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.R. 1181 – Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act; H.R. 1259 – VA Accountability First Act of 2017; and begin Consideration of H.R. 1367 – To improve the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hire and retain physicians and other employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

House

 

Yesterday

  • Suspension:
    • The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measure. Consideration began Wednesday, March 8th.
      • Arbuckle Project Maintenance Complex and District Office Conveyance Act of 2017: H.R. 132, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain land and appurtenances of the Arbuckle Project, Oklahoma, to the Arbuckle Master Conservancy District, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 407 yeas to 1 nay, Roll No. 159.
      • Approving the location of a memorial to commemorate and honor the members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty in support of Operation Desert Storm or Operation Desert Shield:The House agreed to take from the Speaker's table and pass S.J. Res. 1, approving the location of a memorial to commemorate and honor the members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty in support of Operation Desert Storm or Operation Desert Shield.
  • Suspensions:
    • The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measures:
      • Authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to amend the Definite Plan Report for the Seedskadee Project to enable the use of the active capacity of the Fontenelle Reservoir: H.R. 648, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to amend the Definite Plan Report for the Seedskadee Project to enable the use of the active capacity of the Fontenelle Reservoir, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 408 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 160; and
      • Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Act of 2017: H.R. 267, amended, to redesignate the Martin Luther King, Junior, National Historic Site in the State of Georgia.

 

Today

  • On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First votes expected 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Last votes expected: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • H.R. 1181 – Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe / Veterans Affairs Committee)
  • H.R. 1259 – VA Accountability First Act of 2017, Rules Committee Print (Structured Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe / Veterans Affairs Committee)
  • The Rule provides for one hour of general debate and makes in order the following amendments:
    • Rep. Phil Roe Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Tim Walz Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Colleen Hanabusa Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Ann Kuster Amendment #1 (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Sean Duffy Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Scott Taylor Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Claudia Tenney Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Ann Kuster Amendment #2 (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Mark Takano Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
  • Begin Consideration of H.R. 1367 – To improve the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hire and retain physicians and other employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes, Rules Committee Print (Structured Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Brad Wenstrup / Veterans Affairs Committee)

 

Senate

 

Yesterday

  • Measures Passed:
    • Faleomavaega Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin VA Clinic:
      • Committee on Veterans' Affairs was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 1362, to name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Pago Pago, American Samoa, the Faleomavaega Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin VA Clinic, and the bill was then passed.
    • Trafficking of illicit fentanyl into the United States from Mexico and China:
      • Committee on Foreign Relations was discharged from further consideration of S. Res. 83, expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the trafficking of illicit fentanyl into the United States from Mexico and China, and the resolution was then agreed to.
    • Honoring King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand:
      • Committee on Foreign Relations was discharged from further consideration of S. Res. 9, honoring in praise and remembrance the extraordinary life, steady leadership, and remarkable 70-year reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, and the resolution was then agreed to.
    • National Rosie the Riveter Day:
      • Committee on the Judiciary was discharged from further consideration of S. Res. 76, expressing support for the designation of March 21, 2017, as ``National Rosie the Riveter Day'', and the resolution was then agreed to.
    • National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month:
      • Senate agreed to S. Res. 89, supporting the designation of March 2017 as ``National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month''.
  • Pro Forma Sessions--Agreement:
    • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that the Senate adjourn, to then convene for pro forma sessions only, with no business being conducted on the following dates and times, and that following each pro forma session, the Senate adjourn until the next pro forma session: Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.; Monday, March 20, 2017 at 10 a.m.; and that when the Senate adjourns on Monday, March 20, 2017, it next convene at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  • Breyer and Reeves Nominations--Agreement:
    • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that following morning business on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Senate begin consideration of the nominations of Charles R. Breyer, of California, to be a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission, and Danny C. Reeves, of Kentucky, to be a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission; that the time until 12 noon be equally divided, and that following the use or yielding back of time, Senate vote on confirmation of the nominations en bloc, with no intervening action or debate; and that no further motion be in order.
  • Nominations Confirmed:
    • Senate confirmed the following nominations:
      • By 85 yeas to 12 nays (Vote No. EX. 89), Daniel Coats, of Indiana, to be Director of National Intelligence.
  • During consideration of this nomination today, Senate also took the following action:
    • By 88 yeas to 11 nays (Vote No. 88), three-fifths of those Senators duly chosen and sworn, having voted in the affirmative, Senate agreed to the motion to close further debate on the nomination.
    • By 86 yeas to 10 nays (Vote No. EX. 90), Lt. Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr., U.S. Army.
    • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination be withdrawn.

 

Today

  • The Senate is in pro forma session.

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
“China's Pursuit of Next Frontier Tech: Computing, Robotics, and Biotechnology”

House Budget Committee
“Markup of AHCA”

House Financial Services Committee
“Sound Monetary Policy”

House Appropriations Committee
“Department of Transportation & Department of Housing and Urban Development”

House Financial Services Committee
“Flood Insurance Reform: A Community Perspective”

House Transportation
“Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: The National Preparedness System.”

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Financial Services

H.R.1549 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To authorize certain private rights of action under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 for violations that damage certain businesses, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Perlmutter, Ed [D-CO-7] (Introduced 03/15/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Financial Services
Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Referred to House Financial Services

H.R.1530 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend securities, commodities, and banking laws to make the information reported to financial regulatory agencies electronically searchable, to enable RegTech applications, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Issa, Darrell E. [R-CA-49] (Introduced 03/15/2017) Cosponsors: (28)
Committees: House - Financial Services, Agriculture
Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Referred to House Agriculture

S.639 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to clarify that nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity may accept donated mortgage appraisals, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH] (Introduced 03/15/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: Senate - Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

 

Health

H.R.1554 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To include information concerning a patient's opioid addiction in certain medical records.
Sponsor: Rep. Walberg, Tim [R-MI-7] (Introduced 03/15/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.1539 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize a program for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment regarding deaf and hard-of-hearing newborns, infants, and young children.
Sponsor: Rep. Guthrie, Brett [R-KY-2] (Introduced 03/15/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.1533 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To provide for further comprehensive research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke on unruptured intracranial aneurysms.
Sponsor: Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9] (Introduced 03/15/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce

S.640 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to prioritize funding for an expanded and sustained national investment in biomedical research.
Sponsor: Sen. Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL] (Introduced 03/15/2017) Cosponsors: (5)
Committees: Senate - Budget
Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Budget

S.637 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend titles XI and XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide greater transparency of discounts provided by drug manufacturers.
Sponsor: Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR] (Introduced 03/15/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

 

Transportation

S.631 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to provide guidance and limitations regarding the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into United States airspace, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA] (Introduced 03/15/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate - Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

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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