CongressNews

How Colorado’s congressional delegation voted this week

Author: Tom Ramstack - May 11, 2018 - Updated: May 31, 2018

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This 2017 file photo shows the U.S. Capitol at dawn. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

H.R. 2152: Citizens’ Right to Know Act of 2018

This was a vote to pass H.R. 2152 in the House.

The Citizens’ Right to Know Act requires local governments that receive Justice Department funding to report the names, arrest records and failures to appear in court of any accused person participating in federally-funded pretrial services programs. The Justice Department then would be authorized to release the information publicly.

The only restriction on releasing the information on pretrial services participants is a clause in the bill the creates an exception for “any applicable confidentiality requirements.” The exact nature of the confidentiality requirements are not explained.

The Justice Department could penalize jurisdictions that do not turn over the information by denying them grant funds that support pretrial services.

The bill seeks to give the public information that could protect them against potentially dangerous persons. It also has a public shaming component intended to compel criminal defendants to be diligent about attending their scheduled court appearances.

However, it ran afoul of civil liberties groups and privacy advocates. Democrats generally opposed it while Republicans supported it.

The American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement, “When personally identifiable information is being collected and publicly reported, we believe that such information should be obtained and disseminated only with individuals’ informed consent. We also believe that the potential to harm individual reputations should be considered when arrest records are publicly shared. We are troubled that the Citizens’ Right to Know Act would collect and publicly report personally identifiable information of individuals participating in pretrial services programs – individuals who have not been convicted of a crime given their pretrial status.”

Passed.

No  D DeGette, Diana CO 1st
No  D Polis, Jared CO 2nd
Yes  R Tipton, Scott CO 3rd
Yes  R Buck, Ken CO 4th
Yes  R Lamborn, Doug CO 5th
Yes  R Coffman, Mike CO 6th
No  D Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th

H.R. 5645: Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules Act of 2018

This was a vote to pass H.R. 5645 in the House.

This was a bill designed to harmonize the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice’s merger review procedures. It’s also known as the SMARTER Act.

The bill responds to complaints from corporations that they are subjected to differences in merger review procedures between the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department.

Corporations are required to file notice of fundamental business changes that fall under antitrust law with both the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department. However, only one of the agencies will review the proposed mergers.

When corporations challenge the review findings, they must present their cases administratively under rules of the FTC Act if the Federal Trade Commission did the investigation. If the Justice Department did the merger review, the corporations can challenge the findings only in federal court under rules of the Clayton Act.

The SMARTER Act requires the Federal Trade Commission to litigate contested mergers in federal court, rather than conducting its own administrative review. The bill also would require uniform preliminary injunction standards.

Passed.

No  D DeGette, Diana CO 1st
No  D Polis, Jared CO 2nd
Yes  R Tipton, Scott CO 3rd
Yes  R Buck, Ken CO 4th
Yes  R Lamborn, Doug CO 5th
Yes  R Coffman, Mike CO 6th
No  D Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th

H.R. 4335: Servicemember Family Burial Act

This was a vote to pass H.R. 4335 in the House.

This bill would eliminate some of the bureaucracy that has interfered with the right of active-duty military personnel to have their immediate family members who predecease them buried in a veterans’ cemetery.

Currently, family members can be buried in veterans’ cemeteries only after a tedious process of paperwork and case-by-case review that some military personnel described as intrusive and emotionally draining.

The Veterans Administration requested the procedural change in its fiscal 2018 budget.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.), won support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

“When a soldier serving our nation has the unimaginable loss of a spouse or child, they need swift action, not bureaucracy,” Correa said. “My bill will provide options during their time of grief.”

Passed.

Yes  D DeGette, Diana CO 1st
Yes  D Polis, Jared CO 2nd
Yes  R Tipton, Scott CO 3rd
Yes  R Buck, Ken CO 4th
Yes  R Lamborn, Doug CO 5th
Yes  R Coffman, Mike CO 6th
Yes  D Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th

H.R. 4910: Veterans Cemetery Benefit Correction Act

This was a vote to pass H.R. 4910 in the House.

This bill would require the U.S. Department of Interior to provide outer burial receptacles for new graves of veterans in national cemeteries managed by the National Park Service. It also would offer reimbursement to veterans’ families that purchase outer burial receptacles for use in national cemeteries.

The Veterans Administration provides the outer burial receptacles at the cemeteries it manages but the National Park Service does not arrange for them at gravesites.

The National Park Service manages 14 national cemeteries.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., who said in a statement, “As members of Congress, it is our duty to provide for not only our active duty service members and veterans, but also our military families, and I am very pleased that today the House has passed a common sense piece of legislation aimed at closing a critical gap in veterans burial benefits that has placed an undue burden on families for far too long.”

A companion bill passed the Senate in March.

Passed.

Yes  D DeGette, Diana CO 1st
Yes  D Polis, Jared CO 2nd
Yes  R Tipton, Scott CO 3rd
Yes  R Buck, Ken CO 4th
Yes  R Lamborn, Doug CO 5th
Yes  R Coffman, Mike CO 6th
Yes  D Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th

 

Sources: Govtrack, congressional and media reports

Tom Ramstack

Tom Ramstack