Congress returns Tuesday from Thanksgiving break.

The big news this week is a deal for a vote on a long-awaited medical innovation bill. The House may also vote on the defense authorization and a long list of suspension bills.


Here's what Congress is voting on this week:

21st Century Cures Act

A deal announced last week cleared a path for a Wednesday vote on the long-awaited (and most-lobbied) "Cures Act." The final $6.3 billion package will contain:

  • Funding to address the opioid crisis: $1 billion in grants to states
  • Funding for the National Institutes of Health: $4.8 billion, including:

  • Funding for the Food and Drug Administration: $500 million, and policy changes, including

    • Expedited review for breakthrough medical devices
    • Evaluate the use of “real-world” evidence for new uses of previously-approved drugs
    • Accelerated approval of stem cell therapies

The bill is paid for with some funds from the Affordable Care Act and sale of some oil from the strategic petroleum reserve.

bookmark_lgH.R. 6: THE 21ST CENTURY CURES ACT
Rep. Fred Upton [R, MI-6]


Also on the Docket:

Veterans Bills

bookmark_lgH.R. 5458: Veterans TRICARE Choice Act
Sponsor: Rep. Chris Stewart [R, UT-2]

H.R. 5458 would allow certain individuals who are automatically eligible for TRICARE, which is the health benefits program of the Department of Defense, to elect to be temporarily ineligible for that benefit. Making that election would allow those individuals to contribute to health savings accounts (HSAs), which are tax-advantaged accounts used to pay health expenses. (CBO)


bookmark_lgH.R. 4757: To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand the eligibility for headstones, markers, and medallions furnished by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for deceased individuals who were awarded the Medal of Honor and are buried in private cemeteries, as amended
Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Miller [R, FL-1]


bookmark_lgH.R. 5399: Ethical Patient Care for Veterans Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. David Roe [R, TN-1]

H.R. 5399 would require physicians employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to report unethical health care practices that take place at VA medical facilities to the appropriate state licensing authority within five days of occurrence. The bill also would require VA to inform physicians of that responsibility. (CBO)

bookmark_lgH.R. 5047: Protecting Veterans' Educational Choice Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Jody Hice [R, GA-10]

H.R. 5047 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to include information on articulation agreements when it provides educational and vocational counseling to veterans. Articulation agreements are arrangements between institutions of higher learning regarding how those institutions will grant academic credit for course work pursued at other such institutions. (CBO)

bookmark_lgH.R. 5166: WINGMAN Act, as amended
Sponsor: Rep. Ted Yoho [R, FL-3]

Allows the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide an accredited, permanent congressional employee with read-only remote access to the electronic Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) claims records system of a represented veteran.

bookmark_lgH.R. 3286: HIRE Vets Act, as amended
Sponsor: Rep. Paul Cook [R, CA-8]
H.R. 3286 would require the Department of Labor (DOL) to establish the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, within one year of enactment, to annually recognize businesses for their efforts to employ veterans. (CBO)


bookmark_lgH.R. 5600: No Hero Left Untreated Act, as amended
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Knight [R, CA-25]
H.R. 5600 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish a one-year pilot program to treat a limited number of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, chronic pain, or opiate addiction by using Magnetic eResonance Therapy technology (MeRT technology). (CBO)


bookmark_lgS. 2234: Office of Strategic Services Congressional Gold Medal Act
Sponsor: Sen. Roy Blunt [R, MO-0]


bookmark_lgH.R. 2992: Merchant Marine of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act
Sponsor: Rep. Susan Brooks [R, IN-5]


bookmark_lgS. 1555: Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015
Sponsor: Sen. Mazie Hirono [D, HI]

Foreign Relations

bookmark_lgH.R. 5877: United States-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016, as amended
Sponsor: Rep. John Ratcliffe [R, TX-4]


bookmark_lgH.R. 5843: United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2016, as amended
Sponsor: Rep. James Langevin [D, RI-2]


bookmark_lgH.Con.Res. 165: Expressing the sense of Congress and reaffirming longstanding United States policy in support of a direct bilaterally negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and opposition to United Nations Security Council resolutions imposing a solution to the conflict
Sponsor: Rep. Edward Royce [R, CA-39]


bookmark_lgH.Con.Res. 40: Encouraging reunions of divided Korean American families
Sponsor: Rep. Charles Rangel [D, NY-13]

Government Operations

bookmark_lgH.R. 6009:  Federal Agency Mail Management Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Russell [R, OK-5]

The legislation would amend federal law to clarify that the General Services Administration (GSA) has the responsibility for promoting and recommending efficient mail practices among federal agencies. GSA already performs this function. (CBO)


bookmark_lgH.R. 5384: Federal Register Printer Savings Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Russell [R, OK-5]
This bill bars the Government Publishing Office from furnishing a printed copy of the Federal Register without charge to any Member of Congress or any other office of the United States during a year unless requested.


bookmark_lgH.R. 6186: Follow the Rules Act
Sponsor: Rep. Sean Duffy [R, WI-7]

The bill extends protections for federal employees who refuse to obey an order that would violate a law to include orders that would violate a rule or regulation.

bookmark_lgH.R. 6302: Overtime Pay for Secret Service Agents Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R, UT-3]

Allows agents of the United States Secret Service to receive additional overtime premium pay during the year of a presidential election.


Criminal Justice and Emergency Response

bookmark_lgHouse Amendment to S. 2577: Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016
Sponsor: John Cornyn [R, TX]

S. 2577 would authorize the appropriation of about $121 million annually over the 2017-2021 period, mostly for grant programs administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to assist victims of crime and to enhance the analysis of DNA samples relating to criminal investigations.  (CBO)


bookmark_lgH.R. 5422: To ensure funding for the National Human Trafficking Hotline, and for other purposes
Sponsor: Rep. Ted Poe [R, TX-2]
The bill would correct a change made by the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (P.L. 114-22) that inadvertently directed funding for the hotline to the Department of Justice instead of the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for its funding.

bookmark_lgHouse Amendment S. 546: RESPONSE Act of 2016
Sponsor: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp [D, ND]

S. 546 would establish the Railroad Emergency Services subcommittee under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Advisory Council (NAC). The act would direct the subcommittee to evaluate several aspects of the ability of emergency personnel to respond to hazardous materials incidents involving trains. (CBO)


Highlighting a bill does not indicate POPVOX endorsement in any way. Our goal is to help you stay better informed and share your input, supporting or opposing, with your lawmakers.