THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2014

For Immediate Release:

July 24, 2014

Contact:

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

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

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

Fifteen “One Minutes”

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

H.Res. 680 – Rule Providing for Consideration of both H.R. 4935 – Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014 (Rep. Jenkins – Ways and Means) and H.R. 3393 – Student and Family Tax Simplification Act (Rep. Black – Ways and Means) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules committee has recommended one Rule which provides for consideration of two bills.

For H.R. 4935, 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 Ways & Means. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

For H.R. 3393, 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 Ways & Means. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

The Rules Committee rejected a motion by Ms. Slaughter of New York to consider both bills under an open Rule. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

H.R. 4984 – Empowering Students Through Enhanced Counseling Act (Rep. Guthrie – Education and the Workforce) (One Hour of Debate). This bill would amend the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 to require institutions of higher education (IHE) to provide annual counseling to student borrowers under federal student loan and Pell Grant programs – beginning before a student accepts a potential loan.  The changes will allow students to make more informed choices of how to finance their education and always know how much they will owe – both the outstanding principal and interest due – by making counseling more frequent and improving exit counseling.

In addition to more frequent counseling, IHE will be required to provide students and parents with better on-going counseling – including projections of future borrowing, information on private loans, and payments under various repayment plans.  They will also be required to educate students on their rights to annual credit reports, encourage them to pay interest while still in school, and inform them that they are not required to accept the full amounts of loans offered.

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

Kline/Miller (CA) Amendment. Clarifies the information provided to first-time borrowers; a clarification that borrowers must accept their loans annually after the completion of the other counseling requirements; a requirement for the secretary of education, acting through the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences, to conduct a longitudinal study of the impact and effectiveness of the student loan counseling required under this act; and other minor technical edits.
Kilmer/Hinojosa/Bachus/Petri/Tsongas Amendment. Ensures each individual is aware of financial management resources provided by the Treasury Department's Financial Literacy and Education Commission.
Murphy (FL) Amendment. Requires the inclusion of recent average income and employment data for different levels of educational attainment.
Loretta Sanchez Amendment. Includes an explanation that if a student decides to transfer to another institution, not all of the student's credits may be acceptable towards meeting specific degree or program requirements at such institution, therefore, eligibility for Federal Pell Grants will not reset due to the maximum number of semesters or equivalent.
Cohen Amendment. Adds a requirement that students be told how federal and private student loans are treated in bankruptcy.
Hahn Amendment. Provides student loan borrowers with the national average cohort default rate in addition to the institution's cohort default rate and the categorical national cohort default rate.
Peters (MI) Amendment. Requires that student borrowers receive an explanation of the impact of a delinquency or default on a loan to their credit score, including the borrower's future ability to find employment or purchase a home or a car.

Bill Text for H.R. 4984:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 4984:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

H.R. 3393 – Student and Family Tax Simplification Act (Rep. Black – Ways and Means) (One Hour of Debate). This bill consolidates several targeted education related tax provisions into one permanent tax incentive for higher education. This would result in an American Opportunity Tax Credit that credits 100% of the first $2,000 in tuition & expenses and 25% of the next $2,000 – for a maximum credit of $2,500 ($1,500 of which is refundable).  This credit would phase out from $80,000 to $90,000 for single filers and $160,000 to $180,000 for married filers.

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that this permanent provision will add $96.5 billion to the deficit over 10 years, and Republicans have chosen to bring the bill to the Floor without providing an offset.

This permanent tax provision comes on the heels of several other tax extenders that Republicans brought to the Floor without offsets, passed the House in the two last months, and would add over $500 billion to the deficit. The combination of this bill and 13 other permanent tax cuts approved by Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee would add over $800 billion to the deficit over the next decade – more than 35 times the amount that it would cost to renew emergency unemployment insurance for the entire year. It is hypocritical of House Republicans – who have let emergency unemployment insurance expire for more than 3 million Americans, refused to provide a permanent fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) for Medicare payments to doctors, and failed to replace the irrational, across-the-board spending cuts imposed by the sequester all on arguments over offsets – to bring this bill to the Floor without paying for it.

Democrats fully support making college more affordable for students and working families. However, the choice made by House Republicans to address these provisions one by one, while adding their cost to the deficit, and specifically targeting immigrant families, represents an irresponsible approach that will only make fixing our broken tax system harder. House Republicans should instead allow us to consider comprehensive tax reform, so that Congress can begin making the tough decisions necessary to move our economy forward. 

Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has said that, “The people deserve a government that works for them, not one that buries them in more debt.” Unfortunately, bringing permanent, unpaid-for tax cuts to the Floor does exactly the opposite. If House Republicans are serious about fiscal responsibility, they should work with Democrats to make the tough decisions necessary to address our broken tax code through comprehensive tax reform, which would address this and other tax extenders in a way that does not add to deficits and does not limit our ability to invest in domestic discretionary priorities. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Bill Text for H.R. 3393:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 3393:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

Democrat Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 3230 – Veterans’ Access to Care through Choices, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 (Rep. Brownley)

Postponed Suspensions (2 bills)

  1. H.R. 5111 – To improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking (Rep. Beatty – Education and the Workforce)
  2. H.R. 5081 – Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2014 (Rep. Bass – Education and the Workforce)

Postponed Vote (1 vote)

  1. Democrat Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 3230 – Veterans’ Access to Care through Choices, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 (Rep. Peters (CA))

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Friday, July 25: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider H.R. 4935 – Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014 (Rep. Jenkins – Ways and Means). The House is also expected to consider H.Con.Res. 105 – Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces, other than Armed Forces required to protect United States diplomatic facilities and personnel, from Iraq, as amended (Rep. McGovern – Foreign Affairs).

 
The Daily Quote

“The most interesting, and important, dynamic in American politics today is the existential struggle going on in the Republican Party between the establishment and the insurgents—or to be more accurate, between the hard-line bedrock conservatives (there are only trace elements of the old-line center-right bloc, much less moderates) and the radicals…. It is a measure of the nature of this intra-party struggle that the mainstream is now on the hard right, and that it is close to apostasy to say that Obama is legitimate, that climate change is real, that background checks on guns are desirable, or even that the Common Core is a good idea.…  [W]hen one looks at the state of Republican public opinion… at the consistent and persistent messages coming from the information sources they follow, and at the supine nature of congressional leaders and business leaders in countering extremism, it is not at all likely that what passes for mainstream, problem-solving conservatism will dominate the Republican Party anytime soon.”

-    Norm Ornstein, National Journal, 7/23/2014