Washington Watch: Legislative Update

For the Week of 8 July 2019

I.   Legislative News and Activity

II.   This Week in Congress

III.   Update on Top Legislative Priorities

IV.   PRESS RELEASE: House Passes 9/11 Benefits Reauthorization!

V.   PRESS RELEASE: House Passes Legislation To Help Officers With Mental Wellness: The “STOIC Act”

VI.   ANNOUNCEMENT: Nomination Period Open Until July 31st for the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor

VII.   Support the National FOP PAC

VIII.   Follow the FOP on Facebook & Twitter! 

 

 

I.    LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND ACTIVITY

Executive Director Jim Pasco:

  • spoke with Jack A. Rauch, Deputy Associate Director with the White House Office of Public Liaison, regarding the FOP’s position on various legislative issues;
  • spoke with Tim Shea, Senior Counsel to Attorney General William P. Barr, regarding issues with State and local prosecutors, gang violence, as well as the upcoming National FOP’s 2019 Biennial National Conference in New Orleans; and
  • spoke with Scott G. Erickson, Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Law Enforcement, regarding upcoming DHS events.

Legislative Liaison Scott Marks:

  • represented the FOP at a monthly meeting of criminal justice stakeholder groups;
  • met with staff in the office of Senator Krysten L. Sinema (D-AZ) regarding H.R. 2513/S. 1978, the “Corporate Transparency Act,” in addition to other proposed anti-money laundering legislation; and
  • met with stakeholders at a monthly meeting of the Public Pension Network.

 

 

II.    THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS

Action in the HouseThe House considered and passed H.R. 1327, the “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act,” on a 402-12 vote. The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration. This legislation, which the FOP strongly supported, would reauthorize the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) through Fiscal Year 2090, the same reauthorization Congress provided for the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). (Click Here To See The Full Press Release)

 

The House considered and passed S. 998, the “Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis (STOIC) Act,” under a suspension of the rules on a voice vote. The bill will now go to the President, who is expected to sign it into law. The STOIC Act would revive and expand programs designed to help officers and their families with stress reduction, suicide prevention, and the promotion of overall mental health and wellness. The National FOP Legislative Office was instrumental in the passage of this bill and worked tirelessly with Senators Josh D. Hawley (R-MO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representatives Guy L. Reschenthaler (R, PA-14) and Madeleine C. Dean (D, PA-04). ( Click Here To See The Full Press Release)

 

Action in the House CommitteesThe Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing entitled: “Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform,” and, “California Criminal Justice Reform: Potential Lessons for the Nation.”

Action in the SenateThe Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled: “Protecting Innocence in a Digital World.”

 

 

III.    UPDATE ON TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

A. Support H.R. 141/S. 521, the “Social Security Fairness Act”1 additional cosponsor signed on to H.R. 141, bringing our total to 191.

  • Last month the National FOP Legislative staff sent letters to the 37 Members of Congress that had previously cosponsored this legislation in the 115thCongress, asking them to again cosponsor the bill in this Congress (Click To Read).
  • Two weeks ago, the National FOP Legislative staff called the offices of the remaining 29 Members of Congress, urging them to cosponsor the bill.

Since the initial letter and follow up calls made by the National FOP Legislative staff, there are 19 remaining Members of the original 37.We have 30 cosponsors on S. 521.

B. Support H.R. 1195/S. 473, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Equity Act”1 additional cosponsor signed on to H.R. 1195, bringing our total to 37.We have 1 cosponsor on S. 473.C. Support H.R. 1154/S.1394, the “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act”4 additional cosponsors signed on to H.R. 1154, bringing our total to 128.We have 18 cosponsors on S. 1394.

 

 

IV.    PRESS RELEASE: HOUSE PASSES 9/11 BENEFITS REAUTHORIZATION! FOP PREPARES TO PUSH FOR SWIFT ACTION IN THE SENATE(Click Here To See The Full Press Release)

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed the news that the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1327, the “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act,” on a 402-12 vote.

“Our nation pauses every 11th of September to remember the victims and heroes who lost their lives in the heinous attacks on the United States in 2001. Yet too often we forget about those heroes who survived that day, who put themselves at risk to save others as well as those who, in the months after the attack, worked at Ground Zero sifting through the carnage,” Canterbury said. “Their exposure to the toxins and chemicals released when the Twin Towers fell still cost them their lives and we cannot forget that.”

The legislation passed by the House today will reauthorize the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) through Fiscal Year 2090, the same reauthorization Congress provided for the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). 

“As a nation, we made a solemn commitment to these brave men and women, all of whom answered the call of duty,” Canterbury said. “Now it’s Congress’ turn to answer the call and we urge the Senate to act swiftly on this important legislation.”

 

 

V.    PRESS RELEASE: HOUSE PASSES LEGISLATION TO HELP OFFICERS WITH MENTAL WELLNESS: THE “STOIC ACT” NOW GOES TO THE PRESIDENT FOR HIS SIGNATURE (Click Here To See The Full Press Release)

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed the passage of S. 998, the “Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis (STOIC) Act,” in the U.S. House of Representatives under a suspension of the rules on a voice vote.

“It is a sad fact that we lose more officers to suicide every year than we lose in the line of duty. In fact, four New York City Police Officers took their own lives in the last three weeks,” said Canterbury. “I know we can do more to help the officers suffering from job-related stress and address the need for better mental resiliency and wellness for our officers and their families. We’re grateful to Senators Hawley and Whitehouse, as well as Representatives Reschenthaler and Dean, for their leadership on this issue.”

The “STOIC Act” would revive and expand programs designed to help officers and their families with stress reduction, suicide prevention, and the promotion of overall mental health and wellness. The bill will now go to the President, who is expected to sign it into law.

“The FOP played a prominent role in getting the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act signed into law in the last Congress,” Canterbury said. “This legislation builds on and expands that work and we’re proud to have been part of this successful effort.”

 

 

VI.    ANNOUNCEMENT: NOMINATION PERIOD OPEN UNTIL JULY 31ST FOR THE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER MEDAL OF VALOR

Federal, state, local, and tribal public safety officers perform courageous acts in communities across our country every day. To recognize these brave individuals, the President of the United States or his designee annually presents recipients with the nation’s highest award for public safety—the Medal of Valor.

Law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel are all eligible. Learn more about the award and past recipients on the Medal of Valor website. Use this year’s nomination guidelines to help write your nominations for this year’s award.

Thank you for taking time to honor these public safety officers and the valiant actions they perform to keep our country and citizens safe. Follow BJA onFacebook and Twitter for additional updates on the Medal of Valor and other initiatives supported by BJA.

**All current Office of Justice Program funding opportunities can also be accessed online at https://go.usa.gov/xmxG9.

***Additional Department of Justice funding opportunities are available online through the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS):

 

 

VII.    SUPPORT THE NATIONAL FOP PAC

It is crucial to our political agenda that we keep our PAC competitive with other organizations. If you want more information on the PAC or want to sign up for a $5.00 monthly recurring contribution, please email scott.marks@fop.net or call (202) 547-8189.

 

 

VIII.    FOLLOW THE FOP ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER!

Follow the FOP on Facebook [@NationalFraternalOrderOfPolice] and Twitter [@GLFOP] for the latest news from Capitol Hill!

FOP Social Media This Week:

  • Please join us in praying for the family, friends and colleagues of our fallen Brother in Georgia. #EnoughIsEnough” (TWITTER LINK)
  • “This video shows how fast things can go from bad to worse on the street. We are thankful that these two @njfop members will recover from their physical injuries.” (TWITTER LINK)
  • “Over 30% off tuition discount for the FOP members at Tiffin University! For master’s students, Tiffin University offers $250 per-credit-hour discount off regular tuition. For bachelor’s students, TU offers $150 per-credit-hour discount off regular tuition. With bachelor’s degrees in arts, business administration, criminal justice, science; and master’s degrees in business administration, education, humanities and science. Visit go.tiffin.edu/FOP for a complete list of academic programs. Or contact us at 800.968.6446 ext. 3596 grad@tiffin.edu” ( FACEBOOK LINK)

“’This is a matter of fairness! We are fighting hard to pass the ‘Social Security Fairness Act.’’— National Vice President Jay McDonald. This bill would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). Call your Member of Congress and tell them to support law enforcement by supporting the Social Security Fairness Act. Call the Capitol switchboard and ask to speak with your Representative: (202) 224-3121. Click here to learn more about the Social Security Fairness Act https://www.fop.net/CmsPage.aspx?id=93#A” (FACEBOOK LINK)

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John Blackmon

A retired law enforcement officer who now serves as the President of the Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge #3.
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