April 23, 2021

Weekly Wrap-Up

Week 16 (April 19)

This week, the House voted to admit Washington D.C. as the 51st state of the United States, ensure equity for all businesses and immigrants and refugees. The Washington, D.C. Admission Act ends two centuries of disenfranchisement for Washington D.C. residents and strengthens our nation's democracy.

The Safe Banking Act protects the will of the people, protects states' rights, and protects our police officers. Right now, cannabis is legal in some form for most Americans. The Safe Banking Act ensures these legal companies have access to the same financial resources that other legal businesses depend on to run their businesses.

Additionally, Congress voted to pass the No Ban Act and the Access to Council Act. These bills ensure that immigrants in the United States are afforded due process and equal protection under the law. The Access To Counsel Act enacts a portion of Congressman Lou Correa's DIRE Legal Aid Act by ensuring all immigrants at risk of deportation are provided legal counsel to advise them on their rights and responsibilities. 

The Weekly Rundown

On Monday, Congressman Correa joined the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture members’ meeting to discuss priority issues and interests for the coming Congress.

Tuesday saw overlapping markups and a hearing. During the House Agriculture Committee markup, Members discussed budget estimates and priorities for the coming fiscal year. Read more here. 

The House Judiciary Committee held a markup on three new bills, including legislation banning Oil production and exporting cartels like OPEC and a bill aimed at disincentivizing states and local governments from suspending driver licenses over unpaid legal penalties and fees. 

Down the hall, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on rural broadband accessibility. Congressman Correa reiterated the importance of universal broadband access as we prepare American communities to succeed in the modern world. 

Congressman Correa joined his colleagues in supporting the “No Ban Act” and called for its passage during Floor debate on Wednesday. 

In preparation for the upcoming withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined Congressman Correa and Members of Congress for a briefing on the Administration’s plan. 

At a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, Congressman Correa asked Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari to discuss recent changes to improve transparency and accountability at the agency.

President Joe Biden announced his plan to reduce domestic greenhouse emissions to 50% of the 2005 levels by 2030. Congressman Correa applauded the Administration for taking up this critical goal and committing to preserving our planet for future generations.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association joined Congressman Correa to share their thoughts on reforming immigration court, the visa process, and immigrant detention. 

Congressman Correa announced his picks for the 117th Congress Member-Designated Transportation Projects. These local projects will be considered for federal funding and have the opportunity to be awarded up to 20 million dollars.

On Thursday, Congressmen Lou Correa and Peter Meijer introduced the DHS Blue Campaign Act, bipartisan legislation that supports training and education programs for law enforcement officers to combat human trafficking.

Joining Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa and Global Counterterrorism Chairman Ted Deutch and Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Micheal McCaul, Congressman Lou Correa signed on to a letter to the Appropriations Committee urging full funding of security assistance to Israel in the FY 2022 budget.

Congressman Correa spoke on the House Floor to commemorate the 46th Anniversary of Black April and the Fall of Saigon. The Congressman praised the resilience and sacrifice of the Vietnamese people who were forced to flee their homes and find refuge here in the United States.

Correa Coast to Coast 

Congressman Correa and his staff are hard at work for the committee. Here’s what his team is getting done for Orange County!

Congressman Correa is excited to announce his 5th Annual Women of the Year event. If you know an exceptional woman who contributes to our community, nominate her here.

The American Rescue Plan stimulus checks are still being mailed to many Americans. If you have not received your check yet, check your status here, or contact our office to get help.

GRANT NEWS! — The Department of Health and Human Services announced it is awarding Orange County Head Start with a $782,520 grant. HHS also awarded Rancho Santiago Community College District with an additional $42,136 to further fund their head start efforts. This is in addition to the $1,015,156 awarded to RSCCD earlier this month. 

FEMA is now accepting applications for COVID-19 funeral reimbursement applications. If you have lost a loved one to COVID-19, Congressman Correa’s district team is ready to help in this difficult time. Visit our website to learn more.

Correa.House.Gov/es en espanol ahora está activo! Haga clic aquí para obtener ayuda!

Members of Congressman Correa’s team met with Alzheimer’s Association and the Orange County Council on Aging to learn about advances being made to diagnose Alzheimer’s and how the federal government can help Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones. 

BIRTHDAY NEWS. My team celebrated local Anaheim resident Desiree Engel’s 100th birthday. Desiree is a long-time Orange County resident, an artist, and a teacher. Happy Birthday, Desiree!

This Week’s Votes

This week, the House passed: 

H.R. 490 – DHS MORALE Act (Rep. Thompson (MS) – Homeland Security)

The bill requires the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) to develop and implement policies related to leadership development, employee engagement, and career progression. The bill requires the CHCO to analyze government-wide Federal workforce satisfaction or morale surveys to inform efforts to improve morale at the Department. It also directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue a report on the direct and indirect impacts of the recent government shutdown on DHS. A previous version of this bill passed the House by voice vote in the 116th Congress (04/01/19).

H.R. 473 – Trusted Traveler Reconsideration and Restoration Act of 2021 (Rep. Katko – Homeland Security)

The bill requires a GAO review of DHS’s trusted traveler programs to examine the extent to which the Department tracks and monitors trends such as identity-matching errors in enrollment and restoration of revoked privileges; coordination with other Federal, State, or local entities regarding redress procedures for disqualifying offenses not covered by the DHS’s redress process that impact an individual’s enrollment in a trusted traveler program; improvements to help individuals access redress procedures; and the extent to which travelers are informed about redress procedures. A version of this bill passed the House by voice vote in the 116th Congress (09/26/2019).

H.R. 370 – Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Technical Corrections Act of 2021 (Rep. Watson Coleman – Homeland Security)

H.R. 370 makes technical corrections regarding the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR), a framework for the missions and goals of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that is required every four years. Among the key provisions are refinements to the deadline, more specificity on outreach to stakeholders, and requirements for supporting documentation. A previous version of this bill passed the House under suspension in the 116th Congress, 415-0 (5/15/19).

H.R. 367 – Homeland Security Acquisition Professional Career Program Act (Rep. Titus – Homeland Security)

This bill would authorize an acquisition professional career program (APCP) within DHS. This program, which DHS established in 2008, is a pipeline for a cadre of acquisition professionals to support the Department’s multi-billion dollar investments in goods and services. A previous version of this bill passed the house by voice vote in the 116thCongress.

H.R. 408 – Department of Homeland Security Mentor-Protégé Program Act of 2021 (Rep. McEachin – Homeland Security)

The bill establishes in law a program in which large businesses (mentor firms) will provide developmental assistance and subcontracting opportunities to small businesses (protégé firms). Mentor firms will be encouraged to offer technical, managerial, and financial assistance to protégé firms, for a period of time no less than three years, through incentives, such as additional credit when being evaluated for the award of future Department contracts. The head of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization is required to report annually to Congress on program participation and the benefits conferred upon to protégé firms. A previous version of this bill passed the House in the 116th Congress by voice vote (12/09/2019).

H.R. 397 – CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2021 (Rep. Gimenez – Homeland Security)

The bill would improve DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis’s (I&A) support of intelligence analysis of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) related terrorist threats and the sharing of relevant threat information with Federal, state, and local stakeholders. The bill would facilitate greater cooperation between DHS components, including the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office and State and local entities, to counter the evolving CBRN threat. A previous version of this bill passed the House by voice vote in the 116th Congress (04/01/2019).

H.R. 396 – Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act (Rep. Garbarino – Homeland Security)

This bill would allow the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) to be used for backfill associated with security training and amends the period of performance for the grant program to at least 36 months, or at least 55 months when the funds are being used for security improvements for public transportation systems or infrastructure. It also mandates a report by GAO on the TSGP. A previous version of HR 396 passed the House on a voice vote (HR1313) on 5/14/2019.

H.R. 1532 – Improving FHA Support for Small Dollar Mortgages Act of 2021 (Rep. Tlaib – Financial Services)

This bill would require the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to conduct a review of its policies to identify any barriers to supporting mortgages under $70,000 (“small-dollar mortgages”) and report to Congress within a year with a plan for removing such barriers.

H.R. 1491 – Fair Debt Collection for Servicemembers Act (Rep. Dean – Financial Services)

The bill would amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to explicitly prohibit a debt collector from threatening or otherwise representing servicemembers that failure to cooperate with a debt collector will result in a reduction of rank, a revocation of security clearance, or military prosecution. The bill also requires the GAO to conduct a study assessing the impact of these protections.

H.R. 1395 – Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2021 (Rep. Beatty – Financial Services)

This bill would require the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to discount upfront mortgage insurance premium payments by 25 basis points for FHA single-family first-time homebuyers who complete a financial literacy housing counseling program.

H.R. 1565 – Senior Security Act (Rep. Gottheimer – Financial Services)

The Senior Security Act of 2021 establishes a Senior Investor Taskforce (Taskforce) within the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In coordination and consultation with state securities administrators, self-regulatory organizations, federal law enforcement agencies, and others, the Taskforce would be charged with identifying issues related to senior investors, i.e., investors over 65 years old. The bill requires biennial Taskforce reports and requires the Government Accountability Office to complete a study on senior financial exploitation and submit the report to Congress and the Taskforce within two years.

H.R. 1528 – Promoting Transparent Standards for Corporate Insiders Act (Rep. Waters – Financial Services)

This bill directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to study and report on possible revisions to regulations regarding 10b5-1 trading plans. (Such plans allow certain employees of publicly traded companies to sell their shares without violating insider trading prohibitions). The SEC must revise regulations consistent with the results of the study.

H.R. 1996 – SAFE Banking Act of 2021 (Rep. Perlmutter – Financial Services)

The SAFE Banking Act would allow state-legal and regulated cannabis businesses to access the financial system by aligning federal and state banking laws. This will allow cannabis businesses and their service providers to have bank accounts and get cash off the streets to improve public safety in communities across the country with some form of legal cannabis. To promote diversity and inclusion, the SAFE Banking Act requires a GAO study and annual regulator reports to Congress to monitor that there is equal access to credit and to reduce barriers to marketplace entry for potential and existing minority-owned and women-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses.

H.R. 1602 – Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021 (Rep. McHenry – Financial Services)

The Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021 directs the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to establish a working group on digital assets. The working group, comprised of representatives of the fintech industry, financial institutions, small businesses, investor protection organizations, and organizations working with historically underserved businesses, will investigate the regulatory framework and developments relating to digital assets. Within one year of enactment of this legislation, the working group will provide a report to the relevant committees in Congress with its analysis and recommendations on best practices on digital assets and provide a second report if the working group is extended one additional year.

H.Res. 130 – Condemning the continued violation of rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong by the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Rep. Meeks – Foreign Affairs)

This resolution condemns the violation of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong by the People’s Republic of China and the government of Hong Kong. It reaffirms support for the Hong Kong people, calls on these governments to respect and uphold commitments under the Joint Declaration; release activists and politicians arrested under the national security law, and encourages the President and Secretaries of State and Treasury to coordinate with allies and partners and continue efforts to respond to these developments.

H.Res. 124 – Supporting the people of Belarus and their democratic aspirations and condemning the election rigging and subsequent violent crackdowns on peaceful protesters by the illegitimate Lukashenka regime (Rep. Keating – Foreign Affairs)

This resolution supports the ongoing peaceful protests of the Belarusian people, condemns the brutal crackdown on civil society/media and the detention of political prisoners by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, calls for a facilitated dialogue with opposition leaders in support of a peaceful transition of power and new elections, asks the international community to reassess financial assistance provided to Belarus after the fraudulent elections, and calls for new targeted sanctions against those committing human rights violations.

H.R. 965 – YALI Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. Bass – Foreign Affairs)

The bill will establish a comprehensive United States Government initiative to build the next generation of young leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa and strengthen ties between U.S. and African businesses through economic, technical, and civic training assistance.

H.R. 1392 – Protection of Saudi Dissidents Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. Connolly – Foreign Affairs)

This bill prevents U.S. involvement or complicity in Saudi attacks against Saudi dissidents while ensuring necessary U.S. – Saudi cooperation continues. If Saudi intelligence or internal security are found to be involved in forced repatriation, silencing, or killing of dissidents in other countries, those agencies are barred from U.S.-provided weapons. The bill also requires a report on if the intelligence community fulfilled their “duty to warn” requirement before Mr. Khashoggi’s murder and on Saudi government repressive actions against dissidents within the U.S., including any Saudi government use of diplomatic facilities to carry out such actions.

H.R. 1083 – Southeast Asia Strategy Act (Rep. Wagner – Foreign Affairs)

This bill directs the State Department to submit to Congress a strategy for engagement with Southeast Asia and ASEAN. The strategy shall include an identification of U.S. regional interests and efforts to bolster ASEAN’s effectiveness; a list of ongoing and planned initiatives to strengthen U.S. relationships in the region and to promote economic growth and energy innovation; and a summary of ongoing efforts to promote human rights and democracy and strengthen the rule of law.

H.R. 241 – Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2021 (Rep. Chabot – Foreign Affairs)

This bill reauthorizes the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act of 1998, allowing a Department of the Treasury program to reduce and restructure debt owed to the United States in exchange for agreements by indebted countries to conserve tropical forests and coral reefs. It redirects loan payments to support conservation efforts and would authorize the appropriation of $20 million each year over the 2022-2026 period for that purpose.

H.R. 1251 – Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2021, as amended (Rep. McCaul – Foreign Affairs)

This bill provides general principles for broader U.S. government cyberspace policy. It also authorizes the establishment of a Bureau of International cyberspace policy at the Department of State. Under the bill, the bureau would have broad responsibilities related to cyberspace, including cybersecurity, Internet access, Internet freedom, and the digital economy.

H.R. 2523 – Training in High-demand Roles to Improve Veteran Employment Act, as amended (Rep. Levin (CA) – Veterans’ Affairs)

This bill would amend the American Rescue Plan to deliver employment training quicker and more effectively through the COVID-19 Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) and make technical corrections to HR 7105 (Public Law 116-315), including authorizing the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to utilize funds under the Readjustment Benefits account for the purpose of VRRAP.

H.R. 1333 – NO BAN Act (Rep. Chu – Judiciary)

This bill prevents executive overreach by prohibiting the president from abusing his authority to restrict the entry of non-citizens into the United States under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

This bill provides a check on the President’s authority by requiring that any suspension or restriction is based on specific and credible facts, is narrowly tailored, specifies a duration, and includes waivers. Additionally, the bill expands the Immigration and Nationality Act’s nondiscrimination provision to prohibit discrimination based on religion and extends the prohibition on discrimination beyond the issuance of immigrant visas to include the issuance of nonimmigrant visas, entry and admission into the United States, and the approval or revocation of any immigration benefit.

Last Congress, this legislation included a provision repealing the Trump Administration’s Muslim Bans; however, because President Biden rescinded the bans, it is no longer necessary to repeal them through this legislation. As a result, a very similar version of this bill passed the House in the previous Congress.

H.R. 1573 – Access to Counsel Act of 2021 (Rep. Jayapal – Judiciary)

This bill ensures that certain individuals who are subjected to prolonged inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at ports of entry have a meaningful opportunity to communicate with counsel and other interested parties.

The bill would apply to individuals who are required to undergo extended processing in secondary or deferred inspection, specifically those individuals with U.S. passports (U.S. citizens), returning permanent residents, individuals with valid visas or other travel documents, and refugees and returning asylees. The bill would permit these individuals to communicate with counsel and other interested parties if held in the secondary inspection for at least one hour. The bill gives DHS and CBP discretion to determine how the consultation takes place and also provides additional protections for lawful permanent residents (LPRs) by prohibiting DHS from accepting a Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status from an LPR without first providing the LPR a reasonable opportunity to consult with counsel.

The same version of this bill, with minor technical changes, passed the House in the previous Congress.

H.R. 2630 – Extending Temporary Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act, as amended (Rep. Pappas – Energy and Commerce)

This bill would temporarily extend the emergency scheduling of fentanyl-related substances until October 22. In response to rising rates of fentanyl overdoses and use, DEA used its authority in 2018 to temporarily place fentanyl-related substances in Schedule I, subjecting these substances to Schedule I regulatory requirements. Congress approved an extension of DEA’s emergency scheduling authority in February 2020. This authority is set to expire on May 6, 2021.

H.R. 51 – Washington, D.C. Admission Act (Rep. Norton – Oversight and Reform)

This bill would admit the State of Washington, D.C., into the Union and reduce the size of the federal district.

This bill provides procedures for admission, including establishing requirements for the first election of two Senators and one Representative, delineating the boundaries of the State and the federal district, clarifying the effect of admission on current laws in the federal district, and prohibiting the State from taxing federal property.

The bill permanently increases the size of the membership of the House of Representatives to 436. It repeals the law providing for the federal district’s participation in the election of the President and Vice President. The bill also establishes a commission to ensure an orderly transition to statehood and a reduced federal district.

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Looking Ahead

Next week is a Committee Work Week in Washington D.C. Congressman Correa will join the House Homeland Security Committee to examine the influx of unaccompanied migrant children at our southern border and the dangerous conditions in Central America that drive migrants north.