Bills up for a vote in Congress this week

With a long list of bills, Congress is working to finish up its business before heading into the "August recess" (which begins next week). Of note: the House takes up the Senate-passed GMO labeling bill; bills to impose restrictions on Iranian sponsorship of terrorism, human rights abuses, and the ballistic missile program; increasing financial tools to combat terrorism. The Senate will work on the Defense appropriations bill. Congress is expected to send a 14-month FAA extension to the President before authorization expires on July 15.

In the Senate:

Defense Appropriations

The $575.8 billion FY2017 Defense spending bill passed the House by a vote of 282-138. It includes $58.6 billion for “overseas contingency operations” (OCO). “OCO” refers to the operations that were previously referred to as the Global War on Terror. The White House has issued a veto threat. (Read more from the House Committee and CRS Fact Sheet)


In the House:

FAA Reauthorization

Before the summer recess, Congress must pass an extension for the Federal Aviation Administration, which runs out of funding on July 15. A 14-month extension is expected to be sent to the President this week.

  • FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 (in legislative vehicle H.R. 636)

Joint statement | Summary | Bill Text


GMO Labeling

  • Senate Amendment to the House Amendment to S. 764: GMO Labeling Requirements


    The House will consider the Senate-passed amendment to S. 764, the legislative vehicle for genetically modified organisms (GMO) labeling bill, by vote of 63-30. The bipartisan bill creates a national, mandatory standard for disclosing foods that contain GMO ingredients. It requires food containing GMO ingredients to be labeled using print, pictures, or scannable bar codes. It pre-exempts state labeling laws, such as Vermont law that required GMO labeling in grocery stores.


Veterans' Compensation


Energy Innovation





  • H.R. 4992: United States Financial System Protection Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Edward Royce [R, CA-39]
    This bill applies to transfers of funds to or from Iran, or for the direct or indirect benefit of an Iranian person or the government of Iran, for a specified period only, the existing authorization for U.S. depository institutions and registered brokers or dealers in securities to process such a funds transfer if the transfer arises from, and is ordinarily incident and necessary to give effect to, an underlying transaction that has been authorized by a specific or general license and does not involve debiting or crediting an Iranian account.


  • H.R. 5631: To hold Iran accountable for its state sponsorship of terrorism and other threatening activities and for its human rights abuses
    Sponsor: Rep. Kevin McCarthy [R, CA-23]


    H.R. 5631 contains provisions to address state sponsorship of terrorism, human rights abuses, and the ballistic missile program in Iran. Provisions include:requirements for sanctions on members or affiliates of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and peopel who have provided material support to the development of Iran's ballistic missle program; special measures to reduce money laundering concerns; expanding the list of persons involved in human rights abuses; requirements for sanctions on the Supreme Leader and President of Iran, Iranian Ministers, and other government officials, individuals who participated in a terrorist attack or the kidnapping or politically motivated detention of a U.S. citizen, and financial institutions that engage in certain transactions on behalf of persons involved in human rights abuses or that export sensitive technology to Iran.


Financial Services and Terror Finance Prevention






  • H.R. 5606: Anti-terrorism Information Sharing Is Strength Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Robert Pittenger [R, NC-9]
    H.R. 5606 increases safe harbor provisions for information sharing among financial institutions and government agencies and broadens the range of suspected illegal activities. The bill requires the Secretary of the Treasury to submit a study to Congress that determines the appropriate level of information sharing with foreign subsidiaries within 120-days after enactment.


  • H.R. 5607: Enhancing Treasury’s Anti-Terror Tools Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Robert Pittenger [R, NC-9]
    H.R.5607 requires the Treasury Department to investigate ways to incorporate U.S. Embassies into counter-terrorism financing efforts, assess ways to improve anti-terror finance monitoring of cross-border fund transfers, and implement a program to enhance intergovernmental efforts to combat terrorist financing. The bill also adds the Secretary of the Treasury to the National Security Council.



Higher Education


  • H.R. 3178: Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Virginia Foxx [R, NC-5]
    H.R. 4983 would reserve $1 million from funding for the Department of Education to replace the current College Navigator website with a new website and change the type of information that the website would need to provide. The bill also would amend the requirements for the department’s net-price calculator, which provides details on the costs of post-secondary education.



  • H.R. 5528: Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Joseph Heck [R, NV-3]
    H.R. 5528 would reserve $3 million from funding for the Department of Education to implement changes to the application process for federal student aid. Those changes would include developing and testing a version of the application for mobile devices and continuing to develop the data retrieval system that allows students to pre-populate the online application with data from the Internal Revenue Service.


  • H.R. 5529: Accessing Higher Education Opportunities Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Joseph Heck [R, NV-3]
    H.R. 5529 would reauthorize the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program and expand the types of activities that institutions can support with the grant funds. The bill would authorize the appropriation of $108 million for fiscal year 2016. The underlying authorization for the program has expired but the Congress has already appropriated $108 million for those grants in fiscal year 2016.


  • H.R. 5530: HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Alma Adams [D, NC-12]
    H.R. 5530 would amend the reporting requirements for the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Advisory Board, which advises the Department of Education about the HBCU Capital Financing Program. It also would allow the department to provide financial counseling to HBCUs to better prepare them to qualify for that program.

Government Operations

The bill would 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. 4785: DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act (SAVE) Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Scott Perry [R, PA-4]
    H.R. 4785 would direct the Under Secretary of Management for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to oversee and manage vehicle fleets throughout the department. Currently, agencies within DHS (such as Customs and Border Protection) largely manage their own fleets. The bill would require the Under Secretary to monitor compliance with federal laws and regulations related to the use of government vehicles, develop a methodology to determine optimal fleet size, and approve vehicle leases and acquisitions. H.R. 4785 also would require DHS agencies to report data on vehicle use quarterly and submit fleet management plans, including cost-benefit analyses, annually to the Under Secretary.



  • H.R. 5056: Airport Perimeter and Access Control Security Act of 2016
    Sponsor: Rep. William Keating [D, MA-9]
    This bill directs the Transportation Security Administration to update the Transportation Sector Security Risk Assessment for the aviation sector, the Comprehensive Risk Assessment of Perimeter and Access Control Security for airports (as well as conduct a system-wide assessment of airport access control points and airport perimeter security), and the 2012 National Strategy for Airport Perimeter and Access Control Security.


  • H.R. 4404: Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Martha McSally [R, AZ-2]
    This bill requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop and conduct an exercise related to the terrorist and foreign fighter threat in order to enhance domestic preparedness for and the collective response to terrorism, promote the dissemination of homeland security information, and test the U.S. security posture. DHS shall submit an after-action report, including any identified or potential vulnerabilities in U.S. defenses and requested legislative changes. The bill also amends the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 to require the national exercise program to be designed to include emerging terrorist threats, such as such a scenario.







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.