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

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Both chambers are in session this week, kicking off three busy weeks of legislative activity before the next scheduled recess, the week of May 2.

On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives is not in session.

On Tuesday and Wednesday,  the House is in session and will consider several bills under Suspension of the Rules, including:

S. 2512: a bill to add the Zika Virus to the FDA Priority Review Voucher Program Act. This bill expands the program to provide companies that develop vaccines or treatments for the Zika virus with vouchers for expedited FDA product reviews that can be used for other products.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

H.R. 4676: the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act. This bill establishes fines and prison sentences for individuals who engage in schemes to defraud veterans seeking to obtain veterans benefits.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

H.R. 4482: the Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment Act. This bill requires the Homeland Security Department to conduct a border threat analysis of the nation’s southwest border with Mexico and to identify improvements needed to enhance border security and reduce those threats.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

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

Also on the House floor this week:

H.R. 3791: a bill that would allow more banks to operate under the Fed’s Small Bank Holding Company Policy. The bill requires the Federal Reserve Board to modify its Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement to allow bank and thrift companies with assets of up to $5 billion to operate under the policy, up from the current limit of $1 billion. This would allow more small bank holding companies to hold higher levels of debt while also exempting them from certain Dodd-Frank Act minimum leverage and risk-based capital requirements.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

H.R. 3340: the Financial Stability Oversight Council Reform Act. The bill modifies the funding of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Office of Financial Research (OFR) by making said funding subject to the annual appropriations process.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

H.R. 2666: the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act. The bill prohibits the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from regulating the rates that Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Verizon or U-verse may charge for broadband Internet service.

  • Alabama co-sponsor(s): None.

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.
  • Energy and the rural economy: On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing titled “Energy and the Rural Economy: The Impacts of Oil and Gas Production.” More information here.
  • Puerto Rico: On Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.” More information here.
  • Government duplication: On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing titled “Waste and Inefficiency in the Federal Government: GAO’s 2016 Duplication Report.”  More information here.
  • Small business tax reform: On Wednesday, the House Small Business Committee will hold a two part hearing titled “Keep It Simple: Small Business Tax Simplification and Reform, the Commissioner Responds.”  More information here and here.
  • Judiciary markup: On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup of S.125, the “Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2015” and H.R.699, the “Email Privacy Act,” to update the privacy protections for electronic communications information that is stored by third-party service providers in order to protect consumer privacy interests while meeting law enforcement needs. More information here.
  • Small business regulations: On Thursday, the House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing titled “Regulation: The Hidden Small Business Tax.” More information here.
  • Tax treatment of health care: On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold hearing on “Tax Treatment of Health Care.” More information here.

This week the U.S. Senate is expected to spend the bulk of its time on FAA reauthorization.

Highlights of what is happening in Senate Committees this week:

  • ISIS: On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will discuss the spread of ISIS. More information here.
  • Visa program: On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee continues its review of the Investor Visa, or EB-5 Visa Program, and current abuses. More information here.
  • Appropriations: On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. More information here.
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