The Source

The Source on Women’s Issues in Congress, May 21-25, 2018

Floor Action:

Employment— On May 24, the Senate passed, by voice vote, S. 2952, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act. The bill contains provisions to address sexual harassment in the congressional workplace.

Military— On May 24, the House approved, 351-66, H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act. The House Armed Services Committee passed the bill on May 10 (see The Source, 5/11/18).

Veterans— On May 21, the House approved, by voice vote, H.R. 4334, the Improving Oversight of Women Veterans’ Care Act, and H.R. 4451, the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act, as amended, by a vote of 377-1. Among other provisions, H.R. 4451 would extend the homeless women veterans and veterans with children reintegration programs for five years.

On May 21, the House approved, by voice vote, H.R. 3642, the Military Sexual Assault Victims Empowerment Act, as amended.

On May 23, the Senate passed, 92-5, S. 2372, the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act, clearing the measure for the president’s signature. The House passed the bill on May 16 (see The Source, 5/18/18).

Mark-Ups:

Appropriations— On May 24, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved S. 2976, the FY2019 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies spending bill. The Senate Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Subcommittee passed the bill on May 22; the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the bill (H.R. 5961) on May 16 (see The Source, 5/18/18).

According to the committee summary, the measure would provide $145.1 billion in overall funding, $710 million below FY2018. Among other provisions, the bill would provide $6.15 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), $73.210 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP), and $23.184 billion for Child Nutrition Programs.

On May 23, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Related Agencies Spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, HUD, and Related Agencies passed the bill on May 16 (see The Source, 5/18/18; please click here for the committee report).

On May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved the FY2019 Financial Services and General Government spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

According the committee summary, the bill would provide a total of $23.4 billion in overall funding, including $18 million for women’s business centers. Among other provisions, the measure would prohibit the use of funding in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program for abortions.

Health— On May 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 2789, the Substance Abuse Prevention Act. Among other provisions, the bill would provide resources for pregnant and post-partum women who have a substance abuse disorder.

International— On May 22, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved S. 2269, the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act.

Military— On May 22, the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel passed, by voice vote, its portion of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (as-yet-unnumbered). On May 24, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved the overall bill, 25-2. Among other provisions, the legislation contains provisions to address military sexual assault, domestic violence, and would prevent service members who have given birth from being deployed for 12 months, with exceptions.

Hearings:

Child Protection— On May 23, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing, “Examining the Olympic Community’s Ability to Protect Athletes from Sexual Abuse.”