|THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2019
Floor Schedule and Procedure:
Suspensions (4 bills)
H.R. 494 reauthorizes a grant program that encourages the imposition of consequences for juvenile offenders that are commensurate, and not excessive, with the seriousness of their offenses. It also encourages implementation of positive incentives designed to reinforce or modify the skills and behaviors of juvenile offenders.
The Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act fixes a loophole in federal law and provides federal prosecutors with an additional tool to prosecute financial predators targeting veterans, particularly elderly veterans in low-income housing, to defraud the veterans out of their Veterans Affairs benefits. Under current law, many of these fraudsters would be vulnerable to prosecution under the mail or wire fraud statutes if they engage in this sort of fraudulent scheme by calling a veteran on the phone, sending them an email, mailing them a letter, or otherwise using the instrumentalities of interstate commerce to commit fraud. However, increasingly these criminals are taking advantage of a loophole in federal law by conducting in-person seminars or meeting in person at a veteran’s home or assisted living facility.
H.R. 507 encourages the provision of training and technical assistance for the prosecution of traffickers, establishes a working group to develop methodologies to assess the prevalence of human trafficking, and encourages support for state services for victims of trafficking, including the adoption of protections for victims so that they are treated with dignity and respect.
The Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act restores reporting and transparency requirements to the Equal Access to Justice Act. The bill requires the Administrative Conference of the U.S. to develop and implement an online, searchable database containing information on fees awarded under EAJA, including the case name, a description of the claims in the adjudication, and the amount of the award. The information would be withhold from the database if its’ disclosure would be prohibited by law or court order.
Under a Rule (1 bill)
Begin consideration of H.R. 840 – Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act (Rep. Brownley – Veterans’ Affairs)
The Rule provides for one hour of debate and makes in order the following amendments:
Brindisi Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Clarifies that VA community-based outpatient clinics are eligible facilities under the bill where eligible veterans may receive child care assistance.
Clarifies that child care assistance under the bill is only available when eligible veterans are traveling to or attending appointments at a VA facility.
Adds services related to substance or drug abuse counseling to the list of covered health care services under the bill.
Prohibits VA from constructing new facilities to be used as childcare centers.
Lee (NV) Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Clarifies that all Vet Centers—VA-operated facilities where readjustment counseling services are provided that are situated apart from VA general health care facilities—are eligible facilities under the bill where eligible veterans may receive child care assistance.
Requires the Secretary to conduct a study of the effects of the assistance provided by the bill on access to health care services and compliance with treatment protocols.
Cisneros #7 Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Requires the Secretary to conduct a study on the feasibility of providing child care assistance for eligible veterans who receive covered health care services at non-Department facilities.
Davis, Rodney (IL)/Panetta Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Clarifies that either parent can be considered a primary caretaker under the bill.
Cloud Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Allred Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Requires the Secretary to publish notice online of the expanded and cost-free child care assistance provided by the bill.
Requires the Secretary to submit an annual report to Congress on the participation of veterans in the child care assistance under the bill. It also requires the Secretary to biennially submit a report to Congress on other challenges regarding access to child care that prevent veterans from receiving health care services.
Requires the Secretary to establish criteria for providing child care assistance that ensures reasonable access for veterans who face unusual or excessive burdens including excessive driving distances, geographic factors, and other environmental factors. It also makes a technical correction to the bill.
Adds extended day programs to the list of eligible child care assistance under the bill.
Adds emergency mental health care services to the list of covered health care services under the bill.
Adds health care services provided as part of readjustment counseling for veterans who have transitioned from military to civilian life to the list of covered health care services under the bill.
Requires the Secretary to submit a report to Congress on the effectiveness and accessibility of the child care assistance provided under the bill for residents of rural areas.
Prohibits a child care provider under the bill from employing any individual who has been convicted of a sex crime, an offense involving a child victim, a violent crime, or a drug felony. It adds a rule of construction that nothing in the bill would diminish any existing federal or state standards or requirements regarding the screening and hiring of employees at child care centers.
Adds Military Sexual Trauma counseling and care services under 38 U.S.C. 1720D to the list of covered health care services under the bill.
Adds authority for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to consult with the Secretary of Defense in implementing the provisions of the bill.
**Members are advised that following last votes the House is expected to complete general debate and begin consideration of amendments to H.R. 840. Any recorded votes requested will be postponed. The House will complete consideration of H.R. 840 on Friday, February 8th.
|QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.