THE DAILY WHIP: TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

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

2:15 - 3:00 p.m. 4:00 - 4:30 p.m.

**Members are advised that following last votes, the House will begin consideration of H.Con.Res. 25. The House is expected to complete 4 hours of general debate on H.Con.Res 25 today.  Debate on all budget substitutes made in order under the Rule will be considered tomorrow. 

H.Res. 122 – Rule providing for consideration of both H.Con.Res. 25 – The Republican Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution Rep. Ryan (WI) – Budget) and H.Res. 115 – Providing for the Expenses of Certain Committees of the House of Representatives in the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress (Rep. Miller (MI) – House Administration) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules committee has recommended one Rule which provides for consideration of H.Con.Res. 25 and H.Res. 115.

For H.Con.Res. 25, the Rules Committee has recommended a structured Rule that provides for four hours of general debate with three hours equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Budget and one hour equally divided between members of the Joint Economic Committee. The Rule makes in order 6 amendments in the nature of substitutes, and waives all points of order against them. The Rule provides that adoption of an amendment in the nature of a substitute shall constitute the conclusion of consideration of the concurrent resolution for amendment. 

For H.Res. 115, 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 House Administration. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, without instructions and it also waives all points of order against the resolution.

H.Res. 115 – Providing for the Expenses of Certain Committees of the House of Representatives in the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress (Rep. Miller (MI) – House Administration) (One Hour of Debate). The resolution sets unacceptably low spending levels for certain House committees in response to sequestration that took effect beginning on March 1, risking the House’s ability to conduct meaningful oversight. The measure authorizes a total of nearly $241 million for the 113th Congress, or $120 million per session. The new amounts cover the period beginning January 3, 2013, and ending January 3, 2015. The new total represents an overall cut of nearly 11% from the second session of the 112th Congress, with some Committees suffering even deeper cuts. This resolution would also add an average of a 23% cut to Committees’ budgets, risking their ability to conduct meaningful oversight, and do their legislative work. In addition, the measure establishes a reserve fund for unanticipated expenses of committees, consisting of any excess between the authorized amounts for committees and the amounts appropriated in the FY 2013 continuing resolution.

Bill Text for H.Res. 115:
HTML Version

PDF Version

Background for H.Res. 115:
House Report (HTML Version)

House Report (PDF Version)

Begin Consideration of H. Con. Res. 25 - The Republican Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution (Rep. Ryan (WI) – Budget) (Four Hours of debate). The Republican Budget submitted by Chairman Paul Ryan cuts non-defense discretionary spending by more than $1 trillion below the level of the 2011 Budget Control Act caps, which already reduced spending to its lowest level as a share of GDP since 1962.   It would end the Medicare guarantee and turn it into a voucher program.  It would save $810 billion by turning Medicaid into a capped block grant. The Republican Budget also relies on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that it was upheld by the Supreme Court and withstood over 30 votes on repeal last Congress. The Republican Budget is a combination of the same Romney/Ryan policies that the American people rejected in November and magic asterisks that hide the harsh policies required to make its numbers add up.

It not only supports the “meat-ax” approach to reducing spending by cutting below sequestration's level of discretionary spending, but also claims $962 billion in “other mandatory” cuts while giving no specifics on what those cuts are, or what policies are used to implement them. Programs in this “other mandatory” category serve the needy and the disadvantaged, harming the people with the least means while asking nothing of the wealthy.  Further, the Republican Budget protects defense spending from sequestration, and then doubles down on sequestration's cuts to nondefense discretionary spending to pay for it.

The Republican Budget claims to balance the budget in 10 years, but makes no mention of new revenues. It would create just two tax brackets for individuals – 10% and 25% and a top corporate tax rate of 25% (currently 35%) while claiming to raise trillions of dollars through the elimination of tax preferences – but fails to name even one of them specifically.  These tax cuts, along with the Republican Budget’s repeal of the AMT, would result in over $5.7 trillion in lost revenue, and would require raising taxes for the middle class to remain revenue neutral.  Despite repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Budget also cynically keeps over $700 billion in Medicare savings – the same savings Chairman Ryan criticized last Fall during the campaign – and the $1 trillion in revenue that comes from the law.  

The Republican Budget Resolution is very similar to the Budget that Republicans proposed last year and the American people summarily dismissed last Fall.  It is once again not a serious document that avoids tough decisions and forces the American people to play ‘fill in the blanks’ with the details. It is an ideological, message document for hard-line conservatives that 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. It ends the Medicare guarantee; repeals the Affordable Care Act; harms non-defense discretionary spending immensely, while shielding defense spending from reductions; and achieves deficit reduction on the backs of the middle class and seniors.  This Budget rejects a big, bold, and balanced approach to reducing our nation’s deficit. Members are urged to VOTE NO on H.Con.Res. 25.

All amendments in the nature of a substitute will be debated and considered tomorrow.

Bill Text for H.Con.Res. 25:
HTML Version

PDF Version
Background for H.Con.Res. 25:
House Report (HTML Version)

House Report (PDF Version)
Summary of Amendments

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Wednesday, March 20: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration of H.Con.Res. 25 - The Republican Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution (Rep. Ryan (WI) – Budget). 

 
The Daily Quote

“Rep. Ryan’s proposal is less an effort to rationalize the U.S. budget situation than the opening bid in the continuing budget war, which promises to be just as contentious as last year’s. It’s about making extravagant promises to Republican voters about how the budget can be balanced, taxes can be cut simultaneously, and no one’s pet program will suffer. In short, the Ryan plan is mainly a political document for the party faithful rather than a workable budget outline.”

-    Bruce Bartlett, Fiscal Times, 3/15/13