Yesterday there were 65 amendments proposed for S 2943, the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Of those there were only two that may be of specific interest to readers of this blog:
• SA 4642. Mr. BOOKER (D,NJ) - SEC. 1097. Completion of outstanding transportation security requirements. Pg S3742
• SA 4659. Mr. FRANKEN (D,MI) - SEC. ll. Reporting requirements regarding oil well and petrochemical manufacturing plant safety. Pgs S3768-9
The Booker amendment is essentially the same as SA 4531 that he submitted on Tuesday. The only difference is some additional ‘sense of Congress’ language that references a recent DHS IG report on TSA rail security failings. The actual requirements section of the amendment remain the same.
The Franken amendment would require operators of oil wells or oil and gas production facilities to report OSHA safety violations and/or citations in their annual reports to the Security Exchange Commission.
The Senate continued consideration of S 2943 yesterday, failing to evoke cloture on two amendments which were subsequently withdrawn. An agreement was reached that the Senate would have a cloture vote on the bill this morning. The deadline for submitting amendments to S 2943 was also set for this morning. If the cloture vote succeeds and unless an agreement is reached for an earlier vote on the bill, it will be sometime next week before the bill comes to a vote.
These non-DOD related amendments are just another part of the Senate bill (sausage) making process. I would bet that both Booker and Franken are hoping that they can get enough Democratic support for these amendments that they can force McConnell to include their amendment in the consideration process by threatening a ‘No’ vote on the cloture process and stalling consideration of the bill. The fact that Booker revised his amendment indicates that he is actively working that processes. I do not think that it will work for either of these two amendments, but you never can tell.
NOTE: It was announced yesterday that the next spending bill to be considered in the Senate will be the Commerce, Science and Justice (CSJ) bill. The ‘vehicle’ for this bill will be the House bill passed last year (HR 2578) for FY 2016 spending, but the language will be an amendment offered (probably today) based upon S 2837.