Recently in Washington
Last week, the House also passed H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, by a vote of 237 to 189. The bill restricts abortions 20 weeks or more after fertilization. The bill establishes criminal penalties for any person who performs or attempts an abortion on a fetus after the 20-week mark. In addition, the bill provides exceptions to save the life of the mother, and in the case of rape or incest. The House also passed S. 782, the PROTECT Act, by a vote of 417 to 3. The bill amends the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008 to reauthorize through Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 the National Internet Crimes Against Children Data System and the National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction. On Thursday, the House passed H. Con. Res. 71, a concurrent resolution establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027, by a vote of 219 to 206. The concurrent resolution sets overall discretionary spending levels for FY2018, balances the budget, and provides reconciliation instructions for tax reform and mandatory spending reductions. Congressman Simpson supported all three bills.
Simpson Cheers DOI Move to Improve Sage Grouse Management Plans
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson released the following statement in response to the Department of the Interior’s announcement that they will take public comments in an effort to improve the current Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land use plans.
“Today’s announcement from the Department of the Interior regarding BLM’s sage-grouse management plans is welcome news in Idaho,” said Congressman Simpson. “Secretary Zinke and his team should be applauded for taking this important step which is needed to restore the collaborative process between federal and state partners and to realign the federal plans in Idaho with that of the state’s. I look forward to working with Governor Otter to refocus these plans on their original intent - which is conserving species through common sense measures that work for Idaho’s landscape.”
MONDAY, OCTOBER 9TH
On Monday, the House is not in session. No votes are expected in the House.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10TH
On Tuesday, 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. 294 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2700 Cullen Boulevard in Pearland, Texas, as the Endy Nddiobong Ekpanya Post Office Building" (Sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
2) H.R. 452 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 324 West Saint Louis Street in Pacific, Missouri, as the "Specialist Jeffrey L. White, Jr. Post Office" (Sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
3) H.R. 1858 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 4514 Williamson Trail in Liberty, Pennsylvania, as the "Staff Sergeant Ryan Scott Ostrom Post Office" (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
4) H.R. 2254 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2635 Napa Street in Vallejo, California, as the "Janet Capello Post Office Building" (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
5) H.R. 2302 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 259 Nassau Street, Suite 2 in Princeton, New Jersey, as the "Dr. John F. Nash, Jr. Post Office" (Sponsored by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
6) H.R. 2464 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 25 New Chardon Street Lobby in Boston, Massachusetts, as the "John Fitzgerald Kennedy Post Office" (Sponsored by Rep. Stephen Lynch / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
7) S. 1617 - To designate the checkpoint of the United States Border Patrol located on United States Highway 77 North in Sarita, Texas, as the “Javier Vega, Jr. Border Patrol Checkpoint” (Sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11TH
On Wednesday, 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. 2105 - NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Daniel Webster / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)
2) H.R. 2763 - The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight / Small Business Committee / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)
3) S. 190 - Power And Security Systems (PASS) Act (Sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner / Energy and Commerce Committee)
4) S. 920 - National Clinical Care Commission Act (Sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen / Energy and Commerce Committee)
5) H.R. 378 - Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
6) H.R. 2196 - To amend title 5, United States Code, to allow whistleblowers to disclose information to certain recipients. (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Russell / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
7) H.R. 2229 - All Circuit Review Act (Sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
8) H.R. 2989 - Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
9) H.R. 3031 - TSP Modernization Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
10) H.R. 3243 - FITARA Enhancement Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12TH AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.
On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.
S. 585 - Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson / Oversight and Government Reform Committee / Veterans Affairs Committee)
Legislation Related to Disaster Supplemental Appropriations
Additional Legislative Items are Possible
In the News
Head Start gives Idaho's children a bright future
By Rep. Mike Simpson and Mark K. Shriver, Idaho Statesman, October 8, 2017
Although our nation is becoming increasingly divided and it often seems as though our leaders do not agree on many things, there is one major priority on which we should all be able to come together: investing in our children and their futures.
High-quality early childhood education programs are critical to the development of our kids. They are also one of the most effective tools in ensuring equal opportunity for all and breaking the cycle of poverty. Our children are truly our greatest resource, and providing a strong start in life for them will help guarantee our country has a bright future.
A child’s brain nearly reaches full development by age 5, but 40 percent of kids in America are not enrolled in preschool. These children, especially those from lower-income homes, often start school behind their peers. In fact, by the age of 4, a child living in poverty can lag their peers in development by as much as 18 months. Many never catch up and the consequences have long-term effects.
Children living in poverty who don’t participate in high-quality early education programs like Head Start are 25 percent more likely to drop out of school and 60 percent more likely to never attend college compared to their more well-off peers. There are proven solutions to these challenges.
Since its creation, Head Start has helped prepare more than 33 million American children for kindergarten and beyond. Its graduates have gone on to be world leaders, doctors and successful businesspeople.
Not only do these programs help kids and families, but they also help our economy.
In fact, Nobel Prizewinning economist and University of Chicago professor James Heck-man’s most recent research released in December 2016 shows that high-quality early-childhood programs for disadvantaged children more than pay for themselves and can provide a 13 percent return on investment per year, per child.
Unfortunately, for a lot of families, access to high-quality programs are either not available locally or remain out of reach due to cost.
While these are challenging times for the federal budget and many agencies are living with tighter funding, Congress has the opportunity to lead in high priority areas. Perhaps no program is more important than providing a solid foundation for our children and their opportunity to learn. The House of Representatives approved a $26 million increase for Head Start in fiscal year 2018. This is on top of the $141 million increase that Congress approved for fiscal year 2017. While this is a step in the right direction, more needs to be done to ensure all kids, regardless of where they were born, have an equal opportunity to succeed.
Of course, lawmakers must be good stewards of taxpayer money, and the reality is not everything can be a priority, but we must also ensure that critical programs for kids get the investment they deserve.
To ensure a better future, we have to be willing to commit resources today, and that begins with investing in our kids. We don’t think anyone would disagree with doing all that we can to ensure that underserved children have access to vital resources they need to succeed.
That’s why we believe in investments in early childhood education and will continue to work with federal, state, local and private partners to invest in the youngest among us today, so they can be successful tomorrow and for the rest of their lives.