The House will vote on several major bills on energy and the environment, including a bipartisan energy policy bill, energy funding, an update to the Toxic Substances Act, and lowering restrictions on anti-mosquito chemicals in response to the Zika outbreak. The Senate will work on the annual defense bill (NDAA) and reauthorizing the Sex Offender Management Assistance program.
IN THE SENATE:
Reauthorizes the Sex Offender Management Assistance program and the Jessica Lunsford Address Verification Grant program and appropriations for the U.S. Marshals Service to locate and apprehend sex offenders who violate sex offender registration requirements.
The Senate’s 2017 NDAA authorizes $602 billion in funding for the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. It contains several policy reforms, including:
Large-scale procurement and contracting overhaul.
25 % reduction in general and flag officers and DOD Senior Executive Service civilian employees
Reforms to the military health system
Including women in the requirement to register for selective service
Implementing the recommendations of the Department of Defense Military Justice Review Group
IN THE HOUSE:
The House will vote on the bipartisan conference report (combined House and Senate bill) to update a wide range of energy policies. The five-part bill includes:
Expedited approval processes for a range of energy projects
Conservation efforts, including instructing federal agencies to reduce their building energy intensity by 2.5 percent per year through FY2025
Cybersecurity provisions for protection of the electric grid
Permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund
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The legislation provides $37.4 billion funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy (DOE), and other related agencies.
Eliminates the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirement for the application of pesticides authorized under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
Authorizes appropriations forfiscal year 2017 for intelligence activities of the U.S. government, the Intelligence Community Management Account (ICMA), the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System (CIARDS), and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB).
Telecommunication, Emergency Access
Requires a series of preparations for increasing access to communications networks during and after disasters, including:
- (1) Allowing for mobile service at reasonable rates during emergencies when there is a mobile service outage lasting longer than 24 hours, and (2) no roaming charges during emergencies to or from 911 services.
- Including all categories of communications service providers (currently, only telecommunications service providers) among the essential service providers that may access a disaster site to restore and repair essential services during a power outage.
H.R. 4167: Kari's Law Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Louie Gohmert [R, TX-1]
Requires multi-line telephone systems to have a default configuration that allows users to directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 (without dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, including any trunk-access code such as the digit "9").
H.R. 4889: Kelsey Smith Act
Sponsor: Rep. Kevin Yoder [R, KS-3]
To require providers to provide call location information to an investigative or law enforcement officer in an emergency situation involving risk of death or serious physical injury or in order to respond to the user's call for emergency services.
Veterans' Health and Caregiving
H.R. 5229: Improving Transition Programs for All Veterans Act
Sponsor: Rep. Mark Takano [D, CA-41]
Calling for a study to evaluate the effectiveness of programs, especially in regards to women veterans and minority veterans, in transitioning to civilian life.
H.R. 2460: To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the provision of adult day health care services for veterans
Sponsor: Rep. Lee Zeldin [R, NY-1]
Allowing for payment for adult day health care for a veteran eligible for, but not receiving, nursing home care.
H.R. 3956: VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Bost [R, IL-12]
Directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop and implement a plan to hire a director for each VA medical center without a permanent director.
H.R. 3989: Support Our Military Caregivers Act
Sponsor: Rep. Elise Stefanik [R, NY-21]
Permits independent external clinical review of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denial of an individual's application to be a caregiver eligible for VA benefits; determination of the level or amount of personal care services that a veteran requires; and a revocation of benefits by the VA. Each external clinical review must be completed and the individual notified of the results within 120 days of the election.
H.R. 3715 Final Farewell Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Corrine Brown [D, FL-5]
Permits funerals and memorial services of a deceased veteran at a national cemetery during weekends, other than federal holiday weekends, upon the request of the veteran's next-of-kin made for religious or cultural reasons.
H.R. 5286: VA Construction and Lease Authorization, Health, and Benefits Enhancement Act
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Miller [R, FL-1]
H.R. 5286 would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into leases for 18 medical facilities and enhanced-use leases to provide supportive housing for veterans. The bill also would modify disability compensation for veterans by rounding payments down to the next lower dollar and authorizing payments to veterans who have lost certain organs.
Also in the House:
H.R. 496: Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Establishment Act
Sponsor: Rep. Paul Cook [R, CA-8]
Establishes the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, comprised of approximately 18,610 acres of land in Inyo County, California.
S. 184: Native American Children's Safety Act
Sponsor: Sen. John Hoeven [R, ND]
Would expand the background check requirements for people who hold tribal positions related to the foster care of Native American children. The bill would require tribal social services agencies to complete criminal records checks of each individual who resides in or is employed by a foster care institution that serves Native American children. Under current law, those checks are required only if the tribal agency receives federal funds. S. 184 also would require tribal agencies to develop procedures to recertify the safety of foster care institutions.
H.R. 4139: Fostering Innovation Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema [D, AZ-9]
Amends Sarbanes-Oxley requirement that accounting firms preparing or issuing an audit for an issuer of securities shall attest to, and report on, the internal control assessment made by the management of the issuer.
H.R. 4465: Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Denham [R, CA-10]
Establishes the Public Buildings Reform Board to identify opportunities for the federal government to reduce significantly its inventory of civilian real property.
H.R. 4487: Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act
Sponsor: Rep. Lou Barletta [R, PA-11]
Enables the General Services Administration (GSA) to facilitate consolidations, reduce space, and negotiate office space lease deals for federal buildings. The bill also strengthens authorities of the Federal Protective Service (FPS) in order to improve security at Federal buildings.
Naming federal buildings and post offices:
- 523 East Railroad Street in Knox, Pennsylvania, as the "Specialist Ross A. McGinnis Memorial Post Office" (H.R. 433)
- 620 Central Avenue Suite 1A in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, as the "Chief Petty Officer Adam Brown United States Post Office" (H.R. 3931)
- 4122 Madison Street, Elfers, Florida, as the "Private First Class Felton Roger Fussell Memorial Post Office" (H.R. 3953)
- 6691 Church Street in Riverdale, Georgia, as the "Major Gregory E. Barney Post Office Building" (H.R. 4747)
- 3130 Grants Lake Boulevard in Sugar Land, Texas, as the "LCpl Garrett W. Gamble, USMC Post Office Building" (H.R. 4877)
- 5720 South 142nd Street in Omaha, Nebraska, as the "Petty Officer 1st Class Caleb A. Nelson Post Office Building" (H.R. 4975)
- 3957 2nd Avenue in Laurel Hill, Florida, as the "Sergeant First Class William 'Kelly' Lacey Post Office" (H.R. 4987)
- 61 South Baldwin Avenue in Sierra Madre, California, as the "Louis Van Iersel Post Office" (H.R. 4761)
- 836 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, California as the "Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis 'Lou' J. Langlais Post Office Building" (H.R. 3218)
- 110 East Powerhouse Road in Collegeville, Minnesota, as the "Eugene J. McCarthy Post Office” (H.R. 4425)
- To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Laughlin, Nevada, as the "Master Chief Petty Officer Jesse Dean Department of Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic" (H.R. 3969)
- To name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in The Dalles, Oregon, as the "Loren R. Kaufman Memorial Veterans' Clinic" (H.R. 1762)
- To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Newark, Ohio, as the “Daniel L. Kinnard Department of Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic (H.R. 960)
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.