Capitol Hill Update, 22 June, 2015
House & Senate/Schedule: Both chambers remain in session this week. Both House and Senate will leave town for the week of 29 June-3 July to observe Independence Day, and will return to D.C. on July 7th.
Supreme Court/Health Care: The biggest action on the Hill over the next week will come from the behind the Capitol, where the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to rule on the crucial King v. Burwell case, either this Thursday or early next week. This case could rock ObamaCare on its foundations, due to the IRS illegally handing out health insurance subsidies in 34 states since 2014. You can read more about why this case is so crucial HERE. In addition, there are many myths being promoted about the case, which FreedomWorks Policy Analyst Logan Albright debunks HERE.
House/Health Care: On Tuesday, the House will vote on the “Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act”, H.R. 1190. This bill would fully repeal IPAB, the infamous “death panel” that is tasked with rationing Medicare reimbursements for seniors’ health care.
House/Energy: On Wednesday, the House will vote on H.R. 2042, the “Ratepayer Protection Act”. Sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfeld, this bill would stop the EPA from enforcing any new CO2 emissions regulation on existing fossil fuel power plants until the rule has passed through all legal challenges. The greenhouse gas emissions regulations currently being considered by the EPA are among the most economically devastating rules they have ever drawn up, and would massively increase the price of energy in states dependent upon coal energy in particular. FreedomWorks will issue a Key Vote: YES in favor of this bill.
House/Spending: On Thursday, the House will consider its latest annual appropriations bill, this one to fund the Department of Interior, the U.S. Forest Service, the Indian Health Service, and the EPA, H.R. 2822. The bill would spend $30.2 billion overall, which is a modest $246 million under last year’s level. Notably, the bill would defund a number of major EPA activities, such as its New Source Performance Standards and the “Waters of the United States” rule. It would also bar any funds for new regulations on carbon emissions.
Senate/Trade: The Senate will vote on whether to pass the fast-track Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill passed by the House, H.R. 2146. Although TPA passed the Senate previously, the House removed Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) – welfare and job training for workers “displaced by trade” – from the bill. Democrats have insisted upon passing TAA as a price of passing the fast-track trade authority, so the Senate will vote on that separately, H.R. 1295. It remains to be seen if the fast-track bill can pass the Senate on its own.