Monday, May 1, 2017

Congress Weekly Update May 1-5-2017

Government Funding Deal

Late Sunday evening, reports of a $1 trillion Deal began to emerge that would fund the Government through October 1:

- $2 billion for NIH and the "cancer Moonshot" begun under President Obama.
- Long-term extension of Miner's Health Benefits.
- $15 billion in new Defense Spending to combat Terrorism.
- $1.5 billion for Border Security, not for the construction of a Border wall.

The Bill would be "the first major piece of bipartisan legislation to advance during President Donald Trump's short tenure in the White House." The Bill will require Democratic votes to pass.

GOP Health Bill

Most expect that the House will turn back to its Health Care Bill as soon as a spending deal passes. Members continue to refine the MacArthur Amendment that emerged last week, a change introduced by Rep. Tom MacArthur [R-NJ] to the to the House GOP American Health Care Act. The Amendment allows States to apply for Waivers to permit exceptions to Key Provisions of the original Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), such as requirements to Cover "Essential Health Benefits," requiring Coverage of Preexisting Conditions, and allowing Rates to be set based on Medical History. Over the weekend, however, President Trump said that the new Plan would Guarantee Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions.

In the Senate

Confirmation of SEC Chairman Nominee: Walter J. "Jay" Clayton is an Attorney who specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions transactions and capital Markets offerings. He is a Partner at the Law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

In the House

H.R. 657: Follow the Rules Act, Sponsor: Rep. Sean Duffy [R, WI-7]. The Bill would Extend Whistleblower Protections to Federal Employees who refuse to violate Federal Rules or Regulations. Currently only applies to Laws.

H.R. 910: Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2017, Sponsor: Rep. French Hill [R, AR-2].
The Bill establishes a safe Harbor that would allow broker-Dealers to issue research Reports that cover Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), so that these Reports are not considered “Offers” under the Securities Law.

H.R. 1180: Working Families Flexibility Act, Sponsor: Rep. Martha Roby [R, AL-2]. H.R. 1180 would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide Compensatory Time for Employees in the Private sector. In lieu of Overtime Pay, Employees could receive Compensatory Time off at a Rate of not less than One and One-Half hours for each Hour of Employment for which Overtime Pay would otherwise have been required. But using the time when required is at the discretion of the Employer. If the Employer closes, any hours saved would be lost.

H.R. 1242: 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act, Sponsor: Rep. Robert Scott [D, VA-3]. The Bill would establish a Commission to plan for Commemoration of Arrival and Influence of Africans and Descendants in America since 1619.

H.R. 1312: Small Business Capital Formation Enhancement Act, Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Poliquin[R, ME-2]. The Bill requires the SEC to respond to Recommendations by the Forum on Small Business Capital Formation.

H.R. 1366: U.S. Territories Investor Protection Act of 2017, Sponsor: Rep. Nydia Velazquez [D, NY-7]. The Bill would end the registration Exemption for Companies that issue Securities in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other United States Possessions.

H.R. 1644: Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act, Sponsor: Rep. Edward Royce [R, CA-39]. The Bill would expand existing Sanctions and Impose New Sanctions against North Korea.

H.R. 1665: Disaster Declaration Improvement Act, Sponsor: Rep. Rodney Davis [R, IL-13]. H.R. 1665 would Direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to give greater consideration to the Local effects of disaster Events when reviewing State or Tribal requests for a Major disaster declaration.

H.R. 1679: FEMA Accountability, Modernization and Transparency Act, Sponsor: Rep. Garret Graves [R, LA-6]. The Bill would require FEMA to modernize its Grant Management system and provide Secure Online access to Applicants.

H.R. 1678: To Amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act concerning the Statute of Limitations for actions to Recover Disaster or Emergency Assistance Payments, Sponsor: Rep. Lois Frankel [D, FL-21]. H.R. 1678 would establish a Three-Year Statute of Limitations on actions to Recover FEMA Grants provided to State or Local Governments following a Declared disaster.

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