THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2017

House Meets At:First Vote Predicted:Last Vote Predicted:
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes”
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

H.Res. 22 – Rule providing for consideration of both H.R. 26 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2015 (Rep. Collins (GA) – Judiciary) and H.Res. 11 – Objecting to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace (Rep. Royce – Foreign Affairs) (One hour of debate). The Rules committee has recommended one Rule which provides for consideration of 2 measures.

For H.R. 26, 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 waives all points of order against the legislation. 

For H.Res. 11, the Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.  The Rule also waives all points of order against the resolution.

The Rules Committee rejected a motion by Mr. McGovern of Massachusetts to consider H.R. 26 under an open Rule. The Rules Committee also rejected another motion by Mr. McGovern of Massachusetts to provide the appropriate waivers for amendment #2 to H.Res. 11, offered by Rep. Price of North Carolina, Rep. Engel of New York, and Rep. Connolly of Virginia which reaffirms the United States’ long-standing support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

H.R. 26 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017 (Rep. Collins (GA) – 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 require Congress to approve any new “major rule” issued by the executive branch before it can go into effect.

By requiring Congressional approval of major rules, rather than retaining the current procedure whereby Congress has the option to reject rules, H.R. 26 would stifle Federal agency rulemaking, while undermining the ability of agencies to provide essential protections to Americans.  If enacted, the measure would also potentially overwhelm the congressional workload, assuming Congress actually exercises the approval procedure rather than chooses to do nothing, thereby rendering the rule inoperative.  The average number of major rules issued over the past few years is about 80 per year.  In 2015 the House passed H.R. 427, with near unanimous Democratic opposition.  That vote can be found here.

There is simply no justification for this extreme measure.  Under the 1996 Congressional Review Act, Congress has the authority to review and disapprove rules – both major and non-major – that federal agencies have issued.  As it has been able to do since its establishment in 1789, Congress can always limit agencies’ rulemaking authority, restrict the expenditure of funding to implement regulations, and conduct oversight of agency activity. 

Just two days into the 115th Congress, House Republicans have chosen to prioritize reckless partisan legislation instead of working with Democrats to pass responsible, bipartisan legislation that will help to improve the lives of the American people. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

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

Rep. Goodlatte Amendment. Revises the bill to require that the underlying bill’s $100 million monetary threshold for “major rules” is adjusted for inflation.
Rep. Messer Amendment. Adds a new unprecedented requirement that agencies seeking to promulgate a new rule must identify and repeal or amend an existing rule or rules before they do so.
Rep. Grijalva Amendment. Requires agencies to account for the greenhouse gas emission impacts associated with a rule as well as an analysis of the impacts on low-income and rural communities. If the rule increases carbon dioxide by a certain amount or increases the risk of certain health impacts to low-income or rural communities, then the rule is defined as a major rule.
Reps. Castor/Pallone Amendment. Modifies the bill to ensure that any rule that will result in reduced incidence of cancer, premature mortality, asthma attacks, or respiratory disease in children is not considered a “major rule” under the bill.
Rep. Cicilline Amendment. Exempts rules pertaining to the protection of the public health or safety from the requirements of the underlying legislation.
Rep. Conyers  Amendment. Exempts rules that provide for reduction in the amount of lead in public drinking water from the requirements of the underlying legislation.
Rep. Jackson Lee Amendment. Expands the term “special rule” in the underlying bill to include any safety product rule governing products used or consumed by children under 2 years of age.
Rep. Johnson (GA) Amendment. Exempts rules that improve the employment, retention, and wages of workforce participants, especially those with significant barriers to employment, from the requirements of the underlying legislation.
Rep. Nadler Amendment. Exempts from the bill's congressional approval requirement any rule pertaining to nuclear power reactor safety standards.
Rep. Pallone Amendment. Ensures that any rule intended to ensure the safety of natural gas or hazardous materials pipelines or prevent, mitigate, or reduce the impact of spills from such pipelines is not considered a "major rule" under the bill.
Rep. Scott (VA) Amendment. Exempts from the definition of a "rule" in the underlying legislation any rule that pertains to workplace health and safety made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or the Mine Safety and Health Administration that is necessary to prevent or reduce the incidence of traumatic injury, cancer or irreversible lung disease.
Rep. King (IA) Amendment. Expands the bill to allow Congress to review all rules currently in effect over a 10 year period.

Bill Text for H.R. 26:
PDF Version

H.Res. 11 – Objecting to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace (Rep. Royce – Foreign Affairs) (One hour of debate).  The resolution disapproves the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Bill Text for H.Res. 11
PDF Version

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Friday, January 6: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. and recess immediately. At 1:00 p.m., the House will reconvene for the Joint Session of Congress to count the electoral ballots for the President and Vice-President of the United States. Members are advised that votes are possible during the Joint Session. Additional information regarding votes will be announced as soon as it becomes available.

 
The Daily Quote

“Republicans are fast-tracking the process of repealing Obamacare, aiming to get it done in several weeks. But they’re not even close to agreement about what comes next — or even when the repeal should take effect. Those disagreements spilled over Wednesday at a closed-door meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence… Newly ascendant Republicans are reckoning with the reality that dismantling a nearly seven-year-old law that reshaped a $3 trillion health sector and covers millions of Americans is more daunting than simply campaigning against it… After nearly eight years of fighting Obamacare, Republican leaders and the incoming Trump administration are still trying to sort out the basics…”

      -    Politico, 1/4/2017