The House's Other BusinessFebruary 13, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
Looking back over this blog so far for February, it has been dominated by two stories: the stimulus package and the Judd Gregg drama. Gregg’s over, the stimulus is hours away from being over – we’ll be able to move on soon. But before we do, I wanted to give a mention to the substantial legislation – that is, bills that do something other than raise awareness, support goals and ideals, recognize and commend, honor, etc. – that the House passed while the Senate was amending the stimulus. They are:
S.352 – DTV Delay Act: A bill to postpone the DTV transition date.
H.R.559 – Fair, Accurate, Secure, and Timely Redress Act: To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish an appeal and redress process for individuals wrongly delayed or prohibited from boarding a flight, or denied a right, benefit, or privilege, and for other purposes.
H.R.738 – Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2009: To encourage States to report to the Attorney General certain information regarding the deaths of individuals in the custody of law enforcement agencies, and for other purposes.
H.R.448 – Elder Abuse Victims Act of 2009: To protect seniors in the United States from elder abuse by establishing specialized elder abuse prosecution and research programs and activities to aid victims of elder abuse, to provide training to prosecutors and other law enforcement related to elder abuse prevention and protection, to establish programs that provide for emergency crisis response teams to combat elder abuse, and for other purposes.
I’ll mention one of the less substantive bills they passed as well:
H.Res. 140 – Honoring John D. Dingell for holding the record as the longest serving member of the House of Representatives.
The resolution is co-sponsored by the entire Michigan congressional delegation, Democrats and Republicans. A few excerpts:
>Whereas John D. Dingell was sworn in as a Member of the United States House of Representatives on January 22, 1956;
>Whereas John D. Dingell made health care for all Americans a priority during his entire career, having offered legislation (first introduced by his father) in every Congress since 1957 that would provide for national health insurance, having presided over the House of Representatives on April 8, 1965, when Medicare passed the House, having been a leader in getting the Children’s Health Insurance Program signed into law in 1997 and an expansion of the program signed into law in 2009, and having been an active leader on many other health care issues during his tremendous career;
>Whereas John D. Dingell’s length of service has given him the wisdom to foresee the long-term implications of congressional actions, as shown in his warning during the 1999 debate over deregulation of the financial services industry that ‘You are going to find that they [banks] are too big to fail, so the Fed is going to be in and other Federal agencies are going to be in to bail them out. Just expect that’;