Recently in Washington
On Wednesday, the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act, by a vote of 392-26. The bill encompasses $4.8 billion in new, fully offset funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to aid in cures development, including funding for "Cancer Moonshot" and the BRAIN Initiative. This package of legislation also encompasses sweeping mental health reforms to strengthen the nation's mental health workforce and improve mental health care for children and adults with serious mental illness.
On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 6392, the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act of 2016, by a vote of 254-161. This legislation requires the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to use an indicator-based measurement approach to determine the risk a bank holding company could pose to U.S. financial stability before designating such institutions as systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) and consequently subjecting them to enhanced supervision and prudential standards by the Federal Reserve.
On Friday, the House passed the Conference Report to Accompany S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, by a vote of 375-34. This legislation supports $619 billion for national defense, enhances military readiness, provides our troops with the largest pay raise in six years, strengthens military health care, and institutes other organizational reforms to increase accountability, oversight, integration, and strategic thinking within the Department of Defense. Congressman Simpson supported all three bills.
Simpson Votes for Military Pay Increase and Funding for A-10s
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson supported S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017. This legislation authorizes many important programs that support our military, including a pay increase and benefits to military members and their families.
“I am very pleased to see the conference report to the NDAA pass overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives as it sends a strong signal of support to our troops,” said Simpson. “With the threat of terrorism always present, Members of Congress must make sure we match our rhetoric with our votes to ensure the men and women in our military receive the pay raises they deserve and have the resources they need to fight the evolving threats.”
The conference report includes important Idaho priorities such as a provision preventing the retirement of the A-10 Thunderbolt II, a squadron of which currently operates at Gowen Field in Boise, and authorizes funding for the aircraft to continue its operation. The report also prohibits the Secretary of the Air Force from reducing A-10 squadrons until results from comparative testing and evaluation between the capabilities of the F-35 and A-10 are submitted to Congress.
“While combating ISIS in Syria, the A-10 once again shined due to its unique close air support capabilities,” said Simpson. “The A-10 will continue to ensure that service members will have the backing they need in combat. While there will be a time when they need to be replaced, we need to know an appropriate replacement is ready to fill the enormous responsibility of the A-10.”
Additionally, the bill fixes an issue related to vaccine reimbursement in Idaho. Currently, TRICARE is the only provider not participating in Idaho’s state-based vaccine assessment program which funds vaccines for children. S. 2943 corrects that by authorizing the Department of Defense to reimburse state vaccine programs – like Idaho - under the TRICARE program.
“The State of Idaho approached me about this issue early in the year,” said Simpson. “It seemed like a technical problem more than anything, and now I am pleased to report that TRICARE will be able to pay their beneficiaries' childhood vaccine costs in Idaho.”
The conference report also provides for a 2.1% pay raise for over 1.3 million active-duty and 830,000 Guard and Reserve troops.
The conference report to S. 2943 passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 375-34.
Simpson Supports Legislation to Advance Biomedical Research
The 21st Century Cures Act addresses NIH research, opioid abuse response, and mental health awareness
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson praised House passage of the 21st Century Cures Act which would fund vital biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as important funding and policy provisions related to drug approval, mental health, and opioid abuse prevention. The 21st Century Cures Act passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 392-26.
“Having previously supported many of the provisions in the bill we passed today, I was thrilled to see all of them incorporated into a package that will likely be signed into law,” said Simpson. “I have been a longtime supporter of NIH funding, but this legislation goes a step further to improve mental health treatments, opioid abuse, and the drug approval process which will safely and efficiently get lifesaving drugs to the patients that need them.”
Specifically, the legislation would:
-Provide $4.8 billion over 10 years to NIH for many cutting edge research initiatives;
-Provide $500 million to the Food and Drug Administration over 10 years to advance new drug approval and medical devices for patients;
-Provide $1 billion over 2 years for grants to states to supplement opioid abuse prevention efforts;
-Provide offsets to ensure the legislation is paid for on a year to year basis.
-The bill also includes provisions to improve the nation’s mental health treatment system that would reauthorize important programs and grants to improve access to mental health treatment. Congressman Simpson was a cosponsor of this legislation and supported the bill when it passed the House in July.
The legislation is expected to be considered by the Senate and signed by the President before the end of the 114th Congress.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5TH
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. 2726 - Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey / Financial Services Committee)
2) H.R. 6427 - Creating Financial Prosperity for Businesses and Investors Act (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Garrett / Financial Services Committee)
3) S. 795 - To enhance whistleblower protection for contractor and grantee employees (Sponsored by Sen. Claire McCaskill / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
4) H.R. 5015 - Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. David Rouzer / Ways and Means Committee)
5) S. 3395 - Prescribed Burn Approval Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Sen. John Thune / Agriculture Committee)
6) House Amendment to S. 1635 - Department of State Authorities Act, Fiscal Year 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker / Foreign Affairs Committee)
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6TH
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. 756 - Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Matt Cartwright / Energy and Commerce Committee)
2) H.R. 6375 - Power And Security Systems (PASS) Act (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo / Energy and Commerce Committee)
3) H.R. 3381 - Childhood Cancer STAR Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul / Energy and Commerce Committee)
4) H.Res _____ - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that all students should have access to the digital tools necessary to further their education and compete in the 21st century economy (Sponsored by Rep. Peter Welch / Energy and Commerce Committee)
5) H.R. 6394 - Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Jerry McNerney / Energy and Commerce Committee)
6) H.Res. 932 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to third-party charges on consumer telephone bills (Sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky / Energy and Commerce Committee)
7) S. 2873 - Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act (Sponsored by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch / Energy and Commerce Committee)
8) H.R. 4680 - National Park Service Centennial Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop / Natural Resources Committee)
9) H.R. 1219 - Arbuckle Project Maintenance Complex and District Office Conveyance Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole / Natural Resources Committee)
10) H.R. 6401 - Northern Mariana Islands Economic Expansion Act (Sponsored by Rep. Gregorio Sablan / Natural Resources Committee)
11) S. 817 - To provide for the addition of certain real property to the reservation of the Siletz Tribe in the State of Oregon (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden / Natural Resources Committee)
12) S. 818 - To amend the Grand Ronde Reservation Act to make technical corrections, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden / Natural Resources Committee)
13) S. 3028 - Daniel J. Evans Olympic National Park Wilderness Act (Sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell / Natural Resources Committee)
14) H.R. 6416 - Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe / Veterans Affairs Committee)
15) H.R. 5399 - Ethical Patient Care for Veterans Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe / Veterans Affairs Committee)
16) H.R. 4150 - Department of Veterans Affairs Emergency Medical Staffing Recruitment and Retention Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Raul Ruiz / Veterans Affairs Committee)
17) H.R. 4352 - Faster Care for Veterans Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton / Veterans Affairs Committee)
18) H.R. 5428 - Military Residency Choice Act (Sponsored by Rep. J. Forbes / Veterans Affairs Committee)
19) S. 3492 - To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Traverse City, Michigan, as the "Colonel Demas T. Craw VA Clinic" (Sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters / Veterans Affairs Committee)
20) S. 3076 - Charles Duncan Buried with Honor Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Sen. Tom Cotton / Veterans Affairs Committee)
21) H.R. 875 - Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Henry Cuellar / Ways and Means Committee)
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7TH 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.
On Friday, no votes are expected in the House.
H.R. 5143 - Transparent Insurance Standards Act of 2016, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer / Financial Services Committee)
Additional Suspensions will be added
Consideration of Water Resources Development Act of 2016
Consideration of a Continuing Resolution for FY 2017 Appropriations