CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 3273, the Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth Working Group Act of 2013, under a rule. The measure was introduced by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the Rules Committee, on October 8, 2013.
H.R. 3273 establishes a “Bicameral Working Group on Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth” to make recommendations to the House and Senate on 1) discretionary spending levels for FY2014; 2) a change in the debt limit; 3) and reforms to direct spending programs.
The working group will be comprised of 20 members—10 appointed by the Speaker of the House and 10 appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate. Of the members appointed by the Speaker, one will be designated as House co-chair and four will be recommended by the Minority Leader. Of the members appointed by the Senate Majority Leader, one will be designated as Senate co-chair and four will be recommended by the Senate Minority Leader. H.R. 3273 requires members of the working group to begin meeting within one calendar day of their appointment and to meet each calendar day thereafter.
The bill prohibits the working group from issuing recommendations unless a majority of its members support them. Recommendations, along with legislative language to implement them and any supplemental, minority, or additional views, must be reported to the House and Senate within 3 calendar days of their adoption by the working group. Immediately following transmission of the report to Congress, the working group will dissolve.
House Republicans have taken a number of actions to reopen the government and negotiate with Washington Democrats on a path forward. On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the House made a formal request to go to conference with the Senate to negotiate this critical issue; however, the Senate tabled the request by a vote of 54-56. H.R. 3273 would provide another possible venue for negotiation with Washington Democrats on reopening the government and addressing the debt limit in a fiscally responsible manner that deals with our nation's crushing debt.
 On Sep. 30, 2013, the House passed an amendment thatprovides a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act individual mandate; requires Members of Congress, congressional staff, and political appointees (including White House staff) to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges without an employer subsidy for coverage; amends the expiration date of the CR to be December 15, 2013; makes a technical change to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission provision; and adds a new provision to extend the authority for the U.S. to issue Special Immigrant Visas, by a vote of 228-201. (See Roll Call #504). On Sep. 30, 2013, the Senate voted to table the House amendment by a vote 54-46. (See Vote Number 211). On Oct. 1, 2013, the House voted to insist on the House amendment and to request conferees by a vote of 228-199. (See Roll Call #505). On Oct. 1, 2013, the Senate voted to table the House’s request for conferees by a vote of 54-46.
A CBO estimate is not available at this time.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.