H.R. 475 also would affect the cost of providing certain mandatory veterans’ benefits. It would modify educational benefits by reducing the amount that VA pays for flight-training programs, expanding the types of active service for which reservists can earn educational benefits, and authorizing reimbursements for the costs of applying to institutions of higher learning. The bill also would increase the amount of the loan guarantee VA can provide for veterans who use a mortgage to purchase a home.
H.R. 2243 would direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to roll back increases in compensation and benefits for Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s chief executive officers (CEO) to the levels that were in place on January 1, 2015. CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not have a significant effect on the federal budget because while the bill would limit amounts paid for certain compensation, it would not directly change the income of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac nor would it restrict how those entities could spend amounts realized by reducing such compensation.
S. 779 would require federal agencies that spend $100 million or more annually on extramural research activities to make the results of such research freely available on the Internet. The bill also would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to issue reports on the effectiveness of this bill in making government research available to the public.
H.R. 511 would add tribes to the list of entities that are excluded from the definition of “employer” for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act. Through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of most private-sector employees to form a union and to bargain collectively. Adding tribes to the list of excluded employers would treat them similarly to state and local governments.
S. 1864 would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), within 120 days of the bill’s enactment, to develop and use various metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of security measures at the United States border and to evaluate the operations of the Office of Air and Marine in DHS. The bill would direct the department to submit annual reports to the Congress on the new measurement methods and would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to submit biannual reports to the Congress on the suitability and validity of the metrics used by DHS.
S. 1523 would authorize the appropriation of $26 million annually over the 2016-2020 period for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Estuary Program. The legislation also would amend the Clean Water Act to require that grants awarded to state, local, and private entities by EPA are awarded in a competitive manner. CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost $112 million over the 2016-2020 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.
S. 1500 would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states authorized to issue permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) from requiring a permit for some discharges of pesticides. Specifically, public and private entities would no longer need to obtain an NPDES permit for certain discharges of pesticides if their use is authorized under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, or in cases where the discharge is regulated as a stormwater, municipal, or industrial discharge under the Clean Water Act.
H.R. 3032 would repeal a requirement that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) include in its annual report to the Congress a list of each instance when the agency used certain provisions of law to obtain access to the financial records of a customer of a financial institution.
H.R. 1839 would exempt certain securities from statutory requirements that, among other things, they be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prior to being offered for sale. To be eligible for the exemption, such securities must be offered only in a private sale to accredited investors that have received certain information about the issuer of the security and the security itself.
H.R. 2912 would establish the Centennial Monetary Commission to, among other things, examine how United States monetary policy has affected economic performance, evaluate various structures for conducting monetary policy, and recommend a direction for future actions. The commission would be required to prepare a report for the Congress and the public containing its findings and recommendations by December 1, 2016. The commission’s authority would lapse on June 1, 2017.
Under current law, manufacturers of consumer products must provide written warranty information to consumers at the place where those goods are purchased. H.R. 3154 would allow those manufacturers to make such warranty information available on the Internet and remain in compliance with the law. The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to revise rules to reflect the new notification standards.
S. 1483 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating the home of James K. Polk in Columbia, Tennessee, as a unit of the National Park System (NPS). Based on information from NPS, CBO estimates that carrying out the proposed study would cost about $200,000; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting S. 1483 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
S. 521 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating the President Street Station in Baltimore, Maryland, as a unit of the National Park System (NPS). Based on information from NPS, CBO estimates that carrying out the proposed study would cost about $200,000; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting S. 521 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
S. 145 would require the National Park Service (NPS) to reimburse states for funds they donated to the federal government to operate certain national park units during the period of lapsed appropriations that occurred from October 1, 2013, to October 16, 2013.
S. 403 would revise the route of the North Country National Scenic Trail, which currently runs through seven states from New York to North Dakota. Specifically, the bill would connect the trail to the Appalachian Scenic Trail in Vermont, adding about 400 miles to its overall length. The bill also would clarify that the federal government may not use condemnation to acquire land for the trail.
S. 610 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating P.S. 103 in West Baltimore, Maryland, as a unit of the National Park System (P.S. 103 is the public school that Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall attended as a child). CBO estimates that carrying out the proposed study would cost about $200,000; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting S. 610 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 1725 would reauthorize funding for grants to states and territories to establish, improve, or maintain an electronic database system for monitoring the dispensing of controlled substances. Under current law, most states operate such systems and receive funding from a variety of sources to maintain or improve those systems.
H.R. 2820 would reauthorize the National Cord Blood Inventory program and the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation program. Those programs support efforts to collect and store blood from umbilical cords and to conduct research and facilitate transplants of bone marrow and blood from umbilical cords. In 2015, more than $33 million was appropriated for these purposes.
H.R. 598 would amend federal law to increase the amount of information about federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provides online. The legislation would require that each federal program be described on OMB’s website, including the number of people served by or benefiting from the program, the number of federal employees and contract staff involved, and links to reviews of the program including those by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Inspectors General.
S. 1616 would increase oversight of federal agencies’ use of purchase and travel cards. The legislation would establish an Office of Federal Charge Card Analytics and Review within the Government Services Administration (GSA) to examine purchases made using federal charge cards. Under S. 1616, GSA also would establish an interagency task force to facilitate the sharing of information and to promote best practices to reduce fraud and improper payments. Finally, S. 1616 would require GSA to report to the Congress on the effectiveness of those efforts.
S. 1846 would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to undertake research and planning activities to mitigate the potential consequences of electromagnetic pulses and geomagnetic disturbances—resulting from either intentional acts or natural causes—on critical infrastructure, such as public utilities and national security assets. DHS is currently carrying out programs similar to those required by the bill, and CBO estimates that implementing S. 1846 would not significantly affect spending by the department.
S. 1808 would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct an analysis of potential threats and security gaps along the northern border of the United States. Based on information from DHS, CBO estimates that implementing S. 1808 would cost about $1 million in 2016, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Because enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
S. 1632 would require the Secretaries of State and Defense to develop and submit to the Congress a joint five-year strategy to help Nigeria, neighboring countries, and regional partners counter the threat posed by Boko Haram. It also would require the Director of National Intelligence to provide an assessment to the Congress of the ability and willingness of those foreign governments and regional partners to implement that strategy.
H.R. 2320 would amend federal law with an aim to reduce improper payments made by the federal government. Improper payments occur when funds are paid to the wrong recipient, the recipient receives the incorrect amount of funds, documentation is not available to support a payment, or the recipient uses funds in an improper manner. Specifically, the legislation would authorize the judicial and legislative branches, as well as state government agencies that manage federal programs, to use the Treasury Department’s Do Not Pay (DNP) Program.
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1937 would have no significant effect on the federal budget. Because enacting the bill could reduce mandatory payments for attorneys’ fees over the 2016-2025 period, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any such effects would be minimal. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
S. 1573 would require the National Weather Service (NWS) to employ a warning coordinator at each of its weather forecast offices and to conduct certain studies. Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $1 million over the 2016-2017 period. Because enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 2899 would establish the Office for Countering Violent Extremism in the Department of Homeland Security. The bill would authorize the appropriation of $10 million annually over the 2016-2020 period for the office, including $6 million each year for the office to make grants to community groups and other organizations for counter-messaging campaigns targeting violent extremism.
S. 501 would amend the Navajo Settlement Act to authorize the Bureau of Reclamation (bureau) to participate in planning and designing groundwater well projects in the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. The bill also would clarify the intent of certain provisions of that act and shift some amounts of authorized spending among authorized activities. Based on information from the bureau and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would not have a significant effect on the federal budget. Because enacting S.
H.R. 3114 would clarify that the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has the authority to hire veterans to catalogue artifacts and historic items. Based on information from the Corps, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would not affect the federal budget. Because enacting H.R. 3114 would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 3089 would direct federal agencies to prepare reports on efforts to close out financial accounts for federal grants that have expired. Grant accounts are closed when all administrative actions have been completed by the non-federal entity. Those actions may involve additional payments to grantees or payments from the grantee to the federal government.