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WashingtonWatch.com Digest – August 3, 2015

This is the WashingtonWatch.com email newsletter for the week of August 3, 2015. Subscribe (free!) here.

On the Blog: Last Week was Confusing

And when is Congress not confusing?

Congress debated transportation spending and Obamacare last week. We unpack and simplify some of the debate in a post entitled: “Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave.”

Featured Item

The House has begun its summer break. It will return to Washington, D.C., the second week of September.

This week, the Senate will debate a bill to deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood. While withdrawing money from the recently controversial organization, S. 1881 would not reduce overall funding for women’s health.

There is no cost/savings estimate yet for S. 1881.

S. 1881
A bill to prohibit Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

What People Think

Click here to vote on S. 1881. Click here to vote on S. 1881.

S. 1881
66% For, 34% Against

Vote on this Bill


Displayed below are new, updated, and passed items with their cost or savings per family.

New Items

S. 1292
The HUBZone Revitalization Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 1656
The Secret Service Improvements Act of 2015
Costs $0.07 per family

S. 1115
The GONE Act
Costs $0.07 per family

H.R. 1927
The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 627
A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to revoke bonuses paid to employees involved in electronic wait list manipulations, and for other purposes
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1493
The Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2015
Costs $6.19 per family

S. 1082
The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 373
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act
Costs $0.04 per family

H.R. 3116
The Quarterly Financial Report Reauthorization Act
Costs $0.22 per family

S. 1484
The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015
Costs $1.46 per family

H.R. 1992
The American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act
Saves $0.69 per family

S. 280
The Federal Permitting Improvement Act of 2015
Costs $1.07 per family

H.R. 1949
The National Liberty Memorial Clarification Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 959
The Medgar Evers House Study Act
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 2494
The Global Anti-Poaching Act
Costs $0.05 per family

S. 261
A bill to designate the United States courthouse located at 200 NW 4th Street in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as the William J. Holloway, Jr. United States Courthouse
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 2954
To designate the Federal building located at 617 Walnut Street in Helena, Arkansas, as the “Jacob Trieber Federal Building, United States Post Office, and United States Court House”
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 3236
The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015
Costs $38.91 per family


Updated Items

none


Passed Items

P.L. 114-38
The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

P.L. 114-39
The Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015

P.L. 114-40
The Steve Gleason Act of 2015
Costs $0.22 per family

(0 comments | Categories: The Week Ahead » )

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave

460427632_d69c38acb0_zDeceitful or not, convoluted legislative processes keep you, the public, from following along. That keeps you from having a say. It takes your power away.

So let’s see how Washington’s convoluted processes worked this past week!

The subject is transportation spending. It’s a bipartisan issue, so you don’t hear about it very much. Everyone in Washington, D.C., is agreed on transportation spending. Insiders have no interest in drawing the attention of you outsiders, because you might complain! (And maybe you agree with it—just sayin’…)

The last major transportation bill to pass was MAP-21 three years ago. It spent about $230 per U.S. family on surface transportation programs, but do NOT trust such estimates. Congress uses all kinds of budget gimmicks such as “rising baseline” budgeting to skew the numbers. They use a “Highway Trust Fund” to pretend Congress isn’t levying taxes and spending the money.

In August 2014, Congress passed a short extension of transportation spending programs through May 31, 2015. Cost: about $30 per family. (Don’t trust that number.)

When Congress couldn’t agree on a long-term bill by then, they passed another short-term extension with a July 31, 2015 deadline for getting transportation spending figured out. There was no official cost estimate for that bill. (Finally, a lack of number you can trust!)

A bill wasn’t finalized by the end of the week last week. The Senate took H.R. 22 (formerly a bill to exempt employees with health coverage under TRICARE or the Veterans Administration from being taken into account for purposes of the Obamacare employer mandate) and turned it into the new transportation funding bill. At the same time, an amendment to re-establish the Export-Import Bank got put in. That was not popular with some who had just fought to end it. H.R. 22 passed the Senate, but it is not going to get passed by the House.

The House went ahead and passed another bill to exempt workers covered by military health care coverage from employee counts for the purposes of Obamacare. H.J. Res. 61, the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015, saves about $6.30 per U.S. family.

It also passed H.R. 3236, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015. That bill extended transportation spending until October 29, 2015, and it took service members and veterans with health care coverage out of employee counts for purposes of employer mandates in Obamacare. That bill has a combination of spending and revenues that cause it to cost about $39 per U.S. family, while decreasing their share of the national debt by about $36.

All make sense?

If so, then you probably have an opinion on H.R. 3236. Here’s the current vote on the bill. CLick to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article about it.

(1 comment | Categories: Health Care, Transportation » )

WashingtonWatch.com Digest – July 27, 2015

This is the WashingtonWatch.com email newsletter for the week of July 27, 2015. Subscribe (free!) here.

On the Blog: Reining in the Bureaucracy

Congress is thinking about reining in federal regulatory agencies. Should it?

Read about it in a post entitled: “Reining in the Regulators”.”

Featured Item

This week, the House will debate H.R. 427, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015.

The bill would provide that major regulations have no force or effect unless a joint resolution of approval is enacted into law.

Passage of H.R. 427 would have a negligible cost.

H.R. 427
The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

What People Think

Click here to vote on The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015. Click here to vote on The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015.

The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015
85% For, 15% Against

Vote on this Bill


Displayed below are new, updated, and passed items with their cost or savings per family.

New Items

H.R. 22
The Hire More Heroes Act of 2015
Costs $2,614.12 per family

H.R. 1634
The Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1182
A bill to exempt application of JSA attribution rule in case of existing agreements
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 2750
The Improved Security Vetting for Aviation Workers Act of 2015
Costs $0.06 per family

H.R. 1138
The Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act
Costs $0.00 per family

H. J. Res. 61
The Hire More Heroes Act of 2015
Saves $6.27 per family

S. 1705
The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016
Costs $4.71 per family

H.R. 487
To allow the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma to lease or transfer certain lands
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1599
The Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act of 2015
Costs $0.02 per family

H.R. 3128
The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2016
Costs $434.36 per family

H.R. 2315
The Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2015
Saves $0.00 per family

H.R. 158
The Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act of 2015
Costs $0.06 per family

S. 1253
The Patient Access to Disposable Medical Technology Act of 2015
Saves $0.12 per family

S. 1603
The Border Jobs for Veterans Act of 2015
Costs $0.05 per family

H.R. 1994
The VA Accountability Act of 2015
Saves $1.32 per family

S. 607
The Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Extension Act of 2015
Costs $0.01 per family

H.R. 2843
The TSA PreCheck Expansion Act
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 2770
The Keeping our Travelers Safe and Secure Act
Costs $0.00 per family


Updated Items

none


Passed Items

P.L. 114-31
The Veteran’s I.D. Card Act

P.L. 114-32
To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 7050 Highway BB in Cedar Hill, Missouri, as the “Sergeant First Class William B. Woods, Jr. Post Office”

P.L. 114-33
To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 141 Paloma Drive in Floresville, Texas, as the “Floresville Veterans Post Office Building”

P.L. 114-34
To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2000 Mulford Road in Mulberry, Florida, as the “Sergeant First Class Daniel M. Ferguson Post Office”

P.L. 114-35
To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 442 East 167th Street in Bronx, New York, as the “Herman Badillo Post Office Building”

P.L. 114-36
To amend the United States Cotton Futures Act to exclude certain cotton futures contracts from coverage under such Act
Costs $0.00 per family

P.L. 114-37
A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 14 3rd Avenue, NW, in Chisholm, Minnesota, as the “James L. Oberstar Memorial Post Office Building”

(0 comments | Categories: The Week Ahead » )

Reining in the Regulators

reinsWhich do you like better? Health, safety, and the environment? Or democracy?

That’s the tension in a bill getting debate in the House this week. H.R. 427 is the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015, or REINS Act. (Get it? REINS. Like, “reining in the regulators.”)

The bill would rein in regulators by requiring “major” regulations to be approved by Congress before they can take effect. Major regulations are those that would have effects of $100 million or more on the economy.

Regulators prevent toxic chemicals from polluting our waterways. They make sure people are safe at work, in their cars, and in the skies. Regulators oversee the health care marketplace and investments. You don’t want Congress standing in their way. So goes the argument against the REINS Act.

Regulators gum up the economy, prevent innovation, take away property rights, and undercut our nation’s small businesses with expensive, intrusive mandates. The regulatory process is also undemocratic. We should have Congress in charge of regulation—the Constitution doesn’t say anything about having a huge regulatory bureaucracy. Those are some of the arguments in favor of the REINS Act.

There are practical points about the REINS Act that are pretty important. If the bill passes into law, watch regulators take their revenge by breaking their big regulations into several smaller pieces, each one of which doesn’t have that $100 million effect on the economy. You’ll have the appearance that Congress is getting the bureaucracy, but you won’t get that result.

But maybe the REINS Act is a first step toward Congress reasserting responsibility for all that the federal government does. Over decades, they have dropped the reins, and this is a step toward picking them back up.

The right answer, as always, is your call.

Should Congress approve major regulations? Or should it leave regulators alone so they can do their health, safety, and environmental protection jobs?

Here is the current vote on H.R. 427, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article on the bill.

(1 comment | Categories: Regulation » )

WashingtonWatch.com Digest – July 20, 2015

This is the WashingtonWatch.com email newsletter for the week of July 20, 2015. Subscribe (free!) here.

On the Blog: Thousand-Dollar Bills?

Is Congress coming out with a new, higher-denomination bill? In a way…

Read about it in a post entitled: “Thousand-Dollar Bills.”

Featured Items

This week, the House will debate H.R. 1599, The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.

The bill would would establish a program in the U.S. Department of Agriculture to certify genetically engineered food. It would also prohibit introduction of genetically engineered plants for use in food unless they were certified to be safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

Passage of H.R. 1599 would cost about $0.02 per U.S. family.

The House will also debate H.R. 1734, the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015.

The bill would establish national management and disposal standards for coal combustion residuals, commonly known as coal ash, which are created when coal is burned by power plants to produce electricity.

Passage of H.R. 1734 would cost about $0.02 per U.S. family.

H.R. 1599
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015
Costs $0.02 per family

H.R. 1734
The Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015
Costs $0.02 per family

What People Think

Click here to vote on The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. Click here to vote on The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015
28% For, 72% Against

Vote on this Bill

Click here to vote on The Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015. Click here to vote on The Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015.

The Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015
75% For, 25% Against

Vote on this Bill


Displayed below are new, updated, and passed items with their cost or savings per family.

New Items

H.R. 1875
The Filipino Veterans Recognition Act
Costs $0.52 per family

H.R. 2127
The Securing Expedited Screening Act
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 1599
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015
Costs $0.02 per family

S. 1800
The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
Costs $1,221.30 per family

S. 313
The Prevent Interruptions in Physical Therapy Act of 2015
Costs $0.14 per family

S. 1347
The Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015
Costs $0.13 per family

S. 861
The Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures Act of 2015
Costs $0.16 per family

S. 466
The Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act
Costs $0.28 per family

H.R. 2604
The Need-Based Educational Aid Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1482
The Need-Based Educational Aid Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 571
The Veterans Affairs Retaliation Prevention Act of 2015
Saves $0.31 per family

S. 1250
The Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015
Costs $0.07 per family

S. 1647
The Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act
Costs $2,076.02 per family

H.R. 2898
The Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015
Costs $11.95 per family

H.R. 3049
The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
Costs $1,319.40 per family

H.R. 1073
The CIPA
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 742
The Stop Wasteful Federal Bonuses Act of 2015
Saves $0.00 per family

H.R. 2670
The Microloan Modernization Act of 2015
Costs $0.02 per family

S. 1580
The Competitive Service Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 998
The Preclearance Authorization Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 9
The Innovation Act
Costs $3.31 per family

S. 704
The Community Based Independence for Seniors Act
Costs $0.02 per family

H.R. 2786
The Cross-Border Rail Security Act of 2015
Costs $0.07 per family

S. 1576
The Representative Payee Fraud Prevention Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 349
The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015
Costs $0.08 per family

S. 1461
A bill to provide for the extension of the enforcement instruction on supervision requirements for outpatient therapeutic services in critical access and small rural hospitals through 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 1471
The FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015
Costs $27.07 per family

S. 310
The EGO Act
Saves $0.01 per family

S. 1040
The ROV In-Depth Examination Act of 2015
Costs $0.01 per family

S. 1349
The NOTICE Act
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1362
A bill to amend title XI of the Social Security Act to clarify waiver authority regarding programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE programs)
Costs $0.00 per family


Updated Items

none


Passed Items

none

(0 comments | Categories: The Week Ahead » )

Thousand-Dollar Bills

US-$1000In August, Congress takes an extended recess. The House schedule includes just twelve work days in September. Including the next two weeks, that means there are just twenty congressional work days until the beginning of the 2016 fiscal year. And Congress hasn’t passed a single appropriations bill yet.

But a couple more were introduced last week. The House and Senate both saw introduction of the agriculture appropriations bill.

Let’s take a look and get an idea of what Congress would do if it followed the regular appropriations process with respect to funding agriculture programs, which it appears destined not to do again this year.

They’re thousand-dollar bills, which is to say they spend a little over $1,000 per U.S. family.

H.R. 3049 is the House’s version of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016. It proposes spending of a little over $1,300 per U.S. family on all the agencies within the jurisdiction of the bill.

According to the House Appropriations Committee’s website, the money goes to a short list of agencies:

Department of Agriculture (except Forest Service)
Farm Credit Administration
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Food and Drug Administration (HHS)

S. 1800 is the Senate version of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has a much more detailed list of agencies that the Ag Approps bill funds, but the coverage of the two is about the same. This list can give you a pretty good idea of all the things this particular part of the government does.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, except Forest Service
Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund (USDA)
Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA)
Agricultural Research Service (USDA)
Buildings and Facilities (USDA)
Agriculture Buildings and Facilities and Rental Payments (USDA)
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA)
Buildings and Facilities (USDA)
Child Nutrition Programs (USDA)
Commodity Assistance Program (USDA)
Commodity Credit Corporation (USDA)
Common Computing Environment (USDA)
Conservation Operations (USDA)
Dairy Indemnity Program (USDA)
Departmental Administration (USDA)
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program (USDA)
Economic Research Service (USDA)
Emergency Conservation Program (USDA)
Export Loans Program (USDA)
Farm Credit Administration
Farm Labor Housing Program
Farm Service Agency (USDA)
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (USDA)
Food and Drug Administration (HHS)
Food and Drug Administration Buildings and Facilities (HHS)
Food and Nutrition Service (USDA)
Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA)
Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA)
Funds for Strengthening Markets, Income, and Supply (section 32) (USDA)
General Sales Manager (USDA)
Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (USDA)
Hazardous Materials Management (USDA)
Inspection and Weighing Services (USDA)
Mutual and Self-Help Housing Grants (USDA)
National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA)
National Appeals Division (USDA)
National Institute of Food and Agriculture [NIFA] (USDA)
Native American Institutions Endowment Fund (USDA)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA)
Nutrition Program Administration (USDA)
Office of Budget and Program Analysis (USDA)
Office of Communications (USDA)
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration (USDA)
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations (USDA)
Office of the Chief Economist (USDA)
Office of the Chief Financial Officer (USDA)
Office of the Chief Information Officer (USDA)
Office of the General Counsel (USDA)
Office of the Inspector General (USDA)
Office of the Secretary (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Rural Development (USDA)
Operations and Maintenance for Hazardous Waste Management (USDA)
Outreach for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers (USDA)
Public Law 480 Program (USDA)
Reimbursement for Net Realized Losses (USDA)
Rental Assistance Program (USDA)
Resource Conservation and Development (USDA)
Risk Management Agency (USDA)
Rural Business-Cooperative Service (USDA)
Rural Community Advancement Program (USDA)
Rural Cooperative Development Grants (USDA)
Rural Development Loan Fund (USDA)
Rural Development Salaries and Expenses (USDA)
Rural Economic Development Grants (USDA)
Rural Economic Development Loans (USDA)
Rural Electrification and Telecommunications Loans Program (USDA)
Rural Housing Assistance Grants (USDA)
Rural Housing Insurance Fund (USDA)
Rural Housing Service (USDA)
Rural Telephone Bank (USDA)
Rural Utilities Service (USDA)
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children [WIC] (USDA)
State Mediation Grants (USDA)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (USDA)
Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (USDA)
Watershed Surveys and Planning (USDA)

Should the government spend all of that money on these things? That is up to you. We don’t have the kind of data we need from the government to do a good job letting you pick and choose among all of these different things, so you’re left with the gross decision about spending in the whole bill: Too much? Too little? Or just right?

Here’s the current voting on H.R. 3049 and S. 1800, both known as the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki articles on the bills.

(3 comments | Categories: Appropriations/Budget » )

WashingtonWatch.com Digest – July 13, 2015

This is the WashingtonWatch.com email newsletter for the week of July 13, 2015. Subscribe (free!) here.

On the Blog: More Spending Bills

Spending season is in full swing. We catalog the newest spending bills in the appropriately titled blog post: “The Latest Spending Bills.”

Featured Items

This week, the Senate will debate S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.

The bill would amend and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was last reauthorized under the name “No Child Left Behind.”

Passage of S. 1177 would cost about $775 per U.S. family.

The House will debate H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015.

In a variety of ways, the bill is intended to provide drought relief in the State of California, including by changing Delta Smelt management, updating salmonid management, and providing water management flexibility to federal agencies.

There is no cost estimate for H.R. 2898 yet.

S. 1177
The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015
Costs $774.61 per family

H.R. 2898
The Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015

What People Think

Click here to vote on The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. Click here to vote on The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.

The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015
27% For, 73% Against

Vote on this Bill

Click here to vote on The Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015. Click here to vote on The Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015.

The Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015
50% For, 50% Against

Vote on this Bill


Displayed below are new, updated, and passed items with their cost or savings per family.

New Items

H.R. 3020
Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and for other purposes
Costs $8,349.16 per family

H.R. 2995
The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2016
Costs $406.25 per family

S. 1725
An original bill making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and for other purposes
Costs $436.75 per family

S. 599
The Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 455
The Northern Border Security Review Act
Costs $0.01 per family

S. 1090
The Emergency Information Improvement Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1620
The DHS IT Duplication Reduction Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1638
The Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Consolidation Accountability Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1551
The Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 2354
The Streamlining Excessive and Costly Regulations Review Act
Costs $0.01 per family

S. 991
The Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2015
Costs $0.03 per family


Updated Items

H.R. 6
The 21st Century Cures Act
Costs $769.09 per family


Passed Items

P.L. 114-28
To revoke the charter of incorporation of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma at the request of that tribe, and for other purposes
Costs $0.00 per family

P.L. 114-29
The Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act
Costs $0.00 per family

P.L. 114-30
The `Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act’

(0 comments | Categories: The Week Ahead » )

The Latest Spending Bills

moneySpending season continues with the introduction of more new bills last week.

Let’s take a look at the agencies they fund in detail.

S. 1725 is the State Department/foreign operations bill introduced in the Senate. It proposes spending of about $435 per U.S. family on these agencies and programs:

Agency for International Development
Department of State
Department of the Treasury
– Debt Restructuring
– International Affairs Technical Assistance
– International Financial Institutions
Export-Import Bank
Millennium Challenge Program
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Peace Corps
Trade and Development Agency
Related Programs and Agencies:
– African Development Foundation
– Broadcasting Board of Governors
– Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund
– Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad
– Commission on International Religious Freedom
– Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
– Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China
– East-West Center
– Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship Program
– Inter-American Foundation
– Israeli Arab Scholarship Program
– National Endowment for Democracy
– The Asia Foundation
– United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission
– United States Institute of Peace

Here’s the current vote on the bill among WashingtonWatch.com visitors.

Next up is H.R. 2995, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2016. Spending: just over $400 per U.S. family.

The following agencies and programs come under that bill.

Department of the Treasury (except Debt Restructuring, International Affairs Technical Assistance, and International Financial Institutions)
District of Columbia
The Judiciary
Executive Office of the President (except Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of the United States Trade Representative, and Council on Environmental Quality and Office of Environmental Quality)
Independent Agencies
– Administrative Conference of the United States
– Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation
– Consumer Product Safety Commission
– Election Assistance Commission
– Federal Communications Commission
– Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Inspector General
– Federal Election Commission
– Federal Labor Relations Authority
– Federal Trade Commission
– General Services Administration
– Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
– Merit Systems Protection Board
– Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation
– National Archives and Records Administration
– National Credit Union Administration
– Office of Government Ethics
– Office of Personnel Management and Related Trust Funds
– Office of Special Counsel
– Postal Regulatory Commission
– Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
– Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board
– Securities and Exchange Commission
– Selective Service System
– Small Business Administration
– United States Postal Service, Payment to the Postal Service Fund
– United States Tax Court
General Provisions, Government-wide

The current vote:

Finally, there’s H.R. 3020, the House Labor/HHS spending bill. (We talked about the Senate version of the bill a few weeks ago.) It would spend just about $8,350 per U.S. family on these agencies and entities:

Department of Education
Department of Health and Human Services (Except Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Food and Drug Administration; Indian Health Services and Facilities; and National Institute of Environmental Sciences (formerly EPA/Superfund))
Department of Labor
Related Agencies
– Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled
– Corporation for National and Community Service
– Corporation for Public Broadcasting
– Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
– Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
– Institute of Museum and Library Services
– Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
– Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
– National Council on Disability
– National Labor Relations Board
– National Mediation Board
– Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
– Railroad Retirement Board
– Social Security Administration

And here’s how the WashingtonWatch.com voting is going.

(2 comments | Categories: Appropriations/Budget » )

WashingtonWatch.com Digest – July 6, 2015

This is the WashingtonWatch.com email newsletter for the week of July 6, 2015. Subscribe (free!) here.

On the Blog: The Busy House

There are a lot of bills on tap for debate in the House this week.

Read about them in a post entitled: “The House’s Busy Week.”

Featured Item

This week, the House will complete consideration of one of the more modest annual spending bills.

H.R. 2822 is the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016. It funds Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and a variety of other agencies.

Passage of H.R. 2822 would cost just under $300 per U.S. family.

H.R. 2822
The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
Costs $298.65 per family

What People Think

Click here to vote on The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016. Click here to vote on The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016.

The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
26% For, 74% Against

Vote on this Bill


Displayed below are new, updated, and passed items with their cost or savings per family.

New Items

S. 1629
The District of Columbia Courts, Public Defender Service, and Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1643
The Ensuring the Safety and Security of Iranian Dissidents in Iraq Act of 2015
Costs $0.00 per family

H.R. 675
The Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2015
Costs $67.20 per family

H.R. 521
To provide for the conveyance of certain property to the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation located in Bethel, Alaska
Costs $0.00 per family

S. 1140
The Federal Water Quality Protection Act
Costs $0.04 per family


Updated Items

none


Passed Items

P.L. 114-26
The Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act

P.L. 114-27
The Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015
Saves $74.60 per family

(0 comments | Categories: The Week Ahead » )

The House’s Busy Week

billsThe House and Senate return this week from having the Fourth of July week off. It’s a busy week. Here are the bills planned for consideration in the House. Decide what you think of them, then vote or comment on each so Congress knows what to do!

MONDAY, JULY 6TH
On Monday, the House is not in session.

TUESDAY, JULY 7TH
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules (uncontroversial bills: no amendments, super-majority required for passage):

1) H.R. 907 – United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen / Foreign Affairs Committee)

2) Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 91 – Veteran’s I.D. Card Act (Sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)

3) H.R. 1531 – Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (Sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

Continue Consideration of H.R. 2822 – Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 (Modified Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert / Appropriations Committee)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8TH AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 2822 – Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 (Modified Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert / Appropriations Committee)

Complete Consideration of H.R. 5 – Student Success Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. John Kline / Education and the Workforce Committee)

H.R. 2647 – Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bruce Westerman / Agriculture Committee / Natural Resources Committee)

H.R. 6 – 21st Century Cures Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton / Energy and Commerce Committee)

Possible Consideration of a Motion to Go to Conference on H.R. 644 – Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act

(1 comment | Categories: The Week Ahead » )