Published October 7, 2017 / Updated August 7, 2020


Not everything before Congress is a political firestorm

by Chris Thomas

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“Bipartisanship” by Carrie Phillips

There’s certainly no shortage of politically contentious legislation out there to fight about but not everything before Congress is about ideological and partisan bickering. Here are some measures with bi-partisan support working their way through Congress this week.

S. 920 — The National Clinical Care Commission Act

Sponsored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), S. 920 directs the Department of Health and Human Services to to create a commission to improve the way we treat, prevent, and care for “complex metabolic or autoimmune disorders” like diabetes. S. 920 is co-sponsored by Sen Susan Collins (R-ME) and has already passed the Senate. It is scheduled for consideration by the House this week.

S. 190 — The Power and Security Systems Act

Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act the external power supplies for alarms, security systems, and other safety systems (like fire alarms) are exempted from energy efficiency rules. In theory, this keeps the costs of this equipment low and improves reliability. This bill extends the exemptions already in force into 2023 and is sponsored by Sen Cory Gardner (R-CO) and co-sponsored by Sen Maria Cantwell (D-WA). It has passed the Senate and is scheduled for consideration by the House this week.

H.R. 2196 — The Russell Amendment

Rep Steve Russell (R-OK) has introduced an amendment to existing whistleblower laws, broadening the list of people to whom a whistleblower can report. Russell’s amendment would likely result in more career government officials being willing to act as a whistleblower, creating greater accountability in the federal bureaucracy. The bill has three co-sponsors including two Democrats — Elijah Cummings (D-MD7) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA8) — and has been reported out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and is scheduled for consideration by the House this week.

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