Tenant Income Verification Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 233)
Passed House on March 23, 2015 by suspension
Signed into law as a provision in H.R. 22 – FAST Act (Title 78, Section 78001)
- Allows tenants on a fixed income have their income certified and/or verified once every three years rather than annually. The legislation helps streamline and reduce the burdens placed on tenants for purposes of determining their eligibility for certain Federal assistance housing programs, including seniors and other individuals and families who consistently maintain a fixed income. The legislation could also incentivize more privately-owned housing operators to accept vouchers, since the stock of public housing continues to face fiscal pressures providing tenants more flexibility and choice.
Prohibiting Automated Traffic Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 950)
Introduced February 12, 2015; Requirement for states to study their automated traffic enforcement systems was included in H.R. 950, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act
Mortgage Servicing Asset Capital Requirements Act of 2015 (H.R. 1408)
- Prohibits a state or local government from using an automated traffic enforcement system for law enforcement purposes, except in a school zone or construction zone. While the bill didn’t become law, the FAST Act included a requirement for states to study their automated traffic enforcement systems and report on their “transparency, accountability and safety attributes.” This provision is a result of increased scrutiny on the use of photo red light and photo radar systems. The study can be used to affect future policy surrounding red-light and photo-radar devices.
Passed House on July 14, 2015 by suspension
Signed into Law in the FY16 Omnibus - H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016 (Section 634)
Train Horn Study Amendment (Amendment to H.R. 749)
- Requires federal banking regulators to jointly study the appropriate capital treatment of Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSRs) under Basel III and the NCUA Risk-Based capital requirements. Regulators will have six months to study and report back to Congress on many outstanding questions about the mortgage servicing industry including how the assets performed during the financial crisis; the ability to establish a value and liquidity for MSAs; and the ability of regulated banks to service mortgages they originate.
- Since the financial crisis of 2008, there has been a shift in the mortgage servicing industry and a significant sale of MSRs from banks to non-banks including to specialty servicers, private equity firms, and hedge funds. In 2013, about $1.03 trillion of mortgage-servicing rights were sold, with the vast majority going to non-bank servicing companies.
Amendment passed by voice vote in H.R. 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act
Signed into Law in H.R. 22 – FAST Act (Sec. 11403)
DOE Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2015 (H.R. 1158)
- The FAST Act included a measure to evaluate the effectiveness of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) 2005 rule on the use of locomotive horns at rail crossings. The measure requires the Government Accountability Office to study the train horn rule to evaluate the benefits and costs of establishing Quiet Zones and barriers to doing so under the existing rule. This study will contribute to an ongoing rulemaking from the FRA to modernize regulations to allow flexibility for new technologies and innovations and provide flexibility. This is an important issue for constituents and cities who feel train horn noise is a nuisance and stifles economic development while helping communities invest in additional safety measures at railway crossings.
Ed was the Lead Democrat on the bill introduced by Rep. Hultgren
Passed House on May 19, 2015 by Voice Vote
Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act (H.R. 1737)
- Provides important tools to spur and accelerate the transfer of new technologies developed at national laboratories. Extends the Agreement for Commercializing Technology (ACT) pilot program for two more years. In addition, the bill significantly broadens the range of companies able to participate in the program allowing for more flexible partnership agreements and allows labs to use their technology transfer funds for activities which identify and demonstrate commercial opportunities.
- The Department of Energy’s national laboratories and research programs have been the birthplace to some of our most revolutionary technologies. When this research is harnessed by entrepreneurs and business leaders, start-ups with one or two employees can grow into companies that create hundreds of quality jobs.
- H.R. 1158 also removes burdens which currently prevent many universities like the CO School of Mines and other non-profit research institutions from working with national laboratories.
Ed was the Lead Democrat on the bill introduced by Rep. Guinta
Passed House on November 18, 2015
Commercial Remote Sensing Act of 2015 (H.R. 2261)
- The legislation encourages the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to reissue a March 2013 bulletin through a transparent process by soliciting stakeholder input through a formal notice and comment period, study the costs and impacts on consumers and businesses, and involve other relevant agencies including the Federal Reserve, Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission. The legislation in no way prohibits, disrupts or affects the enforcement of fair lending laws, but rather asks the CFPB to use a more informed process under their existing authority.
Ed was the Lead Democrat on the bill introduced by Rep. Jim Bridenstine
Signed into law November 25, 2015 as Title II of H.R. 2262, the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act
Rocky Mountain Arsenal “Deed Restriction” (Amendment to H.R. 1735)
- The Commercial Remote Sensing Act requires an annual report on commercial remote sensing licensing activities at the Department of Commerce and asks the Secretary of Commerce to submit a report on any statutory updates the Secretary thinks are needed to handle technological developments over the last two decades. Current capabilities allow for greater sensing capabilities on smaller platforms, with less cost than previously envisioned. Yet there has been no legislation updating these responsibilities since 1998, and many current licensing applications take longer than the 120-day statutory deadline. Additionally, there is no requirement in law for companies to be given a rational for denial of their application. This has led to frustration within the commercial space industry wanting transparency and efficiency in the licensing process when applications are likely only to grow in the future. This bill will shed light on the current workload and processes within the Department of Commerce and help companies like DigitalGlobe as they advance new remote sensing technologies.
Amendment included in the FY17 NDAA by Voice Vote
- Eliminated deed restrictions should testing confirm the cleanup was successful and there is no greater risk for those purposes than other areas adjacent to the Arsenal. This would allow continued development in Commerce City.
Change Broken Budget Process Requiring Congress to Finish Appropriations Process (H.R. 660)
Introduced February 2, 2015; Referred to the House Budget Committee
- Permits the President to delay the submission of the budget beyond the existing first Monday in February deadline until all full-year appropriations for the current fiscal year have been enacted.
Freddie Mac REMIC Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1224)
Introduced March 3, 2015; Referred to the House Financial Services Committee
- Corrects a policy at Freddie Mac that has the potential to return significant funds to the taxpayers. The bill requires Freddie Mac to exercise its clean-up call rights on eligible REMIC securities if the residual holder is willing to split the excess proceeds after the collateral is sold off.
Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015 (H.R. 2076)
Introduced April 28, 2015; Referred to the House Financial Services Committee
- Removes current legal uncertainty by providing a "safe harbor" and additional civil protections for depository institutions who provide a "financial product or service" to a covered business. For example, federal banking regulators would not be able to threaten or limit a bank or credit unions Deposit Insurance, take any action or downgrade a loan made to a covered business or force a depository institution to halt providing any kind of banking services to a marijuana-related legitimate business. Allowing tightly regulated marijuana businesses the ability to access the banking system significantly reduces the public safety risk to our communities.
Password Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 2277)
Introduced May 12, 2015; Referred to the House Judiciary Committee
- Prohibits employers from forcing employees into releasing their private online user information stored on the internet by protecting the privacy rights of employees but also clearly preserves employers’ rights to control access to their own company hardware and software.
National Design Services Act of 2015 (H.R. 2938)
Introduced June 25, 2016; Referred to the House Financial Services Committee
- Establishes a loan repayment program within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for participating architects who provide at least one year of service to a "community design center." Community design centers are non-profit entities established by veteran architects typically in underserved areas. As non-profit entities, the centers promote change to the built environment from neighborhoods to regional scale plans.
Lap Children Safety Research Act (H.R. 4573)
Introduced February 12, 2016; Referred to the Science, Space and Tech Committee
- Requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure that research on child restraint devices for use during critical phases of flight on commercial passenger aircraft encourages the assessment and development of new and innovative technologies and devices that improve safety for children, parents, and other passengers.
Helicopter Fuel System Safety Act (H.R. 4574)
Introduced February 12, 2016; Referred to the House Transportation Committee
- Requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to finalize a rulemaking under an expedited timeline requiring all newly manufactured helicopters to be built with crash resistant fuel systems.
Traditional Banking Regulatory Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 4647)
Introduced on February 26, 2016; Referred to the House Financial Services Committee
- Rather than drawing arbitrary asset thresholds to determine the applicability of banking regulations, the legislation provides relief to institutions based on complexity and activities. These are institutions who do not engage in risky activities and do not pose a threat to the economy, but rather are in the business of taking deposits and making loans to customers in their communities. These banks would be eligible for relief from significant costs, including the Basel III Risk-Based Capital Standards that were originally intended to apply to the largest interconnected internationally active banks. Other measures include relief from company-run stress testing requirements; an increased examination cycle from 12 months to 18-months; and exemptions from submitting certain call report schedules.
Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act of 2016 (H.R. 5438)
Introduced on June 9, 2016; Referred to the House Judiciary and Energy & Commerce Committee
- Establishes a private right of action against foreign companies as a result of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act anti-bribery prohibitions.