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"PopVox is now making it possible for you to share your opinions with your political representatives. When you read an article about pending legislation on Politix, you’ll see our new PopVox widget at the bottom of the article. Popvox Widget"

Outstanding student loan debt in the United States topped $1 trillion in 2011, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Of that debt, $864 billion was from the federal government and approximately $150 billion was private student loan debt. Nearly 40 million people carry student loan debt nationally, with an average balance of $25,000.

While not everyone has student loan debt, it does have staggering effects on the economy. According to the New York Federal Reserve, the high levels of student debt is preventing the richest crop of potential buyers — young college graduates — from purchasing homes. Weigh in on these bills related to student loans and POPVOX will deliver your message to Congress,

Immigration reform is gathering steam in Washington, DC. The President spoke about immigration reform in his State of the Union speech — and several Democrats and Republicans alike are promoting the new Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

This isn’t the first time that lawmakers have considered sweeping immigration reform. Here’s a look at the history of immigration reform in the recent decades.

Issue Spotlight: Immigration

Here are some bills introduced in Congress related to immigration reform. Weigh in and POPVOX will deliver your message to your Members of Congress. (Bills listed chronologically, in order of introduction date.)

Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn’t imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we’re simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.

For the first time this year, a bill emerged as the top bill of the week not related to firearms. More than 3,000 POPVOX users weighed in on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act this week, which passed the Senate. You can still weigh in on the bill — and your comment will be delivered to the House, where the bill will be considered next.

Here are the bills and proposals that POPVOX users weighed in on with Congress in the past week. Keep in mind that these numbers aren’t aggregates of total support, but just what happened in the past seven days.

Want to be a part of the POPVOXnation conversation? Please join us on Facebook or Twitter. It’s a great way to stay connected with the POPVOX team and Congress. Thanks for using POPVOX!

Top Bills of the Week Top Bills of the Week: Feb. 8 - 14

1. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

2. Banning the “Five-seveN” handgun and ammunition with the ability to pierce body armor. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

3. The Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act: To allow reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

4. Honoring the life of Trayvon Martin, urging the repeal of Stand Your Ground laws, and calling on the United States Government to address the crisis of racial profiling. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

5. The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act: To prevent gun trafficking.

6. The Assault Weapons Ban: A bill to regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited.

7. Federal Employee Pay Freeze:  To eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for Federal employees. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

8. Common Sense Legislation to End Gun Violence: Washington needs to pass gun laws that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other prohibited purchasers and keep military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines off of our streets. (Sponsored campaign by Mayors Against Illegal Guns*)

9. The Ammunition Background Check Act: A bill to appropriately restrict sales of ammunition. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

10. The Second Amendment Protection Act: To express the sense of the Congress that the US should not adopt any treaty that poses a threat to national sovereignty or abridges any rights guaranteed by the Constitution, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and to withhold funding from the United Nations unless the President certifies that the United Nations has not taken action to restrict, attempt to restrict, or otherwise adversely infringe upon the rights of individuals in the US to keep and bear arms, or abridge any of the other constitutionally protected rights of US citizens. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

11. The Safe Skies Act: To require the Secretary of Transportation to modify the final rule relating to flightcrew member duty and rest requirements for passenger operations of air carriers to apply to all-cargo operations of air carriers. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

12. The High Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act: A bill to prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

13. The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act: A bill to require face to face purchases of ammunition, to require licensing of ammunition dealers, and to require reporting regarding bulk purchases of ammunition. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

14. The Assault Weapons Ban: To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

15. Senate Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

16. The Restore the Constitution Act: To provide that any executive action infringing on the Second Amendment has no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.

17. The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act: To prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

18. The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act: To improve hydropower. — Debuting on the “Top Bills” list! —

19. The Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act: A bill to provide that any executive action infringing on the Second Amendment has no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.

20. The Handgun Licensing and Registration Act: To provide for the mandatory licensing and registration of handguns.

Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn’t imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we’re simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system. *POPVOX invites organizations to create “sponsored campaigns” on POPVOX, which include policy principles and actionable items directed at Congress. 

POPVOX has compiled a list of proposal reportedly under consideration to address the “fiscal cliff”.

Read the proposals, see what others are saying, and tell Congress what you think. POPVOX will deliver your message to your representative and senators.

Gop summer agenda
View more presentations from POPVOX
Weigh in on the bills on the list:

Postal Reform

In a letter to House Republicans on May 25, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor laid out the House legislative agenda for the summer and fall. Among the bills up for a vote in the coming months is the Postal Reform Act (H.R. 2309), sponsored by Representative Darrell Issa [R, CA-49].

According to Majority Leader Cantor:

"Our constituents have been—or will soon be—impacted by the closure and hours of operation changes to U.S. Postal Service (USPS) facilities across the country. This is the result of yet another government backed entity that cannot meet its financial obligations and is in need of vast reforms to its business plan and operations."

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Note: highlighting a bill doesn’t imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way.

Wedged right in the middle of the policy battles — literally — is Popvox. The local start-up serves as a digital intermediary between members of Congress and their constituents with a Web site and iPad app where each can read proposed legislation and voice their opinion.

“Regardless of whether you are a supporter or opposer, it was interesting to see that level of constituent activism,” co-founder Rachna Choudhry said of the Internet piracy debate. But it’s not the only issue garnering attention.

“Every week there is a hot bill,” she said.