Daily Whip
House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes” per side
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Members are advised that H.R.3094 will not be considered today. There is only 1 series of votes expected today.
H.Res. 470 – Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 3094 - Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (Rep. Kline – Education and Workforce) (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 Education and the Workforce. The Rule allows four amendments to be considered, each debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. It also provides for one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. It also waives all points of order against the bill.
The Rules Committee once again rejected a motion offered by Ms. Slaughter to consider the legislation under an open Rule.
Suspension (1 bill)
  1. H.J.Res. 2 - Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States) (2.5 hours of debate remaining) The proposed amendment to the Constitution provides that total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific excess of outlays over receipts by a roll call vote. It also requires that increases in the statutory debt limit also would require a three-fifths vote of each chamber.
Despite the title of the legislation, H.J.Res. 2 is a dangerous bill. It would do the following:
  • Require a 3/5 vote to raise the debt ceiling. This supermajority requirement would make it more likely that the United States would default on its obligations, and risks crippling the global economy.
  • Make it difficult for the United States to respond to a crisis. H.J.Res. 2 requires specific legislation and a majority vote to ‘run a deficit’ in a time of war, which would slow down the U.S. response time in a time of war. H.J.Res. 2 also would require a 3/5 vote to ‘run a deficit’ and respond to a domestic crisis.
  • Would severely hurt job creation. If in effect in FY 2012, nonpartisan economists with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC estimate that a ‘balanced budget amendment’ would eliminate approximately 15 million jobs and tank the economy.
  • Take spending decisions out of the hands of the legislative branch. Enforcement of balancing the budget would be given to the Courts, who could then decide to raise taxes, or cut investments to bring the budget back to ‘balance’.
As Republicans have shown throughout this Congress, their unwillingness to negotiate and compromise makes it virtually impossible to ever achieve a supermajority, thus hindering the United States Government’s ability to respond to unforeseen crises. The U.S. Congress cannot balance the budget by enshrining in the Constitution economic uncertainty and brinksmanship. Members are urged to VOTE NO on H.J.Res. 2.
Bill Text for H.J.Res. 2:
HTML Version
Background for H.J.Res. 2:
CRS ReportA Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options
The Daily Quote
“Speaking on the House floor, Dreier said that while he supported an amendment in 1995, he has changed his mind, and now believes that Congress does not need to amend the Constitution in order to balance the budget. He said his 1995 vote was based on the belief that an amendment was the only way to balance the budget. ‘I was wrong,’ Dreier said. ‘Two short years later, we balanced the federal budget. We balanced the federal budget and that went on for several years. What I found… is that we were able to balance the federal budget without touching that inspired document, the U.S. Constitution,’ said Dreier…”
-     The Hill, 11/17/11

“This week the House of Representatives will take up a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution….The proposal that Republican leaders plan to bring up is, frankly, nuts….The truth is that Republicans don’t care one whit about actually balancing the budget. If they did, they would want to return to the policies that gave us balanced budgets in the late 1990s…They prefer to delude voters with pie-in-the-sky promises that amending the Constitution will painlessly solve all our budget problems.”
-     Bruce Bartlett, Former advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, The New York Times, 11/15/11