THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2012

For Immediate Release:

December 20, 2012

Contact:

Katie GrantDaniel Reilly, 202-225-3130

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

12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” per side

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Evening

**Members are advised that votes are likely to occur after 7:00 p.m. tonight.

H.Res. 840 – Rule providing for consideration of the Conference Report to H.R. 4310 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Rep. McKeon – Armed Services) (One Hour of Debate) 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 Armed Services. The Rule allows no amendments and one motion to recommit. It also waives all points of order against the Conference Report.

Conference Report to H.R. 4310 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Rep. McKeon – Armed Services) (One Hour of Debate) The Conference Report authorizes $633.3 billion for national defense discretionary programs, including $527.5 billion for the Department of Defense base budget, $88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations and $17.4 billion for the defense activities of the Department of Energy and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.  The bill includes a 1.7 percent basic pay raise for our troops and a number of additional policy provisions.

Bill Text for the Conference Report:
PDF Version    

H.Res. 841 – Rule providing for consideration of the House Amendment to Senate Amendment to H.J. Res. 66  - Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B,” (Ways and Means Committee) and  H.R. 6684  – “Spending Reduction Act of 2012” (Rep. Cantor - Budget Committee)(One Hour of Debate) The Rules Committee has recommended one Rule that provides for consideration of both the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res 66 and consideration of H.R. 6684. 

H.Res. 841 would provide for one hour of general debate on the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res. 66, equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means.  The Rules committee did not allow a vote on an amendment mirroring the text of H.R 15, which would provide for tax relief for all Americans up to $250,000. The Democrats filed a discharge petition on H.R. 15, which garnered 183 signatures, but were still denied a vote by the Rules Committee.

H.Res. 841 also provides for a closed Rule for H.R. 6684 that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Majority Leader and Minority Leader or their respective designees The Rule allows no amendments and one motion to recommit. It also waives all points of order against the bill. This bill was introduced during the Rules committee hearing, so Democrats had little chance to see what was in it. Despite the fact that this H.R. 6684 is going nowhere in the Senate, and despite the fact that Republicans broke many of their own rules and protocols, giving Members little chance to read what is in the bill, this Rule will provide for consideration of H.R. 6684 today.  

H.R. 6684  “Spending Reduction Act of 2012” (Rep. Cantor - Budget Committee) (One Hour of Debate) H.R. 6684 is almost the exact same reconciliation bill that the Republicans passed in May, except that it excludes the already enacted flood insurance portion. H.R. 6684 drastically reduces SNAP funding, ending the Prevention and Public Health Trust Fund, reducing funds for Dodd-Frank, enacting stricter eligibility standards for Medicaid, CHIP and the Child Tax Credit, repealing the Social Services Block Grant, making another draconian cut to federal employees’ retirement, and other substantial cuts across six authorizing committees. The previous roll call vote on the first Republican sequester replacement bill, H.R. 5652, can be found here.

While it turns off most of the $109 billion Fiscal Year 2013 sequester, it leaves in place automatic cuts to non-defense programs like Medicare, NIH research, and student loans.

This bill is not a serious proposal to reduce the deficit and has no chance of becoming law. It is nothing more than political charade designed to get votes for Speaker Boehner’s ‘plan B.’ Once again, Republicans are choosing deficit reduction through their ideological preferences rather than compromising and reaching a balanced plan.

Members are urged to VOTE NO on H.R. 6684.  

Bill Text for H.R. 6684:
PDF Version    

House Amendment to Senate Amendment to H.J.Res. 66 - Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B,” (Ways and Means Committee) (One Hour of Debate) On Tuesday, Speaker Boehner released his “Plan B,” which would not avert the fiscal cliff. The plan would make permanent the tax cuts for incomes up to $1 million, increasing taxes only on income over $1 million.  This includes the preferential 15% capital gains and dividends rate up to $1 million, with a 20% rate applying only above this threshold.  It makes permanent the current estate tax policy first enacted in 2010, with a $5 million exemption and 35% rate. In addition, the plan provides for a permanent patch to the alternative minimum tax. It does not, however, extend expanded earned income and child credits while eliminating the American Opportunity Tax Credit, causing an average $1,000 tax increase for 25 million working families.

Under the plan, the automatic across-the board spending cuts to domestic and defense programs – “the sequester,” is not changed and will go into effect on January 3rd.  Nor are the debt limit, Medicare physician payments, unemployment insurance, or other policies attributed to the fiscal cliff addressed. The credit downgrade by S&P last year cited brinksmanship and political gridlock as driving factors behind their decision. Adopting the Speaker’s plan reinforces that gridlock and continues to lead us down that path of uncertainty. As Secretary Geithner has said, adopting ‘Plan B’ risks another downgrade in our credit rating.

With two weeks left until the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts go into effect, the Speaker proposed a plan that has no chance of becoming law and is a distraction from ongoing negotiations to reach a balanced deal. The Speaker’s plan does not make the tough choices necessary to bring down the deficit and make smart investments in our future.  This is yet another example of Republicans continuing to resist a balanced deal, while endangering the nation’s credit rating. The President has been clear that he is willing to make tough choices to bring down the deficit, but Republicans continue to engage in political games. This amendment has no chance of passing the U.S. Senate, and is a waste of time with just 12 days before we reach the fiscal cliff.

Throughout this Congress, we have seen how Republican brinksmanship has damaged job creation and caused significant uncertainty for businesses, the markets, and the middle class. Republicans are continuing to play political games with a fragile economy. Democrats believe in responsible governing and a balanced plan to reduce our debt so we can strengthen our middle class.  

Members are urged to VOTE NO on this Amendment to H.J. Res. 66.  

Bill Text for the Amendment to H.J.Res. 66:
PDF Version    

Postponed Suspensions (10 votes)

  1. H.R. 1509 – Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2011, as amended (Rep. Johnson (TX) – Ways and Means)
  2. H.R. 3197 – To name the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Spokane, Washington, as the "Mann–Grandstaff Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center" (Rep. McMorris Rodgers – Veterans’ Affairs)
  3. H.R. 6443 – To designate the facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs located at 9800 West Commercial Boulevard in Sunrise, Florida, as the "William 'Bill' Kling VA Clinic" (Rep. Wasserman Schultz – Veterans’ Affairs)
  4. S. 925 – Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2011 (Sen. Boxer – Natural Resources)
  5. H.R. 6587 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 225 Simi Village Drive in Simi Valley, California, as the "Postal Inspector Terry Asbury Post Office Building" (Rep. Gallegly – Oversight and Government Reform)
  6. H.R. 3869 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 600 East Capitol Avenue in Little Rock, Arkansas, as the "Sidney 'Sid' Sanders McMath Post Office Building" (Rep. Griffin – Oversight and Government Reform)
  7. H.R. 3378 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 220 Elm Avenue in Munising, Michigan, as the "Elizabeth L. Kinnunen Post Office Building" (Rep. Benishek – Oversight and Government Reform)
  8. H.R. 4389 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 19 East Merced Street in Fowler, California, as the "Cecil E. Bolt Post Office" (Rep. Costa – Oversight and Government Reform)
  9. H.R. 6260 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 211 Hope Street in Mountain View, California, as the "Lieutenant Kenneth M. Ballard Memorial Post Office" (Rep. Eshoo – Oversight and Government Reform)
  10. H.R. 6379 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 6239 Savannah Highway in Ravenel, South Carolina, as the "Representative Curtis B. Inabinett, Sr. Post Office" (Rep. Clyburn – Oversight and Government Reform)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Friday, December 21: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider bills under suspension of the Rules. The House may consider legislation related to expiring provisions of law. Members are advised to report any expected absences to the Whip’s office at x5-3130.

 
The Daily Quote

“Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio struggled Wednesday to find the votes for anything that would prevent the country from going over the fiscal cliff.”

-     Roll Call, 12/19/12