With GOP Leadership, Congress Actually Got a Lot Done This Week With GOP Leadership, Congress Actually Got a Lot Done This Week – NTK Network

With GOP Leadership, Congress Actually Got a Lot Done This Week

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bills on financial reform, 'right to try,' and prison reform. All three received bipartisan votes.

By NTK Staff | 05.23.2018 @9:00am
With GOP Leadership, Congress Actually Got a Lot Done This Week

Who says Congress can’t get anything done? On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed three bills with bipartisan support, dealing with the topics of reforming the Dodd-Frank bill, easing ‘right to try’ in the U.S., and helping prisoners transition back to society.

First, the House passed the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act, by a vote of 250 to 169. Twenty-two Democrats joined 228 Republicans to support the legislation.

According to CQ, the bill:

…would allow patients with life-threatening diseases or conditions who are not participating in clinical trials to seek access to experimental and investigational drugs directly from a drug manufacturer, without approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

The bill already passed in the Senate by unanimous consent, in August 2017.

Second, the House passed the FIRST STEP Act, 360 to 59. A whopping 134 Democrats joined 226 Republicans to support the bill. Only two Republicans and 57 Democrats were opposed.

According to CQ, the bill:

…would require the Justice Department to develop a system to determine the risk of recidivism for each prisoner. It would authorize $50 million annually in fiscal 2019 through fiscal 2023 to carry out the system. It would require the Justice Department to provide incentives for inmates to participate in certain recidivism reduction programs. It would also generally prohibit the use of restraints on pregnant prisoners.

That bill now goes to the U.S. Senate.

Finally, the House passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, a Dodd-Frank reform bill, 258 to 159. Thirty-three Democrats joined 225 Republicans to support the bill.

CQ says the bill:

…would apply the more stringent bank regulation provisions of the 2010 financial overhaul to banks with $250 billion in assets, instead of those with at least $50 billion in assets.

Proponents have argued the bill will ease regulations on small and mid-sized banks, while opponents like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) argue the bill could pave the way for the same behavior that helped lead to the Great Recession.

The Senate passed the bill in March, on a bipartisan 67-31 vote.

These three bills will give Republican leadership accomplishments to run on in 2018, and may even give some moderate Democrats the right to claim they can work in a bipartisan manner. They may be among the last pieces of legislation passed in Congress ahead of a contentious election year.

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