Rep. Gary Miller’s Weekly Newsletter
Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 13, 2012
This came over the wire from Congressman Gary Miller’s office on Friday…
May 11, 2012
Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Bill Passes House
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill to fund several government agencies, including the Departments of Commerce and Justice, NASA, and science programs. The bill provides $51.1 billion, a reduction of $1.6 billion from current levels and $731 million less than the President’s request. Included in the legislation is a provision that prohibits funds under the bill from being used to provide abortions. The measure also strictly prohibits the use of federal funds to knowingly transfer firearms to suspected members of drug cartels without continuous monitoring of the firearms by law enforcement. Congressman Miller supported this legislation which strikes a careful balance between the need to reign in unnecessary federal spending, while ensuring that appropriate resources are provided to combat crime and terror threats and promote U.S. competitiveness and job creation.
Sequestration Replacement Legislation Approved by House
As a result of last year’s failure by the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to come to an agreement on a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction package, an equivalent amount of savings will be achieved through automatic spending cuts for the next ten years, through a process known as sequestration. For 2013, $98 billion in non-mandatory spending will be sequestered, $43 billion from non-defense programs and $55 billion from defense. It should be noted that these defense cuts are in addition to $490 billion worth of reductions that have already been planned. This week, House Republicans passed an alternative plan to replace the 2013 sequester to protect our national security interests, while ensuring that deficit reduction goals are fully met. To do this, the replacement bill lowers the FY 2013 spending cap established by last year’s Budget Control Act by $19 billion, and makes targeted spending cuts – including eliminating funding to implement the President’s health care law – that will result in a net savings of $238 billion over ten years. Congressman Miller supported this legislation to ensure that the federal government gets its fiscal house in order without risking our national security.
Congressman Miller Chairs Hearing on Dodd-Frank’s Conflict Minerals Provision
On Thursday, a House Financial Services panel led by Congressman Miller held a hearing to examine the consequences of a provision tucked into the 2,300-page Dodd-Frank law on American jobs. In an attempt to discourage the purchase and use of minerals mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Section 1502 of Dodd-Frank directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to formulate rules requiring thousands of companies to certify that none of their products contains such minerals. This is a near-impossible task, due to ongoing violence and a lack of infrastructure in the Congo to track minerals. While Section 1502 is well-intended, it was added to Dodd-Frank during late-night conference negotiations, without the benefit of any prior congressional hearings on the potential impact on American jobs and global competitiveness. Serious concerns have been raised that this provision will cost American job creators $9 to $16 billion to implement, and will put U.S. companies at a huge disadvantage with foreign competitors who do not have to report that their products are “conflict-free.” In addition, some have expressed concerns that Section 1502 has caused a de facto embargo against the Congo, harming legitimate Congolese miners and undermining the good intentions of the provision. It is unfortunate that these concerns could not have been addressed prior to Section 1502 becoming law. As the chairman of the International Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee, Congressman Miller will continue to closely follow the SEC’s rulemaking process to ensure that Section 1502 disclosure rules do not adversely impact U.S. jobs or make a terrible situation in the Congo even worse.
Artistic Discovery Winners Announced
Congressman Miller is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Artistic Discovery art competition. Miss Britta Sibley of Ruben S. Ayala High School received first place for her woodburnt “Gearhead.” Miss Sibley will receive two tickets to attend a special reception in Washington, D.C., where her artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building. Second place was awarded to Miss Tiffany Chuang of Yorba Linda High School for her photograph entitled ‘It Lingers’. Miss Megan Ramirez of La Serna High School received third place for her scratch board ‘Warm Winter”. Congressman Miller would like to congratulate all 70 students who participated in this year’s competition. All of the artwork entered was exceptional.
The Capitol Connection Newsletter is published at the end of every week in which Congress is in session. To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please send an email to CapitolConnectionNewsletter@mail.house.gov or call (202) 225-3201.