House Majority Leader Weekly Guidance
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Washington Examiner Op-Ed: How we're cutting spending with President Trump
On Thursday, the House will vote on the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendment Act (H.R. 3053). This bill works to reform America’s nuclear waste management policy to make sure the government meets it obligations to dispose of used fuel and high-level waste. It will preserve Yucca Mountain as the best way to do that.
On June 28, 2017 the Energy and Commerce Committee approved the legislation with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 49-4.
More on the bill available here.
SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS
Following last week’s National Small Business Week the House will vote on 10 small business focused bills, which do a range of things from enhancing cybersecurity to increasing access to capital.
STAT LINE: There are 8 million minority-owned and 9.4 million women-owned businesses in the United States and they are three times more likely to be denied loans to start, grow, or invest in their businesses.
Access to capital is one of the biggest barriers for minority- and woman-owned businesses. The average loan for minority owned businesses is $9,300 with a 7.8% interest rate while non-minority owned businesses on average receive $20,500 and 6.4%.
· Spurring Business in Communities Act of 2017 (H.R. 4111) requires the Small Business Administration to put a focus on how applications are reviewed and processed, and help increase the amount of capital flowing throughout the Small Business Investment Company program to underserved areas of the country.
· Women’s Business Centers Improvements Act of 2018 (H.R. 1680) will reauthorize the Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) program for through 2022 and improve the accreditation process. There are over 100 WBC educational centers throughout the United States, which are set up to help women starting and growing small businesses.
· Small Business Development Center Cyber Security Training Act of 2017 (H.R. 3170) establishes a cyber-counseling certification program in lead Small Business Development Centers to better assist small businesses with planning and implementing cybersecurity measures to defend against cyber-attacks.
OVERSIGHT OF IRAN DEAL
On Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing à “Confronting the Iranian Challenge.”
Chairman Royce on the hearing: “This hearing will examine the administration’s diplomatic push – as well as Iran’s very threatening behavior in the region and beyond – ahead of the May 12 certification deadline.”
From former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the Iran deal: “I actually think if we pull out now, it’s not going to be the disaster that everyone’s talking about. I would not have signed this deal. I don't think it was a good deal and that we were in a hurry to get a deal. If we get out of this deal, it will be just fine.”
More information on the hearing available here.
FIGHTING OPIOIDS ON EVERY FRONT
This week three House committees will hold hearings on America’s opioid epidemic. Every day 174 people die of an overdose.
Tuesday, April 8
ENERGY AND COMMERCE
10:00 a.m. à “Combating the Opioid Epidemic: Examining Concerns About Distribution and Diversion”
Leaders of four major pharmaceutical companies will come to testify about alleged “pill dumping” in communities across American.
More from Subcommittee Chair Harper (MS-03):
This hearing will look at Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act (H.R. 3545) – which would permit substance use disorder treatment records to be shared in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for the purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operation.
From Subcommittee Chair Burgess (TX-26): “We’ve been working with advocates, doctors, and stakeholders on a bipartisan basis to strike a careful balance between ensuring the necessary privacy protections remain in place and strengthening this statute to safely and effectively coordinate care.”
10:00 a.m. à “Challenges and Solutions in the Opioid Abuse Crisis”
This hearing will look at successes and challenges in enforcement, local prosecutions, treatment, and prevention of the opioid epidemic.
From Chairman Goodlatte (VA-06): “Over the past several years, Congress has taken action to combat this epidemic, most notably by passing the landmark Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. However, opioid overdoses continue to climb each year, showing that much more work needs to be done to prevent drug addiction and help people seek the treatment they need so that they can reclaim and rebuild their lives. [This] week, the House Judiciary Committee will examine the challenges our nation faces in addressing the ongoing opioid crisis and consider possible solutions to this problem.”
EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE
This hearing will examine the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) program, which provides workers’ compensation benefits to approximately 2.8 million civilian federal employees.
In May 2017 the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs announced changes to opioid prescribing practices in the FECA program. These, and future changes, aim to combat the opioid epidemic from within the program by working to reduce dependence, promote worker health, and reintegrate injured individuals into the workplace.
The FECA program provided $2.9 billion in benefits to more than 218,000 workers and survivors for work-related illnesses including $900 million in medical and rehabilitation services in 2017.
CLOSING THE SKILLS GAP
On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will holding a hearing à “Closing the Skills Gap: Private Sector Solutions for America’s Workforce”
Over the next decade 3.4 million manufacturing jobs are expected to be created. Up to 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled because of the skills gap.
LATEST FROM NFIB: Most of the 1,554 participants in their April survey reported hiring or trying to hire, but a full 88% of those trying to add employees reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were aiming to fill.
TREND LINE: 65% of today’s student will be employed in jobs that don’t exist yet.
FLASHBACK – JUNE 2017 – PASSED:
- Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353)
- Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act (H.R. 2842)
More committee activity for the week of May 7 can be found here.