THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2013

For Immediate Release:

February 27, 2013

Contact:

Katie GrantStephanie Young, 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

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. 3:00 – 3:30 p.m.

** Members are advised that following debate on the Rule, the House is expected to recess. At approximately 2:30 p.m. the House will reconvene and take votes.

**Members are also advised that today, the House is only expected to consider the Rule for S. 47. Tomorrow, the House will complete debate and consider the substitute amendment to S. 47.  

H.Res. 83 – Rule providing for consideration of S. 47 – The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Sen. Leahy – Judiciary) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules committee has recommended a structured Rule that provides for one hour of debate equally divided between the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader or their designees. The Rule allows one amendment in the nature of a substitute debatable for 20 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. It also allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions and waives all points of order against the legislation.

With only two legislative days left, House Republicans continue not to take any action to avert sequestration. There is still time to prevent the sequester’s arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts that are harmful to our economy and national security. Despite all of this, the Rules committee rejected an amendment that would make in order the Democratic substitute authored by Rep. Van Hollen which would replace the automatic discretionary spending cuts under the sequester scheduled to take effect in March. The amendment would increase taxes for individuals with incomes of more than $1 million annually, eliminate agricultural direct payments and cut tax benefits for the oil and gas industry. This is the third time that House Democrats have put forth a balanced plan to avert the sequester and House Republicans continue to refuse to bring the measure to the Floor for an up-or-down vote. Members are urged to VOTE YES.  

S. 47 – The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Sen. Leahy – Judiciary) (One Hour of Debate). Since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has given domestic violence service providers, law enforcement, and federal, state and local government the tools necessary to assist and help protect countless victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed S. 47 by a margin of 78-22 with strong bipartisan support from every Democratic Senator and a majority of Senate Republicans including all of the Senate GOP women. This measure addresses a number of concerns for LGBT, Native American and immigrant victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The measure includes language to ensure the availability of services to all victims of domestic and dating violence, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. The measure also provides authority to Native American tribes to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators for a narrow set of crimes related to domestic, dating violence and violations of protecting orders. The Senate measure also adds stalking to the list of crimes for which victims can receive protection through the U-Visa program. Finally, the Senate measure also includes authorizations for programs preventing human trafficking, sexual assault on college campuses, as well as additional resources to address rape kit backlogs. Members are urged to VOTE YES on S. 47 if the substitute amendment fails.

The Rule makes in order 1 amendment in the nature of a substitute, debatable for 20 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.

Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. Removes all references to “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” ignoring evidence that domestic and sexual violence affects LGBT victims at equal or greater levels than the rest of the population.  Rather than give tribes the authority they need to protect Indian women, this substitute limits tribes to charging an abuser with misdemeanors punishable by no more than one year in prison, even if the abuser has committed rape, a vicious assault, or another serious violent crime.  In addition, the amendment omits important protections for immigrant victims, does not provide critical protections for rape victims, human trafficking victims, students on campuses, or stalking victims.  It is a significantly weaker version of VAWA and once again we have Republicans choosing partisanship over compromise. Adoption of the substitute would mean that the House will not get a vote on the underlying senate-passed bill. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Bill Text for S. 47:
PDF Version

Background for S. 47:
CRS Report - The Violence Against Women Act: Overview, Legislation, and Federal Funding

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, February 28: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration of S. 47 – The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Sen. Leahy – Judiciary).   

 
The Daily Quote

“But many Republicans say the sequester is the moment when the tea party can claim it has made its mark. Although Democratic and Republican leaders are pointing fingers, the tea party and its allies are happily accepting credit for the cuts. ‘This will be the first significant tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington,’ said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), a tea party Republican elected in 2010… Huelskamp, who voted against the original bill authorizing the sequester because he wanted even more cuts, said he expects Boehner and other Republican leaders to come through but is nervous about recent statements suggesting that they might be looking for alternatives. ‘They promised the sequester would happen,’ said Huelskamp, who voted against Boehner for speaker this year. ‘For them to go back on their word certainly threatens their ability to lead.’ Some Republicans say it’s risky for GOP lawmakers to celebrate deep spending cuts while warning of their potentially negative consequences. ‘It’s going to be difficult for the Republicans as a party in this,’ said Tony Fratto, a former adviser to President George W. Bush. ‘They said the sequester is bad. You can’t say that and then say it’s a good thing, a step in the right direction. It can’t be both bad and good.’”

-     Washington Post, 2/25/13