Senate continues work on bill to address opioid crisis, budget talks hit snag, and the encryption debate continues.

Top Search on POPVOX this week: "s2242"


Most active bill on POPVOX this week:
S. 524 COMPREHENSIVE ADDICTION AND RECOVERY ACT (CARA) OF 2016
 

Senate Considers Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (CARA)


On Monday, Senate voted 89-0 to invoke cloture on CARA, a bill that would authorize nearly $80 million in funding to address the opioid epidemic. 

S. 524 COMPREHENSIVE ADDICTION AND RECOVERY ACT OF 2015
SponsorSen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI]
BILL TEXT   |  SECTION-BY-SECTION

Bill sponsor Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI] called for more funding, with Senate Democrats echoing that additional funding is needed. Senate Republicans cited $400 million allocation in the omnibus that passed last December as sufficient funding, specifically $70 million to combat prescription drug overdose abuse.

The Senate spent the week vollying amendments, with both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid pushing for more amendments. The Senate considered several of the 90+ filed amendments, such as:

Towards the end of the week, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats needed more amendments or they'd move to block the bill, but later both Reid and bill sponsor Whitehouse said Democrats will not block the bill over amendments, specifically the failed Shaheen amendment that would have added $600 million to combat heroin and prescription drug abuse.

The bill includes provisions to:

  • Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other responders to help in the reversal of overdoses
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medicines
  • Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention program to promote best practices throughout the country
  • Increase resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders 
  • Launch medication assisted treatment and intervention demonstration program
  • Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs

The White House signaled support for the bill, highlighting the bill's education programs, increased supply of opioid overdose-reversal drug, and emergency services in rural areas. In statement of administrative policy, Obama administration said the bill contains several necessary steps to combat the opioid epidemic but lacks the necessary funding.

So what's next?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to end debate on CARA on Thursday evening. Senate will take a first procedural vote on Monday at 5:30 pm, with 60 votes needed to overcome the hurdle.


Budget Talk


Bills on the Move

H.R. 2121: SAFE TRANSITIONAL LICENSING ACT OF 2015
Sponsors: Reps. Steve Stivers [R, OH-15] and Terri Sewell [D, AL-7]

H.R. 2896 TAKING ACCOUNT OF INSTITUTIONS WITH LOW OPERATION RISK (TAILOR) ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Scott Tipton [R, CO-3]

H.R. 2901: FLOOD INSURANCE MARKET PARITY AND MODERNIZATION ACT
Sponsors: Reps. Dennis Ross [R, FL-15] and Patrick Murphy [D, FL-18]

H.R. 3798: DUE PROCESS RESTORATION ACT OF 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Scott Garrett [R, NJ-5]

H.R. 4096: INVESTOR CLARITY AND BANK PARITY ACT
Sponsors: Reps. Michael Capuano [D, MA-7] and Steve Stivers [R, OH-15]

H.R. 4139: FOSTERING INNOVATION ACT OF 2015
Sponsors: Reps. Kyrsten Sinema [D, AZ-9] and Michael Fitzpatrick [R, PA-8]

H.R. 4166: EXPANDING PROVEN FINANCING FOR AMERICAN EMPLOYERS ACT
Sponsors: Reps. Andy Barr [R, KY-6] and David Scott [D, GA-13]

H.R. 4498 HELPING ANGELS LEAD OUR STARTUPS (HALOS) ACT
Sponsors: Reps. Steve Chabot [R, OH-1], Robert Hurt [R, VA-5], and Kyrsten Sinema [D, AZ-9]

H.R. 4620: PRESERVING ACCESS TO CRE CAPITAL ACT OF 2016
Sponsor: Rep. French Hill [R, AR-2]

H.R. 4638: MAIN STREET GROWTH ACT
Sponsor: Rep. Scott Garrett [R, NJ-5]

 


POPVOX MOBILE Now Senate Commerce

#ViewFromTheHill – March 3, 2016

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation marked up MOBILE NOW Act (S.2555), bill to accelerate the development of 5G wireless gigabit broadband networks. (Photo/Melinda Heim)

Check out our POPVOX View From the Hill on Tumblr


Encryption Discussion Continues

The battle continues over whether Apple can be compelled to assist the FBI in accessing the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter. On Monday, Apple received a favorable ruling in a related case in ew York: a federal magistrate judge ruled that Apple could not be made to provide access to a phone at issue in a drug case. This was the first time a judge had ruled on the government's argument using the "All Writs Act" from 1789, in what Reuters called a "huge win for Apple."

On Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying that encryption is creating "warrant proof" devices. Both Apple and its critics emphasized that Congress should act on the question:
 

Should the FBI have the right to compel a company to produce a product it doesn't already make, to the FBI's exact specifications and for the FBI's use? … The decisions should be made by you and your colleagues as representatives of the people, rather than through a warrant request based on a 220-year-old statute." — Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell in prepared testimony to Congress (NPR).

A new bill from Reps. Ted Lieu [D, CA-33]  and Blake Farenthold [R, TX-27] would preempt new state proposals (most recently in NY and CA) to ban smartphone encryption for phones sold in those states and fine manufacturers for each phone sold.

H.R. 4528 Ensuring National Constitutional Rights of Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Ted Lieu [D, CA]

On February 29, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and Senator Mark Warner introduced the Digital Security Commission Act of 2016, which would establish a new “National Commission on Security and Technology Challenges.”

H.R. 4651 Digital Security Commission Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep. Michael McCaul [R, TX-10]

S. 2604 Digital Security Commission Act of 2016
Sponsor: Sen. Mark Warner [D, VA]

The proposed commission would have sixteen members, eight from each party, with one person representing each of these fields: 

  • Cryptography
  • Global commerce and economics
  • Federal law enforcement
  • State and local law enforcement
  • Consumer-facing technology sector
  • Enterprise technology sector
  • Intelligence community
  • Privacy and civil liberties community

In addition, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr [R, NC] and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein [D, CA], are reported to be working on a bill that would compel companies to override encryption technology when presented with a warrant, an effort seen by many as an uphill climb. 


House passed brick and clay emissions bill

House voted 238-163 to give brick manufacturers a reprieve from Environmental Protection Agency's new emission standards. Seven Democrats crossed party lines to pass the bipartisan Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act of 2016 (H.R. 4557), which now heads to the Senate.

The White House said it "strongly opposes" the bill because it would "extend indefinitely deadlines for the brick and structural clay industry to limit mercury and other hazardous air pollution."

POPVOX clay and brick emissions bill House vote


New Bills on the Block


#ICYMI 


COMING SOON
POPVOX/States

popvox states coming soon

Anonymous Survey:

Tell us about your state and what you want to see out of POPVOX/States!


#DataDrop

  • New study: About half of Internet traffic is encrypted.
  • New data: Gun manufacturers made 1.4M fewer guns in 2014 then in previous year — biggest year-over-year drop (by percentage) since 2001.
  • NPR examined the rise of unaffiliated voters.
  • New report: Views on ObamaCare remain mixed, both on individual and state level. 35% of people think the healthcare reform helped people in their state, while 27% think it hurt. 15% of people say they have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act, whereas 56% think ACA has not impacted them directly.
  • China reported latest coal consumption levels, putting the country on track to decrease emissions earlier than promised in Paris climate talks. Coal use is down in both China and the U.S.
  • See how your income compares to other Americans.
  • New data: U.S. added 242,000 jobs in February. Unemployment rate held at 4.9% — lowest mark during the seven-year recovery from the Great Recession
  • New numbers show that non profits added jobs throughout Great Recession.

Legislative Lowdown: States Edition


Weekend Reads

"Patients' Perspectives on Health Care in the United States: A Look at Seven States & The Nation" by NPR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


"Online Privacy and ISPS: ISP Access to Consumer Data is Limited and Often Less than Access by Others" by Peter Swire, Justin Emmings, and Alana Kirkland, Georgia Tech Institute for Information Security & Privacy