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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. 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

H.Res. 693 – Rule Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4315 – 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate).  For H.R. 4315, 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. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

H.R. 4315  – 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). This bill is a combination of four Republican-sponsored bills being brought to the Floor under the guise of increasing transparency in the listing of endangered species. However, their true aim is to create redundancy and force agencies to waste already-limited funds working through burdensome procedures instead of enforcing important environmental protections.

The first bill, H.R. 4315, would require the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to make publicly available online scientific and commercial data related to the listing of a species as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  No additional funding would be made available to complete this time-consuming, costly task.

The second bill, H.R. 4316, would amend the ESA to require the Secretary of the Interior to both submit and make publicly available and searchable online an annual report detailing federal expenditures for lawsuits brought under the ESA making claims against the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service, or the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The third bill, H.R. 4317, would amend the ESA to require the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to provide to affected states all data that is used as the basis for the determination to list a species as endangered or threatened.  They would further be forced to accept data submitted by a state, tribal, or county governments as “best scientific and commercial data available” in these determinations – regardless of its accuracy, basis in actual science, or confliction with other submitted data.  No additional funding would be made available to complete these tasks.

The fourth bill, H.R. 4318, would amend the ESA to replace the current standard for awarding court costs, including limiting attorney fees, in citizen suits to a prevailing party – making it nearly impossible for most ordinary citizens to afford the costs of pursuing endangered species claims.

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

Hastings (WA) Manager’s Amendment. Amends Section 2 of the bill to clarify extent of disclosure policy as it relates to State law and to Department of Defense classified information.
DeFazio Amendment. Excludes scientific information published solely in internal Interior Department publications from the definition of "best available science."
Holt/Huffman Amendment. Strikes a provision which automatically defines all data submitted by State, County or Tribal governments as the "best available science," regardless of its merit.
Duffy Amendment. Requires disclosure of any federal funding used by a person or a governmental or non-governmental entity in bringing a claim in a covered suit.

Suspensions (5 bills)

  1. H.R. 4709 – Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2014, as amended (Rep. Marino – Energy and Commerce)
  2. H.R. 4626 – SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act (Rep. Capito – Financial Services)
  3. H.R. 5062 – Examination and Supervisory Privilege Parity Act of 2014 (Rep. Perlmutter – Financial Services)
  4. H.R. 4809 – To reauthorize the Defense Production Act, to improve the Defense Production Act Committee, and for other purposes, as amended (Rep. Campbell – Financial Services)
  5. H.R. 3896 – To amend the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act to provide a definition of recreational vessel (Rep. Wasserman–Schultz – Education and the Workforce)

The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Wednesday, July 30: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider H.Res. 676 – Providing for authority to initiate litigation for actions by the President or other executive branch officials inconsistent with their duties under the Constitution of the United States (Rep. Sessions – Rules/House Administration) (Subject to a Rule). The House is also expected to consider bills under suspension of the Rules.

The Daily Quote

“House Republicans fear the backlash. They know their summer will be long if they cannot pass a bill to deal with the influx of migrant children at the Texas-Mexico border. Most of them know it’s the right thing to do — especially in an election year. But it’s still far from clear it can get done. This week, Republicans find themselves with the opportunity to set the narrative for the August recess. They will either go home having passed a bill to deal with the unaccompanied children coming primarily from Central America… Or they will fail, giving way to renewed criticism about their inability to rally around legislation to resolve what they themselves called a crisis… The fear of doing nothing is real. Many House Republicans seem more worried about not passing a border crisis bill than they were about the potential of a debt default. Lawmakers don’t want to go home for four weeks having passed nothing.”

-     Politico, 7/28/2014