CD245: New Year, Same Congress

CD245: New Year, Same Congress

Jan 16, 2022

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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Background Sources

Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes

CD236: January 6: The Capitol Riot
CD232: American Rescue Plan
CD155: FirstNet Empowers AT&T
CD096: Fast Tracking Fast Track (Trade Promotion Authority)

NDAA 2022

Jamie Dupree. Dec 9, 2021. “Who says bipartisanship is dead? It isn’t on defense.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Huawui Sanctions

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.

2022 Spending

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.

The Filibuster

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

S.J.Res. 33: A joint resolution joint resolution relating to increasing the debt limit.

Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 16, 2021

S. 610: Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act

Sponsor: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 10, 2021

S. 1605: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022

Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 27, 2021

S. 3377: Capitol Police Emergency Assistance Act of 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

H.R. 3919: Secure Equipment Act of 2021.

Sponsor: Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) Status: Signed into law by the President on Nov 11, 2021

H.R. 6119: Further Extending Government Funding Act

Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Status: Signed into law by the President on Dec 3, 2021

H.R. 1319: American Rescue Plan Act of 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)


H.R.4 – John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021

Sponsor: Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)

S.2747 – Freedom to Vote Act

Sponsor: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

H.R.5746 – Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act

Sponsor: Rep. Donald Beyer (D-VA)

Audio sources

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.

Cover Art

Design by Only Child Imaginations

Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Check out this episode!

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