Appropriations- Congress failed to pass H.R. 695, a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through February 8, 2019, resulting in a partial government shutdown.
On December 6, Congress passed the previous CR (P.L. 115-298), which also contained extensions for the Violence Against Women Act (P.L. 113-4) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (see The Source, 12/7/18); it expired on December 21.
Child Protection- On December 20, the House passed, 388-2, S. 2961, the Victims of Child Abuse Reauthorization Act. The Senate cleared the bill on December 11 (see The Source, 12/14/18); the House vote clears the bill for the president’s signature.
Human Trafficking- On December 20, the House approved, 386-6, H.R. 767, the Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond to Health and Wellness Act. The House passed an earlier version of the bill on February 26 (see The Source, 3/2/18), which the Senate later amended and passed by voice vote on December 20.
On December 21, the House passed, 370-0, S. 1862, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, as amended, and, 368-7, H.R. 2200, the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act, as amended. The Senate approved both measures on December 17; the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the bills on September 26 (see The Source, 9/28/18).
International- On December 20, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, H.R. 1660, the Global Health Innovations Act. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the bill on March 20 (see The Source, 3/23/18).
Also on December 21, the House passed, 352-18, S. 3247, the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act, as amended. The Senate cleared the bill by unanimous consent on December 19; the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the measure on November 28 (see The Source, 11/30/18).
Judiciary- On December 20, the House approved, 358-36, S. 756, the First Step Act, as amended, clearing the bill for the president’s signature. The Senate approved the measure on December 18, by a vote of 87-12.
Among other provisions, the measure contains provisions to prohibit the use of restraints on pregnant women during labor and postpartum recovery, provide adequate supplies of feminine hygiene products, and collect data on the number of pregnant prisoners in the federal prison system.
Miscellaneous– On December 21, the House approved, 375-6, H.R. 7293, a bill to designate the Louise and Bob Slaughter Post Office facility in New York. The bill honors the late-Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) who passed away in March.
STEM- On December 20, the House approved, 378-13, H.R. 5509, the Innovations in Mentoring, Training, and Apprenticeships Act. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee passed the bill on April 17 (see The Source, 4/20/18).