Shoring Up Services for Veterans, Energy Production and Cybersecurity Risks
Relating to a national emergency declared by the President on March 13, 2020 (HJ Res 7) – On March 13, 2020, then-President Trump declared a national emergency relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, emergency status has continued until the passage of this resolution. The national emergency status relaxed many healthcare rules, such as training mandates for nursing home aides, easier access to certain prescribed medications (e.g., Adderall, Ritalin, oxycodone, buprenorphine), and utilization of uncredentialed nurse practitioners and physician assistants for hospitalized Medicare patients. The resolution to end emergency status passed in the House on Feb. 1 and Senate on March 29. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) on Jan. 9 and enacted by President Biden on April 10.
Wounded Warrior Access Act (HR 1226) – This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to respond to online requests by claimants for records related to VA claims and benefits. The VA must notify a requester within 10 days that their request has been received and fulfill the request within 120 days. The bill was introduced by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) on Feb. 28 and passed in the House on March 7. It currently resides in the Senate.
Veterans’ COLA Act of 2023 (S 777) – Effective Dec. 1, 2023, this bipartisan bill would increase the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities as well as dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans. The bill was introduced on March 14 by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). It passed in the Senate on March 30 and is currently under consideration in the House.
Understanding Cybersecurity of Mobile Networks Act (HR 1123) – Introduced by Rep. Anna Ashoo (D-CA) on Feb. 21, this bill would require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to report on the cybersecurity vulnerability of mobile service networks and mobile devices to cyberattacks and surveillance by adversaries. The bill was passed unanimously in the House on March 7; its fate currently resides in the Senate.
Lower Energy Costs Act (HR 1) – This bill is designed to reduce energy costs by increasing American energy production, exports, infrastructure, and critical minerals processing by implementing transparency, accountability, and permitting rules as well as improving water quality certification and expediting energy projects. The bill was introduced by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Jan. 26 and passed in the House on March 30. It is currently awaiting review in the Senate.
SECURE Notarization Act of 2023 (HR 1059) – This bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House by Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) on Feb. 17. It would permit notaries public to notarize electronic records and perform notarizations for remotely located individuals. The bill provides technical requirements, including creating and retaining video and audio recordings to conduct the transaction. Additionally, the bill would require all U.S. courts and states to recognize in-person and remoted notarizations affecting interstate commerce. The bill also allows a notary public to remotely notarize electronic records involving an individual located outside of the United States, subject to certain requirements. The bill passed in the House on Feb. 27 and is currently under consideration in the Senate.