THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014

For Immediate Release:

February 6, 2014

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”

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

H.R. 2954 – The Public Access and Lands Improvement Act (Rep. Miller (FL) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). This bill combines ten bills (nine of which are Republican sponsored) comprised of public land access, public land restoration and land conveyances that mostly would be exempt from federal environmental review requirements.

The bill would eliminate reversionary clauses for land conveyances in Alaska and Florida, the latter of which required that the land be returned if it was no longer used for public use.  It requires the Interior Department to sell any Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Bureau of Reclamation land in Fernley, Nevada to the city, and to waive many Federal environmental and conservation laws when it does.  The bill also prohibits the BLM from acquiring any new land until the agency creates a public database of all lands identified for disposal.

The bill would require the National Park Service to establish a plan to authorize paddling on the streams and rivers of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks within 3 years, as well as overturn a court-arbitrated Park Service plan protecting endangered animals at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina.

The bill would increase the term of new grazing permits on federal lands from 10 years to 20 years and allows expired or transferred permits to remain in effect until new ones are issued while providing unprecedented environmental waivers. It would also authorize salvage logging for timber that resulted from the 2013 Rim Fire in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains – without being subject to NEPA requirements or judicial review.  Additionally, the bill would require the EPA and other Chesapeake Bay partners to establish a comprehensive strategy for watershed restoration activities.

Lastly, the bill would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to preserve the Green Mountain Lookout located in the Glacier Peak Wilderness in Washington.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, makes in order 5 amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. The amendments are:

Grijalva Amendment. Strikes the bill’s prohibition on federal land acquisition.
Lummis/Labrador Amendment. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to consolidate environmental reviews, deems temporary trailing and crossing applications approved within 30 days and prohibits appeal of such decisions.
Labrador Amendment. Requires the non-prevailing parties in a challenge to a final grazing decision by the Secretary of the Interior to pay the prevailing party incurred fees and expenses.
McClintock Amendment. Amends Title IX of the bill to require the Forest Service to conduct salvage logging on lands affected by the Rim Fire.
Young (AK) Amendment. Would approve an Alaska Native Veterans land allotment application and convey the land associated with the application.

Bill Text for H.R. 2954:
PDF Version

 
The Daily Quote

“Republican leaders are scrambling for a debt limit plan that can win Democratic votes after determining that none of their original ideas would gain enough GOP votes to pass the House.  After canvassing members early in the week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his lieutenants on Wednesday abandoned plans to tie an increase in the nation’s authority either to the repeal of a provision in ObamaCare or to the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The leadership had wanted to find a plan that could win 218 Republican votes, but they determined on Wednesday that was not possible… If Boehner ultimately needs to pass a clean debt limit increase, he will still need as many as two or three dozen Republicans to take a difficult vote. One he can count on is Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). ‘They got it, no problem,’ he told The Hill. ‘I think it should be a clean bill to begin with.’” 

-    The Hill, 2/5/2014