PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4200, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005
Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 648 and ask for its immediate consideration.
The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:
H. RES. 648
Resolved, That at any time after the adoption of this resolution the Speaker may, 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. 4200) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2005 for military activities of the Department of Defense, to prescribe military personnel strengths for fiscal year 2005, 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 the amendments made in order by this resolution and shall not exceed two hours equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services. After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule.
SEC. 2. (a) It shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on Armed Services now printed in the bill. The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. All points of order against the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived.
(b) No amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution and amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution.
(c) Each amendment printed in the report of the Committee on Rules shall be considered only in the order printed in the report (except as specified in section 4 of this resolution), may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole. Each amendment printed in the report shall be debatable for 10 minutes (unless otherwise specified in the report) equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent and shall not be subject to amendment (except that the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services each may offer one pro forma amendment for the purpose of further debate on any pending amendment).
(d) All points of order against amendments printed in the report of the Committee on Rules or amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution are waived.
SEC. 3. It shall be in order at any time for the chairman of the Committee on Armed Services or his designee to offer amendments en bloc consisting of amendments printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution not earlier disposed of. Amendments en bloc offered pursuant to this section shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services or their designees, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole. The original proponent of an amendment included in such amendments en bloc may insert a statement in the Congressional Record immediately before the disposition of the amendments en bloc.
SEC. 4. The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole may recognize for consideration of any amendment printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution out of the order printed, but not sooner than one hour after the chairman of the Committee on Armed Services or a designee announces from the floor a request to that effect.
SEC. 5. 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. Any Member may demand a separate vote in the House on any amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole to the bill or to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. 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.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. COOPER. Mr. Speaker, every fair-minded Member of this House should be outraged at the rule we are being forced to debate under today. Two hours, a giant piece of legislation will be rammed through this House in 2 hours, less than 15 seconds per Member of this body; less than 15 seconds for each 700,000 group of constituents that we have the honor of representing; less than 15 seconds each to talk about over one-half of all the domestic discretionary spending of the United States of America; less than 15 seconds per Member to talk about the defense budget of the United States at a time of war; less than 15 seconds per Member to talk about a defense budget that is larger than every other defense budget in the world put together; less than 15 seconds per Member to talk about the needs of our troops in the field while they are fighting a war.
There will be no real debate allowed under this rule for properly funding our troops. It is true, thank goodness, that finally under pressure that the Republicans have put in $25 billion to fund our troops in kind of an emergency supplemental, but the truth is our troops need more money than that. They are running out of money now. Let me repeat, our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are running out of money now.
The Pentagon is already having to raid every cookie jar in the building to try to fund their needs. We should do better by our troops. We should fully fund their needs. We should tell the truth to the American people about the real cost of this war, which is a lot closer to $200 billion than any other number.
I had an amendment that we wanted to debate and discuss that would have put in $67 billion for our troops so that funding would not just start in October, as intended by the Republican majority and, as they put it, end in December and January. They are fully funding about 3 or 4 months of this war to disguise the true cost of it. We should fund the needs of our troops for an entire year, and we should be proud of it.
With all the life-threatening risks that our men and women face in uniform overseas, financial uncertainties should not be an additional risk; yet that is what is being imposed on them by this body with this simplistic rule which is 2 hours of debate, less than 15 seconds per Member to talk about the true needs of our troops.
The gentlewoman from North Carolina, unfortunately, was absent from the Committee on Rules when I testified. There were only two Members there. They are hurrying through this so quickly in a rubber-stamp fashion that we are not able to properly discuss one of the most important bills of the year and perhaps of the decade.
Mr. Speaker, our committee has been rated by CSIS, the Center For Strategic and International Studies, as one of the worst Committee on the Armed Services in decades. Why? This is one of the reasons, inability to do our job correctly.