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:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Increasing Hunger in America Act

We've previously posted on how bill names can garner opposition pseudonyms, and how recently these have been coming from Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D., MD). Thus, it came as no surprise when Rep. Frank Lucas' (R., OK) Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013 came up for a vote in the House and was unofficially renamed the "Increasing Hunger in America Act" by Rep. Hoyer.

This remains an interesting phenomenon that we'll keep our eyes on.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kids Now, Campaigns Later

Rep. Greg Harper (R., MS) and Rep. Tom Cole (R., OK) have introduced the Kids First Research Act, which would strip funding for presidential campaigns and party conventions, and prioritize research for pediatrics. The measure was announced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on World Autism Day. 

Partial press release by Rep. Cantor located below. 

Tue, 04/02/2013 - 9:52am
CONTACT: Megan Whittemore
(202) 225-7440

Congressman Cantor Announces Kids First Research Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On World Autism Day, Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-07) unveiled theKids First Research Act, a proposal which will be introduced in the House in the coming weeks to prioritize pediatric research to assist children with autism and other diseases. Sponsored by Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), this legislation will eliminate taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns and party conventions and instead expand pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health.
Congressman Cantor said, “An astounding 1 in 50 school kids has autism. House Republicans are focused on smart policy solutions that will help parents meet the needs of their families and help children live a life full of opportunity. The Kids First Research Act will prioritize federal funding to support and expand pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health. Instead of spending millions of taxpayer dollars for presidential campaigns, these funds will be better spent helping find cures and treatments for pediatric diseases and disorders like autism.”
Representative Harper said, “Recent scientific research breakthroughs linking Fragile X Syndrome and autism have given hope to individuals and their families. In order for clinical trials – and other advancements – to meet their full potential, adequate federal resources must be directed to pediatric research.” ...

Friday, September 20, 2013

States Rights and Energy Security

Rep. Bill Flores (R., TX) has introduced the Protecting States' Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act. According to a press release by the bill's sponsor: 
There are vast differences in geology that have to be addressed as we produce energy across America and H.R. 2728 will protect the state-driven, bottom up approach to oil and gas regulations. This legislation is about bolstering manufacturing jobs, reaching our nation’s goal of energy security and empowering local self-government while placing a check on the growth of out-of-control, top down federal government. I am proud that this bill passed through the Natural Resources Committee and will continue to work to bring it before the whole House.

SAFE in Our Schools?

Rep. Donald Payne (D., NJ) has introduced the Secure America for Education (SAFE) in Our Schools Act, which, according to a press release, would "require each State applying for State Homeland Security Grant Program funding to certify that it requires schools to have adequate emergency preparedness plans in place in case of disaster."

Partial press release available below. 


Payne Introduces SAFE In Our Schools Act

Sep 20, 2013 Issues: National Security
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) authored and introduced the “Secure America for Education in Our Schools Act” or the “S.A.F.E. in Our Schools Act,” which would require each State applying for State Homeland Security Grant Program funding to certify that it requires schools to have adequate emergency preparedness plans in place in case of disaster.  At a Subcommittee Hearing entitled, “Assessing the Nation’s State of Preparedness: A Federal, State, and Local Perspective,” Kathy Spangler, Vice President of U.S. Programs at Save the Children commended Rep. Payne, Jr. on his efforts and fully endorsed the SAFE in Our Schools Act.
“Every day while more than 50 million children go to school, most Americans take for granted that their child will be safe once they walk through the school house doors,” said Rep. Payne, Jr., Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications and author of the bill.  “Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Most recently we have seen an increase in the number of natural and man-made disasters that put our children in danger, from Hurricane Sandy and the shootings at Newtown, to the Oklahoma tornadoes and the Colorado floods. We have a responsibility to protect our children, and I want to thank Save the Children for their support of my legislation and for all of their hard work in making sure that our children remain a priority in our disaster planning and preparedness efforts.”
“Past experience has shown us that children have unique needs when it comes to preparing for and responding to emergencies and potential disasters,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security and co-sponsor of the bill.  “Too often, these needs are not met when state and local governments craft homeland security preparedness policy.  I commend Ranking Member Payne, Jr. for introducing the ‘S.A.F.E. in Our Schools Act’ which will ensure that schools have the proper preparedness plans in place in case of emergency.” ...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Helium Substitute Amendment

In April we noted the House was considering the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act. Now, the Senate has passed a substitute amendment on the legislation, known as the High Technology Jobs Preservation Act. The White House supports the Senate Amendment, noting 
The substitute amendment would prevent theOctober 7, 2013, termination of the Federal program for crude helium sale, storage, and delivery.  The impending abrupt shutdown of this program would cause a spike in helium prices that would harm many U.S. industries and disrupt national security programs.  Instead, the substitute amendment would provide for an orderly transition of theFederal Government out of the helium market.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Doubly Healthy Forest Opposition

Rep. Doc Hastings (R., WA) has introduced the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, which the White House strongly opposes. In their official statement, the Obama administration noted that the measure: 
includes numerous harmful provisions that impair Federal management of federally-owned lands and undermine many important existing public land and environmental laws, rules, and processes.  The bill would significantly harm sound long-term management of these Federal lands for continued productivity and economic benefit as well as for the long-term health of the wildlife and ecological values sustained by these holdings. 

SNAP Reform Opposition

The Obama administration has officially noted its opposition to Rep. Frank Lucas' (R., OK) Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013. The administration believes the measure would:
would result in millions of Americans losing access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is one of our nation’s strongest defenses against hunger and poverty. These cuts would affect a broad array of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans, and adults who are still looking for work. Slashing SNAP also weakens our nation’s farm and rural economies.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Promise Keepers?

Rep. Trent Franks (R., AZ) has introduced the Keeping the Promise Act of 2013, which instills that the agreements made in Arizona Proposition 202, the Indian Gaming Preservation and Self-Reliance Act of 2002, will be kept. Essentially, this means that "no new casinos will be built in the Phoenix metropolitan area and only one in the Tucson area for at least 23 years." Mr. Franks' bill has already received support from many of the Arizona Indian tribes, and has bipartisan support in Congress. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

No Subsidies Without Verification - Another Attempted Obamacare Amendment

The House is set to consider H.R. 2775, the No Subsidies Without Verification Act, sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R., TN). According to the Congressional Research Service, the bill "Declares that no premium tax credits or reductions in cost-sharing for the purchase of qualified health benefit plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) shall be allowed before the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) certifies to Congress that there is a program in place, consistent with PPACA requirements, that verifies the household income and coverage requirements of individuals applying for such credits and cost-sharing reduction."

In essence, this is another Republican attempt to undermine the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the measure in its current form would be dead on arrival in the Senate.