Spending Omnibus Passes House
Fate Uncertain in Senate
Definition of ‘Gang’ in Immigration Bill Opens Many to Prosecution
SS Aid to Americans Stuck in Caribbean Increased
The House Completed amending and passed HR 3354, the omnibus spending package for 8 departments. The bill will be added to a ‘minibus’ passed earlier that covers other agencies and departments thereby completing making appropriations for FY 2018.
The bill entertained well over 200 amendments.
The bill’s fate in the Senate is uncertain considering the limited amount of time before the September 30th deadline and because it requires 60 votes to pass the Senate where Democrat votes are necessary for passage but are not likely to support the bill. the Democrat position on the bill is based on what party leaders call ‘poison pill’ provisions that are unacceptable to them. Their position on those ‘poison pills’ can be read here.
The circumstances are likely to lead to a continuing resolution based largely on the Budget Control Act which, through sequester, significantly limited spending across the board including on defense spending.
The House passed HR 3687, Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act, that aims to define ‘gangs’ and provides for the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate a group, club, organization, or association of 5 or more persons as a criminal gang if its activities include any who have engaged within the past 5 years, in a continuing series of offenses including include a felony drug offense, bringing in and harboring certain aliens, a crime of violence, a crime involving obstruction of justice, tampering with or retaliating against a witness, victim, or informant, or burglary.
Opposition to the bill focused on the definition of ‘gang’ that, they hold, includes “harboring” immigrants. “This “harboring” provision would not be restricted to those in the business of smuggling immigrants, but could include anyone who provides shelter, transportation or support to undocumented immigrants. The federal courts have found that “harboring” includes offering an undocumented individual a place to stay.” Passed House.
Americans stranded in Caribbean due to Irma and Jose-
Under HR 3742 Americans stranded in the Caribbean after Hurricanes Irma and Jose struck would find increased Social Security funds available as ‘temporary assistance”; money payments, temporary lodging, transportation, and other goods and services necessary for the health and welfare of U.S. citizens and their dependents who return from a foreign country due to a crisis and are without available resources.’”
Cancer Screening for Fire Rescue
HR 931 aims to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a voluntary registry to collect data on cancer incidence among firefighters.
The Firefighter Registry shall be used to establish and improve collection infrastructure and activities related to the nationwide monitoring of the incidence of cancer among firefighters; to collect, consolidate, store, and make publicly available epidemiological information related to cancer incidence and trends among firefighters. Passed House.
Congress is adjourning for a week and will return to work on Monday, September 25th. Register with us and receive the weekly summary, Maneuverings in an email when we publish. Our next edition will be published Thursday evening September 28th.
Homeland Security Gets a Makeover
HR 3284 amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop Series. nder current law, FEMA performs most of the activities authorized under H.R. 3284 through its Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop under the National Exercise Program. Passed House.
Under HR 2453 The Secretary shall establish an Intelligence Rotational Assignment Program that shall be open to employees serving in existing analyst positions within the Department’s Intelligence Enterprise and other Department employees. Passed House.
DHS and State and Local Law Enforcement
HR 2427 would ‘amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002, to direct the Assistant Secretary for State and Local Law Enforcement to produce and disseminate an annual catalog on Department of Homeland Security training, publications, programs, and services for State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.Passed House.
Assessing Terror Threat
Under HR 2470 the Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, and using departmental information, including component information, and information provided through State and major urban area fusion centers, shall conduct an assessment of the terrorist threat to the homeland.’ Passed House.
Under HR 2468 the Secretary, acting through the Chief Intelligence Officer of the Department, shall develop and disseminate written Department-wide guidance for the processing, analysis, production, and dissemination of homeland security information…and terrorism information. Passed House. Passed House
Virtual Currency Threat
Under HR 2433 the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis…shall, in coordination with appropriate Federal partners, develop and disseminate a threat assessment regarding the actual and potential threat posed by individuals using virtual currency to carry out activities in furtherance of an act of terrorism, including the provision of material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization. Passed House.
DHS Facilities Inventory
HR 2443 would ‘require an inventory of all facilities certified by the Department of Homeland Security to host infrastructure or systems classified above the Secret level…The inventory must include the location, an identification of the entities operating such facilities, and date of establishment. Passed House.
Security Data Framework
Under HR 2454 the Secretary of Homeland Security shall develop a data framework to integrate existing Department of Homeland Security datasets and systems for access by authorized personnel. Passed House.
Under HR 2442 the Assistant Secretary for State and Local Law Enforcement shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a report on the activities of the Office for State and Local Law Enforcement. Passed House.
Prisoner Terror Threats
HR 2471 would ‘direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to share with State, local, and regional fusion centers release information from a Federal correctional facility, including name, charging date, and expected place and date of release, of certain individuals who may pose a terrorist threat, Passed House.
Deficit Up another $56 billion in August – CBO
CBO’s most recent estimate of the 2017 deficit is $693 billion (compared with a $585 billion shortfall in 2016), The deficit for 2017 is likely to be smaller than CBO projected in June because the budget typically shows a surplus in September as a result of substantial receipts from quarterly payments of individual and corporate income taxes. Monthly Budget Review