|00:00:00||BILL I WOULD HAVE WRITTEN HAD I HAD MY DRUTHERS.|
|00:00:05||YET I HEAR SEVERAL OF MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE SAYING HOW STUNNED THEY ARE THAT I AM NOT FOR THE HOUSE BILL AND THAT I WOULD BE HERE OFFERING A MOTION TO ACCEPT CARTE BLANCHE THE OTHER BODY'S BILL.|
|00:00:22||I'M SURE THE OTHER MEMBERS KNOW HOW THE PROCESS WORKS AND BEFORE I JUST GIVE THEM A BRIEF LESSON -- LESSON ON THAT, LET ME REPEAT MY WORDS AGAIN FROM MY OPENING COMMENTS THAT THE OTHER BODY'S BILL IS NOT PERFECT.|
|00:00:37||IF THERE ARE ISSUES WE MUST CHANGE, WE CAN ADDRESS THOSE THROUGH A TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS BILL THAT WILL MAKE THE NECESSARY POLICY CHANGES TO IMPROVE THE BILL.|
|00:00:44||THIS IS NOT UNPRECEDENTED.|
|00:00:46||WE HAVE DOPE IT BEFORE.|
|00:00:47||I WOULD SAY TO MY STUNNED COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE.|
|00:00:51||SO THERE IS NOTHING TO PREVENT CONGRESS FROM ENACTING S.|
|00:00:55||-1813 AND THEN CONTINUING TO WORK TO DEVELOP FURTHER BICAMERAL, BIPARTISAN CHANGES TO FURTHER IMPROVE OUR SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PROGRAMS AND POLICIES.|
|00:01:04||BUT THE BOTTOM LINE HERE, THE BOTTOM LINE HERE IS THAT OUR AMERICAN WORKERS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WAIT ANY LONGER AS CONGRESS SEARCHES FOR AN AGREEMENT.|
|00:01:13||THE TIME FOR POLITICAL GAIN, THE TIME FOR ADDING STUFF TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS, IS OVER.|
|00:01:18||I WOULD SAY IN ADDITION TO MY DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMAN FROM FLORIDA, HE APPEARS TO BLAME PART OF HIS PROBLEMS AND HEADACHES AND TROUBLES ON HIS SIDE OF THE AISLE TO THE FACT THAT WE NO LONGER HAVE WHAT ARE KNOWN AS EARMARKS.|
|00:01:36||NOW, IT SEEMS TO ME THE SUGGESTION THAT WE REINSTATE THAT PROCESS KNOWN AS EARMARKS, WHEREBY WE IN THIS BODY IF IT SO CONCERNED ABOUT MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE HAVING A SAY AND DOING OUR TUGAL JOBS, WHERE WE WOULD HAVE A HE -- OUR CONSTITUTIONAL JOBS, WHERE WE WOULD HAVE A LEGITIMATE INSIGHT, DECIDING LOCAL PROJECTS THAT ARE BEST FOR OUR PEOPLE, RATHER THAN LEAVING THEM TO BUREAUCRACIES OR PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES, REGARDLESS OF WHO OCCUPIES THAT OFFICE SYSTEM OF LAST WEEK, I ASKED MY COLLEAGUE TO JOIN ME IN A BIPARTISAN MANNER IN WRITING A LETTER TO THE SPEAKER, URGING AN EXPEDITIOUS NAMING OF CONFEREES, WHICH WE'VE NOW DONE.|
|00:02:18||THAT WAS A BIPARTISAN LETTER, SIGNED BY THE BIG FOUR IN OUR COMMITTEE.|
|00:02:21||I WOULD NOW ASK HIM, AGAIN IN A SPIRIT OF BIPARTISANSHIP AND I WILL YIELD HIM TIME IF HE'S PREPARED TO ANSWER MY QUESTION YES OR NO, IF HE WOULD JOIN ME IN A BIPARTISAN LETTER TO THE SPEAKER ASKING FOR THE REINSTATEMENT OF EARMARKS?|
|00:02:41||YES OR NO.|
|00:02:43||MICA: I WON'T ADJUST YES OR NO, I HAVE TO BE MORE VERBOSE.|
|00:02:48||WOULD YOU ALLOW ME|
Mr. RAHALL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
Madam Speaker, as I said in my opening comments, the Senate bill, MAP 21, is not the perfect bill. It's not the bill I would have written had I had [Page: H2105] my druthers. And yet I hear several of my colleagues on the other side saying how stunned they are that I am not for the House bill and that I would be here offering a motion to accept, carte blanche, the other body's bill.
I'm sure those Members know how this process works, and before I just give them a brief lesson on that, let me repeat my words again from my opening comments: that the other body's bill is not perfect. If there are issues that we must change, we can address those through a technical corrections bill that will make the necessary policy changes to improve the bill. This is not unprecedented. We have done it before, I would say to my stunned colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
So there is nothing to prevent Congress from enacting S. 1813 and then continuing to work to develop further bicameral, bipartisan changes to further improve our surface transportation programs and policies. But the bottom line here, the bottom line here is that our American workers should not have to wait any longer as Congress searches for an agreement. The time for political games, the time for adding stuff to score political points, is over.
I would say, in addition, to my distinguished chairman from Florida, he appears to blame part of his problems, headaches, and troubles on his side of the aisle on the fact that we no longer have what are known as earmarks. Now, it seems to me his suggestion is that we reinstate that process known as earmarks whereby we, in this body, if it's so concerned about Members of the House having a say and doing our constitutional jobs, where we would have a legitimate input into the making of transportation policy by deciding those local projects that are best for our people, rather than leaving them to bureaucracies or to Presidents of the United States, regardless of who occupies that office.
So, last week, I asked my colleague to join me in a bipartisan manner in writing a letter, which he kindly agreed, to the Speaker urging an expeditious naming of conferees, which we've now done. That was a bipartisan letter signed by the big four in our committee. I would now ask him, again, in the spirit of bipartisanship, and I will yield him time if he's prepared to answer my question yes or no--yes or no--if he will join me in a bipartisan letter to the Speaker asking for the reinstatement of earmarks. Yes or no?