Wednesday, December 8, 2010
THE HOUSE IS GETTING READY TO GET BUSY. COMING UP - 1. H. RES. 1752, WAIVING THE "SAME DAY" REQUIREMENT WHICH TRIGGERS ⅔ SUPERMAJORITY VOTES; SENATE AMENDMENTS TO H.R. 5281; 2. THE DREAM [DEVELOPMENT, RELIEF, AND EDUCATION FOR ALIEN MINORS]ACT, 3. H.R. 3082. THE MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AND VETERANS AFFAIRS AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF 2010
It is obvious the House intends to finish the lame duck session of the 111th Congress on a strong note. They are preparing to waive the "same day: requirement which says if a bill is introduced on a given day, and it is brought to a vote on that same day, then it takes a ⅔ supermajority to pass the bill. Time is running out and the House leadership wants to get the business out the door.
H. Res. 1752 has three major provisions. First this will waive clause 6(a) which requires the ⅔ vote on same day bills considered under suspension of the rules. Second it applies the waiver through the legislative day of December 18th. Finally it provides that the Speaker or her designee will consult with the Minority Leader or his designee on matters for consideration by the House under H. Res. 1752. The House is planning to clear the decks and unload the ship. It ought to be an interesting few days.
The DREAM ACT is about to be appended to H.R. 5281, the REMOVAL CLARIFICATION ACT OF 2010. Removal is a legal term of art that says the lawsuit will be removed from one court and placed with another court which has superior jurisdiction. H.R. 5281 provides for the removal of cases from state courts to federal courts under two circumstances. First, any civil action against the United States or a federal agency or officer, or other persons specified by law. Second, in criminal prosecutions commenced in a state court against any of the persons or entities described above.
The DREAM Act is a whole different ball of wax. Several versions of the DREAM Act have been introduced, they are: H.R.6327, H.R.1751, H.R.6497, S.729, S.3827, S.3962, S.3963, and S.3992.
You can read the complete version of the DREAM ACT at the House Rules Committee website: http://www.rules.house.gov/111/rule/dream.pdf, it is on the second page of the pdf.
The proposed provisions apply to children brought to the United States when they were 15 years old or younger and sets a ceiling on those persons now being no more than 29 years old. These persons will be given conditional nonimmigrant status, which sounds like a societal version of equitable adoption. That means we are going to treat them like our own kids. They are excluded from excluded from receiving government subsidies to participate in the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. They cannot get Pell Grants.
They can get benefits by participating, that includes federal work study and student loans as well as social insurance programs to which they have contributed, as this would require them to earn or repay the money they need for their education.
Good behavior is required. Conditional nonimmigrant status must be terminated if the participant fails to continue to meet the conditions for receiving that status, including having good moral character, keeping a clean criminal record, and staying self-sufficient. If they join the military they must be discharged honorably.
After 10 years in conditional status, the Dream Act then gives this limited group of individuals the chance to earn lawful permanent resident status, but only if the applicant meets additional standards such as having paid taxes; having demonstrated the ability to read, write, and speak English and demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, principles, and form of government of the United States.
H.R. 3082 passed the House on July 10, 2010 by a vote of 415 to 3, that was roll call vote 529. It cleared the Senate on November 17, 2009 by a vote of 100 to 0, that was Record Vote Number 348. The Senate insisted on its Amendments and the bill went to conference.
The House is accepting the bill as amended by the Senate and adding the following Amendment.
"The House amendment freezes FY 2011 discretionary appropriations at the FY 2010 level; providing $45.9 billion less than the President requested for the year. Within that ceiling, the resolution adjusts funding between programs and accounts to deal with current demands and workloads and avoid furloughs. Overall, the resolution includes $513 billion for the Department of Defense, $4.9 billion above 2010; $75.2 billion for military construction and veterans, $1.4 billion below 2010; and $501.4 billion for all other appropriations, $3.5 billion below 2010. It also includes $159 billion for the war, as the President requested; prohibits funding for Congressional earmarks; freezes non-military Federal pay for two years, as requested by the President; and allows fee funded programs to continue to be financed from fees.
The FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act grants the Food and Drug Administration authorities it needs to better oversee the safety of the nation’s food supply. The bill includes expanded authority for FDA to inspect records relating to food, and requires FDA to increase inspections of high-risk food facilities. In addition, it provides for the creation of a more accurate registry of all food facilities serving American consumers, improved traceability of the history of food in the event of a foodborne illness outbreak, certification of certain foreign food imports as meeting all food safety requirements, and protection for whistleblowers that bring attention to important food safety information.
The Senate recently passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act with one major problem. Parts of that bill, as originated and passed in the Senate, raise revenue. All bills which raise revenue must originate in the House of Representatives. That is a Constitutional provision found in Article I § 7.