PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • April 19, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

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  • February 5, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • January 11, 2018

    By Frank Vlossak

    Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have worked toward regulatory reform that includes the review, revision, and repeal of existing regulations, with a focus on rules promulgated by the Obama Administration. Congress has played a key role in this effort, through the use of the Congressional Review Act to repeal rules finalized in the waning months of the prior Administration, as well as one rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017.

    President Trump signed a series of executive orders in the early months of his presidency that are propelling the deregulatory efforts of federal agencies. These executive orders: set a cap limiting regulations in Fiscal Year 2017 to zero net cost; provide agencies with a framework for limiting new regulations and identifying existing rules to repeal or revise; direct review and revision or repeal of the “Waters of the United States” rule issued by the Obama Administration; and require review and reform of energy and climate-related regulations.

     

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The House will consider H.R. 1431 – EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017. The Senate will vote on 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 then is expected to proceed to H.J.Res.43, providing for congressional disapproval of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients.

House

 

Yesterday

  • EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017--Rule for Consideration: The House agreed to H. Res. 233, providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1431) to amend the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to provide for Scientific Advisory Board member qualifications and public participation, by a recorded vote of 232 ayes to 188 noes, Roll No. 204, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 232 yeas to 191 nays, Roll No. 203.
  • Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017: The House passed H.R. 1430, to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible, by a recorded vote of 228 ayes to 194 noes, Roll No. 206.
  • Rejected the McEachin motion to recommit the bill to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology with instructions to report the same back to the House forthwith with an amendment, by a yea-and-nay vote of 189 yeas to 232 nays, Roll No. 205.
  • H. Res. 229, the rule providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1430) was agreed to yesterday, March 28th.

 

Today

  • On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
  • H.R. 1431 – EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017 (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Frank Lucas / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)

 

Senate

 

Yesterday

  • Measures Passed:
    • National Asbestos Awareness Week: Committee on the Judiciary was discharged from further consideration of S. Res. 98, designating the first week of April 2017 as ``National Asbestos Awareness Week'', and the resolution was then agreed to.
    • Vietnam Veterans Day: Senate agreed to S. Res. 103, designating March 29, 2017, as ``Vietnam Veterans Day''.
  • Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act: Senate passed H.R. 353, to improve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's weather research through a focused program of investment on affordable and attainable advances in observational, computing, and modeling capabilities to support substantial improvement in weather forecasting and prediction of high impact weather events, to expand commercial opportunities for the provision of weather data, after agreeing to the following amendments proposed thereto:
    • McConnell (for Thune) Amendment No. 204, in the nature of a substitute.
    • McConnell (for Cantwell) Amendment No. 205 (to the language proposed by Amendment No. 204), to authorize and strengthen the tsunami detection, forecast, warning, research, and mitigation program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Measures Considered:
    • Savings Arrangements Established by Qualified State Political Subdivisions for Non-Governmental Employees Rule--Agreement: Senate began consideration of 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, after agreeing to the motion to proceed to consideration of the joint resolution.
    • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the joint resolution at approximately 9:30 a.m., on Thursday, March 30, 2017, with all debate time being expired; and that Senate vote on passage of the joint resolution with no intervening action or debate.

 

Today

  • The Senate stands adjourned until 9:30am on Thursday, March 30, 2017.
  • Following Leader remarks, all debate time will be expired and the Senate will vote on 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.
  • We expect that following disposition of H.J.Res.67, Senator McConnell will move to proceed to H.J.Res.43, providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients. We expect there to be a roll call vote on the motion. If the motion to proceed is agreed to, there will be up to 10 hours of debate followed by a vote on passage of the joint resolution.
  • Approximately 10:00am – 2 roll call votes expected
    • Passage of H.J.Res.67
    • Motion to proceed to H.J.Res.43
    • If Motion to proceed agreed to, up to 10 hours of debate equally divided, then
    • Thursday at a time TBD
    • Passage of H.J.Res.43

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

Senate HELP Committee
“Nomination of Alexander Acosta to serve as Secretary of Labor”
(Vote will occur off the Senate Floor)

 

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Cybersecurity

S.770 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to require the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology to disseminate resources to help reduce small business cybersecurity risks, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Schatz, Brian [D-HI] (Introduced 03/29/2017) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: Senate - Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Action: 03/29/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

 

Energy

H.R.1784 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To prohibit drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
Sponsor: Rep. Huffman, Jared [D-CA-2] (Introduced 03/29/2017) Cosponsors: (34)
Committees: House - Natural Resources
Latest Action: 03/29/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources

H.R.1778 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To provide that an order by the Secretary of the Interior imposing a moratorium on Federal coal leasing shall not take effect unless a joint resolution of approval is enacted, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Cheney, Liz [R-WY-At Large] (Introduced 03/29/2017) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: House - Natural Resources
Latest Action: 03/29/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

 

Health

H.R.1781 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To improve the ability of the Federal Government to address synthetic opioids, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Donovan, Daniel M., Jr. [R-NY-11] (Introduced 03/29/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Action: 03/29/2017 Referred to House Oversight and Government Reform

H.R.1776 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To improve access to affordable prescription drugs.
Sponsor: Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9] (Introduced 03/29/2017) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Judiciary
Latest Action: 03/29/2017 Referred to House Judiciary

H.R.1775 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend part D of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to direct the President to negotiate prescription drug prices and establish a formulary on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4] (Introduced 03/29/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means
Latest Action: 03/29/2017 Referred to House Ways and Means

S.771 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to improve access to affordable prescription drugs.
Sponsor: Sen. Franken, Al [D-MN] (Introduced 03/29/2017) Cosponsors: (15)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 03/29/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

 

Tax

H.R.1792 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income compensation received by employees consisting of qualified distributions of employer stock.
Sponsor: Rep. Rohrabacher, Dana [R-CA-48] (Introduced 03/29/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 03/29/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • April 19, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • February 5, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • January 11, 2018

    By Frank Vlossak

    Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have worked toward regulatory reform that includes the review, revision, and repeal of existing regulations, with a focus on rules promulgated by the Obama Administration. Congress has played a key role in this effort, through the use of the Congressional Review Act to repeal rules finalized in the waning months of the prior Administration, as well as one rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017.

    President Trump signed a series of executive orders in the early months of his presidency that are propelling the deregulatory efforts of federal agencies. These executive orders: set a cap limiting regulations in Fiscal Year 2017 to zero net cost; provide agencies with a framework for limiting new regulations and identifying existing rules to repeal or revise; direct review and revision or repeal of the “Waters of the United States” rule issued by the Obama Administration; and require review and reform of energy and climate-related regulations.

     

    Read...

    Read More

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