THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, JULY 31, 2014

For Immediate Release:

July 31, 2014

Contact:

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes”

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

H.Res. 696 – Rule Providing for Consideration of H.R. 5230 – Supplemental Appropriations to Address the Southwest Border Crisis (Rep. Rogers (KY) – Appropriations), H.R. 5272 – “No New DREAMers Act” (Rep. Blackburn – Judiciary) and Motion to Disagree to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 5021 – Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (Rep. Camp – Transportation and Infrastructure/Ways and Means/Science, Space, and Technology/Energy and Commerce/Education and the Workforce/Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate).  The Rules Committee has recommended one Rule which provides for consideration of three bills.

For H.R. 5230, 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 Appropriations. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

For H.R. 5727, 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 Judiciary. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

For H.R. 5021, the Rules committee has only provided for consideration of a motion that the House disagree to the Senate amendment, which if adopted would return the measure to the Senate for further consideration. The motion is debatable for one hour, equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

The Rule also allows for same-day Rule authority and Suspension Authority through Thursday, July 31, 2014. It also includes a provision that would only allow the Majority Leader or his designee to call up the Senate-passed Highways bill. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

H.R. 5230 – Supplemental Appropriations to Address the Southwest Border Crisis (Rep. Rogers (KY) – Appropriations) (One Hour of Debate). The past two years have seen a surge of unaccompanied minors from Central American countries crossing into south Texas – nearly 60,000 children have already entered the United States this year alone.  This influx has exhausted federal resources and created a humanitarian crisis, as thousands of detained, unaccompanied, children immediate assistance – including shelter and support – while their cases for asylum are being reviewed.

Recognizing the immediate need for additional resources, President Obama requested that Congress appropriate $3.7 billion in supplemental funding for the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), State and other International Programs, and Health and Human Services (HHS). This request included targeted funding to meet both the immediate needs surrounding the current border crisis, as well as the resources necessary to cover these activities into FY 2015.

However, as has all too often been the case, Republicans are using an immediate crisis to advance their extreme agenda. The supplemental appropriations package being brought to the Floor contains poison pill provisions that severely diminish due process protections for children and risk sending them back to trafficking, torture, and persecution. The bill would amend 2008’s Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to subject all unaccompanied child migrants to a cursory screening by Border Patrol agents in order to avoid summary return and would further subject those who pass the initial screening to an expedited removal hearing before the Immigration Court without meaningful access to legal counsel and with an unreasonably high burden of proof. It would also allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) activities to be carried out on protected federal land within 100 miles of the US-Mexico border. Further, it would express a Sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should not house unaccompanied children at military bases.

In addition to endangering children, the bill being brought to the Floor provides only one-seventh of the funding requested to address the crisis at the border. The bill provides $659 million – over 80% short of the request – to address a situation that Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers calls “dire.” Further, instead of providing an emergency appropriation, as the Administration requested, Republicans have chosen to offset the costs of this bill with cuts to previously appropriated agencies and programs.

Republicans have made a dangerous habit out of attaching policy riders to must-pass legislation. In previous situations, these poison-pills have led to brinksmanship that damaged job creation and caused significant uncertainty for businesses and the markets – now they are endangering the lives of thousands of children and jeopardizing the security of our nation’s borders. Democrats are ready to tackle the pressing challenges facing our country and we hope the Republican Majority will abandon this partisan maneuver and instead work with us to properly address this humanitarian crisis before the August District Work Period. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Bill Text for H.R. 5230:
PDF Version

H.R. 5272 – “No New DREAMers Act” (Rep. Blackburn – Judiciary) (One Hour of Debate) H.R. 5272 is an extreme, partisan bill that is completely unrelated to addressing this humanitarian crisis. The bill will be considered immediately after Republicans pass their border supplemental bill that includes policy changes to eviscerate due process protections for vulnerable children fleeing trafficking, persecution, and violence.

H.R. 5272 would prevent any modification to or expansion of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program was created by a June 15, 2012, memorandum by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and it protects certain “DREAMers” from deportation—hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives.  Specifically, the bill is designed to prevent the President from building upon the DACA program to offer protection to other young people who might not qualify under the program’s rules right now. 

By freezing our broken immigration system in place, the bill prevents the Administration from further refining its enforcement priorities and is intended to ensure that families continue to be separated.

This bill was a last-minute addition to the Rules Committee meeting and is now being rushed to the Floor less than 24 hours after being introduced, despite repeated Republican promises of having “three days” notice before a vote on any legislation.

With the on-going humanitarian crisis at the border, as thousands of unaccompanied children attempt to escape dangerous environments, House Republicans have made clear their resistance to taking immediate action to address the situation.  They attempted to usher through the House an appropriations package that provides inadequate funding and contains policy riders that eviscerate due process, and are now bringing this bill to the Floor in order to satisfy the most extreme wing of their Conference.  This bill does nothing to fix our broken immigration system and will only make conditions more dire for those trying to escape violence. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Bill Text for H.R. 5272:
PDF Version

Motion to Disagree to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 5021 – Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (Rep. Camp – Transportation and Infrastructure/Ways and Means/Science, Space, and Technology/Energy and Commerce/Education and the Workforce/Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate).  This House Republican motion to disagree would strip out the bipartisan amendments passed by the Senate – denying the House a vote on a Highways package that passed the Senate 79-18. This motion would send the original House-passed version of H.R. 5021 back to the Senate.

This bill would reauthorize federal-aid highway and transit programs for eight months – through May 31, 2015 – and replenish the Highway Trust Fund’s Highway and Mass Transit Accounts, transferring $10.8 billion from the General Fund of the Treasury and the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund in order to cover the costs of ongoing infrastructure projects during the busy summer construction season.

The bill offsets the cost of these transfers to the Highway Trust Fund by adjusting the formula used to determine required employer contributions to employee defined benefit pension plans (“pension smoothing”) and extending certain customs user fees for an additional year, taking them through FY 2024.

Democrats support a solvent Highway Trust Fund that supports hundreds of thousands of American jobs repairing America’s crumbling roads and bridges.  Unfortunately, this bill does not provide certainty and will not solve the problem.  Instead of stopgap legislation that delays critical decisions into 2015, House Republicans should work with Democrats to bring a sustainable, long-term solution to the Floor – a solution that, the White House agrees, “creates jobs and provides certainty for cities, States, and businesses.”

Bill Text for H.R. 5021:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 5021:
CRS Report - Surface Transportation Program Reauthorization Issues for Congress

Complete Consideration of H.R. 935 – Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (Rep. Gibbs – Transportation and Infrastructure) This bill would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) to prohibit the EPA or a state government from requiring a permit for the use of pesticides near navigable waters.

This is the same legislation that failed under suspension of the Rules on Monday.

As of last night, the House had completed all debate on the bill. Today, the House will take votes on the motion to recommit and passage of H.R. 935.

Bill Text for H.R. 935:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 935:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

 
The Daily Quote

“House Republicans will vote to rein in the Obama administration’s power to halt deportation for undocumented immigrants — a surprise move that comes as they struggle to attract support for their bill to address the crisis at the border. The new plan, described by multiple GOP aides Wednesday evening, comes as House Republicans were unable to lock up 218 GOP lawmakers to vote for the $659 million emergency funding package. On Wednesday evening, House GOP leadership was setting up a process that would schedule a Thursday vote on the Republican funding package. If it passes, the House would be required to vote on legislation targeting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has shielded from deportation hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who have grown up in the United States… Even with the new DACA strategy, some conservatives Wednesday still weren’t satisfied. For instance, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said the measures still don’t provide adequate border security. And Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is demanding tougher asylum language.”

-    Politico, 7/31/2014