THE DAILY WHIP: TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011

House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:
12:00 p.m.: Morning Hour

2:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Unlimited “One Minutes”

6:30 p.m.. 7:00 p.m.
Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. H.R. 1229 is expected to be completed tomorrow.  
 
Suspension (1 Bill)
1. H.R. 1016 - Assessing Progress in Haiti Act (Rep. Lee (CA) – Foreign Affairs)
 
H.R. 1229 – Restarting Offshore Leasing Now Act (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources) (1 Hour of Debate) H.R. 1229 would expedite the approval process for drilling permits on the Outer Continental Shelf. It would allow a maximum of 60 days response time from the Interior Department to an application for a drilling permit. It stipulates that if the Department gives no response within 60 days, that permit to drill would be deemed approved. The bill also bars any civil action related to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico filed later than 60 days after final agency action on a drilling permit, limits the filing of civil cases related to Gulf drilling to the 5th circuit court, and restricts attorney’s fees in such cases.
 
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that H.R. 1229 would increase direct spending over the next 5 years by approximately $6 million. In order to circumvent their own Rules, the Majority coupled this bill with H.R. 1230 in the same Rule last week. The Rule for H.R. 1229 (H.Res. 245) stipulated that after final passage of H.R. 1229, the Clerk shall merge the text of H.R. 1230 and H.R. 1229 into one bill during engrossment. That combined bill would not increase direct spending.
 
Also, H.Res. 245 made 11 amendments in order for floor consideration, with each amendment debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. The amendments are:
  • Polis (CO) Amendment. Requires review of permits by the Interior Dept. to take into consideration all applicable safety, environmental and fisheries laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act
  • Garamendi (CA) Amendment. Implements the independent BP spill commission's recommendation by requiring that in reviewing a drilling permit, the Secretary consult with an independent drilling safety organization not affiliated with the American Petroleum Institute
  • Markey (MA) Amendment. Implements offshore drilling safety reforms recommended by the BP Spill Commission and would set specific new minimum standards for blow-out preventers, cementing and well design
  • Hanabusa (HI) Amendment. States that the Interior Secretary should not issue an offshore drilling permit without certifying that the applicant has calculated a worst-case discharge scenario for the proposed drilling operations, and has demonstrated that they possesses the capability and technology to respond to such worst-case discharge scenario
  • Jackson Lee (TX) Amendment. Allows a 60 day review of drilling permits, with up to two 30 day extensions (for a maximum of 120 days), and eliminates the language that results in the automatic approval of applications at the end of that period
  • Holt (NJ) Amendment. Strikes a provision in the underlying bill that would "deem" drilling permits approved after 60 days, even if the necessary safety and environmental reviews have not been completed. It would keep the bill’s 60 day maximum timeline for approval of drilling permits, but prevents permits from being "deemed" approved at the end of the timeline before the safety review has been completed.
  • Polis (CO) Amendment. Lifts permit deadline requirements if the agency lacks an adequate budget or lacks staff expertise to properly review permits
  • Hastings (FL) Amendment. Requires a permit application to include an estimate of the amount of oil and gas expected to be produced from the well, and the amount and time it would take for consumer and crude oil prices to be reduced if the well produced the estimated amount of oil and gas
  • Deutch (FL) Amendment. Strikes section 202 of the bill, which would allow district courts outside of the 5th Circuit to hear civil actions relating to oil and gas drilling operations or energy projects in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Polis (CO) Amendment . Would amend the underlying bill to emphasize the quality of court decisions instead of the speed of court decisions
  • Hastings (FL) Amendment. Strikes Section 207, which places a restriction on attorneys' fees
Bill Text for H.R. 1229:
HTML Version
PDF Version 
Background for H.R. 1229:
House Report HTML Version
House Report PDF Version
CRS Report U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Resources: Prospects and Processes
 
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Wednesday, May 11: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. The House will complete consideration of H.R. 1229. The House will also consider H.R. 1231 - Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources) (Subject to a Rule).
 
The Daily Quote
“The House Republican whose committee oversees Medicare said he's open to other approaches besides the voucher plan that recently passed the House after a contentious debate that appears to have hurt the party with older voters. Republicans got an earful from their constituents on Medicare during a recent congressional recess.”
 
-    Associated Press, 5/5/11