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An update on the Federal side.
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Author:  Ben Stafford [ Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  An update on the Federal side.

House. On Monday, February 2, the House passed legislation to enhance social media and internal communications practices at the Department of Homeland Security, in a 328-51 vote. One measure, H.R. 623, would authorize an existing working group overseen by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide guidance on the use of social media during and after terror attacks or other emergencies.
On Wednesday, the House passed legislation to require federal agencies to evaluate the full economic effects of regulations, in a 250-173 vote. The measure would further require agencies to consult with private sector entities impacted by the proposed rules.

On Wednesday, February 4, the House passed a bill that would set new limits on, and effectively cut, the amount of money the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can spend.

On Thursday, February 5, the House passed a bill requiring federal agencies to measure the costs of regulations on small businesses, in a 260-163 vote. The measure would require federal agencies to calculate the direct, as well as indirect, costs of proposed rules.

Senate. On Tuesday, February 3, Senate Democrats blocked the chamber from considering House-passed legislation aimed at thwarting President Barack Obama’s executive action to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

On Tuesday, February 3, the Senate voted unanimously to approve legislation aimed at preventing suicide among military veterans. The legislation, named after a Marine Corps veteran who took his life after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, calls for external audits of suicide prevention programs in the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments.

Administration. On Wednesday, February 4th, the White House announced President Obama's longtime aide and confidant Dan Pfeiffer plans to leave the administration in the coming weeks. Pfeiffer is the longest-serving staffer from the 2008 presidential campaign, and the last of the senior officials from that campaign to still work at the White House. He holds the position of senior adviser, one of a small cadre of top advisers to the president.

Labor. On Friday, February 6, the U.S. the Labor Department stated that U.S. nonfarm payrolls grew by a seasonally adjusted 257,000 jobs in January. And job creation was far stronger in prior months than previously thought, with the government raising its estimates of new jobs in November and December by a combined 147,000. On the other hand, the mining and logging industry lost 3,000 jobs in January, one of the only sectors of the U.S. economy to cut payrolls last month.

Upcoming Hearings
• On Wednesday, February 11th, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold hearings to examine the Internet.
• On Wednesday, February 11th, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a hearing titled, “Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill: Laying the Foundation for U.S. Economic Growth and Job Creation Part I”.
• On Wednesday, February 11th, the House Committee on Appropriations will hold a budget hearing on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
• On Wednesday, February 11th, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold hearings to examine the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) new election rule, focusing on employers and employees.
• On Wednesday, February 11th, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs will hold hearings to examine the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) 2015 list of high risk government programs.
• On Thursday, February 12th, the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies will hold a hearing titled, “Emerging Threats and Technologies to Protect the Homeland”.

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