Today’s Daily Update

The Senate will resume consideration of S.178, Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. The House will complete consideration of H.R. 1105 the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 and H.R. 622 the State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2015.

House

 

Yesterday:

  • Suspensions: The House agreed to suspend the rules and pass the following measures:
    • Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act of 2015: H.R. 1058, amended, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify that a duty of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue is to ensure that Internal Revenue Service employees are familiar with and act in accord with certain taxpayer rights;
    • IRS Email Transparency Act: H.R. 1152, amended, to prohibit officers and employees of the Internal Revenue Service from using personal email accounts to conduct official business;
    • Taxpayer Knowledge of IRS Investigations Act: H.R. 1026, amended, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permit the release of information regarding the status of certain investigations;
    • Ensuring Tax Exempt Organizations the Right to Appeal Act: H.R. 1314, amended, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a right to an administrative appeal relating to adverse determinations of tax-exempt status of certain organizations;
    • IRS Bureaucracy Reduction and Judicial Review Act: H.R. 1295, amended, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve the process for making determinations with respect to whether organizations are exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(4) of such Code;
    • Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act: H.R. 709, amended, to provide for the termination of employment of employees of the Internal Revenue Service who take certain official actions for political purposes;
    • Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act: H.R. 1104, amended, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a deduction from the gift tax for gifts made to certain exempt organizations; and
    • Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2015: H.R. 1562, to prohibit the awarding of a contract or grant in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold unless the prospective contractor or grantee certifies in writing to the agency awarding the contract or grant that the contractor or grantee has no seriously delinquent tax debts, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 424 yeas with none voting ”nay”, Roll No. 156.
  • Suspension–Failed: The House failed to agree to suspend the rules and pass the following measure:
    • Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2015: H.R. 1563, amended, to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide that individuals having seriously delinquent tax debts shall be ineligible for Federal employment, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 266 yeas to 160 nays, Roll No. 157.
    • State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2015, Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act: The House agreed to H. Res. 200, the rule providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 622) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the deduction of State and local general sales taxes; providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1105) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes, and for other purposes; and providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1195) to amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to establish advisory boards, by a recorded vote of 242 ayes to 182 noes, Roll No. 155, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 240 yeas to 183 nays, Roll No. 154.

Today:

  • On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Complete Consideration of H.R. 1105 – Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brady / Ways and Means Committee)
  • Complete Consideration of H.R. 622 – State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2015 (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brady / Ways and Means Committee)

 

Senate

 

Yesterday:

  • Budget Resolution–Motions to Instruct Conferees: Senate began consideration of the message from the House of Representatives to accompany 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 motion and motions to instruct conferees proposed thereto:
    • Adopted:
      • By 54 yeas to 43 nays (Vote No. 145) Motion to disagree in the amendment of the House to the concurrent resolution, agree to the request by the House for a conference, and authorize the Presiding Officer to appoint conferees.
      • By 86 yeas to 11 nays (Vote No. 146), Brown Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include the deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to ending ”Too Big to Fail” bailouts for Wall Street mega-banks with over $500,000,000,000 in total assets, as set forth in amendment 994 to S. Con. Res. 11 (as agreed to by the Senate).
      • By 85 yeas to 11 nays (Vote No. 147), Sanders Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include the provision in the concurrent resolution as agreed to by the Senate that provides for the establishment of a deficit-neutral reserve fund related to strengthening the United States Postal Service by establishing a moratorium to protect mail processing plants, reinstating overnight delivery standards, protecting rural service, allowing the Postal Service to innovate and adapt to compete in a digital age, or improving the financial condition of the Postal Service.
      • By a unanimous vote of 97 yeas (Vote No. 148), Enzi (for Burr) Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include a provision relating to addressing student loan debt, which may include reducing overlapping student loan repayment programs and creating a simplified income-driven student loan repayment option, as included in section 358 of S. Con. Res. 11, as agreed to by the Senate.
      • By 84 yeas to 13 nays (Vote No. 150), Sanders Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation related to retirement benefits, which may not include legislation cutting benefits under the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program established under title II of the Social Security Act, increasing the retirement age, or privatizing the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program.
      • Schatz Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include the deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to ensuring all legally married same-sex spouses have equal access to the Social Security and veterans’ benefits they have earned and receive equal treatment under the law pursuant to the Constitution of the United States in the concurrent resolution as agreed to by the Senate.
      • Bennet Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include provisions in the concurrent resolution as agreed to by the Senate for the establishment of deficit-neutral reserve funds relating to climate change.
      • By 57 yeas to 40 nays (Vote No. 151), Fischer Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include a provision 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, as included in section 356 of S. Con. Res. 11, as agreed to by the Senate.
      • Fischer Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include a provision relating to a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to tax credits for employers providing paid family and medical leave.
      • Sanders (for Murray) Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include the deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation to allow Americans to earn paid sick time in the concurrent resolution as agreed to by the Senate.
    • Rejected:
      • By 45 yeas to 52 nays (Vote No. 149), Warren Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include a provision to make college more affordable for middle-class families by allowing borrowers with outstanding Federal and private student loans to refinance at the equivalent interest rates that were offered to Federal student loan borrowers during the 2013-2014 school year and to fully offset the cost of such a program by requiring millionaires to pay at least a 30 percent effective Federal tax rate.
      • By 44 yeas to 53 nays (Vote No. 152), Mikulski Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include a provision 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, as included in amendment 362 to S. Con. Res. 11 (as not agreed to by the Senate).
      • Sanders (for Murray) Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report include a provision to build on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and provide sequester relief in 2016 and 2017 by closing tax loopholes.
      • By 45 yeas to 52 nays (Vote No. 153), Stabenow Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the final conference report not include the Medicare cuts in the concurrent resolution as agreed to by the Senate, which would substantially increase out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for senior citizens, and not include the Medicare cuts in the concurrent resolution as agreed to by the House of Representatives, which would end Medicare as it currently exists by turning it into a voucher-based premium support system and eliminate the guaranteed healthcare benefits earned by the people of the United States.
    • The Chair was authorized to appoint the following conferees on the part of the Senate: Senators Enzi, Grassley, Sessions, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker, Corker, Perdue, Sanders, Murray, Wyden, Stabenow, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Baldwin, Kaine, and King.
  • Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act–Agreement: A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that at approximately 10 a.m., on Thursday, April 16, 2015, Senate resume consideration of S. 178, to provide justice for the victims of trafficking, with the time equally divided in the usual form; and that the filing deadline for all second-degree amendments to McConnell (for Cornyn) Amendment No. 1120 to the bill be at 10:30 a.m.
  • Deyo and Chaudhuri Nominations–Agreement: A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that at 2 p.m., on Thursday, April 16, 2015, Senate begin consideration of the nominations of Russell C. Deyo, of New Jersey, to be Under Secretary for Management, Department of Homeland Security, and Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, of Arizona, to be Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission for the term of three years; Senate vote on confirmation of the nominations, without intervening action or debate; and that no further motions be in order.

Today:

  • The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00am on Thursday, April 16, 2015.
  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S.178, Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, with the time equally divided until 11:00am. The filing deadline for all second degree amendments to the Cornyn amendment #1120 is 10:30am. By rule, the cloture vote on the Cornyn amendment will begin at approximately 11:00am (1 hour after the Senate convenes including Leader remarks).
  • At 2:00pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider Executive Calendar #1, Russell Deyo, to be Under Secretary for Management, DHS, and Executive Calendar #51, Jonodev Chaudhuri, to be Chairman of National Indian Gaming Commission.
  • Approximately 11:00am—1 roll call vote
    • 1. Motion to invoke cloture on the Cornyn amendment #1120 to S.178
  • Approximately 2:00pm—1 roll call vote, 1 voice vote expected
    • 1. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #1, Russell Deyo, of New Jersey, to be Under Secretary for Management, DHS
    • 2. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #51, Jonodev Chaudhuri, of Arizona, to be Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (voice vote expected)

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

House Financial Services Committee
“The Future of Housing in America: Increasing Private Sector Participation in Affordable Housing”

Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee
Regulations And Mortgage Credit

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
2015 Energy Outlook

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation
Service Dogs and Brain Disorders

House Energy and Commerce Committee
“Medicare Post-Acute Care Delivery and Options to Improve It”

House Energy and Commerce Committee
H.R. ___, the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act (TROL Act)

FTA Webinar
Capital Investment Grant Program Guidance

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

CYBERSECURITY

S.961 : A bill to protect information relating to consumers, to require notice of security breaches, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Carper, Thomas R. [DE] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

ENERGY

H.R.1802 : To promote energy efficiency.
Sponsor: Rep McKinley, David B. [WV-1] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.1820 : To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to retire coal preference right lease applications for which the Secretary has made an affirmative commercial quantities determination, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Lujan, Ben Ray [NM-3] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

TAX

H.R.1798 : To prohibit the Department of the Treasury from assigning tax statuses to organizations based on their political beliefs and activities.
Sponsor: Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (3)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.1808 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions for 1 year.
Sponsor: Rep Castro, Joaquin [TX-20] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.1824 : To repeal the current Internal Revenue Code and replace it with a flat tax, thereby guaranteeing economic growth and fairness for all Americans.
Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Mike D. [AL-3] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means; House Rules
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, 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.1828 : To provide a taxpayer bill of rights for small businesses.
Sponsor: Rep Thornberry, Mac [TX-13] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means; House Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 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.

S.940 : A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to study the feasibility of providing certain taxpayers with an optional, pre-prepared tax return, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.942 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a deduction from the gift tax for gifts made to certain exempt organizations.
Sponsor: Sen Portman, Rob [OH] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.948 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate the taxable income limit on percentage depletion for oil and natural gas produced from marginal properties.
Sponsor: Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S.949 : A bill to provide a taxpayer bill of rights for small businesses.
Sponsor: Sen Cornyn, John [TX] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

TRANSPORTATION

H.R.1804 : To protect the public, communities across America, and the environment by increasing the safety of crude oil transportation by railroad, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (4)
Committees: House Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

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