Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bills Introduced – 01-11-17

Yesterday with both the House and Senate in session (and the Senate in a late night session) there were 46 bills introduced. Of those three may be of specific interest to readers of this blog:

HR 437 To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to codify authority under existing grant guidance authorizing use of Urban Area Security Initiative and State Homeland Security Grant Program funding for enhancing medical preparedness, medical surge capacity, and mass prophylaxis capabilities. Rep. Bilirakis, Gus M. [R-FL-12]

HR 458 To require the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study on the economic and environmental risks to the Great Lakes of spills or leaks of oil, and for other purposes. Rep. Trott, David A. [R-MI-11]

S 94 A bill to impose sanctions in response to cyber intrusions by the Government of the Russian Federation and other aggressive activities of the Russian Federation, and for other purposes. Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]

HR 437 will probably be very similar to HR 361 from the last session. That bill passed in the House early in the 114th Congress, but was never taken up in the Senate. A large number of bills never make it to the floor in the other body. This is simply part of the two-body politics problem of a bicameral legislature. The bill’s author not only has to be able to work for passage in his home body, but also needs to have some influence in the other body to gain floor access for the legislation there. It will be interesting to see if Bilirakis has done anything to achieve success with the bill in the Senate.

It will be interesting to see if HR 458 includes rail-specific language.

S 94 will be of interest here if it includes language that addresses control system security or retaliation language that goes beyond the Russian-election fiasco.

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