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. 2581 – Verify First Act and S. 1094 – Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.  The Senate will consider a motion to discharge Senate Joint Resolution 42, relating to the disapproval of the proposed export to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of certain defense articles.

House

 

Yesterday

  • Suspensions:
    • The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measures:
      • Extending the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project:
        • H.R. 446, to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project;
      • Extending the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project:
        • H.R. 447, to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project;
      • Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2017:
        • H.R. 627, to amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to provide for the dissemination of information regarding available Federal programs relating to energy efficiency projects for schools;
      • Extending the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project:
        • H.R. 951, to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project;
      • Amending section 203 of the Federal Power Act:
        • H.R. 1109, to amend section 203 of the Federal Power Act;
      • Reinstating and extending the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving Jennings Randolph Dam:
        • H.R. 2122, to reinstate and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving Jennings Randolph Dam;
      • HYdropower Permit Extension Act:
        • H.R. 2274, to amend the Federal Power Act to provide for extended periods relating to preliminary permits and commencement of construction;
      • Extending a project of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission involving the Cannonsville Dam:
        • H.R. 2292, to extend a project of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission involving the Cannonsville Dam, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 400 yeas to 1 nay, Roll No. 300;
      • J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Hydropower Extension Act of 2017:
        • H.R. 2457, amended, to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of certain hydroelectric projects, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 402 yeas to 1 nay, Roll No. 301; and
      • Promoting a 21st century energy and manufacturing workforce:
        • H.R. 338, to promote a 21st century energy and manufacturing workforce.

 

Today

  • On Tuesday, 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: 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
  • H.R. 2581 – Verify First Act (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta / Ways and Means Committee)
  • S. 1094 – Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio / Veterans Affairs Committee)

 

Senate

 

Yesterday

  • Measures Considered:
    • Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act:
      • Senate began consideration of S. 722, to impose sanctions with respect to Iran in relation to Iran's ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights, after agreeing to the motion to proceed to consideration of the bill, and taking action on the following amendments and motions proposed thereto:
  • Pending:
    • McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment No. 232, to impose sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation and to combat terrorism and illicit financing.
    • McConnell Amendment No. 233 (to Amendment No. 232), to change the enactment date.
    • A motion was entered to close further debate on McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment No. 232 (listed above), and, in accordance with the provisions of Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a vote on cloture will occur on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  • Appointments:
    • Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children:
      • The Chair, on behalf of the Majority Leader, in consultation with the Chairperson of the Committee on Indian Affairs, pursuant to the provisions of Public Law 114–244, appointed the following individual to serve as a member of the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children: Don Atqaqsaq Gray of Alaska.
    • Government of Saudi Arabia Export of Defense Articles--Agreement:
      • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that at approximately 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, Senator Paul, or his designee, be recognized to make a motion to discharge S.J. Res. 42, relating to the disapproval of the proposed export to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of certain defense article; that debate on the motion be equally divided between the proponents and the opponents until 12:30 p.m.; that the Senate recess from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. for the weekly conference meetings, and at 2:15 p.m., there be 10 minutes of debate remaining on the motion to discharge the resolution, equally divided between Senator Paul, or his designee, and the opponents, and following the use or yielding back of that time, Senate vote on or in relation to the motion to discharge.
    • Walsh Nomination Referral--Agreement:
      • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that the nomination of Elizabeth Erin Walsh, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, be referred jointly to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • Nomination Confirmed: Senate confirmed the following nomination:
    • By 95 yeas to 1 nay (Vote No. EX. 142), Kenneth P. Rapuano, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense.

 

Today

  • The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00am on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.
  • Following any Leader remarks, Senator Paul or his designee will be recognized to make a motion to discharge Senate Joint Resolution 42, relating to the disapproval of the proposed export to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of certain defense articles, with the time until 12:30pm equally divided between proponents and opponents.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:15pm for the weekly caucus meetings.
  • At 2:15pm, there will be 10 minutes remaining on the resolution, equally divided, before a vote in relation to the motion to discharge.
  • As a reminder, during today’s session the Senate agreed to the motion to proceed to S.722, Iran Sanctions. Senator McConnell then filed cloture on SA #232 (Russia sanctions). Unless an agreement is reached, the cloture vote on the amendment will be 1 hour after the Senate convenes on Wednesday, June 14th. We expect to resume its consideration during Tuesday’s session.
  • The filing deadline for second degree amendments to SA #232 is 1 hour prior to the cloture vote if cloture is invoked.
  • Amendments pending to S.722, Iran Sanctions
    • SA #232 (Russia sanctions)
    • SA #233 to SA #232 (date change)

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

Senate EPW
Nomination Hearing

Senate Budget
Budget Request and Revenue Proposals

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
“The Cost of Prescription Drugs: How the Drug Delivery System Affects What Patients Pay”

House Energy and Commerce
Disrupter Series: Update on IOT Opportunities and Challenges

Senate Appropriations
FY 2018 USDA Budget Request

House Oversight and Government Reform
The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard 4.0

Senate Foreign Relations
State-Sponsored Cyberspace Threats: Recent Incidents and U.S. Policy Response

Senate Appropriations
FY 2018 Department of State Budget

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Energy

H.R.2883 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To establish a more uniform, transparent, and modern process to authorize the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of international border-crossing facilities for the import and export of oil and natural gas and the transmission of electricity.
Sponsor: Rep. Mullin, Markwayne [R-OK-2] (Introduced 06/12/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Referred to House Natural Resources

S.1340 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to provide for an expedited permitting process for critical energy infrastructure projects relating to the establishment of a regional energy hub in Appalachia, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV] (Introduced 06/12/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate - Energy and Natural Resources
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S.1337 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to make certain strategic energy infrastructure projects eligible for certain loan guarantees, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Manchin, Joe, III [D-WV] (Introduced 06/12/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate - Energy and Natural Resources
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

 

Financial Services

H.R.2877 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 to prohibit any subsidy for flood insurance coverage for any property owned or operated by the President, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3] (Introduced 06/12/2017) Cosponsors: (6)
Committees: House - Financial Services
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

H.R.2875 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To make administrative reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program to increase fairness and accuracy and protect the taxpayer from program fraud and abuse, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7] (Introduced 06/12/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Financial Services
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

H.R.2874 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To achieve reforms to improve the financial stability of the National Flood Insurance Program, to enhance the development of more accurate estimates of flood risk through new technology and better maps, to increase the role of private markets in the management of flood insurance risks, and to provide for alternative methods to insure against flood peril, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Duffy, Sean P. [R-WI-7] (Introduced 06/12/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Financial Services
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

 

Health

H.R.2881 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide payment under part A of the Medicare Program on a reasonable cost basis for anesthesia services furnished by an anesthesiologist in certain rural hospitals in the same manner as payments are provided for anesthesia services furnished by anesthesiologist assistants and certified registered nurse anesthetists in such hospitals, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Jenkins, Lynn [R-KS-2] (Introduced 06/12/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.2871 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to compounding pharmacies, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Griffith, H. Morgan [R-VA-9] (Introduced 06/12/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

S.1334 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for advanced illness care coordination services for Medicare beneficiaries, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Warner, Mark R. [D-VA] (Introduced 06/12/2017) Cosponsors: (5)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

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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