THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2012

For Immediate Release:

May 16, 2012

Contact:

Katie GrantDaniel Reilly, 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

12:45 – 1:00 p.m. 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

**Members are advised that a procedural vote may occur at approximately 12:45-1:00 p.m.

Suspension (1 Bill)

  1. H.R. 5740 - To extend the National Flood Insurance Program (Rep. Biggert- Financial Services)

H.Res. 656 – Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 4970 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (Rep. Adams - Judiciary) (One Hour of debate) and general debate of H.R. 4310 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Rep. McKeon – Armed Services) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules committee has recommended one Rule which would provide for consideration of H.R. 4970 and only general debate of H.R. 4310.

H.Res. 656 would provide for 1 hour of general debate on H.R. 4970, equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Judiciary. The Rules committee has recommended a closed Rule for H.R. 4970 that self executes one amendment in the nature of a substitute which would strike the requirement that an abuser be contacted when a victim files a petition for protection, but still repeals current law that first requires abuser-submitted evidence to be corroborated before it can be used against a victim. The Rule also waives all points of order against the legislation and provides one motion to recommit, with or without instructions.

H.Res. 656 also provides one hour of general debate on H.R. 4310, equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Armed Services. The Rule only deals with general debate. A second Rule for amendments to H.R. 4310 is expected to be considered on the Floor tomorrow.

The Rules committee rejected a motion by Mr. McGovern to consider H.R. 4970 under an open Rule.  The committee also rejected an amendment offered by House Democrats which would have allowed an up or down vote on the bipartisan Senate VAWA alternative, which passed by a vote of 68-31, with 15 Republican Senators voting in support.    

H.R. 4970 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (Rep. Adams - Judiciary) (One Hour of debate).  This bill reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) for five years. It provides federal resources authorized by VAWA directly to organizations and programs that help prevent violent crime and protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. It consolidates grant programs and requires more audits and direct grant applicants to disclose their sources of federal funding. It also includes new benchmarks for visa applicants who are the victims of violent crime.

The measure imposes mandatory criminal penalties for certain aggravated sexual crimes, modifies visa programs for immigrant victims of domestic violence and makes changes to current law protections for housing services provided to victims of violence and abuse. While the Republicans attempted to amend some of the provisions in the bill with a last minute manager’s amendment, the underlying legislation still repeals current law that first requires abuser-submitted evidence to be corroborated before it can be used against a victim. In addition, the underlying legislation still imposes new, burdensome procedural hurdles that would delay or deny protections and put victims in a more vulnerable position than they would be under current law. 

The Senate passed a bill last month that had strong bipartisan support from every Democratic Senator and 15 Senate Republicans including all of the Senate GOP women. The House Republican bill removes the key provisions from the bipartisan passed Senate bill ensuring all victims are assisted regardless of religion, sexual orientation or if they are Native American.

VAWA has never been a partisan issue until this Congress. Twice over the last 20 years, Democrats and Republicans have worked together to reauthorize VAWA and make necessary improvements. Just like on the Highway Bill, Republicans are abandoning the bipartisan consensus that has always existed on VAWA reauthorizations. The measure rolls back important protections for immigrant victims that put them in a more vulnerable position than under current law. The bill also does not do enough to protect vulnerable populations such as tribal women, and LGBT individuals. Members are urged to VOTE NO.  

Bill Text for H.R. 4970:
HTML Version

PDF Version

Background for H.R. 4970:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)
CRS Report - The Violence Against Women Act: Overview, Legislation, and Federal Funding
CRS Report
- Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction over Non-Indians in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization and the SAVE Native Women Act

Begin Consideration of H.R. 4310 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Rep. McKeon – Armed Services) H.R. 4310 would provide for the authorization of funding for the Department of Defense and other related agencies, programs, and operations for fiscal year 2013. It provides for a total of $642.5 billion for the entire fiscal year.

In addition to authorizing all operations at the Pentagon, as well as military operations overseas, the bill also includes some policy additions/restrictions, including: a restriction of funds used to release prisoners at the Guantánamo Bay detention center to a foreign country or entity; banning gay marriage in Defense Department facilities and clarifying that chaplains are not required to officiate at same-sex weddings; and language attempting to slow U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. 

All amendments will be considered starting tomorrow.

Bill Text for H.R. 4310:
HTML Version

PDF Version

Background for H.R. 4310:
House Report (HTML Version)

House Report (PDF Version)

Postponed Suspensions (4 Bills)

  1. H.R. 4119 – Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012 (Rep. Reyes – Judiciary)
  2. H.R. 2621 – Chimney Rock National Monument Establishment Act (Rep. Tipton – Natural Resources)
  3. H.R. 2745 – To amend the Mesquite Lands Act of 1986 to facilitate implementation of a multispecies habitat conservation plan for the Virgin River in Clark County, Nevada, as amended (Rep. Heck – Natural Resources)
  4. H.Res. 568 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the importance of preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, as amended (Rep. Ros–Lehtinen – Foreign Affairs)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, May 17: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to continue consideration of H.R. 4310 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Rep. McKeon – Armed Services) (Subject to a Rule).

 
The Daily Quote

“House Speaker John Boehner warned Tuesday that he won't permit another increase in the debt ceiling without a larger amount of spending cuts and reforms approved in tandem… In other words, welcome to déjà vu all over again. Boehner issued a similar warning at this time last year. The end result was a confidence-shaking showdown over the summer that resulted in the Budget Control Act, which calls for $2.1 trillion in spending cuts.  It also sparked the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor's, which cited political brinksmanship as the chief cause.”

-     CNN, 5/15/12