H.R. 4923 would establish a new process under which the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) would determine which imported products on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule would become eligible to have tariffs suspended or reduced through a future act of the Congress. Currently, petitions for tariff relief are sent to the Congress and incorporated into legislation before being analyzed by the USITC. Under H.R. 4923, the USITC would receive and analyze petitions submitted directly by the public in two separate rounds—one in 2017 and the second in 2020.
H.R. 1621 would revise the boundary of the Petersburg National Battlefield in Virginia to include 12 additional Civil War battlefield areas over approximately 7,200 acres. The bill stipulates that the National Park Service (NPS) may acquire the additional land through a donation, with donated funds, with appropriated amounts, or through a land exchange.
Under current law, the Starr-Camargo Bridge Company has the authority, through 2032, to operate a private toll-bridge between the United States and Mexico. S. 2143 would permanently extend the authority for the Starr-Camargo Bridge Company or its successors to operate such a bridge and to expand the number of lanes on that bridge.
S. 1890 would establish a federal remedy for individuals seeking relief from the misappropriation of trade secrets. Under the bill, an owner of a trade secret could file a civil action in a district court and the court could issue an order to seize any property necessary to preserve evidence for the civil action. The legislation would require information gathered or stored during a legal proceeding related to trade secrets to be secured to protect its confidentiality. The bill also would increase the fines that may be collected in the event of the theft of a trade secret.
H.R. 699 would amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-508) to change current law relating to the privacy of certain personal communications. The bill also would change the procedures that government agencies must follow when requiring providers of remote computing services or electronic communication services to disclose stored communications. Many of those changes are technical in nature. CBO estimates that enacting the bill would have no significant cost to the federal government.
H.J. Res. 88 would disapprove the final rule submitted by the Department of Labor (DOL) and published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2016, relating to investment advice within pension and retirement plans; those regulations are sometimes referred to as the “fiduciary rule.” H.J. Res. 88 would invoke a legislative process established by the Congressional Review Act (Public Law 104-121) to disapprove the new rule. If H.J. Res. 88 is enacted, the rule would have no force or effect.
S. 659 would amend and reauthorize various programs conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) related to the conservation of wetlands, certain species, and fish habitats. The bill also would authorize funding for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit corporation established by federal law to provide grants for activities related to conserving and managing fish, wildlife, plants, and other natural resources. Finally, S.
H.R. 3070 would authorize the Secretary of Commerce to permit recreational fishing for Atlantic striped bass between the eastern tip of Long Island and the coast of Rhode Island. That type of fishing is currently banned in that area, although the Secretary already has the authority to lift the ban. Aside from administrative costs of issuing regulations, which CBO estimates would be insignificant, there are no other budgetary consequences of maintaining or lifting this fishing ban in federal waters.
H.R. 87 would revise the boundary of the Shiloh National Military Park in Mississippi to include three additional Civil War battlefield areas over approximately 2,100 acres. The bill stipulates that the National Park Service (NPS) may acquire the additional land through donation, with donated funds, with appropriated amounts, or through a land exchange. The bill also would designate Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield in Henderson County, Tennessee, as an affiliated area of the National Park System and would direct the NPS to develop a management plan for the area.
H.R. 4901 would amend and reauthorize the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act and would authorize the appropriation of $60 million for each of fiscal years 2017 through 2021. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4901 would cost $300 million over the 2017-2021 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.
Enacting H.R. 4901 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation.
S. 2340 would amend federal laws related to managing the federal government’s licenses for information technology software. The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue a directive to each federal agency to develop a comprehensive policy for software licensing including a complete inventory of software licenses and to develop a mechanism to track, maintain, and analyze software use.
H.R. 1684 would expose owners and operators of oil production facilities located offshore and outside of the United States to liability for cleanup costs and damages from oil spills. Under the bill, such foreign entities could be held responsible for oil spills that originate outside U.S. waters if they threaten or cause damage in the United States. Those entities also could be penalized under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act), the Deepwater Port Act, and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act.
H.R. 3826 would amend current law to modify the terms of a land exchange between the Forest Service and the Mt. Hood Meadows ski area in Oregon. The bill would reduce the amount of land the agency would be authorized to convey to the ski area from 120 acres to 107 acres. The bill also contains provisions aimed at expediting the exchange.
H.R. 4482 would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct an analysis of potential threats and security gaps along the southwest border of the United States. The bill also would require DHS, not later than June 30, 2017, to issue a strategic plan to protect U.S. borders. Based on information from DHS, CBO estimates that conducting analysis and preparing the strategic plan as required by H.R. 4482 would cost about $1 million in 2017; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
H.R. 4294, the Strengthening Access to Valuable Education and Retirement Support Act of 2015, would amend the section of the Internal Revenue Code that prohibits self-dealing transactions by fiduciaries of certain tax-favored plans, including employer-sponsored retirement plans, individual retirement accounts, and health savings accounts. The bill would add a definition of investment advice to that section of the Internal Revenue Code.
H.R. 4293, the Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act, would amend portions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) that prohibit self-dealing transactions by fiduciaries of employer-sponsored retirement plans. The bill would add a definition of investment advice to ERISA. The bill also would add a new statutory exemption related to investment advice that a fiduciary can provide to those plans, plan participants, or beneficiaries. Among other provisions, H.R.
Under current law, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) is permanently authorized to spend amounts transferred from the Federal Reserve, subject to certain limits. H.R. 1486 would change the law so that spending for the CFPB would be subject to the annual appropriation process. The bill would authorize the appropriation of $485 million for fiscal year 2017, the amount provided by the Federal Reserve in fiscal year 2015.
H.R. 3724 would amend federal law to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from re-hiring employees who were fired for misconduct. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3724 would not have a significant cost over the next five years because it would not change the agency’s current employment procedures. The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting H.R. 3724 would affect revenues over the 2016-2026 period; therefore, pay-as-you procedures apply. However those effects would be negligible. Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending.
H.R. 1206 would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from hiring new employees if any current IRS employees have seriously delinquent tax debt. Specifically, the IRS would have to certify that the agency does not have any employees with seriously delinquent tax debt or submit a report to the Congress explaining why it is unable to provide such a certification before any new employees could be hired.
H.R. 4890 would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from paying a bonus or cash award to any employee until the agency develops and submits a comprehensive customer service strategy to the Congress that has been reviewed and approved by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The bill also would require the IRS to submit semiannual reports to the Congress on its progress to complete the strategy.
Under current law, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is authorized to establish or increase fees for some of its services and to spend those fees without further appropriation. H.R. 4885 would amend current law to require that the spending of those user fees would be subject to annual appropriation.
H.R. 4139 would extend the exemption period for some emerging growth companies from having an auditor attest to and report on internal control reports.
H.R. 4590 would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into leases for major medical facilities at 18 specified locations and would authorize appropriations of $134 million to cover the initial costs of those leases. CBO estimates that the full cost of those leases would be $904 million—$770 million more than the authorized amounts.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exempts certain sellers of securities from registering their securities with the SEC and from related filing and disclosure requirements under Regulation D. Private offerers of securities who are exempt under Regulation D are not allowed to engage in general solicitation or general advertising for their securities unless the purchasers of the securities meet specific requirements. H.R. 4498 would expand the manner in which securities issuers who qualify for exemptions under Regulation D can solicit and advertise their securities.
H.R. 4509 would direct entities that receive grants under the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) or the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) to establish an Urban Area Working Group or a state planning committee to determine funding priorities, prepare and revise homeland security plans, and assess risks to the regions where grants are awarded.
Under current law, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is required to screen passengers and property on scheduled commercial flights and some charter flights involving aircraft that meet certain capacity-related specifications. Broadly speaking, the agency oversees or conducts screening at most airports with commercial service; for all other airports, the agency uses a risk-based methodology for determining appropriate policies for security-related screening of passengers and cargo.
H.R. 4785 would direct the Under Secretary of Management for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to oversee and manage vehicle fleets throughout the department. Currently, agencies within DHS (such as Customs and Border Protection) largely manage their own fleets. The bill would require the Under Secretary to monitor compliance with federal laws and regulations related to the use of government vehicles, develop a methodology to determine optimal fleet size, and approve vehicle leases and acquisitions. H.R.
S. 1886 would reauthorize the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act. The bill also would modify existing reporting and planning requirements under the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act. Based on information provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CBO estimates that implementing S. 1886 would cost $91 million over the 2017-2021 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 4698 would require the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to undertake a comprehensive risk assessment of security procedures at foreign airports where nonstop flights to the United States originate and authorize the agency to donate security screening equipment to such airports.
H.R. 4358 would modify several personnel procedures that apply to the Senior Executive Service (SES). Provisions of the legislation would make it easier for agencies to discipline and fire members of the SES, disallow SES members who are moved to the civil service from retaining their SES pay, and require members of the SES to transfer to a new agency at least once every five years.