THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 2017

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 – 2:30 p.m.4:30 – 5:30 p.m. 

H.Res. 352 – Rule providing for consideration of both H.R. 1973Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act (Rep. Brooks (IN) – Judiciary) and H.R. 1761 – Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act (Rep. Johnson (LA) – Judiciary) (One hour of debate).  The Rules Committee has recommended one Rule which would provide for consideration of two bills.

For H.R. 1973, 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 Judiciary.  The Rule provides for consideration of 3 amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes, equally controlled by the proponent and opponent of the amendment. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions, and waives all points of order against the legislation.

For H.R. 1761, 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 Judiciary.  The Rule provides for consideration of 1 amendment, debatable for 10 minutes, equally controlled by the proponent and opponent of the amendment. 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. 953 – Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017 (Rep. Gibbs – Transportation and Infrastructure) (One hour of debate).  This measure would exempt pesticide spraying near bodies of water from regulation under an existing EPA general Clean Water Act permit. Nearly 2,000 U.S. waterways are contaminated with pesticides, and H.R. 953 would worsen the problem.

The legislation stems from a 2009 court decision in which the court found that the use of some pesticides is a form of water pollution, requiring a permit from the EPA.  EPA responded with a Pesticide General Permit for those wishing to spray pesticides on or near bodies of water.      

Last Congress, House Republicans attempted to pass this legislation by disguising it as a response to the Zika outbreak.  Instead of putting legislation on the Floor that would actually address the Zika issue in a timely manner, Republican leadership brought this bill to the Floor, falsely saying it would change the Clean Water Act in order to address the Zika Outbreak.  That bill failed on suspension by a vote of 262-159 (that vote can be found here) and then passed under a Rule by a vote of 258-156 (that vote can be found here).  The bill passed with very little Democratic support because it was and remains unnecessary, as the existing Clean Water Act Pesticide General Permit in no way hinders, delays, or prevents the use of approved pesticides for mosquito control in emergency situations. In fact, the permit provides a specific emergency provision to prevent outbreaks of disease, such as the Zika virus. Under the terms of the permit, pesticide applicators are covered automatically and any spraying may be performed immediately for any declared pest emergency situations.

In 2014 House Republicans attempted to pass identical legislation, first by suspension which resulted in the bills failure (that vote can be found here), and then under a Rule (that vote can be found here).  The second time it was brought to the Floor it received even fewer Democratic votes than it did under suspension.

Bringing this recycled legislation to the Floor shows that House Republicans do not have an agenda that would help working Americans and are simply trying to fill Floor time.  Republicans are wasting time instead of taking action on government funding bills for FY 2018 that are severely behind schedule, dealing with the approaching debt ceiling deadline, or bringing the promised tax reform package to the Floor.  Nearly halfway through the 115th Congress, the Republican-led House is paralyzed by a scandal-ridden White House and unable to govern.  Instead, they are having to resort to harmful, old, recycled legislation to fill their days.  

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, makes in order 2 amendments, debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent.  The amendments are:

Rep. Esty Amendment. Ensures that existing clean water protections apply to the release of certain toxic chemicals into the environment.
Rep. Huffman Amendment. Protects commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries from the negative impacts of unregulated discharge.

Bill Text for H.R. 953:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 953:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

Suspensions (2 bills)

  1. H.R. 1293 – To amend title 5, United States Code, to require that the Office of Personnel Management submit an annual report to Congress relating to the use of official time by Federal employees (Rep. Ross – Oversight and Government Reform)
  2. H.R. 624 – Social Security Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, as amended (Rep. Valadao – Oversight and Government Reform)

Postponed Suspensions (2 bills)

  1. H.R. 2052 – PRIVATE Act (Rep. McSally – Armed Services)
  2. H.R. 467 – VA Scheduling Accountability Act (Rep. Walorski – Veterans’ Affairs)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, May 25: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business.  The House is expected to complete consideration of H.R. 1973 – Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act (Rep. Brooks (IN) – Judiciary) and H.R. 1761 – Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act (Rep. Johnson (LA) – Judiciary).

 
The Daily Quote

“President Donald Trump's $4.1 trillion budget plan is drawing rebukes, even from some Republican allies, for its politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net and a broad swath of other domestic programs. The Senate's No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, says it's ‘basically dead on arrival…’ Veteran GOP Rep. Harold Rogers , who represents a poor district in eastern Kentucky, says, ‘These cuts that are being proposed are draconian.’  Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, says, ‘I don't think the president's budget is going anywhere.’”

      -      Associated Press, 5/23/2017