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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 – 2:00 p.m. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

**Members are advised that the House will recess no later than 5:30 p.m., to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber prior to the President’s State of the Union address.  The House will meet again at approximately 8:35 p.m. in a joint session with the Senate for the purposes of receiving an address from the President of the United States.  Members are requested to be on the Floor and seated no later than 8:25 p.m. 

H.Res. 583 – Rule Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1644 – STREAM Act (Rep. Mooney – Natural Resources), H.R. 3662 – Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act (Rep. Russell – Foreign Affairs), and S.J.Res. 22 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Sen. Ernst – Transportation and Infrastructure) (One Hour of Debate). The Rules Committee has recommended one Rule which would provide for consideration of three bills.

For H.R. 1644, 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 Natural Resources. The Rule allows for 4 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

For H.R. 3662, the Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate, equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.  The Rule allows one motion to recommit and waives all points of order against the legislation.

For S.J.Res. 22, the Rules Committee has recommended a closed 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 one motion to commit and waives all points of order against the joint resolution.

The Rules Committee rejected a motion by Ms. Slaughter of New York to consider both H.R. 1644 and H.R. 3662 under open Rules. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

H.R. 1644 – STREAM Act (Rep. Mooney – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). This bill would prevent the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) from issuing any rules related to the disposal of surface mining waste near streams, a clear attempt to delay the implementation of the Administration’s Stream Protection Rule which was released in proposed form in July 2015. 

The bill would amend to Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) to require the Secretary of the Interior to make public all “scientific products” including raw data for studies conducted with federal funding – that went into the development of proposed or final rules, at least ninety days in advance.  H.R. 1644 would also require the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to submit a study on the effectiveness of existing rules since 1983.  Additionally, the bill would block the Interior Department from issuing any rules related to stream protection until a year after the NAS report has been issued.  This would effectively create a three-year delay, during which streams will continue to be degraded and contaminated, wildlife endangered, and communities living nearby negatively impacted.

House Republicans claim that H.R. 1644 is in response to a slow rulemaking process and corruption in OSM and the Department of the Interior (DOI).  A multi-year Congressional investigation into the drafting of the Stream Protection Rule uncovered no misconduct on the part of DOI or OSM.

In the Statement of Administration Policy, the President's senior advisors stated that they would recommend he veto this bill.

The Rule makes in order 4 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes each, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Lamborn Amendment. Makes a technical fix to a U.S. Code citation and addresses a concern regarding the definition of copyrighted scientific products.
Kildee Amendment. Prevents the delay of the stream buffer rule in the underlying bill if the rule would protect drinking water quality.
Cartwright Amendment. Allows abandoned mine land reclamation funding to be used by states and Native American tribes to revitalize economically distressed communities that have been adversely affected by mining.
Sewell Amendment. Amends the underlying bill to postpone the bill's delay of the stream buffer rule if it would cause or significantly contribute to the development of negative chronic or long-term health conditions.

Bill Text for H.R. 1644:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1644:
House Report (HTML Version)

House Report (PDF Version)

Postponed Suspension (1 bill)

  1. H.R. 757 – North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2016, as amended (Rep. Royce – Foreign Affairs)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Wednesday, January 13: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider H.R. 3662 – Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act (Rep. Russell – Foreign Affairs).  The House is also expected to consider S.J.Res. 22 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Sen. Ernst – Transportation and Infrastructure).  

The Daily Quote

“[House] Speaker Paul Ryan [R-WI] wants to turn Congress into an ideas factory for the Republican Party in order to create a black-and-white contrast with Democrats in a contentious election year. But first he may have to overcome an unexpected obstacle: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY]… In the early days of the new session of Congress, a split has begun to emerge between Ryan’s idealistic rhetoric and McConnell’s hard-nosed reality...”

         -    The Fiscal Times, 1/11/2016