The Source

The Source on Women’s Issues in Congress, June 11-15, 2018

Floor Action:

Child Protection— On June 13, the House passed, by voice vote, H.R. 4655, the Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) Act. The bill would prohibit the importation or interstate transportation of child sex dolls.

Veterans— On June 13, the House passed, by voice vote, H.R. 4635, a bill to direct the secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase peer-to-peer counseling for women veterans. The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved the bill on May 8 (see The Source, 5/11/18).

Mark-Ups:

Appropriations— On June 13, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs approved, by voice vote, the FY2019 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

According to the committee summary, the bill would provide a total of $54 billion for discretionary and Overseas Contingency Operations funding, which is the same as the FY2018 enacted level. Among other provisions, the legislation would prohibit all global health assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions and funding for the United Nations Population Fund, also known as UNFPA, and would cap funding for family planning and reproductive health programs at $461 million cap, an amount equal to the FY2008 enacted level.

On June 13, the House Appropriations Committee passed, 28-20, the FY2019 Financial Services and General Government spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government passed the measure on May 24 (see The Source, 5/25/18; please click here for the committee report).

Also on June 13, the House Appropriations Committee passed, 48-4, the FY2019 Defense spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered­). On June 7, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense passed the bill (see The Source, 6/8/18; please click here for the committee report).

On June 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed, 31-0, S. 3071, the FY2019 Legislative Branch spending bill. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch passed the bill on June 12. The House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the bill (H.R. 5894) on May 8 (see The Source, 5/11/18; please click here for the committee report).

On June 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed, 30-0, S. 3072, the FY2019 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies spending bill. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies passed the bill by voice vote on June 12. On May 17, the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the bill (H.R. 5952) (see The Source, 5/18/18; please click here for the committee report).

According to the Senate committee summary, the measure would provide $62.995 billion in overall funding, $3.4 billion over the FY2018 enacted level. The bill would allocate $2.87 billion for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention grant programs, including the Office on Violence Against Women, and $214.5 million for initiatives to address sexual assault kits and other DNA evidence backlogs.

On June 15, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies approved, by voice vote, the FY2019 Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

According to the committee summary, the bill would provide $177.1 billion in discretionary funding, which is the same as the FY2018 enacted level. The legislation would include $655 million for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, $3 million above the FY2018 enacted level, and also eliminate all funding for the Title X Family Planning Program and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grants. In addition, the bill would provide a $50 million increase in funding to early childhood programs and a $1.25 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health.

Family Support— On June 13, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee approved the Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

The bill would reauthorize through FY2023 several domestic and international nutritional assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Commodity Distribution Programs, the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, and the Food for Peace Act.

Among other provisions important to women and their families, the legislation would allow the certification of additional training and work opportunity programs, known as workforce partnerships, for SNAP eligibility and would require that assistance under the McGovern-Dole program be provided in a timely manner and be made available when needed throughout the applicable school year.

Miscellaneous— On June 13, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed, by voice vote, H.R. 4463, which designates the Mabel Lee Memorial Post Office.

Hearings:

Employment— On June 13, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing, “Confronting Sexual Harassment and Other Workplace Misconduct in the Federal Judiciary.”