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The Fourth Branch
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We summarize federal bills, you vote, and we show you how Congress voted.
We summarize federal bills, you vote, and we show you how Congress voted.

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Legislation News: S.2847 - Prove It Act of 2016

The bill was introduced in the Senate by representative Joni Ernst (R-IA) on April 25th, 2016. Senator Vitter from the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship filed a written report under authority of the order of the Senate on December 20th, 2016 regarding this bill.

Bill Summary:

"This bill authorizes the Chief Counsel of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to request the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review any federal agency certification that a proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and so need not submit a regulatory flexibility analysis of the rule.The request for a review must:

be published in the Federal Register and on the website of the SBA Office of Advocacy,
include any documentation or comments the Chief Counsel furnished or made during the notice and comment period for the proposed rule, and
explain why the Chief Counsel disagreed with the certification and statement providing the factual basis for it.
Within 10 days after the request for review is published in the Federal Register, the federal agency in question shall submit to the SBA a response to the request and publish it in the Federal Register and on the agency website.

If it is determined, after a specified procedure, that the proposed rule will, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the federal agency shall then perform both an initial and a final regulatory flexibility analysis for the rule."

You can view the full bill text here: http://buff.ly/2iThf57

What are your thoughts on this bill?

#TheFourthBranch #LegislationNews #Congress #House #Senate #S2847 #USA #Politics #JoniErnst #SBA #OMB #Economics #SmallEntity #SmallBusiness #Regulation
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Legislation News: S.2116 - Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Enhancement Act of 2015

The bill was introduced in the Senate by representative JeanneShaheen (D-NH) on October 1st, 2015. Senator Vitter from the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship filed a written report under authority of the order of the Senate on December 20th, 2016 regarding this bill.

Bill Summary:

"This bill amends the Small Business Act to direct the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Investment and Innovation to designate a senior employee to serve as the broadband and emerging information technology (BEIT) coordinator.The Office must also provide SBA employees BEIT training to assist small businesses in the use of such technologies.

The SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy shall evaluate the impact of broadband speed and price on small businesses.

Services provided by a small business development center shall include accessing and using BEIT as an authorized activity of small business development centers."

You can view the full bill text here: http://buff.ly/2jsQ9Fa

What are your thoughts on this bill?

#TheFourthBranch #LegislationNews #Congress #House #Senate #S2116 #USA #Politics #JeanneShaheen #SBA #BEIT #Technology #SmallBusiness
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Legislation News: S.2992 - Small Business Lending Oversight Act of 2016

The bill was introduced in the Senate by representative David Vitter (R-LA) on May 25th, 2016. Senator Vitter from the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship filed a written report under authority of the order of the Senateon December 20th, 2016.

Bill Summary:

"This bill amends the Small Business Act to establish within the Small Business Administration (SBA) an Office of Credit Risk Management (OCRM) to impose specified administrative penalties, including monetary penalties, on any loan-financing lender that knowingly and repeatedly:
fails properly to determine and document that a small business loan is eligible for financing, including failure to document that a loan is eligible because theapplicant is unable to obtain credit elsewhere (from non-federal, non-state, or non-local government sources);
sells the guaranteed portion of a loan when the loan proceeds have not been fully disbursed in accordance with program requirements;
imposes on a loan applicant a fee that the SBA has not specifically authorized; or
re-amortizes a loan solely to make the loan appear current.
The SBA shall conduct annual risk analyses of its loan portfolio.

(Sec. 3) The term "credit elsewhere" shall expand beyond non-federal sources to encompass credit to an individual loan applicant on reasonable terms and conditions from non-state and non-local government sources, including but not limited to:

the business industry in which the loan applicant operates;
whether the applicant is an enterprise that has been in operation for less than two years;
the adequacy of the collateral available to secure the requested loan; and
the loan term necessary to reasonably assure the applicant's ability to repay the debt from the actual or projected cash flow of the business.
(Sec. 4) The SBA shall assess a separate fee of up to 0.03% per year of the outstanding balance of the deferred participation share of each approved loan, whose proceeds shall be used solely to support OCRM operations.

The SBA shall collect a fee (currently discretionary) for any loan guarantee sold into the secondary market in an amount equal to 50% of the portion of the sale price that exceeds 108% (currently 110%) of the outstanding principal amount of the portion of the loan guaranteed by the SBA.

(Sec. 5) The SBA shall also, at the end of each year, calculate the percentage of loans in a lender's portfolio made without a contribution of borrower equity when the loan's purpose was to establish a new small business concern, to effectuate a change of small business ownership, or to purchase real estate. This requirement applies only to a lender that makes loans under authority delegated to the lender as a participant in the Preferred Lenders Program. No new loan application without a contribution of borrower equity, except in certain circumstances, may be approved if more than 15% of the lender's loan portfolio is without such a contribution.

The SBA shall make end-of-year calculations, too, of industry concentrations for each such lender, using the applicable six-digit classification code under the North American Industry Classification System. No new loan application to a lender from a small business concern operating in a single industry, except in certain circumstances, may be approved if over 20% of the lender's loans are concentrated in that industry.

The SBA may not approve any loan if its financing is more than 100% of project costs.

(Sec. 6) A lender may use an outside agent or lender service provider to assist in identifying potential applicants and with processing, disbursing, servicing, and liquidating a loan.

With respect to an SBA loan for plant acquisition, construction, conversion, or expansion, including the acquisition of land, material, supplies, equipment, and working capital, as well as a loan to any qualified small business concern, no lender may, without SBA approval, sell an amount higher than 85% of the loan, or the percentage guaranteed by the SBA, whichever is greater."


You can view the full bill text here: http://buff.ly/2i6JCe5

What are your thoughts on this bill?

#TheFourthBranch #LegislationNews #Congress #House #Senate #S2992 #USA #Politics #DavidVitter #SBA #Money #Lenders #Loans
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Legislation News: H.R.6421 - Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016

The bill was introduced in the House by representative Peter Roskam (R-IL) on December 1st, 2016. This bill was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on December 22nd, 2016.

Bill Summary:

"This bill requires the Department of Education (ED), when reviewing whether there has been a violation of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance) based on an individual's actual or perceived shared Jewish ancestry or Jewish ethnic characteristics, to consider the definition of "anti-Semitism" as part of its assessment of whether the alleged practice was motivated by anti-Semitic intent.

For purposes of this bill, the definition of "anti-Semitism" is the definition set forth by the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism of the Department of State in the Fact Sheet issued on June 8, 2010, as adapted from the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism of the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (now known as the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights)."

You can view the full bill text here: http://buff.ly/2i4syud

What are your thoughts on this bill?

#TheFourthBranch #LegislationNews #Congress #House #Senate #HR6421 #USA #Politics #PeterRoskam #ED #Education #Discrimination #Judaism #Anti-semitism
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Legislation News: H.R.6505 - Andrew Joseph III Act of 2016

The bill was introduced in the House by representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) on December 8th, 2016. This bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations on December 22nd, 2016.

Bill Summary:

"This bill requires a jurisdiction to have in place, as a condition of eligibility for funds under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, an independent civilian review board to review allegations of brutality and civil rights violations against law enforcement officers."

You can view the full bill text here: http://buff.ly/2i4TQM6

What are your thoughts on this bill?

#TheFourthBranch #LegislationNews #Congress #House #Senate #HR6505 #USA #Politics #AlanGrayson #Funds #Brutality #Violations #LawEnforcement
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Legislation News: H.R.6417 - Fair Calculations in Civil Damages Act of 2016

The bill was introduced in the House by representative Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) on December 1st, 2016. This bill was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on December 22nd, 2016.

Bill Summary:

"This bill prohibits courts from awarding damages to plaintiffs in civil actions using a calculation for projected future earning potential that takes into account a plaintiff's race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or actual or perceived sexual orientation.The Department of Labor must develop guidance for economists to develop future earnings tables that do not rely on such factors. Labor and the Department of Justice must develop guidance for states on how to calculate future earnings in state tort proceedings in a manner that is free of such biases.

The Judicial Conference of the United States must report on damages awarded under federal law for personal injury, employment discrimination, tort damages, and cases involving protected classes of individuals sharing a common characteristic or identity who are legally protected against discrimination. The Administrative Office of theUnited States Courts must submit recommendations to ensure that future earnings calculations that take into account age and disability do not conflict with federal equal protection laws.

The Federal Judicial Center must train federal judges on how to implement this bill."


You can view the full bill text here: http://buff.ly/2hE79Gc

What are your thoughts on this bill?

#TheFourthBranch #LegislationNews #Congress #House #Senate #HR6417 #USA #Politics #JosephKennedy #Plantiffs #CivilActions #FutureEarnings #Compensation
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Legislation News: H.R.3713 - Sentencing Reform Act of 2015

The bill was introduced in the House by representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on October 8th, 2015. This bill has been placed on the union calendar on December 23rd, 2016.

Bill Summary:

"This bill permits a court to reduce the mandatory minimum prison term imposed on certain non-violent defendants convicted of a high-level first-time or low-level repeat drug offense (including unlawful import, export, manufacture, or distribution of, or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance).The legislation expands safety valve eligibility to permit a court to impose a sentence below the mandatory minimum for certain non-violent, cooperative drug defendants with a limited criminal history.

It reduces the enhanced mandatory minimum prison term for certain defendants who commit a high-level repeat drug offense, use a firearm in a crime of violence or drug offense after a prior conviction for such offense, or unlawfully possess a firearm after three or more prior convictions. It permits retroactive application of such reductions for defendants without a prior serious violent felony conviction, after a court considers certain factors.

It also establishes a consecutive mandatory prison term for a defendant who commits a drug offense involving a detectable amount of heroin or fentanyl.

The bill makes the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 retroactive to permit resentencing of a convicted crack cocaine offender sentenced before August 3, 2010."

You can view the full bill text here: http://buff.ly/2iQvsP9

What are your thoughts on this bill?

#TheFourthBranch #LegislationNews #Congress #House #Senate #HR3713 #USA #Politics #BobGoodlatte #PrisonTerm #Non-violent #DrugOffense
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Legislation News: H.R.68 - Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Reauthorization and the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Act of 2015

The bill was introduced in the House by representative Sheila Lee (D-TX) on January 6th, 2015. This bill has been placed on the union calendar on December 23rd, 2016.

Bill Summary:

"Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to: (1) expand the juvenile accountability block grant program with respect to programs for the prevention of bullying to include intervention programs, and (2) authorize appropriations for such grant program for FY2016-FY2020.

Encourages the use of best practices for all activities under such grant program."

You can view the full bill text here: http://buff.ly/2iQkBo8

What are your thoughts on this bill?

#TheFourthBranch #LegislationNews #Congress #House #Senate #HR68 #USA #Politics #SheilaLee #Grants #Bullying #Intervention #Juvenile
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Legislation News: H.R.320 - Rapid DNA Act of 2015

The bill was introduced in the House by representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) on January 13th, 2015. This bill has been placed on the union calendar on December 23rd, 2016.

Bill Summary:

"Amends the DNA Identification Act of 1994 to require:
the advisory board on DNA quality assurance methods appointed by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to include members from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies;
such board to develop, and the Director to issue, standards for testing the proficiency of qualified agencies (i.e., booking stations, jails, prisons, detention centers, other law enforcement organizations and facilities outside of forensic laboratories) and operators in conducting analyses of DNA samples using sample-to-answer DNA analysis systems (i.e., fully automated systems that prepare and analyze DNA samples with no operator intervention);
the National Institute of Justice to certify that the blind external proficiency testing program for DNA analyses has been established and made available to such qualified agencies or is not feasible; and
the Index to facilitate law enforcement exchange of DNA identification information to include information on DNA identification records and DNA analyses prepared by such qualified agencies that are engaged in the intake, processing, booking, detention, or incarceration of individuals charged or convicted of qualifying offenses and that conduct the analysis of DNA samples on a sample-to-answer DNA analysis system."
You can view the full bill text here: http://buff.ly/2hqfY8g

What are your thoughts on this bill?

#TheFourthBranch #LegislationNews #Congress #House #Senate #HR320 #USA #Politics #JamesSensenbrenner #DNA #Identification #LawEnforcement #FBI
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