THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2014

For Immediate Release:

March 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. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

**Members are advised that following last votes, the House is expected to consider general debate and amendments to H.R. 3826. Any recorded votes requested will be postponed until tomorrow.

H.Res. 497 – Rule providing for consideration of both H.R. 4118 – “50th Vote to Repeal Health Care Protections Act” (Rep. Jenkins – Ways and Means) and H.R. 3826 – Electricity Security and Affordability Act (Rep. Whitfield – Energy and Commerce) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules committee has recommended one Rule which provides for consideration of 2 bills.

For H.R. 4118, the Rules committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means.  The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions, and it also waives all points of order against the legislation.

For H.R. 3826, 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 Energy and Commerce.  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.

The Rules Committee rejected a motion by Ms. Slaughter of New York to consider both bill under an open Rule. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

H.R. 4118 – “50th Vote to Repeal Health Care Protections Act” (Rep. Jenkins – Ways and Means) (One Hour of Debate). This bill would delay, for one year, until 2015, the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that individuals buy health insurance, changing the penalty for failing to do so from $95 or 1% of income to $0.

The Affordable Care Act provides tax credits and other subsidies for the purchase of health insurance to individuals and families between 100 – 400% FPL who do not have access to affordable employer-offered health insurance coverage.  The individual responsibility policy is paired with critical insurance market reforms — guaranteed issue and a prohibition against pre-existing condition exclusions and predatory pricing, among others — allowing the quality of insurance to significantly improve while minimizing premium increases.  This bill — which is nearly identical to the one that Republicans passed last July — according to the Congressional Budget Office, would increase premiums, decrease coverage, and increase the number of uninsured by as much as 11 million Americans.

Positive effects of the Affordable Care Act are already being witnessed across the country; millions more now have health insurance and cost growth is at the lowest it has been in 50 years.  However, Republicans have made it clear time and again that repealing the Affordable Care Act is their only goal; this attempt marks the 50th time that Republicans have tried to repeal or destroy the law.  This bill is not aimed at helping Americans get access to affordable healthcare but is merely another in a long line of cynical attempts to undermine the law. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Bill Text for H.R. 4118:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 4118:
CRS Report: Individual Mandate Under ACA

Begin Consideration of H.R. 3826 – Electricity Security and Affordability Act (Rep. Whitfield – Energy and Commerce) (One Hour of Debate). This bill would severely limit the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions power plants under the Clean Air Act.

It would prohibit the EPA from promulgating or enforcing any rule establishing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards under the Clean Air Act for new fossil fuel-fired power plants unless separate GHG emission standards were also established for coal and natural gas plants. It would also reverse decades of precedent and practice, barring the EPA from requiring pollution standards on new coal plants unless such requirements have already been broadly adopted and are being achieved independently by at least six U.S. power plants for 12 continuous months.

Additionally, the bill would repeal all EPA rules issued prior to the enactment of the bill that established GHG emissions standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants, including standards issued on January 8, 2014, that will reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 3% to 5%. These repeals, combined with the restrictions and prohibitions on new rules, would effectively block EPA from ever requiring fossil fuel-fired power plants to control carbon pollution at any significant level.  

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

Smith (TX)/Schweikert Amendment. Expands the scope of the bill and requires the EPA Administrator to apply the underlying bill’s requirements for setting emissions standards for new coal-fired power plants to all fossil fuel-fired plants.
Capps/McNerney Amendment. Allows the EPA to consider all pollution control technologies being used in the United States or elsewhere when setting new power plant emission standards.
Capito Amendment. Clarifies that the bill does not preclude a performance standard to reduce power plant emissions that is based on a technology developed in a foreign country, as long as that technology has been demonstrated to be achievable at a power plant in the United States.
McKinley Amendment #4. Requires the EPA to consult with the Energy Information Administration; Comptroller General; National Energy Technology Laboratory; and the National Institute for Standards and Technology before submitting the report to Congress justifying rulemaking to control GHG emissions required by the underlying bill.
McKinley Amendment #5. Requires the EPA to look at the economic impact of GHG rules or guidelines, including the potential effects on: required capital investments and projected costs for operation and maintenance of new equipment required to be installed; and the global competitiveness of the United States.
Schakowsky/Lowenthal Amendment. Accepts the scientific finding of the EPA that greenhouse gas pollution is "contributing to long-lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects."
Latta Amendment. Clarifies that the definition of "demonstration project" under the bill refers to projects that are receiving federal government funding or financial assistance.
Waxman Amendment. Provides that the bill takes effect when the Administrator of the EIA certifies that another Federal program, other than one under section 111 of the Clean Air Act, will reduce carbon pollution in at least equivalent quantities, with similar timing and from the same sources as the reductions required under the rules and guidelines nullified by section 4.

Bill Text for H.R. 3826:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 3826:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

Postponed Suspensions (2 votes)

  1. H.R. 938 – United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, as amended (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen – Foreign Affairs)
  2. H.R. 2126 – Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014, as amended (Rep. McKinley – Energy and Commerce)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, March 6: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration H.R. 3826 – Electricity Security and Affordability Act (Rep. Whitfield – Energy and Commerce). The House is also expected to consider H.R. 2641 – “Regrettably Another Partisan Ideological Distraction” (RAPID) Act (Rep. Marino – Judiciary/Natural Resources) (Subject to a Rule).

 
The Daily Quote

"President Obama on Tuesday released a nearly $4 trillion budget proposal for 2015 that includes more generous tax breaks for working families while scaling back breaks for the rich... As expected, the White House says Obama's blueprint sticks to the topline spending limits already set by the House and Senate for 2015. But the plan also features a $56 billion growth and investment package that includes money for universal pre-K, infrastructure and job training. Obama proposes to pay for those initiatives through additional spending restraint and increased revenue. The White House Budget Office estimates that Obama's proposal overall would cut the annual deficit by 2024 to 1.6% of the size of the economy, less than half of where it's projected to be that year under current policies by the Congressional Budget Office. But a key part of his budget is a series of tax changes designed to give a hand to low- and middle-income workers. To pay for those changes and to help reduce deficits, Obama, as he done repeatedly throughout his presidency, proposes to raise the tax burden on the rich."

-    CNN, 3/4/2014