H.R. 2347 would amend the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which governs the operation of most federal advisory committees, to require agencies to disclose additional information about committee activities to the public. It also would expand the act to cover additional federal committees and would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to submit reports to the Congress concerning the appointment of advisory committee members.
Under current law, the Financial Research Fund (FRF) is permanently authorized to pay, without further appropriation, the operating costs of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), the Office of Financial Research (OFR), as well as certain expenses of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from assessments on certain bank holding companies and nonbank financial companies. H.R. 3340 would change the law so that spending from the FRF would be subject to the annual appropriations process.
H.R. 2795 would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to prepare a report to the Congress on selected state programs related to the preparedness and protection of first responders. The report would include information related to the availability of protective and medical equipment, as well as information on the location of first responders. Based on information from GAO and the cost of similar studies, CBO estimates the report would cost about $1 million over the 2016-2017 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
H.R. 3583 would specifically authorize the appropriation of $901 million over the 2016-2020 period for several programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CBO estimates that the bill also would authorize the appropriation of $6 million over the 2016-2020 period for other FEMA and DHS activities.
S. 2184 would require the President to issue guidelines establishing measurable goals, performance metrics, and plans for monitoring and evaluating foreign aid programs that provide development or economic assistance. It also would require agencies that implement such programs to publish detailed information about their programs on a public website. Finally, the bill would require the President and the Comptroller General to report to the Congress on the guidelines.
S. 611 would authorize the appropriation of $15 million annually over the 2016-2020 period for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) program that provides technical assistance to small public water systems. The authorization for this program expired in 2003, but the program received an appropriation of $13 million for fiscal year 2015. CBO estimates that implementing S. 611 would cost $67 million over the next five years, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.
S. 1143 would authorize Washington, Oregon, and California to continue to manage commercial fishing for Dungeness crabs in federal waters adjacent to their states until the Pacific Fishery Management Council develops a formal fishery management plan for the area. Under current law, the states’ authority to manage their Dungeness crab fisheries will expire on September 30, 2016. After that date, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will manage the fishery.
H.R. 2830 would update the citations in the law classified as Title 2 of the United States Code. Title 2 of the United States Code includes all of the laws governing the Congress and the legislative branch.
Because the changes are technical, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2830 would have no budgetary impact. Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 3875 would establish the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Office in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which would consist of existing offices in DHS. The legislation also would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO), within two years of the bill’s enactment, to prepare a report to the Congress on DHS research and development programs relating to explosives and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.
H.R. 3750 would waive passport fees for disaster response teams that assist in international relief efforts. The bill also would require the Department of State to report to the Congress on the number of waivers issued under the bill. For the past few years, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has contracted with search and rescue teams in Fairfax County, Virginia, and Los Angeles County, California, to assist with its response to international disasters such as the earthquake in Nepal earlier this year.
H.J. Res 71 would disapprove the final rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015, that regulates greenhouse gas emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed power plants that use fossil fuels. H.J. Res. 71 would invoke a legislative process established by the Congressional Review Act (Public Law 104-121) to disapprove the new rule. If H.J. Res. 71 is enacted, the rule would have no force or effect.
H.J. Res. 72 would disapprove the final rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015, that regulates greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants that use fossil fuels. H.J. Res. 72 would invoke a legislative process established by the Congressional Review Act (Public Law 104-121) to disapprove the new rule. If H.J. Res 72 is enacted, the rule would have no force or effect.
S. 2109 would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a plan to reduce the costs of administering programs that provide grants and technical assistance in areas affected by major disasters. Under current law, the agency is developing a plan to reduce the costs of administering disaster programs that would meet many of the requirements in the bill. Under the bill, the agency also would be required to issue annual reports evaluating the effect of the plan on administrative costs.
H.R. 1755 would amend the charter of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to specify that DAV is organized for charitable and educational purposes, and to ensure that upon dissolution of the organization any remaining assets would be transferred to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Those changes could allow DAV to qualify as a “public charity” under the Internal Revenue Code, and thus might lead to an increase in tax deductible donations.
H.R. 3766 would require the President to issue guidelines establishing measurable goals, performance metrics, and plans for monitoring and evaluating foreign aid programs that provide development or economic assistance. It also would require agencies that implement such programs to publish detailed information about their programs on a public website. Finally, the bill would require the President and the Comptroller General to report to the Congress on the guidelines.
H.R. 2241 would require the U.S. Agency for International Development to report annually to the Congress over the 2016-2020 period on the development and use of innovations in the agency’s global health programs. Based on information from the administration, CBO estimates that implementing that reporting requirement would cost less than $500,000 over the 2016-2020 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
H.R. 2845 would direct the President to increase public awareness of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and authorize several federal programs to encourage trade and economic cooperation with and between AGOA countries. In particular, the bill would:
H.R. 3016 would modify certain mandatory veterans’ programs, including those that provide educational benefits and mortgage loan guarantees. On net, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3016 would decrease direct spending by $815 million over the 2016-2025 period.
H.R. 3293 would require that new National Science Foundation (NSF) grants advance the national interest, as defined in the bill, before funding may be awarded by the agency. Examples of advancing the national interest would include increasing economic competitiveness, advancing the health and welfare of the public, or supporting the national defense of the United States. Under the legislation, NSF also would be required to make a public announcement of each award of federal funding and explain how it would advance those interests.
H.R. 3242 would direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to develop regulations requiring special packaging for liquid nicotine containers. CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost about $1 million over the 2016-2020 period, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3242 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2026.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is issuing a revision to the cost estimate for the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (STRR Act) that was transmitted on November 17, 2015. That estimate included the cost of a provision appropriating $0.2 billion for grants to rail carriers for certain safety equipment; however, no appropriation for that purpose was included in the STRR Act, as passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Removing the effect of that provision slightly reduces the cost of the legislation.
H.R. 1478 would amend existing laws regarding the financial regulation of insurance companies. Under the bill, federal banking regulators would be required to meet certain substantive and procedural requirements before requiring certain insurance companies to provide financial support to a depository institution. The bill also would revise certain procedures governing the orderly liquidation by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) of a systemically important financial firm that is an insurance company or a subsidiary of an insurance company.
H.R. 3859 would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by making technical corrections to that act, including striking provisions related to obsolete offices and outdated reporting requirements. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3859 would have no significant cost to the federal government.
Because enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3859 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2026.
S. 1579 would direct the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior and other federal agencies that administer programs related to recreation and tourism to update existing plans to promote tourism among Indian communities. The bill would require those secretaries to report to the Congress on efforts to support Indian tribes’ tourism-related programs and clarify that tribal organizations are eligible to use certain federal grants for such purposes.
S. 2116 would direct the Small Business Administration (SBA) to broaden its assistance to small businesses by providing information and counseling on adopting and using broadband and other information technologies. Among other things, S.
H.R. 3189 would make a number of changes to the operations of the Federal Reserve System.
S. 152 would prohibit gambling (other than social games for prizes of minimal value) on property near Glendale, Arizona that is owned by the Tohono O’odham Nation and held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribe. That prohibition would last until 2027. The Tohono O’odham Nation is currently constructing a resort and casino on this property and expects to begin operations within a year.
H.R. 974 would nullify, within three years of the bill’s enactment, existing regulations prohibiting hand-propelled vessels on various streams and rivers in the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as well as the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway in the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Hand propelled vehicles include canoes, kayaks, and rafts propelled by paddles. The legislation also would direct the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service (NPS) to coordinate policies allowing the use of hand-propelled vessels on waterways in those areas.
H.R. 3459 would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to define “joint employer” to mean two or more employers who each share “actual, direct, and immediate control” over the terms and conditions of employment. In a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, the Board concluded a “joint employer” relationship could be established when an employer exercises control over employment matters indirectly or such control is reserved to an employer by contract.
The Congressional Budget Office has completed a preliminary estimate of the effect on direct spending that would result from enacting S. 928, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health Compensation Reauthorization Act, as introduced on April 14, 2015. The bill would permanently extend spending authority for the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund (VCF).