THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2017

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

Five “One Minutes”
10:00 – 10:30 a.m.10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 1004Regulatory Integrity Act of 2017 (Rep. Walberg – Oversight and Government Reform) (One hour of debate).  This bill is yet another attempt by House Republicans to severely hinder government agencies in issuing rules and regulatory actions. 

H.R. 1004 would require each agency to make publicly available on the agency website or on regulations.gov a list of: (1) each pending agency regulatory action; (2) the date of origination of the regulation; (3) most recent status; (4) an estimate of the date of completion of the final rule; (5) a description of the regulatory action; and (6) each public communication about the action issued by the agency, including the date of communication, the intended audience, the method by which the communication was transmitted, and a copy of the original communication.  These requirements are overly burdensome and, if enacted, will severely impede the process for creating regulatory actions, which in turn could put the public at risk by preventing agencies from adopting rules to address real threats to public health, safety, and security.

The bill would also prohibit agencies from publicly disseminating information to “promote” a pending agency regulatory action.  However, current law already bars agency employees from engaging in “substantial ‘grass roots’ lobbying campaigns” when those campaigns are aimed at encouraging members of the public “to pressure Members of Congress to support Administration or Department legislative or appropriations proposals.”  H.R. 1004 is so broadly written that almost any action by an agency can be seen as “promoting” a pending agency regulatory action. 

While regulatory transparency is something both Democrats and Republicans in Congress both aim toward, this bill creates impossible requirements that would severely impede and hamper the regulatory process.  In 2016, the House passed H.R. 5226 which is identical legislation to H.R. 1004.  That vote can be found here.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, makes in order 3 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes each, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Rep. Jackson-Lee Amendment #1. Clarifies the terms "propaganda", "publicity", and "advocacy", within the rule's prohibited communications, to mean any information, statements or claims that are unsupported by science or empirical data.
Rep. Messer Amendment. Requires the Executive agency to display a list of any regulatory actions that duplicate or overlap with agency regulatory action.
Rep. Jackson-Lee Amendment #3. Exempts from the rule's prohibited communications any communication that is protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Bill Text for H.R. 1004:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1004:
House Report (HTML Version)

House Report (PDF Version)

 
The Daily Quote

“Republicans left President Donald Trump’s speech Tuesday… confused about the policy specifics the president wants — and, possibly more importantly, how he will pay for any of them.  ‘There are divisions inside the Republican Conference, and you really need the presidential leadership to cast the deciding vote,’ added Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).”

      -    Politico, 3/1/2017