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Congress at Work for October 2014

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Congress at Work: Protecting Production of Domestic Energy and Increasing Awareness of the Value of Small Businesses

Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015 (H.R. Res. 124) – In September, just before legislators returned home to campaign ahead of November’s midterm elections, Congress passed a three-month provision to keep the government open. The bill appropriates funds to federal agencies for continuing projects and activities provided in the applicable divisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. As part of this legislation, Congress also passed a provision to provide support and funding to train and equip Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL). The Act’s provisions for both causes expire on Dec. 11.

American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act (H.R. 2) – Introduced by Lee Terry (R-Neb.), this bill is designed to remove government obstacles to the production of more domestic energy, ensure reliable transport of that energy to businesses and consumers, and lower the cost of energy to consumers. This bill is also designed to enable manufacturers and other businesses to access domestically produced energy affordably and reliably in order to create and sustain more secure and well-paying American jobs. This bill passed in the House on Sept. 18 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.

A resolution designating Nov. 29, 2014, as “Small Business Saturday” and supporting efforts to increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses. (S. Res. 548) – Passed by the Senate, this simple resolution designates a Small Business Saturday in order to encourage consumers to shop locally, increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses, and the impact of such businesses on the U.S. economy. This bill was sponsored by Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014 (H.R. 4771) – Sponsored by Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.), this bill prohibits importing, exporting, manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense a product containing an anabolic steroid without a label clearly identifying the anabolic steroid. An anabolic steroid is a synthetic hormone that mimics how testosterone promotes the growth of muscle. This bill passed in the House on Sept. 15 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.

Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2013 (H.R. 1701) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a health care classification system (the International Classification of Diseases, or ICD) that helps track, diagnose and treat health problems around the world. This bill would prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from replacing the current version 9 with the newer version 10, citing the growing cost and administrative duties it would place on physicians. The bill also calls for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study methods to lessen the disruption on health care providers resulting from a replacement of ICD–9. It is sponsored by Ted Poe (R-Texas) and is currently assigned to a congressional committee.

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