The 112th Congress in Review
Firearms and gun control, the Internet and technology, as well as Obamacare and the economy, dominated the conversation with Congress among POPVOX users during the 112th Congress. Our users from every state and Congressional district sent 600,000 messages to their Members of Congress on the more than 12,000 bills and resolutions introduced since 2010. Together, not only did they change the “opinion pie” charts on POPVOX, but their insightful messages to Congress also changed the minds of many other POPVOX users and influenced the law-making process in Washington, DC.
Here’s a recap of what POPVOX users weighed in on throughout the 112th Congress — and the “back stories” on these bills. Thanks for using POPVOX — and remember that if a bill didn’t pass in the 112th Congress, it doesn’t mean it’s over. You can support reintroduction of the bill in the 113th Congress on POPVOX.
Top Bills of the 112th Congress
- #1 “Common Sense Legislation to End Gun Violence“ (Proposed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns)
- #2 The Stop Online Piracy Act (HR 3261): to promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property.
(A “blackout” of certain websites helped to inform people about SOPA, who came to POPVOX to share their voice. Read about how the SOPA/PIPA Blackout Day, Jan. 18, 2012, unfolded.)
- #3 The Mobile Informational Call Act (HR 3035): to permit informational calls to mobile telephone numbers.
(When this bill’s sponsor asked that it not be advanced, the POPVOX team did a “say what?” But it’s a great example of Congress listening to grassroots advocacy.)
- #4 The Repeal of Obamacare Act (HR 6079): to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
(The 112th Congress tried to repeal Obamacare 33 times. This bill passed the House on July 11, 2012, but wasn’t voted on by the Senate.)
- #5 The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act (HR 2306): to limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marijuana.
- #6 Doubling Funding for NASA (Proposed by Penny4NASA)
- #7 The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act (S 3240): the “Farm bill” to reauthorize agricultural programs through 2017. (Passed the Senate, June 21, 2012)
- #8 The Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act (HR 8) (Passed the House, August 1, 2012 and then became the vehicle for the “Fiscal Cliff Deal”, which passed the House on January 1, 2013.)
- #9 The PROTECT IP (PIPA) Act (S 968): to prevent online threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property.
(PIPA was the Senate companion bill to SOPA. Read about how the SOPA/PIPA Blackout Day, Jan, 18, 2012, unfolded.)
- #10 The Fair Tax Act (HR 25): to promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be administered primarily by the States.
(In March 2011, POPVOX users sent more than 3,500 messages to Congress about the Fair Tax Act, making it the first bill shared by POPVOX users with exponent growth. During the 112th Congress, POPVOX delivered more than 9,000 messages to Congress in overwhelming support of the Fair Tax Act. The House Ways and Means Committee held a first-ever hearing on the bill in July 2011.)
- #11 The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (HR 3): to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions and to provide for conscience protections. (Passed the House, May 4, 2012)
- #12 The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act (HR 6083): to provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2017.
(Every five years, Congress passes legislation setting national agriculture, nutrition, conservation and forestry policy. This “Farm bill” was last passed in 2008, and was set to expire in 2012. While the Senate passed its version in June 2012, the bill stalled in the House until the “Fiscal Cliff” deal, which extended the “Farm bill” for another year.)
- #13 The Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act (HR 2): to repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. (Passed the House, January 19, 2011)
- #14 The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (HR 822): to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.
(This bill passed the House, Nov. 16, 2011. Sen. Dianne Feinstein placed a hold on the Senate version of the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (S 2188) in April 2012.)
- #15 The Fair Tax Act (S 13): to promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be administered primarily by the States.
- #16 The Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act (S 724): to appropriate such funds as may be necessary to ensure that members of the Armed Forces, including reserve components thereof, and supporting civilian and contractor personnel continue to receive pay and allowances for active service performed when a funding gap caused by the failure to enact interim or full-year appropriations for the Armed Forces occurs, which results in the furlough of non-emergency personnel and the curtailment of Government activities and services.
(When the federal government was on the verge of a budget-battle shutdown in April 2011, thousands of people — mostly military families — wrote personal, compelling messages to Congress in support of this bill. Their activity was so intense, it crashed POPVOX’s servers for the first time!)
- #17 The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act (HR 589): to provide for additional weeks of first-tier emergency unemployment compensation.
- #18 The 10 Million Solar Roofs Act (S 1108): to provide local communities with tools to make solar permitting more efficient.
- #19 The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (HR 308): to prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices.
- #20 The Internet Freedom Act (HR 96): to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from further regulating the Internet.
- #21 The American Jobs Act (S 1549): to provide tax relief for American workers and businesses, to put workers back on the job while rebuilding and modernizing America, and to provide pathways back to work for Americans looking for jobs.
- #22 The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S 1176): to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption.
(More than a dozen animal organizations — many with all-volunteer staff — rallied their grassroots in support, and opposition, of this bill using POPVOX’s tools.)
- #23 The NATGAS (New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions) Act (HR 1380): to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to encourage alternative energy investments and job creation.
- #24 The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (HR 3359): to amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and non-domesticated animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions.
- #25 Repealing the 22nd Amendment, which limits the number of Presidential terms. (HJRes 17)
Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn’t imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we’re simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.