New to the art form? This Wall Street Journal article will get you orientated. Also, for more information on how some of these titles mislead lawmakers and the citizenry, find some academic commentary from Brian Christopher Jones here:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Focusing on FORESTS

Rep. Sean Duffy (R., WI) has introduced the FORESTS (Fulfilling Our Responsibility for Efficient and Sustainable Timber Supply) Act of 2013. According to the long title, the bill would "reauthorize and expand authorities used by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management for hazardous fuels reduction, forest health, forest restoration, and watershed restoration, and for other purposes."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Saving the SAP!

Rep. John Conyer's (D., MI) has introduced the Saving America's Pollinators Act of 2013. Although at this point it isn't officially being termed the SAP Act, the name certainly lends itself to such an acronym. Additionally, the use of "American" in the title, as if Rep. Conyer's could legislate for Canada's or Mexico's pollinators, certainly seems well-positioned the a more focused title. According to Rep. Conyer's press release (see below), the bill "requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the use of certain insecticide, known as neonicotinoids, to prevent future mass die-offs of honey bees."

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Representative Earl Bluemenauer (D-OR) introduced the “Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2013,” which requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the use of certain insecticide, known as neonicotinoids, to prevent future mass die-offs of honey bees. Following the introduction of the legislation, Reps. Conyers and Blumenauer issued the following statement:
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich): “One of every three bites of food we eat is from a crop pollinated by honey bees. These crops include apples, avocados, cranberries, cherries, broccoli, peaches, carrots, grapes, soybeans, sugar beets and onions. Unfortunately, unless swift action is taken, these crops, and numerous others, will soon disappear due to the dramatic decline of honey bee populations throughout the country. ...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

'FOR VETS' and 'Helping Heroes Fly' Become Law

Rep. Benishek's (R., MI) FOR VETS (Formerly Owned Resources for Veterans to Express Thanks for Service) Act of 2013 and Rep. Gabbard's (D., HI) Helping Heroes Fly Act have both been signed into law by President Obama.  

According to a press release by the White House the FOR VETS Act of 2013 "expands the ability of States to donate Federal surplus property to organizations that serve veterans,", while the Helping Heroes Fly Act "develop[s] and implement[s] a process for expedited air passenger screening for severely injured or disabled members of the Armed Forces and veterans."

Additionally, the President signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, which we reported on last week. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Whoa..."Bipartian" Student Loan Bill Passes!

Described as an "unusual feat" in this Congress, the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 has passed both the House and Senate and now seeks Mr. Obama's signature. The law will essentially set up a new rate structure for loans. According to the NYT
Under the new rate structure, which still drew opposition from nearly one-third of Senate Democrats when it passed last week, loans to undergraduates and graduate students, along with parents in the PLUS program, would be subject to a fixed rate plus the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.
Rates for loans taken out after July 1 of this year would be 3.9 percent for undergraduates, 5.4 percent for graduate students and 6.4 percent for those receiving PLUS loans. The rates are fixed over the life of the loan but would change for new borrowers each year.
In a compromise that pleased many Democrats who had initially been wary of using a rate that was subject to inflation and fluctuated with the markets, Congress set a cap on all loans: 8.25 percent for undergraduates, 9.5 for graduate students and 10.5 for PLUS recipients.