Here’s the weekly round-up from our “Hill sources”:
House in recess this past week, and the Senate in recess through June 4. The Senate voted on a few bills before it left for the Memorial Day break, but failed to make progress on others.
Bills that the Senate passed
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Innovation Act (S 3187)
Senators overwhelmingly approved a bill reauthorizing the Food and Drug Administration’s user fee program for drugs and medical devices, and expanded that program. (Approved in a 96-1 vote.)
- The National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act (HR 5740)
The Senate approved a new bill that extends the National Flood Insurance Program for 60 days. The program expires at the end of May. The House is expected to follow suit next week when it returns.
- The 21st Century Language Act (S 2367)
The Senate approved a new bill striking the word “lunatic” wherever it appears in U.S. law. (Passed by unanimous consent.)
- The John F. Kennedy Center Reauthorization Act (HR 4097)
The Senate approved this bill and sent it to the White House for the President to sign it into law.
- S 739
The Senate approved authorizing the installation of battery charging stations in the Capitol parking lot, for electric cars.
Bills the Senate considered, but didn’t pass
- The Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act (S 2343)
Before leaving, the Senate voted against two bills that would keep the student loan interest rate low for another year. The Senate voted on the Democratic bill, The Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act, but that failed 51-43 (60 votes were needed). The Democratic bill expanded the payroll tax to pay for the loan rate extension.
- The Interest Rate Reduction Act (S 2366)
This Republican student loan bill was voted down 34-62. The Interest Rate Reduction Act pays for the reduction by terminating a healthcare fund.
- The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization (S 1925)
The Senate left without making any headway toward reauthorizing VAWA, leaving the issue until June to sort out. Democrats made an attempt to move their bill, S 1925, and Republicans made an attempt to move the House Republican bill, HR 4970.
NEWLY INTRODUCED BILLS