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

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” per side
1:30 – 2:00 p.m. 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

**Members are advised that the House is only expected to consider general debate and amendments to H.R. 3.  Votes on the motion to recommit and final passage of the bill will occur on Thursday.

**Members are also advised that following last votes, the House is expected to consider two bills under suspension of the Rules. Any recorded votes requested will be postponed until Thursday. 

H.Res. 228 – Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 3 – Northern Route Approval Act (Rep. Terry – Transportation and Infrastructure/Energy and Commerce/Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate) The Rules committee has recommended a structured Rule that provides for 90 minutes of general debate allocated as follows:

  • 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
  • 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources

The Rule allows for 10 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 it also waives all points of order against the legislation. The Rules Committee rejected a motion by Ms. Slaughter to consider the bill under an open Rule. Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Begin Consideration of H.R. 3 – Northern Route Approval Act (Rep. Terry – Transportation and Infrastructure/Energy and Commerce/Natural Resources) (90 Minutes of Debate) This bill would declare that a presidential permit is not required for TransCanada’s revised proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline — which would allow construction of the pipeline across the U.S.-Canadian border to proceed. The pipeline would transport oil sands crude from Canada and shale oil produced in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery to Gulf Coast refineries.

Under the bill, final environmental impact statements issued to date would be considered sufficient to satisfy all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. The bill also states that the Interior Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are deemed to have granted all the necessary permits for the pipeline to proceed (including permits under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act).

The bill would also grant jurisdiction for legal disputes over the pipeline or the constitutionality of this bill to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia or the Supreme Court. Claims regarding the pipeline must be brought within 60 days of the action that gives rise to the claim.

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

Rep. Weber Amendment. Adds additional findings to the bill drawn from the State Department’s scientific and environmental findings with respect to the project’s impact on air, land, and water resources, global warming, the safety of the pipeline, and the rate of development of the Canadian oil sands.
Rep. Waxman Amendment. Adds a finding to the bill that “the reliance on oil sands crudes for transportation fuels would likely result in an increase in incremental greenhouse gas emissions” in the United States, resulting in additional greenhouse gas emissions equal to 4.3 million passenger vehicles. Also provides that the bill will not go into effect unless the President finds that TransCanada or other oil sands producers will fully offset the additional greenhouse gas emissions.
Rep. Johnson (GA) Amendment. Requires a study on the health impacts of increased air pollution in communities surrounding the refineries that refine crude oil transported by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Rep. Connolly Amendment. Requires an assessment of Keystone XL pipeline’s vulnerabilities to terrorist attack and recommendations on the corrective actions that would be necessary to protect the pipeline from such an attack and to mitigate any resulting spill.
Reps. Rahall/DeFazio Amendment. Strikes section 3 of the bill. Section 3 eliminates the current law requirement that a Presidential Permit be issued for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline across the Canadian border. Section 3 further deems the application for the Keystone XL pipeline approved based on a final environmental impact statement issued by the U.S. Department of State for a different pipeline route.
Rep. Esty Amendment. The underlying bill creates a fast-track Clean Water Act wetlands permitting process (90 days or deemed approved) for both the construction and the operation and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline in perpetuity.  The amendment strikes the fast-track process for future operation and maintenance activities – but retains the construction permit fast-track.
Rep. Jackson-Lee Amendment. The amendment lengthens the time period for filing a legal claim under the Act from 60 days to 1 year.
Reps. Chu/Polis/Connolly Amendment. The amendment requires GAO to do a report on the Keystone XL pipeline to determine the total projected costs of cleaning up a spill from the pipeline, including the potential impacts of a petroleum spill on public health and the environment and the quantity and quality of water available for agricultural and municipal purposes.
Rep. Cohen Amendment. Requires TransCanada to submit its oil spill response plan, and any updates to the plan, to the Governors of each State in which the Keystone XL pipeline operates. TransCanada is required to develop such a plan under current law and regulations; only certain Federal agencies receive and review the plan.
Rep. Holt Amendment. Requires all oil and refined fuels transported through the Keystone XL Pipeline to be used here in the United States and not exported, unless the President finds that an exception is required by law, international agreement, or the export is in the national interest.

Bill Text for H.R. 3:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 3:
CRS Report - Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues

Suspensions (2 bills)

  1. H.R. 271 – Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act of 2013 (Rep. Olson – Energy and Commerce)
  2. H.R. 1949 – Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act, as amended (Rep. Messer – Education and the Workforce)

The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, May 23: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration of H.R. 3 – Northern Route Approval Act (Rep. Terry – Transportation and Infrastructure/Energy and Commerce/Natural Resources) and consider H.R. 1911 – Making College More Expensive Act (Rep. Kline – Education and the Workforce) (Subject to a Rule).

The Daily Quote

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “For four years, four years, we complained about the fact that the majority leader… would refuse to bring a budget to the floor of the United States Senate. What [do] we on my side of the aisle keep doing? We don’t want a budget unless — unless — we put requirements on the conferees that are absolutely out of line and unprecedented.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “We have called repeatedly for a return to regular order in this body. Well, regular order is going to conference. [The Republican stance] certainly is ironic at the least. It is an opportunity for the Republican House to argue for its budget.”

-    Talking Points Memo, 5/21/13