Thursday, February 17, 2011

HR 1 Floor Amendments Analyzed

Well I’ve now had a chance to go back and look at all 583 potential amendments to HR 1 that were published in the Congressional Record for February 14th and February 15th. Of the 583 only 20 deal specifically with DHS related expenditures and some of those are duplicates or corrections of earlier submitted amendments. None of the amendments deals with the amounts that would be appropriated for the National Protective Programs Directorate (NPPD) so ISCD and CFATS would be unaffected.

TSA does get targeted by a number of these amendments, though none specifically target the Surface Transportation side of the agency; those parts that would affect pipeline, rail or truck security. There are a couple of amendments that would target staffing levels at TSA HQ and Regional Offices [Mica (R, FL) – 440 and Mica – 543].

Substitute Amendment

There is one amendment [LaTourette (R, OH) – 540] that is a complete re-write of the HR 1, essentially an ‘amendment in the form of a substitute’. This would be a much shorter bill (less than two pages in the Congressional Record) and would use FY 2010 as the base year for calculating expenditures. Adjustments to those expenditures would range from 69.18% (Dept of Agriculture) to 101.30 (Dept of Defense). DHS would fall on the high side, receiving 95.25% of their FY 2010 authorization. The shortened amendment continues essentially all programs requiring periodic reauthorization in a general provision (§104) but provides specific authorization for the §550 CFATS authorization (§116) until September 30, 2011.

Amendments Processed to Date

The debate and voting continue in the House today but as of 3:45 this morning (when the House adjourned to get some well needed rest) they had dealt with, in one way or another 66 of the 583 amendments. It will be interesting to see how much longer they can continue on the present pace of operations. The table below provides a summary of the actions to date.
Action                  2-15-11             2-16-11

Agreed to                 2                       10

Rejected                   6                       15

Withdrawn                1                         2

Points of Order         4                       13

Postponed              15                       13


1. ‘Points of Order’ are amendments that the Chair of the Committee of the Whole has agreed (sustained) with a member’s opinion that the presented amendment violated one or more of the House rules for processing amendments.

2. ‘Postponed’ are amendments where a vote was ‘demanded’ by a member. They group these votes so that members don’t have to keep running back and forth to the floor of the House.
DHS Amendment Passed

As of the end of yesterday’s session only one of the 20 amendments that addresses DHS issues has been considered. It was Pascrell (D, NJ) Amendment #223. It was agreed to (Recorded vote - 318 to 113). It increased funding for Firefighter Assistance Grants by $510 Million, while reducing DHS S&T spending by the same amount.

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