PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • February 9, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”. The Executive Order is intended to ensure that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination”. On February 3, the White House issued a memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017…” The memorandum provides agencies with information on how to implement the “Regulatory Cap for Fiscal Year 2017” established by the Executive Order.   

    Among the issues addressed, the February 3, memorandum clarifies that the Executive Order applies only to significant rulemakings, and does not require compliance by independent federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

     

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  • January 25, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak 

    On January 24, President Trump signed an executive order and four memoranda addressing pipeline, infrastructure, and manufacturing issues. The memoranda include one directing prompt consideration of the remaining federal approvals needed by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Another memorandum invites TransCanada to resubmit its application for a Presidential border-crossing permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The memorandum further directs the Department of State to “reach a final permitting decision” within 60 days of receiving a new Keystone XL permit application.

    A memorandum to the Secretary of Commerce requires the development of a “plan” to require “all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines [to]…use materials and equipment [including steel] produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law…”

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  • November 18, 2016
    By Nicole Ruzinski and Frank Vlossak 

    Presidential transitions in which one party takes over from the other can trigger regulatory activity in both the outgoing and incoming administrations, designed to further each president’s policy priorities. An outgoing president may attempt to finalize a number of regulations before leaving office. The incoming president can be left with the responsibility of implementing policies that are not aligned with the new administration’s agenda. An incoming president faces significant challenges in rescinding regulations that were adopted and finalized before the end of the prior administration. The new administration has more leeway in delaying or repealing regulations that are not final or effective by Inauguration Day. An incoming administration and aligned House and Senate majorities can also utilize the expedited processes under the Congressional Review Act to rescind regulations that were promulgated late in the outgoing administration. 

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The House will consider H.R. 428 – Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act. The Senate will resume consideration of the nomination of Linda McMahon to be Administrator of the Small Business Administration, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the McMahon nomination around 11 am.

House

 

Yesterday

  • Summary of Legislative Business
    • H.R. 609 — "To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs health care center in Center Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, as the “Abie Abraham VA Clinic”.”
      • – On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill
        • – passed by voice
    • H.R. 512 — "To title 38, United States Code, to permit veterans to grant access to their records in the databases of the Veterans Benefits Administration to certain designated congressional employees, and for other purposes.”
      • – On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill
        • – passed by voice
    • H.R. 244 — "To encourage effective, voluntary private sector investments to recruit, employ, and retain men and women who have served in the United States military with annual presidential awards to private sector employers recognizing such efforts, and for other purposes.”
      • – On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill
        • – passed 409 - 1, Roll Call No. 86
          • Republican YEA – 229; NAY - 1
          • Democrat YEA – 180; NAY – 0
    • H.R. 974 — "To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in awarding a contract for the procurement of goods or services, to give a preference to offerors that employ veterans.”
      • – On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill
        • – passed 407 - 0, Roll Call No. 87
          • Republican YEA – 227; NAY - 0
          • Democrat YEA – 180; NAY – 0

 

Today

  • On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Last votes expected: 4:15 p.m. – 5:15p.m.
  • H.R. 428 – Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry / Natural Resources Committee)

 

Senate

 

Yesterday

  • Roll Call Votes
    • Confirmation of Steven Mnuchin to be Secretary of the Treasury; confirmed: 53-47.
    • Confirmation of David Shulkin to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs; confirmed: 100-0.

 

Today

  • The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00am on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.
  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will enter Executive Session and resume consideration of the nomination of Linda McMahon to be Administrator of the Small Business Administration, with the time until 11:00am equally divided. At 11:00am, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the McMahon nomination.
  • Further roll call votes (re: CRAs) are possible during Tuesday’s session.
  • As a reminder, during today’s session Senator McConnell filed cloture on the following cabinet nominations:
    • Mick Mulvaney (Director of Office of Management and Budget)
    • Scott Pruitt (Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency)
    • Wilbur Ross (Secretary of Commerce)
    • Ryan Zinke (Secretary of Interior)
    • Ben Carson (Secretary of Housing and Urban Development)
    • James Richard Perry (Secretary of Energy)
  • The first of these cloture petitions (Mulvaney) will ripen one hour after the Senate convenes on Wednesday, February 15th. If cloture is invoked, there will be up to 30 hours of debate followed by a vote on confirmation, which will in turn be immediately followed by a cloture vote on the next nomination in the sequence.
  • Tuesday, February 14th at approximately 11:00am – 1 roll call vote
    • Confirmation of Linda McMahon to be Administrator of the Small Business Administration
  • Wednesday, February 15th – one hour after the Senate convenes
    • Motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Mick Mulvaney to be Director, OMB

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee
“The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress” 

House Science, Space and Technology Committee
“Strengthening U.S. Cybersecurity Capabilities” 

House Ways and Means Committee
115th Committee Organization/Budget 

House Energy and Commerce Committee
“Self-Driving Cars: Road to Deployment”

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Financial Services

H.R.1018 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To replace the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection with a 5-person commission, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. DesJarlais, Scott [R-TN-4] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Financial Services
Latest Action: 02/13/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services

S.366 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to require the Federal financial institutions regulatory agencies to take risk profiles and business models of institutions into account when taking regulatory actions, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Rounds, Mike [R-SD] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate - Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Latest Action: 02/13/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

S.365 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to remove the funding cap relating to the transfer of funds from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Rounds, Mike [R-SD] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate - Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Latest Action: 02/13/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

 

Health

H.R.1027 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title XXI of the Social Security Act to improve access to, and the delivery of, children's health services through school-based health centers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Sarbanes, John P. [D-MD-3] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 02/13/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.1020 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To allow the manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale of investigational drugs and devices intended for use by terminally ill patients who execute an informed consent document, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Griffith, H. Morgan [R-VA-9] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 02/13/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce

H.R.1017 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to waive coinsurance under Medicare for colorectal cancer screening tests, regardless of whether therapeutic intervention is required during the screening.
Sponsor: Rep. Dent, Charles W. [R-PA-15] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means
Latest Action: 02/13/2017 Referred to House Ways and Means

S.356 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend title XXI of the Social Security Act to improve access to, and the delivery of, children's health services through school-based health centers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 02/13/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.353 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to extend the rural add-on payment in the Medicare home health benefit, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate - Finance

 

Tax

H.R.1012 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the dollar limitation on employer-provided group term life insurance that can be excluded from the gross income of the employee.
Sponsor: Rep. Burgess, Michael C. [R-TX-26] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 02/13/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means

 

Transportation

H.R.1028 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend titles 23 and 49, United States Code, with respect to congestion mitigation and metropolitan transportation planning, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Sires, Albio [D-NJ-8] (Introduced 02/13/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Action: 02/13/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • February 9, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”. The Executive Order is intended to ensure that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination”. On February 3, the White House issued a memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017…” The memorandum provides agencies with information on how to implement the “Regulatory Cap for Fiscal Year 2017” established by the Executive Order.   

    Among the issues addressed, the February 3, memorandum clarifies that the Executive Order applies only to significant rulemakings, and does not require compliance by independent federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • January 25, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak 

    On January 24, President Trump signed an executive order and four memoranda addressing pipeline, infrastructure, and manufacturing issues. The memoranda include one directing prompt consideration of the remaining federal approvals needed by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Another memorandum invites TransCanada to resubmit its application for a Presidential border-crossing permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The memorandum further directs the Department of State to “reach a final permitting decision” within 60 days of receiving a new Keystone XL permit application.

    A memorandum to the Secretary of Commerce requires the development of a “plan” to require “all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines [to]…use materials and equipment [including steel] produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law…”

    Read...

    Read More
  • November 18, 2016
    By Nicole Ruzinski and Frank Vlossak 

    Presidential transitions in which one party takes over from the other can trigger regulatory activity in both the outgoing and incoming administrations, designed to further each president’s policy priorities. An outgoing president may attempt to finalize a number of regulations before leaving office. The incoming president can be left with the responsibility of implementing policies that are not aligned with the new administration’s agenda. An incoming president faces significant challenges in rescinding regulations that were adopted and finalized before the end of the prior administration. The new administration has more leeway in delaying or repealing regulations that are not final or effective by Inauguration Day. An incoming administration and aligned House and Senate majorities can also utilize the expedited processes under the Congressional Review Act to rescind regulations that were promulgated late in the outgoing administration. 

    Read...

    Read More

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