Endorsed Policy and Legislation

Members of the Blue Dog Coalition actively work to build bipartisan support for legislation that supports their commitment to the financial stability and national security of the country. Whether it is a Republican idea or a Democratic idea, members of the Blue Dog Coalition introduce and work to pass legislation they believe to restore fiscal accountability, strengthen our economy and help the American people. The Coalition's policy task forces oversee policy development to deliver on their promise of a positive agenda to produce pragmatic, commonsense solutions that move our country forward and address the needs of every community, from rural and tribal communities to metropolitan areas.

Legislation and policy principles endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition in the 117th Session of Congress:
 
TASK FORCE ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND GOVERNMENT REFORM:
 
CHAIR:  Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07)
 
MISSION STATEMENT: The Blue Dog Coalition believes that federal deficits and debt matter. We support smart, balanced policies to ensure healthy and sustainable levels of federal spending and borrowing, while also recognizing that times of emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, require spending measures to end an unforeseen crisis and get the economy back on track. As our national debt reaches unprecedented levels, we believe that fiscal responsibility, accountability, and transparency must be restored. We support measures to balance our budget wherever and however possible, including paying for new initiatives that otherwise create deficit spending, protect and strengthen vital social safety net programs that are projected to become insolvent, and identify and eliminate inefficiency and waste.
 
ENDORSED LEGISLATION:
 
The GAO Database Modernization Act would require agencies to notify GAO when rules have been revoked, suspended, replaced, or amended. This will allow GAO to update their database to denote when rules, both major and not major, are no longer in effect. Agencies are currently only required under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to notify the Comptroller General of GAO when rules are implemented but they are not explicitly required to notify GAO when the rules are revoked, suspended, replaced, or amended. Some lower tier rules fall through the cracks causing burdensome federal oversight by GAO.
 
The John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act eliminates partisan gerrymandering from the congressional redistricting process by requiring each state to establish an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission to redraw congressional district lines once every 10 years that reflect contiguous communities. The legislation is named after former Congressman John Tanner, a founding member of the Blue Dog Coalition who championed this legislation for many years leading up to his retirement in 2010.
 
The Redistricting Transparency Act would require states to publicize redistricting information online, including the data used in the process, details of the process, proposed maps and public hearing dates. It also would require that the public be allowed to comment before maps receive final approval.
 
ENDORSED PRINCIPLES:
  • Blue Dogs believe the American people deserve a full accounting of the nation’s fiscal health on a regular basis from an independent, nonpartisan source. In addition to regular updates from the Congressional Budget Office, the Blue Dogs support a requirement for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to publish an annual report detailing the fiscal health of the nation.
  • Blue Dogs support mechanisms—including No Budget, No Pay—to force Congress to pass a budget and all appropriations bills on time.
 
TASK FORCE ON NATIONAL SECURITY:
 
CHAIR: Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)
 
MISSION STATEMENT: The Blue Dog Coalition believes a strong and smart national security strategy is crucial to the safety and success of our nation and the world. We support policies and initiatives that hold foreign adversaries accountable, bolster American leadership, and modernize the Department of Defense (DoD). These include dedicating DoD resources to modernize high priority programs while responsibly sustaining legacy platforms, and increasing efficiency, transparency and accountability in the DoD budget. As our national security strategy adapts to address both the continued threat of terrorism and the renewal of great power competition, we support measures that counterbalance China and Russia’s expanding influence and equip our military to address persistent and emerging challenges.
 
ENDORSED LEGISLATION:
 
The bipartisan Assessing China’s Presence and Influence in Latin America and the Caribbean Act would require the U.S. government to prepare for Congress a comprehensive assessment of China’s efforts to expand its presence and influence in Latin America and the Caribbean and to describe how these efforts could undermine American interests. Under the bill, U.S. government officials would then be required to brief Congress on America’s strategy to counter China’s more malign activities in this vital region.
 
The BLUE Pacific Act would establish a comprehensive, long-term U.S. strategy across the Pacific Islands region, and authorize $1 billion total in U.S. assistance for the Pacific Islands region over the next five fiscal years.
 
This legislation established the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.
 
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would enhance the federal government’s efforts to prevent domestic terrorism by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to regularly assess this threat and provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it. The Coalition has advocated for this legislation since it was first introduced in the House of Representatives in 2018.
 
The Security Clearance Improvement Act would disqualify participants in the violent assault on the United States Capitol and members of the QAnon conspiracy movement from obtaining or maintaining a federal security clearance.
 
 
TASK FORCE ON JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH:
 
CHAIR: Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46)
 
MISSION STATEMENT: The Blue Dog Coalition believes that a strong economy is the foundation to supporting hardworking American families, creating good-paying jobs that help to strengthen the middle class, and fostering opportunity for future generations. We are focused on delivering 21st-century infrastructure throughout our country, supporting small businesses that drive our local economies, and ensuring that taxation and regulation are fair and foster rather than hinder economic prosperity.
 
ENDORSED LEGISLATION:
 
The bipartisan American Innovation and R&D Competitiveness Act would ensure that the United States continues to be the world leader in innovation by repealing the section of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that requires amortized of R&D expensing over five years beginning in 2022. This would allow businesses to immediately deduct the cost of research and development.
 
The bipartisan SUPPORT for New Workers Act would help unemployed Americans return to work by ensuring that they do not lose income when they take a new job, while also continuing to provide critical assistance to millions of people who can’t find work. Specifically, the bill would provide individuals who have become employed after previously receiving unemployment insurance with weekly payments of $180 (60 percent of their previous $300 per week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit) from the time they become employed until the expiration of FPUC on September 6, 2021 (up to a maximum of nine weeks).
 
 
TASK FORCE ON STRENGTHENING RURAL AMERICA:
 
CHAIR: Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)
 
MISSION STATEMENT: Rural America provides the food, energy, water, natural resources, and infrastructure that much of urban America relies upon. However, as urban America saw a robust recovery from the Great Recession, rural America was left behind by years of neglect, underinvestment, and policies from Washington that ignored the true needs of those of us who live in rural communities. The Blue Dog Coalition supports policies that focus on improving the quality of life for rural American families, by ensuring access to high-quality health care, education, housing, workforce training programs. Additionally, we support policies, like expansion of access to high-speed broadband, which drives investment in small businesses and industry, and, in turn, creates good-paying jobs and opportunities for our children who live in rural communities. Blue Dogs also believe Congress should take action to bring back good-paying manufacturing jobs to rural America, support small businesses, and strengthen American agriculture—especially as farmers face increasingly unpredictable weather patterns due to global climate change. It is these kinds of investments that will allow rural communities to thrive for generations to come.
 
ENDORSED LEGISLATION:
 
The bipartisan, bicameral Disaster Assistance for Rural Small Business Act would help ensure that small businesses in rural parts of the country can more easily access relief from the Small Business Administration (SBA) following a natural disaster. The legislation would waive burdensome restrictions that keep businesses in rural areas with low population densities from applying for federal disaster relief.
 
The Expand Telehealth Access Act would increase access to telehealth services by expanding the list of the providers eligible for Medicare reimbursement for providing care via telehealth.
 
 
 
Issues: