06/21/2022 Weekly Legislative Update

You can make a difference

Join us for our Kick Off Volunteer Event for Congressman Mrvan

Saturday, June 25, 11 AM to 2 PM
Democratic Headquarters, 1712 East US Highway 20, Evergreen Plaza, Michigan City, IN

Sign up here!
We’ll canvas, phone bank & write post cards. Training & talking points will be provided at the event.
Congressman Mrvan has worked hard and delivered for all of us in District 1. Now it’s our turn to work hard for him so he’s re-elected and can continue in Congress doing the important work for all of us! 
Please sign up: https://www.mobilize.us/indivisiblenwi/event/471678/

 Mark your calendar for these important upcoming events:

  • We will have voter registration training on Thursday, June 29 at 6-7pm at the Merrillville Library, Room D.
  • We will hold a meeting on Women’s Reproductive Rights on Thursday, July 21 at 5pm at the Portage Library.
  • Our August meeting on Thursday,, Aug. 18, will be devoted to gun violence. It will be on Thursday, Aug. 18 at the Merrillville Library. More details for both the July and August events will follow soon.

Enacted, signed into law by the President

S. 4160: Supreme Court Police Parity Act of 2022
GovTrack.us: “The Supreme Court Police Parity Act would provide security to Supreme Court justices and their families equivalent to that already provided to other top government officials and families in the executive branch (like the president and vice president) and legislative branch (like the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader). The vote in the House was 396-27 with all Indiana reps voting yea. The vote in the Senate was by Unanimous Consent.

S. 3580: Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022
Govtrack.us: “This bill revises requirements governing ocean shipping to increase the authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to promote the growth and development of U.S. exports through an ocean transportation system that is competitive, efficient, and economical.” On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 369 – 42. All Indiana reps voted yea except for Hollingsworth who voted nay and Spartz who did not vote. View the vote.

S. 66: South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act of 2021

S. 2201: Supply Chain Security Training Act of 2021

S. 3580: Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022


Passed the House, Senate next

H.R. 2543: Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act
GovTrack.us: “This bill requires the Federal Reserve Board to carry out its duties in a manner that supports the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in employment, income, wealth, and access to affordable credit. The board must report on disparities in labor force trends as well as on plans and activities of the board to minimize and eliminate these disparities.” Passed 215 – 207. Indiana reps Mrvan and Carson voted yea; all other Indiana reps voted nay. View the vote.

H.R. 7606: Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022
GovTrack.us: “This bill establishes within the Department of Agriculture (USDA) the Office of the Special Investigator for Competition Matters. Specifically, the office must use all available tools (e.g., subpoenas) to investigate and prosecute violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 by packers and live poultry dealers. Further, the bill grants the office the authority to bring any civil or administrative action authorized by that act against a packer; the office must provide notice to the Department of Justice (DOJ) about such actions brought in federal district court.”
Passed 221 – 204. Indiana Reps Mrvan and Carson voted yea; all other Indiana Reps voted nay. View the vote.

H.R. 6270: AAIM Act
GovTrack.us: “To direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a pilot program to provide grants related to advanced air mobility infrastructure, and for other purposes.”
Passed 338 – 73. Indiana reps Mrvan and Carson voted yea. All other Indiana reps voted nay except Spartz who did not vote. View the vote.

H.R. 2020: Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act
GovTrack.us: “This bill establishes a centralized location to publish information on disaster assistance provided by federal agencies. The Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and any agencies providing disaster assistance must make available to the public on a quarterly basis information regarding (1) the total amount of assistance provided by the agency; (2) the amount provided that was expended or obligated; and (3) all projects or activities for which assistance was expended, obligated, or used.” 
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 412 – 2.

H.R. 2773: Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2021
GovTrack.us: “This bill provides funding for (1) the conservation or restoration of wildlife and plant species of greatest conservation need; (2) the wildlife conservation strategies of states, territories, or the District of Columbia; and (3) wildlife conservation education and recreation projects. The Department of the Interior must use a portion of the funding for a grant program. The grants must be used for innovative recovery efforts for species of greatest conservation need, species listed as endangered or threatened species, or the habitats of such species.”
Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 231 – 190. Indiana Reps Mrvan and Carson voted yea; all others voted nay. View the vote.

H.R. 7211: Small State and Rural Rescue Act
GovTrack.us: “This bill addresses requests for, and other matters pertaining to, disaster assistance provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with a focus on small states and rural communities.”
Passed 396 – 14

Passed the Senate, House next

S. 407: Air America Act of 2022
GovTrack.us: “This bill establishes the service of Air America employees as qualifying service for purposes of the Civil Service Retirement System. (Air America was a government-owned airline that provided air transport for certain covert operations in Southeast Asia, including Laos and Vietnam, between 1950 and 1976.)”
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.

S. 1098: Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act
GovTrack.us: “This bill allows two borrowers, who had previously received a joint consolidation loan for their federal student loan debt, to submit a joint application to the Department of Education to sever their consolidated loan into two separate loans.”
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.

S. 2280: VETS Safe Travel Act
GovTrack.us: “The Veterans Expedited TSA Screening (VETS) Safe Travel Act would let all disabled or severely injured veterans enroll on the TSA PreCheck list, at no charge.”
Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.

S. 2129: Otto Warmbier Countering North Korean Censorship and Surveillance Act of 2021
GovTrack.us: “The President may impose property-blocking sanctions on foreign individuals and entities responsible for implementing or facilitating North Korea’s censorship laws and surveillance. For the individuals that meet such criteria, the President may also impose visa-blocking sanctions. The bill also authorizes the U.S. Agency for Global Media to provide increased broadcasting and grants for various purposes, including the development of internet freedom tools to facilitate information sharing related to North Korea and the restoration of the agency’s broadcasting capacity to North Korea.” 
Passed Senate with an amendment by Voice Vote.

S. 3309: Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act of 2021
GovTrack.us: “A bill to require SelectUSA to coordinate with State-level economic development organizations to increase foreign direct investment in semiconductor-related manufacturing and production.”
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.

H.R. 3967: Honoring our PACT Act of 2021 (Passed the Senate with amendment and so goes back to the House.)
GovTrack.us: “This bill addresses health care, presumption of service-connection, research, resources, and other matters related to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service.”
Passed 84 – 14. Indiana Senators Young and Braun voted yea.

Read about what to expect this week in the House, Senate, and in committee hearings at Causes. Both chambers will begin a two week recess at the end of the week.

To find and contact your Members of Congress:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials 

In other news

President Biden signed an historic Executive Order advancing LGBTQI+ equality during Pride Month. (White House.gov)

Many states still don’t recognize yesterday’s federal holiday, Juneteenth, as a paid holiday, even though a year has passed since President Biden signed the holiday memorializing the end of slavery in the United States into federal law. (Newsweek)

“FINA, the sport’s world governing body, announced transgender women would not be allowed in major women’s races, effective Monday. FINA is known as the international swimming federation that’s recognized by the International Olympic Committee. FINA stated it’s working to create an “open” category for some events for transgender who want to compete.” (Newsweek)

“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky backed an advisory committee’s recommendation on Saturday that will allow children under the age of 5 years old to receive the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, capping off the last step needed before children can start getting inoculated.” (The Hill)

The Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday, which is the biggest single hike since 1994. (CNN)

The Federal Reserve interest rate hike Wednesday is its biggest since 1994. A Ball State economist expects the hike to cool down inflation, but not overnight.  (WIBC)

Campaign organizations affiliated with both major political parties are focusing on Northwest Indiana’s U.S. House seat like never before.   (Times of Northwest Indiana)

Republicans have ousted Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan, making Indiana the latest state to choose a nominee who has questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election.  (WIBC)

“Meeting at their first in-person convention since 2018, Texas Republicans on Saturday acted on a raft of resolutions and proposed platform changes to move their party even further to the right. They approved measures declaring that President Joe Biden “was not legitimately elected” and rebuking Sen. John Cornyn for taking part in bipartisan gun talks. They also voted on a platform that declares homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice” and calls for Texas schoolchildren “to learn about the humanity of the preborn child.”” (Texas Tribune)

January 6
The Jan. 6 committee has altered its hearing schedule. The next two hearings will be Tuesday (June 21) and Thursday (June 23). All of the hearings will start at 12 p.m. central time. (Punchbowl News)

The third of seven expected hearings of the January 6 Committee was held on Thursday. Just like the two before it, there were plenty of “wow” moments.  It is also clear there are plenty more wows to come. (Michael Leppert, MichaelLeppert.com) Read 8 takaways from the hearing at CNN.

“The Supreme Court said Tuesday that Maine cannot exclude religious schools from a tuition assistance program that allows parents to use vouchers to send their children to public or private schools. The 6-3 ruling is the latest move by the conservative court to expand religious liberty rights and bring more religion into public life…” (CNN)


Indiana’s governor wants to give back about $1 billion to taxpayers to help battle inflation, but some experts are skeptical about the plan.   (WDRB)

In Indiana, state-level candidates have raised $19.6 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and Apr. 8, 2022. Democratic candidates have raised $2.4 million and Republican candidates have raised $15.5 million.   (KPVI)

Two and a half years of frustration at Governor Eric Holcomb came out during the Indiana Republican State Convention, as conservatives resoundingly rejected the governor’s preferred candidates in the Secretary of State and State Treasurer races. (Statehouse Happenings, WIBC) 
Indiana State Police reports it’s currently providing legal updates to make sure troopers know what to expect when the new “Constitutional Carry” law goes into effect. Permitless carry will allow Hoosiers to carry a handgun without a license and limit what police officers can ask when they see a gun.  (WTHR)

There are billions of dollars in COVID emergency funds waiting to be spent by school districts in Indiana. (WSBT)

Indiana’s attorney general is defending a new state law regarding transgender girls and sports. (WTHI)

“Despite objections from many residents, Mayor Brian Snedecor and some city council members, Becknell Industrial’s rezone request was finalized Wednesday, bringing the company’s 2 million square-foot speculative development closer to fruition. The council again voted 4-3 to adopt an ordinance changing the zoning of 156 acres of land at 61st Avenue and Colorado Street from a residential designation to a light manufacturing district. Councilmen Mark Kopil, Josh Huddlestun and P. Lino Maggio cast votes against it.” (NWI Times)

To find and contact your Indiana legislators: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/