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So far David Rugg has created 73 blog entries.

H. R. 3326, World Bank Accountability Act of 2017.

“This bill — known as the World Bank Accountability Act — would authorize the appropriation of about $3.3 billion over the 2018-2020 period for the United States’ share of the 18th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), which is part of the World Bank. The Secretary of the Treasury would be required to withhold up to 30 percent of that contribution unless they certify to Congress that the World Bank and IDA are adopting institutional reforms aimed at promoting accountability in its poverty reduction initiatives and fighting corruption in each of the three preceding fiscal years. The bill would require the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the U.S. Executive Director at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to use the voice and vote of the U.S. to oppose assistance to governments that have failed to implement sanctions required by U.N. Security Council resolution that’s in effect (such as the one targeting North Korea)”(Source: Countable)

Why Jason Lewis’ vote conflicts with our values.

“We support this legislation because we support the authorization for the United States to participate in the IDA- 18 replenishment. We also believe that international cooperation through U.S. leadership at the international financial institutions helps advance U.S. national security, economic interests and values. But we strongly oppose the provisions in the bill that place conditions on U.S. contributions to IDA because we do not believe this is an effective approach to reform, and, more importantly, because it could lead to a situation in which the United States would undermine IDA’s critical efforts to promote growth and reduce extreme poverty in the world.” (Source: Minority View, Committee on Financial Services, Report 115-298)

“While this bill authorizes $3.29 billion for the U.S. contribution to the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) for FY 2018 – FY 2020, it withholds up to 30% of the funding unless certain requirements are met.  While most of the requirements are reasonable, withholding funds that benefit the poorest countries in the world is not the appropriate way of pushing the Bank to reform its operations.  When H.R. 3326 was being considered in Committee, Ranking Member Waters urged support for the bill with the understanding that Chairman Hensarling and his staff would continue to work on components that Democrats opposed.  Despite that agreement, House Republicans decided to move the bill to the Floor without changes.  In another attempt to improve the bill, Rep. Moore (WI) offered an amendment that would have allowed the Secretary of the Treasury to voice U.S. concerns at the bank, instead of enforcing overreaching and vague policy reforms through cuts to funding that will hurt some of the poorest people in the world, but her amendment was not made in order. On several occasions Democrats attempted to work with Republicans to improve this legislation that impacts the most vulnerable in the world, but Republicans decided to move forward on their own.  ”  (Source:  National Write Your Congressman)

More Info See Bill

 

H. R. 3326, World Bank Accountability Act of 2017. 2018-01-22T17:29:09+00:00

H. R. 4324, Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act.

To require the Secretary of the Treasury to make certifications with respect to United States and foreign financial institutions’ aircraft-related transactions involving Iran, and for other purposes.

Why Jason Lewis’ vote conflicts with our values.

“These reports are intended to prevent the U.S. from allowing Iran to purchase commercial airliners which is allowed under the nuclear deal, putting the U.S. at risk of violating the agreement.” (Source: Countable)

“By seeking to render impermissible that which is expressly permitted pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the legislation would place in peril the U.S. commitment to permit the sale of commercial passenger aircraft to Iran, thereby placing the U.S. in non- compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal. We strongly oppose this legislation. (Source: Minority View, Committee on Financial Services, Report 115-452).

“It would lead to the noncompliance of the JCPOA,” warned Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) of a new bill (H.R. 4324) targeting the sale of aircraft to Iran under the nuclear deal. “The U.S. has committed to allow commercial passenger aircraft sales to Iran. This particular bill imposes additional requirements that could lead us to failing to meet that obligation.”

Rep. Ellison’s remarks were during a Congressional markup of two Iran bills in the House Financial Services Committee, both of which appear intended to undercut the Iran nuclear deal. Supporters of the accord raised strong objections during the markup, but the “Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act” (H.R. 4342) passed 38-21 and the “Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act” (H.R. 1638) passed 43-16. The bills next move to the House floor, where they are likely to pass. However, similar legislation has not previously been passed by the Senate, so it is possible that the bills will not become law. (Source: National Iranian American Council)

More Info See Bill

 

H. R. 4324, Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act. 2017-12-16T21:15:23+00:00

H. R. 462, REG Act of 2017.

Bill Summary:

This bill requires guidance documents of federal agencies to be considered rules that are subject to the congressional review process. A “guidance document” is a statement of general applicability and future effect, other than a regulatory action, issued by a federal agency that sets forth: (1) a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue; or (2) an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue.

Bill Sponsor: Jason Lewis (R-MN)

H. R. 462, REG Act of 2017. 2017-12-06T17:53:32+00:00

H. R. 433, Sensible Nuclear Waste Disposition Act.

Bill Summary:

This bill prohibits the Department of Energy (DOE) from planning, developing, or constructing a defense waste repository until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves or disapproves the license to construct the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in Nevada. (A defense waste repository is a site used for storing high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel derived from the atomic energy defense activities of DOE.)

Bill Sponsor: Joe Wilson (R-SC)

H. R. 433, Sensible Nuclear Waste Disposition Act. 2017-12-06T23:04:51+00:00

H. R. 246, Repeal the annual fee on health insurance providers.

Bill Summary:

This bill repeals a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that imposes an annual fee on a health insurance provider based on its net premium income.

Bill Sponsor: Kristi L. Noem (R-SD At Large)

H. R. 246, Repeal the annual fee on health insurance providers. 2017-12-07T18:33:12+00:00

H. R. 184, Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017.

Bill Summary:

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the excise tax on the sale of a medical device by the manufacturer, producer, or importer.

Bill Sponsor: Erik Paulsen (R-MN)

H. R. 184, Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017. 2017-12-07T18:32:04+00:00

H. R. 24, Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2017

Bill Summary:

This bill directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to complete, within 12 months, an audit of the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve banks. In addition, the bill allows the GAO to audit the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve banks with respect to: (1) international financial transactions; (2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters; (3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; and (4) discussions or communications among Federal Reserve officers, board members, and employees regarding any of these matters.

Sponsor: Thomas Massie (R-KY).

Cosponsors: Jason Lewis and 108 additional Republicans; 5 Democrats.

Why This Bill Is Against Progressive Values

According to the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform’s Minority View, “The United States Federal Reserve System is an independent central bank, and its monetary policy actions are not subject to approval by other entities. This independence is critical to the ability of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to pursue monetary policies it considers most responsive to the nation’s current economic conditions and most likely to fulfill its dual mandate of promoting maximum employment and stable prices.”

The Minority also contends, “There is significant concern that opening the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy deliberations to GAO audit in this way–including audits conducted without any significant elapse of time from the point of decision–could influence how such deliberations are conducted and potentially even the policies that are chosen, thus degrading the independence of the Federal Reserve.”

H. R. 24, Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2017 2017-12-06T17:25:05+00:00

H. J. Res 51, Discontinuation of the Independent Medicare Advisory Board.

Bill Summary:

This joint resolution initiates the process to terminate the Independent Medicare Advisory Board, which issues annual recommendations for reducing growth in Medicare expenditures. Under current law, the enactment of a such a joint resolution is required in order to terminate the board.

Bill Sponsor: David Roe (R-TN)

H. J. Res 51, Discontinuation of the Independent Medicare Advisory Board. 2017-12-06T17:58:05+00:00

H. R. 453, Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017.

Bill Summary:

This bill delays by three years the date by which manufacturers, owners, and operators of new residential wood heaters, including residential hydronic heaters (wood-fired boilers) and forced-air furnaces, must comply with emission standards promulgated under the Clean Air Act.

Sponsor: Colin Peterson (D-MN)

Cosponsors: Jason Lewis and 16 additional Republicans; 4 Democrats.

Why This Bill Is Against Progressive Values:

H.R. 453 delays implementation of the Step 2 emissions standards for three categories of new wood-fueled heaters: residential wood stoves, hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces. The current Step 2 compliance date for these appliances is 2020, which the bill extends until May 15, 2023. No delay of these new standards is justified, and any delay will result in a significant cost to the public’s health. Wood heaters are long-lived appliances; once installed, they operate for 25 years or more. So, any delay of the standards translates into more decades of added pollution and adverse health effects. (Source: Dissenting View, Energy and Commerce Committee Report. 115-508).

The New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Environmental Protection Bureau reviewed information on OWBs and analyzed the manufacture, distribution, testing, and sales of OWBs in New York State. We found that while OWBs are advertised as a clean and economical way to heat one’s house and water, OWBs may be among the dirtiest and least economical modes of heating, especially when improperly used. Even when used properly, OWBs emit, on an average per hour basis, about four times as much fine particulate matter pollution as conventional wood stoves, about 12 times as much fine particle pollution as EPA-certified wood stoves, 1000 times more than oil furnaces, and 1800 times more than gas furnaces. Such emissions are significant because fine particulate matter pollution has both short- term and long-term health effects.  Report by the New York Attorney General. 

H. R. 453, Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017. 2018-01-12T17:35:07+00:00

H. R. 4182, EQUALS Act of 2017.

This bill amends title 5, United States Code, to modify probationary periods with respect to positions within the competitive service and the Senior Executive Service, and for other purposes.

Why Jason Lewis’ vote conflicts with our values.

“This bill would double the probationary period for all federal employees in the competitive or senior executive service, in which they’re essentially at-will employees, with no evidence there’s a need for it to be extended.” (Source: Countable)

“Democrats strongly oppose H.R. 4182,which would extend the probationary period from one year to two years for federal employees in the competitive service and the Senior Executive Service. During the probationary period, federal employees essentially have no due process or appeal rights if disciplinary action is taken against them. They may be fired without notice, they have limited rights to an attorney or representative, and they generally may not appeal their removals. The bill would double the amount of time during which federal employees are essentially at-will employees. Due process protections are critical to ensuring the integrity of the federal civil service by preventing its politicization and protecting whistleblowers from retaliation. The Majority would take the drastic step of doubling the probationary period with no evidence that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. The Committee has held no hearings on whether federal agencies need a blanket one-year extension of the probationary period for every federal job in the competitive and senior executive service. This legislation appears to be a solution in search of a problem.” (Source: Minority View, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Report 115-415).

More Info See Bill

 

H. R. 4182, EQUALS Act of 2017. 2017-12-05T00:41:13+00:00