|Tuesday, May 18, 2021|
Floor Schedule and Procedure:
Suspensions (9 bills)
1. H.R. 1157 – Department of State Authorization Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. Meeks – Foreign Affairs)
The bill contains provisions to strengthen the management and operations of the State Department, including to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, bolster embassy and information security, improve flexibility, training, and other workplace policies for personnel, and strengthen the Department’s public diplomacy and anti-corruption activities, among other provisions. The bill authorizes activities and positions in a number of key Department bureaus and offices, and authorizes funding for Diplomatic Programs and Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance.
2. H.R. 1711 – Financial Inclusion in Banking Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. Scott (GA) – Financial Services)
This bill would direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Office of Community Affairs to identify causes leading to, and solutions for, under-banked, un-banked, and underserved consumers. The Office of Community Affairs must submit a report to Congress every two years on these topics and coordinate with other Federal agencies to develop strategies to increase financial education to these consumers.
3. H.R. 707 – Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act, as amended (Rep. Kuster – Financial Services)
This bill authorizes the U.S. Mint to strike a Congressional Gold Medal honoring the men of the 23rd Headquarters, Special Troops, and the 3133rd Signal Company, known unofficially as the Ghost Army, for their bravery, creativity, and ingenuity in conducting deception operations against the German Army in World War II.
4. H.R. 3146 – SAVE Act (Rep. Hill – Financial Services)
This bill authorizes the President to make payments to manufacturers to increase supply chain security if doing so is important to the national defense. The President must submit a strategy to Congress that includes, among other elements (1) a plan to use authorities under the Defense Production Act of 1950 to ensure the supply of medical articles essential to the national defense; and (2) plans to diversify, and address vulnerabilities in, supply chains for essential medical articles.
5. H.R. 3125 – COVID-19 Emergency Medical Supplies Enhancement Act of 2021 (Rep. Vargas – Financial Services)
This bill builds on the Defense Production Act’s (DPA) purpose to ensure our nation has the materials necessary to respond to COVID-19. It would allow certain medical materials to qualify for purchase and increased production under the DPA and allow the federal government to prioritize state, local or tribal governments’ orders. Finally, it provides a framework for streamlined private sector engagement, directs the President to support the supply chain production of essential COVID-19 related materials, and requires reporting on purchases made and contracts entered into under DPA authorities.
6. H.R. 3008 – Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2021 (Rep. Sherman – Financial Services)
This bill would change the property appraisal requirements for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) by allowing licensed appraisers to conduct appraisals for such mortgages, rather than only certified appraisers. This would align FHA standards with those set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This bill would also set minimum educational requirements that are specific to FHA-related appraisals that appraisal professionals must undergo to be eligible to conduct FHA appraisals.
7. H.R. 2655 – Insider Trading Prohibition Act, as amended (Rep. Himes – Financial Services)
This bill codifies the definition of illegal insider trading under the securities laws, creating a clear, consistent standard for both courts and market participants to follow.
8. H.R. 2959 – COVID-19 Fraud Prevention Act, as amended (Rep. Axne – Financial Services)
This bill would create a joint Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Consumer and Investor Fraud Working Group, which would help protect consumers and investors from fraud as well as those affected by fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Working Group will meet through the end of 2022, and must provide a quarterly report to Congress outlining the resources made available to consumers, public enforcement actions, and related consumer complaints received by the CFPB and SEC regarding COVID–19 pandemic-related fraud.
9. S. 937 – COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act (Sen. Hirono – Judiciary)
This important Senate-passed bill merges into one bill two vital pieces of legislation: the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which is bicameral legislation that particularly focuses on COVID-19 hate crimes and the dramatic increase in hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic; and the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which is bipartisan, bicameral legislation that relates to hate crimes more broadly, and is focused on improving the reporting of hate crimes; encouraging law enforcement prevention, training, and education on hate crimes; establishing hate crime hotlines; and rehabilitating perpetrators of hate crimes through education and community service.
H.Res. 403 – Rule Providing for Consideration of H.Res. 275 – Condemning the horrific shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16, 2021, and reaffirming the House of Representative’s commitment to combating hate, bigotry, and violence against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community (Rep. Chu – Judiciary) and H.R. 1629 – Fairness in Orphan Drug Exclusivity Act (Rep. Dean – Energy and Commerce)
Suspensions (16 bills)
1. H.R. 2704 – Improving VA Accountability to Prevent Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Act of 2021 (Rep. Pappas – Veterans’ Affairs)
This bill would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to improve its ability to track and address sexual harassment and discrimination allegations and cases.
2. H.R. 2788 – Equal Employment Counseling Modernization Act (Rep. Lamb – Veterans’ Affairs)
This bill would remove a statutory limit on the number of Equal Employment Opportunity counselors at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
3. H.R. 240 – Homeless Veterans with Children Reintegration Act (Rep. Brownley – Veterans’ Affairs)
This bill directs the Department of Labor to give homeless veterans with dependents service priority under homeless veterans reintegration programs.
4. H.R. 711 – West LA VA Campus Improvement Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. Lieu – Veterans’ Affairs)
This bill would amend the West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016 to authorize the use of certain funds received pursuant to leases entered into under such Act, as well as other sources, in order make available certain funding for a project in support of homeless veterans.
5. H.R. 2167 – GI Bill National Emergency Extended Deadline Act, as amended (Rep. Sherrill – Veterans’ Affairs)
This bill, as amended, expands educational benefits in a number of ways, including expanding the extension of time limits for Montgomery GI Bill, the Veteran Readiness and Employment program, usage of the Chapter 35 benefit, expanding in-state tuition benefits to Chapter 35 recipients, improves to the education information technology systems at VA, and the creation of a pilot program at DOL-VETS for a short term fellowship program.
6. H.R. 2878 – Native VetSuccess at Tribal Colleges and Universities Pilot Program Act, as amended (Rep. Gallego – Veterans’ Affairs)
This bill, as amended, would bring VA employees closer to tribal lands and reservations by bringing the VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program to Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU). The bill also adds an additional $150 million to the Vet-Tec program. Due to increased demand during COVID-19, the program is close to exhausting all funds. Finally, the bill allows certain veterans in their final term of education to continue to receiving housing benefits.
7. H.R. 1510 – To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress a report on the use of cameras in the medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Rep. McKinley – Veterans’ Affairs)
The bill directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress a report on the use of cameras in medical facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
8. H.R. 2494 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish in the Department the Veterans Economic Opportunity and Transition Administration, and for other purposes (Rep. Wenstrup – Veterans’ Affairs)
This bill establishes the Veterans Economic Opportunity and Transition Administration to administer economic opportunity assistance programs for veterans and their dependents and survivors.
9. H.R. 2441 – Sgt. Ketchum Rural Veterans Mental Health Act (Rep. Axne – Veterans’ Affairs)
This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), during FY2022, to establish and maintain three new centers of the Rural Access Network for Growth Enhancement (RANGE) Program in areas with interest from personnel and a need for additional mental health care for rural veterans. The RANGE Program serves veterans in rural areas who are experiencing mental illness
10. H.R. 1447 – COAST Research Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. Bonamici – Science, Space, and Technology)
This bill reauthorizes and updates the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009 by expanding the scope of federal ocean acidification and coastal acidification research, establishing an independent Ocean Acidification Advisory Board, establishing and maintaining a data archive system for ocean and coastal acidification data, and for other purposes.
11. H.R. 2533 – NEAR Act of 2021 (Rep. Posey – Science, Space, and Technology)
This bill directs the Secretary of Commerce to work with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to produce a study on the impacts of ocean acidification and other environmental stressors on estuarine environments to improve our understanding of these impacts and inform management and mitigation decisions.
12. H.R. 210 – Rural STEM Education Research Act, as amended (Rep. Lucas – Science, Space, and Technology)
This bill directs the Director of the National Science Foundation to support STEM education and workforce development research focused on rural areas, and for other purposes.
13. H.R. 144 – Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act, as amended (Rep. Johnson (TX) – Science, Space, and Technology)
This bill authorizes the National Science Foundation to establish a two-year pilot program to award grants to highly qualified early-career investigators to carry out an independent research program at the institution of higher education of their choice.
14. H.R. 204 – STEM Opportunities ACT, as amended (Rep. Johnson (TX) – Science, Space, and Technology)
This bill provides for research and demographic data collection to better understand the participation and career trajectories of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM research careers. The bill directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop consistent policies at Federal science agencies to (1) minimize the effects of implicit bias in the grant review process; (2) help universities identify and address cultural and institutional barriers for women and underrepresented minorities in STEM research careers; and (3) to accommodate the needs of grant recipients who have caregiving responsibilities. The bill also directs the National Science Foundation to award grants to support computer science education at the nation’s tribal colleges and universities.
15. H.R. 2027 – MSI STEM Achievement Act (Rep. Johnson (TX) – Science, Space, and Technology)
This bill directs Federal science agencies and the Office of Science and Technology Policy to undertake activities to improve the quality of undergraduate STEM education and enhance the research capacity at the Nation’s HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs.
16. H.R. 2695 – Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act (Rep. Johnson (TX) – Science, Space, and Technology)
This bill provides for research on the causes, consequences and prevalence of, as well as interventions for preventing, sexual harassment in the STEM workforce. The bill also directs coordination among Federal science agencies efforts to address sexual harassment involving federally funded researchers.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“To live an ethical life is to be held accountable for history.”
Cathy Park Hong