• Debating U.S. Border Policies and Foreign Aid, Providing Tax Relief Before Tax Season, and Training More Nurses

    Posted Date March 1, 2024 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    The Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act (HR 815) – Formerly known as the RELIEVE Act, this bill was originally written to improve veteran eligibility for reimbursement for emergency treatment. However, the bill was altered to incorporate the Senate’s effort to combine new U.S. border policies with aid for wars abroad. On Feb. 13, the Senate passed this bill to provide $95.3 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. While the border policy portion of the bill was struck out, the Senate did manage to pass the foreign aid funding. The bill includes $4.83 billion to help deter China’s aggression against Taiwan, $9.15 billion in humanitarian assistance to civilians in conflict zones such as Gaza and the West Bank, $14.1 billion to support Israel’s war against Hamas, and $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. It is worth noting that about 75 percent of the Ukraine funding would be spent in the United States to refill inventories and purchase new weapons from American manufacturers. However, the House speaker has indicated he will not bring the bill to the floor for a vote until they have satisfactorily readdressed immigration policies affecting the U.S. border.

    Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 (HR 7024) – This bipartisan legislation was introduced on Jan. 17 by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO). The bill includes a variety of tax-related provisions, such as enhancing the low-income housing and child tax credits, as well as offering additional tax incentives to promote economic growth for small and private business owners and entrepreneurs. The bill passed in the House on Jan. 31 and has the potential to pass in the Senate before the April tax filing deadline.

    No Dollars to Uyghur Forced Labor (HR 4039) – This bill prohibits two U.S. government agencies from spending funds associated with goods procured via forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. However, if the State Department advises Congress of evidence that no forced labor was used in making particular goods, it may waive the prohibition. The act was introduced by Rep. Nathaniel Moran (R-TX) on June 12, 2023. It passed in the House on Feb. 13 and currently lies with the Senate.

    A bill to improve performance and accountability in the Federal Government and for other purposes (S 709) – This bipartisan bill was introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on March 8, 2023. It is designed to improve performance and accountability within the Federal Government by re-evaluating the goals of federal agencies and authorizing a Deputy Performance Improvement Officer in addition to a Performance Improvement Officer. The act passed in the Senate on Feb. 8 and is now under consideration in the House.

    Train More Nurses Act (S 2853) – This bill requires the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services to research and prepare recommendations to make grant programs that support nurses more effectively. Specifically, how to increase pathways for experienced nurses to become teachers at nursing schools, particularly in underserved areas, and how to encourage more licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses. The act, which was introduced by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) on May 3, 2023, passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on Jan. 24. It is currently under review in the House.


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