The POPVOX Blog

  1. Issue Spotlight: Internet Taxes

    It's "Cyber Monday"! Or, as Forbes.com said, "It's the most wonderful tax evasion day of the year!" Last year, the top online retailers (Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and JCPenney) reported nearly 77 million hits on Cyber Monday. As you shop online, we thought we'd spotlight some bills related to internet taxation. 

    Bills Related to Internet Taxes

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

    • HR 3086Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act: to make the moratorium on Internet access taxes and multiple and discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce permanent. (Also S 31 in Senate and HR 434 in the House)
    • S 1431Internet 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.
    • HR 2487E-SHOP Act: directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to promulgate rules requiring an Internet merchant with annual gross revenue of more than $1 million to disclose to each consumer, prior to the final purchase of any good or service, the use of personal information in establishing or changing a price.
    • S 1364Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act: to promote neutrality, implicity, and fairness in the taxation of digital goods and digital services.
    • S 743Marketplace Fairness Act: to restore States’ sovereign rights to enforce State and local sales and use tax laws with respect to remote sales under provisions of the Agreement. Defines "remote sale" as a sale of goods or services into a state in which the seller would not legally be required to pay, collect, or remit state or local sales and use taxes unless provided by this Act. (Also HR 684 in the House and S 336 in the Senate.)

    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.

  2. The Week Ahead: Dec. 2 - 6

    From our Hill Sources: The House returns to consider two job-creation bills during a week when the Senate is out:

    In the House

    The House will consider job creation:

    House Republican leaders have said they also may consider:

    • HR 3309Innovation Act: This bill would create new requirements on anyone acting as a plaintiff in a patent lawsuit. It's goal is to make it harder for "patent trolls" to file lawsuits that are designed only to force companies to settle spurious claims, although some will argue that the bill will only make it harder for smaller companies to defend their patents.

    Members will also look at up to a dozen suspension bills, which will get less debate and require a two-thirds majority vote. They are:

    In the Senate

    The Senate returns on Dec. 9th. 

    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.

  3. Issue Spotlight: World AIDS Day

    December 1st marks World AIDS Day. This year's theme is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.” In a proclamation, President Obama explained: "We remember the friends and loved ones we have lost, stand with the estimated 35 million people living with HIV/AIDS, and renew our commitment to preventing the spread of this virus at home and abroad. If we channel our energy and compassion into science-based results, an AIDS-free generation is within our reach."

    Bills Related to HIV/AIDS

    Weigh in on these bills and resolutions that have been introduced by Congress related to HIV/AIDS. POPVOX will deliver your message to Congress. ("What is 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 POPVOX Top 20: Nov. 22 - 28

    Cruel Traps Top the List

    This week, the top priority among POPVOX users was the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, which would "end to the use of steel-jaw leghold traps on our nation’s wildlife refuges," according to bill sponsors. The bill was introduced earlier this month, and more than three in four POPVOX users support it.

    POPVOX Roundup: Week of Nov. 22 - 28

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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.

    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: Nov. 15 - 21

    Impeaching Attorney General Eric Holder

    This week, the top priority among POPVOX users was a resolution to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder. Thus far, 22 lawmakers — all Republicans — are supporting this proposal, which charges Holder with perjury, failure to comply with subpoenas and failure to discharge the duties of attorney general. 

    In June 2012, the House voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for "blocking its efforts to get the facts about Operation Fast and Furious—a flawed Justice Department sting operation that allowed 2,000 weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, and is linked to the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry." (Source: The House Republican Majority

    POPVOX Roundup: Week of Nov. 15 - 21

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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.

    • HRes 411#1 Impeaching Eric H. Holder, Jr., US Attorney General for high crimes and misdemeanors.

      518 Support | 46 Oppose

    • HR 3483#2 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.

      449 Support | 102 Oppose

    • HR 3478#3 Knife Owners' Protection Act: To protect the right of law-abiding citizens to transport knives interstate, notwithstanding a patchwork of local and State prohibitions.

      474 Support | 26 Oppose

    • HJR 104#4 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution to repeal the sixteenth article of amendment.

      406 Support | 71 Oppose

    • HR 1900#5 Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act: To provide for the timely consideration of all licenses, permits, and approvals required under Federal law with respect to the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any natural gas pipeline projects.

      401 Support | 73 Oppose

    • HR 2728#6 Protecting States' Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act: To recognize States’ authority to regulate oil and gas operations and promote American energy security, development, and job creation. (Passed House on Nov. 20.)

      369 Support | 93 Oppose

    • HR 3513#7 Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act: To end the use of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

      313 Support | 137 Oppose

    • HR 1965#8 Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act: To streamline and ensure onshore energy permitting, provide for onshore leasing certainty, and give certainty to oil shale development for American energy security, economic development, and job creation. (Passed House on Nov. 20.)

      344 Support | 95 Oppose

    • HR 3484#9 Airport Security Act: To prohibit certain individuals from possessing a firearm in an airport.

      27 Support | 347 Oppose

    • HR 3485#10 Employee Rights Act: To provide protections for workers with respect to their right to select or refrain from selecting representation by a labor organization.

      314 Support | 44 Oppose

    • S 1712#11 Employee Rights Act: to provide protections for workers with respect to their right to select or refrain from selecting representation by a labor organization.

      298 Support | 39 Oppose

    • S 356#12 Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act: to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

      81 Support | 241 Oppose

    • S 1632#13 Restoring the 10th Amendment Act: to protect 10th Amendment rights by providing special standing for State government officials to challenge proposed regulations.

      292 Support | 30 Oppose

    • S 1664#14 One Subject at a Time Act: to end the practice of including more than one subject in a single bill by requiring that each bill enacted by Congress be limited to only one subject, and for other purposes.

      254 Support | 8 Oppose

    • S 209#15 Federal Reserve Transparency Act: to require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks by the US Comptroller General.

      224 Support | 12 Oppose

    • HR 3538#16 Affordable College Textbook Act: To expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students.

      65 Support | 157 Oppose

    • HR 2061#17 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act: To expand the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to increase accountability and transparency in Federal spending.

      190 Support | 9 Oppose

    • S 1663#18 Write the Laws Act: to end the unconstitutional delegation of legislative power which was exclusively vested in the Senate and House of Representatives by article I, section 1 of the US Constitution, and to direct the Comptroller General to issue a report to Congress detailing the extent of the problem of unconstitutional delegation to the end that such delegations can be phased out, thereby restoring the constitutional principle of separation of powers set forth in the first sections of the Constitution.

      163 Support | 10 Oppose

    • S 815#19 Employment Non-Discrimination Act: to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

      39 Support | 131 Oppose

    • S 258#20 Grazing Improvement Act: to amend the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to improve the management of grazing leases and permits.

      30 Support | 139 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. 

  6. POPVOX Daily Digest: November 21, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    Bill to expedite pipeline permits advances in House

    The House was in briefly to pass its third energy bill of the week:

    • HR 1900 The Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act This legislation would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to decide on natural gas pipeline permit applications within one year.

      Republicans cast the bill as one that would spur the building of new pipeline to the East Coast, where prices of natural gas are higher than they are in the middle of the country. Democrats said the application process is not broken and that the GOP bill is not needed.

      The bill is unlikely to move any further; Senate Democrats oppose it and the Obama Administration has said it would veto the bill.

    Historic change to filibuster rules in Senate

    Democrats argued for several years that Republicans were delaying the process of approving nominees and judges in the Senate. In the past, Majority Leader Harry Reid has threatened to cut short the process, but had held back until today.

    On Thursday afternoon, Reid announced a vote to change Senate rules so that presidential nominees, with the exception of Supreme Court nominees, would no longer have to achieve 60 votes to end debate before proceeding to an up or down vote on the nomination.

    The Senate voted 52-48 to change the rule, which will now allow nominations to be taken up immediately in the Senate, and pass with a simple majority vote.

    Republicans criticized the move as one that was made itself with a simple majority vote, and said changing historic Senate rules should only be done by a super-majority. Members of both parties have described the move as the "nuclear option" because of its potential to create even more animosity between the parties than already exists.

    Senate will continue work on Defense Authorization

    The Senate has been working all week on S. 1197, the National Defense Authorization Act. Toward the end of the day, Democrats called a vote on whether to end debate on that bill, which also needed 60 votes for passage. It failed 51-44, which means the Senate will likely need to keep working on this bill in December.

    This bill has been tied up over a fight about amendments — Republicans are looking to call up as many as 25, but Democrats have been looking to consider a smaller number.

  7. POPVOX Daily Digest -November 20, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    Two energy bills pass House; not expected to progress in Senate

    The House passed two energy bills that Republicans say will help spur energy development and create jobs:

    House passage is likely the end of the line for these bills, as the Senate is not expected to consider them, and the Obama administration has threatened to veto both bills.

    Senate continues with Defense Authorization

    The Senate spent the day debating S. 1197, The National Defense Authorization Act. Members spent several hours debating two amendments aimed at improving anti-sexual assault efforts in the military. One of the amendments is from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and the other is from Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Claire McCaskill.

    Sen. Tom Coburn objected to holding votes on Wednesday without a guarantee that other amendments would be considered during the process.

  8. POPVOX Daily Digest - November 19, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    Drilling permits, AIDS funding in the House:

    The House started work on legislation meant to speed up the federal approval process for oil and gas drilling permits on federal land: H.R. 1965 — the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act. The bill sets a 60-day deadline by which the government has to decide on these permits.

    The House voted on three amendments, with more to go on Wednesday before passing the bill.

    The House also approved S. 1545, the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act, which extends the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. By voice vote, members approved this bill to extend the government's main global HIV/AIDS relief program.

    Defense Authorization in the Senate:

    The Senate was in to consider S. 1197, the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes defense programs for 2014.

    Several amendments are likely to be considered this week and maybe next week. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 43-55 against a Republican amendment that would have prevented the Obama administration from shutting down terrorist detention facilities in Cuba.

  9. POPVOX Daily Digest - November 18, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    The Senate finished up work on a key pharmaceutical policy bill, and started work on a defense policy bill:

    The Senate also passed two bills by unanimous consent:

    • S 1471 a bill that allows the government to remove the remains of people from national cemeteries if those buried committed certain crimes.
    • S 1545 The PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act, extending federal HIV/AIDS programs for five years. The House is expected to consider this bill Tuesday. 

    The House passed several bills in a quick Monday session:

    • HR 2061 The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA), which is designed to make it easier to keep track of federal spending.This is a bipartisan bill, and it passed 388-1; the only member voting against it was Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ).
    • HR 272 a bill naming a future Department of Defense outpatient clinic after Gen. William Gourley. This bill passed in a 388-0 vote.

    Three bills were approved in voice votes:

    • HR 3343 a bill allowing the District of Columbia to provide a salary for its Chief Financial Officer that can be as high as that of the Vice President or other senior executive service officials in the government.
    • HR 3487 a bill extending the authority of the Federal Election Campaign Act to impose civil penalties for certain violations.
    • SCR 25 a bill allowing the use of Emancipation Hall to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Native American code talkers.

     

     

     

  10. What about HR 4646?

    "HR 4646" has consistently been a popular bill search term on POPVOX, even though no current bill numbered HR 4646 exists. POPVOX users searching for HR 4646 tell us that they are looking for an Obama Administration proposal that would create a 1% tax on debit card usage and banking transactions. For the most part, they heard about this bill from a mass email forwarded to them.

    The Obama Administration has not proposed or recommended placing a 1% tax on financial transactions. In fact, the rumor has been so widely circulated, that Snopes even covered it.

    The 1% transaction tax proposal has been previously introduced -- but not in this Congress.

    Representative Chakah Fattah introduced the 1% transaction tax in his bill, the Debt Free America Act. In the 111th Congress, this bill received the bill number HR 4646. (Read comments from POPVOX users.) In the 112th Congress, Rep. Fattah re-introduced the Debt Free America Act on March 16, 2011 with the bill number HR 1125

    This post was originally written by Peter Cook, and published on April 25, 2012. 

  11. The Week Ahead: Nov. 18 - 22

    From our Hill Sources: While the debate over the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, continues to dominate conversations in Washington, Congress will move on to other issues this week. The House will consider three big energy bills, while the Senate will deal with pharmaceutical and defense policy.

    In the House

    The House will vote on three energy bills:

    The House will also take up several suspension bills, including:

    • HR 2061Digital Accountability and Transparency Act: designed to make it easier to keep track of federal spending.
    • HR 3343A bill prohibiting the total compensation of the District of Columbia's Chief Financial Officer from exceeding the compensation of the Vice President.
    • HR 3487A bill extending the authority of the Federal Election Campaign Act to impose civil penalties for certain violations.
    • SCRes 25A resolution allowing the use of Emancipation Hall to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Native American code talkers.

    In the Senate

    The Senate will meet Monday to finish work on one bill, and move on to the NDAA.

    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. The POPVOX Top 20: Nov. 8 - 14

    One Subject Per Bill, Please!

    This week, POPVOX users had the One Subject at a Time Act on their minds.This bill would require that each bill enacted by Congress be limited to only one subject. POPVOX users on many occasions have shared their frustration with us about bills encompassing so many different issues, so it's not surprising that 96 percent of people support this bill.

    POPVOX Roundup: Week of Nov. 8 - 14

    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 1664#1 One Subject at a Time Act: to end the practice of including more than one subject in a single bill by requiring that each bill enacted by Congress be limited to only one subject, and for other purposes.

      442 Support | 21 Oppose

    • HR 3350#2 Keep Your Health Plan Act: to authorize health insurance issuers to continue to offer for sale current individual health insurance coverage in satisfaction of the minimum essential health insurance coverage requirement.

      312 Support | 67 Oppose

    • S 815#3 Employment Non-Discrimination Act: to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

      30 Support | 329 Oppose

    • S 1663#4 Write the Laws Act: to end the unconstitutional delegation of legislative power which was exclusively vested in the Senate and House of Representatives by article I, section 1 of the Constitution of the United States, and to direct the Comptroller General of the United States to issue a report to Congress detailing the extent of the problem of unconstitutional delegation to the end that such delegations can be phased out, thereby restoring the constitutional principle of separation of powers set forth in the first sections of the Constitution of the United States.

      330 Support | 22 Oppose

    • HR 3353#5 Extend Not Cut SNAP Benefits Act: To amend the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to extend the period during which supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits are temporarily increased.

      53 Support | 280 Oppose

    • HR 3368#6 Veterans Day Off Act: To require employers to provide veterans with time off on Veterans Day.

      175 Support | 148 Oppose

    • S 356#7 Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act: to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

      86 Support | 194 Oppose

    • HR 1518#8 PAST Act: To amend the Horse Protection Act to designate additional unlawful acts under the Act, strengthen penalties for violations of the Act, improve Department of Agriculture enforcement of the Act

      145 Support | 109 Oppose

    • HR 3431#9 American Families United Act: To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to promote family unity.

      111 Support | 94 Oppose

    • S893#10 Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act: to provide for an increase, effective December 1, 2013, in the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans.

      185 Support | 11 Oppose

    • HJR 101#11 A Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to limit the number of consecutive terms that a Member of Congress may serve.

      173 Support | 23 Oppose

    • S 604#12 Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act: to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to relocate to Jerusalem the US Embassy in Israel.

      136 Support | 10 Oppose

    • HR 3348#13 Obamacare Choice Act: to make the individual health insurance mandate voluntary in 2014.

      90 Support | 23 Oppose

    • S 1671#14 A bill to delay the implementation of the individual health coverage mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

      68 Support | 44 Oppose

    • S 409#15 A bill to add Vietnam Veterans Day as a patriotic and national observance.

      77 Support | 32 Oppose

    • S 1665#16 Read the Bills Act: to preserve the constitutional authority of Congress and ensure accountability and transparency in legislation.

      104 Support | 5 Oppose

    • HR 2417#17 Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act: To amend the Federal Power Act to protect the bulk-power system and electric infrastructure critical to the defense and well-being of the United States against natural and manmade electromagnetic pulse (”EMP”) threats and vulnerabilities.

      99 Support | 8 Oppose

    • HRes 32#18 A Resolution expressing support for the designation of the Friday after Thanksgiving as the National Day of Recognition for Veterans Families.

      67 Support | 22 Oppose

    • HR 154#19 Veterans' Medal for Distinguished Public Service: to establish a Department of Veterans Affairs Medal for Distinguished Public Service to honor veterans who make remarkable and distinguished contributions to their communities.

      67 Support | 19 Oppose

    • HR 318#20 A bill to authorize a Wall of Remembrance as part of the Korean War Veterans Memorial and to allow certain private contributions to fund that Wall of Remembrance.

      77 Support | 5 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. 

  13. POPVOX Daily Digest - November 13, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    House passes changes to Asbestos Trust

    The House spent the day on a bill to address fraudulent asbestos injury claims, which passed in a party-line vote:

    Republicans said the bill would ensure that asbestos trusts established to pay out injury claims have enough money for legitimate claims, citing evidence that some people are making multiple claims. These trusts were set up by Congress to pay out claims and exempt companies from further liability.

    Democrats disputed that there is significant fraud and said the bill threatens the privacy of claimants. Under the legislation, trusts would have to file quarterly reports detailing who has sought compensation and who has been paid.

    The House passed it 221-199. The bill is opposed by the Obama administration, and the Democratic Senate is unlikely to consider it.

    The House also passed a resolution stating Congressional support for the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. H.Res. 196 passed in a voice vote.

    Senate Drug Safety bill delayed

    The Senate was in to continue debate on H.R. 3204, the Drug Quality and Security Act. This bill is meant to strengthen the ability to trace the origin of prescription drugs back to their source.

    No progress was made, however, as Republicans are seeking a vote on an amendment from Sen. David Vitter, which would force Congress to explain which of its staff must buy insurance under ObamaCare. Democrats oppose the amendment.

  14. POPVOX Daily Digest - November 12, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    The House was in and passed several suspension bills:

    Passage of these Senate bills sends the legislation to the White House for President Obama's signature into law.

    • HR 2871 a bill modifying the various judicial districts in southern Mississippi. This bill passed 401-1.
    • HR 2922 a bill allowing Supreme Court police officers to protect members of the Court outside the grounds of the Court. This bill passed 399-3.

    The Senate voted to extend funds for Children's Hospitals that provide Graduate Medical Education:

  15. PRESS CLIP: How Popvox Can Improve National Dialogue

  16. Issue Spotlight: Honoring Veterans Day

    In honor of Veterans Day, Nov. 11, POPVOX is spotlighting veterans legislation. We hope you will take a moment to review this partial list of veterans bills (divided by issue areas) and weigh in. POPVOX will deliver your comments to your Members of Congress. And for those of you who are veterans, thank you for your service to our country.

    • History An armistice to stop fighting during World War I -– known at the time as “The Great War” –- went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, and in 1938, the day became a federal holiday. The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m. In 1954, after World War II's historic mobilization of our armed forces and the Korean war, Congress changed "Armistice Day" to honor all veterans. (Learn more)

    Bills Related to Veterans Day

    Weigh in on these bills that have been introduced related to veterans.

    Honoring Veterans

    • HR 3368Veterans Day Off Act: To require employers to provide time off on Veterans Day. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 154Veterans Medal For Distinguished Public Service: To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a Department of Veterans Affairs Medal for Distinguished Public Service to honor veterans who make remarkable and distinguished contributions to their communities.
    • HR 111Filipino Veterans Of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act: To award a Congressional gold medal, collectively, to the Filipino Veterans of World War II, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.
    • HRes 32 A resolution: Expressing support for the designation of the Friday after Thanksgiving as the National Day of Recognition for Veterans’ Families.
    • S 409A bill to add Vietnam Veterans Day as a patriotic and national observance.
    • HR 318A bill to authorize a Wall of Remembrance as part of the Korean War Veterans Memorial and to allow certain private contributions to fund that Wall of Remembrance.
    • HRes 138A resolution expressing support for designation of a “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day”.

    Veterans Employment

    • HR 3442 Jobs for Veterans Clearinghouse Act: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make grants to eligible non-profit entities to establish clearinghouses for local information about employment opportunities and services for veterans. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 3395 VOW to Hire Heroes Extension Act: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the work opportunity credit for hiring veterans. (And S 1624 in the Senate.) -- Just Introduced --
    • S 430Veterans Small Business Opportunity and Protection Act: to amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance treatment of certain small business concerns for purposes of Department of Veterans Affairs contracting goals and preferences.
    • S 6Putting Our Veterans Back To Work Act: to reauthorize the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, to provide assistance to small businesses owned by veterans, to improve enforcement of employment and reemployment rights of members of the uniformed services.
    • S 778A Bill: to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to issue cards to veterans that identify them as veterans and to work with national retail chains that offer veterans reduced prices on pharmaceutical and consumer products to ensure that such chains recognize the above cards when offering such prices.
    • S 495Careers for Veterans Act: to amend title 38, United States Code, to require Federal agencies to hire veterans, to require States to recognize the military experience of veterans when issuing licenses and credentials to veterans
    • HR 1357A bill: To amend the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 to improve the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program by providing assistance under such program for certain training programs that are considered less than full-time.
    • HR 1316A Bill:To amend title 38, United States Code, to specify the responsibilities of the Directors and Assistant Directors of Veterans’ Employment and Training.

    Veterans Education

    • HR 3399Veterans Education Counseling Act: To amend title 38, United States Code, to make certain clarifications and improvements in the academic and vocational counseling programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 3384Veterans' Entry to Apprenticeship Act: To amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that veterans may attend pre-apprenticeship programs using certain educational assistance provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 179Franchise Education for Veterans Act: To amend title 38, United States Code, to allow certain veterans to use educational assistance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs for franchise training.
    • S 514A bill: to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide additional educational assistance under Post-9/11 Educational Assistance to veterans pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, math, or an area that leads to employment in a high-demand occupation.
    • HR 331A Bill: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to permit the centralized reporting of veteran enrollment by certain groups, districts, and consortiums of educational institutions.
    • HR 595Veterans Education Equity Act: To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide equity for tuition and fees for individuals entitled to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs who are pursuing programs of education at institutions of higher learning. (And S 262 in the Senate.)
    • HR 3056Warriors’ Peer-Outreach Pilot Program Act: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program on the provision of outreach and support services to veterans pursuing higher education under the Post 9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Veterans Health

    • S 1581Survivors of Military Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse Act: to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide counseling and treatment for sexual trauma to members of the Armed Forces, to require the Secretary to screen veterans for domestic abuse, to require the Secretary to submit reports on military sexual trauma and domestic abuse. -- Just Introduced --
    • S 1583Mental Health Support for Veteran Families and Caregivers Act: to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct an education program and peer support program for the education and training of family members and caregivers of veterans with mental health disorders. -- Just Introduced --
    • S 1588A Bill: to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand eligibility for reimbursement for emergency medical treatment to certain veterans that were unable to receive care from the Department of Veterans Affairs in the 24-month period preceding the furnishing of such emergency treatment. -- Just Introduced --
    • S 1602Toxic Exposure Research and Military Family Support Act: to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for the diagnosis, treatment, and research of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during service in the Armed Forces, to provide certain services to those descendants, to establish an advisory board on exposure to toxic substances. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 3387Classified Veterans Access to Care Act: To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the mental health treatment provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to veterans who served in classified missions. -- Just Introduced --
    • S 1586Enhanced Dental Care for Veterans Act: to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve dental health care for veterans. -- Just Introduced --
    • S 1604Veterans Health Care Eligibility Expansion and Enhancement Act: to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand and enhance eligibility for health care and services through the Department of Veterans Affairs. -- Just Introduced --
    • S 1578A Bill: to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to cover the costs associated with the care of veterans at medical foster homes. -- Just Introduced --
    • S 131Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act: to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the reproductive assistance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to severely wounded, ill, or injured veterans and their spouses.(And HR 958 in the House.)
    • HR 2510 Veterans Exposed To Toxic Chemicals: To direct the Secretary of Defense to establish within the Department of Defense centers of excellence in the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of health conditions relating to exposure to open burn pits.
    • HR 241 Veterans Timely Access To Healthcare act: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish standards of access to care for veterans seeking health care from Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.
    • HR 543 Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act: This bill includes as part of the Republic of Vietnam its territorial seas for purposes of the presumption of service connection for diseases associated with exposure by veterans to certain herbicide agents while in Vietnam.
    • HR 257Veterans Health Equity Plan: To amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that veterans in each of the 48 contiguous States are able to receive services in at least one full-service hospital of the Veterans Health Administration in the State or receive comparable services provided by contract in the State.(And S 49 in the Senate.)
    • S 422Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act: to amend the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001 and title 38, United States Code, to require the provision of chiropractic care and services to veterans at all Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and to expand access to such care and services (And HR 921 in the House.)
    • HR 834Veterans’ Efficiencies Through Savings Act: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct cost-benefit analyses for the provision of medical care by the Department of Veterans Affairs in certain geographic areas served by multiple Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.
    • HR 1134A Bill: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a grant program and pilot program designed to improve the delivery of health care to veterans residing in rural areas.
    • HR 2063A Bill: To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the health care provided to veterans of World War II at facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Veterans Homelessness and Housing

    • S 1580Ensuring Safe Shelter for Homeless Veterans Act: to amend title 38, United States Code, to require recipients of per diem payments from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the provision of services for homeless veterans to comply with codes relevant to operations and level of care provided. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 3422Veterans Homebuyer Accessibility Act: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a credit for veteran first-time homebuyers and for adaptive housing and mobility improvements for disabled veterans. -- Just Introduced --
    • S 62Check the Box for Homeless Veterans Act: to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow taxpayers to designate overpayments of tax as contributions and to make additional contributions to the Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund
    • S 287Helping Homeless Veterans Act: to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand the definition of homeless veteran for purposes of benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (And HR 897 in the House.)
    • HR 825Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act: To exclude from consideration as income under the United States Housing Act of 1937 payments of pension made under section 1521 of title 38, United States Code, to veterans who are in need of regular aid and attendance.
    • HR 1305A Bill: To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide clarification regarding eligibility for services under the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.
    • HR 1885Veterans Home Loan Refinance Opportunity Act: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow eligible veterans to use qualified veterans mortgage bonds to refinance home loans

    Disabled Veterans

    • S 1584Veterans Homebuyer Accessibility Act: to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide replacement automobiles for certain disabled veterans and members of the Armed Forces. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 3383Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act: To amend title 38, United States Code, to extend to all veterans with a serious service-connected injury eligibility to participate in the family caregiver services program. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 3443Streamlining Support for Veterans and Military Caregivers Act: To amend titles 38 and 37, United States Code, to expand eligibility for certain caregiver services provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and to modify the Department of Defense special compensation program to make eligible members of the uniformed services with serious injuries or illnesses and to exempt payments of such compensation from taxation. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 164 A Bill: To amend title 10, United States Code, to permit veterans who have a service-connected, permanent disability rated as total to travel on military aircraft in the same manner and to the same extent as retired members of the Armed Forces entitled to such travel. (And S 346 in the Senate.)
    • HR 333Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act: To amend title 10, United States Code, to permit retired members of the Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability rated less than 50 percent to receive concurrent payment of botHRetired pay and veterans’ disability compensation, to eliminate the phase-in period for concurrent receipt, to extend eligibility for concurrent receipt to chapter 61 disability retirees with less than 20 years of service and requires a limited reduction in retired pay for qualified disability retirees with less than 20 years of retirement-creditable service.
    • HR 183Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act: This bill directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program for assessing the effectiveness of addressing post-deployment mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms through a therapeutic medium of service dog training and handling for veterans with disabilities.
    • HR 369Reducing Barriers to Veterans’ Benefits Act: To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a presumption of service connection for certain veterans with tinnitus or hearing loss.
    • HR 569Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act: Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to increase, as of December 1, 2013, the rates of veterans' disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. Requires each such increase to be the same percentage as the increase in benefits provided under title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act.
    • S 140Honoring Promises to Service-Disabled Veterans Act: to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the work opportunity credit to certain recently discharged veterans, to improve the coordination of veteran job training services between the Department of Labor, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense, to require transparency for Executive departments in meeting the Government-wide goals for contracting with small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans
    • HR 1284Veterans Medical Access Act:To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for coverage under the beneficiary travel program of the Department of Veterans Affairs of certain disabled veterans for travel for certain special disabilities rehabilitation (And S 633 in the Senate.)

    Veterans and Firearms

    • HR 577 Veterans Second Amendment Program: To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the conditions under which certain persons may be treated as adjudicated mentally incompetent for certain purposes. (And HR 602 in the House, S 572 in Senate.)
    • HR 449 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.

    Other Bills

    • HR 3408A Bill:To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to educate certain staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs and to inform veterans about the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights. -- Just Introduced --
    • HR 966Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act:To exempt children of certain Filipino World War II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas (And S 461 in the Senate.)
    • HR 153Veterans Outreach Improvement Act: To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the outreach activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to state or county veterans agencies for state and local outreach services.
    • HR 733Access to Veterans Benefits Improvement Act: To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide certain employees of Members of Congress and certain employees of State or local governmental agencies with access to case-tracking information of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    • HR 1759A Bill: To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress quarterly reports on the timeliness in which the Department of Veterans Affairs receives certain information from other departments or agencies of the United States.
    • HR 1372A Bill: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a registry of certain veterans who were stationed at or underwent training at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada.
    • S 1262Veterans Conservation Corps Act: to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a veterans conservation corps.
    • HR 3007A Bill: To amend title 38, United States Code, to require States to recognize the military experience of veterans when issuing licenses and credentials to veterans. (And S 492 in the Senate.)

    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.

  17. The Week Ahead: Nov. 11 - 15

    From our Hill Sources: The House returns this week to consider a new bill related to Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. And the Senate will be considering a drug safety bill.

    In the House

    After many attempts to repeal all or part of ObamaCare, the House returns this week to consider a new bill that appears to have momentum in light of difficulties with the Affordable Care Act rollout.

    • HR 3350Keep Your Health Plan Act: This bill would allow insurance companies to continue offering the same plans that do not meet minimum requirements of the law.

    The Scoop from our Hill Sources: As implied by the title of the bill, Republicans say the legislation is needed to ensure one of President Obama's main promises about the law comes true — that people can keep their plan if they like it. The House will vote on this bill Friday, and all eyes will be on the Democrats, to see how many join the vote. Many are feeling pressure to make some change to the law, and some Democrats have proposed a similar bill in the Senate, the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act (S 1642). 

    On other issues, the House will also consider two tort reform bills:

    Members of the House will also consider up to six suspension bills:

    In the Senate

    The Senate will work on a House-passed bill this week:

    According to bill sponsors, the bill would "protect traditional pharmacies and clarify FDA’s authority over the compounding of human drugs while requiring the agency to engage and coordinate with states to ensure the safety of compounded drugs" and "create a uniform national standard for drug supply chain security to protect Americans against counterfeit drugs while eliminating needless government red tape." (Source: House Energy & Commerce Committee)

    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.

  18. The POPVOX Top 20: Nov. 1 - 7

    Want to get this Top 20 List via email? Send Rachna an email at rachna@popvox.com

    ENDA Tops the List

    This week, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was the most popular bill among POPVOX users. This bill would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in companies and all levels of government, and would be enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It would exempt only religious organizations and the military. The Senate passed ENDA on Thursday, but it's not clear if the House will consider it.

    POPVOX Roundup: Week of Nov. 1 - 7

    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.

    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. 

  19. POPVOX Daily Digest - November 6, 2013

    From our Hill sources:

    ENDA Progresses in Senate; Vote Thursday

    This week the Senate has made considerable progress toward passing a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification in the public and private sectors. The bill is expected to pass Thursday.

    • S 815The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) gives the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the right to enforce new rules that prohibit discrimination against people based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

      On Wednesday, Senate Democrats set up a final vote on the bill for Thursday afternoon. A procedural vote on Monday passed 61-30. If those numbers hold, the 60 votes in favor of the bill will be enough to prevent a filibuster.

      No Republican has spoken out against the bill on the Senate floor, though several are expected to vote against it Thursday.

      Democrats rewarded some of the Republican supporters of the bill by allowing votes on their amendments. On Wednesday, the Senate approved one from Sen. Rob Portman aimed at preventing legal retaliation against religious groups that would be exempt from ENDA's provisions. Portman's language was approved by unanimous consent, shortly after the Senate agreed by unanimous consent to formally proceed to the bill.

      On Thursday, the Senate will vote on another proposal from Sen. Pat Toomey that would broaden those religious exemptions.

    Davis-Bacon Change Passes Senate, Now Goes to White House

    Separately, the Senate approved a House-passed bill this week that would move authority to enforce the Davis-Bacon Act to the Department of Labor. Davis-Bacon is the law that requires people working on federal contracts to be paid prevailing local wages. That bill passed the Senate Tuesday by unanimous consent, after an easy House vote in September, and it now heads to the White House to be signed into law.

    Domestic Violence Protections for Veterans

    On Wednesday, the Senate also passed S. 287, The Helping Homeless Veterans Act. The bill lets veterans receive benefits from the Department of Veterans' Affairs when in a domestic violence situation.

    House Vote Coming on Health Plan Rules

    The House is out for the week, but Republicans say they will soon vote on a bill from Rep. Fred Upton that would ensure people can keep their health plan. The bill is H.R. 3350, The Keep Your Health Plan Act, a response to reports of cancelled health insurance plans under ObamaCare's (ACA's) new insurance standards.

  20. The Week Ahead: Nov. 4 - 8

    From our Hill Sources: The Senate is in this week to consider a bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The House is out all week.

    In the Senate

    The Senate will work on:

    • S 815Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA: This bill would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in companies and all levels of government, and would be enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It would exempt only religious organizations and the military.

      The Scoop from our Hill Sources: Every Senate Democrat has cosponsored the bill, and Democrats are hoping to advance the bill on Monday, by voting to end debate on a motion to proceed to the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said ENDA is one of the bills he wants to advance this month. Others include a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and a bill authorizing Defense programs.

    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.