The House put in a full day yesterday, you'll no doubt be pleased to know. They mopped up a few of the still-lingering suspension bills, and debated two motions to instruct the conferees on the surface transportation bills, but most of the day (and late into the night, as well), they worked their way through the pile of amendments to the defense authorization bill. With the help of some large en bloc offerings, sometimes packaging 20 or so individual amendments together for one vote, the House managed to move pretty quickly through a significant chunk of its 142 permitted amendments. Included in the day's work: the expected rejection of the amendment from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-09), providing for the orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and; a Republican-splitting battle over indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, embodied in the fight between the Smith/Amash and Gohmert amendments. Who to root for in a fight between Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI-03) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01)? Not hard: Amash. Though Amash is a wild man, and you would ordinarily be very wary of throwing your lot in with him, Gohmert is easily one of the most Neanderthal jackasses you're ever likely to have the displeasure of seeing in the House, and you can be pretty sure that if there's a difference of opinion on something and he's representing one side, that's the side that's public policy poison.
By the way, as a result of the late night in the House, the usual source of our projected morning floor schedule, "The Nightly Whip," was not published. Usually, it's counterpart, "The Daily Whip," is not published in time for us to post by 9 a.m. But today it was up early, since Members face early votes. So down below the fold, you'll get the slightly more thorough "Daily Whip," complete with a brief description of the bill, links to the text and committee report, etc.
The Senate passed six quick unanimous consent measures, and two mildly contentious appointments to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (operating under a "painless filibuster" 60-vote agreement), and saw consideration of an Iran sanctions bill blocked by Republican objections. But even while the two votes Fed appointments were dispensed with absent the drama of a full-on cloture vote, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had to file for cloture on the motion to proceed to the FDA user fee bill, as well as on the next judicial nomination up for consideration (that of Paul Watford, to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals). Those are the 87th and 88th cloture filings of the 112th Congress. That's still 49 filings short of the 2nd all-time highest total and 52 shy of breaking the all-time record outright, but it looks like we may have a long and contentious remainder of the session still ahead of us. And if there's a lame duck session, well, who knows what might happen?
Looking ahead to today:
The House returns to work today after a late night, with eyes trained on finishing up the mountain of amendments to the NDAA, and a vote on final passage before breaking for—you guessed it—its next recess, this one leading up to Memorial Day and running through the middle of the following week.
The Senate took the opportunity to break early and head into the weekend, but they plan to be back at work next week, taking their Memorial Day break the following week.
Today's floor and committee schedules appear below the fold.
In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Democratic Whip:
THE DAILY WHIP: FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012The Senate is not in session today.
House Meets At: 9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business; Five “One Minutes” per side
First Vote Predicted: 9:15 – 9:30 a.m.
Last Vote Predicted: 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Complete Consideration of H.R. 4310 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Rep. McKeon – Armed Services) H.R. 4310 would provide for the authorization of funding for the Department of Defense and other related agencies, programs, and operations for fiscal year 2013. It provides for a total of $642.5 billion for the entire fiscal year. The measure's authorization includes $88.5 billion in FY 2013 contingency funds authorized specifically to support operations in Afghanistan and the general war on terrorism.
As of last night, the House had completed debate on amendments through the Pearce/Markey amendment (#55). There are 8 amendments remaining to debate, each debatable for 10 minutes equally divided between the offeror and an opponent, except for amendments considered en bloc, which are debatable for 20 minutes equally divided between the chair and ranking member of the committee on armed services, or their designees.
The following amendments had recorded votes pending as of last night:
- Smith (WA)/Amash Amendment #46
- Gohmert Amendment #45
- Coffman Amendment #17
- Keating Amendment #18
- Broun Amendment #19
- Carson Amendment #20
- Cummings Amendment #26
- Sablan Amendment #29
- Johnson (GA) Amendment #30
- Johnson (GA) Amendment #31
- Price (GA) Amendment #32
- Rigell Amendment #38
- Lee Amendment #42
- Duncan (SC) Amendment #47
- Coffman Amendment #48
- Lee Amendment #49
- Franks Amendment #54
- Pearce/Markey Amendment #55
A full list of the 142 amendments made in order can be found HERE
Postponed Votes (2 Votes)
Senate Floor Wrap Up for Thursday, May 17, 2012Today's House committee schedule:
ROLL CALL VOTES
1) Confirmation of Executive Calendar #646 the nomination of Jeremy C. Stein, of MA, to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Confirmed: 70-24
2) Confirmation of Executive Calendar #647, the nomination of Jerome H. Powell, of MD, to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Confirmed: 74-21
Passed Calendar #401, H.R.2415, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 11 Dock Street in Pittston, Pennsylvania, as the “Trooper Joshua D. Miller Post Office Building”.
Passed Calendar #402, H.R.3220, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 170 Evergreen Square SW in Pine City, Minnesota, as the “Master Sergeant Daniel L. Fedder Post Office”.
Passed Calendar #403, H.R.3413, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1449 West Avenue in Bronx, New York, as the “Private Isaac T. Cortes Post Office”.
Passed H.R.4045, a bill to modify the Department of Defense Program Guidance relating to the award of Post-Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence (PDMRA program) administrative absence days to members of the reserve components to exempt any member whose qualified mobilization commenced before October 1, 2011, and continued on or after that date, from the changes to the program guidance that took effect on that date.
Passed H.R.4119, the Border Tunnel Prevention Act.
Passed H.R.4849, Sequoia and Kings County National Parks Backcountry Access Act with a Boxer-Feinstein substitute amendment.
No EXECUTIVE ITEMS
AGRICULTURE----------------------------------------------------9:30-OpenNo Senate committee meetings are scheduled for today.
Conservation, Energy, and Forestry Subc. On energy and forestry programs in the 2012 Farm Bill. 1300 LHOB.
Legislative Branch Subc. Markup of H.R. _ - Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for FY 2013. HT-2 Capitol.
Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subc. On understanding the heightened regulatory capital requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act. Public witnesses. 2128 RHOB.
Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subc. On assessing terrorist financing since 9/11. Public witnesses. 311 CHOB.
Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Subc. On oversight of health care consolidation and competition after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Public witnesses. 2141 RHOB.