Today’s Daily Update

The Senate will continue consideration of the budget resolution and the House will continue consideration of the budget resolution.

House

 

Yesterday:

  • Suspension–Proceedings Resumed: The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measure which was debated on Monday, March 23rd:
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Planning Reform Act of 2015: H.R. 216, amended, to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress a Future-Years Veterans Program and a quadrennial veterans review, and to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a Chief Strategy Officer, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 420 yeas with none voting ”nay”, Roll No. 134.
  • Establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2016 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 through 2025: The House began consideration of H. Con. Res. 27, establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2016 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 through 2025. Further proceedings were postponed.
    • H. Res. 163, the rule providing for consideration of the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 27), was agreed to by a yea-and-nay vote of 237 yeas to 180 nays with one answering ”present”, Roll No. 133, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 238 yeas to 180 nays, Roll No. 132.

Today:

  • On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business and recess immediately. The House will reconvene at approximately 10:45 a.m. for a Joint Meeting of Congress to receive His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
  • First votes expected: 3:00-4:00 p.m. Last votes expected: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Complete Consideration of H. Con. Res. 27 – Establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2016 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 through 2025 (Structured Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Price / Budget Committee)
    • The Rule provides for one hour of remaining general debate controlled by the Joint Economic Committee. The Rule makes in order only those amendments printed below and provides for ten minutes of final general debate time controlled by the Budget Committee upon the conclusion of amendment consideration.
    • Reps. Grijalva / Ellison / Pocan / Lee / Schakowsky / Conyers / McDermott Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (30 minutes of debate)
    • Reps. Butterfield / Schott (VA) / Lee / Moore Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (30 minutes of debate)
    • Reps. Stutzman / Flores Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (30 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Chris Van Hollen Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (30 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Tom Price Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute #1 (10 minutes of debate)
    • Rep. Tom Price Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute #2 (30 minutes of debate)
  • Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
    • 1) H.R. 1527 – Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries / Ways and Means Committee)

 

Senate

 

Yesterday:

  • Budget Resolution–Agreement:
  • Senate continued consideration of S. Con. Res. 11, setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2016 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 through 2025, taking action on the following amendments proposed thereto:
    • Adopted:
      • By 94 yeas to 3 nays (Vote No. 79), Sanders/Wyden Amendment No. 386, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to protect Medicaid beneficiaries from benefit cuts.
      • By a unanimous vote of 96 yeas (Vote No. 80), Portman/Bennet Amendment No. 349, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to improve health outcomes and lower the costs of caring for medically complex children in Medicaid.
      • Sanders Amendment No. 474, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to protect and strengthen the Department of Veterans Affairs, hire more health care professionals for the Department, and ensure quality and timely access to health care for all veterans.
      • Ayotte Amendment No. 400, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to maintain and enhance access, choice, and accountability in veterans care through the Veterans Choice Card program under section 101 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014.
      • By 56 yeas to 43 nays (Vote No. 81), Fischer Amendment No. 409, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to promoting equal pay, which may include preventing discrimination on the basis of sex and preventing retaliation against employees for seeking or discussing wage information.
      • By 75 yeas to 24 nays (Vote No. 83), Enzi (for Hatch) Amendment No. 498, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to legislation submitted to Congress by President Obama to protect and strengthen Social Security.
    • Rejected:
      • By 45 yeas to 52 nays (Vote No. 78), Sanders/Wyden Modified Amendment No. 323, to create millions of middle class jobs by investing in our nation’s infrastructure paid for by raising revenue through closing loopholes in the corporate and international tax system.
      • By 45 yeas to 54 nays (Vote No. 82), Mikulski Amendment No. 362, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to amending the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to allow for punitive damages, limit the any factor ”other than sex” exception, and prohibit retaliation against employees who share salary information.
      • By 1 yea to 98 nays (Vote No. 85), Cornyn Amendment No. 357, to raise taxes and spending by enacting President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget.
    • Pending:
      • Cotton Amendment No. 481, to establish a deficit-neutral fund relating to supporting Israel.
      • Enzi (for Kirk) Amendment No. 545, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to reimposing waived sanctions and imposing new sanctions against Iran for violations of the Joint Plan of Action or a comprehensive nuclear agreement.
      • Rounds/Inhofe Amendment No. 412, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for engaging in closed-door settlement agreements that ignore impacted States and counties.
      • Rubio Modified Amendment No. 423, to increase new budget authority fiscal years 2016 and 2017 and modify outlays for fiscal years 2016 through 2022 for National Defense (budget function 050).
      • Daines Amendment No. 388, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the designation of national monuments.
      • Daines Amendment No. 389, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to holding Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives accountable for failing to pass a balanced budget.
    • During consideration of this measure today, Senate also took the following action:
      • By 51 yeas to 48 nays (Vote No. 84), three-fifths of those Senators duly chosen and sworn, not having voted in the affirmative, Senate rejected the motion to waive all applicable budgetary discipline pursuant to Section 904 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, with respect to Whitehouse (for Wyden) Amendment No. 471, to create a point of order against legislation that would cut benefits, raise the retirement age, or privatize Social Security. Subsequently, the point of order that the amendment was in violation of section 305(b)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, was sustained, and the amendment was ruled out of order.
    • A unanimous-consent-time agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the concurrent resolution at approximately 9:30 a.m., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, with 18 hours of debate time remaining; that the time until 10:30 a.m., be equally divided and controlled by the two managers, or designees; that Senate recess subject to the call of the Chair at 10:30 a.m., to allow for the Joint Meeting of Congress; and that all time during the recess count against the remaining debate time on the concurrent resolution.
  • Joint Meeting–Agreement: A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that the President of the Senate be authorized to appoint a committee on the part of the Senate to join with a like committee on the part of the House of Representatives to escort His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, into the House Chamber for the joint meeting at 11 a.m., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

Today:

  • The Senate stands adjourned until 9:30am on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.
  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S.Con.Res.11, the budget resolution, with the time until 10:30am equally divided between the two managers or their designees. When the Senate resumes consideration of S.Con.Res.11, there will be 18 hours of debate time remaining.
  • As a reminder, on Wednesday, at 11:00 a.m., His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, will address a Joint Meeting of Congress in the Hall of the House of Representatives in the U.S. Capitol. Senators will gather in the chamber at 10:35am and depart as a body to the Hall of the House of Representatives at 10:40am. The Senate will recess subject to the call of the chair at 10:30am for the Joint Meeting.

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

House Financial Services Committee
“Markup: Financial Regulatory Legislation”

House Appropriations Committee
“FY16 Budget Request: Federal Railroad Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration”

House Judiciary Committee
“Patent Reform: Protecting American Innovators And Job Creators From Abusive Patent Litigation”

SEC Open Meeting
Exemption for Certain Exchange Members; Section 401 of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act

House Energy & Commerce Committee
Subcommittee Markup on “H.R.__, Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015”

House Agriculture Committee
“Reauthorizing the CFTC: Market Participant Views”

House Ways & Means Committee
“Markup: The Estate Tax”

House Judiciary Committee
“FCC Net Neutrality Rule”

Senate Banking Committee
“FSOC Accountability: Nonbank Designations”

Senate Special Aging Committee
“Alzheimer’s Disease”

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
“Commerce Legislation and Nominations: S. 808; S. 650”

Senate Appropriations
“Department of Energy FY 2016 Budget Request”

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

CYBERSECURITY

H.R.1560 : To improve cybersecurity in the United States through enhanced sharing of information about cybersecurity threats, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Nunes, Devin [CA-22] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (3)
Committees: House Intelligence (Permanent Select)
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Intelligence (Permanent Select).

FINANCIAL SERVICES

H.R.1565 : To amend the Truth in Lending Act to establish a national usury rate for consumer credit transactions.
Sponsor: Rep Cartwright, Matt [PA-17] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (16)
Committees: House Financial Services
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

HEALTH

H.R.2 : Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep Burgess, Michael C. [TX-26] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (10)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means; House Judiciary; House Agriculture; House Natural Resources; House Budget
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, the Judiciary, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and the Budget, 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.1559 : To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage under the Medicare program of an initial comprehensive care plan for Medicare beneficiaries newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (33)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: 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 concerned.

H.R.1570 : To provide for greater transparency and information with respect to Federal expenditures under the Medicaid and CHIP programs in the territories of the United States, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-12] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (5)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

S.844 : A bill to repeal the medical device excise tax, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Markey, Edward J. [MA] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

TAX

H.R.1595 : To require the Secretary of the Treasury to implement security measures in the electronic tax return filing process to prevent tax refund fraud from being perpetrated with electronic identity theft.
Sponsor: Rep Yoho, Ted S. [FL-3] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

S.845 : A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to implement security measures in the electronic tax return filing process to prevent tax refund fraud from being perpetrated with electronic identity theft.
Sponsor: Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.851 : A bill to promote neutrality, simplicity, and fairness in the taxation of digital goods and digital services.
Sponsor: Sen Thune, John [SD] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

TRANSPORTATION

S.842 : A bill to amend the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 to extend Interstate Route 11.
Sponsor: Sen Heller, Dean [NV] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (3)
Committees: Senate Environment and Public Works
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

S.853 : A bill to improve the efficiency and reliability of rail transportation by reforming the Surface Transportation Board, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Baldwin, Tammy [WI] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Major Action: 3/24/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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