U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho
U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho
Email Newsletter                                                                RSS Feed   Twitter  YouTube  Facebook

Recently in Washington

Wednesday, September 12
  
The House passed H.R. 3186, the Every Kid Outdoors Act, by a vote of 383 to 2. The bill allows fourth grade students and certain accompanying adults free access to federal public lands and waters administered by the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where an admission fee is charged.
 
The House also passed H.R. 5532, the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Act, by voice vote.  The bill redesignates the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort County, South Carolina, as the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park.
 
The House also passed H. Res. 401, a resolution urging China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, India, and all nations to outlaw the dog and cat meat trade and to enforce existing laws against the trade, as amended, by voice vote.  The resolution calls for an end to the dog and cat meat trade on cruelty and public health grounds, urges all nations to outlaw the dog and cat meat trade and enforce existing laws against such trade, and affirms the commitment of the United States to the protection of animals and to advancing the progress of animal protection around the world.

 Thursday, September 13

 The House also passed the House Amendment to S. 3021, the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, by voice vote.  The bill represents a bipartisan and bicameral agreement on comprehensive water resources infrastructure legislation.
 
he House also passed S. 97, the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017, by voice vote.  The bill enables civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private and public institutions, and expands theoretical and practical knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry, and materials science.
 
The House also passed the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019, by a vote of 377 to 20. The bill provides funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy, the Legislative Branch, the Department of Veterans Affairs, military construction and family housing for the Department of Defense, and other related agencies. This legislation provides a total of $147.576 billion in discretionary funding for Fiscal Year 2019.

Simpson’s Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Funding Bill Heads to President’s Desk with Big Wins for Idaho

Simpson’s Energy and Water Legislation Marks a Return to Regular Order in Congress

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson praised the passage of H.R. 5895, which includes the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the legislation, which also includes legislation to fund the Veterans Administration, Military Construction projects and the Legislative branch, by a vote count of 377-20.  H.R. 5895 provides 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 and had the lead role negotiating funding decisions for Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and other agencies. The three-bill package is the first time in more than a decade that more than one Appropriations bill reached the President’s desk before the end of the fiscal year.

“I am proud of the fiscal year 2019 Energy and Water bill and the critical investments it makes at the Idaho National Laboratory,” said Chairman Simpson. “This bill reaffirms INL’s leadership in nuclear energy research, and also expands capabilities at the lab to bolster national security. Passing this legislation today enhances INL’s work in advanced reactor and fuel development, battery and bioenergy programs, and world-renowned efforts to protect the electric grid and other critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks.”

The FY 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill sets record funding for the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy at $1.326 billion.  The bill directs funding to the following INL priorities: 

  • The Idaho Facilities Management account, which covers infrastructure maintenance and improvement at INL, is funded at $318 million – a $24 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 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 $47 million, the same as last year.

  • The Reactor Concepts Research, Development, and Demonstration account is funded at $324 million – an increase of $87 million above last year. Within the overall level for this account, $100 million is for Advanced Small Modular Reactor Research and Development, $65 million is to design a new “fast” test reactor at INL, $34 million is allocated to fuel qualification for an advanced gas reactor, and $20 million is provided for new program to develop very small “micro reactors” for deployment at remote locations and Department of Defense facilities.

  • Within the Fuel Cycle Research and Development program, the Advanced Fuels program is funded at $125 million with $20 million directed toward development of new high assay low enriched fuel for advanced reactors. The bill directs $63.9 million for Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition research and development.

    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, $7 million is for advanced battery analytics at the Lab, $30 million is for the Lab’s bioenergy program, and $11 million is 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. 

  • A provision to extend the authority for the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct feasibility studies on projects that address water shortages within the Snake, Boise, and Payette River systems.

     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 and $10 million to decommission and disposition INL facilities and infrastructure.

    The bill also provides $397 million for the Waste Isolation Pilot Project that continues to receive record shipments of transuranic waste from INL, including $85 million for necessary safety-related infrastructure upgrades.

    Simpson also praised the inclusion of the crucial Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations bill in the package. 

    “The MilCon-VA title provides a much-needed $5.4 billion increase for Veterans and military construction programs,” said Simpson.  “I am pleased to support this title which addresses the most critical issues facing our Veterans, including funds for increased mental health services and addressing the claims backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs.” 

    The MilCon-VA title, which includes the highest dollar level ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs, also includes increases for military base housing and facilities and upgrades to infrastructure for deterrence operations.

    By supporting H.R. 5895, the House voted to provide:

  • $8.6 billion for mental health care services,

  • $206 million for suicide prevention outreach,

  • $270 million for rural Veterans health initiatives,

  • Rigorous reporting requirements on the status of VA claims processing, and

  • Full funding for on-base housing for service-members and their families.

    “Beyond the important funding for Idaho, the three-bill package marks an important return to regular order. I have long pressed for Congress to fulfill its responsibility and provide budget certainty by passing appropriations bills on time. I am pleased my Energy and Water legislation fulfills that responsibility and I look forward to passing more appropriations bills by the end of fiscal year 2018.”

    The Senate passed H.R. 5895 on Wednesday, the 12th and the President signed the bill into law.

    Simpson Applauds House Committee Passage of Parks and LWCF Bills

    House Committee on Natural Resources Passes Parks Deferred Maintenance and LWCF Reauthorization Bills

    Washington, D.C. – The House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 6510, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act and H.R. 502, which permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has been a leader on both issues having introduced legislation to reauthorize LWCF and address deferred maintenance on our public lands.

    “I am encouraged to see movement on both these important public lands issues,” said Simpson. “The positive momentum in the committee of jurisdiction demonstrate that both issues are priorities that need to be addressed by the end of this Congress. I look forward to working with Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva to make these critical bills become law.”

    Congressman Simpson introduced, H.R. 5210, the National Park Restoration Act which would create a designated fund from energy revenues to address deferred maintenance in our National Parks. Congressman Simpson is also a lead cosponsor of H.R. 6510. In 2017, Congressman Simpson introduced H.R. 2863, the LAND Act, which would fund deferred maintenance projects in the National Park System, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service. The bill also funds and reauthorizes LWCF.






Floor Schedule

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH
On Monday, no votes are expected in the House.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25TH
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. 6735 – Public-Private Cybersecurity Cooperation Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy / Homeland Security Committee)

2) H.R. 6740 – Border Tunnel Task Force Act (Sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions / Homeland Security Committee)

3) H.R. 6620 – Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Drones and Emerging Threats Act (Sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond / Homeland Security Committee)

4) H.R. 6742 – Secure Border Communications Act (Sponsored by Rep. Brian Mast / Homeland Security Committee)

5) S. 3479 – Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Sen. Johnny Isakson / Veterans Affairs Committee)

6) H.R. 6378 – Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Susan Brooks / Energy and Commerce Committee)

7) H.R. 2278 – Responsible Disposal Reauthorization Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton / Energy and Commerce Committee)

8) H.R. 2389 – To reauthorize the West Valley demonstration project, and for other purposes, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Reed / Energy and Commerce Committee)

9) H.R. 1320 – Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger / Energy and Commerce Committee)

10) H.R. 6511 – Strategic Petroleum Reserve Reform Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton / Energy and Commerce Committee)

11) S. 2554 – Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (Sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins / Energy and Commerce Committee)

12) S. 2553 – Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow / Energy and Commerce Committee)

13) H.R. 6580 – Kerrie Orozco First Responders Family Support Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Don Bacon / Judiciary Committee)

14) H.R. 1872 – Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. James McGovern / Judiciary Committee)

15) H.R. 6758 – SUCCESS Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot / Judiciary Committee)

16) H.R. 6847 – Preventing Child Exploitation Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Rep. Martha Roby / Judiciary Committee)

17) H.Con.Res. 72 – Expressing the sense of Congress that child safety is the first priority of custody and visitation adjudications, and that State courts should improve adjudications of custody where family violence is alleged. (Sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions / Judiciary Committee)

18) H.R. 5075 – Ashanti Alert Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Taylor / Judiciary Committee)

19) H.R. 6013 – Migratory Bird Framework and Hunting Opportunities for Veterans Act (Sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop / Natural Resources Committee)

20) H.R. 6299 – Nevada Lands Bill Technical Corrections Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei / Natural Resources Committee)

21) H.R. 6687 – To direct the Secretary of the Interior to manage the Point Reyes National Seashore in the State of California consistent with Congress’ longstanding intent to maintain working dairies and ranches on agricultural property as part of the seashore’s unique historic, cultural, scenic and natural values, and for other purposes, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jared Huffman / Natural Resources Committee)

22) H.R. 5420 – FDR Historic Preservation Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. John Faso / Natural Resources Committee)

23) H.R. 6599 – To modify the application of temporary limited appointment regulations to the National Park Service, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight / Natural Resources Committee)

24) H.R. 5585 – To extend the authorization for the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Keating / Natural Resources Committee)

25) H.R. 6348 – Small Business ACE Act (Sponsored by Rep. John Curtis / Small Business Committee)

26) H.R. 6347 – 7(a) Real Estate Appraisal Harmonization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Dwight Evans / Small Business Committee)

27) H.R. 6316 – Small Business Advocacy Improvements Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Rep. James Comer / Small Business Committee)

28) H.R. 6330 – Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight / Small Business Committee)

29) H.R. 6367 – Incentivizing Fairness in Subcontracting Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Al Lawson / Small Business Committee)

30) H.R. 6368 – Encouraging Small Business Innovators (Sponsored by Rep. Adriano Espaillat / Small Business Committee)

31) H.R. 6369 – Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Roger Marshall / Small Business Committee)

32) H.R. 6382 – Clarity on Small Business Participation in Category Management Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Alma Adams / Small Business Committee)

33) S. 791 – Small Business Innovation Protection Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters / Small Business Committee)

34) H.R. 5509 – Innovations in Mentoring, Training, and Apprenticeships Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)

35) H.R. 6229 – National Institute of Standards and Technology Reauthorization Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Comstock / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)

36) H.R. 6398 – Department of Energy Veterans’ Health Initiative Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ralph Norman / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)

37) S. 1595 – Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio / Foreign Affairs Committee)

38) H.R. 5433 – Hack Your State Department Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ted Lieu / Foreign Affairs Committee)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26TH AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Wednesday and 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.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 302 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

2) H.R. 6332 – Improving Strategies to Counter Weapons Proliferation Act (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton / Financial Services Committee)

3) H.R. 4753 – Federal Reserve Supervision Testimony Clarification Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Frank Lucas / Financial Services Committee)

4) H.R. 5036 – Financial Technology Protection Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ted Budd / Financial Services Committee)

5) H.R. 6729 – Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner / Financial Services Committee)

6) H.R. 6737 – Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Rep. Lee Zeldin / Financial Services Committee)

7) H.R. 6751 – Banking Transparency for Sanctioned Persons Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Mia Love / Financial Services Committee)

8) H.R. 3834 – 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Joe Crowley / Financial Services Committee)

9) H.R. 754 – Anwar Sadat Centennial Celebration Act (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Stewart / Financial Services Committee)

10) H.R. 4809 – GOOD Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Walker / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

11) H.R. 3398 – REAL ID Act Modification for Freely Associated States Act (Sponsored by Rep. Don Young / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

12) H.R. 4887 – GREAT Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

13) H.R. 4431 – Correcting Miscalculations in Veterans’ Pensions Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Buddy Carter / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

14) H.R. 4917 – IG Subpoena Authority Act (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Russell / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

15) H.R. 5896 – Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Amendments Act of 2018, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Will Hurd / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

16) H.R. 6846 – To require the United States Postal Services to establish new ZIP codes, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

H.Res. 1071 – Recognizing that allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of United States citizens (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy / Judiciary Committee)

Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 6157 – Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019z (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Kay Granger / Appropriations Committee)

H.R. 6757 – Family Savings Act of 2018 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Kelly / Ways and Means Committee)

H.R. 6756 – American Innovation Act of 2018 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan / Ways and Means Committee)

H.R. 6760 – Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Rodney Davis / Ways and Means Committee)

Additional Legislative Items are Possible

 

 

In the News

POST REGISTER:

Energy, Water budget passes with millions more for INL

By NATHAN BROWN nbrown@postregister.com  Sep 14, 2018  

 

Next year’s federal Energy and Water budget, which includes hundreds of millions for Idaho National Laboratory programs, has passed both houses of Congress and is heading to the president’s desk.

The bill has been through the conference committee process, where the House and Senate resolve the differences between their versions. The Senate passed the final version 92-5 on Wednesday, and the House passed it 377-20 on Thursday.

Both of Idaho’s senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, voted for the final version. In the House, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, who is the chairman of the subcommittee that crafted the bill, also voted for it. U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador voted against the bill.

In a statement, Simpson both highlighted the INL-related funds in the bill and that the bill passed through the regular process. Congress has been moving this year toward passing more of the budget this way, rather than the continuing resolutions and “omnibus” packages that had become usual to fund the government.

“I have long pressed for Congress to fulfill its responsibility and provide budget certainty by passing appropriations bills on time,” he said. “I am pleased my Energy and Water legislation fulfills that responsibility and I look forward to passing more appropriations bills by the end of fiscal year 2018.”

The $147 billion bill funds the U.S. Department of Energy, veterans’ programs and the legislative branch, and is the first of three spending bills Congress hopes to approve before Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown, according to the Associated Press. The energy and water budget is for $44.6 billion.

That includes $420 million for the Idaho Cleanup Project and the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project, and $397 million for the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in New Mexico, which is where old nuclear waste is shipped after it is processed in Idaho, including $85 million for safety upgrades at the WIPP.

The Idaho Facilities Management account, which covers infrastructure maintenance and improvement at INL, is funded at $318 million, a $24 million increase over last year. Spending on INL’s Safeguards and Security Programs is up by $13 million, to $146 million, and the Light Water Reactor Sustainability program, which INL manages and which does research to extend the lives of America’s existing nuclear power plants, is funded at $47 million, the same as last year.

The Reactor Concepts Research, Development and Demonstration account is funded at $324 million, Simpson said, which is an $87 million increase. This includes $65 million to design a new fast neutron test reactor at INL, $100 million for advanced small modular reactor research and development and $20 million for a new program to develop very small “micro reactors” that could be installed at remote locations and military facilities.

The budget also includes $85.5 million to operate INL’s Advanced Test Reactor and additional funding for INL’s cybersecurity grid protection efforts.

The water section of the budget also includes a couple of Idaho-related items, such as a provision to allow recharge of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer during flood releases and high flows at the Palisades Reservoir, and an extension of the Bureau of Reclamation’s authority to conduct feasibility studies on projects to address water shortages in the Snake, Boise and Payette river systems.

  

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.


MEDIA CENTER


Simpson Applauds House Committee Passage of Parks and LWCF Bills


If you are having trouble reading this message, try viewing the web version
BIOGRAPHY  |   NEWS CENTER  |   ISSUES  |   SERVICES FOR YOU  |   2ND DISTRICT  |   CONTACT