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

The House will complete 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.

House

 

Yesterday

  • Summary of Legislative Business
    • Ordering the Previous Question on H. Res. 198 — " The combined rule providing for consideration of the bill H.R. 1259 - VA Accountability First Act of 2017 and the bill 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 of the bill H.R. 1181 - Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act"
      • – ADOPTED 227 - 185, ROLL CALL 162
        • Republican YEA – 227; NAY - 1
        • Democrat YEA – 0; NAY – 184
    • H. Res. 198  — "The combined rule providing for consideration of the bill H.R. 1259 - VA Accountability First Act of 2017 and the bill 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 of the bill H.R. 1181 - Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act"
      • – ADOPTED 229 - 187, ROLL CALL 163
        • Republican YEA – 229; NAY - 0
        • Democrat YEA – 0; NAY – 187
    • Approval of the Journal 
      • - AGREED TO 243 – 165 – 1, ROLL CALL 164
        • Republican YEA – 153; NAY - 74
        • Democrat YEA – 90; NAY – 91
    • Roe (R-TN) - Amendment No. 1 – “Manager's amendment makes a technical change to the bill to insert "to or" after the word "paid" on page 20, line 15”
      • – ADOPTED BY VOICE
    • Walz (D-MN) - Amendment No. 2 – “Grants the VA Secretary improved authorities to hold VA senior executives and employees accountable, protects employees’ constitutionally guaranteed due process rights, and protects employees’ collective bargaining rights under federal law”
      • – REJECTED 194 - 223, Roll Call 165
        • Republican YEA – 7; NAY - 223
        • Democrat YEA – 187; NAY – 0
    • Kuster (D-NH) - Amendment No. 4 – “Includes as prohibited personnel practices as described in the whistleblower protection subsection of section 3 with those defined in 38 USC 733(c)”
      • – ADOPTED BY VOICE
    • Taylor (R-VA) - Amendment No. 6 – “Requires the Veterans Administration to provide a semi-annual report to the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs outlining all instances of Senior Executives who are detailed to a new position within the agency. The report will contain details on the purpose of the reassignment as well as the costs associated with the reassignment”
      • – ADOPTED BY VOICE
    • Tenney (R-NY) - Amendment No. 7 – “Requires that performance awards and bonuses provided to senior-level executives within the Department of Veterans Affairs be reported to Congress on an annual basis”
      • – ADOPTED BY VOICE
    • Kuster (D-NH) - Amendment No. 8 – “Requires VA supervisors to develop performance plans for employees, to include steps taken to address poor performance. It would also improve training for supervisors”
      • – ADOPTED BY VOICE
    • Takano (D-CA) - Substitute Amendment No. 9 – “Provides for the suspension and removal of VA employees for performance or misconduct that is a threat to public health and safety in place of the proposed removal process”
      • – REJECTED 183 - 232, ROLL CALL 166
        • Republican YEA – 0; NAY - 229
        • Democrat YEA – 183; NAY – 3
    • Democrat Motion to Recommit on H.R. 1259
      • – FAILED 189 – 229, ROLL CALL 167
        • Republican YEA – 2; NAY - 229
        • Democrat YEA – 187; NAY – 0
    • H.R. 1259 – “VA Accountability First Act of 2017”
      • – PASSED 237 - 178, ROLL CALL 168
        • Republican YEA – 227; NAY - 3
        • Democrat YEA – 10; NAY – 175
    • H.R. 1181 – “Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act”
      • – PASSED 240 - 175, ROLL CALL 169
        • Republican YEA – 228; NAY - 2
        • Democrat YEA – 12; NAY – 173

 

Today

  • On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Complete 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) (Sponsored by Rep. Brad Wenstrup / Veterans Affairs Committee)
  • The Rule provides for no further general debate and makes in order the following amendments:
    • Rep. Brad Wenstrup Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Grace Meng Amendment #1 (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Terri Sewell Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Colleen Hanabusa Amendment #1 (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Ken Buck Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Carol Shea-Porter Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Julia Brownley Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Peter Welch Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Josh Gottheimer Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Colleen Hanabusa Amendment #2 (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Grace Meng Amendment #2 (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Mike Bost Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Beto O’Rourke Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

 

Senate

 

Yesterday

  • The Senate was in pro forma session.

 

Today

  • The Senate is in pro forma session.

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

No hearings scheduled

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Energy

H.R.1571 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To provide first responders with planning, training, and equipment capabilities for crude oil-by-rail and ethanol-by-rail derailment and incident response, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Herrera Beutler, Jaime [R-WA-3] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Science, Space, and Technology
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

 

Financial Services

H.R.1585 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Securities Act of 1933 to codify certain qualifications of individuals as accredited investors for purposes of the securities laws.
Sponsor: Rep. Schweikert, David [R-AZ-6] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (10)
Committees: House - Financial Services
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

H.R.1558 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 to ensure community accountability for areas repetitively damaged by floods, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Royce, Edward R. [R-CA-39] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Financial Services
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

 

Health Care

H.R.1592 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To remove penalties for health insurers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Sponsor: Rep. Yoho, Ted S. [R-FL-3] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.1589 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to adjust the phaseout of the health insurance tax credit for geographic variations in the cost-of-living.
Sponsor: Rep. Thompson, Mike [D-CA-5] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.1587 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to preserve the effectiveness of medically important antimicrobials used in the treatment of human and animal diseases.
Sponsor: Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-25] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (17)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.1586 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure that liquid over-the-counter medications are packaged with appropriate dosage delivery devices and, in the case of such medications labeled for pediatric use, appropriate flow restrictors, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Serrano, Jose E. [D-NY-15] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.1578 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide coverage under the Medicare program for FDA-approved qualifying colorectal cancer screening blood-based tests, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Payne, Donald M., Jr. [D-NJ-10] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (14)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to House Ways and Means.

H.R.1575 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the family members with respect to whom treatment for alcohol and drug addiction is treated as a qualified medical expense for purposes of health reimbursement arrangements, health flexible spending arrangements, and health savings accounts.
Sponsor: Rep. MacArthur, Thomas [R-NJ-3] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.1565 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To provide for the creation of a safe harbor for defendants in medical malpractice actions who demonstrate adherence to clinical practice guidelines.
Sponsor: Rep. Barr, Andy [R-KY-6] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (12)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to House Judiciary.

H.R.1563 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the establishment of a mesothelioma patient registry, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Katko, John [R-NY-24] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (22)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.1561 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To prohibit any hiring freeze from affecting the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
Sponsor: Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (5)
Committees: House - Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

 

Transportation

H.R.1568 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To enhance interstate commerce by creating a national hiring standard for motor carriers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Duncan, John J., Jr. [R-TN-2] (Introduced 03/16/2017) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House - Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Action: 03/16/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

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

Recent TweetsFollow Us >

TheFirmWJ
TheFirmWJ Canadian Infrastructure Minister @SohiAmarjeet discussing infrastructure investments in Canada at #uscanadabuild pic.twitter.com/l...
TheFirmWJ
TheFirmWJ . @transport Chairman Shuster speaking on infrastructure at @TheHillEvents & @cabc_co forum on #uscanadabuild pic.twitter.com/y...
TheFirmWJ
TheFirmWJ Tomorrow's House floor schedule from @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy: floor.majoritylea... pic.twitter.com/V...