THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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

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

Fifteen “One Minutes”
2:30 – 3:00 p.m.3:00 – 3:30 p.m. 

Complete Consideration of H.J.Res. 69 Providing for Congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Department of the Interior relating to "Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska” (Rep. Young (AK) – Natural Resources) (One hour of debate).  The resolution disapproves of the rule issued by the Department of Interior (DOI) regarding the non-subsistence take of wildlife from national wildlife refuges in Alaska.  The rule prohibits the state-sponsored and recreational killing of keystone predator species like gray wolves and grizzly bears unless those killings are consistent with federal law and the purposes of the refuge, and are based on sound science in response to a conservation concern.  The rule also bars specific types of killings on refuges, including shooting bears from helicopters, killing brown or black bear cubs or mothers with cubs, and killing wolves and wolf pups in their dens.  Finally, it updates procedures for allowing temporary and permanent closures of refuge lands if necessary to conserve wildlife from thirty to sixty days, while allowing for greater input from the public on those decisions.

Opponents of this “predator control” rule argue that the killing of predatory species in Alaska helps to inflate populations of trophy species like elk, moose, and caribou, but that argument is not based on sound science.  There have been no studies conducted or evaluations to determine if that is in fact true. The rule that H.J.Res. 69 would disapprove of only impacts the 4% of trophy hunting statewide that occurs on refuges. 

House Republicans should be focused on putting forward legislation to address the critical issues facing our nation, but this resolution demonstrates that they have no agenda. Less than two months into the Republican-controlled Congress, House Republicans have brought thirteen resolutions to the Floor, including the two today, to disapprove of rules created under the Obama Administration.  It is time for House Republicans to start putting forward legislation so the American people can see what they are for instead of wasting time on this irresponsible Congressional Review Act (CRA) process that just shows what they are against. 

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources.

Bill Text for H.J.Res. 69:
PDF Version

Complete Consideration of H.J.Res. 43 Providing for Congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with Title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients (Rep. Black – Energy and Commerce) (One hour of debate).  The resolution disapproves of the rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in December of 2016 relating to requirements for Title X grants for family planning services.  This rule specifies that states cannot prohibit a health care provider from receiving these grants for any reason, other than its inability to provide Title X services, such as: contraceptive services, natural family planning methods, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, HIV testing and prevention, cervical and breast cancer screening, preconception health services, pregnancy testing and counseling, sterilization services, basic infertility services, and other patient education and referrals.  The rule was created in response to state attempts to divert Title X grants from “qualified” providers, which the federal courts have consistently ruled as being unconstitutional. 

H.J.Res. 43 could impact nearly four million primarily low-income patients that receive family planning services at Title X sites annually across the United States.  Of those four million patients, approximately 69% had incomes at or below the federal poverty line, while 61% of those patients claim the Title X clinics are their only regular source of healthcare. 

Without the services at Title X facilities, rates of unintended pregnancy would be 33% higher overall, including a 30% increase amongst teens.  Additionally, studies have shown that every dollar invested in publicly funded family planning saves $7, resulting in government savings of $7 billion in 2010. The nearly 4000 Title X service sites across the United States include state, county, and local health departments, as well as hospitals, family planning councils, federally qualified health centers, additional non-profit organizations, and Planned Parenthood affiliates.  Under federal law none of the grants made available under Title X may be used for abortion services. 

Under the terms of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) process, H.J.Res. 43, if adopted and signed by President Trump, will not only nullify, in one brief, partisan debate, the rule meant to protect essential family planning services for millions of Americans across the country, but it would prevent HHS from considering a “substantially similar” rule in the future.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the Majority and Minority Leader or their respective designees.

Bill Text for H.J.Res. 43:
PDF Version

 
The Daily Quote

“Congressional Republicans, who craved unified control of the government to secure their aggressive conservative agenda, have instead found themselves on a legislative elliptical trainer, gliding toward nowhere… Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the health care law, have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed. The same is true for a proposed overhaul of the tax code… The inactivity stems from a lack of clear policy guidance — and, just as often, contradictory messages — from the Trump administration, which does not appear to have spent the campaign and transition periods forming a legislative wish list… Congressional Republicans seem wary of offering their own bills, lest Mr. Trump or one of his aides, who have largely been distracted by personnel and intelligence scandals, undercut their efforts.”

           -      New York Times, 2/16/2017