The U.S. House of Representatives returns Tuesday after a weeklong holiday recess ready to tackle a busy July agenda. They’ll begin with a vote on three noncontroversial bills under suspension of the rules.
After Tuesday’s suspension votes, members will resume consideration of H.R. 2822: the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2016. The bill provides a total of $30.2 billion in discretionary spending in FY 2016 for the Interior Department, the EPA, the Forest Service and a variety of other agencies. That total is $246 million (1 percent) less than current funding and $3.1 billion (9 percent) less than requested by the Obama administration. It’s considered a controversial bill because it decreases funding for EPA by 9 percent and limits the EPA’s regulatory authority. It also cuts funding for Forest Service activities and for the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Other legislation on the floor for a vote this week includes:
H.R. 5: the Student Success Act. The House originally began consideration of H.R. 5 in February, but postponed completing consideration at that time. The bill reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, sometimes also referred to No Child Left Behind, NCLB). The bill makes fundamental changes to many ESEA programs.
- Alabama co-sponsors: Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-1)
H.R. 6: the 21st Century Cures Act. This bill is a bipartisan medical research and innovation bill intended to assure American leadership in biomedical research for the future and to allow drugs to get to patients more quickly, while also ensuring they are safe and effective for use.
- Alabama co-sponsors: Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-3)
H.R. 2647: the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015. The bill would modify federal forest management practices by restoring fundamental land management capabilities to the U.S. Forest Service, such as routine thinning practices to improve forest health and reduce wildfire threats.
- Alabama co-sponsors: Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-6)
Aside from the floor activity, the House will continue to work with the Senate through a conference committee to resolve the differences between their two versions of the National Defense Authorization Act. They are hoping to produce a final conference report before the August congressional recess, despite that President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the defense policy bills produced by both of the chambers.