Supporting Tibet, Exposing Hidden Fees and Protecting Judges Amid Rising Threats

Supporting Tibet, Exposing Hidden Fees and Protecting Judges Amid Rising ThreatsPromoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act (S 138) – This bill was introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on Jan. 30, 2023. It establishes a statutory definition of Tibet that includes areas currently claimed by China. The legislation also expands efforts to combat Chinese government propaganda, such as disinformation about Tibet’s history and institutions. The bill passed in the Senate on May 23 and in the House on June 12. It is currently awaiting enactment by the president.

No Hidden Fees on Extra Expenses for Stays Act of 2023 (HR 6543) – Introduced on Dec. 1, 2023, by Rep. Young Kim (R-CA), this bill requires providers of short-term lodging (e.g., hotels, motels, inns, and short-term rentals) to include each mandatory fee when displaying or advertising the price for a reservation. This largely bipartisan bill passed in the House on June 11, 2024, and currently lies in the Senate.

Wastewater Infrastructure Pollution Prevention and Environmental Safety Act (HR 2964) – This bill mandates that certain premoistened, nonwoven wipes (e.g., baby wipes, cleaning wipes, personal care wipes) be labeled “Do Not Flush” with an accompanying symbol. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) on April 27, 2023, with three Democrat co-sponsors. It passed in the House on June 11 and is currently under consideration in the Senate.

Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025 (HR 8070) – Introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) on April 18, this bill passed in the House on June 14 and currently lies with the Senate. It is an annual budgetary must-pass bill to reauthorize funding for the nation’s military defenses. The current bill that passed in the House is laden with amendments that will likely sink in the Senate, such as prohibiting services for gender transition, eliminating offices focused on diversity, and prohibiting funding for the Countering Extremist Activity Working Group (focused on preventing extremism in the military). However, some form of this bill will likely pass both Houses and be sent to the president before the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2024).

Countering Threats and Attacks on Our Judges Act (S 3984) – The purpose of this bill is to create a new resource center to provide threat monitoring and training to help protect the safety of judges and others who work in state courthouses nationwide. The legislation was crafted in response to a rising number of threats to the judiciary. This bipartisan bill was sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). It passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on June 12 and currently lies with the House.

Billie Jean King Congressional Gold Medal Act (S 2861) – This legislation was introduced by Rep. Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) on Sept. 20, 2023, with more than 60 co-sponsors across both aisles. The bill would award a Congressional Gold Medal to former professional tennis player Billie Jean King, in recognition to her devotion to championing equal rights for all, both in sports and in society. The bill passed in the Senate on May 8 and is now in the House.

Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust Congressional Gold Medal Act (HR 537) – This bill would award a Congressional Gold Medal to 60 diplomats posthumously in recognition of their brave and vital service of saving Jews during the Holocaust. It was introduced on Jan. 26, 2023, and sponsored by 295 co-sponsors (155 Democrats, 140 Republicans). It passed in the House on June 11 and currently lies with the Senate.

Funding for Federal Aviation, Reinforcing Supply Chains, and Deterring Iranian Terror Attacks Around the World

HR 3935, HR 4581, HR 6571, HR 3033, HR 6015, HR 5826FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 (HR 3935) – This bipartisan bill reauthorizes funding and direction for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSBB) for another five years. The legislation is designed to improve air travel safety, provide increased protections for consumers, hire more people to the aviation workforce, and modernize the U.S. national airspace system for the future. It authorizes more than $105 billion for FAA funding through fiscal year 2028. The bill passed in the Senate on May 9, in the House on the next day, and was signed by the president on May 16.

Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2023 (HR 4581) – introduced by Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) on July 12, 2023, this bill funds additional research and activities with the goal of preventing stillbirths. It passed in the House on May 15, 2023, and is currently in the Senate.

Promoting Resilient Supply Chains Act of 2023 (HR 6571) – Introduced on Dec. 4, 2023, by Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), the purpose of this bipartisan bill is to establish supply chain resiliency and a crisis response program within the Department of Commerce. Given the potential threat of pandemics, extreme climate events, and even war with anti-democracy adversaries, this bill would help secure American supply chains, reduce reliance on other countries, and develop our own emerging technology resources. The bill passed in the House on May 15 and currently lies in the Senate.

Solidify Iran Sanctions Act of 2023 (HR 3033) – The purpose of this bill is to enact a permanent requirement for the president to sanction individuals or entities that aid Iran’s ability to acquire or develop certain chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, among other provisions.

This bipartisan bill was introduced by Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA) on April 28, 2023. It passed in the House on April 16 of this year and currently lies with the Senate.

Iran Sanctions Accountability Act of 2023 (HR 6015) – This legislation was introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) on Oct. 20, 2023. The bill would establish protections to ensure that humanitarian exceptions to Iranian sanctions do not inadvertently facilitate international terrorism or the sale of weapons to terrorists. The bill passed in the House on April 16 and is now in the Senate.

No Paydays for Hostage-Takers Act (HR 5826) – This bill, which was introduced by Sen. Joe Wilson (R-SC) on Sept. 28, 2023, passed in the House on April 16 and is currently in the Senate. It would empower the president to deny a U.N. diplomatic representative entrance to the country if that person is sanctioned due to ties to terrorism and distribution of weapons of mass destruction. The bill also would require the president to issue reports to Congress on matters such as blocked Iranian assets, any U.S. hostages taken by Iran, and if travel to Iran by U.S. citizens would put them in imminent danger.

Funding Foreign Military and Humanitarian Aid, Setting up a Tik Tok Ban, and Re-Authorizing Foreign Surveillance on U.S. Soil

Funding Foreign Military and Humanitarian Aid, Setting up a Tik Tok Ban, and Re-Authorizing Foreign Surveillance on U.S. SoilUkraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024 (HR 8035) – Introduced on April 17, this bill authorizes $60 billion to provide military aid to support Ukraine in its war against Russian invasion. More than a third of this allocation will fund U.S. manufacturing for the replenishment of weapons, stocks and facilities. The bill passed in the House on April 20, in the Senate on April 23, and was signed by the President on April 24. The President indicated that up to $1 billion in weapons supplies for Ukraine would begin delivery within hours.

Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024 (HR 8034) – Introduced on April 17, this bill authorizes $26 billion to provide military aid to Israel with $1 billion designated for humanitarian assistance for civilian victims of the war in Gaza. The bill passed in the House on April 20, in the Senate on April 23, and was signed by the President on April 24.

Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024 (HR 8036) – Introduced on April 17, this bill authorizes $8 billion in defense spending to counter Chinese aggression against Taiwan and other key U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region. The bill passed in the House on April 20, in the Senate on April 23, and was signed by the President on April 24.

21st Century Peace through Strength Act (HR 8038) – Also on April 24, the President signed what is referred to as the Tik Tok bill, representing the first time Congress has initiated legislation designed to ban a social media platform. In effect, the Act mandates that Chinese tech firm ByteDance has up to a year to sell the short-form video streaming app to a U.S.-owned entity or be shut down. The bill was introduced on April 17 by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), passed in the House on April 20, and in the Senate on April 23.

Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (HR 7888) – This Act reauthorizes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was scheduled to expire on April 19, 2024. This bill amends previous language (from 2008) to better represent technology updates in 2024. However, the premise of the bill remains the same. It authorizes targeting surveillance data of foreigners outside the United States. No Americans, or even foreigners located in the United States, can be targeted. This bipartisan-supported bill was introduced by Rep. Laura Lee (R-FL) on April 9, passed in the House on April 12 and in the Senate on April 19. It was signed by the President on April 20.

A bill to require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to submit to Congress an annual report on projects that are over budget and behind schedule, and for other purposes (S 1258) – This bill was introduced on April 25, 2023, by Rep. Joni Ernst (R-IA). This bill would require federal agencies to make an annual report to Congress regarding the status of federally funded projects that are either more than five years behind schedule, or whose expenses have exceeded original cost estimates by $1 billion or more. The Act passed in the Senate on March 23 and currently resides in the House.

Funding the Government, Protecting Americans from Misuse of Data, Expanding Internet Access and Improving Recycling

HR 4366, HR 7521, HR 7520, HR 1752, HR 6276, HR 1046Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 (HR 4366) – On March 9, the president signed the latest appropriations bill passed in time to halt a government shutdown. While this bill does authorize funding through the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30), it only addresses six of the 12 bills necessary to fully fund the government. The recent legislation covers Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Rural Development, the Food and Drug Administration, the Commerce, Justice and Science-related departments, the Energy Department, the Department of the Interior and the Environment, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. On March 23, the president signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 (HR 2882) in the nick of time to prevent a government shutdown. This subsequent budget legislation includes the remaining spending bills to fully fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30).

Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary ControlledApplications Act (HR 7521) – Congress is currently considering a bill designed to force the sale of the social media app Tik Tok, which is currently owned by ByteDance Ltd. This Chinese firm is subject to the laws of China, which has the right to seize all data procured by the app as well as influence content for political purposes – which is considered a threat to U.S. national security.This roundly bipartisan bill was introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) on March 5. It was passed by the House on March 13 and is under consideration in the Senate.

Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act of 2024 (HR 7520) – The purpose of this bill is to prevent the current targeting, surveilling, and manipulation of user data from apps by brokers who sell sensitive information to foreign adversaries, such as China. Examples of data collected and sold include individual physical and mental health, as well as where and when they travel outside the country. This bipartisan bill was introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) on March 7. It is currently assigned to a committee for review in the House.

E-BRIDGE Act (HR 1752) – This legislation was introduced by Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) in March 2023. It would authorize the Department of Commerce to issue economic development grants for the purpose of expanding and improving high-speed broadband service in underserved and geographically diverse markets. The bill passed in the House on March 11 and currently lies with the Senate.

USE IT Act of 2023 (HR 6276) – This Act would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA), through the use of technology sensors, to ensure federal government building utilization and federally leased spaces average at least 60 percent in each public building over each one-year period. The bill, introduced by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) on Nov. 7, 2023, passed in the House on March 12 and is now under consideration in the Senate.

A bill to require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out certain activities to improve recycling and composting programs in the United States and for other purposes (S 1194) – This Act was introduced by Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) on April 19, 2023, and passed in the Senate on March 12. This bipartisan bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collect data and issue reports on nationwide composting and recycling efforts, including implementing a national composting strategy to help reduce contamination rates for recycling. The legislation is currently under consideration in the House.

A bill to establish a pilot grant program to improve recycling accessibility and for other purposes (S 1189) – A companion bipartisan bill to S 1194, this Act would authorize the EPA to issue grants to states, local governments, Indian tribes, or public-private partnerships to fund improved recycling accessibility within communities. It was introduced by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-VA) on April 19, 2023, and passed in the Senate on March 12. It is also under consideration in the House.

Social Security Expansion Act (HR 1046) – This new bill is designed to enhance Social Security benefits and ensure the long-term solvency of the Social Security program. It was introduced on Feb. 14 by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). The bill includes the following provisions: 1) increase benefits for low earners; 2) restore student education benefits to children of deceased or disabled parents, up to age 22; 3) revise the calculation to yield higher annual COLA benefits; 3) make active trade or business income subject to the net investment income tax; 4) make all earnings above $250,000 subject to Social Security payroll taxes. The bill has yet to be assigned to a committee and has virtually no chance of being enacted by the current Congress.

Debating U.S. Border Policies and Foreign Aid, Providing Tax Relief Before Tax Season, and Training More Nurses

The Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act (HR 815) – Formerly known as the RELIEVE Act, this bill was originally written to improve veteran eligibility for reimbursement for emergency treatment. However, the bill was altered to incorporate the Senate’s effort to combine new U.S. border policies with aid for wars abroad. On Feb. 13, the Senate passed this bill to provide $95.3 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. While the border policy portion of the bill was struck out, the Senate did manage to pass the foreign aid funding. The bill includes $4.83 billion to help deter China’s aggression against Taiwan, $9.15 billion in humanitarian assistance to civilians in conflict zones such as Gaza and the West Bank, $14.1 billion to support Israel’s war against Hamas, and $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. It is worth noting that about 75 percent of the Ukraine funding would be spent in the United States to refill inventories and purchase new weapons from American manufacturers. However, the House speaker has indicated he will not bring the bill to the floor for a vote until they have satisfactorily readdressed immigration policies affecting the U.S. border.

Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 (HR 7024) – This bipartisan legislation was introduced on Jan. 17 by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO). The bill includes a variety of tax-related provisions, such as enhancing the low-income housing and child tax credits, as well as offering additional tax incentives to promote economic growth for small and private business owners and entrepreneurs. The bill passed in the House on Jan. 31 and has the potential to pass in the Senate before the April tax filing deadline.

No Dollars to Uyghur Forced Labor (HR 4039) – This bill prohibits two U.S. government agencies from spending funds associated with goods procured via forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. However, if the State Department advises Congress of evidence that no forced labor was used in making particular goods, it may waive the prohibition. The act was introduced by Rep. Nathaniel Moran (R-TX) on June 12, 2023. It passed in the House on Feb. 13 and currently lies with the Senate.

A bill to improve performance and accountability in the Federal Government and for other purposes (S 709) – This bipartisan bill was introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on March 8, 2023. It is designed to improve performance and accountability within the Federal Government by re-evaluating the goals of federal agencies and authorizing a Deputy Performance Improvement Officer in addition to a Performance Improvement Officer. The act passed in the Senate on Feb. 8 and is now under consideration in the House.

Train More Nurses Act (S 2853) – This bill requires the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services to research and prepare recommendations to make grant programs that support nurses more effectively. Specifically, how to increase pathways for experienced nurses to become teachers at nursing schools, particularly in underserved areas, and how to encourage more licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses. The act, which was introduced by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) on May 3, 2023, passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on Jan. 24. It is currently under review in the House.

Averting a Government Shutdown, and Reinforcing Air Travel Infrastructure, Weather Alert Systems and National Defense Initiatives

Making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2024, and for other purposes (HR 2872) – Passed by both branches and signed by the president on Jan. 18, this is the third temporary resolution designed to avert a government shutdown until Congress can agree on appropriations for fiscal year 2024. The bill extends the government funding deadline to March 1 for four appropriations bills and another eight until March 8.

Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2023, Part II (HR 6503) – This bipartisan bill was introduced on Nov. 29, 2023, by Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO). It extends certain Federal Aviation and Administration (FAA) programs and activities through March 8, namely the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) test site program and the remote detection and identification pilot program, weather reporting programs, the Remote Tower Pilot Program, and the Essential Air Service Program. The bill also extends authorization for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) that provides grants for planning, development, and noise compatibility projects at certain public-use airports and extends the FAA’s authority to collect taxes on aviation fuel and airline tickets to support the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF). The bill passed in the House on Dec. 11, in the Senate on Dec. 19, and was signed into law by President Biden on Dec. 26.

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (HR 2670) – This bill incorporates provisions from a wide range of legislation introduced throughout 2023. It authorizes fiscal year 2024 appropriations and policies for: the Department of Defense (DOD); military construction; national security programs for the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Maritime Administration; the Defense Nuclear Safety Board; and the Naval Petroleum Reserves. Note that this bill does not provide appropriations but merely authorizes funding from an approved budget. The Act was introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) on April 18, 2023. It passed in the House on July 14 and the Senate on July 27. A conference report of the final text was produced and approved by both houses in December, and the Act was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2023.

Testing, Rapid Analysis and Narcotic Quality (TRANQ) Research Act of 2023 (HR 1734) – This bipartisan act was introduced on March 23, 2023, by Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA). It initially passed in the House on May 11, passed in the Senate with changes on June 22, was finalized in the House on Dec. 4, and enacted on Dec. 11. The bill directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to support research and other activities related to psychoactive substances such as fentanyl and a veterinary tranquilizer called Xylazine. Colloquially referred to as the zombie drug, this substance has proliferated in communities throughout the country and places law enforcement officers at great personal risk during confiscation.

A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to extend the Administrative Fine Program for certain reporting violations (S 2747) – This bill extends authorization to the Federal Election Commission Administration Fine Program to enforce penalties for late and/or non-filed campaign finance disclosure reports. The legislation was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Sept. 7, 2023, and passed in the Senate on the same day. It passed in the House on Dec. 11 and was signed into law on Dec. 19, 2023.

NWR Modernization Act of 2023 (S 1416) – This bipartisan bill instructs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to update the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) network of radio stations that broadcast 24-7 weather information, including weather warnings, watches, and forecasts. It has become imperative to beef up the coverage and reliability of radio stations – particularly in rural and underserved communities – via repairs, software upgrades, additional equipment, and alternative means of transmissions, as well as other potential improvements. The Act was introduced on May 23, 2023, by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D- WA). It passed in the Senate on Dec.18 and currently lies in the House.

National Weather Service Communications Improvement Act (S 1414) – This bill is designed to update the current in-house instant messaging service (NWSChat) that has been in use since 2008 by NWS forecasters. In the wake of increased severe weather events, wildfires, and climate-related emergencies across the country, it is necessary to use more reliable, updated state-of-the-art communications and real-time alerts in order for local communities to keep families, homes, and businesses safe and secure. This Act would require the NWS to adopt a new instant messaging service by October 2027. The bill, also introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) on May 3, 2023, passed in the Senate on Dec. 18, 2023. Note that there is a similar bill in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as well as a bipartisan version in the House.

Relaxing Small Business Accountability and Supporting Veteran Homelessness and Substance Abuse Disorders

A joint resolution providing for Congressional disapproval under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection relating to Small Business Lending Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (SJ Res 32) – This resolution was introduced on June 13 by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA). It nullifies a rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that requires financial institutions to collect and report credit application data for small businesses to the CFPB. The bill passed in the House and the Senate on Dec. 1, but President Biden has threatened to veto the resolution because he believes it would reduce transparency and accountability in small business lending.

Caregiver Outreach and Program Enhancement (COPE) Act (HR 3581) – This bill supports various Veterans Administration initiatives: 1. Authorizes funding for the implementation, coordination and enhancement of mental health counseling and treatment for participants (family caregivers of veterans) in the VA family caregiver program; 2. Authorizes the VA to contribute to local authorities to mitigate flooding risks on properties adjacent to VA medical facilities; 3. Requires an annual survey of police chiefs, facility emergency management leaders, facility directors, etc., for data regarding VA facility security; 4. Extends certain VA home loan fee rates through March 12, 2032. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Jennifer Kiggans (R-VA) on May 22. It passed in the House on Dec. 4 and is now in the Senate for review.

Housing our Military Veterans Effectively Act of 2023 (HR 3848) – This Act is designed to address issues related to homeless veterans. It increases the maximum per diem payments to authorized entities that provide transitional housing and services to homeless veterans. It also authorizes a maximum of 200 percent of the rate for veterans who live in rural areas, areas with high veteran suicide rates and high rates of veteran homelessness. Furthermore, the bill authorizes the VA, through fiscal year 2024, to use certain funds to provide additional assistance to homeless veterans participating in the HUD-VA Supportive Housing program, and to manage the use of VA land for homeless veterans to live and sleep.The legislation was introduced on June 6 by Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR) andpassed in the House on Dec. 5. Its fate currently rests with the Senate.

Support for Patients and Communities Reauthorization Act (HR 4531) – This bipartisan legislation reauthorizes (through fiscal year 2028) grants, programs and activities that address substance use. The provisions address data collection, education and surveillance activities; support for substance use disorder (SUD) prevention, treatment, recovery and trauma experienced by families of SUD patients; and student loan repayment and other resources for the SUD workforce. The legislation also modifies certain drug schedules of controlled substances and permanently requires that Medicaid cover medication-assisted treatment for eligible SUD patients. This bill was introduced by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) on July 11 and is co-sponsored by 37 Republicans and 27 Democrats. It passed in the House on Dec. 12 and is currently under consideration in the Senate.

Expanding Benefits for Veterans and Extending Government Funding Until Jan. 19, 2024

A bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to extend and modify certain authorities and requirements relating to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. (S 2795) – This bill was introduced on Sept. 13 by Sen. Don Tester (D-MT). This act extends various Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs and benefits, including extending the use of contract healthcare professions for disability exams from three to five years; extending authorization for VA emergency preparedness for public health emergencies through fiscal year 2028; and extending certain fee rates under the VA’s home loan program through Nov. 15, 2031. The bill passed in the Senate on Sept. 13, the House on Sept. 26, and was signed into law by the President on Oct. 6.

Wounded Warrior Access Act (HR 1226) – This bill requires the VA to develop and maintain a secure online website that will allow claimants to request records related to their VA claims and benefits, as well as a process for reporting violations. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) on Feb. 28. It passed in the House on March 7, the Senate on Nov. 2 and was signed into law on Nov. 13.

Korean American Valor Act (HR 366) – This act amends U.S. Code Title 38 to treat certain members of the armed forces of the Republic of Korea, who served in Vietnam under the Armed Forces of the United States, as veterans for purposes of qualifying for healthcare by the VA. The legislation was introduced on Jan. 13by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), and was passed in the House on May 22 and in the Senate on Oct. 19. The bill was enacted by President Biden on Nov. 13.

A bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to strengthen benefits for children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida, and for other purposes. (S 12) – Introduced by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) on Jan. 26, this bill requires the VA to provide healthcare, job training and monetary benefits to children of Vietnam veterans who were born with spina bifida – for the duration of the child’s life. The bill also requires the VA to establish an advisory council responsible for the care, coordination and ongoing outreach to assist with any care changes over time. The bill passed in the Senate on July 13, the House on Sept. 19, and was signed into law on Oct. 6.

Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024 (HR 6363) – This continuing resolution (CR) was introduced by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) on Nov. 13. It is part of a two-step process to continue funding most government programs and activities at fiscal year 2023 levels for the current fiscal year (2024). The CR expires on Jan. 19, 2024, by which time budget legislation will need to be passed in order to avoid a government shutdown. This CR passed in the House on Nov. 14, the Senate on Nov. 15, and was signed by the President on Nov. 16.

Banning Weapons Training in Public Schools, Funding Assistance for Ukraine, and Various Appropriations Bills for Fiscal Year 2024

Banning Weapons Training in Public Schools, Funding Assistance for Ukraine, and Various Appropriations Bills for Fiscal Year 2024Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act (HR 5110) – This bill was introduced in the House on Aug. 1 by Rep. Mark E. Green (R-TN). The purpose of this bill is to ban federal funds from being used for weapons training in public schools, except in the case of training students in archery, hunting, and other school sports that involve shooting guns. The bill passed in the House on Sept. 26, the Senate on Sept. 27, and was signed into law by the president on Oct. 6.

Continuing Appropriations Act, 2024 and Other Extensions Act (HR 5860) – This last-minute continuing resolution (CR) authorizes fiscal year 2024 appropriations to federal agencies through Nov. 17, as well as emergency funding for disaster relief. With the impending deadline of Oct. 1, this stopgap bill was passed in the House and Senate and signed by the president on Sept. 30. A full authorization bill (or another extension) must be passed by the November deadline in order to prevent a government shutdown.

Ukraine Security Assistance and Oversight Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024 (HR 6592) – This act provides supplemental appropriations to the Department of Defense (DOD) for assistance to Ukraine; it also authorizes an Office of the Special Inspector General for Ukraine Assistance. This funding is designed to aid and equip military and national security forces to help fight the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It further replenishes the U.S. military inventory with weapons or defense systems that have already been provided to Ukraine. The Special Inspector General for Ukraine Assistance will conduct audits to prevent and detect waste, fraud, and abuse of the bill’s funding. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Thomas Kean (R-NJ) on Sept. 26 and was passed in the House on Sept. 28. It is presently under review in the Senate.

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2024 (HR 4367) – Introduced by Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) on June 27, this is an appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This funding is designated for intelligence, situational awareness, and oversight, security, enforcement, and investigations related to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Secret Service. While the bill passed in the House on Sept. 28 and is currently under consideration in the Senate, President Biden has indicated he would veto the bill because it rescinds a previously agreed-upon budget negotiated by the Speaker of the House last May.

Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act (S 294) – This bill would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to report on issues encountered by rural-area small businesses. Moreover, it would amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to extend additional capital for small businesses in rural areas. The legislation was introduced by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) on Feb. 7 and passed in the Senate on Sept. 7. It is currently in the House.

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (S 226) – This annual appropriations bill passed in the Senate on July 27. It authorizes fiscal year 2024 appropriations for the Department of Defense (DOD), the national security programs of the Department of Energy (DOE), military construction, acquisition or modification of various military items (e.g., aircraft, ships, combat vehicles, missiles, ammunition), service member compensation and healthcare benefits, as well as other purposes related to defending the U.S. Introduced on July 11 by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), the bill currently resides in the House.

Sanctioning Terrorist Activities by Iran, Accelerating Disaster Assistance and Expanding Healthcare Opportunities for Native Americans

HR 589, HR 3152, S 1528, S 70, S 460, S 1271MAHSA Act (HR 589) – The Mahsa Amini Human Rights and Security Accountability (MAHSA) Act is a bipartisan bill that was introduced on Jan. 27 by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). The purpose of this bill is to impose sanctions on the leaders of Iran for supporting human rights abuses and terrorism. The sanctions block both property and visas owned by certain foreign individuals and entities affiliated with Iran. The bill passed in the House on Sept. 12 and currently resides in the Senate.

Fight CRIME Act (HR 3152) – This bipartisan bill was introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) on May 9. It imposes visa- and property-blocking sanctions specific to Iran’s missile-related activities, including acquiring, developing, transporting, or deploying missiles or related items, such as drone technologies. These sanctions also may be imposed on adult family members of people directly involved, as well as foreign individuals and entities that engage in transactions and knowingly provide support for the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). This legislation was passed in the House on Sept.12 and is under consideration in the Senate.

Disaster Assistance Simplification Act (S 1528) – This bipartisan bill aims to facilitate streamlined information sharing among federal disaster assistance agencies, accelerate life-saving assistance to disaster survivors, and expedite the ability for communities to recover from disasters, as well as other purposes. The legislation was introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on May 10 and was passed in the Senate on July 27. It is presently under review in the House.

Tribal Trust Land Homeownership Act of 2023 (S 70) – Introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) on Jan. 25, this bill mandates that the Bureau of Indian Affairs expedite processing and completion of residential and business mortgage applications within certain deadlines (e.g., provide approval or disapproval within 20 or 30 days, depending on the type of application). The bipartisan bill passed in the Senate on July 18 and is currently under consideration in the House.

Urban Indian Health Confer Act (S 460) – This Act, introduced by Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) on Feb. 15, passed in the Senate on July 18 and is currently in the House. Its purpose is to expand the requirements of the Indian Health Service (IHS) on matters relating to both American Indians and Alaskan Natives. At present, the IHS is required to confer only with urban Indian organizations. However, this new bill would mandate that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ensure that the IHS and other agencies consult on matters related to the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, as well as other healthcare provisions for Native Americans. The Act passed in the Senate on July 26 and has been forwarded to the House.

FEND Off Fentanyl Act (S 1271) – The objective of this bill is to impose sanctions on individuals, cartels and transnational criminal organizations involved in trafficking illicit fentanyl and related products. The legislation was introduced by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on April 25 and was assigned to the committee for review on June 21. This bipartisan bill is co-sponsored by 32 Republicans, 32 Democrats and two Independents. It has a high probability of being passed by both houses and enacted by the president.