The Senate votes on four gun-related measures as amendments to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. The House will vote on limits to executive power, including changing the legal standard for agency decisions, overriding the Presidential veto of Congressional disapproval of the new "fiduciary rule," and rolling back several provisions of the ACA.
In the Senate:
The Senate is currently working on the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2578).
On Monday, it will consider four amendments to the CJS bill related to firearms and gun control:
- S.AMDT.4720 (No Fly/No Buy) from Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D, CA] to authorize the Attorney General to deny requests to transfer a firearm to known or suspected terrorists.
- S.AMDT.4749 "To Secure our Homeland from radical Islamists by Enhancing Law enforcement Detection (SHIELD)" from Sen. John Cornyn, [R, TX] requiring that law enforcement be alerted when anyone on the terror watch list attempts to buy a weapon from a licensed dealer.
- S.AMDT.4750 (Closing the Gun Show Loophole): "To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale." from Sen, Chris Murphy [D, CT] requiring every gun purchaser to undergo a background check, and to expand the background check database.
- S.AMDT.4751 "To address gun violence and improve the availability of records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System." from Sen. Chuck Grassley [R, IA] to make it more difficult to add mentally ill people to the background check database, giving people suspected of serious mental illness a process to challenge that determination.
In the House:
Changing the legal standard for court deference to agency decisions
The House will vote on a bill to end the "Chevron Doctrine," one of the most influential principles of administrative law, which requires that courts defer to an executive agency's interpretation of a law. The principle was established in the 1984 decision, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837.
H.R. 4768: Separation of Powers Restoration Act
Sponsor: Rep. John Ratcliffe [R, TX-4]
This bill modifies the scope of judicial review of agency actions to authorize courts reviewing agency actions to decide de novo all relevant questions of law, including the interpretation of constitutional and statutory provisions and rules.
Supporters of the bill say that it would "restore accountability to the regulatory process." Opponents say the bill would "undermine cornerstone principles of American administrative law and create significant uncertainty for federal agencies, regulated industries, and consumers."
Revising or eliminating some provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Two bills in the House this week would roll back restrictions on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
H.R. 1270: Restoring Access to Medication Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Lynn Jenkins [R, KS-2]
This bill repeals provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that requires consumers to obtain a prescription in order to utilize their flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.
In its guidance for implementation of the Affordable Health Act (ACA), the Treasury Department prohibited businesses from offering Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to employees to allow them to purchase health insurance on the individual market, with fines for noncompliance of $100 per day, per employee.
H.R. 5447: Small Business Health Care Relief Act
Sponsor: Rep. Charles Boustany [R, LA-3]
The bill would provide an exception from certain group health plan requirements for qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements.
Consideration of veto measure
H.J.Res. 88:Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to the definition of the term “Fiduciary”
Sponsor: Rep. David Roe [R, TN-1]
On June 8, 2016, President Obama vetoed the resolution to invalidate new Department of Labor “Fiduciary Rule." The rule requires brokers to act in the “best interest” of their clients when handling retirement accounts. Billed as a measure to protect workers from conflicting investment advice and improve disclosures, opponents say the rule it would discourage financial firms from serving low-income clients.
The resolution would invalidate the rule under Congressional Review Act (CRA), which gives Congress sixty session days to overturn a rule issued by the Executive branch. (Source: CRS)
To override the veto, the resolution must receive more than a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate.
Possible Consideration of the Conference Report
The House may vote on the joint House-Senate "conference report" (merger of versions that passed both chambers) for the Mil-Con/VA Appropriations bill, expected to be released soon.
H.R. 4974 – Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
Sponsor: Rep. Charles Dent [R-PA,15]
This bill provides FY 2017 appropriations to the Department of Defense (DOD) for military construction, military family housing, the U.S. share of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program, and base closures and realignments. The bill also provides appropriations to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for veterans benefit and health care programs, Departmental Administration, and the National Cemetery Administration.
H.R. 5243 – Zika Response Appropriations Act
Sponsor: Rep. Harold Rogers [R, KY-5]
This bill provides $622 million for the HHS and other agencies supplemental appropriations to the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and State to respond to the Zika virus.
Because the bill falls short of the $1.9 billion requested by the White House, the President has threatened to veto the bill.
Also in the House:
The bill would prohibit commercial mobile communications service provider from receiving universal service support through the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Lifeline program, a program that provides discounts on monthly telephone service to qualifying low-income consumers.
The bill permits the Department of Transportation to authorize the use of a passenger facility charge to finance an eligible airport-related project if: (1) the eligible agency seeking to impose the new charge controls an airport where a $2 passenger facility charge became effective on January 1, 2013; and (2) such airport and the airport at which the project will be carried out were under the control of the same eligible agency on October 1, 2015. Not more than $120 million in passenger facility charges so collected may be used to carry out such a project.
The bill would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide for innovative research and development…
The bill would encourage engagement between the Department of Homeland Security and technology innovators…
This bill requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to establish guidelines for federal agencies to establish financial and administrative controls to identify and assess fraud risks and design and implement control activities in order to prevent, detect, and respond to fraud, including improper payments. It would also require the OMB to establish a working group to: (1) improve the sharing of financial and administrative controls and other best practices and techniques for detecting, preventing, and responding to fraud, and the sharing and development of data analytics techniques; and (2) submit a plan for a federal interagency library of data analytics and data sets for use by agencies and Offices of Inspectors General to facilitate the detection, prevention, and recovery of fraud.
H.R. 4902: To amend title 5, United States Code, to expand law enforcement availability pay to employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Air and Marine Operations
Sponsor: Rep. Will Hurd [R, TX-23]
This bill amends the Inspector General Act of 1978 to enhance the investigatory powers of Inspectors General (by granting them subpoena authority in investigations of fraud or waste in excess of $100,000, charges the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency to complete an investigation within six months after making a determination wrongdoing by a federal agency or entity, and requires the public disclosure of any finding of misconduct, including any violation of federal law or agency policy, by any member of the Senior Executive Service, an employee excepted from the competitive service, or certain commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.)
This bill amends the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 to reauthorize through FY2020 the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency led by an official appointed by the President to protect federal employees, former employees, and applicants for employment from prohibited personnel practices. It also expands the OSC’s annual reporting requirements, improves customer service for those who have filed a complaint or disclosure with the OSC, and requires the OSC to prescribe and publish in the Federal Register any regulations necessary for the OSC to perform functions required by amendments made by this bill.
This bill authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to carry out major medical facility projects and requires the VA to report certain financial and budget information on all projects to Congress.
This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to carry out a three-year pilot program under which the VA shall carry out Veteran Engagement Team events in which veterans will be assisted in completing VA disability and pension claims.
This bill amends title IV of the Social Security Act to require the Department of the Treasury to publish in the Federal Register a request for proposals from states or local governments for social impact partnership projects and gives the Treasury six months to decide whether to enter into an agreement for such a project within six months after receiving an application. Further, it requires an independent evaluation of the project to determine if it has met an outcome specified in the agreement. It also establishes the Federal Interagency Council on Social Impact Partnerships.
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to specify that receiving hospital care or medical services under a medical care program of the Indian Health Service or a tribal organization does not disqualify an individual from being eligible for a health savings account.
This bill would amend parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act to invest in funding prevention and family services to help keep children safe and supported at home, to ensure that children in foster care are placed in the least restrictive, most family-like, and appropriate settings…
POST OFFICES / NAMING BUILDINGS
H.R. 2607: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 7802 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, New York, as the "Jeanne and Jules Manford Post Office Building"
Sponsor: Rep, Joseph Crowley [D, NY-14]
H.R. 4777: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1301 Alabama Avenue in Selma, Alabama as the "Amelia Boynton Robinson Post Office Building"
Sponsor: Rep. Terri Sewell [D, AL-7]
H.R. 4925: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 229 West Main Cross Street, in Findlay, Ohio, as the "Michael Garver Oxley Memorial Post Office Building"
Sponsor: Rep. Michael Latta [R, OH-5]
H.R. 4960: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 525 N Broadway in Aurora, Illinois, as the "Kenneth M. Christy Post Office Building"
Sponsor: Rep. Bill Foster [D, IL-11]
H.R. 5028: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 10721 E Jefferson Ave in Detroit, Michigan, as the "Mary Eleanora McCoy Post Office Building"
Sponsor: Rep. Brenda Lawrence [D, MI-14]
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.