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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DREIER. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. WEBSTER. I yield to the gentleman from California.

Mr. DREIER. I thank my friend for yielding.

I would just like to say, Mr. Speaker, that I have listened to my friend from Worcester keep throwing out this term ``open rule,'' ``open rule,'' that we've had all these chances for open rules and we haven't passed a single open rule.

First, let me say, based on the definition that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle had, we've had open rules. Bills considered under what we correctly describe as a modified open rule were described by our friends when they were in the majority as an open rule. Now, having said that, what we repeatedly said was that since in the entire 4 years of Speaker Pelosi's leadership of this House, we had one measure in 4 years considered under an open rule, we said in our Pledge to America that we wanted to make sure that the appropriations process is done under an open amendment process. And we're going to do our doggonedest to make sure that we have an open amendment process for consideration of that.

And I think it's important to note that if you look at, as Mr. Webster said so well--and I want to congratulate him on his management of his first rule here in the House--making 33 amendments in order has not in any way predetermined the outcome of the measure when we had all of these extensions that went on for FAA. And my friend Mr. Mica, the chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is here. We know that we've had these constant renewals without a single amendment being offered. So we're going to have 33 amendments.

So our commitment to a more open process has, in fact, been met and exceeded in the eyes of many. And I will tell you the praise that we've gotten from Members in the leadership on the Democratic side of the aisle for having gone through all of the amendments that we did--it was virtually unprecedented--on H.R. 1, the measure that allowed us to work overnight and have a modified open rule, meaning any Member could offer a germane amendment. It was, as I said, virtually unprecedented. So I am very proud at what we've done, certainly juxtaposed to what we've seen in the last 4 years. And I believe, Mr. Speaker, that by virtue of our doing this, we're allowing the people of this country to have a chance to be heard. That has not been there for quite a long period of time.

I again thank my friend for his superb management.

[Time: 14:00]

Mr. WEBSTER. I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. McGOVERN. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I've listened with great interest. My friend from California (Mr. Dreier) kind of amended a little bit what the Republican majority promised. I think I heard him right, that open rules now are only limited to appropriations bills and nothing else.

Mr. DREIER. Will the gentleman yield on that?

Mr. McGOVERN. I would be happy to yield to the gentleman.

Mr. DREIER. I never said that we're going to limit an open amendment process, open rules, to the appropriations process. What I said was and the commitment that we made was that, since we had the appropriations process completely shut down in the last two sessions of Congress, we wanted to now have this done in an open amendment process.

I thank my friend for yielding.


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