Summary

9/18/2014--Passed Senate amended. Requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish within the Empowering Insular Communities activity a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to: (1) develop... Read More

Status

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on Dec 16, 2014.

Bill Text

A BILL

To require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of action plans aimed at reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels and increasing use of indigenous clean-energy resources, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. INSULAR AREAS AND FREELY ASSOCIATED STATES ENERGY DEVELOPMENT.

(a) Definitions.--In this section: (1) Comprehensive energy plan.--The term ``comprehensive energy plan'' means a comprehensive energy plan prepared and updated under subsections (c) and (e) of section 604 of the Act entitled ``An Act to authorize appropriations for certain insular areas of the United States, and for other purposes'', approved December 24, 1980 (48 U.S.C. 1492). (2) Energy action plan.--The term ``energy action plan'' means the plan required by subsection (d). (3) Freely associated states.--The term ``Freely Associated States'' means the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. (4) Insular areas.--The term ``insular areas'' means American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior. (6) Team.--The term ``team'' means the team established by the Secretary under subsection (b). (b) Establishment.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this...

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34 Supporting
109 Opposing
24% 76%

State: CA

0 Supporting
4 Opposing
0% 100%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

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Organizations Supporting

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY 

H.R. 83 – Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 

 The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 83, making appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2015, and for other purposes. The Administration appreciates the bipartisan effort to include full-year appropriations legislation for most Government functions that allows for planning and provides certainty, while making progress toward appropriately investing in economic growth and opportunity, and adequately funding national security requirements. The Administration also appreciates the authorities and funding provided to enhance the U.S. Government's response to the Ebola epidemic, and to implement the Administration's strategy to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as well as investments for the President's early education agenda, Pell Grants, the bipartisan, Manufacturing Institutes initiative, and extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. 

 However, the Administration objects to the inclusion of ideological and special interest riders in the House bill. In particular, the Administration is opposed to the inclusion of a rider that would amend the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and weaken a critical component of financial system reform aimed at reducing taxpayer risk. Additionally, the Administration is opposed to inclusion of a rider that would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act to allow individual donors to contribute to national political party committee accounts for conventions, buildings and recounts in amounts that are dramatically higher than what the law currently permits. 

 Furthermore, the Administration is disappointed that the bill would fund the Department of Homeland Security through February 27, 2015, at last year's levels. Short-term continuing resolution funding measures are disruptive, create uncertainty, and impede efficient resource planning and execution. 

 The Administration urges the Congress to enact comprehensive full-year appropriations legislation for all Government functions free of provisions that have no place in annual appropriations bills.

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The Administration 2 months ago

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting, and defending America’s free enterprise system, strongly supports the Senate amendment to H.R. 83, the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015.”  The current fiscal year is well underway, and pushing appropriations decisions off until later in the fiscal year, or worse yet for the entire fiscal year, may result in a delay of important policy and spending reforms that have been included in the FY 2015 appropriations bills passed during this session.
 
The Chamber and the broad business community remain committed to reining in wasteful spending and assisting Congress with oversight on critical government programs.  This package produced by the Members of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations strikes a good balance on funding and policy initiatives and would implement important improvements, including the modification to the “push out” provision of the Dodd-Frank law.  This fix would benefit non-financial, Main Street companies that rely on derivatives to hedge their day-to-day business risk.  Passing this legislation now would preserve valuable floor time for the new Congress as Members lay out their agenda and begin work on priorities. 
 
The Chamber strongly supports the Senate amendment to H.R. 83, the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015,” and may consider votes on, or in relation to, this legislation – including votes on the Rule – in our annualHow They Voted scorecard.  The Chamber appreciates your hard work in completing this and other important unfinished business in the current session of Congress and looks forward to being a partner in promoting and passing pro-growth legislation in the 114th Congress.

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The American Farm Bureau Federation supports the efforts to move the Fiscal Year 2015 omnibus bill forward and we ask that you vote in favor of this legislation. The bill is not perfect, but Farm Bureau supports the bipartisan work to ensure there is no government shutdown.

While consideration of appropriation bills through regular order is preferred, we recognize that time has run out for this approach. We also believe simply pushing the spending bill into the next Congress is not the appropriate solution because it provides no certainty for the farmers and ranchers who are striving to develop their year-long strategies for both business and risk management.

Thank you for considering the interests of the farmers and ranchers who produce our nation's food, fiber and energy. Please vote in support of H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015.

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On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of current and future pensioners of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), I urge your support of vital and bi-partisan reform to the multi-employer pension system that has been proposed by the Education and Workforce Committee and is included in the 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act. Your support will provide the joint labor management pension boards the tools necessary to strengthen those plans that face serious funding deficiencies. 

As you may know, the IUPAT endorsed the joint labor and business proposal known as Solutions Not Bailouts (www.solutionsnotbailouts.com) because it was a private sector solution to strengthen the multi-employer pension system. Today, we urge you to support the bi-partisan legislation developed by the Education and Workforce Committee that follows this model because it will provide hard-earned security for our members. The bi-partisan proposal developed by the Education and Workforce Committee will modify the expiring Pension Protection Act (PPA) and give plan trustees the tools they need to strengthen their plans. This proposal helps troubled plans avoid insolvency, puts the plans recovering from the economic downturn on firmer ground, and helps those plans, and retirees that are most in trouble, avoid losing everything. All plan decisions will require buy-in from both labor and management, and no decisions can be made without both sides agreeing that they are in the best interest of plan participants.

That said we are concerned with the PBGC premium increase contained in the final legislative language. This premium increase will come into effect when the construction industry is just getting back to work after the recession creating yet another hurdle that our plans will have to navigate. I would urge lawmakers to take a serious look at PBGC structure and funding next year.

We strongly urge you to support the inclusion of the language strengthening the multi-employer pension system included in the 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act.

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On behalf of the Fiscal Policy Task Force of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), we urge you to approve appropriations bills that fund the federal government for the remainder of FY 2015. ... These bills must not lock in damagingly low spending levels and should assure that people with disabilities have the resources they need to live as independently as possible.

We also encourage Congress to return to a regular appropriations process. As our nation continues to recover from recession, we should continue to invest in programs that provide health, human services, and education to support our most vulnerable populations.

CCD is a broad coalition of national organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures education, self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.

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Pass the FY15 Omnibus Stop IRS from Eliminating Benefits from 10,000 co-op employees

The FY2015 Omnibus protects the very legitimate expectations of thousands of co-op employees from an IRS regulatory overreach, ensuring fully paid-for retirement benefits are delivered as promised, by including the bipartisan H.R. 5792 introduced by Reps. Ron Kind (DWI), Jim Gerlach (D-PA), Richard Neal (D-MA), and Mike Kelly (R-PA) in the House, and by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) in the Senate.

Earlier this year, IRS informed NRECA that a service-based retirement age is somehow impermissible for private-sector qualified retirement plans – even one as long as 30 years. This is wholly inconsistent with the IRS’s own long standing regulations, the Internal Revenue Code itself, and numerous court cases – especially for a Plan feature that has been approved by the IRS six times in 1977, 1983, 1987, 1997, 2000 and 2012.

Over 880 rural electric co-ops participate in a defined-benefit “multiple-employer” pension plan sponsored by NRECA, covering over 55,000 employees in 47 states. Co-op employees are the backbone of our core mission to provide safe, affordable, and reliable electricity.

Over 300 of these co-ops have a “normal retirement age” (NRA) based on years of service; specifically, an NRA that is “the earlier of age 62 or 30 years of service.” Again, this Plan feature that has been approved by the IRS six times.

If this IRS position were applied to the NRECA Plan, over 10,000 co-op employees (including more than 3,400 employees within 5 years of retirement) would be prevented from receiving an earned distribution that they have been planning for, and that their co-op has paid for. Number of impacted employees by state is shown on reverse side.
Preventing long-service employees from receiving earned distributions is simply not right. The provisions of H.R. 5792 included in the FY2015 Omnibus acts as a “legislative grandfather” for all current employees and any new employees hired by January 1, 2017.

Similar bipartisan and bicameral legislation has been introduced in the 111th, 112th and 113th Congresses to codify that plans are permitted to distribute a full benefit to employees who qualify with 30 or more years of service. The FY2015 Omnibus finishes the job once and for all.

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Organizations Opposing

On behalf of the 1.4 million members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, I am writing to ask that you vote NO on the rule and NO on the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. This bill and its self-executing rule will slash the pensions of thousands of retirees who worked years for a pension that they thought would provide them financial security in their retirement years. That promise is now busted.
 
And a last minute $2 billion bailout to a $100 billion Fortune 50 company for breaking its promise to its retirees is outrageous and only adds to the list of special interest provisions in this bill. This disgraceful government subsidy to one of the most profitable companies in America should be stopped in its tracks.
 
Hiding behind a rule that prevents Members of Congress from directly voting to cut retiree benefits is a shameful act that may well be remembered at the ballot box in the future.
 
To add insult to injury, this Omnibus bill compromises highway safety by rolling back Hours-of-Service regulations, allowing truck drivers to work more than 80 hours per week – twice the normal 40-hour work week.
 
Secret negotiations and backroom deals have produced a bill with a litany of special interest favors for corporate America, but it busts the dreams of hard-working Americans.
 
The Teamsters Union strongly urges you to vote NO on the rule and NO on the Omnibus. Our members will be watching, and these votes will be entered on our scorecard.

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Common Cause strongly opposes the FY 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act and urges Congress to pass a clean continuing resolution in its stead.

The current proposal is a toxic cocktail of giveaways and protections for special interests, billionaires and millionaires.

Not only will it lead to scandal, the bill is itself a scandal, providing political payback to some of the biggest spenders in the 2014 midterms.

It is damning evidence of a Congress far more responsive to those with the deepest pockets than to the American public it was elected to represent.

Among the reasons we urge this bill’s defeat, the omnibus includes:
A massive increase in the amount of corrupting money one donor can give to a political party. With the greatest economic inequality in nearly 100 years driving a wedge between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else, the political power that these contributions can purchase under the new limits undermines representative democracy itself. A single donor will be able to write one check for up to $777,600 each year – or $1,555,200 per two-year election cycle – to all of a political party’s committees, including brand new committees authorized in this omnibus for political conventions, building funds and recounts. Combined with the McCutcheon decision earlier this year, one individual’s political reach could include nearly $5 million to a single party’s committees and candidates in one election cycle.  This outrageous increase in contribution limits is an open invitation to corruption and undue influence over public policy.
A prohibition on disclosure of political donations from government contractors, rewarding a pay-to-play culture rigged in favor of those with the biggest political war chests, and a carte blanche invitation to waste, fraud and abuse.
A ban on the District of Columbia government using any funds assisting with civil actions or petition drives to provide voting representation to its 650,000 citizens.
Cuts in funding to the IRS to its lowest levels in 7 years at the same time that the agency is working to enforce laws against billionaires and corporations that abuse tax structures to hide their political spending from the American people.
A freeze in funding to the FCC – at the precise moment that the Commission is widely anticipated to be preparing to announce historic Open Internet rules next year.
Special treatment exempting big polluters, Wall Street, and the National Rifle Association, among others, from existing regulations that protect the public interest. Those who spent millions of dollars collectively on the 2014 midterms stand to receive very special treatment in return. Wall Street interests – which according to the Center for Responsive Politics spent over $435 million in the 2014 midterms – will enjoy significant changes to Dodd-Frank that will loosen restrictions on their activities. The omnibus will permit financial firms to make risky bets at the public’s expense, with guaranteed bailouts from federal insurance programs when the bets fail. The omnibus cuts the EPA’s budget 21% below 2010 levels, grants exemptions to certain clean water laws, and even prohibits the agency from regulating lead in gun ammunition.
As written, this omnibus is an affront to the public interest and offensive to representative democracy. We urge its defeat.

Congress should pass a clean continuing resolution to keep the government funded and commit to an open, transparent process in the new Congress.

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Common Cause 2 months ago

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we write to express our opposition to H.R. 83, the continuing resolution omnibus for FY 2015. As currently written, it includes language rolling back a key provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “push-out rule”) that prevents taxpayer-insured banks from making highly risky trades in derivatives markets. Unless this language is removed, we urge you to vote against H.R. 83.
 
Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, bank holding companies must segregate, and independently fund, their riskiest and most exotic derivatives trading so that taxpayers do not need to fear being left on the hook for bets that go drastically wrong and threaten entire institutions. This kind of activity was one of the key causes of the 2008 financial crisis and the economic stagnation that we have experienced for years since then. Under the threat of a government shutdown, proponents of H.R. 83 would undo this significant part of the law.
 
The civil and human rights community does not want to see another Great Recession where working people, women, and communities of color bear the brunt of the crisis, caused largely by Wall Street playing fast and loose with other people’s money. Only six years later, some in Congress already seem to have forgotten the lessons we learned. It is one thing for a company to use its own funds to take risks on exotic financial investments. But it is another thing altogether when that same company knows it will be protected against catastrophic losses by the federal government.
 
We should be working together to promote safe, mainstream banking in all communities, not undermining the public’s trust even more. Unless this provision is removed, we urge you to vote “no” on H.R. 83.

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The Club for Growth urges all members of Congress to vote "NO" on the so-called FY15 Cromnibus (HR 83). Procedural votes and final votes are expected in both chambers. These votes could be included in the Club's 2014 Congressional Scorecard.

Christmas has come early for the big spenders in Congress who have been experiencing long-term withdrawal from the earmark ban. This 1,603-page bill provides a "fix" for these jonesing politicians who carry water for their special interest buddies. Some of the goodies in this proposal include an unauthorized appropriation that extends the Trade Adjustment Assistance program and a larger-than-requested amount for the overreaching Environmental Protection Agency. Not only is the Cromnibus's contents unacceptable to fiscal conservatives, but so should the process by which it was made. It falsely stays under the Ryan-Murray spending levels by using "emergency" spending on such things as the Ebola crisis that has been going on for months. Plus, cloaking the bill in secrecy until the last minute and then creating an unnecessary sense of urgency to ram it through Congress is no way to responsibly spend the taxpayers' money.

Our Congressional Scorecard for the 113th Congress provides a comprehensive rating of how well or how poorly each member of Congress supports pro-growth, free-market policies and will be distributed to our members and to the public.

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Club for Growth 2 months ago

We strongly object to report language and legislative provisions included in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015. The report language includes two particularly egregious provisions that direct the secretary of agriculture to propose changes to the Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law as well as a provision that orders the secretary to refrain from implementing a reformed beef checkoff program. Additionally, the act includes a legislative provision that prohibits the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) from implementing regulations on the livestock and poultry industry that would address an array of fraudulent, deceptive, anti-competitive and retaliatory practices.
 
National Farmers Union (NFU) and the United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA) are very concerned that the report language included on COOL could be used as an opportunity to stop the appeals process at the World Trade Organization (WTO) or re-open the legislation that mandated COOL, both of which are unacceptable. Congress should not intervene in the WTO process.
 
The report language also directs the secretary not to implement a second beef checkoff program. The secretary published a Notice of Inquiry to seek public comments. The comment period closes today, and over 1300 individuals have commented. National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is so fearful of losing its $40 million-plus revenue stream through the beef checkoff that it has lobbied for this language to be included in the report rather than allowing producers the ability to have their comments recognized and addressed through the commenting process. NCBA has lobbied Congress on a mandatory producer checkoff program that they control.
 
Additionally, the legislative provision that effectively guts the GIPSA law, Section 731, would deny farmers protection from retaliation when they use their First Amendment rights to speak with congressional representatives, deny them the right to a jury trial, and deny them the right to request information on how their pay is calculated. This provision is unconscionable. Its inclusion in a funding bill is unacceptable to NFU's and USCA's members.
 
We strongly object to the use of the appropriations process as a mechanism to limit the secretary's authority to uphold the COOL law, to respond to the dire need for reform of the beef checkoff, and to address anti-competitive market concerns.

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National Farmers Union 2 months ago

We strongly object to report language and legislative provisions included in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015. The report language includes two particularly egregious provisions that direct the secretary of agriculture to propose changes to the Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law as well as a provision that orders the secretary to refrain from implementing a reformed beef checkoff program. Additionally, the act includes a legislative provision that prohibits the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) from implementing regulations on the livestock and poultry industry that would address an array of fraudulent, deceptive, anti-competitive and retaliatory practices.
 
National Farmers Union (NFU) and the United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA) are very concerned that the report language included on COOL could be used as an opportunity to stop the appeals process at the World Trade Organization (WTO) or re-open the legislation that mandated COOL, both of which are unacceptable. Congress should not intervene in the WTO process.
 
The report language also directs the secretary not to implement a second beef checkoff program. The secretary published a Notice of Inquiry to seek public comments. The comment period closes today, and over 1300 individuals have commented. National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is so fearful of losing its $40 million-plus revenue stream through the beef checkoff that it has lobbied for this language to be included in the report rather than allowing producers the ability to have their comments recognized and addressed through the commenting process. NCBA has lobbied Congress on a mandatory producer checkoff program that they control.
 
Additionally, the legislative provision that effectively guts the GIPSA law, Section 731, would deny farmers protection from retaliation when they use their First Amendment rights to speak with congressional representatives, deny them the right to a jury trial, and deny them the right to request information on how their pay is calculated. This provision is unconscionable. Its inclusion in a funding bill is unacceptable to NFU's and USCA's members.
 
We strongly object to the use of the appropriations process as a mechanism to limit the secretary's authority to uphold the COOL law, to respond to the dire need for reform of the beef checkoff, and to address anti-competitive market concerns.

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Users Supporting

I support H.R. 83 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act ("Cromnibus") because...

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NJ
7
energyindependence
NJ-7
2 months ago

I support H.R. 83 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act ("Cromnibus")

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CT
5
Nothingfun
CT-5
2 months ago

I support H.R. 83 ("To require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and") because...I hope those living in these islands will get a better more reliable electric grid from this bill.

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CT
2
GraceAdams
CT-2
5 months ago

We really need to increase American sources of green, renewable energy and reduce our reliance on foreign fossil fuels. This serves the two-fold purpose of removing our dependence on foreign powers for our critical energy needs as well as reducing the impact of the energy industry on the environment.

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WA
1
stantp
WA-1
5 months ago

I support H.R. 83 ("To require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and") because..The technology to greatly reduce reliance on foreign oil has been known for decades/ WWW.byronwine.com has videos of seven automobiles, from four nations, fueled only with the components of water. In 1983 an automobile was advertised in the U.K. that achieveds 72-mpg.. The technology exist, why not use it?

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VA
1
ByronW
VA-1
1 year ago

Users Opposing

I oppose H.R. 83 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act ("Cromnibus") because...

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MN
4
doniker
MN-4
2 months ago

I oppose H.R. 83 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act ("Cromnibus") because...

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WI
8
rkittelson
WI-8
2 months ago

I oppose H.R. 83 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act ("Cromnibus") because...

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KY
1
Constituent393831
KY-1
2 months ago

I oppose H.R. 83 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act ("Cromnibus") because...

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IL
16
DebraWade
IL-16
2 months ago

I oppose H.R. 83 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act ("Cromnibus") because...

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TX
3
MichaelSunlin
TX-3
2 months ago

I oppose H.R. 83 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act ("Cromnibus") because...

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FL
4
grandaddy
FL-4
2 months ago

Bill Summary


9/18/2014--Passed Senate amended. Requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish within the Empowering Insular Communities activity a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to: (1) develop an energy action plan addressing the energy needs of each of the insular areas (American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands) and Freely Associated States (the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau); and (2) assist each of the insular areas and Freely Associated States in implementing the plan. Requires such plan to include: (1) recommendations to reduce reliance and expenditures on fuel shipped to the insular areas and Freely Associated States from ports outside the United States, to develop and utilize domestic fuel energy sources, and to improve performance of energy infrastructure and overall energy efficiency; (2) a schedule for implementation of the recommendations and identification and prioritization of specific projects; (3) a financial and engineering plan for implementing and sustaining projects; and (4) benchmarks for measuring progress toward implementation. Establishes reporting requirements. Prohibits the plan from being implemented until the Secretary approves the energy action plan. Extends the federal immigration law transition period for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands through December 31, 2019, including the annual reduction of nonimmigrant workers who may be admitted during such period.

H.R. 82The Infant Protection and Baby Switching Prevention Act H.R. 84The Transportation Security Administration Ombudsman Act