Tuesday, December 1, 2015

HR 8 Amendments

The House Rules Committee met this afternoon to craft the rule for the consideration of amendments to HR 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015, on the floor of the House. A structured rule was approved with 38 amendments to be considered during the floor debate.

Amendments of Possible Concern

Of the six amendments that I discussed yesterday only four were included for possible consideration on the floor. Those four are:

4. Franks (R,AZ) #93 (LATE) (REVISED) Secures the most critical components of America's electrical infrastructure against the threat posed by a potentially catastrophic electromagnetic pulse.
9. Jackson-Lee (D,TX) #84 (LATE) Directs the Secretary of Energy to submit to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report on methods to increase electric grid (10 minutes) resilience with respect to all threats, including cyber attacks, vandalism, terrorism, and severe weather, no later than 120 days after the date of enactment of the Act.
32. DeSaulnier (D,CA), Lowey (D,NY), Garamendi (D,CA) #34 Requires the Department of Energy to study the maximum level of volatility that is consistent with the safest practicable shipment of crude oil.
38. Norcross (D,NJ) #19 (REVISED) Directs the Secretary of Energy to study weaknesses in the security architecture of certain smart meters currently available.

The revision to the Franks amendment added an exemption from the requirements of the amendment for the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Bonneville Power Administration.  The revision to the Norcross amendment adds a requirement for the Secretary to ‘promulgate rules’ to correct the weaknesses discovered in the required study.

Moving Forward

The amendment process will probably start tomorrow. With only 10 minutes of ‘debate’ on each amendment it should go pretty quickly. I expect that there will be a final vote on the bill tomorrow. While the bill will almost certainly pass, the question will be how many Democrats vote for the bill. With the President promising a veto of the bill the Republicans need a total of 290 votes to override aveto.

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