THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2012

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

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

**Members are advised that following last votes, the House will debate the three bills listed for consideration under suspension of the Rules.  Any recorded votes requested will be postponed until tomorrow. 

H.Res. 566Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 1837 - San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (Rep. Nunes – Natural Resources) (One Hour of debate). The Rules Committee has recommended a structured Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources. The Rule allows nine amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. It also provides one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. Lastly, it waives all points of order against the legislation.

The Rules committee rejected a motion by Mr. McGovern to consider the bill under an open Rule. Despite repeated promises for a more open debate, Republicans continue to shut down the process. 

H.R. 1837 - San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (Rep. Nunes – Natural Resources) (One Hour of debate) The bill modifies the current water allocation practices in California’s Central Valley to provide increased water access for agricultural and municipal purposes. The bill makes modifications to the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) that would limit the enforcement of environmental rules and regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.

In addition, the measure repeals the San Joaquin River Settlement in order to facilitate increased water access, sets water contracts at 40 years (instead of 25) and would allow contracts to be renewed for successive, 40-year terms which would effectively privatize a public resource. 

The Rule makes in order 9 amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. The amendments are:

Rep. McClintock Manager’s Amendment. Would make several technical and clarifying changes to the bill
Rep. Thompson (CA)/Rep. Eshoo Amendment.
Would prevent several provisions of this Act from going into effect if any agriculture, agriculture-related, fishery, or fishery-related job is lost North of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta
Rep. McNerney Amendment #3.
Would prevent several provisions of the Act from taking effect until it is determined that it will not harm the quality or safety of drinking water supplies for residents of California's Delta region
Rep. McNerney Amendment #4.
Would prevent several provisions of the Act from taking effect until it is determined that it will not harm water quality or water availability for agricultural producers in California's Delta region
Rep. Garamendi Amendment #5.
Would remove provisions of the bill that seek to privatize a public resource and restores the Secretary of the Interior's discretion over water contract renewals
Rep.
Napolitano Amendment. Would create a revenue stream through the elimination of a subsidy that allowed irrigators to repay project debt with no interest
Rep. Garamendi Amendment #7.
Would remove provisions of the bill that seek to decrease current supply of water to the Delta region
Rep. Markey/Rep. Thompson (CA)/Rep. Matsui Amendment. 
Would replace provisions in the underlying bill that override state law with a provision upholding state law and requiring use of the best available science
Rep.
Garamendi Amendment. #9. Would ensure that new water deliveries to Kettleman City, CA can be met with existing water allocations

Bill Text for H.R. 1837:
HTML Version

PDF Version
Background for H.R. 1837:
House Report (HTML Version)

House Report (PDF Version)
CRS Report
- The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act

Suspensions (3 Bills)

  1. H.R. 3902 - To amend the District of Columbia Home Rule Act to revise the timing of special elections for local office in the District of Columbia, as amended (Rep. Norton - Oversight and Government Reform)
  2. S. 1134 - St. Croix River Crossing Project Authorization Act (Sen. Klobuchar - Transportation and Infrastructure/Natural Resources /Budget)
  3. H.Res. 556 - Condemning the Government of Iran for its continued persecution, imprisonment, and sentencing of Youcef Nadarkhani on the charge of apostasy, as amended (Rep. Pitts - Foreign Affairs)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, March 1: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider H.Res. 562 - Directing the Office of the Historian to compile oral histories from current and former Members of the House of Representatives involved in the historic and annual Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, marches, as well as the civil rights movement in general, for the purposes of expanding or augmenting the historic record and for public dissemination and education (Rep. Sewell – House Administration) (Subject to an Unanimous Consent Agreement).

 
The Daily Quote

“House Republican leaders are delaying action on a downsized multi-year surface transportation bill as intraparty resistance persists, even after Speaker John A. Boehner was forced to abandon his signature, longer-term version last week. House leaders will not bring to the floor next week a two-year extension of transportation programs as had been expected, leaving the fate of the House effort to reauthorize surface transportation programs in doubt….The sidelining of the bill has sparked significant second-guessing and finger-pointing between House leaders and Mica, who complained Tuesday about the leadership’s plan to shorten the length and scope of the five-year transportation version he announced Jan. 31. ‘The leadership is trying to find the votes. I have been trying to find the best policy,’ Mica said. ‘You have to mesh the two.’”

-     CQ, 2/28/12