Washington Watch: Legislative Update
For the Week of 4 September 2017
I. Legislative News and Activity
II. This Week in Congress
III. Update on Top Legislative Priorities
IV. Press Release
V. Follow the FOP on Twitter!
I. LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND ACTIVITY
The 115th Congress is back in the Capitol, returning from August Recess.
Senior Advisor to the National President, Jim Pasco:
- Spoke with Jenny Korn, Special Assistant to the President, on law enforcement appointments;
- Spoke with John Barsa, Acting Assistant at Department of Homeland Security (DHS), on communication and coordination between DHS and the FOP; and
- Met with Department of Justice (DOJ) officials with National President Chuck Canterbury, Miami Lodge President Javier Ortiz, and other representatives on status of current Justice Department memorandum of understanding on monitoring.Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson and Legislative Liaison Mike Martin met with staff in the offices Representatives H.W. “Trey” Gowdy III (R-SC), John L. Ratcliffe (R-TX), Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) and Senator Joseph S. Donnelly (D-IN) to discuss S. 867/H.R. 2228, the “Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act.”Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson and Legislative Liaison Martin represented the FOP at a stakeholder meeting with staff from the House Committee on the Judiciary to discuss H.R. 2228 and other pending issues.
Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson and Legislative Liaison Marks participated in a conference call with staff in the offices of Senator C. Patrick Roberts (R-KS) and Kevin W. Yoder (R-KS) as well as other law enforcement stakeholder groups to discuss a draft of the “Kelsey Smith Act.”
Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson represented the FOP on a call hosted by the American Trucking Association to discuss issues regarding human trafficking, traffic safety, law enforcement safety, national security and cargo security.
Staff in the National Legislative Office participated in the following conference calls:
- With the White House on the announced changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA);
- With the White House on general background for DACA changes, tax reform efforts and other issues important to the President; and
- With the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the announced changes to DACA.
II. THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS
Both chambers of Congress are back from August Recess.
Action in the House
The House took up H.R. 2864, “Improving Access to the Capital Act.” This bill passed the House, 403-3.
The House took up H.R. 3110, “The Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act.” This bill passed the House, 407-1.
The House took up H.R. 610, a bill that provides $15.25 billion in emergency spending, as well as fund the government and suspend the debt ceiling through Dec. 8. This bill passed 316-90 and heads to the Oval Office for signature.
Action in House Committees
The Committee on the Judiciary marked up and reported favorably by voice vote, H.R. 3229.
The Committee on the Judiciary took up H.R. 620, “ADA Education and Reform Act,” and was reported favorably to the House by a vote of 15-9.
Action in the Senate
The Senate passed by voice vote, S. 597, “Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act.” This legislation is backed by the FOP.
Action in Senate Committees
The Committee on the Judiciary marked up and reported favorably to the full Senate, S. 705 “Child Protection Improvements Act.” This legislation is backed by the FOP.
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 out https://www.congress.gov/
A. Support H.R. 1205/S. 915, the “Social Security Fairness Act”
We have 148 cosponsors on H.R 1205.
We have 8 cosponsors on S. 915.
B. Support the H.R. 964/S. 424, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Equity Act”
We have 21 cosponsors on H.R. 964.
We have 3 cosponsors on S. 424.
IV. Press Release
FOP Applauds Senate Passage of the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act!
Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, applauded news that the Senate passed S. 597, the “Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act,” that was re-introduced by Senators Robert P. Casey (D-PA), Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA), Susan M. Collins (R-ME) and Joseph S. Donnelly (D-IN).
“Months after we honored our fallen heroes during Police Week, this important piece of legislation passed the Senate with unanimous consent.” Canterbury said. “I am glad to see Senator Casey join with Senators Toomey, Collins and Donnelly to reintroduce this bill, but also I am glad to see the entire Senate come together to pass this legislation. There is no reason that this significant piece of legislation with its strong bipartisan support should not become law. Passing this bill is the right thing to do for the men and women of law enforcement especially after we honored 234 of them who made the ultimate sacrifice in 2016.”
This bill would make a college education more affordable to survivor families by increasing the availability of Pell Grants by eliminating the Expected Family Contribution in the eligibility formula.
“In 2016 234 law enforcement officers lost their lives in the United States, 234 officers who will never be able to see their families again,” Canterbury said. “While no amount of financial assistance can replace a loved one, providing the children of fallen officers with Federal Pell Grants for their college education is a noble act.”
The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States with more than 330,000 members in every region of the country.
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