FCIA Letter on HR 707

FCIA writes to House Judiciary Committee to support the Restoration of America's Wire Act, H.R. 707, which amends provisions of the federal criminal code, commonly known as the Wire Act, to provide that the prohibition against transmission of wagering information shall apply to any bet or wager, or information assisting in the placing of any bet or wager (thus making such prohibition applicable to all types of gambling activities, including internet gambling). States that nothing in this Act shall be construed to: (1) preempt any state law prohibiting gambling; or (2) alter, limit, or extend the relationship between the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 and other federal laws currently in effect, the ability of a state licensed lottery retailer to make in-person, computer-generated retail lottery sales, or the relationship between federal laws and state charitable gaming laws.

FCIA's letter fully supports H.R. 707's intent and endorses the passage of this important provision, but with an important amendment or modification: the so-called carve-out, which would permit online poker wagering via usage of interstate and foreign communication facilities, needs to be removed from the bill before its final passage.

Public Law 113-46 Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014

Requires that the head of any executive branch department, agency, board, commission, or office funded by this or any other appropriations Act report annually to the Inspector General (IG) (or senior ethics official for any federal entity without an IG) regarding the costs and contracting procedures related to each conference held by any such entity during FY2014 for which the cost to the federal government was more than $100,000; Requires that the head of any federal entity, within 15 days of any conference it held for which the cost was over $20,000, notify the IG or the senior ethics official of the date, location, and number of employees attending such conference; Prohibits the use of federal grants or contracts by an executive branch agency to defray the costs of such a conference not directly and programmatically related to the purpose for which the grant or contract was awarded, such as a conference held in connection with planning, training, assessment, review, or other routine purposes related to a project funded by the grant or contract; and Prohibits the use of federal funds for travel and conference activities that are not in compliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-12-12 dated May 11, 2012.

H.R.3135 Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2013

Amends provisions of federal civil service law to extend employment-related and retirement benefits to domestic partners of federal employees and to set forth requirements for establishing and terminating a domestic partnership, including the filing of an affidavit attesting to the existence and legitimacy of the partnership. Modifies provisions relating to the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) to extend eligibility for annuity and survivor benefits to current and former domestic partners of federal employees on the same basis as married employees. Requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to prescribe regulations to provide that domestic partners and former domestic partners shall be considered as spouses or former spouses for purposes of creditable service determinations under CSRS and FERS. Makes domestic partners of federal employees eligible for: (1) the federal employee group life insurance (FEGLI) program, (2) federal employees health benefits (FEHB), (3) dental and vision benefit plans, and (4) long-term care insurance coverage. Grants the head of an federal agency authority to reimburse an employee for taxes incurred by the domestic partner of such employee for travel, transportation, or relocation expense reimbursements. Modifies provisions of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) to make domestic partners of federal employees eligible for worker compensation benefits under such Act. Adds "domestic partner" to the list of relatives subject to restrictions on federal employment of relatives and related prohibitions. Includes a biological, adopted, or foster child of a domestic partner as a "son or daughter" for purposes of federal employee family and medical leave provisions. Allows a federal employee family and medical leave to care for a domestic partner. Requires the President to prescribe regulations necessary to ensure that specified provisions relating to the following are administered in a manner consistent with the purposes of this Act: (1) the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; (2) travel, transportation, and related payments and benefits under the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and for civilian employees of the Department of Defense (DOD); (3) certain benefits for members of the commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and (4) benefits related to federal employees or annuitants and benefits necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. Amends the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to make provisions of that Act applicable to domestic partners of federal employees to the same extent as married employees, including provisions relating to financial disclosure, government-wide limitations on outside earned income and employment, gifts to superiors and to federal employees, bribery, acceptance of travel expenses from nonfederal sources, taxes on self-dealing, and disqualification of a justice, judge, or magistrate judge.

H.R. 2679 Preventing Unionization of Revenue Service Employees Act or the PURSE Act

Excludes employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from provisions of federal personnel law allowing federal employees to organize, bargain collectively, and participate in labor organizations.

H.R. 2548

Terminates from employment any federal employee who: (1) refuses to answer questions in a congressional hearing after being granted immunity; (2) in a congressional hearing, refuses to answer questions specifically, directly, and narrowly relating to his or her official duties, without being required to waive immunity with respect to the use of answers or the fruits thereof in a criminal prosecution; or (3) is found, by three-fourths of the congressional body to which testimony is given, to have willfully or knowingly given false testimony in a congressional hearing.

H.R. 1931 Employees of America Streamlining for Your Savings Act of 2013 or the EASY Savings Act of 2013

Expands the awards program for disclosures by federal employees of fraud, waste, or mismanagement that result in cost savings to the employee's agency to include identification of surplus funds or unnecessary budget authority. Directs that any savings resulting from the identification of such funds or budget authority be deposited in the Treasury and used to reduce a budget deficit or the federal debt.

H.R. 1780

Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to restrict the health plans that the federal government may make available to the President, Vice-President, or federal employees to a health plan either created under PPACA or offered through a health care exchange established under PPACA.

H.R. 1728 Enforce Existing Gun Laws Act

Repeals provisions of specified consolidated appropriations acts that:

  • prohibit the use of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appropriations for salaries or administrative expenses in connection with consolidating or centralizing, within the Department of Justice (DOJ), records of the acquisition and disposition of firearms maintained by federal firearms licensees;
  • prohibit expending funds appropriated to ATF to promulgate or implement any rule requiring a physical inventory of any firearms business;
  • prohibit using appropriated funds for any criminal background check system that does not require the destruction of identifying information submitted for a transferee within 24 hours after the system advises a licensee that the transferee's receipt of a firearm is not prohibited;
  • prohibit the use of ATF appropriations to disclose the contents of the Firearms Trace System database or any information required to be kept or reported on the acquisition and disposition of firearms by firearms licencees, except to a law enforcement agency, a prosecutor in connection with in a criminal investigation or prosecution;
  • prohibit using appropriations to take any action on a Freedom of Information Act request with respect to certain records collected, maintained, or provided by law enforcement agencies in connection with arson or explosives incidents or the tracing of a firearm;
  • require ATF data releases to include language that would make clear that firearms trace data cannot be used to draw broad conclusions about firearms-related crime;
  • prohibit the use of appropriations to pay administrative expenses or the compensation of any federal employee to implement an amendment to regulations permitting the importation of certain firearms classified as curios or relics, to change the definition of "curios or relics" under such regulations, or to deny an application for a permit to import U.S.-origin curios or relics firearms, parts, or ammunition; and
  • prohibit the use of ATF appropriations to deny issuance or renewal of a firearms license due to a licensee's lack of business activity.

H.R. 1362 Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act

Amends the definition of the term "law enforcement officer" under provisions of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) to include: (1) federal employees not otherwise covered by such term whose duties include the investigation or apprehension of suspected or convicted individuals and who are authorized to carry a firearm, and (2) such employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whose duties are primarily the collection of delinquent taxes and the securing of delinquent returns. Requires such service that is performed by an incumbent law enforcement officer: (1) on or after enactment of this Act to be treated for all purposes other than retirement as service performed as a law enforcement officer; and (2) before, on, or after enactment of this Act to be treated for federal retirement purposes as service performed as such an officer only if an appropriate written election is submitted to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) within five years after enactment of this Act or before separation from government service, whichever is earlier. Provides that nothing under current law respecting mandatory separation from government service under CSRS or FERS shall cause the involuntary separation of an officer before the end of the three-year period following enactment.

H.R. 735 Federal Protective Service Improvement and Accountability Act of 2013

Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to maintain no fewer than 1,350 full-time equivalent positions in the Federal Protective Service inspector force, who shall be fully trained federal law enforcement officers. Directs the Secretary to classify the positions in the following categories: (1) Federal Facility Security Officers, responsible for security assessment; and (2) law enforcement officers, responsible for physical law enforcement and investigations. Directs the Secretary to establish: (1) the Federal Protective Service contract oversight force, and (2) minimum training and certification standards for security guard services at facilities protected by the Service.

H.R. 598

To give members of the United States Capitol Police the option to delay mandatory retirement until age 60 Revises mandatory retirement requirements for members of the U.S. Capitol Police under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Requires the Capitol Police Board, at a member's request, to exempt the individual from automatic separation requirements until he or she becomes age 60, if the member: (1) undergoes a physical examination during the six-month period ending on the day the member turns age 57, and (2) on the basis of the examination meets appropriate physical fitness criteria. Expresses the sense of Congress that specified security standards for federal facilities established by the Interagency Security Committee should be implemented for all federal facilities for which they were issued.

H.R. 517 Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2013

Allows federal employees to substitute any available paid leave for any leave without pay available for either the: (1) birth of a child, or (2) placement of a child with the employee for either adoption or foster care. Makes available (subject to specified requirements) for any of the 12 weeks of leave an employee is entitled to for such purposes: (1) four administrative weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth or placement involved, and (2) any accumulated annual or sick leave. Authorizes the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to promulgate regulations to increase the amount of paid parental leave available to such an employee to a total of eight administrative workweeks, based on the consideration of: (1) the benefits to the federal government, including enhanced recruitment and employee retention; (2) the cost to the government; (3) trends in the private sector and in state and local governments; (4) the federal government's role as a model employer; and (5) the impact of increased paid parental leave on lower-income and economically disadvantaged employees and their children.

H.R.107 Federal Employee Accountability Act of 2013

Repeals provisions: (1) authorizing a federal employee representing an exclusive representative in the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement official time for such purpose during the time such employee otherwise would be in a duty status; and (2) requiring the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to determine whether any employee participating for, or on behalf of, a labor organization in any phase of proceedings before it shall be authorized official time for that purpose.

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