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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  • 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.

     

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The House will consider nine bills under suspension of the rules then will move to consideration of H.R. 6199 – Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018 and H.R. 6311 – Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018. The Senate will resume consideration of H.R.6147, Appropriations Minibus II (Interior/FSGG/THUD/Ag).

THE HOUSE

 

Yesterday

  • Restoring Access to Medication Act of 2018--Rule for Consideration:
    • The House agreed to H. Res. 1012, providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 6199) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include certain over-the-counter medical products as qualified medical expenses, and providing for proceedings during the period from July 27, 2018, through September 3, 2018, by a recorded vote of 229 ayes to 179 noes, Roll No. 369, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 224 yeas to 184 nays, Roll No. 368.
  • Protect Medical Innovation Act:
    • The House passed H.R. 184, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the excise tax on medical devices, by a yea-and-nay vote of 283 yeas to 132 nays, Roll No. 372.
  • Pursuant to the Rule, the amendment printed in H. Rept. 115–860 shall be considered as adopted.
  • H. Res. 1011, the rule providing for consideration of the bills (H.R. 184) and (H.R. 6311) was agreed to by a recorded vote of 225 ayes to 184 noes, Roll No. 371, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 223 yeas to 188 nays, Roll No. 370.
  • Suspensions: The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measures:
    • Equitable Access to Care and Health Act:
      • H.R. 1201, amended, to amend section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an additional religious exemption from the individual health coverage mandate;
    • Native American Health Savings Improvement Act:
      • H.R. 1476, amended, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permit individuals eligible for Indian Health Service assistance to qualify for health savings accounts;
    • Water and Agriculture Tax Reform Act:
      • H.R. 519, amended, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to facilitate water leasing and water transfers to promote conservation and efficiency;
    • Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 3500, amended, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service from rehiring any employee of the Internal Revenue Service who was involuntarily separated from service for misconduct;
    • Improving Social Security's Service to Victims of Identity Theft Act:
      • H.R. 6084, amended, to amend title VII of the Social Security Act to provide for a single point of contact at the Social Security Administration for individuals who are victims of identity theft;
    • Improving Seniors Access to Quality Benefits Act:
      • H.R. 4952, amended, to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study and submit a report on the effects of the inclusion of quality increases in the determination of blended benchmark amounts under part C of the Medicare program;
    • Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Transparency Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 6138, amended, to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for ambulatory surgical center representation during the review of hospital outpatient payment rates under part B of the Medicare program;
    • Tribal Social Security Fairness Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 6124, amended, to amend title II of the Social Security Act to authorize voluntary agreements for coverage of Indian tribal council members;
    • Allowing servicemembers to terminate their cable, satellite television, and Internet access service contracts while deployed:
      • H.R. 2409, amended, to allow servicemembers to terminate their cable, satellite television, and Internet access service contracts while deployed;
    • Veterans-Specific Education for Tomorrow's Medical Doctors Act:
      • H.R. 2787, amended, to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a pilot program instituting a clinical observation program for pre-med students preparing to attend medical school;
    • Amending title 38, United States Code, to provide for the inclusion of certain additional periods of active duty service for purposes of suspending charges to veterans' entitlement to educational assistance under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs during periods of suspended participation in vocational rehabilitation programs:
      • H.R. 5538, to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the inclusion of certain additional periods of active duty service for purposes of suspending charges to veterans' entitlement to educational assistance under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs during periods of suspended participation in vocational rehabilitation programs;
    • Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William `Bill' Mulder (Ret.) Transition Improvement Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5649, amended, to amend titles 10 and 38, United States Code, to amend the Social Security Act, and to direct the Secretaries of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Labor, and Homeland Security, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, to take certain actions to improve transition assistance to members of the Armed Forces who separate, retire, or are discharged from the Armed Forces;
    • Gold Star Spouses Leasing Relief Act:
      • H.R. 5882, amended, to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to provide for the termination by a spouse of a lessee of certain leases when the lessee dies while in military service;
    • Veterans Serving Veterans Act of 2018:
      • H.R. 5938, amended, to amend the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a vacancy and recruitment database to facilitate the recruitment of certain members of the Armed Forces to satisfy the occupational needs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to establish and implement a training and certification program for intermediate care technicians in that Department; and
    • Department of Veterans Affairs Creation of On-Site Treatment Systems Affording Veterans Improvements and Numerous General Safety Enhancements Act:
      • H.R. 5974, amended, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to use on-site regulated medical waste treatment systems at certain Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.
  • Suspensions--Proceedings Postponed: The House debated the following measures under suspension of the rules. Further proceedings were postponed.
    • The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act:
      • S. 1182, amended, to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint commemorative coins in recognition of the 100th anniversary of The American Legion; and
    • VA Hospitals Establishing Leadership Performance Act:
      • H.R. 5864, amended, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish qualifications for the human resources positions within the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

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: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Postponed Suspension Votes:
    • 1) House Amendment to S. 1182 – National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Rep. Tom MacArthur / Financial Services Committee)
    • 2) H.R. 5864 – VA Hospitals Establishing Leadership Performance Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Bost / Veterans Affairs Committee)
  • Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
    • 1) H.R. 5693 – Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Clay Higgins / Veterans Affairs Committee)
    • 2) Concurring in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2353 – Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson / Education and the Workforce Committee)
    • 3) H.Res. 981 – Condemning the violence, persecution, intimidation, and murders committed by the Government of Nicaragua against its citizens, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen / Foreign Affairs Committee)
    • 4) H.R. 5535 – Energy Diplomacy Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul / Foreign Affairs Committee)
    • 5) H.R. 6414 – To amend title 23, United States Code, to extend the deadline for promulgation of regulations under the tribal transportation self-governance program (Sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
    • 6) House Amendment to S. 756 – Save Our Seas Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Sen. Dan Sullivan / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
    • 7) H.Res. 1009 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the lack of timely and predictable funding unnecessarily undermines the mission of the United States Special Operations Command and jeopardizes the security of the United States (Sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson / Armed Services Committee)
    • 8) H.Res. 1010 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Air Force faces significant readiness challenges due to insufficient personnel levels, a shrinking and depleted aircraft fleet, and maintenance deferrals, all of which are affected by budgetary uncertainty and impede the Air Force’s ability to meet ongoing and unexpected national security threats, putting United States national security at risk (Sponsored by Rep. Jodey Arrington / Armed Services Committee)
    • 9) H.Res. 1007 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that not fully resourcing the United States Army in a timely manner erodes the Army’s ability to maintain readiness and poses risk to the Army’s ability to conduct military operations (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Russell / Armed Services Committee)
  • H.R. 6199 – Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018, Rules Committee Print (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Lynn Jenkins / Ways and Means Committee)
  • H.R. 6311 – Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018, Rules Committee Print (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Peter Roskam / Energy and Commerce Committee)

 

THE SENATE

 

Yesterday

  • Measures Considered:
    • Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act--Agreement: Senate continued consideration of H.R. 6147, making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, taking action on the following amendments proposed thereto:
      • Adopted:
        • By 98 yeas to 1 nay (Vote No. 164), Collins (for Heller/Brown) Amendment No. 3405 (to Amendment No. 3399), to increase the amount available for a Community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance matching grants program for tax return preparation assistance.
        • By a unanimous vote of 99 yeas (Vote No. 165), Collins (for Durbin) Amendment No. 3422 (to Amendment No. 3399), to require the Inspector General to update an audit report concerning on-time performance of Amtrak.
        • By 97 yeas to 1 nay (Vote No. 166), Murkowski (for Schatz/Hirono) Amendment No. 3407 (to Amendment No. 3399), to provide for a report on facilities of the Department of the Interior damaged by certain volcanic eruptions.
        • By 87 yeas to 11 nays (Vote No. 167), Murkowski (for Kennedy/Cassidy) Amendment No. 3430 (to Amendment No. 3399), to provide amounts for inspection of foreign seafood manufacturers and field examinations of imported seafood.
    • Pending:
      • Shelby Amendment No. 3399, in the nature of a substitute.
      • Murkowski Amendment No. 3400 (to Amendment No. 3399), of a perfecting nature.
      • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that it be in order to call up the following amendments to Shelby Amendment No. 3399 (listed above): Moran Amendment No. 3433, and Udall Amendment No. 3414; and that at 2:30 p.m., on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, Senate vote on or in relation to Moran Amendment No. 3433, and Udall Amendment No. 3414, in the order listed, and that there be no second-degree amendments in order to the amendments prior to the votes.
      • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the bill at approximately 10 a.m., on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
    • Nominations Confirmed: Senate confirmed the following nominations:
      • Bruce Landsberg, of South Carolina, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board for a term expiring December 31, 2022.
      • Jennifer L. Homendy, of Virginia, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board for a term expiring December 31, 2019.

 

Today

  • The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00am on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
  • Following Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.6147, Appropriations Minibus II (Interior/FSGG/THUD/Ag). The Senate reached an agreement that it be in order to call up Moran amendment #3433 on grain inspections and Udall amendment #3414 on Amtrak. At 2:30pm, there will be votes in relation to the amendments in the order listed with no amendments in order prior to the votes.
  • 2:30pm—2 roll call votes
    • 1. Moran SA #3433 (grain inspections)
    • 2. Udall SA #3414 (AMTRAK)
  • Amendments Pending to H.R.6147, Minibus II
    • Shelby SA #3399 (substitute)
    • Murkowski SA #3400 (technical)

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

House Energy and Commerce
FDA/NIH 21st Century Cures Implementation

Senate HELP
Health Legislation Markup

House Agriculture
CFTC Upcoming Agenda

House Appropriations
Homeland Security Appropriations Markup

Multiemployer Select Committee
House Homeland
Federal Cybersecurity Risk Determination

House Small Business
Tax Law's Impact on Main Street

JEC
The Innovation Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Barriers to Capital Access”

House Natural Resources
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

House Homeland
Using Innovative Technology and Practices to Enhance the Culture of Preparedness

House OGR
GAO High Risk Focus

Senate Foreign Relations
An Update on American Diplomacy to Advance Nat Sec Strategy

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Health

H.R.6498 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To improve mental health services.
Sponsor: Rep. Roe, David P. [R-TN-1] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Education and the Workforce
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

H.R.6496 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to ensure that preexisting condition exclusions with respect to enrollment in health insurance coverage and group health plans continue to be prohibited.
Sponsor: Rep. Joyce, David P. [R-OH-14] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.6495 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to enter into a 10-year arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct and update biennially a study on the effects of State legalized marijuana programs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (23)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Education and the Workforce
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary, and Education and the Workforce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the..

H.R.6491 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Controlled Substances Act to require the Drug Enforcement Administration to report certain information on distribution of opioids to manufacturers and distributors to help identify, report, and stop suspicious orders of opioids and reduce diversion rates, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Castor, Kathy [D-FL-14] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, 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.6488 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title XI of the Social Security Act to exempt from certain criminal penalties the offering and use of certain pharmaceutical manufacturer copayment coupons to waive or reduce cost-sharing otherwise applied under the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Sponsor: Rep. Barton, Joe [R-TX-6] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 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...

H.R.6481 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, for the purpose of addressing public health crises, to require the manufacturers of covered products to develop, maintain, and update a plan to mitigate the effects of such products on public health, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.6479 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to include short-term limited duration plans in the definition of individual health insurance coverage.
Sponsor: Rep. Ruiz, Raul [D-CA-36] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce

 

Puerto Rico

S.3256 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to support businesses in Puerto Rico, extend child tax credits for families in Puerto Rico, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Hatch, Orrin G. [R-UT] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate - Finance
Latest Action: Senate - 07/24/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

 

Transportation

H.R.6497 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To enhance rail safety and provide for the safe and covered transport of materials in railroad cars, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

H.R.6493 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend titles 23 and 49, United States Code, to improve public understanding of how transportation investments are made by public agencies through establishing greater transparency and accountability processes.
Sponsor: Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

H.R.6489 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a grant program for the relocation of certain petroleum storage facilities, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Barragan, Nanette Diaz [D-CA-44] (Introduced 07/24/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Transportation and Infrastructure, Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: House - 07/24/2018 Referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 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...

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
  • 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

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