This week in the U.S. House of Representatives: Jan. 11 – Jan. 15, 2016

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

While it may be a short legislative week, both the House and Senate will be in session starting Monday. There are two, big non-legislative events on the schedule this week: President Barack Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address Tuesday evening, and the Republican Conferences of both chambers leave Washington after voting Wednesday for their annual GOP retreat.

Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives is in session and will consider several bills under Suspension of the Rules, including H.R. 757: which strengthens and expands existing sanctions against North Korea in the wake of its recent nuclear weapons test.  A full list of bills can be found here.

Other legislation up for consideration this week:

H.R. 1644: the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining (STREAM) Act. The bill prevents the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) from issuing any final rules related to coal mining activities near streams, including updating a stream buffer zones (SBZ) rule, until after the National Academy of Sciences submits a study on the effectiveness of existing rules in effect — effectively delaying any new or revised SBZ rules for at least three years.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

H.R. 3662: the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act. The bill restricts the president’s ability to lift sanctions on Iranian and other financial institutions as called for by the Iran Nuclear agreement, by allowing sanctions to be lifted only the president certifies that the institutions have not knowingly helped fund Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, foreign terrorist organizations and other entities sanctioned in connection with Iran’s weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missile programs.

S.J. Res. 22: a joint resolution to disapprove a EPA/Corps of Engineers rule governing Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The resolution disapproves of the rule issued by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers on June 29, 2015, commonly known as the “waters of the United States” rule that seeks to clarify the federal government’s authority to regulate certain intrastate waters under the Clean Water Act, providing that the rule will have no force or effect. The Senate passed the resolution in November, acting under the Congressional Review Act.

Highlights of what is happening in House Committees this week:

  • SBA Access to Capital: Tuesday, the House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing titled “SBA Management Review: Oversight of SBA’s Access to Capital Offices.” More information here.
  • Iraq/Syria: Tuesday, the House Armed Services Committee will hold a  hearing titled “Outside Views on the U.S. Strategy for Iraq and Syria and the Evolution of Islamic Extremism.” More information here.
  • Veterans Backlog: Tuesday, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled “1988 to 2016: VETSNET to VBMS; Billions Spent, Backlog Grinds On.” More information here.
  • Nuclear Energy: Tuesday, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a markup of H.R.4084: the “Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act.” More information here.
  • Judiciary: Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup of H.R.3406: the “Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2015”; H.R.4240: the “No Fly for Foreign Fighters Act”; and H.R.1854: the “Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015.” More information here.

Senate Schedule:

S. 2232: the Federal Reserve Transparency Act. Deemed the “Audit the Fed” bill, the legislation would increase congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve and direct the Government Accountability Office to undertake a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and of the Federal Reserve Banks and report its findings to Congress.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.


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