Washington Watch: Legislative Update

/, Legislation/Washington Watch: Legislative Update

Washington Watch: Legislative Update

2015-12-18T14:06:06+00:00December 18th, 2015|From the Grand Lodge, Legislation|Comments Off on Washington Watch: Legislative Update

Washington Watch: Legislative Update
For the Week of 14 December 2015

I.         Legislative News and Activity
II.       This Week in Congress
III.    Update on Top Legislative Priorities
IV.     DAY ON THE HILL 2016!!!
V.      DETAILS FROM THE OMNIBUS: Zadroga Reauthorization, Cadillac Tax and Funding Levels
VI.     Follow the FOP National Legislative Office on Twitter!

I.      LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND ACTIVITY
Executive Director Jim Pasco represented the FOP at the U.S. Attorney General’s holiday reception.

Executive Director Pasco met with W. Neil Eggleston, White House Counsel, on the issue of sentencing reform.

Executive Director Pasco met with Sally Quillian Yates, Deputy Attorney General of the United States, regarding sentencing reform.

Executive Director Pasco spoke on multiple occasions this week with Vanita Gupta, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), to discuss the pending investigations in Baltimore and Chicago.

Executive Director Pasco spoke with Channing D. Phillips, U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia about his office’s relationship with the FOP.

Executive Director Pasco met with former chiefs of police Charles Dowd and Christopher Moore to discuss FirstNet and other public safety spectrum issues.

Executive Director Pasco had a joint meeting with representatives from various consulting groups to discuss social media use and body-worn camera issues.

Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson and Legislative Liaison Michael Martin met with staff in the office of Representative Jerrold L. Nadler (D-NY) to discuss H.R. 3537, the “Synthetic Drug Control Act,” and S. 125/H.R. 228, the “Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act”.

Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson and Legislative Liaison Martin met with staff in the office of Richard B. Nugent (R-FL) to discuss S. 125/H.R. 228, the “Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act.”

Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson participated in a conference call hosted by Ronald L. Davis, Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and Karol V. Mason, Assistant Attorney General for Office of Justice Programs  (OJP) to discuss the significant issues currently facing law enforcement.

Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson participated in a conference call with other stakeholder groups to discuss asset forfeiture reform.

Legislative Liaisons Marisa Beam and Martin represented the FOP at a monthly meeting of law enforcement and criminal justice groups.

II.     THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS
The House and Senate were in session this week before adjourning for the year.  Both chambers will return on 4 January 2016.  Unless warranted by circumstance, there will be no Weekly Legislative Update until 8 January.  From our families to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a Happy New Year.

Action in the House
The House considered and passed H.J. Res. 78 under a suspension of the rules.  This continuing resolution which will keep the Federal government funded through 22 December 2015.  The legislation was transmitted to the Senate.

The House considered and passed the H.R. 2029, an omnibus appropriations measure which will fund the Federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016 on a 316-113 vote.  The bill, which includes the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act,” and would push back the imposition of the so-called “Cadillac tax” in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), was sent to the Senate for action.  (See Item V. below).

Action in the Senate
The Senate considered and passed H.J. Res. 78 and sent the bill to the President, who signed it into law.

The Senate considered and passed H.R. 2029 on a 65-33 and sent the bill to the President, who is expected to sign it into law.

The Senate considered and passed S. 238, the “Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act,” by unanimous consent.  The bill, which would require the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to provide Federal correctional officers in high- and medium- security prisons with non-lethal pepper spray for self-defense and directs the Government Accountability Office to evaluate issuing pepper spray to guards in minimum or low-security penal facilities, now goes to the Senate for further action.

III.       UPDATE ON TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
For the complete list of cosponsors for all of our top legislative priorities, or to find out if your Representative and Senators are cosponsors of specific bills, check outhttp://thomas.loc.gov.

A.  Support H.R. 973/S. 1651, the “Security Fairness Act”
We have a total of 129 cosponsors on H.R. 973.

We have a total of 19 cosponsors on S. 1651.

B.  Support H.R. 2254, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Equity Act”
We have a total of 13 cosponsors on H.R. 2254.

C.  PASSED: Legislation to Grant Statutory Arrest Authority to Civilian DoD Law Enforcement
The President signed S. 1356, “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016,”  into law.

IV.  DAY ON THE HILL 2016!
Your participation in this year’s Day on the Hill is of critical importance as the 114th Congress begins its final session and the Presidential campaigns heat up. We need to make our voices heard and work hard to ensure that our issues are considered in the year ahead and by all the candidates for President. Please attend if you can; we need your participation!!!

The FOP Day on The Hill 2016 will begin on Monday, 29 February 2016. The National Legislative Office and the National Legislative Committee will host a short briefing on our legislative agenda. The briefing will take place at 3pm on that Monday afternoon at D.C. Lodge #1 and last approximately one hour.

Tuesday and Wednesday, 1-2 March, will be devoted to your meetings with Members from your home States and districts. These appointments should be made in advance!!!Event participants should make every effort to have their Representative or Senator attend the meeting along with the appropriate staff person.

Accommodations for Day on the Hill Participants
The National Legislative Office has arranged for a block of rooms at the HamiltonCrowne Plaza at 1001 14th Street, NW.  The hotel is located just a few blocks from the Metro, making it easy for you to move around the city.

The rate is $209 per night, and you must identify yourself as part of the Fraternal Order of Police to get this special rate. Make your reservations now by calling the Central Reservations’ line (877-424-2449), and using the group code “GLF.”

The cut-off date for reservations is 1 February 2016, so don’t delay–make that reservation today!!!

 

V.      DETAILS FROM THE OMNIBUS: Zadroga Reauthorization, Cadillac Tax and Funding Levels
The omnibus appropriations measure is a mammoth bill and staff in the National Legislative Office is still reviewing it.  We can provide the following details:

  • The bill includes a total of $3.5 billion in funding for the World Trade Center Health Program and extends the program to 2090, which is effective a permanent reauthorization.  The legislation also adds $4.6 billion in funding to the Victim Compensation Fund and extends this program for an additional 5 years.
  • The bill contains a provision delaying for two years the implementation of the so-called “Cadillac tax,” a 40% tax on high cost insurance plans, meaning it will not go into effect until 2020.

The bill provides:

  • $476 million for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne-JAG) program
  • $212 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP)
  • $212 million for programs administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), including:
    • $187 million for the hiring program
    • $18 million for anti-methamphetamine activities, including:
      • $11 million for methamphetamine lab cleanups and
      • $7 million for anti-methamphetamine task forces
  • $75 million for a Comprehensive School Safety Initiative that contains funds to hire School Resource Officers (SROs)

VI.      Follow the FOP National Legislative Office on Twitter!
Sign up today for the latest news from Capitol Hill:  https://twitter.com/FOPLegislative

 


Questions or Comments? E-mail us at or call (202) 547 – 8189.
Grand Lodge Website | Legislative Office

Follow me

John Blackmon

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

Latest posts by John Blackmon (see all)