(Interesting note: although the acronym spells FAMILY, there does not appear to be a "Y" included in the bill's short title.)
Partial press release below the jump.
It will be interesting to see which name the press uses. So far, it looks as if they're using both.
Amends the Mineral Leasing Act to prohibit the Department of the Interior from enforcing any federal regulation, guidance, or permit requirement regarding hydraulic fracturing (including any component of that process), relating to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities on or under any land in any state that has regulations, guidance, or permit requirements for that activity.
Requires the Department to recognize and defer to state regulations, permitting, and guidance, for all activities related to hydraulic fracturing relating to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities on federal land regardless of whether those rules are duplicative, more or less restrictive, have different requirements, or do not meet federal guidelines.The White House has come out against the measure, however, noting that it does not give due consideration to federal lands, including Indian lands, and does not take into consideration the comprehensive (or lack thereof) of state regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing. Their official statement notes that:
The bill, as reported, would undermine these efforts and instead require BLM [Bureau of Land Management] to defer to existing State regulations on hydraulic fracturing on Federal lands, regardless of the quality or comprehensiveness of the State regulations – thereby preventing consistent environmental protections.
The Administration opposes House passage of H.R. 982, which would require trusts set up through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization caused by asbestos liabilities to: (1) file a publicly available quarterly report with the bankruptcy court that would include personal information about individuals who have filed claims asserting asbestos-related injuries, including their names, exposure history, and basis for any payment made to them; and (2) provide any information related to payment from and demands for payment from such trust to any party to any action in law or equity concerning liability for asbestos exposure. The legislation is based on the false assertion that there is endemic fraud in the asbestos trust system.The bill’s mandatory reporting and disclosure requirements would threaten asbestos victims’ privacy when they seek payment for injuries from an asbestos bankruptcy trust. Claimants’ sensitive personal information – including their names and exposure histories – would be irretrievably released into the public domain and thus available to parties unrelated to the claims (including insurance companies, prospective employers, lenders, and data collectors). These parties could then use this personal information for purposes entirely unrelated to compensation for asbestos exposure, potentially to the detriment of asbestos victims. The information on this public registry could be used to deny employment, credit, and insurance. Victims would be more vulnerable to identity thieves and other types of predators. These requirements could be particularly harmful to veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States, who have been disproportionately affected by asbestos.
While H.R. 2655 is intended to curb a perceived increase in frivolous litigation, the bill would actually increase litigation. By creating an automatic financial incentive, and by removing the safe-harbor period, the proposed changes to Rule 11 could dramatically increase the number of sanctions motions, including those filed against Federal government attorneys, and correspondingly increase the risk of financial exposure for any conduct that might be considered a Rule 11 violation. In short, H.R. 2655 would raise the amount and cost of civil litigation and provide more opportunity for unnecessary delay and harassment.The Administration is particularly concerned that the new requirements could be used to target consumer and civil rights plaintiffs. Consumer abuse and civil rights cases rely heavily on the discovery process to prove the merits of their claims. In addition, civil rights cases often seek to challenge the law or to extend existing precedents. The threat of mandatory sanctions for failure to withstand a Rule 11 challenge could chill meritorious claims by deterring worthy plaintiffs from challenging existing laws or seeking novel interpretations of them.
Following 9/11, the USA PATRIOT Act passed the judiciary committees with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill has helped keep Americans safe by ensuring information is shared among those responsible for defending our country and by enhancing the tools the intelligence community needs to identify and track terrorists,” Sensenbrenner said. “But somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost. It’s now time for the judiciary committees to again come together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the law is properly interpreted, past abuses are not repeated and American liberties are protected. Washington must regain Americans’ trust in their government. The USA FREEDOM Act is an essential first step. I would like to thank Congressmen Conyers and Amash, Congresswoman Lofgren, Chairman Issa and others for working with us to draft this important legislation and encourage all my colleagues to support it.”
The USA FREEDOM Act would end the dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and ensure that other authorities cannot be used to justify similar dragnet collection. The bill also provides more safeguards for warrantless surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act.
The bill includes other significant privacy and oversight provisions, provides for the creation of a Special Advocate to focus on the protection of privacy rights and civil liberties before the FISA Court, and requires more detailed public reporting about the numbers and types of FISA orders that are issued.
The Administration strongly opposes House joint passage of H.J. Res. 89 and H.R. 3273, which does nothing to solve the immediate, pressing obligations the Congress has to open the Government and pay its bills. The House should allow a straight up or down vote on Senate-passed H.J. Res. 59 to reopen the Government, bring all the Nation's dedicated civil servants back to work, and provide the services middle class Americans deserve. In addition, the House should pass a clean debt ceiling bill without drama or delay so that the United States can continue to pay its bills and fulfill the Nation's obligations. The President has been clear that he is open to discussing a broad range of measures to support the Nation's economy, create jobs and further reduce the deficit, once the Congress meets its responsibility to open the Government and pay its bills.
H.J. Res. 75: Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act
H.J. Res. 76: Nuclear Weapon Security & Non-Proliferation Act
H.J. Res. 77: Food and Drug Safety Act
H.J. Res. 78: Preserving Our Intelligence Capabilities Act
H.J. Res. 79: Border Safety & Security Act
H.J. Res 80: American Indian and Alaska Native, Health, Education, and Safety Act
H.J. Res. 82: National Weather Monitoring Act
H.J. Res. 83: Impact Aid for Local Schools Act
H.J. Res. 84: Head Start for Low-Income Children Act
H.J. Res 85: National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act
H.R. 3223: Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act
"provides continuing appropriations for pay and allowances during any period for which interim or full-year appropriations for FY 2014 are not in effect as follows: for members of the Armed Forces, including Reserve Component personnel who perform active service during such period, and for civilian personnel and contractors of the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security (in the case of the Coast Guard) whom the respective Secretaries determine are providing support to members of the Armed Forces."
There are vast differences in geology that have to be addressed as we produce energy across America and H.R. 2728 will protect the state-driven, bottom up approach to oil and gas regulations. This legislation is about bolstering manufacturing jobs, reaching our nation’s goal of energy security and empowering local self-government while placing a check on the growth of out-of-control, top down federal government. I am proud that this bill passed through the Natural Resources Committee and will continue to work to bring it before the whole House.
The substitute amendment would prevent the, termination of the Federal program for crude helium sale, storage, and delivery. The impending abrupt shutdown of this program would cause a spike in helium prices that would harm many U.S. industries and disrupt national security programs. Instead, the substitute amendment would provide for an orderly transition of theFederal Government out of the helium market.
includes numerous harmful provisions that impair Federal management of federally-owned lands and undermine many important existing public land and environmental laws, rules, and processes. The bill would significantly harm sound long-term management of these Federal lands for continued productivity and economic benefit as well as for the long-term health of the wildlife and ecological values sustained by these holdings.
would result in millions of Americans losing access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is one of our nation’s strongest defenses against hunger and poverty. These cuts would affect a broad array of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans, and adults who are still looking for work. Slashing SNAP also weakens our nation’s farm and rural economies.
Under the new rate structure, which still drew opposition from nearly one-third of Senate Democrats when it passed last week, loans to undergraduates and graduate students, along with parents in the PLUS program, would be subject to a fixed rate plus the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.Rates for loans taken out after July 1 of this year would be 3.9 percent for undergraduates, 5.4 percent for graduate students and 6.4 percent for those receiving PLUS loans. The rates are fixed over the life of the loan but would change for new borrowers each year.In a compromise that pleased many Democrats who had initially been wary of using a rate that was subject to inflation and fluctuated with the markets, Congress set a cap on all loans: 8.25 percent for undergraduates, 9.5 for graduate students and 10.5 for PLUS recipients.
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1582. The bill would require the Department of Energy to undertake duplicative, costly, and time consuming reviews of energy-related EPA rules, thereby delaying or permanently preventing EPA from fulfilling its legal obligations to protect public health and the environment.Existing law already requires agencies to submit cost-benefit analysis to the Congress of any rule costing over $100 million annually. H.R. 1582 would require agencies to waste limited analytical resources on a duplicative analysis. Further, by indefinitely delaying the implementation of existing public health and environmental laws, the bill would harm communities affected by pollution. This delay would also create uncertainty for regulated businesses, inhibiting their decision-making and planning efforts. Finally, H.R. 1582 would likely result in unnecessary litigation, since it would prevent EPA from meeting its statutory obligations to finalize rules within specified timeframes.
severely undermines critical investments in economic and community development programs that drive local innovation, while also significantly reducing resources for public improvements, air traffic control infrastructure, affordable housing, as well as public services for low- to moderate-income families.One example of investment cutting from the bill is the elimination of TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grants. The Administration strongly opposes this move, noting that the grants are critical for local transportation projects.
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 5, the Student Success Act. The Administration believes that the Congress must act to reform the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), to support State efforts to adopt and implement State-developed standards that ensure every student graduates from high school prepared for college and a career; create a fairer, flexible, and focused accountability system; support effective teachers and leaders; and promote innovation in our public education system. These principles are reflected in the flexibility that the Administration has offered to States with respect to the Federally-mandated, one-size-fits-all standards of NCLB. States' overwhelming participation in ESEA flexibility indicates that they already are committed to moving toward this vision of comprehensive reform.
Instead, H.R. 5 would represent a significant step backwards in the effort to help our Nation's children and their families prepare for their futures. Among other things, the bill would not support State efforts to hold students to standards that will prepare them for college and careers; would not support our international economic competitiveness; would virtually eliminate accountability for the growth and achievement of historically underserved populations; would fail to support meaningful improvement and reforms at the Nation's lowest-performing schools; would eliminate maintenance-of-effort requirements, which could reduce overall investment in public education; and would not reauthorize key Administration priorities, including effective initiatives like Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and Promise Neighborhoods.
The article further notes that:"It's called transparency," he said. "Bottom line: If you're willing to write an amendment, you should be willing to put your name on it."
Lawmakers and regular Oregonians interested in tracking an issue face a common conundrum: Who exactly introduced a bill and the amendments?
It can be difficult, if not impossible, to discover which lawmaker was behind a despised or beloved bill when the sponsor is listed as a committee instead of a lawmaker. Amendments, which can be used to change legislation wholesale, do not list lawmakers' names either.
The lack of transparency makes it difficult for voters to learn more about proposed legislation and to track the performance of lawmakers, some legislators and political observers say. The process can even result in a lawmaker being listed as the sponsor of a bill he or she does not support.
Others say the anonymity afforded by committee-sponsored bills allows lawmakers to focus on policies rather than politics or personalities.
[S]ome for-profit schools and advertisers not affiliated with the government have used the phrase to create the false impression that they are endorsed by the government. Typically, the groups create websites with military-sounding names, claiming to offer unbiased advice on GI Bill benefits. The sites, however, are just a ruse to lure students to those schools.A partial press release is located after the jump.
The JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013, named after transgender woman Deoni Jones, who was killed while waiting at a Northeast D.C. bus stop last year, seeks to modernize the District's laws to make it easier for transgender individuals to request new birth certificates reflecting their correct personal information. The bill was introduced by Council member David Catania (I-At large) and shepherded through the Committee on Health and the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety by Council Chairman Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), respectively.
The bill requires those seeking to obtain a new birth certificate to submit a written and signed request from the person in question and a signed statement from a licensed health care professional attesting that the applicant has received treatment appropriate for a gender transition. The bill also eliminates a requirement that individuals publish their names and gender change in a general publication newspaper for three consecutive weeks.