PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 644, FIGHTING HUNGER INCENTIVE ACT OF 2015, AND PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 636, AMERICA'S SMALL BUSINESS TAX RELIEF ACT OF 2015; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 24
(House of Representatives - February 12, 2015)

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[Pages H993-H1000]
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PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 644, FIGHTING HUNGER INCENTIVE ACT 
 OF 2015, AND PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 636, AMERICA'S SMALL 
                    BUSINESS TAX RELIEF ACT OF 2015

  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call 
up House Resolution 101 and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 101

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 644) to 
     amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend 
     and expand the charitable deduction for contributions of food 
     inventory. All points of order against consideration of the 
     bill are waived. In lieu of the amendment in the nature of a 
     substitute recommended by the Committee on Ways and Means now 
     printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a 
     substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 
     114-5 shall be considered as adopted. The bill, as amended, 
     shall be considered as read. All points of order against 
     provisions in the bill, as amended, are waived. The previous 
     question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as 
     amended, and on any further amendment thereto to final 
     passage without intervening motion except: (1) 90 minutes of 
     debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and 
     ranking minority member of the Committee on Ways and Means; 
     and (2) one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

[[Page H994]]

       Sec. 2.  Upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in 
     order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 636) to amend 
     the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend 
     increased expensing limitations, and for other purposes. All 
     points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. 
     In lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute 
     recommended by the Committee on Ways and Means now printed in 
     the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute 
     consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 114-6 shall 
     be considered as adopted. The bill, as amended, shall be 
     considered as read. All points of order against provisions in 
     the bill, as amended, are waived. The previous question shall 
     be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any 
     further amendment thereto to final passage without 
     intervening motion except: (1) 90 minutes of debate equally 
     divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
     member of the Committee on Ways and Means; and (2) one motion 
     to recommit with or without instructions.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Oklahoma is recognized 
for 1 hour.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the 
customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. 
McGovern), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. 
During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the 
purpose of debate only.


                             General Leave

  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 
5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Oklahoma?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. COLE. On Tuesday, the Committee on Rules met and reported a rule 
for consideration of two important pieces of tax legislation, H.R. 644 
and H.R. 636.
  The resolution provides a closed rule for consideration of each bill 
and provides for 90 minutes of debate equally divided between the 
chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Ways and Means on each 
bill. In addition, the rule provides for a motion to recommit on each 
bill.
  Mr. Speaker, most of my colleagues will remember the House's 
consideration of H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, in 
December of last year. At that time, more than 50 individual tax 
extenders were retroactively extended for the 2014 tax year, giving 
businesses just 12 days to make complicated investment decisions. That 
is no way to run a business.
  Every time I am at home I hear from Oklahomans who either work for or 
own small businesses. Without fail, they tell me that certainty is what 
they need most from Washington. But too often Washington tells 
Americans who operate and work in small businesses to ``trust us.'' We 
promise to extend X or Y or Z tax provision indefinitely.
  Unfortunately, those Americans can't take that to the bank. They 
can't take our word that we will actually be able to deliver on the 
promises made by Congress. The only thing they can rely on is the law. 
If our tax laws expire every year, it injects an uncertainty into the 
business environment that inhibits economic growth.
  Even though we were able to retroactively extend those tax provisions 
at the end of last year, they are already expired again. Instead of 
continuing this cycle of uncertainty, it is important to put these tax 
cuts in place early so that we don't end up in a situation like we did 
last year.
  I applaud Chairman Ryan for beginning early with provisions we all 
agree on.

                              {time}  1245

  This rule will provide for consideration of permanent extension of 
seven different tax provisions, provisions like section 179 expensing 
and provisions like extending the deduction of IRA distributions to 
charities. All of us, Republicans and Democrats, have supported these 
measures in the past, at least on a temporary basis. These are tax 
provisions that we retroactively extended less than 2 months ago. Why 
shouldn't we make these popular tax provisions permanent and do it now, 
not retroactively late in the year?
  Mr. Speaker, some have criticized this legislation because it ``isn't 
paid for.'' I think Chairman Ryan said it best in the Rules Committee 
on Tuesday. These are provisions of the Tax Code which we routinely 
extend, year after year. They are effectively part of the existing Tax 
Code. Permanently reauthorizing them reflects the policy this country 
has maintained for years, under both Republican and Democratic 
administrations and Congress. And doing so provides business with the 
certainty that they desperately seek.
  Finally, Mr. Speaker, I want to take a few moments to note that just 
as we have had to examine and pare back the discretionary side of the 
budget, we need to examine and pare back the tax side of the budget. 
There are over 200 tax expenditures--or spending on the ``tax side'' of 
the ledger--that, if all are extended, will cost the Federal Government 
more than $12 trillion over the next 10 years. Many of these provisions 
are worthy, but many others should clearly be eliminated. The sheer 
complexity of the Tax Code and associated regulations should push us 
towards reforms so that our Tax Code works for us all in the 21st 
century.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to commend Chairman Ryan for beginning this 
process in earnest and look forward to the consideration of additional 
measures at the appropriate time.
  I urge support for the rule and the underlying legislation.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend, the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Cole) for yielding me the customary 30 minutes, and I 
yield myself such time as I may consume.
  (Mr. McGOVERN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, today we are considering two pieces of tax 
legislation under closed rules. These mark our 10th and 11th closed 
rules in the first 6 weeks of the 114th Congress. Sadly, this has 
become the standard operating procedure in the Republican House.
  In 2011, when Republicans took the majority, Speaker Boehner promised 
``the right to a robust debate in open process.'' He promised many open 
rules. Instead, we have just ended the most closed Congress in history. 
And if these past 6 weeks are any indication of where we are headed, 
this leadership seems intent on breaking its own record for denying 
open debate on the House floor.
  I also want to point out that the Department of Homeland Security 
runs out of money February 28, 16 days from now. Press reports indicate 
that the Republican leadership is scrambling to gather the votes 
necessary to pass a bill.
  Well, Mr. Speaker, I have some advice for my friends in the majority. 
Instead of yelling, instead of pouting and swearing, bring to the floor 
a clean Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, the 
bipartisan negotiated compromise that has been ready to go since last 
November. This is a bill that could and should be sent to the President 
as quickly as possible, especially considering the international and 
national homeland security situation facing the U.S. and the world at 
this very, very moment.
  So I have to say that I am a little perplexed as to why the majority 
has chosen this week to bring to the floor a package of tax breaks that 
are not paid for, that are going nowhere, 5 legislative days before the 
Department of Homeland Security is going to be forced to shut down 
because of Republican dithering.
  And I say going nowhere because Senate Republicans have said quite 
clearly that these bills will not likely be considered in committee or 
by the full Senate. Let me repeat that. These bills are going nowhere 
because of the Republicans in the Senate. They have made it pretty 
clear.
  So the clock is ticking on funding our Homeland Security programs, 
Mr. Speaker. Are the Republican leaders planning to let the clock run 
out, planning to create another crisis?
  We should be debating a clean Department of Homeland Security bill 
right now. We ought to vote in a bipartisan way to pass it, have the 
Senate do the same thing, send it right to the President, and actually 
accomplish something.
  I am also concerned, Mr. Speaker, with the partisan approach taken by 
the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee in advancing these 
particular tax measures. We went through this same exercise last year

[[Page H995]]

with a similar set of bills, only to pass in the final weeks of the 
113th Congress a 1-year comprehensive ``tax extenders'' package. The 
Republican leadership in the House is setting the stage for a similar 
confrontation this year, instead of working in a productive and 
bipartisan manner on comprehensive tax reform.
  That is something that the American people, Democrats and 
Republicans, all want. They want us to be working on it, and they want 
us to pass a bipartisan comprehensive tax reform bill.
  The seven tax provisions before us today, packaged into two bills, 
will add more than $93 billion to the deficit. There was a time when my 
Republican friends actually cared about the deficit. I guess those days 
are gone.
  While I support the goals of many of the provisions contained in 
these bills, I cannot vote for legislation that targets only a handful 
of tax provisions, chooses to elevate them and make them permanent at 
the expense of other tax priorities, and then refuses to pay for them--
absolutely refuses to pay for them.
  This Republican package does nothing, absolutely nothing to address 
key priorities, like the work opportunity tax credit and the new 
markets tax credit. It fails to address the long-term status of the 
child tax credit and the earned income tax credit that work to reduce 
poverty.
  If these tax provisions are allowed to expire in 2017, as currently 
scheduled, many working poor families would lose their child tax 
credit, and many low-income married couples and larger families would 
see a cut in their EITC. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 
estimates that if the EITC and the CTC provisions were to expire, 
``more than 16 million people in low-income working families, including 
8 million children, would fall into--or deeper into--poverty.''
  The piecemeal, deficit-spending approach taken by this majority puts 
these working family tax provisions at risk.
  Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to see members of the Republican 
leadership at D.C. Central Kitchen the other day talking about hunger. 
D.C. Central Kitchen does incredible work to feed the hungry and help 
people get back on their feet.
  But count me as a little skeptical because time after time after time 
after time, Republicans have targeted poor people and the programs that 
help them.

  If my friends on the other side of the aisle are serious about ending 
hunger, they need to do much more than encourage donations to food 
banks. First and foremost, they should stop targeting SNAP, the 
Nation's premier antihunger program. They should stop treating SNAP as 
an ATM machine for other programs.
  Instead, they should work with us to increase the minimum wage or at 
least give us a vote on increasing the minimum wage. They should work 
with us to expand job training programs and make child care more 
affordable. They should work with us to fix the major flaw in our 
social safety net; namely, that when someone gets a job that doesn't 
pay very much, they tend to lose all their benefits and end up 
struggling, once again, to put food on the table, find day care for 
their kids, keep their house warm, and pay the rent.
  We need desperately to have a serious and thoughtful discussion about 
the long-term sustainability of our safety net programs.
  The Fighting Hunger Incentive Act makes permanent the enhanced 
deduction for contributions of food inventory. I strongly support our 
food banks and charitable organizations that work each and every day to 
feed the hungry in this country. I support efforts that provide 
incentives to donate food to these organizations. But one tax break 
does not constitute a plan to address hunger. And it certainly does not 
make up for the cuts to SNAP and other safety net programs that have 
been proposed and enacted by this Republican majority.
  So in closing, again, I would urge my colleagues to pay attention to 
today's National Journal Daily, the headline: ``So Far, a Congress 
About Nothing.'' That is what this Congress is becoming known as, ``a 
Congress about nothing.''
  Well, work with us in a bipartisan way to change this headline, and 
you could do that by allowing a clean Department of Homeland Security 
Appropriations bill to come before us. We can pass it in a bipartisan 
way, and we can meet the national security needs of our country and 
actually do something before we go home on another break.
  With that, I urge my colleagues to reject this rule and the 
underlying legislation.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  My good friend from Massachusetts covered a lot of ground. I am not 
going to try to deal with every single issue that he raised in my 
response. But let me point out a couple of facts.
  First, my friend is concerned about the deficit, and I appreciate 
that. But this is a rather new, novel idea for Democrats. When the 
Republican majority actually took power, the deficit was $1.4 trillion 
a year. It is under $500 billion, which is still way too high. But this 
majority has taken deficits extremely seriously and has lowered them 
every year.
  Second, my friend is worried about the cost of these tax cuts. That 
is amazing to me because when they were in the majority, they routinely 
extended these same tax credits without paying for them year after year 
after year. So the sudden conversion to paying for tax cuts is new and 
remarkable and probably worth some consideration.
  Third, my friend is worried about this coming to the floor under a 
closed rule. Frankly, tax legislation always comes to the floor under a 
closed rule. It is pretty hard to make calculations otherwise. And that 
was true with Democrats. It is true with Republicans. In this 
particular case, I am informed that the minority was offered a chance 
to submit an alternative proposal in the form of an amendment and chose 
not to exercise that right. That is certainly their right. But if they 
wanted an alternative, it could have been made in order. They chose not 
to do that.
  My friend raised the issue of Homeland Security. And on this, 
frankly, we all are concerned. I think all Americans are worried. I 
think where we disagree is, this House has acted. It has fully funded 
and passed, and we are waiting on the Senate to do something.
  Now, what is happening in the Senate? My friend alluded to the fact 
that the Republicans were somehow responsible for this in the Senate. 
As he well knows, the Republicans on three occasions have tried to 
bring the bill that we passed in this Chamber to the floor for 
consideration. The Democratic majority on all three occasions have kept 
them from reaching the 60 votes that Senate rules require. Why? Because 
they simply don't want to vote on anything.
  We lived through 4 years of a Democratic majority that never brought 
appropriations bills to the floor. They have already had more votes 
under the Republican leadership in the other body in a matter of weeks 
than they had all of last year. The Democratic majority in the Senate 
didn't want a vote. The Democratic minority in the Senate evidently 
does not want a vote either. And that has frustrated, frankly, both 
sides and has kept legislation from coming to be. That is just simply 
the reality of it.
  We will wait to see what the Senate does. I would not expect them to 
pass exactly what we pass over here. If they would simply allow 
consideration for a bill, something would emerge. We would go to 
conference. We would hammer out our differences, and we could move on 
and fund the Department of Homeland Security.
  But right now, this is a Senate issue. This is not a House issue. And 
this is a question as to whether or not Democratic Senators will allow 
their own body to function. That is in their hands, not in ours.
  Frankly, I think that we will, unfortunately, see a lot of this in 
the course of this session. We will send legislation over. Democrats 
will try to keep it from being considered. I think they will be offered 
the opportunity to consider that legislation over and over again. I 
hope we don't see this pattern repeated time after time after time.
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Again, I urge my colleagues to read the National Journal Daily today 
and pay close attention to this headline,

[[Page H996]]

``So Far, a Congress About Nothing.'' And that is basically what we are 
doing here today.
  The tax provisions that we are talking about here today, the 
Republicans over in the Senate are saying that they don't intend to 
bring any of these before the relevant committees or bring them to the 
floor. They are trying to work on a more long-term comprehensive tax 
reform bill, as we should be here. So we can't blame the Democrats for 
that. It is the Republicans in the Senate who have said they aren't 
going to take this up.
  So then the question arises, why are we doing this? Why aren't we 
doing something that is more urgent and more pressing, like passing a 
Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill?
  And let's be clear about what the problem is. There is a bipartisan 
bill that Democrats and Republicans agree on on funding the Department 
of Homeland Security. What some of the more extreme elements in the 
House of Representatives on the Republican side have done is they have 
loaded it up with all kinds of anti-immigration provisions.

                              {time}  1300

  They have decided that that is where they want the debate on 
immigration, so all of a sudden, this bill has been loaded up with 
extraneous issues that don't belong on this bill. Quite frankly, we 
think that that is wrong, and Democrats in the Senate think it is 
wrong. What we are saying is actually bring before both bodies a clean 
bill.
  What is so wrong with that? If you don't like what the President is 
doing on immigration, bring up a separate bill or sue him again because 
that seems to be what my Republican friends like to do all the time, 
but don't hold up a Department of Homeland Security bill for a 
political battle on an issue, quite frankly, that does not belong on an 
appropriations bill.
  Mr. Speaker, again, there are only 16 days left until the funding of 
the Department of Homeland Security expires. It is 16 days, but 5 
legislative days only. If it expires, it would shut down many of the 
crucial operations that keep our country safe.
  Mr. Speaker, if we defeat the previous question, I will offer an 
amendment to the rule that will allow for consideration of a clean 
Department of Homeland Security funding bill. With such serious 
consequences, it is time to put politics aside in order to strengthen 
our homeland and protect American families.
  To discuss our proposal, I will yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from New York (Mrs. Lowey), the distinguished ranking member on the 
Committee on Appropriations.
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge this House to 
immediately take up and pass the bipartisan negotiated clean funding 
bill for the Department of Homeland Security.
  By defeating the previous question on the pending rule, we can 
immediately make in order the bipartisan, clean, negotiated Homeland 
Security bill and stop the theatrics over the President's use of 
executive orders.
  My colleague Ms. Roybal-Allard and I made a similar attempt 
yesterday, which was unfortunately defeated on a party-line vote. It is 
my sincere hope that my friends on the other side of the aisle have 
further discussed this issue amongst themselves and that they are now 
prepared to end this standoff.
  Mr. Speaker, as of today, we are 135 days into what should have been 
the start of the fiscal year. The situation this House has caused is 
completely unacceptable.
  We simply cannot wait 1 day longer--1 more day--to do the right 
thing, the responsible thing, and fund these critical agencies tasked 
with protecting this Nation.
  As the ranking minority member of the Appropriations Committee, I was 
involved in bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on the omnibus spending 
bill that passed the House and the Senate and was signed by the 
President last December.
  That package could have contained all 12 annual spending bills 
because all 12 were negotiated in conference and every one of them was 
ready to go. We thank Representative Price for his role in negotiating 
the Homeland Security bill last Congress.
  But an unfortunate decision was made by the leadership of this body 
to omit the Homeland Security bill--not because there were outstanding 
issues or continued disputes. That bill was stripped from the omnibus 
because some in this body were upset by the President's executive order 
on immigration.
  They even admitted the President's actions had little to do with the 
Homeland Security Appropriations bill, yet that was the choice that was 
made on how to proceed.
  The Homeland Security Appropriations bill was forced to operate under 
a continuing resolution instead of having a full-year bill. Ironically, 
it meant the Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement--two of the agencies tasked with defending our borders and 
enforcing our immigration laws--had to do without the nearly $1 billion 
increase they would have gotten under the full-year bill.
  Delaying the full-year bill limits the Department's ability to 
advance the Secretary's unity of effort initiative designed to improve 
coordination in our security missions, limits the ability of the 
Secretary to move ahead with the Southern Border and Approaches 
Campaign, creates uncertainty regarding ICE's capacity to detain and 
deport dangerous criminals, complicates the Department's ability to 
deal with another influx of unaccompanied children at our border 
stations, delays implementation of the new security upgrades at the 
White House and hiring increases of the U.S. Secret Service, and delays 
terrorism preparedness and response grants for State and local public 
safety personnel.
  Mr. Speaker, I understand that many of my colleagues on the other 
side of the aisle feel quite strongly about the President's use of 
executive orders on immigration policy, but I am compelled to remind 
those colleagues that they have every tool at their disposal to pass 
legislation changing the President's proposal.
  This stunt has gone on too long. It is time to admit these 
immigration policy decisions have little to nothing to do with the 
appropriations process. The Homeland Security bill should never have 
been held hostage in this fight.
  Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I put a statement by Secretary of Homeland 
Security Jeh Johnson into the Congressional Record because I thought it 
was so important for my colleagues to read.
  In it, the Secretary laid out the consequences of operating under a 
continuing resolution and summed up the dangerous situation we face 
with a sobering message.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. McGOVERN. I yield the gentlewoman an additional 1 minute.
  Mrs. LOWEY. ``Border security is not free.''
  I couldn't agree more.
  Yesterday, as a result of the party-line vote in the House on 
bringing up a clean bill, many of my majority colleagues insisted it 
was the Senate's turn to act, but it is clear for all those watching 
that the Senate cannot pass a Homeland Security bill with the House's 
extraneous riders attached. Further, the President has made it 
abundantly clear he would veto the bill if these riders remained.
  I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle: What now? Hasn't 
this gone on long enough? Isn't it time we abandon the failed strategy 
and pass a clean bill funding the Homeland Security Department?
  To that end, I urge this whole House to join me today in defeating 
the previous question so that my colleague Mr. McGovern can offer an 
amendment to provide a clean, full-year appropriations bill for the 
Department of Homeland Security.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Let me return the focus for a moment at least to the matter at hand, 
the legislation in front of us.
  In response to my good friend from Massachusetts' concerns, remember, 
the provisions in the tax legislation that we are considering have been 
routinely enacted for years under both Democratic and Republican 
Congresses and Democratic and Republican administrations.
  They are so automatic that they are essentially part of the existing 
Tax

[[Page H997]]

Code. Frankly, I predict once we get to the legislation, probably we 
will have dozens of my friend's colleagues vote in favor of these. That 
certainly was the case last year when similar provisions were brought 
to the floor. There will be a lot of Democratic votes for the very 
bills that are under consideration.

  Mr. Speaker, I agree with my friend. We do need a larger overhaul of 
the entire tax system. He is totally correct at that. We made some 
progress in that regard last year. I have no doubt that is exactly Mr. 
Ryan's intent.
  The reason to act on these measures and others like them now that 
will be part of any final package is to simply give our fellow 
Americans--businesses, workers, and people that want to make charitable 
contributions--tax certainty early in the year, so they can go ahead 
and make their actions knowing that this legislation is in place.
  I am not convinced that none of these will be taken up by the other 
side in the other Chamber. We will see. It is an unpredictable body, 
but we will see.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to compliment my friend from New York, the 
gentlewoman who is the ranking member on Appropriations. We have gotten 
95 percent or so of government funded in large part due to her efforts 
in conjunction with our colleague, the chairman of the Appropriations 
Committee, and she was a big reason that that got done and got done in 
a bipartisan manner.
  We passed legislation across this floor with the gentlelady's help, 
quite frankly. So all of us, myself included, owe you a debt in that 
regard.
  I do point out that the legislation on homeland--we have acted on 
that. Now, my friends have said, Well, perhaps you should sue the 
President. That is a good suggestion. About 30-odd States are doing 
that right now.
  He is in court because the action he took, in their view, is going to 
cost them millions and millions of dollars. My personal view is perhaps 
the House should somehow associate itself with that lawsuit. That is 
not my decision to make, but I think that is an appropriate thing to 
do.
  Mr. Speaker, this was an action that was extraordinarily provocative 
by the President. The President has a long history of using immigration 
as a political issue rather than viewing it as a problem to be solved.
  When he ran for office in 2008, he said he would have an immigration 
bill on the floor within 100 days. We had a Democratic Senate and a 
Democratic House, and we never saw the bill.
  Then we didn't hear much about it for 2 years because he was busy 
running for his own reelection. Then later, we heard a lot about it. 
The President said he was going to act before the election. Then he 
pulled back from doing that because he thought, Well, electorally, this 
may not be advantageous.
  But the minute afterwards when he thought it was to his political 
advantage, he rolled it out again. So let's be real here about how 
serious this effort is, but it will be challenged in court.
  In terms of this body, again, it has passed appropriate legislation 
on funding. It has done exactly as my friend from New York suggests, 
use some of the tools that are legitimately at its disposal. That bill 
now rests in the Senate.
  If the Democratic minority in the Senate will allow it to be brought 
up, I would not expect it would come back exactly as this House 
fashioned it. They simply just need to do their job, send something 
back, go to conference, and we can act on it. They have had lots of 
time to do this. This was moved over there weeks ago--or a couple of 
weeks ago.
  The real problem here, Mr. Speaker, is the United States Senate, 
because of the obstruction of the minority, is simply choosing not to 
act. As soon as they act, I think we will probably move pretty 
expeditiously, find some common ground, and address my friend's 
concerns because I think they are very legitimate concerns and very 
appropriate in terms of getting the Homeland Security bill done.
  It is a good bill. The underlying bill that my friend was part of 
negotiating was an excellent piece of bipartisan, bicameral compromise. 
If the Senate would simply take up the bill in front of them, I think 
we could get to the point we could have an agreement in rather short 
order.
  Mr. Speaker, I will continue to hope that the Senate actually does 
its job.
  In the meantime, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume 
to respond to a few of the points that the gentleman has made in his 
speech on the floor here.
  First of all, about the process--these are closed rules that we are 
dealing with here today. Yes, while it has been traditional to give tax 
provisions closed rules, there were Members who actually brought 
amendments to the House Rules Committee to help pay for some of these 
that I think might have been able to earn bipartisan support because I 
think there are some Members on your side of the aisle who would like 
these paid for and do not want to add to the deficit, but they were not 
made in order in the Rules Committee.
  There may be other ideas on how to pay for this so we can truly have 
a bipartisan vote on this and not add to the deficit, but we will not 
have that opportunity because of the rule.
  Again, Mr. Speaker, these provisions that we are talking about would 
add $93 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years. Yes, maybe 
Republicans and Democrats in the past have extended these without pay-
fors, but that doesn't make it right. It just means we both added to 
the deficit. Maybe we ought to get serious about Pay-As-You-Go.
  My friends on the other side of the aisle insist that emergency 
unemployment benefits have to be paid for, but when it comes to any 
kind of tax cut, they don't believe anything has to be paid for, so we 
should have a more open process on this.
  My friend talks about certainty, that all we are trying to do is give 
people certainty, but that is not the case. It is not the case because 
the President has said that he would threaten to veto these bills if 
they weren't paid for. It is what Republican leaders in the Senate have 
said.
  Roy Blunt, our former colleague in the House, made it very clear. He 
said:

       As long as the Finance Committee in the Senate feels there 
     is an opportunity for overall tax reform, I think you are 
     going to not see a quick response to individual bills coming 
     over here. We may deal with them later on down the aisle, but 
     there is no sense that the Senate is going to act on this any 
     time soon.

  When we talk about providing people certainty, that is not what we 
are doing here. This is about just kind of going through the motions 
for the sake of going through the motions.
  Finally, on the Department of Homeland Security bill, yes, the House 
acted and attached all these radical anti-immigrant riders to the 
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill.
  Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, told reporters on 
Tuesday:

       I think it is clear we cannot go forward in the Senate, so 
     the next move, obviously, is up to the House.

                              {time}  1315

  Today is Thursday. Tomorrow we leave for a break, and it doesn't seem 
like Republican leaders feel the same sense of urgency that we do over 
here that we need to get this business completed.
  Republicans are obviously refusing to admit the reality of this kind 
of dangerous anti-immigrant grandstanding. In fact, when reporters 
asked House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy whether the House would take 
up a new DHS funding bill, he said, ``Why do we have to?''
  Let me respond to the majority leader. The reason why we have to is 
because our primary job here is to protect the people of the United 
States of America. By letting this bill lapse, we are failing in our 
responsibility.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Roybal-Allard).
  Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD. Mr. Speaker, I, too, rise to urge my colleagues to 
defeat the previous question on the rule so it can be amended to make 
in order House consideration of H.R. 861, the clean, bipartisan 
Homeland Security Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015.
  As we have been reminded by previous speakers, today is February 12, 
135 days into fiscal year 2015, and there are only 16 days remaining 
until the current CR expires. Of these days, the House is scheduled to 
be in session only 5. If some of my colleagues have a sense of deja vu 
when they hear that, I

[[Page H998]]

can sympathize. I get the same feeling when I wake up each morning and 
find that Congress is still spinning its wheels on a full-year funding 
bill for the Department of Homeland Security.
  I know some of my colleagues believe the onus to act now lies with 
the Senate, as we have heard. I agree, the Senate should act. While it 
has had multiple failed attempts to bring up the House bill containing 
the poison pill riders, the Senate Republican leadership has not tried 
to bring up the clean, bipartisan funding bill.
  I feel confident that a majority of the Senate would support the bill 
without the poison pill riders added to the House on the floor. There 
is only one way to find out.
  The real question is why isn't the House Republican leadership 
willing to bring the clean Homeland Security bill for a vote? Why wait? 
Why not take the initiative and make H.R. 861 in order today? We can 
quickly resolve the funding dilemma facing the Department of Homeland 
Security, and the House could then work its will on immigration policy 
and border security by debating the legislation reported to the House 
by the authorizing committees. That is the way our process was intended 
to work by our framers.
  The fact is, Mr. Speaker, the clean full-year DHS funding bill was 
negotiated in good faith on a bicameral, bipartisan basis, and it 
addresses the most pressing needs of the Department to protect this 
country from harm. The President would sign that bill today, and we 
should send it to him.
  I urge my colleagues to put the safety of our country first and 
defeat the previous question to make in order the consideration of H.R. 
861, the clean Homeland Security funding bill.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Again, let's go back over a couple of points in the process where my 
friends and I disagree.
  Again, tax legislation normally comes here under a closed rule--
almost always. Democrats do it; Republicans do it.
  The second point: I bet you that these provisions that we are 
discussing here today will at some point this year, if not in this 
legislation, almost certainly--as a matter of fact, certainly--be 
extended and placed. All we are trying to do is move them early so 
people know for sure it is going to happen and can plan and act 
accordingly--and, frankly, dozens of my friends who will vote for this, 
almost certainly, when it is actually considered on the floor. Nothing 
unusual or extreme here. It is just simply a way to try to give a break 
and a little advance notice to hardworking men and women that run small 
businesses all over America.
  On the Homeland Security issue, again, this is now in the Senate. 
This body has acted. The Senate can literally do whatever it chooses to 
do. We have had several suggestions of what Republican leaders can do 
or what Democratic leaders can do.
  Right now, the Democratic minority has chosen not to allow debate to 
occur, not to act on the bill. If they simply act on the bill, I 
suspect it will change. It will not look exactly like what we sent 
over. All they need to do is actually legislate.
  Now, this is the oldest book, evidently, in the minority party on the 
other body's playbook, because, again, they did it when they were in 
the majority. They just simply refuse to vote on things. We don't have 
a broken House. We certainly have differences of opinion in the House, 
but at least we act and actually move legislation across the floor and 
put it in the other Chamber.
  All we are asking of Democrats and Republicans alike in the other 
Chamber is just do your job. Just send us something. We will go to 
conference with you. We will hammer out a compromise, and we will go on 
from there.
  So this sort of deja vu all over again, I agree with that. We saw a 
Democratic majority in the Senate blocking action on almost any 
legislation, didn't pass a single appropriations bill last year. We now 
see a Democratic minority trying to do, in the same body, essentially 
the same thing.
  So, hopefully, that lesson will be learned at some point over there 
and they will just simply pick up legislation and begin to move it. If 
they do, I think we can find a lot of common ground on a lot of 
important issues.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the remaining time.
  Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, I am going to urge my colleagues to 
vote against the previous question. If we defeat the previous question, 
I will bring up an amendment that will allow for there to be a clean 
vote on the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. No 
controversial anti-immigrant riders, just the bill that a bipartisan 
group of Members and the Appropriations Committees agreed on in an up 
or down vote.
  I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the 
Record, along with extraneous material, immediately prior to the vote 
on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Massachusetts?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, while I have great respect for my friend 
on the Rules Committee, and I sometimes get frustrated by the Senate as 
well, the fact of the matter is, at least in the Senate, they are 
voting on a lot more amendments than we are in the House. We don't have 
an open process here. We have one of the most closed processes, if not 
the most closed process, in history. That is where a lot of the 
frustration comes from.
  On these tax provisions, I think there is broad bipartisan support on 
the policy. I support, I think, mostly all of them. If we worked in a 
bipartisan way to make sure they were paid for, I think you would get 
a unanimous vote here in the House.

  But for some reason, this notion of working in a bipartisan way is 
something that my friends on the other side of the aisle just refuse to 
do. It is their way or the highway. It is one political message vote 
after another, after another, after another. I think people are getting 
sick of it.
  I go back to the headline in the National Journal Daily: ``So Far, a 
Congress About Nothing.'' The reason why it is about nothing is that 
this Chamber is not working.
  There is no bipartisanship here when it comes to legislation; there 
is no give and take. Routinely, we are being forced to vote up or down 
on bills that, quite frankly, with a few tweaks and some improvements, 
would pass. And the bills that we are talking about here I think would 
pass overwhelmingly if we just open up the process a little bit, a 
little give-and-take.
  Let's also be clear, we are not providing anybody with any certainty 
about anything. The Senate leaders of the relevant committees that 
would take up this tax legislation have said clearly they are not going 
to take it up, not any time soon. So it is not urgent that we be 
debating and doing these bills here today. What is urgent is the 
Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.
  For the life of me, I don't understand why the Republican leadership 
can't override the views of a handful of extremists in their party who 
are insisting on maintaining these anti-immigration riders, holding the 
Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill hostage, and 
thereby jeopardizing the security of the people of the United States of 
America.
  We have 5 legislative days left to deal with this, and we are leaving 
tomorrow for a break. Again, we go home and tell our constituents when 
they ask, ``What have you accomplished?'' the answer is, ``Nothing.''
  We have done nothing. Yes, we have had debates, we have had votes, 
but on things that are going nowhere. Not only because the President 
has threatened vetoes on most of the legislation, but because the House 
Republicans are saying: The stuff you are sending over to us is too 
extreme.
  What have we done? We voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 
57th or the 58th time, another waste of taxpayer money going nowhere. 
We voted on the Keystone bill twice, closed rules, and voted on a bill 
to basically deny women essential reproductive rights that was so over 
the top and so extreme that the Republican leadership had to pull it 
and substitute it with something else.
  So that has been the total amount of work that has been done here. I 
don't know how my Republican friends go home and brag about, or even 
talk about, what we have been doing here when it has amounted to 
nothing.

[[Page H999]]

  Let's do something. Let's defeat the previous question. Allow me to 
bring up an amendment that would allow for a clean vote on a Department 
of Homeland Security appropriations bill. We can come together in a 
bipartisan way, pass it overwhelmingly in the House, pass it 
overwhelmingly in the Senate. You will all be invited down to the White 
House when the President signs it into law. We all can agree on it and 
show our constituents, Democrats and Republicans alike, that we can 
work together and we can get something done, that we are not a Congress 
just about nothing.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, let's go back to the beginning of this debate and make 
sure that folks are very clear about what we are talking about. We are 
talking about extending tax breaks that have routinely been extended 
for years--that Democrats have extended, that Republicans have 
extended--that, frankly, have not been paid for in the past, and that 
will most certainly be part of any overall package that is enacted.
  We are simply saying let's make sure people that have a benefit 
bestowed in these areas know and can calculate and make business 
decisions accordingly early in the year instead of scramble at the very 
end. It simply makes sense, and it is simply fair to the American 
taxpayer. That is important to remember.
  Also, it is important to remember that the underlying legislation is 
extremely bipartisan. The only part of this process that will be 
partisan is the normal procedural part, where it is almost a sort of 
shirts and skins game where Democrats all vote against a Republican 
rule--we do exactly the same thing when we are in the minority--and our 
people mostly vote for that rule, and I think probably certainly will 
today; and then we will actually have a vote on the underlying 
legislation, and many, many, many Democrats will join almost all 
Republicans and vote for it.
  So we think it is a good piece of legislation, and we also think it 
is part of an incremental effort. We think Mr. Ryan will bring other 
bills like this to the floor but also will, in time, make an overall 
proposal on tax reform. Then we will see if our friends are really 
serious about engaging in that debate. I am not questioning my friends 
on this side of the aisle, but I do have some serious questions about 
how serious the President is about tax reform. But, again, we will see.
  Finally, we have had a great deal of discussion about Homeland 
Security. And, again, just to be clear, this House has acted and fully 
funded Homeland Security. The Homeland is done. It is funded through 
the end of this month. We have got legislation that we have agreed on.
  The President, in my view, provoked a crisis by acting unilaterally. 
That view, by the way, is not just a narrow view by a few people. He is 
in court defending his actions. Over 30 States are involved in a 
lawsuit against him because of what he did. He knew it was going to be 
controversial. He waited until after the elections to try and pick a 
fight and I think probably try to cover up a little bit for how poorly 
his side did in that particular election, anything to change the topic.

                              {time}  1330

  So now we are here.
  The House has reacted to that, I think, in an appropriate form and 
has sent it to the Senate. In the Senate, the Democratic minority has 
simply refused to allow any debate. They can do that under the Senate 
rules--and I respect that process--but let's be clear about who is 
stopping the funding of Homeland Security. It is actually Democratic 
Senators, who won't allow a measure to even come up for debate.
  Now, if that measure came up for debate, what this House passed, I 
would suspect that it would be changed in some ways. I do not expect 
the Senate will do exactly what we suggest and think they should do. 
They very seldom do that. If they will just do that, we will arrive at, 
I think, a common agreement; we will go to conference; there will be 
the normal give-and-take in politics; and we will reach an agreement.
  My friend is concerned about the openness of the process. Again, I 
point out that, when we deal with this kind of legislation, it is 
normally a closed rule, and this has been pretty routine stuff. I 
commit to my friend on this point: we will actually be much more open 
in the appropriations process than my friends were when they were in 
the majority. They almost never brought bills to the floor, and when 
they did, they actually, for the first time, brought them under closed 
rules. We will bring our bills to the floor under open rules, and that 
is normal in the appropriations process. I think, if you actually look 
at the record of the two majorities side by side, you will find that 
there were a lot more amendments made available to Members of both 
sides under a Republican majority than has been the case when my 
friends were most recently in power.
  Mr. Speaker, in closing, again, I want to point out that the 
legislation in question is routine, and it should be enacted on a 
bipartisan basis. We have the potential, if the Senate will act, to 
actually put it on the President's desk. I don't think he would 
actually veto it if we did, but, again, that would be his call.
  I urge my colleagues to support this rule and the underlying 
legislation.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. McGovern is as follows:

  An Amendment to H. Res. 101 Offered by Mr. McGovern of Massachusetts

       At the end of the resolution, add the following new 
     sections:
       Sec. 3. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution the 
     Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare 
     the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on 
     the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 
     861) making appropriations for the Department of Homeland 
     Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and 
     for other purposes. The first reading of the bill shall be 
     dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of 
     the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to the 
     bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and 
     controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the 
     Committee on Appropriations. After general debate the bill 
     shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. 
     All points of order against provisions in the bill are 
     waived. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for 
     amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the 
     House with such amendments as may have been adopted. The 
     previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill 
     and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening 
     motion except one motion to recommit with or without 
     instructions. If the Committee of the Whole rises and reports 
     that it has come to no resolution on the bill, then on the 
     next legislative day the House shall, immediately after the 
     third daily order of business under clause 1 of rule XIV, 
     resolve into the Committee of the Whole for further 
     consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 4. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 861.
                                  ____


        The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means

       This vote, the vote on whether to order the previous 
     question on a special rule, is not merely a procedural vote. 
     A vote against ordering the previous question is a vote 
     against the Republican majority agenda and a vote to allow 
     the Democratic minority to offer an alternative plan. It is a 
     vote about what the House should be debating.
       Mr. Clarence Cannon's Precedents of the House of 
     Representatives (VI, 308-311), describes the vote on the 
     previous question on the rule as ``a motion to direct or 
     control the consideration of the subject before the House 
     being made by the Member in charge.'' To defeat the previous 
     question is to give the opposition a chance to decide the 
     subject before the House. Cannon cites the Speaker's ruling 
     of January 13, 1920, to the effect that ``the refusal of the 
     House to sustain the demand for the previous question passes 
     the control of the resolution to the opposition'' in order to 
     offer an amendment. On March 15, 1909, a member of the 
     majority party offered a rule resolution. The House defeated 
     the previous question and a member of the opposition rose to 
     a parliamentary inquiry, asking who was entitled to 
     recognition. Speaker Joseph G. Cannon (R-Illinois) said: 
     ``The previous question having been refused, the gentleman 
     from New York, Mr. Fitzgerald, who had asked the gentleman to 
     yield to him for an amendment, is entitled to the first 
     recognition.''
       The Republican majority may say ``the vote on the previous 
     question is simply a vote on whether to proceed to an 
     immediate vote on adopting the resolution. . . . [and] has no 
     substantive legislative or policy implications whatsoever.'' 
     But that is not what they have always said. Listen to the 
     Republican Leadership Manual on the Legislative Process in 
     the United States House of Representatives, (6th edition, 
     page 135). Here's how the Republicans describe the previous 
     question vote in their own manual: ``Although it is generally 
     not possible to amend

[[Page H1000]]

     the rule because the majority Member controlling the time 
     will not yield for the purpose of offering an amendment, the 
     same result may be achieved by voting down the previous 
     question on the rule. . . . When the motion for the previous 
     question is defeated, control of the time passes to the 
     Member who led the opposition to ordering the previous 
     question. That Member, because he then controls the time, may 
     offer an amendment to the rule, or yield for the purpose of 
     amendment.''
       In Deschler's Procedure in the U.S. House of 
     Representatives, the subchapter titled ``Amending Special 
     Rules'' states: ``a refusal to order the previous question on 
     such a rule [a special rule reported from the 7 Committee on 
     Rules] opens the resolution to amendment and further 
     debate.'' (Chapter 21, section 21.2) Section 21.3 continues: 
     ``Upon rejection of the motion for the previous question on a 
     resolution reported from the Committee on Rules, control 
     shifts to the Member leading the opposition to the previous 
     question, who may offer a proper amendment or motion and who 
     controls the time for debate thereon.''
       Clearly, the vote on the previous question on a rule does 
     have substantive policy implications. It is one of the only 
     available tools for those who oppose the Republican 
     majority's agenda and allows those with alternative views the 
     opportunity to offer an alternative plan.

  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I 
move the previous question on the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on ordering the previous 
question.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

                          ____________________