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(III) upgrade the delivery and development of learning through innovative technologybased instructional tools and applications;

(iv) to provide loans, grants and other forms of assistance to State education technology agencies, with due regard for providing a fair balance among types of school districts and public libraries assisted and the disparate needs of such districts and libraries;

(v) to leverage resources to provide maximum aid to elementary schools, secondary schools and public libraries; and

(vi) to encourage the development of education telecommunications and information technologies through public-private tures, by serving as a clearinghouse for information on new education technologies, and by providing technical assistance, including assistance to States, if needed, to establish State education technology agencies.

(2) PURPOSE.-The purpose of this section is to recognize the Corporation as a nonprofit corporation operating under the laws of the District of Columbia, and to provide authority for Federal departments and agencies to provide assistance to the Corporation. (b) DEFINITIONS.-For the purpose of this section

(1) the term "Corporation" means the National Education Technology Funding Corporation described in subsection (a)(1)(A);

(2) the terms "elementary school" and "secondary school" have the same meanings given such terms in section 14101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; and

(3) the term "public library" has the same meaning given such term in section 3 of the Library Services and Construction Act.

(c) ASSISTANCE FOR EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY PURPOSES.

(1) RECEIPT BY CORPORATION.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in order to carry out the corporate purposes described in subsection (a)(1)(C), the Corporation shall be eligible to receive discretionary grants, contracts, gifts, contributions, or technical assistance from any Federal department or agency, to the extent otherwise permitted by law.

(2) AGREEMENT.-In order to receive any assistance described in paragraph (1) the Corporation shall enter into an agreement with the Federal department or agency providing such assistance, under which the Corporation agrees

(A) to use such assistance to provide funding and technical assistance only for activities which the Board of Directors of the Corporation determines are consistent with the corporate purposes described in subsection (a)(1)(C);

(B) to review the activities of State education technology agencies and other entities receiving assistance from the Corporation to assure that the corporate purposes described in subsection (a)(1)(C) are carried out;

(C) that no part of the assets of the Corporation shall accrue to the benefit of any member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation, any officer or employee of the Corporation, or any other individual, except as salary or reasonable compensation for services;

(D) that the Board of Directors of the Corporation will adopt policies and procedures to prevent conflicts of interest;

(E) to maintain a Board of Directors of the Corporation consistent with subsection (a)(1)(B):

(F) that the Corporation, and any entity receiving the assistance from the Corporation, are subject to the appropriate oversight procedures of the Congress; and

(G) to comply with

(i) the audit requirements described in subsection (d); and

(ii) the reporting and testimony requirements described in subsection (e).

(3) CONSTRUCTION.-Nothing in this section shall be construed to establish the Corporation as an agency or independent establishment of the Federal Government, or to establish the members of the Board of Directors of the Corporation, or the officers and employees of the Corporation, as officers or employees of the Federal Government. (d) AUDITS.

(1) AUDITS BY INDEPENDENT CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS.

(A) IN GENERAL.-The Corporation's financial statements shall be audited annually in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards by independent certified public accountants who are certified by a regulatory authority of a State or other political subdivision of the United States. The audits shall be conducted at the place or places where the accounts of the Corporation are normally kept. All books, accounts, financial records, reports, files, and all other papers, things, or property belonging to or in use by the Corporation and necessary to facilitate the audit shall be made available to the person or persons conducting the audits, and full facilities for verifying transactions with the balances or securities held by depositories, fiscal agents, and custodians shall be afforded to such person or persons.

(B) REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.-The report of each annual audit described in subparagraph (A) shall be included in the annual report required by subsection (e)(1).

(2) RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS; AUDIT AND EXAMINATION OF BOOKS.

(A) RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS.-The Corporation shall ensure that each recipient of assistance from the Corporation keeps(i) separate accounts with respect to such assistance;

(ii) such records as may be reasonably necessary to fully disclose

(I) the amount and the disposition by such recipient of the proceeds of such assistance; (II) the total cost of the project or undertaking in connection with which such assistance is given or used; and

(III) the amount and nature of that portion of the cost of the project or undertaking supplied by other sources; and

(iii) such other records as will facilitate an effective audit.

(B) AUDIT AND EXAMINATION OF BOOKS.-The Corporation shall ensure that the Corporation, or any of the Corporation's duly authorized representatives, shall have access for the purpose of audit and examination to any books, documents, papers, and records of any recipient of assistance from the Corporation that are pertinent to such assistance. Representatives of the Comptroller General shall also have such access for such purpose. (e) ANNUAL REPORT; TESTIMONY TO THE CONGRESS.

(1) ANNUAL REPORT.-Not later than April 30 of each year, the Corporation shall publish an annual report for the preceding fiscal year and submit that report to the President and the Congress. The report shall include a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the Corporation's operations, activities, financial condition, and accomplishments under this section and may include such recommendations as the Corporation deems appropriate.

(2) TESTIMONY BEFORE CONGRESS.-The members of the Board of Directors, and officers, of the Corporation shall be available to testify before appropriate committees of the Congress with respect to the report described in paragraph (1), the report of any audit made by the Comptroller General pursuant to this section, or any other matter which any such committee may determine appropriate.

SEC. 709. REPORT ON THE USE OF ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES. The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and other appropriate departments and agencies, shall submit a report to the Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation of the Senate concerning the activities of the Joint Working Group on Telemedicine, together with any findings reached in the studies and demonstrations on telemedicine funded by the Public Health Service or other Federal agencies. The report shall examine questions related to patient safety, the efficacy and quality of the services provided, and other legal, medical, and economic issues related to the utilization of advanced telecommunications services for medical purposes. The report shall be submitted to the respective Committees by January 31, 1997.

SEC. 710. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. (a) IN GENERAL.-In addition to any other sums authorized by law, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Federal Communications Commission such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act and the amendments made by this Act.

(b) EFFECT ON FEES.-For the purposes of section 9(b)(2) (47 U.S.C. 159(b)(2)), additional amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) shall be construed to be changes in the amounts appropriated for the performance of activities described in section 9(a) of the Communications Act of 1934.

(c) FUNDING AVAILABILITY.-Section 309(j)(8)(B) (47 U.S.C. 309(j)(8)(B)) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: "Such offsetting collections are authorized to remain available until

pended.".

ex

And the House agree to the same. From the Committee on Commerce, for consideration of the Senate bill, and the House amendment, and modifications committed to conference:

TOM BLILEY,

JACK FIELDS,

MICHAEL G. OXLEY,

RICK WHITE,

JOHN D. DINGELL,

EDWARD J. MARKEY,

RICK BOUCHER,

ANNA G. ESHOO,

BOBBY L. RUSH,

Provided, Mr. Pallone is appointed in lieu of Mr. Boucher solely for consideration of sec. 205 of the Senate bill:

FRANK PALLONE, JR., As additional conferees, for consideration of secs. 1-6, 101-04, 106-07, 201, 204-05, 221-25, 30105, 307-11, 401-02, 405-06, 410, 601-06, 703, and 705 of the Senate bill, and title I of the House amendment, and modifications committed to conference:

DAN SCHAEFER,

JOE BARTON,

J. DENNIS HASTERT,
BILL PAXON,
SCOTT KLUG,
DAN FRISA,
CLIFF STEARNS,
SHERROD BROWN,
BART GORDON,
BLANCHE LAMBERT
LINCOLN,

As additional conferees, for consideration of secs. 102, 202-03, 403, 407-09, and 706 of the Senate bill, and title II of the House amendment, and modifications committed to conference:

DAN SCHAEFER,

J. DENNIS HASTERT, DAN FRISA,

As additional conferees, for consideration of secs. 105, 206, 302, 306, 312, 501-05, and 701-02 of

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Campbell

Gilman

Canady

Gingrich

Cardin

Castle

Gonzalez Goodlatte

Chabot

Chambliss

Chenoweth

Christensen

Chrysler

Clay

Clayton

Clement

Goodling Gordon Goss Graham Green Greenwood Gunderson Gutierrez

Lucas Luther Maloney Manton Manzullo Markey Martinez Martini Mascara

Matsui

McCarthy

McCollum

McCrery

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McDade McDermott McHale McHugh McInnis McIntosh McKeon McKinney McNulty Meehan

Meek

Menendez Metcalf

Miller (CA)
Miller (FL)
Minge
Mink

Moakley
Molinari
Mollohan
Montgomery
Moorhead
Moran
Morella
Murtha
Myers
Myrick
Neal

Nethercutt
Neumann

Bryant (TX) Chapman

NOT VOTING 4

So the conference report was agreed to.

A motion to reconsider the vote whereby said conference report was agreed to was, by unanimous consent, laid on the table.

Ordered, That the Clerk notify the Senate thereof.

111.11 PROVIDING FOR THE

CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 2924

Mr. GOSS, by direction of the Committee on Rules, reported (Rept. No. 104-460) the resolution (H. Res. 355) providing for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 2924) to guarantee the timely payment of social security benefits in March 1996.

When said resolution and report were referred to the House Calendar and ordered printed.

¶11.12 PRIVILEGES OF THE HOUSE

Mr. GEPHARDT rose to a question of the privileges of the House and submitted the following resolution (H. Res. 356):

Whereas, the inability of the House to pass an adjustment in the public debt limit unburdened by the unrelated political agenda of either party, an adjustment to maintain the creditworthiness of the United States and to avoid disruption of interest rates and the financial markets brings discredit upon the House;

Filner

Rose

Whereas, the failure of the House of Representatives to adjust the federal debt limit and keep the nation from default impairs the dignity of the House, the integrity of its proceedings and the esteem the public holds for the House; Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution the enrolling clerk of the House of Representatives shall prepare an engrossment of the bill, H.R. 2409. The vote by which this resolution is adopted by the House shall be deemed to have been a vote in favor of such bill upon final passage in the House of Representatives. Upon engrossment of the bill, it shall be deemed to have passed the House of Representatives and been duly certified and examined; the engrossed copy shall be signed by the Clerk and transmitted to the Senate for further legislative action; and (upon final passage by both Houses) the bill shall be signed by the presiding officers of both Houses and presented to the President for his signature (and otherwise treated for all purposes) in the manner provided for bills generally.

Mr. GEPHARDT was recognized to speak and said:

"Mr. Speaker, let me explain why this is a question of privilege and why this Congress must act to extend the debt limit, with no threats or conditions, to preserve the integrity of this entire Government.

"Rule IX of this House states very clearly that matters of privilege are those affecting the House collectively, those affecting its dignity and integrity, and those affecting the reputation of Members in their representative capacity.

"I ask every Member of this Congress today, how can the dignity and integrity of this Congress be maintained if we tear down the dignity and integrity of this country? How can any single Member of the 104th Congress maintain our reputation and honor if we go down in the history books as the Congress that broke America's word, the very first Congress that dared to tarnish America's trust in the world.

"Mr. Speaker, I know there are enough Democrats and Republicans to extend the debt limit and avoid this crisis right now, if we could only have that vote on the floor. It is unfair to all of us to have our rights, our reputations, our good names dashed for what I believe is a partisan purpose.

"Some of our Republican colleagues are threatening to default on America's financial obligations, to turn our backs on seniors who need their Social Security checks, taxpayers who deserve their refunds, people throughout the world have invested in America.

"There is no question that economic chaos would follow even a day of default. Interest rates on credit cards, car loans, and mortgages would skyrocket. The dollar would plummet. World financial markets could go into a tailspin. The damage would most. likely be permanent, because such reckless delinquency would be without historical precedent in our country.

"We had a bloody Civil War in the last century, when America was torn in half, probably our greatest crisis. But all through it and after it, we kept our credit whole. During two world wars

when our economy was stretched to the limit, we found room to honor our word to the people who had invested in our debt. Through recessions and a great depression, we have guarded America's financial faith and integrity because it is as sacred as the Constitution itself.

"This is not partisan hyperbole. Even the threat of default is damaging our credibility day by day, more and more with each passing day.

"We cannot afford to play politics with that credibility. We cannot afford to delay to stand for our national word and honor.

"What crisis is bigger than two world wars and the Great Depression? A disagreement over a budget. We Democrats think it is wrong to cut Medicare for huge tax breaks, especially since we think it is unnecessary to balance the budget. Republicans legitimately disagree. This is a valid debate. It is one we should resolve. But defaulting on our obligations, hurting millions of average Americans, damaging our most precious possession, our word and our credibility, is no way to resolve it.

"After all, shutting down the Government twice did not resolve it. Why would an international economic crisis resolve it?

"Mr. Speaker, parliamentary privilege exists for exactly this kind of crisis. This is more than an economic issue. It is a profoundly moral issue.

"If we bargain away America's integrity for the latest political squabble, if we can bring millions of families to the brink of economic crisis because we cannot agree on this year's budget, then in my opinion we cease to serve the United States of America, and we no longer have honor to maintain.

"This crisis, Mr. Speaker, is the very essence of privilege in this parliamentary body, and I urge the Chair, on behalf of our country and the promise and word of our country, to rule in its favor.".

Mr. KENNEDY of Massachusetts was recognized to speak and said:

"Mr. Speaker, there can be no greater cause for a parliamentary privilege than the constitutional crisis that is being perpetrated by the elements of this House that have chosen a path to default on America's debt in order to get their particular view rammed through the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States. Mr. Speaker, we have got to deal with this crisis.

"The truth of the matter is that originally we were told that the reason why the Republicans so much wanted to have the debt default issue brought forward was to insist upon a balanced budget. President Clinton has agreed to a balanced budget.

"We were then told, though, it was not a balanced budget, it was a balanced budget within 7 years. President Clinton agreed to a balanced budget within 7 years.

"We were then told it was not a balanced budget within 7 years but it was with the CBO numbers. President Clinton greed to a balanced budget in 7 years using CBO numbers.

"Then we were told it was not a balanced budget, 7 years, CBO numbers, but it had to have a tax cut. President Clinton agreed to a tax cut.

"It is not as big a tax cut as the one the Republicans want, so the Republicans are insistent upon challenging the debt of this country, breaking the back of 200 years of history, breaking the parliamentary process that has been set up that says if we have disagreements between bills passed by the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, that we have in fact a President that can sign that bill or he can veto that bill. If he vetoes the bill, we have the right to override that veto. If we do not have the votes to override, we then compromise. "The truth of the matter is there is no willingness to compromise.

"Mr. Speaker, I am talking about a question of privilege. I am talking about my dignity and my integrity, the integrity of this body, the integrity of every Member on the Democratic and Republican side.

"You are willing to break the back, break the debt of America in order to ram through through your narrow political guerrilla tactics. It is time for a little dignity on the floor of this House, Mr. Speaker, and I want to be heard.

"Mr. Speaker, I believe very strongly that this is an issue of parliamentary privilege. I could not agree more strongly with the words of the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. GEPHARDT], that this is an issue, the most important issue we have faced this year, the most important issue that we have faced in many years.

"If we allow the debt of this country to be defaulted upon, we will hurt the future of our country's borrowing, we will hurt the future of our country's children, and we will hurt our senior citizens.

"Please pass a full debt extension. Allow us to pay our bills as every generation prior to ours has done throughout the history of this country.".

Mr. SOLOMON was recognized to speak and said:

"Mr. Speaker, in the interest of time, I will make the argument brief as to why this resolution does not constitute a question of privilege under House rule IX, but just as I do that, let me preface those remarks by calling attention to the bill that will be on the floor directly after we finish with these two issues here. It states in the line 6. "Congress intends to pass an increase in the public debt limit before March 1, 1996," and let me say that they will do this over my objections because I am just appalled that we are once again going to extend this debt limit.

"But having said that, let us talk about this issue. The precedents are absolutely clear that a resolution raising a question of privilege may not be used to change those rules. This resolution would change House rules by automatically passing a specified bill. Nowhere in House rules is it contemplated or specified that legislation may be called up, let alone passed, by means of a

question of privileged resolution. The Chair has already so ruled on numerous occasions during the last several weeks. I therefore would urge that this resolution be ruled out of order, Mr. Speaker.".

Mr. KANJORSKI was recognized to speak and said:

"Mr. Speaker, I know that this is an issue that other parliamentarians have ruled on in the history of this great House, but as we reflect, my friends on both sides, and to remove this from a partisan issue, the issue of the Constitution and the issue of the House of Representatives predates the existence of either parties that exercise influence in this House today.

"We are in the 208th year of the American Constitution, the 104th Congress of the United States. We are here by virtue of the fact that our constituents elected us to come here and present ourselves under article I of the Constitution of the United States and take an oath of office that Constitution. Article I provides for the powers of the House of Representatives, one of which is to provide for the debt of the United States. Those of us in this House today, more than a majority, I daresay, because I have a letter addressed to the Speaker signed by more than 191 members of the minority side of the House, and I am aware of the fact that several dozen of my good friends on the majority side join me in this cause.

"So clearly if a resolution for the raising of the debt limit presented to the House clean, it could and would receive a majority vote of the House of Representatives honoring the commitment we made in our oath of office under article I of the Constitution of the United States.

"For the leadership of the House, for the Rules Committee or for the rules of the House to frustrate article I and the individual oath and the collective oath of this entire House and to argue that this does not fall within the purview of the privilege of the House going to the integrity and the dignity of individual Members or collectively of this House is the most fallacious and ridiculous argument I have ever heard in my years in public life.

"I argue that we put aside today as we are about to leave on a 3-week vacation and send a message to America that the House of Representatives is going to pursue and follow its oath of office, the article I of the American Constitution, and allow for an open vote a resolution allowing for the provision to pay the debts of the U.S. Government under the existing Constitution of the United States.".

Mr. RANGEL was recognized to speak and said:

"Mr. Speaker, I am going to try desperately hard to be nonpartisan in my remarks, because I think we have reached that point as a Congress that the general public is just fed up with all of us and are not taking the time to determine whether it is the so-called Republican leadership or whether it is

the House of Representatives, the Senators or even whether it is the Government of the United States.

"All of us have had the opportunity to explain what our job is here in the House, and we are honored to serve in this House, and whether we are dealing with adults or whether we deal with children, compromise has never been a dirty word in explaining the work of the subcommittees, the full committees, what we do in conference and what we send to the President of the United States. If we are going to change the rules here, you are changing the rules not just for individuals and parties, you are changing the rules. for every one of the Members of this House whether they are participating in this or whether they are not, and you are not giving them choices. You are not playing by the rules. You are not playing by the rules we were sworn in to endorse. Those rules are simple rules.

"You do not like what the President has done. You do not like the veto; you override the veto, that is what you do, and if you cannot override the veto, you try to come back and work out something.

"Oh, I know, you are in a hurry. You cannot talk about it. You cannot talk about compromise. All of a sudden this beautiful word has now become a stigma, because a handful of people have snatched what they think is principle, and they are threatening the United States of America's integrity throughout this world.

"You can do what you want with your party or with your members. But it is unfair, and it takes away from our prerogative as sworn Members of this House to threaten the economic life of the United States of America and the free world by holding a debt extension hostage in order to reach your political end.

"Politics are played at the polls, and they should not be the reputation of the United States that is being played on parliamentary maneuvers.".

The SPEAKER pro tempore, Mr. BARRETT of Nebraska, ruled that the resolution submitted did not present a question of the privileges of the House under rule IX, and said:

"The resolution offered by the gentleman from Missouri alleges that the failure of the House to take a specified legislative action brings it discredit and lowers it in public esteem. On that premise it resolves that the House be considered to have passed a legislative

measure.

"Under rule IX, questions of the privileges of the House are those 'affecting the rights of the House collectively, its safety, its dignity, [or] the integrity of its proceedings.' But a question of the privileges of the House may not be invoked to effect a change in the rules of the House or to prescribe a special order of business for the House. This principle has been upheld on several occasions cited in section 664 of the House Rules and Manual, including June 27, 1974 where a

resolution directing the Committee on Rules to consider reporting a special order was held not to present a question of privilege.

"In this Congress, resolutions have been offered that attempt to advance legislative propositions as questions of privileges of the House on February 7 and December 22, 1995, on January 3, 1996, and, in particular, on January 24, 1996. The latter resolution similarly deemed a legislative measure passed to redress previous inaction. When ruling out that resolution as not constituting a question of privilege, the Chair posited that permitting a question of the privileges of the House under rule IX based on allegations of perceived discredit by legislative action or inaction would permit any Member to advance virtually any legislative proposal as a question of privileges of the House.

"Applying the precedents just cited, the Chair holds that the resolution offered by the Gentleman from Missouri does not affect 'the rights of the House collectively, its safety, dignity, [or] the integrity of its proceedings' within the meaning of clause 1 of rule IX. Rather, it proposes to effect a special order of business for the House-deeming it to have passed a legislative measure as an antidote for the alleged discredit of previous inaction.

"The resolution does not constitute a question of privilege under rule IX.". Mr. VOLKMER appealed the ruling of the Chair.

The question being stated,

Will the decision of the Chair stand as the judgment of the House?

Mr. SOLOMON moved to lay the appeal on the table.

The question being put, viva voce, Will the House lay on the table the appeal of the ruling of the Chair? The SPEAKER pro tempore, Mr. BARRETT of Nebraska, announced that the yeas had it.

Mr. VOLKMER demanded a recorded vote on agreeing to said motion, which demand was supported by one-fifth of a quorum, so a recorded vote was ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device.

It was decided in the Yeas affirmative .....

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Nays

229 187

....

Combest Cooley

Bryant (TN) Bunn

Cox

Crane

Crapo Cremeans

Bunning

Burr Burton

Buyer

Callahan

Calvert Camp

Campbell

Bass

Canady

Bateman Bereuter Bilbray

Castle

Chabot

Bilirakis

Bliley Blute Boehlert Boehner Bonilla Bono

Cubin

Cunningham
Davis
Deal

DeLay

Chambliss
Chenoweth
Christensen

Chrysler
Clinger

Diaz-Balart

Dickey
Doolittle

Dornan

Dreier

Duncan

Dunn

Ehlers

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Wamp
Watts (OK)
Weldon (FL)
Weldon (PA)

Hefley

Heineman

Herger

Myrick

Hilleary

Nethercutt

Hobson

Neumann

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Weller

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White

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Hayes

Packard Radanovich

Seastrand Smith (WA) Stockman

So the motion to lay the appeal of the ruling of the Chair on the table was agreed to.

A motion to reconsider the vote whereby said motion was agreed to was, by unanimous consent, laid on the table.

111.14 PRIVILEGES OF THE HOUSE

Ms. JACKSON-LEE rose to a question of the privileges of the House and called up the following resolution (H. Res. 354):

Whereas the inability of the House to pass a bill to raise the public debt limit will cause the Federal Government to default on its obligations and affect the dignity and integrity of House proceedings; and

Whereas the inability of the House to pass a bill to raise the public debt limit will cause severe hardship on Federal employees, Federal contractors, and the American people and cause millions of American citizens to hold the House in disrepute: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution, the Speaker of the House shall take such action to keep the House in session until the House considers a clean bill regarding the debt ceiling to avoid default of the full faith and credit of the United States.

Ms. JACKSON-LEE was recognized to speak and said:

"Mr. Speaker, rule IX, section 1 in particular, speaks to questions of privilege affecting the rights of the House collectively, its safety, dignity, and the integrity of its proceedings.

"But second, Mr. Speaker, it talks about affecting the rights, reputation and conduct of Members individually. And, therefore, we can see in that rule that there may be actions taken collectively by this body that would put this House in ill repute in the eyes of its constituents, in the eyes of other Members, and in the eyes collectively, of the American people.

"Mr. Speaker, I would affirm that recessing this House in light of the failure of the leader's privileged resolution to pass a clean debt ceiling will befall upon this House in the eyes of the American people a reputation that we would not be proud of. The House of Representatives will be held in disrepute by world leaders, international financial institutions, and most impor

tantly the citizens of this country, if it does not pass a bill relating to the debt ceiling.

"Mr. Speaker, it is my contention that this is a grave matter, and in many ways affects the dignity and integrity of these House proceedings. The Secretary of the Treasury has stated that the Federal Government will be in default of its financial obligations if the debt ceiling limit is not raised and a $5.8 billion interest payment made very soon.

"In accordance with the responsibilities of his office, Secretary Rubin has already sent a letter on January 22, 1996, to the congressional leadership stating under the current conditions the U.S. Treasury will no longer be able to fulfill all of its financial obligations.

"Clearly, Mr. Speaker, we have been on notice and we are on notice that actions by this body would put it in disrepute and have it viewed as not performing its responsibilities.

"As we are aware, Mr. Speaker, the financial reputation of an organization is based solely upon the financial history it has established. Mr. Speaker, it has been an undeniable fact that this House was given 38 days of notice of the impending financial dilemma. If this body fails to pass a bill, which we have already done so by rejecting the leader's privileged resolution, then we would not be in good standing.

"May I remind the Speaker that rule IX of the House states questions of privilege go to the dignity and reputation of this House.

"Mr. Speaker, might I also say that, if on February 26, when we have the obligation of sending out to millions of Americans Social Security checks, I can tell my colleagues that if those checks go out with no clean debt ceiling, they will bounce. If that is not a blight on the integrity of this House, then I do not know what is.

"Mr. Speaker, if I may personally say, having had the privilege of going to Bosnia, visiting with the people of those nations, Bosnia, the former Yugoslavia and Croatia, when making a very weighty decision by this body as to whether we would go in as peacekeeping troops in this effort, I had the privilege of talking to the men and women who are now serving in Bosnia. The only thing they asked of us is: Will the American people be with us?

"Mr. Speaker, here we stand on the House floor about to recess and go home and jeopardize the opportunity and the responsibility to pay those military personnel by March 1. Mr. Speaker, I think that we have come to a point legitimately under rule IX that we must stand up because we provide a harm to the American people. That harm is the inability to pay Social Security; the inability to pay veterans' benefits; the inability to pay our military personnel; and, yes, the disrepute that will fall upon this House and this Nation when it is not able to pay its responsibilities and uphold the full faith and credit of this Nation.

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