THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2012

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

9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes” per side

9:45 - 10:15 a.m.

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

H.Res. 600Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 4281 - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 (Rep. Mica – Transportation and Infrastructure/Ways and Means/Natural Resources/Science, Space, and Technology/Energy and Commerce)(One Hour of debate). The Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The Rule waives all points of order against the legislation and also provides for one motion to recommit.

The Rules committee rejected a motion by Mr. McGovern to consider a substitute amendment by Mr. Rahall that would replace the bill’s provisions with the text of the bipartisan Senate two-year surface transportation bill (S. 1813).  

H.R. 4281 – Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 (Rep. Mica – Transportation and Infrastructure/Ways and Means/Natural Resources/Science, Space, and Technology/Energy and Commerce) (One Hour of debate). The bill extends the authorization for surface transportation programs including federal highway aid, mass transit and safety programs for three months – through June 30, 2012. The current authorization for these programs expires on March 31, 2012.

Bill Text for H.R. 4281:
PDF Version

Complete Consideration of H.Con.Res. 112 - The Republican Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution (Rep. Ryan (WI) – Budget). The Republican Budget submitted by Chairman Paul Ryan breaks Speaker Boehner’s agreement from last summer by setting a $1.028 trillion discretionary spending limit for appropriations bills for FY13, which is $19 billion less than the $1.047 trillion level Republicans agreed to for the coming year in the Budget Control Act. It ends the Medicare guarantee and increases costs for seniors – replacing Medicare’s guarantee of health security with a voucher that shifts higher and higher costs onto seniors and the disabled over time. It cuts Medicaid by a third, while turning it into a block grant. The Republican Budget also proposes cutting tax rates and repealing the AMT, at a cost of $4.6 trillion. This is in addition to the $5.4 trillion cost to permanently extend all of the Bush tax cuts. Republicans do all this without a realistic plan to make up any of the lost revenue.

This measure is very similar to the Budget that Republicans proposed last year. It slashes investments in innovation, education, and infrastructure, which puts our economic recovery at risk and threatens American jobs. It does not reduce the deficit in a responsible way, instead placing the burden of deficit reduction onto seniors, the middle class, working families, and the most vulnerable while refusing to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute. Despite all of the spending cuts, it would not balance the Budget within the ten year Budget window. Members are urged to VOTE NO on H. Con. Res. 112.

Last night, the House completed four hours of general debate on H.Con.Res. 112.  The House also completed debate on the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget substitute and the vote on it was postponed.

The Rule makes in order only the following remaining amendments and provides for twenty minutes of final general debate time upon the conclusion of amendment consideration.

Garrett (NJ)/Jordan (OH)/Mulvaney (SC)/McClintock (CA)/Huelskamp (KS) Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (RSC Budget) (30 minutes). The RSC Budget contains $2 trillion in spending cuts beyond those in the Republican Budget. The plan cuts from the Budget Control Act agreement’s $1.047 trillion FY13 appropriations level to $931 billion, $97 billion below even the Republican Budget, with non-defense appropriations cut 25% this year alone.  It repeals the Affordable Care Act, ends the Medicare guarantee, and freezes Medicaid spending at its 2006 level, all while protecting tax cuts for the wealthy.  It also opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf, and waters in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for energy exploration and development.

Van Hollen Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (Democratic Alternative Budget) (30 minutes). The Democratic Alternative would protect Medicare and Medicaid, extends tax relief for middle-income families and ends additional tax cuts for the wealthiest among us. It calls for a simplification of the tax code and promotes the “Make It In America” agenda, creating more jobs now and making investments that will lead to long-term economic growth, because putting Americans back to work is the fastest and most effective way to reduce the short-term deficit. The Democratic Alternative Budget protects the Medicare guarantee and Medicaid services for seniors and low-income Americans and maintains Medicaid to ensure that low-income seniors, children, and people with disabilities continue to get needed services. Members are urged to VOTE YES on the Democratic Alternative.

Postponed Amendment (1 Vote)

  1. Honda (CA)/Ellison (MN)/Grijalva (AZ)/Woolsey (CA)/Lee (CA) Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (Congressional Progressive Caucus). The CPC Budget focuses on immediate economic recovery by creating 3.3 million jobs in the next two years alone, while also achieving long-term fiscal sustainability and matching the Republican plan’s deficit reduction. It lifts the Budget Control Act’s sequester and spending caps in favor of sensible deficit reduction measures, while protecting Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.  The proposal establishes sustainable tax policies for the long run and raises revenue by eliminating inequities and loopholes throughout the tax code.

The leadership believes that this alternative is superior to the Republican Budget.

Bill Text for H. Con. Res. 112:
HTML Version

PDF Version
Background for H. Con. Res. 112:
House Report (HTML Version)

House Report (PDF Version)
Summary of Amendments

CRS Report - The Federal Budget: Issues for FY2013 and Beyond

Postponed Suspension (1 Vote)

  1. H.R. 4239 - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 (Rep. Mica - Transportation and Infrastructure/Ways and Means/Natural Resources/Science, Space, and Technology/Energy and Commerce)
 
The Daily Quote

“And the more I examine the Ryan budget and find out about its details, the more I see another set of perilous episodes ahead.  First, of course, is the decision by Ryan to garner support from Republican Study Committee and tea party forces by putting in discretionary domestic spending caps that cut significantly below the numbers agreed to by the leaders of both parties and enacted by the members of both chambers in the Budget Control Act last year — while also countermanding the sequester-driven cuts mandated for defense… To escape the disaster of a breach in the debt limit, both parties in both chambers made a deal, and that deal is now, via the Ryan budget, declared null and void… I might find the “never mind what we promised last year” approach more palatable if the overall Ryan budget were a genuine, straightforward and honest road map to a balanced budget in a reasonable form. But, as many commentators have now pointed out, it is not. The budget that Romney has wholly embraced includes $500 billion in Medicare cuts over the coming decade, the same amount for which he criticizes President Barack Obama. The tax plan is no plan at all.”

-     Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Hill, 3/28/12