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Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2005

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - September 09, 2004)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 754 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. 5006.

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, while I respect my colleague from Arizona, I do not think this is the right time or right vehicle to consider this issue. As we have seen time and time again, the Native American Caucus has been unified on amendments and bills that benefit Indian Country. Today that is not the situation.

Mr. Chairman, as Members know, I have been a long supporter of both tribal sovereignty and workers rights, as have many in this body. But the amendment we are considering now could have far-reaching implications on these issues and should not be acted upon in a hasty fashion.

Several States, such as California and New York, have previously worked out agreements with Native American tribes on this very issue. Currently, similar negotiations are underway to find a more permanent solution for all of Indian Country.

Even if the Hayworth amendment is passed today and becomes law, it is not a permanent fix. We will be back here again next year debating the same issue. We should be looking for a permanent solution, and we should allow all parties to continue to work out an agreement and not move this amendment today.

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, I think this amendment is very important and should be supported.

There has to be some consequence of the Medicare Administrator giving the wrong information to Congress about such an important bill and knowing full well that he was giving that wrong information to Congress. I mean, keep in mind that Mr. Scully was told by Mr. Foster what the actual cost would be, and knowing full well that information, and knowing that if that accurate information had been given to this body, we would never have passed the bill, but he still refused to give it and actually sought to even penalize Mr. Foster, or threatened him, if the accurate information was given to us.

The Department has said that they are not going to ask Mr. Scully for the money back for his salary. Mr. Scully has said that he has no intention of returning it to the government. So there is simply no penalty for giving inaccurate, false information to this body that they know to be false. That is a terrible thing, no consequences. How can we operate as a body when the actuary's information is not given to us, and there is no consequence for that even though the GAO says it is wrong?

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