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On the Floor
This week, the House will consider the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act (CHAMP), H.R. 3162, which provides health care to 11 million children, reverses the Republican drive to privatize Medicare, and strengthens our Medicare system. The legislation is paid for by a 45 cent tobacco tax increase, which would save billions in health costs and mean that fewer young people and adults take up smoking.
On July 31st, the House passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, H.R. 2831, which would rectify the Supreme Court's decision, thereby simply restoring the longstanding interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act - that each paycheck that results from a discriminatory decision is itself a discriminatory act that resets the clock on the 180-day period within which a worker must file.
On July 31, 2007, the House passed the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, H.R. 2347, which empowers Americans to apply economic pressure on the Iranian regime by establishing a federal list of entities that invest in Iran and allowing for divestment. As Iran continues to threaten regional stability and international security by pursuing a nuclear program, rattling sabers at its neighbors - especially Israel - and supporting terrorist groups funded by its energy sector, this bill will enable investors and state and local governments to ensure they are not invested in companies that support Iran's oil and gas industry.
The United Nations has described Sudan's western Darfur region as one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. It is estimated that 200,000-400,000 Darfurians have been slaughtered, 2.5 million more have been driven from their homes, and the Sudanese government's blockade of humanitarian aid to the displaced have left over 3 million in danger of starvation.
On July 27, 2007, the House passed H.R. 2419, the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007. The rule incorporates a managers' amendment, which makes funding permanent for the McGovern/Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program; increases funding for conservation (Grasslands Reserve Program); and closes a tax loophole, involving foreign corporations taking advantage of international tax havens to escape U.S. taxes, similar to reforms proposed in the President's FY 2008 budget.
On July 25, 2007, the House passed H.R. 2929, Banning Permanent U.S. Bases in Iraq. This bill states that it is the policy of the United States not to establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing a permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq. It also states that it is the policy of the United States not to exercise U.S. control of the oil resources of Iraq. The measure bars the use of any funds provided by any law from being used to carry out any policy that contradicts these statements of policy.
On July 23, 2007, the House passed the Campaign Expenditure Transparency Act, H.R. 2630, which will raise the bar on ethical standards in Congress by ending the practice of allowing federal office holders and candidates to employ their spouses in their campaign. This legislation is sponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff.
On July 23, 2007, the House passed H.Res. 535, a resolution commending David Ray Ritcheson, a survivor of one of the most horrific hate crimes in the history of Texas, and recognizing his efforts in promoting Federal legislation to combat hate crimes.
On July 16, 2007, the House passed amendments to the Passport Backlog Reduction Act, S. 966, which will help eliminate the enormous passport backlog that is plaguing American travelers. New passport requirements have led to a passport backlog - with currently about 3 million passport applications pending that have not been processed. This delay has forced Americans to cancel business, study and vacation trips abroad. This bill was signed into law by the President on July 30.
On July 17, 2007, the House passed Collective Bargaining for Public Safety Personnel, H.R. 980, which would provide firefighters and police officers with basic workplace collective bargaining rights. In the post-9/11 era of protecting America from terrorism, in which we are asking our police officers, firefighters, and other public safety officers to take on even more responsibilities than they had before, the least we can do is ensure that they have basic rights to seek better wages and benefits.