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Capitol Hill Update, 27 July, 2015
House & Senate/Schedule: The House is in town for this week and will recess on Friday until September 8th. The Senate will not recess until August 8th.
Senate/Transportation: The Senate has until midnight on Friday to fund federal highway infrastructure spending before the current program expires. The House passed a short-term highway bill to buy time for longer-term negotiations, while the Senate has tried to pursue a longer-term bill that also includes a reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. If the Senate has to just pass a short-term highway bill itself, that guarantees that the Ex-Im Bank will stay expired at least through the August recess, increasing the likelihood that it may stay expired.
Senate/Cybersecurity: Senate leadership has also indicated its intention to move to address cybersecurity as soon as they have passed a highway bill. Unfortunately, the bill they are working on – the Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA), S. 754 – both fails to solve the problem of cyber threats and also opens up a major new channel for government surveillance of innocent Americans’ data. Earlier this year, FreedomWorks signed onto a bi-partisan coalition letter expressing grave concerns with this bill.
House/Regulations: This week, the House will vote on the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, H.R. 427. This bill would take back some of the authority that Congress has ceded to the presidency, by requiring that Congress vote on all new “major” (over $100 million impact) regulations. FreedomWorks has issued a Key Vote: YES in support of this bill.