Cramming for finals
It's a race to a funding deal (and the exit) in the Senate. And a long list of bills in the House, putting limits on payments to Iran, updating government technology, cybersecurity resources, and much more.
Senators will vote on Monday to advance a bill that will eventually be used as a "vehicle" for a funding deal that is still in the works. (This process keeps a bill moving through the somewhat slow Senate process while negotiations are ongoing). There is growing agreement to fund the government through December 9, to allow lawmakers to return and take up the funding discussion in the post-election Lame Duck session.
The funding deal will be a "continuing resolution" (CR), extending most spending levels unchanged. However, several may make it into the final package:
- Funding to treat and fight the spread of Zika
- Funding to fight opioid addiction
- Funding for flood recovery efforts in Louisiana
The House has a very full plate this week, with over 50 bills on the docket. And behind the scenes, House negotiators will be working with the Senate on the funding deal.
H.R. 5931 would prohibit the Government of the United States from making payments to the Government of Iran through promissory notes (including currency) issued by the United States or any foreign government. In addition, the bill would require that payments to settle any claim being considered by the special tribunal to resolve disputes between Iran and the United States be made pursuant to a license from the Department of the Treasury and after providing certain notifications to the Congress. Finally, the legislation would require the President to report to the Congress on outstanding claims before the tribunal.
H.R. 5461 would require the Department of the Treasury to provide reports on the financial assets held by specified Iranian political and military leaders. The reports would describe how the assets were acquired and any unclassified portions of those reports would be posted on the Treasury’s website in multiple languages.
Codifying sanctions and calling on the Department of State to report a strategy to counter Russian disinformation and propaganda.
Codifying the Global Development Lab (Lab) in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Changes how banks are designated for systemic risk to the financial system by replacing the $50 billion asset threshold with a new method that weighs not only a company's size but also complexity and other factors.
Allows employees to defer taxes on stock options.
H.R. 2315: Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Bishop [R, MI-8]
Provides a uniform 30-day threshold that a worker must be present in a state before state income tax liability attaches and withholding is required.
H.R. 5883: Clarification of Treatment of Electronic Sales of Livestock Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. David Rouzer [R, NC-7]
Allows electronic funds transfers for livestock sales.
Banks are required to report to the IRS any cash transactions over $10,000. Attempting to circumvent this reporting requirement by making smaller transactions is a crime. The bill would prohibit the IRS from seizing money from people who circumvent reporting requirements unless the agency proves that the money was connected to a crime.
Funding agency IT modernization and creating a central Information Technology and Modernization Fund and Board to improve Government-wide efficiency and cybersecurity.
To allow federal employees to use alternative transportation options such as Uber, Lyft, and bike-share for official travel.
S. 1550, Program Management Improvement Accountability Act
Sponsor: Sen. Joni Ernst [R, IA]
To establish a council to be the primary interagency forum for program and project management.
Requiring federal agencies to postpone the implementation of any rule imposing an annual cost on the economy of at least $1 billion if a petition seeking judicial review of that regulation is filed within 60 days of the rule taking effect.
Requiring the Social Security Administration (SSA) to remove complete Social Security Numbers (SSN) from documents sent by mail as soon as practicable.
Clarifying that Government Accountability Office (GAO) has the authority to obtain certain records and information.
Modifies or repeals nine reports that the Government Accountability Office is required to perform each year.
H.R. 5460: First Responder Access to Innovative Technologies Act
Sponsor: Rep. Donald Payne [D, NJ-10]
Requires Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a process for reviewing requests by first responders to purchase new technology with grant funds.
Adds cyberscurity risk information to the scope of Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) State, Local, and Regional Fusion Centers.
To establish the major metropolitan area counterterrorism training and exercise grant program.
Authorizes Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to offer cyber support to small businesses. Calls for the DHS and SBA to work together on an SBDC Cyber Strategy.
Names the Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs to coordinate DHS efforts related to defending the food, agriculture, and veterinary systems against terrorism and other high-consequence events.
Expands the scope of how TSGP funds can be used and extends the deadline for use from two to three years.
The bill would create a paid option for recipients of sensitive documents such as green cards, travel documents, and employment authorization forms to opt for signature-required delivery.
H.R. 5713: Sustaining Healthcare Integrity and Fair Treatment Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Pat Tiberi [R, OH-12]
H.R. 5713 would modify Medicare’s payments to Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs) and would prohibit Medicare from paying for items or services furnished by certain newly enrolled providers in select areas of the country.
Special needs trusts allow non-elderly individuals with disabilities to maintain their assets and their eligibility for Medicaid. Upon death, the remaining proceeds of the trust go to the state to compensate for medical assistance provided under the state Medicaid program. Parents, grandparents, legal guardians, and a court may establish a special needs trust but current law does not allow a person with disabilities to set up his or her own trust.
This bill would:
- permit qualified individuals to establish their own special needs trusts
- extend access to tobacco cessation services to mothers of newborns
- eliminate federal matching funds for prescription drugs used for cosmetic purposes;
- provide funding for the Medicaid improvement fund.
Requires male and female restrooms in public buildings to be equipped with safe, sanitary, and appropriate baby changing facilities.
H.R. 5065: Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act
Sponsor: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler [R, WA-3]
Directs DHS to notify air carriers and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security screening personnel of guidelines allowing baby formula, breast milk, and juice on airlines.
To reauthorize and improve the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.
Declares U.S. policy to interdict, detain, seize, and investigate cultural property illegally imported into the United States, disrupt and dismantle smuggling and trafficking networks, and prosecute illegal trade. Calls for cooperation between the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Condemns the theft, illegal possession or sale, transfer, and export of tribal cultural items. Calls for consultation with tribes and Native American religious leaders to address and secure repatriation of tribal cultural items; and for the Government Accountability Office to determine the scope of illegal trafficking in tribal cultural items and identify steps required to end such trafficking.
Authorizes the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to sell or exchange 30 tracts of National Forest System land in Georgia totaling approximately 3,841 acres.
Excludes the value of any medal or prize money received in the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games from gross income for tax purposes.
Directing the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office to improve the documentation and evaluation of research and development projects.
H.R. 6014: To direct the Federal Aviation Administration to allow certain construction or alteration of structures by State departments of transportation without requiring an aeronautical study
Sponsor: Rep. Rick Nolan [D, MN-8]
To include disabled veteran leave in the personnel management system of the Federal Aviation Administration.
H.R. 6007: To amend title 49, United States Code, to include consideration of certain impacts on commercial space launch and reentry activities in a navigable airspace analysis
Sponsor: Rep. Kevin McCarthy [R, CA-23]
Authorizes establishment of a voluntary separation incentive payments program for nonjudicial employees of the District courts substantially similar to that for certain federal employees and members of the uniformed services.
Revises the financial disclosure requirements for District of Columbia judges.
Allows a full deduction in the current taxable year of the cost of replanting lost or damaged citrus plants.