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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: September 26, 2002 (House)]
[Page H6698-H6703]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr26se02-84]                         



 
 WAIVING POINTS OF ORDER AGAINST CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2215, 21ST 
     CENTURY DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE APPROPRIATIONS AUTHORIZATION ACT

  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, by direction of the Committee on 
Rules, I call up House Resolution 552 and ask for its immediate 
consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 552

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order to consider the conference report to accompany the 
     bill (H.R. 2215) to authorize appropriations for the 
     Department of Justice for fiscal year 2002, and for other 
     purposes. All points of order against the conference report 
     and against its consideration are waived. The conference 
     report shall be considered as read.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Biggert). The gentleman from Florida 
(Mr. Diaz-Balart) is recognized for 1 hour.
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I 
yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Hastings), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. 
During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the 
purpose of debate only.
  (Mr. DIAZ-BALART asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, House Resolution 552 is a standard 
rule waiving all points of order against the conference report to 
accompany H.R. 2215, the 21st Century Department of Justice 
Appropriations Authorization Act and against its consideration.
  It has been over 20 years since Congress last authorized 
appropriations for the Department of Justice. This conference report 
that we are preparing to consider takes the long overdue step of 
putting our mark on the vital justice programs and funding levels that 
we have addressed solely through appropriations, since the 96th 
Congress. This conference report is a product of a careful deliberative 
bipartisan process. Every member of the conference committee, 
Republican and Democrat, House and Senate, has signed the conference 
report.
  I believe that all of the conferees, especially the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner), the chairman, and the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Conyers), the ranking member, should be commended for 
their work.
  The conference report establishes fundamental and budgetary 
administrative authorities that simplify, harmonize, and clarify over 2 
decades of statutory authorities. Few times in our national history has 
it been so important that we update and provide direction to the 
Department of Justice. The conference report helps the Department of 
Justice to adjust to the new century and the new challenges facing 
America. As President Bush has noted, ``We are today a Nation at risk 
to a new and changing threat.''
  The Department of Justice has played and obviously will continue to 
play a very important, a pivotal role, in securing our Nation against 
the possibility of terrorist attacks.
  Importantly, the conference report also reasserts congressional 
oversight of the Department. The administration has gone to 
extraordinary lengths to secure the Nation, while respecting the free 
and open society which we are privileged to live in.
  Nevertheless, Congress is designed to serve as a check on the actions 
of the executive branch, to oversee the executive branch, that is 
obviously as fundamental a role for Congress as is legislating; and 
this conference report reaffirms our oversight responsibility.
  This conference report is not by any means limited to the 
streamlining and strengthening of the Department of Justice's law 
enforcement responsibility or congressional oversight of its actions.
  The conference report provides 94 additional U.S. Attorneys to work 
with State and local law enforcement to enforce existing Federal laws, 
firearms laws, for example, especially in and around schools.

                              {time}  1030

  The conference report also provides eight new permanent Federal 
judgeships in the State of Florida. Also in my State and that of the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings), it creates a new temporary 
Federal District Court judgeship for the Southern District to ease the 
extraordinary burden on our Federal courts.
  The conference report provides an increase in funds for the Boys and 
Girls Club, which will allow them to increase outreach efforts and 
increase membership throughout the Nation.
  I think it is also worth a commendation that the conference report 
establishes a permanent, separate, and independent Violence Against 
Women Office in the Department of Justice. The office will be headed by 
a director who reports directly to the Attorney General and has final 
authority over all grants and cooperative agreements and contracts 
awarded by the office.
  The conference report contains important provisions regarding drug 
abuse prevention and treatment, safeguarding the integrity of the 
criminal justice system, and providing for the enactment of juvenile 
justice and delinquency prevention legislation.
  Madam Speaker, the conference report before us I believe is an 
extremely important piece of bipartisan legislation that will serve the 
Nation in innumerable ways.
  The conference report, and I believe the rule, obviously, providing 
for its consideration, deserve our support. Accordingly, I urge all of 
my colleagues to support this rule and this very important underlying 
legislation.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Madam Speaker, I rise today in full support of the conference report 
for H.R. 2215, the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations 
Authorization Act.
  As my colleagues know, H.R. 2215 passed the House of Representatives 
in July, 2001, by a voice vote. I am quite certain that my colleagues 
will join us today and approve the conference report in an overwhelming 
way again.
  Madam Speaker, while sitting in the Committee on Rules yesterday 
afternoon, and in reviewing the conference report, I am in true 
admiration of the bipartisanship that was shown by the committee's 
chairman, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner), and the 
ranking member, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers). I applaud 
the bipartisanship that the two of them showed while working on this 
report, and thank the conferees for their inclusion of many Democratic 
amendments.
  As the House works on a variety of contentious issues in the coming 
days, I urge my colleagues to heed the bipartisan lessons of the 
chairman and ranking Democrat of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Many Members of the House were here this morning and spoke about the 
words that are being slung around on homeland security, and faulting 
the other body for delays in that regard. I would remind my colleagues 
that we have not completed the appropriations process, and all of us 
need to be about that business.
  Madam Speaker, H.R. 2215 authorizes funding to the Department of 
Justice for the current fiscal year and the following one, which begins 
next Tuesday. In addition to authorizing dollars to the Department for 
the salaries of the Federal judges, attorneys, and support staff, the 
report also authorizes funding for many important programs utilized by 
millions of Americans every year.
  As the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Diaz-Balart) says, he and I are 
happy to report that the Southern District of Florida will be the 
recipient of one of the judges authorized under this legislation.
  Additionally, H.R. 2215 serves as a commitment to keeping drugs off 
of our streets and out of our schools. While much of the Nation focuses 
on the war on terrorism and a possible

[[Page H6699]]

war with Iraq, we cannot and should not forget a war that we have been 
fighting for more than three decades: the war on drugs.
  As we seek to stabilize Afghanistan, we cannot and should not forget 
that prior to and during Taliban rule, Afghanistan was one of the 
world's largest producers of poppy, an integral ingredient of heroin. 
Thus, economic stability in this renewed democracy must provide 
alternate means of income to Afghans who once depended on poppy sales 
for a living.
  Further, we cannot and should not forget that the war on drugs has no 
definitive end. The dollars authorized in this bill, albeit limited, 
serve as Congress' continued commitment to fighting the war on drugs. I 
do, however, urge the authorizing committee to increase spending for 
this fight in the coming years. In my lifetime in south Florida I have 
seen hundreds of lives ruined and ended because of drugs. We cannot 
allow this trend to continue into the 21st century.
  Madam Speaker, in addition to authorizing funding for the war on 
drugs, this legislation also funds the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service, an agency that my office works with every day. Nearly 30 
percent of everything we do in the Fort Lauderdale office deals with 
immigration.
  While Congress continues to address the obvious shortcomings of this 
poorly funded, understaffed, and overworked agency, the United States 
remains a Nation created by immigrants. Those who enter our borders 
legally and pose no threat to our security should be afforded equal 
opportunity to excel and prosper. They should enjoy the benefits that 
those of us born here take for granted.
  To many, the United States remains a land where the streets are paved 
with gold. It is those we let in legally, not those we do not, who will 
help us extend this street of gold to the rest of the world.
  Finally, among many things, the conference report also establishes a 
national Violence Against Women Office. This is a plan that I and many 
of the Members have supported for years. Domestic violence remains a 
disgusting reality in our society, and the establishment of this office 
is a step in the right direction toward protecting women and punishing 
those who believe violence is an acceptable practice.
  Madam Speaker, the Department of Justice should always be America's 
voice of justice. Though I do not always agree with its policies today, 
or its practices, I do agree with its charter.
  This conference report is a good one, and so is the rule. I urge my 
colleagues to support both of them.
  Additionally, prior to the consideration of the rule, my very good 
friend, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden), will make a 
motion for the previous question. I ask my colleagues to consider his 
motion, as well.


                             General Leave

  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and 
extend their remarks on House Resolution 552.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Biggert). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Madam Speaker, I am more than pleased to 
yield such time as he may consume to my good friend, the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden).
  Mr. HOLDEN. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
me.
  At the conclusion of this debate, I will seek to defeat the previous 
question on this rule. If the previous question is defeated, I will 
then offer an amendment to the rule that will instruct the Enrolling 
Clerk to add to the conference report language to permanently extend 
Chapter 12 bankruptcy protections for family farmers.
  This is not a proposal that should be considered controversial. In 
fact, this House has voted overwhelmingly three times in the last 18 
months to extend these bankruptcy protections for family farmers.
  Chapter 12 was enacted in 1986 as a temporary measure to allow family 
farmers to repay their debts according to a plan under court 
supervision. It prevents a situation from occurring where a few bad 
crop years lead to the loss of the family farm.
  In the absence of Chapter 12, farmers are forced to file for 
bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code's other alternatives, none 
of which work quite as well for farmers as Chapter 12.
  Chapter 11, for example, will require a farmer to sell the family 
farm to pay the claims of creditors. How can a farmer be expected to 
come up with the money to pay off his debts without his farm? Chapter 
11 is an expensive process that does not accommodate the special needs 
of farmers.
  Since its creation, Chapter 12, family farmer bankruptcy protection, 
has been renewed regularly by Congress and has never been 
controversial. In 1997, the National Bankruptcy Review Commission 
recommended that Chapter 12 be made permanent.
  In this Congress, H.R. 333, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and 
Consumer Protection Act of 2001, includes a provision that permanently 
extends Chapter 12. Just like previous versions of this bill in 
previous Congresses, H.R. 333 is a bill plagued with controversy and a 
bill whose passage is an uncertainty, at best.
  For 5 years now, family farmers have been held hostage by the 
contentious debate surrounding the larger bankruptcy issue. For 5 
years, they have been made to sit on pins and needles waiting to see if 
Congress will extend these protections for another 11 months, 4 months, 
8 months, or whatever length of time we feel it will take us for the 
next legislative hurdle on the larger bankruptcy issue.
  Madam Speaker, family farmers have waited long enough. The games must 
stop. Right now, family farmers are making plans to borrow money based 
on next year's expected harvest in order to be able to buy the seeds 
needed to plant the crops for that harvest. As these farmers leverage 
themselves, they need to have the assurance that Chapter 12 family 
farmer bankruptcy protections are going to be there for them on a long-
term basis. Sporadic and temporary extensions do not do the job.
  Attaching Chapter 12 bankruptcy protections for family farmers to the 
Department of Justice authorization conference report will give farmers 
the kind of protections they desperately need, the kind of protections 
we have already voted three times in the 107th Congress.
  On February 21, 2001, we voted 408 to 2 to retroactively extend 
Chapter 12 for 11 months. On June 6, 2001, we voted 411 to 1 to extend 
Chapter 12 for an additional 4 months. Most recently, on April 16 of 
this year, we voted 407 to 3 to extend Chapter 12 for yet an additional 
8 months. So Members can see, extending Chapter 12 by no means is a 
controversial idea.
  Madam Speaker, Chapter 12 is scheduled to expire at the end of this 
year. If we do nothing today, Members of the House will be home in 
their districts enjoying the holidays with their families while once 
again family farmers are put at risk. Let us end this cliffhanger once 
and for all. Let us give family farmers the assurance of permanent 
protection they deserve and close this chapter for good.
  Members should understand that a no vote will not stop the House from 
considering and approving this conference report, but it will allow us 
to extend once and for all, and provide the permanent extension of 
Chapter 12 family farmer bankruptcy protection that farmers so 
desperately need. However, a yes vote on the previous question will 
prevent the House from adding this noncontroversial farmer-friendly 
provision.
  I urge all my colleagues to be consistent with their three earlier 
votes in this Congress and vote no on the previous question.
  Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the text of this 
amendment be printed in the Record immediately before the vote on the 
previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from California (Mr. Dreier), the distinguished 
chairman of the Committee on Rules.
  Mr. DREIER. Madam Speaker, I thank my dear friend, the gentleman from 
Miami, Florida, for yielding me this time.

[[Page H6700]]

  Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of both this rule and the 
Department of Justice conference report. It has been over two decades, 
22 years to be precise, since we have actually had a Department of 
Justice authorization bill. This has been done through the 
appropriations process in the past.
  I believe that if we look at the issues that the Committee on the 
Judiciary and others involved in this process have been able to 
address, I believe that it is a very, very good measure.
  We have in Southern California tremendous problems with overburdened 
courts because of drug cases. I am very pleased that the State of 
California, and specifically southern California, will be benefiting 
from five new judgeships for southern California, six overall for the 
State of California. I believe that that will go a long way towards 
dealing with the challenge that we have of our overburdened court 
system in California.
  Another issue that has an impact on California that is included in 
this measure, which is not California-specific, however, is the very 
balanced approach to the H-1B visa program. We know that as we deal 
with the challenges of the 21st century economy, Madam Speaker, one of 
the problems that we have had is the inability to get the best 
expertise possible for our high-tech sector of the economy, and other 
sectors, quite frankly.
  The fact that we have had a bureaucracy dealing with this has been a 
challenge, but I am pleased that through legislation that we have been 
able to get through in the past, we have been able to increase the 
number of H-1B visas. It was the high-skilled workers who have been 
able to come in and who filled this need so that the United States of 
America can remain on the cutting edge technologically.

                              {time}  1045

  There has been, as I said, a bureaucratic mess that has existed for 
some. And so in this conference report we see the inclusion of a 1-year 
period, a grace period which will allow for those who were holding H1B 
visas to be here to continue their very important work. And so, Madam 
Speaker, this is a very good rule, it is a very good conference report, 
and I urge my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Madam Speaker, first I would like to offer 
an apology to my good friend from Florida (Mr. Diaz-Balart). I 
indicated to him that we had but one speaker, but that was before two 
others showed up.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Wisconsin (Ms. Baldwin).
  Ms. BALDWIN. Madam Speaker, as a member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary and the conference committee that produced the underlying 
bill, I am very pleased with much of the work reflected there. But I do 
think there is one enormous omission, and I rise to speak to that 
today.
  I urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question on the rule so 
that we can take immediate action to protect our Nation's family 
farmers and family fishermen. The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Holden), the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Phelps), the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt), and I have introduced H.R. 5348 to 
permanently extend Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection. It is long past 
time for us to do so.
  Madam Speaker, it is increasingly evident that we will not see 
comprehensive bankruptcy reform this session. As in the last 5 years, 
it has stalled. Whatever one thinks of the merit of that bill, we have 
broad agreement of making Chapter 12 farmer and fishermen protection 
permanent as a good idea and good public policy. By defeating the 
previous question today, we can consider this important question now.
  During this current session of Congress, we have extended Chapter 12 
bankruptcy three times, most recently as part of the farm bill. It is 
now due to expire again at the end of this year. The next 2 weeks may 
be our final chance to renew it before it expires once again, and we 
should do that today.
  Madam Speaker, it is time to stop using our farmers as pawns in the 
push for bankruptcy reform. It is time to stop pretending that this 
important protection has in any way helped win support for the 
comprehensive bankruptcy reform bill. It is time to protect our family 
farmers.
  A farmer who has a dairy farm in Belleville, Wisconsin, in my 
district contacted me recently about this issue. He has been farming 
like his dad before him most of his life. He milks 70 cows to make his 
living. Milk prices have remained low for most of the time he has been 
in farming. Now milk prices are again reaching historic lows. He simply 
cannot stay in business because he is losing money every day. He is 
scared he is going to lose his farm to his creditors and let his whole 
family down.
  Madam Speaker, let us amend this rule right now so we can take up my 
bill, H.R. 5348, and give all our family farmers and our family 
fishermen another chance to reorganize their debts and keep their farms 
or fishing operations in their families. I urge my colleagues to defeat 
the previous question and support this rule.
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to my good friend, 
the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Greenwood).
  Mr. GREENWOOD. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me 
time.
  Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of this rule and adoption of 
the conference report on H.R. 2215, the Department of Justice 
Appropriations Authorization Act. I am elated to report that after more 
than 6 years of working on legislation to reauthorize the Juvenile 
Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, we finally have a real 
opportunity for reauthorization of the act to become a reality.
  This conference report includes the language embodied in H.R. 1900, 
my legislation, which overwhelmingly passed the House 1 year ago on 
September 20 of last year.
  The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention was created 
by Congress in 1974 to help communities and States prevent and control 
delinquency and to improve their juvenile justice systems. This office 
has not been reauthorized since 1994, although a similar bill has 
passed the Congress by overwhelming margins twice since then.
  The nature and extent of juvenile delinquency has changed 
considerably since the office was created, and this reauthorization has 
taken that into account. It is an extraordinarily difficult task to 
create a juvenile justice system in each of the States and each of the 
counties that can respond to the very, very different young people in 
our society who get caught up in the law. But I believe that this 
bipartisan bill represents good policy.
  The bill successfully strikes a balance in dealing with children who 
grow up and come before the juvenile justice system who are already 
very vicious and dangerous criminals, and other children who come 
before the juvenile justice system who are harmless and scared and 
running away from abuse at home.
  The legislation is designed to assist States and local communities to 
develop strategies to combat juvenile crime through a wide range of 
prevention and intervention programs. We acknowledge that most 
successful solutions to juvenile crime are developed at the State and 
local level of government by those individuals who understand the 
unique characteristics of youth in their area. By combining the current 
discretionary programs into prevention block grants to the States and 
allowing States and local communities discretion in how such funds are 
used, we allow the local officials to use their own good judgment based 
on the realities of each situation. We have found a way to provide the 
additional flexibility that our local officials need, still protect 
society from dangerous teenagers, while protecting scared kids from 
overly harsh treatment in our juvenile justice system.
  Madam Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. 
Scott) for joining me in this effort. This is virtually the same 
legislation that the gentleman and I successfully negotiated on a 
bipartisan basis last Congress.
  Madam Speaker, I also want to thank the chairman of the Committee on 
Education and the Workforce, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner); and 
the ranking member, the gentleman from California (Mr. George Miller); 
the chairman of the Subcommittee on Select Education of the Committee 
on

[[Page H6701]]

Education and the Workforce, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Hoekstra); and the ranking member, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. 
Roemer), for their valued assistance in guiding the legislation through 
committee. Finally, a special thank you to the chairman of the 
Committee on the Judiciary, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
Sensenbrenner), and the ranking member, the gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Conyers), for their willingness to work with us to include this 
bill in the H.R. 2215 conference report.
  Madam Speaker, I also want to thank my legislative director, Judy 
Borger, who has lived this thing for many, many years and who has done 
yeoman's work for both committees. I urge all my colleagues to join me 
in supporting the rule.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Madam Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee), my good friend.
  (Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Madam Speaker, I want to thank the 
distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings) for his leadership, 
but as well his yielding me time. I rise to acknowledge the very hard 
work that was done on this legislation and to suggest that we have made 
strides. Particularly, let me note that as the ranking member on the 
Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims of the 
Committee on the Judiciary, I think the fact that we have kept the H-
1B's responsive, those visas, in light of September 11 when many people 
will equate immigration issues to terrorism, that is not the case. And 
I think it is important that we allow talented individuals to be able 
to come into this country and share their talents. And certainly we 
want to make sure that Americans have the same access to technology and 
computer knowledge and software knowledge, but it is important to have 
this talent. So I applaud the legislation, therefore the rule, of this 
particular initiative because that is in it.
  Likewise, let me acknowledge, as my colleague from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Greenwood) just noted, the consequences for juvenile offenders, a bill 
that I was very happy to support, that was worked on and co-sponsored 
by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Greenwood) and the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Scott), came through the Subcommittee on Crime, 
Terrorism and Homeland Security of the Committee on the Judiciary. And 
might I say that this is an important statement for our young people, 
that our young people are not throw-aways, that they can be 
rehabilitated. And many people will tell you they are our future. I 
tell you that juveniles, young people today, those young people in 
middle schools and high schools around America are our today. And it is 
important to realize that if we incarcerate and lock up a youngster in 
their teenage years, we are only perpetrating their ways of violence 
and ill acts. And it is very important that we have these 
rehabilitative measures, we intervene and it is a very important point.
  I would like to acknowledge, as well, the importance of violence 
against women's office. We stabilized it, if you will, allowed it to be 
free-standing, and supported it by funding; and I believe that is 
extremely important.
  But I believe, Madam Speaker, that we have some concerns, some more 
work that could have been done and that is my dilemma today as we come 
forward. We could have passed 245i that again reinforces family 
reunification with those who are in this country or seeking to reunite 
their families who happen to be immigrants. Just this past week I faced 
a very troubling situation in my own district where nine members of a 
Palestinian family were about to be deported and not looking at the 
humanitarian grounds of them having come to this country from a 
tumultuous region seeking asylum and yet not being able to do so. We 
were able to provide some remedy for them, and they had a 9-year-old 
citizen, their daughter who was born in this country; but because she 
was not of the age of majority, she could not petition for their 
relief. So we have these problems. We did not do anything in this 
legislation on that.
  We did not fix 1996 immigration laws to keep families together so we 
do not have these large numbers of individuals being deported to places 
they have never lived. I believe we should have looked at trying to fix 
that. And the same thing with the comprehensive immigration bill that I 
and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers) have authored. It fixes 
the immigration system in its totality. It recognizes that we must be 
safe but at the same it fixes some of the major loopholes that we have 
in our immigration system.
  I believe, Madam Speaker, as well we have not done ourselves proud by 
not including the hate crimes legislation that has 206 sponsors so that 
we would have to result to a discharge petition to try to get that on 
the floor of the House. How much more do Members have to say when 206 
Members believe that we should get rid of hate crimes and have laws 
against it, legislation authored by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Conyers); and yet we cannot get that to the floor of the House. This 
should have been included in this legislation.
  I am glad to see that we did not codify the TIPS program, neighbors 
spying on neighbors. Yes, we believe in the security of this Nation, 
but I also believe Americans believe in civil liberties. I am glad that 
that is not in this legislation.
  Let me conclude, Madam Speaker, on this point, and that is the civil 
rights office that I believe certainly there are good intentions there 
but there are issues of police brutality around this Nation. In fact, 
in my own district we have some incidents of a Hispanic being shot in 
the back and the medical examiner declared it was a homicide and no 
action was taken against any of those involved in this case. Another 
African American shot in the back, unarmed and no action taken against 
law enforcement.
  I am a supporter of law enforcement, but I am supportive of law. And 
I believe the civil rights division should be invigorated with funding 
and they should be utilized for what they are utilized for regardless 
of whether it is a Republican or Democratic administration.
  School desegregation orders. I represent a district that is now 
trying to get rid of their school desegregation order, and they still 
have the same violations. The Justice Department should not be engaged 
in being on the side of a school district that is fighting to get rid 
of their desegregation order when they are still failing our children.
  These problems should be addressed in this legislation and more 
funding should be given to the civil rights division in order to fix 
these problems. I believe this is a good piece of legislation, but we 
could have done more.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Madam Speaker, in closing I will invite the Members' attention to the 
matter discussed earlier by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Holden). Defeating the previous question as proposed by the gentleman 
will allow us to permanently extend Chapter 12 protection for farmers. 
The House has already voted on three separate occasions in this 
Congress to extend these bankruptcy protections for farmers. Sporadic 
and temporary extensions leave farmers uncertain of their future. Even 
as they face record drought, and the gentleman from Montana (Mr. 
Rehberg) from the other side and I have a drought bill that a 
substantial number of Members have joined on that we consider critical 
for our Nation's farmers, and when they experience poor harvest in many 
regions of the country.
  In the absence of Chapter 12, farmers are forced to file bankruptcy 
under much less favorable terms. Permanent extension as proposed by the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden) will ease these pressures. I 
ask our membership to defeat the previous question.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1100

  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, I want to reiterate my support, 
strong support for this rule and the underlying legislation. It is very 
important underlying legislation. It has been over 20 years since we 
have in effect authorized the needed expenditures of the Department of 
Justice, and so I urge,

[[Page H6702]]

again, support for the rule and the underlying measure.
  Mr. PHELPS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to move to defeat the previous 
question on H.R. 2215--Department of Justice Authorization Conference 
Report. I am very disappointed that the permanent extension of Chapter 
12 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code was not included in this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, Chapter 12 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code gives farmers 
much needed bankruptcy protections. This is an issue I have been 
working on for some time now and was disappointed to see it was not 
included in this conference report. On April 10th, I offered a motion 
to Instruct Conferees on the Farm Bill which asked conferees to accept 
language in the Senate Bill that would make Chapter 12 of the 
Bankruptcy Code permanent. My motion passed overwhelmingly, but was not 
included in the final version of the bill.
  H.R. 333, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act 
of 2001 includes a permanent extension of Chapter 12, but like its 
predecessor in previous Congresses, H.R. 333 is a bill whose passage is 
uncertain. Since 1997, farmers have been told to wait for the 
Bankruptcy Reform Act to pass and they would be protected forever. For 
five years, farmers have been waiting for this to happen. Farmers have 
waited too long and need protection now.
  Including a permanent extension of Chapter 12 in the DOJ 
Authorization Conference Report would have given farmers the kind of 
family farmer bankruptcy protections, on a permanent basis, that we 
have already voted for three times this Congress. As farmers harvest 
their crops for this year, they will soon have to borrow against next 
year's harvest to plant next year's crops. They need to know that the 
legal protections Congress enacted in 1986 will be there for them if 
something goes wrong. Unfortunately, they have seen Congress let 
Chapter 12 lapse several times in the last five years and, despite 
repeated promises, no permanent relief is in sight. The inability to 
plan and know that if the worst happens they can save their family farm 
. . . especially in these uncertain times . . . is devastating.
  I do not think that there is any controversy whatsoever that Chapter 
12 works well, that it protects our family farmers who are in distress, 
that it properly balances the legitimate needs of financially troubled 
farmers and their creditors, and that it preserves the family farm.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Holden is as follows:

 Previous Question for H. Res. 552, H.R. 2215, 21st Century Department 
              of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act

       At the end of the resolution, add the following:
       ``Sec. 2. Upon adoption of this resolution, the House shall 
     be considered to have adopted a concurrent resolution (H. 
     Con. Res. 488) directing the Clerk of the House to correct 
     the enrollment of H.R. 2215.''
       At an appropriate place insert the following (and make such 
     technical and conforming changes as may be appropriate):

     SEC. ____. FAMILY FARMERS AND FAMILY FISHERMEN PROTECTION ACT 
                   OF 2002.

       (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Family 
     Farmers and Family Fishermen Protection Act of 2002''.
       (b) Permanent Reenactment of Chapter 12.
       (1) Reenactment.--
       (A) In general.--Chapter 12 of title 11, United States 
     Code, as reenacted by section 149 of division C of the 
     Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental 
     Appropriations Act, 1999 (Public Law 105-277), is hereby 
     reenacted, and as here reenacted is amended by this section.
       (B) Effective date.--Subsection (a) shall take effect on 
     the date of the enactment of this Act.
       (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 302 of the Bankruptcy 
     Judges, United States Trustees, and Family Farmer Bankruptcy 
     Act of 1986 (28 U.S.C. 581 note) is amended by striking 
     subsection (f).
       (c) Debt Limit Increase.--Section 104(b) of title 11, 
     United States Code, is amended by inserting ``101(18),'' 
     after ``sections'' each place it appears.
       (d) Certain Claims Owed to Governmental Units.--
       (1) Contents of plan.--Section 1222(a)(2) of title 11, 
     United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
       ``(2) provide for the full payment, in deferred cash 
     payments, of all claims entitled to priority under section 
     507, unless--
       ``(A) the claim is a claim owed to a governmental unit that 
     arises as a result of the sale, transfer, exchange, or other 
     disposition of any farm asset used in the debtor's farming 
     operation, in which case the claim shall be treated as an 
     unsecured claim that is not entitled to priority under 
     section 507, but the debt shall be treated in such manner 
     only if the debtor receives a discharge; or
       ``(B) the holder of a particular claim agrees to a 
     different treatment of that claim;''.
       (2) Special notice provisions.--Section 1231(b) of title 
     11, United States Code, as so designated by this section is 
     amended by striking ``a State or local governmental unit'' 
     and inserting ``any governmental unit''.
       (e) Definition of Family Farmer.--Section 101(18) of title 
     11, United States Code, is amended--
       (1) in subparagraph (A)--
       (A) by striking ``$1,500,000'' and inserting 
     ``$3,237,000''; and
       (B) by striking ``80'' and inserting ``50''; and
       (2) in subparagraph (B)(ii)--
       (A) by striking ``$1,500,000'' and inserting 
     ``$3,237,000''; and
       (B) by striking ``80'' and inserting ``50''.
       (f) Elimination of Requirement That Family Farmer and 
     Spouse Receive Over 50 Percent of Income From Farming 
     Operation in Year Prior to Bankruptcy.--Section 101(18)(A) of 
     title 11, United States Code, is amended by striking ``for 
     the taxable year preceding the taxable year'' and inserting 
     the following:
     ``for--
       ``(i) the taxable year preceding; or
       ``(ii) each of the 2d and 3d taxable years preceding;

     the taxable year''.
       (g) Prohibition of Retroactive Assessment of Disposable 
     Income.
       (1) Confirmation of Plan.--Section 1225(b)(1) of title 11, 
     United States Code, is amended--
       (A) in subparagraph (A) by striking ``or'' at the end;
       (B) in subparagraph (B) by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting ``; or''; and
       (C) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(C) the value of the property to be distributed under the 
     plan in the 3-year period, or such longer period as the court 
     may approve under section 1222(c), beginning on the date that 
     the first distribution is due under the plan is not less than 
     the debtor's projected disposable income for such period.''.
       (2) Modification of plan.--Section 1229 of title 11, United 
     States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
       ``(d) A plan may not be modified under this section--
       ``(1) to increase the amount of any payment due before the 
     plan as modified becomes the plan;
       ``(2) by anyone except the debtor, based on an increase in 
     the debtor's disposable income, to increase the amount of 
     payments to unsecured creditors required for a particular 
     month so that the aggregate of such payments exceeds the 
     debtor's disposable income for such month; or
       ``(3) in the last year of the plan by anyone except the 
     debtor, to require payments that would leave the debtor with 
     insufficient funds to carry on the farming operation after 
     the plan is completed.''.
       (h) Family Fishermen.--
       (1)Definitions.--Section 101 of title 11, United States 
     Code, is amended--
       (A) by inserting after paragraph (7) the following:
       ``(7A) `commercial fishing operation' means--
       ``(A) the catching or harvesting of fish, shrimp, lobsters, 
     urchins, seaweed, shellfish, or other aquatic species or 
     products of such species; or
       ``(B) for purposes of section 109 and chapter 12, 
     aquaculture activities consisting of raising for market any 
     species or product described in subparagraph (A);
       ``(7B) `commercial fishing vessel' means a vessel used by a 
     family fisherman to carry out a commercial fishing 
     operation;''; and
       (B) by inserting after paragraph (19) the following:
       ``(19A) `family fisherman' means--
       ``(A) an individual or individual and spouse engaged in a 
     commercial fishing operation--
       ``(i) whose aggregate debts do not exceed $1,500,000 and 
     not less than 80 percent of whose aggregate noncontingent, 
     liquidated debts (excluding a debt for the principal 
     residence of such individual or such individual and spouse, 
     unless such debt arises out of a commercial fishing 
     operation), on the date the case is filed, arise out of a 
     commercial fishing operation owned or operated by such 
     individual or such individual and spouse; and
       ``(ii) who receive from such commercial fishing operation 
     more than 50 percent of such individual's or such 
     individual's and spouse's gross income for the taxable year 
     preceding the taxable year in which the case concerning such 
     individual or such individual and spouse was filed; or
       ``(B) a corporation or partnership--
       ``(i) in which more than 50 percent of the outstanding 
     stock or equity is held by--

       ``(I) 1 family that conducts the commercial fishing 
     operation; or
       ``(II) 1 family and the relatives of the members of such 
     family, and such family or such relatives conduct the 
     commercial fishing operation; and

       ``(ii)(I) more than 80 percent of the value of its assets 
     consists of assets related to the commercial fishing 
     operation;
       ``(II) its aggregate debts do not exceed $1,500,000 and not 
     less than 80 percent of its aggregate noncontingent, 
     liquidated debts (excluding a debt for 1 dwelling which is 
     owned by such corporation or partnership and which a 
     shareholder or partner maintains as a principal residence, 
     unless such debt arises out of a commercial fishing 
     operation), on the date the case is filed, arise out of a 
     commercial fishing operation owned or operated by such 
     corporation or such partnership; and
       ``(III) if such corporation issues stock, such stock is not 
     publicly traded;
       ``(19B) `family fisherman with regular annual income' means 
     a family fisherman whose annual income is sufficiently stable 
     and regular to enable such family fisherman

[[Page H6703]]

     to make payments under a plan under chapter 12 of this 
     title;''.
       (2) Who may be a debtor.--Section 109(f) of title 11, 
     United States Code, is amended by inserting ``or family 
     fisherman'' after ``family farmer''.
       (3)  Chapter 12.--Chapter 12 of title 11, United States 
     Code, is amended--
       (A) in the chapter heading, by inserting ``OR FISHERMAN'' 
     after ``FAMILY FARMER'';
       (B) in section 1203, by inserting ``or commercial fishing 
     operation'' after ``farm''; and
       (C) in section 1206, by striking ``if the property is 
     farmland or farm equipment'' and inserting ``if the property 
     is farmland, farm equipment, or property used to carry out a 
     commercial fishing operation (including a commercial fishing 
     vessel)''.
       (4) Clerical Amendment.--In the table of chapters for title 
     11, United States Code, the item relating to chapter 12, is 
     amended to read as follows:
``12. Adjustments of Debts of a Family Farmer or Family Fisherman with 
    Regular Annual Income...................................1201''.....

       (e) Applicability.--Nothing in this subsection shall 
     change, affect, or amend the Fishery Conservation and 
     Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.).
       (i) Effective Date; Application of Amendments.--This 
     section and the amendments made by this section shall take 
     effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall not 
     apply with respect to cases commenced under title 11 of the 
     United States Code before such date.

  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, 
and I move the previous question on the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on ordering the previous 
queston.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. HOLDEN. 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.
  The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
  Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XX, the Chair will reduce to 5 minutes 
the minimum time for electronic voting, if ordered, on the question of 
adoption of the resolution and then on the Speaker's approval of the 
Journal and on the motion to instruct conferees offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson).
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 208, 
nays 199, not voting 25, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 416]

                               YEAS--208

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Armey
     Baker
     Ballenger
     Barr
     Bartlett
     Barton
     Bass
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bono
     Boozman
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (SC)
     Bryant
     Burr
     Burton
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chambliss
     Coble
     Collins
     Combest
     Cooksey
     Cox
     Crane
     Crenshaw
     Cubin
     Culberson
     Cunningham
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Davis, Tom
     Deal
     DeLay
     DeMint
     Diaz-Balart
     Doolittle
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Dunn
     Ehlers
     Ehrlich
     Emerson
     Everett
     Ferguson
     Flake
     Fletcher
     Foley
     Forbes
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Ganske
     Gekas
     Gibbons
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gilman
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Goss
     Graham
     Granger
     Graves
     Green (WI)
     Greenwood
     Grucci
     Gutknecht
     Hansen
     Hart
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Herger
     Hilleary
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Horn
     Hostettler
     Houghton
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Isakson
     Issa
     Istook
     Jenkins
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Keller
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MN)
     Kerns
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     LaHood
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Lucas (OK)
     Manzullo
     McCrery
     McHugh
     McInnis
     McKeon
     Mica
     Miller, Dan
     Miller, Gary
     Miller, Jeff
     Moran (KS)
     Morella
     Myrick
     Nethercutt
     Ney
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nussle
     Osborne
     Ose
     Otter
     Oxley
     Paul
     Pence
     Peterson (PA)
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Pombo
     Portman
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Quinn
     Radanovich
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Reynolds
     Riley
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Saxton
     Schrock
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simmons
     Simpson
     Skeen
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Souder
     Stearns
     Sullivan
     Sununu
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Tauzin
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Toomey
     Upton
     Vitter
     Walden
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Watkins (OK)
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Wicker
     Wilson (NM)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                               NAYS--199

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baca
     Baird
     Baldacci
     Baldwin
     Barrett
     Becerra
     Bentsen
     Bereuter
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bishop
     Blagojevich
     Blumenauer
     Borski
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (FL)
     Brown (OH)
     Capps
     Cardin
     Carson (IN)
     Carson (OK)
     Clayton
     Clement
     Clyburn
     Condit
     Conyers
     Costello
     Coyne
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Deutsch
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Dooley
     Doyle
     Edwards
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Evans
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Ford
     Frank
     Frost
     Gephardt
     Gonzalez
     Gordon
     Green (TX)
     Gutierrez
     Hall (TX)
     Harman
     Hastings (FL)
     Hill
     Hilliard
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Hoeffel
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Hooley
     Hoyer
     Inslee
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind (WI)
     Kleczka
     Kucinich
     LaFalce
     Lampson
     Langevin
     Lantos
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lipinski
     Lofgren
     Lowey
     Lucas (KY)
     Luther
     Lynch
     Maloney (CT)
     Markey
     Mascara
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCollum
     McGovern
     McIntyre
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Menendez
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller, George
     Mollohan
     Moore
     Moran (VA)
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Phelps
     Pomeroy
     Price (NC)
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Reyes
     Rivers
     Rodriguez
     Roemer
     Ross
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Sabo
     Sanchez
     Sanders
     Sandlin
     Sawyer
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Scott
     Serrano
     Sherman
     Shows
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Solis
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stenholm
     Strickland
     Stupak
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Taylor (MS)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thune
     Tierney
     Towns
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Waters
     Watson (CA)
     Watt (NC)
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wexler
     Woolsey

                             NOT VOTING--25

     Bachus
     Barcia
     Bonior
     Callahan
     Capuano
     Clay
     English
     Fossella
     Hastings (WA)
     Hulshof
     John
     Jones (NC)
     Kennedy (RI)
     Maloney (NY)
     McDermott
     Mink
     Roukema
     Schaffer
     Smith (MI)
     Stump
     Thompson (CA)
     Thurman
     Whitfield
     Wu
     Wynn

                              {time}  1126

  Messrs. CRAMER, REYES, BARRETT of Wisconsin, TAYLOR of Mississippi, 
ACKERMAN, BEREUTER, Ms. WOOLSEY, and Ms. ESHOO changed their vote from 
``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Mr. ISSA and Mr. BILIRAKIS changed their vote from ``nay'' to 
``yea.''
  So the previous question was ordered.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Biggert). The question is on the 
resolution.
  The resolution was agreed to.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________




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