11.17.20

Tenth Peters Bill Passes the Senate This Congress

Peters Already Had More Bills Passed Out of the Senate in this Congress than Any Senator, Republican or Democrat

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate yesterday unanimously approved U.S. Senator Gary Peters’ bipartisan legislation to update the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps in the Great Lakes, marking the tenth standalone Peters bill that has passed the Senate in this session of Congress – more than any Senator, Republican or Democrat. Recently, President Trump signed a sixth Peters bill into law – no Senate Democrat has enacted more bills during his presidency, and this week’s passage of Peters’ legislation that would require the Great Lakes Region ESI maps to be updated for the first time in over two decades builds on that record of effectiveness and bipartisanship. Despite serving in his first term and in the minority, Peters also has:

“To get things done, you need to work with both parties. That’s something I’ve always done, and I’m proud that I was able to pass this legislation through the Senate,” said Senator Peters. “Whether it’s protecting the Great Lakes, expanding apprenticeship opportunities for veterans or strengthening our national security, I’ll continue working to get results for Michigan.”

This Congress, the Senate has passed the following Peters-led bills:

  • The Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act of 2019introduced 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 2019introduced 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.

  • Bipartisan legislation 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 was passed by the U.S. Senate this week.

  • The Secure Federal LEASEs Actintroduced 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 was passed by the U.S. Senate this past March.

  • The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act, introduced with Senator Portman, would promote stronger cybersecurity coordination between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and state and local governments. Specifically, the measure would direct the DHS to share information regarding cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and breaches as well as resources to prevent and recover from cyber-attacks with states and localities who are increasingly targeted by bad actors. The bipartisan legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate this past November.

  • 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. The bipartisan legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate in July 2019.

  • The Supply Chain Counterintelligence Training Act of 2019, introduced with U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), would address cybersecurity vulnerabilities while purchasing information technology equipment for the government. Specifically, the legislation would establish a government-wide approach to securing information and communications technology by ensuring that all executive agency officials with supply chain risk management responsibilities know how to identify and mitigate counterintelligence threats posed by foreign nations. The bipartisan legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate in May 2019.

  • The Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act of 2019, introduced with U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), would develop and retain highly-skilled cybersecurity professionals in the federal workforce by creating a civilian personnel rotation program for cybersecurity professionals at federal agencies. The bipartisan legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate in May 2019.

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.

###