THE DAILY WHIP: TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011

For Immediate Release:

July 19, 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

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
H.Res. 355 - Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 2560 - Cut, Cap, and End Medicare Act (Rep. Chaffetz – Budget/Ways and Means) (One hour of debate) The Rules committee has recommended a completely closed Rule that provides four hours of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Budget. The Rule makes in order no amendments and allows one motion to recommit.
 
The Rules committee rejected a motion by Mr. McGovern to consider the legislation under an open Rule, so that Democrats could have an opportunity to offer amendments to protect Medicare and Medicaid.
 
H.Res. 355 provides for consideration of a bill that has had no committee action, hearing, or markup, and allows no amendments to a bill that proposes to have enormous consequences for the future.
 
H.R. 2560 - Cut, Cap, and End Medicare Act (Rep. Chaffetz – Budget/Ways and Means) (Four hours of general debate) H.R. 2560 is the House Republicans’ only plan to address the debt ceiling, with the August 2 deadline just two weeks away. It is a political stunt that will not prevent the government from defaulting, nor is it a serious plan to reduce the deficit.   In addition to large cuts to non-security discretionary spending for FY2012, this legislation imposes spending caps over the next 10 years that fall to 19.9% of GDP, the level of spending in the Republican budget, which was adopted earlier this year, and called for ending programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
 
It also conditions a debt limit increase on a balanced budget amendment containing even lower spending caps, and a 2/3 supermajority to increase revenue, passing both Houses of Congress and being sent to the states. Specifically the bill would:
  • Increase the chances of a U.S. default. This bill has little chance of passing the Senate, and the President will not sign this legislation. Instead of compromising and trying to find a way forward, Republicans continue to pursue an ideological, no-compromise approach, which puts our economy and recovery in danger
  • Lead to ending and cutting Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.This bill would mandate a spending cap level of 19.9% of GDP in ten years. It is impossible to achieve that level without decimating critical programs like Medicare and Social Security. The Republican Budget had a very similar spending percentage of GDP, and that budget, which every Democrat opposed, proposed ending Medicare
  • Add ideological policy preferences to the Constitution. H.R. 2560 would require Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment, which requires a supermajority (2/3 vote) to ever raise revenue in Congress, before even considering raising the debt ceiling to prevent a default on our bills. This inclusion of ideological policy preferences in the Constitution is evidence that Republicans are not willing to compromise and are willing to ‘rig the rules’ to achieve their desired result
This legislation is nothing more than political theatre, and increases the chances of a United States default. H.R. 2560 would enshrine Republican policy goals into the Constitution. House Democrats agree that reducing the deficit and balancing the budget is a national priority. However, we cannot balance the budget by only focusing only on Republicans’ ideological cuts. All options must be included in the debate. This is not a real way to balance the budget and bring down our national debt.
 
Bill Text for H.R. 2560:
HTML Version
PDF Version    
Background for H.R. 2560:
CRS Report - A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options
CRS Report - The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
 
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Wednesday, July 20: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider H.J.Res. 66 - Approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 (Rep. Crowley – Ways and Means), under suspension of the Rules. The House is also expected to consider H.R. 2553 – Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011, Part IV (Rep. Mica - Transportation and Infrastructure/Science and Technology/Ways and Means) (Subject to a Rule).
 
The Daily Quote
“Meeting the strictures of the ["cut, cap and balance"] pledge would require a fundamental re-ordering of the federal government and an end to some of the basic compacts that it has developed with the states and citizens since World War II, budget analysts say.”
 
-     The Wall Street Journal, 7/18/11