Washington Weekly – April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015

The House passed HR 1195, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act; HR 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act; and HR 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act. The Senate passed S 178, the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act, and confirmed the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be US Attorney General by a vote of 56 to 43. Vice President Biden will swear in Lynch at the White House on Monday.

FY16 Appropriations

The House Appropriations full committee met this week to markup the FY16 Energy and Water and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) bills as well as approve their FY16 302(b) allocations for all of the 12 spending bills. The Legislative Branch appropriations subcommittee also met this week to mark up their FY16 spending bill in subcommittee. And the House will meet next Wednesday, April 29 at 9:30 am to mark up its FY16 Transportation HUD appropriations bill in subcommittee.

Energy and Water

The $35.4B FY16 Energy and Water spending bill is a $1.2B increase over the FY15 enacted level. The bill provides $12.3B for DOE’s nuclear weapons security programs, $5.6B for the Army Corps of Engineers, $5.9B for environmental management activities, $10.3B for energy programs within DOE, $5.1B for science research, $150M for the Nuclear Waste Disposal program, $50M for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue the adjudication of DOE’s Yucca Mountain License applications, and $1.1B for the Bureau of Reclamation. The report accompanying the bill includes language that blocks funding from being used to develop, adopt, implement, administer, or enforce the administration’s proposed Clean Water Rule. A similar rider was included in the House’s FY15 spending bill, but Democrats were able to strip it out during the omnibus negotiations. The report also includes language opposing the administration’s plan to replace Yucca Mountain and language allowing the possession of firearms on Corps of Engineers’ land.

House FY16 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Text:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2016-ap00-energywater.pdf

House FY16 Energy and Water Appropriations Report Language:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-energywater.pdf

Military Construction-Veterans Affairs

The $76.6B FY16 MilCon-VA spending bill is a $4.6B increase over the FY15 enacted level. The bill provides a total of $68.7B for Veterans programs, $7.7B for military construction projects, and $71M for the Arlington National Cemetery. The report language accompanying the bill contains language that may open the door for another round of base closures.

House FY16 MilCon-VA Appropriations Bill Text:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2016-ap00-milcon.pdf

House FY16 MilCon-VA Appropriations Report Language:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-milcon.pdf

Legislative Branch

The FY16 Legislative Branch bill marked up in subcommittee this week includes $3.3B in spending, excluding Senate-only items. While the bill maintains current funding levels, an increase is included for the Capitol Hill Police to provide for overtime pay and other personnel issues for events such as the Pope’s visit in September. The Library of Congress would also get an increase, as members were concerned about a recent GAO report stating that the library has significant weaknesses across several areas of its technological infrastructure. The bill also continues a pay freeze for members of Congress in FY16. House members’ pay has been frozen since 2010.

House FY16 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Text:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/leg_xml-subcommittee.pdf

302(b) Allocations

And the committee also approved its FY16 302(b) subcommittee allocations:

(in millions)

Subcommittee FY15 House Allocation FY15 Omnibus FY16 Allocation (BA)
Agriculture $20,880 $20,575 $20,650
Commerce-Justice-Science 51,202 50,100 51,378
Defense 490,960 490,200 490,235
Overseas Contingency

Operations (OCO)

79,445 64,000 88,421
Energy & Water 34,010 34,202 35,403
Financial Services 21,276 21,820 20,249
Homeland Security 39,220 39,700 39,320
Interior-Environment 30,220 30,044 30,170
Labor-HHS-Education 155,693 156,763 153,050
Legislative Branch 4,258 4,300 4,300
Military Construction-VA 71,499 72,030 76,057
OCO 221 532
State-Foreign Operations 42,381 40,000 40,500
OCO 5,912 9,260 7,047
Transportation-HUD 52,029 53,770 55,270

Cybersecurity

House Passes Cybersecurity Bills

Two cybersecurity information sharing bills were considered and passed on the House floor this week – HR 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act and HR 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act. The White House expressed its support (with some caveats) of the two bills earlier this week. After passage, the two bills were combined into one bill and sent to the Senate, but the Senate isn’t expected to consider them. Instead, Senate leadership has said that they intend to consider the Senate Intelligence Committee bill, S 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). However, the timeline on floor consideration of that bill continues to slip. It may come up after the Senate has completed consideration of the Iran and Trade bills.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) produced a side-by-side comparison of the two House bills:

https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43996.pdf

Department of Defense Releases Cyber Strategy

The Department of Defense (DoD) released their cyber strategy this week, which focuses on building cyber capabilities and organizations for DoD’s three primary cyber missions, which are:

  1. DoD must defend its own networks, systems, and information.
  2. DoD must be prepared to defend the United States and its interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence.
  3. If directed by the President or the Secretary of Defense, DoD must be able to provide integrated cyber capabilities to support military operations and contingency plans.

In the cyber strategy, DoD sets five strategic goals for its cyberspace missions:

  1. Build and maintain ready forces and capabilities to conduct cyberspace operations;
  2. Defend the DoD information network, secure DoD data, and mitigate risks to DoD missions;
  3. Be prepared to defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. vital interests from disruptive or destructive cyberattacks of significant consequence;
  4. Build and maintain viable cyber options and plan to use those options to control conflict escalation and to shape the conflict environment at all stages;
  5. Build and maintain robust international alliances and partnerships to deter shared threats and increase international security and stability.

The strategy also discusses the Cyber Mission Force, which will be comprised of cyber operators organized into 133 teams, primarily aligned as follows:

  • Cyber Protection Forces will augment traditional defensive measures and defend priority DoD networks and systems against priority threats;
  • National Mission Forces and their associated support teams will defend the United States and its interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence; and
  • Combat Mission Forces and their associated support teams will support combatant commands by generating integrated cyberspace effects in support of operational plans and contingency operations.

DOD Cyber Strategy:

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2015/0415_cyber-strategy/Final_2015_DoD_CYBER_STRATEGY_for_web.pdf

DOD Cyber Strategy Fact Sheet:

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2015/0415_cyber-strategy/Department_of_Defense_Cyber_Strategy_Fact_Sheet.pdf

FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) subcommittees met this week to mark up their sections of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The full committee will meet next Wednesday to mark up the bill.

Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee Mark:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS26/20150422/103282/BILLS-114HR1735ih-U1.pdf

Military Personnel Subcommittee Mark:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS02/20150423/103283/BILLS-114HR1735ih-U1.pdf

Readiness Subcommittee Mark:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS03/20150422/103284/BILLS-114HR1735ih-U1.pdf

Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee Mark:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS28/20150423/103285/BILLS-114HR1735ih-U1.pdf

Strategic Forces Subcommittee Mark:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS29/20150423/103286/BILLS-114HR1735ih-U1.pdf

Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee Mark:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25/20150423/103287/BILLS-114HR1735ih-U1.pdf

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) said that he expects his subcommittees will begin marking up their portions of the NDAA either next week or the week after. The SASC voted this week to hold its FY16 NDAA markup in closed session. While the full committee will conduct its markup behind closed doors, McCain said that the subcommittees would be able to hold their markups in an open session if they so desired.

Department of Energy Quadrennial Energy Review

The Department of Energy released the initial installment of its first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) this week. This report focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D) infrastructure pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities and identifies opportunities and vulnerabilities of these systems.

Highlights from each of the chapters in this year’s QER, include:

Ensuring the Resilience, Reliability, Safety, and Security of TS&D Infrastructure

  • Establishing a competitive program to accelerate pipeline replacement and enhance maintenance programs for natural gas distribution systems.
  • Supporting the updating and expansion of state energy assurance plans, and establishing a competitive grant program to promote innovative solutions to enhance energy infrastructure resilience, reliability, and security.
  • Analyze the policies, technical specifications, and logistical and program structures needed to mitigate the risks associated with loss of transformers.

Modernizing the Electric Grid

  • Providing state financial assistance to promote and integrate TS&D infrastructure investment plans for electricity reliability, affordability, efficiency, lower carbon generation, and environmental protection.

Promoting grid modernization.

  • Improving grid communication through standards and interoperability.

Modernizing U.S. Energy Security Infrastructures in a Changing Global Marketplace

  • Investing to optimize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR’s) emergency response capability.
  • Updating SPR release authorities to reflect modern oil markets.
  • Supporting fuels diversity through research, demonstration, and analysis.

Improving Shared Transport Infrastructures

  • Supporting a new program of competitively awarded grants for shared energy transport systems.
  • Supporting alternative funding mechanisms for waterborne freight infrastructure.

Integrating North American Energy Markets

  • Establishing programs for academic institutions and not-for-profits to develop legal, regulatory, and policy roadmaps for harmonizing regulations across borders.
  • Increasing the integration of energy data among the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • Promote Caribbean energy TS&D infrastructure.

Addressing Environmental Aspects of TS&D Infrastructure

  • Improving quantification of emissions from natural gas TS&D infrastructure.
  • Supporting funding to reduce diesel emissions.
  • Enacting financial incentives for the construction of CO2 pipeline networks.

Enhancing Employment and Workforce Training

  • Supporting an energy-job skills training system through the interagency Skills Working Group.
  • Expanding support for an open-source learning community to develop, facilitate, and expand use of state-of-the art courses in energy-related fields.
  • Facilitating national credentials for energy occupations.

Siting and Permitting of TS&D Infrastructure

  • Enacting statutory authorities to improve coordination across agencies.
  • Prioritizing meaningful public engagement through consultation with Indian Tribes, coordination with state and local governments, and facilitation of non-Federal partnerships.
  • Expanding landscape and watershed-level mitigation and conservation planning.

A copy of the QER can be found at:

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/04/f22/QER-ALL%20FINAL_0.pdf

The administration also announced two executive actions to modernize and enhance the resilience of the grid:

Executive Action 1: Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing a new Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience that will improve U.S. energy infrastructure resilience against extreme weather and climate change impacts with the leading providers of electricity services. The partnership will begin with a convening at DOE with CEOs from the following 17 companies on April 30, 2015. The participating companies represent a broad array of investor-owned, Federal, municipal, and cooperative utilities, including:

  • Con Edison
  • Dominion Virginia Power
  • Entergy
  • Exelon
  • Great River Energy
  • Hoosier Energy
  • Iberdrola USA
  • National Grid
  • New York Power Authority
  • Pacific Gas and Electric
  • PEPCO Holdings
  • Public Service Electricity and Gas
  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
  • San Diego Gas and Electric/Sempra
  • Seattle City Light
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • Xcel Energy

Executive Action 2: Funding for Rural Electric Infrastructure

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing $72 million to support six new rural electric infrastructure projects including major investments to drive solar energy. The loans will be used for transmission line improvements, including smart grid projects. For nearly 80years, USDA’s Electric Programs have financed safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to help strengthen rural economies. Today’s announcement reinforces that commitment.

Department of Defense Rapid Innovation Fund

The Department of Defense (DOD) released a broad agency announcement (BAA) last week seeking offers for their Rapid Innovation Funding. The Rapid Innovation Fund’s goal is to transition innovative technologies that resolve operational challenges or save costs into DOD acquisition programs. Those selected for award may receive up to $3M, and there is preference given to small businesses. Approximately $225M was appropriated in FY15 for the fund. White papers (1st phase) must be submitted by June 15. Full proposals (2nd phase) are by invitation only. Offers in white papers should resolve operational challenges or other critical national security needs as characterized by the DOD Components’ requirements. The requirements can be found in Section 13.0 in this link to the BAA:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cd85175835c504efe2f3a85a3ebba525&tab=core&_cview=0

DHS Acquisition Innovations in Motion (AIiM)

DHS released an announcement to industry this week regarding their Acquisition Innovations in Motion (AIiM). At the February 25, 2015 DHS Strategic Industry Conversation event in DC, DHS Secretary Johnson and Deputy Secretary Mayorkas said that DHS would continue to engage with industry and pursue acquisition initiatives over the course of the year to improve their business processes. Through AIiM, DHS has developed a series of initiatives and industry engagement events and conversations focused on reciprocal learning between DHS and industry. The link below contains a high level calendar of events that DHS will continue to update.:

http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Acquisition%20Innovations%20in%20Motion.pdf

The updates will be available at:

http://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/do-business-dhs

Questions about the AIiM initiative can be directed to the DHS Industry Liaison, Harrison Smith (Harrison.Smith@hq.dhs.gov).

Political Updates

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced on Sunday that he plans to seek reelection in 2018 and does not intend to run for governor next year.

The President nominated Adam Szubin to be Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes at the Treasury Department.

Next Week

The House will consider the FY16 Energy and Water and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs appropriations bills as well as a potential FY16 budget resolution conference report. The Senate will resume consideration of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act and vote on the nomination of Dava Newman to be Deputy Administrator of NASA.

Washington Weekly – April 17, 2015

April 17, 2015

The House passed HR 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act; HR 685, the Mortgage Choice Act of 2015; HR 1562, the Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2015; HR 622, the State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act; and HR 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act. The Senate passed HR 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which replaced the sustainable growth rate formula by which Medicare pays doctors. The bill was sent to the President who signed it on Thursday. The Senate also confirmed Russell Deyo to be Under Secretary for Management at the Department of Homeland Security and Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri to be Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission.

FY16 Budget

FY16 Budget Resolution Conference Committee

The House and Senate appointed conferees this week. Conferees will work to meld the differences between the two chambers FY16 budget resolutions.

House Budget Conferees are as follows: House Budget Committee Chairman Price (R-GA), Ranking Member Van Hollen (D-MD), Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Black (R-TN), Rokita (R-IN), Moolenar (R-MI), Yarmuth (D-KY), and Moore (D-WI).

Senate Budget Conferees are as follows: Senate Budget Committee Chairman Enzi (R-WY), Grassley (R-IA), Sessions (R-AL), Crapo (R-ID), Graham (R-SC), Portman (R-OH), Toomey (R-PA), Johnson (R-WI), Ayotte (R-NH), McCain (R-AZ), Wicker (R-MS), Corker (R-TN), Perdue (R-GA), Ranking Member Sanders (I-VT), Murray (D-WA), Wyden (D-OR), Stabenow (D-MI), Whitehouse (D-RI), Warner (D-VA), Merkley (D-OR), and Baldwin (D-WI).

Conferees are scheduled to meet on Monday, April 20 at 3 pm to begin working out the differences between their two FY16 budget resolutions (H Con Res 27 and S Con Res 11). House and Senate leaders are hopeful to have a final budget resolution by the end of the month.

Two main issues for conferees to consider are defense spending and the budget reconciliation process. With respect to Defense funding, the Senate budget resolution includes a budgetary point of order against spending more than $58 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations account. A budgetary point of order requires 60 votes to waive. It is likely that this point of order will be dropped in any final conference agreement in order to win the support of military hawks. With respect to the budget reconciliation process, the House resolution contains much broader reconciliation instructions than the Senate version, which limits its instructions to the two committees with jurisdiction over health care programs. Republicans are planning to use the budget reconciliation process to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but some want the process to be used only for that and not for changes to mandatory spending programs.

FY16 Budget Amendments Submitted by Administration to Congress

The Administration submitted to Congress several FY16 budget amendments for the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, the Interior, Justice, State, and Transportation, as well as the General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Small Business Administration, and the Social Security Administration. These amendments are fully offset and do not change the overall discretionary budget authority. These amendments were requested in order to reflect correctly policies assumed in the President’s FY16 budget request. The amendments decrease by $2.7 million the overall discretionary budget authority in the FY16 budget request.

The amendments and their details can be found at:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/budget_amendments/amendment_04_14_15.pdf

FY16 Appropriations Process Begins in House

Two House Appropriations subcommittees met this week to mark up their FY16 spending bills. The Energy and Water Subcommittee marked up its $35.4B measure first followed by the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Subcommittee with their $76.6B measure. Both bills received a boost over their FY15 funding levels – a $1.2B increase for Energy & Water and a $4.6B increase for MilCon-VA.

The House Appropriations Committee will meet next Wednesday morning to mark up both bills in full committee as well as approve their FY16 suballocations or 302(b)s. And the bills are scheduled to be on the House floor the following week (week of April 27).

FY16 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Text:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2016-energywater-subcommitteedraft.pdf

FY16 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill Text:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2016-milcon-subcommitteedraft.pdf

Cybersecurity

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the three cybersecurity bills this week – HR 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015; HR 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act; and S 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015. CBO estimates that the requirements imposed by HR 1731 would cost approximately $20M over the FY16-FY20 period. For the same time period, HR 1560 would cost $186M and S 754 would cost $20M. The House Intelligence Committee’s bill (HR 1560) is significantly more because it contains a provision codifying the President’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Center.

CBO Score of HR 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015:

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50116

CBO Score of HR 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act:

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50110

CBO Score of S 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015:

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50113

The House Homeland Security Committee marked up HR 1731 in committee this week. The bill includes liability protection for companies sharing cyberthreat information with the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) or other private entities. The committee approved an amendment during the markup that clarifies that the shared cyberthreat information processed by the NCCIC could not be used for law enforcement purposes. The legislation would require private companies to remove personally identifiable information (PII) unrelated to cybersecurity risk before sharing the information with the NCCIC or other private entities. It would also require the NCCIC to conduct a second scrub and destroy any personal information that is unrelated to the cybersecurity risk before further sharing it with other government agencies or private organizations. The bill also allows companies to monitor their own networks with liability coverage and to engage in defensive measures, which are clarified to say that they cannot include harming another network. And it provides for “sector specific agency” information-sharing agreements, which will allow critical infrastructure sectors to maintain pre-existing relationships with regulators. The bill was passed out of the committee by a unanimous voice vote.

HR 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015:

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20150420/CPRT-114-HPRT-RU00-HR1731.pdf

HR 1731 Bill Summary:

http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/documents/04-14-15-NCPA-Act-Summary.pdf

List of Full Committee Amendments and Roll Call Votes:

http://homeland.house.gov/markup/markup-hr-national-cybersecurity-protection-advancement-act-2015

Both HR 1731 and HR 1560 will be considered on the House floor next week. They will be considered separately according to the process released by the House Rules Committee. House members have until 3 pm on Monday to submit amendments to the Rules Committee.

Trade Promotion Authority

The House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee released a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill this week, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015). TPA (aka “fast track authority”) expired in 2007. TPA-2015 would give the administration the ability to negotiate two big trade pacts (the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), but would require the President to consult with Congress at key points in the negotiations. The President would be required to publish a trade agreement 60 days before he signs it and sends it to Congress for a vote. And Congress could only vote agreements up or down, not change them.

Labor (AFL-CIO), consumer, and environmental groups are launching campaigns to oppose the bill, while business groups (US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers) support it.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is planning an April 23 markup of the bill. Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) is hoping to move the bill in tandem with legislation to renew trade adjustment assistance for workers and businesses adversely affected by trade.

TPA-2015 Bill Text:

http://www.finance.senate.gov/download/?id=FEC41212-F7AF-4A6D-BF83-978401999DAF

Summary of TPA-2015:

http://www.finance.senate.gov/download/?id=070F3045-8E10-4284-896C-95344D75ECDE

Section-by-Section Summary of TPA-2015:

http://www.finance.senate.gov/download/?id=0009D10C-38FD-4D67-AC17-C9F29ABEAF05

Political Updates

Jonathan Levy, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of Energy (DOE) announced this week that he’s leaving for a job in the private sector. His last day will be April 28. Also at DOE, Don Adcock, the Deputy CIO announced this week that he’s leaving the government April 17 and will be joining the private sector. It’s unclear who will replace Adcock, but Michael Johnson was recently named to be the new DOE CIO.

The President nominated Gabriel Camarillo to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserves at the Department of Defense and Jonathan Elkind to be an Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Energy. At the Treasury Department, the President nominated Adam Szubin for Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes and Victoria Esser for Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.

The White House announced that Deesha Dyer was promoted to Special Assistant to the President and Social Secretary. Dyer currently serves as Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary.

Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Brendler has been promoted to chief of staff at U.S. Cyber Command. Brendler was formerly Cybercom’s director of plans and policy.

Next Week

The House will take up HR 1195, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act; HR 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act; and HR 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act. The Senate will resume consideration of S 178, the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act, followed by the nomination of Loretta Lynch for US Attorney General, and then S 615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.

Washington Weekly – April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015

The House and Senate were in recess this week.

House April Schedule

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) circulated a memo to House Republicans this week that outlined the House agenda for the next three weeks. Each week focuses on a different theme:

April 13th – 16th | Tax Freedom and Financial Independence

Bills to be considered:

  • R. 299, Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act of 2015 (Stivers)
  • R. 601, Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act (Luetkemeyer)
  • R. 1195, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act (Pittenger)
  • R. 1259, Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act (Barr)
  • R. 1265, Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act (Duffy)
  • R. 1367, Applying the Expedited Funds Availability Act to American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands (Radewagen)
  • R. 1480, SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act (Dold)
  • R. 650, Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act of 2015 (Fincher)
  • R. 685, Mortgage Choice Act of 2015 (Huizenga)
  • R. 1058, Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act of 2015 (Roskam)
  • R. 1152, Prohibiting officers and employees of the Internal Revenue Service from using personal email accounts to conduct official business (Marchant)
  • R. 1026, Taxpayer Knowledge of IRS Investigations Act (M. Kelly)
  • R. 1314, Providing for a right to an administrative appeal relating to adverse determinations of tax-exempt status of certain organizations (Meehan)
  • R. 1295, Improving the process for making determinations with respect to whether organizations are exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(4) of such Code (Holding)
  • R. 709, Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act (Renacci)
  • R. 1104, Fair Treatment for All Donations Act (Roskam)
  • R. 1563, Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2015 (Chaffetz)
  • R. 1562, Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2015 (Chaffetz)
  • R. 1105, Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 (K. Brady)
  • R. 622, Permanent State & Local Tax Deduction (K. Brady)

April 21st – 23rd | Cybersecurity

Several House committees are working on legislation to secure cyber networks and prevent data breaches. The bills focus on facilitating greater information sharing about cyber-threat information between the private sector and government while protecting civil liberties and promoting best practices.

April 28th – May 1st | Appropriations

The first two FY16 appropriations bills the House will consider will be:

  • Military Construction / Veterans Affairs (Dent)
  • Energy and Water Development (Simpson)

The House will also continue to work toward completion of a FY16 budget conference report and will bring it to the floor when the conference committee has completed its work. And they may consider reauthorization of key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, which expire at the end of May.

A copy of the Majority Leader’s memo can be found at:

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=382

DHS Science and Technology Directorate Strategic Plan

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate released its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2015-2019. The Strategic Plan outlines strategic objectives, initiatives, and activities for the S&T Directorate for the next five years.

Part I of the plan introduces the directorate and characterizes the strategic context it operates within. Part II of the strategic plan details the specific objectives, initiatives, and activities S&T will conduct in the next five years. And, Part III of the plan details S&T’s R&D Capability Roadmaps, which will guide investments in the years to come.

A copy of the strategic plan can be found at:

http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/st/ST_Strategic_Plan_2015_508.pdf

DOD Better Buying Power 3.0 Implementation Directive

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall released an implementation directive for Better Buying Power (BBP) 3.0 this week. Warning that “our technological superiority is at risk” from other nations rapidly modernizing their militaries, BBP 3.0’s goal is to reestablish our technological advantage by making it possible for the Pentagon to be able to buy new generations of weapons and systems as quickly and cheaply as possible, using competition, cost controls and other reforms.

DOD circulated a draft version of BBP 3.0 last year. This new implementation directive contains two new additions to that original draft – cybersecurity and reducing unnecessary paperwork regulations imposed on DOD suppliers.

New Emphasis Areas in BBP 3.0:

  • Long-range research and development
  • Cybersecurity
  • Commercial technology
  • Prototyping and experimentation
  • Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA)
  • Global technology
  • Organic engineering capabilities
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education

Link to the implementation directive memo:

http://bbp.dau.mil/docs/BBP3.0ImplementationGuidanceMemorandumforRelease.pdf

Link to the Fact Sheet:

http://bbp.dau.mil/docs/BBP3.0FactSheetFINAL.pdf

Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations and Subcommittee Vice Chairs

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to begin work on its FY16 appropriations bills next week with subcommittee markups in Military Construction-Veterans Affairs and Energy & Water.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers also announced this week the Republican Members who will serve as Vice Chairs of the 12 Appropriations subcommittees for the 114th Congress. These Members will serve as Chair of the subcommittee in the absence of the Chairperson, and assist them in official Committee duties.

The Subcommittee Vice Chairs are as follows:

Agriculture: David Valadao, California

Commerce, Justice, Science: Robert Aderholt, Alabama

Defense: Kay Granger, Texas

Energy and Water: Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee

Financial Services: Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington

Homeland Security: Rodney Frelinghuysen, New Jersey

Interior and Environment: Mike Simpson, Idaho

Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education: Steve Womack, Arkansas

Legislative Branch: Mark Amodei, Nevada

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs: Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska

State and Foreign Operations: Charlie Dent, Pennsylvania

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development: Kevin Yoder, Kansas

Political Updates

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced earlier this week that he’s running for President in 2016.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) was officially elevated to Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stepping in for Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) after he was indicted on corruption charges. While Menendez stepped aside on this committee, he is not giving up his ranking position on the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced this week that he intends to run for re-election in 2016. McCain is currently the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and is a member of the Indian Affairs and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees. He will be 80 years old when he runs for re-election.

Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) announced her intention to retire at the end of the 114th Congress via a YouTube message. Capps has served in Congress since March 1998 and is on the Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources Committees.

Keith Hall officially took over as Director of the Congressional Budget Office on April 1, replacing Doug Elmendorf who had served in the role for six years.

Former Representative Brad Carson was named acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Prior to this appointment, Carson was serving as Undersecretary of the Army and Army Chief Management Officer. Carson served in the House of Representatives from 2001-2005. He earned a Bronze Star during a deployment to Iraq in 2009-2010 as an active-duty Navy intelligence officer.

The President nominated Gabriel Camarillo to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Camarillo is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics, and Technology.

Washington Weekly – April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

The House and Senate were in recess this week.

Cybersecurity

Protecting Cyber Networks Act

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a transcript of its markup of HR 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA). A manager’s amendment making technical changes to the bill was adopted by voice vote prior to final passage in committee this week. The markup was closed to the public, so the transcript provides a little more information about some of the changes in the manager’s amendment as well as other amendments that were offered and withdrawn by committee members.

The transcript can be found at:

http://intelligence.house.gov/sites/intelligence.house.gov/files/documents/HR%201560%20W%20Markup%20and%20Amendments.pdf

Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities Executive Order

President Obama issued an executive order this week that creates a new, targeted authority for the US government to respond to malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by, persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States. The executive order authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on individuals or entities that engage in significant malicious cyber-enabled activities that are reasonably likely to result in, or have materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States, and that have the purpose or effect of:

  • Harming or significantly compromising the provision of services by entities in a critical infrastructure sector;
  • Significantly disrupting the availability of a computer or network of computers (for example, through a distributed denial-of-service attack); or
  • Causing a significant misappropriation of funds or economic resources, trade secrets, personal identifiers, or financial information for commercial or competitive advantage or private financial gain (for example, by stealing large quantities of credit card information, trade secrets, or sensitive information).

The new Executive Order further authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on certain individuals or entities that:

  • Knowingly receive or use trade secrets that were stolen by cyber-enabled means for commercial or competitive advantage or private financial gain, where the underlying theft of the trade secrets is reasonably likely to result in, or has materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States (for example, where a corporation knowingly profits from stolen trade secrets); or
  • Attempt, assist in, or provide material support for any of the above harms.
  • This authority will be used in a targeted manner against the most significant cyber threats that we face, whether they are directed against our critical infrastructure, our companies, or our citizens.  The United States will continue to employ all available means, including diplomatic and law enforcement mechanisms, to counter these threats.

The President’s Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities Executive Order:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/01/executive-order-blocking-property-certain-persons-engaging-significant-m

The President’s letter to the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate on the Executive Order:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/01/letter-blocking-property-certain-persons-engaging-significant-malicious-

House FY16 National Defense Authorization Act Markup

House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) released the committee’s markup schedule for the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The committee will meet to mark up the legislation in subcommittee and full committee as follows:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2:30 PM – Subcommittee on Emerging Threats & Capabilities Markup (Room 2118)

4:00 PM – Subcommittee on Readiness Markup (Room 2212)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

8:30 AM – Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Markup (Room 2118)

9:30 AM – Subcommittee on Military Personnel Markup (Room 2212)

10:30 AM – Subcommittee on Seapower & Projection Forces Markup (Room 2118)

12:00 PM – Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Markup (Room 2212)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

10:00 AM—Full Committee Markup (Room 2118)

Politico is reporting that the HASC is considering marking up a FY16 NDAA that authorizes $561B for base funding, which was the level requested by the Obama administration. They would then designate $38B of that funding for Overseas Contingency Operations.

House Homeland Security Committee Bills Introduced

Six freshmen Republican members of the House Homeland Security Committee introduced bills this week aimed at curbing waste, fraud, and abuse, and at increasing transparency at the Department of Homeland Security. The bills were introduced by Reps. Carter (R-GA), Hurd (R-TX), Loudermilk (R-GA), McSally (R-AZ), Ratcliffe (R-TX), and Walker (R-NC).

The freshmen Homeland Security Committee members introduced the following legislation:

HR 1615, the DHS FOIA Efficiency Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Carter, directs DHS’s Chief FOIA Officer to make certain improvements in the implementation the Freedom of Information Act.

A link to the bill:

http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/documents/032515-HR1615.pdf

HR 1626, the DHS IT Duplication Reduction Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Hurd, requires a report to Congress as they seek to reduce duplication of information technology at the department.

A link to the bill:

http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/documents/032515-HR1626.pdf

HR 1633, the DHS Paid Administrative Leave Accountability Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Loudermilk, requires improvements to the tracking and reporting of DHS employees placed on administrative leave, or any other type of paid non-duty status, for personnel matters.

A link to the bill:

http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/documents/032515-HR1633.pdf

HR 1634, the Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. McSally, chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, strengthens accountability for DHS’ deployment of border security technology.

A link to the bill:

http://homeland.house.gov/bill/hr-1634-border-security-technology-accountability-act

HR 1637, the Federally Funded Research and Development Sunshine Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Ratcliffe, chairman of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee, requires annual reports on the activities and accomplishments of DHS’s federally funded research and development centers.

A link to the bill:

http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/documents/032515-HR1637.pdf

HR 1640, the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Consolidation Accountability Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Walker, directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit to Congress a report on DHS’s headquarters consolidation project at St. Elizabeth’s.

A link to the bill:

http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/documents/032515-HR1640.pdf

Global Entrepreneurship Summit

The Government of Kenya has agreed to co-host the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) this July. Organized annually since 2009, the GES has emerged as a global platform connecting emerging entrepreneurs with leaders from business, international organizations, and governments looking to support them. This will be the first time the GES will take place in sub-Saharan Africa. President Obama will travel to Kenya in July, where he will hold bilateral meetings and participate in the GES. This will be President Obama’s fourth trip to sub-Saharan Africa during his presidency.

Political Updates

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was indicted by a grand jury this week on federal corruption charges. The charges stem from a Justice Department and FBI probe of Menendez and his longtime friend Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida opthamologist. Menendez was the Ranking Democrat, but sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stating that he would give up his post temporarily. Next in line on the committee is Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) who is expected to stay on as ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. After Boxer is Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) who is the likely successor.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) confirmed this week that he plans to announce his candidacy for President and/or US Senate re-election at 5:30 PM on April 13 likely from the Freedom Tower in Miami, FL.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced this week that she is running for Senate in 2016 against incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL). She is the first Democrat to declare for what could be a crowded race against Kirk. Other democrats eyeing candidacies include Reps. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), and Bill Foster (D-IL).

Rob Nabors, the former Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy is now taking over as the new Chief of Staff at the Veterans Affairs Department. Prior to joining OMB, Nabors worked for the House Appropriations Committee as Minority Staff Director. Nabors replaces Joe Riojas, who has served as Chief of Staff since July 2013.

The Chief Technology Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services, Bryan Sivak announced that he is leaving government and his last day will be at the end of April.

Next Week

The House and Senate are in recess and return the week of April 13.