PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • April 19, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On April 13, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comments “on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification.” The notice is part of the EPA’s efforts to implement the Executive Order titled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda” (E.O. 13777), which was signed by President Trump on February 24, 2017. The deadline for submitting public comments is May 15, 2017. EPA offices will also be conducting public forums on regulatory reform over the next four weeks. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order (E.O. 13771) which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate.

     

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  • April 12, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    Congress enacted the “Congressional Review Act” (CRA) as part of the “Contract with America Advancement Act” (P.L. 104-121) in 1996 and it is codified at 5 U.S.C. 801-808. The CRA established an expedited process for Congress to repeal recently promulgated regulations through passage of joint resolutions signed into law by the President. As of April 7, the President has signed eleven CRA resolutions into law. The House and Senate have passed two more, which the President is expected to sign. Activity on CRA resolutions will begin to wind down as the statutory cut-off for action on resolutions to repeal final rules issued during the 114th Congress is expected to occur no later than early May.

     

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  • April 3, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing a number of actions to repeal or revise Obama Administration policies targeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. It also requires federal departments and agencies to “review existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind those that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources.” The “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” Executive Order (E.O. 13783) was published in the Federal Register on March 31.

     

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The House will consider two bills under suspension of the rules and begin consideration of H.R. 1304 – Self-Insurance Protection Act. The Senate will resume consideration of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

House

 

Yesterday

  • Self-Insurance Protection Act--Rule for Consideration:
    • The House agreed to H. Res. 241, providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1304) to amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Public Health Service Act, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from the definition of health insurance coverage certain medical stop-loss insurance obtained by certain plan sponsors of group health plans, by a recorded vote of 234 ayes to 184 noes, Roll No. 212, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 232 yeas to 188 nays, Roll No. 211.
  • Suspensions:
    • The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measure: Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017: Concur in the Senate amendment to 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, and to expand commercial opportunities for the provision of weather data.
  • Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2017:
    • The House passed H.R. 1343, to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission to revise its rules so as to increase the threshold amount for requiring issuers to provide certain disclosures relating to compensatory benefit plans, by a yea-and-nay vote of 331 yeas to 87 nays, Roll No. 216.
  • Rejected the Swalwell (CA) motion to recommit the bill to the Committee on Financial Services with instructions to report the same back to the House forthwith with an amendment, by a yea-and-nay vote of 185 yeas to 228 nays, Roll No. 215.
  • Pursuant to the Rule, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 115-11 shall be considered as adopted.
  • Withdrawn:
    • Polis amendment (No. 1 printed in H. Rept. 115-75) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have required GAO to report to Congress one year after date of enactment the impact of the legislation on employee ownership.
  • H. Res. 240, the rule providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1343) was agreed to by a recorded vote of 238 ayes to 177 noes, Roll No. 214, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 229 yeas to 187 nays, Roll No. 213.

 

Today

  • On Wednesday, 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: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
    • 1) H.R. 1667 – Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino / Judiciary Committee)
    • 2) S. 544 – To amend the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to modify the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program, and for other purposes. (Sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester / Veterans Affairs Committee)
    • H.R. 1304 – Self-Insurance Protection Act (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe / Education and the Workforce Committee)

 

Senate

 

Yesterday

 

  • Gorsuch Nomination--Cloture: Senate began consideration of the nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Prior to the consideration of this nomination, Senate took the following action: Senate agreed to the motion to proceed to Legislative Session.
  • By 55 yeas to 44 nays (Vote No. 104), Senate agreed to the motion to proceed to executive session to consider the nomination.
  • A motion was entered to close further debate on the nomination, and, in accordance with the provisions of Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a vote on cloture will occur on Thursday, April 6, 2017.
  • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the nomination at approximately 9:30 a.m., on Wednesday, April 5, 2017; that the debate time on the nomination during Wednesday's session of the Senate be divided as follows: following Leader remarks until 11 a.m. be equally divided, that the time from 11 a.m. until 12 noon be under the control of the Majority; that the time from 12 noon until 1 p.m. be under the control of the Minority; and that the debate time until 9 p.m., on Wednesday be divided in one hour alternating blocks.
  • Nomination Confirmed: Senate confirmed the following nomination: By 85 yeas to 14 nays (Vote No. EX. 103), Elaine C. Duke, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.

 

Today

  • The Senate reconvenes at 9:30 a.m. and will resume consideration of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Time until 11 a.m. will be evenly divided between the Republicans and Democrats, and all remaining debate will alternate (starting with Republicans at 11) between parties on an hourly basis until 9 p.m.
  • Nominations:
    • Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

House Financial Services Committee
“The 2016 Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection”

SEC
Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
“Federal Highway/Transit Aid Implementation”

Senate HELP Committee
“Nomination of Scott Gottlieb to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration”

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee
"The Current State of Retirement Security in the United States"

House Appropriations
Federal Response to the Opioid Crisis

House Oversight
Oversight of the FEMA Response to the Baton Rouge Flood Disaster: Part II

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Health

H.R.1871 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to reduce Federal financial participation for certain States that require political subdivisions to contribute towards the non-Federal share of Medicaid.
Sponsor: Rep. Faso, John J. [R-NY-19] (Introduced 04/04/2017) Cosponsors: (5)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 04/04/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

S.815 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act to make premium and cost-sharing subsidies available to low-income Medicare part D beneficiaries who reside in Puerto Rico or another territory of the United States.
Sponsor: Sen. Nelson, Bill [D-FL] (Introduced 04/04/2017) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 04/04/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

 

Tax

H.R.1897 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow rollovers from 529 programs to ABLE accounts.
Sponsor: Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R-WA-5] (Introduced 04/04/2017) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 04/04/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means

H.R.1896 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals with disabilities to save additional amounts in their ABLE accounts above the current annual maximum contribution if they work and earn income.
Sponsor: Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R-WA-5] (Introduced 04/04/2017) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 04/04/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means

H.R.1874 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the age requirement with respect to eligibility for qualified ABLE programs.
Sponsor: Rep. Cardenas, Tony [D-CA-29] (Introduced 04/04/2017) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 04/04/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means

S.818 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals with disabilities to save additional amounts in their ABLE accounts above the current annual maximum contribution if they work and earn income.
Sponsor: Sen. Burr, Richard [R-NC] (Introduced 04/04/2017) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 04/04/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

S.817 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the age requirement with respect to eligibility for qualified ABLE programs.
Sponsor: Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA] (Introduced 04/04/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 04/04/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.816 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow rollovers from 529 programs to ABLE accounts.
Sponsor: Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA] (Introduced 04/04/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 04/04/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • April 19, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On April 13, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comments “on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification.” The notice is part of the EPA’s efforts to implement the Executive Order titled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda” (E.O. 13777), which was signed by President Trump on February 24, 2017. The deadline for submitting public comments is May 15, 2017. EPA offices will also be conducting public forums on regulatory reform over the next four weeks. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order (E.O. 13771) which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • April 12, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    Congress enacted the “Congressional Review Act” (CRA) as part of the “Contract with America Advancement Act” (P.L. 104-121) in 1996 and it is codified at 5 U.S.C. 801-808. The CRA established an expedited process for Congress to repeal recently promulgated regulations through passage of joint resolutions signed into law by the President. As of April 7, the President has signed eleven CRA resolutions into law. The House and Senate have passed two more, which the President is expected to sign. Activity on CRA resolutions will begin to wind down as the statutory cut-off for action on resolutions to repeal final rules issued during the 114th Congress is expected to occur no later than early May.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • April 3, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing a number of actions to repeal or revise Obama Administration policies targeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. It also requires federal departments and agencies to “review existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind those that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources.” The “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” Executive Order (E.O. 13783) was published in the Federal Register on March 31.

     

    Read...

    Read More

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