Amendment Text: H.Amdt.300 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (07/22/2003)

This Amendment appears on page H7315 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H7311-H7319]
DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE, JUSTICE, AND STATE, THE JUDICIARY, AND RELATED 
                   AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2004

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 326 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, 
H.R. 2799.

                              {time}  2124


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  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. 2799) making appropriations for the Departments of 
Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and related agencies for 
the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes, with 
Mr. Hastings of Washington in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIRMAN. When the Committee of the Whole House rose earlier 
today, a request for a recorded vote on amendment No. 1 offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Hinchey) had been postponed.


          Amendment No. 9 Offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas

  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 9 offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas:
       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:

               TITLE VIII--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS

       Sec. ____. None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used to destroy or conceal physical and electronic records 
     and documents related to any use of Federal agency resources 
     in any task or action involving or relating to members of the 
     Texas Legislature for the period beginning May 11, 2003, and 
     ending May 16, 2003.


[[Page H7312]]


  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I propose this amendment to 
the Committee on Appropriations for the Commerce, Justice, and State 
for, I think, a very direct and important reason. The American people 
have a right to believe that their Federal agencies and Federal 
resources are used appropriately for the mission statement and the 
legislative directive upon which these agencies are organized.
  This amendment is simple. It states: ``None of the funds made 
available by this act may be used by the Department of Justice to 
destroy or conceal physical and electronic records and documents 
related to any use of Federal agency resources in any task or action 
involving or relating to members of the Texas legislature in the period 
beginning May 11, 2003, and ending May 16, 2003.''
  The purpose of this amendment, Mr. Chairman, is to prohibit the use 
of funds by the Department of Justice to destroy or conceal any 
documents related to that use of Federal agency resources in the Texas 
redistricting controversy in May of 2003.
  During the Texas redistricting controversy in May of this year, there 
were numerous published reports that Federal law enforcement resources 
were used to conduct surveillance, attempt to locate, or otherwise 
track the location of Democratic members of the Texas legislature who 
left Texas to break a quorum. Included in the reports were accounts of 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation being contacted to locate 
Democrats.
  United States Marshals received phone calls to arrest Texas Democrats 
and Federal resources were being used to track airplanes belonging to 
Texas Democrats.
  In the wake of the redistricting controversy and the allegations of 
the misuse of Federal resources, there have been numerous attempts to 
obtain documents related to the misuse of Federal law enforcement 
resources. Democratic members of both the United States House of 
Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary and Select Committee on 
Homeland Security have repeatedly requested documents. Such documents 
have not been forthcoming. The many requests have either been ignored, 
or the information received has been redacted.
  In addition, Mr. Chairman, the other body has requested information.
  This amendment is simple on its face, to ensure as this process moves 
forward that no documents will be destroyed.
  Mr. Chairman, this is another issue that I think is very important. 
Might I offer visually to my colleagues that when we requested 
information, this redacted document was the kind of document that we 
received, and I am going to have this document submitted into the 
Record. It is a statement from the United States Department of Homeland 
Security, Office of the Inspector General.
  This issue is beyond the isolated and defined issue dealing with the 
Texas redistricting saga. It has to do with dignity, it has to do with 
civil rights and civil liberties. It is an outrage that we would have 
Federal officials using Federal resources to track civilians who 
perpetrated no crime. It is an outrage that we have as a statement 
regarding the use of a U.S. Attorney something noted by a reporter, 
reported elsewhere, that a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office 
in San Antonio had no official comment, but a source confirmed that an 
unidentified person had called to inquire about federalizing the arrest 
warrant, that is, regarding a Texas legislator. This was reported in 
the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 14, 2003.
  I believe we already had another article saying that the elected 
official here in Washington, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay), 
already had a United States attorney in Texas researching how to employ 
Federal resources. This was Hugh Aynesworth, Washington Times, May 14, 
2003.
  This is not pointed at any particular individual, per se, as much as 
it is a horror about not being able to determine whether resources were 
being used adversely against civilians. This is, as I said, a question 
that this House should take up.
  So my amendment is simple. It allows or says that no funds should be 
used to allow the Department of Justice to destroy any documents that 
may be relevant to this particular issue. It is out of the issue, out 
of the basis of transparency, out of the idea that the American people, 
no matter what the situation may be, are owed a responsible answer and 
responsible actions as relates to their Federal resources.
  And then I would say, Mr. Chairman, in this time when we are fighting 
terrorism and using all of the resources that we might, Department of 
Justice, Department of Transportation, Homeland Security Department, 
all of these departments should be focused singularly on one purpose. 
That is, all the Federal might and resources to fight the war against 
terrorism.

                              {time}  2130

  I would hope my colleagues would support this amendment so that we 
can find out the truth and ensure that transparency always prevails in 
the United States Government.

  U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General--
                 Investigations--Memorandum of Activity

       (Type of Activity: Personal Interview. Case Number: IN03-
     0IG-LA-0662. Case Title: Air and Marine Interdiction Center.)
       On May 22, 2003, . . ., Texas Department of Public Safety 
     (DPS), Austin, Texas, . . . or . . ., was interviewed by the 
     Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector 
     General (OIG) regarding allegations that the Bureau of 
     Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE), Air and Marine 
     Interdiction Coordination Center (AMICC), DHS allegedly 
     misused DHS resources in the search of missing Texas state 
     legislators, specifically, by looking for a missing airplane. 
     Others present during this interview were . . ., DPS, Austin; 
     . . ., DPS, Austin; and . . ., . . , DPS, Austin. During the 
     questioning of . . . the DHS-OIG was consistently interrupted 
     and challenged by DPS participants that questions were not 
     within the scope of the DHS-OIG investigation. The DPS asked 
     the OIG if . . . would be given Miranda warnings The OIG 
     advised the DPS that . . . would not be given Miranda 
     warnings since . . . was only a witness regarding a DHS-OIG 
     investigation. The DHS-OIG advised that . . . was not under 
     criminal investigation. . . . provided, in substance, the 
     following information:
       . . . has worked for the DPS for . . . said . . . knew that 
     USCS tracked airplanes. . . . said . . . was unaware that 
     this USCS California office was part of the DHS.
       . . . said . . . called the USCS about a missing airplane 
     on May 12, 2003, between the hours of 6:45 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. 
     . . . said . . . asked for the ``TX Desk'' which . . . said 
     referred to the Texas area.
       . . . was questioned as to who instructed . . . to make an 
     inquiry regarding the missing airplane. . . . said several 
     individuals requested . . . to look for the airplane. At that 
     point in the interview . . . asked . . ., and . . . it . . . 
     had to answer the question regarding who requested . . . to 
     look for the airplane. . . . advised . . . that this question 
     was outside the scope of the DHS-OIG investigation. The DHS-
     OIG informed . . . that this question was pertinent to the 
     investigation; however, the DHS-OIG could not compel . . . to 
     answer. . . . declined to answer the question.
       At the direction of unnamed individuals, . . . said . . . 
     called the USCS to locate the airplane since it was past its 
     travel time and missing. . . . said . . . identified . . . 
     and told the USCS call center employee that . . . needed to 
     locate a missing airplane. . . . said . . . did not recall 
     speaking with . . . at the USCS. . . . advised that there 
     were legislators on board the aircraft; however, . . . did 
     not know their identity. . . . said . . . provided the USCS 
     with the airplane's tail number and advised them that . . . 
     did not have the airplane's flight schedule. . . . said . . . 
     could not remember the exact details of who was contacted to 
     look for the airplane's tail number . . . asked USCS if they 
     could assist . . . with locating the missing airplane. . . . 
     said the USCS advised that they would research the matter and 
     call . . . back . . . said . . . was called back by the 
     USCS and advised that the Federal Aviation Administration 
     (FAA) followed the flight plan from Ardmore, Oklahoma, to 
     Mineral Wells, Texas.
       . . . said the airplane departed Ardmore, Oklahoma, at 5:00 
     p.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Georgetown, Texas, at 
     6:13 p.m. . . . said the airplane's flight time was 
     approximately one hour and thirteen minutes. . . . said the 
     airplane's tail number was N711RD, which was registered to 
     Hale Center, Texas. . . . stated . . . did not know to whom 
     the airplane belonged. . . . said . . . checked with Austin 
     Flight to verify if there was a flight plan from Ardmore, 
     Oklahoma, to Georgetown, Texas, prior to calling USCS.
       . . . said at approximately 8:00 p.m. . . . spoke with the 
     USCS to check on the status of the missing airplane. The USCS 
     advised . . . that they had been unsuccessful in locating the 
     airplane in Mineral Wells, Texas, and that the next step 
     would be to contact the FAA, Forth Worth, Texas. . . . said 
     the USCS advised the only thing left to do was a search and 
     rescue . . . said the USCS provided . . . with the telephone 
     number for the FAA Fort Worth tower.
       . . . said . . . called the FAA, identified . . . and 
     requested assistance related to some

[[Page H7313]]

     missing legislators. . . . did not recall who . . . spoke 
     with or the time of the call to the FAA. The FAA advised . . 
     . that the missing airplane traveling from Ardmore, Oklahoma, 
     to Georgetown, Texas, went off the FAA radar in Bridgeport, 
     Texas. . . . said . . . was told that the Bridgeport, Texas, 
     and Mineral Wells, Texas, airports would be checking for the 
     missing airplane.
       . . . said when . . . contacted the FAA Forth Worth tower 
     for the second time . . . could not recall what time it was 
     or who . . . spoke with . . . said the FAA told . . . that 
     they did not locate the missing airplane and that the next 
     step was to check some more airports in the area for the 
     missing airplane. . . . said the FAA told . . . that Possum 
     Kingdom, Texas, Graham, Texas, and Weatherford, Texas, were 
     in the Bridgeport, Texas, area. . . . said . . . asked the 
     FAA how to conduct a search and rescue. . . . said the FAA 
     explained that a search and rescue involved checking airports 
     and looking on the ground for the missing airplane.
       . . . said . . . spoke with the FAA three different times 
     with the third discussion informing the FAA that the missing 
     airplane had been located by the DPS in Graham, Texas. . . . 
     said . . . did not know who at DPS located the airplane . . . 
     said . . . had no recollection of the specific times during 
     the night that . . . spoke with the FAA. . . . opined that 
     the calls were made after 8:00 p.m. and prior to midnight on 
     May 12, 2003.
       . . . was questioned regarding any notes taken regarding 
     the missing airplane. . . . said . . . notes from . . . 
     conversations regarding the missing airplane with the USCS 
     were shredded . . . said . . . did not shred the notes. . . . 
     said . . . does not recall who . . . gave the notes to for 
     shredding.
       . . . opined that the total time utilized by DHS to assist 
     . . . with the missing airplane was fifteen minutes related 
     to some telephone calls made.

  Mr. Chairman, I propose this amendment to H.R. 2799, the Commerce, 
Justice, State, Appropriations Act of 2004.
  The amendment states, ``None of the funds made available by this Act 
may be used by the Department of Justice to destroy or conceal physical 
and electronic records and documents related to any use of Federal 
agency resources in any task or action involving or relating to Members 
of the Texas Legislature in the period beginning May 11, 2003, and 
ending May 16, 2003.''
  The purpose of this amendment is to prohibit the use of funds by the 
Department of Justice to destroy or conceal any documents related to 
the use of Federal agency resources in the Texas redistricting 
controversy in May 2003.
  During the Texas redistricting controversy in May of this year, there 
were numerous published reports that Federal law enforcement resources 
were used to conduct surveillance, attempt to locate, or otherwise 
track the location of Democratic member of the Texas Legislature who 
left Texas to break a quorum. Included in the reports were accounts of 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation being contacted to locate 
Democrats, the United States Marshals receiving phone calls to arrest 
Texas Democrats, and Federal resources being utilized to track 
airplanes belonging to Texas Democrats.
  In the wake of the redistricting controversy and the allegations of 
misuse of Federal resources, there have been numerous attempts to 
obtain documents related to the misuse of Federal law enforcement 
resources. Democratic Members of both the U.S. House of 
Representatives' Judiciary Committee and Select Committee on Homeland 
Security have requested documents. The many requests have either been 
ignored, or the information received has been redacted.
  This amendment is designed to prevent the Department of Justice from 
destroying or concealing any documents related to the Texas 
redistricting controversy. It is imperative that these documents be 
released so that Members of Congress can determine if Federal resources 
were misused.
  Mr. Chairman, as America continues to fight a war on terrorism and 
attempts to protect our communities from crime, it is critical that 
every possible Federal resource is used for its intended purpose. The 
misuse of Federal resources cannot be tolerated because such misuse 
makes our communities unsafe, and our country more vulnerable to a 
terrorist attack. I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.
  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, the subcommittee accepts the amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
  The amendment was agreed to.


  Amendments No. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 Offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas

  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I offer amendments numbered 
3, 4, 5, 6 and 8, and I ask unanimous consent that they be considered 
en bloc.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman 
from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendments.
  The text of the amendments is as follows:

       Amendments offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas consisting 
     of amendments numbered 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8:

                            Amendment No. 3

       At the end of the bill after the last section (preceding 
     the short title) insert the following new title:

               TITLE VIII--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS

       Sec. 801. None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used by the Department of State to regulate the issuance 
     of consular identification cards by foreign missions in the 
     United States.
                                  ____


                            Amendment No. 4

       At the end of the bill after the last section (preceding 
     the short title) insert the following new title:

               TITLE VIII--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS

       Sec. 801. None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used by the Department of State to extend a visa issued 
     pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act more than 8 times.
                                  ____


                            Amendment No. 5

       At the end of the bill after the last section (preceding 
     the short title) insert the following new title:

               TITLE VIII--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS

       Sec. 801. Notwithstanding section 214(c)(1)(C) and section 
     286s of the Immigration and Nationality Act or any other 
     provision of law, amounts from fees pursuant to the issuance 
     of visas under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act shall be used as follows:
       (1) 4 percent shall be used for the processing of visas for 
     nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act.
       (2) The remainder shall be used as additional resources for 
     accelerating the processing by consular officers of other 
     nonimmigrant visa applications.
                                  ____


                            Amendment No. 6

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:

               TITLE VIII--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS

       Sec. ____. None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used to prohibit the study of the issue of implementing 
     ``good time'' for persons incarcerated for non-violent crimes 
     in the Federal prison system.
                                  ____


                            Amendment No. 8

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following new title:

               TITLE VIII--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS

       Sec. 801. None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used to prohibit the Administrator of the Small Business 
     Administration from providing technical assistance to small 
     business concerns participating in the rebuilding of Iraq and 
     Afghanistan.

  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman reserves a point of order on the 
amendments en bloc.
  The gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I hope that out of my 
discussion of these amendments I will engage my colleagues in what I 
believe are very serious issues that need to be both debated and 
resolved.
  Let me raise the first amendment, Amendment No. 3, which indicates 
that no funds in this bill should be utilized to prevent a sovereign 
nation from using counselor identification cards.
  I will simply submit for my colleagues' consideration the fact that 
there was an amendment passed in the foreign relations authorization 
bill last week that would prohibit the State Department from 
authorizing the use of these matricula cards by various counselors 
around the Nation, in particular those cards that have been utilized by 
the Mexican counselors all over the Nation. I happen to have such a 
counselor in my congressional district.
  It seems ironic that we passed this legislation when, in fact, the 
United States Treasury Department has written a regulation that 
specifically says that they will allow a financial institution to 
accept any one or more of the following; a U.S. taxpayer identification 
number, a passport number and county of issuance, an alien 
identification card number, or the number and country of issuance of 
any other government-issued document evidencing nationality or 
residence and bearing a photograph or similar safeguard.

[[Page H7314]]

  This is hypocrisy and, of course, a conflict in law, where we would 
pass legislation to prevent it and, in fact, we do have rules that 
would allow it. So I hope that we will find a way to remove any block 
to various counselors being allowed to utilize those counselor cards.
  Let me also say that I have an amendment that addresses the question 
of visas with respect to the trade bills that will be on the floor 
tomorrow. It is a shame that we are using those trade bills, if you 
will, to do immigration law on trade bills. I will be debating those 
questions tomorrow, but I had amendments regarding the nonimmigrant 
visas and as well the H-1B fees. But I will, if you will, be allowed to 
debate that fully tomorrow, and I would only argue that we should not 
do immigration policies on trade bills.
  The bill that I really want to discuss, that I am presenting in this 
amendment, is the issue of ``good time.'' Mr. Chairman, let me simply 
cite that in the Bureau of Prisons we have 143,000 inmates, 14,000 in 
private prisons, and that we have any number of prisoners who are, in 
essence, nonviolent. By race, we have 56.5 percent are white, black are 
40.4 percent, Native American 1.6 percent, Hispanic 3.2 percent.
  My idea of an amendment dealing with ``good time'' is to be able to 
give some relief to those nonviolent prisoners who are incarcerated. 
This issue is being discussed all over the country. Families are 
begging for us to address the question of mandatory sentencing. Our 
prison system is overcrowded.
  I hope that I can gather my colleagues to reasonably look at an 
important concept, which is putting in the concept of ``good time'' in 
our Federal prisons. My constituents happen to come from an inner-city 
district and are overloaded in the prisons. Many of them are there for 
nonviolent crimes. Many of their families are crying. Many of their 
families were willing to take them in, and also in many instances they 
have been rehabilitated and can be more contributing to society if they 
are released.
  The very fact they are being held in prison on a mandatory sentence, 
not having the opportunity for ``good time,'' I think is a waste of 
resources. It is costing the United States of America millions of 
dollars. These are not violent criminals. I am not arguing for violent 
criminals; I am arguing for those nonviolent criminals that are in, who 
could do well to be released.
  My last amendment has to do with recognizing that small businesses 
are the backbone of America. With 6 million people unemployed, this 
amendment would simply provide for the Small Business Administration to 
provide technical assistance for small businesses who want to do 
business in rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope to be able to work 
with the Small Business Administration to ensure that this kind of 
technical assistance is provided.
  Likewise, I would hope to be able to work with the Federal Bureau of 
Prisons, my colleagues on the House Committee on the Judiciary and 
ultimately the Committee on Appropriations to look at the idea of 
``good time'' being placed in law, recognizing the need to address this 
frightening, staggering statistic of overcrowding prisons with inmates 
and people incarcerated that could do well to benefit from Federal 
sentencing guidelines being modified by a ``good time'' provision, one 
day per one day of good time, and giving a reward to nonviolent 
criminals in the Federal prison.
  We are overcrowded, everyone recognizes it, families are being 
penalized; and I would ask that my colleagues would entertain these 
ideas in the future as we discuss ways of solving problems that need to 
be solved.
  The purpose of this amendment is to prohibit funding needed for the 
Secretary of the Department of State to regulate the issuance of 
consular identification cards by foreign missions in the United States. 
H.R. 2799 requires the Secretary to decide what the consulates of other 
countries can and cannot do with respect to consular identification 
documents in the United States.
  Although the Secretary's decisions would apply to all consulate 
offices in the United States, it is apparent that the objective of the 
requirement is to regulate the issuance of a particular consular 
document, the Matricula Consular issued by the Mexican consulates.
  The Mexican consulates issue these cards to create an official record 
of its citizens in other countries. The Matricula is legal proof of 
such registration. This registration facilitates access to protection 
and consular services because the certificate is evidence of Mexican 
nationality. It does not provide immigrant status of any kind, and it 
cannot be used for travel, employment, or driving in the United States 
or in Mexico. The Matricula only attests that a Mexican consulate has 
verified the individual's identity.
  If the Secretary of State were to regulate the consulates of Mexico 
and other foreign governments, it would interfere with the rights of 
other sovereign nations to issue whatever identification cards they 
want to issue to their citizens abroad, provided that they meet the 
requirements of the Vienna Convention. Under that convention, consular 
function is established as ``performing any other functions entrusted 
to a consular post which are not prohibited by the laws and regulations 
of the receiving State.''
  There is no United States federal law that forbids the issuance of 
consular identification cards. In fact, the Treasury Department has 
issued regulations under Section 326 of the PATRIOT Act that would 
allow financial institutions to accept consular identification cards as 
valid forms of identification for the purpose of opening accounts.
  I urge you to vote for my amendment.
  The implementing legislation for the Singapore and Chile trade 
agreements would create a new nonimmigrant visa classification for 
workers from those countries which would be similar to the present H-1B 
nonimmigrant visa classification. The H-1B program generates a $1,000 
fee that employers must pay. Under the H-1B provisions, 4 percent of 
the $1,000 must be used for processing the H-1B visa applications, and 
the remainder must be used to run training programs for American 
workers.
  The new nonimmigrant visa classification also would generate a $1,000 
fee. In fact, the fee for the new classification would be the same as 
the fee for the H-1B classification. If the H-1B fee is lowered, the 
new classification's fee also would be lowered.
  My amendment would use the same type of distribution system that is 
currently used by the H-1B system, only the remainder would be used for 
a different purpose. The Secretary would have to use the remainder for 
processing other types of nonimmigrant visa classifications. I want to 
emphasize that my amendment does not affect the use of the fees 
generated by H-1B applications.
  The reason for earmarking the extra funds generated by the new fees 
this way is to accelerate the processing times for nonimmigrant visas. 
Our consulate offices in other countries have enormous caseloads of 
nonimmigrant visa applications, which has created unfortunate delays. 
For instance, people from other countries who are seeking medical 
treatment in the United States sometimes cannot obtain nonimmigrant 
visas until it is too late. Something has to be done about this 
situation. The fee distribution system I am proposing would provide 
help to improve this situation.
  I urge you to vote for my amendment.
  The implementing legislation for the Singapore and Chile trade 
agreements would create a new nonimmigrant visa classification for 
workers from those countries who want to work in the United States. The 
new visa classification would be similar to the existing H-1B visa 
classification. The purpose of my amendment is to prohibit the funding 
of renewals for the new nonimmigrant visa classification beyond 8 
times.
  The existing H-1B classification permits foreign employees to enter 
the United States for a 3-year period. At the end of that period, the 
employee must go home unless he is granted a renewal. One 3-year 
renewal is permitted. At the end of the renewal period, the foreign 
employee must go home.
  The new visa classification would authorize the foreign employee to 
work in the United States for 1 year, instead of 3 years, as is the 
case with the present H-1B classification. When the year is completed, 
however, the new visa classification provisions would permit an 
infinite number of renewals in 1-year increments. Theoretically, the 
foreign employee could enter the United States as a nonimmigrant 
employee at the age of 22 and remain until he is ready to retire at the 
age of 70 by obtaining renewals at the end of each 1-year period.
  The provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act for nonimmigrant 
classifications did not intend such a result. The term ``nonimmigrant'' 
is defined as an alien in the United States who is not an 
``immigrant.'' An ``immigrant'' is an alien who has made the United 
States his home. An immigrant is a permanent resident. In contrast, a 
nonimmigrant is someone who is in the United States on a temporary 
basis. The new nonimmigrant visa classification would violate that 
definition by making it possible for alien employees to spend their 
entire careers working in the United States. That is not a temporary 
admission by any stretch of the imagination.
  My amendment would prohibit funding more than 8 1-year renewals. This 
would permit the

[[Page H7315]]

alien employee to remain for a total of 9 years, which is 50 percent 
longer than the 6-year period that a person with an H-1B classification 
can remain.
  I urge you to vote for my amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, today I rise in support of my amendment to H.R. 2799. 
The purpose of this amendment is to promote the study of ``good time'' 
in federal sentencing guidelines for persons incarcerated for non-
violent crimes. Mr. Chairman, ``good time'' is a reduction in sentenced 
time in prison as a reward for good behavior. It is usually one-third 
to one-half off the maximum sentence.
  Mr. Chairman, at this time we are faced with a crisis. Our federal 
prison systems are severely overcrowded. We are running out of 
resources and facilities to house our prisoners. Mr. Chairman, at this 
time there are currently thousands of non-violent offenders, first time 
offenders, serving time in these federal prisons. Some of these 
prisoners are prisoners who realistically pose no more of a risk to 
society than you or I. I firmly believe that some of these non-violent, 
in many cases first time offenders, should be given a second chance to 
prove themselves and become positive contributors to this great society 
of ours.
  I would also say, Mr. Chairman, that at this time recidivism is also 
a major problem now plaguing our prison system. We are experiencing a 
phenomenon in where many prisoners who spend time serving lengthy 
prison sentences are released and soon return to incarceration. It is 
my impression, Mr. Chairman, that lengthy prison sentences just do not 
work; we need to begin to conquer the root of the problem.
  I propose this amendment to H.R. 2799, the Commerce Justice State 
Appropriations Act for FY 2004.
  The purpose of this amendment is to prohibit any funds allocated 
under this act from being used to prevent the small business 
administration from providing technical assistance to small businesses 
participating in rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan. I am a proponent of 
the full participation of small businesses, minority-owned businesses, 
and women-owned businesses in efforts to rebuild post-war Iraq and 
Afghanistan. In the department of defense reauthorization bill I 
included language to help America's small business community. This 
amendment also helps America's small business community. The amendment 
ensures that no funds will be used to prevent the small business 
administration from helping America's small businesses rebuild the 
cities of our international allies. I propose this amendment as a means 
of helping the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan and also helping 
America's small business community. I urge my colleagues to support 
this amendment.


                             Point of Order

  The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf) insist on 
his point of order?
  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Chairman, I do.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his point of order.
  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the 
amendments because it proposes to change the existing law and 
constitutes legislation in an appropriations bill, and therefore 
violates clause 2 of rule XXI.
  The rule states in pertinent part ``an amendment to a general 
appropriations bill shall not be in order if changing existing law.''
  The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentlewoman from Texas wish to be heard on the 
point of order?
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, as I indicated, these are 
very, very important issues to me and many of the constituents and 
advocacy groups that I have engaged in. I do believe that we should not 
do immigration policies on trade bills, and of course, those bills will 
be up tomorrow. They involve those kinds of issues.
  Likewise, I think it is extremely important, as I said, that we do 
something to solve the overcrowding of the Federal Bureau of Prisons 
and other prisons and, as well, address the question of small 
businesses attempting to do work in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  But I will look forward to working with my colleagues on these very 
important issues as we work through the Congress's business in the 
108th Congress and hope to be eventually successful with these 
amendments.
  Mr. Chairman, I look forward to working with my colleagues in 
bringing forward amendments that they will accept and that we will have 
a positive vote on.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendments en 
bloc.
  The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the amendments en bloc are 
withdrawn.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, as we get close to the end of this debate and the end 
of the evening, I just wanted to take this opportunity, first of all, 
to commend you, sir, for the work you have done today and for the 
professional and fair way in which you have treated all of us. It is 
always a pleasure to have you in the chair, and I know that I speak 
probably for both sides, but certainly for this side, in thanking you 
for the way in which you treat us, in your fair and honest way.
  Secondly, I take this opportunity once again to say to my chairman, 
the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf), that it is a pleasure always to 
work with him. We have had some little lumps today, but I think when 
the final vote is taken tomorrow, everything will show that we did what 
was right and we did what was fair; and I just want to thank the 
gentleman for being a good partner in this endeavor of ours.
  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SERRANO. I yield to the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman. I feel exactly the 
same way. I thank the gentleman very much.


                     Amendment Offered by Mr. Rush

  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Rush:
       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:

               TITLE VIII--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS

       Sec. ____. None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be used for the sentencing phase of any Federal prosecution 
     in which the penalty of death is sought by the United States.

  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is modest in scope. It 
temporarily stays Federal death penalty prosecutions for the fiscal 
year 2004.
  I want to say that this is not an abolition of the Federal death 
penalty. Specifically, Mr. Chairman, it prohibits Federal funds under 
the act from being used in the sentencing phase of Federal death 
penalty cases.
  Mr. Chairman, there are too many mistakes that happen in the Federal 
judicial system. Last year, I am sure you know, a district court ruled 
that the Federal death penalty is unconstitutional because it does not 
afford defendants enough opportunity to prove their innocence.
  This decision was overturned by the Second Circuit, but only on legal 
grounds, and it shows that there is controversy over the factual 
accuracy of death penalty cases.
  In Illinois, the State that I represent, where my district is 
located, the former governor, the Republican governor, I might add, 
George Ryan, imposed an indefinite moratorium on State death penalty 
cases because too many defendants were being exonerated.
  This amendment tries to emulate what Governor Ryan did. However, it 
is more modest in scope, because it only lasts 1 year.
  Mr. Chairman, in Illinois we had literally tens of individuals who 
were on death row, who had been placed on death row by a process that I 
am sure that Members of this body would not be proud of, including 
torture in terms of soliciting their confessions, and in terms of they 
had faulty defense counsel and various other kinds of issues and 
problems that they were not able to overcome.
  As a result, there were approximately 61 people who were actually 
freed from death row. If I am not mistaken, there were a number of 
people freed from death row because it was determined that their 
confessions had been solicited after being tortured in the jail system 
or in the Cook County jail or the Chicago police stations.
  So this amendment is meant to deal with that issue, to deal with 
similar issues in the Federal system.
  I might add that since Governor Ryan imposed his indefinite 
moratorium on the death penalty, Illinois has passed a lot of reforms 
that came about as a result of the findings of a commission that 
Governor Ryan convened during this moratorium.
  Our State has passed common-sense reforms that will more adequately 
safeguard defendants from wrongful

[[Page H7316]]

death penalty prosecutions. They have imposed a minimum defense 
requirement, and now, Mr. Chairman, I am so proud that my State is the 
first State in the Nation that has imposed videotaping of all 
interrogations. That means that in any death penalty case, all the 
interrogation has to be videotaped by the police department in the 
first instance. That bill was signed into law last week, and I think 
that we at the Federal level should do no less than what we have done 
at the State level.
  I might remind the Members of this House that in the year 2000, the 
Department of Justice survey of the Federal death penalty system shows 
that the system disparately affects people of color. Eighty percent of 
cases in which the death penalty was sought involved defendants of a 
minority ethnic group, and over half of the cases involved African 
American defendants. It seems that with 80 percent of these cases, that 
certainly is out of line with what the population of this Nation is.
  Since 1988, another factor that I want Members of this body to know 
is 60 percent of white defendants avoided the death penalty through 
plea bargaining, while only 41 percent of African American defendants 
were able to plea bargain in such a fashion.
  So, this particular amendment, Mr. Chairman, is, I think, a 
worthwhile amendment. It is a sound amendment and it really is meant to 
eradicate some injustices that might exist, that do exist, in the 
criminal justice system.
  I might add, Mr. Chairman, that the fact that these death penalty 
laws are carried out in such a biased way, one-sided way, affecting 
minorities, that it is shameful on this Nation for this to be allowed 
to continue.

                              {time}  2145

  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. It 
really is not an appropriate amendment for an appropriations bill. It 
really should be dealt with by the authorizers.
  Also, the gentleman's amendment would allow the Department of Justice 
to prosecute cases involving the death penalty, but would then prohibit 
them from the sentencing phase. That is probably not a very good way to 
go.
  I understand what he is trying to do, but the Congress has enacted 
numerous bills dealing with these issues, and I think undoing these 
bills with a funding limitation is probably not the way to go. I would 
urge the gentleman to go through the authorizers. I know they are 
opposed to this amendment.
  So because of that, Mr. Chairman, I oppose the amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush) will 
be postponed.


                     Amendment Offered by Mr. Levin

  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Levin:
       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:

               TITLE VIII--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS

       Sec. 801. None of the funds made available in this Act may 
     be expended by the United States Trade Representative for 
     negotiating a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), or a 
     Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), that does not 
     protect against piracy of copyrights, that does not open 
     markets for United States agricultural products and high 
     technology and other manufactured exports, that provides 
     greater rights for foreign investors than Americans in the 
     United States, and that does not require adoption and 
     enforcement of the basic prohibitions on exploitative child 
     labor, forced labor, and discrimination, and guarantee of the 
     right to associate and bargain collectively.

  Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on this 
amendment.
  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that debate on the 
amendment offered by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin) and any 
amendments thereto be limited to 30 minutes to be equally divided and 
controlled by the proponent and by an opponent, and that would be, I 
think, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe).
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Virginia?
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will consider the point of order reserved 
throughout the debate.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, this amendment is being offered for a clear set of 
reasons. Expanded trade is critical. It is critical that the terms of 
this expanded trade be effectively shaped. The pace of trade 
negotiations is indeed increasing. This heightened pace needs to take a 
global economy and all of its people, and I emphasize all of its 
people, in the right direction upwards.
  This amendment is not a case of tying the hands of our negotiators. 
It is a matter of Members of Congress showing their hands, showing what 
should be the course of these negotiations.
  So this amendment underlines, on behalf of this House, some 
priorities: protection against piracy of copyrights, open markets for 
agricultural goods, open markets for high-tech and other manufactured 
exports, no greater rights for foreign investors and Americans, and 
guarantee of the right of workers to associate and bargain 
collectively.
  Since CAFTA, the Central America Free Trade Agreement, is the next 
trade negotiation that is farthest along, let me discuss it in terms of 
this amendment.
  In this negotiation of CAFTA, there is a particular relevance of the 
provision in this amendment relating to the rights of workers to 
associate and to bargain collectively. CAFTA represents a major 
opportunity, and I emphasize that, to integrate further the economies 
of our Nation and the nations of Central America. Such integration 
includes sensitive areas such as apparel and textiles and agriculture. 
This further economic integration of Caribbean nations, including the 
United States, beyond that in the CBI arrangements, cannot be achieved 
unless there are some basic standards negotiated into the new CAFTA 
trade agreement. This expanded trade and further integration of our 
markets cannot be achieved based on the suppression of the workers in 
Central America in the sectors I mentioned or any other.
  There is clearly such suppression of workers today in the three 
Central American countries I visited 3 months ago: El Salvador, 
Nicaragua, and Guatemala. That is verified clearly by both the State 
Department and ILO reports. Laws in those countries that are woefully 
weak, that clearly violate ILO standards, woeful enforcement of these 
clearly inadequate laws, putting forth in the negotiations of CAFTA as 
the U.S. is doing as a standard, enforcing your own laws can only lead 
to the opposite of strong laws and strong enforcement.
  If this does not change, one, workers in these Central American 
nations will not be able to climb up the ladder, cannot become part of 
an expanded middle class so important to them, so important to their 
countries, and important to the U.S. in terms of ability of people in 
those countries to buy our goods and services; two, there will be a 
race to the bottom among the nations as to which Central American 
nation can have the worst conditions, the most suppressed workers; 
three, workers and an increasing number of consumers in our Nation will 
oppose any trade agreement.
  Mr. Chairman, we have a chance, and I emphasize this, an opportunity, 
to build integrated economic structures that can compete with all 
nations, build on standards that uplift the people of the United States 
and Central America, and eventually all other nations.
  This amendment says the Congress wants USTR to seize this 
opportunity. I urge support of this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment, and I 
yield myself such time as I may consume.

[[Page H7317]]

  I rise in opposition to the amendment that is offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan. At the appropriate time, I will make the point 
of order as to why I believe that this amendment is not in order. As I 
understand it, just so we are clear as to how we are going to proceed 
here this evening, our intention is for the two of us or others who may 
want to debate to use the time, and reserve, each of us, 1 minute of 
debate for tomorrow, and I will make the point of order at that time 
and we will address the issue at that time.
  But aside from the issue of the parliamentary procedure that is 
involved here as to whether this amendment is in order and, as I said, 
I will address that at the appropriate time, I do have strong 
objections to the content of this amendment.
  I have a lot of respect, a tremendous amount of respect for the 
gentleman from Michigan. I appreciate both the intellect and the 
passion that he brings to the subject of trade and its discussions. He 
and I worked together, sometimes on opposite sides, on trade issues in 
this Chamber over the years. On any given day, when there is a trade 
panel discussion, whether it is here in the Capitol or some place 
downtown, he and I are usually paired together as discussers. But as 
many of my colleagues may know, we do possess very different views 
about trade policy.
  I want to commend the gentleman from Michigan for the crafting of 
this particular amendment. With it I think he has shown a great deal of 
legislative brilliance and some policy ingenuity as well.
  But I have to say the net result is quite mischievous. The gentleman, 
through his amendment, seeks to have his cake and then to eat it as 
well. Or on another plane, it attempts, this amendment attempts to be 
all things to all people. It purports to satisfy all constituencies: 
expertise in agriculture, manufacturing, technology, U.S. producers of 
intellectual property through copyright protection, antiglobalization 
environmental organizations focused on investment issues, and even 
labor organizations focused on labor rights.
  In the context of trade negotiations, it sets very high hurdles or 
high marks on the pole vault poles that the U.S. trade negotiators must 
meet in order to get over that hurdle. It cherry-picks the very best 
USTR has been able to negotiate so far in other free trade agreements 
with other countries. And, in this case, it picks on the two that are 
here in our hemisphere. It says that the Central American Free Trade 
Agreement and the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, both under 
active consideration and active negotiation, should emulate the 
copyright provisions from the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement. On the 
agriculture, manufacturing and market access, the amendment says that 
CAFTA and the FTAA should replicate the outcomes of the U.S.-Singapore 
Free Trade Agreement. On the issue of investor rights, it creatively 
interprets how Trade Promotion Authority, TPA, which has been adopted 
by this body and enacted into law, it creatively interprets how TPA was 
written to meet its own ends. Lastly, it would seek to make Jordan, the 
Jordan agreement a model for future agreements on the issue of labor 
rights.
  Mr. Chairman, as I said a moment ago, this amendment really aims to 
be all things to all people. But when we get below the surface, we have 
to realize that this amendment is a poison pill, a poison pill that 
dooms the hope of Hondurans and Equadorans, El Salvadorans, and all 
others in this hemisphere for more market access, for the opportunity 
to trade with the United States. The aim of this amendment is nothing 
less than to sink the negotiations on the Central American Free Trade 
Agreement and the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, and that would 
be a disaster. It would be a disaster for the U.S. economy. It would be 
a disaster for our foreign policy, which has made such a strong 
commitment to these countries, to give them the access that they do not 
now have. It would be a disaster for the future development of 
democracy in the Western Hemisphere.
  The fact is, Mr. Chairman, every agreement is unique. We can be sure 
that USTR will get the best possible deal for U.S. workers, for 
exporters, and for importers. We can be sure that the U.S. Government 
will seek to get the best deal for consumers and for America's working 
families. But, Mr. Chairman, we cannot prejudge the outcome like this 
gentleman attempts to do with his amendment by directing it in advance. 
Every negotiation, every trade negotiation that we have ever had is 
different; but we all expect that in the end the agreements that are 
negotiated by USTR will improve the status quo for free trade in the 
Western Hemisphere and with the Central American countries. That is our 
goal for CAFTA and for the FTAA. This agreement, by seeking to put a 
straitjacket around the USTR as to how they would negotiate that 
agreement, would assure that in the end we have no such agreement. It 
is as simple as that.
  For that reason on substance, this amendment should be opposed.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from California (Mr. George Miller).
  (Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California asked and was given permission to 
revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman 
for yielding me this time. I thank the gentleman from Arizona for 
withholding on his point of order so we may make our points.
  I am most concerned with this amendment with respect to the sections 
dealing with labor, the issues of forced labor and exploited child 
labor, and the right to associate and to bargain collectively. Those 
are all determinations that would be made in the countries that we 
signed the agreement with. To suggest that somehow we cannot conduct 
free trade, that we cannot conduct trade with countries in Central 
America and South America, or anywhere in the world; that if those 
people have the right of freedom of association, or they have a right 
to collective bargaining, that that would destroy the trade agreements.
  Yet, we have seen a country like Cambodia that now has a textile 
agreement, that has the ILO poor labor standards in it. We see American 
companies flocking to Cambodia to do business there, because, in fact, 
they find those poor labor standards provide a value added. They find 
out now that when they come under attack for the processes in which 
they use to manufacture their goods, they have the ability to refer 
them to the ILO.

                              {time}  2200

  It has been settled and many of them have escaped jeopardy because 
they had done nothing wrong, but there was a neutral forum to do that. 
The Cambodian Government finds, as I said, that this is a value added 
for them.
  What are they doing? They are allowing people in a country that just 
a few short years ago was considered a killing field, they are allowing 
people to freely associate, to collectively bargain, to form the union, 
and to develop the workers' rights in accordance with that proposition.
  That is all we are asking. We are not asking them to take American 
labor union agreements, the American labor collective bargaining 
standards, but we are allowing people to freely associate and to 
participate. And the fact of the matter is, it can work because if you 
do not do that, then what you simply do is develop what has been 
written about the first generation of globalization, and that is the 
incredible exploitation, the incredible exploitation in the Third World 
countries as we open them up for trade for purposes of manufacturing 
where the benefits are not shared, the benefits are not derived in 
those societies, and that has got to stop. Not only is that unfair 
competition for American workers, but it is exploitative competition 
for the people in those countries.
  Why is it that when banana pickers try to get together in Ecuador, 
they are beaten by the police? Their houses are set on fire. They are 
beaten outside the place of their employment. Their families are 
intimidated. That is fair trade? That is the treatment that we want to 
bring to people? We do not want to suggest that these people are 
entitled to more? You can buy 10 pounds of bananas for 99 cents, so 
that somehow we can justify that?
  No. This is about whether or not over a long period of time if these 
people

[[Page H7318]]

have these rights and they are enforceable, they will have the ability 
to freely associate, to collectively bargain, to get rid of forced 
labor, to get rid of child labor. And that would be the American market 
being used for the best of purposes to leverage these people into a 
better life and a better standard of living.
  Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio 
(Mr. Brown).
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend from Michigan (Mr. 
Levin) for yielding me time.
  Mr. Chairman, where I come from, trade is a four-letter word, J-O-B-
S. Unfortunately, this administration, this Trade Representative, the 
leadership in this Congress just simply do not spell very well.
  We all know what has happened. We lost 3.1 million jobs in the 2\1/2\ 
years the Bush administration has been in the White House. We have lost 
2.1 million manufacturing jobs. We have lost them because of an 
economic program of tax cuts for the wealthy, the most privileged. We 
have lost them because of the cuts in veterans, in education, in health 
benefits. And we lost them because of trade agreements, one trade 
agreement after the other.
  Last Sunday, I spoke at a rally for Goodyear. There are 14 Goodyear 
plants left in the United States. Worker after worker came up to me and 
said, What are you doing about our jobs that move overseas?
  They understand that NAFTA has been a failure from a billion-dollar-
plus trade surplus 10 years ago, pre-NAFTA, to a $25 billion deficit 
with Canada and Mexico post-NAFTA. They understand that our China trade 
policy has been a failure. Only $100 million, with an ``M,'' trade 
deficit a dozen years ago; $100 billion, with a ``B,'' trade deficit 
today where thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe 
a million U.S. jobs have gone to China.
  Two years ago Congress got it right. This body passed without dissent 
a Jordan trade agreement. They got it right because it had labor 
standards. It had environmental standards. It represented American 
values and Jordanian values that lifted people up, not pulled standards 
down.
  But now we have Singapore. Now we have Chile; next we have the 
Central America Free Trade Agreement, where the model under Jordan was 
strong environment, strong labor standards, strong food safety 
standards, our values.
  The Levin amendment makes sense because it will restore what this 
Congress rallied around, a Jordan-type trade agreement which meant 
raising values, supporting American values, raising the standards that 
we hold dear on labor and the environment. It makes sense. It is the 
right message. It is the right legislation for American jobs. It will 
explain to those Goodyear workers in Akron and 13 other plants across 
this country, explain to steel workers who have lost their jobs, 
explain to auto workers that might lose their jobs that this Congress 
actually is on the side of American values, is on the side of fighting 
for American jobs, cares about the environment, cares about food 
safety, cares about supporting American values, bringing back American 
jobs, preserving what we have, fighting for what we have.
  The Levin amendment makes sense.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I just want to be sure about the time since 
the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) and I are both reserving a 
minute at the end and the minority leader is going to take that minute 
tomorrow.
  Mr. Chairman, do I have 4 minutes left?
  The CHAIRMAN. That is correct.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
North Dakota (Mr. Pomeroy).
  Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, I begin by an expression of my strong respect for the 
chairman of the Foreign Ops appropriations subcommittee. I disagree 
with him on the amendment before us, which states that basically the 
funding of our Trade Representative shall be applied towards 
negotiating agreements that protect against piracy of copyrights, open 
markets for United States ag products, open markets for our high tech 
and other manufactured exports, and that provide for basic labor 
agreements in the countries we are negotiating with.
  I think the American taxpayer has a right to understand that there 
are some governing principles behind the way we approach these trade 
negotiations. And I would like to focus specifically on agriculture for 
a minute.
  Some might think that if it is agriculture that is exported, then 
trade agreements are good. It depends on how those trade agreements are 
negotiated. We presently are locked in a regimen, for example, with 
Europe where they have very significantly higher export subsidies, and 
we are looking at a WTO run where they are basically evaluating whether 
or not to bring each of them down an equal percentage, still leaving in 
place an essential disparity between the subsidies that Europe provides 
their exports and we provide ours.
  We have a trade agreement with Canada that protects the operation of 
their state trading monopoly, the Canadian Wheat Board, a monopoly 
trading enterprise that we believe provides subsidies illegally to the 
Canadian farmers. So our farmers are not competing against Canadian 
farmers; they are competing against the Canadian Wheat Board and its 
government. They could make that clear by opening their books, but they 
have adamantly refused to open their books.
  We have sued them. We have tried all kinds of things. And now we have 
a case pending in front of the WTO, years of delay, disadvantage to our 
farmers, lost markets, all accomplished under these trade agreements 
that were supposed to bring us new markets.
  So it is important that we have a very clear vision, going in, that 
we are advancing our interests, we are advancing it compatible with our 
values. And that means opening markets. And that means labor 
protections.
  This comes into sharp focus as we are on the eve of potentially 
voting on and maybe approving agreements that have previously been 
negotiated for Singapore and Chile.
  We had a vote last week in the Committee on Ways and Means. I voted 
for each of those trade agreements, and I intend to vote for them on 
the floor. But let me make it very clear, a vote for those agreements 
does not mean that that is somehow a template, some kind of stamped 
form agreement that we can apply to countries that are fundamentally 
different from the advanced countries of Singapore and Chile with the 
functional labor protections and other protections.
  This is an important resolution before us. I urge its adoption.
  Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have remaining?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) has 9 minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin) has 1 minute 
remaining.
  Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 8 minutes, although I do not 
expect to use it, but I want to make sure I protect 1 minute at the end 
there.
  Mr. Chairman, as I listen to the gentleman from North Dakota (Mr. 
Pomeroy), who is a good friend of mine and somebody whom I have the 
greatest respect for, I realize that what we are talking about here is 
something that on one level sounds very good.
  Who in the world is not in favor of opening our markets? Who in the 
world is not in favor of protecting us against copyright invasion? Who 
is not in favor of rights for American investors at least as good as 
foreign investors have? Who in the world would not be for good labor 
standards that do not allow for exploitation of child labor or forced 
labor?
  All of those things, of course, we are for. But we have to look at 
the specific words of the amendments that is being offered here, Mr. 
Chairman. It is not just nice rhetoric we are talking about. We are 
talking about an amendment that is being proposed to a piece of 
legislation that is being proposed to be enacted into law. So let us 
look at it.
  It says none of the funds, none of the funds, made available to the 
United States Trade Representative, none of the funds in here, which is 
well over $24 million this year, none of the funds made available to 
the U.S. Trade Representative may be used in negotiating a Free Trade 
Agreement of the Americas or a Central American Free Trade

[[Page H7319]]

Agreement, CAFT agreement, that does not protect against piracy of 
copyright. Well and good. Who determines that? How does it get 
determined? How do we know if we are making sufficient progress during 
the negotiations to know whether or not we could be expending any funds 
that does not open markets for the United States agricultural products 
and high technology and other manufactured products.
  Does that mean that only if it opens markets for our products? Does 
it mean it cannot open our doors for products from other countries 
coming into the United States? Is this supposed to be just under this? 
Is USTR supposed to assume it has to be a one-way trade agreement that 
is to be negotiated, that provides for greater rights for foreign 
investors? What are greater rights? What does that mean? Cannot provide 
for greater rights for foreign investors than U.S.? Do we have to 
compare each tax law? How do we compare the tax laws as opposed to our 
own tax laws? How are they supposed to know?
  The point of all of this, Mr. Chairman, the point that I am trying to 
make here, is that what we are talking about here is a negotiating 
process. We are talking about the U.S. Trade Representative entering 
into a negotiation. And when you enter into negotiations, you cannot 
prejudge and say that at the outset it has to be better than it was 
before in all agricultural products. It has to provide for more 
protection for U.S. investors than for other investors.
  And how are they supposed to know day by day during this negotiation 
whether they are allowed to expend funds?
  It is a completely unworkable kind of amendment that is being offered 
here today. So just on the surface of this amendment it is something 
that could not really possibly work. The bottom line is we all want to 
have protection for investors, protection for copyrights, open access 
to markets in other countries.
  But we are also talking about some of the least developed countries, 
certainly, in this hemisphere, some of the lesser-developed countries 
in the world. And part of what we want to do with these trade 
agreements is give them an opportunity to have economic growth, give 
them an opportunity to hope for the future, give them a hand up, not a 
hand out, hold our hand out to them with open trade, with open markets; 
not to keep giving them more assistance that only robs them of the 
ability to send their markets, send their products to our markets.
  That, Mr. Chairman, is what we are talking about with these free 
trade agreements.
  I am reminded finally of how the head of the international labor 
organizations at one time with the group of members of this body was 
being questioned about labor rights and what kind of labor rights 
should exist in other countries; and he finally said, We want jobs, of 
course, we want good jobs in these Latin American countries, but first 
we have to have the job before we can talk about how we protect that 
job, before we can talk about having worker protections and building on 
that and making those jobs better and providing for more rights for our 
workers. First, we have to have the jobs.

                              {time}  2215

  That is what we are talk about with CAFTA and the FTAA. We are 
talking about providing these jobs for people there, giving them a 
chance, giving them hope for the future. Let us not rob them of that 
hope. Let us not do the Central American Free Trade Agreement; let us 
not do the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas with an amendment like 
this.
  Tomorrow we will make our points of order on the issue itself as to 
whether this amendment should be in order.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time except for the 1 
minute that remains.
  Mr. WOLF. 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. 
Ose) having assumed the chair, Mr. Hastings of Washington, Chairman 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. 
2799) making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, 
and State, the Judiciary, and related agencies for the fiscal year 
ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes, had come to no 
resolution thereon.

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