THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2014

For Immediate Release:

February 5, 2014

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”

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

H.Res. 472 – Rule providing for consideration of both H.R. 3964 – Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act (Rep. Valadao – Natural Resources) and H.R. 2954The Public Access and Lands Improvement Act (Rep. Miller (FL) Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules committee has recommended one Rule which provides for consideration of 2 bills.

For H.R. 3964, the Rules committee has recommended a structured Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources.  The Rule allows for 8 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

For H.R. 2954, the Rules committee has recommended a structured Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources.  The Rule allows for 5 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions, and waives all points of order against the legislation. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 3590 – Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (Rep. Latta – Natural Resources/ Agriculture/Judiciary/Transportation and Infrastructure/Energy and Commerce). This bill would require the Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service to provide access to lands managed by those agencies for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.  The bill also increases the amount of excise taxes on firearms and ammunition that can be used to expand or build new target ranges. It would loosen vehicle restrictions in Federal wilderness areas and allow the issuance of duck hunting permits electronically.  Additionally, the bill allows hunters to import certain polar bear remains taken prior to the species being listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The measure also amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to prohibit EPA from regulating toxic substances contained in bullets, angling lures and other hunting equipment.  Lastly, the bill would prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from restricting firearms on Corps properties.

The Rule makes in order no further general debate. As of last night, the House completed debate on all amendments. The following amendments have recorded votes pending:

DeFazio/Ellison Amendment. Strikes the National Environmental Policy Act waivers in the bill.
Holt/Connolly/Lowenthal/Van Hollen/Langevin/Cartwright/Ellison/ Blumenauer/Grijalva/Shea-Porter/Capps/Quigley/Delaney/Davis (CA)/Matsui Amendment. Affirms the Secretary of the Interior's authority to consider climate change when making decisions related to recreation and conservation on public lands.

Bill Text for H.R. 3590:
PDF Version

H.R. 3964 – Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act (Rep. Valadao – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). The bill repeals and modifies current water allocation laws in California’s Central Valley in a way that elevates junior water rights above all other water needs, including municipal, fisheries and environmental uses. 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 bill repeals the San Joaquin River Settlement in order to facilitate increased water access, sets the terms of water contracts at 40 years (instead of 25) and would allow contracts to be renewed for successive, 40-year terms.

This bill represents a major re-writing of Federal water law, overturning the century-old Bureau of Reclamation policy of allowing states to dictate the use of their water, and preempts California’s own code and State Constitution. Additionally, the State of California opposes the bill, recognizing that the bill does not and cannot actually create new water; it merely prioritizes a public resource for private use.  As California Secretary of Natural Resources, John Laird, has stated, “(This) bill falsely holds the promise of water relief that cannot be delivered because in this drought, the water simply does not exist.”

The Rule makes in order 8 amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. The amendments are:

Napolitano Amendment. Requires agricultural water users to pay interest on the capital costs of a Reclamation project. Currently, agriculture has 40 years to repay capital costs, interest free. Other constituencies, such as municipal entities, are required by law to pay interest.
Matsui Amendment. Strikes language in Section 107 of the bill, ensuring the section will not suspend the delivery of "b2" water (800,000 acre feet) that was allocated in the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act. The amendment ensures that senior water rights holders in the Delta or north of the Delta shall not be responsible for the project yield allocation or B2 water.
Bera/McNerney/Thompson (CA)/Matsui/Garamendi/Swalwell Amendment. Adds a savings clause to the bill that prohibits the measure from having a negative impact on the quantity, quality, and safety of drinking water in the California Delta region.
Capps Amendment. Requires GAO to conduct a study on the resiliency and adaptability of all Bureau of Reclamation projects and facilities to any ongoing or forecasted changes to the quality, quantity, or reliability of water resources.
DeFazio/Huffman/DelBene/Speier/Thompson (CA) Amendment. Makes the Governor of California's emergency drought declaration, issued January 17, 2014, a formal request to the Secretary of Commerce to issue a determination, using her authority under Section 312 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, that a fishery resource disaster has occurred for fisheries that originate in the State of California.
Huffman Amendment. Adds a savings clause to the bill prohibiting the measure from interfering with the State of California's Delta and water management reform and funding Acts of 2009, including SB7x-1, SB7x-2, SB7x-6, and SB7x-7.
McNerney Amendment. Prevents several provisions of the bill from taking effect until the Secretary of the Interior determines that it will not harm water quality or water availability for agricultural producers in California's Delta region (Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, and Yolo Counties).
Peters (CA) Amendment. Stipulates that the bill cannot go into effect until the Secretary confirms that the act does not adversely affect any community's water supply or water budget.

Bill Text for H.R. 3964:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 3964
Natural Resources Committee Summary (PDF)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, February 6: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider H.R. 2954 – The Public Access and Lands Improvement Act (Rep. Miller (FL) Natural Resources) (Subject to a Rule).

 
The Daily Quote

“Four months after a government shutdown and near-default damaged the GOP in public polling, conservatives say they want to dispense with the debt ceiling quickly and turn the focus back to ObamaCare and the rest of their 2014 agenda. ‘There is an understanding by conservatives in light of history and the trajectory that we’re on right now, that you cannot make all the demands that we would like to make,’ conservative Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) said of the debt ceiling. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) said the leadership should skip the legislative volleying with the Senate and simply pass a clean debt-ceiling bill now. ‘I think the American people don’t want any more gimmicks from us…’ Labrador said Tuesday.”

-    The Hill, 2/4/2014