PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • March 7, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On February 24, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate. Among the requirements of this latest Executive Order are mandates for federal agencies to appoint “Regulatory Reform Officers” and establish “Regulatory Reform Task Forces”. As described in a White House press release, the Executive Order directs each agency’s Regulatory Reform Task Force to: “evaluate existing regulations and identify candidates for repeal or modification”; and “focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations.”

     

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  • 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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The House will consider H.J.Res. 42 – Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to drug testing of unemployment compensation applicants; H.J.Res. 66 – Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by States for non-governmental employees; and H.J.Res. 67 – Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified State political subdivisions for non-governmental. The Senate will resume consideration of H.J.Res.40 (CRA re:NICS) and vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Mick Mulvaney to be Director of OMB.

House

 

Yesterday

  • Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by States for non-governmental employees and Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified State political subdivisions for non-governmental employees--Rule for consideration:
  • The House agreed to H. Res. 116, providing for consideration of the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 66) disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by States for non-governmental employees, and providing for consideration of the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 67) disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified State political subdivisions for non-governmental employees, by a recorded vote of 227 ayes to 188 noes, Roll No. 91, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 227 yeas to 188 nays, Roll No. 90.
  • Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act:
    • The House passed H.R. 428, to survey the gradient boundary along the Red River in the States of Oklahoma and Texas, by a yea-and-nay vote of 250 yeas to 171 nays, Roll No. 92.
  • H. Res. 99, the rule providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 428) and the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 42) was agreed to by a recorded vote of 225 ayes to 187 noes, Roll No. 89, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 225 yeas to 189 nays, Roll No. 88.

 

Today

  • The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00am on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.
  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.J.Res.40 (CRA re:NICS) with 10 minutes of debate remaining on the joint resolution.
  • Following disposition of H.J.Res.40, there will be 10 minutes of debate prior to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #16, Mick Mulvaney to be Director of OMB, and if cloture is invoked, the time will be counted as if invoked at 1:00am that day.
  • As a reminder, during Monday’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)
    • Each cloture petition will ripen upon disposition of the previous nomination, and each nomination is subject to 30 hours of post-cloture debate.

 

Senate

 

Yesterday

  • Measures Passed:
    • Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act: Senate passed H.R. 255, to authorize the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women.
    • Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act: Senate passed H.R. 321, to inspire women to enter the aerospace field, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, through mentorship and outreach.
  • Measures Considered:
    • Social Security Administration Rule Relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act--Agreement: Senate began consideration of H.J. Res. 40, providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, after agreeing to the motion to proceed.
  • Prior to the consideration of this measure, Senate took the following action:
    • Senate agreed to the motion to proceed to Legislative Session.
    • A unanimous-consent-time agreement was reached providing that following Leader remarks on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, there be 10 minutes of debate remaining, equally divided, on the joint resolution, and Senate vote on passage of the joint resolution, without intervening action or debate; and that following disposition of the joint resolution, there be 10 minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Mick Mulvaney, of South Carolina, to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and if cloture is invoked, post-cloture time be counted as if invoked at 1 a.m., on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.
    • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the joint resolution at approximately 10 a.m., on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, under the previous order.
  • Nomination Confirmed: Senate confirmed the following nomination:
    • By 81 yeas to 19 nays (Vote No. EX. 65), Linda E. McMahon, of Connecticut, to be Administrator of the Small Business Administration.

 

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

 

Securities and Exchange Commission
Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies

House Agriculture Committee
“Rural Economic Outlook: Setting the Stage for the Next Farm Bill”

House Financial Services Committee
“Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy”

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
“Modernization of the Endangered Species Act”

House Energy and Commerce Committee
“Modernizing Energy and Electricity Delivery Systems: Challenges and Opportunities to Promote Infrastructure Improvement and Expansion”

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
“Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: State of American Aviation Manufacturing”

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
“GAO's 2017 High Risk Report: 34 Programs in Peril”

Senate Appropriations Committee
“Mental Health Care: Examining Treatments and Services”

House Small Business Committee
“Start-ups Stalling? The Tax Code as a Barrier to Entrepreneurship”

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
“Moving America: Stakeholder Perspectives on our Multimodal Transportation System”

Senate Special Aging Committee
“Stopping Senior Scams: Developments in Financial Fraud Affecting Seniors”

 

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Cybersecurity

H.R.1030 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To direct the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a study on cyber attack standards of measurement.
Sponsor: Rep. Wilson, Joe [R-SC-2] (Introduced 02/14/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Intelligence (Permanent)
Latest Action: 02/14/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Intelligence

 

Financial Services

H.R.1031 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To eliminate the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection by repealing title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.
Sponsor: Rep. Ratcliffe, John [R-TX-4] (Introduced 02/14/2017) Cosponsors: (13)
Committees: House - Financial Services
Latest Action: 02/14/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services

S.370 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to eliminate the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection by repealing title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.
Sponsor: Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX] (Introduced 02/14/2017) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: Senate - Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Latest Action: 02/14/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

 

Health

H.R.1051 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the increase in the income threshold used in determining the deduction for medical care.
Sponsor: Rep. McSally, Martha [R-AZ-2] (Introduced 02/14/2017) Cosponsors: (8)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 02/14/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.1038 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to prohibit prescription drug plan sponsors and MA-PD organizations under the Medicare program from retroactively reducing payment on clean claims submitted by pharmacies.
Sponsor: Rep. Griffith, H. Morgan [R-VA-9] (Introduced 02/14/2017) Cosponsors: (17)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means
Latest Action: 02/14/2017 Referred to House Ways and Means

 

Tax

H.R.1040 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide taxpayers a flat tax alternative to the current income tax system.
Sponsor: Rep. Burgess, Michael C. [R-TX-26] (Introduced 02/14/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Ways and Means, Rules
Latest Action: 02/14/2017 Referred to House Rules

PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • March 7, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On February 24, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate. Among the requirements of this latest Executive Order are mandates for federal agencies to appoint “Regulatory Reform Officers” and establish “Regulatory Reform Task Forces”. As described in a White House press release, the Executive Order directs each agency’s Regulatory Reform Task Force to: “evaluate existing regulations and identify candidates for repeal or modification”; and “focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations.”

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • 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

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