It has been one busy week in the House. Working on issues from energy to education to national security, the House is moving bills at breakneck speed to tackle the biggest priorities of the American people.
Here’s a quick rundown of everything the House has accomplished this week:
- The Chairman’s Taskforce on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security led by Leader McCarthy pushed for new legislation to reform the visa waiver program and increase our defenses against terrorists. Currently, about 5,000 people with western passports have traveled to Iraq and Syria and could come to the United States and stay for 90 days with very little scrutiny. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) introduced a bill this week to improve our visa waiver program in many ways. It will: 1) Make sure that travelers from visa waiver program countries coming to the U.S. have electronic passports with biometric information embedded in a chip, 2) improve information sharing with these countries, 3) require people who have travelled to Iraq or Syria or state sponsors of terror within the past 5 years to go through the regular visa process, and 4) require countries in the visa waiver program to report lost or stolen travel documents to Interpol and for travelers to be screened against that Interpol database, and more. The House will vote on this bill next week.
- The House also passed a bill to support our intelligence community, giving them the resources they need to identify threats to our homeland and allies and stop them before they happen. With the resources and capabilities they need, our intelligence personnel can keep our nation safe in an increasingly unsafe world, finding terrorists before they try and hurt us.
- We began the week passing two resolutions to disapprove the President’s regulatory cap-and-trade agenda. The Administration has attempted to enact a massive and harmful set of regulations that would kill jobs, increase costs, and decrease the reliability of our energy supply. The House’s actions make it clear to the world that the country does not support the President’s harmful regulatory agenda and that there is a better way.
- The House made that better way clear with the Architecture of Abundance legislation from Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton (MI-06). America’s energy renaissance has shown that we can decrease greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously increasing energy output and growing our economy. In fact, even while experiencing a boom in natural gas and oil production because of great technological advances in exploration, America still saw a decrease in carbon emissions by 9 percent from 2005 to 2013—more than in any other country. Architecture of Abundance enables even more American success by 1) modernizing our energy infrastructure, 2) reducing red tape blocking development, 3) securing our electrical grid, and 4) extending America’s newfound energy freedom to our allies by lifting the oil export ban and speeding the review of natural gas export permits. Together, these reforms will bring our energy policy into the 21st
- Yesterday, the House passed a conference report marking the biggest devolution of federal power over education back to the states in decades. The Every Student Succeeds Act is a good bill done the right way: it gives power over education back to local governments and parents and it was passed after a bicameral conference where the House and Senate were able to work out our differences. With less centralized power in the federal bureaucracy, our students will have a new chance to succeed.
- The House passed a long-term highway bill for the first time in a decade. This five-year infrastructure bill will make the Surface Transportation Program a block grant, giving states the flexibility they need to fund the most necessary transportation projects. It will also streamline the environmental review and permitting process so that our infrastructure improvements don’t get bogged down in unnecessary red tape. On top of all of that, the bill rejects the idea that we have to burden middle class families with a gas tax increase to fund infrastructure programs.
All in all, that made for a busy week in the House. Next week we plan to continue our progress to make sure the people’s House is always working hard for the American people.