Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Closed Rule Adopted for HJ Res 59 – CR

Late yesterday evening (Wednesday) the House Rules Committee adopted a closed rule for the consideration of HJ Res 59, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014. This means that probably later today the House will have one hour of debate on the Rule (H Res 352) which will pass on a party line vote. Then there will be one hour of debate on the CR and it will pass on a party line vote. The ball will be dropped in the Senate’s court.

CR Provisions Changed

The rule adds an amendment to the version of HJ Res 59 that will be considered by the House. The Rules Committee site summarizes the amendment this way:

Fully defunds Obamacare and ensures that the Government can make all principle and interest payments on the national debt and ensure the full payment of Social Security benefits in the event that the debt limit is reached. The amendment adds the text of H.R. 2682, the Defund Obamacare Act of 2013, and the text of H.R. 807 (with a modification), the Full Faith and Credit Act, to the underlying continuing resolution.”

All of the earlier portions of the bill will remain intact. This includes the specific provision extending the CFATS authorization for the duration of the CR (December 15th, 2013) {§122}. 

Senate Actions

The Senate will not pass the CR as currently amended. If the leadership can actually get this to a floor vote, the action will include an amendment stripping the amendment made by the Rules Committee. This will allow the Republicans to force an up/down vote on Obamacare. Pro-Obamacare votes will be a campaign issue in the mid-term elections next year a number of swing States news in next year’s mid-term election.

Whether this will be enough to appease the radical wing of the party remains to be seen. If not the Republican Leadership will need a significant number of moderate Democratic votes to pass the CR after the Conference. It’s happened before during this session and it will likely happen again.

Parliamentary Move

Section 2 of the Rule would allow the House to suspend the rules to consider a bill (like a conference report) at any time during the period of 9-26-2013 thru 9-29-2013 something that is not normally allowed {Clause 1 of Rule XV) on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

BTW: This means that the District Work week for next week has been canceled.

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