The public opinion polls for the U.S. Congress hover at 20 percent approval. Not surprising. No major legislation made it through Congress during 2017 and 2018 except for the tax bill.

After the 2018 election, however, the dynamic within the House of Representatives changed. The following is the list of bills passed in the House so far in 2019:

  • H.R. 1 – For The People Act to restore confidence in our democracy.
  • H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 – Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act, commonsense gun violence prevention measures.
  • H.R. 7 – Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
  • H.R. 1585 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, a strong improvement and long-term reauthorization of VAWA.
  • H.R. 1644 – Save The Internet Act to restore vital net neutrality protections.

In the coming weeks, votes will be taken on:

  • Protecting People with Pre-existing Conditions Act and other legislation to lower health costs by reducing prescription drug prices.
  • H.R. 9 – Climate Action Now Act to preserve the Paris Climate Accord and lay the foundation for more action.
  • • H.R. 5 – Equality Act to end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.
  • • H.R. 6 – The American Dream and Promise Act to protect Dreamers, TPS and DED recipients.

It is hard to find anything in these bills that is not in the interest of the people. Unfortunately, these bills are all dead on arrival at the Senate: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, won’t allow discussion or a vote on these bills. The only bill passed in 2019 has been one dealing with criminal justice reform.

The majority in the House is now Democrat, the Senate majority is Republican. Divided government is not a bad thing; it could create a productive discussion and negotiation leading to action on issues of concern to the citizens. Unfortunately, that is not the current dynamic, the Senate is supposed to work for us by deliberating and voting on important legislation, not play deaf, dumb, and blind on bills sent to them by the House of Representatives.

Mary Smith,

Richland Center

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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