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Capitol Hill Update, 26 October, 2015
Legislative Highlight of the Week: With Speaker Boehner set to step down at the end of this week, he may try to leave on the lowest of notes, forcing through one more mammoth expansion of government on his way out. Boehner and his Senate cohort McConnell are in talks with the White House, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government well beyond the budget caps. They are hoping for a replay of the budget deals of years past, where a coalition of the big-spenders from both parties bands together and rams through whatever massive bill they want. Details of this prospective deal are reportedly set to be released as early as Monday evening – stay tuned for more details.
House/Corporate Welfare: Although the potential budget deal may render this unnecessary, the bi-partisan coalition of representatives who signed a discharge petition to bring a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank straight to the House floor may exercise that petition this week. Conservatives succeeded in forcing Congress to let the Ex-Im Bank’s charter expire back in June, but the lobbyist interests which profit from Ex-Im have worked tirelessly to revive it. FreedomWorks has issued a blanket Key Vote NO on any attempt to reauthorize Ex-Im.
House/Investments: The House is scheduled to vote this week on the Retail Investor Protection Act, H.R. 1090. Sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, this bill would delay a forthcoming Department of Labor rule that would impose a fiduciary standard on many dealers of non-traditional IRA retirement funds, among other investments. Dubbed by some as “ObamaCare for your IRA”, this rule would likely cause many less wealthy investors to lose access to many investment options, and is premised on the idea that investors cannot be trusted to evaluate their own retirement options.
Senate/Cybersecurity: On Tuesday, the Senate is expected to finish action on the Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA), S. 754. As mentioned last week, this bill is a mess – failing to truly address the issue of protection from hackers, while also funneling more personal data to government agencies like the NSA. There are several good amendments that will receive a vote, however, and FreedomWorks supports the Wyden amendment in particular for its requirement that companies scrub personally identifying information from information they share with the government.