This week in the Senate: The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524)


The bill authorizes almost $80 million in annual funding to address the nation's opioid crisis.At 5:30 PM on Monday, the Senate will hold a cloture vote to proceed. Tell Congress what you think:
 

S. 524: COMPREHENSIVE ADDICTION AND RECOVERY ACT
Sponsor: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI]   
     BIPARTISAN     

The bill includes provisions to:

  • Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other responders to help in the reversal of overdoses
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medicines
  • Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention program to promote best practices throughout the country
  • Increase resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders 
  • Launch medication assisted treatment and intervention demonstration program
  • Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs

Some Democrats will support adding a bill from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D, NH] that would provide an additional $600 million in funding:

S. 2423: A BILL MAKING APPROPRIATIONS TO ADDRESS THE HEROIN AND OPIOID DRUG ABUSE EPIDEMIC...
Sponsor: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D, NH]  
     BIPARTISAN     

(Read more from POPVOX about CARA in last week's GavelDown.)


 

In the House: Federal Advisory Committee Transparency and Presidential Transitions


H.R. 2347: FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2015
Sponsor: Rep. William Clay [D, MO-1]


The bill would amend the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) to improve the transparency and accountability of federal advisory committees. The bill would ensure advisory committee members are selected without regard to political affiliation, require agencies to give those interested the opportunity to suggest potential members, and require members serving as individual experts to fully disclose conflicts of interests and apply the law to subcommittees and committees created by contract. It would also require each agency head to make information about advisory committees available on the agency’s website. Read full committee report.

_________


S. 1172: PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITIONS IMPROVEMENTS ACT 
Sponsor: Sen. Thomas Carper [D, DE]             BIPARTISAN     


The bill would amend federal law to codify the process of transitioning from one presidential administration to another. The bill would establish councils of federal employees to oversee and coordinate transition activities within the White House and across all federal agencies. The bill also would require each agency to appoint staff to manage internal transition activities. Finally, S. 1172 would extend the period of time during which the General Services Administration can spend funds on services and facilities for the incoming administration after the inauguration. Read full committee report.

Listen to a discussion of S.1172 on Federal News Radio. Learn more about the Presidential transition process from the Partnership for Public Service.


Also In the House

H.R. 3716: ENSURING TERMINATED PROVIDERS ARE REMOVED FROM MEDICAID AND CHIP ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Larry Bucshon [R, IN-8]               BIPARTISAN        

The bill responds to a recent report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which found that health care providers who had been terminated from Medicaid in one state continued to participate in the Medicaid and CHIP programs of other states.

_________


H.R. 4557: BLOCKING REGULATORY INTERFERENCE FROM CLOSING KILNS (BRICK) ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Bill Johnson [R, OH-6]              BIPARTISAN         

The bill would pause EPA "maximum achievable control technology" (MACT) standards for toxic pollutants from the brick industry pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the regulations. Environmental and industry groups are challenging the methodology used by the EPA to set the standards.

_________

H.R. 4238: TO AMEND THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ORGANIZATION ACT AND THE LOCAL PUBLIC WORKS CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT ACT OF 1976 TO MODERNIZE TERMS RELATING TO MINORITIES.
Sponsor: Rep. Grace Meng [D, NY-6]             BIPARTISAN       

The bill revises the definition of "minority" as "any U.S. citizen who is an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Native American, or Alaska Native"

_________

H.R. 4444: EPS IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Renee Ellmers [R, NC-2]             BIPARTISAN      

The bill would exclude power supply circuits, drivers, and devices designed to power, light-emitting diodes or organic light-emitting diodes from energy conservation standards for external power supplies,

_________

H.R. 4583: TO PROMOTE A 21ST CENTURY ENERGY AND MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE
Sponsor: Rep. Bobby Rush [D, IL-1]             BIPARTISAN      

The bill calls on the Secretary of Energy to prioritize education and training for energy and manufacturing-related jobs, and to make educating and training underrepresented groups for energy and manufacturing-related jobs a national priority.

_________

H.R. 4401: AMPLIFYING LOCAL EFFORTS TO ROOT OUT TERROR (ALERT) ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Barry Loudermilk [R, GA-11]             BIPARTISAN        

The bill authorizes training for countering violent extremism for representatives at State and local fusion centers.

_________

H.R. 1471: FEMA DISASTER ASSISTANCE REFORM ACT 
Sponsor: Rep. Lou Barletta [R, PA-11]             BIPARTISAN        

According to the House Transportation Committee, "In recent years, the number of lives lost and amount of property damaged in U.S. disasters have been on the rise – as well as federal disaster assistance costs. The FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015 will drive an assessment of the changing costs of disasters and opportunities to reduce future losses, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our Nation’s emergency management capabilities and federal disaster programs, modernize and strengthen critical components of our preparedness and response system, and support our emergency response personnel."
COMMITTEE SUMMARY
_________

S. 1580: COMPETITIVE SERVICE ACT
Sponsor: Sen. Jon Tester [D, MT]             BIPARTISAN     

The bill would allow federal agencies to review and select job candidates from other federal agencies’ “best qualified list” of applicants, cutting down on duplication for applicants who have already undergone a competitive assessment process and are certified as eligible for selection.  Currently, agencies that have similar hiring needs cannot share such applicant information with one another (according to the bill's sponsors.)
_________

H.R. 4084: NUCLEAR ENERGY INNOVATION CAPABILITIES ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Randy Weber [R, TX-14]             BIPARTISAN       

The bill directs the U.S. Department of Energy to prioritize partnering with private innovators on new reactor technologies and the testing and demonstration of new reactor designs.
_________

H.RES. 148: CALLING ON THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN TO FULFILL THEIR PROMISES OF ASSISTANCE IN THIS CASE OF ROBERT LEVINSON, THE LONGEST HELD UNITED STATES CIVILIAN IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY.
Sponsor: Rep. Theodore Deutch [D, FL-21]             BIPARTISAN        

Read more on Robert Levinson from The New York Times.


 

Naming Federal Buildings

In the longstanding Congressional practice the House will take up several bills under "suspension of the rules" to name federal buildings:

  • H.R. 2814: The Dannie A. Carr Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Sevierville, Tennessee
  • H.R. 3735: The "Maya Angelou Memorial Post Office" in Winston Salem, North Carolina
  • H.R. 136: The "Camp Pendleton Medal of Honor Post Office" in Camp Pendleton, California 
  • H.R. 1132: The "W. Ronald Coale Memorial Post Office Building" in Stockton, California
  • H.R. 2458: The "Lionel R. Collins, Sr. Post Office Building" in Marrero, Louisiana
  • H.R. 3082:  The "Daryle Holloway Post Office Building" in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • H.R. 3274: The "Francis Manuel Ortega Post Office" in Pine Lake, Georgia
  • H.R. 3601: The "Melvoid J. Benson Post Office Building" in North Kingstown, Rhode Island
  • H.R. 4046: The Second Lt. Ellen Ainsworth Memorial Post Office in Glenwood City, Wisconsin
  • S. 1596: The "Specialist Joseph W. Riley Post Office Building" in Grove City, Ohio
  • S. 1826: The Lieutenant Colonel James "Maggie" Megellas Post Office in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.