A Daily Legislative Update Service of the Governmental Affairs Office
daily edition 12.22.2009
The Senate is in session today. The House will reconvene 12/23/09.

Congressional Record, Vol. 155, Nos. 191-197 (December 16-21, 2009)
Federal Register, Vol. 74, Nos. 242-244 (December 18-22, 2009)
CQ Today, Vol. 45, Nos. 184-185 (December 18-22, 2009)
Floor Action  
On 12/19/09, the Senate passed HJ Res 64, making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2010.
Bills Introduced  
S 2903 ( Burr, R-NC), to amend the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 to require criminal background checks for child care providers; to Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. S13383, CR 12/17/09.
Notices  
On 12/18/09, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced a request for public comment on a proposed project, the New Runaway and Homeless Youth Management Information System, which maintains client statistical records on the number and characteristics of runaway and homeless youth and youth at risk of family separation who participate in the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, and on the services provided to such youth by the project. Comments are due 2/18/10. FR 67232.
On 12/18/09, ACF, HHS, announced a request for public comment on a proposed information collection, the Mentoring Children of Prisoners Data Collection Process, which collects data used to ensure that federal agencies know if grantees are meeting the targets (number of children being mentored) recorded in the grant application as required by statute, and that mentoring activities are faithful to characteristics established by research as essential to success. Comments are due 2/18/10. FR 67231.
On 12/22/09, ACF, HHS, announced a request for public comment on a submitted information collection which examines the expenditure of funds used for reduction of poverty, revitalization of low-income communities, and empowerment of low-income families and individuals in rural and urban areas to become fully self-sufficient. Comments are due 1/22/10. FR 68067.
Civil RightsConstitutional Law  
Committee Action  
On 12/17/09, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved S 1011, to express the policy of the United States regarding the U.S. relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity.
Notices  
On 12/21/09, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a request for public comment on proposed revisions to its federal sector discrimination complaint processing regulations. These proposals implement recommendations of the Commissioners’ Federal Sector Workgroup. Comments are due 2/19/10. FR 67839.
Hearings  
The Crime and Drugs Subcommittee, Senate Judiciary Committee, will hold a field hearing titled “Federal Efforts to Address Witness Intimidation at the State and Local Level.” 12/28/09, 9:30 am, Constitution Center, Independence Mall, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA.
Committee Action  
On 12/17/09, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved S 678, to reauthorize and improve the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up several bills, including S 714, to establish the National Criminal Justice Commission; S 1765, to amend the Hate Crimes Statistics Act to include crimes against the homeless; and S 1554, to amend the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 to prevent later delinquency and improve the health and well-being of maltreated infants and toddlers through the development of local court teams and the creation of a National Court Teams Resource Center to assist such court teams. 12/24/09, 10 am, 226 Dirksen.
Notices  
On 12/18/09, the Department of Education announced a request for public comment on a proposed funding priority for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Comments are due 1/19/10. FR 67186.
Bills Introduced  
SJ Res 23 ( Feingold, D-WI), disapproving the rule submitted by the Federal Election Commission with respect to travel on private aircraft by federal candidates; to Rules and Administration. S13383, CR 12/17/09.
Bills Introduced  
S 2898 ( Landrieu, D-LA), to provide for child safety, care, and education continuity in the event of a presidentially declared disaster; to Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. S13382, CR 12/17/09.
Notices  
On 12/18/09, the Council on Environmental Quality announced a request for public comment on the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force’s “Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning,” which proposes a new, integrated approach to better determine how the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes are sustainably used and protected now and for future generations. Comments are due 2/12/10. FR 67178.
On 12/21/09, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, HHS, announced a request for public input to develop a strategic plan to provide direction to achieve the Superfund Research Program (SRP) External Advisory Panel’s mandates and to develop a five-year strategic plan to direct programmatic focus and enhance the impact of the SRP program. Responses are requested online at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/SRP/strategicplan. FR 67890.
Notices  
On 12/21/09, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice, announced a request for public comment on a submitted information collection, the National Tracing Center Trace Request, which is used by the federal, state, local, and international law enforcement community to request that ATF trace firearms used, or suspected to have been used, in crimes. Comments are due 1/20/10. FR 67899.
Committee Action  
The Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up several bills, including S 1624, to amend Title 11 of the United States Code to provide protection for medical debt homeowners, to restore bankruptcy protections for individuals experiencing economic distress as caregivers to ill, injured, or disabled family members, and to exempt from means testing debtors whose financial problems were caused by serious medical problems. 12/24/09, 10 am, 226 Dirksen.
Floor Action  
On 12/21/09, the Senate agreed, by a 60-40 vote, to the motion to limit further debate on a Reid Amendment to HR 3590, comprehensive health care reform.
Notices  
On 12/18/09, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS, announced a request for public comment to assist in the development of a model process for the coordination of enrollment, retention, and coverage for low-income Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program-eligible children as required under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. Comments are due 1/19/10. FR 67232.
On 12/21/09, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), HHS, announced a 1/25/10 meeting in Bethesda, MD, of the NIH Advisory Board for Clinical Research to review the 2010 Clinical Center Operating Plan and provide updates on selected organizational initiatives. FR 67881.
On 12/21/09, the NIH, HHS, announced a 1/14/10 meeting in Bethesda, MD, of the National Children’s Study Advisory Committee to discuss an update on the current status of the study and discussions regarding a federated Institutional Review Board model, data access policies, and recruitment strategies. FR 67878.
HousingHomelessness
Presidential Action  
On 12/16/09, the president signed HR 3288 (PL 111-117), making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending 9/30/10.
Notices  
On 12/22/09, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a request for public comment on a proposed information collection, the Impact of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families, which will test the effects of various housing and service interventions on homeless families, including subsequent housing stability and adult and child well-being. Comments are due 1/21/10. FR 68071.
Bills Introduced  
S 2910 ( Sanders, I-VT), to increase wages and benefits of blue collar workers by strengthening labor provisions in the H-2B Program, and to provide for labor recruiter accountability; to Judiciary. S13458, CR 12/18/09.
Notices  
On 12/21/09, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a notice of an amended Privacy Act system of records to expand the categories of records and to include the collection of certain additional information about individuals who post cash bonds for the release of detained aliens in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Comments are due 1/20/10. The established system of records will become effective 1/20/10. FR 67891.
Bills Introduced  
S 2906 ( Cantwell, D-WA), to amend the Act of August 9, 1955, to modify a provision relating to leases involving certain Indian tribes; to Indian Affairs. S13458, CR 12/18/09.
Committee Action  
On 12/17/09, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, approved S 1703, to amend the Act of June 18, 1934, to reaffirm the authority of the secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian tribes.
Notices  
On 12/21/09, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, announced a 1/11/10-1/12/10 meeting in Albuquerque, NM, of the Advisory Board for Exceptional Children to meet the mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 for Indian children with disabilities. FR 67894.
On 12/22/09, the Department of Education announced a request for public comment on an extension of a proposed information collection, the Formula Grant Electronic Application System for Indian Education, which assists applicants in providing Indian students with the opportunity to meet the same state standards as all other students, and to meet the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students. Comments are due 2/22/10. FR 68057.
Notices  
On 12/22/09, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a proposed rulemaking which would modify rules governing practice before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in ex parte patent appeals. A roundtable discussion and public session in connection with this proposal will be held 1/20/10 in Alexandria, VA. Additionally, USPTO will accept public comments on the proposed rulemaking until 2/12/10. FR 67987.
Committee Action  
On 12/17/09, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved S 1376, to restore immunization and sibling age exemptions for children adopted by U.S. citizens under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption to allow their admission to the United States.
Floor Action  
On 12/21/09, the Senate passed S Res 382, supporting the goals and ideals of observing National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month from 1/1/10-2/1/10 to raise awareness of, and opposition to, modern slavery.
Presidential Action  
On 12/21/09, the president issued an executive order amending a previous executive order in an effort to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). FR 67803.
Notices  
On 12/22/09, the Department of Education announced a request for public comment on a submitted information collection, the National Student Loan Data System Collection, which the Department of Education uses to collect data from postsecondary schools and guaranty agencies about Federal Perkins, Federal Family Education, and William D. Ford Direct Student Loans to be used to determine eligibility for Title IV student financial aid. Comments are due 1/21/10. FR 68056.
Committee Action  
On 12/21/09, the Senate received the following nominations to be members of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation for terms expiring 7/13/10: Sharon L. Browne, of California; Charles Norman WiltseKeckler, of Virginia; and Victor B. Maddox, of Kentucky.
Presidential Action  
On 12/22/09, the president signed HR 3326 (PL 111-118), the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2010.
Committee Action  
On 12/16/09, the House Judiciary Committee approved HR 3845, to extend and modify authorities needed to combat terrorism and protect civil liberties.
Notices  
On 12/22/09, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, DHS, announced a 1/12/10 meeting in Washington, DC, to approve the October 2009 minutes, to hear a working group resilience follow-on study, to hear working group prioritization of support for sector response and recovery based upon timing of impact, and for other matters. FR 68071.
Notices  
On 12/21/09, the National Institutes of Health, HHS, announced a 2/3/10 public meeting in Rockville, MD, of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse to hear announcements and reports of administrative, legislative, and program developments in the drug abuse field. FR 67881.
Notices  
On 12/21/09, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury Department, announced a 1/27/10 meeting via telephone conference to solicit public comment, ideas, and suggestions on improving customer service at the IRS. More information on the meeting can be found at http://www.improveirs.org. FR 67964.
Bills Introduced  
S 2915 ( Corker, R-TN), to provide that employment-related arbitration agreements shall not be enforceable with respect to any claim related to a tort arising out of rape; to Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. S13458, CR 12/18/09.
Committee Action  
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a roundtable discussion on the 2010 legislative priorities of veterans’ service organizations. 1/20/10, 10 am, 345 Cannon.
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a roundtable discussion on the healthcare needs of rural veterans. 1/27/10, 10 am, 345 Cannon.
The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold joint hearings to receive legislative presentations for veterans’ service organizations. 3/2/10, 2 pm, 345 Cannon; 3/4/10, 9:30 am, 345 Cannon; 3/9/10, 9:30 am, G-50 Dirksen; 3/18/10, 9:30 am, G-50 Dirksen.
Floor Action  
On 12/18/09, the Senate passed HR 1377, to amend Title 38, United States Code, to expand veteran eligibility for reimbursement for the secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment furnished in a non-Department facility.
Notices  
On 12/18/09, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), announced a final rule amending VA regulations to facilitate the timely processing of claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act by expanding VA’s settlement authority and clarifying the delegation of such authority within the department. This final rule becomes effective 12/18/09. FR 67075.
On 12/18/09, VA announced a request for public comment on a proposed rule to amend the Appeals Regulations of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to articulate the board’s practice of referring unadjudicated claims to the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ) for appropriate action, and to describe when it is appropriate for the board to remand a claim to the AOJ for the limited purpose of issuing a Statement of the Case. Comments are due 2/16/10. FR 67149.
On 12/18/09, VA announced a request for public comment on a proposed rule which would amend its adjudication regulations regarding specifically adapted housing and special home adaptation grants, and which would incorporate certain provisions from the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004, the Veterans’ Housing Opportunity and Benefits Improvement Act of 2006, and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Comments are due 2/16/10. FR 67145.
 

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