Recently in Washington
Last week, the House passed H.R. 5063, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016, by a vote of 241-174. This legislation would prohibit government officials from entering into or enforcing any settlement agreement for civil actions on behalf of the United States if that agreement requires the other party to the settlement to make a donation to a non-victim third party. On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 2357, the Accelerating Access to Capital Act, by a vote of 236-178. This legislation makes various changes to how small businesses and companies register securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to reduce the regulatory burden on these companies and to encourage investment. On Friday, the House passed H.R. 5424, the Investment Advisers Modernization Act of 2016, by a vote of 261-145. This legislation provides various reforms to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to modernize certain disclosure requirements for investors and their advisers and lessen the regulatory burden on private equity and other investment advisers. Congressman Simpson supported all three bills.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH
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.Res. 810 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the life and work of Elie Wiesel in promoting human rights, peace, and Holocaust remembrance, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Israel / Foreign Affairs Committee)
2) S.Con.Res. 46 - Expressing support for the goal of ensuring that all Holocaust victims live with dignity, comfort, and security in their remaining years, and urging the Federal Republic of Germany to continue to reaffirm its commitment to comprehensively address the unique health and welfare needs of vulnerable Holocaust victims, including home care and other medically prescribed needs. (Sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson / Foreign Affairs Committee)
3) H.Res. 729 - Expressing support for the expeditious consideration and finalization of a new, robust, and long-term Memorandum of Understanding on military assistance to Israel between the United States Government and the Government of Israel (Sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen / Foreign Affairs Committee)
4) H.Res. 728 - Supporting human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Cambodia, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Alan Lowenthal / Foreign Affairs Committee)
5) H.R. 5484 - State Sponsors of Terrorism Review Enhancement Act (Sponsored by Rep. Ted Yoho / Foreign Affairs Committee)
6) H.R. 5936 - Veterans Care Agreement and West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans Affairs Committee)
7) H.R. 3471 - Veterans Mobility Safety Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Jackie Walorski / Veterans Affairs Committee)
8) H.R. 5937 - To amend title 36, United States Code, to authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission to acquire, operate, and maintain the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial in Marnes-la-Coquette, France, and for other purposes, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans Affairs Committee)
9) H.R. 4576 - Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act (Sponsored by Rep. Amata Coleman Radewagen / Natural Resources Committee)
10) H.R. 295 - To reauthorize the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Preservation program (Sponsored by Rep. James Clyburn / Natural Resources Committee)
11) House Amendment to S. 246 - Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act (Sponsored by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp / Natural Resources Committee)
12) S. 1579 - NATIVE Act (Sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz / Natural Resources Committee)
13) H.R. 5104 - BOTS Act (Sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn / Energy and Commerce Committee)
14) H.R. 5111 - Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Leonard Lance / Energy and Commerce Committee)
15) H.Res. 847 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives about a national strategy for the Internet of Things to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment (Sponsored by Rep. Leonard Lance / Energy and Commerce Committee)
16) H.Res. 835 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should adopt a national policy for technology to promote consumers’ access to financial tools and online commerce to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment (Sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger / Energy and Commerce Committee)
17) H.R. 1301 - Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger / Energy and Commerce Committee)
18) H.R. 921 - Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie / Energy and Commerce Committee)
19) H.R. 4979 - Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Bob Latta / Energy and Commerce Committee)
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH
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. 5587 - Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson / Education and the Workforce Committee)
2) H.R. ___ - Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans Affairs Committee)
H.R. 3590 - Halt Tax Increases on the Middle Class and Seniors Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally / Ways and Means Committee)
Begin Consideration of H.R. 5620 - VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans Affairs Committee)
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14TH 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.
Complete Consideration of H.R. 5620 - VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans Affairs Committee)
H.R. 5226 - Regulatory Integrity Act of 2016, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
H.R. 5351 - To prohibit the transfer of any individual detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Jackie Walorski / Armed Services Committee)
In the News
Dixie Drain pollution facility paves way for market-based cleanup
By Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman, August 25, 2016
For more than a decade I have been writing about the effort in the Boise River watershed to use the power of markets to help clean up the river.
After two years the City of Boise finally put the idea to action opening the Dixie Drain Project. The phosphorus removal facility began operations in July and was officially commissioned Wednesday.
The Dixie Drain empties return irrigation water from thousands of acres of farmland across Ada and Canyon counties back into the Boise River. The idea has always been relatively simple. Instead of paying millions of dollars to build new facilities to remove phosphorus from the water use the money to extract even more phosphorus from the ag runoff.
But putting the concept to action has been a lot harder. Part of the challenge is the ability to measure how much the plant will remove and how much to count again the city's federal phosphorus pollution limit.
“It sends a message that we can achieve desired regulatory results through flexible, innovative and cost effective methods,” said U.S. Republican Rep. Mike Simpson.
EPA in Washington was skeptical even though local EPA officials worked hard to find ways to resolve the outstanding issues. The Dixie Drain facility becomes a pilot plant that will prove the concept here so perhaps private interests can follow.
City officials say the 49-acre facility located between Parma and Notus removes up to 140 pounds of phosphorus per day, about 10 tons a year. This not only makes the Boise River cleaner but also the Snake River downstream.
The way it works is to divert water from the drain, add a chemical that causes phosphorus to coagulate and settle on the bottom.
Federal regulations will soon require Boise to remove 98 percent of the phosphorus from the water leaving its treatment facilities, which goes back into the lower Boise River. High amounts of phosphorus can produce algae blooms and reduce water quality for many uses.
Boise will remove about 93 percent of the phosphorus at its existing facilities, as required by the new regulations. But instead of paying the extraordinary cost for the remaining five percent, they build the Dixie Drain project.
Part of the way they made their case to EPA was to show that 80 percent of water that leaves the city of Boise’s existing water treatment facilities is used downstream to irrigate agricultural fields, where it picks up more phosphorus before it drains into the Snake River.
"The Dixie Drain project exemplifies how various partners can collaborate, leverage strengths and resources, and together implement innovative environmental solutions.” said Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Director John Tippets at a ceremony Wednesday.
Essentially, for every pound that is not removed at a treatment facility in Boise, a pound and a half is removed downstream at Dixie Drain. Since the Treasure Valley's other cities have to meet the same Clean Water Act standards the project may be the first of many that may be built by the farmers or contractors to pay for cleaning up the runoff.
"What began on the back of an envelope over lunch has blossomed into an outstanding local, state and federal team effort that will help protect the Boise and Snake rivers for all Idahoans,” said EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran in a press release.