What Have House Democrats Accomplished in the 116th Congress?

Updated on June 17, 2019
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ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.

These Men Created Congress With the Intent That They Put Country Above All Else

The Constitutional Convention
The Constitutional Convention | Source

Walking and Chewing Gum

When our founders created the three co-equal branches of government, the idea was 1) to have each branch act as a check on the others and 2) in Congress, to have the Senate take a more thoughtful stance to the House's feisty approach to governance. The Congress was to legislate, the Executive was to carry out the legislation, and the Judicial was to rule on any conflicts that may develop from the legislation or its execution within the framework of the Constitution.

Today, that vision is in complete disarray due to a dictatorial Executive and extreme partisanship, which our founders hoped to avoid. While the writers of the Constitution understood that partisanship could develop, they tried hard to prevent the election of the kind of demagogue that Donald Trump is. Had the rules and processes they originally put in place to prevent such a disaster remained in force over time, Trump would not be president. But things changed, either by custom or by amendment, and the barriers were lowered—with terrible results.

As I just pointed out, the purpose of Congress is to legislate. Another purpose is to provide oversight of the Executive. That is supposed to be happening today. But at least a 1/3 to 1/2 of Americans think Congress can't do both at the same time. This article is to set the record straight, at least as it pertains to the House (it seems the Senate is doing neither).

Where does it all stand now?

  1. The President is obstructing the House investigations into his conduct.
  2. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is obstructing almost all legislation coming over from the House.
  3. The Republicans, save for one, are closing their eyes and minds to facts about Donald Trump, probably out of political fear, and doing their level best to protect him from self-destructing.

The claim is the House Democrats can't "walk and chew gum at the same time." The truth is—yes they can, and they have been. They have actively been trying to conduct oversight of an amoral President while at the same time been quietly passing multiple bills to try to keep the government running and improve the lot of Americans.

What Have House Democrats Tried to Accomplish, Besides Bring Trump to Justice?

The Republicans claim that Democrats can't chew gum and walk at the same time, meaning they can't investigate Trump and legislate at the same time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider that while Nixon was being investigated, even impeached, he and the Democrats and Republicans continued to produce legislation and pass laws. The same was true when Clinton was impeached—and tried.

So what have the House Democrats done? Besides running about 12 investigations, they have passed 235 pieces of legislation since January 2019, just 5 months ago. Not all of them are major, but many are. Most have been bottled up by the Republicans in the Senate—meaning Mitch McConnell.

The following set of tables offer many of the important bills passed by the House. We won't cover all 235 (as of 5/25/2019) bills but will present the significant ones. We will start with bills aimed at funding the government, i.e. keeping the doors open.

Appropriations Bills

Legislation
Name
What is it About
Where It Stands
H.R. 21
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019
Provides funding for all federal Departments, Agencies, and associated ent
HOUSE: 1/3/19 - Passed the House: SENATE: 1/8/19 - Read a second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders.
H.R. 264
Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2019
Provides funding for all federal Departments, Agencies, and associated entities, e.g., DOJ, DHS, EPA, etc.
HOUSE: 1/8/19 - Passed the House: SENATE: - Read a second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders.
H.J. Res 31
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019
Provides funds for DHS for a period of time
Law
H.R. 648
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019
Provides funding for all federal Departments, Agencies, and associated ent
Passed the House: In Senate - Senate - Read a second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders.
H.R. 2157
Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019
This bill provides $17.2 billion in FY2019 supplemental appropriations to several federal departments and agencies for expenses related to the consequences of recent wildfires, hurricanes, volcanos, earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters.
Passed the House and Senate (in a slightly different form). Currently held up in the House by a GOP Freedom Caucus member until after the Memorial Recess
Major Legislation is Bolded

The next table lists individual bills designed to effect different aspects of our lives like the right to vote to protecting our military.

Legislation
Name
What is it About
Where it Stands
 
 
 
 
H.R. 1
For The People Act of 2019
Voter access, election integrity, election security, political spending, and ethics for the three branches of gov't
Passed the House: Senate - Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders.
H.R. 2379
To Reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program
What the title says
Law
H.R. 1500
Consumers First Act
Revises provisions related to the administration of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Passed House; Senate - Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
H.R. 1994
Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019
This bill benefits retirees by modifying the requirements for employer-provided retirement plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and other tax-favored savings accounts.
Passed the House but not yet sent to the Senate as the House clerk corrects section numbers, punctuation, and cross references, and to make other necessary technical and conforming corrections in the engrossments
H.R. 31
Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019
Directs the Sec of Treasury to determine if the Bank of Syria should be designated as a money laundering entity
1/23/19: House referred to Senate 1/23/2019; Senate, on 05/22/2019 Committee on Foreign Relations. Ordered to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably
H.R. 2116
Global Fragility Act
To enhance stabilization of conflict-affected areas and prevent violence and fragility globally, and for other purposes.
House - 5/21/19; Passed the House; Senate - 05/21/2019 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
H.R. 2480
Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
To reauthorize the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
HOUSE - 5/21/19; Passed the House; SENATE - 05/21/2019 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
H.R. 753
Global Electoral Exchange Act of 2019
To promote international exchanges on best election practices, cultivate more secure democratic institutions around the world
HOUSE - 5/21/19; Passed the House; SENATE - 05/21/2019 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
H.R. 2578
National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2019
To reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program,
HOUSE - 5/14/19; Passed the House; SENATE - 05/20/2019 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 93.
H.R. 5
Equality Act
This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation. It also expands the definition of public accommodations
HOUSE - 5/17/19: Passed the House; SENATE - 05/20/2019 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
H.R. 987
Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act
Requires the HHS to conduct outreach and educational activities regarding federally-facilitated exchanges
HOUSE - 5/16/19; Passed the House; SENATE - 05/20/2019 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
H.Res 30
Requiring each Member, officer, and employee of the House of Representatives to complete a program of training in workplace rights and responsibilities each session of each Congress, and for other purposes.
Requiring everybody in the House to go though sexual harassment training
Resolution accepted by the House
H.R. 1079
Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services for Constituents Act of 2019
To require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance on electronic consent forms
HOUSE: 2/11/2019 - Passed the House: SENATE -- 05/15/2019 Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Ordered to be reported without amendment
H.R. 986
Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019
Reverses Dept of Treasure and HHS rule allowing state waivers which effective weaken ACA provisions protecting access to healthcare for people with preexisting conditions
HOUSE: 5/9/2019 - Passed the House; SENATE - 05/15/2019 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 90.
H.R. 1594
First Responder Access to Innovative Technologies Act
This bill directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to implement a uniform process for reviewing grant applications under the Urban Area Security Initiative or the Homeland Security Grant Program
HOUSE: 5/14/2019 - Passed; SENATE - 05/15/2019 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
H.R. 1222
Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act
This bill allows a state to use federal funds to cover a higher percentage of the costs for the construction and expansion of public target ranges. Specifically, a state may use specified federal grant funds to pay up to 90% of such costs (rather than 75%, as under current law).
Law
H.R/. 1328
ACCESS BROADBAND Act
The Assistant Secretary shall establish the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
HOUSE: 5/8/2019 - Passed; SENATE - 05/9/2019 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
H.R. 9
Climate Action Now Act
Requires the President to develop and update annually a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement on climate change. Specifically, the plan must describe steps to (1) cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, and (2) confirm that other parties to the agreement with major economies are fulfilling their announced contributions. In addition, the bill prohibits federal funds from being used to withdraw from the agreement.
HOUSE: 5/2/2019 - Passed; SENATE; 05/07/2019 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 79.
Major Legislation is Bolded

Bills for Veterans

The Democrats have Veteran's welfare high on their to-do list. Consequently, I created a separate table for those initiatives.

Legislation
Name
What Does It Do
Where Does It Stand
H.R. 1200
Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019
To increase the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities
Passed the House; Senate - 05/22/2019 Received in the Senate
H.R. 2359
Whole Veteran Act
To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress a report on the Department of Veterans Affairs advancing of whole health transformation.. (They want to make sure Congress' orders are followed)
Passed the House; Senate - 05/22/2019 Received in Senate.
H.R. 2326
Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William Bill Mulder (Ret.) Transition Improvement Act of 2019
Directs various Departments and amends law in order to take certain actions to improve transition assistance to members of the Armed Forces who separate, retire, or are discharged from the Armed Forces
Passed by House 5/21/2019; Rcv'd in Senate 5/22/2019
H.R. 2045
To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish in the Department the Veterans Economic Opportunity and Transition Administration, and for other purposes.
To establish in the VA the Veterans Economic Opportunity and Transition Administration,
Passed by House 5/21/2019; Rcv'd in Senate 5/22/2019
H.R. 2333
Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act
Directs the Comptroller to assess of the responsibilities, workload, training, and vacancy rates of VA's suicide prevention coordinators.
Passed by House 5/21/2019; Rcv'd in Senate 5/22/2019
H.R. 299
Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019
Clarifies that if a veteran claims exposure to harmful agents while serving in Vietnam War, it must be proven that the claim is not valid to deny coverage
HOUSE: 5/14/2019 - Passed; SENATE: 5/15/2019 - Received in Senate

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Scott Belford

    Comments

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      • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

        Scott Belford 

        3 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

        Doris, you notice how Brad takes one bad apple and smears the whole with it. Clearly, Brad never served his country, only insults it.

      • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

        Scott Belford 

        3 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

        Thanks Doris, I am adding a couple each day until it gets too long.

      • bradmasterOCcal profile image

        NOYFOB 

        3 weeks ago

        Doris

        Benedict Arnold was a patriot until he wasn't.

        UnPatriotic comes from deeds not history.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James MizBejabbers 

        3 weeks ago from Beautiful South

        I find that very interesting. I know you couldn't list them all, and there would be a lot more if McConnell were not such an obstruction. Now that is unAmerican. BTW, I guess Brad doesn't consider veterans to be Americans.

      • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

        Scott Belford 

        3 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL

        If you say so, Brad.

      • bradmasterOCcal profile image

        NOYFOB 

        3 weeks ago

        Not a single one of these bills does anything for America, Americans or Legal Immigrants.

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