Washington, DC ? Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Ranking Member Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) announced that late Friday the Senate unanimously approved several pieces of legislation recently reported by the Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 1707, a bill to amend the Inspector General Act of 1978. The bill would elevate the Office of the Inspector General for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) from an agency-appointed to presidentially-appointed position. It also improves the training and investigative facilities for the IG community. The bill was reported by the Governmental Affairs Committee on November 8, 1999 and now goes to the House for its action. Representative John Duncan (R-TN) has introduced similar legislation in the House.
S. 335, the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act. The Sweepstakes bill would establish a new regulatory enforcement structure for the prevention of deceptive sweepstakes and related mailings. The bill was reported out by the Governmental Affairs Committee on July 1, 1999 and is expected to be signed into law this year.
S. 1516, FEMA?s Emergency Food and Shelter Act. The bill provides a reauthorization of the Emergency Food and Shelter (EFS) program for fiscal years 2000-2002. The EFS program provides emergency assistance to supplement community efforts to meet food, shelter, and other related needs of the homeless and hungry persons in all fifty states. Most of the money is allocated by local boards with representatives from religious and charitable organizations, such as the Salvation Army, United Way of America and many others. The bill was reported out by the Governmental Affairs Committee on November 8, 1999 and now goes to the House for its consideration.
H.R. 3257, State Flexibility Clarification Act of 1999. The legislation requires additional explanation when legislation is proposed to cut federal contributions to state-administered entitlement programs. If Congress proposes legislation that would reduce Federal funding for state entitlement programs, the congressional committee considering the bill must include in the committee report an explanation of how the committee intends the States to implement the reduction in funding, and what flexibility, if any, the proposed legislation provides to the States. The bill also requires the Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) to analyze and explain how the States could implement any reductions in Federal funding under existing law if Congress does not provide the States with any new flexibility. If the proposed legislation does provide the States with any additional flexibility, then CBO must report on whether the savings from the additional flexibility would offset the reduction in Federal spending. Passed by both the House and Senate, the bill is expected to be signed into law this year. The bill codifies subsection 10(b) and (c) of the “Federalism Accountability Act of 1999,” S. 1214, introduced by Senator Thompson and approved by the Governmental Affairs Committee by a vote of 8-2 on August 3, 1999.
S. 1503, The Office of Government Ethics Authorization Act of 1999. The bill reauthorizes the Office of Government Ethics for four more years. The OGE is an independent agency charged with directing Executive branch policies to prevent conflicts of interests on the part of federal officers and employees. The bill was reported out by the Governmental Affairs Committee on November 5, 1999 and now must be reconciled with the House-passed bill.
S.1877, the Reports Elimination and Sunset Act Amendments of 1999. This is a final step in the implementation of legislation designed to eliminate hundreds of unneeded reports requested by Congress from federal agencies. The Committee asked that only three key reports be continued, allowing agencies to save money by terminating dozens of other unnecessary ones. The bill was reported out by the Governmental Affairs Committee on November 8, 1999 and now goes to the House for its consideration.
The Senate also approved seven Post Office naming bills that had been reported by the Governmental Affairs Committee on November 3,1999.