US as an Oil Exporter
The bill sets US policy that “no official of the Federal Government shall impose or enforce any restriction on the export of crude oil.” Most all other energy produced in the US can be exported except crude. The bill allows crude to be exported except under emergency authority of the President. Passed House.
HR 702 bill report
DHS Directed to Develop Cybersecurity Measures
After reviewing cybersecurity efforts at DHS going back to 2011 the Secretary is to develop a departmental strategy to carry out cybersecurity responsibilities as set forth in law. Passed House.
HR 3510 bill report
Prohibitions related to interstate commerce and the mails regarding the sale and purchase of securities would be waived between accredited investors if the securities are offered by a general solicitation or advertising and other conditions. Passed House.
HR 1839 bill report
Collecting Child Support
A consumer reporting agency is authorized to furnish a consumer report in response to a request by the head of a state or local child support enforcement agency if the requesting entity certifies that the report is needed for enforcing a child support order, award, agreement, or judgement. Passed House.
HR 2091 bill report
Defense Bills and Planned Parenthood, Inc.
After a week of insufficient cloture votes to move the Defense Authorization bill through the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell managed to gain approval of the Senate / House conference report to HR 1735, a bill authorizing spending for the Department of Defense and for overseas contingencies first with a vote to waive the budget act approved 71 to 26 with three not voting.
McConnell then managed a 71 to 27 vote on passage of the bill sending it to the President.
It is at the President’s desk the bill faces a veto challenge.
The bill provides $612 billion for Defense and $38 billion for overseas contingencies; amounts equal to the President’s budget request. The White House’s problem with the bill is that it continues to follow deep sequester cuts but those cuts were circumvented in the bill by funneling the money through an account not subject to sequester cuts. The White House position is to remove sequester limitations on defense and domestic spending entirely and put the whole thing on budget.
There are not sufficient votes in the House to override a veto but the distance between the White House position and that of the Armed Services Committee on the matter is short so the differences can easily be worked out.
The somewhat weak argument against the White House position is that HR 1735 is an authorization bill that sets policy but does not appropriate money; but that is done with the next bill up, the Defense Appropriations bill that can follow the authorization content or modify it.
McConnell’s luck with HR 1735 did not last with his effort to proceed to HR 2028 the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 that failed in a 49 to 47 vote to gain cloture.
HR 1735 bill report HR 2028 bill report
Planned Parenthood is Back
The passage last week of the continuing resolution to fund the government through December 11 did not prohibit funding for Planned Parenthood, Inc. but those opposed to that funding are not finished with the issue; the House agreed on a party-line vote to HRES 461, a bill that ‘establishes Select Investigative Panel of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to investigate and study matters related to procedures and practices of organizations involved in fetal tissue procurement.’ H. Res. 461 bill report.
Banking & Finance
Real Estate Closing Rule Delay Proposed
A new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule consolidating several disclosure requirements required of mortgage lenders thereby extending the time it takes to close on real estate went into effect on October 3rd. The bill delays implementation until February 6, 2016. Passed House.
HR 3192 bill report
Small Bank Audits
The 12 month on-site examination cycles for certain small banks could be extened to 18 months under some circumstances. Passed House.
HR 1553 bill report
Access to Financial Records Repealed
The SEC access to and obtaining copies of, or the information contained in financial records of a customer from a financial institution without prior notice to the customer upon an ex parte showing to an appropriate United States district court that the Commission seeks such financial records pursuant to a subpoena would be repealed under this bill. Passed House.
HR 3032 bill report
Simplifying SEC Forms
The bill requires “the Securities and Exchange Commission to make certain improvements to form 10-K and regulation S-K. Passed House.
HR 1525 bill report
Native American Matters
Land Held in Trust
The bill directs “the Department of the Interior to take into trust 4 tracts of federal land in New Mexico (totaling 11.11 acres) that were historically part of the Albuquerque Indian School for the benefit of 19 specified pueblos. Passed senate / Passed House.
S 986 bill report
Developing Indian Land
“The purpose of H.R. 538 is to facilitate the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands.” The government holds 56 million acres in trust for all the tribes; 44 million in Alaska. Passed House.
HR 538 bill report
Deficit Down $48 billion – CBO
“The federal government ran a budget deficit of $435 billion fiscal year 2015, CBO estimates—$48 billion less than the shortfall recorded in fiscal year 2014, and the smallest deficit recorded since 2007. Relative to the size of the economy, that deficit—at an estimated 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—was slightly below the average experienced over the past 50 years, and 2015 was the sixth consecutive year in which the deficit declined as a percentage of GDP since peaking at 9.8 percent in 2009.”
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment…, the Administrator shall establish a risk-based, intelligence-driven model for the screening of employees at airports based on level of access and employment positions at domestic airports. disqualifying criminal activity for an individual to have continued access to Secure Identification Display Areas of airports is to be reviewed. Passed House.
HR 3102 bill report
Well Managed Crabs
Commercial and recreational harvest of the crab supports one of the West coast’s most valuable fisheries with about 99% of the crab on the U.S. market coming from domestic sources. The bill continues to let the States manage the industry. Passed House.
HR 2168 bill report
Adoption and Visas
If an immigrant visa was issued on or after March 27, 2013, for a child who has been lawfully adopted, or who is coming to the United States to be adopted, by a U.S. citizen, any statutory immigrant visa fees relating to a renewal or replacement of such visa may be waived or refunded. Passed Senate / Passed House.
S 1300 bill report
International Religious Freedom
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is reauthorized through September 2019. The bill also requires the creation of a ‘Strategic Policy and Organizational Review Planning Process. The Commission is to use its authorized powers to ensure that US efforts to advance religious freedom abroad are timely, appropriate to the circumstances, prudent, and effective. Passed Senate / Passed House.
S 2078 bill report