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Advancing Telehealth Through Connectivity

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. titled, “Advancing Telehealth Through Connectivity.”

The hearing will examine the progress made by the private sector and government entities to expand the benefits of telehealth nationwide, particularly in rural areas. The meeting will also explore the connectivity challenges facing many health-care providers and patients attempting to take advantage of innovative telehealth applicati...

GSA Issues RFP for New Leasing Support Services Contract

GSA news releases - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 1:00am
GSA Issues RFP for New Leasing Support Services Contract

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Subcommittee to Examine Challenges Facing Native American Schools

Education & the Workforce Committee - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 12:00am

On Wednesday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m., the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), will hold a hearing entitled “Examining the Challenges Facing Native American Schools.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The federal government, primarily through the Departments of the Interior and Education, provides financial assistance for children on Indian reservations and Native American children in public schools to ensure they receive a quality education comparable to their peers. The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), housed under the Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Affairs, provides direct education to approximately 41,000 students through 185 elementary and secondary schools located on or near Indian reservations. Of these schools, 126 schools are operated by tribes through BIE grants, while 59 schools are directly operated by the BIE.

According to the Government Accountability Office, BIE-administered schools spend 56 percent more per student than traditional public schools and graduation and student achievement rates are consistently below the national average. Additionally, an investigative series by the Minneapolis Star Tribune found many schools are in severe disrepair without adequate facilities and educational resources.

Wednesday’s hearing will give members an opportunity to learn more the Bureau of Indian Education and the challenges facing Native American schools. For more information on hearings, visit edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.

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WITNESS LIST

Ms. Jill Burcum
Editorial Writer
Minneapolis Star Tribune 
Minneapolis, MN

Mr. Brian Cladoosby
President
National Congress of American Indians
Washington, D.C.  

Ms. Melissa Emrey-Arras
Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Boston, MA

Mr. Quinton Roman Nose
Executive Director
Tribal Education Departments National Assembly
Boulder, CO.  

Kline Statement on EEOC Guidance for Wellness Programs

Education & the Workforce Committee - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 5:00pm

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN)  issued the following statement after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released new guidance concerning employee wellness programs:

This agency’s recent hostility toward employee wellness programs is contrary to the law and the best interest of America’s workers. While I am encouraged the EEOC is trying to fix a problem it has created, the devil is in the details. We intend to thoroughly examine the agency’s proposed guidance and closely follow the process as it moves forward. And make no mistake, we reserve the right to take legislative action if the agency continues to discourage innovative health plans that have helped control costs and improve the lives of workers and their families. The president himself has said we need to encourage the use of employee wellness plans, and that is precisely what we intend to do.

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WLF Attorney Interviewed for FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report Blog Podcast

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 11:19am
Attorney Thomas R. Fox, a prominent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) practitioner and author of a forthcoming WLF Legal Opinion Letter, “Is SEC Heading toward a Strict Liability Application of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?,” recently interviewed WLF Legal Studies Division Chief Counsel, Glenn Lammi, about WLF’s public interest work and our focus on the […]
Categories: Latest News

Full Committee Hearing to Examine Weather Forecasting Enhancements

The hearing will examine how weather information is communicated to and used by individuals, businesses, and government.

Aviation Subcommittee Schedules Two Hearings on FAA Certification, Infrastructure

Two hearings are scheduled as part of an ongoing process for reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration.

15 Things That Remind You How Long It's Been Since The Last Major Tax Reform

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 12:00am

15 Things That Remind You How Long It's Been 
Since The Last Major Tax Reform

The tax code hasn't been overhauled since 1986 under President Ronald Reagan. ​That was nearly 30 years ago!
A lot has changed since then. See for yourself with these 1986 throwbacks.


1. The Legend of Zelda​ was released by Nintendo.

The ​Halo​ of its generation.


2. Ferris Bueller took the day off.

Hooky at its finest.


​3. The Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl.

"They calllllll him 'The Fridge'"


4. Robert Palmer topped the charts with 
    Addicted to Love
​.

And vinyl backdrops with clouds were really cool.


5. Pee Wee's Playhouse​ premiered.

Gone, but never, ever, ever, forgotten.


​6. Mike Tyson won his first-ever boxing title.

More than ten years before he demonstrated his ear biting technique!


7. Lady Gaga was born.

​No words.


8. Top Gun ​was the highest grossing film of the year.

"Sorry, Goose, but it's time to buzz a tower."


9. ​Fujifilm released the first disposable camera.

A classic staple for any fanny pack.


10. Richard Simmons released an aerobic
      film for senior citizens.

"Now shake it out again! GOOD!"


11. McDonald's advertising took a slightly
      different angle.

Because what purple blob with eyebrows doesn't appeal to consumers?


12. Tang was consumed by the gallons.

Oh, how we miss this sweet, sweet nectar.


13. High fashion looked like this.

Shoulder pads and denim and leg warmers - oh my!


14. Cool Ranch Doritos made their debut.

A total game changer!


15. Minority Leader Harry Reid was elected to his
      first term in the U.S. Senate.

Guys, this was a really, really, really, really long time ago.

As you can see, time has gotten away from us. Reminiscing about these 1986 highlights can be fun,
but operating with a tax code of that era is unfair to businesses and individuals, alike. And because
85 percent of small businesses file and pay taxes as individuals, any conversation about tax reform
must not leave Main Street behind. ​The time for comprehensive tax reform is long overdue.

ICYMI: Rep. Joe Wilson: #StudentSuccessAct Gives Students "Fresh Start"

Education & the Workforce Committee - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 12:00am

Washington’s outsized role in education has imposed a series of one-size-fits-all policies that assume federal bureaucrats know better than parents, teachers, and local leaders. As Education and the Workforce Committee member Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) writes in a recent op-ed, “the quality of our children’s education is too high a priority to rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. The Student Success Act, he continues, would help bring control of K-12 education back to his home state of South Carolina:

I support meaningful solutions to improve education, like H.R. 5, the Student Success Act. This bill promotes common sense reforms and encourages school choice by allowing existing funds to follow low-income students to their school of choice. This will reward the excellent public schools we have in the Second District and help students across the nation escape failing schools. Our bill also prevents the federal government from imposing coercive one-size-fits-all standards, like Common Core, and returns the authority to schools to spend their money where they need it most—not where the federal government thinks is best.

In addition, our bill gives more freedom to schools to hire the best teachers for the job by eliminating federal hiring requirements. It also prioritizes transparency in school funding to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to benefit students. Finally, the bill bolsters accountability at the Department of Education, requiring increased public oversight before issuing new regulations. We must put students above bureaucratic red tape, and this bill takes a positive step toward student-centered education.

This past week marked the beginning of the fourth quarter grading period for our schools. It is a fresh start for students and their grades for the next nine weeks. Let’s give our students a real fresh start next year by voicing support for the Student Success Act to help create meaningful changes in our education system.

To read the full op-ed, click here.

To learn more about the Student Success Act, click here.

# # #

School Nutrition Experts Call for Increased Flexibility of Child Nutrition Programs

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 5:30pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today held a hearing to discuss the importance of federal child nutrition programs as the committee begins an effort to reauthorize these programs later this year.

“Healthy meals are vitally important to a child’s education,” Chairman Kline said. “It’s just basic commonsense that if a child is hungry then he or she is less likely to succeed in the classroom and later in life … It’s the responsibility of this committee and Congress to reauthorize these programs so that students and families receive the support they need in the most efficient and effective way.”

Witnesses echoed Chairman Kline’s sentiments. As First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Dorothy McAuliffe, remarked, “The impact of hunger and malnutrition on children is devastating, well-documented, and obvious to anyone who is a parent or works with children … How can we expect our children to be hungry for knowledge, if they are just plain hungry?”

The last reauthorization of child nutrition programs in 2010 vastly expanded the role of the federal government. As a result, program costs have increased while student participation has decreased. Furthermore, many schools are struggling to address wasted food and the nutrition needs of each individual student. When asked what Congress can do to improve these programs, witnesses responded with the need for increased flexibility to effectively serve children.

“Some of the new regulations have resulted in unintended consequences, which threaten our ability to better serve students’ nutritional needs,” said School Nutrition Association President, Julia Bauscher. She added, the US Department of Agriculture “estimated that this year, schools must absorb $1.2 billion in added costs as a result of the new rules.”

Senior Director of Share Our Strength, Duke Storen, highlighted the success of public-private partnerships to “make the federal programs run more efficiently and effectively” and to decrease the costs imposed on school districts.

Director of the Texas Hunger Initiative at Baylor University, Kathy Krey, agreed: “Public-private partnerships bridge local, state, and federal resources to maximize the efficiency and reach of these programs. Innovative collaborations increase the capacity of communities to take ownership of their needs so that children can stay fueled for learning all day, all year round.”

At the same time, Mr. Storen reminded members of the critical need to “update these programs to remove bureaucratic barriers and create efficiencies that will allow us to reach those kids who currently go without.”

"We have to find a better way forward," Chairman Kline concluded, "one that continues our commitment to providing nutritious meals for America’s students, while giving state and school leaders the flexibility they need to make it a reality."

To learn more about today’s hearing, read witness testimony, or to watch an archived webcast, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.

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Supreme Court Has Opportunity to Halt Lawsuits by Uninjured Plaintiffs

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 11:31am
Federal courts have been inundated in recent years by suits filed by plaintiffs who have suffered no injury but who allege that a federal statute provides them with “standing” to sue for alleged violations of federal law. Such lawsuits can be extremely lucrative for the plaintiffs’ bar when the statute provides for an award of […]
Categories: Latest News

Tax Reform: Ensuring that Main Street Isn't Left Behind

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 11:00am
On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at 11:00 A.M., the Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing titled, "Tax Reform: Ensuring that Main Street Isn't Left Behind. The hearing will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing will be webstreamed live HERE.

The purpose of the hearing is to examine the need for and potential economic benefits of comprehensive tax reform.

 

Opening Statement:

Chairman Steve  (R-OH)

Witnesses and Testimony:

  • Mr. Scott Lipps, Owner, Sleep Tite Mattress Factory, Franklin, OH
    • Testifying on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business

     

  • Mr. Pete Sepp, President National Tax Payers Union, Alexandria, VA
  •  

  • Mr. Dan McGregor, Chairman of the Board, McGregor Metalworking Companies, Springfield, OH
    • Testifying on behalf of the S Corporation Association of America
    •    

     

         Additional Items:

         

        Kline Statement: Hearing on “Serving Students and Families through Child Nutrition Programs”

        Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:00am

        Healthy meals are vitally important to a child’s education. It’s just basic commonsense that if a child is hungry then he or she is less likely to succeed in the classroom and later in life. That is why our nation has long invested in services that provide low-income students nutritious meals in schools. Those services are authorized through a number of laws, such as the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act.

        In just a few short months, these laws and the programs they authorize will expire, including the national school lunch and breakfast programs, the Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children or WIC Program, and several others. It’s the responsibility of this committee and Congress to reauthorize these programs so that students and families receive the support they need in the most efficient and effective way.

        Why is that important? Because no child should go to school hungry – it’s that simple. Today’s discussion is not about whether we agree on this basic principle; I am confident we all do. Instead, our discussion today is about beginning a larger effort we will continue in the coming months to ensure the best policies are in place to help reach this goal.

        Last week, I had an opportunity to tour a school lunchroom at the Prior Lake High School in Savage, Minnesota. Students and faculty described what’s working and what isn’t working in federal nutrition programs. As a result of our conversation, two important realities are abundantly clear.

        First, our school nutrition professionals are dedicated men and women doing the best they can under difficult circumstances, and no one should question their commitment to providing students nutritious meals. Unfortunately, rules and regulations put in place in recent years have made their jobs harder, not easier. The cost of the lunch and breakfast programs for schools are going up, yet fewer meals are being served. In fact, the number of children participating in these programs is declining more rapidly than any period over the last 30 years.

        Second, as we reauthorize these programs, we have to provide more flexibility at the state and local levels. Those working in our schools and cafeterias recognize that this has to be a priority. Even students understand the urgent need for more flexibility.

        During my visit to Prior Lake High School, I talked with a number of students about their school lunch program. Right now, the federal government determines the number of calories, vegetables, and grains that are served to students, which means Washington is dictating how much food every child is served at every school meal. That is one reason why students are urging the school to drop out of the program. Many children are bringing food from home or buying more food because the portion sizes served at school are too small for a full meal. As one student, Corinna Swiggum, noted, “A lot of times, we’re going back and getting junk food, not healthy food.”

        This isn’t what these children want. This isn’t what their parents or school administrators want, and it’s not what we want either. We have to find a better way forward, one that continues our commitment to providing nutritious meals for America’s students, while giving state and school leaders the flexibility they need to make it a reality.

        That is why we are delighted to have you here today, Mrs. McAuliffe. Through your work, you are demonstrating that promoting healthy lifestyles is not just a federal priority, but a state and local priority as well. Often we are told we need more federal involvement because states can’t be trusted to help those in need. But through your leadership, you’re showing states can take the lead on tough issues in partnership with the federal government.

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