PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • August 13, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

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  • April 19, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

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  • February 5, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

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The House will complete consideration of H.R. 5895 – Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019

THE HOUSE

 

Yesterday

  • Whistleblower Protection Coordination Act:
    • The House agreed to take from the Speaker's table and pass S. 1869, to reauthorize and rename the position of Whistleblower Ombudsman to be the Whistleblower Protection Coordinator.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Senior Executive Accountability Act of 2018:
    • The House agreed to take from the Speaker's table and concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 2772, to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for requirements relating to the reassignment of Department of Veterans Affairs senior executive employees.
  • Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act:
    • The House passed H.R. 3, to rescind certain budget authority proposed to be rescinded in special messages transmitted to the Congress by the President on May 8, 2018, in accordance with title X of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act 1974, by a yea-and-nay vote of 210 yeas to 206 nays, Roll No. 243.
  • Pursuant to the Rule, the amendment printed in part C of H. Rept. 115–712 shall be considered as adopted.
  • H. Res. 923, the rule providing for further consideration of the bill (H.R. 5895) and providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3) was agreed to by a recorded vote of 225 ayes to 187 noes, Roll No. 241, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 227 yeas to 185 nays, Roll No. 240.
  • Designating the health care center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Tallahassee, Florida, as the Sergeant Ernest I. ``Boots'' Thomas VA Clinic: The House agreed to discharge from committee and pass S. 2246, to designate the health care center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Tallahassee, Florida, as the Sergeant Ernest I. ``Boots'' Thomas VA Clinic.
  • Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019:
    • The House considered H.R. 5895, making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. Consideration is expected to resume tomorrow, June 8th.
  • Pursuant to H. Res. 918, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 115–71 shall be considered as adopted in the House and in the Committee of the Whole.
  • Pursuant to H. Res. 923, the further amendment printed in Part A of H. Rept. 115–712 shall be considered as adopted in the House and in the Committee of the Whole.
  • Agreed to:
    • Collins (NY) amendment (No. 1 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that increases funding for Army Corps Investigations account by $1.2 million, for a total of $129.2 million, offset by a reduction of $1.2 million in the Army Corps Expenses account;
    • Keating amendment (No. 3 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that ensures funds for additionally considering the historic and national significance of dredging projects in allocating Army Corps additional funding;
    • Ruiz amendment (No. 5 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that redirects $2 million within the Water and Related Resources Account toward projects with a public health benefit;
    • Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM) amendment (No. 6 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that prioritizes funding for Bureau of Reclamation research and development projects;
    • DeSaulnier amendment (No. 7 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that increase the Anadromous Fish Screen Program by $5 million for the purposes of making repairs to existing equipment;
    • Cohen amendment (No. 9 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that increases funding for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy account by $2 million for the SuperTruck II program;
    • Soto amendment (No. 14 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that increases funding to the Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response program by $1,000,000 to further facilitate the Department of Energy's effort to secure the nation's energy infrastructure against all hazards, reduce the risks of and impacts from cyber events, and assist with restoration activities;
    • Soto amendment (No. 15 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that increases funding to the Electricity Delivery program by $1,000,000 to further facilitate the programs aim to develop a modern power grid by advancing resilient power distribution systems, intelligent and high-efficiency grid components, and energy storage systems;
    • Esty amendment (No. 17 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that increases and decrease funding to Solid Oxide Fuel Cells by $20 million;
    • Keating amendment (No. 20 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that allocates funding to support research and grants to further innovation in the safe and secure storage, treatment, transportation, and disposal of spent nuclear fuel from civilian nuclear reactors;
    • Langevin amendment (No. 22 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that increases funding by $3 million to be used for divertor test tokamak research and development;
    • Jackson Lee amendment (No. 25 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that increases Administration account by $1 million to address environmental concerns in both urban and rural settings;
    • O'Halleran amendment (No. 28 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that provides funding to expedite the work of the Department of Energy's Defense-Related Uranium Mines Program's work on Native American Reservations in the west;
    • Keating amendment (No. 30 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that provides resources for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure safe and effective decommissioning of nuclear power plants;
    • Newhouse amendment (No. 33 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that prohibits the use of funds to sell the transmission assets of three Power Marketing Administrations and the Tennessee Valley Authority;
    • Jackson Lee amendment (No. 35 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that allocates an additional $3 million for post-disaster watershed assessment studies;
    • Jackson Lee amendment (No. 36 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that prohibits use of funds in contravention of the Department of Energy Organization Act and addresses the need to increase programs that educate minorities in science, technology, engineering and math;
    • DeSantis amendment (No. 38 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that prohibits funds from being used to purchase heavy water from Iran;
    • Nolan amendment (No. 1 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that boosts the Army Corps' Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program by $1 million;
    • Eshoo amendment (No. 3 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that increases funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by $1,000,000, with the increase intended to support the development and deployment of high-efficiency linear generator power plant technology which, for purposes of stationary electric power production, is equivalent to fuel cell power plant technology; decreases funding for Departmental Administration by $1,000,000;
    • Hastings amendment (No. 5 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that increases funding for cybersecurity of the electric power grid, offset by funding for fossil energy research and development;
    • Rogers (AL) amendment (No. 7 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that provides $24 million for construction of critical infrastructure in NNSA, with an offset from NNSA Federal Salaries and Expenses;
    • Jackson Lee amendment (No. 8 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that allocates an additional $100 million for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects related to flood control;
    • LaMalfa amendment (No. 9 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that prohibits the use of funds for enforcing the EPA's abandonment criteria for prior converted cropland;
    • Kildee amendment (No. 12 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that increases funding by $250,000 for the U.S. House of Representatives' Wounded Warrior Program, which provides employment opportunities within the U.S. House for veterans with service-connected disabilities; decreases funding for the Architect of the Capitol, Capital Construction and Operations account by an equivalent amount;
    • Esty amendment (No. 13 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that increases funding by $500,000 for the Office of Employee Assistance under the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives to be pulled from the Architect of the Capitol, Capitol Grounds;
    • Cohen amendment (No. 17 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that prohibits the use of funds to purchase plastic drinking straws;
    • Torres amendment (No. 20 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that directs the Secretary to use the DOD Base Closure Account to make funding available for the purposes of demolishing facilities closed by prior BRAC rounds;
    • Ruiz amendment (No. 22 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that increases funding to VA Medical Services account from VA Medical Services account to conduct educational outreach to veterans to enroll in the burn pits registry, additional research using the registry, and other activities concerning the maintenance of registry;
    • Johnson (OH) amendment (No. 23 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that calls on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop a standard of hospice care tailored to the unique needs of combat veterans, including Vietnam-era veterans;
    • Carbajal amendment (No. 24 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that directs the Secretary to change the phone system to have local Community Based Outpatient Center answer calls rather than having all calls routed to the major VA Medical Centers in an effort to reduce wait times for veterans on the phone and to provide more timely health services;
    • McSally amendment (No. 25 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that mandates that no less than $225,000,000 may be appropriated for VA mental health and suicide prevention programs;
    • Welch amendment (No. 26 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that provides $5 million to better assist veterans exposed to burn pits by improving the existing registry and increasing clinical research on burn pit exposure; decreases the Community Care account by the same amount; and
    • Barr amendment (No. 27 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that transfer $5 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Administration's (VHA) Medical Community Care Account to the Medical Services Account for the explicit use for the VA's Adaptive Sports Grant (ASG) program, equine assisted therapy.
  • Rejected:
    • Beyer amendment (No. 4 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to strike Sec. 107, which prohibits funds from being used to require a permit for the discharge of dredged or fill material under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act;
    • Kihuen amendment (No. 23 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to strike $190 million for the licensing of the nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain;
    • Kihuen amendment (No. 32 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to strike language that would prohibit closure of the Yucca Mountain project;
    • Tsongas amendment (No. 13 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to increase funding to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for the purposes of offshore wind job training grants (by a recorded vote of 201 ayes to 217 noes, Roll No. 244);
    • Beyer amendment (No. 18 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to increase ARPA–E to its FY18 enacted level and reduces Fossil Energy R&D by the same amount (by a recorded vote of 204 ayes to 214 noes, Roll No. 245);
    • Gosar amendment (No. 24 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to eliminate funding for the ARPA–E program as recommended by the administration (by a recorded vote of 123 ayes to 295 noes, Roll No. 246);
    • Lee amendment (No. 26 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to strike $65 million for the W76–2 warhead and transfers it to Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation account (by a recorded vote of 177 ayes to 241 noes, Roll No. 247);
    • Connolly amendment (No. 27 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to restore the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation account to the FY2018 funding level by giving the Weapons Activities account a $404 million increase instead of the current $550 million increase (by a recorded vote of 179 ayes to 239 noes, Roll No. 248);
    • Gosar amendment (No. 29 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to use the Holman Rule to reduce the salary of Mark Gabriel, the Administrator of the Western Area Power Administration, to $1 (by a recorded vote of 139 ayes to 276 noes with two answering ``present'', Roll No. 249);
    • Lowenthal amendment (No. 31 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to strike Sec. 505, which prohibits funds from being used for further implementation of the coastal and marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management components of the National Ocean Policy (by a recorded vote of 195 ayes to 223 noes, Roll No. 250);
    • Blackburn amendment (No. 34 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to provide for a one percent across the board cut to the discretionary spending levels in Division A of the bill (by a recorded vote of 155 ayes to 262 noes, Roll No. 251);
    • Norman amendment (No. 39 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that sought to reduce the total amount of appropriations made available by $1.5 billion to match the fiscal year 2018 enacted level (by a recorded vote of 128 ayes to 289 noes, Roll No. 252); and
    • Perlmutter amendment (No. 4 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that sought to increase funding for EERE's Facilities and Infrastructure account by $5 million offset by a $5 million reduction to DOE's Departmental Administration account.
  • Withdrawn:
    • Abraham amendment (No. 2 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have increased Corps of Engineers Construction by $17,410,000 and reduces DOE Departmental Administration by the same amount;
    • Keating amendment (No. 10 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have allocated funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to support marine and hydrokinetic energy research and technologies;
    • Bonamici amendment (No. 11 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have increased funding for the EERE Water Power Technologies Office by $10 million;
    • Esty amendment (No. 12 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have restored $15 million in funding to the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE);
    • Weber (TX) amendment (No. 16 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have provided for $35 million from within funds appropriated to the Office of Nuclear Energy to meet the House-passed authorization level for the Versatile Neutron Source, a fast test reactor user facility;
    • Smith (TX) amendment (No. 19 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–711) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have provided for $126.8 million from within funds appropriated to the Office of Science to meet House-passed authorization levels for the LINAC Coherent Light Source II High Energy Upgrade, the Proton Power Upgrade to the Spallation Neutron Source, the construction of the Spallation Neutron Source Second Target Station, and the construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams; provides for full funding for the U.S. contribution to the construction of the ITER project;
    • Kildee amendment (No. 19 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have increased funding in the BRAC account to ensure there is sufficient funding to prevent further contamination of PFAS at former-Wurtsmith AFB; and
    • Kildee amendment (No. 21 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that was offered and subsequently withdrawn that would have created a funding carve-out for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment account.
  • Proceedings Postponed:
    • Gohmert amendment (No. 10 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that seeks to prohibit the use of funds to prepare, propose, or promulgate any regulation or guidance related to the social cost of carbon;
    • Meadows amendment (No. 15 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that seeks to reestablish a semiannual Government Accountability Office financial review of obligated expenditures from the Independent Counsel permanent indefinite appropriation, and require the report's findings to be submitted to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate, the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary of the House, and the Committees on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Judiciary of the Senate; and
    • Takano amendment (No. 16 printed in part B of H. Rept. 115–712) that seeks to appropriate $2.5 million to re-institute the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to help Congress understand emerging technologies and their policy implications; offset by funds from an administrative account within the Architect of the Capitol.
  • H. Res. 918, the rule providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 3249) and providing for consideration of the bills (H.R. 8) and (H.R. 5895) was agreed to yesterday, June 6th.
  • H. Res. 923, the rule providing for further consideration of the bill (H.R. 5895) and providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3) was agreed to by a recorded vote of 225 ayes to 187 noes, Roll No. 241, after the previous question was ordered by a yea-and-nay vote of 227 yeas to 185 nays, Roll No. 240.

 

Today

  • On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Complete Consideration of H.R. 5895 – Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019, Rules Committee Print (Structured Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Simpson / Appropriations Committee)
  • Postponed Amendment Votes:
    • Rep. Louie Gohmert Amendment
    • Rep. Mark Meadows Amendment
    • Rep. Mark Takano Amendment
  • The Rule provides for no further general debate and makes in order the following amendments:
    • A list of the 12 remaining amendments made in order can be found HERE.

 

THE SENATE

 

Yesterday

  • Roll Call VotMeasures Considered:
    • National Defense Authorization Act--Agreement:
      • Senate continued consideration of the motion to proceed to consideration of H.R. 5515, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2019 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year.
  • During consideration of this measure today, Senate also took the following action:
    • By 92 yeas to 4 nays (Vote No. 119), three-fifths of those Senators duly chosen and sworn, having voted in the affirmative, Senate agreed to the motion to close further debate on the motion to proceed to consideration of the bill.
    • A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that at approximately 3 p.m., on Monday, June 11, 2018, Senate resume consideration of the motion to proceed to consideration of the bill, post-cloture; and that notwithstanding the provisions of Rule XXII, the vote on the motion to proceed to consideration of the bill occur at 5:30 p.m.
  • Nomination Confirmed: Senate confirmed the following nomination:
    • By 50 yeas to 46 nays (Vote No. EX. 118), Kenneth L. Marcus, of Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Department of Education.

 

Today

  • The Senate is not in session.

 

Hearings Covered by W&J Today

 

No hearings scheduled.

 

Notable Legislation Introduced

 

Cybersecurity

H.R.6044 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To preempt State data security vulnerability mandates and decryption requirements.
Sponsor: Rep. Lieu, Ted [D-CA-33] (Introduced 06/07/2018) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House - Judiciary, Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: House - 06/07/2018 Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee...

 

Health

H.R.6042 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to delay the reduction in Federal medical assistance percentage for Medicaid personal care services furnished without an electronic visit verification system, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Guthrie, Brett [R-KY-2] (Introduced 06/07/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: House - 06/07/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.6029 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to reauthorize the comprehensive opioid abuse grant program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Rothfus, Keith J. [R-PA-12] (Introduced 06/07/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Judiciary
Latest Action: House - 06/07/2018 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

S.3032 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide for a new rule regarding the application of the Act to marihuana, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA] (Introduced 06/07/2018) Cosponsors: (7)
Committees: Senate - Judiciary
Latest Action: Senate - 06/07/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

 

Tax

H.R.6037 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal certain rules related to the determination of unrelated business taxable income.
Sponsor: Rep. Conaway, K. Michael [R-TX-11] (Introduced 06/07/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Ways and Means
Latest Action: House - 06/07/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • August 13, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • April 19, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • February 5, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

    Read More

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