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

9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes”

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

H.R. 1900 - Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (Rep. Pompeo – Energy and Commerce) (One Hour of Debate). This bill sets statutory deadlines for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other federal agencies to act when considering certification or permits for the construction or expansion of natural gas pipelines.

The bill would expedite the approval of certificates of public convenience for interstate natural gas pipelines by setting a deadline for FERC to issue a certificate for a “prefiled” project within 12 months of receiving a complete application. Once FERC issues its final environmental approval regarding the project, the bill would set a 90-day clock on issuance of any necessary project permits by federal agencies.  If the agency does not make a decision within that timeframe, the permit would be approved. FERC may extend that time period by 30 days if the agency demonstrates that it cannot complete the process in the required 90 days.  However, if the agency cannot reach a decision in that extra 30 days, the permit would be deemed approved.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The Rule allows for 5 amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Tonko Amendment. Requires that, in order for the new deadlines in the underlying bill to apply, an application for a natural gas pipeline must include information to demonstrate that methane leaks will be minimized to the extent practicable.
Castor Amendment. Strikes the provision that requires FERC to automatically issue other agencies' permits if those agencies miss the bill’s deadline.
Speier Amendment. Tolls the bill’s deadlines until FERC has considered and responded to state or local objections or concerns about the pipeline project.
Jackson-Lee Amendment. Delays the implementation of the bill, if enacted, so long as sequestration is in effect.
Dingell Amendment. Replaces the text of the bill with a requirement that GAO complete a study on what, if any, delays are expected by FERC or other federal, state, or local permitting authorities in issuing permits regarding the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any natural gas pipeline project

Bill Text for H.R. 1900:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1900: 
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

The Daily Quote

“Mr. Boehner, who pledged to press ahead with immigration reform a year ago following Mitt Romney’s dismal performance with Latino voters, now says the House will not negotiate with Democrats on the basis of the sweeping reform bill passed by the Senate in June with bipartisan support. Translation: Don’t hold your breath for immigration reform this year, and don’t get your hopes high for next year, either….Mr. Boehner should let House Republicans vote on the parts of immigration reform they consider priorities and take that ‘sensible step-by-step’ approach into negotiations with the Senate. It is unserious, and unconstructive, to tell the Senate what it can and cannot bring to the table in negotiations with the House.”

-    Washington Post Editorial, 11/20/2013