THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

For Immediate Release:

November 17, 2011

Contact:

Katie GrantDaniel Reilly, 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” per side

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Members are advised that votes could occur after 7:00 p.m. tonight.

H.Res. 466 – Rule providing for consideration of motions to suspend the rules (relating to H.J.Res. 2 - Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States) The Rules committee has recommended a closed Rule which would authorize the Speaker to entertain motions to suspend the rules through the legislative day of Friday, November, 18, 2011, relating only to H.J. Res. 2. It also would extend debate on such a motion to five hours, which would be controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary.

The Rules Committee rejected a motion offered by Mr. Polis to consider H.J.Res. 2 under an open Rule. The Republicans are seeking to amend the Constitution of the United States through a completely closed process, with no markup up the legislation, and no opportunity for amendments or alternatives. Members are urged to VOTE NO on the Rule for H.J.Res. 2.  
 
H.Res. 467 – Rule providing for consideration of the Conference Report to H.R. 2112 - Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, (Rep. Kingston – Appropriations) 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 no amendments and one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. It also waives all points of order against the Conference Report.
 
Suspension (1 bill)
  1. H.J.Res. 2 - Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States) (5 hours of debate) The proposed amendment to the Constitution provides that total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific excess of outlays over receipts by a rollcall vote. It also requires that increases in the statutory debt limit also would require a three-fifths vote of each chamber.
Despite the title of the legislation, H.J.Res. 2 is a dangerous bill. It would do the following:
  • Require a 3/5 vote to raise the debt ceiling. This supermajority requirement would make it more likely that the United States would default on its obligations, and risks crippling the global economy.
  • Makes it difficult for the United States to respond to a crisis. H.J.Res. 2 requires specific legislation and a majority vote to ‘run a deficit’ in a time of war, which would slow down the U.S. response time in a time of war. H.J.Res. 2 also would require a 3/5 vote to ‘run a deficit’ and respond to a domestic crisis.
  • Would severely hurt job creation. If in effect in FY 2012, nonpartisan economists with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC estimate that a ‘balanced budget amendment’ would eliminate approximately 15 million jobs and tank the economy.
  • Take spending decisions out of the hands of the legislative branch. Enforcement of balancing the budget would be given to the Courts, who could then decide to raise taxes, or cut investments to bring the budget back to ‘balance’.
As Republicans have shown throughout this Congress, their unwillingness to negotiate and compromise makes it virtually impossible to ever achieve a supermajority, thus hindering the United States Government’s ability to respond to unforeseen crises. The U.S. Congress cannot balance the budget by enshrining in the Constitution economic uncertainty and brinksmanship. Members are urged to VOTE NO on H.J.Res. 2.
 
Bill Text for H.J.Res. 2:
HTML Version
PDF Version    
 
Conference Report to H.R. 2112 - Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, (Rep. Kingston – Appropriations) The Conference Report includes three full-year appropriations bills for funding of departments and related agencies — Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation-HUD. Combined, the three bills provide about $128 billion in discretionary spending, in line with the Budget Control Act’s $1.043 trillion total discretionary cap. In addition, it includes a Continuing Resolution for all other departments and agencies that would keep government open and operating through December 16th of this year and contains no policy riders that are extremely controversial.
 
The package also includes $2.3 billion in emergency funding for disaster relief that is exempt from the $1.043 trillion ceiling set forth by the Budget Control Act, and it requires that an additional $300 million in regular appropriations for HUD's community development program also be used for disaster relief activities.
 
Members are urged to VOTE YES on the Conference Report to H.R. 2112.
 
Background for the Conference Report:
HTML Version
PDF Version   
 
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Friday, November 18: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration of H.J.Res. 2 - Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States (Rep. Goodlatte -Judiciary) (Subject to a Rule).
 
The Daily Quote
“This week the House of Representatives will take up a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution….The proposal that Republican leaders plan to bring up is, frankly, nuts….The truth is that Republicans don’t care one whit about actually balancing the budget. If they did, they would want to return to the policies that gave us balanced budgets in the late 1990s…They prefer to delude voters with pie-in-the-sky promises that amending the Constitution will painlessly solve all our budget problems.”
 
-     Bruce Bartlett, Former advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, The New York Times, 11/15/11