This week in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate: Sept. 19-23, 2016

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

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are moving full steam ahead working to finalize negotiations surrounding a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government running beyond the end of September and into December, through the November election. Many lawmakers are hopeful to strike a deal early, which would allow them to recess ahead of schedule and head back to the campaign trail for the pre-election recess that is scheduled to begin Oct. 1.

U.S. House of Representatives

On Monday, the House meets in pro forma session.

On Tuesday, the House is in session and will consider several bills under Suspension of the Rules. A full list of bills can be found here.

On Wednesday, the House will consider several more suspensions as well as H.R. 3438: the Require Evaluation before Implementing Executive Wishlists (REVIEW) Act. The bill would delay the effective date of “high-impact” regulations, or those costing more than $1 billion annually, until all court challenges to the regulation have been settled.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-05)

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

H.R. 5461: the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act. The bill requires the Treasury secretary to compile and submit to Congress a report detailing the known assets of Iran’s top political and military leaders, how those assets were acquired, and for what purposes the assets were used.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None

H.R. 5931: the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act. The bill states that it is the policy of the U.S. government not to pay ransom or release prisoners for the purpose of securing the release of U.S. citizens taken hostage abroad, and it generally prohibits the U.S. government from providing to the government of Iran, either directly or indirectly, any cash or other promissory note. It requires the administration to obtain a Treasury foreign assets license before settling any pending financial claims with Iran, and to publicly disclose each such transaction and payment.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None

H.R. 5719: the Empowering Employees through Stock Ownership Act. The bill would allow employee stockholders in startup ventures to defer taxes for seven years on stock options in their companies. To qualify, the stock options would have to be offered to at least 80 percent of a company’s workforce, and the benefit would not be available to majority owners, corporate officers, or the highest-paid executives.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None

The House may also consider H.R. 1309: the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act. The bill would eliminate a $50 billion asset threshold, set by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, that deems banks of that size or larger to be systemically important financial institutions (SIFI). The SIFI designation brings enhanced federal oversight as well as requirements to maintain certain levels of capital and other assets. Instead, the bill authorizes the Financial Stability Oversight Council to decide whether banks should be subject to enhanced supervision and standards because of financial distress at the bank, or because the nature, scope, size, scale, concentration, interconnectedness or mix of its activities could threaten the financial stability of the United States.

U.S. Senate

The Senate is in session and may consider a 10-week continuing resolution (CR) as early as Monday. Congress must pass a CR or other funding legislation before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 in order avert a government shutdown. The pending CR is expected to fund the government through Dec. 9, one week before Congress is currently scheduled to adjourn for the December holidays.

Additional legislation is also possible in the Senate this week.


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