This week in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate: July 11-15, 2016

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United States Capitol_ U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are both in session this week for a very busy legislative schedule. After this week, both chambers will take an extended break for both the Republican and Democratic national party conventions as well as the August recess through the Labor Day holiday.

U.S. House of Representatives

On Monday, the House is in session and will consider a robust package of 24 bills under Suspension of the Rules. A full list of bills can be found here.

Among these bills is a House amendment to H.R. 636: Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, which represents an agreement to extend the FAA and federal aviation programs through FY 2017. The current FAA authorization expires on July 15.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None

Also, H.R. 5588: Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016. This bill authorizes the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for veterans.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None

For the balance of the week, the House is expected to consider the following:

H.R. 5538: The Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2017. The bill provides a total of $32.1 billion in net discretionary spending, almost 1 percent less than current funding and 3 percent less than requested by the president. It increases funding for the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service but cuts funding for EPA, the Bureau of Land Management, Office of Surface Mining, and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None

S.304: The Conscience Protection Act of 2016. The bill prohibits the federal government, as well as state and local governments, from penalizing, retaliating against, or otherwise discriminating against a health care provider because the provider does not provide or sponsor abortion coverage. It provides for a complaint process and civil actions for any violations through the HHS and Justice departments.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None

H.R. 5119: The No 2H2O from Iran Act. The bill prohibits federal funds from being used to purchase heavy water from Iran, or to issue licenses to purchase heavy water.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): 6th District U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer

H.R. 5631: The Iran Accountability Act. The bill expands and strengthens existing sanctions against Iran related to its ballistic-missile program, support for international terrorism, and its ongoing record of human rights abuses against its own population.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None

Senate Amendment to the House Amendment to S.764: Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Labeling Requirements. The House is expected to consider Senate-passed legislation directing the Agriculture Department to issue nationwide rules for determining which foods should be labeled as genetically modified. The bill offers food companies the option of on-label disclosure, the use of a symbol developed by the Agriculture Department, or electronic bar codes that consumers can scan with their smartphones.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): N/A

U.S. Senate

The Senate is in session and may take further procedural votes on the House-passed H.R. 5293: The Department of Defense Appropriations bill for FY 2017. Due to Democratic opposition the measure, which was reported unanimously by the Appropriations Committee, failed to achieve the necessary 60 votes of support during a Senate vote last week.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): N/A

House-passed FY 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations conference report, which also serves as the vehicle to provide funding to combat the Zika virus.

Other legislation, namely the FAA extension, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations conference report, which also serves as the vehicle to provide funding to combat the Zika virus, as well as the conference report to S. 524 to combat opioid abuse are also likely.

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