Congress at Work for December 2018
Punishing Terrorists and Traffickers; Reinforcing Cybersecurity and Patents
Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2018 (S. 1595) – This bill amends the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 to impose sanctions on foreign nationals and governments that knowingly assist in funding or recruitment activities for the Hizballah terrorist organization. This includes providing arms or other assistance, as well as narcotics trafficking and criminal activities. The bill was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on July 20, 2017 and signed into law by the president on Oct. 25.
Amy, Vicky and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018 (S. 2152) – This bill authorizes the federal criminal code to compensate victims of child pornography. Specifically, a defendant convicted of trafficking in child pornography must pay between $3,000 and 1 percent of the full amount of the victim's losses. Furthermore, the victim may receive a one-time payment of $35,000 from the Child Pornography Victims Reserve Fund, a separate account created within the Crime Victims Fund and funded through assessments on persons convicted of child pornography offenses. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Nov. 16, 2017 and signed into law by the president on Nov. 15.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018 (H.R. 3359) – Sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), this bill redesignates the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). CISA is to name a director to lead the national effort to protect and enhance the security and resiliency of U.S. cybersecurity, emergency communications and critical infrastructure. The bill was introduced on July 24, 2017 and was signed into law by the president on Nov. 16.
SUCCESS Act (H.R. 6758) – This legislation reauthorizes the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s authority to set fees for the services it provides for an additional eight years. This bill also mandates that the office conduct a study and provide recommendations for closing the gender, race and income gap in patenting rates. The bill was introduced by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Sept. 10 and enacted on Oct. 31.
9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor Act of 2017 (H.R. 3834) – This bill was introduced by Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) on Sept. 26, 2017 and signed into law by the president on Nov. 3. It makes members of public safety agencies who died of 9/11-related health conditions eligible for the Presidential 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor.