THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014

For Immediate Release:

March 26, 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 – 2:30 p.m. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

H.Res. 524 – Rule providing for consideration H.R. 1459 – Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act (Rep. Bishop (UT) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). 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 3 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.

The Rule also allows for Suspension Authority through Thursday, March 27 for legislation relating to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) of Medicare and the Ukraine. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

H.R. 1459 – “No More National Monuments Act” (Rep. Bishop (UT) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). This bill would make unneeded amendments to the Antiquities Act of 1906 – which 16 of the 19 Presidents in office since its passage have used to establish National Monuments – complicating the process by which historic and cultural landmarks could be protected.

The bill would apply the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process to Presidential National Monument designations of more than 5000 acres.  This is in stark contrast to the GOP’s recent efforts roll back NEPA review on other federal lands; aimed more at limiting the President’s ability to undertake conservation efforts than actually protecting the environment.  Under the bill, National Monuments of under 5000 acres would not be subject to NEPA, but the exemption from NEPA review for such monuments would only be valid for 3 years.  The bill would also limit Presidential declarations of National Monuments to one per state, per four-year presidential term.

In addition, the bill would prohibit the inclusion of private property within the borders of a National Monument, unless the Interior Department acquires written permission from the property owner before a Monument’s designation and require the creation of a feasibility study to analyze the cost to the federal government.

The Rule makes in order 3 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Bishop (UT) Manager’s Amendment. Clarifies process for monument designations of 5,000 acres or less which allows temporary designation if there is an imminent threat to an antiquity and permanent designation if the President follows the NEPA review process or Congress enacts law. Also clarifies that the President is to use existing authorized funds for any monument designation process.
Barber Amendment. Requires the bill's feasibility study to include an assessment of the monument declaration's benefits, including jobs and tourism dollars associated with managing a monument in perpetuity.
Tsongas Amendment. Preserves the ability of the President to declare as national monuments those that provide for the “protection or conservation of historic or cultural resources related to American military history,” regardless of their size.

Bill Text for H.R. 1459:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1459:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

Postponed Suspension (1 vote):

  1. H.R. 1228 – A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 123 South 9th Street in De Pere, Wisconsin, as the “Corporal Justin D. Ross Post Office Building”, as amended (Rep. Ribble – Oversight and Government Reform)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, March 27: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider H.R. 4278 – To support the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for other purposes, as amended (Rep. Royce – Foreign Affairs) and H.R. __ – To amend the Social Security Act to extend Medicare payments to physicians and other provisions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and for other purposes – under suspension of the Rules.

 
The Daily Quote

“Encouraging bright minds to stay in the United States after graduation, grow businesses and create jobs is critical to secure our country’s position as a high-tech hub and global leader in innovation. It’s also important to our national security… It’s time for our politicians to drop their protectionist rhetoric and allow those who come to the United States to study and earn graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields to stay, grow businesses and create… Last June the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation by a vote of 68-32. The legislation included provisions allowing immigrants with advanced STEM degrees to become U.S. citizens. Yet the legislation now languishes in the House. Republicans... fear Tea Party retribution if they act to solve one of the nation’s biggest problems… We cannot let politics block action critical to preserving our national defense. Congress must act, and do so quickly… It is past time for the House to pass immigration reform and get our country back on track. This isn’t simply an economic issue – our national defense depends on it.”

-    Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, Washington Post, 3/21/2014