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.

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