Summaries of Legislation of the 114th Congress with provisions affecting Social Security:

  • On December 23, 2016, the President signed S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Public Law 114-328. The law includes a number of provisions related to leave and personnel actions. 

  • On December 16, 2016, the President signed into law H.R. 6450, the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016, which became Public Law 114-317.  The new public law (P.L. 114-317) modifies the “Inspector General Act of 1978,” providing additional authorities to Inspectors General, and removing barriers to performance of their investigative duties.

  • On October 7, 2016, the President signed into law S.1698, the Treatment of Certain Payments in Eugenics Compensation Act, which became Public Law 114-241.  The House passed the bill by voice vote  under suspension of the rules on September 27, 2016.  The bill previously passed the Senate, without amendment, by unanimous consent on November 30, 2015.  The law requires SSA to exclude––for purposes of the Supplemental Security Income and Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy programs––payments made by a State program intended to compensate individuals who had been sterilized under the authority of a State.  Such payments would be excluded from income and, if retained, from resources.  There is no time limit on this exclusion.
    Previous Action 09/27/16

  • On September 26, 2016, the House passed H.R. 3779, the Social Security Fraud Prevention Act of 2016, under suspension of the rules.  The bill would restrict the inclusion of Social Security Numbers on documents sent by mail by the Federal Government.  The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

  • On September 22, 2016, the House passed H.R. 6004, the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2016, under suspension of the rules.  The bill would authorize Federal agencies to reprogram already available funds or receive other funds to modernize their information technology (IT) infrastructure for the purpose of enhancing cybersecurity and improving cost-efficiency and effectiveness.

  • On September 22, 2016, the House passed H.R. 5320, the Social Security Must Avert Identity Loss (MAIL) Act of 2016, as amended, by a vote of 414-0.  The bill would amend the Social Security Act to restrict the inclusion of full Social Security Numbers (SSNs) on documents sent by mail by the Social Security Administration (SSA) unless necessary.  The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
    Previous Action 07/13/16

  • On July 12, 2016, the Senate Committee on Finance reported S. 3157, the Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act.  The bill would provide additional protections for individuals when the Secretary of Treasury determines there may have been unauthorized use of their identities for employment purposes.  The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.  

  • On June 30, 2016, the President signed into law S. 2133, the Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics Act of 2015, which became Public Law 114-186.  The House passed the bill on June 21, 2016 by voice vote under suspension of the rules.  The bill previously passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 12, 2016.  The law requires the Office of Management and Budget to establish guidelines for Federal agencies to establish financial and administrative controls to identify and assess fraud risks and design and implement control activities in order to prevent, detect, and respond to fraud, including improper payments.  Previous Action 06/29/16

  • On May 9, 2016, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs reported S.1073, the Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act. The bill would amend section 205(r) of the Social Security Act to permit SSA to share the full file of death information through the Do Not Pay (DNP) portal established by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012 (IPERIA).  The bill now moves to the full Senate for its consideration.

  • On December 18, 2015, the President signed into law S. 614, the Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act of 2015, which became Public Law 114-109.  The House passed the bill on December 7, 2015  by voice vote under suspension of the rules.  The bill previously passed the Senate by unanimous consent on July 28.  Among other things, the bill would provide that Federal agencies shall review, as appropriate, SSA’s death records through the Do Not Pay (DNP) Initiative.  However, the bill does not amend section 205(r) of the Social Security Act, and thus does not permit the use of SSA’s full file of death information by the DNP system. Previous Actions 12/07/15; 07/28/15

  • On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which became Public Law 114-74.  The Senate passed the measure on October 30, 2015 by a vote of 64-35.  The House amended and passed the Senate amendment on October 28, 2015 by a vote of 266-167. 

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 reallocates funds from the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund to the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund to ensure payment of full disability benefits into 2022; without such a reallocation the DI trust fund would have been depleted in December 2016.  The bill also suspends the debt limit until March 15, 2017; partially rolls back the sequester of discretionary spending scheduled for FY 2016 and FY 2017; and reduces the amount of increase in Medicare Part B premiums for certain beneficiaries in 2016.  In addition, the legislation provides adjustments to civil monetary penalties (CMPs) and makes reforms to the Social Security Program.

  • On October 7, 2015, the President signed into law S. 139, the Ensuring Access to Clinical Trials Act of 2015, which became Public Law 114-63.  The House passed the bill by voice vote on September 28, 2015.  The bill previously passed the Senate by unanimous consent on July 16.  The law amends the Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act of 2009 to permanently allow an exclusion under the Supplemental Security Income program and the Medicaid program for compensation provided to individuals who participate in clinical trials for rare diseases or conditions.

  • On April 16, 2015, the President signed into law H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which became Public Law 114-10.  The Senate passed the bill on April 14, 2015 by a vote of 92-8, without amendment.  The bill previously passed the House on March 26, 2015 by a vote of 392-37.  The law, among things, reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and repeals the Medicare sustainable growth rate. Previous Actions 03/26/15
  • On March 4, 2015, the President signed into law H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which became Public Law 114-4.  The House passed the bill on January 14, 2015 and the Senate amended and passed the bill on February 27, 2015.  The House subsequently agreed to the Senate amendment on March 3, 2015 by a vote of 257-167.  The White House issued a Statement of Administrative Policy (SAP) on H.R. 240, which recommended that the President veto the bill if it included “restrictions on [DHS’] ability to set smart enforcement priorities.”  The SAP is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr240r_20150112.pdf.  The law as passed did not include the specified restrictions.

  • On March 3, 2015, the House Judiciary Committee reported H.R. 1147, the Legal Workforce Act, without amendment, by a vote of 20-13.  The bill would make electronic employment eligibility verification mandatory for all new hires—and some current workers—across the Nation.  The bill was also referred to the House Ways and Means and House Education and the Workforce Committees. 

  • On January 13, 2015, the House passed H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015, by a vote of 250-175.  The bill would revise and expand Federal rulemaking requirements, with an emphasis on evidence-based determinations in making a rule and increased justification for proposing and finalizing a Federal rule.  The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.    

    However, the White House has issued a Statement of Administrative Policy (SAP) on H.R. 185, which states that the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.  The SAP is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr185r_20150112.pdf