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Congress at Work for May 2014

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Congress at Work: Budgets, Physicians, Black Boxes and Pop Warner Football

Establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2015 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2016 through 2024 (H.Con.Res. 96)
Introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), this bill outlines recommended revenue, spending, and deficit levels and amounts for federal revenues, new budget authority, budget outlays, deficits, debt subject to limit and debt held by the public for fiscal years 2015 through 2024. This resolution was passed in the House on April 10, 2014 and is now in the Senate for consideration.

Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R. 4302)
Sponsored by Joseph Pitts (R-PA), this bill was passed by both the House and Senate and signed by the President on April 1, 2014. It amends the Social Security Act to extend Medicare payments to physicians and other provisions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and for other purposes. The bill extends the current payment schedule through the end of 2014, freezes the payment rate to the single conversion factor at 0.00 percent for Jan. 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015, and requires that the conversion factor for April 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015, and for 2016 and subsequent years be computed as if such a freeze had never applied.

Driver Privacy Act (S. 1925)
Introduced by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), this bill would mandate that if a data recorder is required to be installed in cars, the data pertaining to any subsequent wrecks is the property of the owner (or leaser) of the vehicle. The bill states that the only ways for a third party to retrieve this data is (1) via a court order; (2) if all owners or lessees consent in writing; (3) by an authorized investigation of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) or the Department of Transportation; (4) to determine the appropriate emergency medical response to a motor vehicle crash; or (5) for traffic safety research (omitting personally identifiable information and VIN numbers). This bill has been reported on by committee and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

Youth Sports Concussion Act (S. 1014)
This bill is designed to help reduce the incident of concussions in youth sports by authorizing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make recommendations to protective equipment manufacturers regarding voluntary standards to: (1) reduce the risk of sports-related injury for youth athletes wearing protective equipment; (2) improve the safety of reconditioned protective equipment; and (3) modify protective equipment warning labels. The Act would also make it against the law to sell equipment under false or misleading claims with respect to safety benefits. It is currently in committee review, and was originally sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM). 

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