The POPVOX Blog

  1. POPVOX Daily Digest - January 8, 2014

    From our Hill Sources:

    Senate vote postponed on UI Extension

    The Senate was due to hold a procedural vote on a three-month extension of emergency unemployment benefits. Democrats announced late in the day that the vote would be postponed as senators work on a possible one-year extension that is paid for.

    The announcement raises the chance that the two parties can find an agreement on a much longer extension. However, they still need to agree, and the idea of a pay-for has led to some opposition among Democrats.

    The Obama Administration, for example, has rejected the idea of spending cuts or other offsets to pay for the $6.4 billion extension.

    The Senate did pass one bill, S. 1171, which would make it easier for veterinarians to move controlled substances within their home state.

    Three Suspension bills pass in the House

    The House was also in, but had a short day and passed three suspension bills that were agreeable to most members:

  2. POPVOX Daily Digest - January 7, 2014

    From our Hill sources:

    Cloture on Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension

    Legislation extending emergency unemployment payments for three months cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday.

    Senators voted 60-37 to end debate on a motion to proceed to S. 1845, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. Sixty votes were needed, and the vote means the Senate will be able to formally proceed to the bill (possibly on Wednesday).

    Six Republicans voted with Democrats on Tuesday, but many of them said afterwards that they can only support the bill if it is paid-for. The Senate could pass the bill without any GOP help, but that would decrease the chance that the Republican-controlled House would consider it at all. This puts pressure on Democrats to explore ways to offset the $6.4 billion cost of the extension.

    The House was in just briefly on Tuesday, to officially start the second session of the 113th Congress. Members of the House return Wednesday to consider three suspension bills.

  3. A Look at Firearms and Gun Control Legislation Introduced in 2013

    1/2/14: Firearms, Second Amendment and gun control quickly became one of the most popular issues on POPVOX in 2013. Not surprising, since lawmakers started off the year proposing policies in reaction to the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting tragedy. On January 16, 2013, President Obama put forward a specific plan "to protect our children and communities by reducing gun violence," which combined executive actions and calls for legislative action that would "help keep guns out of the wrong hands, ban assault and high-capacity magazines, make our schools safer, and increase access to mental health services." (Read the President's plan.)

    On POPVOX, the response was overwhelming. Thousands of people shared their voice with Congress. Here are the top bills related to Firearms, the Second Amendment and Gun Control, sorted by POPVOX popularity.

    2013 Firearms and Gun Control Legislation

    Weigh in and POPVOX will deliver your letters to your Members of Congress -- guaranteed. (Learn more about POPVOX.)

    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.

  4. The Week Ahead: Jan. 6 - 10

    From our Hill Sources: In Congress's first work week of 2014, the Senate will try to advance legislation extending emergency unemployment benefits, while the House will continue its efforts against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare."

    Unemployment Benefits

    The extended federal UI program -- originally signed into law in June 2008 by President George W. Bush -- expired on Dec. 28. More than 1.3 million long-term unemployed workers lost their unemployment insurance benefits as Congress continues to work on an expansion:

    • S 1845

      Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act

      This bill, from Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dean Heller (R-NV), would continue emergency benefits for three months -- through March.

      The Scoop from our Hill Sources: Democrats say the extension is needed to help millions of people who still cannot find a job, and will be hurt by the expiration of benefits. Republicans have indicated little interest in an extension, although some have said it could happen if a spending offset is found. The cost of a three-month extension is thought to be about $6.4 billion. The Senate is expected to vote Monday to end debate on Reed's bill, and may spend most of the week debating it.

    "Obamacare"

    In the House, members will consider two bills that continue the GOP effort to scale back the 2010 healthcare law.

    • HR 3362

      Exchange Information Disclosure Act

      Would require the Obama Administration to report each Monday on the number of people who are using the healthcare website, and how many have enrolled. It would also require weekly, detailed updates on efforts to fix the website, which has suffered from crashes and other problems since its launch in October.
    • The Scoop from our Hill Sources: The bill reflects ongoing Republican dissatisfaction with the occasional updates on the website from the administration, which often don't include information the GOP is seeking.

    • HR 3811

      Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act

      Would require the Administration to tell people if personal data they entered into the healthcare website has been accessed illegally or otherwise compromised.

    Environmental Rules

    Additionally, the House will consider legislation aimed at limiting the impact of federal environmental rules on states:

    • HR 2279

      Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act

      The Scoop from our Hill Sources: This bill combines three GOP bills into one. In its new form, it would ease a requirement that the Environmental Protection Agency review solid waste regulations every three years, ban the EPA from establishing solid waste rules on states that already have related rules in place, require federal facilities to adhere to state regulations on hazardous waste, and work more closely with states before enforcing federal rules.

    Also in the House

    Finally, the House will take up three suspension bills this week:

    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.

     

  5. The POPVOX Top 20: Dec. 27 - Jan. 2

    Endangered Species are the Top Priority on POPVOX This Week

    Happy New Year! The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act was again the top bill on POPVOX this week. The bill provides state governors with the power to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species, according to bill sponsors. The vast majority of POPVOX users weighing in -- 87 percent -- oppose this bill, largely on the belief that the Endangered Species Act should be strengthened nationally.

    POPVOX Roundup: Week of Dec. 27, 2013 - Jan. 2, 2014

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    Here are the bills and proposals that POPVOX users weighed in on with Congress in the past week. Keep in mind that these numbers aren't aggregates of total support, but just what happened in the past seven days.

    • S 1731

      #1 The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act

      To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to permit Governors of States to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species.

      18 Support | 356 Oppose

    • HRes 448

      #2 A resolution

      expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas.

      133 Support | 21 Oppose

    • HR 3790

      #3 A bill

      to repeal of annual adjustment of retired pay and retainer pay amounts for retired members of the Armed Forces under age 62.

      108 Support | 18 Oppose

    • S 356

      #4 The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act

      to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

      12 Support | 110 Oppose

    • S 1881

      #5 The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act

      A bill to expand sanctions imposed with respect to Iran and to impose additional sanctions with respect to Iran.

      47 Support | 64 Oppose

    • S 1811

      #6 The Commercial Flight Courtesy Act

      A bill to amend title 49, United States Code, to prohibit voice communications through mobile communication devices on commercial passenger flights.

      74 Support | 36 Oppose

    • HR 3658

      #7 The Monuments Men Recognition Act

      To grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the Monuments Men, in recognition of their heroic role in the preservation, protection, and restitution of monuments, works of art, and artifacts of cultural importance during and following World War II.

      90 Support | 18 Oppose

    • HR 3731

      #8 Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act

      To require an Exchange established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to notify individuals in the case that personal information of such individuals is known to have been acquired or accessed as a result of a breach of the security of any system maintained by the Exchange.

      87 Support | 6 Oppose

    • S 604

      #9 Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act

      to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel.

      83 Support | 6 Oppose

    • HR 2643

      #10 Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act

      To provide for a review of efforts to reduce Federal agency travel expenses through the use of video conferencing and a plan to achieve additional reductions in such expenses through the use of video conferencing, to implement such plan through rescissions of appropriations.

      85 Support | 2 Oppose

    • HR 3689

      #11 A bill

      To restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia.

      69 Support | 4 Oppose

    • S 1873

      #12 The Protect Student Borrowers Act

      A bill to provide for institutional risk-sharing in the Federal student loan programs.

      5 Support | 68 Oppose

    • HR 3809

      #13 A bill

      To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat certain population census tracts for which information is not available as low-income communities for purposes of the new markets tax credit.

      6 Support | 66 Oppose

    • HRes 442

      #14 A resolution

      directing the House of Representatives to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch.

      63 Support | 7 Oppose

    • HR 3544

      #15 Office of Strategic Services Congressional Gold Medal Act

      To award the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in recognition of their superior service and major contributions during World War II.

      51 Support | 4 Oppose

    • S 1688

      #16 Office of Strategic Services Congressional Gold Medal Act

      A bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), collectively, in recognition of their superior service and major contributions during World War II.

      39 Support | 4 Oppose

    • FCC

      #17 Allowing the use of cell phones during flights

      The FCC's proposal would permit airlines to install equipment on aircraft that could safely expand in-flight wireless broadband access to passengers, and allow airlines to offer Internet, e-mail, texting and even voice calls. The use of cellphones would still be prohibited as a default, unless an airline installs an onboard system to manage the service.

      11 Support | 29 Oppose

    • S 1774

      #18 A bill

      to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 1 year.

      5 Support | 34 Oppose

    • TPP

      #19 Trans-Pacific Partnership

      President Obama announced in November 2009 the United States’ intention to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, seeking to "boost US economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality American jobs by increasing exports in a region that includes some of the world’s most robust economies and that represents more than 40 percent of global trade.”

      0 Support | 39 Oppose

    • S 1797

      #20 Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act

      To provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits.

      5 Support | 28 Oppose

    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.

  6. POPVOX's Countdown of the Top Bills in 2013

    Members of Congress introduced more than 6,600 bills and resolutions in 2013. The Second Amendment and gun control legislation dominated the top bills list, the majority of which were introduced in the beginning of the year. Not surprisingly, the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was also a top priority among POPVOX users, and also the House has voted to repeal some or all of it nearly 50 times.  

    The Countdown of the Top 50 Bills

    Together, POPVOX users from every state and Congressional district sent more than 900,000 messages to their lawmakers in Washington. These are the top 50 bills and proposals that POPVOX users weighed in on with Congress in 2013, ranked by the aggregate number of combined support and opposition.

    • HR 321

      #50 Firearm Safety and Public Health Research Act

      Would allow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct crucial scientific research into firearm safety, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). 

      146 Support | 3,076 Oppose

    • HR 1369

      #49 Firearm Risk Protection Act

      Would require gun buyers to have liability insurance coverage before being allowed to purchase a weapon and imposes a fine of $10,000 if an owner is found not to have the required coverage; service members and law enforcement officers are exempt from this insurance requirement, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).

      99 Support | 3,157 Oppose

    • HR 965

      #48 Banning Saturday Night Specials

      Would prohibit the possession or transfer of junk guns, also known as Saturday Night Specials.

      152 Support | 3,133 Oppose

    • HR 900

      #47 Cancel the Sequester Act

      A one-sentence bill that would cancel the sequester, or across-the-board federal spending cuts that were implemented in 2013.

      2,406 Support | 899 Oppose

    • HR 890

      #46 Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act

      Extends the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program through December 2013 and overturns President Obama’s efforts to waive welfare work requirements, according to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). This bill passed in the House on March 13, 2013, and is awaiting consideration by the Senate. 

      3,208 Support | 120 Oppose

    • HR 1005

      #45 Defund Obamacare Act

      To deauthorize appropriation of funds, and to rescind unobligated appropriations, to carry out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

      2,905 Support | 478 Oppose

    • HR 1094

      #44 Safeguard American Food Exports Act

      To prohibit the sale or transport of equines and equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for human consumption.

      2,727 Support | 707 Oppose

    • HR 61

      #43 Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act

      Would stop the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from providing federal family planning assistance under Title X to abortion businesses until they certify they won't provide and refer for abortions, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

      934 Support | 2,513 Oppose

    • HR 431

      #42 Gun Transparency and Accountability (Gun TRAC) Act

      Would once again allow ATF to use information on guns traced to crimes; it would remove the requirement that background checks be destroyed within 24 hours; and it would eliminate the ban on federally required inventory audits of gun dealerships, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).   

      102 Support | 3,348 Oppose

    • HR 793

      #41 Firearm Safety and Buyback Grant Act

      Would establish a grant program within the Department of Justice in which grants would be eligible to state, tribal, and local units of government and law enforcement agencies to carry out anti-violence campaigns, gun safety campaigns, and firearms buyback programs, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA).

      98 Support | 3,370 Oppose

    • HR 2959

      #40 National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act

      To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State. This bill was passed by the House in the 112th Congress, but hasn't been voted on in this Congress.

      3,106 Support | 385 Oppose

    • HR 236

      #39 Crackdown on Deadbeat Gun Dealers Act

      Would increase the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to: Inspect federal firearms licensees (FFLs) for compliance with recordkeeping requirements by increasing the allowable inspections per year from one to three; Increase the penalties for knowingly misrepresenting any facts about a firearms sale; and Authorize the Attorney General to suspend a dealer's license and assess civil penalties for firearms violations, including failure to have secure gun storage or safety devices, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI).

      184 Support | 3,319 Oppose

    • Guns

      #38 Toomey-Schumer-Manchin Amendment

      A bipartisan group of senators -- Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) -- introduced a compromise proposal to expand background checks. The proposal would require states and the federal government to send all necessary records on criminals and the violently mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). It also extends the existing background check system to gun shows and online sales. The Senate rejected the proposal in a 54 to 46 vote on April 17, 2013 -- six votes short of the 60 needed. 

      197 Support | 3,343 Oppose

    • S 47

      #37 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

      To reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and includes measures on campus safety, tools to reduce domestic violence homicides, and protections for at-risk groups such as immigrants, tribal victims and members of the LGBT community, according to bill sponsors, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID). This bill was enacted into law after being signed by the President on March 7, 2013.

      573 Support | 3,008 Oppose

    • S 374

      #36 Fix Gun Checks Act

      To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale. Reported by Committee on Mar 12, 2013, and is awaiting consideration by the full Senate.

      218 Support | 3,532 Oppose

    • HR 45

      #35 Repeal "Obamacare"

      To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. This bill passed in the House on May 16, 2013 by a 229-195 vote, and is awaiting consideration by the Senate.

      2,970 Support | 899 Oppose

    • HR 238

      #34 Fire Sale Loophole Closing Act

      Would prohibit gun dealers whose licenses are revoked to convert their inventory to personal collections, to be sold without conducting background checks on purchasers, under current law, according to bill sponsor, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).

      178 Support | 3,714 Oppose

    • HR 35

      #33 Safe Schools Act

      Would repeal federal laws mandating “gun free zones” around schools, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX).

      3,970 Support | 185 Oppose

    • HR 538

      #32 PLEA Act

      To protect the Nation’s law enforcement officers by banning the Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS190, SS192, SS195LF, SS196, and SS197 cartridges, testing handguns and ammunition for capability to penetrate body armor, and prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, or purchase of such handguns or ammunition by civilians.

      143 Support | 4,051 Oppose

    • HR 575

      #31 Second Amendment Protection Act

      Would prohibit funding to the United Nations unless the President can certify that a United Nations treaty does not infringe on individual rights protected by the Constitution, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX). 

      4,083 Support | 145 Oppose

    • HR 437

      #30 Assault Weapons Ban

      Would ban the future sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of 157 specific kinds of semi-automatic guns and impose the same restrictions on ammunition magazines that contain more than 10 rounds. Excludes 2,258 legitimate hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns by specific make and model, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).

      160 Support | 4,227 Oppose

    • S 815

      #29 Employment Non-Discrimination Act

      To prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This bill passed in the Senate on November 7, 2013 by a 64 to 32 vote, and is awaiting consideration by the House. 

      233 Support | 4,178 Oppose

    • HR 227

      #28 Buyback Our Safety Act

      To establish a gun buyback grant program.

      134 Support | 4,292 Oppose

    • S 2

      #27 Sandy Hook Elementary School Violence Reduction Act

      To reduce violence and protect the citizens of the United States.

      169 Support | 4,357 Oppose

    • HR 25

      #26 Fair Tax Act

      Would repeal all Federal corporate and individual income taxes, payroll taxes, self-employment taxes, capital gains taxes, the death tax, and gift taxes - and replace them with a revenue-neutral personal consumption tax, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA). 

      4,219 Support | 333 Oppose

    • HR 226

      #25 Support Assault Firearms Elimination and Reduction for our Streets Act

      To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a credit against tax for surrendering to authorities certain assault weapons.

      143 Support | 4,488 Oppose

    • S 174

      #24 Ammunition Background Check Act

      To appropriately restrict sales of ammunition.

      187 Support | 4,769 Oppose

    • S 336

      #23 Marketplace Fairness Act

      Would give states the option to require the collection of sales and use taxes already owed under State law by out-of-state businesses, rather than rely on consumers to remit those taxes to the States—the method of tax collection to which they are now restricted, according to bill sponsor, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY).

      205 Support | 4,861 Oppose

    • HR 137

      #22 Fix Gun Checks Act

      To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.

      522 Support | 4,595 Oppose

    • S 147

      #21 Common Sense Concealed Firearms Permit Act

      To establish minimum standards for States that allow the carrying of concealed firearms.

      215 Support | 5,017 Oppose

    • S 34

      #20 Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act

      To increase public safety by permitting the Attorney General to deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms and explosives licenses to known or suspected dangerous terrorists.

      390 Support | 4,842 Oppose

    • S 22

      #19 Gun Show Background Check Act

      To establish background check procedures for gun shows.

      442 Support | 5,049 Oppose

    • S 82

      #18 Separation of Powers Restoration & Second Amendment Protection Act

      To provide that any executive action infringing on the Second Amendment has no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.

      5,728 Support | 243 Oppose

    • HR 410

      #17 Restore the Constitution Act

      To provide that any executive action infringing on the Second Amendment has no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.

      5,914 Support | 263 Oppose

    • HR 499

      #16 Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act

      To decriminalize marijuana at the Federal level, to leave to the States a power to regulate marijuana that is similar to the power they have to regulate alcohol.

      5,824 Support | 420 Oppose

    • S 35

      #15 Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act

      To require face to face purchases of ammunition, to require licensing of ammunition dealers, and to require reporting regarding bulk purchases of ammunition.

      308 Support | 6,558 Oppose

    • S 33

      #14 Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act

      To prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

      324 Support | 6,863 Oppose

    • HR 65

      #13 Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act

      Raising the age of legal handgun ownership to 21.

      514 Support | 7,193 Oppose

    • HR 21

      #12 NRA Members Gun Safety Act

      To provide for greater safety in the use of firearms.

      536 Support | 7,770 Oppose

    • HR 34

      #11 Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act

      To provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms.

      362 Support | 8,402 Oppose

    • HR 141

      #10 Gun Show Loophole Closing Act

      To require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.

      1,406 Support | 7,591 Oppose

    • HR 2682

      #9 Defund Obamacare Act

      To prohibit the funding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

      9,365 Support | 307 Oppose

    • S 150

      #8 Assault Weapons Ban

      To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited.

      633 Support | 9,409 Oppose

    • HR 142

      #7 Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act

      To require face to face purchases of ammunition, to require licensing of ammunition dealers, and to require reporting regarding bulk purchases of ammunition.

      617 Support | 9,508 Oppose

    • HR 117

      #6 Handgun Licensing and Registration Act

      To provide for the mandatory licensing and registration of handguns.

      553 Support | 9,619 Oppose

    • HR 133

      #5 Citizens Protection Act

      To repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and amendments to that Act.

      9,671 Support | 651 Oppose

    • HR 138

      #4 Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act

      To prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

      756 Support | 10,828 Oppose

    • S 744

      #3 Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act

      To provide for comprehensive immigration reform. This bill passed in the Senate on June 27, 2013 and is awaiting consideration by the House.

      1,385 Support | 10,212 Oppose

    • HJRes 15

      #2 Repealing the 22nd Amendment

      Proposing an amendment to the US Constitution to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

      151 Support | 12,984 Oppose

    • S 649

      #1 Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act

      To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.

      304 Support | 14,110 Oppose

    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.

  7. The POPVOX Top 20: Dec. 20 - 26

    Animals are the Top Priority on POPVOX This Week

    The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act was the top bill on POPVOX this week. The bill provides state governors with the power to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species, according to bill sponsors. The vast majority of POPVOX users weighing in -- 84 percent -- oppose this bill, largely on the belief that the Endangered Species Act should be strengthened nationally.

    POPVOX Roundup: Week of Dec. 20 - 26

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    Here are the bills and proposals that POPVOX users weighed in on with Congress in the past week. Keep in mind that these numbers aren't aggregates of total support, but just what happened in the past seven days.

    • S 1731#1 Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act: To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to permit Governors of States to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species.

      24 Support | 281 Oppose

    • HRes 442#2 Stop This Overreaching Presidency (STOP) Resolution: A resolution directing the House of Representatives to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch.

      160 Support | 18 Oppose

    • HR 2643#3 Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act: To provide for a review of efforts to reduce Federal agency travel expenses through the use of video conferencing and a plan to achieve additional reductions in such expenses through the use of video conferencing, to implement such plan through rescissions of appropriations.

      154 Support | 8 Oppose

    • HR 3689#4 A bill to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia.

      148 Support | 13 Oppose

    • FCC#5 Allowing the use of cell phones during flights: The FCC's proposal would permit airlines to install equipment on aircraft that could safely expand in-flight wireless broadband access to passengers, and allow airlines to offer Internet, e-mail, texting and even voice calls. The use of cellphones would still be prohibited as a default, unless an airline installs an onboard system to manage the service.

      33 Support | 113 Oppose

    • S 356#6 Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act: to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

      15 Support | 118 Oppose

    • HR 3566#7 Domestic Violence Criminal Disarmament Act: To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to provide for a grant program regarding firearms.

      13 Support | 116 Oppose

    • S 1797#8 Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act: To provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits.

      28 Support | 101 Oppose

    • S 604#9 Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act: to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel.

      106 Support | 9 Oppose

    • HR 3590#10 SHARE Act: To protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting.

      101 Support | 14 Oppose

    • Air Taxes#11 Increasing the TSA Passenger Security Tax to Pay for Deficit Spending: The President and Congress House are seeking to increase TSA passenger security fees as part of a budget deal, according the the Airlines for America, which sponsored this campaign.*

      2 Support | 81 Oppose

    • HR 3658#12 Monuments Men Recognition Act: To grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the Monuments Men, in recognition of their heroic role in the preservation, protection, and restitution of monuments, works of art, and artifacts of cultural importance during and following World War II.

      72 Support | 5 Oppose

    • TPP#13 Trans-Pacific Partnership: President Obama announced in November 2009 the United States’ intention to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, seeking to "boost US economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality American jobs by increasing exports in a region that includes some of the world’s most robust economies and that represents more than 40 percent of global trade.”

      0 Support | 72 Oppose

    • S 1811#14 Commercial Flight Courtesy Act: A bill to amend title 49, United States Code, to prohibit voice communications through mobile communication devices on commercial passenger flights.

      39 Support | 19 Oppose

    • HR 3790#15 A bill to repeal of annual adjustment of retired pay and retainer pay amounts for retired members of the Armed Forces under age 62.

      50 Support | 8 Oppose

    • HRes 448#16 A resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas.

      50 Support | 6 Oppose

    • HR 3695#17 30-day extension of the Farm Bill: To provide a temporary extension of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 and amendments made by that Act, as previously extended and amended and with certain additional modifications and exceptions, to suspend permanent price support authorities.

      12 Support | 41 Oppose

    • HR 3676#18 Prohibiting In-Flight Voice Communications on Mobile Wireless Devices Act: To establish a prohibition on certain cell phone voice communications during passenger flights.

      33 Support |17 Oppose

    • HR 102#19 Rehab and Ahmed Amer Foster Care Improvement Act: To amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to require States to follow certain procedures in placing a child who has been removed from the custody of his or her parents.

      27 Support | 9 Oppose

    • S 1774#20 A bill to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 1 year.

      4 Support | 30 Oppose

    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.

    *POPVOX invites organizations to create "sponsored campaigns" on POPVOX, which include policy principles and actionable items directed at Congress.

  8. Issue Spotlight: Adoption and Foster Care

    The number of international adoptions by American parents continued to drop since 2004. In 2012, there were 8,668 intercountry adoptions, according to the State Department. Last week, a coalition of adoption advocacy organizations called on Secretary of State John Kerry to conduct an internal review of State Department adoption policies and the implementation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. The Convention establishes a system of cooperation between authorities in 93 countries to "help guarantee the best adoption practices and elimination of abuses." 

    Meanwhile, more than 400,000 children in the US foster care system, according to HHS. And Congress continues to propose bills related to international and domestic adoption, as well as foster care.

    Bills Related to Adoption

    Weigh in on these bills that have been introduced by Congress. POPVOX will deliver your message to Congress. ("What is POPVOX?")

    • S 1876A bill to reauthorize and restructure adoption incentive payments.
    • S 1870A bill to reauthorize and restructure adoption incentive payments, to better enable State child welfare agencies to prevent sex trafficking of children and serve the needs of children who are victims of sex trafficking, to increase the reliability of child support for children.
    • HR 2028Every Child Deserves a Family Act: to prohibit discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved. (Also S 1069 in the Senate)
    • HR 3423Protecting Adopted Children Act: to ensure the safety and well-being of adopted children. Would provide pre- and post-adoptive counseling and support services to ease the transition for children and families, according to bill sponsor.
    • HRes 24A resolution expressing the deep disappointment of the House of Representatives in the enactment by the Russia Government of a law ending inter-country adoptions of Russian children by United States citizens and urging the Russia Government to reconsider the law and prioritize the processing of inter-country adoptions involving parentless Russian children who were already matched with United States families before the enactment of the law.
    • HR 3549Protecting Adoption Act: To promote permanent families for children, privacy and safety for unwed mothers, responsible fatherhood, and security for adoptive parents by establishing a National Responsible Father Registry and encouraging States to enter into agreements to contribute the information contained in the State’s Responsible Father Registry to the National Responsible Father Registry.
    • HR 3539Adoption Promotion Act: to amend title X of the Public Health Service Act with respect to adoption and other pregnancy options counseling.
    • HR 3062Adoption Information Act: requires certain family planning service projects and programs to give assurance to provide pamphlets containing the contact information of adoption centers located in the state.
    • HR 2144Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act: to provide for a refundable adoption tax credit. (And S 1056 in the Senate.)
    • HR 1476Dave Thomas Adoption Act: to allow penalty-free withdrawals, up to $10,000, from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) if used to pay adoption expenses, and unlimited withdrawals for expenses related to the adoption of a special needs child.
    • HR 2332Adoption Tax Credit Tribal Parity Act:to recognize Indian tribal governments for purposes of determining under the adoption credit whether a child has special needs.
    • HR 286A bill to allow biological parents of handicapped children to exclude from their gross incomes difficulty of care payments made to them under a state or local foster care program.
    • S 1047Families for Foster Youth Stamp Act: requires the US Postal Service to provide for the issuance and sale of a semipostal in order to increase funding for effective programs targeted at improving permanency outcomes for youth in foster care.
    • HR 2439Protecting Adoption And Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act: promotes permanent families for children, privacy and safety for unwed mothers and security for adoptive parents by establishing an automated National Responsible Father Registry. (And S 1203 in the Senate.)

    Bills Related to Foster Care

    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.

  9. The POPVOX Top 20: Dec. 13 - 19

    POPVOX Users Weigh in on Gun Rights in the District of Columbia

    This week, Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia topped the list among POPVOX users. The bill would restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia; repeal the DC semiautomatic ban; repealregistration requirements; authorize ammunition sales; and remove criminal penalties for possession of unregistered firearms.

    POPVOX Roundup: Week of Dec. 13 - 19

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    Here are the bills and proposals that POPVOX users weighed in on with Congress in the past week. Keep in mind that these numbers aren't aggregates of total support, but just what happened in the past seven days.

    • HR 3689#1 Second Amendment Enforcement Act: Restores Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia; repeals the DC semiautomatic ban; repeals registration requirements; authorizes ammunition sales; removes criminal penalties for possession of unregistered firearms.

      652 Support | 41 Oppose

    • HRes 442#2 A resolution directing the House of Representatives to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch.

      343 Support | 35 Oppose

    • HR 3566#3 Domestic Violence Criminal Disarmament Act: To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to provide for a grant program regarding firearms.

      25 Support | 264 Oppose

    • Air Tax#4 Increasing the TSA Passenger Security Tax to Pay for Deficit Spending: The President and Congress House are seeking to increase TSA passenger security fees as part of a budget deal, according the the Airlines for America, which sponsored this campaign.*

      4 Support | 278 Oppose

    • S 1731#5 Endangered Species Amendments Act: to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to permit Governors of States to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species

      18 Support | 237 Oppose

    • S 1797#6 Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act: to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits.

      53 Support | 199 Oppose

    • HR 3590#7 SHARE Act: To protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting.

      184 Support | 23 Oppose

    • Budget#8 Bipartisan Budget Act: Amendment 1 to H.J. Res 59, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

      23 Support | 160 Oppose

    • HR 3695#9 30-day extension of the Farm Bill:

      To provide a temporary extension of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 and amendments made by that Act, as previously extended and amended and with certain additional modifications and exceptions, to suspend permanent price support authorities.

      81 Support | 101 Oppose

    • HR 1781#10 Mustafa Akarsu Local Guard Force Support Act: To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for special immigrant status for certain spouses and children of employees of the United States Government abroad killed in the line of duty.

      124 Support | 46 Oppose

    • S 356#11 The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act: to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

      32 Support | 137 Oppose

    • TPP#12 Trans-Pacific Partnership : President Obama announced in November 2009 the United States’ intention to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, seeking to "boost US economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality American jobs by increasing exports in a region that includes some of the world’s most robust economies and that represents more than 40 percent of global trade.”

      6 Support | 140 Oppose

    • HR 1010#13 Fair Minimum Wage Act: To provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.

      34 Support | 89 Oppose

    • HR 102#14 Rehab and Ahmed Amer Foster Care Improvement Act: To amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to require States to follow certain procedures in placing a child who has been removed from the custody of his or her parents.

      64 Support | 58 Oppose

    • S 604#15 Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act: to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel.

      101 Support | 8 Oppose

    • Cellphones#16 Allowing Passengers to Use Cellphones During Flights: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering whether advances in technology no longer warrant -- solely on a technological basis -- a ban on in-flight cellphone use.

      20 Support | 64 Oppose

    • HJR 104#17 A resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the sixteenth article of amendment.

      75 Support | 8 Oppose

    • HR 3513#18 Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act: to end the use of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System

      39 Support | 30 Oppose

    • HR 2810#19 Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act: To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to reform the sustainable growth rate and Medicare payment for physicians' services.

      55 Support | 8 Oppose

    • HR 3643#20 A bill to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 1 year.

      8 Support | 48 Oppose

    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.

    *POPVOX invites organizations to create "sponsored campaigns" on POPVOX, which include policy principles and actionable items directed at Congress.

  10. POPVOX Daily Digest - December 20, 2013

    From our Hill sources

    It's the last day of work for Congress ing 2013. The House recessed last week; the Senate will take its last votes today.

    This week, the Senate has been busy wrapping up its final packages:

    Tuesday: Budget Cloture and Fire Hydrants

    On Tuesday, the Senate voted to end debate on the Budget Deal and approved a House bill that would gut guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency forcing new fire hydrants to be lead-free. Members approved H.R. 3588, the Community Fire Safety Act, by unanimous consent.

    Supporters of the bill -- practically everyone in Congress -- say the EPA guidance would make it difficult to replace hydrants starting next year, since there are not enough lead-free versions around. The Senate vote came on the same day that the EPA itself reversed its guidance, a likely reaction to the strong House vote last week (384-0).

    Wednesday: Budget Deal passed 

    On Wednesday, Senators passed a two-year budget deal that the House approved last week. The Bipartisan Budget Act stops $63 billion of sequester cuts from happening in 2014, and offsets that extra spending with several steps, including a hike on fees for air travelers and customs user fees.

    The Budget passed with 64 percent of the Senate in favor (only 51 percent was required)

    Thursday: NDAA passes Senate; moves to White House

    The final vote on the NDAA came Thursday night; the last legislative action of 2013. With 84 YAYS and 15 NAYS the bill passed, ending several weeks of protest from Republicans over Democratic restrictions on amendments for previous versions. The bill that passed on Thursday was the result of negotiations between the House and Senate. The House also voted on the bill without considering amendments. The NDAA now goes to the President to be signed into law.

    With the NDAA vote, the last legislative action of the year, the Senate will hold a few nomination votes on Friday, including one vote to end debate on the nomination of Janet Yellen to lead the Fed. A final vote on her confirmation, however, will take place in early January.

  11. The Week Ahead: Dec. 16 - 20

    From our Hill Sources: It's the last week of the year for Congress, and it will likely bring final passage of a budget and a defense authorization bill in the Senate. The House is out for the rest of the year.

    Budget

    After House and Senate budget leaders announced a bipartisan Budget Deal last week, the House quickly passed it in an easy 332-94 vote. That sets up what's likely to be an equally easy vote in the Senate on Tuesday. (Weigh in.)

    The Scoop from our Hill Sources: The budget deal is a tradeoff for both parties. For Democrats, the budget doesn't allow for an extension of emergency unemployment benefits, but it does include new revenues, in the form of various fees. For Republicans, the budget deal doesn't include entitlements, but it avoids an income tax hike, and it cuts the budget deficit further than if no deal had been reached.

    It also restores $63 billion in spending that was due to be cut by the sequester, something that will put most members of both parties at ease. While deficit hawk Republicans oppose the deal for this reason, many other Republicans had clearly become uneasy with the idea of another round of cuts across all discretionary accounts in the government, which includes defense.

    In the House, 62 Republicans voted against the budget deal, officially called an amendment to HJRes. 59, as did 32 Democrats. (See how they voted.)

    National Defense Authorization Act

    The Senate should be in a position to pass this new version of the NDAA, which the House approved last week. (Read bill text.)

    The Scoop from our Hill Sources: The House-passed bill authorizes $607 billion in defense spending for 2014, and finds compromise on issues like sexual assault in the military and Guantanamo Bay detainees that House and Senate negotiators worked out over the last few weeks.

    It does not, however, include any tougher language on Iran sanctions. Members of both parties had called for some sanctions language in order to send the message that Congress does approve of easing sanctions against Iran.

    The bill the Senate will consider is an amended version of HR 3304, the original House NDAA. Members agreed to pass a new version that reflects House and Senate compromises after a fight in the Senate over amendments stalled the bill in the upper chamber.

    Also in the Senate

    Aside from these bills, the Senate will deal with several nominations, including Jeh Johnson to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security and Janet Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve Board.

    The Senate is not expected to pass the 30-day extension of the farm bill that passed the House last week, HR 3695. Senate Democrats have said an extension is not needed.

    The House is out for the rest of the year.

    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.

     

  12. Issue Spotlight: Firearms and Gun Control

    Issue Spotlight: Firearms and Gun Control

    12/15/13: Today marks the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. It's unclear whether Congress will vote on further gun control legislation in the coming year -- but it did pass a ten-year extension on the ban on undetectable firearms. Meanwhile, the Administration has issued 25 executive actions related to firearms. And President Obama's Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said this week that the Administration will "continue to press Congress to take action" and continue to take executive action "in keeping with the President's view that we can do that without in any way jeopardizing America's Second Amendment rights, which the President believes in."

    Firearms and Gun Control Legislation

    Weigh in and POPVOX will deliver your letters to your Members of Congress -- guaranteed. (Learn more about POPVOX.)

    Recently Introduced

    • HR 3689 HR 3689: To restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. --Recently Introduced--
    • HR 3643 Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act: To reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 10 years and to close a loophole in the Act. --Recently Introduced--
    • HR 3626 HR 3626: To extend the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 10 years. --Passed by Congress--
    • HR 3590 SHARE Act: To protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting. --Recently Introduced--
    • HR 3566 Domestic Violence Criminal Disarmament Act: "would encourage states to adopt baseline policies that (1.) require officials to routinely take into account whether a gun is present in a serious domestic violence situation and (2.) take steps to protect the victim by removing the gun from the equation if it is illegally possessed or determined to be a threat to the victim," according to bill sponsor. --Recently Introduced--
    • HR 3483 Protecting Individual Liberties and States' Rights Act: to provide exceptions from the firearm prohibitions otherwise applicable in relation to marijuana if its possession is lawful under State law. --Recently Introduced--
    • HR 3484 Airport Security Act: To prohibit certain individuals from possessing a firearm in an airport. --Recently Introduced--
    • S 1660 SPORT Act: To protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting. --Recently Introduced--

    Relating to Banning Specific Weapons and Ammunition

    Relating to Background Checks

    • HR 1565 The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act: To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process. 
    • HR 1605 The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act: To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process.
    • S 729 The Disarm Criminals and Protect Communities Act: to protect law abiding citizens by preventing criminals from obtaining firearms.
    • S 649 The Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act: would ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.
    • S 374 The Fix Gun Checks Act: A bill to ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.
    • S 22 The Gun Show Background Check Act: A bill to establish background check procedures for gun shows.
    • HR 141 Closing the ‘gun show loophole.’ To require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.
    • HR 137 The Fix Gun Checks Act: To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.
    • HR 21 The NRA Members' Gun Safety Act: To provide for greater safety in the use of firearms.
    • Compromise The Toomey-Schumer-Manchin Amendment: would require states and the federal government to send all necessary records on criminals and the violently mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). It also extends the existing background check system to gun shows and online sales.

    Relating to Trafficking

    Relating to Enforcement

    Relating to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

    • HR 575 The Second Amendment Protection Act: The US should not adopt any treaty that poses a threat to national sovereignty or abridges any rights guaranteed by the US Constitution, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and to withhold funding from the United Nations unless the President certifies that the United Nations has not taken action to restrict, attempt to restrict, or otherwise adversely infringe upon the rights of individuals in the US to keep and bear arms, or abridge any of the other constitutionally protected rights of US citizens.
    • HCR 23 House Resolution expressing concerns about the US becoming a signatory to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, or to any similar agreement on the arms trade.
    • SCR 7 Senate Resolution expressing concerns about the US becoming a signatory to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, or to any similar agreement on the arms trade.

    Relating to the Second Amendment

    • HR 848 The Armed Prohibited Persons Act: to make grants to States to develop systems to retrieve firearms from armed prohibited persons. 
    • S 261 : To establish and clarify that Congress does not authorize persons convicted of dangerous crimes in foreign courts to freely possess firearms in the United States.
    • HR 575 The Second Amendment Protection Act: To express the sense of the Congress that the United States should not adopt any treaty that poses a threat to national sovereignty or abridges any rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and to withhold funding from the United Nations unless the President certifies that the United Nations has not taken action to restrict, attempt to restrict, or otherwise adversely infringe upon the rights of individuals in the United States to keep and bear arms, or abridge any of the other constitutionally protected rights of citizens of the United States.
    • S 82 The Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act: A bill to provide that any executive action infringing on the Second Amendment has no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.
    • HR 410 The Restore the Constitution Act: To provide that any executive action infringing on the Second Amendment has no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.

    Relating to Children and Schools

    Relating to the Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

    • HR 3018 Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act: to increase the excise tax and special occupational tax in respect of firearms and to increase the transfer tax on any other weapon.
    • HR 3335 Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act: to update certain procedures applicable to commerce in firearms and remove certain Federal restrictions on interstate firearms transactions.
    • S 903 Alien Gun Violence Prevention Act: to prevent the sale of firearms to all “nonimmigrant aliens” and require any non-U.S. citizen attempting to purchase a firearm to reside for at least 90 days in the state of purchase, according to the bill sponsor
    • HR 2648 To prohibit the sale or other disposition of a firearm to, and the possession, shipment, transportation, or receipt of a firearm by, certain classes of high-risk individuals. 
    • HR 2361 A bill To limit the authority of States and local governments to impose new taxes, or to increase rates of existing taxes, payable with respect to the sale of certain firearms or ammunition or payable for background checks incident to sales of firearms or ammunition.
    • HR 1369 The Firearm Risk Protection Act: To prohibit the sale of a firearm to, and the purchase of a firearm by, a person who is not covered by appropriate liability insurance coverage.
    • HR 720 : To increase public safety by permitting the Attorney General to deny the transfer of a firearm or the issuance of firearms or explosives licenses to a known or suspected dangerous terrorist.
    • S 174 The Ammunition Background Check Act: A bill to appropriately restrict sales of ammunition.
    • S 35 The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act: A bill to require face to face purchases of ammunition, to require licensing of ammunition dealers, and to require reporting regarding bulk purchases of ammunition.
    • HR 142 The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act: To require face to face purchases of ammunition, to require licensing of ammunition dealers, and to require reporting regarding bulk purchases of ammunition.
    • HR 238 The Fire Sale Loophole Closing Act: To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to restrict the ability of a person whose Federal license to import, manufacture, or deal in firearms has been revoked, whose application to renew such a license has been denied, or who has received a license revocation or renewal denial notice, to transfer business inventory firearms. 
    • HR 34 The Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act: To provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms.
    • HR 93 The Fire Sale Loophole Closing Act: To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to restrict the ability of a person whose Federal license to import, manufacture, or deal in firearms has been revoked, whose application to renew such a license has been denied, or who has received a license revocation or renewal denial notice, to transfer business inventory firearms.
    • HR 404 The Straw Purchaser Penalty Enhancement Act: To enhance criminal penalties for straw purchasers of firearms.
    • HR 236 The Crackdown on Deadbeat Gun Dealers Act: To ensure greater accountability by licensed firearms dealers. 
    • S 34 The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act: A bill to increase public safety by permitting the Attorney General to deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms and explosives licenses to known or suspected dangerous terrorists.

    Relating to Gun Buybacks

    Relating to Concealed Carry

    Relating to Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers

    • HR 3199 Safe Military Bases Act: To safeguard military and civilian personnel on military bases by repealing bans on military personnel carrying firearms.
    • HR 577 The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act: To clarify the conditions under which certain persons may be treated as adjudicated mentally incompetent for certain purposes. 
    • HR 449 The Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act: To provide an amnesty period during which veterans and their family members can register certain firearms in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. 
    • HRes 40 House Resolution expressing that active duty military personnel who are stationed or residing in the District of Columbia should be permitted to exercise fully their rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    Relating to Licensing, Registration and Tracking Purchases

    Related to Hunting and Recreational Shooting

    Other Bills

    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.

  13. The POPVOX Top 20: Dec. 6 - 12

    Air Passenger Taxes Check in Again as the Top Issue

    This week, the top priority among POPVOX users was whether to increase the TSA passenger security tax to pay for deficit spending. This is a sponsored campaign* on POPVOX by Airlines for America. The President and Congress are seeking to increase TSA passenger security fees as part of a budget deal, according to Airlines for America.

    Undetectable firearms was another priority on the minds of POPVOX users. The Undetectable Firearms Act, passed in 1998, made it unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm that is not detectable by a walk-through metal detector or standard airport imaging technology. Despite overwhelming opposition on POPVOX, Congress passed a 10-year extension of the law on Tuesday.

    POPVOX Roundup: Week of Dec. 6 - 12

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    Here are the bills and proposals that POPVOX users weighed in on with Congress in the past week. Keep in mind that these numbers aren't aggregates of total support, but just what happened in the past seven days.

    • Air Taxes#1 Increasing the TSA Passenger Security Tax to Pay for Deficit Spending: The President and Congress House are seeking to increase TSA passenger security fees as part of a budget deal, according the the Airlines for America, which sponsored this campaign.*

      9 Support | 1,222 Oppose

    • HR 3643#2 A bill to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 1 year.

      42 Support | 611 Oppose

    • Budget#3 Amendment 1 to H.J. Res 59, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014 (as engrossed by Senate):"The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 would set overall discretionary spending for the current fiscal year at $1.012 trillion—about halfway between the Senate budget level of $1.058 trillion and the House budget level of $967 billion. The agreement would provide $63 billion in sequester relief over two years, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs. In fiscal year 2014, defense discretionary spending would be set at $520.5 billion, and non-defense discretionary spending would be set at $491.8 billion."

      98 Support | 523 Oppose

    • HR 102#4 Rehab and Ahmed Amer Foster Care Improvement Act: To amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to require States to follow certain procedures in placing a child who has been removed from the custody of his or her parents.

      165 Support | 224 Oppose

    • TPP#5 Trans-Pacific Partnership : President Obama announced in November 2009 the United States’ intention to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, seeking to "boost US economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality American jobs by increasing exports in a region that includes some of the world’s most robust economies and that represents more than 40 percent of global trade.”

      10 Support | 320 Oppose

    • S 1712#6 Employee Rights Act: A bill to provide protections for workers with respect to their right to select or refrain from selecting representation by a labor organization.

      311 Support | 12 Oppose

    • HR 1010#7 Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013: To provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.

      42 Support | 270 Oppose

    • HR 2810#8 Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act: To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to reform the sustainable growth rate and Medicare payment for physicians’ services.

      267 Support | 30 Oppose

    • S 356#9 The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act: to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

      62 Support | 218 Oppose

    • S 604#10 Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act: to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel.

      258 Support | 20 Oppose

    • HR 3626#11 To extend the Undetectable Firearms Act for 10 years: to extend the Undetectable Firearms Act which made it unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm that is not detectable by a walk-through metal detector or standard airport imaging technology.

      25 Support | 251 Oppose

    • HR 1781#12 Mustafa Akarsu Local Guard Force Support Act:To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for special immigrant status for certain spouses and children of employees of the United States Government abroad killed in the line of duty.

      215 Support | 38 Oppose

    • S 1774#13 A bill to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 1 year.

      13 Support | 192 Oppose

    • HR 3212#14 Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act: To ensure compliance with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction by countries with which the United States enjoys reciprocal obligations, to establish procedures for the prompt return of children abducted to other countries

      151 Support | 10 Oppose

    • S 1431#15 Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act: Amends the Internet Tax Freedom Act to make permanent the ban on state and local taxation of Internet access and on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.

      144 Support | 4 Oppose

    • HJR 104#16 A resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the sixteenth article of amendment.

      133 Support | 14 Oppose

    • Doc Fix #17 Amendment 2 to H.J. Res 59, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014 (as engrossed by Senate) : Amendment #2 addresses the expiration of the current reimbursement rate for physicians treating Medicare patients.

      104 Support | 26 Oppose

    • HR 3513#18 Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act: to end the use of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System

      65 Support | 52 Oppose

    • S 1471#19 Alicia Dawn Koehl Respect for National Cemeteries Act : to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of the Army to reconsider decisions to inter or honor the memory of a person in a national cemetery.

      74 Support | 15 Oppose

    • HRes 411#20 A resolution impeaching Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

      87 Support | 1 Oppose

    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.

    *POPVOX invites organizations to create "sponsored campaigns" on POPVOX, which include policy principles and actionable items directed at Congress.

  14. POPVOX Daily Digest - December 12, 2013

    On its last legislative day of the year, the House packed a year of work into a single day. Several major bills were passed:

    The Budget

    The Bipartisan Budget Agreement on a two year budget was hailed by most members as a significant achievement that could let Congress get back to passing separate appropriations bills, instead of continuing resolutions.

    The bill passed the House 332-94, with 62 Republicans voted against it, reflecting an unwillingness to give up the sequester.

    The budget deal repeals $63 billion from the sequester, which are mandatory cuts that members of both parties have grown to hate. It makes up for that by finding ways to reduce government spending, such as overpayments that aren't recollected. But it also calls for new fees on airline tickets and customs processing, changes that dozens of Republicans opposed.

    The budget goes to the Senate, where it should pass next week. Passage by both chambers will let Congress work on final 2014 spending levels across all agencies of the government.

    Defense Authorization

    The National Defense Authorization Act was a last minute addition to the schedule this week. The House had already passed a bill, but it got stuck in the Senate over a fight on amendments, so the House and Senate agreed to a new version that is expected to become law.

    The House passed the bill 350-69. It authorizes $607 billion in Defense Department spending in 2014. It also includes some language aimed at improving how the Department of Defense deals with sexual harassment charges, although it doesn't go as far as many Democrats wanted.

    The Senate could pass the bill by next week.

    The Farm Bill

    Republicans called up a 30-day extension of farm programs as a suspension bill, and it easily passed in a voice vote.

    The bill would ensure no spike in dairy prices, which could happen if dairy subsidies are suspended at the end of the year. However, Senate Democrats are not expected to consider this bill next week.

    Several other smaller bills were passed by the House today:

    Nominations, Space Launch Liability in Senate

    The Senate spent most of the day on nominations but did pass one bill:

  15. POPVOX Daily Digest - December 11, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    The House held a quick legislation session after a morning meeting in which most Republicans seemed fine with a two-year budget deal that House and Senate negotiators reached this week.

    Some conservative Republicans will likely oppose the deal, but most GOP members indicated they could live with it, which means the House will try to pass it as early as Thursday.

    The deal reverses $63 billion of sequester spending cuts, and replaces it with $85 billion in new user fees and efforts to stop fraud and waste in government spending. Conservative Republicans are likely to argue that Congress should not trade spending cuts for new fees, but not enough to stop the deal.

    Similarly, Democrats are likely to argue that the deal does not extend emergency unemployment insurance, but many Democrats will support it.

    Five Suspension bills Approved in House

    In the meantime, the House considered five suspension bills today:

  16. POPVOX Daily Digest - December 10, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    Congress had another slow day on the floor, as members waited for a budget deal and did minimal work on legislation. But late in the day, House and Senate budget negotiators announced a two-year budget deal that the House will try to pass this week.

    Budget Deal Emerges

    Among other things, the deal would reduce sequester spending cuts by $63 billion over the next two years, but finds another $85 billion in non-tax revenue and cuts to mandatory programs. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan encouraged Republicans to support it because those changes mean another $22 billion in deficit reduction, and does not include a tax hike.

    The deal was struck just three days before it was required to under legislation passed weeks ago. Members of the House and Senate were expected to make legislative text available late Tuesday night.

     The House is expected to pass the agreement this week, and is likely to do so without the full support of the Republican or Democratic caucus. The Senate is expected to approve it next week.

    Veterans Bills Pass House

    While budget talks continued, the House passed just two bills dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs:

    H.R. 1402 — the VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act. This bill authorizes ongoing VA programs for disabled veterans, and it passed 353-0.

    H.R. 3521 — the Department of Veterans Affairs Major Medical Facility Lease Authorization Act. This bill extends the ability of the VA to lease 27 medical facilities, and it passed 346-1.

    First Nominations Pass Senate under New Majority Rule.

    The Senate spent most of the day dealing with Obama administration nominations. As it did in November, the Senate triggered the "nuclear option," a process by which executive nominations can pass by a simple majority vote.

    Republicans have opposed this change from the prior process, which allowed Republicans to block nominations by preventing a vote on a motion to proceed to anyone they opposed. Those procedural votes required 60 senators to advance a nomination, but under the nuclear option, only a simple majority is needed — as a result, nominations can proceed with support from only Democrats, and then can be approved by another simple majority.

    Using this process, the Senate approved the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt of North Carolina to be the next Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. He was confirmed in a 57-41 vote.

    The Senate also approved the nomination of Patricia Millett to the Washington D.C. Circuit Court. The Senate approved her in a 56-38 vote; she was the first to be approved under the "nuclear option."

  17. POPVOX Daily Digest - December 9, 2013

    From our Hill Sources:

    The House and Senate each held quick legislative sessions that were shortened by ice and snow in Washington, which prevented some members from returning.

    Undetectable Firearms Bill Passes Senate

    The Senate passed:

    H.R. 3623 — a bill extending the Undetectable Firearms Act for 10 years. The House passed this bill last week — it would continue the current ban on guns that don't contain enough metal and can pass through metal detectors without being detected.

    Many Democrats wanted to expand current law to ensure that people can't use 3D printers to produce guns with metal parts that can be easily removed and then reassembled once a plastic gun is passed through a checkpoint.

    But the ban expired Monday night, so the Senate had little choice but to pass the clean House extension.

    In the House, Stiffer penalties for Child Abuse

    The House passed a single bill — H.R. 3627, the Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act. The bill is aimed at tracking the various state penalties for child abuse, and boosting federal penalties for child abuse.

  18. The Week Ahead: Dec. 9 - 13

    From our Hill Sources: Congress has a lot to do before it leaves for the holiday break, but it's unclear if anything will be ready in the coming days. With House Republicans saying they're done after this week, that means several big ticket items may have to wait until next year.

    The House and Senate are working on a budget deal, a farm bill, and a federal water projects bill. But each of these can be pushed off into the new year, and many believe they will.

    A Farm Bill

    One bill that could come up this week, however, is a one-month extension of federal agriculture projects, though no text is available yet.

    The Scoop: The Senate passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act (S 954) by a bipartisan 66-27 vote on June 10, 2013. Meanwhile, the House considered the FARRM Act (HR 1947), which was defeated on June 20 by a vote of 195-234. On July 11, the House passed HR 2642, a version of the defeated bill -- without the nutrition provisions -- by a vote of 216-208. Then, on Sept. 19, the House passed a stand-alone nutrition bill, the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act (HR 3102) by a vote of 217-210. The House subsequently adopted HRes 361, a resolution that combined the texts of HR 2642 and HR 3102 into one bill (HR 2642) for purposes of resolving differences with the Senate. (Source: CRS Comparison)

    The Doc Fix

    Another possible bill would again delay cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors. Text of the "doc fix" bill has also not been released.

    Related bill: The Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act (HR 2810) repeals the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) system and replaces it with a fair and stable system of payments and includes new transparency and collaboration requirements to solicit input from expert medical organizations and other groups on the development and selection of quality measures, according to bill sponsors. The bill passed the full committee by a 51-0 bipartisan vote on July 31, 2013. (Source: House Energy and Commerce Committee)

    The NDAA

    In the Senate, members have been hoping to finish a National Defense Authorization Act for 2014, but that may also have to wait until next year. The House passed its version of the bill back in June, HR 1960, and the Senate has been working on its version, S 1197, for a few weeks now.

    Undetectable Firearms

    One Senate bill that may make it over the finish line is the Undetectable Firearms Act, which requires guns to be made of enough metal to be picked up by metal detectors. The House passed a 10-year extension of this act last week, HR 3626, and the Senate could decide to pass the same bill as early as Monday, when current law expires.

    Related bill: A bill introduced in the Senate, S 1774, would extend the ban on undetectable firearms for one year. 

    Also in the House

    As members struggle to decide what can be done at the last minute, the House will also be considering several suspension bills during the week. They are:

    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.

  19. The POPVOX Top 20: Nov. 29 - Dec. 5

    Air Passenger Taxes Check in as the Top Issue

    This week, the top priority among POPVOX users was whether to increase the TSA passenger security tax to pay for deficit spending. This is a sponsored campaign* on POPVOX by Airlines for America. The President and Congress are seeking to increase TSA passenger security fees as part of a budget deal, according to Airlines for America.

    Undetectable firearms was another priority on the minds of POPVOX users. The Undetectable Firearms Act, passed in 1998, made it unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm that is not detectable by a walk-through metal detector or standard airport imaging technology. The law expires on Monday, Dec. 9, and the House this week unanimously passed a 10-year extension of the law. The Senate is in recess until Dec. 9, and will take up the issue when it returns. The Senate's version extends the ban for a year.

    POPVOX Roundup: Week of Nov. 29 - Dec 5

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    Here are the bills and proposals that POPVOX users weighed in on with Congress in the past week. Keep in mind that these numbers aren't aggregates of total support, but just what happened in the past seven days.

    • Air Taxes#1 Increasing the TSA Passenger Security Tax to Pay for Deficit Spending: The President and Congress House are seeking to increase TSA passenger security fees as part of a budget deal, according the the Airlines for America, which sponsored this campaign.*

      0 Support | 1,746 Oppose

    • S 1774#2 A Bill to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 for 1 year.

      62 Support | 757 Oppose

    • HR 3626#3 To extend the Undetectable Firearms Act for 10 years: to extend the Undetectable Firearms Act which made it unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm that is not detectable by a walk-through metal detector or standard airport imaging technology.

      67 Support | 739 Oppose

    • S 1731#4 The Endangered Species Amendment Act: to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to permit Governors of States to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species.

      136 Support | 544 Oppose

    • S 1431#5 Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act: Amends the Internet Tax Freedom Act to make permanent the ban on state and local taxation of Internet access and on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.

      547 Support | 15 Oppose

    • HR 3335#6 Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act: to amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to update certain procedures applicable to commerce in firearms and remove certain Federal restrictions on interstate firearms transactions.

      474 Support | 30 Oppose

    • HR 1105#7 Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act: To amend the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to provide a registration exemption for private equity fund advisers.

      59 Support | 280 Oppose

    • S 356#8 The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act: to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

      66 Support | 261 Oppose

    • HR 3513#9 Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act: to end the use of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System

      208 Support | 105 Oppose

    • HJR 104#10 A Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the sixteenth article of amendment.

      271 Support | 30 Oppose

    • S 604#11 Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act: to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel.

      202 Support | 17 Oppose

    • HR 657#12 Grazing Improvement Act: to amend the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to improve the management of grazing leases and permits.

      50 Support | 161 Oppose

    • HR 3086#13 Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act: amends the Internet Tax Freedom Act to make permanent the ban on state and local taxation of Internet access and on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.

      169 Support | 8 Oppose

    • S 1364#14 Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act:  to promote neutrality, implicity, and fairness in the taxation of digital goods and digital services.

      21 Support | 152 Oppose

    • S 258#15 Grazing Improvement Act: to amend the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to improve the management of grazing leases and permits .

      45 Support | 127 Oppose

    • CRPD#16 The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:"The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an agreement by countries around the world to make sure that people with disabilities and people without disabilities are treated equally," according to the UN.

      10 Support | 159 Oppose

    • HR 2487#17 E-SHOP Act: to direct the Federal Trade Commission to promulgate rules requiring an Internet merchant to disclose the use of personal information in establishing or changing a price

      27 Support | 137 Oppose

    • HR 1565#18 Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act: To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process.

      8 Support | 139 Oppose

    • HR 2477#19 Planning Actively for Cancer Treatment (PACT) Act: To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage of cancer care planning and coordination under the Medicare program.

      80 Support | 17 Oppose

    • S 815#20 Employment Non-Discrimination Act: to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

      17 Support | 77 Oppose

    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.

    *POPVOX invites organizations to create "sponsored campaigns" on POPVOX, which include policy principles and actionable items directed at Congress.

     

  20. POPVOX Daily Digest - December 5, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    House passes the Innovation Act

    H.R. 3309 — the Innovation Act creates new requirements that patent litigants must meet when filing a patent infringement lawsuit. The goal is to make it harder for people with frivolous claims to stop filing nuisance suits against companies, which can take several years and several million dollars to defend.

    The House approved the bill 325-91. It was supported by a majority of both parties, though 64 Democrats voted against it. The bill is also supported by the Obama administration.

    Supporters say the bill is necessary because companies are spending too much money defending frivolous claims, money that could be used to expand their business. Members of both parties said it would help curb efforts to shakedown companies for settlements in cases that have no merit.

    Others worried that creating new hurdles to litigation would only make it harder for small patent holders to win suits against large companies. Some said it goes against the intent of the Constitution.

    Passage in the House means the next step is consideration in the Senate. Senate Democrats have not said if or when they will take it up.