Smith (WA) Southerland Speier Swalwell (CA) Takano Thompson (CA) Thompson (PA) Tierney Titus Tonko Tsongas Turner Upton Valadao Van Hollen Vargas Veasey Vela Velazquez Visclosky Wagner Walden Walorski Walz Wasserman Schultz Waters Waxman Webster (FL) Welch Wenstrup Whitfield Wilson (FL) Wolf Womack Yarmuth Yoder Young (AK) Young (IN) NOT VOTING--25 Bishop (UT) Brady (PA) Brady (TX) Campbell Cassidy Clark (MA) Davis, Danny Dent Deutch Doyle Ellison Griffith (VA) Hanabusa Hunter Jackson Lee Lankford Miller, Gary Nunnelee Owens Peters (MI) Rangel Richmond Rush Thompson (MS) Wilson (SC) Announcement by the Acting Chair

The Acting CHAIR (during the vote). There is 1 minute remaining.

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Rep. Ted Poe

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Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my request for a recorded voted on my amendment to the end that the amendment stand rejected by the earlier voice vote.

The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Texas?

There was no objection.

The Acting CHAIR. The amendment stands rejected in accordance with the previous vote thereon.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

Unobligated balances, including recaptures and carryover, remaining from funds appropriated to the Department of Housing and Urban Development under this heading, the heading ``Annual Contributions for Assisted Housing'' and the heading ``Project-Based Rental Assistance'', for fiscal year 2015 and prior years may be used for renewal of or amendments to section 8 project-based contracts and for performance-based contract administrators, notwithstanding the purposes for which such funds were appropriated: Provided, That any obligated balances of contract authority from fiscal year 1974 and prior that have been terminated shall be rescinded: Provided further, That amounts heretofore recaptured, or recaptured during the current fiscal year, from section 8 project-based contracts from source years fiscal year 1975 through fiscal year 1987 are hereby rescinded, and an amount of additional new budget authority, equivalent to the amount rescinded is hereby appropriated, to remain available until expended, for the purposes set forth under this heading, in addition to amounts otherwise available.

Rep. Mike Quigley

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Illinois is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Mike Quigley

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Mr. Chairman, at a time when Congress should be working together to make long-term investments in our crumbling infrastructure, today's T-HUD bill compromises our ability to meet the transportation needs of our local communities.

This bill significantly cuts funding to one of the Nation's most vital transportation programs--TIGER grants. Even worse, this bill significantly changes TIGER grant eligibility to prevent the funding for public transit, bike, and pedestrian projects. The significant funding and eligibility changes this bill makes have left this important program without any teeth. It seems that ``TIGER'' is no longer a fitting name. Instead, we should be referring to this bill's National Infrastructure Investments program simply as ``kitten grants.''

TIGER grants support critical projects that are driving economic growth and job creation across America. This bill includes only $100 million for TIGER grants, which is a reduction of more than 80 percent from this year's funding level. This move is ridiculous given that the current funding level can't even keep up with the demand of an incredibly popular program. Already, in the current grant application round, the U.S. Department of Transportation has received nearly 800 applications that are requesting a total of $9.5 billion--a request of more than 15 times what can be awarded. Additionally, the bill includes a bad policy rider with language that restricts TIGER eligibility to roads, highways, bridges, freight rail, and ports. This would be a devastating change for a wide variety of innovative projects that include public transportation, passenger rail, and bicycle and pedestrian programs.

TIGER grants help us modernize our transportation and infrastructure and create the 21st century highway and public transit systems America desperately needs, and nowhere are these programs needed more than in cities like my hometown of Chicago. Back home, TIGER grants have supported updates to the Chicago Transit Authority, have advanced the sustainable transportation efforts of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and local bike share programs, and have helped fund the Elgin O'Hare Western Access Project. Investing in a 21st century transportation system is essential for our economy, and more importantly, it will create jobs. Remember that every billion dollars invested in our infrastructure creates 30,000 jobs.

I joined the House Committee on Appropriations to make the tough funding choices that shape our national priorities, but this year's budget allocations have only taken that power away from us, forcing us to vote on a bill that drastically cuts vital services that people around the country depend upon. As we consider the T-HUD bill, we must stand together and demand Congress take action on long-term, smart investments that will move our people and our country forward.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Tammy Duckworth

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Mr. Chairman, it is time that we invest in the roads, bridges, and railways that are vital to the economy of this great Nation. Businesses in the Eighth Congressional District need a strong transportation system to send their products across the country.

The companies in my district are investing in their infrastructure, yet our Nation's transportation networks have not kept up. A recent study showed that more than 300 bridges in the Chicago area are structurally deficient. This is simply unacceptable. We need to invest in infrastructure initiatives because all Americans will benefit from the results, be they increases in job opportunities or in shorter drives to work.

That is why I am appalled by the low TIGER funding in this bill as $100 million is nowhere near what my Eighth District and other projects around the country need to get people back to work and our economy moving again. One of these projects is the Fox River Bridge Improvement Project in Elgin, Illinois. This bridge has not been updated for over 80 years and is crucial to the railways of the suburbs of Chicago that transport both commercial freight and commuters. I am disappointed that this bill does not make the investments that will create jobs and make our economy competitive globally.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. David E. Price

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. David E. Price

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Mr. Chairman, I want to join with Mr. Quigley, Ms. Duckworth, Ms. Waters, and other colleagues to call attention to the abysmally low funding contained in this bill for the TIGER program and to the need to increase and multiply this investment for the sake of our communities.

We have many concerns with this T-HUD bill before us, but I want to talk particularly about the TIGER program, otherwise known as the National Infrastructure Investments. It is a critical grant program which provides a unique opportunity for the Department of Transportation to invest in shovel-ready projects across transportation modes that promise to achieve critical national objectives, laying the groundwork for our future prosperity.

TIGER bridges critical gaps in formula funding programs to ensure that we are able to make investments in projects that are essential to both local and national goals. Each innovative project this program funds is multimodal, multijurisdictional and/or otherwise challenging to fund through existing transportation programs and funding streams.

Unfortunately, the bill before us would reduce the program's landmark flexibility by restricting the eligibility for TIGER to only road, bridge, freight, and port projects. Now, there is nothing wrong with these kinds of projects, but the downside of this restriction is that there is no room for funding that involves pedestrian crossings or bike lanes or recreational trails or planning activities or public transit or inner city passenger rail.

Many of us have benefited from having TIGER funding help a critical project in our districts. Let me just give one example, though, of a project that has gotten a lot of bipartisan praise, a project that would not have received funding if these eligibility restrictions had been in place. It is the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which is a bicycle and pedestrian network that is one-third funded by TIGER. It is now touted as a draw to convention planners, as a central catalyst for hundreds of millions of dollars in new commercial and residential development, and it is the linchpin of a vibrant community. It simply could not have been funded if these restrictions which the majority has included in this bill had been in place. My district has been fortunate to receive TIGER funds to help build our multimodal Raleigh Union Station, but my community is not alone.

Over the last five funding rounds, TIGER has provided $3.5 billion for 270 critical infrastructure projects that have covered all 50 States, D.C., and Puerto Rico. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Previous TIGER funding rounds have shown significant latent demand for this type of Federal program. In TIGER rounds one through five, the U.S. DOT received more than 5,300 project proposals, seeking more than $115 billion, with between only 4 and 8 percent of grant applicants each year able to receive funding. In the current grant application round, the U.S. DOT has received nearly 800 applications, requesting $9.5 billion, with only $600 million to invest. That is a request of more than 15 times what can be awarded.

The bill before us would make the situation even worse. Next year, rather than doubling down on these essential transportation infrastructure investments as the President's budget request would do, the bill before us calls for dramatic funding decreases of over 80 percent to the TIGER program.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time House Republicans have tried to cut or eliminate TIGER funding. It is hard to escape the conclusion that this is another example of reflexive opposition to anything coming from the Obama administration, because this is, in fact, a model program in terms of stretching Federal dollars. TIGER programs have been catalysts that have leveraged Federal funds to secure further investment from the private sector and other sources. Each dollar invested through TIGER has leveraged 3.5 non-Federal dollars.

The projects that have received TIGER funding, along with those that are anxiously awaiting an award announcement, will help our local communities address transportation challenges, create good-paying jobs, spur local economic development, revive our city centers, and create regional integrated transportation solutions. We can do better than the bill before us today. Let's reexamine and restore the funding for these TIGER grants.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer

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Mr. Chairman, I must join with my colleagues Mr. Price and Mr. Quigley. The reference here to the TIGER grant program is really almost incomprehensible in terms of what one would think Congress and even our friends in the Republican majority should be supporting. These are amongst the most popular programs that we have had in transportation, and the goal of the TIGER program was to maximize the impact. It required local communities to come together, often across jurisdictional boundaries, to figure out how to leverage the most impact from this program.

I have heard the mayor of Indianapolis give a spirited explanation of what difference that has made in the revitalization of that community. It is leveraging over $60 million to be able to improve the livability of Indianapolis. I was in Philadelphia, watching the program there, where the entire region came together for a $23 million program for bike and pedestrian, which would not be possible under the restrictions that the Republicans have inexplicably designed. Mr. Latham has a couple of TIGER grants in his district that would not be possible under this language. In Houston, a $200 million investment in bike and pedestrian trails has leveraged another $50 million from the private sector and is part of their effort to revitalize the downtown.

It is a formula that is used across the country--being able to give people more choices--but instead, the committee has decided that they know better than the mayor of Indianapolis, that they know better than local communities about what they need to be able to make a difference.

The irony is that the resources that are used for bike and pedestrian programs actually create more jobs than simply road construction. Talk to people around the country, as I have, about the ability to invest in making their children safer for cycling and pedestrian. It is not incidental. It is not something that should be just simply brushed aside.

Mr. Chairman, this is part of what we should be doing. I have got two of these projects in my district that have leveraged private investment, that are wildly supported by the public. It is why we are seeing that there are thousands of requests for only a couple of hundred slots. To dramatically reduce the spending and restrict what the local communities can use it for, I think, is misguided. It is a step in the wrong direction, and it is not where America is going. It is not what we are seeing in communities--large and small, red States and blue States. What they want is to be able to revitalize their communities, to keep young, talented professionals there, to give people more choices, to cut down on pollution, and to be able to maximize transportation investment.

I hope that this misguided language does not survive the legislative process. It would be a tragic mistake, and it is one that is actually going to end up undercutting some of the most progressive and energetic efforts we are seeing in communities, large and small. I respectfully urge my colleagues to think again--eliminate the restrictions, and look at where we are going to be able to maximize the impact. Where we are watching people in this Congress not willing to provide adequate resources for a transportation bill, we should be maximizing elements like the TIGER grants because we are going to need them more than ever.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Maxine Waters

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The gentlewoman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Maxine Waters

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Mr. Chairman, I rise to oppose the Republican Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015. This bill drastically underfunds critical transportation and housing programs.

The bill's cuts to the TIGER program are particularly egregious. TIGER, formally known as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, is a competitive grant program that creates jobs by funding investments in transportation infrastructure.

The Republican bill cuts TIGER from the 2014 level of $600 million down to a mere $100 million in 2015. Moreover, the bill includes restrictive language that limits TIGER grants by excluding public transit, passenger rail, bicycle, and pedestrian projects.

Public transit is an essential part of a modern transportation system. A previous TIGER grant helped the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to accelerate the construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, a light rail project that will reduce traffic congestion and improve transportation service in my district.

Under the bill's restrictive language, this innovative project would never have qualified for a grant.

TIGER needs to be expanded, not restricted, not cut. The President requested $1.25 billion for TIGER in fiscal year 2015 in order to create jobs and modernize our Nation's transportation infrastructure.

Earlier this year, I sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee urging support for the President's request, and 144 Members of Congress signed my letter.

I urge my colleagues to strike the restrictive language in this bill, expand the TIGER program, and invest in a transportation system for the 21st century.

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

Rep. Rosa DeLauro

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Rosa DeLauro

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Mr. Chairman, the appropriations bill before us includes only $100 million for the National Infrastructure Investment grants, otherwise known as TIGER grants. This is an 83 percent cut to this critical investment. This wrongheaded and foolish slashing of infrastructure monies will cost us far more than the money saved.

TIGER grants have invested, as my colleagues have pointed out, in road, in rail, transit, and port projects that achieve vital national objectives all across this great Nation.

Yet, the bill before us not only imposes a savage cut to the program, it restricts the use of these grants to highway, bridge, port, and freight rail intermodal projects only. It says that these are the only projects that can get done, meaning that transit, passenger rail, bike and pedestrian paths would no longer be eligible.

Mr. Chairman, we face an infrastructure crisis in this country. The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that we need to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020 to bring our Nation's infrastructure back to good condition.

We also face a job crisis in this country, and TIGER creates jobs. A study last year on the Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment found that every $1 billion invested supports 21,800 jobs, and these are jobs that cannot be outsourced. It generates $3 billion of additional business sales, and $432 million in Federal, State, and local tax revenues.

We need to invest in our national infrastructure. We need to support projects that make our communities more livable and sustainable.

In this project's history, we have found that so many of our colleagues in Arkansas and Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, Arizona, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and, yes, Connecticut, Georgia, Utah, Washington State, Idaho, Florida, Virginia, Maine, California, Nevada, North Carolina, many of whom have received more than one TIGER grant, with the results that, the reason why they wanted these grants was because, in fact, it does make that investment in infrastructure. It creates jobs and creates future economic growth.

TIGER grants are an excellent way to do this that make our communities more livable, more sustainable, and we should support them. I urge my colleagues to oppose this deep and this dangerous cut.

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

Rep. Marcy Kaptur

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

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

Rep. Marcy Kaptur

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Mr. Chairman, first I wish to dedicate my remarks tonight in memory of our former colleague, James Oberstar, who knew the transportation system of this Nation like the back of his hand. And I know the first thing he would say if he were down here. He would say transportation investment, infrastructure investment is the largest job creator that this Congress and this Nation can provide to the American people.

Infrastructure creates jobs. It is the highest form of development we can give to the American people. What are they asking this Congress for?

They are asking us for jobs, and they are asking us to fix the roads. Every place I go the public is complaining about potholes because of the bad winter in the part of the country that I represent.

We know, where do these jobs come from? The construction industry, the landscape industry, the paving industry, the fencing industry, the stone quarries, the concrete manufacturers. The list is endless.

In public transit we are talking about building rail cars to serve a growing population. America isn't declining in population. By 2050 we will have 500 million people in this country, up from 310 million today.

So communities across our country are asking for our help. They asked for $9.5 billion in high-priority infrastructure projects just this year, 15 times more than the current funding.

So what does the majority do?

They cut the current funding by 80 percent, down to $100 million, when the American people are saying--the mayors, the county commissioners, the Governors across this country--help us out.

TIGER has proven to be a successful program. It is not stove-piped. It is multimodal.

The Vice President, Vice President Biden just visited Cleveland. What did he see? The largest transit point in Ohio, where Amtrak comes right next to the major switching stations for all of the rail cars that serve Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland is waiting. It is only one of hundreds of places in America that are waiting for this Congress to do what the public wants us to do, and that is build this country forward.

Underinvestment will only hurt our people and cost us more in the long run. We know TIGER works.

The President recommended doubling the current funding to $1.25 billion, up from 600 to $800 million, to begin to meet the needs of our country. But remember, I said the public was asking for $9.5 billion.

TIGER has provided already $3.5 billion for 270 critical infrastructure projects across 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

In prior years, we know that transit and rail passenger projects have received only about one quarter of TIGER funds available, and there is typically no other predictable dedicated funding source for this type of project.

Without TIGER, and a few other Federal programs, mass transit and the shape of our Nation's highway system and rail system would be so much worse.

Americans increasingly look to this Congress and say, what are they worth?

This is one of the places where we should be worth something for the American people. So we rise tonight to say this is really a misguided decision. We need to take funds from elsewhere.

We send funds all over the world. We are building dams in Afghanistan. Who is going to take care of it after we leave?

Hundreds of millions of dollars in other places, and yet our own people are having to go get their cars realigned and buy new suspension systems because they are having to ride through all these potholes all over the country.

We ought to do our job. We ought to find a way to fund this program and repair this country from one end to the other.

I ask myself: If we had to build the Hoover Dam again, would this feckless Congress have the guts to do it?

So we have a problem like TIGER that, coast to coast, works. Where's the majority? Out to lunch.

No wonder the public doesn't have respect for the Congress of the United States. We are not at one with where the public is. The mayors are begging us. Our county commissioners are begging us. Our Governors are begging us. Our transit systems are saying measure up, Congress. Wake up. Wake up.

I rise in strong support of restoring the funding and, frankly, funding at the level that the President has proposed, $1.25 billion. But even that is only about one-seventh of what the country has asked for, so it is severely underfunded for the needs of the Nation.

We know it is the best job creator. We know it has a proven record, and we know the American people want it. What more do we need to know?

I can just hear Jim Oberstar talking to me now.

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

Rep. Bill Enyart

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Illinois is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Bill Enyart

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Mr. Chairman, infrastructure investment creates jobs in southern Illinois and nationwide while repairing highways, bridges and mass transit. The TIGER grant program is critical to infrastructure investment. We must fully fund this program.

Two great examples of successful TIGER recipients are in southern Illinois. America's Central Port in Granite City, Illinois, which was a BRAC'd Army installation, has leveraged Federal dollars with State and local funding to connect rail lines and four interstate highways with the Mississippi River.

Because of that investment, there are more private jobs at America's Central Port today than government jobs when it was an Army support center.

Another Southern Illinois TIGER grant recipient, the Alton Regional Multimodal Transportation Center, will allow passenger transfers between high-speed Amtrak trains, regional transit, bicycle, and even pedestrian trails. TIGER not only creates jobs, but better ways to get to those jobs.

At a time when we need to grow our economy and invest in our infrastructure here at home, it is a mistake to cut this critical program. I urge my colleagues to restore its funding.

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

Rep. Rick Nolan

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Rick Nolan

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Mr. Chairman, many of us here grew up in a time in this country when our parents and our politicians weren't afraid to invest in America.

I have been having a series of meetings, along with other Members here, with the inspector general for Afghanistan. He has 250 investigators. Of the last $100 billion in infrastructure that we have spent in Afghanistan, he can't find where the money has gone and/or where the projects have been completed.

Yet, here we are today, with bridges falling down, roads crumbling, and we are debating legislation that gives an 80 percent cut in our transportation needs, imposes severe restrictions onto a program that is so crucial to our long-term economic growth here in this country.

This program, the TIGER grant program, as you know, and the public needs to know, allows communities to compete for the funding of railroad upgrades, airport runways, highways, bridges, ports.

Recently, at a meeting with the Transportation Committee, we had about 10 transportation leaders from business and commerce before the committee, and I asked the question of every one of them--every one of them: Is there any disagreement here that our roads, our bridges are crumbling? No.

Make a note of it, Mr. Chairman.

Second question, is there anyone here who disagrees with the notion that this is jeopardizing our economic growth and our ability to create good-paying jobs and facilitate the advancement of business interests?

Nobody objects, Mr. Chairman. Make a note of it.

Lastly, Mr. Chairman, is there anybody here--now, mind you, all of the Democrats and Republicans were there. Is there anybody here on this committee that rejects the notion that we need to find more revenue for our transportation, our infrastructure, not less? Nobody disagreed.

So where does this notion come from that we should pass an 80 percent reduction in our TIGER grant program? Clearly, someone is not listening to the business and commercial interests in this country, and they are making a tragic and serious mistake.

Recently, Duluth Harbor, in my district, was a recipient of a $10 million grant. As a result of that, we were able to restore an abandoned pier, dredge the harbor, so that the Great Lakes freighters could access it and extend the rail and the highway transportation accessing the terminal.

We are losing $3 billion in business income a year through the Great Lakes because we are 10 years behind on the dredging. The Lakers are only operating at 80 percent of capacity. We are talking about real jobs. We are talking about real business income. We are talking about our future as a Nation.

Mr. Chairman, this bill does contain some good and necessary increases in funding, such as the FAA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, but an 80 percent cut in this program that spurs innovation, that boosts American manufacturing, creates good-paying jobs, that is no way to invest in our future. That is no way to have a pro-growth, pro-jobs economy.

Mr. Chairman, I strongly urge all of my colleagues: Let's come together here. We have common ground. Let's be bipartisan. Let's reject this 80 percent cut.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

For the Public Housing Capital Fund Program to carry out capital and management activities for public housing agencies, as authorized under section 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437g) (the ``Act'') $1,775,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2018: Provided, That notwithstanding any other provision of law or regulation, during fiscal year 2015 the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may not delegate to any Department official other than the Deputy Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing any authority under paragraph (2) of section 9(j) regarding the extension of the time periods under such section: Provided further, That for purposes of such section 9(j), the term ``obligate'' means, with respect to amounts, that the amounts are subject to a binding agreement that will result in outlays, immediately or in the future: Provided further, That up to $8,000,000 shall be to support ongoing Public Housing Financial and Physical Assessment activities: Provided further, That up to $5,000,000 shall be to support the costs of administrative and judicial receiverships: Provided further, That of the total amount provided under this heading, not to exceed $20,000,000 shall be available for the Secretary to make grants, notwithstanding section 204 of this Act, to public housing agencies for emergency capital needs including safety and security measures necessary to address crime and drug- related activity as well as needs resulting from unforeseen or unpreventable emergencies and natural disasters excluding Presidentially declared emergencies and natural disasters under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) occurring in fiscal year 2015: Provided further, That of the total amount provided under this heading $45,000,000 shall be for supportive services, service coordinator and congregate services as authorized by section 34 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1437z-6) and the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (25 U.S.C. 4101 et seq.): Provided further, That of the total amount made available under this heading, up to $15,000,000 may be used for incentives as part of a Jobs-Plus Pilot initiative modeled after the Jobs-Plus demonstration: Provided further, That the funding provided under the previous proviso shall provide competitive grants to partnerships between public housing authorities, local workforce investment boards established under section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and other agencies and organizations that provide support to help public housing residents obtain employment and increase earnings: Provided further, That applicants must demonstrate the ability to provide services to residents, partner with workforce investment boards, and leverage service dollars: Provided further, That the Secretary may set aside a portion of the funds provided for the Resident Opportunity and Self- Sufficiency program to support the services element of the Jobs-Plus Pilot initiative: Provided further, That the Secretary may allow PHAs to request exemptions from rent and income limitation requirements under sections 3 and 6 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 as necessary to implement the Jobs-Plus program, on such terms and conditions as the Secretary may approve upon a finding by the Secretary that any such waivers or alternative requirements are necessary for the effective implementation of the Jobs-Plus Pilot initiative as a voluntary program for residents: Provided further, That the Secretary shall publish by notice in the Federal Register any waivers or alternative requirements pursuant to the preceding proviso no later than 10 days before the effective date of such notice: Provided further, That from the funds made available under this heading, the Secretary shall provide bonus awards in fiscal year 2015 to

Rep. Jared Huffman

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Jared Huffman

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Mr. Chairman, this bill represents a massive step backward for transportation and infrastructure funding, reducing funds for rail, transit, and highway programs that our communities desperately need.

In addition to slashing TIGER grants by 80 percent, the bill restricts eligibility for these grants, effectively locking out public transportation and passenger rail projects from this critical funding stream.

In my district, Sonoma and Marin Counties have come together to support the SMART rail project. This is a new public transit project that will provide a critical service to commuters, to students going to school, to tourists that are visiting and spending money in the local economy.

The counties are putting a significant share forward in local funding. Over 90 percent of the cost of the project has come from these local sources, but they need the ability to access Federal assistance like TIGER grants to extend the first phase and close gaps in this important new system.

This bill puts roadblocks in the path that the SMART project and projects similar to it all over this country. In addition, this bill contains a rider blocking funding for California's high-speed rail project. We shouldn't undermine State and local efforts to invest in transportation infrastructure and to promote economic development, and I urge a ``no'' vote on this unwise and unwarranted bill.

With my remaining time, Mr. Chairman, I also want to encourage the FHA to expand their PowerSaver pilot program to address the unique condition of many Native American communities, where housing is often in great need and capital is difficult to access.

Congress should enable homeowners to make cost-effective energy-saving improvements to their houses. This body took an important step in 2009 by creating the PowerSaver pilot program, which has helped in financing and construction of energy-efficient homes.

Since that time, homeowners all over the country have taken advantage of the program, worked with private lenders to purchase ENERGY STAR-certified furnaces, air conditioners, improve insulation, and install solar units.

This, in turn, has spurred investment in our housing sector. It has created jobs and saved money for homeowners. These are goals all of us should support.

We should be expanding this program to Native American communities. Native American communities across the country, including the Karuk Tribe in my district, have embraced sustainable and energy-efficient housing. This is lowering their electrical bills, increasing the value of their homes, and reducing dependency on dirty energy sources.

To enable other tribes, though, to make similar investments in their homes, the FHA will need to make substantive changes to the PowerSaver program, and I am very pleased that this underlying bill that we are considering already demonstrates support for Native American communities by fully funding the Indian Housing Block Grant and section 184 programs, but I encourage the FHA to go further to build on that support by ensuring that these programs, like PowerSaver, are implemented with all communities in mind.

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

Rep. Barbara Lee

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I move to strike the last word, Mr. Chairman.

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

Rep. Barbara Lee

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First, Mr. Chair, let me just say that I join my other colleagues in opposition to the drastic cuts that this bill sets forth for the TIGER program, as well as language that would prohibit important environmentally sustainable projects from competing for these grants.

We know that smart and targeted investments in infrastructure projects grow local economies, and they create good-paying jobs.

I know firsthand the effectiveness of this program in my own district, at the Port of Oakland, for example, and the East Bay Greenway, where local agencies have leveraged flexible TIGER grant funds to bring projects toward completion. These cuts now will reduce private sector investments, which are essential to public-private partnerships.

These urban projects around the country need to be able to compete for this important source of funding, and these funding levels and policy provisions simply won't allow that to happen.

We spend billions, mind you, billions on infrastructure projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why not in our own country? TIGER grants allow us to nation-build here at home, and we need this desperately.

I look forward to working with our ranking member and our chair, so that we can fix the funding level as this bill goes to conference. I think we know on both sides of the aisle that these grants have created jobs and economic opportunities and have helped create and fix our infrastructure. It is very important that we fully fund these TIGER grants.

So, again, I thank the ranking member, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. Chair, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Missouri is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, this discussion tonight is, I think, exemplary of the dysfunctionality of this place. No matter whose fault it is, we are not serving the public.

I just came in from the break on a Third World road from Dulles Airport here to the Capitol, and if anybody wonders whether or not we are falling behind other countries, visit China. Look at the percentage of their GDP being spent on infrastructure compared to ours.

I would like to talk about what we call T-HUD, which affects Americans in every single State in this country.

There is no Republican road. There is no Democratic road. There is no Independent road or Tea Party road or Black Panther road. We all have to live in this Nation and function on the roads we build, and the only people on this planet--the only people on planet Earth who can make a decision about TIGER and our infrastructure are people who were elected to sit in this place. It is us.

In the first 4 years of TIGER, funds were awarded to all 50 States. TIGER funds are nearly evenly dispersed across the Central, South, West, North, and East regions of this great country. The Department of Transportation is required by statute to ensure TIGER funds are awarded to rural communities, as well as urban.

These grants are used to build highways, repair badly damaged bridges, and upgrade rail. They are used to help communities who are struggling in this period of economic recovery to make key investments in their infrastructure and bolster local economies.

This bill would decimate TIGER funding, destroying one of the most successful Federal programs in generating bottom-up transportation solutions to our Nation's crumbling infrastructure problem.

TIGER has made a tremendous impact in my district, and I can recall the names of projects, from the Green Impact Zone, Troost Avenue Bridge over Brush Creek, all of these improvements in the communities have made my congressional district better.

Then last year, TIGER provided $20 million to help finance the 2.2-mile streetcar project in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The streetcar project will encourage economic development and housing, and along the line, we will also see a whole new community being rebuilt.

So, Mr. Chairman, I don't know what is going to happen, but I do hope that we can make a decision that, at least on the infrastructure, we can put partisanship and this political tribalism to the side and do what is in the best interest of the American public.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Louie Gohmert

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 85, line 3, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $7,100,000)''. Page 87, line 24, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $17,600,000)''. Page 156, line 16, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $24,700,000)''.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Louie Gohmert

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Mr. Chairman, I agree with my friend from Missouri that Congress is dysfunctional.

I am told by people that were here in the late seventies, eighties, nineties, that if a President started usurping power of the legislature, of the Congress, that very quietly, the leaders of the House and Senate from both parties would make a quick trip down Pennsylvania Avenue to tell the President that he either needed to stop usurping congressional authority, start living within the law, or quit being lawless, and that would have generally taken care of it, and it was a bipartisan and bicameral effort.

Unfortunately, this body is dysfunctional, when you look at the efforts to protect an administration that keeps acting lawlessly.

I would like to have had accurate numbers showing the percentage of section 8 housing that is being provided to people illegally; that is, providing section 8 housing to people who are not authorized, who are getting that housing against the law, mainly people illegally here, but the last official numbers that my staff and I could find go back to the January 1, 2009.

Under the Bush administration, 0.4 percent of section 8 housing was going to people illegally. In other words, it was illegally going to people because they were not authorized to be here.

There are indications from a report in 2010 that it increased to 1.17 percent, but, Mr. Chairman, I just felt that it was imperative for us to send a message: if you are not going to provide the housing to Americans who desperately need it and you are going to continue to provide housing to people who are not legally authorized to have that housing, then we will make a small cut here.

Then we will get more accurate numbers in the future, and we will continue to cut the program until the Department of Housing and Urban Development gets serious about making sure that only people authorized under the law to have the section 8 housing get it.

So we took four-tenths of a percent times that set-aside for the Public Housing Capital Fund at line 3 and the same percentage from the Public Housing Operating Fund at line 24, page 87, and then added that to the spending reduction account.

Why? Because this generation has shown that we are immoral. We, like no other generation before us, are spending lavishly on our own generation without regard for the massive millstone--or albatross, if you prefer--around future generations' necks. That is immoral. That is immoral that we cannot live within our means, and we would cast that upon future generations.

So with that, I would argue for the passage of this amendment. It does not legislate. It simply appropriates a more appropriate amount.

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

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reluctantly rise in opposition to the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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I appreciate very much the gentleman raising the issue.

I think we should remember, this is an appropriation bill. It is a funding bill. It is not an authorizing bill. This is an issue that should be dealt with by the committee of jurisdiction, which needs to make a lot of changes at HUD. There is no question about it.

This is a funding bill, and, Mr. Chairman, we have already made tough, responsible choices in the bill, and we have already cut the Public Housing Capital Fund by $100 million below last year. So while the gentleman wants to cut a little bit more, I understand that, but the fact of the matter is we are down $100 million from last year.

The Public Housing Operating Fund is held at last year's level of $4.4 billion. I really think to cut any more out of this could possibly pose a risk to the health and safety of our housing capital.

For those reasons, again, I appreciate the gentleman's bringing the issue forward, it is an authorizing issue, and on this, as a funding bill, I would urge a ``no'' vote. I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Ed Pastor

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I also rise in opposition. As the chairman has outlined, both funds are either underfunded or at the same level, and the consequence of additional cuts will probably cause many, many individuals who qualify for public housing to either leave public housing or not be able then to enter. For those reasons, we oppose the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert).

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

Rep. Louie Gohmert

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

Rep. Elizabeth Esty

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Elizabeth Esty

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I rise today to express my opposition to the funding priorities in this appropriations bill. While I am supportive of advancing the appropriations bills in a timely manner, this bill underfunds many important programs and initiatives, including TIGER grants, the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program, housing assistance, and our rail and transportation initiative.

In Connecticut, community leaders in Waterbury and Meriden have applied for TIGER grants to undertake important improvement projects in their cities. TIGER grants are critical for our communities to leverage Federal funds to create lasting, substantial improvements. But, unfortunately, this bill underfunds the TIGER grant program. This bill funds TIGER grants at $500 million less than last year, and $1.15 billion less than the President's request. TIGER grants are essential to provide that leverage for our State and local communities to make those choices about what will create jobs and allow those created jobs we have be something people can get to by using the highways, as my colleagues have already mentioned the difficulty, particularly in the Northeast, with our aging infrastructure.

Mr. Chairman, in addition to the TIGER provisions of the bill, one of the most important, life-saving programs is the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction program. Approximately 23 million U.S. households have significant lead-based paint hazards. The Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction program gives funds for lead abatement in low-income communities, where the combination of lead paint and inadequate nutrition makes young children particularly vulnerable to learning disabilities.

I am disappointed that this bill funds that program at $40 million below last year and $50 million less than the President's budget request. With 23 million households still having significant exposure to lead-based paint, we must fully fund this program to protect our children and young families.

In Connecticut, we are still recovering from the recession, and we have the seventh-most-expensive housing market in the country. In Danbury, an individual making the minimum wage--which is higher in Connecticut than Federal minimum wage--would need 3.5 full-time jobs to afford a two-bedroom rental apartment.

That is why HUD's public housing and housing choice vouchers are essential in my State and my community, and why it is so disappointing that HUD is not funded at a level to restore the housing vouchers that were lost during sequestration.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, we need to get serious about investing in our highways and rail infrastructure. Just last Friday, the railroad bridge in Norwalk, Connecticut, failed, stranding thousands of passengers, including our colleague, Congressman Jim Himes. The bridge--which was built in 1895--is now 118 years old and in desperate need of repair. Earlier today, the entire Connecticut delegation sent a letter to the Department of Transportation asking that the State receive funding to repair this very old and crumbling bridge. We should not have to wait until the bridge falls down or the train derails to repair our country's infrastructure. Unfortunately, this bill does not adequately fund the needs of the Federal Transit Administration.

Until we do our job together in this body and fully fund the Department of Transportation, our bridges and roads will continue to fail. These are, indeed, tough budgetary times, but we must fund our transportation and housing programs to protect and to serve the constituents we represent.

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from New Hampshire is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter

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Mr. Chairman, in addition to all of the other problems that my colleagues have cited, this bill would exclude walking, biking, and transit projects from TIGER funding, wrongly suggesting that these are not crucial parts of our transportation network. Rails to trails projects, like the one championed by the Mount Washington Valley Trails Association in New Hampshire, are innovative and important. According to Transportation for America, more than 11 percent of all trips are made by biking, and more than 12 percent by walking. We should continue to invest in transportation infrastructure that our constituents rely on and keep this TIGER program strong.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

For 2015 payments to public housing agencies for the operation and management of public housing, as authorized by section 9(e) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437g(e)), $4,400,000,000.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 93, line 21, after the dollar amount insert ``(increased by $29,100,000)''. Page 114, line 7, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced by $29,100,000)''. Page 114, line 8, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced by $29,100,000)''.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler

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Mr. Chairman, since 1992, the Housing Opportunity for Persons With Aids, or HOPWA, has provided a vital safety net for people living with HIV/AIDS. In the United States, 50,000 people become infected with HIV every year, and 1.1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. More than 500,000 of those individuals will need some form of housing assistance during the course of their illness, but 145,000 of these individuals will have unmet housing needs.

Housing interventions are critical in our continued fight against HIV/AIDS, and research clearly shows that stable housing leads to better health outcomes. Inadequately or unstably housed individuals are less likely to access routine medical care and more likely to rely on costly emergency and acute care that leads to far higher health care costs. Providing stable housing to people with HIV/AIDS has an immediate impact on the health outcomes, reducing the risk of transmission to a partner by 96 percent, reducing emergency room visits by 36 percent, and reducing hospitalizations by 57 percent. In other words, investing a modest amount in HOPWA today saves us millions, if not billions, of Federal taxpayer dollars in the future, not to mention many lives.

HOPWA is the only Federal program to provide cities and States with dedicated resources to address the housing crisis facing people living with HIV/AIDS. And yet, despite the bipartisan agreement on HOPWA's effectiveness and the clear need for additional funding, this legislation provides only $305.9 million for HOPWA in FY15, a cut of more than $24 million from last year, and pushes HOPWA funding below its fiscal year 2008 funding levels, despite an estimated 300,000 people being newly infected with HIV since that time. At this abysmally low funding level, thousands of families and individuals will lose access to HOPWA and face dire health consequences.

My amendment would stop this devastating cut by increasing HOPWA funding by $29.1 million and restoring the program to $335 billion, the level it received 5 years ago in fiscal year 2010. I recognize $29 million may sound small by Federal budgeting standards, but this additional funding will ensure that those families and individuals who rely on HOPWA for secure, stable housing will not suddenly find themselves back on the street with no access to lifesaving medical treatment.

To protect those living with HIV/AIDS and to stay within the House rules, my amendment offsets this additional funding through cuts to HUD's Information Technology fund. I recognize--I recognize--the importance of providing HUD with phones and computers, but nothing is more important, quite simply, than saving lives. We must pass this amendment and give those families battling HIV/AIDS a fighting chance.

I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. I appreciate very much the gentleman's effort to help more vulnerable households by increasing funding for HOPWA, but I simply cannot support this amendment.

The increase is offset by a more than 30 percent reduction in funding for HUD's information technology systems. These systems are critical to HUD's ability to oversee billions of dollars in grants, subsidies, and loans. Many HUD systems are antiquated and require significant maintenance and investment to keep operating. A cut of this magnitude would undermine the agency's ability to function, so I would urge a ``no'' vote and also remind folks that there is $305 million for HOPWA in the bill already, a slight reduction from last year, but with our allocation, very significant funding for this program.

So I rise in opposition to the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler).

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

Rep. Jerrold Nadler

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

For assistance to units of State and local government, and to other entities, for economic and community development activities, and for other purposes, $3,060,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2017, unless otherwise specified: Provided, That of the total amount provided, $3,000,000,000 is for carrying out the community development block grant program under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended (the ``Act'' herein) (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.): Provided further, That unless explicitly provided for under this heading, not to exceed 20 percent of any grant made with funds appropriated under this heading shall be expended for planning and management development and administration: Provided further, That a metropolitan city, urban county, unit of general local government, or Indian tribe, or insular area that directly or indirectly receives funds under this heading may not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer all or any portion of such funds to another such entity in exchange for any other funds, credits or non-Federal considerations, but must use such funds for activities eligible under title I of the Act: Provided further, That none of the funds made available under this heading may be used for grants for the Economic Development Initiative (``EDI'') or Neighborhood Initiatives activities, Rural Innovation Fund, or for grants pursuant to section 107 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5307): Provided further, That the Department shall notify grantees of their formula allocation within 60 days of enactment of this Act: Provided further, That $60,000,000 shall be for grants to Indian tribes notwithstanding section 106(a)(1) of such Act, of which, notwithstanding any other provision of law (including section 204 of this Act), up to $3,960,000 may be used for emergencies that constitute imminent threats to health and safety.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 94, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $100,000,000)''. Page 94, line 20, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $100,000,000)''. Page 97, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $100,000,000)''.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from West Virginia is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito

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Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an amendment which would increase funding for a program critical for the development of our local communities.

The Community Development Block Grant, CDBG, has been essential to helping our local communities address critical needs and improve residents' quality of life. Many of these communities struggle to find funds to improve lower-income or underutilized areas, and the CDGB is a lifesaver for these towns.

In my home State of West Virginia, this program has funded critical sewer and infrastructure projects, improving residents' health and their quality of life. More than 92,000 West Virginians have benefited from $71 million in Community Development Block Grants over the last 5 years. It is invaluable to rural States like West Virginia.

Despite its proven track record, funding for the CDBG program has been cut every year. As we prioritize programs in this appropriations bill, it is my belief that the CDBG program and the residents it helps should be considered a priority. In this era of fiscal restraint and responsibility, we must use taxpayer dollars where they can have the most impact, and my amendment would increase the CDBG by $100 million, redirecting $100 million from the troubled HOME program.

This redirection makes my amendment budget-neutral. While the HOME program has had some success, the evidence shows it is a program struggling from dubious oversight that has been slow to adapt to improvements that have been suggested by the Government Accountability Office.

States are not even using all of their HOME funds. Last year, HUD recaptured $16 million from States who didn't spend the funds that were granted. In the State of West Virginia, HUD has recaptured millions of dollars, and HUD officials have told me that the HOME program is scheduled to have even more funds recaptured due to inactivity.

It is clear that the HOME program has more than enough money, and we should be reallocating these funds towards programs that work, like the CDBG. It is a vital program, and I ask my colleagues to support my amendment.

I yield to the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. McKinley), who is a staunch supporter of CDBG.

Rep. David McKinley

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Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.

During meetings held the past 3 years with West Virginia government officials, they consistently state that the money for infrastructure upgrades like sewer and water lines is an absolute priority. The program that funds these projects is what the gentlewoman said, the Community Development Block Grant, known as CDBG.

This amendment would provide much-needed funding for CDBG and provide vital funds for improving sewer and water lines throughout America, rehabilitating public buildings, and assisting economic development initiatives.

The past 2 years and, again, this year, President Obama has cut crucial funding to the CDBG program. Therefore, I am honored to work with my fellow colleague from West Virginia, Shelley Moore Capito, on an amendment to once again put the money back into this program that the President took away.

Mr. Chairman, the CDBG program has made a difference in the lives of Americans, thousands of people all across West Virginia, and this country. That is why, even in difficult financial times, we must make sure that the CDBG is fully funded. I urge support of this amendment.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito

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Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague for his support. We know, in rural States like West Virginia, how important this program is, not to fund entire projects, but to backfill and frontfill projects that absolutely would not get done without the great help of the communities joining together and using the CDBG funds in the proper and right fashion to enhance the quality of life for so many across this country.

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

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. I think we should keep in mind that we have $3 billion in the Community Development Block Grant account. That is slightly less than last year by $30 million, but there are $3 billion in that.

I appreciate the gentlewoman's effort to increase funding, but the offset for that increase is a $100 million reduction to the HOME program, which is already reduced by $300 million, so we are already cutting HOME by $300 million from the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.

It is important to remember that, just a few years ago, the HOME program was funded at $1.6 billion. In this bill, it will be at $700 million, so it is less than half of what it was at that time.

The program is targeted to the development of affordable housing that benefits low-income families, and we don't believe, at this point, a further reduction is warranted. So while I appreciate the benefits of the block grants, I must urge a ``no'' vote on the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, while I support the intention of the amendment--I am a supporter of CDBG--the program that the Member seeks to increase is one that is worthwhile and successful, and if we had a better allocation, we would have provided more for CDBG.

However, I must rise in opposition to the amendment because of the offset. It is my hope that we can improve the funding levels of this bill as we conference with the Senate.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from West Virginia (Mrs. Capito).

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

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 94, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $200,000,000)''. Page 94, line 20, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $200,000,000)''. Page 156, line 16, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $200,000,000)''

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

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, two of my colleagues just came asking to increase the Community Development Block Grant program by $100 million, and actually, the bill itself has an increase above the President's request by $200 million.

Sometimes, I agree with the President, and sometimes, I don't; and this is one time I do agree with the President. The President only requested $2.8 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program, and this bill would appropriate $3 billion.

So my amendment would remove the $200 million increase over the Obama administration's FY 2015 budgetary request--and only increase--from the Community Development Block Grant program and transfer that amount to the spending reduction account. Why the committee has chosen to go above and beyond what even the President has requested fails me.

Mr. Chairman, the Community Development Block Grant program is one of the most wasteful and ineffective programs found within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was originally proposed by President Gerald Ford in his effort to revitalize decaying and low-income neighborhoods in American cities and towns.

Unfortunately, CDBG has strayed from its original purpose. Today, many of these grants have been diverted to wasteful, parochial projects, such as funding a pet shampoo company, issuing risky business loans, paying for renovation of a wealthy multinational architectural company, and I can go on and on.

I am not asking that we eliminate this program or even drastically cut its funding. Mr. Chairman, I am simply asking that we do not increase this funding above what the President has asked for and that we put the rest of this large increase toward paying down our Nation's debt. I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. This is obviously just the opposite of the previous amendment in the reduction of our proposed amount of $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant.

This amendment would accept the President's proposal to cut $230 million from the Community Development Block Grant program. Our bill already has a small reduction, $30 million, from what was enacted last year.

The CDBG program provides critical funding to State and local jurisdictions for affordable housing, economic development, and public service projects such as homeless shelters.

What is great about the program is that the grants are very flexible, which empowers jurisdictions to identify and fund investments that meet local priorities. Also, these funds often attract significant coinvestment from private and other non-Federal sources.

CDBG is an important source of Federal partnership and support in many of our jurisdictions, and so I must urge a ``no'' vote on the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I would tell my colleague from Georgia: if there is one line item in this bill that has bipartisan support in terms of keeping the program and funding it at this level, this is it.

So I would tell him that even I, because of the bipartisan agreement, that I would rise in opposition to his amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Broun).

The amendment was rejected.

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 94, line 18, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $20,000,000)''. Page 94, line 20, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $20,000,000)''. Page 156, line 16, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $20,000,000)''

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

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, I will try again. This amendment is much like my previous amendment.

As I noted before, this bill provides for a $200 million increase above the President's request in the Community Development Block Grant program, by his request, the President's request, the Democratic President's request for the FY 2015 budget.

My previous amendment would have removed that $200 million increase above the President's request in its entirety. This amendment just cuts 10 percent of that increase above the President's request, $20 million--which is a lot of money to most Georgians, it seems to be not a lot of money around here, but it is a lot of money to me--and it transfers that sum to the spending reduction account.

Mr. Chairman, I spoke earlier about wasteful spending being funded by the Community Development Block Grant program, and I would like to take this opportunity to provide some examples.

The State of Nebraska has directed approximately $500,000 in taxpayer funds, hard-earned money, from the CDBG grant program to a pet shampoo company.

The State of Vermont has directed $255,000 of its Federally-funded Community Development Block Grant to support a program for graduates for the Center of Cartoon Studies.

The Community Development Block Grant program has provided $356,000 to pay for infrastructure improvements for a meat snack manufacturer that makes beef jerky.

Mr. Chairman, I love pets--particularly dogs--I love cartoons, and I really like beef jerky, and I like these things as much as anyone, but I fail to see how it is appropriate for the Federal Government to provide taxpayer money to fund these projects.

Again, I am not asking to eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program or even cut its funding below the FY 2014 levels.

Obviously, my amendment to cut out the increase above the President's requested amount to CDBG failed. Now, I am just asking to cut out just 20 percent of that increase above the President's level.

So if my colleagues cannot bring themselves to cut the entire $200 million increase over the President's budget request, then let's cut at least one small percentage of that increase, just 10 percent, and save the American taxpayers $20 million. I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. I will not go through the merits of the program again, but the fact of the matter is we are $30 million less than the enacted level from last year, so there is a reduction in the account.

A lot of people would say ``unfortunately,'' but there is, in fact, a reduction, and for that reason, I would oppose the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Ed Pastor

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I also rise in opposition to the amendment and oppose the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Broun).

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

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

Subject to section 502 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, during fiscal year 2015, commitments to guarantee loans under section 108 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5308), any part of which is guaranteed, shall not exceed a total principal amount of $500,000,000, notwithstanding any aggregate limitation on outstanding obligations guaranteed in subsection (k) of such section 108: Provided, That the Secretary shall collect fees from borrowers, notwithstanding subsection (m) of such section 108, to result in a credit subsidy cost of zero for guaranteeing such loans, and any such fees shall be collected in accordance with section 502(7) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974: Provided further, That all unobligated balances, including recaptures and carryover, remaining from funds appropriated to the Department of Housing and Urban Development under this heading are hereby permanently rescinded.

Rep. Sean Duffy

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Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 99, line 8, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Wisconsin is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Sean Duffy

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Mr. Chairman, this town, this Congress, spends a lot of money to alleviate the pain of poverty, of homelessness, and hunger, but a majority of that money is focused on urban centers. I don't take issue with that. There is a lot of poverty in the urban parts of our country. But so often, the rural parts of America are forgotten.

I have to tell you, coming from rural America, the pain of poverty is just as great, and it affects our communities in rural America just like in urban America. Oftentimes, it can be a lot more complicated, poverty in rural America.

The face of poverty is different in rural America. Instead of having families living on the street, oftentimes we see neighbors, two, three families move into a single-room apartment so they can give their kids shelter.

Last year I hosted a homelessness and hunger summit where I brought in people who provide food and shelter for folks in rural Wisconsin. We had a conversation about what we can do better out of Washington to help them address the pain of this poverty in our community. In regard to the homeless shelters, their main point was that they need flexibility so that they can address the risks of homelessness in our community.

In 2009, a program was included in the HEARTH Act called the Rural Housing Stability Assistance program. This program allows rural communities to serve individuals that don't necessarily meet HUD's definition of homelessness but are, in fact, without a stable home of their own.

My amendment is very simple and doesn't cost a lot of money. It would allow $10 million to be made available for the Rural Housing Stability Assistance program.

Now, take a look at how much money we spend on homelessness--$2.1 billion. My amendment asks for $10 million to be used for the Rural Housing Stability Assistance program. Let's not forget rural America.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Will the gentleman yield?

Rep. Sean Duffy

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I yield to the gentleman from Iowa.

Rep. Tom Latham

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The gentleman makes a very compelling argument, and we would accept the amendment.

Rep. Sean Duffy

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Mr. Chairman, with that, I think this is important. I appreciate the chairman's support, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Duffy).

The amendment was agreed to.

Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk, Conyers No.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 99, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $2,000,000)''.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Michigan is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. Chair, ladies and gentlemen, this amendment seeks to increase funding for the National Homeless Data Analysis Project by $2 million. This requested increase from $5 million to $7 million is consistent with both the President's budget request and the appropriations bill the Senate reported out of the committee late last week.

The level of funding provided for in this bill falls below not just requested amounts, but also below the current enacted amount for this program. My amendment amount would solve this discrepancy.

Mr. Chair, homelessness is not only corrosive to individual lives, but also to our national character. It is unthinkable that more than a million people routinely go homeless in the most prosperous nation this world has ever known.

In the struggle to eliminate homelessness, the National Homeless Data Analysis Project is essential. In 2001, Congress directed HUD to ``take the lead on data collection'' on homelessness, and the result was this project. It provides critical resources to communities to improve data collection, reporting, and integration of data with other Federal funding streams.

Over the past decade, the data collection, integration, and reporting produced by this project has allowed HUD and other agencies to move away from using largely anecdotal and often inconsistent evidence to using quality data for policy decisions.

At the end of the day, no matter which side of the aisle we sit on, this is the type of initiative we should all support. Better information leads to better decisionmaking and, ultimately, better policy outcomes, particularly in times of shrinking budgets.

In a policy arena as important as homeless assistance, this House cannot afford to underfund enhanced data collection initiatives. A vote for this amendment is a vote for smarter use of Federal funds and a vote to make every homeless assistance program better targeted and more effective.

In my own district, homelessness is a chronic problem. In the Detroit area during 2012, over 19,000 people were homeless at some point. That figure includes nearly 4,000 children. In order to help them, however, we need to understand the circumstances that have forced them onto the streets.

The 6,000 homeless families with children in Detroit have different needs than homeless adults. Certain similarities between those who are homeless because of unaffordable housing and those who are homeless because of mental illness or domestic violence may hide the critical differences that prevent help from achieving its intended goal.

I fully support any project that would lead to a better accounting of the real experiences of the poorest people in my district or anyone else's and ultimately result in better decisionmaking in the provision and administration of Federal homeless assistance programs. I hope and feel certain that my colleagues feel the same.

This measure is, quite simply, about good government. This measure is not a budget increase. This amendment would simply grant discretion to allocate up to $2 million of the already existing funding in the bill for homelessness assistance grants to the National Homeless Data Analysis Project. It would not increase the overall appropriations under the heading for homelessness assistance grants. Under the $2.1 billion heading for homelessness assistance grant, there is still approximately $100 million in flexibility.

I urge support for the National Homeless Data Analysis Project. I urge support for smarter usage of Federal funds; and I urge support for enhanced policy outcomes. I thank you for the time, and I hope that we can pass this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers).

The amendment was agreed to.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

Unobligated balances, including recaptures and carryover, remaining from funds appropriated to the Department of Housing and Urban Development under this heading are hereby permanently rescinded.

Rep. George Holding

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. George Holding

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Mr. Chairman, I want to first off thank my good friend from Iowa, Chairman Latham, for the hard work he has put into this bill. There is a matter that I think we are going to have to do some more work on.

The Federal Government, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, each year allocates a significant amount of taxpayer dollars to public housing authorities to provide affordable and safe housing for those in need.

Unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, some public housing authorities, executives of public housing authorities, are taking home excessively generous compensation packages each year, partly paid for with Federal dollars. One needs to look no further than the public housing authority in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Raleigh Housing Authority, to see an example of excessive compensation.

Audits that I requested from both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Raleigh Housing Authority itself have brought to light this fundamental problem with compensation. When the executive director of the Raleigh Housing Authority manages a housing authority that ranks somewhere near 400th in terms of overall size but still receives a total compensation package, Mr. Chairman, that puts him in the top ten of all public housing authority directors in terms of salary and other benefits, it certainly raises some red flags to me.

Following the disclosure of the executive director's compensation package, which brought about outrage from the local community and Congress, the Raleigh Housing Authority board made what amounts to cosmetic changes to their compensation practices--which still flout Congress' intent, in my opinion.

Mr. Chairman, I commend Chairman Latham and the T-HUD subcommittee for including provision section 227 in the base text that continues a cap on how many Federal dollars public housing authorities can use to compensate a chief executive officer or any other official or employee of a public housing authority. So I commend for that. I want to thank the chairman for his work on this issue and hope we can examine additional measures that Congress can take to ensure that public housing authorities serve the public.

So thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

For activities and assistance for the provision of project- based subsidy contracts under the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.) (``the Act''), not otherwise provided for, $9,346,000,000, to remain available until expended, shall be available on October 1, 2014 (in addition to the $400,000,000 previously appropriated under this heading that became available October 1, 2014), and $400,000,000, to remain available until expended, shall be available on October 1, 2015: Provided, That the amounts made available under this heading shall be available for expiring or terminating section 8 project-based subsidy contracts (including section 8 moderate rehabilitation contracts), for amendments to section 8 project-based subsidy contracts (including section 8 moderate rehabilitation contracts), for contracts entered into pursuant to section 441 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11401), for renewal of section 8 contracts for units in projects that are subject to approved plans of action under the Emergency Low Income Housing Preservation Act of 1987 or the Low-Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act of 1990, and for administrative and other expenses associated with project-based activities and assistance funded under this paragraph: Provided further, That of the total amounts provided under this heading, not to exceed $210,000,000 shall be available for assistance agreements with performance-based contract administrators for section 8 project-based assistance, for carrying out 42 U.S.C. 1437(f): Provided further, That the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may also use such amounts in the previous proviso for performance-based contract administrators for the administration of: interest reduction payments pursuant to section 236(a) of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715z- 1(a)); rent supplement payments pursuant to section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 (12 U.S.C. 1701s); section 236(f)(2) rental assistance payments (12 U.S.C. 1715z-1(f)(2)); project rental assistance contracts for the elderly under section 202(c)(2) of the Housing Act of 1959 (12 U.S.C. 1701q); project rental assistance contracts for supportive housing for persons with disabilities under section 811(d)(2) of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 8013(d)(2)); project assistance contracts pursuant to section 202(h) of the Housing Act of 1959 (Public Law 86-372; 73 Stat. 667); and loans under section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 (Public Law 86-372; 73 Stat. 667): Provided further, That amounts recaptured under this heading, the heading ``Annual Contributions for Assisted Housing'', or the heading ``Housing Certificate Fund'', may be used for renewals of or amendments to section 8 project-based contracts or for performance-based contract administrators, notwithstanding the purposes for which such amounts were appropriated: Provided further, That, notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon the request of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, project funds that are held in residual receipts accounts for any project subject to a section 8 project-based Housing Assistance Payments contract that authorizes HUD or a Housing Finance Agency to require that surplus project funds be deposited in an interest-bearing residual receipts account and that are in excess of an amount to be determined by the Secretary, shall be remitted to the Department and deposited in this account, to be available until expended: Provided further, That amounts deposited pursuant to the previous proviso shall be available in addition to the amount otherwise provided by this heading for uses authorized under this heading.

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 106, line 23, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $7,000,000)''. Page 156, line 16, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $7,000,000)''.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, my amendment will remove the $7 million increase over current spending levels, this year, fiscal year 2014 funding levels, to the rental housing assistance account to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and transfer that amount to the spending reduction account.

I understand that times are tough nationwide. They are tough for families, they are tough for businesses, and everyone has had to cut back. Unfortunately, the fact remains that we as our Nation are in an incredible amount of debt. It is an unsustainable amount of debt.

Let me be clear, I am not asking that we cut funding for this program at all above this year's level. I am just asking that we simply hold the line--fund what we have been funding, not increase it, as proposed by this legislation.

I think it is irresponsible to continue expanding programs without being able to pay for them. We are in an economic emergency as a Nation. We are headed to an economic collapse of America if we don't stop spending money that we don't have. We have to restore fiscal sanity to Washington.

I am just asking that we hold the line on this program. Cut the $7 million increase that is proposed. I think that is reasonable. It is not a cut over current funding; it is holding the line.

I urge my colleagues to support my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I must oppose the gentleman's amendment.

The bill funds rental housing assistance at $28 million. This is the amount necessary to fund the 18,000 existing long-term project-based rental assistance contracts. This will ensure that these units remain available to low-income families. In fact, if the gentleman's amendment were adopted we would actually break contracts. We would not be able to fund contracts that we are legally obligated to do.

The bill's funding levels are not arbitrary. We have scrubbed these accounts. We have held hearings and made recommendations on what must be funded.

Again, I must oppose it. There are no new contracts. We are not expanding the program; we are basically paying for what we already have in this account. Again, to have this reduction, we would, in fact, break our contract.

With that, I oppose the amendment and urge a ``no'' vote.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment. This account renews long-term housing assistance contracts and the number varies from year to year. The amount needed to renew these contracts depends on how many agreements HUD entered into years ago, not the number we renewed last year.

Reducing the funds in this account will threaten the viability of these units if the funding is not preserved.

I oppose the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Broun).

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

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

For necessary expenses as authorized by the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5401 et seq.), up to $10,000,000, to remain available until expended, of which $10,000,000 is to be derived from the Manufactured Housing Fees Trust Fund: Provided, That not to exceed the total amount appropriated under this heading shall be available from the general fund of the Treasury to the extent necessary to incur obligations and make expenditures pending the receipt of collections to the Fund pursuant to section 620 of such Act: Provided further, That the amount made available under this heading from the general fund shall be reduced as such collections are received during fiscal year 2015 so as to result in a final fiscal year 2015 appropriation from the general fund estimated at zero, and fees pursuant to such section 620 shall be modified as necessary to ensure such a final fiscal year 2015 appropriation: Provided further, That for the dispute resolution and installation programs, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may assess and collect fees from any program participant: Provided further, That such collections shall be deposited into the Fund, and the Secretary, as provided herein, may use such collections, as well as fees collected under section 620, for necessary expenses of such Act: Provided further, That, notwithstanding the requirements of section 620 of such Act, the Secretary may carry out responsibilities of the Secretary under such Act through the use of approved service providers that are paid directly by the recipients of their services.

Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 111, line 3, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $1,000,000)''. Page 140, line 25, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $1,000,000)''.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentlewoman's amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.

The gentlewoman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, working with housing developments in my own district, there is an interest in making sure that the tenants are informed of their rights and responsibilities. This amendment provides for informing tenants of their rights and responsibilities.

The amendment would increase funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Policy Development and Research Office to support efforts to inform tenants of their rights and responsibilities.

In 2012, 23.8 percent of Houstonians were living in poverty. According to the Christian Community Service Center, 17.3 percent of Houston families live below poverty. In the city of Houston, 31.3 percent of children under the age of 18 live in poverty, and 33.6 percent of children under the age of 5 live in poverty.

The amendment will increase the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Policy Development and Research funding. This amendment will support work by HUD to inform tenants of their rights and responsibilities. Those who provide shelter to residents of publicly subsidized housing may own monthly family dwellings or a single home.

A relationship between the tenant and the property owner is very important to the long-term housing stability of those living in public or subsidized housing. Many residents of low-income communities may never have lived in a home of their own and may not have the knowledge or experience to know the basics regarding their obligation as tenants to abide by rental agreements or the obligation of property owners to maintain safe and pest-free housing.

It is my interest to continue to press forward for more information to the many housing developments that I have in my congressional district. I think it is important to give notice to the Department of Housing and Urban Development that a better job can be done.

With that, Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from Texas?

There was no objection.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read the following:

For contracts, grants, and other assistance, not otherwise provided for, as authorized by title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, and section 561 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987, as amended, $46,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2016: Provided, That notwithstanding 31 U.S.C. 3302, the Secretary may assess and collect fees to cover the costs of the Fair Housing Training Academy, and may use such funds to provide such training: Provided further, That no funds made available under this heading shall be used to lobby the executive or legislative branches of the Federal Government in connection with a specific contract, grant or loan: Provided further, That of the funds made available under this heading, $300,000 shall be available to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for the creation and promotion of translated materials and other programs that support the assistance of persons with limited English proficiency in utilizing the services provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Rep. Barbara Lee

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 112, line 8, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $10,000,000)''. Page 114, line 7, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $10,000,000)''. Page 114, line 8, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $10,000,000)''.

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

Rep. Barbara Lee

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Mr. Chairman, this amendment is cosponsored by my colleague, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Al Green) who has been such a tremendous leader on fair housing and equal opportunity issues and civil rights issues since way before he came to Congress, but he has kept his passion and his focus on issues of fairness and justice even now to this day. So I just want to thank him for cosponsoring this amendment.

Our amendment would increase funding for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program by 10 million, offset from Information Services. I want to thank the chairman, Mr. Latham, and Mr. Pastor for your assistance in helping us work through this and for your commitment to fair housing.

Fair housing initiatives are a central component of our Nation's civil rights protections under the Fair Housing Act. Unfortunately, we know that despite gains, discrimination remains.

This program funds competitive grants to provide nonprofit entities for critical education and enforcement services to prevent housing discrimination based on race, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, familial status, and other factors.

In my home district, for example, in California, the Bay Area Legal Aid and Fair Housing of Marin have utilized these funds to provide critical education programs, including workshops on fair housing for domestic violence victims and investigations of discriminatory housing practices.

In 2013, private fair housing organizations investigated more than twice as many housing complaints as government agencies. At the same time, however, many fair housing organizations have had to close or reduce their staffing capacity due to continuous cuts to this program.

This program has a history of bipartisan support. And I know that my colleagues across the aisle acknowledge its vital role in ensuring that our constituents are not the subject of unfair and discriminatory practices in an increasingly competitive and uncertain housing market.

While I am very pleased that we are able to provide this supplemental funding, I must also acknowledge that the funding levels across the bill are still far too low to truly provide the affordable housing resources that our Nation sorely needs.

I want to thank again Congressman Al Green from Texas, Chairman Latham, and our ranking member, Mr. Pastor, for your support for this amendment and, more importantly, for this important program.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Ms. Lee for her efforts and her work in trying to restore funding.

Mr. Chairman, this does not bring it back to the FY14 funding level, but it does help. I am so grateful that Ms. Lee took the lead to get this done. She worked with the ranking member and the chair of the committee. I want to compliment and thank both of them for working with Ms. Lee to get this done.

Let me mention this about this program. The Fair Housing Initiatives Program, affectionately known as FHIP, has been of great benefit to persons who are being discriminated against, especially veterans now. We have a good many veterans who are coming back. They don't return the way they left, and they are disabled. Many times when persons are discriminating against people, they don't know that the person is a veteran because the person happens to be in a wheelchair.

This initiative allows for housing entities--NGOs--that are qualified and certified to actually do testing to ascertain whether or not this kind of invidious discrimination exists. When they do find that there is discrimination, most of the cases, about 70 percent, are resolved by way of reconciliation. There is not a lawsuit filed. There is a means by which people become educated, and they abide by the law.

This opportunity for us to continue the program, notwithstanding the fact that it is not at the Senate level, it is not at the level that the President requested, but it is at an additional $10 million, and I am grateful to Ms. Lee for what she has done.

Ms. Lee, I compliment you, and I am grateful that you took the time to work with our colleagues to show some bipartisanship in getting this done.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for your bipartisanship on this effort. Mr. Ranking Member, I thank you as well.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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

The amendment was agreed to.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 112, line 17, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $150,000)''.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, this amendment seeks to raise by 50 percent the cap on funding for the Limited English Proficiency initiative under the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity section of this bill, an amount more in keeping with the historical levels on spending for this initiative.

This amendment passed by voice vote last year, and it is my hope that it will do so again this year. The Limited English Proficiency initiative within HUD is vital for ensuring that individuals who are not proficient in English are aware of their rights, are able to understand the terms of leases and other housing-related documents, and are able to receive important announcements that affect the health and safety of their households.

Additionally, this initiative educates HUD-assisted housing providers about their responsibilities under Federal law and HUD regulations to ensure that housing programs and activities are fully accessible to all, regardless of national origin or English proficiency.

Historically, the Limited English Proficiency initiative within HUD has been funded at $500,000. In the first year of its existence, 2008, it received $380,000. After that, from 2009 through 2011, it received $500,000. Then, with the change in leadership in this House, funding has slipped to $300,000 in recent years.

Last year, however, this House--both Democrats and Republicans--did the right thing. It voted to raise the cap for this initiative, an initiative that translates documents outlining how to become a first-time homeowner and how to avoid loan fraud and foreclosure, as well as fair housing information for disaster housing providers and survivors. I ask that we do so again here today.

I want to point out that we are not taking away from any other programs. We are simply slightly lifting the cap on this particular initiative.

We do have to realize that there are over 40 million Americans who do not speak English as their first language. This tiny program demonstrates to the American people that we have equal protection under the law, regardless of whether people are English-speaking, Spanish-speaking, or speak some other language.

Given the tiny amount of money that is involved here, this program has been extraordinarily effective. In the last year for which we have statistics, almost 30,000 people benefited for a program that cost the Federal Government only $300,000.

I ask the majority and my friends across the aisle to consider the value of this program to every community across America, and I urge them to accept this amendment, as they did last year.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Chaffetz). The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Grayson).

The amendment was agreed to.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

For the Lead Hazard Reduction Program, as authorized by section 1011 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, $70,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2016: Provided, That up to $10,000,000 of that amount shall be for the Healthy Homes Initiative, pursuant to sections 501 and 502 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1970 that shall include research, studies, testing, and demonstration efforts, including education and outreach concerning lead-based paint poisoning and other housing- related diseases and hazards: Provided further, That for purposes of environmental review, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and other provisions of the law that further the purposes of such Act, a grant under the Healthy Homes Initiative, or the Lead Technical Studies program under this heading or under prior appropriations Acts for such purposes under this heading, shall be considered to be funds for a special project for purposes of section 305(c) of the Multifamily Housing Property Disposition Reform Act of 1994.

Rep. Jim Himes

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 140, after line 9, insert the following new section: Sec. 234. (a) Establishment of Budget-neutral Demonstration Program for Multifamily Housing Energy and Water Conservation.--The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (referred to in this section as the ``Secretary'') shall establish a demonstration program under which, during the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, and ending on September 30, 2017, the Secretary may enter into budget-neutral, performance-based agreements that result in a reduction in energy or water costs with such entities as the Secretary determines to be appropriate under which the entities shall carry out projects for energy or water conservation improvements at not more than 20,000 residential units in multifamily buildings participating in-- (1) the project-based rental assistance program under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f), other than assistance provided under section 8(o) of that Act; (2) the supportive housing for the elderly program under section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 (12 U.S.C. 1701q); or (3) the supportive housing for persons with disabilities program under section 811(d)(2) of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 8013(d)(2)). (b) Requirements.-- (1) Payments contingent on savings.-- (A) In general.--The Secretary shall provide to an entity a payment under an agreement under this section only during applicable years for which an energy or water cost savings is achieved with respect to the applicable multifamily portfolio of properties, as determined by the Secretary, in accordance with subparagraph (B). (B) Payment methodology.-- (i) In general.--Each agreement under this section shall include a pay-for-success provision-- (I) that will serve as a payment threshold for the term of the agreement; and (II) pursuant to which the Department of Housing and Urban Development shall share a percentage of the savings at a level determined by the Secretary that is sufficient to cover the administrative costs of carrying out this section. (ii) Limitations.--A payment made by the Secretary under an agreement under this section shall-- (I) be contingent on documented utility savings; and (II) not exceed the utility savings achieved by the date of the payment, and not previously paid, as a result of the improvements made under the agreement. (C) Third-party verification.--Savings payments made by the Secretary under this section shall be based on a measurement and verification protocol that includes at least-- (i) establishment of a weather-normalized and occupancy- normalized utility consumption baseline established pre- retrofit; (ii) annual third-party confirmation of actual utility consumption and cost for owner-paid utilities; (iii) annual third-party validation of the tenant utility allowances in effect during the applicable year and vacancy rates for each unit type; and (iv) annual third-party determination of savings to the Secretary. (2) Term.--The term of an agreement under this section shall be not longer than 12 years. (3) Entity eligibility.--The Secretary shall-- (A) establish a competitive process for entering into agreements under this section; and (B) enter into such agreements only with entities that demonstrate significant experience relating to-- (i) financing and operating properties receiving assistance under a program described in subsection (a); (ii) oversight of energy and water conservation programs, including oversight of contractors; and (iii) raising capital for energy and water conservation improvements from charitable organizations or private investors. (4) Geographical diversity.--Each agreement entered into under this section shall provide for the inclusion of properties with the greatest feasible regional and State variance. (c) Plan and Reports.-- (1) Plan.--Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate a detailed plan for the implementation of this section. (2) Reports.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall-- (A) conduct an evaluation of the program under this section; and (B) submit to Congress a report describing each evaluation conducted under subparagraph (A). (d) Funding.--For each fiscal year during which an agreement under this section is in effect, the Secretary may use to carry out this section any funds appropriated to the Secretary for the renewal of contracts under a program described in subsection (a).

Mr. HIMES (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading.

The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Connecticut?

There was no objection.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.

The gentleman from Connecticut is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Jim Himes

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Mr. Chairman, I would like to begin by thanking my colleagues, Mr. Ross of Florida and Mr. Delaney of Maryland, for cosponsoring this amendment.

I would like to briefly outline the amendment by saying that this is an amendment that is a bipartisan proposal that has been included in the Senate T-HUD appropriations and the bipartisan Shaheen-Portman energy bill.

It was also included in the President's budget, and more than 24 separate groups support this amendment. It presents no risk to the Federal Government, is budget neutral, and actually has the potential to reduce utility costs for HUD up to $7 billion annually.

In brief, HUD-assisted properties are generally older stock, with inefficient energy and water usage. There are lot of barriers to improving that situation and, therefore, realizing those savings.

Under the pilot program proposed by this amendment, an intermediary will contract with HUD or with property owners to produce energy and water savings in exchange for a share of those ongoing savings.

Relying on this contract, the intermediary will raise the capital to pay for energy and water conservation for the affected property. This private capital would be used to pay energy efficiency experts, such as NAESCO, to perform energy and water efficiency upgrades in HUD-assisted housing, such as housing for seniors and people with disabilities.

Multifamily building owners would not take on any risk and would not need to spend any capital. The bill leverages the private sector to more effectively direct government resources and to ensure the best outcomes for the taxpayer.

Mr. Chairman, we may not agree on some things in the underlying bill, but smart, innovative approaches to financing energy savings improvements are simply common sense.

I hope the chairman and the ranking member will work with me and my fellow bipartisan cosponsors to ensure that this measure is ultimately enacted into law.

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

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and, therefore, violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

The rule states, in pertinent part:

``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law.''

The amendment imposes additional duties.

I ask for a ruling of the Chair.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

Hearing none, the Chair finds that this amendment includes language imparting direction. The amendment, therefore, constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule XXI.

The point of order is sustained and the amendment is not in order.

The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

For expenses necessary for the Access Board, as authorized by section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, $7,548,000: Provided, That, notwithstanding any other provision of law, there may be credited to this appropriation funds received for publications and training expenses.

National Railroad Passenger Corporation Office of Inspector General

For necessary expenses of the Office of Inspector General for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation to carry out the provisions of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, $24,499,000: Provided, That the Inspector General shall have all necessary authority, in carrying out the duties specified in the Inspector General Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App. 3), to investigate allegations of fraud, including false statements to the government (18 U.S.C. 1001), by any person or entity that is subject to regulation by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation: Provided further, That the Inspector General may enter into contracts and other arrangements for audits, studies, analyses, and other services with public agencies and with private persons, subject to the applicable laws and regulations that govern the obtaining of such services within the National Railroad Passenger Corporation: Provided further, That the Inspector General may select, appoint, and employ such officers and employees as may be necessary for carrying out the functions, powers, and duties of the Office of Inspector General, subject to the applicable laws and regulations that govern such selections, appointments, and employment within Amtrak: Provided further, That concurrent with the President's budget request for fiscal year 2016, the Inspector General shall submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a budget request for fiscal year 2016 in similar format and substance to those submitted by executive agencies of the Federal Government.

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 141, line 23, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced by $1,000,000)''. Page 156, line 16, after the dollar amount insert ``(increased by $1,000,000)''.

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

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, this amendment would reduce Amtrak's Office of the Inspector General by $1 million and increase the spending reduction account by that same amount.

This reduction would eliminate a proposed increase to that account, keeping the funding level just like it is today for the coming year.

I spoke about Amtrak's failings at length during the consideration of the first title of this bill.

Amtrak consistently runs at a massive operating deficit. The long-distance routes are continually in the red, and the food and beverage service only nets a 65 percent return on what it spends despite paying its staff six-figure salaries, which is way above what the average American can expect to make in salary.

My colleagues who support Amtrak--and maybe even some who don't--will likely say that, if any part of this embattled entity deserves more funding, it is the inspector general. And, yes, the Office of the Inspector General has rooted out some fraud, and it has discovered some significant overpayments, but, Mr. Chairman, I would submit that health benefits fraud and overpayments are things that are just the tip of a very large and very obvious iceberg.

It is not some great mystery why Amtrak is hemorrhaging money. The long-distance routes lose incredible amounts of money, and taxpayers are being bilked for this tremendous amount of loss. It is breathtaking, really, that we continue to turn a blind eye to more than a half a billion dollars lost year after year just to sustain these routes which carry fewer than 5 million passengers annually. That number may sound large, but meanwhile, in 2012, there were more than 815 million ticketed airline passengers in the United States.

How about the food and beverage service on Amtrak trains?

Over the last 5 years, this service has resulted in nearly $400 million in losses. Yes, the Office of the Inspector General does decent work, and I commend the Office for exposing and admitting Amtrak's history of cooking its books to make the losses sustained by these long-distance routes and the food and beverage service look slightly less awful than they actually are; but in this time of fiscal emergency, I think it would be prudent to tell the Amtrak OIG to work on the obvious issues first. Take care of the big problems before hiring new staff to look for new issues that are dwarfed by what we already know.

I urge the support of my amendment, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I am in opposition to the gentleman's amendment.

As you know, one of the very important functions of this committee is oversight--ensuring agencies under our purview are effectively and efficiently managed.

The bill provides the Amtrak OIG with $25 million for oversight studies and investigations into fraud, waste, and abuse at Amtrak. It is through these investigations that the Amtrak OIG has helped improve the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of Amtrak's programs and operations.

For example, Amtrak OIG developed a program that has identified improper or overpayments to the tune of $91.3 million. Amtrak has collected some of this back, which has saved taxpayer money. The impact of sequestration and unanticipated rail employee benefit cost increases wreaked havoc on Amtrak OIG and forced them to curtail or to suspend work on important initiatives and investigations. Amtrak needs more oversight, not less.

I appreciate the gentleman for pointing out all of the problems at Amtrak, but the only people there to fix it are in the OIG office, so I think to reduce funding for that would not be in the best interest. The bill's funding levels are not arbitrary. We have scrubbed these accounts. We have held hearings and have made recommendations on what should be funded and where increases or reductions need to be.

For those reasons, Mr. Chairman, I urge a ``no'' vote on the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Broun).

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

Rep. Paul Broun

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

For necessary expenses of the National Transportation Safety Board, including hire of passenger motor vehicles and aircraft; services as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the per diem rate equivalent to the rate for a GS-15; uniforms, or allowances therefor, as authorized by law (5 U.S.C. 5901-5902), $103,000,000, of which not to exceed $2,000 may be used for official reception and representation expenses. The amounts made available to the National Transportation Safety Board in this Act include amounts necessary to make lease payments on an obligation incurred in fiscal year 2001 for a capital lease.

Rep. Maxine Waters

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following new section: Sec. 4__. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to require the relocation, or to carry out any required relocation, of any asset management positions of the Office of Multifamily Housing of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in existence as of the date of the enactment of this Act.

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

Rep. Maxine Waters

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Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment that will continue to ensure that the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Multifamily staff remains locally based, connected to communities and on the ground to serve as the eyes and ears of lawmakers.

Specifically, this amendment would prohibit HUD from using any of the funds appropriated by this bill for the Multifamily Housing transformation initiative, which is designed to relocate asset management staff and to restructure HUD's Multifamily field offices nationwide.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment would effectively stop HUD from closing any of the offices where asset management staff are currently located.

When HUD announced its plans for a major restructuring of Multifamily field offices nationwide, I was deeply concerned. Under the plan, HUD will go from 50 Multifamily offices down to 12, with only five of them being designated as ``regional centers.'' The shortcomings of this plan are not more obvious than in my home district, where a decision was made to relocate the Los Angeles field office--one of the busiest hubs in the country. If undeterred, this plan would close the Los Angeles office, uproot its entire staff, and relocate its operations to another regional center, which would now be responsible for more than double its current workload and would be facing the daunting task of serving 73 million people in 14 States across 1.8 million square miles.

HUD promises that this plan will achieve significant savings without impacting program delivery. However, after careful review, I remain skeptical that HUD will be able to deliver on this promise. I join advocates, industry stakeholders and affected employees in expressing my continued, serious concern over the implications of this reorganization, and my concerns are numerous.

First, HUD's plan does not seem to acknowledge the critical importance and value of having staff who are living and working in the communities they are serving. There are significant differences among local housing markets, and an awareness of each region's unique characteristics is essential to the work of the Multifamily Housing office.

Second, reorganization would adversely affect the delivery of services by reducing the staff's ability to effectively respond to unique local concerns and to remain connected to community leaders. Staff would have less interaction with owners and managers, and responsive walk-in assistance would be eliminated for thousands of people who rely on Multifamily offices.

California was one of the hardest hit States by the financial collapse, and too many families suffered from the subsequent wave of foreclosures. With our housing market still struggling to recover, we cannot afford to undercut what little progress we have made with a radical overhaul of HUD's infrastructure.

I, for one, am still struggling to understand how this plan will save money while also preserving the quality of services delivered, and I have yet to receive satisfactory answers from HUD regarding my concerns. That is why I have been--and I remain--a vocal opponent of HUD's Multifamily transformation in its entirety. Today, I am urging HUD to more carefully consider the details and full implications of its plan.

Although this amendment only addresses some of my concerns and would not stop the transformation altogether, it would codify the agreement between HUD and appropriators to keep asset management staff on site and to leave all existing Multifamily offices open. Moreover, it reflects language that just passed the Senate last week. For these reasons, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote ``aye'' on this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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

The amendment was agreed to.

Rep. Michael C. Burgess

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill before the short title, insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used by the Secretary of Transportation to authorize a person-- (1) to operate an unmanned aircraft system in the national airspace system for the purpose, in whole or in part, of using the unmanned aircraft system as a weapon or to deliver a weapon against a person or property; or (2) to manufacture, sell, or distribute an unmanned aircraft system, or a component thereof, for use in the national airspace system as a weapon or to deliver a weapon against a person or property.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.

The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Michael C. Burgess

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Mr. Chairman, this amendment is similar to one that I brought to the floor of the House 2 years ago. During that 2 years, there has been a lot of discussion about the use of unmanned aircraft, commonly referred to as drones, in the U.S. national airspace.

The constitutional protections that are important to so many of us can be infringed upon without constant vigilance to prevent abuse of such drones. Until recently, it was believed that the use of drones in the United States airspace was limited to surveillance. That is no longer the case.

To date, at least 17 police departments and sheriffs' offices across the country have filed certificates of authorization with the FAA to be able to use a drone. Police chiefs and sheriffs in districts around the country have applied to the FAA for a certificate of authorization to use a drone in the national airspace.

Some departments might be using the drones for surveillance. However, others have announced their intention to take the drones they are currently using and attach a weapons platform to patrol their jurisdictions.

Further, over the past few years, the Obama administration's policy regarding drones has been cryptic. For instance, it is still not clear whether the President believes that he has the authority to kill an American citizen on American soil. This amendment would put an end to that ambiguity.

This amendment does not affect the use of armed drones in a war zone. Armed drones have been used with precision and success to seek out the enemy hiding in places where ground troops would have difficulty going.

But placing an unmanned drone over the skies of the United States is not only ill-advised, it flies in the face of the sincerely-held constitutional protections that we all hold dear.

This amendment would prevent the Secretary of Transportation and the head of the FAA from approving any application to use an unmanned aircraft in the national airspace for the purpose of arming or weaponizing that aircraft.

It does not affect surveillance. It does not affect weaponized drones being used outside the United States airspace in a war zone.

In my opinion, this is a road that we should not travel. It is a classic example of the oft-used quote by Benjamin Franklin: ``Those who would give up liberty to purchase safety may deserve neither liberty nor safety.''

It is an important provision, and I encourage the chairman of the subcommittee to consider it to allow it to come to a vote.

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

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and, therefore, violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

The rule states in pertinent part:

``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law.''

The amendment requires a new determination.

I ask for a ruling of the Chair.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

Rep. Michael C. Burgess

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Mr. Chairman, I wish to be heard on the point of order.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized.

Rep. Michael C. Burgess

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With all affection and reverence for the chairman of the subcommittee, this issue has remained unresolved for the last 2 years. It was unresolved in the FAA reauthorization that passed the House 2 years ago. It has been unresolved in rulemaking by the agency.

This is an opportunity, through the limitation amendment in the appropriations bill, to prevent the type of activity that I described in the offering memorandum. I think it is appropriate. I think the time is now for us to take this action for the protection of our citizens.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

As the Chair ruled on June 27, 2012, the amendment violates clause 2 of rule XXI. The point of order is sustained. The amendment is not in order.

Rep. Steven Horsford

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Nevada is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Steven Horsford

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Mr. Chairman, this bill appropriates $40 million less to the Community Development Block Grant program in fiscal year 2015 than it did last year.

I would have offered an amendment to maintain CDBG funding at last year's levels, but we know there is insufficient funding throughout this bill due to the budget caps.

The CDBG program provides direct grants to 1,209 State and local governments. Since the start of the program in 1974, CDBG has invested over $135 billion in local economies, creating jobs, supporting local businesses, improving infrastructure, providing housing--including housing repairs and home ownership assistance--and services to low-income veterans, seniors, children, special-needs populations and working families.

The CDBG program grows local economies and improves the quality of lives for low and moderate-income citizens.

Over the past 10 years, CDBG-related funding is estimated to have sustained 400,000 jobs in local economies across the country. In 2012 alone, nearly 21,800 permanent jobs were created or retained using CDBG funds, and more than 32.5 million people benefited from CDBG-funded public facilities.

The total amount appropriated to CDBG has declined almost every year since 2000. When measured in inflation-adjusted constant dollars, total program funding declined by 46.4 percent since fiscal year 2000.

The CDBG program is essential for the functioning of more than 1,200 cities and counties of all shapes and sizes across the country, and there continues to be an increased need for investment in job creation, essential services for vulnerable populations, and economic and infrastructure development.

It is unfortunate that, due to an insufficient allocation of funds for projects throughout this bill, we must make cuts to vital programs like CDBG. We need to stop these cuts to our communities.

Mr. Chairman, I would also like to speak in favor of the amendment that was proposed by the ranking member, Ms. Waters, in support of the Multifamily Housing Office, which contributes to the development and preservation of healthy neighborhoods and communities. A core part of its mission is to maintain and expand home ownership, rental housing, and health care opportunities.

In an effort to achieve cost savings, HUD plans to consolidate 50 multifamily field offices organized into 17 hubs into just 12 locations organized into five regions. This would result in a severe loss of HUD's local presence in communities throughout the United States.

This means that for constituents living in Las Vegas, the closest hub location would be over 500 miles away, and that hub would simultaneously be responsible for 73 million people in 14 States. Hundreds of HUD employees would be forced to relocate, accept a buyout, or take early retirement. This drastic consolidation of HUD locations would compromise the quality of services that HUD's multifamily office provides.

It is, therefore, this reason that would create a problem at a project site in my district. There would be no local HUD employees to monitor and address the situation directly, or in a timely manner. Only if the situation rises to the level of an emergency would a HUD employee be able to send someone to investigate the issue, which would entail costly travel expenses on the taxpayers' dime.

It is also difficult to believe that, under these circumstances, HUD would somehow still be able to deliver the same quality of services that it currently delivers today.

HUD's plan to completely overhaul the multifamily office is both ill-conceived and poorly timed, and that is why I support the ranking member's amendment. I am pleased that this body has adopted it, to ensure HUD's multifamily staff remains locally-based and connected to communities who are on the ground.

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

Rep. Vicky Hartzler

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill, before the short title, insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to enforce section 319 of title 23, United States Code.

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

Rep. Vicky Hartzler

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Mr. Chairman, this is a simple, straightforward amendment to ensure highway dollars are spent wisely and are used for highways. Specifically, it prohibits our limited highway money from being used for highway beautification.

We have over 65,000 bridges that are considered structurally deficient. We must ensure that our Federal highway dollars are spent improving our infrastructure.

From 1992 to 2001, over $1.2 billion was spent on landscaping and scenic beautification, and these funds could have been put towards ensuring our roadways and bridges are safe.

It does not make sense for the hardworking families in Missouri and all across this country to send in their money on April 15, every year, and to, perhaps, forego buying their child a new coat or shoes or making a house payment so that they can pay their taxes, just so that their tax dollars can go to planting flowers alongside the road.

Now, I am for a beautiful highways, like everybody else, but I think a private solution is better. Why don't we, like we have adopt the highway sections for picking up trash and making our roads pretty, why don't we have adopt a corner for landscaping projects?

Why don't we have local garden clubs adopt an intersection, or a Girl Scout troop or a Boy Scout troop?

Why don't we leave that up to local community leaders and individuals to plant those flowers?

I don't believe we should be using our hard-earned tax dollars to be doing this highway beautification, especially in a time when our roads are falling apart and our bridges are deficient.

There are potholes in roads that are endangering our families, endangering our children, and yet we are spending these hard-earned tax dollars to plant flowers and bushes along the road. We can't afford luxuries like this anymore.

It is time to spend our highway dollars on our highways, make sure our roads are safe, make sure our bridges are safe, make sure that those hard-earned tax dollars are used wisely.

So that is why I am offering this simple amendment, and I would urge my colleagues to support my effort to make sure our highway dollars are spent where they need to be spent and to make sure our money is spent wisely. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

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

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reluctantly rise in opposition to the amendment. I very much understand where the gentlewoman is coming from with the tremendous needs that we have today in infrastructure, to have some of this money being diverted to other uses. I understand entirely.

This really is an authorizing issue if there ever was one. We appropriate money in this bill. We don't authorize or set up the programs themselves. That should be addressed in a reauthorization of the MAP-21 bill.

The funds here, oftentimes, go to erosion control. They preserve wetlands and meet some environmental regulations that the States have to comply with or the entities, government entities have to comply with.

But the real big problem here is the fact that States may have contracts already out there that they are obligated to pay and, basically, what we are saying is we are not going to reimburse you, so the Federal Government, even though the States have the contracts in place, we are not going to do our part and help pay the bill, and that really is where the problem is.

We have an obligation, but we don't have the money. Again, that is why this goes back to an authorizing issue that needs to be looked at. I totally agree with the gentlewoman, and I reluctantly oppose the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I am in agreement with Chairman Latham that this is an authorizing issue, and it would cause great damage, especially to those contracts that are already in place, and for that reason, I am in opposition to the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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

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

Rep. Vicky Hartzler

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

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I have an amendment at the desk, Mr. Chairman.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used in contravention of the 5th or 14th Amendment to the Constitution or title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from the District of Columbia is recognized for 5 minutes.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

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Mr. Chairman, in July, we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

My amendment enforces section 2000(d) of the act. It would require that no funds would be available or used to stop, investigate, detain, or arrest people on highways based on their physical appearance in violation of the Fifth and 14th Amendments and title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Supreme Court, in Whren v. U.S., has found that profiling based on physical appearance on highways violates equal protection of the laws. Title VI of the 1964 act enforces the 14th Amendment and applies to funding for all Federal agencies and departments. My amendment carries out this mandate in transportation funding as well.

Federal guidance regarding the use of race by Federal law enforcement agencies finds that racial profiling is not merely wrong, but is also ineffective. Not only Blacks and Hispanics are affected, but many others in our country as well, given the increasing diversity of American society.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that Whites are stopped at a rate of 3.6 percent, but Blacks at 9.5 percent and Hispanics at 8.8 percent, more than twice the rate of Whites.

The figures are roughly the same, regardless of region or State. In Minnesota, for example, a statewide study of racial profiling found that African Americans, Hispanics, and Native American drivers were stopped and searched far more often than Whites, but contraband was found more frequently in cars where White drivers had been stopped.

In Texas, where disproportionate stops and searches of African Americans and Hispanics were found to have taken place, it was also found that Whites more often were carrying contraband.

Mr. Chairman, in 2005, I sponsored a transportation amendment that allowed a Federal grant to States who wanted to stop racial profiling. Nearly half of the States participated in this program.

Unfortunately, it was not renewed in 2009. My amendment seeks to prevent citizens from being stopped, investigated, arrested, or detained based on their physical appearance.

Considering our country's history and increasing diversity, we are late in barring profiling at the national level. At the very least, Federal taxpayers should not be compelled to subsidize the unconstitutional practice of profiling by law enforcement officials in the States.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Will the gentlewoman yield?

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

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I yield to the gentleman from Iowa.

Rep. Tom Latham

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We agree to the gentlewoman's amendment.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

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I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton).

The amendment was agreed to.

Rep. Steve Daines

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to develop, issue, or implement regulations that increase levels of minimum financial responsibility for transporting passengers or property as in effect on January 1, 2014, under regulations issued pursuant to sections 31138 and 31139 of title 49, United States Code.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Montana is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Steve Daines

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Mr. Chairman, this April, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that it would be moving forward with a rulemaking that would increase the amount of required liability coverage for truck and bus companies.

This comes despite findings by the Department of Transportation that less than 0.2 percent of truck-involved accidents have property and injury damages that exceed the current minimum liability coverage requirements, which is $750,000.

Current proposals regarding the insurance increase call for minimum levels to go up by more than 500 percent, and this would lead to a significant reduction in insurance availability for motor carriers, especially small businesses. The bottom line is this: the trial lawyers win, the small businesses lose.

It is estimated that premiums could increase by more than four times the current levels, up to $20,000 per truck and even more per bus. Further, more than 40 percent of currently operating motor carriers could go out of business due to these new requirements.

There is no evidence supporting higher insurance requirements or that coverage levels result in the improved safety performance of a motor carrier. DOT's own report argued that increasing minimum insurance levels is not the best way to meet the needs of catastrophic accident victims.

My amendment would prohibit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from moving forward with a rulemaking action that would increase the minimum financial liability insurance requirements for truck and bus companies during the 2015 fiscal year.

Please join me in support of this effort to keep safe small business truck and bus companies on the road.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Matt Cartwright

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Mr. Chair, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Matt Cartwright

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment.

I appreciate all of the courtesies from my good friend from Montana. I understand the motivations behind this amendment, but I must speak against it because this amendment itself is a threat to the safety of Americans on the roadway.

It is counter to the goal that we all share, of protecting and preserving Social Security and Medicare, two vital safety net programs in this country; and, above all, it destroys accountability in the safety rules in the trucking industry.

Mr. Chairman, in 1980, Congress mandated that commercial motor carriers carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage. This number has not been adjusted in more than 33 years. In present dollars, simply adjusting for inflation using a health care cost CPI, consumer price index, would require changing the $750,000 to $4.4 million.

In fact, I have introduced, myself, H.R. 2730, the SAFE HAUL Act to do just that, simply to adjust for inflation over the 34 years that that $750,000 limit was in place.

This past weekend, Mr. Chairman, Mr. James McNair, a talented comedian, died in New Jersey because of a tractor-trailer collision. Apparently, the tractor-trailer driver was awake for 24 hours, in violation of a myriad of hours of service requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations. Tracy Morgan, his associate, remains in critical condition.

To suggest that $750,000, with today's health care costs, is adequate to cover this kind of tragedy is ridiculous.

In fact, the truth is that, since 1980, more than 100,000 people have died in tractor-trailer-related collisions. We are not talking about cases where there was a genuine dispute about who was at fault for the accident.

We are talking about cases where it was clear that the tractor-trailer was at fault for the accident and people died, more than 100,000 over the past 34 years.

Mr. Chairman, in contradistinction to the comments of my good friend from Montana, a recent study conducted by the Trucking Alliance found that 42 percent of the value of settlements paid by trucking companies between 2005 and 2011 exceeded the minimum insurance requirement of

When you don't adjust for inflation, you are not doing the simple math that is required, and to suggest that adjustment for inflation is wrong somehow seems quite silly.

So, Mr. Chairman, what we need to realize is that, when a truck is underinsured, when a truck doesn't have enough insurance to cover the harm that it causes, who pays the difference? What happens when a truck doesn't have enough insurance to cover the harm that it causes in medical bills, in lost wages?

Well, what happens is the U.S. taxpayer picks up the difference, the U.S. taxpayer, paying into the Social Security system, paying into the Medicare system, the U.S. taxpayer picks up the difference; and what ends up happening is we get a form of corporate welfare, where trucking companies at fault for accidents that kill, maim, and disable people, all of a sudden, don't have to pick up the difference. It is the American taxpayer that picks up the difference.

In a day and age when we should be doing everything and anything that we can to shore up Social Security and Medicare, this is not a policy decision that we want to be engaging in, protecting trucking companies at fault for death-dealing accidents from accountability for their actions.

So, Mr. Chairman, I do oppose this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chair, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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I yield to the gentleman from Montana.

Rep. Steve Daines

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Mr. Chair, just a reminder that the DOT's own study says that less than 0.2 percent of truck-involved accidents have property and injury damages that exceed the current requirements.

The bottom line is this: let the small business owner decide what they want to insure above the already required $750,000. This is one more regulation that is going to benefit the trial lawyers at the expense of small businesses.

Remember, again, what the DOT said. Raising the minimum insurance levels is not the best way to meet the needs of catastrophic accident victims.

Rep. Tom Latham

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I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Ed Pastor

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I rise in opposition to the amendment.

MAP-21 required the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to review whether the minimum insurance requirements for trucks and buses were sufficient.

This would freeze insurance claims at the current level. DOT is conducting a rulemaking to further evaluate the appropriate level of the financial responsibility. We ought to let the process go forward.

I oppose the amendment and yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montana (Mr. Daines).

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

Rep. Matt Cartwright

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to approve a new foreign air carrier permit under sections 41301 through 41305 of title 49, United States Code, or exemption application under section 40109 of that title of an air carrier already holding an air operators certificate issued by a country that is party to the U.S.-E.U.-Iceland- Norway Air Transport Agreement where such approval would contravene United States law or Article 17 bis of the U.S.- E.U.-Iceland-Norway Air Transport Agreement.

Mr. DeFAZIO (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that we dispense with the reading of the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Oregon?

Rep. Tom Latham

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I object.

The Acting CHAIR. Objection is heard.

The Clerk will read.

The Clerk continued to read.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

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Mr. Chairman, these limitation amendments often don't go to matters of national security.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Will the gentleman yield?

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

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I yield to the gentleman from Iowa.

Rep. Tom Latham

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The reason I objected is we weren't sure as to what the amendment was, and we would accept the amendment.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

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We won't take much time if the gentleman just would allow me 1 or 2 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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If the gentleman doesn't take much time, we will accept the amendment.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

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I agree. And Mr. Westmoreland will also be brief. This is extraordinarily important, and I thank the Chair for his indulgence and his support.

We, in the Open Skies Agreement with the EU, anticipated that some countries might try and go forum shopping, that is--like the cruise line industry--look for a nation that has lesser laws regulating labor, safety, and then also allow outsourcing. This would be a model for Norwegian--for this airline, which does not fly to the United States, to incorporate in Ireland. They would then hire crews from Malaysia to fly planes based in Singapore and hope to serve the United States with these crews.

This is the cruise line model. It is a recipe for disaster. You shop around the world to find the least regulated, least trained, and cheapest labor you can--as has happened with the cruise line industry--and in this case, in aviation, it will both threaten consumers and national security given the Civil Reserve Air Fleet requirements of aviation.

With that, I yield to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Westmoreland).

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland

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I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chair, a subsidiary of the Norway-based Norwegian Air Shuttle, NAS, Norwegian Air International, is seeking to operate as an Irish airline and plans to conduct overseas flights from Europe to the U.S. NAI has been granted an Irish Air Operator's Certificate, but still has an application for a foreign air carrier permit pending with the U.S.

It appears that the NAI plans for its pilots to work under individual employment contracts that are governed by Singapore law that contains wages and working conditions substantially inferior to those of NAS's Norway-based pilots. These contracts will be with a Singapore employment company that will rent the pilots to NAI. Although it seeks to become an Irish airline, it appears that NAI will not be operating air transportation services from Ireland. This raises a question about how regulatory oversight of NAI's operations will be conducted.

The United States has the highest, most competitive airline industry in the world, the safest regulations, and so, I hope that we will adopt this DeFazio-Westmoreland amendment.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

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

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, I am going to accept the amendment, but I just want to make it clear that this really states the obvious, that basically we are saying that you can't approve something that contravenes U.S. law or article 17 of the Air Transport Agreement. If so, it is obviously stating what is already law and really is nothing new.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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I yield to the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio).

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

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Mr. Chair, I thank the gentleman for yielding. It is not so obvious with this administration. They are desperate for the TPP, they are desperate for the trans-America free trade agreement, and we are very worried that they would think that disapproving this application from Ireland representing Norway, who intends to operate a rent-an-airline, rent-a-crew from Singapore, would somehow derail their talks. So I don't think it is obvious. This is sending a message to the White House that we are not going to let this happen.

With that, I thank the gentleman.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio).

The amendment was agreed to.

Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act under the heading ``Federal Transit Administration--Transit Formula Grants'' may be used in contravention of section 5309 of title 49, United States Code.

Ms. JACKSON LEE (during the reading). I ask unanimous consent that the reading be dispensed with.

The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from Texas?

There was no objection.

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

Mr. Chair, let me, first of all, thank Mr. Latham and Mr. Pastor for their leadership on this important legislation and overall indicate that my amendment is important, but it restates a current law. In particular, what I think is important is that it emphasizes the nature of projects that create economic development, particularly in the transportation area.

It cites 5309, title 49, the Secretary may make grants under this section to State and local government authorities to assist in financing, goes on to say new fixed guideway capital projects, small start projects, including acquisition of real property. It goes on to talk about car capacity improvements, including double tracking, and it specifically goes into the line of work that deals with projects on approved transportation plans.

That is key. The language here says section grants to State and local governments, which means that when local governments propose their projects, the Secretary has the authority to go forward on them.

Let me, for a moment, give some quotes from organizations that have supported light rail and the economic development of transportation.

One statement says that we simply cannot afford to have limitations on Federal funding or turn away money that can be utilized to make our region a better place to live, work, and build businesses. It is well documented that economic development of transportation projects guides the Nation. Whether or not it is on the seaways, whether or not it is dams, whether it is highways, whether or not it is tollways, whether or not it involves other modes of transportation, they are economic engines. And it is important for the local community to be the drivers of that.

One statement says that the region will not be able to maintain its economic vitality without the ability to create and preserve infrastructure that supports the movement of people and goods throughout our country.

So this amendment clearly speaks to the global aspect of the Secretary of Transportation having the ability to work with our local and State governments. I would ask my colleagues to emphasize in the support of this amendment, to recognize that we are emphasizing the crucialness of the high transportation dollars to economic development.

I would hope that this appropriations bill, which is focused on Housing and Urban Development in many ways, and focused on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development as it serves sometimes the poorest people, transportation as it provides those same people the opportunity to seek employment or reach places of employment--they should not be constrained. Federal funding that is designated and provided should not be constrained.

I would lastly make this point: that when you go through the environmental process through NEPA and that process is completed, and it has all the t's crossed and the i's dotted and the hearings are in, it is important that this authority that I just mentioned is allowed to proceed. Again, I emphasize the Secretary may make grants under this section to State and local government authorities to assist in the financing of any number of transportation projects.

I ask my colleagues to support this amendment, and with that, I will yield back with the point that, again, this meets the test of recognizing that important cities across America have the ability to receive this funding, including the fourth-largest city in the Nation.

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

Thank you for this opportunity to briefly explain my amendment.

Let me offer my appreciation and thanks to Ranking Member Pastor and to Chairman Latham for their work on this legislation and long commitment and advocacy for sound domestic policy regarding our nations transportation systems and provide for affordable safe housing to our nation's citizens.

Houston is the fourth most populous city in the country; but unlike other large cities, we have struggled to have an effective mass transit system.

Over many decades Houston's mass transit policy was to build more highways with more lanes to carry more drivers to and from work.

The city of Houston has changed course and is now pursuing Mass transit options that include light rail.

This decision to invest in light rail is strongly supported by the increased use by Houstonians in the light rail service provided by previous transportation appropriations bills.

The April 2014, Houston metropolitan transit Authority report on weekly ridership states that 44,267 used Houston's light rail Service representing a 6,096 or 16% change in ridership in April of last year.

This increase in light rail usage outpaced ridership of other forms of mass transit in the city of Houston: metro bus had a 2.3% increase over April 2013; metro bus-local had a 1.3% increase over April 2013; and Metro bus-Park and ride had a 8.0% increase over April 2013.

On February 5, 2013, the Houston Chronicle reported on the congestion Houston drivers face under daily commute to and from work.

The article stated that Houston commuters continue to enjoy some of the worst traffic delays in the country, according to the 2012 urban mobility report, Houston area drivers wasted more than two days a year, on average, in traffic congestion, costing them each $1,090 in lost time and fuel.

Funds made available under this deal should be available for the construction of the University rail line and support of local government decisions by the Houston Metropolitan transit Authority and the city of Houston to expand rail service.

As elected officials and members of Congress we should allow local governments to decide how they will spend transportation dollars made available under this appropriations bill.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).

The amendment was agreed to.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 156, after line 10, insert the following: Sec. ___. Unobligated funds made available to a State in fiscal year 2010 for the Interstate Maintenance Discretionary program under section 118(c) of title 23, United States Code, as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (Public Law 112-141), may be made available, at that State's request, to the State for any project eligible under section 133(b) of such title.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.

The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal

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Mr. Chairman, after speaking with the majority committee staff, and in deference to the wishes of the Chair, I want to be clear that I will be withdrawing this amendment at the conclusion of my control of time.

In fiscal year 2010, a number of transportation projects, including critical seismic safety projects, received appropriations from Congress but were unable to receive the funding due to an incorrect account designation in the appropriations act. According to the Department of Transportation, the funds remain unobligated but inaccessible due to the congressional error in the account designation.

Mr. Chair, crucial transportation projects needed to ensure public safety that were intended to be funded by Congress have been left without funding due to technical errors.

My amendment would ensure that those unobligated funds currently stuck in limbo would be made available for the surface transportation program projects. This shouldn't be controversial. There is already language in the underlying bill before us that does something very similar. It transfers unobligated funds appropriated in previous years from one transportation program to another.

I hope that, moving forward, the gentleman from Iowa will work with us to correct these accounting errors that have left crucial transportation projects without funding.

Mr. Chair, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California?

There was no objection.

Rep. Ron DeSantis

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available under title II of this Act may be used to repay any loan made, guaranteed, or insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Ron DeSantis

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Mr. Speaker, my amendment prohibits the Department of Housing and Urban Development grants from being used to repay loans from the same agency.

Under current practice, taxpayers can find themselves on the hook not only for loans to private developers, but also for repayments on those loans.

Now, even if one agrees with the questionable practice of government money being used to finance the building of hotels, parks, arenas, and restaurants, it is absurd that the government grants are also being used to repay such loans when the projects fail. This practice encourages cronyism and economic distortion while throwing away taxpayer money on projects that couldn't survive on their own with private funding.

Now, my amendment simply bars the use of grant money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development from being used to pay back loans from the same agency. This commonsense amendment will ensure that taxpayer money isn't used to bail out developers or local governments when they make poor investment decisions--especially when these bad investments were made using taxpayer-funded loans to begin with. And I would note that an identical amendment to the one I am offering now was offered in the U.S. Senate by Senator Tom Coburn in October 2011, and it passed that body 73-26.

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

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. DeSantis).

The amendment was agreed to.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec._. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to enter into a contract with any offeror or any of its principals if the offeror certifies, as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation, that the offeror or any of its principals-- (1) within a three-year period preceding this offer has been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against it for: commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public (Federal, State, or local) contract or subcontract; violation of Federal or State antitrust statutes relating to the submission of offers; or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, tax evasion, violating Federal criminal tax laws, or receiving stolen property; or (2) are presently indicted for, or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity with, commission of any of the offenses enumerated in paragraph (1); or (3) within a three-year period preceding this offer, has been notified of any delinquent Federal taxes in an amount that exceeds $3,000 for which the liability remains unsatisfied.

Mr. GRAYSON (during the reading). I ask unanimous consent that the reading be dispensed with.

The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Florida?

There was no objection.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chair, this amendment is identical to other amendments that have been inserted by voice vote into every appropriations bill that has been considered under an open rule in this Congress.

My amendment would expand the list of parties with whom the Federal Government is prohibited from contracting because of serious misconduct on the part of those contractors. It is my hope that this amendment will remain noncontroversial as it has always been, and again passed unanimously by the House.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Grayson).

The amendment was agreed to.

Rep. Paul Gosar

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to retain any legal counsel who is not an employee of such Department or the Department of Justice.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Arizona is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Paul Gosar

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Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer a simple amendment that will save taxpayers money and prevent HUD from hiring outside counsel. This wasteful practice has been utilized by the agency in the past to conceal questionable operations, stifle inspector general investigations, and limit overall transparency.

Mr. Chairman, a recent report commissioned by Inspector General David Montoya revealed that the Philadelphia Housing Authority paid more than $30 million for outside legal services from April 2007 through August 2010. That is nearly $10 million a year in outside legal fees for one public housing authority in this country.

The inspector general report stated:

Alarmingly, the Public Housing Authority could not adequately support $4.5 million that it paid to outside attorneys during that period, virtually the entire limited amount we reviewed, raising questions about the propriety of the remaining $26 million in payments that we did not review. In addition, the Public Housing Authority made unreasonable and unnecessary payments of $1.1 million to outside attorneys to obstruct the progress of HUD Office of Inspector General audits. The Public Housing Authority also allowed an apparent conflict of interest situation to exist when it entered into a contract with a law firm that employed the son of its board chairman.

Mr. Chairman, all of this fraud and abuse was revealed by investigating one-fifth of the spending of one public housing authority during a 3-year period. There are more than 3,000 other public housing authorities throughout the country.

While not every public housing authority commits this type of abuse--and to be fair, some are responsible stewards of the taxpayer dollar--the bottom line is this is shameful and an unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer money. It is inexcusable and must not continue.

The bill we are discussing here today provides nearly $100 million for the sole purpose of funding HUD's Office of General Counsel.

As stated in the committee's report on the bill:

It is the responsibility of the Office of General Counsel to provide legal opinions, advice, and services with respect to all programs and activities, and to provide counsel and assistance to the development of the Department's programs and policies.

In addition to having their own counsel, HUD also has access to attorneys within the Department of Justice. There is no logical reason HUD should be spending millions of dollars a year on outside counsel. The inspector general agrees and has previously stated:

We have been concerned for some time about the extent to which some to public housing authorities use outside legal counsel.

I appreciate the inspector general for bringing forward this wasteful and fraudulent practice to the attention of Congress. I ask my colleagues to recognize the inspector general's recommendations and support this commonsense amendment.

I thank the chairman and ranking member for their continued work on the committee.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. I understand the gentleman's concern, but this can have some unintended consequences. But the main reason is that unfortunately this would not affect the public housing authorities at all. This would affect HUD employees. Public housing authorities are not HUD employees. So this amendment, and I wish the gentleman and I could have worked together on this, but it does nothing to the public housing authorities because it does not prohibit them from hiring outside legal, and that is unfortunate.

We have been saying for years and years and years to the authorizers that these are issues they need to address, and they haven't been able to do it. Unfortunately, we get in an appropriation bill and end up with a lot of these issues. But again, the main reason to oppose it is because it does nothing to the public housing authorities. They would still be able to continue their practices as they are.

I yield to the gentleman from Arizona.

Rep. Paul Gosar

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Would the gentleman understand that all grants under HUD go to public housing and, therefore, they are subject all under?

Rep. Tom Latham

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All this would do is limit the employees of HUD, and it would do nothing to the PHA employees. PHA employees are not HUD employees; and all you are doing is limiting funding to HUD employees, so it would have no effect as far as the PHAs.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Ed Pastor

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I agree with the chairman's interpretation of the amendment because public authorities have their own employees which they hire and are not HUD employees. They receive money from HUD in grants, but that does not make the public authority employees HUD employees. And as I understand the amendment as read and explained, this amendment would only affect HUD and its employees, and it is too broad. It would not meet what the inspector general was trying to do in trying to limit public authorities from hiring outside counsel. So I rise in opposition to the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar).

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

Rep. Paul Gosar

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

Rep. John Garamendi

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to develop or implement any rule to modify the criteria relating to citizenship that are applied in determining whether a person is eligible to be an operator (including a ship manager or agent) of a vessel in the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. John Garamendi

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Mr. Chairman, the United States Government maintains a series of ships that are standby, available to the Navy to be used in our national defense. Historically, these ships have been crewed, owned, and operated by American citizens.

There may be an attempt underway to change that to allow these ships to be crewed, owned, and operated by foreign entities. This amendment would preclude that.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Garamendi).

The amendment was agreed to.

Rep. Paul Gosar

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement, administer, or enforce the proposed rule entitled ``Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing'', published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Federal Register on July 19, 2013 (78 Fed. Reg. 43710; Docket No. FR-5173-P-01).

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Arizona is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Paul Gosar

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Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an amendment intended to prevent yet another costly overreach by the Federal Government into the jurisdiction of local towns and communities.

HUD has proposed a new regulation, titled Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, which would grant the Department authority to dictate local zoning requirements in any community across the country that applies for a Community Development Block Grant.

According to reports, in 2012, this rule would have negatively impacted more than 1,200 municipalities throughout the country. A trial run of the rule already took place in New York. It failed miserably, and a local county was forced to reject $12 million in funds that would have benefited the community due to the impractical and unrealistic requirements associated with compliance.

The county had intended to use a large portion of the block grant funds to establish public housing for individuals in need. Clearly, this flawed proposal by HUD will increase local taxes, depress property values, and cause further harm to impoverished communities that are actually in need of these funds.

These new burdensome zoning rules being imposed by HUD bureaucrats on localities would be derived from tracked residential data based on citizens' race, sex, religion, and other federally protected demographics.

Multiple watchdog groups have raised serious and valid concerns about HUD's proposal. Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens wrote me in support of this amendment and stated:

We call on every Member of the House to support Representative Gosar's amendment to defund HUD's scheme to redraw zoning maps in any locality that accepts any part of the $3.5 billion a year in Community Development Block Grants from the Federal Government. The utopian goal of creating evenly distributed neighborhoods based on racial composition and income is bad policy, and it is unconstitutional. HUD has no place in local zoning decisions. Under federalism, that is left up to States, counties, and municipalities to determine for themselves. At a time when the Supreme Court is roundly rejecting racial quotas as unconstitutional, there is no place for wasting taxpayer dollars on social engineering that will never withstand judicial scrutiny. Housing discrimination based on race has been illegal since the 1960s, and people should be allowed to choose for themselves where they live without D.C. bureaucrats nationalizing zoning decisions for political reasons. Representative Gosar deserves the thanks of all Americans for his courage in taking on this backdoor attempt to federalize our most basic living decisions. Americans for Limited Government strongly supports Gosar's

I sincerely appreciate the strong support of this respected watchdog group. I completely agree that this misguided proposal by HUD is a clear infringement by the Federal Government on municipalities. HUD is essentially creating a thinly veiled set of rules and regulations by which these communities must conform or face losing out on billions of dollars in grant money.

What has been so wrong with the process thus far? Are there a plethora of examples of discriminatory applications of these grants? Couldn't the Federal Government simply deny further moneys to those grantees proved to have engaged in discrimination?

American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to Federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching central government.

Further, the Federal Government must not hold hostage what are traditionally grant moneys to improve communities based on its quixotic ideas of what it believes every community should resemble. Local zoning decisions have traditionally been and should always be made by local communities, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

I ask my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment because it keeps the Federal Government from reorganizing communities to a fantastical standard.

I ask my colleagues to support this amendment because its aim is to treat municipalities and individual citizens as capable and intelligent rather than disenfranchised, divided, and coddled groups in need of protection from a problem that does not exist.

As always, I thank the chairman and ranking member for their continued work on the committee, and with that, I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chair, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Arizona is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

The amendment prohibits HUD from implementing a new rule that was published in the Federal Register on July 19, 2013. The rule provides more data to local communities to comply with the Fair Housing Act and carry out their duties under the Fair Housing Act.

The rule does not change the statutory obligations of communities. It does not create social engineering, but rather asks for a more comprehensive report. The Fair Housing Act has been law for the past 45 years, and this rule does not change that law. This rule simply provides communities with more data to comply with their existing duties under the law.

I support fair housing, and I oppose the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. John Fleming

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Mr. Chair, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Louisiana is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. John Fleming

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Mr. Chair, I yield to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar).

Rep. Paul Gosar

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Mr. Chair, I appreciate the gentleman's point and his advocacy for the Fair Housing Act.

As I mentioned, I abhor racial discrimination, but to my knowledge, there is no widespread examples of these block grants being used for discriminatory practices.

Has the Community Development Block Grant system thus far been such a failure to warrant this rule? My concerns are numerous, but I will outline the main two.

First and foremost, this is a major violation of federalism. The Federal Government has a long history of infringing upon states' rights and the Tenth Amendment. This rule seeks to go even further and puts the Federal Government down into the municipal planning process. This overreach is disturbing and unfortunately all too common in the Obama administration.

Second, it really opens up a Pandora's box of problems related to unconstitutional practices. The government is essentially using this rule as a thinly veiled attempt to implement some sort of social justice.

But this rule leaves a lot to interpretation, not only at the Federal level, but at the local level. It is not difficult to imagine lawsuits flying in both directions if this rule is finalized.

For instance, HUD is trying to lay out a framework by which it wishes to see these grant monies used to better integrate societies, a solution which seems to be in search of a problem. In doing so, HUD places a large burden on communities to write plans and grant applications which necessitate unconstitutional and prejudicial practices. Jim Crow is dead, and the free market and local policies have driven decisions such as community planning for years now.

How does a community make plans to enact these types of social justice without taking into consideration factors which we frown upon, factors such as racial demographics?

Let's move to the next step in the process, which is when the community is submitting their plan and an application to HUD for consideration. That is also incredibly difficult. For instance, one portion of the application which would simply be meant to appease HUD's quixotic standards of utopian society may open up the applicant municipality for lawsuits from the left and right.

Then HUD is charged with evaluating these applications to determine whether or not to award the grant. What exact criteria will HUD use to make these determinations? Might it be possible that HUD will deny grant monies to applicants based on HUD's opinion that the zoning plan did not do enough to integrate racial or religious clusters? The mere idea that HUD will be making such approvals or denials based even partially on these factors is counterintuitive and runs contrary to American values.

Imagine a denial letter from HUD on one of these applications. It will read one of two basic ways:

The first scenario is: Dear Community A, your block grant application has been denied because your plan did not integrate people of different races, ethnicities, or religions into one area. That would likely lead to an immediate lawsuit in which the court would uphold the municipality's case.

The second scenario would be a lengthy and wordy denial which is vague enough so that HUD does not open itself up to a lawsuit, but also so vague that the applicant will likely never know how to correctly plan and apply for one of these grants.

We see there are two separate and distinct avenues by which major lawsuits could fly and constitutional challenges arise. Both the Federal Government and the local government would be setting themselves up for failure.

If these issues arise and court challenges ensue, we have seen the recent patterns from the U.S. Supreme Court on issues of racial quotas and attempts at racial diversity. Again, the solution is looking for a problem. The mere notion that the Federal Government must step in and tamper with the most local of politics to integrate people of various races, economic statuses, ethnicities, and religious backgrounds is offensive to me and many of my constituents.

Rep. John Fleming

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I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar).

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

Rep. John Garamendi

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

Rep. Paul Gosar

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Mr. Chairman, I have one last amendment at the desk, 129.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to administer the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Roadside Survey.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Arizona is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Paul Gosar

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Mr. Chair, I rise to offer an amendment to save taxpayers money, to protect the civil liberties and privacy of my constituents in accordance with the Fourth Amendment, and to champion efforts of local law enforcement and those advocacy groups which work hand-in-hand to curb citizens from driving under the influence.

My amendment is simple. It seeks to prohibit funds from being used to administer the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Roadside Survey. This ``survey'' looks like and acts like a police checkpoint and uses uniformed officers to pull cars over.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Will the gentleman yield?

Rep. Paul Gosar

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I yield to the gentleman from Iowa.

Rep. Tom Latham

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We would be more than happy to accept the amendment in the interest of time if we could move on.

Rep. Paul Gosar

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

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar).

The amendment was agreed to.

Rep. Raul Ruiz

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Mr. Chair, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Raul Ruiz

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Mr. Chairman, our Nation is in the midst of a transportation and infrastructure crisis. In California alone, we have over 2,500 structurally deficient bridges in dire need of repair.

Current investments into transportation infrastructure are barely able to cover our Nation's most pressing needs, and critical projects in my district are the foundation of our growing economy. That is why in 2009 Congress created the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program, known as TIGER. TIGER grants have successfully funded projects to revitalize and expand infrastructure across the country.

A grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was to provide roughly 50 percent of the funding needed to upgrade the SunLine Transit Agency's operations management system in my district. These upgrades allowed SunLine to integrate vehicle location technology, scheduling systems, and automatic passenger counters into their Web site to provide riders with a gateway for simple information, like when the next bus is going to arrive and if it will have room for passengers, which is important for my constituents to reduce wait times outside in our desert heat. This technology has improved ridership, taken vehicles off the road, reducing our carbon footprint. There are other projects in my district that could receive TIGER funding should we adequately fund it.

The Coachella Valley Association of Governments has developed a CV Link project to connect eight cities in the Coachella Valley, with a new alternate transportation route to the busiest corridor in our valley. A TIGER award paired with local investment would be enough to make it a reality. The project would create 690 jobs and potentially generate $147 billion in economic benefits through 2035 from sources such as increased tourism, reduced vehicle emissions, improved health conditions, and new jobs.

Mr. Chairman, this is why it is essential that we do not cut successful grant programs like TIGER, especially as our economy continues to recover and unemployment rates remain high. Ultimately, this is just part of the lack of funding for transportation infrastructure's story.

Within a few short months, the highway trust fund, which is responsible for the vast majority of Federal transportation funding, will run out of money. This will bring hundreds of transportation projects across the Nation to a grinding halt, eliminate the thousands of jobs they support, and jeopardize our economic recovery.

As Representatives, it is our responsibility to put aside our differences and work together to find a pragmatic, fiscally sound solution to fix the highway trust fund. Our communities in our districts are depending on us to demonstrate leadership to help them rebuild roads and bridges and operate public transit lines that take people to work, to their doctor's appointments, to grocery stores and, ultimately, keep our economy moving forward.

We must serve the people we represent by doing our jobs to find a bipartisan solution that addresses a highway trust fund crisis so critical infrastructure projects in my district and across the country are not ignored. I look forward to working with Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to get this done. I encourage all my colleagues to put aside partisanship and problem-solve this critical issue.

I want to thank Chairman Latham and Ranking Member Pastor for your great service. Thank you so much.

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

Rep. John Fleming

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Mr. Chair, I have amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill, before the short title, insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to acquire a camera for the purpose of collecting or storing vehicle license plate numbers.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Louisiana is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. John Fleming

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Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer an amendment to the Transportation-HUD appropriations bill that will prohibit the purchase of automated license plate readers that can record and indefinitely store innocent Americans' whereabouts as they drive by.

In the wake of the revelations about NSA data collection, Americans are now learning that police cars and traffic cameras are similarly accumulating a picture of their lives. In many States, there is no policy for how long the government may store the data, and so it is being retained indefinitely.

Just like phone metadata, this geo-location data with time stamps can be used to reconstruct intimate details of our lives, who we visit, where we worship, from whom we seek counseling, and how we might legally and legitimately protest the actions of our own government.

This language expands upon the prohibitions already adopted under previous MAP-21 reauthorizations preventing Federal funds from being used to purchase cameras for purposes of traffic law enforcement. Despite this prohibition, transportation grants can still currently be used to purchase cameras that collect and store license plate data even when no crime has been committed.

Certain highway safety grants within this bill can be used to purchase traffic monitoring systems that we see along highways. This amendment would not stop the purchase of such traffic monitoring cameras. It would only prohibit cameras that have the ability and the purpose of capturing and indefinitely storing the license plate information of innocent Americans.

Citizens of each State should have the opportunity to decide the question, but citizens of one State who oppose this policy should not subsidize such monitoring in other States. This amendment does not stop States from purchasing these cameras on their own. Each State should have an open and fair debate in their legislatures about what their citizens are comfortable with. This amendment gives States and local governments a 1-year pause on purchasing these cameras until Congress can deal with the issue more fully.

Therefore, I ask the support of all in this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chair, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I certainly understand the issue the gentleman is trying to get at. {time} 2245

I must oppose the amendment because I think there are some unintended consequences. As far as the way the amendment itself is written, in effect you are banning DOT or HUD from ever purchasing another camera for any use, in essence, because of the possibility it might capture a license plate somewhere.

It simply will also have a lot of wide unanticipated operational impacts across all of the programs in this bill. There could be a prohibition on purchases of aircraft control surveillance technologies at the FAA, an unintended ban on cameras used for safety purposes at airports and air traffic control facilities.

The prohibition could prevent Federal and State motor carrier inspectors from using camera-based technology to screen vehicles for compliance with safety regulations.

The broad nature of this prohibition will negatively affect key research program studies and crash investigations for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The prohibition could undermine revenue collection systems on several large toll-funded routes who take pictures of a license plate--and that is how they charge--and put Federal loans at risk of default not having that means of collecting those revenues.

At HUD, the prohibition, being as broad as it is, could prevent housing authorities from purchasing or operating security systems that are critical to the health and safety of the residents in the public housing and the surrounding communities.

I totally understand the gentleman's point, but there are some ramifications here. I think that maybe we could tailor it better, working on it together in the future, but at this point I would have to oppose the amendment, and I would urge a ``no'' vote.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Fleming).

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

Rep. John Fleming

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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

Rep. John Garamendi

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used for recapitalization of the Ready Reserve Force of the National Defense Reserve Fleet except in a manner consistent with chapter 83 of title 41, United States Code (popularly referred to as the ``Buy American Act'').

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.

The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. John Garamendi

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Mr. Chairman, I don't intend to take 5 minutes, but this issue is rather important.

In the long history of the United States Navy, we have always built our ships in America. The Ready Reserve Fleet is part of our national defense system. It provides ships that are necessary for the hauling of cargo that are always ready and available for the military to move its equipment--men, supplies, women--wherever they may need to go across the oceans.

That reserve fleet is going to need to be recapitalized and replaced over the next several years. The question before us is whether that fleet and those new ships will be built in America or in China or Japan or Korea.

This amendment would simply require that they be built in America, as they have in the past.

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

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and, therefore, violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

The rule states in pertinent part:

``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law.''

The amendment imposes additional duties.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

Rep. John Garamendi

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Mr. Chairman, I wish to be heard on the point of order.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized.

Rep. John Garamendi

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The point of order issue has been rather flexible, as we have seen in previous appropriation bills that have been on this floor. When the majority wants to change the law, it seems as though a point of order isn't appropriate. But when someone else wants to address a crucial national issue, such as making sure our shipyards have the work and our Navy and the Ready Reserve Fleet is American built, then I suppose a point of order seems to have some further power. Therefore, I don't think a point of order is appropriate.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

The Chair is prepared to rule on the point of order raised by the gentleman from California.

The Chair finds that this amendment includes language requiring a new determination of whether certain actions are consistent with a provision of law not otherwise applicable to these actions.

The amendment, therefore, constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule XXI.

The point of order is sustained, and the amendment is not in order.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to make bonus awards to contractors for work on projects that are behind schedule or over budget.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.

The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, this is a simple good government provision. It says that when a contractor goes over budget or is behind schedule the contractor should not be rewarded for that. None of the funds made available in this act may be used to pay for bonus awards to contractors who work on projects that are behind schedule or over budget.

The provision that we are talking about here appears in the Senate Transportation, Housing Appropriations bill that was reported out of the committee in the Senate last week. It should appear in our bill and it should be signed into law.

Nothing in this amendment places a blanket ban on bonuses to contractors. What this amendment does, however, is to demonstrate that Congress expects Federal projects to be delivered on time and on budget.

We have heard so many words over the years in this Chamber about waste, fraud, and abuse. This simple amendment accurately cracks down on those examples of waste, fraud, and abuse that arise and prevents taxpayer money from being squandered. If projects are not delivered on time and on budget, this amendment simply ensures that bad contractors are not rewarded extra for that poor performance.

With regard to the terms that are used, the term ``bonus award'' refers to the Federal acquisition regulation, title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, subpart 16.4, having to do with incentive contracts. That term is defined in that provision.

With regard to the term ``work on projects,'' that simply refers to the contractor's contract.

With regard to the term ``behind schedule,'' that refers to the time of delivery. That is a provision that is in every contract in FAR 52.211-8 or FAR 52.211-9. The regulations specifically provide for time of delivery with a delivery schedule, and that is the term that is used in the regulation, and also in the contract itself. Those provisions are proscribed in the Federal Acquisition Regulations in 48 C.F.R., subpart 11.4, specifically FAR 11.404.

The term ``over budget'' is very simply a reference to the contract award itself. The Federal Acquisition Regulations proscribes a specific form for that purpose in 48 C.F.R. 53, and that is Standard Form 33. In Box 22 of Standard Form 33 is the contract award amount. If the contractor goes over budget, the contract has exceeded the amount that appears in FAR 52.3 of 33 in the award amount box, in Box 20. The provision refers to cost reimbursement awards and it refers to time and material awards. If the goes over budget on a firm fixed price award, the contractor bears that expense. If the contractor goes over budget on a time and materials award or a cost reimbursement award and then seeks a bonus on top of that from the government, then that is what we are prohibiting here.

These are terms that are well recognized in the world of Federal contracting. This provision accurately targets overpayment to contractors, extra payment to contractors, bonus payment to contractors, when they have gone behind schedule or they are over budget.

I submit that the Senate was wise to include this in its bill. We should do the same.

I ask my colleagues respectfully for their support.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and, therefore, violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

The rule states in pertinent part:

``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law.''

The amendment imposes additional duties.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, I wish to be heard on the point of order.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, it is simply not the case that this is legislating. It is simply not the case this imposes any additional duties.

As I indicated a few moments ago, the terms that are in this provision are terms that are ascertainable from every single government contract that is awarded. Every single government contract that is awarded by the Federal Government is done so through Standard Form 33. That lists the amount of the contract award.

Every single government contract that is awarded that has a delivery schedule--and not every one does--but every one that has a delivery schedule has a delivery schedule in the form of a provision in FAR 52.211-8 or 52.211-9.

All the government would have to do is simply observe the terms of its own contract and be able to ascertain these facts. When the government is looking at the terms of its own contract, that is something the government does every day; therefore, there is no additional legislating that is involved here.

I respectfully submit that this is not legislating. This is not asking the government to do anything in addition to what the government already is required to do. It is simply prohibiting a waste of expenditure, a waste of funds, and that is exactly a primary purpose of these appropriation bills.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I wish to speak on the point of order.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, the rationale for the point of order is projects can be broad in scope, both in terms of the purpose of the project and the number and types of contractors involved.

For an agency to determine whether a specific bonus can be awarded, this amendment would require the agency to also determine whether the project as a whole is over budget or behind schedule, not simply the part of the project pertaining to the agency awarding the bonus.

So I, again, would insist on my point of order.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, I wish to be heard to respond to the last comment.

The Acting CHAIR. The Chair will hear further argument from the gentleman from Florida.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, responding to the last point, respectfully, again, these are contract terms that are defined in the contract itself.

The gentleman has a point that the term ``project'' is one that could be taken to refer to something other than a contract if we were not talking about Federal contracting. Here we are talking about Federal contracts only, so the term ``project'' refers to what the contractor is working on.

There is no ambiguity here. Either the contract is on schedule or it is off schedule. Either the contract is over budget or it is on budget or it is under budget. There is simply no ambiguity involved here.

If we were legislating, then I would see the gentleman's point, but in this particular case we are not. Therefore, I respectfully request that the point of order be overruled and we be allowed to proceed to a vote.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on the point of order?

The Chair is prepared to rule on the point of order raised by the gentleman from Iowa.

The gentleman from Iowa makes a point of order that the amendment violates clause 2 of rule XXI by requiring a new determination by a relevant Federal official.

Specifically, the amendment would require each contracting official to determine whether any aspect of a project is behind schedule or over budget, especially if multiple agencies have entered into separate contracts on the same project.

Absent a showing that this determination is already required by law, the Chair is constrained to find that the amendment violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

The point of order is sustained, and the amendment is not in order.

Rep. John Garamendi

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill, before the short title, insert the following: Sec. 417. None of the funds made available by this Act and administered by the Department of Transportation may be used on a transportation project unless all contracts carried out within the scope of the applicable National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 finding, determination, or decision are Buy America compliant. If the Secretary finds that such a requirement is not in the public interest, this requirement can be waived, but only if the designation is justified and made available for public comment 30 days before the waiver takes effect.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.

The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. John Garamendi

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Mr. Chairman, I understand the point of order. We are going to be facing that with my other six amendments, but I would like to speak to this issue and also to the others at the same time, and I will drop the other amendments.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of driving across San Francisco Bay on the brandnew east San Francisco Bay Bridge, a multibillion-dollar project. The steel of that project in its main section was built in China. It was fabricated in China. The Chinese steel company built a new steel mill, the most advanced in the world. There were 3,000 Chinese jobs and zero American jobs.

The way they are able to get around the Buy American provisions is that the State of California segmented the multibillion-dollar project into 20 different pieces, therefore avoiding the Buy America provisions on this crucial center span of that bridge. This amendment would prohibit that from ever happening again.

The other amendments speak to the $50 billion that is going to be spent by this bill and would require, in various ways, that that money be spent here in America on American-made goods, American steel, American products, and on American workers.

We ought to buy in America. We ought to make this other national policy. We ought never have another Bay Bridge. We ought to do what we did in the American Recovery Act that required that some $800 million for Amtrak locomotives be spent on 100 percent American-made. Indeed, Siemens, a German company, has established a manufacturing plant in Sacramento to manufacture those locomotives.

One of the other amendments I will not be taking up tonight deals specifically with the rolling stock for public transportation, that it, too, be American-made and that we increase the percentage of American content from 60 percent to 100 percent.

This is American taxpayer money. That money ought to be spent in America. American taxpayers should demand it. The Members of Congress should demand that their taxpayers' money be spent on American-made equipment, goods, and services. This is part of the Make It In America agenda.

It is most specific here at this time, as we are about to, in the next day, spend $50 billion of American taxpayer money. Are we going to spend it on American-made equipment, American goods and services? Or are they going to be coming from China or somewhere else in the world?

The question is very straightforward for all of us. Unfortunately, because of the point of order that will be raised on this and the other six amendments, we will not have a chance tonight, tomorrow, and perhaps in the days ahead, to really do something for America in rebuilding our manufacturing sector by requiring that our taxpayer money be spent on American-made goods, services, and on American workers.

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

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and, therefore, violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

The rule states in pertinent part:

``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law.''

The amendment requires a new determination.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

The Acting CHAIR. The Chair finds that this amendment includes language requiring a new determination of compliance with a law not otherwise applicable.

The amendment, therefore, constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule XXI.

The point of order is sustained, and the amendment is not in order.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to authorize, approve, or implement a toll on existing free lanes on any segment of Interstate 4 in the State of Florida.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, this amendment would prohibit any funds appropriated by this bill from being used for the purpose of establishing a toll on any existing free lane of Interstate 4 in the State of Florida.

I-4, as we call it back home, is the most traveled road in the central Florida region. Thousands of my constituents, each day, commute to and from work using the road. To use their hard-earned tax dollars to implement a new fee on our commutes just seems wrong to me, and that is why I am offering this amendment.

I don't think Floridians should be treated any differently in this bill than, frankly, Texans are on pages 31 and 32 of this bill.

My constituents would like to keep their freeway free, and I don't blame them, particularly when ground has been broken on new toll lanes that will run right down the middle of I-4.

Local authorities are free to build new lanes and expressways, as is the Federal Government, and provide for construction as they see fit, but I am here to make sure that the existing free lanes on I-4 remain untolled.

I urge support for this amendment. After all, a toll is very much like a tax, as my colleagues on the other side of the aisle should recognize.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. There are multiple toll finance projects along the I-4 corridor that could potentially be disrupted by this prohibition.

Further, this prohibition could undermine the creditworthiness of pending applications for Federal loans to support critical projects along I-4.

This route crosses multiple Members' districts, and it is not clear what effect it may have on future I-4 projects.

Therefore, I must urge a ``no'' vote on the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

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

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Grayson).

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chair, this amendment was originally drafted to apply to both new and existing lanes. This amendment was redrawn and redrafted to specifically limit it to existing free lanes.

All of the contract work that is being done in central Florida, and in fact around the country at this point, would not be affected by this amendment because it applies to only existing free lanes.

My question to the gentleman from Iowa is, Did the gentleman realize that the amendment had been modified before the gentleman opposed the amendment?

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Arizona controls the time.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Latham).

Rep. Tom Latham

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I thank the gentleman from Arizona for yielding.

Yes, we were aware of it. We have been advised by the DOT of the ramifications of this amendment in the revised form. That is why I rise in opposition. It is DOT's concerns we are raising.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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I thank the gentleman for the clarification.

Rep. Ed Pastor

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

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Grayson).

The amendment was rejected.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide a per-passenger subsidy in excess of $250 under the Essential Air Service program.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.

The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chairman, the Essential Air Service program, or EAS, is an expensive government handout. It is, in effect, welfare for airplanes.

Page 9 of this bill states that, under the EAS, the per-passenger subsidy for flights that would otherwise not exist to rural communities, excluding Hawaii and Alaska, is capped at $500 per passenger. That is simply too high.

I don't see any reason why we should be paying people $500 to fly from communities like Muscles Shoals, not when this Congress is cutting food aid programs and development block grants to communities.

I think this is a very poor use of taxpayer funds. It is an example of the waste, fraud, and abuse that we constantly decry.

My amendment would reduce the $500 per passenger subsidy allowed under the EAS to a still very high $250 because $500 per passenger is simply outrageous.

If passengers don't want to fly those aviation routes, then those subsidies shouldn't exist, and in fact, the routes should exist.

For $500 per passenger, we could rent a limousine for every single person that boards these EAS flights and drive them to the nearest commercial airport.

I understand the need for rural services for necessary aspects of life like Postal Service, telephones, and even the Internet, but I cannot understand the need to subsidize regular airline flights that would otherwise not exist to the tune of $500 per passenger.

Many of these flights fly empty. Many have only one or two or three passengers on them on a large airplane. They exist only because the government is paying the bill. We are taxing people to subsidize other people's airfare.

The bill before us today would cut funding for transit starts by 13 percent, TIGER grants by 80 percent, public housing modernization by 5 percent, and the home program for 30 percent, among other things. Under these circumstances, I cannot stand here in good conscience and allow a subsidy like this to continue.

I offer this amendment today because it is more important to put a roof over the heads of the poor in this housing bill and to make sure that people have a means to gets to work and to get to their families and their loved ones in this transportation bill, than it is to hand out corporate welfare to United Airlines.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and, therefore, violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

The rule states in pertinent part:

``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law.''

The amendment requires a new determination with respect to the calculation of a per-passenger subsidy.

I ask for a ruling from the Chair.

The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to be heard on this point of order?

Rep. Alan Grayson

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Mr. Chair, this very same bill limits this subsidy to $500 per passenger. Earlier on in this bill, that is a determination that this bill requires to be made. I am simply changing that figure from $500 to $250. It is, shall I say, unwarranted.

To say that that is expecting any new law, enacting anything new, it is simply modifying another provision in this specific act.

The Acting CHAIR. The Chair finds that this amendment includes language requiring a new determination.

The amendment, therefore, constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule XXI.

The point of order is sustained, and the amendment is not in order.

Rep. Tom Latham

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Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.

The motion was agreed to.

Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Latham) having assumed the chair, Mr. Chaffetz, Acting Chair 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. 4745) making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.