This Week in Congress

The House is in session Monday through Thursday this week. Among the bills the House will consider is H.R. 3971 which creates “safe harbors” for small financial institutions to exempt them from some federal regulations.

The House will also consider H.R. 1638, which requires the Treasury Department to make regulations regarding financial institutions legal obligations to comply with sanctions laws easier to understand. It also requires the Treasury Department to file yearly reports on:

  • the funds or assets held in U.S. and foreign financial institutions that are directly or indirectly controlled by specified Iranian officials;

  • any equity stake such official has in an entity on the Treasury's list of Specially Designated Nationals or in any other sanctioned entity;

  • how such funds, assets, or equity interests were acquired and used;

  • new methods used to evade anti-money laundering and related laws, including recommendations to improve techniques to combat illicit uses of the U.S. financial system by each such official;

  • recommendations for revising U.S. economic sanctions against Iran to prevent Iranian officials from using funds or assets to develop and procure ballistic missile technology;

  • how Treasury assesses the effectiveness of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran;

  • recommendations for improving Treasury's ability to develop and enforce additional economic sanctions against Iran if so ordered by the President.

The House will also consider H.R. 4324, which requires the Treasury Secretary to annually certify that the US and foreign financial institutions are complying with federal laws regarding Iran sanctions.

The House will also consider H.R. 2396 which exempts financial institutions that post changes to their privacy policies on their website and by mail and makes consumers aware of the change and where they can get information on the new policy.

The House will consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules including:

  1. H.R. 3369– Makes a number of changes to streamline airline security, most of which are technical. The most interesting  one authorizes screening of passengers on charter airlines in an area separate from where general commercial airline passengers are screened. It also requires the Homeland Security Department to prepare a study on the feasibility of identifying security threats who sign up for flight school training….like someone who says they don’t need to learn how to land.

  1. HR 2706– Forbids banks form closing an account based on the account holders reputation as a risk. Seems like this could increase taxpayer liability to bail out banks when there risky depositors default.

  1. H.R. 3093– Amends the Volker rule which prohibits banks from conducting certain trading activities and being involved in hedge or private equity funds to allow certain banks to share a name with a private equity fund.

For more on the Volker Rule see here.

  1. H.R. 1730– Makes it a federal crime to not just commit an act of violence or vandalism against a religious institution but to threaten to do so. This raises First Amendment issues as well as a question of why this is a federal matter.

  1. H.R. 1733– From the official summary:

This bill directs the Department of Energy to update its report on the energy and environmental benefits of re-refining used lubricating oil and submit to Congress a strategic plan to increase the beneficial reuse of lubricating oil.

Cause the private sector would never study the beneficial effects of a product excerpt when they do.

  1. H.Res. 407–Condemns persecution of religious minorities and calls on the President to uphold religious liberty around the world. The resolution ignores how U.S. intervention has been responsible for much of the persecution faced by religious minorities.

  1. H.Res. 336– Reaffirms commitment to a strong U.S.-Mexican relationship, including cooperation on security matters.

  1. H.Res. 357– Reaffirms the relationship between U.S. and Canada and calls for increased economic and security cooperation between the two governments.

So two resolutions supporting mercantilism and imperialism.

The Senate will be considering nominations.


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF