THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2013

For Immediate Release:

August 1, 2013

Contact:

Katie GrantStephanie Young, 202-225-3130

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

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” per side

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

H.Res. 322 – Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 2879 - Stop Government Abuse Act (Rep. Jenkins Oversight and Government Reform), H.R. 367 – Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (Rep. Young (IN) – Judiciary), and H.R. 2009 – Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act  (Rep. Price (GA) – Ways and Means) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules committee has recommended one Rule which provides for consideration of 3 bills.

For H.R. 2897, the Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

For H.R. 367, the Rules committee has recommended a structured Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the Committee on Judiciary.  The Rule allows for 12 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions and it also waives all points of order against the legislation.

For H.R. 2009, the Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

The Rules Committee rejected a motion by Ms. Slaughter of New York to consider all three bills under open Rules. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 1582 – Energy Consumers Relief Act (Rep. Cassidy – Energy and Commerce). This bill prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from finalizing regulations estimated to cost more than $1 billion if the Energy Department determines that the regulations will cause significant adverse effects to the economy.

The measure would effectively prevent EPA from finalizing any regulations and would give the Energy Department a veto over EPA's air and water pollution rules or any other rule interpreted to be "energy-related." The measure could also indefinitely delay EPA energy-related rules because there are no deadlines for EPA to submit its report or for the Energy Department to complete its study.

The Rule makes in order no further general debate. As of last night, the House had completed debate through the Connolly/Kildee Amendment (#3). The following amendments remain to be debated:

Woodall Amendment. Requires EPA to make publicly available all data and documents relied upon by the Agency to develop estimates under the bill.
Culberson/Hunter Amendment. Prohibits the EPA from using the "social cost of carbon" valuation when assessing the benefits of a rule until the EPA promulgates a final rule on the use of such a valuation method.
Murphy (PA) Amendment. Prohibits the EPA from using the "social cost of carbon" valuation. 

The following amendments had recorded votes pending as of last night:

Waxman Amendment. Strikes section 2 of the bill, which allows DOE to effectively veto EPA rules.
Connolly/Kildee Amendment. Prevents Sec. 2 of the bill, which requires DOE to review EPA regulations, from applying to rules related to the protection of air and water quality.

Bill Text for H.R. 1582:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1582:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

H.R. 2879 - Stop Government Abuse Act (Rep. Jenkins Oversight and Government Reform) (One Hour of Debate). H.R. 2879 is a combination of three bills from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee: H.R. 2711 – Citizen Empowerment Act, H.R. 2579 – Government Employee Accountability Act, and H.R. 1541 – Common Sense in Compensation Act.

The measure allows individuals to record conversations with federal agencies and requires federal agencies to provide notice to individuals about their right to record conversations. Specifically, the bill provides that when a federal employee is acting in his or her official capacity, he or she is automatically providing consent to have both in-person and telephonic interactions recorded by anyone present during the interaction.

In addition, the bill gives federal agencies expanded options to target Senior Executive Service (SES) employees, including allowing the termination of such employees for misappropriation of funds (specifically, paying for Conferences) and allowing them to be placed on unpaid leave for "flagrant" conduct in which an employee intentionally engaged. An agency could use an inspector general report finding that states an SES employee has committed a crime as the basis for removing or suspending the employee without pay. In the instance of such an inspector general report, the employee would not be entitled to 30 days of advance notice of the proposed termination or suspension without pay.

H.R. 2879 would also limit, during any fiscal year in which sequestration is in force, bonuses or performance awards paid to federal employees.  Under this bill, the total compensation for any federal employee could not exceed 105% of the total basic pay that that individual receives, and no more than 33% of eligible employees in any government agency may receive performance awards.   Agencies may also request that more than 33% of employees be permitted to receive performance awards. If the Office of Personnel Management grants such a waiver, the agency must notify Congress of the percentage of employees receiving the awards and the dollar amount of each award. 

This bill represents yet another example of the time-wasting, short-sighted, and counterproductive campaign against federal employees that we saw last Congress. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Bill Text for H.R. 2879:
PDF Version

Begin Consideration of H.R. 367 – Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (Rep. Young (IN) – Judiciary) (One Hour of Debate).  This bill modifies the federal rule-making process by requiring Congress to approve executive agency regulatory proposals that are deemed to be “major rules” (those with an economic impact greater than $100 million) – rather than allowing Congress to disapprove of those proposed rules and regulations, as is currently the case under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). This bill would seek to give Congress the responsibility of approving any rule proposed by the administration before it can go into effect.

By requiring Congressional approval of major rules, this measure would stifle Federal agency rulemaking, while undermining the ability of agencies to provide essential protections to Americans.   

The GOP Leadership continues to pursue an ideological agenda while not taking action to create jobs, finish a budget, or end the sequester. With just two days left before the August district work period, there is nothing on the schedule to address the numerous critical issues facing Congress. Instead, Republicans continue to waste more time on messaging bills. H.R. 367 would give the Republican Majority even more legislative responsibility than they currently have, which they have repeatedly demonstrated they are unable to handle.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, makes in order 12 amendments debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Rep. Scalise Amendment. Subjects any regulation that would place a fee, price or levy on pollution emissions to the Congressional approval procedure authorized under the bill.
Reps. Rodney Davis/Peterson Amendment. 
Adds to the bill's definition of a "major rule" any interim final rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would have a significant impact on a substantial amount of agricultural entities (as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture).
Rep. Smith (MO) Amendment. Subjects all rules issued under the authority of the Affordable Care Act to the Congressional approval procedure authorized under the bill.
Rep. Latham Amendment. Requires federal agencies to report to Congress on proposed or prospective regulatory actions by any other Federal agencies with authority to implement the same statutory provision or regulatory objective.
Reps. Sessions/Davis (IL)/Barr/Wenstrup/Coffman Amendment. Requires federal agencies to report to Congress on anticipated jobs gained or lost as a result of implementation of a proposed rule, and to specify whether those jobs will come from the public or private sector.
Rep. Nadler Amendment. Exempts from the bill's Congressional approval requirement any rule pertaining to nuclear reactor safety standards in order to prevent nuclear meltdowns like the one in Fukushima. The amendment would ensure enhanced nuclear safety protection requirements can go into effect.
Rep. Johnson (GA) Amendment. Exempts from the provisions of the bill any rule that the Office of Management and Budget determines would result in net job creation. The amendment would ensure rules that create jobs can go into effect.
Rep. Jackson-Lee Amendment. Exempts from the bill's Congressional approval requirement any rule promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security.
Rep. McKinley Amendment. Changes the bill's definition of 'major rule' from "$100 million or more" to "$50 million or more." The amendment would substantially increase the number of rules subject to the bill's Congressional approval requirements.
Rep. Cole Amendment. Adds rules that impose costs to tribal governments to the bill's definition of what constitutes a major rule.
Rep. Webster Amendment. Subjects federal agency actions that implement personnel or other management changes to the requirements of the bill.  The underlying bill would exempt those decisions from the bill's requirements.
Rep. Moore Amendment. Exempts rules pertaining to veterans from the additional requirements of the bill.

Bill Text for H.R. 367:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 367:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

Postponed Suspension (1 bill)

  1. H.R. 1897 – Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2013, as amended (Rep. Smith (NJ) – Foreign Affairs)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Friday, August 2: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration of H.R. 367 – Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (Rep. Young (IN) – Judiciary).  The House is also expected to consider H.R. 2009 – Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act (Rep. Price (GA) – Ways and Means).

 
The Daily Quote

“I am extremely disappointed with the decision to pull the [THUD appropriations] bill from the House calendar today…. With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very budget it adopted just three months ago. Thus, I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration – and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts – must be brought to an end.”   

-    House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), 7/31/13