CR, Energy & Jobs Bills Top House Agenda

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War Funding Added to Continuing Resolution

Although the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through December 11, 2014 passed it was not without significant divides in each party based mostly on one issue; the McKeon amendment regarding US intervention in Syria and the the Islamic State (ISIS). With the mid-term elections less than two months away Party positions pretty much cover all possibilities from opposing any escalation in the Middle East to prohibiting ground troops to escalating against a threat perceived by some as significant to the Homeland. The amendment is narrow in the sense that it does not authorize US Armed Forces intervention but does give specific guidelines on involvement with militants and others in Syria. The amendment requires significant reporting on the outcome of arming some Syrian groups and providing non-military support to others due to the confusion about which group is ultimately tied to terrorist organizations that might divert military aid to another terrorist organization.

HJR 124 Bill Report and Vote

HJR 124 McKeon Amendment

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Energy Bill Combines Nearly 20 Previously-passed Bills

Seen by supporters as the solution to significant job creation that has been hindered by government regulations and seen by opponents as little more than political messaging, HR 2 does, in fact, bring to life several recurring political issues. Among those issues is approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast as well as cross-border energy transmission at both borders. The other issue is opening the Outer Continental Shelf to energy exploration.

HR 2 Bill Report and Vote

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Job Efforts Resurface

The bill is made of several previously-passed House bills and aims to reduce or modify government actions, such as regulations, supporters believe will make life easier for businesses and create jobs. The bill does repeal previously debated issues to include repeals of several provisions in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and makes permanent or increases several business tax credits. Those sections also include a waiver prohibiting the financial results of those changes from inclusion on the Paygo scorecard. The scorecard keeps track of decreases in the deficit due to spending amounts in all bills that affect revenues and spending. Waiving the inclusion of the cost of those changes, then, would add to the deficit unless the changes are paid for otherwise. Payment for those changes appears to be beyond the scope of this legislation.

HR 4 Bill Report & Votes.

IRS Issues

3 Bills Address Political Wrangling, 1 Makes Life Easier

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Personal Emails

No officer or employee of the IRS may use a personal email account to conduct any official business of the Government.

HR 5418 Bill Report & Vote

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IRS Investigation Transparency

The Secretary may disclose to a person reporting a violation the status of the complaint.

HR 5420 Bill Report & Vote

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Administrative Appeal Standards

The Secretary shall prescribe procedures to appeal an adverse determination of an investigation.

HR 5419 Bill Report & Vote

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Free File Extended

The IRS may continue to implement and operate the Internal Revenue Service Free File program.

HR 495 Bill Report & Vote.

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Airfares Regulated

 The bill requires; “Fees imposed…shall be $5.60 per one-way trip in air transportation or intrastate air transportation that originates at an airport in the United States, except that the fee imposed per round trip shall not exceed $11.20.” The term `round trip’ means a trip on an air travel itinerary that terminates or has a stopover at the origin point (or co-terminal).

HR 5462 Bill Report and Vote.

The Fed Audit, Dodd-Frank Revisions & Saving More Money

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Auditing the Fed

 The bill requires an audit of the Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve banks.

HR 24 Bill Report & Vote

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Dodd-Frank Clarified

The bill clarifies the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill to alleviate unintended consequences the bill created for businesses.

HR 5461 Bill Report & Vote

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Federal Employee Retirement

 Employees can choose to invest entirely in any one of the funds or in a mix.

S 2117 Bill Report & Vote

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A Lottery at Your Bank

Some financial institutions may conduct  a “savings promotion raffle,”; Deposit a certain amount in savings for a chance to win prizes.

HR 3374 Bill Report & Vote

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Law School Clinic

 “The Law School Clinic Certification Program of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as implemented by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, is established as a program entitled the `Law School Clinic Certification Program’.  The Program shall be in effect for 10-years beginning on enactment of this Act.”

HR 5462 Bill Report and Vote.


Pot & Food Stamps

A bill to prevent assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Food Stamps) program from being used in any electronic benefit transfer (via a card) at any establishment that offers marijuana for sale.

HR 4137 Bill Report & Vote

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Tribal Welfare

 Under the bill the Internal Revenue Code is amended to exclude from gross income, for income tax purposes, the value of an Indian general welfare benefit as long as they are not “lavish or extravagant, and are not compensation for services.”

HR 3043 Bill Report & Vote.

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Steroid Penalties

Any person  having reasonable cause to believe that the substance or product is or contains an anabolic steroid faces 10 years, and / or a fine of $500,000 if the defendant is an individual or $2,500,000 if the defendant is otherwise.

HR 4771 Bill Report & Vote






Traumatic Brain Injury Care Improvement

The bill amends the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 to extend for 8 years the pilot program to assess the effectiveness of providing assistance to eligible veterans with traumatic brain injury to enhance their rehabilitation, quality of life, and community integration.

HR 4276 Bill Report & Vote

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VA Construction Assistance

 The bill expresses the sense of Congress that the management of the major medical center construction projects of the Department of Veterans Affairs has been an abysmal failure and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should fully implement all recommendations made by the Comptroller General in an April 2013 report to improve VA construction procedures.

HR 3593 Bill Report & Vote

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VA Authority Extended

Various VA authorities are extended under this bill. Those authorities are related to veteran healthcare, veteran homelessness, and veteran benefits.

HR 5404 Bill Report & Vote

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Buy American (Flags)

Any flags of the US  used by the federal government must be entirely made in the United States from articles, materials, or supplies entirely grown, produced, or manufactured in the United States.

HR 1214 Bill Report & Vote

Options for At-Risk Kids

The bill would reward and incentivize evidence-based State policies that improve educational continuity and limit juvenile court involvement and incarceration for youth through certain competitive Federal grants.

S 2531 Bill Report & Vote

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EMS for Kids

The bill would reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program under the Public Health Service Act  to reduce child and youth mortality and morbidity sustained due to severe illness or trauma.

S 2154 Bill Report & Vote

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Boys Town Coin

Treasury is directed to issue up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 350,000 $1 silver coins and 300,000 half dollar clad coins to commemorate the centennial of the founding of Father Flanagan’s Boys Towns, nationally.

HR 2866 Bill Report & Vote






Ukraine

the United States is strongly committed to the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

HRes 726 Bill Report & Vote.

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Insular Energy

 The Secretary shall establish a team of experts to develop energy action plans for  energy and environmental needs of each of the insular areas.

HR 83 Bill Report & Vote.

Fed Records Protection

An employee of an agency who has willfully and unlawfully concealed, removed, mutilated, obliterated, falsified, or destroyed any record shall be suspended. HR 5170 Bill Report.

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Cessation of a Fed Facility

The meaning of a substantial cessation of operations is a permanent end of operations at a facility resulting in a workforce reduction of eligible employees. HR 2511 Bill Report.

Suspending SES Employees

Senior Executive Service employees can be suspended for 14 days or less without duties and pay for such including to promote the efficiency of the Service.

HR 5169 Bill Report & Vote.

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Medicare Post-Acute Services

Post-acute care  providers are require to report standardized patient assessment data, data on quality measures, and on resource use. HR 4994 Bill Report.


Public Land Matters

Nevada Land Deal

 The bill combines seven bills and would “…authorize certain land conveyances involving public lands in northern Nevada to promote economic development and conservation, and for other purposes.” HR 5205 Bill Report

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Arizona Land Deal

The bill “Directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey to River Bottom Farms of La Paz County, Arizona, specified Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in Riverside County, California, in exchange for two specified parcels of non-federal land.

HR 3006 Bill Report.

Mississippi Land Deal

 The Yellow Creek Port Project is an industrial port development project at the juncture of the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers to stimulate economic growth in the northern Mississippi area on the condition it be developed  for industrial purposes. HR 3044 Bill Report

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C&O Canal

S. 476 would change the termination date of the Commission from 40 years to 50 years after January 8, 1971. The Commission’s authority to operate terminated on January 8, 2011. S. 476 would extend the authority to operate to January 8, 2021.

S 476 Bill Report

Wild Rivers

The bill amends the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate specified segments of the Missisquoi River and Trout River in Vermont as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

HR 2569 Bill Report.

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Maine Park

In the case of the Acadia land the requirement was that it be used only for ‘school’ purposes. The bill waives that requirement allowing Tremont to use the land otherwise without the reversion to US ownership.

HR 4527 Bill Report and Vote.


Addendum – Bills Added in Session – After publication

Georgia Church

 The bill directs  the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a three-year special resource study of the historic West Hunter Street Baptist Church located at 775 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia

HR 4119 Bill Report

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Fed Data

Requires the heads of specified federal agencies to submit to the Administrator for the Office of E-Government and Information Technology  each fiscal year a comprehensive inventory of data centers owned, operated, or maintained by such agency.

S 1611 Bill Report

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Border Pay

would reform the pay system for Border Patrol agents by updating it to reflect the number of hours those agents regularly work and the way in which those hours are scheduled and saving taxpayers an estimated $100 million annually.

S 1691 Bill Report

Queens, NY House

The bill directs “the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the John Bowne House in Queens, New York, the Friends Meeting House at 137-17 Northern Boulevard, Queens.

HR 3222 Bill Report

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Indian Land

The bill would rectify border changes to the Fort Hall Reservation following the realignment of the Blackfoot River and would allow the local Flood Control District to compensate non-Indian landowners for the land swapped with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

S 2040 Bill Report

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Background Checks

The bill prohibits  awarding a contract to an entity to conduct quality review processes for background investigation fieldwork and support services that are being conducted by the same entity.

S 2061 Bill Report

Antisemitism

Condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and  rejects attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred or violent attacks as an acceptable expression of disapproval over political events.

HRes 707 Bill Report

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US & Israel

The bill expresses the sense of Congress that Israel is a major U.S. strategic partner and provides for military and non-military aid, energy  technology and engineering.

S 2673 Bill Report

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Payments to the Dead

The bill seeks to reduce the inadvertent and improper payment of federal benefits to deceased individuals by directing the Social Security Administration  to share its most complete database of deceased individuals with other federal agencies and improving the sharing of best practices.

S 1360 Bill Report

Beheadings

The bill strongly condemns the barbaric and deplorable murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff and salutes them for their unwavering and courageous pursuit of journalistic excellence.

HRes 734 Bill Report

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WW I Medal

Notwithstanding the time limitations  in the US Code regarding awarding of certain medals to persons who served in the Armed Forces, the President may award the Medal of Honor  to Henry Johnson for the acts of valor during World War I.”

S 2793 Bill Report

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Reward for Killers

 $10 million reward for furnishing information leading to the arrest or conviction of any individual for involvement in the commission of the kidnapping and murder of James Foley or Steven Sotloff.”

S 2778 Bill Report


House bills the Senate acted on; cleared for the President

H.R. 594 (Federal Research on Muscular Dystrophy). Agreed to by unanimous consent.

H.R. 2600 (To amend the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act to clarify how the Act applies to condominiums). Agreed to by unanimous consent. (9/26/13).

H.R. 3043 (Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014). Agreed to by unanimous consent. (Current)

H.R. 3716 (Water Settlement Agreement). Agreed to by unanimous consent. (7/24/14)

H.R. 4994 (Provide for Post-Care Assessment Data). Agreed to by unanimous consent. (Current)

 H.R. 5062 (Amend Consumer Financial Protection Act). Agreed to by unanimous consent. (Current)

H.R. 5404 (Extend Provisions of Law by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs). Agreed to by unanimous consent. (Current)

H.R. 4980 (Prevent Sex Trafficking and to Improve Support Recovery for Victims). Agreed to by unanimous consent. (7/24/14)