Tag Archives: 111th United States Congress

Senate Postpones Markup of GSE Reform Bill & FSOC To Adopt New Annual Report

Legislative Activity Senate Banking Committee Postpones Markup of GSE Reform Bill On Tuesday, April 29, the Senate Banking Committee announced that it was postponing the markup of legislation to reform the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), the “Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013” (S. 1217). According to Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD), “[w]hile we have the … Continue Reading

EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Releases Proposed Rules Changes For Protections Under The Clean Water Act

Regulatory Activity Proposed Changes to Clean Water Act The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have released a proposed rule to clarify protections under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands. The new definitions will apply to all Clean Water Act programs. The controversial proposed rule, once final, is likely … Continue Reading

House Addresses Issues With Affordable Care Act

Legislative Activity House Leadership is expected to bring up an Affordable Care Act (ACA) bill next week that would address security issues with the health insurance exchanges and enhance protection of personal information entered on the healthcare.gov website. The measure will be the first of a number of proposals in 2014 addressing health reform focusing … Continue Reading

House and Senate Farm Bill Conferees Convened To Formally Kick-Off Negotiations

Legislative Activity Farm Bill Conference: Priority Issues At-A-Glance On October 30, the 41 House and Senate farm bill conferees convened at a public meeting to formally kick-off negotiations, although informal talks began a few months ago between agriculture leadership’s staff. Despite many conferees cautioning against pre-maturely drawing lines on issues, it was clear what issues … Continue Reading

Dodd-Frank Bills Unlikely to get Senate Support & Watt Nomination Blocked

Legislative Activity House Dodd-Frank Bills Unlikely to Get Senate Support Last week, the House passed two bills that would alter the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act); the first was H.R. 2374, a bill that would bill put restrictions on how and when the Department of Labor and the Securities and … Continue Reading

Criticisms Of The Affordable Care Act Bring New Calls For Legislative Action To Delay Implementation

Legislative Activity Following a bad week for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) roll-out, with criticism of the deficiencies from Republicans and Democrats alike, this week will bring renewed calls for legislative action to delay implementation. Provisions that would extend the open enrollment period and a delayed tax enforcement of the individual mandate are getting the … Continue Reading

Official Start To The Farm Bill Conference Involves House and Senate Conferees

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY Farm Bill Conference This Wednesday, October 30, marks the official start to the farm bill conference, which will be a public meeting involving the 41 House and Senate conferees. For months, agriculture leadership and their staff have met behind the scenes on an informal basis to start conversations on reconciling the two farm … Continue Reading

Health Reform Impedes Continuing Resolution and an End to Government Shutdown

Legislative Activity Health reform provisions continue to impede resolution of the continuing resolution (CR) and an end to the government shutdown. With support from the Administration, Senate Democrats insist they will only consider a clean CR without Affordable Care Act (ACA) defunding or delay provisions. The Senate has also refused to take up a bill … Continue Reading

Senate Amends FY 2014 Continuing Resolution To Restore Funding For The Affordable Care Act

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY Last Week’s Activity on FY 2014 Appropriations With a party-line vote, on Friday, September 27, the Senate amended the FY 2014 Continuing Resolution (CR) (H. J. Res. 59) as it was approved by the House on September 20, to restore funding for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148, P.L. 111-152) and shorten … Continue Reading

Affordable Care Act Takes Center Stage

Legislative Activity Centerstage: Affordable Care Act The Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains in the spotlight this week with Tuesday, October 1 marking a major deadline as open enrollment in the health insurance exchanges officially begins. ACA defund and delay provisions, however, remain a key issue in the ping-pong over the continuing resolution (CR). The Senate … Continue Reading

House Approves Amended Short-Term FY 2014 Continuing Resolution, Eliminating All Funding For The Affordable Care Act

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY FY 2014 Appropriations On Friday, September 20, the House approved an amended short-term FY 2014 Continuing Resolution (CR) (H.J. Res. 59) that would fund the federal government at current levels through December 15, while eliminating all funding for the Affordable Care Act  (ACA) (P.L. 111-148, P.L. 111-152). The 230-189 House vote fell along … Continue Reading

WRRDA Reauthorization Marked Up and Approved

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY WRRDA Reauthorization On Thursday, September 19, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee marked up and approved H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA). WRRDA was introduced as a bi-partisan measure by Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs … Continue Reading

Retransmission Consent and Television Blackouts

Legislative Activity Retransmission Consent and Television Blackouts Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) circulated draft legislation entitled the Video CHOICE (Consumers Have Options in Choosing Entertainment) Act, which intends “to eliminate television blackouts caused by retransmission consent disputes,” among other policy goals. Permanent Extension of Internet Tax Freedom Act Introduced House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced … Continue Reading

WRDA Reauthorization New Process for Project Authorizations

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY WRDA Reauthorization On Wednesday, September 11, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unveiled the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2013. The bi-partisan bill lists Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV), Water Resources Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-NY) as the original … Continue Reading

Premium Subsidy Bill

Legislative Activity Premium Subsidy Bill House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) will continue to drive legislation to undermine elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and advance “patient-centered systems” when Congress returns to session. The strategy will continue to unfold this fall and kicks off with the House taking up H.R. 2775 this week, a … Continue Reading

House Committee On Energy And Commerce Released Updated Draft Legislation That Addresses Physician Payments Under Medicare

Legislative Activity Energy and Commerce and SGR Reform Last week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce released updated draft legislation that addresses physician payments under Medicare and reforms the sustainable growth rate. While Republicans Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Michael Burgess (R-TX) have been active in the drafting … Continue Reading

EPA Confirmation Hearings; Border 2020 U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program

Legislative Activity EPA Confirmation Hearings On Thursday, July 18, Gina McCarthy was confirmed as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator in a 59-40 Senate vote. Hearings will be held this week on Wednesday, July 24, by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to examine the nominations for additional positions at the EPA including Kenneth … Continue Reading

Student Loan Rates Increase, Veterans Educational Assistance is Extended & the Student Success Act Passes

Legislative Activity Student Loan Interest Rates A bipartisan group of senators, led Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), announced another agreement on student loan interest rates last week. The deal, which represents a new scheme that shifts to market-driven variable interest rates, was announced after Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) ultimately agreed to support it. According to reports, … Continue Reading

Renewed Motion on the FY2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

The Senate will convene at 10:00 am on Tuesday, July 23. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to renew his motion to proceed on the FY 2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies appropriations bill (S. 1243). The time until 12:00 pm will be equally divided and controlled between Majority Leader … Continue Reading

WRDA; Expedited Permitting Legislation; Passenger Rail Reauthorization; Infrastructure Bank

Legislative Activity WRDA Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, indicated last week that a draft of a House Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) is nearly complete and that he hopes to go to markup after August recess. Expedited Permitting Legislation Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) … Continue Reading

HHS awards $198M to Build Insurance Exchange & Announces $150M in Grants to Health Centers Enrolling Uninsured in New Health Coverage Options

Legislative Activity House Mandate Votes Following the U.S. Treasury’s announcement of a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act employer responsibility requirements, House leadership plans to hold two votes this week to repeal both the employer and individual mandates for one year (H.R. 2667 and H.R. 2668). The move would force House Democrats to go … Continue Reading

Agreement on Student Loan Interest Rate Package Disrupted

Legislative Activity Student Loan Interest Rates The agreement reached on a student loan interest rate package last week has been disrupted after a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score estimated a $22 billion (over 10 years) cost to the proposal. A bipartisan group consisting of Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (WV), Tom Carper (DE), and Dick Durbin … Continue Reading

House Approves Homeland Security Appropriations; Senate Debating Various Immigration and Border Security Bills; Power Grid Protection Gets Backers

Legislative Activity Budget and Appropriations The House approved its version of FY 2014 Homeland Security appropriations on June 6, but the Senate is just beginning the appropriations process. Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has announced that the Homeland Security Subcommittee 302(b) allocation for FY 2014 will be $39.1 billion (plus $227 billion for … Continue Reading