What Happened in Congress This Week

Congressional Week February 13 - 17

H.J. Res. 42 - Overturns a current regulation that defines a very limited group of occupations for which states can require drug tests in order for workers to collect earned unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. If this regulation is overturned, the Trump administration would be able to issue a replacement regulation allowing states to pass laws requiring drug testing without cause for an even larger group of unemployed workers, a violation of the unreasonable search and seizure clause of the Constitution. Congressman Garamendi voted NO.

H.J. Res 43 - Congress voted to allow states to discriminate against women’s healthcare providers on the basis of political ideology rather than the quality of their care. H.J. Res 43 Invalidates a rule that ensures that patients can access critical family planning and preventive services through any Title X-qualified provider. Since 2011, 13 states have restricted certain providers from the Title X program for reasons other than their ability to provide care. This regulation was finalized in response to ongoing litigation in those states over these restrictions, which has led to inconsistency in how states may choose Title X providers. This will hurt women by restricting their health care options. Congressman Garamendi voted NO.

H.J. Res 66 - Nullifies a regulation that allows states to establish automatic retirement savings plans. California was the first state to implement this critical system, responding to the 57% of Californians that do not have access to an Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), and this rule allows them to access a state plan that can ensure their financial security. Overturning this rule helps Wall Street pad their profits while denying Americans of a prosperous future. Congressman Garamendi voted NO.

H.J. Res 67 - Nullifies a nearly identical rule that allows large cities or counties (populations greater than 700,000) to create their own IRA systems as long as their state does not have a system. Congressman Garamendi voted NO. 

H.J. Res 69 - Congress voted to allow inhumane predator control methods, like killing mother bears with cubs, killing wolf pups in their dens, and shooting bears from a helicopter. H.J. Res. 69 repeals the Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Protection Rule which prohibits so-called “predator control” activities on National Refuges unless they are consistent with federal law and the purposes of the Refuge, and are based on sound science in response to a conservation concern. The rule also bans the use of some of the most decimating and inhumane killing tactics on Refuges, including killing black and brown bear cubs or mothers with cubs, killing brown bears over bait, killing wolves and wolf pups in their dens, and shooting bears from a helicopter.That’s cruel. Congressman Garamendi voted NO. 

H.R. 428 - Strips the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of its survey authority along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River along the border between Texas and Oklahoma. The bill hands federal authority to survey public domain lands to the States of Texas and Oklahoma, without oversight or approval of the final survey by the Interior Secretary. Transferring BLM's survey authority over public domain land is unprecedented and would create even more ambiguity in an already complicated situation. The federal government maintains a trust responsibility to Native American tribes. Transferring consultation authority to the states, and then dismissing federal approval of the survey results, is a dereliction of that duty. Congressman Garamendi voted NO.

Congressional Week February 6 - 10

Congressional Review Act Repeals in House

*Note about the Congressional Review Act: not only does it repeal rules, but it prohibits the adoption of a “substantially similar” rule anytime in the future, essentially blocking future rulemaking on a given issue. 

H.J. Res. 44Blocks implementation of BLM’s “Planning 2.0” rule which modernizes the regulatory framework for updating and maintain Resource Management Plans (essentially landscape level land use plans). This will lock in place Reagan-era planning framework and eliminate the BLM’s ability to take climate change into account in Resource Management Plans. Congressman Garamendi voted "NO."

H.J. Res. 57 -  Rolls back a rule that gave state and local educational agencies greater flexibility to set education standards, including accountability measures used to demonstrate the quality of education provided. This rule implements provisions from the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act. Repeals a rule that provides states and LEAs (local education agencies) greater flexibility and autonomy, and ensures the civil rights legacy of the law through key equity protections. Congressman Garamendi voted "NO." 

H.J. Res. 58 - Removes a rule that requires states to report specific information on teacher preparation programs, such as student learning outcomes, and rate their effectiveness. This will seriously hinder the quality, effectiveness, and transparency of teacher preparation programs across the nation. Congressman Garamendi voted "NO."

Congressional Week January 30 - February 3

Congressional Review Act Repeals in House

*Note about the Congressional Review Act: not only does it repeal rules, but it prohibits the adoption of a “substantially similar” rule anytime in the future, essentially blocking future rulemaking on a given issue. 

H.J.Res. 38 – Removes regulations on coal mining and protections for clean water. Repeals the Interior Department’s stream protection rule, which prohibits mining activities that would cause “material damage” to streams outside of the mining permit area. Congressman Garamendi voted "NO." This bill has also passed the Senate.

H.J.Res. 41 – Removes Dodd-Frank transparency requirements for oil and gas companies. Repeals a rule that requires companies to disclose payments to the U.S. and foreign governments for the development of oil, natural gas or minerals. Congressman Garamendi voted "NO." This bill has also passed the Senate.

H.J.Res. 40 – Removes mental health background check requirements for potential firearm buyers. The Social Security Administration wouldn’t be able to report disability insurance recipients of the FBI’s background check system for prospective gun buyers under an as-yet-unnumbered resolution. Congressman Garamendi voted "NO."

H.J.Res. 37 – Removes a rule requiring prospective federal contractors to disclose their labor violations. Congressman Garamendi voted "NO."

H.J.Res. 36 – Removes clean air protections. Repeals a BLM rule that requires oil and gas production operations on federal land to reduce wasted methane. Congressman Garamendi voted "NO."