A Daily Legislative Update Service of the Governmental Affairs Office
daily edition 5.26.2009
The Senate and House are not in session today. The Senate will reconvene on 6/1/09. The House will reconvene on 6/2/09.

Congressional Record, Vol. 155, No. 79 (May 21, 2009)
Federal Register, Vol. 74, Nos. 94-95 (May 22-26, 2009)

Appropriations
Floor Action
On 5/21/09, the Senate passed, by a 86-3 vote, HR 2346, making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending 9/30/09, as amended.
Children and Families
Bills Introduced
S 1151 ( Reid, D-NV), to amend Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act to require the secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct research on indicators of child well-being; to Finance. S5820, CR 5/21/09.
S 1152 ( Reid, D-NV), to allow Americans to earn paid sick time so that they can address their own health needs and the health needs of their families; to Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. S5820, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2558 ( Fattah, D-PA), to amend Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct research on indicators of child well-being; to Ways and Means. H6009, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2616 ( Lewis, D-GA), to authorize the attorney general to award grants to eligible entities to prevent or alleviate community violence by providing education, mentoring, and counseling services to children, adolescents, teachers, families, and community leaders on the principles and practice of non-violence; to Education and Labor. H6011, CR 5/21/09.
Notices
On 5/26/09, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced a request for public comment on a proposed project, the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Financial Report Form, which is used by tribes to report expenditures to the Tribal TANF grant, and by ACF to monitor expenditures, estimate outlays, and prepare ACF budget submissions to Congress. Comments are due 7/25/09. FR 24856.
Civil Rights/Constitutional Law
Bills Introduced
HR 2572 ( Jackson-Lee, D-TX), to strengthen the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002; to Oversight and Governmental Reform. H6009, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2608 ( Jordan, R-OH), to define marriage for all legal purposes in the District of Columbia to consist of the union of one man and one woman; to Oversight and Governmental Reform. H6011, CR 5/21/09.
H Res 473 ( Goodlatte, R-VA), expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that judicial determinations regarding the meaning of the Constitution of the United States should not be based on judgments, laws or pronouncements of foreign institutions unless such foreign judgments, laws or pronouncements inform an understanding of the original meaning of the Constitution of the United States; to Judiciary. H6013, CR 5/21/09.
Presidential Action
On 5/20/09, the president issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies stating the general policy of the Obama administration that preemption of state law by executive departments and agencies should be undertaken only with full consideration of the legitimate prerogatives of the states and with a sufficient legal basis for preemption.
Criminal Law
Bills Introduced
S 1146 ( Schumer, D-NY), to direct the attorney general to provide grants and access to information and resources for the implementation of the Sex Offender Registration Tips and Crime Victims Center Programs; to Judiciary. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2541 ( Dent, R-PA), to provide funding for multi-jurisdictional anti-gang task forces; to Judiciary. H6008, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2612 ( King, R-NY), to direct the attorney general to provide grants and access to information and resources for the implementation of the Sex Offender Registration Tips and Crime Victims Center Programs; to Judiciary. H6011, CR 5/21/09.
Committee Action
On 5/21/09, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Senate Judiciary Committee, held a hearing titled “Unfairness in Federal Cocaine Sentencing: Is It Time to Crack the 100 to 1 Disparity?” ABA Governmental Affairs Director Thomas M. Susman submitted a statement to the subcommittee on behalf of the ABA in support of the elimination of the disparity in crack versus powder cocaine sentencing.
Disability Law
Bills Introduced
S 1136 ( Stabenow, D-MI), to establish a chronic care improvement demonstration program for Medicaid beneficiaries with severe mental illnesses; to Finance. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
Elder Law
Bills Introduced
S 1127 ( Martinez, R-FL), to require that, in the questionnaires used in the taking of any decennial census of population or American Community Survey, standard functional ability questions be included to provide a reliable indicator of need for long-term care; to Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
S 1150 ( Reid, D-NV), to improve end-of-life care; to Finance. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
Election Law
Bills Introduced
S 1125 ( Durbin, D-IL), to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to provide for the treatment of institutions of higher education as voter registration agencies; to Rules and Administration. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
Emergency Preparedness
Bills Introduced
HR 2591 ( Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL), to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to direct the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to modernize the integrated public alert and warning system of the United States; to Transportation and Infrastructure. H6010, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2592 ( Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL), to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to enhance existing programs providing mitigation assistance by encouraging states to adopt and actively enforce state building codes; to Transportation and Infrastructure. H6010, CR 5/21/09.
Environmental Law
Committee Action
On 5/21/09, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved HR 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
Gun Violence
Bills Introduced
S 1132 ( Leahy, D-VT), to amend Title 18, United States Code, to improve the provisions relating to the carrying of concealed weapons by law enforcement officers; to Judiciary. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
Health Law
Bills Introduced
S 1142 ( Reed, D-RI), to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to inclusion of effectiveness information in drug and device labeling and advertising; to Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
S 1149 ( Reid, D-NV), to eliminate annual and lifetime aggregate limits imposed by health plans; to Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
S 1153 ( Schumer, D-NY), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the exclusion from gross income for employer-provided health coverage for employees’ spouses and dependent children to coverage provided to other eligible designated beneficiaries of employees; to Finance. S5820, CR 5/21/09.
S Res 156 ( Brown, D-OH), expressing the sense of the Senate that reform of our nation’s health care system should include the establishment of a federally backed insurance pool; to Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. S5820, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2599 ( Herseth Sandlin, D-SD), to provide for the establishment of the Rural Health Quality Advisory Commission; to Energy and Commerce. H6011, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2629 ( Paul, R-TX), to protect the American people’s ability to make their own health care decisions by ensuring the federal government shall not force any American to purchase health insurance; to Energy and Commerce. H6012, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2635 ( Sánchez, D-CA), to amend Title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit gender rating in the group and individual markets for health insurance coverage; to Energy and Commerce. H6012, CR 5/21/09.
Notices
On 5/22/09, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced a request for public comment on a proposed project entitled “Facts for Consumers about Health/IT Service Providers,” which assesses and analyzes consumer understanding and input about a new health information technology, the personal health record, which will provide consumers with the capacity to directly manage their own health information. Comments are due 6/22/09. FR 24012.
Immigration Law
Notices
On 5/22/09, DHS announced a request for public comment on a proposal to exempt portions of the Compliance Tracking and Management System (CTMS) from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements. CTMS is a system of records that DHS will use to support the Verification Division of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Comments are due 6/22/09. FR 23957.
On 5/22/09, DHS announced a request for public comment on a proposed new system of records notice, the Compliance Tracking and Monitoring System, which collects and uses information necessary to support monitoring and compliance activities for researching and managing misuse, abuse, discrimination, breach of privacy, and fraudulent use of USCIS Verification Division’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements and E-Verify programs. Comments are due 6/22/09. FR 24022.
International Law
Bills Introduced
S 1141 ( Feinstein, D-CA), to extend certain trade preferences to certain least-developed countries; to Finance. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
S 1159 ( Boxer, D-CA), to promote freedom, human rights, and the rule of law in Vietnam; to Foreign Relations. S5820, CR 5/21/09.
S Res 155 ( Brown, D-OH), expressing the sense of the Senate that the Government of the People’s Republic of China should immediately cease engaging in acts of cultural, linguistic, and religious suppression directed against the Uyghur people; to Foreign Relations. S5820, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2639 ( Smith, D-WA), to require the president to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the U.S. foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day; to Foreign Affairs. H6012, CR 5/21/09.
H Res 480 ( Johnson, D-TX), recognizing and honoring the historic election of women to the Kuwait parliament and its implications for gender equality in the region; to Foreign Affairs. H6013, CR 5/21/09.
Floor Action
On 5/21/09, the Senate passed S Con Res 19, expressing the sense of Congress that the Shi’ite Personal Status Law in Afghanistan violates the fundamental human rights of women and should be repealed.
On 5/21/09, the Senate passed S Res 160, condemning the actions of the Burmese State Peace and Development Council against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Notices
On 5/26/09, the State Department announced a request for public comment on a proposed information collection, the Exchange Visitor Program Annual Report, which provides statistical data on the number of exchange participants an organization sponsored per category of exchange, a summary of the activities in which exchange visitors were engaged, and an evaluation of program effectiveness. Comments are due 7/25/09. FR 24891.
On 5/26/09, the deputy secretary of State, State Department, issued a statement determining that the 2003 designations of the Abu Nidal Organization Movement, Palestinian Liberation Front – Abu Abbas Faction, and all designated aliases as foreign terrorist organizations shall be maintained. FR 24891.
Military Law
Bills Introduced
HR 2561 ( Kind, D-WI), to amend Section 484B of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to forgive certain loans for servicemembers who withdraw from an institution of higher education as a result of service in the uniformed services; to Education and Labor. H6009, CR 5/21/09.
National Security
Bills Introduced
HR 2544 ( Schakowsky, D-IL), to require the intelligence community to use only methods of interrogation authorized by the U.S. Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collectors Operations; to Intelligence. H6008, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2545 ( Issa, R-CA), to provide a civil penalty for certain misrepresentations made to Congress; to Intelligence. H6008, CR 5/21/09.
Notices
On 5/26/09, DHS announced a 6/10/09 public workshop in Washington, DC, to provide in-depth training on the privacy compliance process at DHS, and specifically how to write privacy impact assessments and systems of records notices. Registration closes 6/8/09. FR 24864.
Substance Abuse
Notices
On 5/26/09, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS, announced a request for public comment on a proposed project making revisions to the Drug and Alcohol Services Information System, which consists of three related data systems: the Inventory of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, and the Treatment Episode Data Set. Comments are due 7/25/09. FR 24855.
Tax Law
Bills Introduced
S 1119 ( Lincoln, D-AR), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide taxpayer notification of suspected identity theft; to Finance. S5819, CR 5/21/09.
Notices
On 5/26/09, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury Department, announced that the IRS has made available the grant application package and guidelines for organizations interested in applying for a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic matching grant for the 2010 grant cycle. The application period will run from 5/20/09 through 7/7/09. FR 24901.
Tort and Insurance Law
Bills Introduced
HR 2555 ( Klein, D-FL), to ensure the availability and affordability of homeowner’s insurance coverage for catastrophic events; to Financial Services. H6009, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2571 ( Moore, D-KS), to streamline the regulation of nonadmitted insurance and reinsurance; to Financial Services. H6009, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2609 ( Kanjorski, D-PA), to establish an Office of Insurance Information in the Department of the Treasury; to Financial Services. H6011, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2641 ( Tanner, D-TN), to amend Section 1862 of the Social Security Act with respect to the application of Medicare secondary payer rules to workers’ compensation settlement agreements and Medicare set-asides under such agreements; to Ways and Means. H6012, CR 5/21/09.
Notices
On 5/26/09, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced a request for public comment on a published list of proposed base flood elevations (BFEs) and proposed BFE modifications for U.S. communities. Comments are due 8/24/09. FR 24729.
Veterans’ Affairs
Bills Introduced
HR 2547 ( Moran, R-KS), to amend Title 38, United States Code, to clarify the conditions under which certain persons may be treated as adjudicated mentally incompetent for certain purposes; to Veterans’ Affairs. H6008, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2559 ( Hare, D-IL), to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a national media campaign directed at homeless veterans and veterans at risk for becoming homeless; to Veterans’ Affairs. H6009, CR 5/21/09.
HR 2583 ( Boswell, D-IA), to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to improve health care for women veterans; to Veterans’ Affairs. H6010, CR 5/21/09.
Committee Action  
On 5/21/09, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved S 407, to increase, effective as of 12/1/09, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans; S 669, to amend Title 38, United States Code, to clarify the conditions under which certain persons may be treated as adjudicated mentally incompetent for certain purposes; S 728, to amend Title 38, United States Code, to enhance veterans’ insurance benefits; and S 801, to amend Title 38, United States Code, to waive charges for humanitarian care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to family members accompanying veterans severely injured after 9/11/09 as they receive medical care from the department and to provide assistance to family caregivers.

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