Tuesday, November 22, 2011

HR 2937 Reported in House

Last week the House Energy and Commerce Committee published their report on HR 2937, the Pipeline Infrastructure and Community Protection Act of 2011. The report provides a copy of their proposed amendments to the bill, but there is nothing new in that language that hasn’t already been addressed in this blog. Moving this bill to the floor of the House waits on action by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee which has yet to hold hearings on the bill.

There is one oddity in this report. All committee reports on bills must address the cost of implementation of the bill. This is done by having the Congressional Budget Office conduct a formal review of the various parts of the bill and determining the costs to the Federal government, State and local governments, and the private sector. A letter from the CBO to the Committee Chair is typically included in the report. In this Report the CBO letter on HR 2937 is addressed to Sen. Rockefeller (D,WV), the Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, not Rep. Upton (R,MI), chair of the House Committee. Now Rockefeller’s Committee is looking at a very similar bill, S 275, but this CBO letter specifically addresses the costs of HR 2937, not S 275; odd to say the least.

There is one typical section missing from this report, the minority view. This is where the Committee Ranking Member outlines the problems the opposition has with the bill. In this case, the Committee passed the bill by a vote of 51 to 0 so there was presumably no alternative actions the Committee Democrats would have preferred.

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