|00:00:02||H.S. CONFERENCE, THE SEVENTH MEETING WE HAVE HAD, I BELIEVE.|
|00:00:06||AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEETING, WE WERE TOLD BY THE SENATE CHAIR OF THE CONFERENCE THAT HE WOULD NOT SIGN A CONFERENCE REPORT ONE DIME ABOVE THE LEVEL CONTAINED IN THE CONFERENCE REPORT FOR LABOR, HEALTH, AND EDUCATION.|
|00:00:27||AT THAT POINT, FRANKLY, I ASKED IF I COULD BE POINTED IN THE DIRECTION OF WHATEVER ROOM OR WHATEVER PERSON WOULD BE IN A POSITION TO NEGOTIATE SO THAT WE COULD REACH AN AGREEMENT ON THAT BILL, AND AT THAT POINT THE WHITE HOUSE AND THOSE OF US ON OUR SIDE OF THE AISLE, MYSELF AND THE SENATOR REPRESENTING THE SENATE CAUCUS LAID A COMPROMISE ON THE TABLE WHICH WAS IN ESSENCE A 20% REDUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF FUNDING THAT WE HAVE BEEN ASKING, BUT INSISTING THAT WE STILL MEET THE NEEDS ON SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION, ON CLASS SIZE REDUCTION, ON AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND ON IDEA.|
|00:01:26||AND WE PRESENTED THE OFFER, WHICH IS A 20% MOVEMENT ON OUR PART, AND WE ASKED THEM TO PLEASE BE PREPARED TO SIT DOWN AT 10:00 MONDAY MORNING TO DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE SO THAT WE CAN -- SO THAT WE CAN GET SOME MOVEMENT, AND IT'S MY EARNEST HOPE THAT WE DON'T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL WEDNESDAY OR THURSDAY OR FRIDAY TO BEGIN SERIOUS NEGOTIATIONS ON THIS.|
|00:01:55||WE -- WE HAVE MOVED, AND AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, WE NEED TO SEE MOVEMENT ON THE OTHER SIDE.|
|00:02:04||MR. BONIOR: I THANK MY COLLEAGUES FOR THEIR -- MR.|
|00:02:09||YOUNG: WILL THE GENTLEMAN YIELD?|
|00:02:11||BONIOR: I YIELD. MR.|
|00:02:12||YOUNG: I DIDN'T HAVE A CHANCE TO LISTEN TO ALL OF THE DISCUSSION ON THE SCHEDULE, BUT I JUST HAVE A QUESTION FOR EITHER YOU OR FOR MR.|
|00:02:19||THAT IS THAT WE ARE TRYING OUR DARNEDEST TO HAVE THE LABOR-H.|
|00:02:22||H.S. BILL FILED BY MONDAY NIGHT.|
Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
I would like to take this opportunity to give the House a status report on what is probably the major bill that still remains before we get out of here on the appropriations front. We had yet another meeting of the Labor-HHS conference, the seventh meeting we have had, I believe. And at the beginning of the meeting, we were told by the Senate Chair of the conference that he [Page: H10451] would not sign a conference report one dime above the level contained in the conference report for Labor, Health, and Education.
At that point, frankly, I asked if I could be pointed in the direction of whatever room or whatever person would be in a position to negotiate so that we could reach an agreement on that bill. And at that point the White House and those of us on our side of the aisle, myself and the Senator representing the Senate caucus, laid a compromise on the table which was in essence a 20 percent reduction in the amount of funding that we have been asking but insisting that we still meet the needs on school construction, on class size reduction, on teacher training, on after-school programs, on Pell, and on IDEA.
We presented the offer, which is a 20 percent movement on our part, and we asked him to please be prepared to sit down at 10 o'clock Monday morning to deal with this issue so that we can get some movement. And it is my earnest hope that we do not have to wait until Wednesday or Thursday or Friday to begin serious negotiations on this. We have moved. And as far as I am concerned, we need to see movement on the other side.