Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Gone to Die?
The first session of the 115th Congress is begun. Bills are filling the hopper of the Clerk of the House so quickly that congress.gov cannot get the text of them published because of a backlog at the Government Printing House, (GPO). This issue will not be problematic for long.
Bills often die in committee. I am suggesting that most, if not all, of the following bills will suffer that fate. Of course the Representative filing the bill still has fodder for the campaign trail. Sometimes these bills are a shell game.
In the Age of Trump; Fascism in America, there will no doubt be a strong need for Whistleblowers and enhanced Whistleblower Protections. So it appears the list begins with reintroduction of a bill from the last Congress. This time it is called H.R. 69: “To reauthorize the Office of Special Counsel, to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide modifications to authorities relating to the Office of Special Counsel, and for other purposes”. The short title is "Thoroughly Investigating Retaliation Against Whistleblowers Act"
In the 114th Congress the bill was numbered H.R. 4639 introduced by Rep. Rod Blum [R-IA-1] and cosponsored by Rep. Mark Meadows [R-NC-11], Rep. Gerald E. Connolly [D-VA-11], and Rep Elijah Cummings [D-MD-7].
Detailed information about the bill as filed in the 114th Congress is available at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4639.
When this bill is published we can compare the new version with the old.
On a less happy note I offer you Representative Darrell E. Issa [R-CA-49] and his reintroduction of the Midnight Rules Relief Act. This year it is H.R. 21. Last year it was H.R. 5982. It appears that Issa thinks the Congress has too much work to do. Too much in fact to take any decent amount of time to consider the work it is does. After all in 2016 Congress met for 111 days. That’s great part time work for the millionaires in power.
Anyway, when the Congress takes up dreaded federal regulations it takes too much time to reject them one at a time. Issa wants to reject them speedily (so Republicans can say “Yes that was a good Regulation. Unfortunately you have to keep all those bad regulations to keep the one you like Mr. Ms. or Mrs. Constituent.” At least in the last year of a President’s term.
When this bill gets out of the GPO it will appear on line and get a proper review.
Make a note H.R. 5982 received five Roll Call votes and passed the House on Roll number 585 on November 17th 2016. It did not in survive the Senate. Read more about the former version at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5982