Today’s Daily Update

House passed military appropriations and considers legislative appropriations; Senate failed to advance minimum wage bill and considers nominations

House

 

Yesterday:

  • The House passed the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015, H.R. 4486, making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, by a yea-and-nay vote of 416 yeas to 1 nay, Roll No. 187.
    • Agreed to:
      • Turner amendment that redirects $20,000,000 in funding for Military Construction, Defense-Wide for study, planning, design, and architect and engineer services;
      • Sinema amendment that increases funding, by offset, for the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs by $1,000,000 to investigate deaths at veterans’ health facilities;
      • Costa amendment that increases funding, by offset, for General Operating Expenses, Veterans Benefits Administration by $10,500,000 to assist in the reduction of veterans’ disability claims backlog;
      • Ruiz amendment that redirects $5,000,000 in funding for General Operating Expenses, Veterans Benefits Administration for digital scanning of health and benefits files to reduce the benefits claims backlog;
      • Rothfus amendment that prohibits funds from being used by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay a performance award under section 5384 of title 5, United States Code;
      • Murphy (FL) amendment that prohibits funds from being used to maintain or improve Department of Defense real property with a zero percent utilization rate according to the Department’s real property inventory database, except in the case of maintenance of an historic property or maintenance to prevent a negative environmental impact;
      • Ross amendment that prohibits funds from being used to close a commissary store;
      • Runyan amendment that prohibits funds from being used to propose, plan for, or execute a new or additional Base Realignment and Closure round;
      • Gosar amendment that prohibits funds from being used to create or maintain any patient record-keeping system other than those currently approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office in Washington, DC;
      • Grayson amendment that prohibits funds from being used to enter into a contract with any offeror or any of its principals if that offeror has (A) within a three-year period preceding this offer, been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against it for commission of a fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public contract or subcontract; violation of Federal or State antitrust statutes relating to the submission of offers; or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, tax evasion, violating Federal criminal tax laws, or receiving stolen property; or (B) are presently indicted for, or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity with, commission of any of the offenses enumerated above in subsection (A); or (C) within a three-year period preceding this offer, has been notified of any delinquent Federal taxes in an amount that exceeds $3,000 for which the liability remains unsatisfied;
      • Gosar amendment that increases funding, by offset, for Department of Veterans Affairs Departmental Administration, Information Technology Systems by $3,215,910;
      • Jackson Lee amendment that prohibits funds made available for benefits for homeless veterans and training and outreach programs from being used in contravention of subchapters II and III of chapter 20 of title 38, United States Code;
      • Peters amendment that prohibits funds from being used for a contract that includes first-class travel by a contractor;
      • Nunes amendment that prohibits funds from being used for the closure or abandonment of any facility located at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal;
      • Walorski amendment that prohibits funds from being used to implement sole source contracting at the national level for the selection of devices and test strips for the self-monitoring of blood glucose; 
      • Noem amendment that prohibits funds from being used to prepare an environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 with respect to a health care facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs that is (1) designated as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service; and (2) located in a highly rural area.
    • Rejected:
      • Moran amendment (No. 5 printed in the Congressional Record of April 29, 2014) that sought to strike section 411, which prohibits funds from being used to construct, renovate, or expand any facility in the United States, its territories, or possessions to house any individual detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for the purposes of detention or imprisonment (by a recorded vote of 168 ayes to 249 noes, Roll No. 185)
      • Blumenauer amendment that sought to prohibit funds from being used to implement Veterans Health Administration directive 2011-004 with respect to the prohibition on ”VA providers from completing forms seeking recommendations or opinions regarding a Veteran’s participation in a State marijuana program” (by a recorded vote of 195 ayes to 222 noes, Roll No. 186).
    • Withdrawn:
      • Castor (FL) amendment that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have increased funding, by offset, for Military Construction, Air Force by $9,800,000 to address black mold in military facilities;
      • Terry amendment that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have prohibited funds from being used for administrative expenses of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs until the Secretary of Veterans Affairs meets with the Nebraska delegation to discuss alternative options for the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital planned for construction in Omaha, Nebraska;
      • LaMalfa amendment that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have allowed a caseworker in a congressional office to contact a Department of Veterans Affairs brokered office to receive an update on a constituent’s case, and that brokered office of the Department is required to update the congressional staffer.
    • Point of Order sustained against:
      • Takano amendment that sought to prohibit funds from being used for the All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program or the Post 9/11 Educational Assistance Program for career education programs at proprietary institutions unless the successful completion of the curriculum fully qualifies a student (1) to take an examination required for entry into an occupation or profession, including satisfying all State-mandated programmatic and specialized accreditation requirements and (2) to be certified or licensed or to meet other academically-related pre-conditions of employment in the State in which the institution is located;
      • Takano amendment that sought to prohibit funds from being used by the All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program or the Post 9/11 Educational Assistance Program for recruiting or marketing activities;
      • Farenthold amendment that sought to prohibit funds from being used to pay the salary of any officer or employee of the Federal Government with respect to whom the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives has certified a statement of facts to a United States attorney under section 104 of the Revised Statutes.

Today:

  • The House will consider H.R. 4487 – Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2015 (Structured Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole / Appropriations Committee). The Rule provides for one hour of general debate and makes in order the following amendments:
    • Rep. Richard Nugent Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Jackie Speier Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Paul Gosar Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Paul Broun Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Sean Duffy Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Reps. Hall / McCaul Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Brad Wenstrup Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Rush Holt Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

 

Senate

 

Yesterday:

  • The Senate continued consideration of the motion to proceed to consideration of the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, S. 2223, to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend increased expensing limitations and the treatment of certain real property as section 179 property. During consideration of this measure today, Senate also took the following action:
    • By 54 yeas to 42 nays (Vote No. 117), three-fifths of those Senators duly chosen and sworn, not having voted in the affirmative, Senate rejected the motion to close further debate on the motion to proceed to consideration of the bill.
    • Subsequently, Senator Reid entered a motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked.
  • Chuang, Hazel, Moritz, Schneider, Levine, and Selfridge Nominations–Agreement: A unanimous-consent-time agreement was reached providing that notwithstanding rule XXII, at 11:15 a.m. today the Senate vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the nominations of Theodore David Chuang, of Maryland, to be United States District Judge for the District of Maryland, George Jarrod Hazel, of Maryland, to be United States District Judge for the District of Maryland, and Nancy L. Moritz, of Kansas, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit; that if cloture is invoked on any of the nominations, all post-cloture time be expired and at 1:45 p.m., Senate vote on confirmation of the nominations of Theodore David Chuang, of Maryland, to be United States District Judge for the District of Maryland, George Jarrod Hazel, of Maryland, to be United States District Judge for the District of Maryland, Janice Marion Schneider, of New York, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and Suzan G. LeVine, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Principality of Liechtenstein; that at 5:30 p.m., on Monday, May 5, 2014, Senate vote on confirmation of the nominations of Nancy L. Moritz, of Kansas, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit, and Peter A. Selfridge, of Minnesota, to be Chief of Protocol, and to have the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service, that there be two minutes for debate prior to each vote, equally divided in the usual form, and that any roll call votes, following the first in each series, be ten minutes in length; and that no further motions be in order to the nominations.

Nominations:

  • Senate confirmed the following nominations:
    • By a unanimous vote of 95 yeas (Vote No. EX. 118), Sheryl H. Lipman, of Tennessee, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.
    • By a unanimous vote of 95 yeas (Vote No. EX. 119), Stanley Allen Bastian, of Washington, to be D441United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Washington.
    • By a unanimous vote of 95 yeas (Vote No. EX. 120), Manish S. Shah, of Illinois, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois.
    • By a unanimous vote of 94 yeas (Vote No. EX. 121), Daniel D. Crabtree, of Kansas, to be United States District Judge for the District of Kansas.
    • By a unanimous vote of 94 yeas (Vote No. EX. 122), Cynthia Ann Bashant, of California, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of California.
    • By 75 yeas to 20 nays (Vote No. EX. 123), Jon David Levy, of Maine, to be United States District Judge for the District of Maine.
    • Robert O. Work, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Today:

  • At 11:15am, the Senate will hold roll call votes on the following motions:
    • Cloture on Executive Calendar #591, Theodore David Chuang, of Maryland, to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Maryland
    • Cloture on Executive Calendar #592, George Jarrod Hazel, of Maryland, to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Maryland
    • Cloture on Executive Calendar #575, Nancy L. Moritz, of Kansas, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit
  • At 1:45pm, the Senate will hold roll call votes on the following nominations:
    • Confirmation of Executive Calendar #591, Theodore David Chuang, of Maryland, to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Maryland
    • Confirmation of Executive Calendar #592, George Jarrod Hazel, of Maryland, to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Maryland
    • Confirmation of Executive Calendar #730 Janice Marion Schneider, of New York, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior
    • Confirmation of Executive Calendar #701 Suzan G. LeVine, of Washington, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Swiss Confederation, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Principality of Liechtenstein

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

House Financial Services
“Legislative Proposals to Enhance Capital Formation for Small and Emerging Growth Companies, Part II”
9:30am, 2128 Rayburn

Senate Judiciary
“Executive Business Meeting: Mark Up of S.1720, Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013”
10:00am, 226 Dirksen

House Energy and Commerce
“Telehealth to Digital Medicine: How 21st Century Technology Can Benefit Patients”
10:00am, 2123 Rayburn

Senate Finance
“President Obama’s 2014 Trade Policy Agenda”
11:00am, 215 Dirksen

Senate Energy and Natural Resources
“Short on Gas: A look into the propane shortages this winter”
2:30pm, 366 Dirksen

 

Notable Legislation Introduced Yesterday

 

ENERGY

H.R.4522 : To establish the Green Bank to assist in the financing of qualified clean energy projects and qualified energy efficiency projects.
Sponsor: Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] (introduced 4/30/2014) Cosponsors (7)
Committees: House Ways and Means; House Energy and Commerce
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, 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 concerned.

H.R.4526 : To require the Secretary of Energy to establish and carry out a comprehensive program to improve education and training for energy-related jobs.
Sponsor: Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] (introduced 4/30/2014) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

S.2274 : A bill to expedite decisions on applications for authorization to export natural gas, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Udall, Mark [CO] (introduced 4/30/2014) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2014 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

H.R.4521 : To modify exemptions for small creditors and mortgage loan servicers, to require a study of appropriate capital requirements for mortgage servicing assets for nonsystemic banking institutions, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine [MO-3] (introduced 4/30/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Financial Services
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

H.R.4532 : To amend the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to specify when bank holding companies may be subject to certain enhanced supervision.
Sponsor: Rep Beatty, Joyce [OH-3] (introduced 4/30/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Financial Services
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

TAX

H.R.4531 : To prohibit the provision of performance awards to employees of the Internal Revenue Service who owe back taxes.
Sponsor: Rep Johnson, Sam [TX-3] (introduced 4/30/2014) Cosponsors (14)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.4537 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income amounts received for personal injuries or sickness resulting from service as a qualified public safety employee.
Sponsor: Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-13] (introduced 4/30/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

S.2272 : A bill to prohibit discretionary bonuses for employees of the Internal Revenue Service who have engaged in misconduct or who have delinquent tax liability.
Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 4/30/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2014 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

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