A bill to enhance domestic marine debris response, and for other purposes.
We encourage your thoughts and feedback about this site.
A bill to enhance domestic marine debris response, and for other purposes.
Requires the Department of State to develop a program to combat corruption in countries that receive U.S. aid. The State Department shall annually report to Congress a tiered list of all countries that receive certain U.S. foreign assistance. The first tier shall contain countries that meet minimum standards for combatting public corruption, while the second tier shall contain countries that do not comply but are making significant efforts to do so. Third-tier countries do not meet the minimum anti-corruption standards and are not making significant efforts to do so. For each second- and third-tier ranked country, the State Department shall (1) include a corruption risk assessment and mitigation strategy in each country’s integrated country strategy, and (2) use appropriate anti-corruption mechanisms. Such mechanisms include requiring the disclosure of the beneficial ownership of contractors and partners involved in State Department programs and requiring claw-back provisions to recover misappropriated funds. The State Department shall designate an anti-corruption point of contact in the U.S. diplomatic post in each second- or third-tier country and where the State Department determines that such a point of contact is necessary. The point of contact shall be responsible for coordinating a whole-of-government approach to enhancing the ability of foreign countries to combat public corruption.
Prohibits government entities and insurance providers from denying community-based services to individuals with disabilities that require long-term service or support that would enable such individuals to live in the community and lead an independent life. Specifically, these entities may not discriminate against such individuals in the provision of community-based services by such actions as imposing prohibited eligibility criteria, cost caps, or waiting lists or failing to provide a specific community-based service. Additionally, community-based services must be offered to individuals with such disabilities prior to institutionalization. Institutionalized individuals must be notified regularly of community-based alternatives. The bill requires the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue regulations requiring government entities and insurance providers to offer community-based long-term services to individuals with such disabilities who would otherwise qualify for institutional placement. Government entities must ensure sufficient availability of affordable, accessible, and integrated housing that is not a disability-specific residential setting or a setting where services are tied to tenancy. Regulations shall also (1) require government entities and insurance providers to perform self-evaluation on current services, policies, and practices and concerning compliance with requirements of this bill; and (2) require government entities to submit a transition plan. HHS must determine annually whether each government entity is complying with the transition plan and must increase funding for those in compliance. The bill allows civil actions by individuals subjected to, or about to be subjected to, a violation of its requirements.
Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 – Amends federal veterans provisions to revise or add provisions concerning medical services and other benefits provided to veterans and/or their dependents through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) relating to the following areas: survivor and dependent matters, including benefits for children of certain veterans born with spina bifida; education matters, including the approval of courses for purposes of the All-Volunteer Force and the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance programs; the expansion and extension of certain health care benefits, including immunizations, chiropractic care, treatment for traumatic brain injury, and wellness promotion; health care administration, including extension of the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Professional Scholarship Program, and complementary and alternative medicine; mental health care, including an education program and peer support program for family members and caregivers of veterans with mental health disorders; dental care eligibility and expansion, including a program of education to promote dental health in veterans; health care related to sexual trauma, including appropriate counseling and treatment and a screening mechanism to detect incidents of domestic abuse; reproductive treatment and services, including fertility counseling as well as adoption assistance for severely wounded veterans; major medical facility leases; veterans’ employment training and related services; veterans’ employment, including within the federal government and as first responders; career transition services; employment and reemployment rights of members of the Armed Forces after active duty service; small business matters, including contracting and subcontracting participation goals with federal departments and agencies; administrative matters, including regional support centers for Veterans Integrated Service Networks; the revision of claims based on military sexual trauma as well as claims for dependency and indemnity compensation; jurisdictional matters, including with respect to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; the revision of certain rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, including protections with respect to the expiration of professional licenses, a prohibition on the denial of credit or the termination of residential leases due to military service, and the temporary protection of surviving spouses under mortgage foreclosures; and outreach and miscellaneous matters, including: (1) repeal of the provision of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that reduces the cost-of-living adjustment to the retirement pay of members of the Armed Forces under age 62, and (2) the accounting for discretionary accounts designated for overseas contingency operations/global war on terrorism.
JOLT Act of 2015 Jobs Originated through Launching Travel Act of 2015 Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to admit into the United States a qualifying Canadian citizen over 50 years old and spouse for a period not to exceed 240 days (in a single 365-day period) if the person maintains a Canadian residence and owns a U.S. residence or has rented a U.S. accommodation for the duration of such stay. Revises the secure travel partnership program (the visa waiver program as renamed by this Act) to: (1) authorize DHS to designate any country as a program country; (2) adjust visa refusal rate criteria, including addition of a 3% maximum overstay rate; and (3) revise probationary and termination provisions. Expresses the sense of Congress that DHS should, in evaluating countries participating in the secure travel partnership program, give review priority to countries where circumstances indicate that such a review is necessary or desirable. Directs the Department of State to require U.S. diplomatic and consular missions to: (1) conduct nonimmigrant visa application interviews expeditiously, consistent with national security requirements and in recognition of resource allocation considerations; and (2) set a goal of interviewing 90% of all nonimmigrant visa applicants, worldwide, within 10 days of application receipt. Directs the State Department to: (1) develop and conduct a pilot program for processing visas using secure remote videoconferencing technology, and (2) seek to coordinate enrollment and interview processes for individuals eligible for both a U.S. visa and enrollment in the Global Entry program. Requires an alien at the time of application for U.S. entry under the secure travel partnership program to have a valid, unexpired electronic passport that incorporates biometric and document authentication identifiers that comply with internationally accepted practices.
Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2015 Expands the TRICARE health care program managed by the Department of Defense (DOD) to entitle additional female beneficiaries and dependents to care related to the prevention of pregnancy. (Currently, such care is limited to certain female members of the uniformed service or a reserve component performing active duty or certain servicewomen performing inactive-duty training.) Prohibits cost-sharing from being imposed or collected for such pregnancy prevention care, including for any method of contraception provided through a facility of the uniformed services, the TRICARE retail pharmacy program, or the national mail-order pharmacy program. Provides for such pregnancy prevention care to include all methods of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling. Directs the DOD Secretary to: (1) ensure that every military treatment facility has a sufficient stock of a broad range of FDA-approved methods of contraception to dispense to any women members of the Armed Forces and female covered beneficiaries who receive care through such facility, (2) disseminate clinical practice guidelines and decision support tools to DOD-employed health care providers, (3) ensure that women members of the Armed Forces have access to comprehensive counseling on contraception during health care visits, and (4) establish uniform curriculum to be used in family planning education programs for all men and women members of the Armed Forces. Requires questions regarding family planning services and counseling to be incorporated into DOD health surveys. Requires every military treatment facility, upon request, to provide emergency contraception, or information about FDA-approved methods of emergency contraception, to any woman who: (1) states to personnel that she is a victim of sexual assault or is accompanied by another individual who states that the woman is a victim of sexual assault, or (2) is reasonably believed to be a survivor of sexual assault.
Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to the low-income housing credit, to rename the credit “the affordable housing credit” and make several modifications to the credit. The bill increases state allocations for the credit and modifies the cost-of-living adjustments. It also revises tenant eligibility requirements, with respect to: the average income test, income eligibility for rural projects, increased tenant income, student occupancy rules, and tenant voucher payments that are taken into account as rent. The bill revises various requirements to: establish a 4% minimum credit rate for certain projects, permit relocation costs to be taken into account as rehabilitation expenditures, repeal the qualified census tract population cap, require housing credit agencies to make certain determinations regarding community revitalization plans, prohibit local approval and contribution requirements, increase the credit for certain projects designated to serve extremely low-income households, increase the credit for certain bond-financed projects designated by state agencies, increase the population cap for difficult development areas, and eliminate the basis reduction for affordable housing properties that are allowed the credit and receive certain energy-related tax credits and deductions. The bill also modifies requirements regarding the reconstruction or replacement period after a casualty loss, rights related to building purchases, the prohibition on claiming acquisition credits for properties placed in service in the previous 10 years, foreclosures, and projects that assist Native Americans.
Establishes a program to advance economic development by designating nine cities as innovation centers and providing and modifying certain related grants. It also establishes the Innovation Center Selection Committee to designate these cities. The innovation center designation entitles selected cities—and the businesses, research institutions, and other organizations that operate within them—to various federal funds and benefits for research activities, business and workforce development, and transportation infrastructure projects. These benefits include expanding various tax credits and incentives for businesses. The bill also makes it easier for those businesses to access loans and other financial instruments to raise capital. In addition, the bill establishes a grant program for local and tribal governments that partner with innovation centers to develop and preserve affordable housing. It also modifies existing grants, loans, and other programs that support transportation infrastructure to specifically target initiatives in innovation centers.
Addresses U.S. technology and communications, foreign relations and national security, domestic manufacturing, education, trade, and other matters. Among other provisions, the bill provides funding for FY2022-FY2026 to support U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, research and development, and supply chain security; provides funding for wireless supply chain innovation; establishes a Directorate for Technology and Innovation in the National Science Foundation; extends through 2025 the authority of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to lease its non-excess real property and related personal property; authorizes various programs and policies related to space exploration; authorizes various international affairs programs and activities, including foreign assistance for the Indo-Pacific region; requires federal infrastructure programs to provide for the use of materials produced in the United States; imposes sanctions on China for cybersecurity and human rights abuses; requires the Department of Health and Human Services to consider national security risks associated with sensitive genetic information; includes initiatives related to elementary and secondary education, including those to increase computer science education; contains provisions related to higher education, including those reauthorizing through FY2027 international education programs and addressing China’s influence on institutions of higher education; modifies and expands the schedule for graduated merger filing fees; prohibits federal funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology; requires the U.S. Trade Representative to take certain actions related to digital trade and censorship practices; and extends through 2027 the Generalized System of Preferences.