Wednesday, February 16, 2011

HR 1 Floor Debate

Well, the Republican leadership in the House has kept their promise and is allowing an open debate and amendment process in their consideration of HR 1, the bill that will provide for funding the Federal government for the remainder of FY 2011. The resolution providing for that debate, H. Res 92, allows any member to propose amendments to the bill and insures that those amendments will be debated and voted upon by the Committee of the Whole House. The only restriction is that they must be published in the Congressional Record on February 14th or February 15th.

There were 403 amendments published in the Congressional Record for the 14th. There were a number of duplicative amendments and I’m sure that most will not actually be brought to the floor by the submitting representative. Even so this process will be a time consuming process as can be seen by the late debate last night.

Another interesting thing about this process, given the rules of this session of the House, is that for any increase in funding for one program must be offset by a decrease in spending on another. It makes for some interesting amendments. You see things like [from amendment #227 by Mr. Goodlatte (R, VA)] :

“Page 252, line 15, after the first dollar amount, insert ‘(reduced by $5,000,000)’.
“Page 359, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert ‘(increased by $5,000,000)’.”
In the February 14th list of amendments I counted six that would modify the DHS portion of the bill. I haven’t had a chance to look at them in enough detail to see if any would specifically address chemical security issues. It will take some time to get through all of this. Watch this space.

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