CD038: Wasting July

In this episode, we catch up on most of the bills that passed the House during the last two weeks of August. A lot of bills were passed; very few have a prayer of becoming law.

Intro and Exit Music: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

S. 622: The Animal Drug Bill

  • Is now law
  • Covered in detail in the second half of episode CD030
  • Continues a system designed to expedite the approval of anti-biotics for animals
  • Caps revenues from application fees paid by pharmaceutical companies

Music: Don’t Waste My Time by Planet Killers (found on Music Alley by mevio)

H.R. 1911: The Student Loan Bill

  • Has been amended by the Senate, passed the House again on July 31, and is now on the President’s desk
  • Original version covered in episode CD029
  • Now ties student loan interest loan rates to the market and caps rates at 8.25% for undergraduates and 9.5% for graduate students
  • Student loan rate will be fixed at the rate where it starts for the life of the loan
  • CBO predicts the rates will be above the current 6.8% starting in 2017
Congressional Record for July 31, page H5219

Congressional Record for July 31, page H5219

H.R. 2094: The Epinephrine Bill

  • Passed the House on July 30, 2013
  • Public schools will be allowed to stockpile epinephrine for students with food allergies and train staff to administer it

H.R. 2218: The Coal Waste Bill

  • Passed the House on July 25, 2013
  • States will be allowed the regulate coal waste instead of the Federal government
  • Gives the coal industry 10 years to meet groundwater protection standards
  • Prohibits the EPA from categorizing waste from burning coal, oil, natural gas, and tar sands as ‘hazardous waste’.

The EPA rule from May 2000 saying that fossil fuel waste should not be classified as hazardous:

Today’s action applies to all remaining fossil fuel combustion wastes other than high volume coal combustion wastes generated at electric utilities and independent power producing facilities and manage separately which were addressed by a 1993 regulatory determination. These include: Large-volume coal combustion wastes generate at electric utility and independent power producing facilities that are co-managed together with certain other coal combustion wastes; coal combustion wastes generated at facilities with fluidized bed combustion technology; petroleum coke combustion wastes, wastes from the combustion of mixtures of coal and other fuels (i.e, co-burning); wastes from the combustion of oil, and wastes from the combustion of natural gas.

The Agency has concluded these wastes do not warrant regulation under subtitle C or RCRA and is retaining the hazardous waste exemption under RCRA section 3001(b)(3)(C).

President Obama and his EPA wanted to classify fossil fuel wastes a hazardous

Petroleum Coke blowing over Detroit

H.R. 1582: Stop EPA Regulations Bill

  • Passed the House on August 1, 2013
  • EPA is not allowed to issue a regulation costing over $1 billion
  • The social cost of carbon – climate change, cancer rates, etc. – can’t be used in a cost-benefit analysis

H.R. 367: Stop All Regulations – Except the Ones From the Federal Reserve

  • Passed the House on July 31, 2013
  • Was called the REINS ACT in the 112th Congress
  • Forces Federal agencies to get Congressional approval for all major rules that cost over $100 million, affect the finances of businesses, or create a carbon tax
  • If Congress does nothing for 70 working days, the rule can’t be enacted
  • None of this is subject to judicial review
  • Monetary policy by the Federal Reserve is exempted

H.R. 313: The Government Conferences Bill

  • Passed the House on July 31, 2013
  • Government can’t spend more than $500,000 on any individual conference
  • All materials presented at the conference must be posted online
  • Private companies can spend money on government conferences

H.R. 2879: “Stop Government Abuse Act”

  • Three bills were combined into one and passed the House on August 1, 2013
  • Allows businesses to record in-person and telephone conversations with Executive Branch agencies such as the EPA, OSHA, and the IRS.
  • Makes it easier to fire high level federal employees
  • Caps the bonuses of federal employees and prevents 2/3 of eligible federal employees from getting bonuses at all

 

H.R. 1660: The Customer Service in Government Bill

  • Passed the House on July 31, 2013
  • Each agency must establish customer service standards including targets for response times, processing of benefits & payments, etc.
  • Create a pilot program for the IRS and two other agencies to collect taxpayer complaints
  • Gives no money or extra personal to the agencies to implement these new policies

The full story of the IRS scandal: Episode CD028

H.R. 2769: No IRS Conferences

  • IRS can’t have any conferences until they implement a bunch of recommendations

H.R. 2768: Demeaning Reprimand For IRS Agents

  • IRS agents must be reminded that taxpayers have rights

H.R. 2565: IRS Agents Can’t Target Audits for Political Purposes

  • But they can still give political groups tax exempt status (<- not in bill, but still true)

H.R. 2009: Stop Enforcement of ObamaCare

  • Prohibits the IRS from enforcing the tax provisions of ObamaCare

Thank you Red List Radio for having me on your show! Check out their podcast

Representatives Quoted in This Episode

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