Peters Caps First Term by Sending Record Number of Bills to the President’s Desk This Congress
10 Peters Standalone Bills Have Been Sent to the President This Congress & 14 Peters Bills Passed Senate This Congress, More Than Any Other Senator Regardless of Party
WASHINGTON, DC – Despite serving the entirety of his first term in the minority, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) capped his first term in the Senate by sending more bills to the President’s desk this Congress than any other Senator, regardless of party. With 10 of his standalone bills having been signed into law or awaiting the President’s signature since 2019, Peters has continuously built on his record of effectiveness and bipartisanship. Additionally, Peters:
- Passed 14 standalone bills through the Senate this Congress, more than any other Senator regardless of party;
- Passed 19 bills through the Senate since 2017, the most of any Democratic senator;
- Passed 21 bills through the chamber since he began serving in the Senate in 2015, the most of any Democratic senator during the past six years. With eight bills already signed into law and six awaiting President Trump’s signature, Peters is on track to have 14 bills signed into law during his first term.
In addition to his legislative efforts, Peters’ office has also been able to assist Michiganders this year by returning more than $1.7 million in federal benefits that they were owed by resolving their cases. Since Peters’ Senate term began, his office has been able to return over $9.1 million in owed benefits to constituents.
“Michiganders expect us to roll up our sleeves, finding common ground and get things done,” said Senator Peters. “It’s an honor to represent Michigan each and every day in the U.S. Senate, and I’ll continue solving problems for Michiganders and fighting to support our small businesses, protect the Great Lakes, honor our veterans and ensure workers can access training to get for good-paying jobs.”
This Congress, the following Peters bills have been enacted or sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law:
- The Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act of 2019, introduced with U.S. Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), will increase veterans’ access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) financial assistance that they can use toward a Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program. The bipartisan measure was passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in December 2019 and signed into law this past March.
- The Protecting America's Food and Agriculture Act of 2019, introduced with U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Cornyn (R-TX), will help address the shortage of agricultural inspectors who protect the nation’s food supply and agricultural industries at the border. It will help ensure the safe and secure trade of agricultural goods across our nation’s borders by authorizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire additional inspectors, support staff and canine fully staff America’s airports, seaports and land ports of entry. The bipartisan legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate in October of 2019 and signed into law this past March.
- The Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act, introduced with U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and James Lankford (R-OK), would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund and help states establish revolving loan funds that could be used by local governments to carry out mitigation projects that reduce natural disaster risk, including shoreline erosion and rising water levels. High water levels intensify the impacts of high winds and contribute to shoreline erosion. Along the Great Lakes, rising water levels have already flooded campgrounds and streets, caused boating problems due to submerged structures, and destroyed several beaches and homes. This bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week and is headed to the President’s desk.
- The Drone Advisory Committee for the 21st Century Act, introduced with U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Roberts, would ensure the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s chief drone policy committee includes representation for agriculture, forestry, and rural America. Since it was first announced in 2016, the committee has never included a representative from the agriculture or forestry sector and no representatives from county or tribal governments have been selected to the policy board. This bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week and is headed to the President’s desk.
- The One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act, introduced with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), would permanently protect the Apollo landing sites on the moon. Specifically, the measure would enact first-of-its-kind legal protections for these historic sites from intentional and unintentional disturbances by codifying into law existing NASA preservation recommendations. This bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week and is headed to the President’s desk.
- The Transparency and Effective Accountability Measures for (TEAM) Veteran Caregivers Act, introduced with Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), would improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) caregiver program. According to reports, caregivers and veterans were arbitrarily discharged or downgraded from the program, with benefits subsequently revoked or reduced. The VA Office of the Inspector General reported in 2018 that VA failed to adequately manage the caregiver program and recommended improvements and reforms. This bipartisan bill would take a number of steps to strengthen transparency and communication for veterans and caregivers participating in the program. This bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week and is headed to the President’s desk.
- The Great Lakes Environmental Sensitivity Index Act, introduced with Senator Todd Young (R-IN) that will not only update ESI maps for the Great Lakes, but would additionally require periodic Great Lakes mapping updates. These new maps will provide more accurate assessments of coastal resources that are at risk of severe damage or a natural disaster, including endangered and threatened species, sensitive shoreline habitats, and widely used community resources such as beaches, parks and boat ramps. The Great Lakes ESI maps have not been updated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in over two decades, unlike ESI maps for the East coast, West coast, and Gulf coast that have been updated more recently. It is essential that ESI maps throughout the Great Lakes are regularly updated to provide an accurate representation of vulnerable locations and areas that need protection in the event of a disaster. This legislation passed both chambers of Congress and is now at the President’s desk to be signed into law.
- The Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow (PROSWIFT) Act, introduced with Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), will strengthen the nation’s ability to predict severe space weather events and mitigate their harmful impacts on Earth. The bipartisan bill was signed into law in October.
- The Secure Federal LEASEs Act, introduced with U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), would determine if office space leased by the federal government is owned by foreign entities – including China. The bipartisan legislation was drafted in response to a 2017 Government Accountability Office report that several federal agencies were leasing high-security office space in foreign-owned properties, including six Federal Bureau of Investigation and three Drug Enforcement Administration field offices. The bill would specifically task the General Services Administration (GSA) with designing a system that identifies property owners if the space would be used for high-security purposes, and is now going to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
- The Charging Helps Agencies Realize General Efficiencies Act, introduced with Senator Portman, will save taxpayer dollars by updating policies to help federal agencies adopt electric vehicles, which are more energy efficient than traditional gas-powered vehicles. The bipartisan legislation was signed into law in October.
Peters has been recognized as one of the most bipartisan and effective lawmakers in the Senate. This year, the non-partisan Lugar Center ranked him as the 3rd-most bipartisan Democrat and 12th-most bipartisan Senator. This follows Peters being named the 4th-most bipartisan Democrat by the Lugar Center last year and the 4th-most effective Democratic senator in the 115th Senate (2017-2018) by the non-partisan Center for Effective Lawmaking. This year, he also earned the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship.
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