PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • August 13, 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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  • 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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  • October 10, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On October 10, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units”. The NPRM would rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power generation sector sources, namely coal and natural gas power plants.

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The House will consider two bills under suspension of the rules as well as H.R. 772 – Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017 and the House Amendment to Senate Amendment to H.R. 1892 – Further Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018. The Senate might vote on the House Message on H.R.695, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018.

THE HOUSE

 

Yesterday

  • Suspensions: The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measures:
    • Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2017:
      • H.R. 4547, amended, to amend titles II, VIII, and XVI of the Social Security Act to improve and strengthen the representative payment program, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 396 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 51;
    • Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park Establishment Act:
      • H.R. 2888, to establish the Ste. Genevieve National Historic Site in the State of Missouri;
    • Ensuring fair treatment in licensing requirements for the export of certain echinoderms:
      • H.R. 2504, to ensure fair treatment in licensing requirements for the export of certain echinoderms; and
    • United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act:
      • H.R. 2646, amended, to reauthorize the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015.
  • Suspensions--Proceedings Postponed: The House debated the following measures under suspension of the rules. Further proceedings were postponed.
    • Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act:
      • H.R. 2371, to require the Administrator of the Western Area Power Administration to establish a pilot project to provide increased transparency for customers;
    • Gateway Arch National Park Designation Act:
      • S. 1438, to redesignate the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in the State of Missouri as the ``Gateway Arch National Park'';
    • Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017:
      • H.R. 1997, amended, to encourage United States-Ukraine cybersecurity cooperation and require a report regarding such cooperation;
    • War Crimes Rewards Expansion Act:
      • H.R. 3851, amended, to amend the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to provide for rewards for the arrest or conviction of certain foreign nationals who have committed genocide or war crimes; and
    • Swan Lake Hydroelectric Project Boundary Correction Act:
      • H.R. 219, to correct the Swan Lake hydroelectric project survey boundary and to provide for the conveyance of the remaining tract of land within the corrected survey boundary to the State of Alaska.

 

Today

  • On Tuesday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for morning hour and 10:00 a.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Last votes expected: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
    • 1) H.R. 4924 – To amend the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to reform the procedures provided under such Act for the initiation, investigation, and resolution of claims alleging that employing offices of the legislative branch have violated the rights and protections provided to their employees under such Act, including protections against sexual harassment, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Gregg Harper / House Administration Committee)
    • 2) H.Res. 724 – Requiring each employing office of the House of Representatives to adopt an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy for the office’s workplace, establishing the Office of Employee Advocacy to provide legal assistance and consultation to employees of the House regarding procedures and proceedings under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, and for other purposes   (Sponsored by Rep. Gregg Harper / House Administration Committee)
    • H.R. 772 – Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017 (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers / Energy and Commerce Committee)
    • House Amendment to Senate Amendment to H.R. 1892 – Further Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen / Appropriations Committee)
  • Postponed Suspension Votes:
    • 1) H.R. 219 – Swan Lake Hydroelectric Project Boundary Correction Act (Sponsored by Rep. Don Young / Natural Resources Committee)
    • 2) H.R. 2371 – Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act (Sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar / Natural Resources Committee)
    • 3) S. 1438 – Gateway Arch National Park Designation Act (Sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt / Natural Resources Committee)

 

THE SENATE

 

Yesterday

  • Measures Passed:
    • Kari's Law Act: Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 582, to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require multi-line telephone systems to have a configuration that permits users to directly initiate a call to 9–1–1 without dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, and the bill was then passed, after agreeing to the following amendment proposed thereto:
      • McConnell (for Klobuchar) Amendment No. 1921, to modify the effective date.
    • Nomination Confirmed: Senate confirmed the following nomination:
      • By a unanimous vote of 94 yeas (Vote No. EX. 28), Andrei Iancu, of California, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

 

Today

  • The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00am on Tuesday, February 6, 2018.
  • Following Leader remarks, there will be a period of morning business until 12:00 noon with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each and with the time equally divided between the two Leaders, or their designees.
  • Around noon, there could be a roll call vote on going to the House Message on H.R.695, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

Senate Judiciary
Illicit International Financial Networks

House Financial Services
FSOC Annual Report

Senate Banking
Virtual Currencies

House Armed Services
National Defense Strategy/Nuclear Posture Review

House Foreign Affairs
U.S. Cyber Diplomacy

House Homeland Security
Ensuring Effective and Reliable Alerts and Warnings

Senate HELP
Gig Economy/Future of Retirement Savings

Senate Commerce
Data Security/Uber Data Breach

House Ways and Means
Preventing Opioid Abuse/Dependence in Medicare

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Financial Services

S.2375 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to allow consumers to prohibit certain consumer reporting agencies from releasing any information in the files of those consumers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH] (Introduced 02/05/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate - Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Latest Action: Senate - 02/05/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

 

Tax

H.R.4926 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emission fees, reduce the rate of the corporate income tax, provide tax credits to workers, deliver additional benefits to retired and disabled Americans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3] (Introduced 02/05/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Ways and Means, Transportation and Infrastructure, Veterans' Affairs, Energy and Commerce, Education and the Workforce
Latest Action: House - 02/05/2018 Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Veterans' Affairs, Energy and Commerce, and Education and the Workforce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for...

S.2373 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the credit for production of refined coal.
Sponsor: Sen. Hoeven, John [R-ND] (Introduced 02/05/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: Senate - 02/05/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

 

Transportation

H.R.4925 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To require the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration to implement certain recommendations for management and collection of railroad safety data.
Sponsor: Rep. Gottheimer, Josh [D-NJ-5] (Introduced 02/05/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Action: House - 02/05/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

H.R.4921 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To require the Surface Board of Transportation to implement certain recommendations of the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation.
Sponsor: Rep. Mitchell, Paul [R-MI-10] (Introduced 02/05/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Action: House - 02/05/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • August 13, 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
  • October 10, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On October 10, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units”. The NPRM would rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power generation sector sources, namely coal and natural gas power plants.

    Read...

    Read More

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