Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This is Lynn Jenkins, she does not represent us

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act H.R. 5116 America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 - Establishes, revises, and extends specified science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) programs, as well as engineering, research, and training programs. In this posting we look at the impact of amendments on the bill, including one insisted on by Lynn Jenkins, she gets the amendment, of course she votes against the bill. 

Here are the amendments.

H.Amdt.656, offered by Tennessee's Democratic Representative Bart Gordon. Introducing the Amendment he said on the floor of the house "The amendment makes a handful of technical and clarifying changes and a few substantive additions to the underlying bill. Most of the changes were the result of negotiations with our Republican colleagues following our full committee markup." Amendment 656 passed on roll call 262 by a vote of 417 to 6, Lynn Jenkins voted in the affirmative.

H.Amdt.658, offered by Texas' Republican Representative Ralph Moody Hall. Representative Hall used to be a Democrat. Hall represented Texas' 4th Congressional District for 24 years before switching to the Republican Party. When introducing his amendment, Hall's would "strike title V of this bill, which creates bigger government and calls for more spending in areas that go well beyond research and development and authorize potentially inappropriate and duplicative programs," he said. The Amendment failed on roll call 263 with Lynn Jenkins voting for the amendment.

H.Amdt.641, introduced by Massachusetts' Democratic Representative Edward Markey establishes a program to support the development and commercial application of clean energy technologies through a Clean Energy Consortium selected competitively by the Secretary of Energy.  This Amendment passed with Lynn Jenkins voting against it on roll call 264. Apparently her "all of the above" approach excludes Clean Energy!

H.Amdt.642, introduced by California's Democratic Representative George Miller requires public institutions of higher education, with respect to employees who are represented by labor organizations and who work on activities or programs supported by this Act, to maintain a policy to respond to union information requests, for information to which the union is legally entitled, on a timely basis in order to be eligible to receive facilities and administrative costs provided by any of the funding sources authorized by this Act. Failure to comply with such a policy results in suspension of payments to the institution for facilities and administrative costs until compliance is achieved. This Amendment passed the House on roll call 265. Lynn Jenkins voted against making universities comply with lawful request from labor unions. Lynn Jenkins does not represent working people.

H.Amdt.643, introduced by Texas' Democratic Representative Silvestre Reyes has two purposes according to Reyes. "First, it would require the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Coordinating Committee under the Office of Science and Technology policy to describe in their 5-year strategic plan the approaches that each STEM agency will take to conduct outreach designed to promote widespread public understanding of career opportunities in STEM fields.

Second, the amendment requires the establishment and the maintenance of a publicly accessible online database, or a, if you will, of all federally-sponsored STEM education programs. would be a one-stop shop where teachers, students, and researchers would be able to access information on all of the opportunities available in STEM fields. Currently, all STEM programs are listed in different places online with different programs, and this amendment would simply consolidate the information for easier access in one location. "

The Reyes Amendment passed on roll call 266, with Lynn Jenkins voting for the Amendment.

H.Amndt646, introduced by Ohio's Democratic Representative John Boccieri increases the authorization level for funding for Federal Loan Guarantees for Innovative Technologies in Manufacturing from $50 million to $100 million.

Credit is tight in this economy, American industries need help in gaining "access to capital, to help them move forward to retool their current manufacturing process with the newest technologies, to help make the high-quality components for the military, heavy truck, construction equipment and material handling equipment, industries that they are known for, and to help put them in a better position to be able to capture their share in the global economy," according to Michigan's Democratic Representative Mark SCHAUER.  This Amendment passed on roll call 267 with Lynn Jenkins voting against the ability of American businesses to have greater access to credit.

H.Amdt.648, introduced by Illinois' Democratic Representative Debbie Halvorson. She describes this as a simple amendment which would " help expand career opportunities in science and engineering for veterans of our armed services. As the only Member from my State that serves on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I am proud to stand up for the brave men and women who have served our country and our military. It is important for us to stand up for them not only when they are on Active Duty, but also when they return home."  This Amendment passed on roll call 268 with Lynn Jenkins voting for the amendment.

H.Amdt.650, introduced by Arizona's Republican Representative Jeff Flake was not controversial in nature and only added a "sense of the Congress" effect to the bill. The purpose of the Amendment is that Congress wants those educated in American colleges and universities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to stay working here in America. Flake said: " According to the National Science Foundation, foreign students receive about half of all doctorates in engineering, mathematics, computer sciences, physics, and economics that are awarded in the United States. Unfortunately, growing backlogs in processing applications hamper the flexibility of U.S. employers to hire foreign-born talent with advanced degrees from American universities. These hurdles affect even doctoral graduates in STEM fields trained at U.S. universities, who either return home or seek employment in a country with a more welcoming immigration system. The loss of Ph.D. talent, trained at U.S. institutions and due to immigration red tape, to our competitors makes little sense, and it harms our economy".  This Amendment passed on roll call 269, with Lynn Jenkins voting for the amendment,

There were eight amendments presented to the House on this bill. Lynn Jenkins voted with the majority of the House four times and with the losing side four times. You'd have to argue that she got half of what she wanted in the presented amendments.

Roll 270 was a Motion to Recommit with Instructions, it is usually a way to kill a bill.  Not this time. Here the Congress was upset with federal employees wasting government time and money watching porn on-line via their government computers.

Lynn Jenkins took to the floor, she said: " If you're a government employee, and you are disciplined for viewing, downloading, or e-mailing pornography, including child pornography, on government computers or during work hours, you will no longer be paid. You will be fired. If you think a couple of days of suspension, a reprimand, a transfer is the right response when someone uses government computers to spread pornography, then vote against this motion. But if you think spreading pornography with a government computer is an act that should lead to dismissal, then vote for this motion."  The motion to recommit with instructions passed and the bill went back to committee.

When the House resumed consideration of H.R. 5116 another series of amendments were proposed. House Amendment 678 was divided into votes on its pertinent parts.

First came a proposed striking of section 228 from the bill. Section 228 permits awarding innovation inducement cash prizes in any area of research which give priority to high-risk, high-reward research challenges solving problems whose solution could improve the economic competitiveness of the United States.  This Amendment failed on roll call 326. Lynn Jenkins thought it was a bad idea to incentivize creative solutions to our lack of technological and economic competitiveness. She voted to strike section 228 on roll call 326..

The next amendment sought to strike§§ 406(b) and (c). Section 406 (b) gives authority for an innovative services initiative to assist small and medium sized manufacturers reduce their energy usage and environmental waste to improve profitability and accelerate the domestic commercialization of new product technologies, including components for renewable energy systems.

So this Amendment wants to prohibit assisting small and medium sized manufacturers and seeks to not speed up commercialization of new products in the field of renewable energy. Who'd vote for that? Lynn Jenkins on roll call 327. The Amendment failed.

The third part of this amending procedure sought to amend §702 of the bill adding language. Section 702 deals with persons with disabilities and disabled veterans. The amendment instructed agencies receiving funds under this section. This part of the amendment failed on roll call 328. Lynn Jenkins vote for amending §702.

Roll call 329 deals with that question of pornography which propelled Lynn Jenkins to the House floor. A new section, was added that said there would be no salaries for viewing pornography. This passed by a vote of 409 to 0.

Roll call 330 proposed adding a section that would make ineligible those institutions of higher education that violate §983 of title 10, United States Code. That section is applies if the college or university prevents ROTC access or military recruiting on campus and denies grants and contracts to such institutions. This amendment appears duplicative. The measure passed on a vote of 348 to 68. Lynn Jenkins voted for this amendment .

Roll call 331 sought to impose alternative funding authorizations. This failed on a vote of 181 to 234. Lynn Jenkins voted in the affirmative to trim the money for this bill.

Remember that on the first set of amendments Lynn Jenkins got half of what she wanted. On the several votes on House Amendment 678 she was with the winning side 3 out of 7 times. She got exactly what she wanted with roll call 329.

On Passage Lynn Jenkins voted no. That was roll call 332. When Lynn Jenkins says Republicans are blocked out of presenting their ideas by the Democrats, she is full of hot air. Lynn Jenkins does not want to help small and medium sized businesses, efforts at green energy, or America's efforts with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Lynn Jenkins does not represent us.  So, is she still against pornography?

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