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EYES ON WASHINGTON - May 14, 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: TCAA Staff
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May 14, 2018

In This Issue:

  • White House Releases Rescissions Package
  • Senate Introduces WRDA Legislation
  • House Committee Unveils CJS Appropriations Bill;
    Markups Continue
  • Senate Announces FY19 Appropriations Schedule
  • Farm Bill on House Floor This Week
  • The Week Ahead

 

White House Releases Rescissions Package

The White House released a rescission package on May 8, 2018, proposing
to Congress cuts to domestic spending. The proposal follows President
Donald Trump and his administration's opposition to the $1.3 trillion FY18
omnibus appropriations bill, which the president signed because it provided
an increase to military spending. However, since many of his priorities were
not included, the president vowed never again to sign a similar bill. While
earlier reports hinted that the White House would propose canceling
funding in the most recent spending package, negative feedback from
Congress forced the administration to change direction and target unused
funding from previous years. However, some administration officials have
said that the White House plans to follow up with another package of
suggested rescissions from the FY18 omnibus, though no specific timeline
was suggested.


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) drafted the $15.4 billion
rescissions package, the largest ever using this authority. Money that
would be canceled includes:

  • Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP): $7 billion,
    including $5 billion in lapsed funds and $2 billion from a contingency
    fund
  • U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Technology
    Vehicle Manufacturing program: $4.3 billion
  • DOE Title 17 Loan Guarantee program: $523 million
  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation: $800 million
  • $252 million from funds to address the 2015 Ebola outbreak
  • $133 million from the Railroad Unemployment Insurance
    Extended Benefits that expired in 2012
  • $148 million from funds for inspections relating to animal
    disease outbreaks that have been resolved
  • $107 million from Hurricane Sandy technical assistance

Appropriators who initially disapproved of the idea of a rescissions package said they would consider supporting the request after the administration rescinded the idea of cancelling FY18 omnibus funding. Congress must pass the measure for it to be enacted, though rescinded funds can be temporarily withheld for up to 45 legislative days while lawmakers consider the measure. Some appropriators are still uneasy about the package – Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said the proposal appears to be sending a political message to demonstrate that the administration is capable of cutting spending. Appropriations bills generally include rescissions of unused funds
from previous years. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a GOP conference meeting that the chamber would get the package passed, though Democrats have criticized the rescission of funds from CHIP. The measure only needs a simple majority in the Senate, rather than the usual 60 votes to end debate, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made clear that Senate Democrats did not approve of the package.

 

Senate Introduces WRDA Legislation

 

The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee introduced S. 2800, "America's Water
Infrastructure Act of 2018"
on May 8, 2018. The legislation is a reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), and is the product of bipartisan negotiations between EPW Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.). The bill would seek to localize the budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) and would direct the National Academy of Sciences to produce reports evaluating how ACE can better improve transparency in working with local governments, stakeholders and Congress. It further increases water storage, seeks to protect communities from ice jam floods and looks to upgrade old water systems. The bill – which is designed to be
reauthorized every two years – was mentioned in March by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as one of several bills that would comprise an infrastructure overhaul. Additionally, the legislation would:

 

 

  • Assist local communities in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, by upgrading aging drinking water, wastewater and irrigation systems
  • Reduce flood risk for rural western and coastal communities
  • Seek to ensure competitiveness of coastal and inland ports and maintain navigability of inland waterways
  • Create a new framework for more ACE projects to be budgeted at regional and local levels with stakeholder input
  • Allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue operating the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) through FY21
  • Allow water utilities to use portions of EPA grants for cleaning up lakes and rivers that serve as sources of drinking water, which is currently outside the scope of the agency's main water grant program
  • Change rules in the ACE on outside parties' cost-sharing on projects
  • Authorize and/or reauthorize water infrastructure programs
  • Address water infrastructure needs of tribal communities

The legislation was introduced in a hearing on May 9, 2018, where Chairman Barrasso said the Committee will hold a markup later in May. Subcommittee Chairman Inhofe noted that the panel may modify the bill during markup, to include provisions from the administration's infrastructure plan, which has not moved since the White House introduced it in February. Currently, the bill does not include items deemed controversial from the administration's infrastructure package, specifically the direction to speed up the permitting process for federal projects by rolling back some environmental review requirements. Inhofe noted that the WRDA bill may be used
as a vehicle to advance this provision. However, doing so may threaten bipartisan support, as Democrats have strongly opposed previous legislation that reduces environmental reviews. Inhofe and Barrasso agreed they would commit to following Congress' traditional biennial timeline for passing a WRDA bill. The House has not yet unveiled their version of a water resources bill, but Barrasso said that House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) has expressed willingness to coordinate with the Senate legislation.

 

House Committee Unveils CJS Appropriations Bill; Markups Continue
The House Appropriations Committee released its FY19 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill on May 8, 2018. The legislation includes $62.5 billion in total discretionary funding, an increase of $2.9 billion over FY18, and increases funds for federal law enforcement to crack down on illegal immigration, violent crime, gangs and opioid trafficking. Additional increases are provided for national security. Provisions and funding in the bill include:

 

  • U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): $30.7 billion, an increase of $793 million above FY18
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): $2.7 billion, $130 million above the FY18 enacted level, with priority on anti-opioid and other illegal drug enforcement efforts
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): $9.3 billion for the FBI, a $81 million decrease from the FY18 enacted level, including funding for grant programs:
  1. Violence Against Women Act programs: $493 million
  2. Byrne Justice Assistance Grants: $442 million
  3. State Criminal Alien Assistance Program: $255 million
  4. DNA Initiative Grants: $130 million
  5. Reduce Sexual Assault Kits Backlog Grants: $48 million
  6. Anti-Human Trafficking Grants: $100 million
  7. Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Grants: $380 million
  8. Missing and Exploited Children programs: $76 million
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): $21.5 billion, $810 million above the FY18 enacted level
  • U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC): $12.1 billion, an increase of $1 billion over the FY18 enacted level
  1.          Census Bureau: $4.8 billion, as a down payment on the total cost of the 2020 Decennial Census, which is estimated to cost more than $15 billion
  2. U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA): $302 million, equal to the FY18 enacted level
  3. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): $985 million, including $140 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships Program;
  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $8.2 billion, $408 million above the FY18 enacted level
     the bill also excludes the policy rider blocking the federal government from interfering with policy in states that have legalized medical marijuana


Other spending bills have also continued to move in committee – the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations bill moved out of its subcommittee without any amendments on May 9, 2018; the bill would provide $23.3 billion in discretionary funding, approximately $14 billion above the FY18 enacted level. The House Interior-Environment Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up their bill tomorrow. The House Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee will mark up their bill on May 16, 2018. House Republicans are likely to unveil the FY19 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS-Ed) appropriations bill next week.


Senate Announces FY19 Appropriations Schedule

On May 14, 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee announced its schedule for introduction and markup of FY19 appropriations bills. The Committee plans to hold 12 individual bill markups in a six-week stretch, marking a packed schedule through the July 4 congressional recess.


Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following calendar:
Week of May 21: Energy/Water and Agriculture/FDA
Week of June 4: Transportation/Housing and Military Construction
Week of June 11: Interior, Legislative Branch and Commerce/Justice/Science (CJS)
Week of June 18: State/Foreign Operations, Homeland Security and Financial Services/General Government
Week of June 25: Defense, Labor/Health and Human Services (HHS)


The schedule puts the spending panel on track to finish all FY19 bills by June 29, 2018. Both the chairman and ranking member are aiming to bring each bill to the floor by allowing amendment votes for robust floor debate.


Farm Bill on House Floor This Week
The House will begin consideration on H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, commonly known as the farm bill, on May 18, 2018. Debate is expected as Democrats have opposed many provisions of the bill, especially the changes to imposing work requirements on food-stamp recipients. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued in April that Republicans produced "a partisan farm bill that abandons America's farmers and hungry families.'' Several Republicans have also opposed reauthorization of a crop insurance program. More than 100 floor amendments have been filed on the bill, including one that would prevent food-stamp recipients from using benefits to buy carbonated soda.


The House Rules Committee will meet on May 15 and May 16 to establish parameters of debate. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has scheduled the floor vote to allow Republican whips to use the week to garner support. Previous farm bills have advanced based on votes from lawmakers who represent lower-income regions that are more reliant on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).


The Week Ahead

 

Senate Hearings
Examining Oversight Reports on the 340B Drug Pricing Program
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
Full Committee
May 15, 10:00 AM ET, 430 Dirksen Bldg.


Nomination Matters Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee
May 15, 10:00 AM ET, 538 Dirksen Bldg.

 

Hearing to Consider Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Nomination
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Full Committee
May 15, 10:00 AM ET, 366 Dirksen Bldg.

 

Protecting and Promoting Music Creation for the 21st Century
Senate Judiciary Committee
May 15, 10:00 AM ET, 226 Dirksen Bldg.

 

Authorities and Resources Needed to Protect and Secure the United States
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
May 15, 2:30 PM ET, SD-342, Dirksen Bldg.

 

There's an App for That: Trends in Mobile Technologies
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet
May 15, 2:30 PM ET, 253 Russell Bldg.

 

The State of Small Business in America: An Update from the U.S. Small Business Administration
Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee
May 15, 3:30 PM ET, 428-A Russell Bldg.

 

Cambridge Analytica and the Future of Data Privacy
Senate Judiciary Committee
May 16, 10:00 AM ET, 226 Dirksen Bldg.

 

Authorizing the Use of Military Force: S.J. Res. 59
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Full Committee
May 16, 10:00 AM ET, 419 Dirksen Bldg.

 

Protecting the Next Generation: Safety and Security at Bureau of Indian Education Schools
Senate Indian Affairs Committee
May 16, 2:30 PM ET, 628 Dirksen Bldg.

 

Examining the Future of the International Space Station: Administration Perspectives
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness
May 16, 2:30 PM ET, 253 Russell Bldg.

 

Joint Committee on Printing Organizational meeting for the 115th Congress
Senate Printing Committee
May 16, 3:30 PM ET, 219 U.S. Capitol

 

Markup Joint Committee on the Library Organizational meeting for the 115th Congress
Senate Library Committee
May 16, 3:45 PM ET, 219 U.S. Capitol

 

Closed Markup to consider provisions which fall under the subcommittee's jurisdiction of the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019
Senate Armed Services Committee
Markup Subcommittee on Airland
May 21, 5:00 PM ET, 232 A Russell Bldg.

 

House Hearings
Member Day: Testimony and Proposals on the Department of Veterans Affairs
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
May 16, 10:00 AM ET, 334 Cannon Bldg.

 

Telecommunications, Global Competitiveness, and National Security
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
May 16, 10:00 AM ET, 2123 Rayburn Bldg.

 

Using Technology to Address Climate Change
House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
May 16, 10:00 AM ET, 2318 Rayburn Bldg.

 

Series on Tax Reform: Growing Our Economy and Creating Jobs House Committee on Ways and Means
Hearing House Committee on Ways and Means
May 16, 10:00 AM ET, 1100 Longworth Bldg.

 

Enhancing Retirement Security: Examining Proposals to Simplify and Modernize Retirement Plan Administration
House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions
May 16, 10:00 AM ET, 2175 Rayburn Bldg.

 

Legislative Matters House Committee on Homeland Security
May 16, 10:00 AM ET, HVC-210 U.S. Capitol

 

Markup: Full Committee
House Committee on Natural Resources
May 16, 10:15 AM ET, 1324 Longworth Bldg.

 

Legislation Addressing New Source Review Permitting Reform
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee on Environment
May 16, 10:15 AM ET, 2322 Rayburn Bldg.

 

The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center - Ten Years of Serving Congress and the American People
House Committee on House Administration
May 16, 11:00 AM ET, 1310 Longworth Bldg.

 

Workforce for the 21st Century: Analyzing the President's Management Agenda
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
May 16, 1:30 PM ET, 2154 Rayburn Bldg.

 

Joint Committee on Printing Organizational Meeting for the 115th Congress
House Committee on House Administration
May 16, 3:30 PM ET, S-219 U.S. Capitol

 

Joint Committee on the Library Organizational Meeting for the 115th Congress
House Committee on House Administration
May 16, 3:45 PM ET, S-219 U.S. Capitol

 

Markup: FY 2019 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
May 16, 5:00 PM ET, 2358-B Rayburn Bldg.

 

China's Worldwide Military Expansion
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Full Committee
May 17, 9:00 AM ET, TBD Washington, D.C.

 

Joint Hearing: VA Research: Focusing on Funding, Findings, and Partnerships
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Subcommittee on Health (Committee on Veterans' Affairs) Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (Committee on Veterans' Affairs)
May 17, 10:00 AM ET, 334 Cannon Bldg.

 

Protecting Privacy, Promoting Data Security: Exploring How Schools and States Keep Data Safe
House Committee on Education and the Workforce
May 17, 10:00 AM ET, 2175 Rayburn Bldg.

 

Federal Impediments to Commerce and Innovative Injurious Species Management
House Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans
May 17, 10:00 AM ET, 1324 Longworth Bldg.

 

America's Human Presence in Low-Earth Orbit
House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
May 17, 10:00 AM ET, 2318 Rayburn Bldg.

 

Global Health Supply Chain Management: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations
May 17, 1:00 PM ET, 2172 Rayburn Bldg.

 

A Review of VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity
May 17, 2:00 PM ET, 334 Cannon Bldg. 7


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