Recently in Washington
Last week, the House passed H.R. 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, by a vote of 232 to 188. The bill includes numerous provisions to expedite and improve forest management activities in federal forests and address the disastrous consequences of catastrophic wildfire, insect and disease infestation, and other threats to our nation’s forests. The House also passed H.R. 3903, the Encouraging Public Offerings Act of 2017, as amended, by a vote of 419 to 0. The bill expands Title I of the JOBS Act, which previously only applied to Emerging Growth Companies, to apply to all public companies.
The House also passed H.R. 425, the FTO Passport Revocation Act of 2017, as amended, by voice vote. The bill would grant the Secretary of State permissive authority to refuse or revoke a passport to any individual whom the Secretary determines has aided a designated foreign terrorist organization and requires a report to Congress whenever that authority is used.
On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017, by a vote of 307 to 111. The bill repeals Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and would prevent this unelected, unaccountable board of bureaucrats from slashing Medicare spending and compromising seniors’ access to health care.
On Friday, the House passed H.R. 3922, the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, by a vote of 242 to 174. The bill funds important programs like the state Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers, and other priorities such as the National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program.
House Passes Bill to Improve Forest Health
Congressman Simpson votes to move forward conversation on fire borrowing and forest management
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson voted in favor of legislation that would advance effective forest management and address the issue of fire-borrowing. H.R. 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act would promote collaborative forest management, reduce frivolous litigation, and modernize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act. Included in the package is Congressman Simpson’s bipartisan H.R. 1483, the Litigation Relief for Forest Management Projects Act which would reverse a disastrous court ruling that has created duplicative steps in projects intended for conservation and forest health. H.R. 2936 passed the House by a vote of 232-188.
“Idahoans know all too well about the devastating impacts of catastrophic wildfires,” said Congressman Simpson. “The air quality in the summer, the evacuations from our communities, and the resources it takes to fight fires are all serious problems in Idaho. That is why Congress needs to act. I am pleased this legislation addresses the litigation issues that have halted far too many projects and promotes collaborative forest management provisions that seek to improve the health of our forests.”
“We also need to fix fire-borrowing,” said Simpson. “The rolling-ten year average, which is used to calculate the cost of wildfires, has decimated the Forest Service budget. Wildfire funding is anticipated to consume two-thirds of the total Forest Service budget by 2021 if we don’t change the current budgeting process. The status quo leaves little room to fund programs that actually prevent wildfires and reduce overall costs. That is why I proposed a solution to fix this problem.”
Congressman Simpson introduced H.R 2862, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (WDFA) which is bipartisan legislation that had 150 cosponsors in the 114th Congress. The bill would treat wildfires like other natural disasters and eliminate the need for fire-borrowing.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance the needed reforms in both my Wildfire Disaster Funding Act and H.R. 2936 so we can curb the cost of wildfire suppression funding and protect our landscapes and communities from the catastrophic fires we have sadly grown accustomed to in the west.”
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH
On Monday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 1066 - VA Management Alignment Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Derek Kilmer / Veterans Affairs Committee)
2) H.R. 3122 - Veterans Care Financial Protection Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Matt Cartwright / Veterans Affairs Committee)
3) H.R. 3562 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish assistance for adaptations of residences of veterans in rehabilitation programs under chapter 31 of such title, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Jodey Arrington / Veterans Affairs Committee)
4) H.R. 3656 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for a consistent eligibility date for provision of Department of Veterans Affairs memorial headstones and markers for eligible spouses and dependent children of veterans whose remains are unavailable (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Banks / Veterans Affairs Committee)
5) H.R. 3657 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide headstones and markers for the graves of spouses and children of veterans who are buried in tribal cemeteries (Sponsored by Rep. Bruce Poliquin / Veterans Affairs Committee)
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.
Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 3911 - Risk-Based Credit Examination Act (Sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner / Financial Services Committee)
2) H.R. 2148 - Clarifying Commercial Real Estate Loans, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Robert Pittenger / Financial Services Committee)
3) H.R. 918 - Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Coffman / Veterans Affairs Committee)
4) H.R. 1133 - Veterans Transplant Coverage Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. John Carter / Veterans Affairs Committee)
5) H.R. 1900 - National Veterans Memorial and Museum Act (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Stivers / Veterans Affairs Committee)
6) H.R. 2123 - VETS Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson / Veterans Affairs Committee)
7) H.R. 2601 - VICTOR Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Neal Dunn / Veterans Affairs Committee)
8) H.R. 3634 - SERVE Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Himes / Veterans Affairs Committee)
9) H.R. 3705 - Veterans Fair Debt Notice Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree / Veterans Affairs Committee)
10) H.R. 3949 - VALOR Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna / Veterans Affairs Committee)
11) H.R. 4173 - Veterans Crisis Line Study Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Banks / Veterans Affairs Committee)
H.R. 3441 - Save Local Business Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne / Education and the Workforce Committee)
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8TH AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.
On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.
On Friday, no votes are expected in the House.
H.R. 3043 - Hydropower Policy Modernization Act of 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers / Energy and Commerce Committee)
H.R. 2201 - Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Emmer / Financial Services Committee)
Additional Legislative Items are Possible