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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Nation

34 Supporting
109 Opposing
24% 76%

State: CA

0 Supporting
4 Opposing
0% 100%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

"It is the hope of the American travel community that Congress sends the right message by passing this spending measure to allow government functions to continue without interruption.

"Too often in the last few years, our economic recovery has been hampered by the political uncertainty emanating from Washington, and the compromise spending bill hopefully represents a new era in which government shutdowns are not on the table.

"In addition, we are excited that the bill includes reauthorization of Brand USA, which helps create tens of thousands of American jobs without costing U.S. taxpayers a single dime."

AAMC Encouraged by House, Senate Conference Spending Agreement
Proposal Provides Vital Support for Pressing Public Health Priorities
 
December 10, 2014—AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued the following statement on the “2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act” recently released by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees:
 
“The AAMC is pleased that lawmakers have worked in bipartisan cooperation to craft a year-long spending bill that recognizes the importance of critical public health issues facing this nation.
 
Specifically, we are gratified that the measure includes emergency supplemental funding for Ebola. While medical schools and teaching hospitals have the specialized facilities and staff to step up in times of emergency, both domestically and abroad, the unique costs associated with these efforts will require such funding in order to continue to fight Ebola.
 
Though we applaud the agreement for the increase proposed for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we are concerned that even with this additional support, funding for medical research remains below the FY 2012 pre-sequestration levels.
 
In addition, we are pleased that lawmakers acknowledged the importance of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s health workforce programs, including the diversity programs, by preserving funding for these efforts. As Congress seeks to increase access to health care services for underserved populations, it is critical to ensure the nation has a well-trained, diverse health care workforce in place to provide that care.
 
We urge quick action from Congress and the President to ensure that vital medical research and public health functions can continue without interruption. The health of the nation depends on it.”

December 11, 2014 -- On behalf of the nearly 116 million Americans who have diabetes or are at a significantly high risk of developing diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (Association) asks you to vote yes on passage of H.R. 83, the "Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of FY 2015." H.R. 83 includes critically important funding for diabetes programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Specifically, H.R. 83 includes $1.749 billion in funding for the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, $137.1 million for the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, and $10 million for the National Diabetes Prevention Program at the CDC. 

The diabetes epidemic is growing at an alarming rate in every state across our nation. Today, nearly 30 million individuals have diabetes and 86 million more have prediabetes. Without decisive action, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes by 2050. The economic burden of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes in America continues to climb, and currently exceeds more than $322 billion in excess medical costs and lost productivity, or more than $1,000 for every American. 

These costs will only continue to soar if we don't invest in stopping diabetes, including passage of H.R. 83. Every minute without funding in FY 2015 for diabetes research and prevention programs at NIH and CDC puts the diabetes community at risk of losing vitally important resources needed to stop diabetes. 

Please seize the moment and pass H.R. 83. The 116 million individuals living with or at risk for diabetes are counting on you to help to change the future of diabetes in our country.

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.

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.

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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Organizations Opposing

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to express our strong opposition to the multiemployer provision included in H.R. 83, the Fiscal Year 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act.

This provision would allow multiemployer pension plan trustees to reduce the earned and vested pension benefits of current retirees. A change of this significance could be devastating to the retirees and widows who rely on their pensions to meet day-to-day expenses. These hard working Americans, including truck drivers, grocery store clerks and construction workers, earned their pensions by contributing throughout their working lives to these funds, believing they were protected by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). 

We understand that underfunded multiemployer pension plans represent only a small percentage (10-15 percent) of the 1,400 plans operating today. Allowing plans to break the fundamental ERISA promise - that pensions paid to retirees and their surviving spouses will not be reduced - represents an extreme response to a problem that can be addressed through other means by strengthening the funding of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. 

Additionally, the National Committee is deeply concerned that this provision could set a dangerous precedent for other defined benefit programs, such as single employer plans, public sector plans and Social Security. We believe a change this fundamental to the retirement security of Americans should be subject to a Congressional hearing and should be considered by the appropriate committees, with legislative language reviewed by Congress and the public, particularly those who will be affected by these reductions. 

The National Committee urges you to reject this proposal which will lead to dramatic reductions in the hard-earned pensions of today’s retirees and set a troubling precedent for similar reductions to other pension and Social Security benefits.

“The Pension Rights Center and retirees across this country are outraged that Congress, in a last-minute, behind–closed-doors deal, is about to pass a 161-page piece of legislation that will allow trustees in financially-troubled multiemployer plans to cut the pensions of hundreds of thousands of retirees and widows. Given that even the most challenged plan, the Central States Teamster Pension Fund, is not projected to run out of money for 10 to15 years, we do not understand why Congress rushed to pass such draconian legislation in the final days of the lame-duck session – without debate, without public hearings, without the input of the vulnerable retirees who stand to lose as much as 60 percent of their hard-earned retirement benefits.

"It is a travesty that, in the year of the 40th anniversary of the landmark pension law, ERISA, Congress is about to sweep away a central tenet of the law – that, once pension benefits are earned, they cannot be reduced or cut back. Even when multiemployer plans face difficulties, retirees’ pensions are given the strongest protections under the law. Only when multiemployer plans run completely out of money, then – and only then – does the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation step in to assist these plans, and retirees’ benefits are reduced to the low government guaranty level. 

"The pension provisions torpedo a fundamental and sacred principle of the law and allow trustees of certain underfunded multiemployer pension plans to slash retirees’ benefits long before a plan is depleted of assets. Retirees did not cause the underfunding of plans, and, in fact, most of these plans were healthy when they retired. Why are they being blamed – and now penalized – for underfunding in plans that was caused primarily by economic conditions, deregulation, and factors that had nothing to do with them? 

"If these provisions pass, Congress would be betraying not only the spirit of ERISA, but also hundreds of thousands of retirees who now face possible cuts of up to 60 percent of the pension benefits that they have earned. These provisions should be dropped from the bill.”

Source:  http://www.pensionrights.org/newsroom/releases/congress%E2%80%99-holiday-present-retirees-slashing-their-pensions#sthash.4T7lhADG.dpuf

On behalf of Friends of the Earth more than 500,000 members, supporters and followers, I am writing to urge you to oppose H.R. 83, the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015.” Friends of the Earth’s opposition is grounded in four broad areas of concerns.

Anti-Environment: H.R. 83 contains many anti-environmental riders that attempt to prevent President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies from addressing climate change, protecting our clean water and ensuring that we protect the environment for wildlife (such as the Sage Grouse) that is impacted by development.  The anti-environmental riders and funding limitations include (but not limited too):

o   Division J, Title II, Section 7806 directly undercuts one of the most effective parts of the President’s Climate Action Plan by preventing enforcement of the coal financing restriction at the Export-Import Bank.

o   Division F, Title IV, Section 419-20 Section 420 on Greenhouse Gas Reporting would restrict any reporting on manure emissions from factory farms, keeping the public and regulators in the dark about the significant methane emissions from industrial animal production. With more than a third of U.S. methane emissions coming from animal agriculture, we must strengthen, not weaken efforts to provide oversight of this highly polluting industry.
 
o   Division F, Title I, Section 122 would block funding for rules protecting the western sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

Undermines Democracy: Division N, Sec 101 provides for a massive increase in the amount that individuals can contribute to national political parties through allowing more giving for conventions and new donations for buildings, legal fees and other expenses. This is effectively an escalation in a “political spending arms race” that, in combination with ever-eroding spending limits for companies and wealthy individuals, harms our democracy and makes it less responsive for ordinary Americans.

Wall Street: Division E, Title VI, Sec. 630 rolls back key safeguards in the Dodd-Frank Act that prevents deposit-insured banks from engaging in risky derivatives trading. This rollback effectively provides government subsidies to banks to gamble on the derivatives market. Not only does put the stability of our financial system and economy at risk, but it further distorts our commodities markets, and contributes to the failure of environmental markets to meet their policy objectives.

Process:  As currently drafted, the $1.1 trillion “Cromnibus” was drafted in a process closed to the public and our representatives in the House and the Senate.  This undemocratic process has lead to a bill full of policy riders and spending levels that fundamentally undermine our capacity to create a more healthy and just world. 

We urge you to vote against this legislation that would undermine public health and the environment and the integrity of our democracy.

Friends of the Earth 7 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.

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.

National Farmers Union 7 months ago

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.

Club for Growth 7 months ago
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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
7 months ago

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

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CT
5
Nothingfun
CT-5
7 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
10 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
10 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
2 years 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
7 months ago

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

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WI
8
rkittelson
WI-8
7 months ago

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

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KY
1
Constituent393831
KY-1
7 months ago

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

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IL
16
DebraWade
IL-16
7 months ago

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

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TX
3
Mnemonic
TX-3
7 months ago

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

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FL
4
grandaddy
FL-4
7 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