Current Legislative Update:

  • April 2015

    April 2015 » Health and Human Services The Affordable Care Act Brings Health Insurance to 16 Million UninsuredIt…
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Legislative Updates

Keeping you up to date on policy action from the president's administration and the U.S. Congress.

April 2015

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» Health and Human Services

The Affordable Care Act Brings Health Insurance to 16 Million Uninsured
It has been five years since the Affordable Care Act was implemented. The ACA has been able to insure 16 million individuals who did not have insurance. In 2015, 11 million people signed up or renewed their health insurance. The law, which is lauded as President Obama’s signature program, has brought health insurance through Medicaid expansion, elimination of preexisting conditions as barriers to insurance, and extension of health coverage to young adults up to 26 years old on their parents’ health insurance plans.

Read more:
Obamacare Gets Health Insurance to 16 Million New People, Feds Say (NBC News)


>> Law, Justice, and Ethics

Reps. Conyers, Lewis, Hoyer, and Clyburn Reintroduce the Voter Empowerment Act
The Voter Empowerment Act which is aimed at modernizing voting systems, reducing voter fraud and abuse, and creating equal access to the ballots was reintroduced in the 114th Congress. The measure would also require same day registration, early voting, and provide voting rights in federal elections for former felons who have completed their sentences.

Read more:
Bill to Restore Voting Rights Act Gets Another Bipartisan Push (The Huffington Post)
H.R. 12: Voter Empowerment Act of 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Finds Alabama Redistricting Map Packed Districts with Black Voters
The U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus and the Alabama Democratic Conference in their case against the state on its redistricting map. The Court held the lower court should have looked at individual districts instead of looking at the entire state to determine if there was racial gerrymandering. While the court’s decision does send the case back to the lower court it does not change the current map.

Read more:
Supreme Court Hands Win to Opponents of Alabama Redistricting Plan (The Washington Post)
Alabama Legislative Black Caucus et. al. v. Alabama et. al.

Loretta Lynch Continues to Languish in Confirmation Limbo
Loretta Lynch, who has been waiting nearly 20 weeks for confirmation will have to wait an additional two weeks before Senate Republicans return an answer. Lynch, President Obama’s nominee to replace Eric Holder as United States Attorney General, is a seasoned attorney from New York. Vocal Senate Republicans have expressed their lack of enthusiasm about Lynch because she supports many of President Obama’s policies.

Read more:
In Delaying Vote on Loretta Lynch as Attorney General, G.O.P. Is in a Quandary (The New York Times)


What’s Happening on the Hill?

  • House Committee on Appropriations, Public and Outside Witness Hearing, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, April 29, 2015 10:00 AM in 2358-C Rayburn HOB
  • House Committee on Transportation, Oversight of the Ongoing Rail, Pipeline, and Hazmat Rulemakings, April 14, 2015 10:00 AM in 2167 Rayburn HOB
  • House Committee on Transportation, An Overview of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Missions, April 15, 2015 2:00 PM 2253 Rayburn HOB
  • House Committee on Transportation, A Review of the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request for the United States Army Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Authority, April 22, 2015 10:00 AM 2167 Rayburn HOB
  • House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Legislative Hearing on: Draft legislation to improve reproductive treatment provided to certain disabled veterans; Draft legislation to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit an annual report on the Veterans Health Administration; Draft legislation, the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015; H.R. 271; H.R. 627; H.R. 1369; and, H.R. 1575, Apr 23, 2015 10:00am 334 Cannon HOB
  • House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Examining Access and Quality of Care and Services for Women Veterans, Apr 30, 2015 10:30 AM 334 Cannon HOB
  • Senate Committee on Armed Services, Air Force and Navy Nuclear Programs and the Implementation of Nuclear Enterprise Review Recommendations April 22, 2015 02:30PM Room SR-222, Russell SOB
  • Senate Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Defense Policy Issues Pertaining to the Asia-Pacific Theater April 14, 2015 09:30 AM Room SD-G50, Dirksen SOB
  • Senate Committee on Armed Services, National Nuclear Security Administration Plans and Programs April 15, 2015 02:30 PM Room SR-222, Russell SOB
  • Senate Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea April 16, 2015 09:30AM Room SD-G50, Dirksen SOB
  • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Hearing on the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook for 2015, April 16, 2015 10:00 AM Room 366 Dirksen SOB
  • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee Hearing on the Bureau of Land Management’s Final Hydraulic Fracturing Rule, April 16, 2015 2:30 PM Room 366 Dirksen SOB
  • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Hearing on the reauthorization and potential reforms to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), April 22, 2015 10 AM Room 366 Dirksen SOB
  • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Hearing on the Administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), April 28, 2015 10 AM Room 366 Dirksen SOB
  • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Hearing on Energy Efficiency Legislation, April 30, 2015 10 AM Room 366 Dirksen SOB
  • Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Reducing the Federal Tax Burden for America’s Small Businesses, Lafayette City Hall, 705 West University Ave., Lafayette, LA, April 2, 2015