It's another short week. The Senate is out. The House will vote to align standards for the review of mergers and acquisitions and a bill to prevent travel by foreign combatants. Also up: Encouraging NSF investments in projects for women in STEM and bill to encourage women to pursue careers in aerospace, space science and exploration, POPW/MIA recognition at the Capitol, and improving the process for foster care placement and adoption across state lines.


Mergers and Acquisition Challenges


H.R. 2745 STANDARD MERGER AND ACQUISITION REVIEWS THROUGH EQUAL RULES (SMARTER) ACT OF 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Blake Farenthold [R, TX-27]

The bill would eliminate differences in the procedures used by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division in challenging pending acquisitions and mergers, addressing concerns that a proposed M&A transaction is subject to different processes, depending upon which federal antitrust agency reviews the transaction (the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission). 


Women in Entrepreneurship and STEM 

The House will vote on two bills to promote women in entrepreneurship and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
 

H.R. 4742 PROMOTING WOMEN IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Elizabeth Esty [D, CT-5]

 The bill calls for the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women in STEM.


H.R. 4755 INSPIRING THE NEXT SPACE PIONEERS, INNOVATORS, RESEARCHERS, AND EXPLORERS (INSPIRE) WOMEN ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Comstock [R, VA-10]

The bill directs the NASA Administrator to encourage women and girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and pursue aerospace careers by supporting three existing initiatives: NASA GIRLS and NASA BOYS, Aspire to Inspire, and Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering and Research. It also calls for a plan for how NASA can facilitate and support current and retired astronauts, scientists, engineers and innovators to engage with K-12 female STEM students.


September 11, 2010: NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Expedition 24 flight engineer, looks through a window in the Cupola of the International Space Station.


POW/MIA Remembrance


The House will vote on a bill instructing the Architect of the Capitol to obtain a chair featuring the logo of the National League of POW/MIA Families to be placed in the U.S. Capitol.

H.R. 1670: NATIONAL POW/MIA REMEMBRANCE ACT OF 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Stephen Lynch  [D, MA-8]     
  BIPARTISAN  
 


Veteran-related bills this week:


H.R. 4336 WOMEN AIRFORCE SERVICE PILOT ARLINGTON INURNMENT RESTORATION ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Martha McSally  [R, AZ-2]

This bill directs the Department of the Army to ensure that the cremated remains of persons who served as Women's Air Forces Service Pilots are eligible for interment in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

S. 2393 FORECLOSURE RELIEF AND EXTENSION FOR SERVICEMEMBERS ACT OF 2015
Sponsor: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse  [D, RI]

The bill extends a provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that prohibits foreclosing on a servicemember’s house for one year following the servicemember’s return from active duty. (The proivision expired December 31, 2015).


Foster Care Placement Across State Lines


H.R. 4472 MODERNIZING THE INTERSTATE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Todd Young [R, IN-9]

The number of children in foster care nationwide as of September 2014 rose 3.5% from a year earlier. The Indiana Department of Child Services estimates 2,600 children had to be removed from homes due to parental drug abuse in a six-month period that ended last March, a 71% jump from two years earlier. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

States currently use a paper-based administrative process to safely place children across state lines, keeping children waiting while caseworkers make copies of case files and mail them to the potential receiving state. A six-state pilot project, the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE) standardized how cases are processed across jurisdictions and  saw substantial reductions in the time it took to move children into homes across state lines and in administrative costs. H.R. 4472 would incentivize more state to adopt NEICE.


Temporary FAA Reauthorization


The House will vote to concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 4721 – sending the temporary FAA extension to the President's desk. The bill extends FAA authorization (set to expire on March 21, 2016) to July 15, 2016.

H.R. 4721 AIRPORT AND AIRWAY EXTENSION ACT OF 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Bill Shuster [R, PA-9]

 


Updates to the Older Americans Act (OAA)


The House will vote on a bill (S. 192) to continue the programs of the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965, which provides funding through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor for services to the elderly, including state and local community programs on aging (such as congregate nutrition services and caregiver support), community service employment, and services to help prevent elder abuse. The authorization for most of the OAA programs expired in 2011, but those programs continue to receive appropriations each year since that time, including $1.9 billion for 2015. (source: CBO)

S. 192 OLDER AMERICANS ACT REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2015 
Sponsor: Sen. Lamar Alexander [R, TN]     BIPARTISAN   
This bill passed in the Senate on Jul 16, 2015 .


Also in the House this Week:

S. 1180 – Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Ron Johnson [R, WI]   BIPARTISAN  
Directs FEMA to modernize the integrated U.S. public alert and warning system to help ensure that under all conditions the President, federal agencies, and state, tribal, and local governments can alert and warn the civilian population in areas endangered by natural disasters .


H.R. 4314 COUNTERTERRORISM SCREENING AND ASSISTANCE ACT OF 2016

Sponsor: Rep.Lee Zeldin [R, NY-1]    BIPARTISAN  

The bill encourages foreign partner engagement for capacity-building initiatives abroad to combat travel by terrorists and foreign fighters and identifies areas for adjustment to align efforts with risk-based priorities.It calls for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department to accelerate the provision of the following systems to foreign governments: U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Automated Targeting System–Global, and the State Department's Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System. DHS may provide, with specified exceptions, excess DHS nonlethal equipment and supplies (as well as related training).


Public Lands


H.R. 482 THE OCMULGEE MOUNDS NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK BOUNDARY REVISION ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Sanford Bishop [D, GA-2]   BIPARTISAN  

H.R. 2857 TO FACILITATE THE ADDITION OF PARK ADMINISTRATION AT THE COLTSVILLE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
Sponsor: Rep. John Larson [D, CT-1]   BIPARTISAN  

H.R. 4119 GULF ISLANDS NATIONAL SEASHORE LAND EXCHANGE ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Steven Palazzo [R, MS-4]   BIPARTISAN  


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.