U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho
U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho
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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. 
On Friday, the House rejected H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, by a vote of 198 to 213.  The bill would reform and reauthorizes farm and nutrition assistance programs for five years, strengthening the farm safety net and maintaining and improving the nation’s nutrition programs to assist those who struggle to put food on the table, while providing critical training to help people learn the skills necessary to gain well-paying jobs, financial self-sufficiency and better futures for themselves and their families.  Congressman Simpson supported all three bills.

 

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:

  • The Idaho Facilities Management account, which covers infrastructure maintenance and improvement at INL, is funded at $322 million – a $28 million increase over last year.

  • INL’s Safeguards and Security Program is funded at $146 million – an increase of $13 million over fiscal year 2018.

  • The Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies program is funded at $164.3 million – an increase of $5.3 million above fiscal year 2018. 

  • The Light Water Reactor Sustainability program, which is managed by INL and promotes the continued safe operation of America’s existing nuclear reactors, is funded at $50 million, the same as last year.

  • The Reactor Concepts Research, Development, and Demonstration account is funded at $370 million – an increase of $133 million above last year. Within the overall level for this account, $34 million is allocated to fuel qualification for the High Temperature Gas Reactor, and $100 million is for Advanced Small Modular Reactor Research and Development to support technical, first-of-its-kind engineering and design and regulatory development of next generation light water and non-light water reactor technologies. 

  • Within the Fuel Cycle Research and Development program, the Advanced Fuels program is funded at $128.5 million; and Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition research and development is funded at $62.5 million.

Other vital priorities funded within the Energy and Water division include: 

  • Within the Office of Naval Reactors, the bill includes $85.5 million for the operation of the Advanced Test Reactor. 

  • Within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $25 million is included for energy efficient mobility systems and over $27 million for the Lab’s bioenergy program, and $9 million for the integrated energy systems.

  • Provides significant investment in cyber security grid protection work that the Idaho National Laboratory leads. 

  • A provision to allow recharge of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer during flood releases and high flow events at the Palisades Reservoir. 

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.



Committee Schedule

Tuesday

At 10:00 a.m., the House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY19 House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

Wednesday

At 10:00 a.m., the House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY19 House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.


Constituent Corner

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:

  • Users can access more types of information than were previously available using EO Select Check.

  • The search process has been simplified and allows users to look across multiple data files for information in one search.

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:

  • Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF and 990-T (501(c)(3) organizations only) filed with the IRS. Initially, only 990 series forms filed in January and February 2018 will be available. New filings will be added monthly.

  • Favorable determination letters issued by the IRS when an organization applied for and met the requirements for tax-exempt status. Initially, a limited number of determination letters will be available. Eventually, determination letters issued since January 2014 will also appear on the system.

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.   

 
Floor Schedule

MONDAY, MAY 21ST
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. 1972 - VA Billing Accountability Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Lloyd Smucker / Veterans Affairs Committee)

2) H.R. 3642 - Military SAVE Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr / Veterans Affairs Committee)

3) H.R. 3832 - Veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Neal Dunn / Veterans Affairs Committee)

4) H.R. 3946 - To name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Statesboro, Georgia, the "Ray Hendrix Veterans Clinic" (Sponsored by Rep. Rick Allen / Veterans Affairs Committee)

5) H.R. 4245 - Veterans’ Electronic Health Record Modernization Oversight Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Tim Walz / Veterans Affairs Committee)

6) H.R. 4451 - Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Brad Wenstrup / Veterans Affairs Committee)

7) H.R. 4830 - SIT-REP Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Gus Bilirakis / Veterans Affairs Committee)

8) H.R. 4958 - Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Bost / Veterans Affairs Committee)

9) H.R. 5044 - Service-Disabled Veterans Small Business Continuation Act (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot / Veterans Affairs Committee)

10) H.R. 5215 - Veterans Affairs Purchase Card Misuse Mitigation Act (Sponsored by Rep. Jack Bergman / Veterans Affairs Committee)

11) H.R. 5418 - Veterans Affairs Medical-Surgical Purchasing Stabilization Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jack Bergman / Veterans Affairs Committee)

12) S. 1282 - To redesignate certain clinics of the Department of Veterans Affairs located in Montana (Sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines / Veterans Affairs Committee)

13) H.R. 4334 - Improving Oversight of Women Veterans’ Care Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Lou Correa / Veterans Affairs Committee)

14) H.R. 3663 - To designate the medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Huntington, West Virginia, as the Hershel "Woody" Williams VA Medical Center (Sponsored by Rep. Evan Jenkins / Veterans Affairs Committee)

 

TUESDAY, MAY 22ND AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Tuesday and 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.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 5682 - FIRST STEP Act (Sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins / Judiciary Committee)

2) H.Con.Res. 113 - Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby (Sponsored by Rep. Steny Hoyer / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

3) S. 292 - Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Sen. Jack Reed / Energy and Commerce Committee)

S. 2155 - Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo / Financial Services Committee)

S. 204 - Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson / Energy and Commerce Committee)

H.R. 5515 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry / Armed Services Committee)

Additional Legislative Items are Possible

 

                                                                        

 

To share comments, opinions, or questions with Congressman Simpson, please visit http://www.house.gov/simpson/emailme.shtml.

 

If you would like to be removed from Congressman Simpson’s Weekly Washington Updates list, please reply to this email with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject.

Sincerely,
 

Mike Simpson
Member of Congress

MEDIA CENTER


Some INL funding boosts in energy budget bill


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