The House was in recess this week. The Senate voted on a few bills before it left for the Memorial Day break, but failed to make progress on others.
Bills that the Senate passed
S 3187The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Innovation Act: Senators overwhelmingly approved a bill reauthorizing the Food and Drug Administration’s user fee program for drugs and medical devices, and expanded that program. The Senate approved the FDA Safety and Innovation Act in a 96-1 vote.
HR 5740The National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act: The Senate approved a new bill that extends the National Flood Insurance Program for 60 days. The program expires at the end of May. The House is expected to follow suit next week when it returns.
S 2367The 21st Century Language Act: The Senate approved a new bill striking the word “lunatic” wherever it appears in U.S. law. This bill was passed by unanimous consent.
HR 4097The John F. Kennedy Center Reauthorization Act: The Senate approved this bill and sent it to the White House for the President to sign it into law.
S 739 The Senate approved authorizing the installation of battery charging stations in the Capitol parking lot, for electric cars.
Bills the Senate considered, but didn’t pass
S 2343The Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act: Before leaving, the Senate voted against two bills that would keep the student loan interest rate low for another year. The Senate voted on the Democratic bill, The Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act, but that failed 51-43 (60 votes were needed). The Democratic bill expanded the payroll tax to pay for the loan rate extension.
S 2366The Interest Rate Reduction Act: The Republican student loan bill, The Interest Rate Reduction Act, was voted down 34-62. The Republican bill pays for the change by terminating a healthcare fund.
S 1925The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization: The Senate left without making any headway toward reauthorizing VAWA, leaving the issue until June to sort out. Democrats made an attempt to move their bill, S. 1925, and Republicans made an attempt to move the House Republican bill, HR 4970.
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.
Weigh in on the Top Bills of the Week
HR 4310#1 - National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013
S 3187#2 - Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act