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12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” per side
1:30 - 2:30 p.m. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

H.Res. 619Rule providing for consideration of H.R 4348 - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II (One Hour of debate) The Rules Committee has recommended a structured Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided among the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The Rule allows three amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. It also provides one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. Lastly, it waives all points of order against the legislation.

The Rules committee rejected all five Democratic amendments, including a motion by Mr. McGovern that would make in order his amendment that would eliminate oil subsidies to oil companies. The committee also rejected a motion by Mr. Hastings of Florida that would make in order an amendment by Rep. Rahall to take up the 2 year Senate-passed Transportation bill that passed with 74 Senators voting yes. The Rules committee made 3 Republican amendments in order at the last minute. Despite repeated promises for a more open debate, Republicans continue to shut down the process.

H.R. 4348 - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II (Rep. Mica – Transportation and Infrastructure/Ways and Means/Natural Resources/Science, Space, and Technology/Energy and Commerce) (One hour of debate) The bill extends the authorization for surface transportation programs, including federal-aid highway, mass transit and safety programs, for three months, through September 30, 2012. The current authorization for these programs expires at the end of June under the surface transportation extension that was enacted on March 30,2012. 

The bill would also transfer authority to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project from the State Department to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC would be required to issue the permit within 30 days of receiving an application regarding the process. If FERC takes no action to approve the permit, it would be deemed approved after the 30-day period. The measure also establishes a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, where 80% of penalties related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill would be deposited. The amounts would be available to states, pursuant to a future act of Congress, to restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region.

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

Rep. Boustany Amendment. Would include a guarantee that requires that the total amount available for spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) each fiscal year be equal to the Trust Fund receipts as estimated by the President's budget for that year
Rep. Ribble Amendment.
Would add to the bill the environmental streamlining provisions from Title III of the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7)
Rep. McKinley Amendment.
Would insert the text of H.R. 2273, Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act. Would leave regulation and enforcement of the disposal and management of coal combustion residuals (coal ash) to the states

Bill Text for H.R. 4348:
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Background for H.R. 4348:
CRS Report - Surface Transportation Reauthorization Legislation in the 112th Congress

Postponed Suspension (1 Vote)

  1. H.R. 2453Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act, as amended (Rep. Luetkemeyer – Financial Services)

The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, April 19: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider H.R. 9 – “The All Business Tax Cut Act” (Rep. Cantor – Ways and Means) (Subject to a Rule).

The Daily Quote

“What was once seen as Boehner’s effort to leave his imprint on a fundamental aspect of the federal government has since devolved into a legislative nightmare. [The Highway Bill] was originally envisioned as a grand bargain of sorts linking revenues from energy exploration to spending on highway construction, but Boehner has been stymied by a coalition of conservatives and old-line Republicans with concerns over parochial issues ranging from port spending to union provisions.”

-     Roll Call, 4/17/12