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Tonko Releases 2017 Legislative Scorecard

Several top priorities advanced including major bipartisan achievements

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Albany, NY, December 22, 2017 | comments
“Despite gridlock in the broader Congress, my team and I were able to find many opportunities to build on common ground with Republican colleagues,” said Tonko. “Thanks to the tireless work of my staff, our Energy & Commerce and Science committee staff, my fellow members and, as always, the constituents of New York’s Capital Region, we were able to address many critical priorities for the year. These include advancing legislation to repair leaking and outdated drinking water systems, to protect federal scientific integrity, to make energy production systems more efficient, to secure mental health parity and addiction treatment, to expand broadband access and close the homework gap, to improve our national Alzheimer’s treatment systems, and to ensure our veterans have access to the healthcare they deserve. I am humbled and grateful for all of the work and support that made these advances possible, and I look forward to another productive year in 2018!”
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ALBANY, NYCongressman Paul Tonko issued his official legislative scorecard for 2017 today. Among the highlights:

  • Cosponsored 306 bills in the First Session of the 115th Congress. A rough count indicates that 88 were sponsored by Republicans (28.76%).
  • Three (3) top legislative priorities passed in the House, either as standalone bills or as part of larger legislation. One (1) major provision championed by Rep. Tonko was signed into law.
  • Wrote or signed nearly 250 policy letters calling for federal agency review, accountability or other actions.

“Despite gridlock in the broader Congress, my team and I were able to find many opportunities to build on common ground with Republican colleagues,” said Tonko. “Thanks to the tireless work of my staff, our Energy & Commerce and Science committee staff, my fellow members and, as always, the constituents of New York’s Capital Region, we were able to address many critical priorities for the year. These include advancing legislation to repair leaking and outdated drinking water systems, to protect federal scientific integrity, to make energy production systems more efficient, to secure mental health parity and addiction treatment, to expand broadband access and close the homework gap, to improve our national Alzheimer’s treatment systems, and to ensure our veterans have access to the healthcare they deserve. I am humbled and grateful for all of the work and support that made these advances possible, and I look forward to another productive year in 2018!”

 

REPORT ENCLOSED

 

 

Office of Congressman Paul D. Tonko

First Session of the 115th Congress

2017 POLICY REPORT

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I.                   Legislative Initiatives in the 115th Congress

Legislation Introduced

  • H.R. 1071, Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act of 2017
    • This bill reauthorizes the Drinking Water SRF and makes other reforms to the Safe Drinking Water Act.
    • Parts of the AQUA Act were included in H.R.3387, Drinking Water System Improvement Act of 2017, which was introduced by Rep. Harper and passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 27, 2017 by voice vote.
  • H.R. 1358, Scientific Integrity Act
    • This bill requires federal agencies that conduct or fund scientific research to develop clear written scientific integrity policies that can guarantee research is being done and published without undue influence, censorship or distortion.
    • 151 cosponsors as of December 22, 2017.
  • H.R. 1877, To establish a research, development, and technology demonstration program to improve the efficiency of gas turbines used in combined cycle and simple cycle power generation systems.
    • This bill authorizes a R&D program for advanced gas turbine efficiency within DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy.
    • Rep. McKinley is an original cosponsor.
  • H.R. 2509, Medicare Mental Health Inpatient Equity Act of 2017
    • This bill eliminates the 190-day lifetime limit on inpatient psychiatric hospital services under the Medicare Program.
  • H.R. 3666, Fort McClellan Health Registry Act
    • This bill requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a health registry and notify individuals that served at Fort McClellan.
    • Rep. McSally is a cosponsor.
  • H.R. 3692, Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act of 2017
    • This bill enables clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists to prescribe buprenorphine. The bill also codifies the 2016 HHS regulation that expanded the number of patients qualified physicians could treat to 275 and make permanent the authorization that allows non-physician providers to treat patients with buprenorphine.
    • Rep. Lujan is an original cosponsor.
    • The bill has a number of bipartisan cosponsors.
  • H.R. 3994, ACCESS BROADBAND Act
    • This bill establishes the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
    • The bill has an equal number of Republican and Democratic cosponsors.
  • H.R. 4005, Medicaid Reentry Act
    • This bill allows for medical assistance under Medicaid for inmates during the 30-day period preceding release from a public institution.
  • H.Res. 654, Expressing support for the designation of January 23, 2018, as "National Handwriting Day" and recognizing the importance of handwriting for cognitive, artistic, and educational benefit.
    • Rep. Lance is an original cosponsor.

Legislation as a Lead Cosponsor

  • H.R. 3017, Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act of 2017 (McKinley)
    • The bill reauthorizes EPA’s Brownfields Program.
    • The bill passed the House on November 30, 2017 by a vote of 409–8.
  • H.R. 1068, Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 2017 (Pallone)
    • This bill includes a number of House Democratic priorities to reform the Safe Drinking Water Act, including Congressman Tonko’s AQUA Act.
  • H.R. 1090, Technologies for Energy Security Act of 2017 (Reed)
    • This bill extends the Sec. 48 business Investment Tax Credit and Sec. 25D residential Investment Tax Credit for a number of clean energy technologies, including fuel cells, CHP, and geothermal.
  • H.R. 1747, Brownfields Authorization Increase Act of 2017 (Pallone)
    • This bill reauthorizes EPA’s Brownfields Program.
  • H.R. 2651, Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 (Barr)
    • This bill establishes the Thoroughbred Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority.
  • H.R. 3069, Army Arsenal Revitalization Act of 2017 (Bustos)
    • This bill enables Arsenals to receive more workload from the Army.
  • H.R. 4256, BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act (Guthrie)
    • The bill establishes Alzheimer’s centers of excellence, provides cooperative agreements to public health departments, and increases data collection, analysis and timely reporting.
  • H.R. 1002, National Heritage Area Act of 2017 (Dent)
    • This bill establishes a National Heritage Area program in the National Park Service.
  • H.R. 1050, Youth Access to American Jobs Act (Larsen)
    • This bill creates 10 pilot pathways through the Department of Education that engage students in STEM-related fields from their junior year in high school through community college and into an apprenticeship.
  • H.R. 1094, Weekend Voting Act (Slaughter)
    • This bill moves Election Day to the first Saturday and Sunday after the first Friday in November.
  • H.R. 1579, Secure and Resilient Water Systems Act (Peters)
    • This bill requires water systems to assess threats and authorizes $50 million annually to establish an EPA program to provide grants for communities to address these threats.
  • H.R. 1812, CLIMATE Act (Schneider)
    • This bill blocks President Trump’s Executive Order 13783, entitled "Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth" (March 28, 2017).
  • H.R. 2088, Empire State Equity Act (Engel)
    • This bill increases federal Medicaid funding for New York State.
  • H.R. 2790, Humane Cosmetics Act (McSally)
    • This bill prohibits selling any cosmetics if any component of the final product was developed or manufactured using animal testing.
  • H.R. 2995, United States Green Bank Act of 2017 (Esty)
    • This bill creates a $50 billion national Green Bank that would provide capital to state and local Green Banks to finance clean energy projects.
  • H.R. 3690, Preserve America’s Historic Downtown Residences Act (McKinley)
    • This bill increases the rehabilitation credit for commercial buildings and provides a rehabilitation credit for primary residences.
  • H.R. 4023, Developing Tomorrow’s Engineering and Technical Workforce (Tim Ryan)
    • The bill awards grants to state and local educational agencies to support, develop, and implement formal and informal engineering education programs in elementary schools and secondary schools.
  • H.Res. 31, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Postal Service should take all appropriate measures to restore service standards in effect as of July 1, 2012. (McKinley)
  • H.Res. 390, Expressing strong disapproval of the President's announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. (Schneider)

 

II.                Legislative Success in the 115th Congress

  • Through his position on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Congressman Tonko shepherded a bipartisan effort to reauthorize EPA’s brownfields program through the House. H.R. 3017, Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act of 2017, was introduced with Reps. McKinley, Shimkus, Walden, and Pallone. The bill passed the House on November 30, 2017 by a vote of 409–8.
  • An amendment by Congressman Tonko was accepted en bloc to H.R. 3354, Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018. The amendment specifies that $12.5 million appropriated for the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration may be used to award competitive grants to strengthen mental health and substance use community crisis response systems as authorized in the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. H.R. 3354 passed the House on September 14, 2017.
  • Congressman Tonko secured language in H.R. 244, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 to increase the lifetime funding cap for the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor from $10 million to $12 million. Congressman Tonko requested this language in 2016 with Reps. Higgins, Collins (NY), and Gibson. The bill passed the House on May 3, 2017 by a vote of 309–118 and was signed into law on May 5, 2017.

Additionally, Congressman Tonko has a number of other priorities moving through the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the House Science, Space & Technology Committee. It is likely that a number of these bills will pass the House in 2018.

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