Two More Peters Standalone Bills Heading to President’s Desk to be Signed into Law, Another Two Peters Bills Pass Senate
Peters Leads Senate by Passing 13th Standalone Bill This Congress, Expected to Have 7th and 8th Bill Enacted During Trump Presidency; Continues to Effectively Advance Bipartisan Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) continued advancing his legislative priorities through Congress, with two more bills now going to the President’s desk to be signed into law and two additional bills passing the Senate. The bills on their way to the President’s desk – which will update Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps for the Great Lakes and close security loopholes in the federal leasing process – would mark the 7th and 8th bills enacted under President Trump – more than any other Senate Democrat. In addition, Peters’ bipartisan bills to protect Michigan communities against shoreline erosion and give rural voices a seat at the table when it comes to drone policy passed the Senate.
Despite serving in his first term and in the minority, Peters has passed more bills than any Senator through the Senate this Congress, Republican or Democrat. Peters also has:
- Passed through Congress and enacted eight standalone bills signed into law since he began serving in the Senate in 2015, the most of any Democratic senator during this period;
- Had six bills signed into law under President Trump, no Democratic Senator has enacted more since Trump took office; and
- Passed 18 bills through the Senate since 2017, the most of any Democratic senator.
“It’s an honor to work for Michigan each and every day in the U.S. Senate. Working for Michigan means rolling up your sleeves, finding common ground and working to pass legislation on issues that matter to Michiganders,” said Senator Peters. “Whether it’s protecting our communities against rising water levels in the Great Lakes – or protecting our national security – I’ll continue working to advance these important priorities.”
This Congress, the Senate has passed the following Peters-led bills:
- 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 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 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.
- 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 is now going to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
- 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 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. Senate last week.
- 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. Senate last week.
- 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 legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate last month.
- 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 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 in November 2019.
- 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 Senator Johnson, 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.
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