This week in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate: Apr. 18 – 22, 2016

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

With taxes due Monday, it’s fitting the U.S. House of Representatives will consider several bills dealing with the IRS this week. On Monday and Tuesday, the House is in session and will consider several bills under Suspension of the Rules including:

  1. H.R. 4903, which permanently prohibits the use of funds by the IRS to target U.S. citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights.
  2. H.R. 4284: the Service Provider Opportunity Clarification Act. This bill aims to improve the regulations regarding government contracts and small business subcontractors
  3. H.R. 3714: the Small Agriculture Producer Size Standards Improvements Act. This bill seeks to improve agriculture enterprises’ access to Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.

A full list of bills that will be considered under suspension can be found here.

Also on the House floor this week:

H.R. 4885: the IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act. The bill makes Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spending of the user fees it collects subject to the annual appropriations process, thereby blocking the IRS from spending collected user fees unless Congress provides for such spending in appropriations acts.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

H.R. 1206: the No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act. The bill prohibits the IRS from hiring any new employees until the Treasury Department certifies that no IRS worker has serious tax delinquencies.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

H.R. 3724: the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act. The measure prohibits the IRS from rehiring former employees who were previously removed or terminated for misconduct.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

H.R. 4890: the Ban IRS Bonuses Until Customer Service Strategy is Developed act. The bill bans the payment of bonuses to IRS employees until the agency develops a comprehensive customer service strategy.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

On Friday, the House is not in session.

Highlights of what is happening in House Committees this week:

  • Budget Season: The House Appropriations committee continues its FY17 hearing slate, a full list of those hearings can be found here.
  • NDAA: The House Armed Service Committee’s subcommittees begin consideration of their respective portions of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week. A full committee markup is expected next week. A full list of subcommittee markups can be found here.
  • Endangered Species: On Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing titled “Recent Changes to Endangered Species Critical Habitat Designation and Implementation.”  More information here.
  • Veterans Health Care: On Tuesday, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled “A Continued Assessment of Delays in Veterans’ Access to Health Care.” More information here.
  • Foreign Affairs Markup: On Wednesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a markup of H.R.1150, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015; H.R.3694, the Strategy to Oppose Predatory Organ Trafficking Act; H.R.4939, the United States – Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016; H.Con.Res.88, Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the cornerstone of United States-Taiwan relations; S.284, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; and S.2143, to provide for the authority for the successors and assigns of the Starr-Camargo Bridge Company to maintain and operate a toll bridge across the Rio Grande near Rio Grande City, Texas. More information here.
  • Transportation Markup: On Wednesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a markup of the General Services Administration Capital Investment and Leasing Program Resolutions; legislation to designate the federal building at 99 New York Avenue NE, in the District of Columbia as the “Ariel Rios Federal Building”; and H.R.4937, the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016. More information here.
  • Small Business: On Wednesday, the House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing titled “Small Business and the Federal Government: How Cyber-Attacks Threaten Both.” More information here.
  • Puerto Rico: Further consideration of the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act” by the House Natural Resources Committee is also possible this week.

Meanwhile the U.S. Senate will endeavor to wrap up consideration of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill this week.

Following the FAA reauthorization bill, the Senate is expected to resume work on S. 2012: the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015. Floor consideration of this bipartisan legislation will include eight amendments by roll-call vote and 29 by voice. America’s national energy policy has not been updated since 2007.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

Highlights of what is happening in Senate Committees this week:

  • Drug trafficking. On Tuesday, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing to examine preventing drug trafficking through international mail. More information here.
  • Water supply. On Wednesday, the Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing to examine new approaches and innovative technologies to improve water supply. More information here.
  • Tax code: On Wednesday,  the Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing to examine our complex tax code and the economy. More information here.
  • Border Protection: On Thursday, the Finance Committee will hold an oversight hearing to examine the Customs and Border Protection agency. More information here.


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