OT Pay for Border Patrol Deemed Unnecessary

Things have changed on the southern border; more agents, more technology and fewer cross-border migrants but overtime pay for border agents continues despite the bill’s assertion it is not needed and abused. S 1691 would eliminate overtime for Border Patrol agents and create a new pay system that results in more hours worked by agents, provides more reliable schedules and paychecks for agents, and saves taxpayers money. Cleared for the President.

S 1691 Bill Report


Native American Matters

Tribes Gain Land in Oregon

Under HR 5701 over 14,000 acres would be held in trust by the US for the benefit of federally recognized tribes in the State of Oregon. Passed House

HR 5701 Bill Report


AK Natives Quality of Life to be Improved

The purpose of the bill is to supplement State jurisdiction in Alaska Native villages with enhanced tribal and local authority to improve the quality of life in rural Alaska by helping to address and reduce domestic violence against Alaska Native women and children along with alcohol and drug abuse.”

The intent is to hold village residents’ locally accountable for troublesome behavior. Cleared for the President.

S 1447 Bill Report


550 Mile “Indian Removal” Journey Would Become a National Trail

The 550 miles traveled by Chief Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe who then returned along the same trail would be studied as a National Trail. Passed House

HR 5086 Bill Report


Terrorism Risk Insurance

Insurance against terrorism had been an afterthought until the 9 / 11 attacks, then Insurers were reluctant to take the risks. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 provides a government reinsurance backstop in the case of foreign terrorist attacks.

The bill provides taxpayer protections to include that an act of terror must meet a detailed set of certification criteria, an act may not be certified if aggregate losses do not exceed $5 million; and no Federal funds may be paid if aggregate losses do not exceed $100 million. House amendment not considered by the Senate.

S 2244 Bill Report


Muir Site Expanded

The bill authorizes acquisition of approximately 44 acres of land in Martinez, California to expand the John Muir Historic Site. Passed House

HR 5699 Bill Report


MO Airport Closed

St. Clair, Missouri will give up rights to the airport so that Missouri DOT can improve air service and capacity at the surrounding general aviation airports. Cleared for the President

S 2759 Bill Report


Propane Education

The bill amends previous law to include training “propane distributors and consumers in strategies to mitigate negative effects of future propane price spikes. Cleared for the President

HR 5705 Bill Report


Young Women’s Health

The Act supports campaigns to educate the public and healthcare professionals about young women’s breast health, research into prevention of breast cancer in young women, and support for young women with breast cancer. Passed House

HR 5185 Bill Report

Omnibus Passes House

Senate Agrees

The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, HR 83, was agreed to in the House by a vote of 219 to 206. 57 Democrats joined 162 Republicans to pass the bill. 67 Republicans and 139 Democrats opposed the bill.  (Roll no. 563). The bill provided budget authority of $1,099,660 trillion in line with the Senate-House compromise bill, the Budget Act of 2012, that established caps at $1.014 trillion.

Senators voted 74 to 22  that a constitutional point of order brought against the bill by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was ‘Not Well Taken”. Cruz’s point was that the bill was unconstitutional because it did not address the President’s immigration plan. Senators then agreed to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to HR 83. Members of both parties voted for and against the bill that passed 56 to 50, clearing it for the President’s signature.

HR 83 is a House-passed bill that became the vehicle for the omnibus spending bill to fund all agencies until September 20, 2015 except the Department of Homeland Security which would have been funded until February 27, 2014. Reportedly the shorter funding schedule for DHS is intended to bring the matter back to the House for consideration of defunding the President’s immigration plan to provide visas to approximately 8 million illegal aliens.

The contentious issues in the bill included a provision allowing campaign donations for specific campaign spending such as office rentals and political party development. The other issue was a relaxing of a provision in the Dodd-Frank Walls Street reform bill that prohibited banks from investing depositor’s funds in risky ventures called derivatives. Both provisions remained in the bill as most party leaders and the White House agreed to accept them. Other opposition to the bill came from some Republicans who wanted the bill to take on the issue of the President’s immigration plan but the bill does not address that.

HR 83 Bill Report


Chesapeake Bay Restoration Bill Seeks Accountability of Funds

Under the bill, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, after consulting with state and federal agency stakeholders, is required to submit to Congress, annually, a description of each of the proposed federal and state restoration activities and a financial report containing: an interagency crosscut budget for restoration activities that protect, conserve, or restore living resources, habitat, water resources, or water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Director must also provide an accounting of funds received and obligated by each federal agency for those activities. The report is to describe only federal restoration activities that have funding amounts of at least $100,000 and state restoration activities that have funding amounts of at least $50,000.

S 1000 Bill Report


 New Initiative for Great Lakes Cleanup

The bill amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish in EPA a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to carry out programs and projects in coordination with non-federal partners and programs and projects that address priority areas during each fiscal year. Those priorities include the remediation of toxic substances and areas of concern; the prevention and control of invasive species and the impacts of invasive species;) the protection and restoration of near-shore health and the prevention and mitigation of nonpoint source pollution; habitat and wildlife protection and restoration, including wetlands restoration and preservation; and accountability, monitoring, evaluation, communication, and partnership activities.

HR 5764 Bill Report


Charity Deduction Extension Fails in the House

The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify and make permanent certain expiring provisions related to charitable contributions.

The bill adds to the list of qualified conservation contributors Native Corporations, specifically in Alaska who could claim large deductions over 15 years. Deductions by corporations exceeding limits can be carried over for five years. The bill extends and expands the charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory. The amount of the deductions can be based on Fair Market Value under the conditions that “In the case of any such contribution of apparently wholesome food which cannot or will not be sold solely by reason of internal standards of the taxpayer, lack of market, or similar circumstances, or by reason of being produced by the taxpayer exclusively for the purposes of transferring the food to a charitable organization  the fair market value of such contribution shall be determined    without regard to such internal standards, such lack of market, such circumstances, or such exclusive purpose. Failed in the House

HR 5806 Bill report and vote

Foreign Affairs

Food for the World’s Poor

The bill aims “To authorize the Feed the Future Initiative to reduce global poverty and hunger in developing countries on a sustainable basis. The President is directed to provide assistance.  The goal is to increase agricultural productivity, income, and economic growth, with a strong emphasis on small-scale producers; and improve nutrition, especially of women and children. Passed House

HR 5656 Bill Report

Water for the World’s Poor

HR 2901 The bill’s stated purpose is “To strengthen implementation of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 by improving the capacity of the United States Government to implement, leverage, and monitor and evaluate programs to provide first-time or improved access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene to the world’s poorest on an equitable and sustainable basis. Passed House

HR 2901 Bill Report

Venezuelan Officials Sanctioned

The bill outlines a framework for responding to the acts of violence committed by members of Venezuela’s state security forces and intelligence services, and the use of the Venezuelan justice system for the purposes of political persecution against the country’s citizens. The President is authorized block assets and impose sanctions. Cleared for the President.

More about this country here…

S 2142 Bill Report

Eleven US Vessels Transferred

Guided missile frigates will be transferred to Mexico, Thailand, Taipei and, under certain conditions, Pakistan. The President must certify that Pakistan is cooperating with the US in counter-terrorism efforts, is not supporting terrorist activities against the United States, and that Pakistan’s military and intel agencies do not influence Pakistan’s political and judicial processes. Cleared for the President.

S 1683 Bill Report

Other Bills Cleared for the President

HR 2366 Authorizes a coin commemorating WW I

HR 5108 “The Law School Clinic Certification Program is established.

HR 1447 criminal justice assistance grants are contingent on reporting  the death of any person who is detained, arrested, en route to incarceration, or incarcerated in state or local jails or boot camps, or in federal penitentiary.

HR 5739 – No Social Security for Nazis.

HR 3374 – Banks can hold a raffle contest for new depositors.

HR 4193 – Changes the default investment fund for civilian Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) participants from the G fund to an age-appropriate asset allocation fund.

 HR 5057 – Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to permit exemptions for external power supplies from certain efficiency standards.

HR 5050 This bill repeals the 1918 Act that took the 120 acres out of trust for the tribe.

HR 4276 The bill provides assistance to eligible veterans with traumatic brain injury to enhance their rehabilitation, quality of life, and community integration.

HR 1204  Establishes within the TSA an Aviation Security Advisory Committee regarding air cargo, general aviation, airport perimeter security, and risk-based subcommittees.

HR 2719 Requires a multi-year technology acquisition plan and other quality control measures.for transportation security purposes.

S. 2521 Strengthens the security of federal computer networks and information systems by updating the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002.

HR 3329 Directs the Federal Reserve to revise certain regulations related to small bank holding companies ability to take on debt.

HR 4812 – Provides expedited passenger screening for Honor Flight Network veteran passengers.

HR 2754 the bill involves unauthorized use of registered trademarks belonging to a collectibles certification service

 HR 3572 The bill requires that three maps which are part of the total maps defining the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System in coastal North Carolina be replaced with other maps.

HR 4681 Authorizes appropriations for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government.

S 2651 Frees the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General from the requirement to perform unnecessary and duplicative audits.

HR 1281 Improves newborn screening iof testing newborns for certain disorders that are treatable, but not clinically evident at birth.

HR 3044 TVA is allowed to negotiate the conveyance of property without a public auction, subject to the approval of Congress.

HR 4771 – Amends the Controlled Substances Act to “more effectively regulate anabolic steroids”.

HR 1206 States may apply for permission to and the Secretary of Interior may authorize the issuance of electronic duck stamps.

HR 1068  H.R. 1068 gathers provisions relating to the National Park Service and related programs and restates these provisions as a new positive law title of the United States Code.

HR 4007 Authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program (CFATS) for three years at present funding levels.

HR 2952 Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to make certain improvements in the laws relating to the advancement of security technologies for critical infrastructure protection.

HR 3468 Expands federal deposit insurance to include Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts and similar escrow accounts housed within credit unions.

HR 2640  Intended to aid the City of Prineville in Crook County, OR that suffers from the State’s highest unemployment rates (15% to 20%) due to loss of logging and natural resources jobs.

HR 5462 – Sets airline passenger fees at $5.60 per one-way trip.

HR 2866 The bill authorizes a coin to commemorate the centennial of the founding of Father Flanagan’s Boys Town.

HR 5771 – Tax Extender for FY 2014 individual and business taxes.