Recently in Washington
On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 5698, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, by a vote of 382 to 35. The bill creates federal penalties for individuals who deliberately target local, state, or federal law enforcement officers with violence. The House also passed S. 2372, the VA MISSION Act of 2018, by a vote of 347 to 70. The bill consolidates VA’s multiple community care programs and authorities and provides further funding to sustain the Choice Program until implementation of the new program.
Simpson Advances Key INL Funding in Energy Bill
House Appropriations Committee passes Energy and Water and Agriculture spending bills
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson announced that the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill protects funding for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, and cleanup activities in Idaho. Simpson is Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, which passed the bill through the full House Appropriations Committee this week, and had the lead role in deciding funding for all Department of Energy programs.
“The FY19 Energy and Water bill recognizes the leading national role that the Idaho National Laboratory plays in enhancing our national security and increasing American competitiveness,” said Chairman Simpson. “I’m proud to support their groundbreaking research in advanced reactor and fuel development, battery and bioenergy programs, and protecting the electric grid from cyber-attacks, and I am pleased this bill fulfills their needs to continue this critical work.”
The FY 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill sets funding for the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy at $1.2 billion. Nuclear energy research and development programs that receive funding within the overall $1.2 billion allocation include:
Other vital priorities funded within the Energy and Water division include:
The bill also provides $420 million for cleanup activities associated with the Idaho Cleanup Project and the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project co-located on the Idaho desert with INL. The funding level will allow the significant cleanup activities currently underway to continue. The bill also includes an additional $5 million for the National Spent Fuel Program, putting the unique expertise of INL to work in order to provide solutions for managing the Department of Energy’s inventories of spent nuclear fuel.
The bill also contains funding to support the continued adjudication of the Yucca Mountain license application, ensuring the federal government will meet its commitments to Idaho and other states and dispose of used nuclear fuel.
Overall, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill provides $44.7 billion for the functions of the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and a number of independent agencies, including direction for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Bonneville Power Administration.
“This is a well-balanced bill that places emphasis where it is needed most: meeting critical national security needs and investing in our nation's infrastructure,” Chairman Simpson said. “It prioritizes the maintenance and security of our nuclear weapons stockpile, while also supporting infrastructure projects and strategic research and development that will increase U.S. economic growth and competitiveness.”
The House Appropriations Committee also passed the fiscal year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The legislation includes important priorities to Idaho such as vital research and support for farmers and ranchers. Similar to previous years, Congressman Simpson authored language in the Agriculture Appropriations bill that blocks the proposed closure of the U.S. Sheep Experimental Station in Dubois, Idaho.
Also included in the Agriculture Appropriations bill are other important Idaho priorities such as potato and wheat research funding, support for pest eradication programs, and language directing the FDA to develop a standard identity for dairy based on existing standards, which is similar to Congressman Simpson’s bipartisan DAIRY Pride Act. The Committee also unanimously adopted a bipartisan amendment from Congressman Simpson that would roll back a rule from the Obama Administration which created a barrier for potatoes to be served in the school breakfast program.
“Potatoes are in important source of potassium and fiber, which are two nutrients identified as deficient in all U.S. populations by both the 2015 Dietary Guidelines and USDA,” said Simpson. “I’m pleased the Committee adopted my bipartisan amendment to treat potatoes like other vegetables of need in the school breakfast program. This is important to Idaho and students who need healthy options. The House Appropriations Committee has sent a strong message that rural America matters and this bill delivers for farmers and ranchers.”
The two bills are expected to be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives in the coming weeks.
At 10:00 a.m., the House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY19 House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
At 10:00 a.m., the House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY19 House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
New IRS online tool offers expanded access to information on tax-exempt organizations; newly-filed data available to public for first time
May 7, 2018 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today introduced a new online tool on IRS.gov designed to provide faster, easier access to publicly available information about exempt organizations.
"This new tool provides taxpayers an easy way to get information about charitable organizations," said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. "Tax-exempt organizations play a critical role in our nation, and this will provide greater insight for people considering donations."
The new Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) replaces EO Select Check, a more limited tool available since 2012 that focused primarily on providing information on an organization’s tax-exempt status.
The new tool makes images of newly-filed 990 forms available for the first time. TEOS also features two major enhancements:
In addition, TEOS is mobile friendly, which provides access to the search tool using smartphones or tablets. With the new tool, users can view images of an organization’s:
TEOS also can be used to find all the information previously available on EO Select Check. This information includes whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, has had its tax-exempt status revoked because it failed to file required forms or notices for three consecutive years and, for a small organization, whether it filed a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) annual electronic notice with the IRS.
Publicly-available data from electronically-filed 990 forms will continue to be available in a machine-readable format through Amazon Web Services. Visit IRS.gov for more information.
MONDAY, MAY 21ST
1) H.R. 1972 - VA Billing Accountability Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Lloyd Smucker / Veterans Affairs Committee)
TUESDAY, MAY 22ND AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
1) H.R. 5682 - FIRST STEP Act (Sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins / Judiciary Committee)
S. 2155 - Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo / Financial Services Committee)
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Member of Congress
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