Current Legislative Update:

  • February 2016


Legislative Updates

Keeping you up to date on policy action from the president's administration and the U.S. Congress.

July 2015

Download PDF: July 2015

» Energy, Transportation, and Environment

United States Supreme Court Overturns EPA Regulations
The United States Supreme Court in Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, ruled that the EPA must consider the costs to power plants when providing regulatory rules on emissions. The ruling on the Clean Air Act will place the issue back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Read more:
Supreme Court Overturns Landmark EPA Air Pollution Rule (The Hill)
Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Limits on Power Plants (The New York Times)
Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency (SCOTUSblog)

» Health and Human Services

Subsidies Available for States Operating Federal Exchange
In one of the most anticipated decisions this year, the Supreme Court upheld the use of subsidies for states operating a federal exchange. For the 27 states using a federal exchange, the decision in King v. Burwell, will allow people living in those states to be eligible to receive subsidies for their insurance.

Read more:
Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies (The Hill)
What the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Ruling Means for States (Governing)
King v. Burwell (SCOTUSblog)

» International Affairs

Export-Import Bank Loses Reauthorization
Congress has not reauthorized the charter for the Export-Import Bank. The Ex-Im Bank, which is the official export credit agency of the U.S., enables American businesses to compete in global sales. Congress, particularly among fiscal conservatives, has argued that private businesses can fill in the space created by the Ex-Im and that it amounts to “corporate welfare.” Currently, there is no plan in place to revisit its reauthorization.

Read more:
Congress lets Export-Import Bank Expire (USA Today)
FACT SHEET: The Export-Import Bank: Supporting American Exports and American Workers in Every State Across the CountryAcross the Country (
The Export-Import Bank’s Authorization Expired: What Does This Mean for Africa? (Brookings Institute)

Congress Provides President with New Trade Powers
In a move to fast track the TransPacific Partnership, Congress passed a new bill which would extend President Obama’s powers and his successor for six years, in making trade deals that could be presented to Congress without giving Congress the ability to amend the deals. The TransPacific Partnership is a proposed trade agreement between the U.S. and several other Pacific countries that would open doors for trade by lowering trade tariffs, enforce standards for environmental and labor laws, and create investor-state dispute settlement procedures.

Read more:
Obama Scores a Major Trade Win, Burnishing His Foreign Policy Legacy (The Washington Post)

U.S and Cuba Agree to Reopen Embassies
Earlier this year, President Obama announced plans to renew the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. In one of those first steps, the U.S. and Cuba have decided to both reopen their embassies. There is some anticipated push back from Congress. While they cannot prevent the President from reopening the embassy, Congress is an integral part in appointing an ambassador, funding the embassy and lifting embargoes which would fully revive the partnership between the two countries.

Read more:
U.S. and Cuba to Reopen Embassies (Politico)
Obama heads for showdown over Cuba embassy (The Hill)

» Law, Justice, and Ethics

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Disparate Impact, Redistricting, and Same-Sex Marriage
Before closing out the term the Court ruled on three major cases which have a huge impact on civil rights issues:

  • In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Court ruled that all states must allow same-sex couples to marry and must recognize same-sex marriages in their states.

    Read more:
    Obergefell v. Hodges (SCOTUSblog)

» Telecommunication, Science, and Technology

FCC Rules on Net Neutrality Go into Effect
The new rules of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on net neutrality went into effect in June.The new regulations reclassify the internet public utility, under Title II. The FCC has vowed to use a “light touch” with the new regulations so the impact may not be felt immediately.

Read more:
Net Neutrality Rules go into Effect (The Hill)
Net Neutrality Rules to Go Into Effect as Appeals Court Denies Stay (The Wall Street Journal)

What’s Happening on the Hill?


Wednesday, July 8, 2015
  • House Committee on Small Business | Full Committee, “The Calm Before the Storm: Oversight of SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, 12:00 PM | 2360 Rayburn HOB
  • House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology | Subcommittee on Research and Technology, “Is the OPM Data Breach the Tip of the Iceberg?”2:00 PM | 2318 Rayburn HOB
  • House Committee on Energy and Commerce | Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, “Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53” 10:00 AM | 2123 Rayburn HOB
  • House Committee on Agriculture, “Energy and the Rural Economy: the Economic Impact of Exporting Crude Oil” 10:00 AM | 1300 Longworth HOB
  • House Committee on Homeland Security | Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, “Examining DHSs Misplaced Focus on Climate Change” 10:00 AM | 311 Canon HOB
  • House Committee on Natural Resources | Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Oversight Hearing on “The Helium Stewardship Act and the Path Forward” 10:00 AM | 1324 Longworth HOB
  • House Committee on Energy and Commerce | Subcommittee on Health, “Medicaid at 50: Strengthening and Sustaining the Program” 10:15 AM | 2322 Rayburn HOB
  • House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs | Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, “A Review of VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program” 2:00 PM | 334 Cannon HOB
  • House Committee on Foreign Affairs | Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, “Reviewing the U.S.-China Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement” 2:00 PM | 2172 Rayburn HOB 
Thursday, July 9, 2015
  • House Committee on Agriculture | Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, “U.S. International Food Aid Programs: Oversight and Accountability” 9:30 AM | 1300 Longworth HOB
  • House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, “Examining EPAs Regulatory Overreach” 10:00 AM | 2318 Rayburn HOB 
Friday, July 10, 2015
  • House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology | Subcommittee on Space, “The International Space Station: Addressing Operational Challenges” 9:00 AM | 2318 Rayburn HOB
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
  • House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs | Full Committee: “Exploring VA’s Administration of Individual Unemployability Benefits” 10:30 AM | 334 Cannon HOB
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
  • House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure | Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Hearing: “Helping Revitalize American Communities Through the Brownfields Program” 10:00 AM | 2167 Rayburn HOB


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources: Hearings to examine S.1694, to amend Public Law 103-434 to authorize Phase III of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project for the purposes of improving water management in the Yakima River basin. 10:00AM | Senate Dirksen-366
  • Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry: Hearings to examine highly pathogenic avian influenza, focusing on the impact on the United States poultry sector and protecting poultry flocks. 3:00PM | Senate Russell -328A
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
  • Senate Indian Affairs: An oversight hearing to examine a path forward, focusing on trust modernization and reform for Indian lands. 2:15 PM | Senate Dirksen-628
  • Senate Judiciary: Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism: Hearings to examine cybercrime, focusing on modernizing our legal framework for the information age. 2:15 PM | Senate Dirksen-226
Thursday, July 9, 2015
  • Senate Armed Services: Hearings to examine the nomination of General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., USMC, to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 9:30 AM | Senate Hart-216
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources: An oversight hearing to examine mitigation requirements, interagency coordination, and pilot projects related to economic development on Federal lands. 10:00 AM | SD-366
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
  • Senate Armed Services: Hearings to examine the nominations of General Paul J. Selva, USAF, to be Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Darren W. McDew, USAF, to be commander of the U.S. Transportation Command. 9:30 AM | Senate Dirksen-G50

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