Highlights from the Week
1. On December 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that addresses human rights issues concerning the Uyghurs and other minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. This bill seeks to: establish a special coordinator for Uyghur Issues position within the Department of State, authorize the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs to make certain funds available to human rights advocates working on behalf of Uyghurs and member of other ethnic/religious groups persecuted in China and their involvement in public diplomacy forums to speak on issues. This bill also requires the State Department to ensure that Uyghur language training is available to Foreign Service offices, and ensures that a Uyghur-speaking member of the Foreign Service is assigned to U.S. diplomatic and consular missions in China. Click here to read the bill text as well as the vote breakdown. Click here to read Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s statement and here to see statements mentioning Uyghur, foreign affairs, and human rights by members of Congress.
2. On December 6, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Rural Opioid Abuse Prevention Act. This bill, which allows for expanded grant funding for pilot programs in rural areas to implement community response programs that focus on reducing opioid overdose deaths, was introduced by Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in the Senate last year and passed the chamber then. The House bill, sponsored by Representatives Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Randy Feenstra (R-IA), passed Wednesday. Click here to read the bill text as well as the vote breakdown. Additionally, click here to read Senator Ossoff’s statement, here to read Grassley’s statement, here to read Representative Lamb’s statement, and here to read Feenstra’s statement.
3. On December 13, President Joe Biden signed into law the Respect for Marriage Act. This bill provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages by replacing and repealing provisions that define, for the purposes of federal law, marriages as between a man and a woman and spouse as an individual of the opposite sex with provisions that recognize any marriage that is valid under state law. Click here to read the bill text as well as the vote breakdown. Click here to read President Joe Biden's statement and here for a statement from Vice President Kamala Harris. Click here to see statements mentioning the Respect for Marriage Act by members of Congress.
By the Elections Research team: Nick, Zachary, Courtney, Seth, & Caleb and Elections Research intern: Francesca
Want to learn more about the results of the 2022 midterm elections? You can see the full list of results for these offices below:
Biographies: Want to learn more about officials who have been sworn in at the state level? You can see the full list of officials here:
By the Officials Research team: Noah, James, Johanan, Neal, Thomas, Bibi, Craig, and Israel
Public Statements: 873 statements were added this week. See highlights from the week for notable statements.
States: 27 new votes were added.
Kansas passed HB 2279 which was then signed into law by the governor, which votes to adopt a conference report that authorizes the prescribing of drugs without a supervising physician. This bill seeks to amend law to allow advanced practice nurses to prescribe durable medical equipment and any drug associated with the nurse’s specific roll and prohibits nurses from prescribing any drug with the intent to cause abortion. This bill also requires advanced nurses to maintain malpractice insurance coverage except for the following practices: covered under Federal Tort Claims Act or Kansas Tort Claims Act; practices solely as charitable health care providers; and those serving under active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
New York passed A 7363 which was then signed into law by the governor, which prohibits health care providers from placing home-liens or wage garnishments in collection of medical debt. This bill seeks to prohibit entering or enforcement of lien against a debtor’s primary residence in an action arising from a medical debt and brought by a hospital licensed under article twenty-eight of the public health law or a health care professional authorized under title eight of the education law. This bill also seeks to authorize this act to take immediate effect.
West Virginia passed SB 25 which was then signed into law by the governor, which would establish the Medical Professional Liability Act to clarify liability lawsuits involving injury or deaths at long-term care facilities. This bill seeks to establish the Medical Professional Liability Act to clarify liability lawsuits involving injury or deaths at long-term care facilities. This bill also specifies that a health care provider who executes a screening certificate of merit be subject to a deposition pursuant to the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure if requested by the health care provider of providers who care is the subject of the notice of claim.
Federal Legislation: 6 new votes
HR 4785 - To support the human rights of Uyghurs and members of other minority groups residing primarily in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and safeguard their distinct identity, and for other purposes
Special Interest Groups:
This year to date, the SIGs team has rated 118,652 candidates and entered endorsements for 46,118 candidates.