Washington Watch: Legislative Update
For the Week of 15 January 2018
I. Legislative News and Activity
II. This Week in Congress
III. Update on Top Legislative Priorities
IV. JOINT FOP-IAFF Press Release: Bipartisan Bill Would Strengthen the Voice of Public Safety Professionals
V. Reminder: Day on the Hill is February 12-14
VI. Follow the FOP on Twitter!
I. LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND ACTIVITY
Senior Advisor to the National President, Jim Pasco:
- Spoke with Steve H. Cook, Associate Deputy Attorney General, on Chicago crime issues and the involvement of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ);
- Spoke with Danielle Cutrona, Counsel to U.S. Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III, on vacancies at the DOJ and its accomplishments to date; and
- Spoke with House and Senate staff regarding preparations for the annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service.
Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson:
- Participated in a conference call with the “Near Miss” project which is administered by the Police Foundation with the support of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS);
- Represented the FOP on a conference call of law enforcement organization stakeholders to discuss vacancies within the Administration that impact law enforcement and public safety.
Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson and Legislative Liaison Mike Martin:
- Met with Ian Glick, the new chairman of the FOP’s Federal Officers’ Committee to discuss pending legislation and future cooperation;
- Met with staff in the office of Representative Timothy J. Ryan (D-OH) to discuss their proposal on a new grant program for training State and local law enforcement officers;
- Met with staff in the office of Senator Martin T. Heinrich (D-NM) to discuss the FOP’s proposal to create a new Federal offense to prohibit the deliberate targeting of law enforcement officers.
II. THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS
If the Senate fails to pass H.R. 195, the Continuing Resolution, a partial government shutdown will begin at midnight on Friday, 19 January.
Action in the House
The House considered and passed H.R. 195, the “Federal Register Printing Savings Act” by a 230-197 vote. This legislation is the vehicle for the Continuing Resolution which funds government operations through 16 February.
Action in House Committees
The Committee on the Judiciary considered and favorably reported H.R. 506, the “Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act” by voice vote.
The Financial Services Committee considered and favorably reported H.R. 4768, the “National Strategy for Combating the Financing of Transnational Criminal Organizations Act” by voice vote.
Action in the Senate
The Senate has considered and passed a motion to open debate on H.R. 195, the vehicle for the Continuing Resolution, on a vote of 97-2. The Senate will likely vote on passage very late tonight or early tomorrow morning, if the Senate fails to pass the bill, a partial government shutdown will begin.
Action in Senate Committees
The Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing titled: “The Long-term Care Needs of First Responders Injured in the Line of Duty.”
The Committee on the Judiciary held an oversight hearing with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
The Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing titled “Combating Money Laundering and Other Forms of Illicit Finance: Administration Perspectives on Reforming and Strengthening BSA Enforcement.”
III. UPDATE ON TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIESFor the complete list of cosponsors for all of our top legislative priorities, or to find out if your Representative and Senators are cosponsors of specific bills, check out https://www.congress.gov/
Two additional lawmakers have co-sponsored S. 915. We now have 17 co-sponsors.
B. Support the H.R. 964/S. 424, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Equity Act”
We have 32 cosponsors on H.R. 964.One additional lawmaker has co-sponsored S. 424. We now have 5 cosponsors.
C. Support H.R. 4846, the “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act”
We have 1 original sponsor on this legislation.
IV. JOINT FOP-IAFF Press Release: Bipartisan Bill Would Strengthen the Voice of Public Safety Professionals on Community Security and Safety Issues: Police Officers, Fire Fighters and EMS Personnel Strongly Support New BilIn a bipartisan effort to ensure all police officers, fire fighters and EMS personnel have a voice in matters of public safety, Representatives John Duncan (R-TN) and Dan Kildee (D-MI) have introduced HR XXXX, the Public Safety Employer Employee Cooperation Act of 2018.
The bill would provide those who protect the public a stronger collective voice on issues pertaining to not only their own safety, but the safety of the communities they serve.H.R. 4846 outlines five essential rights that allow employees to collectively address safety concerns, both on a personal and community-wide level, including the right to form and join a union; have a contract; ensure the contract is enforced; bargain over safety issues, wages, hours and terms of employment; and have a dispute mechanism to resolve disagreements.
The Cooperation Act nearly became law seven years ago but failed to move out of the Senate. Today’s reintroduction bill marks a new chapter in the decades-long effort to provide basic collective bargaining rights for professional fire fighters, EMS personnel and other public safety workers.
“Public safety employees in many jurisdictions– police officers and fire fighters — are virtually the only class of workers left in the nation today who are denied the fundamental right to bargain collectively with their employers over wages, hours, and working conditions,” says National President of the Fraternal Order of Police Chuck Canterbury. “Today, we are going on offense and will be pushing — and pushing hard — for the rights of our members in all states.”
“Every day, thousands of public safety professionals go to work and do not have a say in their own personal safety or the protection of the community,” says General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters Harold A. Schaitberger. “Based on the many strong relationships fire fighters and police officers have built over the years with lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle, the time is right to move forward and renew the case for the collective bargaining rights in the United States Congress.”
While many fire fighters, police officers and EMS personnel live in jurisdictions in which these rights currently exist, many others go to work every day without these necessary protections. The re-introduction of the Cooperation Act marks the IAFF’s and FOP’s continued commitment to strong public safety and the rights of those who protect our communities and lack a voice on matters that personally affect them.
The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, DC, represents more than 310,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect communities in every state and throughout Canada. More information is available at www.iaff.org
The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States with more than 335,000 members.
V. Reminder FOP Day on the Hill is February 12-14
FOP’S DAY ON THE HILL: 12-14 FEBRUARY 2018
The FOP’s Day on the Hill event is a key component of our legislative advocacy strategy and our Grassroots Action Network. Having our members here on Capitol Hill, sitting down with their elected Senators and Representatives has a real and lasting impact on the FOP’s ability to move its agenda through Congress. We are coming off of a very successful First Session, but we need to continue to build on that success and we can’t do that without YOU!
Your participation is critical, and while we look forward to seeing old friends and our Day on the Hill veterans, this year we also want to see some new faces. We are challenging our members who do attend to bring along a lodge member who hasn’t yet participated in this event. By increasing the number of officers that lawmakers hear from, the greater effectiveness we will have as an organization. Talk about Day on the Hill in your lodge meetings and help us help you by increasing our participation.
We need Congress focused on OUR issues and OUR safety. We need you to help make sure our voice is heard and we need more voices!
This year’s Day on the Hill will begin on Monday, 12 February 2018. The National Legislative Office and the National Legislative Committee will host a short briefing on our legislative agenda. The briefing will take place on Monday afternoon at D.C. Lodge #1 and last approximately one hour. Tuesday and Wednesday, 13-14 February, will be devoted to your meetings with Members from your home States and districts. These appointments should be made in advance!!! Event participants should make every effort to have their Representative or Senator attend the meeting along with the appropriate staff person.Accommodations for Day on the Hill ParticipantsThe National Legislative Office is fortunate to have secured a room block at the Hyatt House, a brand new hotel on the Washington, D.C. waterfront just three blocks south of the National Mall. The room rate is $149 per night. Members must call 202-554-1234 and identify themselves as being part of the FOP National Legislative Group to get this reduced rate. Members can also go to this website to make their reservations: https://washingtondcthewharf.house.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html?corp_id=G-FOPN
THE CUT OFF DATE IS 27 JANUARY 2018, SO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW!!!
VI. Follow the FOP on Twitter!Sign up today for the latest news from Capitol Hill: https://twitter.com/GLFOP