ride those cuts. The Kasich/Penny/Stenholm proposal, while not a
panacea on its own, would expand the President's powers to target
spending and tax-benefits. It would also permanently extend expe-
dited rescission authority. Unfortunately, once again the Rules
Committee has denied Mr. MiCHEL an opportunity to offer a free-
standing amendment to allow the President to target new tax-
breaks. And it is somewhat ironic that in the so-called Year of Re-
form, the Rules Committee majority has refused to make in order
an amendment encompassing the recommendations of the Joint
Committee on the Organization of Congress. I fully support the ef-
forts of my friend, Mr. Dreier, in seeking to defeat the previous
question on this rule so we may bring this bill back with some real
Mr. Speaker, reform is not about issuing press releases and stag-
ing floor votes for the C-Span cameras. Reform is about changing
the way we operate so we can regain the trust of the American peo-
ple which now hovers somewhere in the teen digit area when it
comes to the U.S. Congress. We can do better.
We are not talking here today about enhanced rescissions; we are
not talking about line item veto. We are talking about expedited re-
scission, expedited. What, in fact, that means is we are going to
move a little faster so we still cannot make the right decision. In-
stead of taking 3 days not to be able to make the decision, we are
now going to take 5 or 10 days.
Mr. Speaker, that is not the kind of improvement the American
people are looking for.
Mr. DERRICK. Mr. Speaker, for purposes of debate only, I yield
2 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. FingerhutI.
Mr. FINGERHUT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from
South Carolina [Mr. Derrick] for yielding this time to me, and I
rise in support of the rule and the bill.
I, first of all, would note that the rule does provide opportunities,
as the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] just said, to vote for
strengthening amendments, as Members would choose, including,
as he has characterized, a vote on the true line-item veto, and I in-
tend to vote for those strengthening amendments. That opportunity
is provided to us by the Committee on Rules in this rule, and I
thank them for it, and we do have the opportunity today to vote
as we choose on the strongest possible version of this bill.
The troubling aspect of this debate today is, as the other gentle-
men have pointed out, that we are doing again today something
very similar to what we have done before, a year ago, a bill which
we approved in this House, not as strong as I would have liked or
as I voted for a year ago, but that we sent to the Senate, and they
So what then is the purpose of us being here today?
Well, I think the purpose of us being here today is to underscore,
to reemphasize, that the House of Representatives, a majority of its
Members, understands the importance of changing the rules with
respect to spending, of giving the opportunity within the budget
process to focus in greater detail on the line items and that we are
going to send another version over to the Senate. We are going to
ask them again to ask on this issue.
The fact of the matter is, on the merits of changing the rules
with respect to spending, the government has changed since our
Founding Fathers first framed the division of powers. I believe
truly that, if they had seen the complexity of the budget process,
if they understood the detail with which these line items must be
gone over, that they would have no objection to finding a process
by which the Executive and the legislature could work closer to-
gether to get at individual line items.
The fact is that we need a process to review individual items of
spending in the glare of the spotlight, in that light of day, and for
the President to say again to the Congress, "Look at that one
again. I want you to stand up, and I want you to decide whether
or not, indeed, you want this measure to be an appropriate use of
the taxpayers' dollars."
I think we should support this rule and this bill.
Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. FINGERHUT. I yield to the gentleman from California.
Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Ohio for
yielding, and I would simply like to say that my friend has, in fact
on several occasions, testified before the Joint Committee on the
Organization of Congress, and I know he has been part of an effort
on the other side of the aisle to pursue this issue of reform.
Now, he wisely says that it is important for us to underscore for
the other body how important it is to address, rather than ignore,
this issue of enhanced rescission. We have seen by their pattern
that they have chosen to ignore this legislation that a year ago was
reported out of here. But they are interested in the process of re-
form, and it seems to me that the only way for us to adequately
move forward with this enhanced rescission bill that could get a re-
sponse from the other body would be for us to do it under the ru-
bric of H.R. 3801, a reform package.
Mr. FINGERHUT. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Speaker, the gen-
tleman from California [Mr. Dreier] knows I am supportive of
many aspects of congressional reform, but today what we need to
do is focus in on the line item veto. Let us send that message to
the other body. Let us get them to at least act on this.
Mr. DREIER. We might be able to do that
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Swift). The time of the gen-
tleman from Ohio [Mr. FlNGERHUTl has expired.
Mr. DERRICK. Mr. Speaker, I have one speaker remaining, and
I reserve the right to close.
Mr. SOLOMON. Then, Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gen-
tleman from Wyoming [Mr. ThomasI.
Mr. THOMAS of Wyoming. Mr. Speaker, it is deja vu all over
again. We are debating a measure today that has already been dis-
cussed at great length last year, and we are doing it for a very fa-
We are debating this bill so the Democratic leadership can once
again prevent any real reform of the process they have controlled
for 50 years.
We heard a lot about change in the 1992 elections, but we have
seen precious little of it around this place. Time and again when
reform proposals have been presented â€” proposals overwhelmingly
supported by the American people â€” the Democratic leadership has
found a way to shoot them down.
It is my opinion that we need to make some fundamental
changes in the way we do business. You cannot keep doing the
same things and expect different results.
We need to find ways to make real cuts in Federal spending. We
need to pass term limits. We need to pass a balanced budget
amendment. And we need to give the President line-item veto au-
It is that line-item veto power we ought to be voting on today,
Mr. Speaker, but thanks to the Democrat leadership, we will be
voting on a fake.
The line-item veto is an integral part of any true reform effort
and vital if we are ever going to end the kind of pork barrel spend-
ing that has so long dominated things around here.
Forty-three Grovemors have the line-item veto power. Opponents
say it won't work, it will not cut much; but it does work and it does
bring responsibility to the legislative process. It works fine in Wyo-
ming, and it would put some needed integrity into the process in
Mr. Speaker, we shouldn't be fooled by what is going on here
today. The Democratic leadership will do anything they can to
avoid having to make real spending cuts and to avoid making any
real changes to the way they've run Congress for so long.
Just as the A-to-Z spending cut proposal is picking up steam, the
leadership decides to have this exercise today so Members who
don't sign the discharge petition can run home and claim they've
voted for a line-item veto instead. The two shouldn't be tied to-
gether â€” they are separate issues â€” and the American people won't
I am disappointed we are taking this route, Mr. Speaker. We saw
the same tactics used to pass the President's tax increase. We were
told we would have a chance to vote for more spending cuts, then
the leadership defeated Penny-Kasich.
We saw the same tactics used when we debated the balanced
budget amendment. The leadership offered a phony amendment
which gave political cover to those who had promised to support a
balanced budget amendment then refused to do so.
And today we will have a leadership proposal used to defeat true
line-item veto. I encourage my colleagues to vote for real line-item
veto. Vote for the Solomon/Michel substitute. If that should fail,
vote for Stenholm. But no one who truly supports line-item veto
should vote for H.R. 4600.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman
from Cape Girardeau, MO [Mr. Emerson], another member of the
Joint Committee on Reform of the Congress, a gentleman who has
been here for many years as a page, now as a Congressman.
Mr. EMERSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise to join my joint committee
colleagues in urging the House to defeat the previous question and
make in order the joint committee's bill.
It is ironic that the majority leadership in this Congress appears
to be in favor of about just every kind of reform for the American
people except for reform for the Congress itself. They want to radi-
cally reform health care, tell everybody else how to operate, insur-
ance companies, doctors, patients, how to choose their care. They
want to fundamentally restructure education, dictating to the
States how they are going to spend their dollars, how to structure
their curriculum and how to teach their students.
Of course, they want to overhaul wetlands policy, instructing pri-
vate property owners what they can and cannot do with their land,
designating acres and acres of land as off limits and forcing busi-
nesses to cease their business activities.
It seems that the majority wants to reform every aspect of every-
body else's lives and livelihood. The only thing we refuse to reform
here is the Congress itself.
The joint committee was created to develop comprehensive con-
gressional reform, and it did that. The committee went out of exist-
ence at the end of last year. Its report, 6 Democrats and 2 Repub-
licans of the 12-person House contingent of that committee voted
to report a measure to the House, which has been languishing
since last November.
Now the leadership plans to split up that legislative package,
which would effectively kill any reform that would actually impact
If reform is good for the rest of the country, it should be equally
as good for Congress. I urge all of our colleagues to send a message
that congressional reform is essential, and that the House can do
unto itself what it does to other.
At the point we voted earlier to abolish select committees in this
House, there was a grand coalition of what we referred to as, and
everybody knows what I am talking about, the old bulls and the
freshmen Members, the young reformers of both parties. This was
all done in the name of congressional reform.
We had too many committees, so we abolished the select commit-
tees. All right, well and good.
Why do we not move on with the rest of the forum? We do need
to reform ourselves in so many areas. A blueprint is there, imper-
fect though it may be. But let us vote to defeat the previous ques-
tion here, so at least the issue can come up, and we can debate it,
discuss it, and vote upon it.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of our time to
the very illustrious gentleman from Claremont, CA [Mr. Dreier].
Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, my friend from Cape Girardeau, and
a very hard working member of our Joint Committee on the Orga-
nization of Congress, said it very accurately when he raised the
issue of health care reform, wetlands reform, education reform. I
should say that he forgot to mention welfare reform. I mean, vir-
tually every area of our economy has attempted to be reformed by
this Congress, and yet we are sweeping the issue of congressional
After all, if you look at the 1992 election, there are now 117 new
Members of this House, most of whom ran on the issue of reform
of the Congress, because it was desperately needed. And here we
are, charging, just weeks away from the 1994 election, and what
is happening? Well, not a lot of people out there are talking about
congressional reform anymore, because they are busy talking about
health care reform and Haiti and North Korea and welfare reform
and a large number of other items.
But, quite frankly, congressional reform was the mandate that
sent many of these new members here. And I believe that the
American people and a majority of the Members of this Congress
want us to deal with reform of this institution. It has not been
done in nearly half a century, and it seems to me that this is our
opportunity to do it.
We have a chance. On this enhanced rescission bill, what I plan
to do, if we can defeat the previous question, is insert at the end
H.R. 3801, which is the bill that was reported out of the Joint Com-
mittee on the Organization of Congress just before Thanksgiving of
last year. It gives us a chance to face the issue of congressional re-
form the way we should be doing it, straightforward. Not breaking
it up into bits, which is nothing but a divided and conquer strategy.
Now, I know there are many people here who thrive on the sta-
tus quo. But, quite frankly, we need to become more accountable,
more deliberative. And I believe that the full House has the right
and the responsibility to look at our reform package.
I urge a "no" vote on the previous question, so that we can make
in order the issue of congressional reform.
Mr. DERRICK. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may
Mr. Speaker, let me say I commend the gentleman who has just
spoken, and the gentleman from Indiana [Mr. Hamilton], for their
work. But I would have to say that even if the motion for the pre-
vious question were to fail, it is my opinion that the gentleman
could not do what he proposes to do, that is, offer an amendment
to the rule to enable him to offer H.R. 3801 as an amendment to
Be that as it may, I find it rather disappointing that we once
again take something serious like this reform measure, which is
very good, and there are many parts of it that I agree with, and
trivialize it. Moreover, to stand here sind once again lambast this
House of Representatives is disappointing. No one said it was per-
fect. Our Founding Fathers did not say they were giving us a per-
Mr. DREIER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. DERRICK. I will not.
Mr. Speaker, I did not yield to the gentleman.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Swift). The gentleman from
South Carolina has the time.
Mr. DERRICK. Mr. Speaker, I ask for regular order.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from South Carolina
has the time and is recognized.
Mr. DERRICK. I go back to what I said, that the gentleman who
spoke before lambasted this body.
I think Members of both parties are guilty of it. I think the other
party may be a little more guilty, but not enough to argue about,
of taking every opportunity they get to denigrate the institutions
of this government, especially the House of Representatives.
Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. DERRICK. No; I will not.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from South Carolina
has the time.
Mr. DERRICK. Mr. Speaker, what worries me is that if Members
continue to denigrate our institutions, they could weaken them to
the point where someone could come along who might not have the
same great appreciation for democracy that our Founding Fathers
had, and we could one day lose this great form of government of
Ours is not a perfect form of government. Our Founding Fathers
never said it was. But it works. This House works. This Congress
works. It is the most representative body in the world. It serves our
Nation and our people well. And I believe many who stand up and
denigrate it believe continuously should have more respect for it
than they have.
Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out earlier, the Federal budget deficit
is down, way down. For the first time since the Truman adminis-
tration, the United States will experience, thanks entirely to the
President and the Democrats in the Congress, 3 years of declining
Federal budget deficits.
But we cannot rest. We must continue battling the deficit until
victory is won. The legislative line-item veto is not the only solution
to our problems, but it is part of the solution. We owe it to our citi-
zens to send to the Senate a message that we must give this line-
item veto a try, for the sake of future generations, if not for our
Now Mr. Speaker, what the gentleman from California [Mr.
Dreier] is proposing, is defeating the previous question so he can
amend the resolution to make in order an amendment consisting
of the text of H.R. 3801, the Legislation Reorganization Act.
This is not permissible under House precedents. Such an amend-
ment would not be germane to the resolution and would surely be
ruled out of order.
The gentleman knows it is not in order to amend an order-of-
business resolution to accomplish indirectly that which he cannot
achieve directly. So let no Member of this House be fooled. Voting
against the previous question in hopes of adding H.R. 3801 to the
rescission bill simply will not work.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the
previous question on the resolution.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Swift). The question is on or-
dering the previous question.
The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced
that the ayes appeared to have it.
Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground
that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a
quorum is not present.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.
Pursuant to clause 5(b) of rule XV, the Chair announces that he
will reduce to not less than 5 minutes the time within which a roll-
call vote, if ordered, may be taken on the adoption of the resolu-
The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were â€” ^yeas
240, nays 185, not voting 9, as follows:
[Roll No. 326]
Johnson, E. B.
de la Garza
NOT VOTINGâ€” 9
The Clerk announced the following pair:
On this vote: Mr. McCurdy for, with Mr. Quillen against.
Mr. GLICKMAN changed his vote from "yea" to "nay."
So the previous question was ordered.
The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
The resolution was agreed to.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
REQUEST TO MODIFY AMENDMENT NUMBERED 1 PRINTED
IN HOUSE REPORT 103-565 TO H.R. 4600, EXPEDITED RE-
SCISSIONS ACT OF 1994
Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to modify
the amendment numbered 1 and printed in House Report 103-565.
The modification is reduced to writing and available at the desk.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the modified
The Clerk read as follows:
Substitute Offered by Mr. Spratt of South Carolina for Amend-
ment Number 1 Printed In House Report 103-565: Page 10, line
17, insert ", unless the House has passed the text of the President's
bill transmitted with that special message and the Senate passes
an amendment in the nature of a substitute reported by its Com-
mittee on Appropriations" before the period.
Page 11, line 21, insert "and by striking '1012 and 1013' and in-
serting '1012, 1013, and 1014'" before the semicolon.
Page 12, line 1, strike "(2)" and insert "(1)".
Page 13, line 7, insert "or One Hundred Fourth" before "Con-