“NO” on Mandatory GMO Labeling Act (S. 764)

This week, the House is scheduled to vote on S. 764, a Senate-passed bill authored by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) 51% and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) 5% that would create a new federal labeling requirement for GMO products.

The new GMO labeling requirements passed by the Senate stand in stark contrast to the approach advocated by the House. In their “A Better Way” blueprint — a product of Speaker Ryan’s task force on the economy and regulations — House Republicans embraced voluntary labeling standards:

“YES” on Separation of Powers Restoration Act (H.R. 4768)

This week, the House is expected to vote on H.R. 4768, the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA), sponsored by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) 95%.  

As one of the legislative proposals in the Constitution Task Force, SOPRA would end decades of excessive judicial deference to executive branch agencies when interpreting statutes, a practice known as Chevron Deference. Established by a 1984 Supreme Court decision, Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., Chevron deference has created a dangerous precedence of having the court defer to the agency when reviewing interpretation of an ambiguous law, as long as the agency’s interpretation is not “unreasonable.”  But by doing so, the courts have made the executive branch stronger at the expense of Congress.

Amendments to Financial Services Appropriations (H.R. 5485)

Heritage Action will key vote the following six amendments to H.R. 5485, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act:

Key Vote Alert: “YES” Davidson “Draft Our Daughters” Prohibition

This week, the House will vote on an amendment offered by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) 86% to H.R. 5485, the Financial Services Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017. His amendment would prohibit the use of funds to change the Selective Service System registration requirements to force young women between the ages of 18 and 26 to sign up for the Selective Service. This amendment would confirm the previous House opposition to this policy during consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Amendments to Defense Appropriations (H.R. 5293)

Heritage Action will key vote the following amendments to H.R. 5293,  Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2017:

Key Vote Alert: “YES” Gosar Anti-DACA Amendment (#4)

This week, the House will vote on an amendment by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) 93% to H.R. 5293, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2017. The amendment would prohibit funds from being used to extend the expiration of, or reissue a new expiration date to, the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program.

“NO” on Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (H.R. 5278)

On Thursday, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), which attempts to address Puerto Rico’s current debt crisis.

Since June 2015, The Heritage Foundation has written over 20 reports and commentary pieces analyzing the situation in Puerto Rico, proposing needed reforms, and analyzing Congressional proposals. In March 2016, Heritage Action laid out what a conservative response to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis would look like. To summarize those efforts:

  1. Pro-growth reforms are essential, particularly exemptions from the Jones Act and federal minimum wage
  2. No direct cash bailouts or indirect bailouts of any kind
  3. No coercive debt restructuring or other violation of creditors’ legal claims

Unfortunately, PROMESA falls woefully short on pro-growth reforms. The legislation does nothing to limit the Jones Act’s restrictions on Puerto Rico’s ability to openly trade with the U.S. mainland, and its minimum wage provision is extremely limited, even if Puerto Rico’s governor decides to implement it. In fact, Puerto Rico’s non-voting member of Congress Pedro R. Pierluisi told CQ “that in his interpretation it was mostly ‘meaningless’ in that it will never be implemented.” Without these measures, Puerto Rico has little chance to grow, making it more likely that Puerto Rico will be back again soon asking for a bailout.