Grand Lodge News: Washington Watch: Legislative Update …

… For the Week of 6 February 2012 …

I.      Legislative News and Activity
II.     This Week in Congress
III.    Update on FOP Top Legislative Priorities
IV.     DAY ON THE HILL 2012!!!
V.      Do Your Friends Get Grassroots?
VI.     Reduced NFOP PAC Knives and Oakley Product Giveaway

I.      LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND ACTIVITY
Executive Director Jim Pasco met with Nathanael P. Tamarin, Special Assistant to the President of the United States. to discuss the problems encountered by public safety collective bargaining units at the State and local level.

Executive Director Jim Pasco met with James H. Burch II, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) at the U.S. Department of Justice to discuss next week’s hearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the need to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) grant program and other OJP grant programs.

Executive Director Pasco met with Louis F. Quijas, Assistant Secretary for Office for State & Local Law Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to discuss the Department’s participation at the Spring Meeting of the National Board of Trustees.

Executive Director Pasco met with Bruce Cohen, chief counsel to Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary regarding next week’s hearing before the Committee on the need to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) grant program.

Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson had an extended conversation with staff in the office of Representative Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA) regarding H.R. 324, the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act, and other issues affecting Federal law enforcement officers.

Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson participated in a conference call with staff on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary regarding next week’s hearing on the need to reauthorize the BVP grant program. 

Legislative Liaison Breanna Bock-Nielsen represented the FOP at the annual Legislative Conference of the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) in Washington, DC.

Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson and Legislative Liaison Bock-Nielsen participated in a conference call with industry and law enforcement stakeholders regarding next week’s hearing on the need to reauthorize the BVP grant program.

Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson, Legislative Liaison Bock-Nielsen and Legislative Liaison Grace Lynch represented the FOP at a legislative reception hosted by the National District Attorneys’ Association (NDAA).  Our staff was able to interact with the NDAA leadership and numerous Congressional staffers.

II.     THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS
Both the House and the Senate were in session this week.

Action in the House
The House considered and passed H.R. 3521, the “Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act,” on a 254-173 vote.  The bill, which would give the President “line item veto” authority, along him to propose the rescission of all or any dollar amount of funding provided by any enacted bill or joint resolution, will now be transmitted to the Senate for further consideration.

The House considered, amended, and passed S. 2038, the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act,” on a 417-2 vote.  The bill will return to the Senate for further action and could be sent to a conference committee for reconciliation.

Action House Committees
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform considered and favorably reported, H.R. 3813, the “Securing Annuities for Federal Employees Act,” on a 22-16 vote.  The bill, which the FOP strongly opposes, would undermine both he Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) by increasing employee contributions from 0.8% and 6.9% to 2.3% and 8.4%, respectively, over a three year period.  You can see how your Representative voted here:
http://oversight.house.gov/images/stories/Markups/Roll_Call_Votes/H.R._3813_vote_4_Final_Passage_passed_22-16.pdf

PLEASE NOTE: The language in H.R. 3813 has also been merged into H.R. 7, the “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act,” (see above) and may be included in H.R. 3630, the “Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act” or similar legislation.  The stand-alone measure, H.R. 3813, is on the calendar and could be scheduled for floor action.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held an oversight hearing entitled, “The Right to Choose: Protecting Union Workers from Forced Political Contributions.”  The hearing scrutinized the means by which unions collect dues and the transparency of their use, particularly for political activity.

Action in the Senate
The Senate considered and passed the conference report on H.R. 658, the “Federal Aviation Authority Reauthorization and Reform Act,” on a 75-20 vote.  The bill, which would reauthorize the FAA through FY2014, was transmitted to the President, who is expected to sign the bill.

The Senate invoked cloture on the motion to proceed to debate S. 1813, the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21),”  on a 85-11 vote.  The Senate now begins debate on the bill.

III.   UPDATE ON TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
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 http://thomas.loc.gov.
 
A.  Social Security Issues

(1) Support the H.R. 1332/S. 2010, the “Social Security Fairness Act”
We currently have one hundred and forty-three (143) cosponsors on H.R. 1332.  Please note that this total differs slightly from THOMAS, as we are not including Delegates Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-Guam), who have limited voting rights on the floor. We are also not including Representative David Wu (D-OR), who resigned his seat earlier this year, or Representative Dean Heller (R-NV), who eft the House after being appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Senator John Ensign (R-NV).

We currently have seven (7) cosponsors on the Senate companion bill, S. 2010.

In addition, National Legislative Office staff continue to work with staff in the office of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) on S. 113, the “Public Servant Retirement Protection Act,” and with Representative Kevin P. Brady on the House companion measure, H.R. 2797.  This legislation would not impact the Government Pension Offset (GPO) but would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and replace it with a more equitable, individualized calculation of Social Security benefits based on an individual’s entire work history. 

Currently, there is one (1) cosponsor on the Senate bill and seven (7) cosponsors on the House bill.

(2)  Opposing any legislation that would require the participation of public employees in Social Security
The FOP will continue to lobby against this scheme and oppose any legislation which would mandate participation in Social Security.

B.  Support the “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act”
This legislation, which would guarantee the right of public safety employees to bargain collectively with their employers over hours, wages and conditions of employment, has not yet been introduced. 

C.  Support H.R. 1789, the “State and Local Law Enforcement Discipline, Accountability and Due Process Act”
We currently have six (6) cosponsors on H.R. 1789.

The Senate companion bill has not yet been introduced, but we are working with staff in the office of several Senators in an effort to develop a Senate companion bill.

D. Support the H.R. 327, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Equity Act” and S. 985, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Retirement Equity Act”
We currently have a total of ten (10) cosponsors on H.R. 327.

We currently have a total of one (1) cosponsor on S. 985.

E.  Support the H.R. 324, legislation giving Federal law enforcement officers employed by the U.S. Department of Defense statutory arrest authority
We currently have eleven (11) cosponsors on H.R. 324.

IV.     FOP DAY ON THE HILL 2012!!!
In just over two weeks, FOP members from around the nation will come to Capitol Hill to lobby their Members of Congress on the FOP’s top legislative priorities.  The FOP Day on The Hill 2012 will take place Monday, 27 February and run through Wednesday, 29 February.

On Monday, 27 February 2012 the National Legislative Office and the National Legislative Committee will host a short briefing at the District of Columbia Lodge #1 located at 711 4th Street, NW, at 4pm.  PLEASE ATTEND THIS BRIEFING!!! 

Tuesday and Wednesday, 28-29 February, will be devoted to your meetings with Members from your home States and districts. These appointments should be made in advance!!! You can find the contact information for your Representative at http://www.house.gov/ and the contact information for your Senators at http://www.senate.gov/. Event participants should make every effort to have their Representative or Senator attend the meeting along with the appropriate staff person.
 
Schedule
Monday, 27 February, 4pm – Legislative briefing at District of Columbia Lodge #1 located at 711 4th Street, NW
Tuesday, 28 February – Meetings with your Representative and Senators
Wednesday, 29 February – Meetings with your Representative and Senators

 
V.      Do Your Friends Get Grassroots?
Make sure your friends and coworkers know about our weekly updates! The grassroots emails are the most accurate source of information about the FOP on the Hill­ covering information on meetings, bills, and events.
 
To add your name from our mailing list, please send an email to grassroots@fop.net with ADD and the State in which you live, in the Subject Line.

 
VI.      REDUCED NFOP PAC Knives and Oakley Product Giveaway!
The National Fraternal Order of Police PAC has a number of 2011 commemorative NFOP PAC pocket knives remaining.  We also have one pair of Oakley Antix sunglasses, one pair of Oakley Radar sunglasses and two Oakley goggles available. All these Oakley products are valued over $100. 

We will be giving these Oakley products away, until they are gone, to every 30th person who orders a NFOP PAC pocket knife!

You can purchase a NFOP PAC pocket knife at the reduced price of only $15 for the chance to win one of these Oakley products! You will be alerted over the phone if you are one of the four lucky winners!

To order a NFOP PAC pocket knife, please complete the order form below and email to glynch@fop.net or call 202-547-8189.

NFOP PAC Contribution Form

Please return the form and contribution to:

National Fraternal Order of Police PAC
328 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
 

Full Name___________________________________________________________________

Occupation________________________________Employer______________________

Address_________________________________________________________________

City__________________________State_________________Zip Code______________

Phone__________________________Email____________________________________

Number of Knives______________Contribution Amount____________Date___________

Credit Card Number_________________________________Exp. Date________________
(Please note that we can only accept VISA or MasterCard.)

Is the contributor a member of the FOP?______
 
If Yes, please list:

FOP State Lodge_______________________________
FOP Local Lodge_______________________________
FOP Membership #______________________________
If No, please list:

 FOP Member’s Name______________________________________________________

Your Relationship to the FOP Member________________________________________

Contributions or gifts to the National Fraternal Order of Police PAC are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Only PERSONAL or NON CORPORATE checks may be accepted.  Contributions to the NFOP PAC are strictly voluntary and FOP members have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. You contribution will be used to support candidates for federal office who support law enforcement.  Federal law requires PACs to report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer for reach individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 per calendar year.

Questions or Comments?  E-mail us at grassroots@fop.net or call (202) 547 – 8189.
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