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.

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