THE DAILY WHIP: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

For Immediate Release:

September 20, 2013

Contact:

Katie GrantStephanie Young, 202-225-3130

House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes” per side

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

***MEMBERS ARE ADVISED THAT CLOSE VOTES ARE EXPECTED TODAY ON H.J.RES. 59 – CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS RESOLUTION, 2014. ANY EXPECTED ABSENCES SHOULD BE REPORTED TO THE WHIP’S OFFICE AT X5-3130.

H.J.Res. 59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014 (Rep. Rogers (KY) – Appropriations) (One Hour of Debate). This resolution would fund government operations into the next fiscal year through December 15, 2013.  Republicans are attempting to sell the resolution as a “clean” extension of FY2013 appropriations.  In reality, however, the resolution has a topline discretionary funding rate of $988 billion – a level that includes sequestration cuts and is $55 billion below the Budget Control Act's agreed-upon $1.043 trillion level for FY2013. By continuing sequestration into FY2014, all federal agencies funded by the resolution, including the Defense Department, will once again face sequester cuts. 

By embracing sequestration, the resolution hinders the government's ability to provide critical and essential services to Americans, including investments in education, implementing access to affordable health care, and ensuring national security. These arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts are harmful to our economy and national security. As our economy continues to recover, Congress should be focused on supporting sustained growth and job creation while working together to find a balanced solution to replace sequestration.

The continuing resolution also includes a provision that no funds should be made available to implement any aspect of the Affordable Care Act. This provision is not expected to pass the Senate and is just another example of how the Republicans are playing games when it comes to our budget issues instead of offering a serious proposal to keep the government open or replace the irrational sequester.

Including this defunding provision would mark the 42nd time that Republicans have voted to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act.  With the Supreme Court’s upholding of the law’s constitutionality and the reelection of President Obama, Speaker John Boehner declared: “Obamacare is the law of the land.”  Even that, however, has not stopped Republicans from wasting more time and taxpayer money on another repeal attempt that will not be signed into law. 

This resolution would also prioritize principal and interest on government debt held by the public and by the Social Security trust funds, putting all other debts or legal obligations in jeopardy if the debt limit is reached. Placing selected holders of our debt, many of whom are outside of the U.S., ahead of other obligations would force Treasury to default on these other obligations, including pay for active-duty military, veterans’ benefits, Medicare and Medicaid payments, and payments to small businesses. It would be simply impossible for the Treasury to pick and choose which bills get paid and which do not. As JP Morgan Chief Economist Michael Feroli says, debt prioritization “would be like the financial market equivalent of that Hieronymus Bosch painting of hell.”

Instead of working to replace the sequester or working together to implement the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans are advancing legislation that irresponsibly continues sequestration and represents another partisan effort to end the Affordable Care Act that is already helping millions of Americans. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Bill Text for H.J.Res. 59:
PDF Version

Complete Consideration of H.R. 1526 – Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources). This bill requires the U.S. Forest Service to increase timber production on National Forest lands by creating timber production zones, called “Forest Reserve Revenue Areas,” within each national forest.  Zones must meet annual timber volume targets set at half of what the forest grows each year.  Meeting these targets would require logging and related road building in currently roadless areas and national monuments.  It would also greatly reduce environmental reviews, legislatively prescribing timber production compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA); limiting scientific review by establishing a “non-jeopardy” presumption for all logging projects; and discourage judicial review by requiring plaintiffs to post bonds to have their day in court. In addition to increased timber production on National Forest lands, the bill also walk back over 100 years of National Forest management, establishing “community forest demonstration areas” that would be at least 200,000 acres, managed by state forest councils, and governed by state forest environmental laws.

The bill extends the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 for one year at the FY2010 level. The program provides to rural counties that have national forests within their borders support payments for government services like education and law enforcement.

The Rule makes in order no further general debate. As of last night, the House completed debate on all amendments. The following amendments have recorded votes pending:

Rep. Daines Amendment #1. Limits judicial review of timber sales under the bill by precluding Court-issued injunctions based on alleged violations of procedural requirements in selecting, planning, or analyzing the such sales.
Reps. McClintock/McCarthy (CA)/LaMalfa/Denham Amendment. Waives judicial review on any timber salvage project resulting from a wildfire occurring in 2013.
Rep. McClintock Amendment. Prohibits the U.S. Forest Service from removing any roads or trails unless there has been a specific decision, which included adequate and appropriate public involvement, to decommission the specific road or trail in question.

Bill Text for H.R. 1526:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1526:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

 
The Daily Quote

“The House GOP's decision to solder together plans to fund the government while defunding Obamacare—a proposal resolutely opposed by the president and Senate Democrats—boosts the odds of a government shutdown. Even if a funding resolution eventually passes, Congress then must reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. In both cases, a quick compromise seems impossible. That's what has Republican Party officials and strategists nationwide worried. They fear the public will blame the GOP for Washington's dysfunction. And although developments 14 months before an election rarely matter, a government shutdown, which could lead to a severe disruption of services, and a debt-ceiling standoff, which could throw the country's entire economy into peril, have the magnitude to ripple until next November. Enough to change the political trajectory of the midterm elections from one that's promising for Republican candidates to one that will blow up in their faces. ‘This has potential to be something that voters notice,’ said Glen Bolger, a Republican pollster. ‘It could affect voters where they live.’”

-    National Journal, 9/19/13