Congress at Work for April 2018
Federal Budget Allocated, Low-Income Veterans Protected, and Rural Phone Services to Meet Quality Standards
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (H.R. 1625) – This is the latest budget bill that appropriates $1.3 trillion of Treasury funds until the end of September – which is the end of the fiscal year. The following is a sampling of some of the provisions included in the 2,232-page bill:
The bill was passed by Congress and immediately signed by the president on March 23.
Taiwan Travel Act (H.R. 535) – Sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Jan. 3, 2017, this bill is designed to encourage tourist travel between the United States and Taiwan. The legislation was signed by the president on March 16.
Veteran’s Care Financial Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 3122) – Sponsored by Rep. Matthew Cartwright (R-PA) on Feb. 7, 2017, this bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to post a notice on its website warning that there are bad actors preying specifically on veterans who receive a VA pension with the supplemental benefit for assisted living or in-home personal care. The bill also authorizes the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on how to better protect vulnerable veterans from fraud and abuse. The bill was enacted after being signed by the president on March 9.
Improving Rural Call Quality and ReliabilityAct of 2017 (S. 96) – Sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Jan. 11, 2017, this bill requires third-party intermediate providers who transmit long-distance phone calls in rural areas between major providers (e.g., Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) to register with the Federal Communications Commission and follow its rules regarding service quality standards. The legislation is designed to improve phone service reliability in rural areas. The bill was enacted on Feb. 26, 2018.
Gateway Arch National Park Designation Act (S. 1438) – Sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) on June 26, 2017, this bill re-designates the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in the State of Missouri as the "Gateway Arch National Park." The bill was signed into law by the president on Feb. 22.