The House will have a busy January judging by the lengthy legislative agenda Majority Leader Eric Cantor circulated among his colleagues on Friday.
The Virginia Republican's memo, obtained by 218, lays out the obvious items of business: passing conference reports for the farm bill and for legislation funding the nation's water programs, plus an appropriations bill for the remainder of fiscal 2014.
The GOP-run House will also continue to assail the president's health care law, starting next week with a measure to address potential security breaches on HealthCare.gov. Cantor released a memo on that specific priority on Thursday.
Cantor also told lawmakers to familiarize themselves with other initiatives that could come to the floor in the weeks ahead, such as a possible Iran sanctions resolution that has been on the back-burner since late last year.
"Iran remains perhaps the most significant national security threat facing the United States and its closest allies. Its determined pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and support for terrorism and instability must be stopped," Cantor wrote. "It is my hope that the House, in a bipartisan manner, can express our concerns about Iran's aggression and state our position on what a comprehensive settlement of the nuclear issue should look like."
The House is also expected to act on legislation aimed at regulatory "red tape" that Republicans blame for curbing job creation and economic growth. Cantor has his sights on a package of bills — drafted by GOP Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Ohio Republicans Bill Johnson and Bob Latta — "aimed at improving the federal and state relationship when dealing with hazardous waste" and overhauling the Environmental Protection Agency's "regulatory process."
"Removing barriers to job creation imposed by the federal government remains a priority," Cantor wrote.
As 2014 marches closer to Election Day, Cantor gave a small flavor of what lawmakers can expect to vote on after January.
"Several outstanding issues may be brought to the floor over the next few months, including: the Intelligence authorization, flood insurance, as well as legislation related to trade and immigration," Cantor noted. "We can also expect action on the statutory debt ceiling some time during the first part of the year."
Read the full memo here:
TO: House Republicans
FR: Eric Cantor
DT: Friday, January 3, 2014
RE: January Legislative Agenda
Happy New Year! I hope the holiday season allowed you to enjoy time with family and reflect on the important work we have ahead of us this year. As the Second Session of the 113th Congress gets under way, we have a number of items to consider in the month of January which are outlined below.
Our issues conference at the end of this month will provide us time to gather as a party and construct a legislative agenda for the year. We must, as always, remain focused on our conservative policies that can help grow the economy, lessen the burden of government, and provide opportunity for America's hard working taxpayers. Our conservative policies have proven to provide the solutions to the challenges families are facing including increasing economic security and creating more opportunity for advancement.
Our agenda must reflect the input from each of our members and I look forward to hearing from you before, during, and after the issues conference this month.
The American people have witnessed the Obama administration flailing in its attempts to fix a health care law that is broken and cannot be fixed. Time and again, the president and his administration have unilaterally waived portions of their signature law without congressional consent. The House will continue in our efforts to demand accountability for these actions and to exercise our constitutional duty of oversight of Obamacare as the coalition supporting the law continues to crack. Our efforts will be shaped by our desire to help protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law, and knowing there is a better way.
Several of our colleagues, including Diane Black, Kerry Bentivolio, and Gus Bilirakis have introduced legislation to require prompt notification in the event of a breach involving personal information. It is my intent to schedule legislation on this topic when we return next week. In the coming weeks, we will continue to address other areas of this failed law where greater transparency is called for, including requiring the administration to provide reliable and complete enrollment data. We will remain vigilent in our oversight as our committees aim to hold the administration responsible for its failures in implementing their signature piece of legislation.
These steps will be part of the overall effort to protect the American people from the harmful effects of Obamacare by ultimately repealing and replacing the law with patient focused reforms that expand access, ensure quality care, and help control costs.
With the Bipartisan Budget Agreement signed into law, Chairman Hal Rogers and the Appropriations Committee are drafting legislation to fund the government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2014. The committee's efforts include a thorough line-by-line analysis to help ensure that the spending plan reflects our priorities.
This spring, we can expect a robust season of oversight and continued emphasis on spending reforms which reflect our priority of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
Iran remains perhaps the most significant national security threat facing the United States and its closest allies. Its determined pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and support for terrorism and instability must be stopped. It is my hope that the House, in a bipartisan manner, can express our concerns about Iran’s aggression and state our position on what a comprehensive settlement of the nuclear issue should look like.
Chairmen Frank Lucas and Bill Shuster, along with our conferees, continue to work towards agreement with their Senate counterparts on the Farm bill and WRRDA conference reports, respectively. These two conference reports represent new ideas on how government programs should work and as soon as they are ready for consideration, I expect to schedule these in the House.
Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
Removing barriers to job creation imposed by the federal government remains a priority. Our colleagues Cory Gardner, Bill Johnson, and Bob Latta produced legislation which reforms the EPA’s regulatory process to ensure that the federal government reduces the red tape inhibiting job creation and keeps our environment healthy. These important bills will come to the floor as a package aimed at improving the federal and state relationship when dealing with hazardous waste.
The floor schedule will include additional items as they are resolved throughout the month. Looking forward, several outstanding issues may be brought to the floor over the next few months, including: the Intelligence authorization, flood insurance, as well as legislation related to trade and immigration. We can also expect action on the statutory debt ceiling some time during the first part of the year.
Upon returning to Washington, the House will stay focused on our common sense conservative solutions to the problems Americans are facing in this New Year. I am convinced that by our staying united in this effort, we will achieve significant policy victories in the year ahead.
Thank you for all the hard work you do on behalf of your constituents and all Americans.
Happy New Year!