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

10:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” per side at 12:00 p.m.
1:30 – 2:00 p.m. 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

**Members are advised that at approximately 10:00 a.m. the House will begin the Reading of the Constitution by Members. The GOP Leadership has announced that the reading will alternate between Democrats and Republicans and will be first-come, first-serve.  There will be no Morning Hour debate today in order to accommodate the reading of the Constitution. At approximately 12:00 p.m. the House will have fifteen “one minutes” per side following “one minutes” the House will begin consideration of H.R. 152.

H.Res. 23 – Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 152 – Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 (Rep. Rogers (KY) – Appropriations) (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 Appropriations. The Rule allows one amendment offered by Rep. Rogers (KY) in the nature of a substitute and one second degree amendment to the Rogers amendment which is debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The Rule also allows one amendment offered by Rep. Frelinghuysen debatable for 20 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent, and 12 second degree amendments to the Frelinghuysen amendment debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. It allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. It also waives all points of order against the legislation. Lastly, the Rule directs the Clerk in the engrossment of H.R. 152 to add the text of H.R. 219 – The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, as passed by the House. 

H.R. 152Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 (Rep. Rogers (KY) - Appropriations) Last month, the Administration requested $60.4 billion in federal aid to provide financial assistance to homeowners and businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy, rebuild areas impacted by the storm and mitigate future storm damage.  On December 28th,  the Senate approved this aid package by a vote of 62-32, but the House adjourned the 112th Congress without considering the bill.  On January 4th, the House passed H.R. 41 to enact a small portion of the Administration’s $60.4 billion request by providing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with $9.7 billion in emergency borrowing authority to carry out the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  The House will now consider H.R. 152 to provide additional emergency funding to respond to Hurricane Sandy. H.R. 152 provides $17 billion in emergency funding to several federal agencies.  These funds will allow agencies to address a portion of the needs of the victims and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. The bill includes:

  • $5.4 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), which will fulfill the remaining balance for the DRF and fully funds the Administration’s request for that program
  • $5.4 billion for the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Authority Emergency Relief Program, which will aid recovery for the four major affected transit agencies: New York’s MTA, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, New Jersey Transit, and the City of New York DOT Ferries and,
  • $3.9 billion through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to support community needs, such as repairs to damage caused to publicly owned hospitals, local roads and utilities and small businesses

Rep. Rogers (KY) Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. This amendment is very similar to the text of the base bill, H.R. 152. Including this amendment in the Nature of a Substitute would allow some Republicans to be able to vote for $17 billion in hurricane relief funds, without voting for any additional funding on top of $17 billion
Rep. Mulvaney Amendment #4 to Rogers.
Provides an offset of the $17 billion in emergency funding to address immediate needs for victims and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. The offset is achieved by an across the board cut of 1.63 percent to all discretionary appropriations for fiscal year 2013
Rep. Frelinghuysen Amendment.
Would provide an additional $33.4 billion for disaster relief for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  It includes funding for longer-term recovery efforts and infrastructure improvements. The $33.4 billion provided in this amendment covers both current and anticipated funding needs in the wake of Hurricane Sandy
Rep. Flores Amendment to Frelinghuysen.
Strikes $150 million for Regional Ocean Partnership grants
Rep. Runyan Amendment to Frelinghuysen.
Clarifies that the fisheries disaster money in the Frelinghuysen amendment is intended for states that were BOTH impacted by Hurricane Sandy and suffered a fisheries disaster in 2012
Rep. Broun Amendment to Frelinghuysen.
Strikes $13 million from the bill for the National Weather Service ground readiness project
Rep. Duncan Amendment to Frelinghuysen.
Strikes $1 million in the bill for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and replaces that with a limitation against funding for LSC
Rep. Campbell/Rep. Blumenauer Amendment to Frelinghuysen.
Clarifies that Corps of Engineers construction projects receiving funds in this legislation will be at full Federal expense only receive 100 percent federal funding for the repairs paid for in this bill
Rep. Velazquez Amendment #56 to Frelinghuysen.
Increases the Community Development Fund appropriation amount by $25 million offset by reductions elsewhere in the bill
Huelskamp Amendment to Frelinghuysen. Requires FEMA to disclose all disaster relief grants, not just those over $1 million
Fleming to Frelinghuysen. Strikes $9.8 million from the Fish & Wildlife Service for rebuilding seawalls and buildings in the Steward McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut
Benishek to Frelinghuysen. The underlying Frelinghuysen amendment includes language that waives the local cost share (which is a minimum of 20 percent) for Historic Preservation Grants.  The amendment strikes that waiver, and requires a local cost share match
Bishop (UT) to Frelinghuysen. Prohibits the Secretaries of the Interior or Agriculture from acquiring any more federal land using funds provided under the bill
Velazquez Amendment #54 to Frelinghuysen. Increases the funding to the National Cemetery Administration by $1 million for the purposes of repairing veterans' cemeteries damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Bill Text for H.R. 152:
PDF Version


The Daily Quote

“…a treacherous fiscal obstacle course still looms ahead of us. To get through it, compromise must cease being a dirty word. Jumping off the full fiscal cliff would have amounted to a fiscal contraction of about 4.5% of gross domestic product. Horrible. But the next big budget impasse—over the federal debt ceiling—is even more dangerous. And that impasse is fast approaching… In August 2011, we almost crashed headlong into the debt ceiling because Republicans refused to raise it. That, you may recall, is when Standard & Poor's downgraded the government's credit rating. Now the GOP is threatening a repeat performance—or perhaps many… Since the federal government has never crashed into the debt ceiling before, nobody knows exactly what will happen if it does. But whatever does happen, it won't be pretty. At current rates of spending and taxation, federal receipts cover less than 74% of federal outlays. So if the government hits the debt ceiling at full speed, total outlays—which includes everything from Social Security benefits to soldiers' pay to interest on the national debt—will have to be trimmed by more than 26% immediately. That amounts to more than 6% of GDP, far more than the fiscal cliff we just avoided. How in the world could the government cut so much spending so quickly? No one really knows. That is why you hear about dark scenarios wherein the U.S. defaults on the national debt, stops paying tax refunds, delays Social Security checks, leaves soldiers unpaid, and so on. Bad things will surely happen, one of which will be a swift descent into recession. Another will almost certainly be a second ratings downgrade and higher borrowing costs for years, maybe decades, to come… In short, the consequences of hitting the debt ceiling are too awful to contemplate—worse even than going over the fiscal cliff. A sane Congress wouldn't even think about it.”

-    Alan Blinder, Wall Street Journal, 1/15/13