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Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006

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Location: Washington, DC


DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 -- (House of Representatives - June 24, 2005)

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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. REGULA. I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman of the subcommittee for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I have been concerned about a program known as Youth Build, which I know many Members are familiar with, which is a very good program which gets young people in urban areas and elsewhere to learn how to build houses. And the results are some very nice houses for deserving people, and an improvement of a neighborhood, and most importantly, skills for these young people.

Now, we ran into a little difficulty. It is not one of the more expensive of our programs although it has been, at $60 million, not nothing. The President in his budget proposed I think $50 million for it, but proposed that instead of being funded out of the HUD budget it be transferred to the Labor Department's budget. That led to, I guess, it falling between the cracks of the two appropriate subcommittees; so that while I understand there is support for the program and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Walsh), a former chairman of the HUD subcommittee, tells me that he strongly supports it, and I understand there was a very close vote in the Appropriations Committee on an amendment to put it back into the bill, both bills now come to the floor without that appropriation for Youth Build. And I think this is a case of something not being rejected on the merits, or not being something we cannot afford, but something that has sort of fallen through the cracks because of this proposed change in where it goes.

So I would ask the chairman of the subcommittee, given the, I believe, support, it was in the President's budget, there was virtually a tie vote in the Appropriations Committee, could the gentleman tell me, is there some hope that we can give to these young people that this important program will survive?

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. REGULA. I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin.

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, let me thank the gentleman from Ohio for striking the last word so you could raise this.

Let me simply say to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Frank), I fully agree with him about the value of the program. The President's budget wanted to transfer it to this bill. The subcommittee did not pick up the money in this bill. In my view, it should have. But I would say that because it has not, there will be another opportunity next week to try to deal with this when the Teasury-Transportation bill comes to the floor.

It would be disgraceful if the Congress allowed this program to fall through the cracks because neither committee included the funding for it and if Congress simply played Alfonse and Gaston on us between the two subcommittees.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield.

Mr. REGULA. I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin.

I wonder if the gentleman from Ohio could give us some guidance on what the chances are for the ultimate survival of this very important program which the President supports, and I believe is supported on the merits. Could we get it in the bill next week? Or what is the prospects of this Youth Build program not dying because of kind of a shuffle here.

Mr. REGULA. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, let me say that I agree with the gentleman. It is a great program. I am very familiar with it. Unfortunately, it is in no man's land. The way the OMB budget came up, the President's budget, it put it in Labor, which is this bill. But there is no authorization, which means it is still in the Transportation Treasury, and there is no money either place. But I hope we can resolve this because it is just what it says, it builds youth. And we have had real success in my district with it, and I think it is something we would want to retain as a national program.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman would yield further, does that mean, and maybe we can discuss this again in the Transportation HUD bill, but that, since it is not a large sum of money, the President supports it, it has a lot of support here, that we can expect at some point in the process before we finish the appropriations, this program could be funded?

Mr. REGULA. Well, I certainly hope so. And we will make every effort to find some way to fit it. It just happens that I am on both of the committees and will work with the Treasury, or Transportation Treasury. It is a worthwhile program. It ought to be funded and kept in place. I think the authorizers need to deal with it, too, to change the authorization to make it appropriate for Labor.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I thank the gentleman.

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