Tech bills in the House, water resources in the Senate, and lots of behind-the-scenes talk about a funding deal.
The Senate will again work on a $9.4 billion water projects bill that includes $200 million for Flint, Michigan. The House will vote on tech-related bills to prohibit ticket-buying bots, and prevent agreements limiting consumers' right to leave Yelp-like reviews. The House will also vote on bills to prohibit prisoner transfers from Guantanamo Bay, limit the President's ability to remove countries from the list of state sponsors of terror, and finalizing a military agreement with Israel.
S. 2848 would authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to construct projects to mitigate storm and hurricane damage, to improve navigation and flood management, and to assist state and local governments with safety programs for dams and levees. The bill also would authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide grants and loans to state and local governments, public water systems, and nonprofit organizations to support a wide range of water quality projects and programs. (Source: CBO).
Technology: Consumer Reviews, Ticket Bots, and IoT
Should companies be able to prohibit customers from leaving reviews on sites like Yelp? Should ticket re-sellers be able to use "bots" to purchase tickets when they become available online, with the intention of re-selling at higher prices? Should the U.S. have a national strategy for the Internet of Things (IoT)? Those are some of the tech questions up for a vote in the House this week.
The bill would prohibit contract clauses that restrict the ability of a consumer to review goods or services.
Prohibits use or sale of software “bots” to circumvent security or access controls on a ticket seller's website that is used to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets. Also prohibits the sale of tickets obtained through these measures.
H.Res. 847: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives about a national strategy for the Internet of Things to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment
Sponsor: Rep. Leonard Lance [R, NJ-7]
H.Res. 835: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should adopt a national policy for technology to promote consumers’ access to financial tools and online commerce to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment
Sponsor: Rep. Adam Kinzinger [R, IL-16]
H.R. 4979 would direct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to report to Congress on existing federal activities related to testing and demonstrating advanced reactors with significant design improvements over existing commercial reactors. (Source: CBO)
H.R. 5587: Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act
Sponsor: Rep. Glenn Thompson [R, PA-5]
H.R. 5587 would amend and reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 through fiscal year 2022. That act funds secondary and postsecondary career and technical education (CTE). (Source: CBO)
H.R. 1301 would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to amend regulations related to the height and dimensions of certain antenna structures. Under the bill, the regulations would be amended to prohibit private land-use restrictions from applying to antennas used for amateur radio communications if the restrictions prevent or impede those communications. The bill also would require any licensee in an amateur radio service to obtain prior approval from a community association before installing an outdoor antenna. (Source: CBO)
H.Res. 729: Expressing support for the expeditious consideration and finalization of a new, robust, and long-term Memorandum of Understanding on military assistance to Israel between the United States Government and the Government of Israel
Sponsor: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-27]
H.Res. 810: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the life and work of Elie Wiesel in promoting human rights, peace, and Holocaust remembrance, as amended
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Israel [D, NY-3]
S.Con.Res. 46: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the life and work of Elie Wiesel in promoting human rights, peace, and Holocaust remembrance, as amended
Sponsor: Sen. Bill Nelson [D, FL]
Two bills up for consideration this week would limit the President's ability to act without Congressional approval.
H.R. 5484 would reduce the President’s flexibility to remove a country’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism by:
Increasing the period of time the Congress would have to review any such proposed action,
Increasing the period of time a country must refrain from supporting terrorism before the President could remove such a designation, and
Requiring the President to notify the Congress when the Administration initiates a review of a country’s designation and, 20 days later, brief the Congress on the status of that review.
H.R. ___ : Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2016 (no bill number yet)
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Miller [R, FL-1]
To provide for the removal or demotion of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs based on performance or misconduct.
To permit agreements for health care for veterans and to authorize leases at the Department of Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Campus.
H.R. 3471 would modify a program administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that assists eligible veterans with purchasing automobiles and having those vehicles adapted to accommodate the veterans’ disabilities. (Source: CBO)
H.R. 5937: To amend title 36, United States Code, to authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission to acquire, operate, and maintain the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial in Marnes-la-Coquette, France, and for other purposes, as amended
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Miller [R, FL-1]
H.R. 4576 would implement the Conventions on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North and South Pacific Ocean (Pacific Conventions). The bill also would amend the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention Act to implement an amendment to the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, which governs the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). That amendment would detail NAFO’s objectives; outline general management principles for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean; and describe the duties of all parties to that Convention related to inspections, reports, compliance, and enforcement.
Reauthorizes through 2025 Historic Preservation Fund activities related to the preservation and restoration of historic buildings and structures on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities.
S. 1579: Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act (NATIVE) Act
Sponsor: Sen. Brian Schatz [D, HI]
S. 1579 would direct federal agencies that administer programs related to recreation and tourism to update existing plans to promote tourism among Indian communities.
S. 246 would establish the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children in the Office of Tribal Justice in the Department of Justice. The 11-member commission would be tasked with completing a study of federal and nonfederal programs that serve Native American children. Under the bill, the commission would use the results of the study to develop plans and recommendations to improve those programs.
Clarifies that sports medicine professionals who travel outside their primary licensed state to provide care for the athletes will be covered by their medical malpractice insurance.
Under current law, individuals may generally claim an itemized deduction for unreimbursed medical expenses to the extent that such expenses exceed a threshold of 10 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). For taxpayers 65 years of age or older, the threshold is generally 7.5 percent in 2016, but it rises to 10 percent thereafter. Regardless of the age of the taxpayer, the threshold is 10 percent for the purposes of the alternative minimum tax (AMT). H.R. 3590 would amend the Internal Revenue Code to permanently lower the threshold from 10 percent to 7.5 percent of AGI under the regular income tax, regardless of the age of the taxpayer. (Source: CBO)
H.R. 5226 would direct each federal agency to make information regarding their regulatory actions publicly available in a searchable format on a prominent website. That information would have to include the date a regulation was considered, its current status, an estimate of when the regulation would be final, and a brief description of the regulation. In addition, agencies would be required to track the details of all public communications about pending regulatory actions. (Source: CBO)
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