Today on the Hill: Defense and CJS Approps to Include Gun Control, Privacy Fights

June 15, 2016

Two major spending bills will dominate action in Congress today, with the House set to work through a series of amendments on the fiscal 2017 defense appropriations measure (H.R. 5293), and the Senate moving on to the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill (H.R. 2578). House lawmakers will be working through nearly 75 proposals for the defense measure, including many that were already considered when the chamber passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last month. Some of the amendments will likely draw heated debates on long-standing issues including the surveillance operations of the National Security Agency (NSA) and whether military enlistees must be provided with American-made running shoes.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains in the lower chamber’s crosshairs today as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee considers a formal censure of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The censure vote comes after the House advanced a bill prohibiting the IRS from requiring the tax-exempt organizations from identifying their donors and could eventually lead to an impeachment attempt.

In the Senate, expect a fight as Democrats look to force amendments on gun control into the C-J-S funding bill, which dictates the budgets of the Justice Department, Commerce Department, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), among others. Three Republican senators in moderate states – Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) – have given some hope to the gun proposals, notably one that would bar individuals on the No-Fly List from purchasing firearms or explosives. The White House has already threatened to veto the underlying measure over funding increases for a future Mars mission at the expense of “other key NASA programs.”

‘Today on the Hill’ includes updates provided by the House and Senate majority leaders, as well information derived from publications including Bloomberg Government, The Hill, Morning Consult, Kaiser Health News, Modern Healthcare, Inside Health Policy, and others.