QUERY : What legislation will the Do-Nothing House approve this week ?
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives will return to Washington today (Wednesday May 30th after leaving town on May 18th … when they take a long-weekend Memorial Day break, they take a long-weekend.)
On top of the schedule for Roll Call votes is H.R. 3541 –‐Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012 … a controversial bill that passed in Judiciary Committee by a 20-13 vote and would result in a five year prison term for those involved in racial/gender-selective abortions. In the War On Woman, this legislation is considered a response to the argument that was made during the committee hearing that “sex-selective abortions are taking place around the world, and that we are missing more than 163 million women.”
Based on House Rules, a two-thirds majority will be needed to achieve passage … then approval in the Senate and then signed by the President.
Las Vegas has not listed odds on when this will be enacted.
But there is a chance that the House may actually pass a piece of legislation that should become law.
Tim Walz (D-MN-01) is the Sponsor of H.R. 3670 while Amy Klobuchar
(D-MN) is a co-sponsor of the companion S.1990.
Representative Walz’s legislation addresses reemployment rights of servicemembers so they are able to keep their job, benefits, and seniority in their civilian job if they are called up to Active Duty.
Soon after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was given an exemption to allow the agency to hire new employees without delay for airport screenings. That is still in place today.
“The unemployment rate among our service members is already far too high. Protecting the jobs they already have should be a top priority,” said Representative Walz.
“The TSA employs thousands of veterans, reservists and members of the National Guard who should not have to worry about losing their jobs when called to active duty. They have earned and deserve this simple protection. This bill ensures Transportation Security Officers will keep their jobs when called to keep our nation safe.”
The bill also has the support of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
VADM Norb Ryan, USN (ret.), President of the MOAA, applauded the introduction of the Reemployment Rights bill for National Guard and Reserve members employed by the Transportation Security Agency.
“It’s critical for the Federal government to be seen as a model employer for our Operational Guard and Reserve warriors, especially because the nation relies on them more than ever to help defend our nation,” said Ryan. “MOAA strongly supports enactment of this legislation that will ensure all Reservists who work for the Federal government are equally protected under the USERRA.”
Raymond Kelley, Legislative Director of the VFW, said, “This much needed change in TSA policy sets a new standard in the federal government’s full support of our Veterans. The VFW was adamant about working towards this legislative fix after helping to discovering this loophole. This fix will not only give our service members working at TSA the reemployment rights they have earned but also ensure TSA has unfettered access to the best and brightest our military has to offer. This is the right thing to do, and the VFW fully supports all efforts to honor these men and women by applying USERRA protections to TSA.”
Representative Walz’s legislation has 22 co-sponsors including half that are Republicans and half that are Democrats (and none from Minnesota). The legislation has been approved at two committee levels.
Getting this Do-Nothing House to do anything is a real accomplishment and Representative Walz should be commended for his continued efforts to get movement on the Veterans Jobs problem.
Meanwhile the House Republicans continue to focus on setting up “gotcha” votes to be used for election purposes …. if they were serious about the issue, they would have used normal procedures instead of requiring a 2/3rds approval.