THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017

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.3:30 – 4:30 p.m. 

H.Res. 280 – Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 1694 – Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017 (Rep. Chaffetz – Oversight and Government Reform) (One hour of debate). 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 Oversight and Government Reform.  The Rule provides for consideration of 3 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes, equally controlled by the proponent and opponent of the amendment. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

The Rule allows for Suspension Authority through the legislative day of April 29, 2017. 

The Rule also Waives clause 6(a) of rule XIII, the requirement of a two-thirds vote to consider a Rule on the same day it is reported from the Rules Committee, through the legislative day of April 29, 2017. 

The Rules Committee rejected a motion by Mr. Hastings of Florida to apply the waiver of clause 6(a) of Rule XIII, or Martial Law Authority to appropriations measures only.  That measure was struck down on a party-line vote.

Lastly, the Rule self-executes an amendment by Rep. Chaffetz of Utah which creates a fee structure intended to enable Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to recover the entirety of their costs through fees to commercial requesters.  Members are urged to VOTE NO.

H.R. 1694 – Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017 (Rep. Chaffetz – Oversight and Government Reform) (One hour of debate).  This bill would subject Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) during any period that either entity is under federal government’s conservatorship or receivership.  Since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been under conservatorship since 2008, the two government-sponsored enterprises would be subject to FOIA requests upon the bill’s enactment.

Currently federal agencies are subject to FOIA, as well as Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service.  Given that taxpayers remain exposed to potential financial risks as a result of the federal government’s conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, extending FOIA to these entities, and thus increasing their transparency and openness, is intended maximize their accountability to the public.

The Rule makes in order 3 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Rep. Chaffetz Manager’s Amendment. Makes technical and conforming changes to the bill.
Rep. Johnson (GA) Amendment. Ensures that the statutory Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemptions apply to this subsection.
Reps. Plaskett/Capuano Amendment. Clarifies that nothing in the bill may be construed to preclude or restrict disclosure of information regarding new products or significant new product terms prior to loan purchasing.

Bill Text for H.R. 1694:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1694:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

Postponed Suspension (1 bill)

  1. S. 496 – A bill to repeal the rule issued by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration entitled “Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area Reform" (Sen. Duckworth – Transportation and Infrastructure)
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Friday, April 28: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business.  The House is expected to consider legislation making further appropriations for FY 2017.  Additional legislative items are possible.  
The Daily Quote

“In strategy and substance, the American public disagrees with the course that President Trump and congressional Republicans are pursuing to replace the Affordable Care Act with conservative policies… Large majorities oppose the ideas at the heart of the most recent GOP negotiations to forge a plan that could pass in the House… Those views heighten the challenge for Trump and congressional Republicans as they try to thread their way through disagreements over health-care policy within the House GOP conference… These latest ideas are an effort to recover after a remarkable failure last month in attempting to pass a health-care bill.”

    -    Washington Post, 4/26/2017