National Update

24 Sep 2013 2:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
Washington Watch: Legislative Update
For the Week of 16 September 2013

I. Legislative News and Activity
II. This Week in Congress
III. Update on Top Legislative Priorities
IV. Statement from National President Canterbury on Navy Yard Shootings
V. FOP's National Blue Alert Bill Passed by Senate Committee

Executive Director Jim Pasco represented the FOP at a farewell reception for Janet Napolitano, who is leaving her post as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the end of the month.

Executive Director Pasco represented the FOP at an event hosted by the National Fusion Center Association and the Criminal Intelligence Coordination Council.

Executive Director Pasco responded to numerous media inquiries following the shootings at the Nay Yard in Washington, D.C.

Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson held several discussions with Senate Judiciary Committee staff regarding H.R. 180/S. 357, the "National Blue Alert Act."

Both the House and the Senate were in session this week.

Action in the House
The House considered and passed H.J. Res. 59, a continuing resolution that will fund the operations of the Federal government and prohibit Federal funds from being spent to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, on a 230-189 vote. The bill will now go to the Senate for further action.

The House considered and passed H.R. 3092, the "Missing Children's Assistance Reauthorization Act," under a suspension of the rules on a 407-2 vote. The bill, which reauhtorizes programs to assist in locating missing children, will be transmitted to the Senate for further action.

The House considered and passed H.R. 3102, the "Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act," on a 217-207 vote. The bill, which would implement reforms to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), now goes to the Senate for further action.

Action in the Senate
The Senate considered, amended and passed H.R. 527, the "Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act," on a 97-2 vote. The bill, which would reform the sale and control of the Federal government's helium supply, will be returned to the House for further action.

The Senate debated S. 1392, the "Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act." A vote on the measure was pushed into next week.

Action in Senate Committees
The Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled "

Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences."

The Committee on the Judiciary considered and passed S. 357, the "National Blue Alert Act," on a 15-3 vote (See Item V. for more information). The bill is now pending before the Senate.

For the complete list of cosponsors for all of our top legislative priorities, or to find out if your Representative and Senators are cosponsors of specific bills, check out

A. Support H.R. 1362/S. 1172, the "Law Enforcement Officers' Equity Act"
We have 18 cosponsors on H.R. 1362.

The Senate companion bill, S. 1172, has no cosponsors at this time.

B. Support H.R. 1795/S. 896, the "Security Fairness Act"
We have 92 cosponsors on H.R. 1795.

We added 1 cosponsor to S. 896, bringing our current total to 14.

C. Support Section 1031 of S. 1034, the " National Defense Authorization Act" to grant Statutory Arrest Authority to Civilian DoD Law Enforcement
The legislation, S. 1034, the "National Defense Authorization Act, 2014" contains language crafted in part by the FOP that would allow the U.S. Secretary of Defense to grant statutory arrest authority to its civilian law enforcement officers. This language can be found in Section 1031.

Yesterday, we witnessed a tragedy unfold in our nation's capital at the Navy Yard--one of the oldest installations of the U.S. Navy. At this time, twelve people and the killer are dead. More are injured, but expected to recover fully. Among the wounded is a 24 year veteran of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, a K-9 Officer that responded to the scene as part of the Active Shooter Response team. The officer is out of surgery and expected to recover.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the all victims.

I am proud of the response of law enforcement to the scene of this horrific crime and the incidents of bravery and heroism that were on display yesterday. All of the agencies that responded to call of the duty are to be commended for the speed and thoroughness of their response, which eliminated the threat and saved lives.

In the days and weeks to come, we will fully cooperate and support the efforts of investigators reviewing the events of yesterday. We stand ready to work with policy-makers, law enforcement agencies, and the U.S. Department of Defense to improve public safety and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed news that S. 357, the "National Blue Alert Act," sponsored by Senators Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) and Lindsay O. Graham (R-SC) was considered and favorably reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary today on a 15-3 vote.

"We are very grateful to the bill's sponsors and cosponsors for their support and, as always, to Chairman Leahy for ensuring its consideration by his committee," Canterbury said. "With his support, we are optimistic that we can get this bill to a vote on the Senate floor."

Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, is an original cosponsor of the bill, as are fellow Judiciary Committee members Senators Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Amy J. Klobuchar (D-MN), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The legislation would establish a "National Blue Alert" system for the local, regional and national dissemination of time-sensitive information to help identify a suspect in the event that a law enforcement officer is killed or seriously injured in the line of duty.

Prior to the bill's consideration Chairman Leahy talked about the importance of the bill to the law enforcement community. He singled out the Fraternal Order of Police for its efforts in support of the measure. Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) also spoke about his strong support for he bill.

"Chairman Leahy, Senators Cardin and Graham put a lot of effort into this legislation and worked very closely with our own National Legislative Office to develop this bill. They deserve our thanks," Canterbury said. "I look forward to working with them and Senate leadership to secure time on the Senate floor for the consideration of the bill."

The Judiciary Committee approved the bill on a 15-3 vote, with Senators Jefferson B. Sessions III (R-AL), Michael S. Lee (R-UT), and Jeffry L. Flake (R-AZ) voting against the bill.

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