Washington Weekly
Jun. 30, 2014

Last Week

The House passed H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act. The legislation would place a 30-day deadline on the DOE to issue a final decision on applications to export liquefied national gas following the conclusion of the National Environmental Review Act environmental review of the LNG facilities. In addition, it would provide for expedited judicial review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the export facility will be located and require public disclosure of export destinations as a condition of approval of authorization to export LNG. The Senate spent the bulk of the week working through judicial nominations, but it did manage to pass the Workforce and Innovation Act. According to sponsors, the bill eliminates and streamlines 35 ineffective and duplicative programs, including 26 identified in a 2011 report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The proposal creates a flexible Workforce Investment Fund to serve as a single source of support for workers, employers, and job seekers. The proposal empowers state governors to consolidate additional employment and training programs and services at the state level for the express purpose of improving administrative efficiency, further eliminating waste and improving support for workers.More

This Week

The House and Senate are in recess.More

Item of Interest

This morning, as expected, the Supreme Court wrapped up its session with a number of important cases. Watched by many employers across the country, the court ruled in a 5-4 decision that privately held family-owned businesses may not be required to provide contraception under the Affordable Care Act. Read the full opinion here. Also of interest, last week Speaker of the House John Boehner announced the House's intention to sue the President of the United States for what the House believes is the administration's failure to fulfill his obligation that he "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." To read the Speaker's memorandum to the House, click here.More

LNG Export Boom Will Likely Leave Out US Shipyards
Roll Call
When you think of U.S. shipbuilding, you may think of places such as Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, building Navy destroyers. But last week Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., made an effort to make American shipyards part of the growing momentum for export of U.S. liquefied natural gas.More

The Best Way to Fix the Employer Mandate
The Hill
The employer mandate is likely to be the first big issue in the Affordable Care Act that actually gets a bipartisan makeover. But right now, the odds are that a fix will go in the wrong direction. It doesn't have to. There's a simple reform to the employer mandate that would address its immediate shortcomings and be a good solution for the long-term changes we need in the way we pay for health care.More

The Supreme Court Just Dealt a Devastating Blow to Public Unions
The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision on Monday that mandatory public union dues violate some members' First Amendment rights. Writing for the majority in the case of Harris v. Quinn, Justice Samuel Alito said that the precedent that had upheld the state of Illinois' right to require membership dues was shaky.More

Goodlatte: Lawsuit 'Absolutely Not' a Stunt
House Republicans' plan to sue President Barack Obama for executive overreach is "absolutely not" a stunt, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said Sunday. The Virginia Republican said the effort to take on the President for executive actions like deferring deportation of some immigrants residing in the country illegally is "all about the Constitution" and not a personal attack on Obama.More