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.
Legislation endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition in the 115th Session of Congress:
H.R. 71, Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act (Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN)
The Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act requires every federal agency to publish an annual report card for each of its programs. Those report cards will then be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget, where any overlapping programs will be determined, and recommendations for ways to cut wasteful spending and eliminate identical programs will be made.
H.R. 1779, No Budget, No Pay Act (Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN)
The No Budget, No Pay Act halts paychecks for all House and Senate members if they miss annual deadlines for budget and appropriations bills. It prohibits members from receiving pay for each day past Sept. 30 that budget and spending bills don’t pass. Under this legislation, members are not allowed to recover the pay retroactively.
H.R. 79, HALOS Act (Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ)
The Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act clarifies confusing regulations that prevent small businesses from participating in “demo days”, or business plan competitions, startup days, innovation summits, and other public forums. Demo days provide important opportunities for startups to share their business plans with angel investors, business experts, and other entrepreneurs who can help turn innovative ideas into reality and create good-paying jobs.
H.R. 749, Lower Drug Costs through Competition Act (Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR)
The Lower Drug Costs Through Competition Act incentivizes drug makers to develop generic drugs when competition currently does not exist, or when there is a drug shortage.
H.R. 804, Protect the National Security Council From Political Interference Act of 2017 (Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-FL)
The Protect the National Security Council From Political Interference Act of 2017 protects the National Security Council (NSC) from political interference and to ensure that the president is receiving counsel from national security experts without the dangerous influence of partisan politics.
H.R. 2645, POISE Act (Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-FL)
The Prevention and Oversight of Intelligence Sharing with Enemies (POISE) Act requires the President to notify congressional intelligence committees when an official in the executive branch of the federal government, including the President, knowingly or unintentionally reveals Top Secret classified information to the representatives of a nation that is designated to be a state sponsor of terrorism or is the subject of U.S. economic sanctions based on state-sponsored conduct.
H.R. 1873, Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act (Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR)
The Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act allows utility companies to more efficiently remove hazardous trees and other vegetation near transmission lines, reducing the risk of wildfires. It provides utilities with the ability to rapidly remove hazardous trees by receiving pre-approval from the Forest Service to manage transmission line rights of way and remove trees that are or could become hazards. Through this bill, if a utility requests authorization to remove a tree and is denied by the Forest Service, the Forest Service is responsible for any firefighting costs that result from the failure to remove the tree.
H.R. 712, John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act (Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN)
The John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act removes politics and partisanship from the congressional redistricting process. Under the bill, each state would be required to establish an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission to redraw congressional district lines once every 10 years that reflect contiguous communities. These communities would replace carved-out, gerrymandered districts that protect extreme political partisans.
H.R. 713, Redistricting Transparency Act of 2017 (Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN)
The Redistricting Transparency Act of 2017 requires 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 requires that the public be allowed to comment before maps receive final approval.
H.R. 3100, Requiring a National Strategy for Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Related Forms of Illicit Finance (Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ)
H.R. 3100 is designed to combat terrorism financing by establishing a whole-of-government strategy to combat the financing of terrorism.
H.J. Res. 107, Balanced Budget Amendment (Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-FL)
H.J. Res. 107 would amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit the federal government from spending more than it receives in any given fiscal year, except in the cases of war or recession. The Amendment also generally prohibits a court from enforcing this requirement by ordering cuts to Social Security or Medicare payments. The Amendment requires the President to annually submit to Congress a budget in which total outlays do not exceed total receipts. It also prohibits federal total outlays for a fiscal year from exceeding total receipts for that fiscal year, unless Congress authorizes the excess by a vote of three-fifths of the members of each chamber.
Health Care: "Solutions Over Politics" (Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR)
Solutions Over Politics seeks to stabilize the individual market while protecting plans for people with pre-existing conditions, keeping costs down for lower income folks, promoting enrollment and ensuring everyone pays their fair share. The plan also calls for improvements to the ACA including ways to reduce churn in the market and drawing bidding areas to ensure that rural areas aren’t left at a disadvantage.
Blue Dog Vision for Tax Reform (Blue Dog Coalition)
The Blue Dog Vision for Tax Reform is a set of principles developed in hopes of getting a real seat at the negotiating table with congressional Republicans on tax reform. In these tax reform principles, the Blue Dogs called for Congress to pursue a bipartisan process, address the national debt, prioritize the middle class, create jobs, and invest in infrastructure.
Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017 (Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA)
The Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017 stabilizes premiums and the individual health insurance market, and improves the Affordable Care Act. The bipartisan health care bill was introduced in the Senate by Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has reported that the Alexander-Murray bill would reduce the deficit by $3.8 billion over the next 10 years. The Blue Dog Coalition also endorsed former Chairman Rep. Kurt Schrader’s Solutions Over Politics, which served as a the foundation for bipartisan health care negotiations in the House and the Senate.
H.R. 3879, the Taxpayers Don’t Incur Meaningless Expenses (Taxpayers DIME) Act (Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-AZ, and Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR)
The Taxpayers DIME Act ensures no taxpayer money is spent on government air travel that violates rules applied to senior federal officials, increases transparency and oversight of government travel, and calls for the independent Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to report on ways to strengthen existing rules.
H.R. 4884, the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act (Rep. Brad Schneider, D-IL, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL)
The DETER Act requires a Director of National Intelligence report on foreign interference in U.S. elections and the imposition of sanctions against Russian oligarchs and Russian financial, energy, defense, intelligence, mining, and aerospace entities should Russia interfere again. The bill also requests a report on the President’s strategy to deter future interference in U.S. elections by China, Iran, North Korea, or any other foreign government.
H.R. 4918, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (Rep. Brad Schneider, D-IL, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-TX, and Rep. Lou Correa, D-CA)
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to issue a yearly report on the threat posed by domestic terrorist groups, and focus their efforts on the threats outlined in the joint report. The bill also codifies the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee (DTEC) interagency task force, improves the training offered by the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Program, and streamlines coordination between the various agencies and offices, including state, local, and regional offices, working to combat domestic terrorism.
H.R.4084, To repeal the amendments made to the Controlled Substances Act by the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 (Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN)
This legislation repeals the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016. The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” revealed that the Act has severely restricted the ability of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to investigate and discipline opioid distributors suspected of illegal behavior. The House bill would restore the stronger, original standard.
H.R. 5259, Stemming the Tide of Rural Economic Stress and Suicide (STRESS) Act (Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-AZ)
This legislation increases access to mental health treatment for farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers. Specifically, the STRESS Act reauthorizes the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) to give states needed resources to provide mental health services for farmers and ranchers. Though the program was first authorized in 2008, it did not receive funding and therefore lapsed. The STRESS Act will renew FRSAN, restoring our nation's attention to Americans in farming who are disproportionately affected by high rates of suicide.
H.R. 5008, Presidential Inaugural Committee Oversight Act (Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-OR)
This legislation would increase transparency and accountability around the fundraising and spending of Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) money. Specifically, the Presidential Inaugural Committee Oversight Act would establish three basic requirements for all future Presidential Inauguration Committees: 1) The committee must provide the FEC with a full list of expenditures for all committee business with regular updates until the committee is disbanded. 2) A restriction that funds raised be spent only on official activities and not on lavish salaries or bonuses. 3) A mandate that any surplus funds be given to a charity organization.
H.R. 4362, Fairness for Rural Veterans Act (Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-AZ)
The Fairness for Rural Veterans Act makes it easier for rural communities to compete for federal funding to build new state veterans nursing homes. Under current law, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses a priority list based on demographics and need to determine rankings for projects to receive funding. The list does not take into account how far veterans and their families have to travel. This process makes it difficult for projects in rural communities to compete for funding. The Fairness for Rural Veterans Act creates a new priority group for the VA to consider in its process for ranking projects across the country. The new priority group includes projects in states deemed by the VA to have a great or significant need for beds located at least 100 miles away from the nearest state veterans home.
H.R. 6165, the Combating Opioid Misuse Before Addiction for our Troops (COMBAT) Act (Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-AZ)
This bipartisan bill prevents the overprescription of opioids to active duty servicemembers, their families, and retirees who use TRICARE by requiring the Department of Defense to implement a seven day first-fill limit for opioid prescriptions. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is rare for a patient’s treatment to require more than seven days of supplied opioids. The COMBAT Act replicates what many states have already implemented to limit initial prescriptions. The bill maintains provider discretion to override the seven day limit if they deem it medically necessary. It also includes exemptions for servicemembers who have experienced traumatic injury, are in substance abuse disorder treatment, receive hospice and palliative care, are undergoing cancer care, or suffer from chronic pain and are in a pain management program.
A Strong Rural America (Blue Dog Coalition)
A Strong Rural America is an agenda that outlines the path to prosperity and restoring the American Dream in rural communities across the country. The agenda is intended to provide a roadmap for Congress to take a commonsense, bipartisan approach to revitalizing rural communities and addressing the level of inequality between rural and urban America. A Strong Rural America focuses on the following key ways to put rural communities on the path to prosperity: 1) Growing the rural economy; 2) Increasing access to affordable health care; 3) Empowering the next generation of workers with the skills they need to succeed; 4) Expanding 21st century infrastructure to rural America in order to connect businesses with the global market; 5) And ensuring rural veterans get the care and services they need after they return home.
Break the Gridlock (Problem Solvers Caucus)
Break the Gridlock is a package of proposed changes to the House Rules that would make Congress work for the American people. The proposed rule changes reward openness and transparency, incentivize a willingness to reach across the aisle, encourage debate on the issues of the day, and empower lawmakers to find real solutions concerning our nation’s most pressing matters. The package includes proposals to give fast-track priority consideration to bipartisan legislation and guarantees markups on bipartisan legislation from every Member of Congress.