House Leader Outlines September Agenda

September 10, 2014

pic-congress-committeeWith Congress’ return after a five-week congressional recess, Republican and Democratic leaders have made it clear their priority is passing a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.  Additionally, in the final, jam-packed time before Nov. 4—the House is in session for just 12 days, while the Senate will be in for 15—leaders in both chambers are also focusing on their top-priority items to accomplish.

In a lengthy memo to House Republicans, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), unveiled the party’s September agenda which includes plans to pass a short-term spending bill, as well as economic and energy packages. The plan outlines a list of 14 bills that will comprise a jobs package and another 13 bills intended to lower energy costs. These series of bills are aimed at helping drive the Republican message ahead of the midterm elections.

According to McCarthy, the House will send a single jobs package to the Senate assembled from the jobs bills House Republicans have already passed this Congress. Significant to small business-owners is the inclusion of four tax extender bills including a permanent extension of the Research & Experimentation (R&E) tax credit, extension of section 179 expensing and a permanent extension of bonus depreciation legislation. This compilation bill will also include:

•    H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act, authored by Rep. Todd Young, which repeals Obamacare’s 30-hour definition of full-time employment;
•    H.R. 899, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act, authored by Rep. Virginia Foxx, which equips Congress and the public with tools to determine the true costs of regulations;
•    H.R. 2804, the Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency (ALERRT) Act, authored by Rep. George Holding, Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Doug Collins, and Rep. Spencer Bachus, which promotes jobs, better wages, and economic growth through regulatory reform;
•    H.R. 367, Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, authored by Rep. Todd Young, which ensures that Congress votes on all new major rules before they can be enforced;
•    H.R. 1105, the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, authored by Rep. Robert Hurt, which prevents Dodd-Frank Act regulations from diverting capital from small- and medium-sized businesses;
•    H.R. 2274, the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act, authored by Rep. Bill Huizenga, which streamlines regulatory requirements to help facilitate capital formation to grow small- and medium-sized businesses;
•    H.R. 3474, the Hire More Heroes Act, authored by Rep. Rodney Davis, which incentivizes businesses to hire veterans by excluding them from Obamacare’s employer mandate threshold;
•    H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, authored by Chairman Doc Hastings, which will put Americans back to work by promoting responsible timber production;
•    H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, authored by Rep. Mark Amodei, which allows the U.S. to develop resources that are critical to our economic competiveness;
•    H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, authored by Chairman Bob Goodlatte, which protects internet access for all Americans and fosters growth in the digital economy;
•    H.R. 4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act, authored by Rep. Kevin Brady, which makes the R&D Tax Credit permanent, paving the way for increased innovation and investment in the U.S.;
•    H.R. 4457, the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act, authored by Rep. Pat Tiberi, which makes section 179 expensing permanent ensuring that our small businesses have the certainty they need to grow their businesses and create jobs;
•    H.R. 4453, the S Corporation Permanent Tax Relief Act, authored by Rep. Dave Reichert, which provides the necessary flexibility for S corporations to access capital and make new investments;
•    H.R. 4718, authored by Rep. Pat Tiberi, making bonus depreciation permanent in order to lower the cost of capital for businesses.

A second bill will combine energy-related proposals focusing on production, infrastructure, reliability, and efficiency. This package will include:

•    H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, authored by Rep. Lee Terry, which allows construction of the Keystone XL pipeline;
•    H.R. 1963, the Bureau of Reclamation Conduit Hydropower Development Equity and Jobs Act, authored by Rep. Steve Daines, which streamlines the development of hydropower on federal lands;
•    H.R. 2640, the Central Oregon Jobs and Water Security Act, authored by Rep. Greg Walden, which allows for construction of a hydropower facility at the Bowman Dam;
•    H.R. 2728, the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, authored by Rep. Bill Flores, which protects American energy production by recognizing states’ authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing;
•    H.R. 4801, authored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, which studies the impact and cost effectiveness of thermal insulation in federal buildings;
•    H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, authored by Chairman Fred Upton, which strengthens our partnerships with Canada and Mexico in order to build a more secure and efficient North American energy market;
•    H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, authored by Rep. Cory Gardner, which expedites the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas to our allies;
•    H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act, authored by Rep. Bill Cassidy, which ensures Congressional oversight of energy-related rules costing more than $1 billion;
•    H.R. 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, authored by Rep. Mike Pompeo, which modernizes the review process for natural gas pipeline permit applications;
•    H.R. 2641, the Responsible And Professionally Invigorating Development Act, authored by Repr. Tom Marino, which establishes a more streamlined and transparent federal permitting process for construction projects;
•    H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security & Affordability Act, authored by Rep.Ed Whitfield, which protects reliable and affordable electricity sources;
•    H.R. 2824, the Preventing Government Waste & Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act, authored by Rep. Bill Johnson, which prevents the Administration from developing new, job-killing coal regulations; and
•    H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gas Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act, authored by Chairman Doc Hastings, Rep. Doug Lamborn, Rep. Scott Tipton, and Rep. Bill Johnson, which removes federal government barriers that block production of U.S. energy sources offshore and expands onshore American energy production by streamlining government red-tape and regulations.
•    The House will also consider H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, authored by Rep. Steve Southerland, which protects the long-standing federal-state partnership in the regulation of our waters.

Before leaving for the August recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) outlined the Senate’s agenda in September and it consists heavily of bills the Senate already voted on this year but failed to pass. He said there will be votes on minimum wage, unemployment insurance, student loans, and pay equity legislation.