Federal Legislation to Watch in 2010
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EAGLE FORUM STRONGLY OPPOSES
  1. H.R. 4321/S. ____, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security & Prosperity Act

    To provide amnesty to illegal aliens; drafted by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and officially introduced by Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX) with 91 original co-sponsors on December 15, 2009. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who was a key player in passing the last big amnesty — the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) — is expected to introduce the Senate counterpart along with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The blueprint of the Senate bill has been released and a biometric national ID card is at the center of the proposal. Eagle Forum has been a longtime opponent of a national ID card.

  2. H.R. 1409 / S. 560, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)

    A bill that would end elections and the secret ballot and force companies to recognize a union if over half its employees signed cards requesting one — a controversial practice known as "card check."

    The late-Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced S. 560 with 40 cosponsors (all of which are Democrats) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, introduced H.R. 1409 with 228 cosponsors. Both bills were introduced on March 10, 2009. Because EFCA has proven to be highly unpopular, both bills have received no action in their respective HELP Committees.

  3. H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009

    To require a double-plebiscite procedure rigged to prevent a vote to continue Puerto Rico's present commonwealth status and entice PR to become a state. This bill does not make official English as a prerequisite for statehood. Introduced by Rep Pedro R. Pierluisi (D-PR) on May 19, 2009 with 181 cosponsors — of these, 51 are Republicans. This bill, which does not have a Senate counterpart, passed out of the House Committee on Natural Resources by a vote of 30 to 8 on July 22, 2009 and is awaiting floor action.

    UPDATE: On April 29, 2010, the House passed the Puerto Rico Democracy Act (H.R. 2499) by a vote of 223 to 169 (Roll Call 242). 37 Members of Congress did not vote, 9 of which were Republicans. 40 Democrats voted NO, but 39 Republicans voted YES. 26 Republicans who originally supported the bill ended up voting NO because they listened to their constituents and voted accordingly. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.

  4. S. 160 / H.R. 157, the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act

    To give the District of Columbia, a federal city, a voting seat and the State of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives. Introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on January 6, 2009 with 19 original cosponsors--among these, are two Republicans, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and George Voinovich (R-OH). The bill passed the Senate on February 26, 2009 by a vote of 61 to 37 with an amendment, offered by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. The addition of this amendment has effectively stalled the DC Voting bill in the House.

    The House counterpart, H.R. 157, which was introduced by Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC Delegate, also has not received any action beyond being passed out of the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on February 25, 2009 by a vote of 20 to 12. The House bill has only 3 original cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.

  5. H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act / S. 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act

    To imposes a system of "cap-and-trade" in order to combat so-called "global warming." Rather than calling it "cap-and-trade," it should be called "cap-and-tax"-as it caps Americans' standard of living and taxes our use of products whose manufacture emits CO2. H.R. 2454 was introduced by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) on May 15, 2009 with only 1 original cosponsor — Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). The highly controversial H.R. 2454 narrowly passed the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009 by a vote of 219-212. It has since received no action in the Senate due to strong opposition among both the business community and the American public.

    On September 30, 2009, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) introduced their version of a cap-and-tax energy-rationing bill which was endorsed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The bill was passed out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on November 5, 2009 and has since received no floor action.

  6. H.R. 2314 / S. 1011, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act

    To create a Hawaiian race-based government for people with Native Hawaiian blood living anywhere in the United States and to create a racially separate government that would operate like an Indian tribe with its own laws and racial voting restrictions anywhere in the United States. S. 1011 is sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) on May 7, 2009 with 4 original cosponsors and it is awaiting action in the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests.

    Its House counterpart, H.R. 862, was introduced by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) on February 4, 2009 with 7 original cosponsors and is awaiting action in the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. There have been rumors that this bill may be inserted into larger spending bills in order to achieve passage.

    UPDATE: On February 23, 2010, the House passed H.R. 2314 by a vote of 245 to 164 (Roll Call 59). All but six Republicans voted against this unconstitutional bill, and all but four Democrats voted for it. We encourage you to contact your Senators' offices so they know where their constituents stand on this little-known issue.

  7. H.R. 1260 / S. 515, the Patent Reform Act

    To amend Title 35 of the U.S. Code to revise patent laws and reduce inventors' rights. For the sake of "international consistency," it would convert the U.S. system to a "first to file" system, thereby replacing our unique and successful U.S. "first to invent" system. Introduced by Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) on March 3, 2009 with 13 original co-sponsors. Co-sponsors include 4 Republicans:

    Cornyn (TX), Hatch (UT), Risch (ID), and Crapo (ID). The bill was reported out of the Judiciary Committee on April 4, 2009 and awaits floor action. The House counterpart, H.R. 1260, was introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and still awaits action in the House Committee on the Judiciary.

  8. H.R. 1283 / S. ____, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009

    To repeal the current law-Section 654, Title 10 of the U.S. Code-which makes homosexuals ineligible for military service and replace it with an "LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Law" for the military. In essence, H.R. 1283 would impose the gay agenda upon our men and women in the military with language that would recognize "homosexuality or bisexuality, whether the orientation is real or perceived." Such a law would lead to "diversity training" and "zero tolerance" policies in the armed forces for anyone in disagreement.

    Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) introduced the Military Readiness Enhancement Act on March 3, 2009. After Tauscher resigned from Congress on June 26, 2009, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) became the chief sponsor. The bill currently has 187 cosponsors, only one of whom is a Republican (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL). There has been much speculation about whether this bill will be the subject of extensive congressional hearings and whether President Obama will push for this legislation during his 2nd year in office. Currently, the bill has received no action in the House Armed Services Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), opposes the measure.

    UPDATE: On May 27th, the House considered the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2011 (H.R. 5136). Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) offered an amendment to repeal the longstanding 1993 law which makes LGBT persons ineligible for military service. The amendment passed by a vote of 234 to 194 (House Roll Call 317). This issue awaits action on the Senate floor.

EAGLE FORUM STRONGLY SUPPORTS
  1. H.R. 4903, a bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (no title)

    To fully repeal the multi-trillion dollar government-takeover of health care legislation — signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. H.R. 4903 was introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on March 22, 2010, and currently has 57 co-sponsors. Once 100 cosponsors are achieved, a discharge petition can be filed. The bill has been referred to a number of committees and awaits consideration.

    Because the health control law does not allow for health benefits and enrollment to kick in until 2014, it is realistically within reach to repeal Obamacare in full before that date. Repealing the government-takeover of the U.S. health care industry provided for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is vital to saving and reclaiming American values, American jobs, and the American way of life.

  2. H.R. 2305, the SAFE for America Act

    To eliminate the current visa lottery system, which allows up to 50,000 randomly selected alien applicants to win permanent status visas each year, many from countries with significant terrorist presence. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced H.R. 2305 on May 7, 2009 with 45 original cosponsors. It has been referred to and is awaiting action in the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.

    In 2007, the GAO issued a report that said that the lottery "is vulnerable to fraudulent activity committed by and against applicants" and that "widespread use of fake documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and passports presented challenges when verifying the identities of applicants and dependents." The United States already has the most generous immigration policy in the world, admitting over one million legal immigrants each year, but the visa lottery is dangerous. The SAFE for America Act effectively eliminates this flawed policy.

  3. H.R. 3580 / S. _____, the New IDEA (Illegal Deduction Elimination Act)

    To immediately reduce America’s unemployment and result in the hiring of millions of unemployed Americans. New IDEA will crack down on employers and illegal workers and level the playing field for law-abiding American employers and employees by making E-Verify permanent and authorizing its use on all current and prospective employees. E-Verify is an online government system that enables employers to determine whether an employee is eligible to work in the U.S. E-Verify is currently a voluntary program that by law can only be used on new hires.

    Under New IDEA, employers that use E-Verify will have “safe harbor.” By using E-Verify to check the legal status of new hires, employers will not be punished if they mistakenly hire an illegal alien. Employers who fail to check their employees via E-Verify or ignore proof of an employee’s illegal status will be subject to wage and benefit taxation, including interest and penalty on past taxes.

    This bill was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on September 16, 2009 and it currently has 22 cosponsors. H.R. 3580 has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

  4. S. J. Res. 26, a joint resolution to disapprove the EPA's endangerment finding (no title)

    To disapprove a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relating to the "endangerment" finding and the "cause or contribute" finding for greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. Senator Murkowski's resolution, although if passed would be likely vetoed by President Obama, would be a step toward taking the power to regulate carbon out of the EPA's hands and ensure that Congress would decide on such sweeping policy. A vote on such an initiative could also serve as an early barometer of the Senate's willingness to address broader "climate change" legislation this year.

    Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) introduced S. J. Res. 26 on January 21, 2010 with 39 cosponsors, 3 of which are Democrats — Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). The resolution is currently awaiting action the Committee on the Environment and Public Works.

  5. H.J. Res. 41, Constitutional Amendment to Protect the U.S. Dollar

    To propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to prohibit the President from entering into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) introduced H.J. Res. 41 on March 25, 2009 with 37 cosponsors in response to a series of contradictory public remarks made by U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner regarding replacing the U.S. dollar with a foreign currency.

    Rather, the Obama Adminstration should put a stop to the tidal wave of unlimited bailouts, nationalization of the banks and the auto, mortgage, and health care industries, and "stimulus" bills which are crippling the U.S. economy and inviting massive inflation.

    Eagle Forum opposes the globalist agenda and replacing the U.S. dollar with a new world currency that China would control.

  6. H.R. 634 / S. 1179, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

    To amend Title 18 of the U.S. Code to prohibit the practice of transporting minors across state lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions. The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act is a common-sense piece of legislation that makes it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion, for the purpose of evading a parental consent law or parental notification law in the minor's home state. CIANA also requires that, in a state without a parental notification requirement, abortion providers notify a parent. Over 30 states currently have laws in effect that require the consent or notification of at least one parent, or court authorization before a minor can obtain an abortion. CIANA would not affect abortions that are performed on girls in their home state. It will simply require parental notification by the abortion provider in the event that a minor girl seeks an abortion outside her home state.

    Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced H.R. 634 on January 22, 2009 with 125 cosponsors and Senator John Ensign (R-NV) introduced S. 1179 on June 4, 2009 with 16 cosponsors (which includes 1 Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson [D-NE] ). Both bills have been referred to their respective chamber's Judiciary Committees where they await action.

  7. S. J. Res. 16 / H.J. Res 42, the Parents' Rights Constitutional Amendment

    To propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to explicitly assert parents' rights. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced S.J. Res. 16 with 5 original cosponsors on May 14, 2009 and Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) introduced H.J. Res. 42 with 128 cosponors on March 31, 2009. Both bills have been referred to and await action in their respective chamber's Committees on the Judiciary.

    Eagle Forum remains a staunch proponent and advocate of parents' fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. Eagle Forum supports a parents' rights amendment to the constitution because of the ongoing effort among the American left for international law to trump U.S. state and federal laws. Parents' rights are fundamental and they should be respected by the public schools and government at all levels.

  8. H.R. 997 / S. 991, the English Language Unity Act

    To declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States, pursuant to Congress' powers to provide for the general welfare of the United States and to establish a uniform rule of naturalization under article I, section 8, of the Constitution.

    H.R. 997 was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) with 130 cosponsors on February 11, 2009 and S. 991 was introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) with 3 cosponsors on May 6, 2009. Rep. King's bill was referred to and awaits action in both the House Education and Labor Committee as well as the Judiciary Committee. Sen. Inhofe's bill was referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

  9. S. 85, the Title X Family Planning Act

    To amend Title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions. This bill does not cut any money from family planning funding, nor does it deny anyone from receiving family planning services. It simply ensures that Federal tax dollars are not used in any way by entities that perform abortions.

    S. 85 was introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) with 7 cosponsors on January 6, 2009. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee.

  10. S. 84, a bill to amend laws regarding how to obtain credit cards (no title)

    To close the loophole that allowed the 9/11 hijackers to obtain credit cards from United States banks that financed their terrorist activities, to ensure that illegal immigrants cannot obtain credit cards to evade U.S. immigration laws. Sen. Vitter offered an amendment to the Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 627) in 2009 to accomplish this goal, but it failed by a vote of 28 to 65.

    S. 84 was introduced by Senator Vitter (R-LA) on January 6, 2009 with 3 cosponsors. The bill awaits action in the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

 
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