Legislative Activity

Appropriators Plan to Advance FY 2015 Spending Bill

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-AL) is expected to release an FY 2015 spending bill as early as today. The bill has been dubbed the “cromnibus,” to denote that it will be a hybrid of an omnibus of up to 11 individual spending bills and potentially one continuing resolution to provide short-term funding to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). House Republicans are considering only extending DHS’s current level of funding until March as a criticism over President Barack Obama’s immigration Executive Order. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has criticized the short-term funding plan, arguing that it will stop DHS from implementing new programs necessary to meet the nation’s homeland security needs, such as hiring new Secret Service agents or preparing more detention beds.

The White House has not yet commented on the potential House Republican plan, but House Republicans expect to need Democratic support because the conservative wing of the party may not support the bill. Furthermore, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated last week during a closed-door budget meeting that Democrats should be prepared to not support a bill with which they do not agree, even if Republicans need Democratic votes for it to pass.

Outside Groups Lobby on TRIA

Despite the fact that Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate believe that renewing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA, Pub. L. 110-160) is necessary, the two chambers have been unable to make significant progress during the lame duck legislative session. The Senate’s Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2244), which was introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) contains a controversial amendment to require President Obama to appoint someone with community banking expertise to the Federal Reserve Board, which the Fed strongly opposes. The House also opposes the Senate bill, and the lower chamber’s TRIA Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4871), sponsored by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) would greatly reduce federal payouts for losses insured against terrorist attacks. Despite letters to Congress and op-eds from industry associations, it is now expected that TRIA will not be advanced until 2015.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Wednesday, December 10: The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security will hold a hearing titled “The Impact on Local Communities of the Release of Unaccompanied Minors and the Need for Consultation and Notification.”
  • Thursday, December 11: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled “Keeping Families Together: The President’s Executive Action on Immigration and the Need to Pass Comprehensive Reform.”