This Week in Congress: July 28, 2014
This week, the House is expected to consider at least 24 bills, ranging from muscular dystrophy research to sanctions on North Korea.
Legislation under consideration this week includes:
Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (H.R. 935): This bill amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to prohibit the EPA or a state government from requiring a permit for the use of registered pesticides near navigable waters or for or the point source use of a pesticide.
Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 (H.R. 4156): This bill allows airlines to advertise tickets based on the price of the airfare, contrary to the current rule, as long as they also disclose the additional charges and total cost of the ticket. Under the measure, the disclosure of taxes and fees and of the total cost must be clearly presented to the consumer. On the Internet, the disclosure can be made through a link or pop-up.
H.R. 4838: To redesignate the railroad station located at 2955 Market Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, commonly known as "30th Street Station", as the "William H. Gray III 30th Street Station" (Rep. Fattah – Transportation and Infrastructure)
The Essential Transportation Worker Identification Credential Assessment Act, as amended (H.R. 3202): This bill requires the Homeland Security Department to assess the effectiveness of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program and implement any corrective actions needed to improve the program.
The United States Customs and Border Protection Authorization Act, as amended (H.R. 3846): This bill formally authorizes the functions of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) within the Homeland Security Department, including the Office of Border Patrol, Office of Field Operations, Office of Air and Marine, and Office of Intelligence. The measure also requires a report on migrant deaths at the U.S.-Mexico border and one on unaccompanied alien minors apprehended by Customs and Border Protection, and it establishes standards for short-term detentions of individuals apprehended by the agency.
The National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, as amended (H.R. 3696): This bill statutorily requires the Homeland Security Department to conduct cybersecurity activities on behalf of the federal government and it codifies the department's expanded cybersecurity role under the president's 2013 executive order to prevent and respond to cybersecurity incidents involving information technology systems of federal civilian agencies and critical infrastructure in the United States.
The Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Act, as amended (H.R. 2952): The measure requires the Homeland Security Department, within 180 days of enactment and every two years thereafter, to submit to Congress a strategic plan for research and development efforts addressing the protection of critical infrastructure.
The Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots–on–the–Ground Act, as amended (H.R. 3107): This bill requires the Homeland Security Department to establish cybersecurity occupation classifications, assess the cybersecurity workforce and develop a strategy to address gaps in the cybersecurity workforce.
Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act of (H.R. 3635): This bill prohibits federal agencies from deploying new websites that elicit, collect or store personally identifiable information unless the United States' chief information officer certifies to Congress that the website is fully functional and capable of keeping such information confidential. For websites that are currently operational, the measure requires the chief information officer within 90 days to certify to Congress that the website will keep information confidential or the relevant agency must render the website inaccessible to the public.
H.R. 4919: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 715 Shawan Falls Drive in Dublin, Ohio, as the ‘‘Lance Corporal Wesley G. Davids and Captain Nicholas J. Rozanski Memorial Post Office”
The Victims of Child Abuse Act (S. 1799): This bill authorizes the Children's Advocacy Program for FY 2014-18 and modifies the program to improve the fiscal accountability of those receiving grants under the program — including required audits, requirements for nonprofit organizations and limitations on conference expenditures.
H.J.Res. 105: Conferring honorary citizenship on Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Galvez
Sunscreen Innovation Act (H.R. 4250): This bill establishes an alternative process for reviewing the safety and effectiveness of nonprescription sunscreen active ingredients, in order to allow the marketing of certain new ingredients based on a determination by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that they are safe and effective.
Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research and Education Amendments of 2014 (H.R. 594): This bill reauthorizes and modifies the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments of 2008 which sought to disseminate data and research and coordinate education efforts on muscular dystrophy.
The North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2014, as amended (H.R. 1771): This bill strengthens and expands existing sanctions against North Korea by restricting access to the U.S. financial system for entities found to be aiding North Korea. The measure requires a determination as to whether North Korean banks and government entities are primary money laundering concerns, requiring that banks meet strict monitoring and reporting rules when dealing with those banks and entities; requires enhanced inspection requirements to ships and aircraft arriving from ports and airports that fail to meet their international obligation to inspect North Korean cargo carefully; and holds North Korean officials accountable for human rights abuses.
United States International Communications Reform Act of 2014, as amended (H.R. 4490): This bill makes major structural changes to U.S. government non-military international broadcasting activities, including by abolishing the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and establishing two new agencies: the United States International Communications Agency (USICA) and the Freedom News Network (FNN). The measure also amends the principles and mission statement underlying the Voice of America and other international broadcasters and places restrictions on pay and personnel at the new federal entity.
IMPACT Act (H.R. 4994): This bill establishes a system for collecting standardized post-acute care assessment data for quality, payment and discharge planning under Medicare — in order to enable Medicare to compare quality across different post-acute care settings, improve hospital and post-acute care discharge planning and determine the most appropriate setting of care.
Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2014, as amended (H.R. 4709): This bill modifies the process for revoking or suspending registrations for controlled substances to allow entities that manufacture, dispense or distribute controlled substances to submit a plan for corrective action before their registration is revoked or suspended. It also requires the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department to report to Congress on patient access to controlled substances and issues related to the diversion of such drugs.
SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act (H.R. 4626): This bill amends the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act to provide confidentiality protections to financial services regulators when they access information in the national mortgage licensing and registry system.
Examination and Supervisory Privilege Parity Act of 2014 (H.R. 5062): This bill amends the Consumer Financial Protection Act to clarify that the sharing of privileged or confidential information with state agencies that licence, supervise or examine the offering of consumer financial products and services would remain protected as confidential under attorney-client privileges.
H.R. 4809: This bill extends the Defense Production Act of 1950 (PL 81-774) for five years, through FY 2019, and authorizes $133 million for the program each year. The measure also includes a number of technical changes to the act, including to the makeup and operation of the Defense Production Act Committee.
H.R. 3896: To amend the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act to provide a definition of recreational vessel.
21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act (H.R. 4315): The bill requires the Interior and Commerce departments to make publicly available online the data that was used as the basis for making a determination to list a species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and to make that data available to states before making such a determination. It specifies that the "best scientific and commercial data available" and used in making such determinations is to include data provided by state, local and tribal governments.
The measure also limits the awarding of attorneys' fees when litigants prevail in suing the federal government under the Endangered Species Act and it requires that an annual report be submitted to Congress and be publicly posted that details the federal government's costs for lawsuits involving the ESA and the attorneys' fees awarded.
H.Res. 676: Providing for authority to initiate litigation for actions by the President or other executive branch officials inconsistent with their duties under the Constitution of the United States