Washington Weekly – June 19, 2015

Washington Weekly

June 19, 2015

The House passed HR 2596, the FY16 Intelligence Authorization Act and HR 160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act, which repeals the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices. The House also voted 218 to 208 to grant the President fast-track authority to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Backing the trade authority bill were 190 Republicans and 28 Democrats; 50 Republicans and 158 Democrats voted against it. The House rejected a resolution offered by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) that would require the President to remove United States Armed Forces deployed to Iraq or Syria on or after August 7, 2014. The resolution failed by a vote of 139 to 288. The resolution was intended as a way of forcing action on an Authorization to Use Military Force against the Islamic State. The Senate passed the FY 16 National Defense Authorization Act and S 808, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2105. The Senate also confirmed Matthew McGuire to be United States Executive Director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Gentry Smith to be Director of the Office of Foreign Missions. And the Senate passed two resolutions congratulating the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the 2015 Stanley Cup and the Golden State Warriors on winning the 2015 National Basketball Association Championships.

FY16 Appropriations

House

The House Appropriations Committee met this week to mark up their FY16 Interior and Financial Services spending bills in full committee and their FY16 Labor HHS Education and Agriculture spending bills in subcommittee.

Interior

The House Appropriations Committee marked up its $30.17B FY16 Interior spending bill this week. The bill is $246M below FY15 enacted levels and $3B below the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill was reported out of committee by a vote of 30 to 21 and will be considered on the House floor next week. The bill would permanently prohibit the EPA from developing or implementing any changes to its definition of “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act, and would prevent the EPA from limiting greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing plants in FY16. Five amendments, in addition to a manager’s amendment, were approved during the full committee markup. The amendments are as follows:

  • Calvert – The Manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Visclosky –The amendment changes bill language requiring that all iron and steel used in water infrastructure projects be sourced within the United States. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Amodei – The amendment adds report language clarifying the process for products to be designated as “made in America.” The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Jenkins – The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to implement or administer updates to existing ozone regulations.The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-20.
  • Cole – The amendment prohibits funding to implement, administer, or enforce a final rule titled “Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands.” The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Valadao – The amendment adds report language relating to the Delta Smelt and directs the Fish and Wildlife Service to complete a five-year status review of the species, as required by law. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

OMB Director Shaun Donovan sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) stating the Administration’s concerns with the bill including underfunding the Administration’s priorities and the inclusion of controversial policy riders.

House Appropriations FY16 Interior Bill Text:

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

House Appropriations FY16 Interior Report Language:

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

OMB Director Shaun Donovan’s Letter to House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/fy-16-house-interior-letter-rogers.pdf

Financial Services

The House Appropriations Committee marked up its $20.2B FY16 Financial Services spending bill this week. The bill is $1.3B below FY15 enacted levels and $4.8B below the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill was passed out of committee by a party line vote of 30 to 20. Eight amendments, in addition to a manager’s amendment, were approved during the full committee markup. The committee rejected amendments to eliminate restrictions on the SEC, FCC, and relations with Cuba as well as an amendment to allow DC to use local funds however its officials see fit reversing a long-standing ban on such funding going towards abortions. The amendments that were adopted are as follows:

  • Crenshaw – The manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Crenshaw – The amendment prohibits funding for the Financial Stability Oversight Council to designate non-banks as “systemically important financial institutions,” thereby imposing new regulations on their activities, without allowing non-banks to change their business practices prior to final designation. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-19.
  • Fattah – The amendment restores mail delivery standards to the July 1, 2012 level. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 26-23.
  • Culberson – The amendment prohibits funding for the IRS to audit a faith-based 501(c)3 organization, unless the audit is approved the IRS Commissioner.  The amendment was adopted on a vote of 30-19.
  • Womack – The amendment prohibits funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue a final rule on the use of arbitration until the Bureau conducts a thorough study. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Quigley – The amendment adds report language encouraging GSA to incorporate bird safe materials and design features for GSA-owned federal buildings. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Harris – The amendment stops the FCC  “joint sales agreements” rule for fiscal year 2016, which will allow local media outlets to continue to share equipment and advertising between stations. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 38-11.
  • Harris – The amendment prohibits funding for abortions through OPM-negotiated “multi-state qualified health plans” offered under Obamacare. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 29-18.
  • Palazzo – The amendment prohibits the District of Columbia from using federal or local funds to implement or enforce the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 28-22.

OMB Director Shaun Donovan sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) stating the Administration’s concerns with the bill including provisions that would jeopardize the independence of financial regulators, diminish the enforcement capabilities of the IRS, make cuts to the GSA, and hinder implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

House Appropriations FY16 Financial Services Bill Text:

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

House Appropriations FY16 Financial Services Report Language:

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

OMB Director Shaun Donovan’s Letter to House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/fy-16-house-fsgg-letter-rogers.pdf

Labor HHS Education

The House Labor HHS Education Appropriations subcommittee marked up its $153B FY16 spending bill this week. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies. The bill is $3.7B below FY15 enacted levels and $14.6B below the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill provides $11.7B for the Department of Labor ($206M below FY15, $1.4B below President’s FY16 budget request), $71.3B for the Department of Health and Human Services (($298M above FY15, but $3.9B below President’s FY16 budget request), $64.4B for the Department of Education ($2.8B below FY15, $6.4B below President’s FY16 budget request), $687.8M for the Corporation for National and Community Service, $445M for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, $200M for the National Labor Relations Board, and $11.8B for the Social Security Administration. The bill also contains several controversial provisions that would defund the Affordable Care Act and restrict funding for abortions. The measure was reported out of subcommittee by voice vote. The full committee will consider the bill next Wednesday, June 24.

House Appropriations FY16 Labor HHS Education Draft Subcommittee Bill Text:

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

Agriculture

The House Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee marked up its $20.65B FY16 spending bill this week. The legislation includes funding for agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development and farm services, marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs. The bill is $175M below FY15 enacted levels and $1.1B below the President’s FY16 budget request. Including both discretionary and mandatory funding for various nutrition programs, the overall bill totals $143.9 billion ($3.8B below FY15 and $3.2B below the President’s FY16 budget request). The bill includes some contentious policy riders that would delay implementation of a federal menu labeling regulation and ensure e-cigarettes can continue to be sold without restrictions by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. The measure was reported out of subcommittee by voice vote.

FY16 Agriculture Appropriations Draft Bill Text:

http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-114HR-SC-AP-FY2016-Agriculture-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

Senate

The FY16 Defense Appropriations bill suffered a setback on the Senate floor this week after failing to garner 60 “ayes” in a procedural vote. Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee continued its work marking up their FY16 Interior and Homeland Security spending bills in subcommittee and full committee. The committee plans to mark up its FY16 Transportation-HUD and Labor-HHS-Education spending bills next week.

Defense

The $567B FY16 Defense Appropriations bill was brought up on the Senate floor yesterday, but hit an anticipated roadblock when Democrats voted against a procedural motion on the bill. The vote of 50 to 45 was 10 votes shy of the 60 votes needed to commence consideration of the bill. One Democrat, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) voted in favor of the procedural motion. Democrats are hoping that their move to block the bill (and all other future appropriations bills) will force Republicans to negotiate a bipartisan, multi-year budget agreement lifting the sequestration caps. Senate Democratic Leadership sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday formally requesting another set of bipartisan budget negotiations similar to the round that resulted in the Ryan-Murray deal. At a Bloomberg event this week, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) commented on the Senate Democrats’ strategy, “It’s a dangerous game they’re playing – dangerous for the country and dangerous politically.” And, as expected, the White House has issued a veto threat in a Statement of Administration Policy released this week.

OMB Director Shaun Donovan’s Letter to Senate Appropriations Chair Thad Cochran:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/senate-dod-appropriations-letter-cochran.pdf

White House Statement of Administration Policy on Senate FY16 Defense

Appropriations Bill:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saps1558s_20150618.pdf

Interior

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up their $30.01B FY16 Interior spending bill in subcommittee and full committee this week. The bill is about $2.2B less than the President’s FY16 budget request. This is the first time since 2009 that an Interior bill has been marked up by the committee. The bill provides $11.05B for the Department of Interior, $1.18B for the Bureau of Land Management, $2.72B for the National Park Service, $1.43B for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, $1.06B for the US Geological Survey, $5.12B for the US Forest Service, $3.61B for the Wildland Fire Suppression, $4.77B for the Indian Health Service, $2.69B for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education, $819.5M for the Smithsonian Institution, $146M each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, $3M for the Council on Environmental Quality, and $7.6B for the EPA (including several policy riders for the agency). During full committee consideration, the panel adopted an amendment offered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and an amendment offered by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) prohibiting the use of funds to implement or enforce the threatened species listing of the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The bill was reported out of committee by a party line vote of 16 to 14.

Senate Interior Appropriations Bill Text:

Part 1: http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?attachment_id=448

Part 2: http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=449

Homeland Security

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up their $47.09B FY16 Homeland Security spending bill in subcommittee and full committee this week. The bill is $765M above the FY15 enacted level and $1.02B below the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill provides $11.08B for Customs and Border Protection, $5.81B for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, $4.72B for the Transportation Security Administration, $10.33B for the US Coast Guard, $1.92B for the US Secret Service, $1.638B for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, $123M for the Office of Health Affairs, $7.37B for the Disaster Relief Fund and $929 for FEMA salaries and expenses, $120M for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, $246M for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, $765M for the Science and Technology Directorate, $320M for the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, and $1.1B for Departmental Management and Operations. In addition to a manager’s amendment that was adopted during the full committee markup, the committee also adopted an amendment offered by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) that would permit the DHS Secretary to designate Poland as a program country under the visa waiver program. The committee rejected an amendment by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) seeking to add an additional $1.2B in funding to the bill. The bill was reported out of committee by a vote of 26 to 4.

Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Bill Text:

http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/sites/default/files/hearings/FY16%20Homeland%20Security%20Bill.pdf

Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Report Language:

http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/sites/default/files/hearings/FY16%20Homeland%20Security%20Report.pdf

Status of FY16 Appropriations Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: 6/18/15

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee: 5/14/15

Full Committee: 5/20/15

Floor: 6/3/15

Subcommittee: 6/10/15

Full Committee: 6/11/15

Floor:

Defense Subcommittee: 5/20/15

Full Committee: 6/2/15

Floor: 6/11/15

Subcommittee: 6/9/15

Full Committee: 6/11/15

Floor:

Energy & Water Subcommittee: 4/15/15

Full Committee: 4/22/15

Floor: 5/1/15

Subcommittee: 5/19/15

Full Committee: 5/21/15

Floor:

Financial Services Subcommittee: 6/11/15

Full Committee: 6/17/15

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Homeland Security Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee: 6/16/15

Full Committee: 6/18/15

Floor:

Interior-Environment Subcommittee: 6/10/15

Full Committee: 6/16/15

Floor: week of June 22

Subcommittee: 6/16/15

Full Committee: 6/18/15

Floor:

Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee: 6/17/15

Full Committee: 6/24/15

Floor:

Subcommittee: 6/23/15

Full Committee:

Floor:

Legislative Branch Subcommittee: 4/23/15

Full Committee: 4/30/15

Floor: 5/19/15

Subcommittee:

Full Committee: 6/11/15

Floor:

Military Construction-VA Subcommittee: 4/15/15

Full Committee: 4/22/15

Floor: 4/30/15

Subcommittee: 5/19/15

Full Committee: 5/21/15

Floor:

State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee: 6/3/15

Full Committee: 6/11/15

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Transportation-HUD Subcommittee: 4/29/15

Full Committee: 5/13/15

Floor: 6/9/15

Subcommittee: 6/23/15

Full Committee:

Floor:

FY16 National Defense Authorization Act

The Senate passed their FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on the Senate floor this week by a vote of 71 to 25. This is the earliest the bill has passed the Senate in several years, and it is the first NDAA passed by the Senate in 3 years. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) and House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-CA) said that they believe that they can wrap up conference on the bill and get it to the floor before the August recess. The question is whether or not President Obama will veto the final conference measure. The President issued veto threats for both the House and Senate NDAAs before their floor consideration objecting to the use of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) accounts for an additional $38B in funding. The President may consider vetoing this high-profile piece of legislation to demonstrate how serious he is about wanting non-defense discretionary spending caps raised.

FY16 Intelligence Authorization Act

The House of Representatives approved its FY16 Intelligence Authorization (HR 2596) this week by a vote of 247 to 178. The bill authorizes classified amounts for 16 U.S intelligence agencies and intelligence-related activities of the U.S. government. The bill includes new reporting requirements to enhance Congress’ role in and understanding of the classification process. It also includes a new restriction on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board barring its access information on covert actions and restrictions preventing the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. During floor consideration the House adopted several amendments, one of which was offered by Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) that would require the Director of National Intelligence to provide a report to the Intelligence and Defense committees on the trends related to tunnel use by U.S. adversaries. The White House issued a veto threat for the bill in its Statement of Administration Policy objecting to the use of OCO funds to circumvent budget caps, the Guantanamo detainee provisions, provisions concerning the roles and responsibilities of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC), and certain reporting requirements in the bill.

Statement of Administration Policy on HR 2596, Intelligence Authorization Act for FY16

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr2596r_20150615.pdf

Congressional Budget Office 2015 Long-Term Budget Outlook

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2015 long-term budget outlook this week. The 2015 CBO outlook states that if current laws remain unchanged, the federal debt held by the public would decline slightly relative to GDP over the next few years but then start to grow caused by the aging population, rising health care costs, and an increasing number of recipients of healthcare exchange subsidies and Medicaid benefits. The federal debt would exceed 100% of GDP by 2040 and continue on an upward path relative to the size of the economy – a trend that CBO says is not sustainable. The policy changes needed to reduce the debt would become larger and larger over time. And because the rising debt could not be sustained indefinitely, the government’s creditors would begin to doubt its ability to cut spending or raise revenues, which could lead to the government paying much higher interest rates to borrow money. CBO analyzed the effects of three alternative fiscal policies – an extended fiscal scenario in which CBO projects the federal debt rising sharply to about 175% of GDP in 2040, a scenario in which budget deficits are smaller than those projected under current law in which CBO projects the federal debt at 72% of GDP in 2040, and a scenario with twice as much deficit reduction as the previous scenario in which CBO projects the federal debt would fall to 39% of GDP in 2040. In the first scenario, CBO assumed that Congress would repeal the discretionary spending caps and extend a host of temporary tax breaks without paying for them with other spending cuts or tax increases, thereby increasing the deficit by $2T over the next 10 years. Finally, the outlook provides analysis for choices for policymakers to put the federal budget on a sustainable path for the long term, choices that include major changes to tax policies, spending policies or both, and the timing for implementing new policies.

CBO 2015 Long-Term Budget Outlook:

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50250

Political Updates

Two new Republican candidates threw their hats into the ring this week for the 2016 Presidential race – former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and businessman Donald Trump. They join the already crowded Republican field that includes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former NY Governor George Pataki, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). And Ohio Governor John Kasich is expected to announce his candidacy in July. On the Democrat side, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Rhode Island Governor and Senator (and former Republican) Lincoln Chaffee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have all announced their candidacies.

In response to their votes against a rule governing debate on the trade bill last week, three Republicans were removed from the GOP Whip Team. Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Steve Pearce (R-NM), and Trent Franks (R-AZ) were removed from the whip team based on longstanding whip team rules that stated members must “vote as a team on procedural matters” but are free to vote against leadership on underlying legislation.

President Obama nominated John Morton to be Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Morton is currently the Chief of Staff of OPIC.

At the Department of Defense, Peter Cook, a Washington correspondent for Bloomberg TV, has been chosen to be Pentagon press secretary for Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Cook succeeds Rear Adm. John Kirby, who stepped down after Secretary Carter told him that he preferred a civilian in the role. Claire Grady has been assigned as the Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Grady previously served as the Deputy Assistant Commandant for Acquisition and Director of Acquisition Services for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Next Week

The House will consider the FY16 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill as well as H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act of 2015, and H.R. 1190, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2015 . This is the first time the Interior spending bill has been considered on the House floor since 2011. The Senate will take a series of votes on the House-passed Trade Promotion Authority vehicle (HR 2146) and on trade preferences legislation (HR 1295) with Trade Adjustment Assistance attached as an amendment. While the Senate passed these bills all together originally, they are now following the House and passing them separately. The Senate will also consider the nominations of Peter Neffenger to be an Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security and Daniel Elliott, III, to be a Member of the Surface Transportation Board.

Washington Weekly – June 12, 2015

June 12, 2015

The House passed HR 2289, the Commodity End-User Relief Act, HR 2577, the FY16 Transportation HUD appropriations bill, HR 2393, the Repealing Country of Origin Labeling Act, and HR 2685, the FY16 Defense appropriations bill. And while the House voted in favor of a fast track negotiating authority provision by a vote of 219 to 211, the House rejected the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) provision by a vote of 126 to 302. The adopted rule of debate required approval of both provisions. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) then moved to reconsider the TAA, which could be back on the House floor next Tuesday. The Senate resumed consideration of HR 1735 (S 1736), the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act, confirmed the nomination of Douglas Kramer to be Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration, and passed, with amendment, HR 615, the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act.

FY16 Appropriations

House

The House passed the FY16 Transportation HUD and Defense spending bills on the House floor this week, and marked up the FY16 Interior and Financial Services spending bills in subcommittee and the State Foreign Operations bill in full committee. Next week, the House Appropriations Committee will mark up its FY16 Interior and Financial Services spending bills in full committee on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The FY16 Labor HHS Education spending bill will be marked up in subcommittee on Wednesday.

Transportation HUD Appropriations

The House passed its $55.3B FY16 Transportation HUD appropriations bill (HR 2577) on Tuesday by a vote of 216 to 210. Thirty-one Republicans voted against the measure while 3 Democrats voted in favor of the bill’s passage. The Heritage Foundation announced on Monday that it would be scoring the bill as “key vote” stating that a vote in favor of the bill “is an explicit endorsement of bailing out our nation’s surface transportation program.”

White House Statement of Administration Policy on HR 2577:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr2577r_20150601.pdf

Defense

The House also passed HR 2685, the FY16 Defense Appropriations bill by a vote of 278 to 149 on Thursday after clearing more than 65 amendments. Five Republicans voted against the measure while 43 Democrats voted in favor of the bill’s passage. It is the sixth FY16 appropriations bill to pass the House this year. The bill provides $578.6B, which includes $88.4B in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. This is an increase of $24.4B above FY15 enacted levels and $800M above the President’s FY16 budget request. The White House issued a veto threat for the bill earlier in the week citing concerns with the use of the OCO account to circumvent budget caps as well as prohibitions on conducting additional BRAC rounds, funding for A-10 aircraft, and restrictions on the Executive Branch’s ability to manage detainees at Guantanamo Bay among other issues.

White House Statement of Administration Policy on HR 2685:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr2685r_20150609.pdf

State Foreign Operations

The House Appropriations Committee marked up its $47.8B FY16 spending bill this week. The bill appropriates $40.5B in base discretionary funding and $7.3B for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terror (GWOT) funding. The bill is $1.4B below the FY15 enacted level and $6.1B below the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill contains $8.6B for International Security Assistance (an increase of $165M over FY15 enacted levels), $15.8B for State Department Operations and Related Agencies (increase of $132.5M over FY15), $1.1B for USAID (decrease of $93M below FY15), $21.5B for Bilateral Assistance (decrease of $863M from FY15), and $1.4B for Multilateral Assistance (decrease of $1.3B from FY15). The bill does not extend the authorization of the Export-Import Bank, and states that if an authorization is not in effect in FY16 no funds may be made available for new loans and other financing.

House Appropriations FY16 State Foreign Operations Bill Text:

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

House Appropriations FY16 State Foreign Operations Report Language:

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

OMB Director Donovan Letter to House Appropriators re: State Foreign Ops:

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=431

Interior

The House Interior Appropriations subcommittee marked up its $30.17B FY16 spending bill this week. The bill is $246M below FY15 enacted levels and $3B below the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill provides $3.6B for Wildland Firefighting and Prevention, $452M for the “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” program, $7.4B for the EPA, $2.8B for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education, $180M for the Office of Surface Mining, $1.1B for the Bureau of Land Management, $2.7B for the National Park Service, $5B for the US Forest Service, $1.4B for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, $1.05B for the US Geological Survey, $820M for the Smithsonian Institution, and $146M for each of the endowments of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. The measure also includes a number of policy riders targeting EPA regulations. The bill was passed out of subcommittee by voice vote and will be marked up in full committee next Tuesday, June 16.

House Appropriations FY16 Interior Subcommittee Draft Bill Text:

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

Financial Services

The House Financial Services Appropriations subcommittee marked up its $20.2B FY16 spending bill this week. The bill is $1.3B below FY15 enacted levels and $4.8B below the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill provides $10.1B for the IRS, $853M for the Small Business Administration, $1.5B for the Securities and Exchange Commission, $122M for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, $315M for the FCC, $302M for the FTC, $676M for the Executive Office of the President, and $678M for the District of Columbia. The bill also includes several controversial policy riders including provisions prohibiting the IRS from further implementing the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), prohibiting the use of DC federal and local funds to be used to further marijuana legalization, prohibiting the use of funds to implement an Executive Order on flood management, preventing the FCC from implementing its net neutrality rule until three pending lawsuits are settled, restricting government dealings with Cuba, and prohibiting the use of funds for abortion in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program. The bill will be marked up in full committee next Wednesday, June 17.

House Appropriations FY16 Financial Services Subcommittee Draft Bill Text:

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

Senate

The Senate Appropriations Defense and Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittees marked up their spending bills earlier this week with a full committee mark up of both bills plus the Legislative Branch appropriations bill on Thursday. Senate appropriators plan to mark up two FY16 spending bills next week: Interior-Environment and Homeland Security, and intends to mark up the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill before the July 4th recess. Despite the full committee reporting out the three bills this week and mark up plans for next week, warnings from Democrats about a possible government shutdown persisted in the Senate.

Commerce-Justice-Science

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up their $51.1B FY16 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) spending bill in subcommittee and full committee this week. The bill would provide $27.8 billion in discretionary funding for the Justice Department, $8.5B for the Department of Commerce, $7.3B for the National Science Foundation, and $18.3 billion for NASA, an increase of $279 million from fiscal 2015. During the full committee markup, the committee adopted an amendment offered by Ranking Democrat Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) that directs the Department of Justice to take no action against states where marijuana use for medical purposes is legal. However, they rejected along party lines another amendment by the ranking member that would have added $2.78B to the bill contingent on a new budget deal being reached to end sequester spending caps.

Senate CJS Appropriations Bill Text:

Part 1 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=435

Part 2 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=436

Senate CJS Appropriations Report Language:

Part 1 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=432

Part 2 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=434

Defense

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up their $575.9B FY16 Defense bill in subcommittee and full committee this week. The base budget is $489.1B and OCO is $86.9B. The bill provides a 1.3% military pay raise, adds $1B for a Navy destroyer, adds $1B for a special National Guard equipment fund, and provides $300M to arm, train, and equip Ukrainian forces, $400M for a new “technology offset” to fund investment in cutting-edge technologies, $400M for the Rapid Innovation Fund, and $200M for the assessment of equipment for cyber threats. The Senate bill proposes reductions to 486 programs based on schedule slips, cost growth and poor budget justification During full committee markup, the Defense Appropriations subcommittee Ranking Democrat Richard Durbin (D-IL) unsuccessfully offered an amendment that would have moved $35.9B in OCO funding back to the base budget. Since the base budget is subject to the sequestration caps set by the Budget Control Act, the funding would only become available upon the enactment of a new bipartisan budget agreement. The amendment failed in a party line vote of 14 to 16.

Senate Defense Appropriations Bill Text:

Part 1 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=437

Part 2 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=438

Senate Defense Appropriations Report Language:

Part 1 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=439

Part 2 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=440

Part 3 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=441

Part 4 – http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=442

Legislative Branch

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted on their $4.3B FY16 Legislative Branch spending bill in full committee this week passing it out of committee by a vote of 27 to 3. The bill funds Senate activities as well as a number of other legislative branch activities, including the Library of Congress, Capitol Police, and the Architect of the Capitol. Funding for the Senate totals $870.2M, $60.2M below the President’s FY16 budget request and $5.9M above the FY15 enacted levels.

Status of FY16 Appropriations Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee:Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:Full Committee:

Floor:

Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee: 5/14/15Full Committee: 5/20/15

Floor: 6/3/15

Subcommittee: 6/10/15Full Committee: 6/11/15

Floor:

Defense Subcommittee: 5/20/15Full Committee: 6/2/15

Floor: 6/11/15

Subcommittee: 6/9/15Full Committee: 6/11/15

Floor: week of June 15

Energy & Water Subcommittee: 4/15/15Full Committee: 4/22/15

Floor: 5/1/15

Subcommittee: 5/19/15Full Committee: 5/21/15

Floor:

Financial Services Subcommittee: 6/11/15Full Committee: 6/17/15

Floor:

Subcommittee:Full Committee:

Floor:

Homeland Security Subcommittee:Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee: 6/16/15Full Committee:

Floor:

Interior-Environment Subcommittee: 6/10/15Full Committee: 6/16/15

Floor:

Subcommittee: 6/16/15Full Committee:

Floor:

Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee: 6/17/15Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:Full Committee:

Floor:

Legislative Branch Subcommittee: 4/23/15Full Committee: 4/30/15

Floor: 5/19/15

Subcommittee:Full Committee: 6/11/15

Floor:

Military Construction-VA Subcommittee: 4/15/15Full Committee: 4/22/15

Floor: 4/30/15

Subcommittee: 5/19/15Full Committee: 5/21/15

Floor:

State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee: 6/3/15Full Committee: 6/11/15

Floor:

Subcommittee:Full Committee:

Floor:

Transportation-HUD Subcommittee: 4/29/15Full Committee: 5/13/15

Floor: 6/9/15

Subcommittee:Full Committee:

Floor:

FY16 National Defense Authorization Act

The Senate continued floor consideration of its FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and in the process rejected an amendment offered by Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Ranking Democrat Jack Reed (D-RI) that would have limited the availability of amounts authorized to be appropriated for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account pending relief from spending limits under the Budget Control Act (BCA). The amendment failed by a vote of 46 to 51. While Senate Democrats were unsuccessful in this attempt, they were successful in blocking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempts to attach S754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) of 2015 to the NDAA. McConnell was unable to get the 60 votes needed to cut off debate and move to an up-or-down vote on the CISA amendment. The Senate will resume consideration of the bill next week. SASC Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) announced that the filing deadline for amendments is 4 pm on Monday, June 15.

Political Updates

U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh announced this week that he will step down from his position no later than November 1, 2015. McHugh is the 21st Secretary of the Army, a position he has held since he was sworn in on September 21, 2009. He is a former Republican member of Congress who represented the 23rd congressional district in the state of New York from 1993 to 2009. Eric Fanning, current Chief of Staff to Defense Secretary Ash Carter is considered a frontrunner for replacing McHugh.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) disclosed this week that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 and announced that he plans to still run for re-election in 2016. Isakson is the only Republican senator to chair two committees in the 114th Congress: the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. He is also a member of the Finance; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and Foreign Relations committees.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee has scheduled a vote for June 15 on the nomination of Peter Neffenger to be the next TSA Administrator.

The Navy announced earlier this week that Rob Foster will be the next Chief Information Officer for the Navy. Foster; a retired Navy officer, has been Deputy CIO for Health and Human Services since January 2013 and Deputy CIO for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement since 2007. The Navy has not had a CIO for more than a year after its previous CIO, Terry Halvorsen, was promoted to DOD CIO.

Peter Davidson, Executive Director of the Loan Programs Office at the US Department of Energy is stepping down at the end of June. Mark McCall, a managing director and the chief financial officer at the energy-focused equity firm Lime Rock Partners, will become executive director of the Loan Programs Office in July. Dong Kim, the Loan Programs Office’s chief operating officer, will serve as acting executive director in the interim.

President Obama nominated Scott Allen to be United States Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Mary Kendall to be Inspector General at the Department of the Interior.

Stacia Hylton, the Director of the US Marshals Service announced her resignation earlier this week and will step down later this year staying on for an interim period until her replacement takes over. Hylton has served as director of the agency since January 2011.

Next Week

The House will take up the FY16 Intelligence Authorization Act, which it postponed this week in order to spend time debating and voting on trade legislation. The House will also consider HR 1190, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act and HR 160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act. And they may reconsider the Trade Adjustment Assistance as well as vote on a resolution that would direct the President to remove US Armed Forces deployed to Iraq or Syria on or after August 7, 2014. The Senate will resume consideration of their FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after which they will take up their FY16 Defense Appropriations bill. The Senate will also consider the nominations of Matthew McGuire to be United States Executive Director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Gentry Smith to be Director of the Office of Foreign Missions.

Washington Weekly – June 5, 2015

June 5, 2015

The House passed H.R. 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act and HR 2578, the FY16 Commerce Justice Science appropriations bill, and began consideration of HR 2577, the FY16 Transportation HUD appropriations bill. The Senate reconvened on Sunday and voted 77 to 7 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to HR 2048, the USA Freedom Act. They passed the bill on Tuesday by a vote of 67 to 32 defeating several Republican amendments in the process. President Obama then signed the legislation into law reauthorizing key USA PATRIOT Act programs through December 15, 2019. The Senate also passed by unanimous consent HR 2146, a bill extending the exemption from the 10% penalty tax for early distributions from a government retirement to specified federal law enforcement officers, customs and border protection officers, federal firefighters, and air traffic controllers who have reached age 50. The bill now goes to the President for his signature. And the Senate confirmed the nomination of Michael Keith Yudin to be Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the Department of Education. Finally, the Senate began consideration of HR 1735 (S 1736), the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act.

FY16 Appropriations

House

The House considered two FY16 spending bills (Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation HUD) on the House floor this week and marked up two more bills (State Foreign Operations and Defense) in subcommittee and full committee. The House Appropriations Committee will mark up their FY16 Interior spending bill in subcommittee next Wednesday (June 10).

Commerce-Justice-Science

The FY16 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill was the fourth FY16 spending bill passed by the House this year after it passed by a vote of 242 to 183. Twelve Democrats voted for the $51.4B measure while 10 Republicans voted against it after they voted on several contentious amendments involving Cuba, ammunition, immigration, and marijuana. The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy that included a veto threat for the bill.

White House Statement of Administration Policy on House FY16 CJS Appropriations Bill:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr2578r_20150601.pdf

Transportation HUD

After passing the FY16 CJS spending bill, the House turned its attention to the $55.3B FY16 Transportation HUD appropriations bill. Consideration of the $55.3B measure will continue next week with a vote on final passage likely on Tuesday. While House leadership claims that an unexpectedly large number of amendments forced them to push off the final vote to next week, conservative Republicans could join a united Democratic front opposing the bill over spending levels. The Administration issued a veto threat for this bill citing objections to funding levels as well as the inclusion of Cuba policy provisions restricting travel.

White House Statement of Administration Policy on House FY16 Transportation HUD Appropriations Bill:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr2577r_20150601.pdf

Defense

The House Appropriations Committee approved their FY16 Defense Appropriations bill in full committee by voice vote this week. The bill provides $578.6B, which includes $88.4B in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. This is an increase of $24.4B above FY15 enacted levels and $800M above the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill now heads to the House floor for consideration.

Two amendments were adopted during the full committee markup: a manager’s amendment offered by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and an amendment adding a sense of Congress that “Congress has a constitutional duty to debate and determine whether or not to authorize the use of military force against ISIL.” The amendment was offered by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and was adopted by a vote of 29 to 22.

During full committee consideration of the bill, Democrats offered amendments attempting to reallocate the Republicans’ $38B addition to the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund to the base budget. Democrats claimed the additional OCO funds were being used to evade the spending caps of the Budget Control Act (BCA). While they were unsuccessful in their attempts, the fight over the OCO account is expected to spill over to the floor when the bill is considered later this month.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan sent a letter to House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) this week sharing the Administration’s concerns with funding levels, the use of OCO funds for base requirements, and several policy riders in the committee’s FY16 Defense Appropriations bill.

OMB Director Donovan Letter to Chairman Rogers:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/dod-house-letter-harold-rogers.pdf

State Foreign Operations

The House Appropriations subcommittee on State Foreign Operations marked up their $47.8B FY16 spending bill this week. The bill appropriates $40.5B in base discretionary funding and $7.3B for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terror (GWOT) funding. The bill is $1.4B below the FY15 enacted level and $6.1B below the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill includes a provision prohibiting the use of funds for an embassy or diplomatic facility in Cuba beyond what was already in existence prior to the President’s announcement proposing changes to the US-Cuba policy. The bill doesn’t include any funding for the International Monetary Fund and several international climate change funds.

Senate

The Senate Appropriations Defense and Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittees will mark up their spending bills Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, respectively. The full committee will mark up both bills Thursday, along with the Legislative Branch appropriations measure.

OMB Director Donovan sent two letters to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) this week sharing the Administration’s concerns with funding levels and provisions in the committee’s FY16 Energy and Water and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs spending bills.

OMB Director Donovan Letter to Chairman Cochran re: Energy & Water:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/senate-energy-water-development-appropriations-letter.pdf

OMB Director Donovan Letter to Chairman Cochran re: Military Construction:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/senate-military-construction-veteran-affairs-appropriations-letter.pdf

Status of FY16 Appropriations Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee: 5/14/15

Full Committee: 5/20/15

Floor: 6/3/15

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Defense Subcommittee: 5/20/15

Full Committee: 6/2/15

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Energy & Water Subcommittee: 4/15/15

Full Committee: 4/22/15

Floor: 5/1/15

Subcommittee: 5/19/15

Full Committee: 5/21/15

Floor:

Financial Services Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Homeland Security Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Interior-Environment Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Legislative Branch Subcommittee: 4/23/15

Full Committee: 4/30/15

Floor: 5/19/15

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Military Construction-VA Subcommittee: 4/15/15

Full Committee: 4/22/15

Floor: 4/30/15

Subcommittee: 5/19/15

Full Committee: 5/21/15

Floor:

State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee: 6/3/15

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Transportation-HUD Subcommittee: 4/29/15

Full Committee: 5/13/15

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor: 

FY16 National Defense Authorization Act

The Senate began floor consideration of its FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week and currently has more than 200 amendments filed for next week’s debate. They hope to finish work on the $621B bill before the end of next week. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) urged Democrats not to hold up the bill over spending caps even though he would also like to see the sequester caps repealed. While Democrats did not oppose the motion to move to consider the bill on the floor, they could still filibuster the final bill.

The Administration issued a veto threat for the bill in the Statement of Administration Policy they released this week. They cited several concerns with the bill including the use of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account as a workaround for the budget spending caps, the failure to authorize a new round of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC), the inclusion of Guantanamo detainee provisions that would impede efforts to close the facility, and some defense acquisition reforms.

And finally, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their cost estimate for the bill this week. CBO calculated that if funds were appropriated for this authorization bill, $515.5 billion of the authorized amounts would count against the defense cap for FY16 set in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). Another $0.2 billion would count against the nondefense cap. An additional $88.9 billion would be authorized for OCO that, if appropriated, would not count against the caps; of that amount, $49.9 billion would be for war-related activities, while the remaining $39.0 billion would be used for “base budget” activities that in recent years have counted against the defense caps.

White House Statement of Administration Policy on S 1736:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saps1376s_20150602.pdf

CBO Cost Estimate on S 1736:

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50266

Political Updates

Two new Republican candidates threw their hats into the ring this week for the 2016 Presidential race – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former Texas Governor Rick Perry. They join the already crowded Republican field that includes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former NY Governor George Pataki, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is expected to announce his candidacy on June 15. On the Democrat side, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Governor and Senator (and former Republican) Lincoln Chaffee announced their candidacies. They join former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The 1st Congressional District of Mississippi held a special-election runoff on Tuesday after no candidate received 50% of the vote in the special election on May 12. Republican District Attorney Trent Kelly won the runoff with 70% of the vote and will succeed the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Monday reassigned the Acting Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after the agency’s Inspector General briefed the Secretary on a report analyzing vulnerabilities in airport security. The TSA’s acting administrator, Melvin Carraway, is being reassigned to serve in the Office of State and Local Law Enforcement at DHS Headquarters and Acting Deputy Director Mark Hatfield will lead the TSA until a new administrator is appointed. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Pete Neffenger was nominated for the position earlier this year by President Obama and is awaiting a Senate vote on his confirmation. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved Neffenger’s confirmation by voice vote in an off-the-floor meeting this week. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing on his nomination for June 10.

Todd Zinser, Inspector General at the Commerce Department, retired suddenly on Wednesday after 31 years of public service.

President Obama nominated Marie Therese Dominguez to be Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at the Department of Transportation, Sarah Feinberg to be Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration at the Department of Transportation, Scott Allen to be the United States Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Mary Kendall to be Inspector General at the Department of the Interior.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter selected Air Force Gen. Darren McDew to serve as the next commander of U.S. Transportation Command. McDew is currently serving as commander of Air Mobility Command. He will replace Gen. Paul Selva, who was nominated to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dan Kaufman, director of DARPA’s Information Innovation Office, was named deputy director of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group.

Ned Price was promoted to be the spokesperson for the White House National Security Counsel. Price was the senior director for strategic communications at the NSC, which he joined in 2014 after serving as spokesperson and analyst for the CIA.

Next Week

The House will resume consideration of HR 2577, the FY16 Transportation HUD appropriations bill. The House will also take up HR 2289, the Commodity End-User Relief Act, HR 2393, the Repealing Country of Origin Labeling Act, and the FY16 Intelligence Authorization act. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has also tentatively scheduled a vote late in the week on the Senate-passed fast-track authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance package (HR 1314) and two other trade bills. The Senate will resume consideration of S 1376, the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act.

Washington Weekly – May 29, 2015

May 29, 2015

The Senate passed the Trade Promotion Authority bill last Friday evening by a vote of 62 to 37. The bill now goes to the House where it may face opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. The bill allows the White House to send trade agreements to Congress for straight up-or-down votes without any amendments. President Obama needs the bill to complete an Asia-Pacific trade agreement. The Senate also cleared a two-month reauthorization of highway and transit programs keeping them running until July 31. The bill has been presented to the President for his signature. The Senate rejected the motion to invoke cloture (vote of 57 to 42) on the House-passed HR 2048, the USA Freedom Act as well as on S 1357, a two-month extension of provisions of the Patriot Act (vote of 45 to 54).

Upcoming Congressional Deadlines

Last week the House and Senate passed a short-term reauthorization for highway and transit programs pushing off the deadline for these programs to July 31. There are a number of other looming deadlines in Congress. Here are some of the programs that are set to expire this year:

June 1:           USA PATRIOT Act

June 30:        Export-Import Bank

July 31:          Highway and Transit Reauthorization

Sept. 30:        Child Nutrition & WIC

Sept. 30:        FAA Authorization

Sept. 30:        End of the Federal Fiscal Year

Sept/Oct:        Extraordinary Measures for dealing the Debt Ceiling run out and default becomes possible.

EPA Renewable Fuel Standards

Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to set the annual standards for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for each year. This morning the EPA released a regulatory action that proposes to establish the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuels that apply to all gasoline and diesel produced or imported in years 2014, 2015, and 2016. EPA is also proposing the applicable volume of biomass-based diesel that will be required in 2017. The EPA proposed volumes below those originally set by Congress with the RFS for 2014 set at the levels that were actually produced and used as transportation fuel, heating oil or jet fuel in the contiguous U.S. and Hawaii. For 2015 and 2016, the EPA is proposing ambitious increases in both advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel in comparison to 2014 levels.

Volumes Used to Determine the Proposed Percentage Standards

  2014 2015 2016 2017
Cellulosic biofuel 33 mill gal 106 mill gal 206 mill gal n/a
Biomass-based diesel 1.63 bill gal 1.70 bill gal 1.80 bill gal 1.90 bill gal
Advanced biofuel 2.68 bill gal 2.90 bill gal 3.40 bill gal n/a
Total renewable fuels 15.93 bill gal 16.30 bill gal 17.40 bill gal n/a

Proposed Percentage Standards

  2014 2015 2016
Cellulosic biofuel 0.019% 0.059% 0.114%
Biomass-based diesel 1.42% 1.41% 1.49%
Advanced biofuel 1.52% 1.61% 1.88%
Total renewable fuels 9.02% 9.04% 9.63%

The EPA is seeking comment and any new data to inform setting the final volume standards, and will hold a public hearing on June 25, 2015, in Kansas City, Kansas. The Agency intends to take final action on this proposal by November 30, 2015.

EPA Fact Sheet:

http://www.epa.gov/oms/fuels/renewablefuels/documents/420f15028.pdf

EPA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

http://www.epa.gov/oms/fuels/renewablefuels/documents/rfs-2014-2016-standards-nprm.pdf

Army Warfighting Challenges

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno laid out a list of 20 capabilities the Army is seeking—including a light vehicle that airborne troops might use during an assault, vertical lift, a “lighter tank-like capability,” etc. The Army Warfighting Challenges (AWFCs) are enduring first order problems, the solutions to which will improve current and future force combat effectiveness. These challenges will be reviewed and updated as needed to remain applicable for the future force. The last review of the AWFCs and related learning demands was completed on May 1st.

Army Warfighting Challenges:

http://www.arcic.army.mil/Initiatives/army-warfighting-challenges.aspx

Two-Page Flyer of Challenges:

http://www.arcic.army.mil/app_Documents/ARCIC_AUSA-Flyer_Army-Warfighting-Challenges_18MAR15.pdf

Political Updates

Two new Republican candidates threw their hats into the ring this week for the 2016 Presidential race – former NY Governor George Pataki and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). They join the already crowded Republican field that includes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. The announced Democrat field includes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) announced this week that she will seek the democratic nomination for the US Senate to challenge Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in his bid for re-election in 2016. Kirkpatrick is currently serving her third term in Congress with seats on the Agriculture and Transportation Committees.

Dr. Peter Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy, will retire on June 30. Lyons was confirmed over four years ago. The Administration will also lose Wendy Sherman at the end of June, when she steps down from her position as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs at the State Department. However, the Administration is gaining Alan Davidson as Director of Digital Economy at the Commerce Department. Davidson was associate director at the Center for Democracy and Technology until 2005 when he left to open up Google’s Washington office. He left Google in 2011 to head the think tank New America’s Open Technology Institute. And the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is getting a new Chief Technology Officer. Susannah Fox joins HHS replacing Bryan Sivak who stepped down in March. Fox is the first female to hold this position at HHS. She previously was associate director of the Pew Research Center and more recently the “entrepreneur in residence” at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Next Week

The Senate will return on Sunday May 31 at 4 pm and resume consideration of a proposal to temporarily extend expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. The House may take up H.R. 2578, the Commerce Justice Science spending bill; HR 2577, the Transportation HUD spending bill; H.R. 2289, the Commodity End-User Relief Act; and H.R. 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. The House Appropriations Committee will consider the FY16 Defense spending bill in full committee on Tuesday morning and the FY16 State Foreign Operations spending bill in subcommittee on Wednesday morning.

Washington Weekly – May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015

The House passed S178, the Justice for Human Trafficking Act of 2015. The bill now goes to the President for his signature. The House also passed HR 2353, a two-month reauthorization of the Highway and Transportation Funding programs; HR 2250, the FY16 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill; HR 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015; HR 880, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015; and HR 2262, the SPACE Act of 2015. The Senate confirmed Jill Parrish and Jose Rolando Olvera to be United States District Judges, Patricia Cahill to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Mark Scarano to be Federal Chairperson of the Northern Border Regional Commission. The Senate resumed consideration of the Trade Promotion Authority bill (S 995) this week and is expected to vote on a substitute amendment at 5 pm this evening. The Senate would then move on to a cloture vote on the final trade package. After that, the Senate still has two more bills (S 1350, a Highway and Transportation reauthorization bill and HR 2048, the USA Freedom Act) it needs to consider before adjourning for the Memorial Day recess. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has threatened to keep the Senate in session into the weekend to complete action on these bills.

FY16 Appropriations

House

The House Appropriations Committee marked up their FY16 Commerce Justice Science (CJS) spending bill in full committee this week and their FY16 Defense spending bill in subcommittee. The House also passed the FY16 Legislative Branch spending bill on the House floor this week by a vote of 357 to 67.

Commerce Justice Science

The House Appropriations full committee marked up its FY16 CJS spending bill this week and reported it out by a voice vote. The bill funds the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies. The legislation contains $51.4B in total discretionary funding, an increase of $1.3B over FY15 and $661M below the President’s request for these programs. During the markup, the following six amendments were adopted by the full committee:

  1. John Culberson (R-TX) – The manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  2. Sam Farr (D-CA) –The amendment increases funds for the NOAA Bay Watershed and Training education program by $7.2 million, offset by a cut to the NOAA Administrative account. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  3. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) – The amendment adds $5 million to the DOJ Rape Survivor Child Custody Act program, offset by a cut to the Commerce Departmental Management account. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  4. Betty McCollum (D-MN) – The amendment adds report language to support DOJ efforts to prevent the recruitment of at-risk youth to terrorist activities, and requests a report on these efforts. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  5. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) – The amendment designates $1 million in funding within the Missing and Exploited Children program, for the purpose of hiring wounded warriors to assist with these cases. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  6. Chakah Fattah (D-PA) – The amendment names the Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) initiative in honor of officer Robert Wilson III. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

House FY16 CJS Appropriations Bill Text:

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

House FY16 CJS Appropriations Draft Committee Report:

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

Defense

The House Defense Appropriations subcommittee marked up its FY16 Defense spending bill this week in a closed session. No amendments were offered, and the bill was approved by a voice vote. The bill provides $578.6B in discretionary funding ($490.2B in base funding and $88.4B in Overseas Contingency Operations funding), an increase of $24.4 billion above the FY15 enacted level and $800 million above the President’s FY16 budget request. The bill provides $200M in military aid for Ukraine including “lethal weapons of a defensive nature.” The bill includes funding for an additional six F-35B Marine Corps fighters and two F-35C Navy variants above the President’s request as well as an additional seven E/A-18G Growlers and five F/A-18EF Super Hornets. The subcommittee also included an additional $453M to keep the A-10 Warthog flying and language blocking the Air Force from their plans to divest and retire the A-10.

House FY16 Defense Appropriations Bill Text:

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

Senate

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up its FY16 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs and Energy and Water spending bills in subcommittee and full committee this week. The committee also approved its top-line spending allocations, or 302(b)s.

302(b) Subcommittee Allocations

The Senate approved its 302(b) subcommittee allocations by a party line vote of 16 to 14. Senate Democrats offered alternative set of 302(b)s based on the President’s FY16 budget request, which were $74B above the sequester-level spending caps. The alternative was rejected by a vote of 14 to 16.

Subcommittee FY15 House Allocation FY15 Omnibus FY16 House Allocation (BA) FY16 Senate Allocation (BA)
Agriculture $20,880 $20,575 $20,650 $20,510
Commerce-Justice-Science 51,202 50,100 51,378 51,068
Defense 490,960 490,200 490,235 489,131
Overseas Contingency

Operations (OCO)

79,445 64,000 88,421 86,870
Energy & Water 34,010 34,202 35,402 35,368
Financial Services 21,276 21,820 20,249 20,556
Homeland Security 39,220 39,700 39,320 40,213
OCO 0.23 0.21 0 0.16
Interior-Environment 30,220 30,044 30,170 30,010
Labor-HHS-Education 155,693 156,763 153,052 153,188
Legislative Branch 4,258 4,300 4,300 4,309
Military Construction-VA 71,499 72,030 76,056 77,573
OCO 0 221 532 0
State-Foreign Operations 42,381 40,000 40,500 39,010
OCO 5,912 9,260 7,047 9,260
Transportation-HUD 52,029 53,770 55,270 55,640

Military Construction-Veterans Affairs

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved their FY16 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs spending bill by a vote of 21 to 9. The $77.6B measure is $5.5B above the FY15 enacted level and $1.2B below the President’s FY16 budget request. Military construction is funded at more than $8B, an increase of $1.5B over the FY15 enacted level. The bill also contains $163.8B in discretionary and mandatory spending for the VA, a 6.5% increase over FY15 enacted levels. Discretionary funding for VA programs totals $69.2B, including an additional $1.1B to improve patient access to care, and to support additional health care services and $233M for the continued modernization of the VA electronic health record system.

FY16 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill Press Release:

http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/committee-advances-fy2016-military-construction-and-veterans-affairs-appropriations-bill

 

FY16 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill Text – Part 1 of 3

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=410

 

FY16 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill Text – Part 2 of 3

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=411

 

FY16 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill Text – Part 3 of 3

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=412

 

FY16 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Report Language – Part 1 of 2

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=413

 

FY16 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Report Language – Part 2 of 2

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=414

Energy and Water

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved their FY16 Energy and Water spending bill this week by a vote of 26 to 4. The $35.4B bill provides $1.2B more than the FY15 enacted level, but $668M less than the President’s FY16 budget request. The committee did not include any funding for continued licensing of the proposed Yucca Mountain spent nuclear fuel repository in Nevada, while the House bill includes $200M for DOE to continue work on the project and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue licensing activities. The Senate bill cuts wind energy research to $46M, almost $61M below FY15 enacted levels and $100M below the President’s FY16 budget request. The committee rejected an amendment by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to restore that funding. The bill provides $12.3B for nuclear security, $5.5B for the Army Corps of Engineers, $1.1B for the Bureau of Reclamation, $5.1B for Science Research, $6B for DOE Environmental Management Activities, $10.5B for Energy Programs, and $610M for Energy Research and Development. The bill eliminates funding for the US contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. And the bill prohibits any changes to the definition of “fill material” and “discharge of fill material” for the purposes of the Clean Water Act.

FY16 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill Press Release:

http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/fy16-energy-water-development-appropriations-bill-advanced-committee

FY16 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill Text – Part 1 of 3

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=415

FY16 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill Text – Part 2 of 3

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=416

FY16 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill Text – Part 3 of 3

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=417

FY16 Energy & Water Appropriations Report Language – Part 1 of 4

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=418

FY16 Energy & Water Appropriations Report Language – Part 2 of 4

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=419

FY16 Energy & Water Appropriations Report Language – Part 3 of 4

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=420

FY16 Energy & Water Appropriations Report Language – Part 4 of 4

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=421

Status of FY16 Appropriations Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee: 5/14/15

Full Committee: 5/20/15

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Defense Subcommittee: 5/20/15

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Energy & Water Subcommittee: 4/15/15

Full Committee: 4/22/15

Floor: 5/1/15

Subcommittee: 5/19/15

Full Committee: 5/21/15

Floor:

Financial Services Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Homeland Security Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Interior-Environment Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Legislative Branch Subcommittee: 4/23/15

Full Committee: 4/30/15

Floor: 5/19/15

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Military Construction-VA Subcommittee: 4/15/15

Full Committee: 4/22/15

Floor: 4/30/15

Subcommittee: 5/19/15

Full Committee: 5/21/15

Floor:

State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Transportation-HUD Subcommittee: 4/29/15

Full Committee: 5/13/15

Floor:

Subcommittee:

Full Committee:

Floor:

Homeland Security Legislation

The House Homeland Security Committee marked up several bills in full committee this week aimed at aiding first responders and emergency management professionals as well as curbing waste, fraud, and abuse and increasing transparency at the Department of Homeland Security. The bills passed out of committee are as follows:

HR 2390, the Homeland Security University-based Centers Review Act

The bill introduced by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) requires a review of university-based centers for homeland security.

Bill Text:

http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/documents/051815-HR2390.pdf

HR 2206, State Wide Interoperable Communications Enhancement Act

The bill introduced by Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require recipients of State Homeland Security Grant Program funding to preserve and strengthen interoperable emergency communications capabilities.

Bill Text:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr2206/BILLS-114hr2206ih.pdf

Amendments Agreed To:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR2206-L000583-Amdt-1.pdf

HR 2200, the CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2015

The bill introduced by Rep. Matha McSally (R-AZ) amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear intelligence and information sharing functions of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security and to require dissemination of information analyzed by the Department to entities with responsibilities relating to homeland security.

Bill Text:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr2200/BILLS-114hr2200ih.pdf

Amendments Agreed To:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR2200-M001197-Amdt-1.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR2200-H001038-Amdt-1A.pdf

HR 1738, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015

The bill introduced by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to modernize and implement the national integrated public alert and warning system to disseminate homeland security information and other information.

Bill Text:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr1738/BILLS-114hr1738ih.pdf

Amendments Agreed To:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1738-M001197-Amdt-1.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1738-P000604-Amdt-1A.pdf

HR 1646, the Homeland Security Drone Assessment and Analysis Act

The bill introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to research how small and medium sized unmanned aerial systems could be used in an attack, how to prevent or mitigate the effects of such an attack, and for other purposes.

Bill Text:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr1646/BILLS-114hr1646ih.pdf

Amendments Agreed To:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1646-W000822-Amdt-1.pdf

HR 1640, the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Consolidation Accountability Act of 2015

The bill introduced by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit to Congress a report on the Department of Homeland Security headquarters consolidation project in the National Capital

Region.

Bill Text:

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

Amendments Agreed To:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1640-W000819-Amdt-1.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1640-J000032-Amdt-1A-Enbloc-1.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1640-J000032-Amdt-1A-Enbloc-2.pdf

HR 1637, the Federally Funded Research and Development Sunshine Act of 2015

The bill introduced by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) requires annual reports on the activities and accomplishments of federally funded research and development centers within the Department of Homeland Security.

Bill Text:

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

HR 1633, the DHS Paid Administrative Leave Accountability Act of 2015

The bill introduced by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) provides for certain improvements relating to the tracking and reporting of employees of the Department of Homeland Security placed on administrative leave, or any other type of paid non-duty status without charge to leave, for personnel matters.

Bill Text:

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

Amendments Agreed To:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1633-L000583-Amdt-1.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1633-T000474-Amdt-1A.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1633-W000822-Amdt-1B.pdf

HR 1626, the DHS IT Duplication Reduction Act of 2015

The bill introduced by Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) reduces duplication of information technology at the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.

Bill Text:

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

Amendments Agreed To:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1626-H001073-Amdt-1.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1626-J000032-Amdt-1A.pdf

HR 1615, the DHS FOIA Efficiency Act of 2015

The bill introduced by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) directs the Chief FOIA Officer of the Department of Homeland Security to make certain improvements in the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.

Bill Text:

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

Amendments Agreed To:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1615-C001103-Amdt-1.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1615-J000032-Amdt-1A-Enbloc-1.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1615-J000032-Amdt-1A-Enbloc-2.pdf

HR 1300, the First Responder Anthrax Preparedness Act

The bill introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to make anthrax vaccines and antimicrobials available to emergency response providers.

Bill Text:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr1300/BILLS-114hr1300ih.pdf

Amendments Agreed To:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1300-K000210-Amdt-1.pdf

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM00/20150520/103514/BILLS-114-HR1300-J000032-Amdt-1A.pdf

FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Senate

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) marked up their FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in subcommittee and full committee last week, but released the bill text and report language this week. The Senate could take up the bill on the Senate floor as early as June.

The Senate FY16 NDAA bill text can be found at:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s1376/BILLS-114s1376pcs.pdf

The Senate FY16 NDAA report language can be found at:

https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/srpt49/CRPT-114srpt49.pdf

Political Updates

President Obama nominated Denise Turner Roth to be Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA). Roth is currently the Deputy Administrator of the GSA and has been Acting Administrator since February. The President also nominated Stephen Hedger to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Defense, W. Thomas Reeder to be Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Jessica Rosenworcel to be a Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, Luis Viada to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation, and Gerald McGowan to be a Member of the Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the nomination of Navy Capt. Darse Crandall for the appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half) and appointment as legal counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Crandall is currently serving as assistant judge advocate general, operations and management, Office of the Judge Advocate General in the Department of the Navy.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul welcomed Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) as a new member on the committee. Donovan recently won the election to replace Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) who resigned after pleading guilty to tax fraud charges. Rep. Donovan was also given a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Lona Nallengara, Chief of Staff to the Chairwoman of the SEC, announced this week that he would be stepping down in June.

Christopher Davis has been tapped as the new Deputy Chief of Staff to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz replacing Jonathan Levy who left last month. Davis most recently was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Energy. He has also worked in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs and as a professional staff member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Next Week

The House and Senate will be in recess and will return the week of June 1.