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House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes”

9:30 – 10:00 a.m. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 4438 American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014 (Rep. Brady (TX) – Ways and Means). This bill would make the research and development (R&D) tax credit, which expired with the rest of the most recent tax extenders package at the end of calendar year 2013, permanent. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that this permanent extension will add $155 billion to the deficit over 10 years, and Republicans have chosen to bring the bill to the Floor without providing an offset.

The R&D tax credit is the first of six permanent corporate tax extender bills approved by Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee. These six bills taken together would add $310 billion to the deficit over the next decade – 13 times the amount that it would cost to renew emergency unemployment insurance for the entire year. It is hypocritical of House Republicans - who have let emergency unemployment insurance expire for more than 2.5 million Americans, refused to provide a permanent fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) for Medicare payments to doctors, and failed to replace the irrational, across-the-board spending cuts imposed by the sequester all on arguments over offsets - to bring this bill to the Floor without paying for it.

House Republicans are attempting to justify this lack of a pay-for with the incorrect assertion that tax cuts pay for themselves. In fact, many economists, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Bush Administration Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson have stated that this is simply not the case.

This bill also ignores the many other bipartisan priorities in past tax extenders packages, choosing instead to move R&D by itself. This puts several tax provisions that benefit middle class and low income Americans - like the state and local sales tax deduction, the $250 deduction for teachers who purchase supplies for their classroom, as well as incentives for renewable energy, education, and dozens of others - at risk of not being renewed.  The bill also puts in doubt the future expansion of key refundable tax credits that expire in 2017, like the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.

Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has said that, “The people deserve a government that works for them, not one that buries them in more debt.” Unfortunately, bringing permanent, unpaid-for tax cuts to the Floor does exactly the opposite. The White House agrees and has issued a SAP stating that the President would veto this bill. If House Republicans are serious about fiscal responsibility, they should work with Democrats to find a bipartisan way to pay for making the R&D tax credit permanent, as well as other priority tax extenders, in a way that does not add to deficits and limit our ability to make the investments needed for businesses to continue to innovate, grow, and create well-paying jobs. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

The Rule, which was adopted on Wednesday, provides for no further general debate.

Bill Text for H.R. 4438:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 4438:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)
CRS Report: Research Tax Credit: Current Law and Policy Issues for the 113th Congress

Complete Consideration of H.R. 10 – Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (Rep. Kline – Education and the Workforce). This bill would reauthorize and make improvements to the Charter School Program (CSP). CSP is a competitive grant program authorized in Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bill authorizes $300 million for FY 2015 and each of the fiscal years through FY 2020 for carrying out the high quality charter school program.

The bill would amend the existing charter school program to ensure greater quality, transparency, accountability and equity, merging the two current charter school programs (Charter School Program and Charter School Credit Enhancement Program) into one competitive grant program to support the startup, replication and expansion of charter schools at the state and local level, as well as consolidate facility financing assistance programs. The bill also allows the Secretary of Education to operate a start-up competition for charter schools in states that did not win or compete for a State Quality Charter School Grant.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for no further general debate and makes in order 12 amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Kline Manager’s Amendment. Makes technical corrections and improvements to the underlying bill, adding important protections to ensure fair discipline policies are used and attrition rates are calculated and reviewed.
Cassidy Amendment. Requires GAO to audit/track the dollars and examine if the money allocated from administrative costs is appropriate.
Castor Amendment. Requires the Secretary of the Department of Education to develop and enforce conflict of interest guidelines, in addition to current regulatory requirements, for all charter schools receiving federal assistance. Guidelines must include disclosures from anyone affiliated with the charter school that has a financial interest in the school.
Moore Amendment. Establishes a two percent set-aside taken from funds to support quality authorizing to provide oversight of charter schools.
Bass/Marino/McDermott/Bachmann Amendment. Would require states grant applications to include in their description of how the state will work with charter schools to be inclusive of all students, ways that they will work to eliminate barriers to enrollment for foster children and homeless youth.
Messer Amendment. Requires state entities applying for Charter School Program grant funds to explain how they will work with eligible applicants within the state to encourage the opening, replication, and expansion of secondary charter schools.
Grayson/Clarke/Wilson (FL) Amendment. Ensures that an application by a state entity to receive grants through the Charter School Program contains an assurance that charter schools will also measure student retention rates in their annual performance assessments - as well as graduation rates and student academic growth, as currently required by this bill.
Jackson-Lee Amendment. Directs the website publication of materials on the websites of Charter Schools regarding student recruitment, orientation materials, enrollment criteria, student discipline policies, behavior codes, and parent contract requirements, which should include any financial obligations such as fees for tutoring, or extra-circular activity.
Wilson (FL)/Davis (IL)/Duckworth/Grayson/McKinley/Fudge Amendment. Ensures collection and public dissemination of information that will help parents make informed decisions about education options for their children.
Langevin/Thompson (PA) Amendment. Adds comprehensive career counseling to the criteria that the Secretary will take into account when prioritizing grants to Local Education Agencies (LEA).
Bonamici Amendment. Clarifies the reporting requirements of State entities by asking State entities to include, to the extent known, whether efforts to share best and promising practices between charter schools and other schools led to the adoption and implementation of best practices by such other public schools.
Loretta Sanchez Amendment. Requires State entities to report on how they have worked with funded charter schools to foster community involvement. 

Bill Text for H.R. 10:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 10:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)
CRS Report: Charter School Programs Authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA Title V-B): A Primer

The Daily Quote

“They won’t pass a serious jobs bill, or raise the minimum wage, or reform immigration, but House Republicans think they can earn their pay for the rest of the year by exposing nonexistent malfeasance on the part of the Obama administration. On Thursday, they voted to create a committee to spend ‘such sums as may be necessary’ to conduct an investigation of the 2012 attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The day before, they voted to hold in contempt Lois Lerner, the former Internal Revenue Service official whom they would love to blame for the administration’s crackdown on conservative groups, if only they could prove there was a crackdown, which they can’t, because there wasn’t… Four Americans, including the United States ambassador, died in Benghazi, and their deaths have been crassly used by Republicans as a political cudgel, wildly swung in the dark.”

-    New York Times Editorial, 5/8/2014