WEEKLY UPDATE: The Week Ahead in Congress (Mar 6 – 10, 2017)
The Senate will vote on a House-passed bill to end the Obama-era “Fair Pay” rule prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by federal contractors. The House will consider bills on lawsuit reform, FEMA disaster assistance to local governments and lactation rooms in public buildings. The House will also take up the Defense Appropriations bill.
Senate votes on rolling back "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" rules for federal contractors
The Senate will vote on a House-passed resolution of disapproval of a rule issued by the Obama Administration that placed limitations on federal contractors and subcontractors requiring: 1) Reporting of all labor violations; 2) paycheck transparency; and 3) restrictions on arbitration agreements. (See presentationon the rule from the Department of Labor).
Under the Congressional Review Act, a resolution of disapproval cannot be filibustered. When passed and signed by the President it immediately revokes a rule and limits future administrative actin in substantially the same form.
In the House:
The House will vote on the spending bill for funds authorized in the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
From the Appropriations Committee:
In total, the bill provides $577.9 billion, an increase of $5.2 billion over the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $1.6 billion more than the Obama Administration’s request. This includes $516.1 billion in base discretionary funding – an increase of $2 billion above current levels – and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding – $3.2 billion above current levels. When combined with the $5.8 billion in supplemental funding enacted in the Continuing Resolution that passed in December, the total Defense funding for fiscal year 2017 is $583.7 billion, an increase of $10.9 billion over fiscal year 2016.
The House will also vote on:
S. 442: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017
Sponsor: Sen.Ted Cruz[R, TX]
The legislation would reaffirm existing policy regarding use of the International Space Station (ISS) and would require NASA to develop a transition plan that would enable greater participation in the ISS and low-earth orbit by NASA’s industry partners and additional partner countries. It also would require NASA to develop propulsion technologies intended to reduce travel time to Mars and a strategic framework for human space flight toMars.
Also in the House: Changes to requirements for federal lawsuits
H.R. 720 would amend Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to require courts to impose appropriate sanctions on attorneys, law firms, or parties who file frivolous lawsuits and require them to compensate parties injured by such conduct. Under current law, courts may, but are not required to, impose such sanctions. (Source: CBO)
Sponsor: Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX]
H.R. 725 would require federal courts to deny a motion to transfer a case to state court under certain circumstances. The bill also would amend the procedures under which federal courts consider a motion to remove a case to state court by permitting parties to amend their pleadings. (Source: CBO)
Sponsor: Rep. Ken Buck [R, CO]
H.R. 985: Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017
The bill would amend the federal judicial code to prohibit federal courts from certifying any proposed class unless the party seeking to maintain a class action demonstrates that each member of that class suffered an injury of the same type and degree.(Source: CBO)
Sponsor: Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R, VA]
Disaster Recovery Bills
To increase the disaster assistance threshold to $500,000 forgrants to clear debris and repair and rebuild facilities
Sponsor: Rep. Lou Barletta [R, PA]
To require the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to submit a report regarding certain plans regarding assistance to applicants and grantees during the response to an emergency or disaster
Sponsor: Rep. Vicky Hartzler [R, MO]
To require FEMA to develop a plan, and identify the necessary funding for purchase and installation of an earthquake early warning system for the Cascadia Subduction Zone
Sponsor: Rep. Peter DeFazio [D, OR]
Also in the House
Toprovide that certain public buildings that are open to the public and contain a public restroom provide a lactation room, other than a bathroom, that is hygienic and is available for use by members of the public to express milk
Sponsor: Rep. Eleanor Norton [D, DC]
H.R. ____: To name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Pago Pago, American Samoa, the Faleomavaega Eni Fa’aua’a Hunkin VA Clinic
Sponsor: Rep. Amata Coleman Radewagen
H.R. 375: To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 719 Church Street in Nashville, Tennessee, as the Fred D. Thompson Federal Building and United States Courthouse
Sponsor: Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R, TN]
H.R. 132: Arbuckle Project Maintenance Complex and District Office Conveyance Act of 2017
Sponsor: Rep. Tom Cole [R, OK]
H.R. 648: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to amend the Definite Plan Report for the Seedskadee Project to enable the use of the active capacity of the Fontenelle Reservoir
Sponsor: Rep. Liz Cheney [R, WY]
H.R. 267: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Act of 2017, as amended
Sponsor: Rep. John Lewis [D, GA]
Please keep in mind that highlighting specific legislation 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.