|Monday, April 19, 2021|
Floor Schedule and Procedure:
Suspensions (21 bills)
1. H.R. 490 – DHS MORALE Act (Rep. Thompson (MS) – Homeland Security)
The bill requires the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) to develop and implement policies related to leadership development, employee engagement, and career progression. The bill requires the CHCO to analyze government-wide Federal workforce satisfaction or morale surveys to inform efforts to improve morale at the Department. It also directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue a report on the direct and indirect impacts of the recent government shutdown on DHS. A previous version of this bill passed the House by voice vote in the 116th Congress (04/01/19).
2. H.R. 473 – Trusted Traveler Reconsideration and Restoration Act of 2021 (Rep. Katko – Homeland Security)
The bill requires a GAO review of DHS’s trusted traveler programs to examine the extent to which the Department tracks and monitors trends such as identity-matching errors in enrollment and restoration of revoked privileges; coordination with other Federal, State, or local entities regarding redress procedures for disqualifying offenses not covered by the DHS’s redress process that impact an individual’s enrollment in a trusted traveler program; improvements to help individuals access redress procedures; and the extent to which travelers are informed about redress procedures. A version of this bill passed the House by voice vote in the 116th Congress (09/26/2019).
3. H.R. 370 – Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Technical Corrections Act of 2021 (Rep. Watson Coleman – Homeland Security)
H.R. 370 makes technical corrections regarding the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR), a framework for the missions and goals of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that is required every four years. Among the key provisions are refinements to the deadline, more specificity on outreach to stakeholders, and requirements for supporting documentation. A previous version of this bill passed the House under suspension in the 116th Congress, 415-0 (5/15/19).
4. H.R. 367 – Homeland Security Acquisition Professional Career Program Act (Rep. Titus – Homeland Security)
This bill would authorize an acquisition professional career program (APCP) within DHS. This program, which DHS established in 2008, is a pipeline for a cadre of acquisition professionals to support the Department’s multi-billion dollar investments in goods and services. A previous version of this bill passed the house by voice vote in the 116th Congress.
5. H.R. 408 – Department of Homeland Security Mentor-Protégé Program Act of 2021 (Rep. McEachin – Homeland Security)
The bill establishes in law a program in which large businesses (mentor firms) will provide developmental assistance and subcontracting opportunities to small businesses (protégé firms). Mentor firms will be encouraged to offer technical, managerial, and financial assistance to protégé firms, for a period of time no less than three years, through incentives, such as additional credit when being evaluated for the award of future Department contracts. The head of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization is required to report annually to Congress on program participation and the benefits conferred upon to protégé firms. A previous version of this bill passed the House in the 116th Congress by voice vote (12/09/2019).
6. H.R. 397 – CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2021 (Rep. Gimenez – Homeland Security)
The bill would improve DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis’s (I&A) support of intelligence analysis of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) related terrorist threats and the sharing of relevant threat information with Federal, state, and local stakeholders. The bill would facilitate greater cooperation between DHS components, including the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, as well as State and local entities to counter the evolving CBRN threat. A previous version of this bill passed the House by voice vote in the 116th Congress (04/01/2019).
7. H.R. 396 – Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act (Rep. Garbarino – Homeland Security)
This bill would allow the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) to be used for backfill associated with security training, and amends the period of performance for the grant program to at least 36 months, or at least 55 months when the funds are being used for security improvements for public transportation systems or infrastructure. It also mandates a report by GAO on the TSGP. A previous version of HR 396 passed the House on a voice vote (HR1313) on 5/14/2019.
8. H.R. 1532 – Improving FHA Support for Small Dollar Mortgages Act of 2021 (Rep. Tlaib – Financial Services)
This bill would require the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to conduct a review of its policies to identify any barriers to supporting mortgages under $70,000 (“small dollar mortgages”) and report to Congress within a year with a plan for removing such barriers.
9. H.R. 1491 – Fair Debt Collection for Servicemembers Act (Rep. Dean – Financial Services)
The bill would amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to explicitly prohibit a debt collector from threatening or otherwise representing to servicemembers that failure to cooperate with a debt collector will result in a reduction of rank, a revocation of security clearance, or military prosecution. The bill also requires the GAO to conduct a study assessing the impact of these protections.
10. H.R. 1395 – Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2021 (Rep. Beatty – Financial Services)
This bill would require the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to discount upfront mortgage insurance premium payments by 25 basis points for FHA single-family first-time homebuyers who complete a financial literacy housing counseling program.
11. H.R. 1565 – Senior Security Act (Rep. Gottheimer – Financial Services)
The Senior Security Act of 2021 establishes a Senior Investor Taskforce (Taskforce) within the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In coordination and consultation with state securities administrators, self-regulatory organizations, federal law enforcement agencies, and others, the Taskforce would be charged with identifying issues related to senior investors, i.e., investors over 65 years old. The bill requires biennial Taskforce reports and requires the Government Accountability Office to complete a study on senior financial exploitation, and to submit the report to Congress and the Taskforce within two years.
12. H.R. 1528 – Promoting Transparent Standards for Corporate Insiders Act (Rep. Waters – Financial Services)
This bill directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to study and report on possible revisions to regulations regarding 10b5-1 trading plans. (Such plans allow certain employees of publicly traded companies to sell their shares without violating insider trading prohibitions). The SEC must revise regulations consistent with the results of the study.
13. H.R. 1996 – SAFE Banking Act of 2021 (Rep. Perlmutter – Financial Services)
The SAFE Banking Act would allow state legal and regulated cannabis businesses to access the financial system by aligning federal and state banking laws. This will allow cannabis businesses and their service providers to have bank accounts and get cash off the streets to improve public safety in communities across the country with some form of legal cannabis. To promote diversity and inclusion, the SAFE Banking Act requires a GAO study and annual regulator reports to Congress to monitor that there is equal access to credit and to reduce barriers to marketplace entry for potential and existing minority-owned and women-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses.
14. H.R. 1602 – Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021 (Rep. McHenry – Financial Services)
The Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021 directs the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to establish a working group on digital assets. The working group, comprised of representatives of the fintech industry, financial institutions, small businesses, investor protection organizations, and organizations working with historically-underserved businesses, will investigate the regulatory framework and developments relating to digital assets. Within one year of enactment of this legislation, the working group will provide a report to the relevant committees in Congress with its analysis and recommendations on best practices on digital assets, and provides the provision for a second report if the working group is extended one additional year.
15. H.Res. 130 – Condemning the continued violation of rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong by the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Rep. Meeks – Foreign Affairs)
This resolution condemns violation of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong by the People’s Republic of China and the government of Hong Kong. It reaffirms support for the Hong Kong people, calls on these governments to respect and uphold commitments under the Joint Declaration; release activists and politicians arrested under the national security law; and encourages the President and Secretaries of State and Treasury to coordinate with allies and partners and continue efforts to respond to these developments.
16. H.Res. 124 – Supporting the people of Belarus and their democratic aspirations and condemning the election rigging and subsequent violent crackdowns on peaceful protesters by the illegitimate Lukashenka regime (Rep. Keating – Foreign Affairs)
This resolution supports the ongoing peaceful protests of the Belarusian people, condemns the brutal crackdown on civil society/media and the detention of political prisoners by president Alyaksandr Lukashenka, calls for a facilitated dialogue with opposition leaders in support of a peaceful transition of power and new elections, asks the international community to reassess financial assistance provided to Belarus after the fraudulent elections, and calls for new targeted sanctions against those committing human rights violations.
17. H.R. 965 – YALI Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. Bass – Foreign Affairs)
The bill will establish a comprehensive United States Government initiative to build the capacity of the next generation of young leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa and strengthen ties between U.S. and African businesses through economical, technical, and civic training assistance.
18. H.R. 1392 – Protection of Saudi Dissidents Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. Connolly – Foreign Affairs)
This bill prevents U.S. involvement or complicity in Saudi attacks against Saudi dissidents, while ensuring necessary U.S. – Saudi cooperation continues. If Saudi intelligence or internal security are found to be involved in forced repatriation, silencing, or killing of dissidents in other countries, those agencies are barred from U.S. provided weapons. The bill also requires a report on if the intelligence community fulfilled their “duty to warn” requirement before Mr. Khashoggi’s murder and on Saudi government repressive actions against dissidents within the U.S. including any Saudi government use of diplomatic facilities to carry out such actions.
19. H.R. 1083 – Southeast Asia Strategy Act (Rep. Wagner – Foreign Affairs)
This bill directs the State Department to submit to Congress a strategy for engagement with Southeast Asia and ASEAN. The strategy shall include an identification of U.S. regional interests and efforts to bolster ASEAN’s effectiveness; a list of ongoing and planned initiatives to strengthen U.S. relationships in the region and to promote economic growth and energy innovation; and a summary of ongoing efforts to promote human rights and democracy and strengthen the rule of law.
20. H.R. 241 – Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2021 (Rep. Chabot – Foreign Affairs)
This bill reauthorizes the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act of 1998 allowing a Department of the Treasury program to reduce and restructure debt owed to the United States in exchange for agreements by indebted countries to conserve tropical forests and coral reefs. It redirects loan payments to support conservation efforts and would authorize the appropriation of $20 million each year over the 2022-2026 period for that purpose.
21. H.R. 1251 – Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. McCaul – Foreign Affairs)
This bill provides general principles for broader U.S. government cyberspace policy. It also authorizes the establishment of a Bureau of International cyberspace policy at the Department of State. Under the bill, the bureau would have broad responsibilities related to cyberspace, including cybersecurity, Internet access, Internet freedom, and the digital economy.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”