A Daily Legislative Update Service of the Governmental Affairs Office
daily edition 5.7.2009
The House and Senate are in session today.

Congressional Record, Vol. 155, No. 69 (May 6, 2009)
Federal Register, Vol. 74, No. 83 (May 7, 2009)
CQ, Vol. 45, No. 71 (May 7, 2009)  

Business Law
Committee Action  
On 5/6/09, the House Rules Committee granted, by a 9-4 vote, a structured rule providing for further consideration of HR 1728, the “Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act.”
Floor Action
On 5/6/09, the Senate passed, by voice vote, an amendment to the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, to enhance the oversight authority of the comptroller general of the United States with respect to expenditures under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
On 5/6/09, the House passed, by a 367-59-1 vote, S 386, to improve enforcement of mortgage fraud, securities fraud, financial institution fraud, and other frauds related to federal assistance and relief programs and for the recovery of funds lost to these funds.
Children and Families
Bills Introduced  
S 986 ( Landrieu, D-LA), to support the establishment or expansion and operation of programs using a network of public and private community entities to provide mentoring for children in foster care; to Finance. S5232, CR 5/6/09.
HR 2292 ( Thompson, D-CA), to amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Public Health Service Act, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require coverage of preventative care for children; to Ways and Means. H5307, CR 5/6/09.
Committee Action  
On 5/6/09, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved HR 626, the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009.
Floor Action  
On 5/6/09, the House passed, by voice vote, H Res 391, to recognize May as “National Foster Care Month” and to acknowledge that the House of Representatives should continue to work to improve the nation’s foster care system.  
Civil Rights/Constitutional Law  
Bills Introduced  
S 991 ( Inhofe, R-OK), to declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States, pursuant to Congress’ powers to provide for the general welfare of the United States and to establish a rule of naturalization under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution; to Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. S5232, remarks and text S5239, CR 5/6/09.
S 992 ( Inhofe, R-OK), to amend Title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the national language of the government of the United States; to Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. S5232, remarks and text S5240, CR 5/6/09.
SJ Res 15 ( Vitter, R-LA), proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States; to Judiciary. S5232, CR 5/6/09.  
Criminal Law  
Bills Introduced  
HR 2289 ( Scott, D-VA), to establish a meaningful opportunity for parole or similar release for child offenders sentenced to life in prison; to Judiciary. H5307, CR 5/6/09.  
Elder Law  
Presidential Action  
On 5/4/09, the president issued a proclamation declaring May 2009 as Older Americans Month, and inviting Americans of all ages, representatives of government at all levels, businesses and communities, faith-based and neighborhood organizations, and health, academic, and recreational institutions to acknowledge the contributions of older Americans during this month and throughout the year.  
Emergency Preparedness  
Bills Introduced  
HR 2269 ( Lofgren, D-CA), to establish the Gulf Coast Civic Works Commission within the Department of Homeland Security Office of Federal Coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding to administer the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project to provide job-training opportunities and increase employment to aid in the recovery of the Gulf Coast region; to Education and Labor. H5306, CR 5/6/09.
Environmental Law  
Bills Introduced  
HR 2283 ( Moran, R-KS), to amend the Clean Air Act to permit the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to waive the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements for renewable fuel production; to Energy and Commerce. H5306, CR 5/6/09.  
Health Law  
Bills Introduced
HR 2293 ( Van Hollen, D-MD), to amend the Trade Act of 1974 to require a Public Health Advisory Committee on Trade to be included in the trade advisory committee system, and to require public health organizations to be included on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and other relevant sectoral or functional advisory committees; to Ways and Means. H5307, CR 5/6/09.
On 5/7/09, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the opening of a docket to receive and make available to the public reports and other relevant information received by the FDA related to the Sentinel Initiative, which aims to develop a system that will ultimately enable the FDA to actively monitor the safety of marketed regulated products. Comments will be accepted at any time. FR 21371.
Floor Action  
On 5/6/09, the Senate passed, by a 91-5 vote, S 896, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, to prevent mortgage foreclosures and enhance mortgage credit availability. The Senate also passed an amendment to reauthorize the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.  
Immigration Law
Bills Introduced  
HR 2282 ( King, R-NY), to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to reauthorize the State and Criminal Alien Assistance Program; to Judiciary. H5306, CR 5/6/09.
HR 2287 ( Rohrabacher, R-CA), to amend Title II of the Social Security Act to exclude from creditable wages and self-employment income wages earned for services by aliens illegally performed in the United States and self-employment income derived from a trade or business illegally conducted in the United States; to Ways and Means. H5307, CR 5/6/09.  
International Law  
Bills Introduced  
S 987 ( Landrieu, D-LA), to protect girls in developing countries through the prevention of child marriage; to Foreign Relations. S5232, remarks and text S5234, CR 5/6/09.
HR 2271 ( Smith, R-NJ), to prevent U.S. businesses from cooperating with repressive governments in transforming the Internet into a tool of censorship and surveillance, to fulfill the responsibility of the United States Government to promote freedom of expression on the Internet, and to restore public confidence in the integrity of U.S. businesses; to Foreign Affairs. H5306, CR 5/6/09.
HR 2272 ( Rush, D-IL), to lift the trade embargo on Cuba; to Foreign Affairs. H5306, CR 5/6/09.
HR 2278 ( Bilirakis, R-FL), to direct the president to transmit to Congress a report on anti-American incitement to violence in the Middle East; to Foreign Affairs. H5306, CR 5/6/09.  
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on U.S. strategy towards Pakistan. 5/12/09, 10:15 am, 419 Dirksen.  
Legal Research  
On 5/5/09, the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, House Appropriations Committee, held a hearing on fiscal year 2010 funding for programs within its jurisdiction. ABA Governmental Affairs Director Thomas M. Susman, in testimony on behalf of the ABA, urged increased funding for the Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress.  
National Security  
Bills Introduced  
H Res 404 ( King, R-NY), directing the secretary of Homeland Security to transmit to the House of Representatives, not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, copies of documents relating to the Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Assessment titled, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”; to Homeland Security. H5307, CR 5/6/09.
The Administrative Oversight and the Courts Subcommittee, Senate Judiciary Committee, will hold a hearing titled “What Went Wrong: Torture and the Office of Legal Counsel in the Bush Administration.” 5/13/09, 10 am, 226 Dirksen.  
On 5/7/09, the United States Commission on Civil Rights announced a 5/15/09 meeting in Washington, DC, to discuss multiple issues, including the approval of a briefing report on covert wiretapping in the war on terror. FR 21317.  
Public Contract Law  
Floor Action  
On 5/6/09, the House passed, by voice vote, HR 1107, to enact certain laws relating to public contracts as Title 41, United States Code, “Public Contracts.”  
Substance Abuse  
On 5/7/09, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), HHS, announced a request for public comment on a new project, the SAMHSA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center for Excellence Screening and Brief Intervention Evaluation, which will be integrated into service delivery organizations to screen, evaluate, and refer counseling to pregnant women who are currently drinking. Comments are due 6/8/09. FR 21376.  
Tort and Insurance Law  
On 5/7/09, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS, announced a request for public comment on a proposed extension to the Tremolite Asbestos Registry (TAR) of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The purpose of TAR is to improve communication with former vermiculite workers at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases resulting from exposure in Libby, MT, and to support research activities related to TAR registrants. Comments are due 7/7/09. FR 21369.  
On 5/7/09, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced a final rule identifying communities, where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program, that are scheduled for suspension on the effective dates listed within the rule because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. FR 21267.
On 5/7/09, FEMA, DHS, announced a list of communities where modification of the Base Flood Elevations is appropriate because of new scientific or technical data. FR 21271.  
Veterans Affairs  
Bills Introduced  
HR 2270 ( Buyer, R-IN), to amend Title 38, United States Code, to provide for the establishment of a compensation fund to make payments to qualified World War II veterans on the basis of certain qualifying service; to Veterans’ Affairs. H5306, CR 5/6/09.  
The Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on pending legislation, including HR 1168, to amend Chapter 42 of Title 38, United States Code, to provide certain veterans with employment training assistance; HR 1821, to amend Chapter 31 of Title 38, United States Code, to increase vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance; and HR 2180, to amend Title 38, United States Code, to waive housing loan fees for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities called to active service. 5/21/09, 1 pm, 340 Cannon.