Not much action over the past week as Congress was on break most of the time. Still, we have some action to look at. The more important votes are coming up, as you can see below.
|Recent Senate Votes|
|Disapprove Unemployment Benefit Drug Testing Rule – Vote Passed (51-48, 1 Not Voting)
The resolution would disapprove the rule issued by the Labor Department on Aug. 1, 2016, that defines the occupations for which states can require individuals applying for unemployment benefits to undergo drug testing.
Sen. Thomas Carper voted NO
Sen. Chris Coons voted NO
Confirmation of Dan Coats to be Director of National Intelligence – Vote Confirmed (85-12, 3 Not Voting)
Confirmation of Herbert R. McMaster, Jr. to be Lieutenant General – Vote Confirmed (86-10, 4 Not Voting)
|Recent House Votes|
|VA Personnel Accountability – Vote Passed (237-178, 14 Not Voting)
The bill would provide the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) with additional tools to fire or demote VA employees based on performance or misconduct, and would modify the appeals process to provide for the appeals of decisions by administrative law judges. It also would include provisions to protect VA whistleblowers against retaliation by supervisors, authorize the department to recoup employee bonuses and relocation expenses, and allow the pensions of VA employees to be reduced if convicted of certain felonies.
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester voted NO
Mentally Disabled Veterans and Guns – Vote Passed (240-175, 14 Not Voting)
VA Medical Professional Staffing – Vote Passed (412-0, 17 Not Voting)
|Confirmation of Charles Breyer to the U.S. Sentencing Commission – PN86
The Senate will take up the nomination of Charles Breyer to be a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Confirmation of Danny Reeves to the U.S. Sentencing Commission – PN85
The Senate will take up the nomination of Danny Reeves to be a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
End Health Insurance Anti-Trust Exemption – HR372
The bill would generally eliminate the federal antitrust exemption for health insurance providers that are regulated at the state level, thereby allowing federal regulators to take actions against insurers for coordinated activities that could harm consumers. By subjecting insurers to federal antitrust laws, the measure is intended to promote further competition between health insurers and lower costs.
Association Health Insurance Pools – HR1101
The bill would expand the ability of trade and business associations to sponsor association health plans (AHPs), through which member companies can offer group health insurance to their employees. To encourage the creation of new plans, it would exempt AHPs from most state laws and regulations and allow AHPs to set their own health insurance standards, with few mandated requirements.
Reconciliation Health Care Law Repeal and Replace – HR1628
The measure would repeal key elements of the 2010 health law and include legislative text to begin replacing the national health care system created by that law. Among its provisions, it would effectively repeals the law’s requirements that most individuals obtain health insurance or face tax penalties, and that employers with more than 50 employees provide health insurance or face tax penalties, by setting the penalties for violations at $0; replace current health insurance subsidies with a less generous refundable tax credit beginning in 2020; roll back the 2010 law’s expansion of Medicaid; modify that program to provide payments to states based on the number of patients enrolled in the program rather than services provided; allow children to stay on their parents’ policies until 26 years of age; and prohibit insurance companies from charging more or denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions. The legislation was developed under reconciliation instructions in the fiscal 2017 budget resolution (S Con Res 3), which protects it from filibuster and allows the Senate to pass it by simple majority vote.