Monitoring Trade Agreements with Taiwan, Promoting Plain-Language Rules, and Expanding Recruiting and Training for Law Enforcement
United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act (HR 4004) – This bipartisan bill was introduced on June 12 by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO). The purpose of this bill is to convey approval by Congress of the June 1 trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan. The bill addresses customs administration and regulatory practice issues, as well as dictates conditions for negotiations of subsequent trade agreements. Among its provisions, the bill requires that the U.S. Trade Representative share all negotiating texts with Congress prior to being sent to Taiwan or any parties outside of the executive branch. The bill passed in the House on June 21 and in the Senate on July 18. It was signed into law by the President on Aug. 7.
Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act of 2023 (S 111) – This bill, which was signed into law on July 25, requires each agency to provide a 100-word plain language summary of each new proposed rule posted at regulations.gov. The legislation was introduced by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) on Jan. 26; passed in the Senate on June 22; and in the House on July 17.
Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act (HR 2544) – This bipartisan bill was introduced by Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) on April 10. It modifies operations of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, which is managed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). In the past, the network of professionals was managed by only one organization, but this new bill allows the HRSA to award multiple grants, contracts or cooperative agreements for network management. The legislation was passed in the House on July 25, in the Senate on July 27 and is currently awaiting signature by President Biden.
Strong Communities Act of 2023 (S 994) – Introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on March 28, this bill permits funding by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program to be used to train officers and recruits who agree to serve in law enforcement agencies in their local communities. The bipartisan bill passed in the Senate on July 26 and is currently under consideration in the House.
Recruit and Retain Act (S 546) – Introduced by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) on Feb. 28, this bill expands the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program to enable law enforcement agencies to use funding for recruitment activities such as career and job fairs, as well as lower application fees for things like background checks, testing and psychological evaluations. The Act passed in the Senate on July 26 and has been forwarded to the House.
Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General Training Act of 2023 (S 1096) – This Act would require new Veterans Affairs (VA) employees to undergo training on how to report misconduct, respond to requests from and cooperate with the Office of the Inspector General. The bill was introduced on March 30 by Sen. Margaret Hassan (D-NH) and was passed in the Senate on July 13. Its fate now rests in the House.