Tuesday, March 22, 2011

US House-Oklahoma Sponsored Bills

Representative Dan Boren (OK) introduced HR 474 , The Genuine American Flag Act this year. This bill states that it will be illegal to import American flags made in a foreign country for sale in the US regardless of size. This bill has been referred to the house Committee on Ways and Means since January 26 2011.
 He has also introduced HR 475. Fountainhead Property Land Transfer Act, requiring the transfer of administrative jurisdiction over specified federal property in McIntosh County, Oklahoma, within the boundary of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, from the Secretary of the Army to the Secretary of the Interior, who shall take such land into trust for the benefit of the Tribe.
Mr. Boren introduced similar legislation, HALE Scouts Act (HR 473) stating that it is in the public interest to provide for the sale of certain federally owned land in the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma to the Indian Nations Council, Inc., of the Boy Scouts of America, for market value consideration. Subject to valid existing rights, the Secretary of Agriculture shall convey, by quitclaim deed, to the Indian Nations Council, Inc., of the Boy Scouts of America (in this section referred to as the `Council') all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to certain National Forest System land in the Ouachita National Forest in the State of Oklahoma consisting of approximately 140 acres, depending on the final measurement of the road set back and the actual size of the affected sections, as more fully described in subsection (c). The conveyance may not include any land located within the Indian Nations National Scenic and Wildlife Area designated by section 10 of the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation and Wilderness Area Act (16 U.S.C. 460vv-8). The National Forest System land to be conveyed under subsection (b) is depicted on the map entitled `Boy Scout Land Request--Ouachita NF'. The map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the Forest Service Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tom Cole has introduced 10th Amendment Regulatory Reform Act - authorizing a designated state official to file with the head of a federal agency proposing a rule, during the period when the proposed rule is required to be open for public comment, a legal brief challenging the constitutionality of the rule under the Tenth Amendment.
Directs the agency head: (1) to notify the designated official of each state within 15 days after such a brief is filed; (2) to post prominently on the agency's primary Web page a link to the brief within 10 days after such brief is filed; and (3) within 15 days after posting such link, to certify in writing that such rulemaking does not violate the Tenth Amendment and post the certification prominently on the front page of the agency's website, unless the agency determines it will not put the proposed rule into effect.
This act also authorizes a state official who decides to challenge a federal rule on the grounds that it violates the Tenth Amendment to elect to file a legal action in U.S. district court for the district in which the official's place of business is located. The relevant U.S. Court of Appeals is directed, at the request of a designated state official, to grant expedited review of a decision by a district court in such a case.
Indian Healthcare Improvement Act of 2011 (HR 536)-prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that covers abortion, except when a women's life would otherwise be endangered or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
Mr. Cole also had amendment 78 added to HR 1. AS he stated on record "this is a simple amendment, and it's on an issue we voted on as recently as 3 weeks ago. Very simply put, my amendment prohibits the use of funds under this act to administer or carry out any of the activities for the Presidential Election Campaign Fund or to transfer public dollars to political conventions under chapter 96 of the Internal Revenue Code. Just 3 weeks ago, this House passed H.R. 359, which eliminated taxpayer financing for Presidential election campaigns and political party conventions. This bill passed by a vote of 239-160 under a modified open rule. If signed into law, it will save $617 million over 10 years." It was agreed to by a vote of 247 to 175.
Representative John Sullivan has introduced the Healthcare Truth and Transparency Act of 2011 (HR 451). This act prohibits any person from making any deceptive or misleading statement, or engaging in any deceptive or misleading act that misrepresents whether the person holds a state health care license, education, training, degree, license, or clinical expertise.
It will also require any person who is advertising health care services to disclose the applicable license under which they are authorized to provide those services.
It states that violation of this Act to be an unfair or deceptive act or practice under the Federal Trade Commission Act.
The Federal Trade Commission will be required to study and report to Congress on health care professionals' misrepresentations under this Act.
Mr. Sullivan also offered an amendment to HR 1 to delay the implementation of the EPA's E15 waivers for the remainder of the fiscal year, which would allow Congress time to address safety concerns related to the 50% higher blend of ethanol gasoline before the EPA puts it in our general fuel supply.
He stated "Despite alarming consumer, environmental and economic concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency has approved a 50 percent increase in the amount of corn-based ethanol allowed in gasoline used by cars and light trucks manufactured in the 2001 model year and newer.
This is simply another attempt by the EPA to engineer ethanol mandates and drive ethanol subsidies forward. And, yes, this is a mandate.
The EPA has mandated that we use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels, like ethanol, annually in our motor engines by 2022 and through incremental steps and backhanded attempts just like this, the EPA is mandating.
The EPA's move from E10 to E15 fuel over the next several months is in effect a backhanded 50 percent increase in the corn ethanol mandate putting consumers, engine makers and gasoline retailers at risk. Gasoline station owners are terrified of how they will comply with this E15 mandate because not all of the existing infrastructure is certified for the fuel. Under the EPA waiver, they will have no liability protections.
Quik Trip, a major gasoline retailer across the Midwest, which is headquartered in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, offers an unconditional guarantee on every drop of gasoline they sell. Because of the lack of liability protection, they will be left on the hook if someone puts the wrong blend of gas in the wrong kind of car. That will open up a litigation nightmare.
Why do we want to further mandate a fuel consumers don't want and retailers are afraid to sell? This is a major consumer safety issue that could adversely impact up to 60 percent of cars on the road today.
It is also important to point out the environmental impacts of this as well. The higher a fuel blend like E15, the higher the toxic air pollutant emissions. Since ethanol contains just 66 percent of the energy that gasoline does, E15 will lead to an actual drop in gasoline mileage. The EPA has even said you get 5 percent less fuel economy with E15 than clear gasoline.
The EPA has completely ignored calls from lawmakers, industry, environmental and consumer groups to address important safety issues raised by the 50 percent increase in the ethanol mandate waivers. Putting the brakes on E15 is the right thing to do for the people that we represent."
This amendment was agreed to by recorded vote of 285 to 136.
Rookie James Lankford introduced Ending Unemployment Payments to Jobless Millionaires Act of 2011 (HR 569) which prohibits federal funds from being used to make payments of unemployment compensation (including such compensation under the Federal-State Extended Compensation Act of 1970 and the emergency unemployment compensation program under the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008) to an individual whose resources in the preceding year were at least $1 million. It also requires an individual's resources to be determined in the same manner as a subsidy eligible individual's resources are determined under the alternative resource standard of the Social Security Act. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. Senator Coburn also introduced an identical measure S 310.

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