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 is expected to consider eleven bills under suspension of the rules. The House may also consider the Floor rule for consideration of three bills:  H.R. 5788, H.R. 5735, and H.R. 2851. The Senate will resume consideration of H.R.5515, National Defense Authorization Act.

THE HOUSE

 

Yesterday

  • Suspensions: The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measures:
    • Synthetic Drug Awareness Act:
      • H.R. 449, amended, to require the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service to submit to Congress a report on the effects on public health of the increased rate of use of synthetic drugs;
    • Agreed to amend the title so as to read:
      • ``To require the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service to submit to Congress a report on the health effects of new psychoactive substances (including synthetic drugs) use.''.
    • Better Pain Management Through Better Data Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5473, amended, to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to update or issue one or more guidances addressing alternative methods for data collection on opioid sparing and inclusion of such data in product labeling;
    • Amending title XI of the Social Security Act to promote testing of incentive payments for behavioral health providers for adoption and use of certified electronic health record technology:
      • H.R. 3331, amended, to amend title XI of the Social Security Act to promote testing of incentive payments for behavioral health providers for adoption and use of certified electronic health record technology;
    • Indexing Narcotics, Fentanyl, and Opioids Act:
      • H.R. 4284, amended, to establish a Federal Coordinator within the Department of Health and Human Services;
    • Agreed to amend the title so as to read:
      • ``To establish a substance use disorder information dashboard within the Department of Health and Human Services, and for other purposes.''.
    • Ensuring Access to Quality Sober Living Act:
      • H.R. 4684, amended, to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and to publish and disseminate best practices for operating a recovery housing;
    • Agreed to amend the title so as to read:
      • ``To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify or facilitate the development of best practices for operating recovery housing, and for other purposes.''.
    • Advancing Cutting Edge Research Act:
      • H.R. 5002, to expand the unique research initiatives authority of the National Institutes of Health;
    • Medicaid Institutes for Mental Disease Are Decisive in Delivering Inpatient Treatment for Individuals but Opportunities for Needed Access are Limited without Information Needed about Facility Obligations Act:
      • H.R. 5800, to require the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission to conduct an exploratory study and report on requirements applicable to and practices of institutions for mental diseases under the Medicaid program;
    • Jessie's Law:
      • H.R. 5009, amended, to include information concerning a patient's opioid addiction in certain medical records;
    • Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act:
      • H.R. 5041, amended, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to authorize the employees of a hospice program to handle controlled substances in the residence of a deceased hospice patient to assist in disposal, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 398 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 259;
    • Agreed to amend the title so as to read:
      • ``To amend the Controlled Substances Act to authorize the employees of a hospice program to handle controlled substances lawfully in the possession of a deceased hospice patient for the purpose of disposal.''.
    • Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5102, to amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize a loan repayment program for substance use disorder treatment employees;
    • Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Rooms Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5176, amended, to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide coordinated care to patients who have experienced a non-fatal overdose after emergency room discharge;
    • Stop Counterfeit Drugs by Regulating and Enhancing Enforcement Now Act:
      • H.R. 5228, amended, to strengthen the authorities of the Food and Drug Administration to address counterfeit drugs, illegal and synthetic opioids, and opioid-like substances;
    • Treatment, Education, and Community Help to Combat Addiction Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5261, amended, to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for regional centers of excellence in substance use disorder education;
    • Reinforcing Evidence-Based Standards Under Law in Treating Substance Abuse Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5272, amended, to ensure that programs and activities that are funded by a grant, cooperative agreement, loan, or loan guarantee from the Department of Health and Human Services, and whose purpose is to prevent or treat a mental health or substance use disorder, are evidence-based;
    • Agreed to amend the title so as to read:
      • ``To provide additional guidance to grantees seeking funding to treat or prevent mental health or substance use disorders.''.
    • Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5327, amended, to amend title V of the Public Health Service Act to establish a grant program to create comprehensive opioid recovery centers, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 383 yeas to 13 nays, Roll No. 258;
    • Poison Center Network Enhancement Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5329, amended, to amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize and enhance the poison center national toll-free number, national media campaign, and grant program;
    • Eliminating Opioid Related Infectious Diseases Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5353, amended, to amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize and expand a program of surveillance and education, carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regarding infections associated with injection drug use;
    • Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5483, amended, to impose a deadline for the promulgation of interim final regulations in accordance with section 311(h) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 831(h)) specifying the circumstances in which a special registration may be issued to a practitioner to engage in the practice of telemedicine;
    • Abuse Deterrent Access Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5582, amended, to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study and submit a report on barriers to accessing abuse-deterrent opioid formulations for individuals enrolled in a plan under part C or D of the Medicare program;
    • Amending title XI of the Social Security Act to require States to annually report on certain adult health quality measures:
      • H.R. 5583, to amend title XI of the Social Security Act to require States to annually report on certain adult health quality measures;
    • Medicare Opioid Safety Education Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5685, to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide educational resources regarding opioid use and pain management as part of the Medicare & You handbook;
    • Empowering Pharmacists in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Act:
      • H.R. 4275, amended, to provide for the development and dissemination of programs and materials for training pharmacists, health care providers, and patients on indicators that a prescription is fraudulent, forged, or otherwise indicative of abuse or diversion;
    • Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) in the Emergency Department Act:
      • H.R. 5197, amended, to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a demonstration program to test alternative pain management protocols to limit the use of opioids in emergency departments;
    • Peer Support Communities of Recovery Act:
      • H.R. 5587, amended, to amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize certain recovery services grants to be used to establish regional technical assistance centers; and
    • Creating Opportunities that Necessitate New and Enhanced Connections That Improve Opioid Navigation Strategies Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5812, to amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out certain activities to prevent controlled substances overdoses.

 

Today

  • The House reconvenes at noon for legislative business and is expected to consider measures under suspension of the rules. The chamber may also consider the floor rule for consideration of three bills that would require USPS to obtain advance electronic tracking data from foreign postal services and pass it to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent the entry of opioid shipments (HR 5788), that would establish a pilot program to allocate Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers directly to nonprofit organizations that provide housing, job training and continued support for individuals who are transitioning out of a substance abuse rehabilitation program and back into the workforce (HR 5735), and that would create a new category of controlled substances, "schedule A," for analogues of drugs or substances in existing schedules I through V (HR 2851).
  • Bills considered under suspension of the rules:
    • HR 5294 — Treating Barriers to Prosperity Act
    • HR 5752 — Stop Illicit Drug Importation Act
    • HR 5889 — Recognizing Early Childhood Trauma Related to Substance Abuse Act
    • HR 5890 — Assisting States' Implementation of Plans of Safe Care Act
    • HR 5891 — Improving the Federal Response to Families Impacted by Substance Use Disorder Act
    • HR 5892 — A bill to establish an Advisory Committee on Opioids and the Workplace to advise the Secretary of Labor on actions the Department of Labor can take to address the impact of opioid abuse on the workplace.
    • S 1091 — Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act
    • HR 2147 — Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act
    • HR 4635 — A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase the number of peer-to-peer counselors providing counseling for women veterans, and for other purposes.
    • HR 4655 — Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) Act
    • HR 6029 — A bill to amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to reauthorize the comprehensive opioid abuse grant program, and for other purposes.
    • H Res 934 — A resolution providing for consideration of the bill (HR 2851) to amend the Controlled Substances Act to clarify how controlled substance analogues are to be regulated, and for other purposes; providing for consideration of the bill (HR 5735) to amend the United States Housing Act of 1937 to establish a demonstration program to set aside section 8 housing vouchers for supportive and transitional housing for individuals recovering from opioid use disorders or other substance use disorders, and for other purposes; and providing for consideration of the bill (HR 5788) to provide for the processing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of certain international mail shipments and to require the provision of advance electronic information on international mail shipments of mail, and for other purposes (official title to be confirmed).

 

THE SENATE

 

Yesterday

  • Measures Considered:
    • National Defense Authorization Act--Agreement: Senate continued consideration of H.R. 5515, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2019 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, taking action on the following amendments proposed thereto:
      • Pending:
        • Inhofe/McCain Modified Amendment No. 2282, in the nature of a substitute.
        • McConnell (for Toomey) Amendment No. 2700 (to Amendment No. 2282), to require congressional review of certain regulations issued by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
        • Reed/Warren Amendment No. 2756 (to Amendment No. 2700), to require the authorization of appropriation of amounts for the development of new or modified nuclear weapons.
        • Lee Amendment No. 2366 (to the language proposed to be stricken by Amendment No. 2282), to clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority does not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
        • Reed Amendment No. 2842 (to Amendment No. 2366), to require the authorization of appropriation of amounts for the development of new or modified nuclear weapons.
        • A motion was entered to close further debate on McConnell (for Toomey) Amendment No. 2700 (to Amendment No. 2282) (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 Thursday, June 14, 2018.
        • A motion was entered to close further debate on Inhofe/McCain Modified Amendment No. 2282 (listed above), and, in accordance with the provisions of Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a vote on cloture will occur upon disposition of McConnell (for Toomey) Amendment No. 2700 (to Amendment No. 2282).
        • A motion was entered to close further debate on the bill, and, in accordance with the provisions of Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a vote on cloture will occur upon disposition of Inhofe/McCain Modified Amendment No. 2282.
  • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the bill at approximately 9:30 a.m., on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.
  • Nomination Confirmed: Senate confirmed the following nomination:
    • Christopher Krebs, of Virginia, to be Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs, Department of Homeland Security.

 

Today

  • Following Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.5515, National Defense Authorization Act.
  • This evening Senator McConnell filed cloture on the following items, in the order listed:
    • Toomey amendment #2700 (CIFIUS/REINS)
    • Inhofe substitute amendment #2282, as modified (NDAA reported bill plus managers package I)
    • H.R.5515, (NDAA)
  • If cloture is invoked, amendments must be germane and timely filed. The filing deadline for first degree amendments is 1:00pm Wednesday. The filing deadline for second degree amendments is one hour prior to the cloture vote.
  • The first cloture motion will ripen one hour after the Senate convenes on Thursday, June 14. The motions will ripen in the order filed. If cloture is invoked on an item, debate would be limited to 30 hours prior to a vote on the item. If cloture is not invoked, there would be an immediate cloture vote on the next item.
  • Amendments Pending to H.R.5515, National Defense Authorization Act
    • Inhofe SA #2282, as modified (substitute plus managers package I)
    • Toomey SA #2700 (CIFIUS/REINS)
    • Reed SA #2756 to SA #2700 (to ensure congressional authorization of new nuclear weapons)
    • Lee SA #2366 to the language proposed to be stricken/underlying bill (indefinite detainees)
    • Reed SA #2842 to Lee SA #2366 (to ensure congressional authorization of new nuclear weapons.

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

Senate Agriculture
Farm Bill Markup

House Financial Services
Financial Industry Regulation: OCC

Senate EPW
Autonomous Technology Effects on Roads and Bridges

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Markup

House Natural Resources
Markup of Pending Legislation

House Small Business
Category Management /Small Business Industrial Base

House Appropriations
Defense/Financial Services Full Committee Markup

Research!America and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
Overcoming Gaps in the Treatment of Mental Illness

House Financial Services
Securities Law Enforcement

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Energy

S.3056 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill 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: Sen. Hoeven, John [R-ND] (Introduced 06/12/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate - Energy and Natural Resources
Latest Action: Senate - 06/12/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

 

Financial Services

H.R.6069 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To require the Comptroller General of the United States to carry out a study on how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to buy, sell, or facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with sex trafficking or drug trafficking, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Vargas, Juan [D-CA-51] (Introduced 06/12/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Financial Services, Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: House - 06/12/2018 Referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee...

H.R.6068 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To update dollar amount thresholds for certain currency transaction reports and suspicious activity reports, to improve the sharing of suspicious activity reports within a financial group, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Pearce, Stevan [R-NM-2] (Introduced 06/12/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Financial Services
Latest Action: House - 06/12/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

 

Health

H.R.6074 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To combat the heroin epidemic and drug sample backlogs.
Sponsor: Rep. Esty, Elizabeth H. [D-CT-5] (Introduced 06/12/2018) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House - Judiciary
Latest Action: House - 06/12/2018 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

H.R.6071 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Public Health Service Act to clarify the intent of the 340B program and provide for enhanced 340B program integrity, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6] (Introduced 06/12/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means
Latest Action: House - 06/12/2018 Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee...

S.3054 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to create alternative sanctions for technical noncompliance with the Stark rule under Medicare, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Perdue, David [R-GA] (Introduced 06/12/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: Senate - 06/12/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.3053 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend title XXI of the Social Security Act to ensure access to mental health and substance use disorder services for children and pregnant women under the Children's Health Insurance Program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI] (Introduced 06/12/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: Senate - 06/12/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

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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