Here’s a look at the Top 20 Bills in May. These were the bills that garnered the most activity on POPVOX—and what (if any) action they’ve gotten in Congress.
May's most active bill on POPVOX was the America Competes Reauthorization Act (HR 1806), which was passed by the House. Nearly 4,200 people weighed in, with the vast majority opposing the bill.
How many of these bills have you weighed in on?
The Top Bills in May 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) This bill prioritizes basic research and development while staying within the caps set by the Budget Control Act. America’s businesses rely on government support for basic research to produce the scientific breakthroughs that spur technological innovation, jumpstart new industries and spur economic growth," according to the bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 0.5% Support | 99.5% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/15/2015; Passed by the House on 5/20/2015.
Sponsor: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) To amend the Horse Protection Act to provide increased protection for horses participating in shows, exhibitions, or sales. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 41% Support | 59% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/30/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. F. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) — Bipartisan — “As several intelligence-gathering programs are set to expire in a month, it is imperative that we reform these programs to protect Americans’ privacy while at the same time protecting our national security. The bipartisan bill introduced today builds on the Committee’s work on this issue last year. It enhances civil liberties protections, increases transparency for both American businesses and the government, ends the bulk collection of data, and provides national security officials targeted tools to keep America safe from foreign enemies.” according to the bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 62.4% Support | 37.6% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/28/2015; passed by the House 5/13/15; passed by the Senate 6/2/2015 and signed into law by the President on 6/2/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) — Bipartisan — “For centuries, horses have embodied the spirit of American freedom and pride. To that end, horses are not raised for food – permitting their transportation for the purposes of being slaughtered for human consumption is not consistent with our values and results in a dangerously toxic product. My bipartisan bill seeks to prevent and end the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting thousands of horses a year for food,” according to the bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 89.2% Support | 10.8% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/22/2015.
Sponsor: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — Bipartisan — "This bill establishes new trade-negotiating objectives that reflect today’s economic challenges, including measures to combat currency manipulation, and eliminate barriers to innovation and digital trade, among others. Updated provisions address government involvement in cyber theft, protect trade secrets and the negotiating objectives continue to call for trade agreements to provide a high standard of intellectual property protection. The bill also updates provisions to promote human rights, and strengthen labor and environment protection, to reflect America’s most recent trade accords," according to the bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 12.3% Support | 87.7% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/16/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) — Bipartisan — This bill would provide necessary discretion to judges and the Department of Homeland Security to provide relief to families who could live legally in the U.S. except that they committed a minor immigration violation in the past, according to the bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 95% Support | 5% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/29/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Edward Royce (R-CA) — Bipartisan — “Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is a serious genetic disorder that can lead to sudden internal bleeding, stroke and disability, and even death. Unfortunately, only nine in ten affected individuals are diagnosed and the only visible warning sign is often a common nosebleed, the bipartisan HHT Diagnosis and Treatment Act will support much-needed federal research and surveillance efforts to improve HHT early diagnoses and interventions. Through the work of the NIH and CDC, we can help reduce suffering for HHT patients, further our nation’s strong commitment to medical research and lower health care costs.” according to the bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 99.7% Support | 0.3% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/16/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) This bill would require federally licensed ammunitions dealers to confirm the identity of individuals who arrange to purchase ammunition over the internet by verifying a photo I.D. in-person. The bill would also require ammunition vendors to report any sales of more than 1,000 rounds within five consecutive days to the U.S. Attorney General, if the person purchasing ammunition is not a licensed dealer. according to the bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 2.1% Support | 97.9% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 5/12/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) “Since its creation in 1992, the PTC has ballooned from a temporary boost for energy innovation into a massive special interest handout for the now multibillion-dollar wind industry. Today the wind industry regularly produces more energy than the market demands while hardworking taxpayers shell out billions of dollars each year in PTC support.The PTC Elimination Act would begin this phase-out immediately by significantly scaling back PTC handouts to those who are eligible. Similar proposals have been estimated to save nearly $10 billion,” according to the bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 4.1% Support | 95.9% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/21/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) — Bipartisan — “Seeks to afford basic protection to mothers and their unborn children entering the sixth month of gestation,” according to the bill sponsors. Prohibits the abortion from being performed if the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater, except: (1) where necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury, excluding psychological or emotional conditions; or (2) where the pregnancy is the result of rape, or the result of incest against a minor, if the rape has been reported at any time prior to the abortion to an appropriate law enforcement agency, or if the incest has been reported at any time prior to the abortion to an appropriate law enforcement agency or to a government agency legally authorized to act on reports of child abuse or neglect. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 67.7% Support | 32.3% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Was scheduled for a House floor vote in January but was pulled from consideration. Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) actively opposed some of the language in the bill: “I remain disappointed that the concern for the language of mandatory reporting of rape to law enforcement held by House Republican women and many men were not addressed before our leadership made the decision to pull the bill from the House floor in the eleventh hour.” Passed the House 5/13/2015; now goes to the Senate for possible consideration.
Sponsor: Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) Expressing the sense of Congress that the people of the United States have the Constitutional right to record law enforcement authorities, and they have the full protection of the law to the possession of the recording devices, and full protection of the law regarding data saved on the recording devices. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 89.6% Support | 10.4% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/23/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) To prohibit the purchase, ownership, or possession of enhanced body armor by civilians, with exceptions. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 1.9% Support | 98.1% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 1/14/2015.
Sponsor: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) — Bipartisan — “To protect horses from the abusive practice known as soring – in which show horse trainers apply blistering or burning agents, lacerations, sharp objects, or other substances or devices to a horse's limb to intentionally make each step painful, forcing a horse to perform an exaggerated high-stepping gait that is rewarded in show rings,” according to bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 62.1% Support | 37.9% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/28/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) — Bipartisan — According to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), “in order to respond to an increasingly dangerous world from the terrorist threat in Africa and the Middle East to Russian aggression in Europe, the committee’s bill makes sure our military has the resources and capabilities it needs to keep America safe and defend our interests abroad. The bill: ensures our military has funding for national defense and overseas operations; makes sure our military personnel receive the benefits they need, deserve, and earned; authorizes and provides resources for cyber defense; updates our crumbling nuclear infrastructure; funds the purchasing of the most advanced missiles, planes, bombers, tanks, defense systems, and more; and supports joint US-Israeli missile defense against those who threaten instability in the region.” “This authorization institutes necessary reforms in the Department of Defense’s costly and duplicative acquisitions process,” according to House Majority Leader McCarthy (R-CA). “To accomplish that, the bill: reforms acquisitions strategy by streamlining the processes and reducing the number of legal certifications needed for acquisitions; empowers the workforce to allow our best military talent to serve in acquisition roles and increases training on markets; simplifies the chain of command to cut down on the multiple layers of bureaucracy.” “The NDAA also cuts wasteful expenditures and institutes much needed compensation reform. For the first time, our troops will be able to choose to either be grandfathered into the current retirement plan or contribute to a Thrift Savings Plan, which ensures that our servicemembers who serve for less than 20 years will still accrue retirement savings.” (Source: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy) (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 53.7% Support | 46.3% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/13/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) "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," according to the bill summary. Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2017, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions. Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service after FY 2019. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 95.1% Support | 4.9% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on the first day of the Congressional session, 1/6/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) To eliminate racial profiling by law enforcement. “Has a multi-pronged approach to healing the rift between community and law enforcement,” according to the bill sponsors. “It will eliminate the well documented problem of racial profiling by establishing a prohibition on the practice and mandating retraining and data collection by federal law enforcement agencies. The legislation also provides grants for the reinforcement and/or development of effective, positive policing practices. For the first time, this bill will make federal cause of action for racial profiling, meaning victims will be able to seek redress in a court of law.”
On POPVOX: 20% Support | 80% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 4/22/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) “Would expand the Department of Justice’s authority to investigate wrongdoing by police by making it a federal crime for police officers to commit murder and manslaughter,” according to the bill sponsor. “Expanding authority under the “Police Accountability Act” would enable the DOJ to conduct murder investigations and bring charges in the event that states fail to do so. This way, civil rights investigations, while encouraged, would not be the only mechanism to necessary to hold police accountable.” (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 30.2% Support | 69.8% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 2/26/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) ”The Gas Tax Replacement Act would take our nation in a bold new direction and stabilize the chronically-underfunded Highway Trust Fund, which states and municipalities rely on to repair crumbling roads and bridges, expand transit rail service, and support a growing economy. Further, the Gas Tax Replacement Act would help spur advancements in clean energy technology, reduce carbon pollution, and fight climate change here at home and abroad,” according to the bill sponsor. (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 13.4% Support | 86.6% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 1/13/2015.
Sponsor: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) To provide an extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund. According to the bill sponsor: “while highway and transit program spending authority expires at the end of the month, the Highway Trust Fund has sufficient resources to fund its obligations through the end of July. It was our preference to move an extension through the end of the year, but we will need more time to reach a bipartisan agreement on offsets. This legislation will allow transportation spending to continue through July, while we work towards a next step to close the Trust Fund’s shortfall. Doing so will require our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to be constructive in working towards a solution. Only then will we be able to produce a plan that gives states the certainty they need to build the roads, bridges, and other infrastructure our communities and economy need to thrive.” (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 51.1% Support | 48.9% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 5/15/2015; Passed by the House on 5/19/2015; Passed by the Senate on 5/23/15; Signed into law by the President on 5/29/15.
Sponsor: Rep. Corinne Brown (D-FL) —Bipartisan— Would create a pilot grant program to assist state and local law enforcement agencies with purchasing or leasing body-worn cameras, according to bill sponsors. “Body cameras will benefit the brave men and women who serve in our police force and the people they protect,” said Sen. Paul. “The use of body cameras helps officers collect and preserve evidence to solve crimes, while also decreasing the number of complaints against police. The Police CAMERA Act will help state and local police departments access this new tool, while ensuring that the privacy rights of every civilian is respected.” (Read bill text)
On POPVOX: 37% Support | 63% Oppose
Action in the 114th Congress: Introduced on 3/26/2015.
— 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 a complex legislative system. —