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The Leader’s Floor Lookout: Week of February 6, 2023

Here’s what to watch for on the House Floor this week:

Ending the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for International Air Travelers

The vast majority of Americans are returning to their lives before COVID-19. Schools have resumed in-person learning, mask mandates have been lifted, and workers are going back to the office.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still blocking international travelers from entering the United States if they are not vaccinated for COVID-19. This is wrong, and this needs to end.

On April 7, 2022, the CDC issued an order in the Federal Register that prohibited international travelers from entering the country unless they showed proof of COVID-19 vaccination. 

Rep. Thomas Massie’s legislation, H.R. 185, prevents the CDC from enforcing this order and terminates the COVID-19 vaccine mandate placed on international air travelers to the United States.

In addition, Rep. Massie’s legislation bars the CDC from issuing additional orders requiring travelers to prove they have received the COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter the United States.

Illegal Aliens Should Not Vote in U.S. Elections

Voting is a foundational right of citizenship. It is a constitutional right that American citizens should only hold. 

On November 21, 2022, the D.C. Council voted to shred the Constitution and passed a bill that allows illegal immigrants to vote in D.C. local elections.
The Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act disenfranchises American citizens and could have a ripple effect across other large U.S. cities. To add insult to injury, this legislation makes no exception for foreign nationals or diplomats. This means that representatives from other countries, including agents of the Chinese Communist Party, can vote in D.C. elections.

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer’s legislation, H.J.Res. 24, would express disapproval toward D.C.’s policy allowing non-citizens to vote.

Stopping the D.C. Council’s Horrific Soft-on-Crime Policies

Over the last few years, we have seen the consequences of Democrats’ embrace of the radical “Defund the Police” and “No Cash Bail” movements. By slashing police budgets, ending cash bail, and allowing violent offenders back onto our streets, radical Democrats have made our communities less safe. 

Recently, the D.C. Council voted to revise the district’s criminal code and soften penalties for violent crimes.

 The Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 Act: 
  • Eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for all crimes except first-degree murder. 
  • Eliminates life sentences and reduces maximum penalties for violent crimes, such as burglary, carjackings, and robberies.
  • Expands the right to a jury trial to include most misdemeanors.
The legislation was so bad, far-left D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser attempted to veto it. However, on January 17, the D.C. Council voted 12-1 to override Mayor Bower’s veto. In a letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Mayor Bowser wrote, “I have very serious concerns about some of the bill’s proposals,” and “I believe it is more important to get this opportunity right than to add policies and weaken penalties into what should be a bill that makes DC safer.”

Additionally, the hyper-progressive Washington Post editorial board came out against the D.C. Council’s soft-on-crime legislation.

The District of Columbia cannot afford to give criminals a free pass. Compared to February 2022:
  • Motor vehicle theft is up 86 percent.
  • Sexual abuse is up 117 percent.
  • Total property crime is up 26 percent.
  • Homicides have increased by 20 percent.

Under the D.C. Home Rule Act, Congress can stop D.C. Council actions from taking effect. To do so, both the House and Senate must pass a joint resolution of disapproval within 60 days for criminal code reforms, and the President must also sign the resolution.

Rep. Andrew Clyde’s legislation, H.J.Res. 26, is the first step in preventing this misguided bill from the D.C. Council from going into effect.