THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2012

For Immediate Release:

July 12, 2012

Contact:

Katie GrantDaniel Reilly, 202-225-3130

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

9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes” per side

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

**Members are advised that today, the House is only expected to have one vote series.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 4402 - National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012 (Rep. Amodei – Natural Resources/Judiciary) (Five hours of debate) H.R. 4402, reclassifies certain mining operations as "infrastructure projects" in order to streamline the permitting process for mining on federal lands. It requires federal agencies to expedite environmental review of proposed mining projects, and limits the judicial review process for challenges to approved mining permits on federal lands or associated environmental reviews.

In addition to reducing or eliminating environmental reviews, the measure would give mining companies control over the timing of permitting decisions for virtually all mining operations on public land, not just those involving strategic or critical minerals.  This bill would also elevate mining above all other uses of public lands, including hunting, fishing, grazing, and recreation. 

Yesterday, the House debated the Rule for H.R. 4402.  Today, the House will complete one hour of general debate and consideration of all amendments made in order.

The Rule makes in order 7 amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Rep. Tonko (NY) Amendment Would narrow the scope of the underlying bill to address only strategic and critical minerals
Rep. Hastings (FL) Amendment #2
Would give the lead agency in a mining permit decision the authority to extend by two six-month periods the arbitrary 30 month time limit the bill imposes on permit approval in the event of new or unforeseen information regarding the proposed project
Rep. Markey (MA) Amendment
Would require a royalty payment of 12.5% of the value of hardrock minerals mined on federal lands. Revenue generated by the royalty payment would be dedicated to cleaning up abandoned hardrock mines
Rep. Young (AK) Amendment
Would allow the lead agency in a mining permit decision, to exempt areas of identified mineral deposits that are located within designated roadless and recreation areas of national forests from their current management requirements, and allow the construction of new roads or other ways of access to facilitate mining
Rep. Cravaack (MN) Amendment
Would allow projects that have already applied for a permit to access the new expedited process under the bill
Rep. Hastings (FL) Amendment #6
Would continue to allow non-profit entities and individuals to recover attorney’s fees and court costs under current provisions of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).  Section 205 of the underlying bill eliminates the right of any party in a civil lawsuit against the federal government to recover such costs if they prevail in court. The amendment creates an exception to that section to allow non-profit groups or individuals to recover litigation costs
Rep. Grijalva (AZ) Amendment
Would exempt from the bill any mineral exploration or mining permit a lead agency determines would diminish opportunities for hunting, fishing, grazing, or recreation on public lands. By protecting the status of hunting, fishing, grazing and other recreational uses on federal lands, the amendment will guarantee that the multiple use mandate for federal lands is not compromised by the underlying bill

Bill Text for H.R. 4402:
HTML Version

PDF Version

Background for H.R. 4402:

House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

 
The Daily Quote

“If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, House Republicans are indeed certifiable. Wednesday will be the 31st time they have tried, and failed, to repeal all or part of President Obama's signature health care law.”

-     National Journal, 7/11/12