With both the House and Senate in session yesterday there were 61 bills introduced. Seven of those bills may be of specific interest to readers of this blog:
HR 1022 To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to authorize the use of Urban Area Security Initiative and State Homeland Security Grant Program funding to counter violent extremism. Rep. Walker, Mark [R-NC-6]
HR 1024 To provide for the compensation of furloughed Department of Homeland Security employees in the event of a lapse in Department of Homeland Security appropriations, and for other purposes. Rep. Beyer, Donald S., Jr. [D-VA-8]
HR 1043 To establish the Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Subcommittee under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory Council... Rep. Kind, Ron [D-WI-3]
S 542 A bill to enhance the homeland security of the
United States, and for other
purposes. Sen. Coats, Daniel [R-IN]
S 545 A bill making continuing appropriations for Coast Guard pay in the event the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 expires and the Department of Homeland Security... Sen. Thune, John [R-SD]
S 546 A bill to establish the Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Subcommittee under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory... Sen. Heitkamp, Heidi [D-ND]
S 554 A bill to provide for the compensation of Federal employees affected by a lapse in appropriations. Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]
Three of the bills (HR 1024, S 545, S 554) would ensure that all or some of the employees affected by a temporary shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security because of the current spending-immigration squabble would be paid for their required performance of their duties during the shutdown. If there is no shutdown of DHS these bills will not go any further than their introduction. In any case I probably won’t mention these bills again unless there is something particularly unusual in their wording.
Two bills (HR 1043 and S 546) would set up an advisory committee (okay subcommittee, but that is probably nothing more than a technicality) to deal with railroad emergency response matters. This almost certainly is being considered due to the crude oil train derailments over the last year or so.
HR 1022 will almost certainly help spread around the Urban Area Security Initiative and State Homeland Security Grant Program monies, but probably won’t increase the amount of money available. The new players will appreciate the move, everyone else will get their funding cut.
Finally, Sen Coats gets the day’s award for the most meaningless bill title for S 542. We will have to wait and see if it really means anything.