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House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes”
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. 

H.Res. 378 – Rule providing for consideration of both H.R. 2581 – Verify First Act (Rep. Barletta – Ways and Means) and S. 1094 – Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (Sen. Rubio – Veterans’ Affairs) (One hour of debate).  The Rules committee has recommended one Rule which provides for consideration of two bills.

For H.R. 2581, the Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions, and waives all points of order against the legislation. 

For S. 1094, the Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The Rule allows one motion to commit and waives all points of order against the legislation.  Members are urged to VOTE NO.

H.R. 2581 – Verify First Act (Rep. Barletta – Ways and Means) (One hour of debate).  While Republicans claim that H.R. 2581 is necessary to ensure that only eligible individuals are approved for health insurance tax credits, in actuality the bill makes it more difficult for working families to access affordable health insurance and could result in gaps or a loss in coverage for individuals who are currently qualified.  Additionally, the bill unfairly targets immigrants under false claims that large numbers of undocumented immigrants are taking advantage of these tax credits, though there is absolutely no evidence to support this premise. 

H.R. 2581 amends both the Affordable Care Act and TrumpCare, which has not passed the Senate or been signed into law, to require applicants for premium tax credits to provide their Social Security number (SSN), and that the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security must verify the SSN before the applicant can receive the premium tax credits to help purchase health plans.  Under current law, individuals filing U.S. tax returns are required to provide either a SSN, or in the case of an individual who is not eligible for a SSN, an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).  H.R. 2581 would prohibit the use of an ITIN for the purposes of verifying an individual’s eligibility status for the premium tax credit under TrumpCare.  This increased bureaucratic barrier hinders individuals who would otherwise be eligible to receive the credits from doing so, and can lead to gaps in coverage as not all individuals have a SSN or can obtain a SSN that can be verified at the time of application, including certain lawfully present immigrants who are domestic violence and human trafficking survivors. 

After passing TrumpCare last month, which the independent Congressional Budget Office confirmed would cause 23 million Americans to lose health insurance coverage and raise out-of-pocket health care costs for working families, H.R. 2581 would further disrupt the health insurance marketplace by adding additional bureaucratic hurdles that make it more difficult for families to access affordable health care.  House Republicans should stop playing politics with our country’s health care system, and engage Democrats in good faith to build upon the successes of the Affordable Care Act.  Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Bill Text for H.R. 2581:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 2581:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

S. 1094Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (Sen. Rubio – Veterans’ Affairs) (One hour of debate).  This legislation would give the VA Secretary authority to more quickly remove, demote or suspend employees for poor performance or misconduct by shortening appeal timelines. In addition, the legislation codifies the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the VA, provides director hiring authority for medical center directors as well as Directors of the Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN’s). 

This bill would change the current timeline for removal of an employee from thirty calendar days to fifteen business days. If an employee would like to appeal their removal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), under this legislation the employee has 10 business days rather than the 30 calendar days in current law.  A VA employee can use grievance procedures in the Master Agreement with the VA, but the timeline must comply with those timelines provided in the bill.  Moreover, the evidentiary burden that the VA must meet to prevail at the MSPB is lowered from a preponderance of evidence to substantial evidence.  The bill also provides that the Secretary can establish a process to remove a senior executive that does not exceed 21 days and that is not appealable to the MSPB, but is subject to judicial review.  The legislation also allows the VA to reduce pensions for convicted felons, as well as recoup unwarranted bonuses and relocation expenses.  Finally, the legislation would shorten the period that a supervisor has to respond to a notice of adverse action for a prohibited personnel practice from 14 to 10 days.

Bill Text for S. 1094:
PDF Version

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Wednesday, June 14: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.  The House is expected to consider H.R. 2372 – VETERAN Act (Rep. Sam Johnson – Ways and Means) (Subject to a Rule).  The House is also expected to begin consideration of H.R. 2579 – Broader Options for Americans Act (Rep. Tiberi – Ways and Means) (Subject to a Rule).

The Daily Quote

“A House Appropriations subcommittee advanced the first spending bill for fiscal 2018 Monday night without knowing how much money Congress wants to spend for the year… With no budget in place and no agreement on overall limits for discretionary spending, appropriators got their process started by effectively flying blind — picking a funding level that might not win enough bipartisan support to become law.”

     -    CQ, 6/13/2017