Gavel Down: Closing Out the Week in Congress — 10.16.15

POPVOX This Week

Top Search on POPVOX: H.R. 3698

Most Active Issues on POPVOX:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement

from The Obama Administration

“The United States is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with 11 other Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam). TPP is a comprehensive agreement that will open markets, set high-standard trade rules, and address 21st-century issues in the global economy.”

Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act

from Senator David Vitter [R, LA]

“S. 2146 is a bill to hold sanctuary jurisdictions accountable for defying Federal law, to increase penalties for individuals who illegally reenter the United States after being removed, and to provide liability protection for State and local law enforcement who cooperate with Federal law enforcement and for other purposes.”


#ViewFromTheHill
OCTOBER 8, 2015

Members of Congress made nice with stormtroopers and Darth Vader at Movie & TV Magic Day, hosted by the Creative Rights Caucus.
Check out POPVOX’s Capitol Hill eyes and ears for everyone

 


#HFC Joins Twitter

Twitter was a buzz this week with the House Freedom Caucus becoming a member. Check out all 21 congressional caucuses on Twitter.


#DemDebate

On Tuesday, Democrats held their first Presidential Debate. POPVOX live-tweeted the debate with bills related to candidates’ mentions. Here are five bills pending in Congress that relate to the topics that got a mention in the first Democratic Debate.


#LWCF & Efforts to #LiftTheBan on Crude Oil Exports

We’re hearing rumblings that the Land and Water Conservation Fund (which ended on October 1 without Congressional reauthorization) could be added to a bill to lift the ban on crude oil exports, when it comes up in the Senate. (But President Obama has indicated a possible veto on that bill.)


#BudgetTalks

Recess is the perfect time for staffers to get together and hammer out complex bargains… and this round of budget negotiations was no different. While Members were home on holiday, reports emerged about Majority Leader McConnell floating entitlement changes and House Democrats ruling that out. We expect to hear a lot more in the coming week.


#DebtCeiling

November 3rd is now the big day, when the U.S. reaches its borrowing limit. (Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew delivered the bad news to Speaker John Boehner in a new letter this week.)
Most of Washington expects John Boehner to work a deal with Democrats to raise the debt limit. Senate Majority Leader McConnell sent hints that he wants other concessions to raise the limit (but is not expected to risk breaching the debt limit). The House Freedom Caucus has threatened to call a vote to remove John Boehner immediately if he goes through with the bipartisan approach.
Could this happen?


No #SocialSecurity Increase Next Year

While no inflation and low gas prices can be seen as a good thing, for seniors it means that for only the third time in 40 years, social security benefits will not have a cost of living increase next year. (The amount is tied to the consumer price index, which did not increase this year, in large part due to low gas prices.)


#RepealObamaCare?

Before the House left town for recess, The House Budget Committee approved a reconciliation package to repeal key elements of the Affordable Care Act: the “cadillac tax”, the individual and employer mandates, medical device tax and employer auto-enrollment. It would also defund Planned Parenthood for a year. This bill will soon head for a vote on the House Floor and then off to the Senate, where it can be considered without a 60-vote cloture requirement (assuming the package passes muster with the Senate “Byrd Rule.”) The President is then expected to veto, setting up a veto override vote in Congress.


#TPP – not until Lame Duck?

It seems Congress may not take any action on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement until after the 2016 Election.  President Obama has said he wants action on the trade agreement before the year is over.


Weekend Reads

Will the Default Prevention Act make debt ceiling standoffs less dangerous?  – Philip A. Wallach, Brookings

TPP – Big Business for Lobbyists – LobbyBlog

The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate “Byrd Rule” – Congressional Research Service


Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.


 

Five Bills on Topics Mentioned in the #DemDebate

You don't have to wait until the Presidential election to weigh in on the issues that are getting discussed on the campaign trail!  Many of the issues that candidates discuss are already bills pending in Congress.

POPVOX has a long history of "Live-tweeting" the debates in real-time, highlighting bills that get a mention. In addition, for the rest of the 2016 cycle, we will follow up with a list of top bills on topics that get a mention. 

Please note — for the candidates that are not currently serving in Congress, their positions may not completely correspond with the pending bills, so any mention or connection we make does not imply their explicit endorsement. 

And, as always, POPVOX does not endorse or oppose bills. We highlight a range of bills and proposals to help YOU share your opinion (in support or opposition) with your Member of Congress!


Five Bills on Topics that Got a Mention at the #DemDebate:

Paid Leave

S. 786: FAMILY & MEDICAL INSURANCE LEAVE ACT
Sponsor: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY)

S. 786 would establish the Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave within the Social Security Administration and provide paid family and medical leave to certain individuals.

Gun Control

H.R. 3411: THE FIX GUN CHECKS ACT  
Sponsor: Rep. Jackie Speier (D, CA)

According to the sponsor, H.R. 3411 would ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.

Financial Reform

S. 1709: THE 21ST CENTURY GLASS-STEAGALL ACT 
Sponsor: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, MA)

According to its sponsor, S. 1709 would reduce risks to the financial system by limiting banks’ ability to engage in certain risky activities and limiting conflicts of interest by reinstating certain Glass-Steagall Act protections that were repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

International Trade

THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (TPP) TRADE AGREEMENT  

The TPP was one of the first discussion topics of the debate. Agreement on the 12-nation deal, the largest regional trade accord in history, was announced earlier in October. Final language will be available publicly (for sixty days) after an initial 30-day private Congressional review period.

Minimum Wage

S. 1832: PAY WORKERS A LIVING WAGE ACT
Sponsor: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I, VT)

S. 1832 would increase the federal minimum wage for employees to $9.00 an hour in 2016, gradually rising to $15.00 per hour after four years.

 

The Week Ahead: Oct. 12 – Oct. 17

It’s Columbus Day recess: House Republicans contemplate their future, President Obama pitches TPP; the Senate prepares to vote on Sanctuary Cities bill & CISA — and bipartisanship is briefly spotted on Capitol Hill last week with a successful discharge petition on the Export-Import bank. Is this the future of governing or a temporary fever? And POPVOX spotlights Mental Health bills in Congress.


Columbus Day Recess or "Indigenous People's Day"

Member of Congress are back home in their districts for Columbus Day recess, to return October 19. Some jurisdictions now celebrate “Indigenous People's Day” on the second Monday in October, including Albuquerque; Portland, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Olympia, Washington.

POPVOX highlights bills related to Native American issues


Race for Speaker of the House Continues

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy removed himself from consideration in the Speaker’s race, announced he would stay on as Majority Leader, and set off a scramble for a new frontrunner. 

Paul Ryan appears to be the default choice of many in the caucus, along with Daniel Webster [FL] and Jason Chaffetz [UT], the other announced candidates for the seat — though Ryan insists he does not want the job.

Reactions to the “chaos” include some pundits declaring that it is healthy for the party or even could open up an opportunity for a bipartisan “Coalition Speakership,” — a notion even floated by Illinois Republican Rep. Robert Dold.

Update on the POPVOX Speaker Poll

As of Sunday, October 11, over 700 people have weighed in on the POPVOX poll asking who should be the next Speaker. Rep. Paul Ryan was added to the poll on Friday, Oct. 9, while other non-announced candidateswere removed from the list.

 

 


Trans-Pacific Partnership begins its long journey

President Obama began laying out his case for the agreement in his weekly address. The agreement has a long journey to passage, including: 30 days for private Congressional review, 60 days for public review, up to 105 days for economic review by the U.S. International Trade Commission. 

Tell Congress what you think about the TPP:

THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (TPP) TRADE AGREEMENT

Read details of the agreement from the U.S. Trade Representative.


Senate to consider bill to limit "Sanctuary Cities"

"Sanctuary cities" are jurisdictions that "have policies designed to not prosecute unauthorized immigrants." (Wikipedia). As reported by the LA Times, the issue of Sanctuary Cities received nationwide attention after the death of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco, who was killed by a man with a criminal record who had been deported several times.

When the Senate returns after the recess, it will take up a bill from Senator David Vitter [LA] to increase penalties on these cities.

Tell Congress what you think:

S. 2146 STOP SANCTUARY POLICIES AND PROTECT AMERICANS ACT

"A bill to hold sanctuary jurisdictions accountable for defying Federal law, to increase penalties for individuals who illegally reenter the United States after being removed, and to provide liability protection for State and local law enforcement who cooperate with Federal law enforcement…"

Cybersecurity Bill on Tap after Recess

In the wake of several high-profile cyber breaches, the Senate may consider its cybersecurity bill after recess. The House passed its own bill (H.R. 1731) in April.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, recently said that passing a bill "is critical to improving the nation’s digital defenses."

As Politico reports, the bill faces considerable hurdles, opponents, and 22 amendments that will be considered as a part of the Senate process. "The Senate bill has been heavily contested by privacy groups that say the measure could expose too much personally identifiable data to the government, as well as by legislators concerned about government surveillance." – FCW

Tell Congress what you think:

S. 754 CYBERSECURITY INFORMATION SHARING ACT OF 2015

H.R. 1731 NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY PROTECTION ADVANCEMENT ACT OF 2015

 


Ex-Im Discharge Petition: One-time anomaly or a new way to cut through gridlock?

Congress watchers are still processing what it means that 41 Republicans joined with Democrats to push through the first successful discharge petition since 2002.

"One reason that discharge petitions are rarely approved is that they generally require bipartisanship. After all, the majority party can generally move things through the process as it sees fit. It's the minority party that needs to force the issue." – Philip Bump, The Washington Post

With 218 signatures, the petition forces the bill out of committee and onto a Floor Vote when Congress returns.

"The broader significance of the move is that dozens of House Republicans dared to try it at all," writes The Atlantic. "
 

Source: The Washington Post

Tell Congress what you think:

H.R. 3611 EXPORT-IMPORT BANK REFORM AND REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2015

 


VIEW FROM THE HILL:

 

View from: First St. NE, October 5, 2015.

(Photo/Whitney Wyszynski)


Mental Health Awareness Week

Since 1990, the first week in October has been designated "Mental Health Awareness Week" to educate the public and raise awareness about the challenges facing those with mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Over forty bills have been introduced in the 114th Congress on the topic.

In the wake of the Oregon school shooting, several Members of Congress have called for action on mental health issues to help stem the violence. "Momentum is building for legislation to reform the U.S. mental health system, which has stalled for several years over disagreements concerning patient privacy and involuntary mental health treatment policies." – Morning Consult

Tell Congress what you think:

H.R. 2646 THE HELPING FAMILIES IN MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS ACT

"To make available needed psychiatric, psychological, and supportive services for individuals with mental illness and families in mental health crisis, and for other purposes."


Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system. 

 

Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples

The United States celebrates Columbus Day on the second Monday in October. In recent years, some cities have redesignated the holiday  "Indigenous People's Day." These cities include: Albuquerque; Portland, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Olympia, Washington.

This week, POPVOX highlights some bills introduced in Congress related to Native American  health, education, language, and culture.


Bills are listed in order of number of co-sponsors. Click through to find out more and tell Congress what you think.

Native American Indian Education Act

Sponsor: Rep. Scott Tipton Cosponsors: 41

To help fulfill the Federal mandate to provide higher educational opportunities for Native American Indians.

 

Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Michael Honda Cosponsors: 34

To amend the Trademark Act of 1946 regarding the disparagement of Native American persons or peoples through marks that use the term "redskin", and for other purposes.

 

Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Stevan Pearce Cosponsors: 17

To reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996, and for other purposes.

 

Native American Languages Reauthorization Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Ben Luján Cosponsors: 10

To amend the Native American Programs Act of 1974 to provide flexibility and reauthorization to ensure the survival and continuing vitality of Native American languages.

 

NATIVE Act

Sponsor: Sen. Brian Schatz Cosponsors: 10

A bill to enhance and integrate Native American tourism, empower Native American communities, increase coordination and collaboration between Federal tourism assets, and expand heritage and cultural tourism opportunities in the United States.

 

Native American Languages Reauthorization Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Tom Udall Cosponsors: 6

A bill to amend the Native American Programs Act of 1974 to provide flexibility and reauthorization to ensure the survival and continuing vitality of Native American languages.

 

NATIVE Act

Sponsor: Rep. Markwayne Mullin Cosponsors: 5

To enhance and integrate Native American tourism, empower Native American communities, increase coordination and collaboration between Federal tourism assets, and expand heritage and cultural tourism opportunities in the United States.

 

Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act

Sponsor: Sen. Jon Tester Cosponsors: 4

A bill to promote the academic achievement of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children with the establishment of a Native American language grant program.

 

Native American Indian Education Act

Sponsor: Sen. Cory Gardner Cosponsors: 4

A bill to help provide relief to State education budgets during a recovering economy, to help fulfill the Federal mandate to provide higher educational opportunities for Native American Indians, and for other purposes.

 

Building upon Unique Indian Learning and Development Act

Sponsor: Rep. Ben Luján Cosponsors: 2

A bill to strengthen Indian education, and for other purposes.

 

Native Hawaiian Education Reauthorization Act

Sponsor: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Cosponsors: 2

Amends the Native Hawaiian Education Act to revise the duties and composition of the Native Hawaiian Education Council. Includes charter schools as eligible recipients of Native Hawaiian Education program grants, in addition to Native Hawaiian education organizations, Native Hawaiian community-based organizations, and public and private nonprofit entities.

 

“A bill to exempt the Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and certain other programs for Indians from sequestration”

Sponsor: Sen. Jon Tester Cosponsors: 1

This bill amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to exempt Indian health facilities and services, programs administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and programs under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 from sequestration. Sequestration is a process of automatic, usually across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently cancelled to enforce specific budget policy goals.

 

Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act

Sponsor: Sen. Jeff Merkley Cosponsors: 1

A bill to increase awareness of the Federal student loan income-based repayment plan, and for other purposes.

 

Building upon Unique Indian Learning and Development Act

Sponsor: Sen. Tom Udall Cosponsors: 1

A bill to strengthen Indian education, and for other purposes.

 

Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. John Barrasso Cosponsors: 0

A bill to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996, and for other purposes.


Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system. 

Mental Health Bills in Congress

Since 1990, the first week in October has been designated "Mental Health Awareness Week" to educate the public and raise awareness about the challenges facing those with mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Over forty bills have been introduced in the 114th Congress on the topic.

Source: NAMI

In the wake of the Oregon school shooting, several Members of Congress have called for action on mental health issues to help stem the violence. "Momentum is building for legislation to reform the U.S. mental health system, which has stalled for several years over disagreements concerning patient privacy and involuntary mental health treatment policies." – Morning Consult

(See: "Mass Shootings and a Mental-Health Disgrace" — opinion article in the Wall Street Journal by Rep. Tim Murphy [R, PA].

 


Here are the bills pending in Congress about mental health treatment, care, and caregiving:

Bills are listed by number of cosponsors. Click on the links below to weigh in and tell Congress what you think about the proposals.

 

Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Tim Murphy Cosponsors: 141

To make available needed psychiatric, psychological, and supportive services for individuals with mental illness and families in mental health crisis, and for other purposes.

 

Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Doug Collins Cosponsors: 61

To increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, veterans treatment services, mental health treatment, and substance abuse systems.

 

Clay Hunt SAV Act

Sponsor: Sen. John McCain Cosponsors: 52

A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide for the conduct of annual evaluations of mental health care and suicide prevention programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to require a pilot program on loan repayment for psychiatrists who agree to serve in the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

 

Mental Health in Schools Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Grace Napolitano Cosponsors: 50

To amend the Public Health Service Act to revise and extend projects relating to children and violence to provide access to school-based comprehensive mental health programs.

 

Enhancing Veterans' Access to Treatment Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Tim Murphy Cosponsors: 50

To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish non-formulary drugs and medicines to veterans diagnosed with mental health disorders, and for other purposes.

 

Expressing the sense of Congress that conversion therapy, including efforts by mental health practitioners to change an individual's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, is dangerous and harmful and should be prohibited from being practiced on minors.

Sponsor: Rep. Jackie Speier Cosponsors: 40

Expressing the sense of Congress that conversion therapy, including efforts by mental health practitioners to change an individual's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, is dangerous and harmful and should be prohibited from being practiced on minors.

 

Clay Hunt SAV Act

Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz Cosponsors: 39

To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide for the conduct of annual evaluations of mental health care and suicide prevention programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to require a pilot program on loan repayment for psychiatrists who agree to serve in the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

 

Ruth Moore Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Chellie Pingree Cosponsors: 31

To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the disability compensation evaluation procedure of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for veterans with mental health conditions related to military sexual trauma, and for other purposes.

 

Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Alan Franken Cosponsors: 31

A bill to increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, veterans treatment services, mental health treatment, and substance abuse systems.

 

Expressing support for designation of the first full week of May as \National Mental Health No Stigma Week\"."

Sponsor: Rep. Scott Peters Cosponsors: 30

Expressing support for designation of the first full week of May as \National Mental Health No Stigma Week\"."

 

Safer Communities Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Thompson Cosponsors: 30

To protect individuals by strengthening the Nation's mental health infrastructure, improving the understanding of violence, strengthening firearm prohibitions and protections for at-risk individuals, and improving and expanding the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

 

Expressing support for the designation of May 2015 as \Mental Health Month\"."

Sponsor: Rep. Tim Murphy Cosponsors: 27

Expressing support for the designation of May 2015 as \Mental Health Month\"."

 

Stop Harming Our Kids Resolution of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Cory Booker Cosponsors: 27

A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that conversion therapy, including efforts by mental health practitioners to change the sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of an individual, is dangerous and harmful and should be prohibited from being practiced on minors.

 

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that gun violence is a public health issue and Congress should enact by the end of the 114th Congress comprehensive Federal legislation that protects the Second Amendment and keeps communities safe and healthy, including expanding enforceable background checks for all commercial gun sales, improving the mental health system in the United States, and making gun trafficking and straw purchasing a Federal crime.

Sponsor: Rep. Alan Lowenthal Cosponsors: 23

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that gun violence is a public health issue and Congress should enact by the end of the 114th Congress comprehensive Federal legislation that protects the Second Amendment and keeps communities safe and healthy, including expanding enforceable background checks for all commercial gun sales, improving the mental health system in the United States, and making gun trafficking and straw purchasing a Federal crime.

 

Mental Health First Aid Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Lynn Jenkins Cosponsors: 23

To amend section 520J of the Public Health Service Act to authorize grants for mental health first aid training programs.

 

Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Lamar Alexander Cosponsors: 22

A bill to reauthorize and improve programs related to mental health and substance use disorders.

 

Veterans' Mental Health Care Access Act

Sponsor: Rep. Tom MacArthur Cosponsors: 20

To amend the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to expand the eligibility of veterans to receive mental health care at non-Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.

 

Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Christopher Gibson Cosponsors: 20

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the coverage of marriage and family therapist services and mental health counselor services under part B of the Medicare program, and for other purposes.

 

Mental Health First Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Kelly Ayotte Cosponsors: 17

A bill to amend section 520J of the Public Service Health Act to authorize grants for mental health first aid training programs.

 

Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act

Sponsor: Rep. Julia Brownley Cosponsors: 17

To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to identify mental health care and suicide prevention programs and metrics that are effective in treating women veterans as part of the evaluation of such programs by the Secretary.

 

Student Support Act

Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee Cosponsors: 14

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to make grants to States for assistance in hiring additional school-based mental health and student service providers.

 

Ruth Moore Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Jon Tester Cosponsors: 13

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the disability compensation evaluation procedure of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for veterans with mental health conditions related to military sexual trauma, and for other purposes.

 

End Purchase of Firearms by Dangerous Individuals Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. David Cicilline Cosponsors: 13

To incentivize State reporting systems that allow mental health professionals to submit information on certain individuals deemed dangerous for purposes of prohibiting firearm possession by such individuals, and for other purposes.

 

Mental Health Awareness Semipostal Stamp Act

Sponsor: Rep. CarloSen. Curbelo Cosponsors: 12

To provide for the issuance of a Mental Health Awareness Semipostal Stamp.

 

Mental Health in Schools Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Alan Franken Cosponsors: 11

A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to revise and extend projects relating to children and violence to provide access to school-based comprehensive mental health programs.

 

Mental Health Reform Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Bill Cassidy Cosponsors: 10

A bill to make available needed psychiatric, psychological, and supportive services for individuals with mental illness and families in mental health crisis, and for other purposes.

 

Classified Veterans Access to Care Act

Sponsor: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema Cosponsors: 8

To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the mental health treatment provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to veterans who served in classified missions.

 

Medical Evaluation Parity for Servicemembers Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Glenn Thompson Cosponsors: 8

To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide an individual with a mental health screening before the individual enlists in the Armed Forces or is commissioned as an officer in the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.

 

Prioritizing Veterans Access to Mental Health Care Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Joni Ernst Cosponsors: 7

A bill to expand eligibility for health care under the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to include certain veterans seeking mental health care, and for other purposes.

 

Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. John Barrasso Cosponsors: 7

A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the coverage of marriage and family therapist services and mental health counselor services under part B of the Medicare program, and for other purposes.

 

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve access to mental health services under the Medicare program.

Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee Cosponsors: 7

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve access to mental health services under the Medicare program.

 

To strengthen our mental health system and improve public safety.

Sponsor: Rep. Martha McSally Cosponsors: 7

To strengthen our mental health system and improve public safety.

 

A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for a review of the characterization or terms of discharge from the Armed Forces of individuals with mental health disorders alleged to affect terms of discharge.

Sponsor: Sen. Gary Peters Cosponsors: 3

A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for a review of the characterization or terms of discharge from the Armed Forces of individuals with mental health disorders alleged to affect terms of discharge.

 

Expanding Opportunities for Recovery Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Bill Foster Cosponsors: 3

To authorize the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, acting through the Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, to award grants to States to expand access to clinically appropriate services for opioid abuse, dependence, or addiction.

 

Medical Evaluation Parity for Servicemembers Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Robert Portman Cosponsors: 2

A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide an individual with a mental health screening before the individual enlists in the Armed Forces or is commissioned as an officer in the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.

 

Recognizing the important contribution and added value of mental health and psychosocial support services and the importance of building such capacity in humanitarian and development contexts.

Sponsor: Rep. Betty McCollum Cosponsors: 2

Recognizing the important contribution and added value of mental health and psychosocial support services and the importance of building such capacity in humanitarian and development contexts.

 

Examining America's Mental Health Services Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. David McKinley Cosponsors: 1

To provide for a study by the Institute of Medicine on gaps in mental health services and how these gaps can increase the risk of violent acts.

 

Military and Veterans Mental Health Provider Assessment Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Joe Donnelly Cosponsors: 1

A bill to improve the provision of mental health care to members of the Armed Forces and veterans from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

 

Community Provider Readiness Recognition Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Joe Donnelly Cosponsors: 1

A bill to designate certain non-Department mental health care providers who treat members of the Armed Forces and veterans as providers who have particular knowledge relating to the provision of mental health care to members of the Armed Forces and veterans, and for other purposes.

 

Youth Mental Health Research Act

Sponsor: Rep. Chaka Fattah Cosponsors: 1

To provide for a Youth Mental Health Research Network.

 

A bill to amend part B of title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure that mental health screenings and assessments are provided to children and youth upon entry into foster care.

Sponsor: Sen. Roy Blunt Cosponsors: 1

A bill to amend part B of title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure that mental health screenings and assessments are provided to children and youth upon entry into foster care.

 

A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve access to mental health services under the Medicare program.

Sponsor: Sen. Debbie Stabenow Cosponsors: 1

A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve access to mental health services under the Medicare program.

 

A resolution recognizing the importance of mental health globally and highlighting the contributions and value of mental health, psychosocial support, and human capacity, particularly in development contexts and humanitarian settings.

Sponsor: Sen. Christopher Murphy Cosponsors: 1

A resolution recognizing the importance of mental health globally and highlighting the contributions and value of mental health, psychosocial support, and human capacity, particularly in development contexts and humanitarian settings.

 

Safer Communities Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Richard Blumenthal Cosponsors: 0

A bill to protect individuals by strengthening the Nation's mental health infrastructure, improving the understanding of violence, strengthening firearm prohibitions and protections for at-risk individuals, and improving and expanding the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

 

Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. John Cornyn Cosponsors: 0

A bill to strengthen our mental health system and improve public safety.


Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.

Discharge Petition

Bill status: stuck in committee

If you have paid attention to the “bill status” tab on POPVOX bills pages, you know that many have the same not-very-encouraging status:

This bill or resolution was assigned to a congressional committee on [x date] which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole. The majority of bills never make it past this point.

In the House, most rank-and-file Members of Congress have very little to say about whether a bill moves past this point. They can wait for the committee to take it up or hope that it catches the attention of House Leadership (which is rare for a bill introduced by a member of the minority party.)

Busting out of Committee

There actually IS one way that a bill can be brought for a vote even if it does not get reported out of committee and is not selected by Leadership: a discharge petition.

If at least half of the Members of the House (218) sign onto the petition to discharge a bill, it is brought to the Floor for a vote.

Discharge petition successful on Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

For the first time since 2002, a discharge petition has reached 218 signatures and the House will on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.

H.R. 450: Providing for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 597) to reauthorize the export-import bank of the United States
Sponsor: Rep. Stephen Fincher (R, TN)

H.R. 597:The Reform Exports and Expand the American Economy Act
Sponsor: Rep. Stephen Fincher (R, TN)

H.R. 3611:Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthoriztion Act
Sponsor: Rep. Stephen Fincher (R, TN)

More from the Wall Street Journal.

 

 

 

Closing Out the Week in Congress — 10.09.15

House GOP Leadership Scramble

On Thursday, Speaker heir apparent, Kevin McCarthy, announced that he would remove himself from consideration and remain as House Majority Leader. Crying in the Cloakroom turned to chaos and speculation, and the week finishes up with a concerted effort to draft Wisconsin Representative (Ways and Means Chairman and former Vice Presidential Candidate) Paul Ryan.

When asked who could unite the GOP Caucus, Rep. Trey Gowdy (whose name has also been floated) named Paul Ryan: “Either him or the fellow who just spoke to us,” he said, “but he went back to Italy.” (referring to Pope Francis, who recently addressed a joint meeting of Congress.)

Utah representative Jason Chaffetz and Florida representative Daniel Webster are the only members who have announced they are seeking the position.  Webster received the endorsement of House conservatives before McCarthy announced his withdrawal and garnered twelve votes in the Speaker's election in January 2015. Chaffetz has said he would support Paul Ryan if Ryan enters the race.

 

 

   WHO SHOULD BE THE NEXT SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE?   


 

In Case You Missed It

A lot happened this week that had nothing to do with the race for House Speaker — here's a taste:


POPVOX This Week

Top Search on POPVOX: "firearms"

Most Active Bill on POPVOX:

The Mental Health Reform Act of 2015

from Senator Bill Cassidy [R, LA]

"A bill to make available needed psychiatric, psychological, and supportive services for individuals with mental illness and families in mental health crisis, and for other purposes.


#ViewFromTheHill
OCTOBER 5, 2015

First Street NE — Visitors gather outside Supreme Court as new term begins today, October 5, 2015. (Photo/Whitney Wyszynski)
SEE MORE


Weekend Reads

Could the modern Senate manage an open-amendment process? – R Street

Technically Speaking: Making Sense of Discharge Petitions, Cloture and Filibusters – For Effective Gov

How much does the United States Congress spend on technology and digital media? – Congressional Data Coalition


Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.

The Week Ahead: Oct. 5 – Oct. 10

Congressional drama crescendos this week with a closed-door House GOP Leadership election. A discharge petition may force a vote on the Export-Import Bank and the debt ceiling fight is closer than expected — and while a government shutdown was avoided, several key programs were not renewed.


Washington Responds to the Tragedy in Oregon

 

 

 

In the wake of another tragic school shooting, we have seen an increase in searches on POPVOX for bills related to gun control and Second Amendment issues.

 

Congress may soon consider two mental health bills that would "make available needed psychiatric, psychological, and supportive services for individuals with mental illness and families in mental health crisis."

Possible markup in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee:

S. 1945: The Mental Health Reform Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Bill Cassidy [R, LA]

Possible House Floor consideration:

H.R. 2646: Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

Sponsor: Rep. Tim Murphy [R, PA-18]


GOP House Leadership Election Drama

On Thursday, House Republicans are scheduled to gather for a closed-door leadership election to choose a new Majority Leader, Whip, and other positions, as well as a GOP nominee for Speaker, chosen by secret ballot.

The actual election for Speaker, however, will occur after John Boehner’s retirement, in a public voice vote on the House Floor, with all Members of the House getting a vote.

  • There are currently three announced Republicans seeking the Speaker’s gavel: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy; Florida Rep, Daniel Webster; and Utah Rep Jason Chaffetz (who just announced on Sunday.)
  • Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will also seek the position of Speaker, with most if not all of the 188 Democratic votes expected to go her way.
  • Speaker Boehner won re-election on January 6, with 216 of the 408 votes cast. (Rep Daniel Webster received 12 votes)
  • The Speaker does not have to be a Member of Congress — or even an elected official.
  • No vote for speaker has gone to a second ballot since 1923.

Update on the POPVOX Speaker Poll

As of Sunday, October 4, over 200 people have weighed in on the POPVOX poll asking who should be the next Speaker.

Here are the results so far:

We will keep the poll open until the election, and will update results weekly.


Debt Ceiling fight sooner than expected

November 5 is the next Congressional deadline: According to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, if the federal borrowing limit is not lifted by then, the U.S. will not be able to pay its bills. Raising the debt ceiling has been a point of contention for House conservatives. The race to reach an agreement will either be one of the last deals cut under Speaker Boehner or one of the first battles awaiting a new Speaker.

H.R. 692: Default Prevention Act

Sponsor: Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI]

The bill seeks to reassure international markets and would allow the Treasury to "continue to borrow to pay the principal and interest on certain obligations" if the debt limit is reached.

Bipartisan Budget Negotiations between, Obama, McConnell, and Boehner

The debt ceiling issue *could* be rolled into a larger budget deal if reports of a "last stab" effort by President Obama, Speaker Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell come to fruition. Obama has warned that he “won’t sign another short-term spending bill” when the current Continuing Resolution expires on December 11, 2015, creating even more incentive for a budget deal to be cut now before Boehner departs.

Shutdown Avoided but Key Programs Lapse

While Congress passed a funding bill before the October 1 deadline, several other key programs expired at midnight.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF): The 50-year old fund took revenues from offshore oil and gas development and directed them to state parks, recreation, and conservation programs. The program could be included in a future transportation bill, budget bill, or even the bill to lift the ban on oil exports (H.R. 702).

A Proposal for Full and Dedicated Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

 

The World Trade Center Health Program: The program originally established as the James Zadroga Act providing services to over 70,000 first responders, expired on October 1, 2015. Sponsors are working to reauthorize the program:

H.R. 1786: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D, NY]

S. 928: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act

Sponsor: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY]


Discharge Petition Gains Steam for Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

A rarely used procedural move can bring a bill up for a vote on the House Floor against the wishes of the Speaker if 218 signatures can be secured on a "Discharge Petition." The petition "discharges" the bill from committee. Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank may take this route to the House Floor, as Sponsor Rep. Stephen Fincher [R-TN] pushes forward with the petition. Top Republicans and Democrats have indicated support for the procedural move.

H.R. 3611: To reauthorize and reform the Export-Import Bank

Sponsor: Rep. Stephen Fincher [R, TN]


Lifting the Ban on Oil Exports?

The ban on U.S. crude oil exports dates back to the Saudi oil embargo of the 1970s.

This week, the House will vote on a bill to remove those restrictions:

H.R. 702: To adopt to changing Crude Oil Market Conditions

Sponsor: Rep. Joe Barton [R, TX]

A similar bill recently passed in the Senate Banking Committee:

S. 1372: American Crude Oil Export Equality Act

Sponsor: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp [D, ND]


Fireworks Ahead on the Defense Authroization (NDAA) bill

The House and Senate have reached a deal on a $612-billion Defense Authorization bill, combining versions that passed each chamber into one. The White House, however, has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches the President's desk.

 

H.R. 1735: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Sponsor: Rep. Mac Thornberry [R, TX]

Up for a Vote This Week:

H.R. 538: Native American Energy Act

Sponsor: Rep. Don Young [R, AK]

H.R. 1553: Small Bank Exam Cycle Reform Act

Sponsor: Rep. Scott Tipton [R, CO]

H.R. 1525: Disclosure Modernization and Simplification

Sponsor: Rep. Scott Garrett [R, NJ]

S. 896: Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Act

Sponsor: Sen Tom Udall [D, NM]

H.R. 1839: RAISE Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep. Patrick McHenry [R, NC]

H.R. 2091: Child Support Assistance Act of 2015

Sponsor:Bruce Poliquin [R, ME]

H.R. 2168: West Coast Dungeness Crab Management Act

Sponsor: Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler [R, WA]

S. 1300: Adoptive Family Relief Act

Sponsor: Sen. Diane Feinstein [D, CA]

H.R. 3032: Securities and Exchange Commission Reporting Modernization Act

Sponsor: Rep. Krysten Sinema [D, AZ]

H.R. 3012: Airport Access Control Security Improvement Act

Sponsor: Rep. John Katko [R, NY]

H.R. 3192: Homebuyers Assistance Act

Sponsor: Rep. French Hill [R, AR]

H.R. 3510: Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Strategy Act

Sponsor: Rep. Cedric Richmond [D, LA]

S. 2078: United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act

Sponsor: Sen. Bob Corker [R, TN]


Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system. —

Firearms, Gun Control, and Second Amendment Bills in the 114th Congress

October 1, 2015 — Each Congressional session brings a host of bills introduced around the topic of firearms, gun control, ammunition, background checks, body armor, and Second Amendment rights. In the 114th Congress, which began in January 2015, there are already over 80 bills pending.

For years, POPVOX has aggregated these bills into one post that is updated as new bills are introduced. It is consistently the most active post on the site:

Related bills were among the most active bills in the last Congress and in the first six months of 2015.


Firearms and Second Amendment-related bills are listed below in order of current cosponsor totals. 

 

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Richard Hudson Cosponsors: 182

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a means by which nonresidents of a State whose residents may carry concealed firearms may also do so in the State.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 152 | Oppose 7

 

National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Richard Nugent Cosponsors: 93

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 360 | Oppose 26

 

 

Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Rob Bishop Cosponsors: 79

T revise various laws that interfere with the right of the people to obtain and use firearms for all lawful purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 96 | Oppose 5

 

 

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition.

 

Sponsor: Rep. H. Griffith Cosponsors: 72

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 111 | Oppose 24

 

 

Enhancing Safety at Military Installations Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Scott DesJarlais Cosponsors: 72

To safeguard military and civilian personnel on military bases and Armed Forces recruitment facilities by repealing bans on military personnel carrying firearms on military bases and recruitment facilities, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 82 | Oppose 6

 

 

FIREARM Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Diane Black Cosponsors: 56

To prohibit the Federal Government from requiring race or ethnicity to be disclosed in connection with the transfer of a firearm.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 71 | Oppose 4

 

 

Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Lois Capps Cosponsors: 55

To amend title 18, United States Code, to protect more victims of domestic violence by preventing their abusers from possessing or receiving firearms, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 6 | Oppose 23

 

 

Fire Sale Loophole Closing Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. David Cicilline Cosponsors: 45

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to restrict the ability of a person whose Federal license to import, manufacture, or deal in firearms has been revoked, whose application to renew such a license has been denied, or who has received a license revocation or renewal denial notice, to transfer business inventory firearms, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 2 | Oppose 19

 

 

Fix Gun Checks Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Jackie Speier Cosponsors: 43

To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 7 | Oppose 28

 

 

Protect Our Military Families’ 2nd Amendment Rights Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Edward Rigell Cosponsors: 42

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to provide that a member of the armed forces and the spouse of that member shall have the same rights regarding the receipt of firearms at the location of any duty station of the member.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 15 | Oppose 3

 

 

Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Marlin Stutzman Cosponsors: 36

To allow reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 195 | Oppose 12

 

 

Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney Cosponsors: 35

To require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 8 | Oppose 111

 

 

Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Sen. John Cornyn Cosponsors: 32

A bill to allow reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 173 | Oppose 10

 

 

Background Check Completion Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. James Clyburn Cosponsors: 31

To eliminate the requirement that a firearms dealer transfer a firearm if the national instant criminal background check system has been unable to complete a background check of the prospective transferee within 3 business days.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 6 | Oppose 36

 

 

Safer Communities Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Thompson Cosponsors: 27

To protect individuals by strengthening the Nation’s mental health infrastructure, improving the understanding of violence, strengthening firearm prohibitions and protections for at-risk individuals, and improving and expanding the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 6 | Oppose 18

 

 

To modify the definition of “antique firearm”

 

Sponsor: Rep. Ralph Abraham Cosponsors: 24

To modify the definition of \antique firearm\”.”

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 26 | Oppose 5

 

 

Airport Security Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Henry Johnson Cosponsors: 21

To prohibit certain individuals from possessing a firearm in an airport, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 3 | Oppose 33

 

 

To authorize the appropriation of funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.

 

Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney Cosponsors: 18

To authorize the appropriation of funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 6 | Oppose 68

 

 

Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Peter King Cosponsors: 17

To increase public safety by permitting the Attorney General to deny the transfer of a firearm or the issuance of firearms or explosives licenses to a known or suspected dangerous terrorist.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 4 | Oppose 82

 

 

Firearm Safety Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Robin Kelly Cosponsors: 14

To amend the Consumer Product Safety Act to remove the exclusion of pistols, revolvers, and other firearms from the definition of consumer product in order to permit the issuance of safety standards for such articles by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 2 | Oppose 88

 

 

Keeping Guns From Criminals Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Donald Beyer Cosponsors: 14

To provide an incentive for firearm owners to sell their firearms safely and responsibly.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 5 | Oppose 70

 

 

Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act

 

Sponsor: Sen. Richard Blumenthal Cosponsors: 12

A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to protect more victims of domestic violence by preventing their abusers from possessing or receiving firearms, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 6 | Oppose 11

 

 

Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Sen. Dianne Feinstein Cosponsors: 12

A bill to increase public safety by permitting the Attorney General to deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms and explosives licenses to known or suspected dangerous terrorists.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 2 | Oppose 90

 

 

A bill to authorize the appropriation of funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.

 

Sponsor: Sen. Edward Markey Cosponsors: 12

A bill to authorize the appropriation of funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 4 | Oppose 78

 

 

Keeping Guns from High Risk Individuals Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Robin Kelly Cosponsors: 12

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the sale or other disposition of a firearm to, and the possession, shipment, transportation, or receipt of a firearm by, certain classes of high-risk individuals.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 9 | Oppose 105

 

 

Home-Assembled Firearms Restriction Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Michael Honda Cosponsors: 12

To prohibit the sale, offering for sale, manufacture for sale, distribution in commerce, or import into the United States of certain firearm receiver castings or blanks, assault weapon parts kits, and machinegun parts kits and to prohibit the marketing or advertising of such castings or blanks and kits on any medium of electronic communications.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 9 | Oppose 248

 

 

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to extend the period during which a firearms licensee is required to wait for a response from the national instant criminal background check system before being allowed to transfer a firearm to a prospective transferee.

 

Sponsor: Rep. Nita Lowey Cosponsors: 11

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to extend the period during which a firearms licensee is required to wait for a response from the national instant criminal background check system before being allowed to transfer a firearm to a prospective transferee.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 3 | Oppose 22

 

 

Homemade Firearms Accountability Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Michael Honda Cosponsors: 10

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to require homemade firearms to have serial numbers, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 3 | Oppose 152

 

 

Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Chris Collins Cosponsors: 10

To amend title 11 of the United States Code to include firearms in the types of property allowable under the alternative provision for exempting property from the estate.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 43 | Oppose 2

 

 

Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Sen. Bill Nelson Cosponsors: 9

A bill to modernize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 5 | Oppose 32

 

 

Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Peter King Cosponsors: 9

To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 10 | Oppose 77

 

 

Firearm Rights Equally Enforced Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Randy Weber Cosponsors: 8

To amend title 18, United States Code, to give nationwide effect to the least restrictive State laws regarding the carrying of firearms that are concealed, or are partially or fully visible to the public.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 18 | Oppose 1

 

 

Trafficking Reduction And Criminal Enforcement (TRACE) Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Quigley Cosponsors: 8

To prevent the illegal sale of firearms, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 2 | Oppose 13

 

 

Firearm Risk Protection Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney Cosponsors: 7

To prohibit the sale of a firearm to, and the purchase of a firearm by, a person who is not covered by appropriate liability insurance coverage.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 9 | Oppose 157

 

 

Protect Our Military Families’ 2nd Amendment Rights Act

 

Sponsor: Sen. Mike Rounds Cosponsors: 6

A bill to amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to provide that a member of the Armed Forces and the spouse of that member shall have the same rights regarding the receipt of firearms at the location of any duty station of the member.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 9 | Oppose 0

 

 

Crime Gun Tracing Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Robin Kelly Cosponsors: 6

To promote the tracing of firearms used in crimes, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 7 | Oppose 72

 

 

Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Steve Israel Cosponsors: 6

To modernize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 5 | Oppose 42

 

 

Fairness in Firearm Testing Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Jody Hice Cosponsors: 6

To require the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to make video recordings of the examination and testing of firearms and ammunition, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 31 | Oppose 4

 

 

Enforce Existing Gun Laws Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Charles Rangel Cosponsors: 6

To repeal certain appropriations riders that limit the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to administer the Federal firearms laws.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 2 | Oppose 42

 

 

Firearm Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Sen. Roy Blunt Cosponsors: 5

A bill to prohibit the Federal Government from requiring race or ethnicity to be disclosed in connection with the transfer of a firearm.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 26 | Oppose 2

 

 

Crime Gun Tracing Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Sen. Richard Durbin Cosponsors: 5

A bill to promote the tracing of firearms used in crimes, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 4 | Oppose 34

 

 

Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Steve Scalise Cosponsors: 5

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to update certain procedures applicable to commerce in firearms and remove certain Federal restrictions on interstate firearms transactions.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 74 | Oppose 8

 

 

Accidental Firearms Transfers Reporting Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Cosponsors: 5

To require the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to report to the Congress semiannually on the number of firearms transfers resulting from the failure to complete a background check within 3 business days, and the procedures followed after it is discovered that a firearm transfer has been made to a transferee who is ineligible to receive a firearm.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 6 | Oppose 45

 

 

 

 

End Purchase of Firearms by Dangerous Individuals Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. David Cicilline Cosponsors: 4

To incentivize State reporting systems that allow mental health professionals to submit information on certain individuals deemed dangerous for purposes of prohibiting firearm possession by such individuals, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 4 | Oppose 20

 

 

Military Recruiter Right to Carry Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Jody Hice Cosponsors: 4

To recognize the right of members of the Armed Forces assigned to duty at Armed Forces recruitment offices to carry a personal or service-issue firearm at the office.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 40 | Oppose 3

 

 

Good Neighbor Gun Dealer Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Ruben Gallego Cosponsors: 4

To require the Attorney General to establish a \Good Neighbor\” code of conduct for federally licensed firearms dealers

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 27 | Oppose 5

 

 

Veterans’ Heritage Firearms Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Miller Cosponsors: 3

To provide an amnesty period during which veterans and their family members can register certain firearms in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 19 | Oppose 28

 

 

Collectible Firearms Protection Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Cynthia Lummis Cosponsors: 3

To amend the Arms Export Control Act to provide that certain firearms listed as curios or relics may be imported into the United States by a licensed importer without obtaining authorization from the Department of State or the Department of Defense, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 69 | Oppose 3

 

 

Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act

 

Sponsor: Sen. Timothy Kaine Cosponsors: 2

A bill to amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to promote the responsible transfer of firearms.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 3 | Oppose 26

 

 

ATF Elimination Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. F. Sensenbrenner Cosponsors: 2

To abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, transfer its functions relating to the Federal firearms, explosives, and arson laws, violent crime, and domestic terrorism to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and transfer its functions relating to the Federal alcohol and tobacco smuggling laws to the Drug Enforcement Administration, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 118 | Oppose 0

 

 

A bill to safeguard military personnel on Armed Forces military installations by repealing bans on military personnel carrying firearms, and for other purposes.

 

Sponsor: Sen. Jerry Moran Cosponsors: 1

A bill to safeguard military personnel on Armed Forces military installations by repealing bans on military personnel carrying firearms, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 50 | Oppose 3

 

 

Military Base Self-Defense Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Scott Perry Cosponsors: 1

To safeguard military and civilian personnel on military bases by repealing bans on military personnel carrying firearms, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 39 | Oppose 3

 

 

Gun Look-Alike Case Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Eliot Engel Cosponsors: 1

To regulate the sale of cases and covers that resemble firearms, to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 with respect to the regulation of toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms, and to provide penalties for a violation of such regulations.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 3 | Oppose 26

 

 

Safer Communities Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Sen. Richard Blumenthal Cosponsors: 0

A bill to protect individuals by strengthening the Nation’s mental health infrastructure, improving the understanding of violence, strengthening firearm prohibitions and protections for at-risk individuals, and improving and expanding the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 3 | Oppose 6

 

 

A bill to require a process by which members of the Armed Forces may carry a concealed personal firearm on a military installation.

 

Sponsor: Sen. Dean Heller Cosponsors: 0

A bill to require a process by which members of the Armed Forces may carry a concealed personal firearm on a military installation.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 87 | Oppose 5

 

 

Armed Forces Self-Defense Act

 

Sponsor: Sen. Ron Johnson Cosponsors: 0

A bill to permit service members to carry firearms on military installations, including reserve centers and recruitment offices.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 17 | Oppose 4

 

 

Servicemembers Self-Defense Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Sen. Rand Paul Cosponsors: 0

A bill to amend titles 10 and 18, to permit members of the Armed Forces to possess firearms on military installations in accordance with applicable State law, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 20 | Oppose 3

 

 

A bill to modify the definition of \antique firearm\”.”

 

Sponsor: Sen. Bill Cassidy Cosponsors: 0

A bill to modify the definition of \antique firearm\”.”

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 19 | Oppose 14

 

 

Look-Alike Weapons Safety Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Sen. Barbara Boxer Cosponsors: 0

A bill to improve requirements for entering into commerce of imitation firearms, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 5 | Oppose 94

 

 

Veterans’ Heritage Firearms Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Sen. Tom Cotton Cosponsors: 0

A bill to provide an amnesty period during which veterans and their family members can register certain firearms in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 23 | Oppose 13

 

 

A bill to amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition.

 

Sponsor: Sen. David Vitter Cosponsors: 0

A bill to amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 37 | Oppose 6

 

 

Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act

 

Sponsor: Sen. David Vitter Cosponsors: 0

A bill to amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to update certain procedures applicable to commerce in firearms and remove certain Federal restrictions on interstate firearms transactions.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 48 | Oppose 3

 

 

Border Security, Cooperation, and Act Now Drug War Prevention Act of 2015

 

Sponsor: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Cosponsors: 0

To provide for emergency deployments of United States Border Patrol agents and to increase the number of DEA and ATF agents along the international border of the United States to increase resources to identify and eliminate illicit sources of firearms into Mexico for use by violent drug trafficking organizations and for other lawful activities, and for other purposes.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 4 | Oppose 19

 

 

Safe and Responsible Gun Transfer Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Theodore Deutch Cosponsors: 0

To provide for greater safety in the use of firearms.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 1 | Oppose 105

 

 

Tiahrt Restrictions Repeal Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee Cosponsors: 0

To repeal certain impediments to the administration of the firearms laws.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 1 | Oppose 16

 

 

 

Protecting America’s Warriors Act

 

Sponsor: Rep. Steve Russell Cosponsors: 0

To protect the Second Amendment rights of members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the Department of Defense trained in the use of firearms to carry officially-issued or personally-owned firearms on military installations in the United States.

Sentiment on POPVOX as of Oct 4, 2015: Support 20 | Oppose 3

 


 

Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system. —

The Week Ahead: Sept. 28 – Oct. 2

October just got very interesting — with a post-Boehner Leadership scramble; government shutdown off the table;  short-term CR, Debt Ceiling, Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization, Highway bill possibly *on* the table…  And the Reconciliation process begins with aims to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood.


Last week began with a historic address to Congress by Pope Francis, with a special message for lawmakers:

Read full remarks


Speaker John Boehner Announces Retirement

The Pope's visit reportedly helped Speaker John Boehner decide to announce his retirement from Congress. He will depart both his Speakership and his Congressional seat on his birthday, November 17.

Many expect that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will ascend to the position, but that has not stopped the scrambling and speculation. And remember, the Speaker of the House does not have to be a Member of Congress!

From our Hill Sources:  Majority Leader McCarthy is known as a consensus-builder and well-respected by both sides of the aisle. But that doesn't mean he will pick up a lot of Democratic votes. Our sources said that would be "the worst thing that could happen to a Republican Speaker" (to get elected only with the help of Democrats.)

Take the POPVOX Poll: Who Should Replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House?

While we will release the results of the POPVOX poll next week, we can share that the leading write-in candidate (beyond those listed in the poll) is Trey Gowdy (R, SC).

At least for now, Boehner's announcement appears to have shut down talk of a government shutdown. House conservatives had threatened to hold up a bill to keep the government running after the current authorization ends September 30, if it did not de-fund Planned Parenthood. Last week, the Senate started work on a "clean bill", extending funding through December 11, 2015. But does that punt a possible shutdown to December?

A procedural "cloture" vote is scheduled for Monday on the legislative vehicle for a "clean" continuing resolution to fund the government through December 11, 2015:

A "Clean" Continuing Resolution 
(traveling as amendment 2689 to H.R. 719, the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act.)  
 


Flurry of Legislative Activity Expected

Speaker Boehner's resignation sparked discussion of a possible opportunity to for him to "clear the decks" without fear of retribution from House conservatives. Some are speculating that there might be a gridlock reprieve, if a Speaker with nothing to lose teams up with a President nearing the twilight of his last term.

John’s not going to leave for another 30 days, so hopefully he feels like getting as much stuff done as he possibly can,” President Obama said on Friday.

If Boehner does decide to take that approach, issues potentially on tap include: Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, raising the debt ceiling, a long-term highway bill (possibly with international tax reform and tax "extenders"), education reform, and reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (which expired in 2007).
 

Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank

HR 3611: To reauthorize and reform the Export-Import Bank
Sponsor: Rep Stephen Fincher (R-TN)

According to the sponsor:
"This legislation is a five-year reauthorization bill that will keep American jobs here at home, make the Bank’s practices more accountable, and enhance taxpayer protections by requiring the Bank to become more solvent and self-sufficient."

Raising the Federal Debt Ceiling

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated Congress will have to increase or suspend the debt ceiling between mid-November and early December.

HR 692: Default Prevention Act 
Sponsor: Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) 

According to the sponsor:
The bill "guarantee[s] that the sovereign debt of the United States Government will be paid in full and on time, under any circumstances, even total political gridlock. [The bill] simply provides that if the debt limit is reached, the Treasury Secretary may continue to borrow above that limit for the sole purpose of paying interest and principal that is due. It is an absolute guarantee that the debt of the United States will be honored.

Reauthorizing the Highway Trust Fund

The current highway bill will expire on October 29, before Speaker Boehner leaves office. The Senate passed a three-year bill, while the House is working on an ambitious five year plan that would be funded with significant changes to the international tax system. (Senate Majority Leader McConnell has not embraced that approach.) If the House can pass its bill in the next few weeks, the Senate could either take that bill or go to conference. (The looming deadline and Boehner's departure will provide an increased sense of urgency.)
 

S 1647: The Senate Highway Bill (The DRIVE Act)
Sponsor: Sen Jim Inhofe (R-OK)

According to the sponsor:
“The DRIVE Act will provide states and local communities with the certainty they deserve to plan and construct infrastructure projects efficiently.  This bipartisan bill also contains the hallmark accomplishment of a new freight program to prioritize federal spending on the facilities that will most directly benefit our economy, in addition to prioritizing federal dollars towards bridge safety and the interstate system.  The DRIVE Act will help set the tone for America’s economic future by putting our nation back on the map as the best place to do business."

Reforming No Child Left Behind

The education program that introduced nationwide testing technically expired in 2007. Both the House and Senate have been working on reform bills that would give more authority to local governments, among other changes. Each chamber passed their own bills in July:

S 1177: Every Child Achieves Act (Senate Education Bill)
Sponsor: Sen Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

According to the sponsor:
"If senators were students in a classroom, none of us would expect to receive a passing grade for unfinished work. Seven years is long enough to consider how to fix No Child Left Behind. … Continue the law’s important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement. "
 

HR 5: Student Success Act (House Education Bill)
Sponsor: Rep John Kline (R-MN)

According to the sponsor:

"By reducing the federal footprint, restoring local control, and empowering parents and education leaders, the Student Success Act will help provide all children access to an effective education. The bill is a commonsense response to a status quo that has failed students for far too long.

The Student Success Act will ensure our investment in K-12 education is more efficient and effective. The bill eliminates more than 65 ineffective, duplicative, and unnecessary programs, and replaces this maze of programs with a Local Academic Flexible Grant. H.R. 5 provides the freedom to allocate resources in a way that reflects local priorities, not Washington’s priorities. 


A Reconciliation bill may include Obamacare Repeal, Planned Parenthood Defunding

photo: Energy and Commerce committee markup of energy bill by Whitney Wyszynski

One of the first battles awaiting a new Speaker will be sheperding a Budget Reconciliation bill through the legislative process. A reconciliation bill gets special procedural treatment and does not require 60 votes to proceed in the Senate.

(Flashback: Final Health Reform revisions passed in a 2010 reconciliation bill.)

Markup of a reconciliation bill will begin this week in the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees. The bill will likely include Conservative priorities such as repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, and changes to the Sequester.
 


Bills up for a vote in Congress this week
Follow the links below to tell Congress what you think: 

HR 3594 – Higher Education Extension Act
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Bishop

HR 2617 – To amend the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 to postpone a scheduled increase in the minimum wage applicable to American Samoa
Sponsored by Rep. Amata Radewagen

HR 2786 – Cross-Border Rail Security Act
Sponsored by Rep. Filemon Vela

HR 2835 – Border Jobs for Veterans Act 
Sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally

Concur in the Senate Amendment to HR 2051
Agriculture Reauthorizations Act  |  Sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway

HR 3596 – Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act 
Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith

HR 3595
To extend the authorization to carry out the replacement of the existing medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Denver, Colorado  |  Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller

HR 3594 – Higher Education Extension Act
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Bishop

HR 2617 – To amend the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 to postpone a scheduled increase in the minimum wage applicable to American Samoa
Sponsored by Rep. Amata Radewagen

HR 2786 – Cross-Border Rail Security Act
Sponsored by Rep. Filemon Vela

HR 2835 – Border Jobs for Veterans Act 
Sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally

Concur in the Senate Amendment to HR 2051
Agriculture Reauthorizations Act  |  Sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway

HR 3596 – Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act 
Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith

HR 3595
To extend the authorization to carry out the replacement of the existing medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Denver, Colorado  |  Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller

 


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Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system. —