January 23rd, 2017

On January 23, 2017, both the Senate and House of Representatives were in session.

H. R.  = House of Representatives Bill
S. = Senate Bill
S. Res = Senate Resolution
S.J. Res. = Senate Joint Resolution
H. Res = House Resolution
H. Con. Res = House Concurrent Resolution
H.J. Res. = House Joint Resolution

BILLS AT THE PRESIDENT’S DESK

  1. H.R. 72  – GAO Access and Oversight act of 2017. This bill authorizes the Government Accountability Offices to obtain records required to complete it’s duties (such as auditing, evaluation,and investigation). *SUMMARY COMING SOON*

SENATE

Roll Call Votes:

  1. PN 43 – The Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by a vote of 66 to 32.

Legislative Activity:

  1. Senator Marco Rubio introduced S. Res. 19, “denouncing the attack at Fort Lauderdale Airport, honoring the lives of the victims, offering condolences to their families, friends, and all those affected, and commending the efforts of law enforcement and emergency response personnel in responding to the incident.” The resolution was approved with unanimous consent.
  2. Senator Christopher Coons introduced S. Res. 18 to reaffirm the United-States Argentina partnership and recognize Argentina’s economic reforms.

Bills Introduced:

  1. Mike Lee (Republican) introduced S. 185, a bill that amends the Head Start Act to authorize block grants to States for prekindergarten education and for other purposes. The bill was cosponsored by  one Republican, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
  2. Edward Markey (Democrat) introduced S. 186, a bill that provides that any inaction by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that allows a rate change to go into affect will be treated as an order by the Commission for a court review and rehearing of the rate increase. Refer also to H.R. 587. The bill was cosponsored by three Democrats, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  3. Charles Schumer (Democrat) introduced S. 187, a bill for the relief for Alemseghed Mussie Tesfamical. This is a bill, that Schumer introduces at the start of every Congressional session, to prevent the deportation of a former Eritrean soldier who fled his country and reportedly fears death if he is deported. Bills such as this are filed to prevent deportation, as the private subject of the bill can not be deported while legislation is pending.
  4. Bill Cassidy (Republican) introduced S. 188, a bill to prohibit the use of Federal funds for the costs of painting portraits of officers and employees of the Federal Government. The bill was cosponsored by two Republicans and one Democrat, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  5. Jerry Moran (Republican), introduced S. 189, a bill to modify the boundary of the Fort Scott National Historic Site in the State of Kansas, and for other purposes. There were no cosponsors, and the bill was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  6. Cory Gardner (Republican) introduced S. 190. This amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act’s No-Load Mode energy efficiency standards to exclude external power supplies for emergency fire devices, health devices, surveillance systems, and security alarms among other items. The bill was cosponsored by one Democrat, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  Refer also to H.R. 511 
  7. Bill Cassidy (Republican) introduced S. 191, to improve patient choice by allowing states to adopt alternatives to the ACA that increase access to health insurance and reduce costs while ensuring important consumer protections and improving patient care. The bill was cosponsored by three Republicans, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  8. Ron Wyden (Democrat) introduced S. 192, to remove land located in Curry and Josephine Counties, Oregon, from all forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under public land law; location, entry, and patent under mining laws; and operation under the mineral leasing and geothermal leasing laws, and for other purposes. The bill was cosponsored by Jeff Merkley (the other Oregon Senator), read twice, and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  9. Sherrod Brown (Democrat) introduced S. 193, a bill to enable nation-wide availability of volunteer income tax assistance for low-income and underserved populations, and for other purposes. Refer also to H.R. 605.
  10. Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat) introduced S. 194, a bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a public health insurance option and for other purposes. The bill was cosponsored by two Democrats, read twice, and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Roll Call Votes:

  1. Roll Call 60: Vote on Anti-Spoofing Act (H.R. 423 ) Passed 398-5.
  2. Roll Call 61: Vote on Kari’s Law Act (H.R.582 ) Passed 408-0.

Legislative Activity:

  1. Liz Cheney (Republican), proposed H. Res. 55, placing consideration of the bill H.R. 7, to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions, onto the House Calendar. This action prevents any further amendments to H. R. 7. , the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017, which
  2. Albio Sires (Democrat) introduced H. Res. 54, which reaffirmed the United States-Argentina partnership. The resolution indicted that Argentina is a major Non-NATO ally of the United States and encouraged the State Department to coordinate and increase cooperation with the Argentinian government, commended President Mauricio Macri for making economic reforms, praised Argentina for resolving its dispute with international creditors, and encouraged Argentina to continue investigation of the 1994 bombing of The Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aeries and the Jan. 2015 death of AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman. There were two Republican and one Democratic cosponsors and the resolution was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Joint Resolutions:

  1. Steve King (Republican) proposed H. J. Res. 30, an amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Proposed amendment is to declare that Representatives will be assigned by counting the number of people in each state that are citizens of the United States.

Concurrent Resolutions:

  1. Marsha Blackburn (Republican) introduced  H. Con. Res. 11, a resolution that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and therefore, the U.S. Embassy in Israel should be located in Jerusalem. The Resolution was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and was cosponsored by one Democrat.

Bills Introduced:

  1. Ed Royce (Republican) introduced H.R. 600, the Digital GAP Act. The act is to promote Internet access in developing countries and update foreign policy toward the Internet, and for other purposes. The purpose of the act is to encourage efforts in developing countries in order to support innovation, economic growth, improve health, education, and financial services, reduce poverty and gender inequality, assist with disaster mitigation, promote democracy and strengthen cybersecurity. The act promotes the multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance and is intended to ensure effective use of U.S. foreign assistance resources to achieve these goals. The bill was cosponsored by one Republican and Two Democrats and was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. A detailed summary of the bill is located here.
  2. Nita M. Lowey (Democrat) introduced H.R. 601, the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development Act” or the “READ Act”. The act is to enhance transparency and to increase the impact of assistance for providing basic education in developing countries. The bill was cosponsored by one Republican and referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. A detailed summary of the bill is located here.
  3. Ken Calvert (Republican) introduced H.R. 602 to direct the Postal Service to create a single, unique zip code for Eastvale, California. The bill was not cosponsored and was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
  4. Ken Calvert (Republican) introduced H.R. 603 to amend title 18 to increase the maximum penalty for mail theft. The bill was cosponsored by two Republicans and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. No text was available with further description.
  5. Representative Ted Poe (Republican) introduced H.R. 604 to amend the Immigration and Nationality act to allow state governors to reject resettlement of a refugee in that State unless there is adequate assurance the refugee does not present a security risk and for other purposes. The bill was cosponsored by six Republicans and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. No text was available with further description.
  6. Representative Danny K. Davis (Democrat) introduced H.R. 605 to enable nation-wide availability of volunteer income tax assistance for low-income and underserved populations, and for other purposes. The bill was not cosponsored and was referred to the House Ways and Means and House Education and the Workforce Committees. There was no text available with further description. Refer also to  S. 193.
  7. Representative Mark DeSaulner (Democrat) introduced H.R.606 to designate the Post Office located at 1025 Nevin Avenue in Richmond, CA as the “Harold McCraw, St. Post Office Building.” The bill was cosponsored by twenty-nine Democrats and six Republicans and was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. There was no text available with further description.
  8. Representative Keith Ellison (Democrat) introduced H.R. 607 to prevent election officials from requiring voters to provide photo I.D in order to register to vote, or in order to obtain or cast a ballot in Federal elections for Federal offices, and for other purposes. The bill was cosponsored by one Democrat and referred to the House Committee on House Administration. There was no text available with further description.
  9. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (Democrat) introduced H.R. 608 to prohibit use of U.S. Government funds to provide assistance to Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and ISIL and to countries supporting those organizations, and for other purposes. The bill had four Republican and two Democratic cosponsors and was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Permanent House Intelligence Committee. There was no text available with further description.
  10. Representative Mike Kelly (Republican) introduced H.R. 609 to designate the Department of Veterans Affairs health care center in Center Township, Butler County PA as the “Abie Abraham VA Clinic.” The bill had twelve Republican and five Democratic cosponsors and was referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. There was no text available with further description.
  11. Representative Steve King (Republican) introduced H.R. 610 to distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students, and to repeal a rule relating to nutrition standards in schools. The bill was cosponsored by two Republicans and referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. There was no text available with further description.
  12. Representative David Lamborn (Republican) introduced H.R. 611 to amend title 38 of the United States Code. The amendment is to provide for a way to remove or demote employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs based on performance or misconduct, and for other purposes. The bill was not cosponsored and was referred to the House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and Oversight and Government Reform. There was no text available with further description.
  13. Representative David . McKinley (Republican) introduced H.R. 613 to amend title  of the United States Code. The amendment is to require penal or correctional facilities provide a secure storage area located outside the secure perimeter of the facility for storage of firearms carried by certain employees of the Bureau of Prisons, and for other purposes. The bill had two Republican cosponsors and one Democratic cosponsor and was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. There was no text available with further description.
  14. Representative Patrick Meehan (Republican) introduced H.R. 614 to require each owner of a dwelling under the Section 8 rental assistance voucher program to remain current on local and school taxes, and to authorize a public housing agency to use the Section 8 rental assistance amounts to pay such tax debt of an owner, and for other purposes. The bill was cosponsored by three Republicans and referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. There was no text available with further description.
  15. Representative Dennis A. Ross (Republican) introduced H.R. 615 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include student loan repayers as members of targeted groups for purposes of the work opportunity credit and to provide for a credit against tax for student loan program start up costs. There were no cosponsors and the bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. There was no text available with further description.
  16. Representative Christopher H. Smith (Republican) introduced H.R. 616 for the relief of certain aliens who were aboard the Golden Venture. The Golden Venture was a cargo ship that ran aground in Rockaway Beach, Queens in 1993 with 13 crew members and 286 undocumented immigrants. Ten passengers died trying to reach the shore after the ship was grounded. Approximately 10% of those onboard were granted asylum in the U.S. and minors were released. The remainder were detained and half of those detained were deported. The rest released by President Bill Clinton in 1997. There were no cosponsors. The bill was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Bills that Passed the House and Moved to Senate

  1. H.R. 599 – To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to consolidate the reporting obligations of the Federal Communications Commission in order to improve congressional oversight and reduce reporting burdens. A summary of the bill is located here.
  2. H.R. 590 – Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2017. This Act is intended to foster civilian research and development of advanced  nuclear energy technologies and to enhance the licensing and commercial development these technologies. A summary of the bill is located here.
  3. H.R. 588 – Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act. The Act directs the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a study on network resiliency during times of emergency, and for other purposes. A summary of the bill is located here.
  4. H.R. 587 – Fair RATES Act. The Act provides that any inaction by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that allows a rate change to go into affect will be treated as an order by the Commission for a court review and rehearing of the rate increase. Refer also to S. 186*SUMMARY COMING SOON*
  5. H.R.582 – Kari’s Law Act of 2017. This act requires multi-line phone systems to dial out with any additional codes when a 9-1-1 emergency call is placed. *SUMMARY COMING SOON*
  6. H.R. 555 – Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017. This act prohibits certain private land use restrictions (such as those laid out by a Home Owners Association) from being applied to legal amateur radio stations (HAM Radio Operators).  *SUMMARY COMING SOON*
  7. H.R. 518 – EPS Improvement Act of 2017. This amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to exclude power supply circuits, drivers, and devices designed to power LEDs or organic LEDs that provide light from energy conservation standards for external power supplies. Summary available here.
  8. H.R. 511 – Power And Security Systems (PASS) Act. This amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act’s No-Load Mode energy efficiency standards to exclude external power supplies for emergency fire devices, health devices, surveillance systems, and security alarms among other items. Refer also to S. 190. Summary available here.
  9. H.R. 460 – Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017. This amends the Communication Act of 1934 to ensure good call quality on voice connections and to prevent discrimination against areas of the U.S. in the implementation of such communications. The bill intends to reduce dropped calls in rural areas. *SUMMARY COMING SOON*
  10. H.R. 423 – Anti-Spoofing Act of 2017.  This bill amends the Communications act of 1934 to expand the prohibition on providing misleading/wrong caller identification information. *SUMMARY COMING SOON*
  11. H.R. 290 – Federal Communications Process Reform Act of 2017. This bill intends to provide greater transparency and efficiency in procedures followed by the FCC. *SUMMARY COMING SOON*

 

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