Wednesday: House vs IRS, round two

The House returns Wednesday afternoon for another round of legislation aimed at reining in the IRS.

Members passed two IRS-related bills on Tuesday, two of which responded to last year's IRS scandal involving the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. Both of those bills passed in voice votes.

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Today, GOP leaders will call up a bill that's likely to be more controversial: the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act, or the STOP Act. The legislation, H.R. 3865, is from House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), and it would delay a pending IRS rule that Republicans say would limit the political activities of tax-exempt groups.

Specifically, the IRS rule would stop groups with 501(c )(4) status from performing voter registration activities. Republicans say the rule should be delayed while Congress continues to investigate the targeting scandal, and Camp's bill would delay the IRS rule for one year.

The House will first have to pass a rule for this bill, which allows no amendments. Once the rule is passed, the bill gets an hour of debate before the final vote.

The same rule also governs consideration of a big anti-regulation bill, H.R. 2804, which is meant to bring more transparency to federal rules and require the government to ensure those rules don't lead to unduly costs for companies.

The House will start work on this bill today, but finish it on Thursday. The rule makes 11 amendments in order, and they will likely be debated Wednesday evening.

That same rule also lets the House consider a flood insurance bill any time on Thursday. That bill is the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, H.R. 3370.

Earlier in the week, House Republicans were still trying to negotiate the contents of the bill. The latest version proposed last week would repeal pending flood insurance rate hikes based on risk, and instead call for steady increases in these rates.

However, Democrats indicated that they may not be able to support that proposal.

Elsewhere, the GOP will call up another bill today that's meant to let people know when the government is paying for advertisements. The Taxpayer Transparency Act, H.R. 3308, is a response to the Obama administration's advertisements for ObamaCare.

This bill is a suspension bill, and can be quickly debated and approved as long as it wins a two-thirds majority.

And finally, the House is expected to pass the Private Property Rights Protection Act, H.R. 1944. This bill would gut the Supreme Court's 2005 decision that says government is allowed to seize private property to pursue economic development, an result the Court said can be justified as a "public use" under the Fifth Amendment.

The Senate starts at 9:30 a.m., and will continue working on S. 1982, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act. As of late Tuesday, no votes were scheduled on the bill.

On Tuesday, this bill advanced in the Senate, but Republicans are hoping to propose a new way to pay for the veterans benefits in the bill. Those proposals could slow the bill down in the Senate if Democrats disagree.

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