Monday, June 26, 2017

Weekly Congressional Update Jun 26-30-2017


The "Score" from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is expected Monday or Tuesday, with Estimates on Total Costs and Coverage Impacts of the Bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Negotiations over the Senate Health Bill were in full swing this weekend. Potential Swing Votes were the Center of Attention, none more so that Sen. Heller [R, NV], the fifth Senator that questioned the Bill, who wound up the subject of a Twitter hashtag War after announcing Opposition to the Bill. The Bill was written specifically with Room to Negotiate, a bit like leaving "room for cream" in your coffee order. This week we will find out if there is enough room to get the 51 Votes needed to pass the Bill. An end-of-week Goal for a Vote is looking very optimistic, according to Majority Whip John Cornyn [R, TX], though he puts August 1st as a "Drop-Dead" Deadline.


H.R. 220: To Authorize the Expansion of an Existing Hydroelectric Project - Sponsor: Rep. Don Young [R, AK-0].

H.R. 351: Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2017 - Sponsor: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-27], this Bill states that: the President may not Prohibit or otherwise Regulate Travel to or from Cuba by U.S. Citizens or Legal Residents, or any of the Transactions incident to such Travel, including Banking Transactions; any Regulation in effect on the Date of Enactment of this Act Prohibiting or otherwise Regulating such Travel or Transactions Incident to such Travel shall Cease to have any Force or Effective; but the Prohibitions and Requirements of this Act shall not Apply if the U.S. is at War with Cuba, Armed Hostilities between the two Countries are in Progress, or there is Imminent Danger to the Public Health or the Physical Safety of U.S. Travelers.

H.R. 397: Solemnly Reaffirming the Commitment of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty - Sponsor: Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-1], Organization's Principle of Collective Defense as Enumerated in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

H.R. 497: Santa Ana River Wash Plan Land Exchange Act - Sponsor: Rep. Paul Cook [R, CA-8], this Bill Directs the Department of the Interior: (1) to Quit Claim to the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District in California approximately 327 Acres of Identified Federal Land Administered by the Bureau of Land Management, and (2) in Exchange for such Land, to accept from the Conservation District a Conveyance of approximately 310 Acres of its Land.

H.R. 1073: To Authorize the Secretary of the Interior to Establish a Structure for Visitor Services on the Arlington Ridge Tract - Sponsor: Rep. Don Beyer [D, VA-8], this Measure has not been Amended since it was introduced. The Summary has been expanded because Action occurred on the Measure. (Sec. 2) This Bill Authorizes the Department of the Interior to Construct on the Arlington Ridge Tract in the Area of the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia, a Structure for Visitor Services, including a Public Restroom Facility.

H.R. 1135: To Reauthorize the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Preservation Program -
Sponsor: Rep. James Clyburn [D, SC-6], this Bill Amends the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996 to reauthorize for FY2018-FY2024 the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Preservation Fund Grant Program.

H.R. 1215: Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017 - Sponsor: Rep. Steve King [R, IA-4], the Bill would Set a $250,000 Cap on non-Economic Damages in a Medical Liability Lawsuit.

H.R. 1500: Robert Emmet Park Act - Sponsor: Rep. Joseph Crowley [D, NY-14], renames the National Park Service Reservation 302, located at the corner of 24th Street and Massachusetts Avenue Northwest in the District of Columbia, as “Robert Emmet Park”. The .08 acre Triangular Property prominently features a nearly 100 year-old Statue of Robert Emmet, the first Statute ever made of the Irish Hero. Furthermore, the Bill also Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to Post Informational Signage regarding Robert Emmet and his Statute around the Park. 

H.R. 1684: Disaster Assistance Support for Communities and Homeowners Act - Sponsor: Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D, NY-10], the Bill requires the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide Recommendations on how Common Areas of Condominiums and Housing Cooperatives may be Eligible for Disaster Assistance. Specifically, FEMA must provide Technical Assistance to Common Interest Communities to ensure they are Eligible to Apply for Public Assistance. In addition, FEMA must provide Legislative Proposals to Congress in order to make Condos and Co-Ops Eligible for Disaster Assistance in the Future.

H.R. 1726: Coast Guard Improvement and Reform Act - Sponsor: Rep. Duncan Hunter [R, CA-50], would reorganize, but not Substantively Alter, Provisions of Law that Govern the Authority of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Bill would clarify the Duties and Defense-Related Responsibilities of that Agency and Establish a Uniform Administrative Framework for its Advisory Committees. 

H.R. 1967: Bureau of Reclamation Pumped Storage Hydropower Development Act - Sponsor: Rep. Doug Lamborn [R, CO-5], under Current Law, Non-Federal Entities that Propose to Develop Facilities for Pumped Storage Hydropower at Reservoirs Administered by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) must enter into a Lease Contract with the Bureau; at some Reservoirs those Entities need to obtain a License from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Pumped Storage Hydropower is a type of Storage for Hydroelectric Energy used by Electric Power systems for Load Balancing. H.R. 1967 would make the BOR the Sole Regulatory Authority for Pumped Storage Developers that are currently subject to Regulation by both BOR and FERC.

H.R. 2258: ADVANCE Act - Sponsor: Rep. Pete Aguilar [D, CA-31], the Bill would Exempt Active-Duty Members or Reservists of the Armed Forces from certain Testing Requirements to obtain a State Commercial Driver’s License if they have Qualifying Military Experience.

H.R. 2547: Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act - Sponsor: Rep. Rob Woodall [R, GA-7], the Bill would Allow Advanced Practice Nurses, Chiropractors, Physician Assistants, and other Qualified Medical Professionals at the VA to Certify that Veterans meet the Physical Standards Required to Operate Commercial Motor Vehicles. 

H.R. 3003: No Sanctuary for Criminals Act - Sponsor: Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R, VA-6], the Bill would Withhold certain Federal Grants from Jurisdictions that have Adopted "Sanctuary City" or State Policies.

H.R. 3004: Kate’s Law - Sponsor: Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R, VA-6], the Bill would Increase Penalties for Undocumented Immigrants Convicted of Felonies who Return to the United States after Deportation.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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