Friday, May 22, 2009

HR 2200 on Fast Track – 05-22-09

I love to be able to say “I told you so”. I said that HR 2200, the TSA Authorization bill, was on a fast track for passage in the House and even I underestimated how fast. Yesterday the House Rules Committee held an ‘Emergency Hearing’ on HR 2200 and reported H.Res. 474 as a rule to expedite a hearing before the House. The full House of Representatives is scheduled to debate the bill today for one hour. A vote may be allowed to take place this afternoon or early evening depending on how long Speaker Pelosi intends to keep the House in session before it short Memorial Day Recess. I have been partially on vacation this week so I missed the publication of the Homeland Security Committee Report (Report 111-123) and the printing of the latest version of the bill, that reported by the Committee (HR 2200RH). Both are available on the GPO web site or at Unfortunately, when the House Rules Committee does one of these resolutions to allow for early consideration of a bill, their report is not published or publicly available until after the debate is over. This is unfortunate since this is the only place that one would be able to find copies of the amendments that will be allowed to be discussed and/or considered in today’s debate. The only good thing is that bills considered under these rules typically require a 2/3 majority to pass. If they don’t achieve that on the day of early consideration they can be brought back up again in the course of regular consideration where they will only require a majority vote to pass. I expect that if it comes to a vote, it will pass. Sometime next week we will be able to look at what the House passes today (in all likelihood) in some detail before it is considered by the Senate. Given the interest in the Senate Homeland Security Committee to get a DHS authorization bill done this year, I would not be surprised to see this get swift consideration in that body as well. OOPS. Update a 10:25 The House is not meeting today, it recessed for the long weekend last night. That means that this bill will be considered early next week. The House is actually schedule to reconvene on Monday evening, but will probably not get to work until Tuesday.

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