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Capitol Hill Update, 2 March, 2015
House & Senate/Schedule: Both House & Senate are in town all this week. The House will recess next week (March 9-13), while the Senate will stay in D.C. all the way through the Spring recess that starts March 30th.
House & Senate/Spending: The main event in town once again this week will be funding of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which Congress extended only through the end of this week.
House/Transportation: The House will consider a bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), H.R. 749, that would reauthorize Amtrak and other railroad funding. While the bill contains some supposed reforms to Amtrak funding, there is no federal role for subsidizing passenger rail at all.
House/Environment: The House will also consider a bill by Rep. Lamar Smith, H.R. 1030 – the Secret Science Reform Act. This bill would prevent the EPA from taking any regulatory action until all of the scientific research used to support the action is produced publically. Currently the EPA is refusing to release much of the research that supposedly justifies their most economically disruptive regulations ever. A “just-trust-us” approach to justifying regulations cannot be tolerated when the rules in question have economic impacts in the billions of dollars per year.
House & Senate/Taxation: Last week FreedomWorks endorsed a pair of matching bills that would prevent any level of government from enacting any tax upon broadband internet access. The current prohibition of internet taxation is set to expire at the end of the fiscal year (October 1), whereas these bills would make the ban permanent. The bills are H.R. 235 (Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act) and S. 431 (Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act). Check out our letters of support for these bills here: (HOUSE – SENATE).