THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2013

For Immediate Release:

October 23, 2013

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. 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

H.Res. 385 – Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 3080 – Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (Rep. Shuster – Transportation and Infrastructure/Budget/Ways and Means/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 Transportation and Infrastructure. The Rule allows 24 amendments debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. It allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. It also waives all points of order against the legislation.

The Rule also provides the Chairman of the committee on Transportation and Infrastructure authority to offer amendments en bloc, consisting of amendments not previously considered. All en bloc amendments are debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The Rules Committee rejected Democratic motions to make additional amendments in order. The Committee also rejected a motion by Ms. Slaughter of New York to consider H.R. 3080 under an open Rule.

H.R. 3080 – Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (Rep. Shuster – Transportation and Infrastructure/Budget/Ways and Means/Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). This bill authorizes $12 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct, operate, and maintain water projects for mitigating storm and hurricane damage, restoring ecosystems, and improving flood management.  The bill also deauthorizes $12 billion of funding for older projects and establishes a procedure for future deauthorizations for previously authorized projects with no funding.

The bill also would authorize the agency to assist state and local governments with levee safety programs and to assist Indian tribes with planning and technical assistance for water resources projects. The bill also increases expenditures from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF). Finally, H.R. 3080 would direct the Corps to implement a pilot program to enter agreements with nonfederal partners to manage and construct certain projects. Those agreements would be subject to appropriation of all federal costs.

The Rule provides for one hour of general debate, makes in order 24 amendments, and allows for the Chairman to offer amendments en bloc. The amendments are:

Shuster/Gibbs/Rahall/Bishop (NY) Amendment. Adds a new section that provides for expediting the completion of any on-going feasibility study for a project initiated prior to enactment and clarifies that the Corps of Engineers is authorized to move to preconstruction planning, engineering, and design activities immediately after completing a feasibility study. Amends Section 107 of H.R. 3080 to add a savings clause to ensure work carried out under an existing statute related to navigation that is repealed in H.R. 3080 can continue if initiated prior to enactment. Adds a new section providing non-Federal interests the ability to carry out work at their own expense for a project where a final feasibility report has been completed but has not received authorization from Congress. Requires the non-Federal interest to carry out work subject to any State or Federal permitting requirements and to carry out the project in accordance with the final feasibility report. Amends Section 120 of H.R. 3080 to request the Corps of Engineers to review the uses and economic feasibility of non-structural alternatives in their review of existing authorities for carrying out work after a storm event. Amends Section 102 of H.R. 3080 to add natural gas companies to the entities eligible to contribute funds to Corps of Engineers to expedite the processing of permits within the regulatory program of the Corps of Engineers. Makes other technical and conforming changes to H.R. 3080.
DeFazio/Blumenauer/Jackson-Lee/Pingree/Edwards/Bonamici Amendment. Delays the application of environmental “streamlining” provisions in the bill until the Secretary certifies that there is sufficient funding to reduce the current backlog of authorized Corps projects to less than $20 billion; more than $40 billion in projects have already been authorized using existing environmental review processes, but have yet to receive funding for construction.
Flores Amendment. Prohibits programs or actions authorized under the bill from implementing coastal and marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management components of the National Ocean Policy established under Executive Order 13547. Requires the Secretary of the Army to conduct and submit a study detailing all activities engaged in and resources expended in furtherance of Executive Order 13547. The study also should include any budget requests for fiscal year 2014 for support of implementation of Executive Order 13547, and be submitted to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Mullin Amendment. Specifies that due to ongoing drought in many parts of the United States, state agencies are finding it difficult to maintain lake levels at lakes with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-licensed hydroelectric dams. Not later than 180 days after enactment, FERC is to initiate an assessment of the effects of drought conditions on these lakes and report to Congress – specifically looking at existing lakes in areas of drought and the effect long-term licenses have on state agencies being able to meet all their obligations.
Young (AK)/Petri Amendment. Requires the Corps to contract with private sector surveying and mapping firms, wherever practical, to perform these activities at Corps projects. Requires the Secretary to issue and conduct oversight of agency guidance to encourage use of the private sector for surveying and mapping services.
Hastings (FL) Amendment. Includes operation and maintenance costs associated with sand transfer plants in the annual operations and maintenance budget of the Corps of Engineers.
Bentivolio Amendment. Seeks to increase the amount of backlogged projects to be de-authorized, beyond what is initially de-authorized in the bill from $12,000,000,000 to $35,000,000,000.
Jones Amendment. Exempts the disaster restriction on projects which non-federal interests may contribute to.
Jackson-Lee Amendment. Provides that in making recommendations pursuant to Section 118 (hurricane and storm damage reduction study) of the bill, the Secretary shall consult with key stakeholders, including State, county, and city governments, and, where applicable, State and local water districts, and in the case of recommendations concerning projects that substantially affect underrepresented communities the Secretary shall also consult with historically Black colleges and universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and other minority-serving institutions.
Grimm Amendment. Modifies Section 118 (hurricane and storm damage reduction study) of the bill to require the Secretary to include project recommendations made in the study for flood and storm damage reduction related to natural disasters under title II of division A of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 within the Secretary's Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development.
Peters (CA) Amendment. Adds a subsection specifying that the Secretary of the Army coordinates with the Administrator of the FEMA to disseminate the emergency communication of risk to the public through widely used and readily available means.
Stutzman Amendment. Provides that the Secretary of the Army shall not require the removal of levee vegetation until the Corps of Engineers’ policy guidelines on vegetation management for levees have been reviewed and adopted. Provides an exception for vegetation that presents an unacceptable safety risk.
Velazquez Amendment. Establishes a national water-based freight policy to improve the movement of freight and cargo over waterways, canals, ports, and harbors
Pierluisi Amendment. Adds Puerto Rico to the provision of law that would be updated for inflation by Section 137 and that authorizes the Secretary of the Army to waive local cost-sharing requirements up to a specified dollar amount for studies and projects in certain U.S. territories.
Cotton Amendment. Allows non-federal entities (regional authorities or municipalities) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) to collaborate on a proposal to sell any excess water supply in order to address an oversupply of water resulting from the 1958 Water Supply Act. This would not authorize the Corps to actually sell the water or release the water from storage.
Richmond/Scalise Amendment. Directs the Corps to calculate the national benefits of proposed flood protection projects, including benefits from a reduction in national and regional economic losses, as well as the protection of evacuation routes.
Hastings (AK) Amendment. Ensures that Congress continue the practice of authorizing project purposes at Corps of Engineers dams or reservoirs.
McCollum/Kelly/Schneider/Lipinski Amendment. Establishes a multiagency effort to slow the spread of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries by providing technical assistance, coordination, best practices, and support to State and local governments in carrying out such activities.
Thompson (CA)/Benishek/DeFazio/Simpson/Titus Amendment. Requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an assessment on the impacts of aquatic invasive species on federal assets and current federal spending on aquatic invasive species prevention.
Brownley Amendment (#20). Requires the Army Corps to consider activities of the Secretary of the Navy when assessing the operation and maintenance needs of harbors and the equitable distribution of funds.
Lowenthal Amendment. Requires the Army Corps to consider activities of the Secretary of the Navy when assessing the operation and maintenance needs of harbors and the equitable distribution of funds.
Brownley Amendment (#22). Requires GAO to study and report to Congress on the effectiveness of activities funded by the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund in maximizing economic growth and job creation in the communities surrounding low- and moderate-use ports; and include recommendations relating to the use of amounts in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to increase the competitiveness of United States ports relative to Canadian and Mexican ports.
Schneider Amendment. Expands congressional reporting requirements to include recommendations for mitigating current problems and limiting the construction backlog.
Gardner Amendment. Establishes the Office of Water Storage at the Army Corp of Engineers to serve as an initial point of contact for the acquisition or satisfaction of a Federal permit for a water storage facility.

 
The Daily Quote

“The budget confrontation that led to a partial government shutdown dealt a major blow to the GOP’s image and has exposed significant divisions between tea party supporters and other Republicans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll… There was little in the findings for the GOP to feel good about. The party’s image has sunk to an all-time low in Post-ABC surveys, with 32 percent of the public saying they have a favorable opinion and 63 percent saying they have an unfavorable view. Almost four in 10 Americans have a strongly unfavorable view of the GOP.”

-    Washington Post, 10/22/13