Much media attention has been rightfully aimed at the recent failures of Congress, but there was, in fact, lawmaking happening at the end of 2021. In this episode, learn about some laws that didn’t get much attention, including a law that solves a real problem and a few laws designed to economically punish China. We also take a look at what is happening in Congress as we start 2022 and look for opportunities for effective activism as we enter this Congressional election year.
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Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes
Jamie Dupree. Dec 9, 2021. “Who says bipartisanship is dead? It isn’t on defense.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Alessandro Civati. Jan 10, 2022. “Huawei Risks – A Government Security Review.” LinkedIn.
Craig S. Smith. Sept 29, 2021. “How the Huawei Fight Is Changing the Face of 5G.” IEEE Spectrum.
Federal Communications Commission. Mar 12, 2021. “FCC List of Equipment and Services That Pose National Security Threat.”
Hadlee Simons. Sept 15, 2020. “More Huawei sanctions go into effect from today. What does that mean?” Android Authority.
Julian E. Barnes and Adam Satariano. Mar 17, 2019. “U.S. Campaign to Ban Huawei Overseas Stumbles as Allies Resist.” The New York Times.
Build Back Better is Dead
Joe Manchin. Dec 19, 2021. “Joe Manchin: ‘I cannot vote’ for Build Back Better amid ‘real’ inflation.” Fox News.
Jamie Dupree. Dec 3, 2021. “No shutdown but little headway in Congress.” Regular Order.
Department of Homeland Security. “Operation Allies Welcome.”
Paul Kane. Jan 12, 2022. “The E-word is poised for a Capitol Hill comeback.” The Washington Post.
Voting Rights and Election Reform
Cristina Marcos. “House passes voting rights package, setting up Senate filibuster showdown” Jan 13, 2022. The Hill.
Zachary B. Wolf. May 19, 2021. “The 5 key elements of Trump’s Big Lie and how it came to be.” CNN.
Lindsay Wise. Jan 10, 2022. “McConnell Issues Threat to Democrats on Filibuster Changes.” The Wall Street Journal.
Tim Lau. Apr 26, 2021. “The Filibuster, Explained.” Brennan Center for Justice.
Sarah A. Binder. Apr 22, 2010. “The History of the Filibuster”. Brookings.
The Electoral Count Act
Miles Parks. Jan 8, 2022. “Congress may change this arcane law to avoid another Jan. 6.” NPR.
Laws and Resolutions
Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 16, 2021
Sponsor: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 10, 2021
Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 27, 2021
Sponsor: Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 22, 2021
H.R. 6256: To ensure that goods made with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China do not enter the United States market, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 23, 2021
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) Status: Signed into law by the President on Nov 11, 2021
Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 3, 2021
Tax credits for COVID
Sec. 4006: Funeral Assistance
For the COVID emergency declared on March 13, 2020 “and for any subsequent major disaster declarations that supercedes such emergency declaration”, FEMA funds “shall” be paid for 100% of disaster-related funeral expenses.
Sec. 9631: Refundability and Enhancement of Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
For 2021, eligible taxpayers can get up to 50% of up to $8,000 in childcare costs (capped at $16,000 for multiple children under the age of 12) reimbursed via a refundable tax credit. The credit phases out for families with income higher than $400,000 per year.
Sec. 9642: Credit for Sick Leave For Certain Self-Employed Individuals
Allows self employed individuals to receive a tax credit for sick day related to COVID-19 from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, including getting tested, quarantining, illness, and getting the vaccine. The number of days is capped at 10 and its capped at $200 per day. (=$2,000)
Sec. 9643: Credit For Family Leave For Certain Self-Employed Individuals
Allows self employed individuals to receive a refundable tax credit for family leave for COVID-19 testing, illness, or vaccines. It’s capped at 60 days and $200 per day (=$12,000)
Sponsor: Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
Sponsor: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sponsor: Rep. Donald Beyer (D-VA)
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Jan 13, 2022. “Senator Sinema Announces Opposition to Changing Filibuster Rules.” C-SPAN.
Sen. Krysten Sinema: I rise at a challenging divisive time for our nation. For years, America’s politics have spiraled steadily downward into increasingly bitter tribal partisanship and our democracy has been strained. While that may sound abstract, it is a problem that hurts Americans in real, tangible ways. These deepening divisions hurt our ability to work together to create new job opportunities, protect the health and safety of our communities and country and to ensure everyday families get ahead. Our country’s divisions have now fueled efforts in several states that will make it more difficult for Americans to vote and undermine faith that all Americans should have in our elections in our democracy. These state laws have no place in a nation whose government is formed by free, fair and open elections. I share the concerns of civil rights advocates and others I’ve heard from in recent months about these state laws. I strongly support those efforts to contest these laws and court and to invest significant resources into these states to better organize and stop efforts to restrict access at the ballot box. And I strongly support and will continue to vote for legislative responses to address these state laws, including the freedom to vote Act, and the John Lewis voting rights Advancement Act that the Senate is currently considering. And while I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that were sent the underlying disease of division infecting our country. The debate over the Senate 60 vote threshold shines a light on our broader challenges. There is no need for me to restate my long standing support for the 60 vote threshold to pass legislation. There’s no need for me to restate its role protecting our country from wild reversals and federal policy. Eliminating the 60 vote threshold will simply guarantee that we lose a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy from threats in the years to come. Our mandate, it seems evident to me work together and get stuff done for America.
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